The weather for sure. Yikes, I’ve never lived in so much snow. But my guests are anything but lambs in March! Sunday, March 12, will be award winning filmmaker, Graham Streeter. We will chat about his growing body of work and all aspects of bringing a film to life.
And two special guests from Nova Scotia will be joining me on March 26, the creators of Writing Battle. Yep, Max and Teona will be here to talk about the amazing writing contest platform and its growing community.
But you can still visit my February guests and all my amazing guests in my Gallery. Check out my conversations with South African Sci Fi Romance author, Sevannah Storm, and author of the newly relaunched YA Fantasy series, A Pendale Tale, Jorma Kansanen.
This is so awesome; to finally have a chat with you, Sevannah, after meeting up on NaNoWriMo in 2021. I want to first say how much I appreciated your encouragement during my first ever November novel writing challenges. And I was so impressed with your speedy progress. Since then, I’ve seen how you can churn out the novels. Let’s go in reverse and start with where you are today. Tell us about your body of work available on Amazon and how it feels to have so many exciting stories published.
Can you share your process and yearly writing goals?
I’m a spreadsheet gal. Everything’s captured, from future books, current release schedules, to who does/doesn’t get an ARC. As to speed at which I write? I like to type as fast as I think. Writing in notebooks just made me a typist and doubled the work. So straight into the right document template it goes and I work on no other WIP. I even create a preliminary cover.
My goal is to get all of my written work out there. For 2023, I have two novels for The Gifting Series (scifi romance) on the cusp of release. I have three standalones (2 x scifi, 1 x fantasy romance) I will be releasing this year. AND! I need to write two more novellas for my Plump Playwright series.
Now that we know how you get things done, let’s chat about what interested you in becoming a writer and how you got started.
The usual. I had a dream. It wouldn’t leave me alone and added scenes/chapters every night. This was Dec 2017. I feared a month of no sleep. So I wrote the dream to rid my mind of it. And Soul Forged was born. It was a piece of shite, but awesome hubs read it and suggested I pursue writing. I wrote another four books within 5 months after that.
D. I love it. And here you are six years later with so many fabulous listings on Amazon.You can also keep posted on Sevannah’s projects on her website and newsletter.
The best part of planning our chat in February is being able to indulge in romance! You write in what I have to admit is one of my favorite genres. Hot romance! And I love the choices you give us between going alien, or taking a journey with your average plus-sized erotica fiction writer. I’m currently enjoying the first in your Plump Playwright series, Plump Jane. Ah. Max… I need to share an excerpt here if I may:
First Chapter, Plump Jane
"Are you all right?" Max leaned over her, his face above hers, and for a moment, as the sun haloed his golden locks, she thought Gabriel himself had come down from heaven. "Bad news?"
His touch burned where he gripped her waist, and before she could warn him that chiropractic appointments were expensive, he hoisted her off the ground.
"I'm a recluse. This is it for me." She gestured to the park. "Here, and home."
"Well, if we work toward the function, maybe you'll feel more prepared."
He wrapped his fingers around her upper arm, as if to steady her. "Nine at the Rose Mall, Jane." He tapped her nose with his fingertip. "Don't keep me waiting."
She watched him jog off, his long strides covering the distance to the parking lot. Fudgeknuckles, what the hell had just happened? It sounded like a date, but she knew better. He hoped to inspire in her the love of exercise when chocolates, writing, and her male characters owned all the acreage of her heart. Not even for the Adonis that he was would she grant exercise a square foot of prime real estate.
D. I already know I will be bingeing the series! You can find Plump Jane on Amazon here.
Tell us how you decided on your genre.
I have been reading romance since I was twelve, stealing my gran’s Mills & Boons from her bookshelf. I branched out to historical, I even wrote a novel in my teens. But once I discovered scifi romance, that was it for me. I also write fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, whatever inspires the muse.
D. In the mood for sassy female leads and hot aliens? Click here.
Who and/or what were your biggest influences?
Johanna Lindsey (introduced me to scifi romance), Laurann Dohner, Christine Feehan (The Dark Series (vampires), Anna Carven (scifi romance) then the usual, music, games, and movies.
Any works/series in progress? Where can we find you and stay posted on the latest?
The Shikari will become a series (scifi fantasy romance meets the Firefly.) I do have something planned for December, a new paranormal-Christmas series. It’s hush-hush until I’ve written the first book. Because it’s not my primary genre, I’ll only be releasing a book every December for the next ten years. I’m Sevannah Storm across all social media platforms, but my newsletter (bi-monthly) has the juicy news, ARCS, freebies, cover reveals, and sales.
D. Ooh. Thanks for giving us a heads up here! It’s exciting!
What is the writing community like in South Africa? Are there ways you are able to share your work locally? How about online communities? I know you do well with Facebook. Any advice about where to focus attention to find support?
Writing communities in South Africa aren’t helpful with regards to guidance or marketing. I opted for international because South Africa is a small market, and with eleven official languages, quite hard to break into. I don’t speak/write Afrikaans well enough.
Finding one’s champions is across platforms. It’s like real life, who you click with naturally. I try to pay it forward and meet so many amazing authors that way. Try critiquing/beta reading for writers. Make friends that way. Not only are you helping, but you’re learning to be a better beta reader/critiquer and this in turn will improve your writing craft.
D. Thank you for sharing that. Good advice.
How did you find your support services, editors, beta readers, arc readers, cover artists, etc.? Can you share some highlights or tips you’ve collected on this process and how to find satisfactory collaborations?
I googled my first editor. Kathy Bosman was a patient and incredible editor who worked on Soul Forged (75 pages at the time.) She taught me so much.
Beta/ARC readers are through my newsletter sign-up forms.
Savvyauthor’s critique match-up helps with critique partners.
I also have close author friends who help me out in times of great self-doubt.
Cover artists? Nope. I do all my covers. I studied art for seven years, web design, photoshopping, so it made sense to do them myself and save a ton of money. The covers I have done so far are on my website.
D. Fantastic! Thank you. Check out Sevannah’s website for her cover designs.
How do you balance all your pursuits with life and work? I would love to know your secret to writing so profusely. Any other secrets you can impart on time management?
When my day-job ends, my author-job starts. I have two full-grown kids (21/18), so my evenings are mine. Hubs is so supportive. Before signing up on social media, I wrote hours a night. Now, I’m trying to juggle everything, as well as learn how to create promotional videos. As to writer’s block, sprints work. They help me to push through. Words written is better than a blank page. When I do get to write, I aim for 2500 words at a time.
D. I love hearing how writers set up their schedules. It does seem to really work having a set time for writing, so other things aren’t neglected. I’m still working on that. But I do get lots of time for writing thanks to my hubby, too. They are the best!
What are your future plans?
I just climbed on the TikTok wagon and am learning how best to market my books. Ideally, I’d like to quit my day job. As to this year, Camp Nano is coming in April and July. Not sure if I’m participating. And depending on how far I am on 2023’s goals, I might be doing NaNoWriMo. I thoroughly enjoyed Nano 2022. I spent 2022 editing so getting to write was amazing.
I hope this February brings you much success in sharing your dreamy, steamy stories, and the best all year. Thanks so much for stopping by. Do you have any parting advice for our readers who want to pursue their creative passions?
Don’t quit. Expect to fail. It’s in failing that you grow. Remember, 10000 hours are needed to master anything.
When Sevannah and I chatted about her art background, she was kind enough to share some of her sketches. As my readers know, I love to mix art with writing. It’s so fun to find like-minded writers. Yes, that is Sevannah’s zebra in my promo piece at the top.