Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Break Out the Bubbly and the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Annie Rayburn's (aka Carol Burnside) Novel BITTERSWEET OBSESSIONS

I'm very excited to host another Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Sister blogger, Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn as she celebrates the release of her novel BITTERSWEET OBSESSIONS. Carol is a special friend whose story should inspire all writers. *Pop* *Pour* *Sip* Mmmm, I love champagne and interviewing my friends!

Welcome to the veranda, Carol/Annie. How did you end up becoming a writer?

Funny you should ask because it was a bit strange. Before we moved to Hawaii, I’d been an Executive Assistant for a number of years and was burned out due to 50- hour work weeks and stress. I’d mentioned trying to write a book to my husband and had begun doing research on the business and how to go about writing a romance novel. Then one day as we were moving into our condo, I overheard my husband telling the electrician that I was taking 2-3 months off to write. I was? News to me. The next day, I overheard a similar conversation, only now I was taking six months. Well, I began to write and have never gone back to the dreaded day job. Thank you, Hubby!

I love a supportive writing spouse! Mine is equally as supportive. This helps our creativity so much. When you do create your stories, are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?

Some of both. I started out as a total ‘flying into the mist’ writer, but found my way riddled with pitfalls. I’d write myself into a corner, run out of story much too fast, or I’d end up with a great idea, but no real story. It was frustrating. As a result, I have a lot of good premises that need fleshing out and some complete manuscripts that I fear will never be published, no matter how many times I’ve revised them. These days I usually get the premise, write enough to get a feel for the characters, then stop and write the synopsis. That gives me a rough guide. Then I use a method called Pinch Point Plotting that I discovered in a class taught by C.J. Lyons. It works for me because it incorporates the emotional journey. 

C.J. Lyons class sounds perfect for me. I am always looking for ways to improve my writing. After you finish pinching all the plot points and writing, how do you relax after a long writing day?

Oh, gosh, I’d just about kill for a real all-writing day. We’ve been in moving mode for about six months now, buying/selling houses, packing/unpacking, decorating and putting in a garden. Between that, edits due my Red Sage editor, getting my website up and running and promotional obligations, I’m lucky to get in a couple hours of actual writing. However the day goes, Hubby and I usually unwind with a beer or glass of wine with dinner followed by a couple hours of movie or TV time.
Oh, I know the difficulty of adjusting to a new writing schedule after a big move! I'm surprised you have time to work on the promotions. Do you have any new releases coming up as well?

Beautiful Cover!
Yes, absolutely! In addition to the Bittersweet Obsessions release at eRedSage.com on June 1st, I’ve just Indie-published a re-release of my very first e-pubbed short story, Insight and a novella titled Phantoms & Fantasies. They’re a great way for readers to get a taste of my Crainesian characters and their world. Either can be purchased through Smashwords (in a variety of file formats) or Amazon (for Kindle) and P&F should be available on B&N as well.  

You've got a lot of new stories coming out. Fabulous. Now that you're published, what advice would you give aspiring writers?

Get used to thinking of your stories and books as a product. If the product is ‘passed’ on (the current buzzword for ‘no’), it’s a teeny bit easier to swallow than if you look at it as if you’ve been rejected. It’s important to understand that there are a gazillion reasons your work product may not have been what that editor or agent was looking for at that moment. Take a moment, an hour, but don’t wallow. If you received feedback, examine it and make changes to your product. Then, take a deep breath and send it out again.

Carol that is excellent advice to think about our manuscripts and books as products so that we don't take "no" for a personal rejection. I love that concept. Thank you so much for coming by and sharing your story with my friends and followers. And here's the best part--a lucky commentator will win a copy of Carol/Annie's book. 

To learn more about Carol/Annie’s books, blog and more, visit http://AnnieRayburn.com.

Yay! I love celebrating. *Nibbling Chocolate!*



21 comments:

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Thanks for having me here, Christine! I love talking about my Crainesian characters and their world.

The official link for Bittersweet Obsessions is: http://www.eredsage.com/store/BittersweetObsessions.html

I'll be back later in the morning...

Christine said...

So glad to have you here! I edited the post to include the link :-)

Stephanie Jones said...

These books look great! The Phantoms & Fantasies piece looks especially interesting. I love to read where authors have done some world building!

The advice to aspiring authors to look at rejections as chances to improve our work is really good way to think about it because it does feel personal. :-)

Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us. Best of luck!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Ah, Christine, you're so good! Thanks. :D

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Thank you for checking them out, Stephanie. Phantoms & Fantasies will always have a special place in my heart because of the subject matter. I'm uber empathetic and Zeenie's situtation tugged at my heartstrings the whole way.

Randy said...

Congratulations, Carol! I LOVE your Crainesian world! Very new and fresh which results in an interesting take on male/female relationships and, of course, romance. Kudos!

Darcy Crowder said...

Hi Carol! (waving madly) Just wanted to stop by and say how happy I am for you. Congratulations!!! You deserve it.

Downloaded Bittersweet Obsessions today and can't wait to have a quiet moment to sit down and see how the story turned out. :)

Sandy Elzie said...

Carol, I'm so proud of you for jumping into e-pub so quickly.....at least faster than I am. I'll definitely get there.

Congrats on the new release and I not only wish you luck on it, I KNOW it'll do well.

Sandy

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Okay, just so y'all know, I'm having trouble getting Blogger to let me comment. Had to close down my browser, then get back in. Whew!

Anywho...

Randy, my friend and occasional CP: Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

Folks, Randy Jeanne has new releases on Smashwords and Amazon too. Fabulous, funny reads.

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Hey, Darcy! (waiving madly back) LOL

Thank you SO much. I hope you enjoy Teriza and Paul's rocky road to romance in Bittersweet Obsessions.

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Oh, Sandy, I hope you're right. I think the key is getting it seen. This isn't Field of Dreams, I don't think the 'write it and they will (automatically) buy' applies. While promo isn't my strong suit (much rather be writing), it's necessary in today's writing world. Thanks for your confidence in me. :D

Pamela Mason said...

Yay! B.O. is finally here! ;) Can't wait to get it for my Kindle.

And I love the way your husband 'retired' you... or did he put you to work?! lol!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Yeah, Pamela, his method was truly unique, eh? Most days I feel 'retired', then there are others where I'm so busy I can't see the end of my To-Do List!

If you don't win a copy today, Red Sage has a Kindle version (Mobi file) for your convenience. ;)

Happy reading!

Pam Asberry said...

I enjoyed reading your interview, Carol. Congratulations on your much-deserved success. I'll be putting your book on my Kindle here in short order. And I can't wait to give you a big hug in person!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

And I will take that hug, Pam! Thanks!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

BTW, if I draw the name of someone who's already bought Bittersweet Obsessions, I'll give them a download of Phantoms & Fantasies instead.

Anonymous said...

Carol, We're all so proud of you and wish you continued success.
Marilyn Baron

Christine said...

Hi Everyone: so glad you came to visit and celebrate Carol/Annie's debut novel on the veranda. I'll post the winner of her book on tomorrow's blog.

:-)

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Thank you, Marilyn.

Oh, I can't wait to see who won. Hee!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

AND THE WINNER IS...

Sandy Elzie!

Congrats, Sandy!!! I'll get your copy to you ASAP!