Posts Tagged 'VK Powell'

Cops, Chefs, and Disc Jockeys

Three more vlogs for your viewing pleasure:

VK Powell

Lone RangerVK Powell stopped by to talk about her 2016 releases, Deception and Lone Ranger.
One of these fine reads was a story she wrote back in the day, but just recently rediscovered on her hard drive- crazy, right? Tune in here to hear all about these excellent stories and get a sneak peek at what she’s working on now.

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Bryant

Taste

Kris may not cook, but the main characters in her latest novel whip up gourmet creations for a living. Taste is sure to satisfy your appetite for a great story. Click here for the inside scoop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CF Frizzell

NightVoiceCF, award-winning author of Stick McLaughlin and Exchange, uses her best sultry voice to give us a sneak peek of her upcoming release, Night Voice. Tune in here for the on-air update.

 

Women’s Week in Ptown

By Heather Blackmore

Tell Me Something Good panelists (L-R): Radclyffe, Aurora Rey (moderator), Melissa Brayden, KC Richardson, Tina Michele, Holly Stratimore, Heather Blackmore

Tell Me Something Good panelists (L-R): Radclyffe, Aurora Rey (moderator), Melissa Brayden, KC Richardson, Tina Michele, Holly Stratimore, Heather Blackmore

Under the Gun panelists (L-R): Carsen Taite, Ashley Bartlett, Ali Vali, Samantha Boyette, VK Powell, Sophia Kell Hagin

Under the Gun panelists (L-R): Carsen Taite, Ashley Bartlett, Ali Vali, Samantha Boyette, VK Powell, Sophia Kell Hagin

Women’s Week in Provincetown, MA is a celebration of all things lesbian. It happens annually around Columbus Day, this year October 10-16th. There’s music, comedy, art, films, local tours, LGBTQ information, author readings, theater events, get-togethers over food, sailing, sports, and wine, and more. And while there are plenty of organized offerings, it’s fun just to walk down the street. You bump into people you know. It’s a safe, welcoming, warm environment where LGBTQ people, especially lesbians, can simply be themselves.

It’s Getting Hot in Here (L-R): Melissa Brayden (moderator), Charlotte Greene, Maggie Cummings, Kris Bryant, Sandy Lowe, Fiona Riley, MJ Williams

It’s Getting Hot in Here (L-R): Melissa Brayden (moderator), Charlotte Greene, Maggie Cummings, Kris Bryant, Sandy Lowe, Fiona Riley, MJ Williamz

 

This was my second time at Women’s Week, and for readers, it offers an exciting array of choices. Bold Strokes Books put on a bunch of author events (more on that later). Bywater Books was there, Indie authors were there, Golden Crown Literary Society members were there, as well as others. The town swarmed with some of my favorite writers in the lesfic community, from everyone on the BSB list below, to non BSB authors such as Lynn Ames, Georgia Beers, KB Draper, and Rachel Spangler.

 

Badges, Stripes, and Medals book signing (L-R): Jessica L. Webb, KC Richardson, Jean Copeland, Emily Smith

Badges, Stripes, and Medals book signing (L-R): Jessica L. Webb, KC Richardson, Jean Copeland, Emily Smith

One of the things I love about lesfic is the massive choice we now have in genre selection. From short-stories to non-fiction, romance to erotica, historical fiction to the paranormal, science fiction to mysteries, young adult to romantic intrigue, there’s something for everyone. Author events at Women’s Week give us a chance to sample from these options, learn about new authors, and hear from veterans.

 

 

Another thing I love about Women’s Week is the camaraderie. I met a ton of authors and readers. From formal meet-and-greets to informal get-togethers over meals and drinks, these readers and authors are mostly just down-to-earth, nice, fun people. The established authors are generally gracious and warm, the newer ones are excited and nervous, and those in between are in turns chillax, giddy, anxious, or troublemaking. The whole week feels a bit like lesbian summer camp (except for bouts of chilly weather).

Books!

Books!

 

 

The reason for this blog is to encourage those of you who enjoy lesfic and are wondering what it would be like to attend Women’s Week, to try to make it up to Ptown for a few days next year. There really are dozens of daily events of all kinds, so you don’t have to spend all your days inside listening to readings and Q&A sessions. Ptown is gorgeous and Women’s Week has a lot to offer.

 

Emily Smith and Laydin Michaels

Emily Smith and Laydin Michaels

 

But when you do want to learn about new books or listen to or meet some of your favorite authors, Women’s Week provides plenty of opportunities for you to do so. This year, BSB put on 8 diverse panels and 4 Q&A sessions and brought 30 authors to Ptown. All events are free and there is no hard sell. Obviously BSB would love to sell books, but there’s zero pressure. As with the meet-and-greet I attended 2 years ago, this one also offered anyone with the slightest gumption to walk up to their favorite authors, introduce themselves, and chat. There is nothing intimidating about it, except for the usual hurdle some of us introverts experience in social situations!

Love is in the Air Q&A (L-R): Aurora Rey, CA Popovich, Fiona Riley, KC Richardson, Sandy Lowe (moderator), Kris Bryant

Love is in the Air Q&A (L-R): Aurora Rey, CA Popovich, Fiona Riley, KC Richardson, Sandy Lowe (moderator), Kris Bryant

 

If you haven’t seen the BSB schedule, here were the authors in attendance this year:

Ashley Bartlett, Heather Blackmore, Samantha Boyette, Melissa Brayden, Kris Bryant, Jean Copeland, Maggie Cummings, Jackie D, CF Frizzell, Charlotte Greene, Sophia Kell Hagin, Sandy Lowe, Laydin Michaels, Tina Michele, Jaycie Morrison, C.A. Popovich, VK Powell, Radclyffe, Aurora Rey, KC Richardson, Fiona Riley, Emily Smith, Holly Stratimore, Carsen Taite, TJ Thomas, Julie Tizard, M. Ullrich, Ali Vali, Jessica L. Webb, and MJ Williamz.

Sealed with a Kiss panelists (L-R): TJ Thomas (standing), Jean Copeland, Melissa Brayden, CF Frizzell, Aurora Rey, Maggie Cummings (moderator), CA Popovich

Sealed with a Kiss panelists (L-R): TJ Thomas (standing), Jean Copeland, Melissa Brayden, CF Frizzell, Aurora Rey, Maggie Cummings (moderator), CA Popovich

 

Obviously I can’t guarantee what next year’s lineup will be, but I’d love to plant the seed for you to consider taking a few days off next year to experience a delightful getaway at Women’s Week in Ptown.

 

Two Books in One

By VK Powell

 

For the first time as a published author, I’ll have two books out in one year! (Exclamation mark because I never imagined it.) I have plenty of ideas in the queue and more than enough time to whip them into a story. The truth is I’m a travel slut, so one book a year helps feed my travel jones and writing remains a true joy instead of a j-o-b.

 

Anyway…here’s how this unexpected two-book feat occurred. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a very organized person and twice a year I purge unwanted or unused items and donate to charities (or friends who ask for advance notice). During one of these expunging adventures, I found a file on my computer marked On Hold Projects. Inside were two manuscripts written ten years ago that I’d completely forgotten. (Several of my writer buddies couldn’t believe this.)

 

The next decision seemed like a no-brainer – dust off one of those puppies, bring it up to snuff, and dash it over to my publisher. Right? Easier said than done. I found revamping an old manuscript much more difficult than starting from scratch. I was surprised how much I didn’t know about writing when I started (and believe me, I still have much to learn), but obviously I’m not a substantive editor. Tearing the story apart and putting it back together with the things I’ve learned along the way was not as easy as I’d hoped. My hat is off to the talented editors who work with newbies and make it look effortless. The experience has convinced me of one thing: the second found project will probably never grace my editor’s inbox.

 

Here’s what’s on offer this year from yours truly:

 

deceptionDeception, my August 2016 release is now available. Colby Vincent, a DEA agent undercover in the homeless community, and Adena Weber, administrator of a day center for the homeless, butt heads as Colby investigates a drug diversion program being operated from the center.

 

In November, Lone Ranger, will be out. In this story, freelance reporter, Emma Ferguson, tries to uncover the truth behind a thirty-seven year old disappearance while park ranger, Carter West, struggles to keep the details secret.

 

I’ll let you decide which is the lost and found project. Please share your guesses on my website, Facebook, or in an email.Lone Ranger

 

As always, thank you for reading.

 

VK Powell

vk@vkpowellauthor.com

www.vkpowellauthor.com

 

Publishers Weekly. Really?

By VK Powell

 

 

Publishers Weekly reviewed my new release, About Face,About Face 300 DPI in their June 16th edition. The review stated in part: “Powell (Exit Wounds) excels at depicting complex, emotionally vulnerable characters who connect in a believable fashion and enjoy some genuinely hot erotic moments.” To say I was surprised and excited would be a gross understatement because About Face was a slight deviation from my normal fare and I was unsure how it would be received.

 

I write predominately lesbian romantic intrigue and if I had to state my brand, it would be you can have it all—career, love, and happiness. My stories involve law enforcement officers fighting crime while trying to establish or maintain a relationship—no easy task. My second book, Suspect Passions, fell into the pure romance genre, so I decided book seven, About Face, would as well. While there are elements of suspense and/or mystery in both, they are heavy on romance, light on intrigue.

 

Why the change? I love writing intrigue. Developing characters with grit and drive, putting them into impossible situations, and forcing them to change for the sake of romance are my things, but every now and then a girl just needs to feel the love, plain and simple.

 

In About Face, reclusive forensic artist, Macy Sheridan, agrees to work one final case she hopes will solve the mystery that’s haunted her for years. The only things blocking her goal are a perfect facial reconstruction and Detective Leigh Monroe, a woman who reminds her of the past and challenges her future.

 

Leigh Monroe has lost her lover, her livelihood, and her home but she chooses to look on the bright side. What else could go wrong—then she meets rude, solitary Macy Sheridan. But Leigh discovers that Macy’s façade is a mask, yet as real and untouchable as the forensic reconstructions she so meticulously creates.

 

Macy’s last case brings the two women together in a tango of distrust and desire. When the truth finally comes out, it looks like their chance at love will be lost forever.

 

I hope you will like reading About Face, my romance-heavy, intrigue-lite offering, as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please let me know. Your feedback is an important part of my process.

 

 

VK Powell

vk@vkpowellauthor.com

Website:http://www.vkpowellauthor.com

Am I an Author Yet?

BY VK POWELL

 

Who hasn’t asked themselves this question? I’ve struggled with it since my first short story was published. Anyone who writes can be called a writer, but is there some special right of passage for becoming an author? I wrote three short stories for anthologies before my first novel came out. Did that mean I was an author? Some said yes, others no.

 

When I submitted my first manuscript, To Protect and Serve, to Bold Strokes Books, my editor said, “You have the bones for a good story, but they’re strewn all over the road.” Not encouraging words. I worked through the grueling editing process and when the book came out, I was sure I wasn’t an author—too much to learn.

 

The one liner for my second book, Suspect Passions, said it all: the truth is rarely pure and often painful. This was my first, and to date only, romance without an intrigue component. Writing two characters falling in love without a suspense driver to help them along was daunting. I developed a greater respect for romance writers and further convinced myself that I wasn’t an author and might never be. Strike two.

 

Books three (Fever), four (Justifiable Risk), and five (Haunting Whispers) Haunting 2were exercises in what not to do when writing a novel: unnecessary point of view shifts, passive verbs, long introspective passages, telling the story, clichés, filtering, repetitive words…you get the picture. So did I. It was becoming clear that I might never be a real author. After book three, I chose a nice round number as the final gauge of my skill—number six.

 

In mid-August my sixth book,Exit Wounds 300 DPI Exit Wounds, will be released. As the time draws nearer, the less certain I am about reaching my goal. What’s so magical about six? Do I feel any different, any better qualified to tell my stories than I did at number one? Maybe my craft skills have improved (I sure hope so or all that painful editing and my editor’s hard work would be in vain), but I don’t feel any more capable.

 

So, I’ve decided to put yet another carrot out there on a stick—I’ll be a real, honest to goodness, bona fide, qualified, certified author when I receive an award for my work. For some reason I now believe the measure of my success lies in outside validation. Will it ever happen? Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get it that none of these things really matter; it’s all about belief in myself. In the meantime, the struggle for excellence in my craft continues.

 

Anybody else struggle with this question…or is it just me?

Write What You Know…Really?

 

When I first started writing, this was the advice I received most often. The problem was I didn’t want to do that. After thirty years in law enforcement, I wasn’t thrilled about giving one more ounce of energy to it. Don’t get me wrong, it was an exciting, challenging, and profitable career (in that it allowed me to retire early and pursue my passion for writing, not because it paid extremely well) but I was over it! The job demanded more of me than I realized until I retired. I needed to do something completely different. So ‘writing what you know’ became a double-edged sword.

 

Law enforcement and writing romance novels seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but would writing romantic books with a level of intrigue be enough of a separation? When I asked myself that question initially, I wasn’t sure of the answer. But when I thought about what I’d like to write, my life flashed before my eyes like an unfinished movie—a life complicated and sometimes devastated by a demanding career. What better way to work through it than writing? Thirty years of catch-up therapy was way too expensive. And how better to keep a story moving than with tales of a chase, a mystery, or a challenge?

So I had to acknowledge that all those years of walking a beat, patrolling the seedy sections of town, playing undercover druggie, and bossing people around might actually be good fodder for stories. Next I had to figure out how to write about it without sounding like a bad version of Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Police work was all about the facts and giving them as succinctly as possible, no frills and no embellishments. The edits for my first book, To Protect and Serve, were filled with comments like, “too many details, not enough description.” It’s a wonder the manuscript didn’t end up as a doorstop.

Another challenge proved to be just how deeply to delve into law enforcement procedures. How could I portray certain situations with authenticity without betraying trade secrets and/or giving the bad guys an advantage? Sometimes the things you see on television are true, sometimes not. Often the procedures are exaggerated for dramatic effect and some are deleted completely for obvious reasons. Writing what you know intimately requires a constant vigil to keep the extraneous bits from creeping in and putting readers to sleep—only you know if I’ve been successful.

My second and third books, Suspect Passions and Fever, were a bit less police procedurals, but still contained a law enforcement component with intrigue, and of course, romance. In my fourth, Justifiable Risk, out in January, I go back to the full-on police element. Hopefully I’m learning to balance writing what I know with writing what I love. Please send me your thoughts. We authors are all about the feedback.

Thank you for taking your valuable time to just relax and read!

 

VK Powell
Fever
(Rainbow Awards Best Lesbian Contemporary)
(Rainbow Awards Best Writing Style)
Suspect Passions
To Protect and Serve
Justifiable Risk, 2011

Bold Strokes Books, http://powellvk.com/, www.facebook.com/vkpowell


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