Okay everyone, settle down and take a seat.

Eerie, one of your Zombie’s is munching on the Hellhound’s tail. Mischevious and Adile, if you two don’t knock it off, I’m tying a boulder to your tails and dropping you in Dreamer’s moat. Smokey, you’re creating a haze even Snarky can’t cut through. Quirky, could you open that window behind my Knight? Let’s get some Swamp Gas in here. Prankster Duo, for the love of Pete would you please stop trying to get Angel Boy to launch from the ceiling beams!

Finally! Are you all ready?

Great, so be good and give it up for our guest-the most awesome Alison Stone! Her debut novel, Random Acts, is now available so afterwards, we’re doing a trip to the bookstore!

Listen up and find out how she got sucked into the crazy world of writing…

Why do I write?

I ask myself this question every so often. Like when I’m stuck on a plot point or when I’d rather be reading or watching TV or cleaning the toilet… Yes, some days it seems like I’d rather be doing anything other than writing. So, why do I do it?

Is it for the money? (Okay, you over there, stop laughing.) Even if they don’t admit it, I think most writers hope their book will be the next big thing. But who can actually predict these things? I’d settle for a nice income, never mind a seven-figure income. Yet, if it’s income I’m truly after, why write? I could go back to my former career as an engineer and make far more money than I do as a writer. However, an office job wouldn’t give me the flexibility I have as a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I work long hours crafting my stories, but I’m home if my kids need me for something—like a ride or dinner. J

But why write? Is it because I have the burning desire to tell a story? I can’t say I have one particular story that needs to be told. Rather I have a lot of ideas bouncing around my head. Once the idea to try writing took hold, I couldn’t let go. There is something about the challenge of writing and fitting all the pieces of the story puzzle together (I write romantic suspense) that intrigues me. It occupies my mind.

The other night my husband and I went out for dinner and we discussed my new career. My debut novel, Random Acts, had just been released. I told him how I really hoped this new career would provide income to help send our children to college. Then, like usual, I started to doubt myself. Wouldn’t my time be better spent working at a job that paid me an hourly rate or one that paid a salary? My awesome husband equated my budding writing career to starting a business. My husband, an engineer, told me one of his co-workers quit to start a machine shop. He has the expense of a new building, machines and salaries. My writing career is also a new venture, but my overhead is low. I have the expense of my laptop and my time. I love the analogy. I have worked hard over the years to build a solid foundation. From here, I need to continue to produce quality books and build my readership. I am excited my second book, Too Close to Home, is coming out on August 7th. I also have other books in the works. From here, I will grow my business.

Writing is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. A few years ago, shortly after I signed with my wonderful agent, I received a crushing rejection from a New York publishing house. This was not the first time my work had been passed up to the senior editor for possible acquisition only to be rejected, albeit with a “good rejection.”

The editor raved about my “clean writing style” and she was “eager to get Alison under contract and happy to read anything she submits.” But this was the third time I had come so close, but yet so far. I was ready to throw in the towel, when my wonderful friend and critique partner—who always gave it to me straight— sent me his e-mail:

If an editor said “I’m eager to get her under
contract” I would have swooned. Do people still swoon? You’ve got it, kid. Don’t give up. At the very least, what a model for your kids on what it takes to succeed. Am I blowing smoke up your derriere? Nope. Close only counts when people use it as an excuse to bow out. Look at the many writers who struggled. I’m talking good writers who managed to believe in themselves no matter what. There are too many fools out there who make it because they are blind to their own BS. You just need to find your own unique voice, blend it to the “smooth, clean writing style.”

This e-mail is over three years old, but it still sits in my inbox. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I hope to have a solid career. I continue to write even when the mountain seem insurmountable because I want to show my kids that sometimes you have to work hard—very hard—to achieve your dreams.

Much thanks to Alison for braving our Swamp and visiting with us!

Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com.

Check out Random Acts

Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.

As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.

A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.

Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.

Run, don’t walk, and get your copy now! Available at:

Samhain Publishing: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/alison-stone-pa-1705.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Random-Acts-ebook/dp/B00795G1X4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334076604&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/random-acts-alison-stone/1108890294?ean=9781609288242&itm=1&usri=alison+stone

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Random-Acts/book-OSXUgDoMQ0aVm-JoFxmVXg/page1.html?s=QoeSfSCRk0m4in6w2_-prQ&r=1

Also available at Sony and iTunes.

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