Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Idea Factory

Last month, after I sent out a newsletter asking what subscribers wanted to see in future ones, some responded they wanted to hear more about me and my writing process. A few wrote sample questions. The most repeated one was, where do you get your ideas?

I think this is probably the most asked question authors get from readers. One writer--I don't remember who--said they have a pat (sarcastic) answer.

Where do you get your ideas?  Oh, I order them from the Idea Factory in Illinois. Ha-ha-ha. They say it with a straight face and hope the other person has a sense of humor. The thing is, this question doesn't have an easy answer. But since so many people are interested, I thought I'd give it a shot.

My ideas come from numerous places: movies that I think I know where they're going and find out it isn't how that writer wrote it, newspaper articles, songs, things friends say, books, etc.

The idea for Vampires Rule came to me when I was watching a vampire movie (horror movie, not Twilight), and I started thinking about the adjustments a person had to make when they got turned. Then I imagined what it would be like for a person who got changed back into a mortal. Could they return home to their family? Would the family accept them? Would their vampire friends let them go? Could the return to school and take up where they left off?

A lot of my ideas come from questions, strange questions that start going through my head when I'm bored.

The idea for Bait (the Order of the Spirit Realm series) came from how much I love the show Supernatural. It's the best thing on TV, in my opinion, and I've watched each episode at least fifteen times. The older episodes anyway. 

I was thinking about the life of monster hunters and decided I'd like to do a Supernatural type book with a girl hunter as the MC. It seemed only natural to me to make her into a Van Helsing since he's the most famous hunter in history. I also had the idea for a rock star slash vampire slayer a long time ago. Nick Gallos (lead singer for Bad-Rock) was supposed to have his own series, but he fit in so well in this one. 

And he was the perfect guy for Bay-Lee. His strengths make up for her weaknesses, and visa-versa. He says he fell in love with Bay-Lee when she threw him up against the wall and demanded he mentor her like he said he would. This is also when I fell in love with them as a couple. 

My upcoming Dragon's Breath series comes from my love of Greek Mythology, dragons, and boys who dream of being superheroes. 

The Witch-Game books happened because by the time I started shopping my vampire book around, Twilight was a big hit, and publishers repeatedly told me (and my agent) that the market was flooded with vampire books. So she and I decided that vampires and werewolves and ghosts were out. I needed something that hadn't been seen a million times.

Teen witches using their powers to play games at school seemed like the perfect solution. That idea came to me when I asked myself what I would have done at that age if I had powers. The answer? Use them to play games with my friends and influence boys. :)

Anyway, that is how I get my ideas. They come from different places, but one thing is always the same. It takes a long time for them to grow into fully realized material. Sometimes months. Sometimes years. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My dog of thirteen years died this week, so I wanted to write a little something in honor of her. These are the things I will always remember about her:

100_35801. She loved to do this cute fake-out like a basketball player. Am I going left? Am I going right?

2. When I hugged her, sometimes she would make this sound like she was talking to me.

3. She thought it was her job to keep an eye on the cows, but most of the time she was playing or napping. When she saw me coming out of the house, she would jump up and start barking at them and running at the fence. Then she'd look at me like, yeah that's right. I'm doing my job.

4. Her favorite thing was taking walks with me to the back fence. It's about fifteen acres from the house, so it was quite a ways. She'd run off, try to find something to chase, but she always kept me in her line of sight as if she didn't want me to get lost.

5. Whenever I was upset or hurt, she always came over to put her head either on my lap or against my leg.

So, Sheba, I want to say that I will miss seeing your beautiful face every day. I wish we'd had more time together, but I know you are in heaven, probably running as fast as you can. Love you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thanksgiving Thirty

Sorry. Didn't make it to thirty books. Health issues. Maybe next year.

1. Bible: Because I can't live without God's guidance, his love, and his protection. I have no idea how non-believers make it through a single day.

2. The Outsiders: Because this was my first YA book, the one that started it all. It made me realize that I wanted to do that. I wanted to make up other worlds and live in them.

3. Harry Potter: Because this is the book that got me reading YA again after I quit years ago. The awesome world-building in this series has no rivals. It's a magical place where kids and adults alike can lose themselves for a few hours.

4. Twilight: Because the book struck such an emotional chord in me. I know there are a lot of Twilight-haters out there, but this book reminded me of what first-love is actually like. Falling in love is hard on a tender heart.

5. Vampires Rule: Because this was the first YA I ever wrote and answered a question that weighed heavily on my mind for years. What happens when a vampire loses his fangs and his immortality but still has to fight werewolves?

6. The Demon's Lexicon: Because this book has such an awesome brother relationship in it. I loved these characters so much that by the end of the trilogy I couldn't write for a solid week. I just kept wondering why I didn't have brothers like Alan and Nick in my book. This book, the first in the series, also has an AWESOME surprise ending.

(I don't have a pic of the book cover, so here are Jace and Clary from the movie)
Found it.

7. City of Bones: Because this is the type of book I enjoy the most, and it's the closest to how I write. In fact, that's how I discovered it. A friend read City of Bones and told me that it reminded her of my writing. I was flattered after I picked up a copy and read it for myself.

8. Shiver: Because of the unique idea, at least it was unique to me, of people that change into wolves when it gets cold. They spend their winter months in fur, lol. Plus, it had a cute love story.

9. Need: This book is by Carrie Jones and deals with pixies. That's right. You heard me. Pixies. And that is why I loved it. The series also has a cool love story with two leading men. Which one will Zara choose? Read them and find out.

10. Bait: Another one by me, yes. This, to date, is my most involved series. Many twists. Lots of secrets. The love story involves Van Helsing's daughter and a not-so-dead rock star.

11. Vampire Diaries: Because this was written before Twilight and was so awesome that people believed the author had ripped off Bella and Edward. Not true. But Twilight did breathe life into it, and now the book is a series.

12. The Phantom Tollbooth: When I was a kid, the teacher read this to us every day. I think it was the second grade. This book sparked my imagination. It's the first book I can remember getting totally lost in.

13. Marked: Read this right after I finished Twilight, and I was on a vampire kick. The series lost me after the third book, but I love how this one started. Imaginative.

14. The Iliad: A lot of people think I'm crazy for loving this one as much as I do, but the idea of Greek gods behind the scenes, some on each side, sparked my interest in mythology.

15. Vampire Academy: Yeah, read this while still on the vampire craze. There are so many interesting stories with fanged creatures in them.

16. Pet Semetery: This is the only book that scared the stuffing out of me. I remember reading it one day in our tiny apartment when I was sixteen. My brother walked through the door, and I screamed. The book flew through the air. That's how good it is. In fact, if I want a scary read, that's my go-to book.

17. It: As long as we're talking about scary books, this one has an evil clown. Enough said.


Friday, October 30, 2015

Cover Reveal

Book Description: 

Dalton Black never thought he'd find his true mate. His dark past convinced him that he could never be worthy of one, but the Great Luna did not agree.  She saw fit to give him a gypsy healer, the purest of heart among their kind. And now that he's finally found her, she slips through his grasp and into the hands of Volcan, a corrupt high fae driven mad by his own need for power. Now Dalton, with help from his own powerful friends, must find Jewel and rescue her before Volcan can use her blood to create witches and once again throw off the balance of good and evil.

As their journey begins, Perizada will once again lead a group of wolves on a hunt to bring down evil, but little do they know that Volcan is just a drop of blood in the sea of supernatural beings about to darken their path.  

And here is the COVER....

Find more on Quinn and her books at

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Book Bundles: Why Bother?

Book Bundles have become a HUGE deal. Some of them are at what seems ridiculous prices like under a dollar or even free for several books. Made me wonder how the author is making any money. So I took a closer look. Not all book bundles are the same. What do I mean? Well, take a look.
  1. First Books: Some authors are putting the first books from all their series in one bundle and giving it away for free. This gives readers a chance to see what they think of the author's writing. It also gives authors the chance to hook a reader. If the reader loves a series, they can continue to read them. If they don't, they haven't lost anything. So far, I haven't tried doing this, mainly because I only have first books in two series at the moment. But I am thinking that maybe down the road I'll give it a try.
  2. Different Authors: Some authors are getting together to offer one book from each of their series in book bundles. That way the reader can try several different authors at the same time. Problem is, it would be a hassle to split the money, unless you are putting it for free. That would be an okay idea. I did do this one. Another author gathered our books, formatted them, and put them into a bundle. She set it at free. Has it helped me get more readers? Well, I'm sure it hasn't hurt.
  3. First Several Books in Series: An author can also take the first few books in a particular series and offer them at a lower price than it would cost if a reader bought them all separately. This, I also did. Recently, I uploaded Vampires Rule, Werewolves Rule, Shifters Rule, and Wizards Rule in what I call the Rule Series Book Bundle. Only available on Amazon, if you get it, you are getting two books free. Then, the only book let in the series to get is Mortals Rule. Since I just did it, I don't have anything to report. I don't know if this will be a good thing for me as an author or not.      vrbundleAMAZON LINK
  4. Last Books in Series: You can do the opposite and offer books 2 to 3, 4, or however high your books go. Give the first one free and then offer a bundle for the rest at a lowered price than if people got them separately. Haven't done this one, but I may try it someday.
Seriously, I'm not sure where I stand on book bundles. As a reader, I like them. They cost less than buying the books separately, and they only use one thumbnail instead of several, so it doesn't take up as much of my screen. As an author, I'm still on the fence about it. Seems to me it would be a good idea if there weren't so many. Go to Amazon and type in Book Bundles. 400 plus pages will come up. That is a ridiculous amount of bundles. As an author, I think it would be hard to make a bundle stand out. What do you think?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Releases


Help us celebrate the release of two amazing Young Adult novels from Clean Teen Publishing. To celebrate, both novels have a special release week pricing that will save you $1. Plus, on Friday, we will party in style on Facebook with lots of prizes, games, and more. Make sure to RSVP for the party here. Check out our new releases below:

TIME WARPER: FATED by Peggy Martinez

Ebook- fated
Eighteen-year-old Sage Hannigan wants to get back to her own time, preferably one that hasn't been destroyed by an underworld plot brewing in Edwardian-era South Carolina. How hard can it be?
All she has to do is:
1. Learn to use newly acquired warping skills to bend time to her will. 2. Take out a few rogue vampires. 3. Join an ancient secret society. 4. Figure out who is putting the time stream in jeopardy. 5. Find and maim whoever invented the corset.
Sage never asked to be chosen by the Druid Priestess, Amerach, to become a Warper, and she never asked to have the future hanging on her shoulders or to warp a hundred years into the past. She certainly never asked to meet Dr. Aldwin Blake, who would make her question her desire to get back to her own time. But if she fails her mission, people will die, history will change, and the present she wishes to return to will be no more.

WITCH HUNT by Kasi Blake

ebook - Witch Hunt


A magical game of hide-and-seek begins. 
Find the missing player and win. 
The game resets. 
They all forget and start the game again.
Seventeen-year-old Starr Hughes hasn't believed in magic since the day her mother died. As an aspiring reporter, the only thing she cares about is cold, hard facts. So when she hears the popular kids at school (the It-Squad) are about to start a secret game, she wants every detail, especially since she has a major crush on gorgeous Dylan Winchester. Hiding under the headmaster's desk, planting bugs, and breaking into a classmate's home are all on her to-do list. With her boy-crazy best friend Lily at her side, Starr discovers that witches are not only real, but they also need her help. Someone is using the game to steal their memories, their powers, and perhaps even their lives.
Witch Hunt is the second release in a new young adult series called The Witch Game Novels. The Witch Game Novels are filled with mischief, romance, witchy games and trouble. Each novel can be read as part of a series or as a stand alone.


 a Rafflecopter giveaway



New Release: Thriller

Book 3 of the 6 Ways Series

At eighteen it’s tough to decide a life path when the threat of pandemic hangs over the world, your brother is the genius who engineered the plague, and you’re repeatedly drawn into the fight against the terrorists spreading it. Plenty of people would kill an Abernathy on sight so it would be wise for Mar to visit the dojo, otherwise play invisible, but her brother is manipulating her into another adventure.

If you haven't read Book 1 or 2, and like to start at the beginning...

Alcoholic parents treated Margarite as an unwelcome stranger, then left her at fourteen with her thirty year old autistic brother. At sixteen, things really sour, thanks to her brother. A medical researcher, Reggie engineers the ultimate plague. Fanatics seek to control him. The government pursues them as terrorists. Margarite witnesses ruthlessness, compassion, and competence she couldn't imagine from her brother, but the world needs a miracle. The best she and Reggie can do is wing it.

Nightmares. Panic attacks. Depression. Margarite is hammered by the typical issues of a seventeen year old loner, whose parents sympathized with insane people intending to collapse civilization. The few who care about Mar have more concerns. Her drinking. Fighting. Jumping out of airplanes.

Her brother engineered the plague that’s breaking out across the globe and she holds a little guilt for not stopping it. Or being one of the first to die. Still, conspirators behind what they call The Correction are not done with her.

The Author
R. Mac Wheeler writes about characters with a lot of baggage, men who make many men look like wimps, tough chicks that can whip most men...puts them in situations that push them to the worlds that don’t overly stretch the imagination.

A former IT professional,  he now focuses full time on suspense, paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy  that leverages the quirkiness and baggage of real life more often than the far fetched.

Visit his Home Page: WWW.RMACWHEELER.COM