Friday, November 2, 2012

DOUBLE TIME: Interview with Trey Mills.

It's my pleasure to have Olivia Cunning and Sinner's rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist, Trey Mills as guests. Trey is one sexy guy and between him and Dare, one tends to hyperventilate in their presence. Fortunately, Olivia was kind enough to bring a nice paper bag for me to breathe into. Thanks Olivia! 

Trey, I've often wondered why you didn't join your brother’s band? Exodus End is a really good band. Why the Sinners instead? And Darren is a hot one, in my opinion.

We’re just spreading the Mills’ brother talent around a little. We didn't think the world could handle that level of awesome all at once. Heh, just kidding. 

Sinners has a certain feel. Much more relaxed than Exodus End. Besides I’d rather play guitar alongside Brian. He’s willing to share the spotlight. My brother is a stage hog. A bit of a control freak. Thinks he needs to dominate every aspect of his life. Don’t tell him I said that. Besides, Dare was already establishing himself as a talented professional guitarist when I was thirteen-years-old. That will cramp any aspiring rock star’s style. Who wants to share a stage with a geeky kid? How was he supposed to know that I’d outgrow that look? Thank God, I did. Darren was always good-looking. The ass.

You’re known as quite a party animal. Men and women seem to be all over you. Rarely the same ones twice. Your dressing room door seems a bit revolving. How do you keep everything straight? Or do you?

I have a great memory. I never forget a good piece of a– I mean, I keep track in a database or something. But I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I've given that up. Don’t need it anymore.

I have to say, you’re looking a bit more relaxed, more at peace. I’m wondering if a sexy female rhythm guitarist might have something to do with it? New member of your brother’s band, isn’t she?

Reagan Elliot. She is working with Exodus End for the time being. Poor woman. I don’t think she’s realizes what a bunch of workaholics those guys are. Yeah, they play hard, but who has the energy to play when you work too much? There’s another reason to be in Sinners instead of my brother’s band. More play time.

Mind sharing a little bit about Reagan with us?

She makes me laugh. Amazing instrumentalist. You should hear her play. She’s also cute, if you like that outspoken, tom-boyish type. I totally do.

You were there during her audition, weren't you?

We couldn't see them during the audition. I thought she was Brian, lead guitarist of Sinners. I've never met anyone who could play like him, so when I did, well… it was lust at first solo.

Now, this might be a bit intrusive, but I heard her call you her boyfriend…? You, who will party anytime anywhere and with anybody, is now a boyfriend? This is going tick off some of your fans, you know.

I was just waiting for the right woman. Sure I had to try out a lot of them before I found the right fit, but I’m sure my fans will understand. Not that they have a choice.

But I've also seen her with a really hunky, yowsa, guy, Ethan. I thought he was her boyfriend? 

They used to date. He is a looker, isn't he? Now he’s her bodyguard. Every hot woman rock star needs a bodyguard.

One of the Sinners just became a father. You know there are quite a few people who think rock stars aren't supposed to be married, much less have children. That it’s not a healthy environment for families to flourish. Care to comment on that?

I’m not sure why anyone would think that. Rock stars are people, just like everyone else. It’s tough to have a family when you’re on the road a lot, but I have lots of friends in the business who have successful marriages and happy kids. I don’t plan to ever be one of them, but I know any one of my bandmates would make a great father. I mean, Sed wants eight kids. Eight kids? What in the world would you do with eight kids? I guess he aspires to be octodad and have his own reality show or something. And poor Jessica. Her lady parts will never recover from that.

Speaking of lead singer, Sed Lionheart, he mentioned that the days of “estrogen on the tour buses was just a temporary situation.”  At the time, both Myrna and Jessica were traveling on the tour bus. From what I saw recently, I’d say estrogen seems to still have a presence on the bus. In fact I caught a glimpse of a really hot woman, dressed in a pink waitress outfit with your band’s drummer Eric—she dropped her menu and I got a look at it. Wow, that’s quite a, um, unique menu selection there. Who is she?

That had to be Rebekah. She’s our front of house soundboard engineer. So she’s permanent part of the tour. She mixes the sound for our live shows. We’d keep her even if she didn't make our drummer, Eric, the happiest dude on the planet. Not sure what she’s sees in him. It can’t possibly be his lame sense of humor.

The band’s bassist, Jace, has been seen with a gorgeous, but tough looking, woman. Are they a couple? When did this happen?

Tough? Aggie’s a pussycat. It’s her darker side, who goes by Mistress V, that you have watch out for. When Mistress V is in her dungeon, she’ll drive you to your knees. Aggie was on tour with us in Canada helping Jace with his, um, little problem, but she hasn't been on tour with us since. Not that I minded having Aggie on the tour bus. She kicks ass. Literally. Don’t tick her off.

She has a dungeon? How do you know about it? Have you gone there yourself?

She and Jace give lessons to couples who want to explore the darker side of their sexuality. 

I couldn't wear these much now. Heels are too high
And maybe I've been there, maybe not. If you’re interested, I could give you her card. I think she’d train you to be an awesome domme, Sia. How’s your aim?

Awesome, huh? I have my own leather, thank you very much, and my aim is actually quite good, Trey. Of course, I’m not as good with my left as I am with my right. I need more practice. Are you volunteering?

Not me! But I'm sure Jace would volunteer.

As a popular band, what are some of the good things that have come your way? What would classify as a downside?

As far as I’m concerned, everything about being a part of Sinners been great. Amazing. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I get to hang out with my best friends and make music. I meet a lot of people all over the world. The fan adulation is rather nice.

I know you suffered an injury and had some problems not long ago…?

There have been a few dark spots on my cherry life. I suffered from a head injury a couple of years ago, which I thought was going to end my career, but it doesn't bother me these days. And I might have had a bit of a run-in with a painkiller addiction soon after that, but I wrote a song about it and the guys thought it was good enough for the new album. Writing it was very healing for me. I sing part of it onstage to remind myself how low rock bottom feels. Because I’m so far from rock bottom now, it’s hard to remember how dark things can become.

Currently, things are great. I can’t imagine life getting any better.

Trey, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I wish you and Reagan the best!


DOUBLE TIME--Sinners on Tour Series

He Craves Her Music and Passion

On the rebound from the tumult of his bisexual lifestyle, notoriously sexy rock guitarist Trey Mills falls for sizzling new female guitar sensation Reagan Elliot and is swept into the hot, heady romance he never dreamed possible.

She Can't Get Enough of His Body

Ecstatic to be on tour learning the ropes with Trey's band, The Sinners, Reagan finds she craves Trey as much as she craves being in the spotlight.

They Both Need More...

When Reagan's ex, Ethan Connor, enters the scene, Trey's secret desires come back to haunt him, and pleasure and passion are taken to a whole new level of dangerous desire.

Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians. 
You can find Olivia: 
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Monday, October 29, 2012


Getting the book discovered:

   Write a good book

                           Invest in a good editor

                                             Effective packaging

                                                                  Cover art is a selling tool


… of the book. J

Sorry, folks, to tease you like that, but I've been asked to talk about what it takes to bring a self-published book to an author’s readership.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m both traditionally and self-published, and I own a business where I help authors get their books to market, It evolved because I was listening to authors on my loops talk about paying astronomical prices to have someone else do what I’d figured out how to do on my own. I couldn't see paying for it; I also couldn't see paying what those authors were talking about to have it done. So, I popped in to the conversation, said that I’d do it for $XX and dontchaknow? A few people contacted me.

The business has grown from a part time, help-out-my-fellow-author-and-earn-some-cash-doing-so hobby, to a business that I’m hoping to make full time. It’s grown from formatting books for Kindle, Nook and Smashwords, to more platforms, to doing print-on-demand layouts, to covers (both electronically and print), to editing, to PDF-to-text conversion, children’s books, and text books, services all requested by my growing client base. (Testimonials are at:

The hardest part, of course, is writing the book...

So what all is involved? First, you have to start with a clean MSWord document. There are numerous theories and practices out there where people say you shouldn’t use a Word doc as your source, that you should convert to Kindle from Mobi Pocketcreator or Calibre and Sigil, to using Smashwords’ nuclear method, to a whole host of other options. And you know what? Each one is right for that individual. Depending on your level of technological know-how, you can find different ways to get your book online. There’s no one way.

This is actually the easy part of self-publishing. The hardest part, of course, is writing the book. The second hardest part is having your book get discovered online. If only I knew the secret to that…
The landscaping is changing daily on what works and what doesn't  Prior to June 2012, free promos worked well on Amazon. But they've changed their algorithms supposedly and I know from first-hand experience (with a book I put up under a completely different name and a different genre), as well as from fellow authors, that the KDP Select free promo days don’t have the same impact.

One of the biggest draws is going to be your cover...

So we have to look at all the other packaging for the book. One of the biggest draws is going to be your cover. You want to invest in a good cover artist. This is not the area to skimp. Actually, none of the areas are areas to skimp. You've spent how many hours writing the book and while I’m sure you love that you have a finished product, most of us do want people to buy it so we can recoup our investment and make some money. Spend money on an editor: you may only get one chance to capture the reader if you can get them to download your book. If you have shoddy editing, you’ll ensure they won’t pick up your next book.

Find a cover artist if you’re not familiar with graphics programs, or if you don’t have a good handle on marketing. Because covers are your selling tool. They need to look good in thumbnail sizes, they need to show the genre, and show your target audience that this book is one they will want to read.

There’s the front and back matter. Do you want to include cover quotes? Review quotes? A dedication? A glossary? Author bio/photo? Acknowledgments, dedication, links for other books in the series or your website? All considerations that help the reader experience and the author experience (if you can get the current reader to click over and buy your backlist/sequels, it’s definitely a good experience for your wallet!)

Branding is a consideration as well. I have two pen names. My light-hearted contemporaries (both paranormal and straight contemporary) are written as Judi Fennell and they have a certain look to them to give the reader a flavor of what they’ll get inside. As Raven Morris, my pseudonym for an erotic series entitled Tied with a Bow series, (The first book, JACKED, is free on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo and AllRomance eBooks, and that, too, was a marketing decision), I created a hotter, sexier look since it’s erotic. But I branded those covers with the same font, the same swath of satin (but a different cover) and the sexy images.

I could go on (and Sia is probably wishing I wouldn't), but I do have these discussions with my clients. isn't just a static, put-the-manuscript-in-the-engine-and-it-spits-out-a-digital-book-on-the-other-end type enterprise. 

It’s an interactive, interdependent relationship between the author and me, with full consideration given to the reader as the ultimate beneficiary from a job well done.

You may only get one chance to capture the reader, make it count. 

  • Invest in a good editor. 
  • Don't skimp on creating a cover.
You want your book to stand up to the competitionnot fade out of the reader's sight.