Friday, April 19, 2013


I like to welcome, romance author Julie Ann Walker, back to Over Coffee. Aside from writing some fabulous stories (with some hot and serious kick-ass heroes); I like her thoughts on the difference between being a writer and an author. 
Whether you're traditionally or indie published, today's market demands so much more from authors with regard to promotion--especially if you want to be successful. 

Hello again, romance fans!  Julie Ann Walker here, happy as a clam at high tide to be back here with Sia talking to you about my greatest fear: public speaking… (Dum, dum, duuuummmm.  I really feel as though those last two words deserve the triple-note sound effect.) 

Because, seriously, it's not like I "get a little nervous."  No, no.  It's so much worse than that.  My mouth dries out like I've been travelling in the desert for days minus a canteen.  My palms and armpits turn into Niagara Falls.  My head starts to buzz like it's filled with a nest of angry bees.  I break out in hives - literally.  My bowels loosen - not literally… at least not so far, thank God.  And I s-s-stutter.  To put it quite simply, I suck at public speaking.    

And yet, as an author, I'm expected to do exactly that.  I'm expected to give readings, speak with book clubs, address library associations, sit on panels at conferences, and give speeches about what inspires me and how I find my muse.  You know, all the usual things a professional author is expected to do.  And I knew this going in.  I knew what I was setting myself up for.  And I did it anyway.  


Oh, yeah.  I was thinking I wanted to be a writer.  I was thinking I wanted to tell stories.  I was thinking I wanted people to meet and fall in love with my characters.  I was thinking I wanted to whisk readers away into my world of make believe and show them what a fantastical place it was.  And, just to be honest, I was thinking I wouldn't have to get out of my pajamas most days. ;-)  And joy of joys, all of that came true!  I do get to do all of those things.   As a writer.  

As an author, I get to do all of the other stuff.  The public speaking stuff…

  • So then the question becomes, is it possible for me to be a writer - and be profitable at it; there's the caveat - without being an author?  

I think the answer is no.  At least not in today's day and age.  Years ago, I believe it was possible to maintain a level of privacy and… oh, let's just call it what it is… reclusiveness - we are writers, after all, solitary by natureI think it was possible for an author to pen novels and have them be chart-toppers, bestsellers, and never have to speak in front of a crowd of hundreds.  I don't believe that's an option anymore.  With the advent of the web and the ease of Skyping into book club meetings and writers' conferences, with the simplicity of travel and the swiftness with which we can get from point A to point B, it is now expected that authors make public appearances.  It's called "promotion."  We promote our books by promoting ourselves.  And what does that "promotion" often entail?  You guessed it, public speaking…    

Which means I'm stuck.  Stuck doing something I loathe in order to continue doing something I love.  But that's the nature of life, is it not?  We take the good with the bad.  We smile when we're sad.  We give thanks for what we've got and try not to lament what we had.  So, I do as we all do.  I suck it up, buttercup.  And, in the meantime, I try to come up with coping mechanisms to combat the sheer terror.  Of course, if anyone has some advice for overcoming this fear, I'm all ears.  LOL!

  • How about you?  Do you have an irrational fear of anything?  And, if so, have you found a way to overcome it?



He’s Gone Rogue…

Ex-navy SEAL Rock Babineaux is as Cajun as they come—spicy, sexy, and more than a bit wicked. But would he actually betray his country? Even his best friends on the special-ops Black Knights team aren't sure they can trust him. Now the target of a massive manhunt, Rock knows the only way to protect the team—especially his partner, Vanessa—is to run...

She Won’t Back Down…

Rock might think he can outmaneuver them all, but he hasn't counted on how stubborn Vanessa Cordero can be. And she refuses to cut him loose. Sure, her partner has his secrets, but there's no one in the world she'd rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good because she and Rock are about to get very tight...Excerpt 


Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She'll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. Look for the first four books in her fast-paced series: Hell On Wheels (August 2012) In Rides Trouble (September 2012) Rev It Up (October 2012) and Thrill Ride (April 2013). For more information, please visit or follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

OH MY...

Oh my moments happen to everyone. Depending upon what’s going on we tend to add more words to the phrase—even colorful metaphors, as Spock would say.

We've all had those moments, haven’t we?

Our mate brings us flowers or a gift elicits a soft response. Walking into the room where our kids just had a pillow fight may provoke a different response and tone. The lady who backs into your car can certainly incite a more inflammatory ending to the phrase. It all depends upon the circumstances.

I've had a few oh my reactions recently. Mostly good and a few surprises.

Saturday, Dan told me we had a bird trying to make a nest in the mailbox. Say what? He removed the twigs. End of story, right? Wrong. I went to go get the mail today and saw an envelope make a loop-de-loop out of the mailbox. Wtf? I look around no wind, just then a catalog slides out. Splat!  I walk up to the mailbox and bent to pick up the mail and the catalog and come eye to eye with a bird, cleaning house—except the house in question was my mailbox. Further more, there were again twigs in my mailbox. Oh my…

I wonder what you charge a determined bird for rent? Eviction notice has been given.


Last week, as I was leaving to drive my son to work, there was a Red-tail hawk sitting pretty as you please on our fence post. Seeing a big hawk where you weren't expecting to see one provoked a different response

“Oh my god, would you look at that! Isn't he gorgeous?”  

I knew the hawks were back because I had heard their cries (screeches), but while I had seen them flying, I hadn't seen one that close. 


On a different note, I’m reading a book that has me glued to the story. I wanted something different to read (pleasure reading—I’m not reading for reviews presently) and decided to pick up THE MAGIC WAKES, by Charity Bradford (you can find her blog here).  


If you like good characters, a well told story, some serious suspense, and like elements of fantasy but mostly sci-fi, this is the book to read. Just…yah. Read it.

Have you had any Oh my moments, lately? Do share.

Due to a glitch, beyond my control, I hope to be able to feature author Julie Stone a bit later. I will be featuring romance author, Julie Walker on Friday (the 17th) and she'll be talking about how she's reacted to public speakingher trialsand triumphs and her latest book (another good read).

Monday, April 15, 2013


Mosey: to move in a leisurely manner.

My husband and I decided this past weekend was to be designated rest and relaxation, and furthermore, we planned it to be a three-day weekend for us. We both needed it and Dan had been giving me the, ‘you’re doing too much and need to pull back on the work schedule’, lecture. He’s right, not that I wanted to admit it to him, lol!

My schedule has been incredibly brutal the past few months. I've had to put in several six-day workweeks, which left me worn out and cranky. Everything, including things I normally enjoy doing, became an effort. I realized my husband was correct when I finished up my workweek on the fourth so tired I cried. So, I took off a week to indulge in moseying mode. Most of last week was sleep and rest approach to it. Once I felt relatively rested and human again, I hauled out my list of spring chores and broke them down into small projects and leisurely made my way through the top of the list. I’m not going to angst over page two onward. Just doing it in a steady manner and have accomplished quite a bit without exhausting myself.

I designate each nice morning to sitting in the sunshine and watch nature at work and it’s perfect for contemplating life, hearing my thoughts. I spend some afternoons lying in the warm sun getting in touch with the peace of nature and watching the clouds. Sunshine is great accompaniment coffee drinking and reading. It puts my life into perspective.

I want to start walking a half a mile a day in the early mornings. I need the regular exercise to get those endorphins going in my system after a winter of sedentary life. It gives you energy to tackle the rest of life with a measure of enjoyment. Relaxing allows for my creativity to revive. I actually felt like writing and have done several poems—my favorite therapy, let me tell you, that felt pretty good. Been feeling like an amputee lately because I had no energy or desire to write.

Friday we headed down to my sister’s and spent the day. We had a blast. Afterward, Dan took me out to dinner. We had a nice leisurely dinner involving wine, good conversation, lots of laughter, just unwinding, and making plans. It was a good day.

Saturday and Sunday I moseyed up to the kitchen table to enjoy breakfast prepared by my extraordinary breakfast cook, aka, my husband Dan. I did a lot of moseying around the homestead this weekend. I puttered in the garden areas, clearing dead stuff out, raking the protective covering of leaves away, while listening to the birds and the wind in the trees. We were able to get a few projects done inside. Sunday was mowing the lawn before this week’s rains come in. We had some spot work to do on the roof where a limb had broken off the tree in the back brushed the back of the house during heavy winds. Dan and my son Jake took care of that while I did other things.

One of the good things about having the time to hear my thoughts and be reflective is I've determined I need less stress in my life and in work. So, I’m looking at training in another skill that’s much less intensive so I do have time to let my creativity out to play. I don’t do well when I’m on the New York minute and I’m out of balance.

This has been a nice mosey along week. I’m enjoying it.

  • How about you? Have you had time to mosey? Or are you on the New York time clock?