Thank You for Telling Me Who You Are!

I just wanted to really THANK YOU for who you are. I asked if you would tell me who you are because a few months ago I was having lunch with colleagues and one of them asked if I had any data on who reads my books. Well, what I’ve learned is EVERYONE reads my books!

You live all over the country and the world–shout out to the Aussies! I can’t believe how many Aussie readers I have. I love it! You’re from the South (a lot of you!), West Coast, East Coast and Mid West. You’re in South Africa, Japan, the UK and so many other countries around the world–like Bahrain! You are Gen X’ers, Y’ers, Millennials and Boomers. Most of you ladies are married but a healthy number of you are single. You’re high school graduates, attended some college, graduated from college and have  Masters and Doctorate degrees.

As a writer, I have collected the most encouraging data! I’ve learned that because my demographic isn’t so stagnate that I’m doing my job! I never intended to write for people who search for sameness and consensus. I never intended to write for those who need to read what they can identify with in order to feel safe and validated. That’s what cliches and stereotypes are for. Hey, not knocking that market, because if I could do it, I would. Heck, I’ll be a WHOLE lot richer!  But I’m just too much of a critical thinker to not shake things up. Because that’s what life does to us, shakes us up.

So I would like to say THANK YOU for taking the time out of your busy days and nights to fill out the form. I so like this two-way communication between us. And thank you all for being genuinely good people. I know most writers would communicate more with their readers if there weren’t a handful of nut jobs out there who would ruin the process by telling them how much their books ruined their lives.  LOL! Well, I haven’t run into that type of reader in a very long time. I was a little afraid that opening this sort of dialog would lure the crazies but it hasn’t. So again, thank all of you lovely people who had participated for participating.

And now I must wind down for the evening. Bath. Clear my mind. Thank God for my perpetual happiness :-)

Until next time,

Much Love,

Z

Pre-Order on Amazon.com – Made to Like Her (Maggie & Vince, #2)

Finally!

Yay!!!

So I’ve made Make To Like Her (Maggie & Vince, #2) available for Pre-Order on Amazon.com.

MadeToLikeHer_200x300

 

From now until the end of June expect to receive more postings than usual on my blog. I have the release of the audio version of Find Her, Keep Her; the release of Made to Like Her and He’s So Bad, then we have the Giveaway and if all goes smoothly, I’ll hold another Giveaway. Also, I want to Giveaway a number of copies of The Fifth Sister (Parched, book 4).

Basically, I normally, don’t blog much but I will be doing  more of it than usual in the next few months.

That’s all! And if you  read your books mainly  on a Kindle device, then click on the image to the left to be taken to product page on Amazon. com.

Until next time!

Z

Giveaway! LOVE in the USA in Paperback — 6 Books!

LOVEinUSAS_6books

I’m initiating this Giveaway in order to commemorate this moment in time: upgraded website, published all 6 books in the LOVE in the USA in paperback, completed Made to Like Her (Maggie & Vince, #2) and I’m  finally releasing the audio version of Find Her Keep Her: A Martha’s Vineyard Love Story.

Yay!!!!

So… I am giving away all 6 books in the LOVE in the USA series to one lucky Subscriber of this blog. You must be a subscriber to win!

If you want it, then submit the form below!

The WINNER will be announced, Friday, March 29, 2015!

Good luck!

You can also buy them here:

Find Her, Keep Her: A Martha’s Vineyard Love Story
There’s Something About Her: A Manhattan Love Story
Say You Love Her: An LA Love Story
Know Her, Love Her (Daisy & Belmont, 1)
Still In Love With Her (Maggie & Vince, 1)
Explore Her, More of Her (Daisy & Belmont, 2)

The Old College Try – Thwarted… Made To Like Her Update…

So yeah…

Remember I squeezed this book into the schedule at the last minute? Well… I’m more than halfway done but my editing submission date was next week on the 13th of February. Unfortunately there’s no way I’m going to be done by then. So this book has taking off in a direction that I hadn’t planned for.

(SMILE)

It’s a good thing…

I like it.

And I’m not going to force the story just to make a deadline. Basically, I need another week to finish but my editors next opening is March 13th. So I’ll finish and put it on the shelf until then. As soon as I’m done with Made To Like Her, I’ll start on He’s So Bad. Then, I’ll take a brief break–a little vacation of some sort. Where do I want to go?

Somewhere in the U.S.

Anyway… So obviously the release date has to be pushed up or back, it’s late and I have stuff to do before tomorrow so I can’t look up which is right but basically I have to move it from April 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015. And of course I’m hoping to release earlier than that.

Okay…

The program on my DVR ended and now a bad TV show is on my TV. Must. Change. Channel. Before my head EXPLODES.

Until next week lovely ladies!

I still have some questions to ask you :-)

Much love,

Z

Explaining Myself – Version of Find Her, Keep Her

One of the beauties of being an Indie is that we get to spruce up the story whenever the feeling hits. And so, I don’t know, three, four months ago I streamlined Find Her, Keep Her. When you were reading the book did you see these two words?

START HERE

If so, I deeply apologize. See, I read through the story, changing parts of it if I wanted to and when I went to bed or stepped away, I wrote “START HERE” in the manuscript. Also, I made other stupid mistakes during the revising process, like they’re instead of their or there. Anyway… Last month my instincts told me to schedule another proofing with my editor  because I’ve always been uneasy about those changes I’ve made and I’ve learned the hard way that I (writers) CANNOT and SHOULD NOT self edit.

The proof was completed on yesterday. I went through the file and was flabbergasted by my mistake of leaving START HERE in the manuscript. And then there was another one where somehow the end of one sentence was inserted in the sentence beneath it.

I just can’t…

I do apologize.

I’m in SF right now and I have to check out of this place by 11:00AM so I don’t have the time re-read through this post. But thank you very much if you stuck with Find Her, Keep Her after reading those errors.

Working on Made to Like Her. The next book in the Maggie & Vince series is Made to Love Her! ;-)

Later and have a happy Sunday!

<3
Z

LOVE in the USA Pre-Orders on Google Play!

To all interested parties!

You can now  pre-order Made to Like Her (Maggie & Vince, #2) LOVE in the USA, Book 7 and He’s So Bad: A San Francisco Love Story (LOVE in the USA, Book 8) on Google Play!

FYI, Made to Like Her is coming along swimmingly. I’m at the point where I’m locked into the story and I LOVE where it’s going! It’s time to meet Maggie’s parents, who have a surprise for her!  And there’s much more!

And now back to wrapping up my writing session for the day.

Today was a good day :-)

Until next time!

Z

“Z.L. Arkadie Books” Plans for 2015!

Well the new year has arrived and we’re already four days deep into it. For the past three years I’ve announced my publishing plans for the year. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with the plan.

Today, I’ve started to write out lists for my life. Like when I meet a guy and things don’t feel quite right. Well, creating an honest list helps me come to some conclusions. So I’ll write my honest list for publishing in 2015 below:

Confirmed Books:

1. Made To Like Her (Maggie & Vince, #2) – Release April 1, 2015
2. He’s So Bad: A San Francisco Love Story, which will feature Robert Tango – Release June 30, 2015
Getting over the hurdle is the theme of these two books.
3. Forget Me Never (Pt. II) The Search for A Vampire – Parched – September 2015

Expected Releases:

1. The final Parched Novel – December 2015 or early 2016

The thing is I, as the writer, have to be moved to continue the story. Period. And just because I started a story four years ago, doesn’t mean I’ll feel like continuing it four years later. Writers grow. We change. So, I’m wrapping the Parched series this year. The story has gotten too large to contain.

2. I may be able to release another LOVE in the USA book in 2015. I know what story is supposed to come after He’s So Bad: A San Francisco Love Story–which is a Charlie & Angelina book. Charlie & Angel, #2 will be book 9 in the LOVE in the USA series. And I’m sure there’s going to be at least one more book in the Robert Tango series, being that he has serious intimacy issues.

Regarding Misty Black… I still don’t know about that series. The thing is, Misty Black The Beginning is officially retired. There will be no re-release of that novel because I don’t write YA and I don’t want YA associated with my brand. Not only that but I’ve changed since I started the series. I mean, there are a lot of core issues that are still part of my belief system, like the destroyed environment and prediction of what will happen to our society if corporate capitalism continues to go unchecked. And what’s interesting is I started this series on the foundation of criticizing those two aspects of our society in 2005–way before Citizens United. The thing is, we are going the way of Misty Black even as I type this. Anyway… If I release the Misty Black series in the future, then it’s going to be adult, futuristic-fantasy. It’s going to be raw, not in a sexual way, but in detailing what humans are truly capable of. We as power seeking beings. The world is going to be dark, and ugly, and bitter. And my writing is going to be even rawer than raw… I’m going to write from my veins, my nerves, going way past my soul because my soul is too good. No–I’m going to the core. That animalistic core that has been civilized.  And if this comes, it’s coming in 2016.

So in 2016, I’ll have more LOVE in the USA books to write. I still have Monroe’s story. We’re seeing her grow in Maggie & Vince’s books, and a girl’s gotta fall in love right???? THEN, I’ll see where Daisy & Belmont are at. In my mind, Belmont’s a man who doesn’t have a problem with intimacy. He’s resolved his issue with control/dominancy. And ladies, that is an issue. Believe me… It may look sexy on paper or on an e-reader screen but that alpha-male “shit” stinks in real life–from the root to the tip. So, we’ll see. If there’s no conflict, then there isn’t a story to write. So, I’m not going to force it because reader merely want to see more of their happily-ever-after. Heck, I wanted to know more too! BUT, I don’t predict any conflict. And there’s no dramatic story in watching a couple raise a kid. There’ just isn’t… If there are no forces of antagonism, then there’s no story. Now repeat that….  ;-)

Anyway… Those are my writing plans for the year. In my personal life, I want to travel more. I’m intrigued by traveling to different parts of the world. I want to master foreign travel. I want to master it because I want to push myself past my comfort level. Like, I put all of these cushions around me. I want to rip those away and just be. That’s going to be EXTREMELY difficult because cushions are erected by fears. Also, I’m going to stop making stupid decisions in 2015. Heck, I’m not a kid anymore! See a kid behaves as if she doesn’t already know the outcome of stupid decisions. Granted, I started the year making stupid decisions but from this day forward–DONE. I will make adult decisions. I was going to buy a house this year but I don’t know anymore. I feel as if I need to travel and live without the cushions before settling down. I mean, every girl’s gotta fall in love right??? And I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m not afraid to admit that to myself and any man that I meet. :-) Truth? Writing the LOVE in the USA series has gotten me to this point. In 2015, I’m ready to really LIVE. So wish me luck because it’s going to be scary as heck but I must do it.

Signing off from this post…

I hope your new year is filled with plain old HAPPINESS. Happiness is so underrated but truly it’s the one thing we all really need for the rest of the good stuff to come to pass.

All best,
Z

Answering A Few Questions– LOVE in the USA

Today I received a Facebook message from a young lady who read and liked the LOVE in the USA series. She ventured to ask me a few questions, which I thought were very interesting. Not only were her questions interesting but I thought others may want to know the answers to them. So I asked for her permission to answer them in a blog post and she gave me her permission! So here they go:

Q: What inspired you to write:
A:
(Shrug) Truthfully, I don’t know if anything ever inspired me to write. See the act itself is deeper than the act itself. Doesn’t make sense I know. But just think about engaging in something like sex and what you’re doing and who you were with, the moment, the atmosphere… In one of my books, I think it’s Find Her, Keep Her, I think through inner dialog Daisy says that what she and Belmont are doing isn’t just mere sex. That’s the same for me with writing. It’s a transformative experience and I’ve been doing it all my life in many forms. And so the first time I got a taste of how good it feels to touch my imagination while writing, I knew I would be doing it forever.

Q: How did you come up with this storyline (LOVE in the USA):
A: 
Truthfully, I don’t know. LOL! My mind/imagination is way out there though. I mean, just read the Parched series. It feels real good to create an Enu and new creatures like KTKL in “Light Speed.” Romance is not very imaginative and if you veer off the course of accepted rules of romance, the readership will scratch your eyes out! But I love, love and I love indulging in love. So, I decided to veer off the the accepted rules of romance path and write “real” contemporary romance. Essentially, the “contemporary” in normal contemporary romance is not about the mindset/value systems of the characters but inordinate decisions characters make on their way to finding a traditional happily ever after. In that film the Mirror Has Two Faces, there’s one scene where Barbara Streisand’s character is lecturing her class on romantic love. She says something like–in fiction/romance, the altar (marriage) is the end all, be all of romantic love. Well–to me, the HEA/altar/marriage being the end all-be all of romantic love is a fallacy. You want to know how contemporary people love? Then read my books. There may be some cheating. There may be break-ups and going out there to date someone else before realizing what you had in someone else. The woman isn’t going to throw her aspirations out just because she’s married and has children. And the idea of breaking-up/divorce  is always looming because “real” contemporary people are not defined by being in a relationship–they just know it feels good to be with the one they love. But at the same time those are not hard and fast rules. There are variations of what a person believes regarding love. But that’s the beauty of it! There’s no script. No accepted norms. All exists and all is welcome and once we find someone to love we try to merge our differences in order to have one sexy, sensual, happy, lasting and strong love life. So, writing this, staying true to my characters is how I come up with the storylines.

And finally…

Q: Who inspired these characters?
A: Gosh… SOOOO many people. If someone I know feels as if I’m watching them, well… I am watching them. I’m putting them in the file cabinet in my head-indexing their behaviors, mannerisms, beliefs and values. And when it’s time to create characters, I take a little of her, and her, and her and make this person. I take a little of him, and him and him and create her love interest. I take a little of myself and write the opposite so that I can distance myself from these characters. But I also add a little more to these characters. I give them imaginative traits. Traits that I think would make them more interesting and appealing. Also, as an artist, I wouldn’t be worth my salt if I didn’t create characters that push the envelope, challenge the status quo. I think of Maggie… I made her this Naomi Watts/Marilyn Monroe type on the outside but on the inside she’s tough as nails, take no prisoners and “I don’t give a care if you think I’m hot you superficial ****”, which is a lot like myself actually (the last part of that). But Maggie hasn’t been taught to use her assets to book a man and frankly she doesn’t want the man she has to use her assets to book. Basically, with Maggie, I’m challenging a serious cultural problem when it comes to women and beauty. Also, with Daisy, I wanted to attack that standard “cheeky” romance novel female protagonist. She’s louder on the inside than she is on the outside but she does have a voice and it takes a lot before we hear it. And then there’s Angelina and Monroe. I’ve carefully crafted both of them. However, I’m still trying to figure out Vince. He is superficial to a certain degree but his soul is attracted to all that Maggie is. How big is his ego? I’ve just started writing the next Maggie & Vince book titled, “Made to Love” her. It starts 6 months after “Explore Her, More of Her.” I’ll be blogging about it in a few days because it came out of left field but it’s a story that I’m ready to write right now.

Anyway…

Those are the questions she  asked and those are my not so direct answers! LOL!

Until next time!
Z

BTW–excuse the typos, I haven’t gone back to re-read and try to catch them all. Hey–I don’t have an editor for the blog! LOL!

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