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Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Blog: Amber Skyze: Write What You Know

Growing up my family didn’t do much traveling. In fact, the furthest I’d been is fifty miles north to Lake George. Lake George, NY is beautiful and there are lots to do. We’d go boating, walk the village and bring home tons of goodies from the shops. There’s mini golf and an amusement park called The Great Escape. It was Story Town when I was a kid. Needless to say I hadn’t been exposed to more than the mountains.

It wasn’t until I was an adult with small children of my own that I began traveling. Aside from Canada I haven’t left the country. I have traveled to California, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, and PA to name a few. Most of my books take place in a New York or Rhode Island location, because I’ve lived in both places.

If I wrote only what I knew when it came to places it’d get boring. You can only write about the mountains and beach so much. I had to branch out and explore ideas for places I’d never been. Take for instance my book Hit Me. It takes place in a casino in Vegas. I’ve never been, but I have friends who had and gave me some ideas. I’ve been to a casino in NJ, so I could picture that part of the book.

When Katalina Leon and I decided to write a series I chose Africa as the main part of the setting. Remember I’ve never left the country. I did a lot of research and with the help of Kat we created an awesome location that will leave readers breathless. The book is called Claimed By Dragons.

If I had stayed in my comfort zone and only wrote what I knew, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of escaping to some great places if only in my imagination.

What’s your opinion on writing what you know? Should you only stick to the tried and true, or do you think you should branch out?

GIVEAWAY ALERT!
Kat and I are offering a copy of Claimed By Dragons to one lucky commentor today. Please be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you should win!

BIO:
From a very young age, Amber Skyze began making up stories–the only child syndrome. Telling tall tales to all her friends she never dreamed of putting words on paper. In fact if anyone asked her if she would write when she grew up, she’d have laughed.

It wasn’t until raising children and reading all those romances that she decided–hey, I can write these. HA! Easier said than done.

When not crafting hot, steamy tales, this New York transplant now resides in Rhode Island with her husband, four children (who force her to work a day job), and three dogs.

She currently writes for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and is self-published.

BLURB:
In an odd Wiccan shop in Salem, Jael pulls an unusual stone from a witch’s wish bag. Little does she know her wildest dreams of becoming a respected photojournalist and enjoying a torrid affair with two gorgeous co-workers are about to come true—in spades.

Jael’s dreamy boss, Roarke offers her the photo assignment of a lifetime – a safari to Mount Kilimanjaro. The African scenery is stunning but even more so is the unexpected arrival of her two office crushes, Roarke and Kypton.

Alone for the first time, things heat up fast. Just as the trio is getting steamy at a beautiful waterfall, fate intervenes. The guys are forced to take dragon form and abduct a terrified Jael. She's whisked away to their mountain liar on Kilimanjaro.

The cave is really a love nest. Jael becomes the semi-willing captive of two Marduko dragon men. She discovers the truth about their origins and explores the many erotic possibilities two devoted lovers can offer.

The men want to claim her forever and expect a lifetime commitment. Jael’s thoroughly seduced but doesn’t know the guys are withholding a life or death secret that will push her heart to the limits.

Buy Here: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/amber-skyze-katalina-leon.html

255 comments:

1 – 200 of 255   Newer›   Newest»
Marie Rose Dufour said...

I totally think you have to branch out. Most of us don't live the lives we want to read about, so I think using imagination in combination with the internet is a wonderful thing.

Debby said...

I love traveling through the pages of a book. Good to go outside the familiar.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Tina Donahue said...

Hey Amber! I read a 'how to' book on writing when I was in college and the author (can't recall who it was) wrote (paraphrasing here): "Yes, you should write what you know. And if you don't know, find out." So true. I clearly haven't lived in Spain in the 1500s, yet one of my novels is set there. My stories have taken place all over this country and overseas. Some places I have been to, others I have not. Thank god for the internet. I use the pictures I find to describe locales and look up social mores, etc. So, once I do know about something, I then write it. :)

Katalina said...

I do write what I know!
With paranormal themes I simply replace one real life experience with another. For instance I combined the real life experience of parasailing and riding a horse bareback (ouch!) with riding a dragon.
All the fantasy material is based on something real in this world that I've had a taste of.
There are no hidden dragon lairs on Mount Kilimanjaro or the Sierra's. It will just feel that way when you're reading Claimed By Dragons. : )
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
XXOO Kat

Amber Skyze said...

Kat, all I can say is OUCH!

So true Marie...the internet has assisted me with lots of research.

I love traveling through books too, Debby. :)

You write super hot, very exciting books Tina. I'm glad you didn't just stick to what you knew. :)

anny cook said...

All experience is useful. Translating that experience is what writing is all about. Congratulations on the book!

Amber Skyze said...

So true, Anny. That is the challenging part.

Molly Daniels said...

With info now at our fingertips, and Google Earth/Maps, it's easier to do research than just through the pages of an encyclopedia and travel brochures. And there's always the Travel Channel for exotic food ideas:)

Excellent post Amber, and congrats to you and Kat:)

storimom2@aol.com

RoseRaven said...

If everyone wrote only about what they "know" books could get pretty boring.

No shifters, no dragons, no exotic locals. How boring.

I love that writers can create worlds that are so different than ours and make them seem real.

I was a big Sci-Fi Fantasy reader in my teens. Just think of the worlds that Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey have created.

Keep dreaming and keep writing!! I will have to check out your book Dragon Shifters sound interesting.

jean hart stewart said...

I lead a pretty ordinary life. If I stuck to that nobody would want to read a thing I've written. Would have liked to live in London in 1898, ot some of my other locales but the research is half the fun...

Sandy said...

Amber, none of the books I've set in other locales made it to publication. I might try them again some day.

Using the location I'm familiar did get me published. lol

The story sounds great.

Amber Skyze said...

Sandy I'm so sorry none of them made it to publication.

Good point, Molly. I haven't used google maps, but I hear it's great.

I'm with you Jean. I had a boring life, but now trying to make it more exciting.

Wouldn't reading be boring, Rose without shifters? :)

Janice Seagraves said...

So true. My first book was set in the Bahamas where I'd never been in my life, but my editor said that I made her feel like she was there.

Great post.

Janice~

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