Happy New Year. It may be a bit late in coming but if I said it on the first you wouldn't think I actually wrote it. LOL.
Our first interview of 2014 is with none other than A.C. Arthur, a multi-published, multi award winner, A. C Author. Congratulations are again in order. A.C. is a finalist with two books in several different categories of this year, Emma Award from Romance Slam Jam. Her book, Pleasured by A Donovan is up for Best Sequel. Passions Prey is up for, steamy romance and heroine of the year. Passions Prey is also up for book of the year. LOL. Wait, one more. A.C. is a finalist for author of the year. Congratulations A.C. I know you're going to bring home more trophies.
Dyanne: A.C. It's time for us to catch up it's been about three years since I interviewed you for the Romance Slam Jam blog. I'd like to catch your readers up with what you've been up to.
A.C.: It seems like all I’ve been doing since we last had a chance to chat is writing and promoting, LOL.
Dyanne: I heard about your readers event and thought maybe first, I'd like for you to tell your readers about your event, how it got started, where it's held, and how they can attend.
A.C: I’ve attended quite a few literary functions, some small and some too large for me to have even been considered a guest. LOL. There was a definite vibe from readers that they wanted more one-on-one time with authors, a more intimate setting. And they wanted to talk about specific books and the characters that they’d come to love. Being on a panel or presenting a workshop did not always allow us to have that type of conversation. I decided that I wanted to do something that would focus on what readers enjoyed, the books.
The first event was in 2012 and I was so afraid that nobody would show up. I only had a small space so I couldn’t have too many guests—thinking back on it now I probably did that on purpose so I wouldn't feel so bad if nobody showed. LOL But in the end, there were readers that I had to turn away because I’d run out of space. We had a great time talking about my books and sitting down sharing a meal. That’s all we did and it was fabulous. I knew I wanted to try having another event and to take it a step further.
In 2013, the original plan was to have a weekend event to give the readers more time to talk about the books, (my Donovan series) and I knew that would take awhile. The family reunion idea was a culmination of my father wanting to get up and talk to the readers about me and Priscilla Johnson (my Street Team Manager) believing he should have that opportunity. We planned the reunion and wedding celebration as I wrote the book, Heart of a Donovan, and since we were focusing on family, I decided to invite other authors with family series. We had almost 80 guests in attendance and it was a marvelous time. All weekend I had readers come up to me saying they couldn’t wait for 2014’s event and I was amazed—we immediately starting planning for the next year.
So here we are now, just opening registration for this year’s Season of Shifters event. I love the idea of giving each event a theme that centers around books that they’ve read. As with last year, the featured authors that will attend the event write stories that match the theme of shifting the scene of romance. While last year we celebrated love in contemporary romance, this year we’re shifting to paranormal and erotic romance. I’m very excited about our venue—Walt Disney World—and the program we’re planning for our guests. So if you’re a lover of romance, you are welcome to join us! We’re going to have a fabulous time!
Dyanne: A.C. congratulations. I love how your father was involved. And as for Priscilla, she's a dynamo and I can just imagine what a great street team manager she is. Now how about telling us what you've been doing for the last three years.
A.C.: I’ve been continuing my Donovan series, even though it is no longer published through Kimani Romance. That decision was made because I wanted more creative freedom to carry the series in the direction I really wanted it to go.
In 2010, my first young adult paranormal book was released from Kimani TRU under my full name, Artist Arthur. The Mystyx series was a great opportunity to write a story about young people dealing with more than just everyday issues. I loved the experience.
In 2012, I began a new series, The Shadow Shifters, with St. Martin’s Press. It was thought that this was my first foray into paranormal romance but it wasn’t actually. Heart of the Phoenix was published in 2007 by Genesis Press and under the pseudonym Sapphire Blue I wrote 7 paranormal erotic romances.
Last year also marked the start of my small town contemporary series that I write under the pseudonym Lacey Baker. www.laceybooks.com It is a heartwarming series about a grandmother who passes away and leaves her six Labrador puppies to the grandchildren that she helped raised and wants to return to the small town where they were born to run her B&B.
Coming this spring my first New Adult romances will be published by St. Martin’s Press as a prequel to the Shadow Shifter series.
I guess you could say I’m just writing what I want to write at this time. What books are not contracted by a publisher, I release through my own publishing company, Artistry Publishing.
Dyanne: This is why I love interviewing authors. Every time you think you know about them, you learn something new. I didn't know about your Lacey Baker pseudonym. I love your books, so now I have a new name to look out for, Lacey. And another congrats for starting your own company. You've proven a woman can have it all. It's a great idea to have traditional publishing, while giving Indie publishing a try at the same time.
I'd like to remind readers of some of your precious works. Can you tell us how you got your start?
A.C: I’d written two manuscripts when I resigned from my position as a legal secretary to take care of my daughter. Through Internet research I came across Genesis Press and I submitted the first manuscript. It was a hot mess, but they loved it, and after much editing Object of His Desire was published in 2003. Now, I was not one of the lucky ones that submitted once and received a contract. I’d been submitting to agents for about two years before I found Genesis online and was elated when they said I could submit without an agent. I went on to publish several books with Genesis Press, before signing with Harlequin.
Dyanne: You made me laugh talking about your book being a hot mess. I remember the feeling well and it was also with Genesis Press. I am thankful that they were around to give so many writers a start. Are there any conferences you will be attending this year where readers can meet you?
A.C.: In April, I will be speaking at the Texas Library Association Conference – Black Caucus Round Table Discussion in San Antonio. I will be at Romance Slam Jam in NOLA and also at Romantic Times Conference in NOLA, both in May. After that I’ll be sticking closer to home, attending the Frederick Book Festival in June and then The Season of Shifters even in August.
Dyanne: What are your future plans?
A.C.: To keep writing. As long as the stories flow, I’m willing to put them on paper. For me, my career begins and ends with writing good stories. On the other hand, I would love for the reader events to grow and become inclusive of all types of readers and authors, but we’ll see how that works out.
Dyanne: Where can readers find you?
A.C.: I feel like I’m everywhere but at least once a week I get an email saying “I just found your book. I’d never heard of you before.” LOL So I guess I’m not everywhere.
Facebook -- @AC Arthur’s Book Lounge & @yabyartist & @Lacey Baker
Twitter -- @AcArthur & @yabyartist & @laceybooks
Google+ -- @ACArthur
Linked In (although I’m rarely there)
Dyanne: A.C. it's been great catching up. Thank you so much for the interview. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and the Emma award.