COVER REVEAL: NAME IN LIGHTS (Lies for a Living Box Set #1-3)

As a little surprise, the LIES FOR A LIVING trilogy will be released in a box set comprising of all three books for a discounted price than if you’d buy them all separately. NAME IN LIGHTS (Lies for a Living BoxN Set #1-3) will be released on 15 July 2017.

Here’s the cover and blurb:

In this special edition Box Set of the Lies for a Living trilogy, you will find all three Lies for a Living novellas bundled into one exclusive novel-length romantic adventure.

Contains:
Book #1: Backstage Heat
Book #2: Centre Stage
Book #3: Leading Lady

BACKSTAGE HEAT:

Curvy Aussie ex-pat Tori Walker never expected to catch the eye of the hottest actor on London’s West End.
Cameron Campbell is a notorious womaniser, and guys like him don’t notice girls like her – except he did, and now he wants her in his bed.
But Tori’s not prepared to share her darkest secret with London’s baddest playboy, even if she had been crushing on him for years.
Cameron had given up on finding love offstage, accepting an eternity of make-believe and losing himself in one night stands and booty calls.
When Tori enters Cameron’s life, he finds himself overcome with feelings that he thought were gone forever.
Can Tori learn to trust someone who lies for a living, or will Cameron lose her to her inner demons?

CENTRE STAGE

Tori and Cameron have spent three blissful months together flying under the radar of the paparazzi while Cameron completes his West End run of Wuthering Heights.
But then the paparazzi mysteriously start getting all the scoops on Cameron’s location and expose their secret relationship, bringing up questions about the notorious former playboy’s faithfulness while swamping them with obsessed fans who hate Tori because she managed to snag the object of their lust.
Tori desperately wants to trust her man who lies for a living, but has he gone back to his old ways, or are the paparazzi just after juicy gossip?
Meanwhile, a dangerously obsessed stalker might put their liaison to an end once and for all…

LEADING LADY

Tori and Cameron are newly engaged, but Cameron’s off to Hawaii for six months to shoot an action film while Tori’s stuck in London.
Desperately bored and lonely, Tori decides to spice things up by auditioning for a local band looking for a new lead singer.
When she meets the enigmatic, irresistible Kai Henderson, resident tattooed and pierced bad boy keyboardist, sparks fly.
Cameron may have a reputation as a sleep-around, but Tori trusts him despite the distance. Can she trust herself with a hot rockstar who won’t take no for an answer?

Available for pre-order here.

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COVER REVEAL: Leading Lady

As promised, LEADING LADY, Book 3 of the LIES FOR A LIVING trilogy will be released on June 17 (which is ONLY TEN DAYS AWAY!).

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Tori and Cameron are newly engaged, but Cameron’s off to Hawaii for six months to shoot an action film while Tori’s stuck in London.

Desperately bored and lonely, Tori decides to spice things up by auditioning for a local band looking for a new lead singer.

When she meets the enigmatic, irresistible Kai Henderson, resident tattooed and pierced bad boy keyboardist, sparks fly.

Cameron may have a reputation as a sleep-around, but Tori trusts him despite the distance

Can she trust herself with a hot rockstar who won’t take no for an answer?

It is available to pre-order on Amazon here.

COVER REVEAL: Centre Stage

As promised, CENTRE STAGE, Book 2 of the LIES FOR A LIVING trilogy will be released on May 13 (which is ONLY TEN DAYS AWAY!).

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Tori and Cameron have spent three blissful months together flying under the radar of the paparazzi while Cameron completes his West End run of Wuthering Heights.

But then the paparazzi mysteriously start getting all the scoops on Cameron’s location and expose their secret relationship, bringing up questions about the notorious former playboy’s faithfulness while swamping them with obsessed fans who hate Tori because she managed to snag the object of their lust.

Tori desperately wants to trust her man who lies for a living, but has he gone back to his old ways, or are the paparazzi just after juicy gossip?

Meanwhile, a dangerously obsessed stalker might put their liaison to an end once and for all…

It will be made available for pre-order soon.

Should authors produce similar content?

similar content

This was one of my problems when I first published an adult novel and then switched to Young Adult.

Branding

Should authors produce the same kinds of stories? Personally I loved reading Maria V Snyder’s Poison Study series and then the Healer series and finding them both basically the same kind of story, with the same type of heroine, love interest, and even a pair of allies who treated the heroine like a sister.

The same with David Gemmell’s heroic fantasy novels – mostly starring loner former heroes past their prime (Druss, Waylander, Jon Shannow) or young outcasts (Skilgannon, Gaelen) with a token warrior woman who will still need rescuing, often with some kind of man-beast hybrid that would have to be murdered eventually. I could pick up any Gemmell book and know exactly what I would be getting. There is always a quiet swordsman, a brute, and an archer in the team novels.

John Green writes manic pixie dream girls and boys as love interests.

Rick Riordan writes about descendants of mythological gods.

Cassandra Clare writes thinly veiled Harry Potter fanfiction.

Richelle Mead writes YA heroines who are smart and sassy and go-getters.

Stephanie Meyer specialises in weird love triangles.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Personally I like being able to say, “I feel exactly like a David Gemmell novel” and being able to pick up one that hits all the right buttons.

My own writing

Both of my full-length novels are wildly different.

  • Adult vs teen protagonist.
  • POC vs white ‘goth’ girl
  • Sci-fi vs paranormal.
  • Established relationship vs new love interest.
  • Deep space vs suburbia.
  • Limited characters vs larger cast.

But there are certain similarities:

  • Strong/powerful female lead
  • Diverse cast
  • Feminist slant on the storyline
  • Both heroines overcome their own issues and are the agents of their own stories
  • BUT both heroines need the help of their friends/allies to do so
  • Both characters’ actions propel the storyline forward.
  • I like to think of them as both active heroines, not passive.

That is what I’m aiming for in my ‘branding’.

In all of the stories I write, I want those similarities to be there. I want someone to be able to identify a Lissa Bilyk novel and be able to say, “Yes, I recognise those elements from her other novels” even though I’m writing in different genres with different plots and different characters.

I want my books to be different but familiar.

Write What You Know: Knowing More Than You Put On The Page

knowing more

As a writer, I feel the need to really know my characters, their situations, their props and settings.

For The Edge of Darkness, that wasn’t so hard. It was largely a made-up world, set in deep space on a spaceship and the weapons used were also made up.

Internet-Based Research

I did some research on amputees and prosthetics to try to get a feel for what Max might be feeling as a cyborg with a robotic arm. I researched what kind of food could theoretically be grown on a spaceship. I researched some other science-y things. But when I wrote the story, I probably knew a lot more than I was putting in to the book.

With Winter Witch, one of my characters wears a monocle. I had no idea how monocles stayed put, so I did some research to better understand my character. I found out how someone inserts and wears a monocle, and I felt like I had a strong grasp on the eyepiece and I wrote it into the book.

When I mentioned the research to friends, another author piped up that she was interested in how people wore monocles. I was surprised, because I was sure I’d read one of her characters in one of her books I’d read actually did wear a monocle. I was surprised because this author didn’t know how her character wore a monocle and she clearly hadn’t done the research into finding it out. Maybe she didn’t care. Maybe it wasn’t important. The character wore a monocle and that’s all we needed to know.

penguin-33203_640

Write what you know.

“Write what you know” is probably one of the most repeated pieces of writing advice out there. And it’s true, you should write about what you know. But you can always expand upon what you know by research.

As for me? I didn’t feel comfortable writing about a character who wore a monocle until I knew exactly how a monocle worked. I think it’s an issue with my perfectionism that I needed to research something so foreign to me. But I didn’t want to make some basic mistake that a monocle-wearing fan might point out in the book.

My character doesn’t even take his monocle off or put it back on, so I’m not quite sure why it was so important to me to know these things. Maybe for future reference? I’m sure I only mention the monocle in passing.

The research I did certainly wasn’t earth-shattering, but as a writer I felt like I needed to know more than I was putting on the page.

I think that’s why we’re told to write what we know.