Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Looking for a Few Good Questions...And Giving Away Books

I'll be attending the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach, Florida this week and I need some help. As part of my duties as one of the featured bloggers, I'll be moderating four author panels. I just got my panel assignments and now I need to come up with questions to generate discussion for at least 40 minutes per panel. I already have a few questions for each panel but I'd like some more. That's where you come in. I hope! :) 

The panel audiences will consist primarily of readers, so I'd like to know what questions you would ask if given the opportunity. I'll list the panels with their descriptions below.  

Real-life 4-legged friends and fictional pets in some of our favorite stories. 

Western Romance chat about cowboys, cowgirls, ranch life, and everything that makes readers swoon.

Historical Romance authors chat about what draws them to the past and why readers love these stories today. How much has changed and what has stayed the same?

Bakers and Florists and Handymen…Oh, my! Authors of small-town romance share the inspiration behind their sweet stories and chat about their wide-spread appeal.

Hit me with your questions, friends. To thank you for your help, I'll randomly choose two people who post comments before 11:00 PM, February 20, to receive a package of books. 
*U.S. addresses only.


  1. What book will you always remember and why?

  2. where is your favorite destination and how does this influence your research for a story?

  3. Historicals are meaningful and profound. Do historicals have as much interest now as they did in the past since there are so many other types?

  4. What book made you ugly cry? What type of heroes and heroines are your favorites to write about? If you need to research info, do you do it as you are writing the book or do it all ahead of time? I would think writing as going along?????? TY.
    Karen T. (Natty's Mama)

  5. Hmmm. I'd want to go to the cowboy one and ask stuff about what types of things do writers write that happens...that would NEVER happen on a ranch, preferably in a historical setting? (Implausible/improbable versus plausible...since it is romance and most of the stuff we write is plausible, but unlikely. *LOL*)

  6. Is there any storyline that any authors would like to delve into for social/medical awareness purposes?

  7. What was your first pet?
    Have you lived on a ranch? What was the Best & Worst ranch experience?
    What historical time period or location that you haven't written in a book yet, but would like to?
    What has been a favorite small town experience that you have experienced?

  8. Shoulda been a cowboy...
    Arizona ranches as well as Wyoming, Montana, etc. can be quite remote. How would your heroine deal with going to the grocery store once a month (usually more than a 1-hour drive from the homestead)? What about NO cell service and NO internet unless she treks an hour to the nearest diner-cum-coffee shop? MacDonald's has free internet in its emporia, but her surfing may not be secure; how would she deal with a data breach?
    The cowboy probably owns an old-model sewing machine for mending. How would she deal with learning to use/repair/preserve an old piece of technology? Yes, she would probably have to fix it before it could be used.
    J.B. Weld, a 2-part epoxy, is a rancher's best friend. How would she react to random gray globs on stuff throughout the house?

    Susan in AZ

  9. Panel 1 - What is the most unusual pet you have written/read in a story? What do furry characters add to the storyline? Is there an author you enjoy who frequently includes animals in the story?

    Panel 2- Do you prefer contemporary or historical westerns? Have you spent personal time on a ranch? What do you think would be the hardest job? What is it about a cowboy that makes us swoon? Do you have any favorite western books, tv shows, or movies?

    Pamel 3- How do you do your research for historicals? Do historical inaccuracies take away from the romantic story? What time period is the cut-off for labeling a book as an historical- 50's? 60's?

    Panel 4 -Would you personally like to live in one of the small towns you have created? What are the best/worst things about small town living? Do you think small town settings provide more opportunities for further books in a series because of all the extra characters readers get to know in the stories?

  10. HISTORICALS - How difficult is it to get into the mind set of people in your time period?

    PET LOVERS - How do you deal with including pets, in other words, do you make them normal pets or do you give them human thoughts?

    EVERY DAY PEOPLE - Do you have a preference for one occupation over another? Is it easier to write a sexy carpenter rather than an accountant?

  11. How much research goes into the professions of your characters?


  12. Thanks, guys! These are great. Keep them coming! :)

  13. PANEL ONE: I am a great animal lover, and I am most definitely not a fan of "pets in peril" storylines in books (or movies). Do you think this story element is okay if the animals are "rescued"?

    PANEL TWO: I am a great fan of Western Romance (both historical and contemporary). I prefer the stories to be realistic and incorporate the non-glamorous elements of cowboys and ranch life along with the romantic ideal of the rugged man of the West meeting the lady who captures his heart. Have you ever lived in the West or visited or worked on a ranch?

    PANEL THREE: My first romance reads were historicals by Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland. Later, I became captivated by the work of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Historicals really worth reading are best served by someone writing with a great love of history, who is detail oriented, and whose mantra is "research, research, research". Do you enjoy researching the past for delicious authentic details which add such flavor to storylines?

    PANEL FOUR: Small-town, second-chance romances really resonates with me. I still live in my little hometown, but unfortunately, I never got my second chance to rekindle that lost love--the one that got away, stayed away. Did you have a second-chance romance in your own life, and did you have your own happily-ever-after?

  14. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?

    If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?

    Which books are “on your nightstand”?

    Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

  15. I'm so jealous, I wanted to go to Costal Magic. Plus it's cold in Iowa.
    Which book conference is your favorite? Have you gone to any outside the US?
    Have fun. Get some good books.

  16. Do you every travel to the country where your book is set to do your own personal research, or do you rely on the internet for your research?

  17. Panel 1 - Have you ever used an animal that was disabled? What is the most unusual animal you wrote about? What type of research do you do for the inclusion of an animal to be part of the story? How important is the role of the animal to your story?

    Panel 2- What's the best part about writing about cowboys and cowgirls? What parts of the country do you prefer to place your stories? (Montana, Midwest, California, Texas, other) How does the weather for that part of the country play a part in the story?

    Panel 3- Is your research for your historical done through books or by going to the location? How do you handle historical inaccuracies? Is there a specific time period you prefer to write about? How do handle strong women, who weren’t acceptable in most time periods, in your books?

    Panel 4 -Would you live in one of the small towns you have created? What is special about the small town you created? Since many small towns suffer from economic decline how do you handle it in your stories? Many small towns are often not open to outsiders, what about the residents of your town? Is there an important history behind your small town?

  18. How much help do you get from family and friends when developing a new plot for a book?

  19. There are such great suggestions here.
    Panel 1: FICTIONAL FURBABIES - Have you visited animal training facilities/programs, shelters, rescue croups to research the animals featured in your books?
    Panel 3: TIMELESS TALES - Have you visited the locations when you books are set? How do you research the way of life, social norms, the daily details of life for the time periods in which your books are set?
    Panel 4: THE BOY / GIRL NEXT DOOR - Are your settings and character occupations chosen for the storyline possibilities or from your personal experiences?

    Panel 2: SHOULD’A BEEN A COWBOY - How have you researched the cowboy way of life? If historicals, what kind of resources have you used? Have you visited sites that recreate early life or are left over from that time (ghost towns or historical ranches and forts for instance)? For contemporary works, have you visited rodeos, working ranches, dude ranches?

  20. What led you to write the style of romances you have and what were the titles that you fell in love with as a reader?

  21. Fictional Furbabies: 1. What is the most unique pet you've ever written? Bonus: Is it one you've owned or wished you owned (or were owned by)?
    2. Have you even had to defend your inclusion of a furbaby in a book/story to your editor and/or anyone else before publishing? Why? and How did it go?

    Should'a Been a Cowboy: (The obvious) Have you ever spent time on a farm or ranch? Have you ever done any of the typical cowboy/cowgirl activities?

    Timeless Tales: 1. Have you even included an anachronism that made it past editing? How did you handle it when it was discovered?
    2. Do you ever get accindentally carried away writing the not so nice parts of history and have to do major deleting? ;-)

    The Boy/Girl Next Door: When it is all said and done: small town, country, or city for you personally?

  22. Small town romance - is there a way to incorporate big city with small town so we can have both worlds in a novel?