Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Keep Your Heart on the Goal with Guest Blogger: Erin Quinn

Win your choice of an autographed copy of either Haunting Beauty or Haunting Warrior and chat with author Erin Quinn.

Here's what she had to say...

Know the Goal

In a market as competitive and fast paced as ours, it’s very easy to lose sight of the goal. In fact, it’s easy to forget there ever was a goal beyond writing THE END.

The churn of deadlines, lists, sales numbers, marketing, social media and endless email is enough to make any writer struggle—and sometimes it’s enough to keep the writer so buried in the busy work she forgets to . . . write. Or, just as bad, she forgets why she writes.

I started my first book twenty some years ago because I wanted to tell a story. It was a simple as that. It never occurred to me in those early years that I wouldn’t be able to sell my book once I finished it. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be a bestseller once it was sold. I just knew that I had a tale to tell and tell it I would.

I had been reading the novels of two major bestselling authors at the time (Stephen King and Janet Dailey) and after each Stephen King book, I’d think: I would have loved that if it had a little smut in it. And after each Janet Dailey: I would have loved that if it had a few thrills. Back then, you either wrote one of the other. No cross pollinating was allowed.

But hearing “no” never stopped me from doing anything, so when I started my story, I was determined to put both elements in it. That was my goal. Write a story that I wanted to read. I look back at that, 7 published novels later and realize that it’s still my goal. However, there have been times in my career that I became so overwhelmed by all the busyness of the writing business, that I lost sight of it.

I learned the hard way how detrimental fear of failure can be and what a bitch the voice of doubt is—especially when she sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear. Couple that with all the other pressures of being a published writer and it’s easy to drive yourself insane.

I wish I could back to the innocence and ignorance of that first novel and approach every new book I write with the same unflagging faith in myself that I had then. The advice I give all new authors I meet is to put blinders on while you’re creating that masterpiece. Treat your muse with respect and tenderness. Don’t worry about the market, the editors and agents, the business.

Just write the book.

Write it for yourself because in the end, it’s your name on the cover. And remember . . . keep your eye on the goal and know what that goal is.

A Note from the Book Boost: Erin, your advice couldn't have come at a better time for me. On the precipice of a new book deal and yet it is just out of reach as I suddenly doubt my skills. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. I'm sure your words will touch others as well. Thanks for joining us today and sharing your thoughts with us. Please tell us more about your latest book.


A woman lost in a nightmare

Shealy O’Leary thought the ancient Book of Fennore a myth until she and her father are sucked into the past—and into the cursed no-man’s land called Fennore. There Shealy learns that she has a rare power that their enemy seeks. Aided by the dangerous and compelling warrior, Tiarnan, Shealy must find her father and learn how to wield her gift to save those she loves or die in this waking nightmare...

A man desperate to regain his honor

After failing both his land and people, Tiarnan was damned to spend eternity in the black heart of Fennore. His only hope comes in the shape of a beautiful, frightened woman from the future. For she possesses a gift she is unaware of. A gift with the power to save ...or destroy them all.

A desire that drives their destiny

Together, Shealy and Tiarnan begin their perilous quest—a mission that draws them closer and closer together. And as the odds against them mount, so does their passion. The intensity of their bond electrifies the couple, their love powering Shealy’s gift and Tiarnan’s strength. But their newfound connection threatens to ruin them both—and bring to life a long ago prophecy of devastation and betrayal...


The heat of Tiarnan’s body blazed down Shealy’s back, silken and hot through the thin fabric of her dress. He was aroused. She felt the weight and pressure of his erection against her, knew instinctively that he held onto his self-control by a very thin thread.

They’d both almost died last night . . . or today . . . or last year, if Tiarnan could be believed—and she thought he could. On a very visceral level, she sensed that Tiarnan was a man of truth and honor. If he said the sky was yellow, then yellow it would be. But right now, he wasn’t saying anything. His breathing was strained, coming in short, hot bursts against her ear. The muscles in his arms bunched tight, but his hands were gentle where they held her, almost apologetic as they stroked.

Shealy didn’t let herself dwell on anything that tried to crowd into her overloaded brain. At that moment, she needed to feel. She needed to know that however terrifying this place was, she, at least, was real.

Before she could change her mind, she turned in his arms, feeling him resist for just an instant as he tried to hold her still. Then she pressed against him, her dress twisted at her hips, her face level with his. For a long moment they stared at one another, searching the shadows that concealed their expressions, each seeking mercy, absolution perhaps.

He spoke with a deep murmur. “I don’t think—”

“Don’t think,” she said against his mouth.

She caught a glimpse of pain in his golden brown eyes and for a panicked moment she thought he might reject her and pressed closer, letting him feel her body.

“Don’t think, Tiarnan.”

She ran her hands up his bare chest, reveling in the feel of him. He was hard, slabbed muscle beneath hot, silken skin. Every inch of him, strong and hewn. Her fingers slid up the column of his throat then back to tangle in his dark brown hair, twisting in it to bring his lips closer to hers. He made a sound in his throat that lit a fire deep inside her and then he pulled her tight against him with a groan, and that, too, fanned the inferno, as if her having him against his will made the forbidden moment that much sweeter.

His reluctance didn’t extend to his body though, and he rolled, pulling her beneath the satisfying weight of him, crushing her in a way that screamed sex through every nerve ending. One massive thigh slid between her legs and she arched up, rubbing against it, thrilling in the friction. He brushed his lips against hers, the kiss soft, and she opened to him, letting him know he was welcome wherever he might want to venture.

Want More Erin?

Erin Quinn (also known as Erin Grady) is an award winning author. Writing as Quinn, her titles include the Berkley Mists of Ireland series. Book four, Haunting Embrace, will be out in October 2011. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the WILLA Award for Historical fiction, Reader Crown, Orange Rose, Golden Quill, Best Books, Booksellers Best, and Award of Excellence

She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters and three dogs (all of whom have made debuts in her stories—the dogs, that is, not the husband and kids.)

Visit her website here:

Pick up your copy of her books today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Erin and be entered to win your choice of an autographed copy of either Haunting Beauty or Haunting Warrior.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Erin Quinn said...

Thanks so much for having me here today, Kerri! Glad my post helped you deal with your situation. Good luck on the book deal!!!

Anonymous said...

Erin, I'm a huge fan! I won a copy of Echoes and LOVED it. Read Haunting Beauty on my nook - LOVED it. :-) I'm looking forward to continuing the series! Keep up the wonderful work!

Erin Quinn said...

Hi Lissieanne, thank you so much!! you just made my day!!!

Rayka Mennen said...

Hi Erin, You know I've loved reading your rich descriptions of both setting and emotions. Can't wait to see what else you are writing. And for all you aspiring authors out there, I can vouch for the great advice and mentoring Erin shares.
Cheers, Rayka

jeanette8042 said...

Such a great post and it also applies to other things in life and not just writing which is awesome. It's amazing when fear can be overcome because the best things come out of it.


Barbara White Daille said...

Erin - wow! If that blurb and excerpt don't make readers rush out and pick up HAUNTING DESIRE, I don't know what would!

Thank you for the great post, too. Like Kerri, I'm finding your advice comes at the perfect time.

I'm promoting my current release, just turned in my next book, and am beginning a new manuscript today. It's hard to turn off the business/busyness of writing, but now that I've read this post, I'm putting on my blinders and focusing on the goal.

Thanks again!


Carrie Weaver said...

Erin, what a great post! Wonderful inspiration in a business that can sometimes be tough.

Marina Myles said...

Thank you for the inspiring article, Erin! I hope books written with heart will always stand out. BTW, I'm a huge fan of your work!

Erin Quinn said...

Rayla, thanks so much! I think I learn as much from you as you do from me. :)

Jeanette--I agree. No true words were ever spoken than fear is our own worst enemy.

Barbara, I've loved watching your career grow. You inspire me so I'm glad my words helped you!

Carrie--we've both been in the trenches long enough. It's time for us to get some R&R (or blinding success--dontcha think? ha ha)

Marina, thank you so much! I think you say it all--books written from the heart do have a way of standing out to readers. :)

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Fabulous advice, Erin! It's difficult to go back to working with blinders on, but definitely a savior of the muse. :}

Wall-to-wall books said...

Hi Erin, Boy you are just all over the 'net these days!

Having "known" you for over 3 years now (has it been that long). I know that you have a very busy life, with writing and family. Sooo -
What so you do for you? For fun or to relax?

Barbara White Daille said...

<< Barbara, I've loved watching your career grow. You inspire me

Back at you, Erin!


Melanie S. said...

what a fantastic post - thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!
wish you all the best, Melanie

booksforalleternity at gmail dot com

Deena said...

I shall take your words of advice and listen to them soundly. :D As for your books, well, for anyone reading out there, Erin's writing is like sweet music to the ears.

Shadow said...

O, both books sound so good! There both going on my wishlist! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Na said...

Hi Erin, I'm so glad I came across your post today. Very insightful. Your novels are new to me, but after reading the blurbs I cannot wait to try them. Oh happy reading!


Laura Russell said...

A great column, thank you.

You were signing when I met you at a spring Desert Rose meeting in 2010 and I was so impressed by the cover. Blurb is so compelling.

I loved your advice to 'put on the blinders' to focus on the goal,

Erin Quinn said...

Kathryne, Wendy, Barbara, Melanie, Deena--Thanks so much for stopping by and showing me some love. :) You know I love you back!

shadow_kohler, Nia, and Laura glad you enjoyed my article! Laura, maybe I'll see you there again?

Gini Koch said...

More great advice from a great author -- thanks for sharing! The entire Haunting series is made of awesome!