Monday, October 4, 2010

Good morning! Help me welcome XOXO Publishing author Larraine AKA Larion Willis to the blog!


Describe yourself as a hero or a heroine and why would you describe yourself
this way?
Tough on the outside, but a softy on the inside. As to why, life makes us that way. We grow the shell, the shield against the unfairness, but inside, despite the image we may project, the soft feelings are there waiting to find a person or situation we trust to let them out.

When did you start writing?
I started to actually start putting my stories down on paper at about 21. I didn't know anything about style then, believe me. When I go back and read some of those early ones now, thinking of rewriting them, I start new, just using the concept of the story. That's how bad they are. I'm doing one of those early ones, revamping it as a sequel to one I've published.

What made you write your book and why?
The devil made me do it. Lol. Honestly, I don't know what made me write that first one. I just did, like the commercial, 'just do it.' Some say it's in their blood. I think it's in the brain, some obsessive compulsion to put those stories running around in my head on paper. I started that long ago, sticking the finished manuscripts in the closet once the drawers got too full then just over five years ago I figured if I was going to ever do anything with them, I'd better get it done. That was ten published and five under contract ago. Eleven very soon if not by the time this get posted with The Eternal Search coming out with XOXO.

Who is your inspiriation?
I don't have an inspirational figure. There are a lot of people who have influenced my writing and a lot who have supported and urged me to do something with it, but I can't say one person inspired me to start or continue. Sorry.

How did you feel when you found that XoXo Publishing contracted you?
Pretty relieved, actually. My previous publisher had closed their doors to new submissions and I really felt like I'd had the rug pulled out from under me. Well, I'd been spoiled, okay. I was nice and comfortable right where I was. I knew the publisher, I knew many of the other author's, I knew what was expected of me there. And, of course, those nagging doubts of what if no one else likes my writing? chewed at me. Some one did. I'm getting to know the publisher and other authors and what's expected of me. Gina and the rest of the staff are making that pretty painless.

Are you writing anything new and if so what are you writing now?
I'm not writing anything new currently. I'm typing one of those manuscripts in the closet into the computer. Or maybe that one was on the shelf. I do have one ready to start, next, that sequel I talked about earlier.

Do you listen to music when you're writing and if so which kind?
I used to, but about 20 years ago I suffered a hearing loss, the result of a medication given to me in too strong a dosage. Music is just noise to me now. Earphones don't even help because the loss isn't symatric so too many of the tones are lost. I used to love to put soft rock or classical on. Oh, and I loved movie themes. I'd watch movies I didn't even care for just to hear a score that I really liked.

What advice would you give a new writer breaking out into the writing field?
Patience and perseverance. Expect rejections. It will make that first acceptance that much sweeter.

What promotional advice would you give a new author and why?
Get out there. Don't assume once you get your work published you're just going to sit back and enjoy sales without you having to do anything else. If people don't know it's out there, they aren't going to buy it and the publishers advertisements are only going to reach so far. Set up your own website. Have it in place and ready to go to display blurbs, excerpts and book covers and join loops that center on your genre or at least all genres. Through those loops you'll discover from other posts promo sites, nearly all of which offer some freebie advertising as well as some reasonable paid ones. Don't go off the deep end though, especially when it comes to investing in paid advertising, unless you're looking for a tax write off. Keep in mind that you have your time limits and don't stress yourself out until it's more burden than fun.

Give us a glimpse in mind what are you thinking right now?
Right now I'm wondering when I'm going to be able to get back to typing that manuscript in. If I'll find time to do it before my husband and I resay our vows Oct 30th to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Every since that man told me that was what he wanted to do, I've been running my feet off gathering the necessary items to put on the wedding we never had then--we eloped--to have now. I've never planned a wedding before, and I'm really beginning to understand all those stories I've heard about how nerve racking and exhausting it is. If any of the readers would like to follow along through that particular journey and see the results of my labor and mental anguishingly, I'm posting progress reports on my blog site,

Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories Http:// HTTPS://

Thanks so much for stopping by Larraine and we look forward to more wonderful books from you in the future.

~ Sandy


XoXo Publishing said...

Thank you Sandy for interviewing our XOXO Authors. Authors you're all doing una bona jobba;) (A great job)

Anonymous said...

Nice interview Larion. You make marketing sound fun - good advice to stay relaxed. Congratulations on your newest book release. Fellow Muser,
Kay Dee

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

yes, Sandy, thank you. doesn't that new XO cover look great?

Sandy Sullivan said...

It's a fantastic cover. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


Tonya Renee Callihan said...

Great interview. I love author interviews, I love learning new things about some of my favorite authors and it's always nice to meet new ones.

Carol L. said...

Hi Larion,
I wanted to say that I also love meeting new Authors and look forward to reading your work. But most importantly, Congratulations on your 50th anniversary. How truly beautiful. I wish you 50 more :)
Carol L.