Wednesday, March 21, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR     Cassandra Carr                          

Today I’m interviewing Cassandra Carr. Her book, Impact is a contemporary western erotic romance and was released on February 1st.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Impact is book one in the Buckin’ Bull Riders series. It follows Conner, who is a professional bull rider who also happens to be a closet Dom – he isn’t “out” with his lifestyle because he knows many of the management and fellow riders are conservative and he doesn’t want to cause problems in his career. Then he meets Jessica, a stock contractor liaison and recognizes the natural submissive in her. When she asks him to train her as a submissive, he can’t say no.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  

Impact is a contemporary western erotic romance, but with bull riders rather than ranchers or cowboys. Many of these riders come from the ranch-heavy Midwest, though, so there’s a strong western influence on the sport. I write contemporary western, contemporary BDSM, contemporary M/F, and contemporary ménage.

How did this story come to be?  

That’s a funny story! I’m a hockey freak, as you can probably tell if you look at my backlist. One day I was looking for a hockey game on the channel that’s now NBCSports. There was no hockey game, but there WAS a bull riding competition. I watched it and was hooked! Then I read some books by great writers like Lorelei James and Cat Johnson and said to myself, “You can write romance about bull riders? Sign me up!”

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Ha. No. I’m sure a lot of people are going to hate me now, but I sold the second book I ever wrote. Between selling and having my debut come out, though, I wrote Impact and the second book in the series, Collision. That’s a good thing, too, because as any writer can tell you, once you have something out there in the marketplace it’s just crazy trying to keep up with everything: writing new, editing, promotion.

What is your writing routine like?

I don’t have any routine at all. I really can’t since I stay home part-time with my toddler. I write whenever I have enough energy to, and oftentimes when I don’t. ;-)

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
I’m a total promo whore. But I do think it’s helped my sales numbers, so I plan to keep doing it. I come from a marketing/PR/media relations background so promoting my work was never a question. I do have help, though. The wonderful people at Sizzling PR are now on retainer and help me set up reviews, blog tours, and the like. Everything else I do myself. I’d love to hire a personal assistant but at this point I can’t afford to.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Hearing from readers who enjoyed my books. Readers, seriously – if you adored a book, email the author and tell them that. Even after we’re published we still get things rejected, and have to make huge changes to our work to get it out there, and are battered by sometimes unfair negative reviews. Trust me, it makes an author’s day (or possibly week) to hear from a gushing fan. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, at least try to leave a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. Those are the two most influential sites for user reviews from what I’ve seen.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Just Romance Writers of America. While RWA has its challenges, it’s still the leader in dealing with issues that affect romance writers. Within RWA, I belong to a whole bunch of chapters – my local chapter in Western New York, where I’m currently president, ESPAN (Electronic & Small Press Author’s Network), and Passionate Ink, the special interest chapter for erotic romance writers. I’m the newsletter editor over  there.

What’s next for you?

*takes deep breath* Cold As Ice, book 2 in my Buffalo Intimidators ménage series, released last week. Collision, book 2 of the Buckin’ Bull Riders series, will release most likely in late April. I’ve also sold some short stories and am part of a voyeurism/exhibitionism anthology with two other authors. I’m 40k into writing book 3 of the bull riders, Momentum. Trust me, 2012 is packed!


Professional bull rider Conner Raub hides a secret from the world. He’s a Dom. When he meets a submissive on tour who pulls at his Dom tendencies, he fights to deny his true self, believing his colleagues will condemn his lifestyle.

Jessica Talbot is new to the BDSM scene and the bull riding tour, but after seeing Conner come to the aid of a submissive being mistreated in a club, she sets out to have him for her own. After their first night together she asks him to train her to submit and he refuses, afraid to mix business with pleasure. But Jessica isn’t deterred. She’ll do whatever it takes to make him realize he can have it all—a career, true love, and the BDSM lifestyle he craves.

A little bit about the author.
Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora's Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra's book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.

For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at, "like" her Facebook fan page at or follow her on Twitter at


Jessica sat in her living room with her parents and two of her brothers, waiting for Conner to arrive. She couldn’t help but feel as if he was walking into a firing squad. She’d told them she wasn’t angry at him and he was worried because she hadn’t called, but they thought it was a little crazy he’d driven all the way from Dallas to track her down. They obviously didn’t know Conner. The thought put a hint of a smile on her face.

When he’d called earlier he’d sounded as if he wanted to be with her for more than a fling, and the thought made her want to hope so badly, but she was afraid to let herself. He’d made it clear to her in the beginning he couldn’t live the lifestyle he wanted while he was on the tour and didn’t intend to settle down until after his riding days were over. So what did that mean for them? She knew he wouldn’t truly be happy if he was denying such a big part of who he was. He’d end up resenting her because she’d be a constant reminder of what he wanted but didn’t think he could have.

She heard the crunch of gravel on the driveway and looked up. He was here. Forcing herself to remain seated, she watched as the door opened and her brother Evan strode in instead. “Hey.” He looked around. “What’re y’all doing in here?”

“Waiting for Jess’ boyfriend,” Travis explained. “Where’ve you been?”

“I got restless so I went to check on those minerals we ordered. Junie said they should arrive by midweek. Why are we waiting on Conner? He’s coming here?”

“Yes,” Jessica answered. “He called a couple hours ago and said he was on his way. You must’ve been out in the barn when he called.”

“Must’ve been,” Evan agreed. “I’ll go wash up and be right back to join in the interrogation.” He winked at Jessica and moved into the kitchen.

A moment later the gravel crunched again and then a knock sounded at the door. Her daddy rose from his recliner and opened it. “You must be Conner. Come on in, son. We’ve been expecting you.”

“Thank you, sir.” Conner removed his hat and shook hands with her father. He looked nervous and Jessica wondered what was going on inside his head. She glanced around. It did look like an interrogation. Or an inquisition.

Her father moved into the room and stood by her mother’s chair. “This is my wife, Rita.”
Conner nodded and gave her one of his patented smiles. “Ma’am.”

Her mother grinned back, and Jessica had to hold in a chuckle. Apparently he’d already charmed her mother, but then again, her mama had always loved the cowboys—she’d married one, after all, and all her sons had taken after him. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Conner.”

Her father continued with the introductions. “My oldest, Travis, and my youngest, Nathan. We call him Nate.” Her brothers stood to their full height—neither of whom matched Conner’s—and Conner shook hands with each, looking them in the eye. Jessica was never prouder of him than in this moment of meeting her family. “That’s Evan lurking in the doorway over there.” Her father jerked his head toward the kitchen where Evan was leaning on the doorframe. Conner acknowledged him with a nod, and then turned to her, smiling at her almost shyly. Daddy cleared his throat. “And you know my only daughter, Jessica.”

His last sentence held a clear warning, and Jessica sent her father a reproachful glare. “Daddy, really.” She rose from the couch and came around the coffee table. Putting her arms around Conner’s neck, she reached up on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. “Are you hungry? We’ve got dinner waiting in the oven if my family is done staring you down.”

Conner smiled at her, looking relieved. His hand came up to rest on her waist, squeezing briefly. “Starving.”

Her parents led the way into the kitchen and Jessica and her mother began setting out the meal while her brothers grilled Conner about being a bull rider now and his plans for the future. Of course they also inquired not so subtly about their relationship. Her father sat back and allowed Travis and Nate to take the lead, while Evan also stayed silent and observed. When everything was on the table, they sat down. Jessica caught Conner’s hand under the table and gave it a reassuring pat.

He responded with a quick wink and began to eat as if he hadn’t seen food for days, complimenting her mother on her cooking until she blushed like a schoolgirl. When she protested her cooking was nothing special, Conner reminded her of the fare he was used to—arena food, truck stops and diners. Laughing, her mother accepted his praise and began to quiz him on his favorite foods. If Jessica knew her mother, there was a care package in Conner’s near future.

Once dinner was over Conner tried to help clean up, but Evan shooed him away, suggesting Jessica take Conner on a tour of the outbuildings. They began to walk around the main areas, and though it had gotten dark by then, the motion-detector lights on the front of many of the buildings guided them from one to the other. When they reached the third building, which Jessica told him was the storage shed for the feed for the cattle, Conner shut the door behind them and didn’t turn on the lights. Pulling her to him, he muttered, “Finally,” and lowered his head to hers, taking immediate possession of her mouth.

She melted into him, her body flaring to life. His tongue pushed into her mouth and she gladly accepted it, sucking him in farther to encourage him to explore her depths. He moaned and lifted her up to fit her pelvis to his groin, pushing the bulge of his erection between the juncture of her thighs. She rubbed up and down his body, eliciting another moan. “I missed you so much,” she whispered on his lips.

“Don’t leave me again,” he replied, his voice breaking, before his mouth dragged down her neck.

Copyright 2012, Cassandra Carr

How can my readers buy your book?  

Readers can go to the publisher’s home page at

You can find more information about Cassandra Carr and her book, Impact, by

visiting her website, or

Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.

1)      White chocolate or regular chocolate?   Regular. White chocolate isn’t even real chocolate – a sacrilege!

2)      Coffee or tea?  Don’t drink coffee, rarely drink hot tea. I am addicted to Diet Raspberry Snapple Iced Tea, though. Does that count?

3)      Favorite place to vacation? Ever? A tie between Honolulu Hawaii and Rome/Naples, Italy. Both were awesome vacations.

4)      Who is your favorite author to read?   Oh man, I don’t have one author I like above all others. There are so many great authors out there. And I tend to have a favorite m/m author, a favorite ménage author, a favorite BDSM author, etc.

5)      What’s your biggest pet peeve?         Adults who don’t act like grown-ups. Seriously.

6)      What’s your favorite color?    If you’ve seen my website or my promo materials you know the answer to this. Purple!

Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview with Author, T.W. FENDLEY

T.W. Fendley writes historical fantasy and science fiction with a Mesoamerican twist for adults and young adults. Her debut historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME, was voted Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel in the 2011 P&E Readers Poll. Her short stories took second place in the 2011 Writers' Digest Horror Competition and won the 9th NASFiC 2007 contest. Teresa belongs to the St. Louis Writer's Guild, the Missouri Writers' Guild, SCBWI and Broad Universe.

As Zero Time nears, only Keihla Benton can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past.
When Philadelphia science writer Keihla Benton joins an archeological team at Machu Picchu, she learns the Andean prophesies about 2012 have special meaning for her. Only she can end the cycle of Darkness that endangers Earth at the end of the Mayan calendar. As she uncovers secrets from the past, which threaten her life and those she loves, Keihla struggles to keep the powerful Great Crystal from the Lord of Darkness and his consort.

Xmucane leads an expedition to Earth to overcome a genetic flaw that threatens the people of Omeyocan with extinction, but she soon finds herself involved in a very personal battle that pits mother against daughter and sister against sister. With the help of the time-traveling Great Serpent Quetzalcoatl, she leaves the Southern Temples to arrive in present-day Machu Picchu as the expedition’s time-window closes.

Xmucane and Keihla work together as Earth and Omeyocan near alignment with the galaxy’s dark heart for the first time in 26,000 years. They must seize the last chance to restore the cycle of Light to Earth and return to the Pleiades with a cure, no matter what the cost to their hearts.

For me, the first day of spring always brings to mind romance and new beginnings.That makes it the perfect time to invite any of you who are not already cross-genre readers to check out something new.

In February's Broad Universe podcast, several women writers talked about romance in their sci-fi and fantasy books. Like them, I believe that women often bring a different perspective to what have traditionally been more male-oriented genres, even horror. Even if a novel's not labeled as sci-fi or paranormal romance, Romance readers will often find a lot to love.

One of the challenges for writers of science fiction and fantasy is to keep the characters true to the universe they create. In a world where women only bear daughters and boys are cloned, relationships look much different. Yet romance, love and family relationships are at the heart of my historical fantasy novel ZERO TIME.

I wanted to write the kind of love story Jamie and Claire have in Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series, but sometimes characters take on a life of their own. Mine certainly did. In retrospect, I have to say that's a good thing. It's just like real life--relationships don't always end up where you think they will.

Like in the Outlander books, time travel makes life complicated for ZERO TIME's heroine, Xmucane (pronounced Schmoo-kane). If things went as planned, she would have joined her mate Xpiyacoc (Shoo-pee-a-cok) when their expedition arrived on Earth. Instead, when she arrives in the ancient Americas twenty-two years later, his daughter Starry Skirt greets her. All Xmucane has are her memories:

"She remembered the first night they shared, bare skin touching as they lay on a blanket surrounded by the scent of blue roses that grew wild in the surrounding fields. After they made love the first time, they held each other close and watched the falling stars drop from a dark blue sky filled with shining nebula dust. He told her, "I will give you all of that, all those tiny diamonds thrown across the starry skirt of the sky." Xpiyacoc hadn't forgotten his promise. Xmucane sobbed, finally letting go of the tears she'd held back since she learned her mate was missing."

One of the fun things about speculative fiction is that it's only limited by imagination. Emotions can even be expressed in ways that defy gravity.

"Xmucane hummed a low note. Her voice quickly rose through the scales as Pax joined her in the Initiate's mating song. As their voices merged, the vibrations generated by their sacral energy centers formed a shimmering pyramid around them. Its sparkling red and orange light encircled them, suspending them slightly above the floor."

The emotional tangle thickens when Xpiyacoc and Xmucane reunite. Unlike in traditional romance, sometimes there's a "happy-ever-after" ending, and sometimes not. The suspense of not knowing can be part of the fun.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for being a Party Host in my Virtual Book Tour. And to all, happy reading!

The ZERO TIME 2012 Virtual Book Tour Party is here!
To celebrate, T.W. Fendley is giving away a Maya-Aztec astrology report, a Mayan Winds CD, ZERO TIME tote bag and fun buttons. Check out the prizes and other posts on the Party Page.

3 ways to enter (multiple entries are great!)

1) Leave a comment here or on any of the other PARTY POSTS listed on the Party Page.

2) Tweet about the Virtual Party or any of the PARTY POSTS (with tag #ZEROTIME2012)
Example: Join the Virtual Party for historical #fantasy novel ZERO TIME by @twfendley for a chance to win prizes! #ZEROTIME2012

3) Facebook (tag @T.W. Fendley) about the Virtual Party. (NOTE: tag must have periods to work)
Example: Join the Virtual Party for historical fantasy novel ZERO TIME by @T.W. Fendley for a chance to win prizes!
You can find ZERO TIME at:
Ebook $4.99
Paperback $16.95

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I would like to wish you all a great day and hope you have a  wonderful weekend!

Stay tuned  next week. On Tuesday, I interview Author, T.W. Fendley and on Wednesday, I  interview erotic Author, Cassandra Carr.!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today I’m interviewing Jessica Therrien. Her book, Oppression (Children of the Gods is a paranormal romance and was released on February 28, 2012.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.

OPPRESSION tells the story of Elyse, a seemingly young woman with an extraordinary ability and a unique destiny. Elyse ages five times slower than other human beings, which means that even though she appears to be about eighteen, she’s nearly a century old. When her parents died, she believed herself to be the only one in the world with such a condition. But after moving to San Francisco, determined to keep herself hidden and alone in the middle of the big city, she quickly finds out that she is not alone. On the contrary, there’s a whole society of people just like her, who age five times slower than normal people, and who have strange, almost magical abilities.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

YA paranormal romance is the only genre I write currently. I do have ideas and partial manuscripts that aren’t YA, but I haven’t had the guts to get those out in the world yet. Someday…

YA – Young adult (13-adult)
Paranormal – Supernatural elements
Romance – A love story to top it all off ;) …got to have the love story, right?

How did this story come to be?  

After falling in love with the YA genre, I felt compelled to write a book. I knew I wanted it to be YA, and I’d always been fascinated by the fact that some places in Greek Mythology actually exist in the real world. This got me thinking…what if the Greek gods really did exist, but were just misunderstood? I had my premise, and my husband helped inspire the love story ;)

Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Oppression was my first manuscript, but I never actually sent it out anywhere. I took it to the Southern California Writers Conference and left with a handshake publishing deal that turned into a contract…sort of a lucky break.

What is your writing routine like? 

I don’t have a routine at all. I’m very scatterbrained when it comes to my writing. Ideas come when they come, and I write them down wherever I am.

What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?

My publisher does a lot of promo for me, but I do most of it. I blog, tweet, Facebook, GooglePlus, etc. This blog tour has been a great way to get the word out about my book, and my virtual launch party was a fun way to promote Oppression.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?  

The most rewarding experience has been getting great reactions from readers. I’m so grateful that people out there actually love my characters as much as I do. Thanks Oppression readers!

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?

Well, if you count the Southern California Writers Conference, then yes. The conference was how I got discovered, so it obviously helped me a ton! Also, Rachael Harrie’s Platform-Building Campaign (an annual blogging event) has helped me reach fellow writers, readers, and bloggers.

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently writing Children of the Gods #2. It will be out sometime next year through ZOVA Books.


Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

A little bit about the author.

Jessica Therrien spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Chula Vista with her husband, and is writing the next chapter in the Children of the Gods series.

There was no telling what would come of me. I breathed quickly and silently, trying to decide whether I should wait or run. Sweat began to stick to my cotton pajamas as I listened for any hint of a sound. Nothing.

I moved closer, almost ready to make my move when a hand covered my mouth from behind, and my whole body tensed up from the inside. With a finger to his lips, William let go and moved to peer around the corner. I held my breath as he turned toward the kitchen and out of sight, leaving me alone in the hallway.

How can my readers buy your book?  

.99 E-Book
Amazon Kindle Edition (US)
Barnes & Noble NOOK Edition (US) 

Amazon Kindle Edition (UK, France, Germany)

$12.99 Paperback
Amazon (US)
Barnes & Noble (US)

Amazon (Canada)

Amazon (UK, France, Germany, Japan)

You can find more information about Jessica Therrien and her book, Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) by visiting her website,

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The winner of Author, B.J. Scott's book, HIGHLAND LEGACY is:

Lizzie Walker!

Congratulations! Please email me at so that I can get some information from you.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Interview with Literary Agent, MARISA CORVISIERO

Thank you for stopping by Heart of Romance. You all know that I am a pre-published author. As with anyone, part of my job is to research all aspects of this career. We all have questions we would like to ask an agent and I have been given the opportunity to do just that and I wanted to share this interview with you.

I would like to introduce to you, Literary Agent, MARISA CORVISIERO, of The Corvisiero Literary Agency, New York.

SARAH- Marisa, Thank you for coming to Heart of Romance today!

MARISA- Thanks for having me!   

SARAH-Let me start off with asking what exactly is the job of a Literary Agent?

MARISA- A Literary Agent’s job is to represent an author and his/her work for the purpose of selling it to the best suitable publisher and get the best possible deal. Although the relationship continues, especially when the client writes anther book that the agent agrees to sell, the agent will guide and advice the client and look out for the client’s best interest for as long as that person is a client. Contrary to popular misconceptions, that’s about it. Some of us are more active in our client’s lives and careers, but the agreement is basically that the agent will sell the author’s book.

SARAH- Not only are you a Literary Agent, but you are also a Lawyer. How do the two go hand in hand and does it give you an edge over other agents?

MARISA- My knowledge base, experience, and skills as an attorney come to play every single day in many facets of agenting. My legal knowledge and contract experience helps me with drafting, editing, and negotiating contracts. The analytical and active reading skills make me a good reader, and an organized problem solver. I also have a Bachelors in International Business and Marketing. I feel that part of my education and business experience also give me an edge in making deals, seeing opportunities, helping my clients with different ventures and ideas for placing them into the right markets with the right editors at the right time; and also to help them market and promote their work, expand their platforms, and build their brand.

SARAH- What constitutes a good query letter?

MARISA- A query letter is the cover letter that is sent to Agents to introduce their work and offer their work to the agent for consideration. A letter should be professional and well written. It should contain the genre and word count of the finished work (rounded off to the nearest K); a brief description of the work in one or two paragraphs of 4-5 sentences each at most. The last paragraph should contain relevant information about the author that shows their qualifications or formal writing training, involvement in the industry (conferences, publications, awards, associations, critique groups, etc.), and their platform if it is significant and relevant to the work they are pitching.

SARAH- What tips would you give to a writer starting the querying process?

MARISA- Do your research. Knowing that the agent is taking queries, how they want submissions made, likes the type of work that you are shopping, and is a reputable agent, are key items that you must know to avoid wasting your time. Give your self the best probability of receiving a favorable response.

SARAH- What seems to be the new trend coming in the next year? Werewolves? Pirates?

MARISA- Editors are tired of the Werewolves, Fae, Vampires, cliché superpowers, etc. They are searching high and low for really creative ideas, high concepts, and well developed character driven stories.

SARAH- What do you expect from an author who signs with you?

MARISA- Any author who signs with me needs to be responsive, open minded, professional, respectful and willing to communicate. They need to understand that we will be partners and that together we will have the best chance of achieving success. They need to be willing to do revisions and at least listen to advice and discuss options in a flexible manner. And they need to be willing and able to work their butts off to meet deadlines and do whatever it takes to promote their work.

SARAH- Okay, let’s switch it around. What can an author expect who signs with you?

MARISA- Any author that signs with me can expect to always get my honest opinion, and someone who will be in their corner always looking to propel their careers forward. We will be business partners in this endeavor and both of our goals will always be to get as many books sold as possible. However, they need to understand that as with any other business, a huge part of being successful is to build relationships. So we need to communicate with each other and foster a bond that will help us present a unified front and a professional image. This will help us to create better relationships with our editors, publicists, and readers.

SARAH- With the trend of authors self-publishing, do you see this as a negative for the author who may later decide to try traditional publishing?

MARISA- Although some still believe that self publishing is a negative or a deterrent to becoming a successful author, I will say that the trend has changed a lot in the past few years, and it continues to change. In the past, vanity press was frowned upon. Now, with so many resources and the ease of self publishing in contrast with the time delays and decreased acquisitions by traditional publishers, many more authors have turned to self publishing. Being self published no longer means that the book is just not good enough or that the author is difficult to work with. It may just mean that the author is willing to spend time and money to sell their book and that they are eager to create a following. So the old perceptions are shifting into a more neutral and acceptable plane. I have recently sent out questions to some contacts at NYC top ten traditional houses and all ten told me that if they love the work and the book has been doing well, they will try to acquire it. The magic number for “doing well” is about 5K book sales! That is not an impossible number to achieve today with all of the social marketing and e-book opportunities that cost almost nothing! I always say, “the work speaks for itself”… when the editors love the book, they will usually not turn it down.

SARAH- Jo Ann Kairys and you started a new company called Literary Powerhouse. Please tell us about this new endeavor.

MARISA- Literary Powerhouse is an entity that Jo Ann and I created for authors. The idea of starting this business was an evolution of a demand that each of us was experiencing separately in our jobs. Jo Ann is a children’s book award winning author and a publisher, and like me, she would be constantly approached by people in the industry for advice. So one day during one of our extensive chats about the industry and trends and the lack of homogeneity, consistency, quantifiability, accessibility, and overall practical availability of information that is available in this industry, we decided that we should do something that is helpful and fun for authors. We both agreed that it would also be helpful for us to have one place where we can provide all of these things. So we created Literary Powerhouse Consulting, and started to offer consulting services for anyone that needed it in a professional controlled setting that is separate from our other endeavors and therefore clear of any conflicts or confusion as to what the client could expect.

Then as time went by we started coming up with all of these really useful resources, high tech modules and platforms that we have started to incorporate into our site for the purpose of providing “PowerTools” to folks in the industry that would help them achieve so much more in an efficient and stress free manner. The first thing that we did was put up a Forum. This is an interactive chat board on our site where authors can sign up as free members and enjoy asking questions, posting answers or just reading what others are discussing. We recently added the LitPow Portal. The portal is a literary industry exclusive social media platform that is only available to paid members. Members of the Forum can upgrade these memberships to Literary Memberships at reduced rates to access the Portal where they can use social media platform, chat, e-mail, blog, use the PowerTools and access all of our resources and participate in special events (Weekly chats with agents and editors live, workshops, telecasts, valuable resource lists (publishers, agents, conferences, publicists, contests, reviewers, etc), and tips. We have started filling the portal up with all of these goodies and loading up the PowerTools a little at a time. As we add these things we are working out the glitches and are enjoying the growth and progress the site is making as users have flocked to the site and have been raving about what is up so far. Some of them have no idea that we have so much more planned for them. It’s super exiting!

SARAH- You just started your own Literary Agency. Can you tell us about the plans you have for it and what made you decide to go out on your own?

MARISA- Yes I have finally hung up my own agency shingle. The name is not a very creative one, but it has some recognition- Corvisiero Literary Agency, which I intend to grow into a prominent and quality home for talented agents and authors to succeed together for a long time. Some may say that that’s a smoky answer, but it’s exactly what I mean. I want this agency to be a place that is known for representing excellent work that does well. I want publishers to trust us when we tell them that they have to acquire a certain book. I want authors to know that they will be treated well, with respect and sensitivity to their needs and time. And I want us all to make a happy living while we do what we love!

SARAH- How do you differentiate the two or are they meant to work together?

MARISA- The two entities are completely separate legal entities that provide different services. The agency, as all agencies do, will be a place where authors query their chosen agent to get them to represent their work. In return, we will consider such work as quickly as possible, and if we like it, we will contract the author as a client and do our best to sell their work. There will never be any fees charged to prospective or agented clients for any services rendered. Our agents will earn the industry standard commission of 15% for national sales and 20% of international sales.

In the consulting business our model is different. This business operates much more like a law firm would in that we charge clients fixed fees per project, or on an hourly basis for specific services rendered. If anyone in the industry (an author, agent, publisher, printer, distributors, reviewer, publicists, conference, etc) has a need for a knowledge base or a service to be provided for their projects, or issues they may have encountered, we will give them a proposal illustrating how we can help them and how much it will cost. We often have more than two options in these proposals unless it’s as simple as me critiquing their query and helping them find a good target agent. A more complex project may be editing a manuscript, deciding how to get it published (traditional with an agent, small press, e-pub, or self pub), getting them into brick and mortar stores, helping them apply to the right writing contests, getting them reviews or quotes from people with healthy platforms, and creating a publicity plan. We also help agents organize their submission process; set up publishing companies; design professional websites with blogs, etc. We have a wonderful staff and network that can assist us in many different tasks and projects as the need arise and as budgets permit.

SARAH- Is there anything I haven’t covered that you think would be beneficial to know for authors everywhere?

MARISA- I have type A+ blood. ;) Just kidding…actually it’s true…. But to answer the question, I would love to tell people to check out everything that we offer on our Literary Powerhouse website and become a part of our growing network. We also have a LitPow Writer’s Network group on Facebook that is a lot of fun and a great way to share info with other writers. So far we have about 150 members, including 4 National Best Selling Authors.

SARAH- Last but not least, would you please tell my readers all the places they can find you?

MARISA- Sure! I’m including links…

FacebookMarisa A. Corvisiero – Literary Agent

Marisa Iozzi Corvisiero (personal page)

Literary Powerhouse

Corvisiero Literary Agency

The Corvisiero Law Practice

LitPow Writers’ Network (Group) 

LinkedIn- Marisa A. Corvisiero

Blog- Thoughts From a Literary Agent




Literary Powerhouse Forum and Portal

Marisa Corvisiero

Law Firm - The Corvisiero Law Practice, PC

Literary Agency - Corvisiero Literary Agency, LLC

Consulting - Literary Powerhouse Consulting, LLC

SARAH- I want to thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us today. I know I can speak for all of us when I say that we really appreciate your advice and time. I would like to wish you luck in your future and I hope you have a great rest of 2012!

MARISA- Thank you so much, Sarah. I appreciate the opportunity to share with you and your readers.