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Tina Gerow Discusses the Book of Her Heart

New-York-Times-best-sellerIf you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

I think I would’ve ignored the prejudice against small presses and ebooks much earlier.  Although I’m pretty happy with my publishing journey so I can’t really complain.  Yes, I’d still like to hit the NYT and all those other lists and someday I fully intend to be a #1 NYT Best Selling Author! (And tonight, we take over the world!!)

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?  

My best marketing comes from pure word of mouth.  I’m pretty active on Facebook and twitter and I’ve found that a lot of fans have found me through friends of a friend of a friend who knows me on those andended up recommending my books tothem.  I’ve tried advertising on the various readers websites or in magazines like Romantic Times but word of mouth has always been by far the best for me.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

The absolute book of my heart, and the one that my agent said was the best book I had ever written to that point, is Sleeping With Shadows.  In the end, everyone passed on it so Iended up self publishing it.  It’s my one and only self pubbed book.  I would love to have a NY pub pick it up so the book can get the distribution and the recognition it deserves.  I STILL love the story and the book!  I haven’t given up hope on it and continue to promote it and hand sell it at events like The Glendale Chocolate Affaire, but I’m convinced one day it will find its avid market!

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I grew up with my maternal grandmother who was actually very abusive to my sister and I, so some of my heroine’s experiences are from personal experiences and some are purely imagination.



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Interview & #Giveaway with @TinaGerow (writing as Cassie Ryan)

e6509-my2bobsessionJoin me at Happily Ever After Thoughts for an interview and giveaway of one copy of my new erotic romance release as Cassie Ryan, My Obsession!

Click here

Tina Gerow Talks About Sex in Elevators

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I think the elevator scene near the beginning was my favorite part.  I won’t give away too much, but let’s just say it was a LOT of fun to write!

How did you come up with the title?  

My agent and editor and I all brainstormed titles thatwould fit the story and we all finally agreed on My Obsession for the first one, with My Addiction as the 2nd.  Book 3 and after are still under discussion.  It’s unknown how many books will end up being in the series, so we’re doing it a chunk at a time as needed.

What project are you working on now?

I’m currently working on My Addiction, Book 2 in the Club Desire series.  It’s fun to continue working with the characters from My Obsession and also getting to know new ones.

Will you have a new book coming out soon?  

My Obsession comes out next month –July 21st!  It’s already on preorder!!


Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

With the Club Desire series I’m enjoying weaving the characters we’ve already met with new ones.  As for other characters in my books –there are many and for the few series Ineed to finish up, I’ll get the chance one of these days!

Tasty Book Tour for My Obsession by Cassie Ryan

Tour Schedule

July 13th- Mignon Mykel: Reviews– Rev/Exc

(Stop 2) Lush Book Review– P/Exc
(Stop 3) Born to Read Books – Promo

July 14th- Erotic Romance News- P/Exc

(Stop 2) Crazy Four Books- Rev/P

July 15th- JJ’s Kinky Books – Rev/P

(Stop 2) Bibliophile Wonderland Reviews– P/Exc
(Stop 3)  Deanna’s World – Rev/Exc

July 16th- Ramblings from this Chick– Rev/GP (1)
(Stop 2) Shyla Wolff’s Thoughts- Promo

July 17th- She Hearts Books- Rev/P
(Stop 2) FMR Book Grind– Rev/P
(Stop 3) Blushing Book Blog– P/Exc

July 20th– Book Bitches Blog – Rev/Exc

(Stop 2) Between the Lines– Rev/P
(Stop 3) Books Need TLC– Rev/P

July 21st- Jen’s Reading Obsession- P/Exc

(Stop 2) Wicked Reads– Rev/Exc

July 22nd-  Craves the Angst – P/GP (2)

(Stop 2) Underneath the Covers- P/Exc

July 23rd- I am Indeed – Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) Alpha Book Club- Rev/P

July 24th- Life with Two Boys- Rev/P
(Stop 2) The Jeep Diva– Rev/P
(Stop 3) Wendy-Miller Blog– Rev/P/Exc

July 27th- Bambi Unbridled- Rev/P/Exc
(Stop 2) – Those Crazy Book Chicks – P/Exc

July 28th- We Stole Your Book Boyfriend– Rev/P

July 29th- Cat’s Reviews – Rev/Exc
(Stop 2) In the Binding– GP/P

July 30th- Ellesea Loves Reading– P/Exc
(Stop 2) Crystal Blogs Books – Rev/P

July 31st- Booklover Sue– Rev/P

(Stop 2) Channelling Colee– Rev/P

Tina Gerow Discusses Fighting Genre Labels

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I grew up reading paranormal, fantasy and sci fi and loved them.  I was on vacation with a friend and ran out of books, and she loaned me the first book in Nora Robert’s Born In series.  I had never been a big romance reader.  I had filched a few of my Mom’s when I was much younger and thought the wimpy heroines, the schlocky love scenes and the guys guilting or even outright forcing them into sex.  So I didn’t have a great view of romance at that time.  Yes, the books I was reading had romances in them, but when I thought of what I wanted tow rite, I didn’t really want the word “romance” anywhere near it.  But when I started writing the book that had taken shape inside my mind, my wonderful critique partner, Judi Thoman (aka Brit Blaise) told me that what I was writing was called paranormal romance in the market and on the bookshelves.  So I accepted the scarlet “R” and now wear it proudly 🙂

Where do you get your ideas?

I know every writer says ‘everywhere’and it probably sounds overused by now.  But it’s really true. I’ve always had an overactive imagination – ask any of my teachers or even my friends and family!  And I guess I never stopped playing “What If” from when I was little.  It kept me sane, and now gives me story ideas!  I also have to admit, that I’ve dreamed about several of my story ideas.  I’ve scrambled up out of bed at 4am to fumble for my phone or notepad and scribble down enough of it so I don’t forget.  I also send myself emails when I’m out somewhere and see something that sparks an idea.  I keep all of them in a folder in my email In Box so I can find them when I need them again.  No matter how off the wall or weird, if it strikes me at the time, I keep it just in case.  You never know when you’ll need that snippet again, and I’ve used ideas inside other ideas or combined and twisted them to come to an end result.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Not really block, as in I can’t think of anything to write.  I can always sit and do a stream of consciousness thing and something weird and usually off the wall will spill out of my fingers.  But there are definitely times where I’m stuck on the thing I’m actually SUPPOSED to be writing at that moment.  That’s when I call or email my wonderful critique partners for brainstorming.  We can do it over email, on a phone call, or, our favorite is to meet up at a local restaurant and brainstorm while we eat and drink our signature Butterscotch Martinis – yum! 🙂

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

God no!!  No outline for me…ugh!  It makes me cringe to even think about that.  I have to write a synopsis of the entire story to submit to my agent and editor before the book is bought.  And lately I’ve started trying to do a few bullet points for each chapter to help me keep things flowing – especially since the brain blowout because I can no longer keep all the details in my brain.  I make a heroic effort to do those damn bullet points at the start of each book – or at least I have for the last two books, but I still suck at it.  It gives me a headache and stresses me out and I end up brainstorming and pantsing in the end anyway…  Oh well.  As long as I end up writing a good book in the end, I’ll deal with the occasional pain that my current process causes me.  I’m sure I’ll keep trying to use those bullet points, but not sure if my brain will ever decide to cooperate.  It’s just so foreign to my process that I think it just doesn’t mesh with the way I process and create.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I think the first one I remember being REALLY influenced by from an author perspective was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.  She was a teenager when she published so it really made me think that I could possibly do this one day.  After all, if she could do it at that young age, why couldn’t I?  After that, my next big influencer would be Piers Anthony.  I fell in love with his books – especially his Incarnations of Immortality series, although I’ve read everything he’s ever written except his most recent Xanth books that have come out in the last 10 years or so.  Beyond those, the authors I read once I joined Romance writers of America REALLY influenced me.  They were people I could meet, talk to, get to know, ask questions of, and then read their books.  It was amazing to me – and a total fan girl moment.  In fact I’m so excited to still have those fan girl moments.  One of my critique partners is Cheyenne McCray, and I LOVE her books.  It’s such a total geek fangirl moment for me to get to read and give input on her books before the rest of the girls get to see it, AND get to be her friend.  It’s like being a book groupie.  So when I also get to see her advice back on my books, it’s a really cool feeling 🙂  I’m so blessed!!

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?  

0py6e-ghost-stories2Paranormal romance was extremely popular when Ifinished Into a Dangerous Mind so Iwas excited to start submitting.  However, after submitting, and submitting and submitting some more, I had garnered some great feedback (and rewritten it a few dozen more times), placed in a few contests and garnered 69 rejections.  Yep – 69.  Can’t make this crap up…LOL!  I think I still have all of them in a notebook somewhere around here.  But NO offers of publication.  Then an editor from Triskelion Publishing, a local small press publisher, came to speak at my local romance writer’s of America chapter.  Another author in our group had published several books with them, so I figured, “What the Hell” and submitted.  Within a week I got “the email”  True, it wasn’t “the call” that we had all dreamed about, but the email was offering me a book contract, so it turned out the same!  The fact that Triskelion ended up imploding a few years later tying up the rights to 5 of my books and owing me four thousand dollars that I would never see is another story entirely.  They did at least get me to a published state.  And going through edits, copyedits, negotiating a contract, working with a cover artist, promoting, selling etc – which all helped me be prepared for when Audrey LaFehr from Kensington fished my partial erotic romance out of her slush pile and actually gave me my first coveted “call” 🙂

Tina Gerow: Slacker Ex Band Director

Doctor-Who-TARDIS-Air-FreshenerWhile you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?  

All the time.  That’s actually how Iwrite.  Iput myself in the place of that character.  I imagine what they would say, do, feel, want, react etc when I’m in their Point of view, or even when they react to my Point of View character.  It does feel a bit schizophrenic at times, but it works for me. 🙂

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Here’s my bio on LinkedIn:  I’m a multi published author under two pen names.  I write sensual paranormal romance as Tina Gerow and erotic paranormal romance and contemporary erotic romantic suspense as Cassie Ryan.  I’m also an experienced line editor and a public speaker on many topics both motivational and writing related.

So basically I’m a slacker ex band director with an outgoing personality and an overactive imagination that I’ve put to work for the safety of myself and others 🙂

Snerk!  But seriously.  All of that stuff IS true.  I’ve been writing for publication since 2003 and it’s the best job in the world!  I get paid to make shit up 🙂  I live in Phoenix, Arizona with my two men – my son, Darian and my husband, Jon.  Along with an adorable black Bombay cat named Nox and an 18 pound Maine Coon named Rocky.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read, and I think reading keeps me creative.  I just try not to write and read in the same genre at the same time so what I’m reading doesn’t accidentally creep into what I’m writing.  I usually read historical romances while I’m writing.  I absolutely LOVE them, and I will NEVER write them.  While I can research the stuff I’m writing for hours on end, I’m too lazy to research what kind of hook or button went on a lady’s corset or whatever in the 17 or 1800’s…LOL.  I’ll leave that to those who are good at it.  I just love reading it!  I also love just hanging out with my guys doing pretty much anything, or playing with our kitties.  I’m sort of a sci-fi nut when it comes to movies and television.  I’m an avid Doctor Who fan and a Trekkie.

Do you have a day job as well? 

I used to have a day job.  Iworked as a technologies program manager for a decade and after that a barista at Starbucks.  But after the brain blowout, I just can’t handle the actual job thing anymore.  Writing I can do on my own schedule, and I can take a thousand naps a day if I need to.  Not to mention that my critique group can find my huge mistakes before I turn it in to my editor or agent.  So my tendency to start on one thing and brain jump to something else can be caught before it’s too late!  Also, since the brain blowout, I have to be very careful of stress.  It now causes my physical symptoms – I think it’s my brain being pissed at me for not listening to it so it smacks me in the head.  One of those symptoms is that I can begin randomly typing backwards.  I don’t realize it as I’m doing it.  But it’s happened in text messages, emails, Facebook, and I’ve even had to spend an hour fixing an entire scene!  Sigh…  So nope, no day job.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing for publication in August 2003.  Into a Dangerous Mind took me 11 months to write, rewrite and rewrite some more with the help of my wonderful critique group and lots of all nighters.  Iwas essentially learning how to write a book so it was a much longer process than those that came after that.


Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Cassie Ryan

my obsession, cassie ryanMeet Cassie Ryan author of My Obsession.

Cassie Ryan
(aka Tina Gerow) started her career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners suggested she try her hand at contemporary romance, she gave it a shot—and Cassie Ryan was officially born. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.
my obsession, cassie ryan







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