Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Welcome to Contemporary Author - CJ Bower

 I’m delighted to welcome CJ Bower to my blog.

Hello CJ,
I was so pleased when you said you were able to join me as a guest on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat this week as I know how busy you must be writing and editing your amazing CityScapes series.
Here are a few questions that will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
CJ Bower: I’m a pantser. I wholeheartedly embrace my muses. I often joke about just being the writer, that my characters are telling me how they want their story to go. Though I do sometimes back myself into a corner, which I then have to plot my way out of.

 Arabella: In your latest release, Racing Away with His Heart, who is your favourite character and why?
CJ Bower: I’d have to say Nisa, because she’s been with me for so long. She came to me when I was in high school, but I didn’t have the experience or courage to write her story the way it needed to be written. I think that was mainly due to the fact that she wanted hers to be a romance, and not a mystery the way I’d originally started writing it. 

Arabella: A slice of Chocolate Cake, a piece of Fruit, or Burger and Fries?
CJ Bower: Chocolate cake, for sure, especially if I make it with my own homemade peanut butter icing. I’m a self-proclaimed peanut-butter-chocoholic, so unless I’m sick you’ll never see me turn down a Reese’s.

Arabella: How do you research your novels?
CJ Bower: Mostly internet. Google Maps has been my best friend while researching my Wyoming CityScapes novel, about an Oregon Trail re-enactment group.

 Arabella: Do you edit as you work or only after the first draft is completed?
CJ Bower: It depends on the project. If I’m having a particularly rough go of it in one script I’ll switch and work on another. And then when I take a break, I’ll go back to the script I’m having difficulties with and go over it again before trying to decide how best to proceed.
Arabella: How did you find your agent or publisher and what are their good points?
CJ Bower: My CityScapes series will be predominantly self-published. But, with my first novels, a good friend of mine suggested I try submitting to her publisher, which is a small-press outfit down in Raleigh, NC. It worked, and my Caked with Pleasure books were released under their label.
As a beginning author, I preferred to go that route instead of diving head-first into the world of self-publishing. I got to learn the ropes, so to speak, while my focus remained on my writing instead of the business aspect. Plus, the costs were all taken on by the publisher, and the royalties were reasonable. The only things I paid for were copies of my books if I wanted them, and I had to promote my work on my own.

 Arabella: It’s a weekend and the sun is shining. What do you usually do and with whom?
CJ Bower: If it’s during the summer, my husband and I will go watch the local Northwoods League team play, which is a developmental league for college kids. I got to see some pretty big names come through there on their rise to fame. (Hint: CityScapes Wisconsin novel involves this team. And even then I still have a notebook and pen with me as I continue handwriting my latest draft, or even do some editing.
Outside of the baseball season, more than likely I’ll take my laptop and go to the park down by the river. I live within driving distance to the Mississippi River backwaters in my hometown, so if I’m feeling particularly distracted at home I’ll go there. No Wi-Fi, no piles of dirty dishes or laundry eyeballing me saying, “you should be cleaning.” Or my husband or our fur-kid trying to get my attention. Just me, my laptop and maybe some soft music, just focused on the task at hand.

 Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, CJ. And remember; don’t forget to send me a slice of your delicious home-made chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.
All the best, and happy-ever-after writing,
Arabella Sheen

About CJ Bower

Reading and writing have always been a part of CJ’s life. Ever since she can remember, she’s been putting pen to paper, creating complex characters in rich environments. She lives in Western Wisconsin with her husband and fur-baby. When she’s not working or writing, she enjoys baking, cake decorating, and of course, watching NASCAR. She picked up her first piping bag at age fourteen and started decorating full-time at age twenty-three. Using the experience she’d gained while working in her family’s bakery, along with her love of racing, she created the setting for her first series of novels.
Follow her on social media and her website. She loves to hear from her readers.

Book blurb:

Nisa Forester has avoided everything racing related since the violent crash that killed her father. Twenty years later, the track management has scheduled a memorial in his honor during the season's longest race, and she attends as a favor to her brother, Cole. Finding love is not at all on her radar.
Tyson Patterson sees Nisa for the first time at a pre-race party, annoyed that she attends with his biggest on-track rival. In an attempt to woo her away from Cole, Ty asks her to dance. However, as their relationship progresses after a case of mistaken identity, things get complicated between them.
Just as love blooms between them, Ty hits the wall next to the spot where her father did, giving Nisa a crash course on why she never wanted to fall for a race car driver. Can she find the strength to overcome her fears? Will Ty be able to convince her that their love is worth the risk?

RELEASE DATE: 29th January 2019

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