Can you tell us a little bit about "Angelique?"
Angelique is a novella that began as a poem I wrote in 1980. Influenced by the poetry of Robert Service that I grew up on, I wrote poems that were stories complete unto themselves. Angelique was always one of my favorites, with its surprising and twisty ending. When my company, Medallion Media Group, developed the Masterpiece imprint, I thought Angelique would be perfect for the line if I turned it into a novella. And that process morphed into it becoming an illustrated and animated audio book.
What's your background with writing?
I've been writing all kinds of things all my life: feature articles for newspapers; short fiction for magazines; a volume of poetry; then novels. My first novel was published by Dorchester in 1998. A second followed. By then I had learned how stupid and flimsy the publishing business model was, and decided to start my own pub company. I continue to write novels, with 7 now under my belt. I also continue to write short fiction for various publications.
Who are your inspirations/influences?
I grew up on the historicals of Thomas Costain, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Taylor Caldwell. When I read in an introduction to one of Stephen King's books, that if you wanted to be a writer he had three words of advice, read, read, read, I read every genre I could get my hands on and gradually got a handle on the craft.
What was it like working with "Medallion Media?
www.medallionmediagroup.com" Um. I created Medallion Media Group. I'm the CEO and Executive Editor. Working with them is always a pleasure because I love and respect every one of my staff.
Who was responsible for the cover/book design?
The illustrators, Fortin and Sanders. Cherif Fortin and Lynn Sanders. They are an incredibly talented team and have done other work for my company. I suggested that particular cover from one of my favorite, and scariest, scenes in the book. They nailed it.
What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?
Angelique has a Web site, and we of course use all the social media and traditional advertising.
Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?
My favorite book signing was at an RT convention I attended with a cat who went everywhere with me at the time. We were in a huge room with dozens of authors and tables. My cat sat right on my table and greeted people who went by. A TV reporter came by and said "Hello" to my cat. She meowed. The reporter then asked her facetiously, "So, who's your favorite author here today?" My cat, a very clever girl, replied, "Maa maaaa." The reporter and her cameraman nearly fell over!
What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
There is an editorial blog I started on the Medallion Media Group Web site. It's called the Editor's Corner. Every month we give tips about writing and getting through the editorial process. Lots of fun dos and don'ts, too. http://medallionmediagroup.com/category/blogs/helen/
What projects do you have planned for the future?
I will be writing another novella for the Masterpiece line based on another story-poem. I also write short stories for a magazine. We'll see about another novel. I'm getting pretty busy. Might even be co-hosting a radio talk show.
Is there anything else about you we should know?
I don't think you SHOULD know these things, but they're fun. I ride Harleys and race Porsches, rescue animals, mentor at-risk urban youth, and have some awesome tattoos.