World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Three Debs Reflect

While we didn’t actually get to dress like this and practice our curtsies, some of the ladies of Indie Ignites became Author Debutantes in 2013. We published our first books and for the first time could call ourselves AUTHORS. So as this auspicious year comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to ask some of my fellow Indie Debs to talk about the experience of launching yourself into the world as a writer. Here’s what they had to say, below, but, first, MEET OUR DEBS

JC EMERY released her first novel,

 which is also the first in a series (MEN WITH BADGES). She self-published this as well as her debut novels in the BAYONET SCARS series. It’s been a very productive year for JC!

LISA BASSO also debuted with the first in a series; the novel

 kicks off the trilogy THE ANGEL SIGHT SERIES. She’s published with Swoon Romance.

I, STEPHANIE WARDROP, brought out the first three in a series of YA e-novellas based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The first installment was

published by Swoon. The last installment releases in January of 2014.


I spent so much time worrying about the writing that I didn’t really put much thought into what it would be like when the book actually came out (I was just so relieved that it did!). Lisa Basso and I both had blog tours, so we were in the enviable but chaotic position of having to write twenty-plus completely fabulous blog posts in a few weeks. “It was crazy,” Lisa says. “I didn’t have much time to celebrate [that first week, but after that], man was that sweet.”  JC had to figure out how to market her book on her own (and let me tell you, she has gotten very good at it), so her release week was “quiet.”

But once the book was out and people were actually reading it (squeeeee!), things started to happen. For me, people I hadn’t been in contact with for years looked me up on Facebook and everyone was amazingly proud of me and very sweet about congratulating me.  Publishing a book is a big deal to people and it’s really gratifying to have had so many people happy for me.  I also suddenly got to meet (virtually) a whole group of other writers and wonderful bloggers.  Lisa agrees, saying. “I’ve gotten to know so many amazing bloggers, authors, and book lovers I never would have had the pleasure of meeting otherwise. Including the amazing ladies of Indie Ignites.” Right back at ya, Lisa!

JC had a few more twists and turns in her year-long journey. I’ll let her tell it to you straight, but if you go to Amazon or any other site selling books, you’ll see it has a happy ending: Through a strange twist of events, my first book ended up being free for five

months (which I talk about here). It was (in my opinion) a really good thing

for my career. It let people know that I’m here, but it also meant that I was

giving away my work for several months. Because of a shoestring budget, I

wasn’t able to do certain things until my fourth book (Ride, which debuted

October 25th

months for me to consider myself a published author. I kept making excuses

for how it wasn’t really real yet. I even made my mom wait until I was

enough of a success to tell my family. I just didn’t want to fail in front of them,

and since I had very low expectations, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with

what I’ve been able to do.

) like a formal blog tour, cover reveal, etc. It actually took several


JC said “I felt brave. A lot of people thought I shouldn’t publish at all, let alone self-publish . . . I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, and I didn’t know that I’d ever be able to make enough money off of a business to truly work for myself . . . but for now I can say that I made my dreams come true in 2013.”

For Lisa, the best part was, “hands down, being contacted by a reader who loved my book. There’s nothing like it.”



It seems that we’d do it all over again if we had the chance.  JC said “Were there things I could have done better? Absolutely. I made mistakes—

big mistakes—but I wouldn’t want to have done a single thing differently. For

the first time in my life I showed myself how truly capable I am. I’ve worked

harder, taken more risks, and have ventured into areas I didn’t know possible

this year. 2013 has been the best year ever and I wouldn’t change a single


Lisa had some good advice for newbie authors that I’ll share verbatim: “If I could do anything differently, I would keep a journal of the things that came up after I signed

my contract. I’d log how many hours I wrote, edited, and promoted each day.” Especially if you are trying to figure out if you can really “afford” to do this, even if you are not planning on quitting your day job any time soon, it’s probably a good idea to keep track of all the hours you put into everything in addition to the writing, the marketing, blogging, interviewing, and, with a little luck, red carpet-walking when you sell your book to Hollywood. Hey, ’tis the season to dream big! And this past year, many of our dreams have already come true.

Buy Marital Bitch at Shimmer of Angels at, and the Snark and Circumstance series at  . They make excellent holiday gifts :).

This was originally posted on the Indie Ignites blog.

Leave a comment »




I got to talk to the heroine of this new series, MacKenzie Duncan, and while she was careful not to reveal any of the plot, she did provide some fascinating insight into (were)wolf culture:

So, Mackenzie, thanks for talking to me! I can honestly say that I have never sat down with a werewolf before. But I bet you get that a lot.

Unfortunately, yes. Most people think that Werewolves are just myth. Hell, so did I until a few months ago.

My son is actually very interested in wolves and wolf “culture” and we’ve been to wolf preserves and conservation places.  They have a fascinating social structure. Is the werewolf structure similar to wolf structure, with alphas and all of that stuff?
Most wolves are in packs. The packs have a leader and apparently they have a hierarchy. They tend to keep those politics to them self for a while. Secretive group. *shakes head in irritation*
Werewolf structure also seems to have an extra hierarchy, the whole “bitten” versus “born” thing. Could you explain that a little?
Gah! Where do I start. Bittens seem to be second class. We have to be baby sat on full moons, we can’t hold any real position in the pack, and we can’t be the mate of a Born. Born wolves apparently are better than bitten. Whatever.
Is there anything you miss from your old, human life?
I miss being normal. I miss not turning into a blood thirsty beast. I miss sitting in my tiny apartment working on the hundreth paper of the night. But most of all I miss being in complete and total ignorant bliss about this whole damn thing.
What’s best about this new life?
Well, I found some really great people. Some really bad ones too, but there have been moments where I have been happier than I ever was before.
Finally, I have to ask – are you Team Jacob? How do you feel about Twilight’s depiction of werewolf life?
Considering they would be considered BORN werewolves, with complete control and memory of their time as fur balls, I would say I was sorta jealous. As to if I’m Team Jacob? Well just the thought of being close to a vampire gives me the chills, so yeah, Team Jacob all the way. Although…he could do way better than Bella or her offspring.   images-3
Thanks so much for talking to me! I can’t wait to get started on the series.
You can get started, too by buying The Tempering at Amazon or Smashwords or Barnes and Noble.
Leave a comment »

New Release: Running from Romeo

Running From Romeo

Diane Mannino


Book Description:

Emilia King is entering her senior year at Santa Barbara University. For the past three years, she lived in the library – doing what she knows best – focusing on her studies and forgetting her past…a past that has forever changed her life. But this year marks a new beginning…
Logan Prescott is not only the hottest guy on campus, he’s heir to a billionaire hotel fortune. Emilia knows he’s trouble and should stay clear of him. But his notorious good looks and piercing blue eyes make him simply irresistible – especially when he’s quoting her favorite literary works.
Intrigued by Emilia’s innocence and resistance to his charm, Logan discovers she’s a challenge he simply can’t resist. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but running from him may be impossible.






1. Both Logan and Emilia are well versed in Shakespeare – they quote him a lot and she’s always working on a paper about it. Do you see the plot or characters of the story having any parallels with any of Shakespeare’s works?
I love this question! I definitely think it parallels Romeo and Juliet in many ways. It’s definitely love at first sight for Logan, like Romeo. There’s a mutual attraction for Emilia, like Juliet, but Emilia has quite a big wall up around her because of something that happened in her past. This secret from her past has kept her from allowing many to get close to her, so she’s definitely a bit leery of Logan for this reason and several others.
Logan’s personality is a bit off-putting at first because he’s not used to having to pursue a girl because he’s never needed to or cared about it. His strong feelings towards Emilia force him to step up to the plate and win her over despite her reluctance. Logan has to work harder than Romeo, but like him, he’s very passionate about getting who he wants.
You could easily question whether Emilia and Logan are in love or lust like many debate with Romeo and Juliet. Like Romeo and Juliet, they definitely are in “lust” with each other but over time the initial attraction they have for each other turns into love. Romeo and Juliet just never had the chance to develop their relationship since they are destined to be doomed lovers. Are Logan and Emilia destined to be doomed lovers like Romeo and Juliet? Hmm…I don’t want to give too much away about the plot.
Another parallel is that Logan and Emilia may not have the challenge of their feuding families, but they do have a similar challenge. Instead of their families, being an issue, it’s their friendships, mainly Logan’s friends, that are a definite thorn in their sides. These difficulties continue to be a never-ending problem in the sequel.
2. If Logan had to describe Emilia in three words what would they be? What three words would she have for Logan?
Logan’s words for Emilia: hot. as. hell…those would be his three words but he’d also say she’s challenging and irresistible.

Emilia’s words for Logan: drop. dead. gorgeous…but she’d also say he’s cocky, rude, and bossy.

3. Who would be your dream cast for this book if it were turned into a movie?

Lily Collins is perfect for Emilia King. She’s got the right coloring…fair skin, long dark hair…She’s obviously beautiful, but I think there’s a lovely innocence to her that really makes her my ideal choice. I also love…Rachel Bilson and Leighton Meester.
Chace Crawford is perfect for Logan Prescott. I think of Logan and I think of Chace. My two teenage daughters agree!
Here’s the link to an awesome movie trailer for “Running from Romeo”…perfect cast…perfect song 🙂

4.  I’m guessing you listen to music when you write, given that so many song lyrics are woven throughout the story. Do you have any other writing rituals or must-haves, like a cup of coffee or a cat at your feet?
I LOVE music so that’s definitely something I wanted to incorporate it in my book. I thought I’d try something different with including all the lyrics so if people weren’t familiar with the song they could read the words and understand how they either set the tone or support the plot developments.

I love listening to music when I write but sometimes I like it be quiet…depends on my mood. If I’m writing a party/bar scene I like to listen to Pink, Bruno Mars, Rhiannon, Taylor Swift…something fun. If I’m writing a romantic scene I like to listen to Snow Patrol, Sting, Imagine Dragons, Coldplay…I could go on and on. I do like having a cup of coffee or two or three or sometimes a glass of wine or two…two is the limit on the wine while writing 🙂

5. What do you want people to take away from the book in terms of a feeling or an overall idea?
I hope people see that it’s the journey of two people and their personal strength to overcome their demons. Emilia starts out taking “baby steps” because of what’s happened in her past. Logan has never been in a relationship because of his past demons. Their romance develops and both grow because of it.

The sequel goes into more depth about their past issues and they might encounter a setback every now and then, but the one constant is the message of personal strength. Despite the pain or struggles of your past, it’s how you can find the power within yourself to move forward, making you a stronger person.

About the Author:

DIANE MANNINO graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English Literature. She is a former writer for Museum and Arts Washington and Star Magazine as well as several television shows, including, Inside Edition, American Journal, and E! News Daily. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Running from Romeo is her first novel and she is currently working on the sequel.




1 Comment »

An interview with Vi, one of three girl shutterbugs who stumble on a secret in Adrianne James’ Overexposed


Thanks so much for dropping by the blog, Vi!

(1) What draws you to photography? 

I think the question would be what DOESN’T draw me to photography. There is just something so beautiful about capturing the world around me to keep forever. There is a saying or something that I heard at one time or another, every moment of every day is important. So why should I just take pictures of “special occasions” if every moment of every day is something important? Photography lets you capture any moment in time and keep it forever.

(2) How did you come up with the name “Jilly” for your camera?

Jilly is my camera’s name because there was this really great chick I knew once. She was super inspiring and I loved her to death. She pushed me to follow my dreams no matter what, even if they weren’t the easiest things in the world to achieve. So, when she left  Willow Spring to pursue her own dreams, the minute I got my hands on my camera, the single piece of equipment that could change my life, I knew I had to name her Jilly.

(3) What are your favorite subjects to shoot?

Honestly? Anything that doesn’t complain after a few minutes. I love taking pictures of people, but they tend to complain when I get too bossy about how they need to stand or look at the camera. I see the pictures in my head and I want them perfect, so I may get a little out of control. Nature is something else entirely. I have to change to get the shot I want. I have to work harder and I like that it pushes me.

(4) What subject is hardest to capture? 

Me! I only have a small handful of pictures that I am in. I have hundreds of my friends and family, and thousands of the landscapes around here, but I never manage to get into the pictures. I should really try to do that more. 
(5) can you explain what you mean when you say photos need the “before, during, and after”? 
Oh of course! When shooting a series of photos, you need to be able to show the entire story. With video, it’s easy to give an impression because you can watch the whole scene unfold. But with photos, it’ a single capture of a single moment. Without all the moments surrounding it you can really confuse things. Like, if I showed you a picture of a woman draped in a man’s arms, you might think they were romantic and I took a picture of a couple. But if I showed you the photos that lead up to that one, and those after, you might see two strangers walking past one another, the girl tripping, the man catching her and setting her back to her feet, and them going their separate ways.

(5) You’ve also said Willow Springs is a small town with big secrets. Can you give us a hint about any of them?

A hint? Let’s see, a secret that goes back more than ten years and no one would ever expect who was behind it all. A secret that when exposed could ruin the lives of a lot of people and a secret that almost destroyed any chance at a future outside of Willow Spring for Ashley, Macy or myself because the idiots involved try to scare us into keeping our mouths shut. It almost worked. We almost caved. But we couldn’t. We had to tell the truth.

I guess we’re just going to have to read to find out what the girls found out!  You can pick up your copy here!  

Leave a comment »