Coffee Time Romance & More





Talking with Lena Austin

Welcome,  I like to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer a few questions.

My pleasure! Alma has been a sweetie.

How Long did it take you to get your first book published?

It depends on where you think the timeline should start! LOL!! From the time I made the first serious and professional submission for fiction, it was less than a year. It shocked me, considering I'd been told I'd probably submit a minimum of 5-7 years!

How did you feel the day your book was released?

Paranoid and nervous to the point of illness, I'm afraid. Wish I could say I confidently toasted my friends with my coffee cup or a bottle of champagne, but, well, I'm a typical neurotic writer.

Do you have a strict writing schedule?

Absolutely!! I have a Power Hour every day, where I plant my butt in the chair no matter how I am feeling and promise myself I'll get something down on paper, no matter if it is gibberish or not. If I'm feeling particularly blocked, I'll set my bell timer for 15 minutes, and promise to do something. Works every time, so far. I'll usually come out of trance about 3 hours later and laugh at myself.

Do you usually outline  your stories before you write them?

Outline? LOL!! I'm so anal-retentive I have plot cards and a chart! I'll start out with an idea of a situation. Sometimes I'll brainstorm with whoever is handiest at the time, and record the conversation on cassette. Pretty soon I have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Good start. Now I use that infamous Plot W thing and chart it. (Yes, I'll share the chart, if you have Excel, and my plot cards.) By the time I'm done, I have a story with ups and downs. (This may involve more brainstorming with my long-suffering friends or the men in my life.) Plot cards fill in the details. (How did I get them to that scene? Fill in the blanks) Eventually, the plot cards are posted one by one on the closet doors of my office, and I "read" the story to someone. Invariably, they find a "hole" in the story, so I add more plot cards, or at least Post-It notes for later. Only when I have the whole story plotted do I sit down and type. By then, I know whose POV it is, what's their motivations/emotions, and why this scene is important. It flows from there.

What are some of your hobbies?

Handcrafts of all kinds! Cooking, when I can. I also like to refinish furniture, believe it or not. I used to do medieval swordplay (sabre and quarterstaff) but I don't anymore. I don't
have time.

Have you ever had writers block?

All the time! Usually, it's my own fault for not planting my butt in the chair and following the plot. That's not to say things don't change, because my characters will change things on me mid-story, but if I just let things happen, it goes away.

Are you working on any writing projects right now?

Oh, yes! The main one is a shapeshifter fantasy that I'm rewriting from a very amateurish attempt years ago. It's one of those "worlds" that won't go away inside my head. If I have my way, the first of that world will be released in August from Changeling Press. The full-length novel I'm rewriting now may take a bit longer.

How can your readers contact you?

Easy as pie! I've got an email just for that. I've also got a newsletter., if you just want info and an excerpt monthly.

What is your web site add?

I'm moving to in June. It's under construction, but it is up and useful right now.

Who are your favorite authors?

I'm really getting into Marilyn Lee, Madeline Oh, Sam Winston, and Kate Douglas. I'm desperate to try Dakota Cassidy, Chris Tanglen, and Tawny Taylor, but I've not had a chance yet.

How long have you been writing?

Ye Gods! First fiction I remember was when I was 17, for some English class creative writing project. Teacher tried to fail me, saying it had to be plaigiarism because no kid could write like that. I was able to prove it was original, and got my "A". And for those who want to do the math, I'm now about to turn 45.  

I credit my stepmother with dragging me kicking and screaming into the RWA in late 2002. I think she hoped I'd write inspirationals, but oh, well! LOL!!

Do you have any thing to add?

Um, well, I have a new release coming out from Loose Id ( in late June. BLACK WIDOW is somewhat near and dear to my heart. I read so many books about BDSM that were so wrong, they offended me. (I'm a former BDSM Mistress, now retired.) So, I wrote a story that explains the sensual, consentual, and safe side of BDSM relationships. You don't have to be in pain, or kidnapped and forced, to enjoy BDSM. BLACK WIDOW also is the journey of a man through all aspects (except pain!) through the world of BDSM. I can't wait to hear from readers how they tried these new and fun things to do on their partners, just as I opened eyes to what a Seattle Swing blow job is in ROOM TO PLAY. Coffee, anyone? (giggle!)   

Thank you so much for chatting with us!

ROOM TO PLAY *Four stars from JERR*
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