Thursday, October 9, 2014

Shades of Pink anthology (with a guest post by Gill Taber)

It is my pleasure to promote this worthy cause and to host a guest post from author Gill Taber. 

What, When, Where, and How
by Gill Taber

As you will no doubt have seen around my blog, I am promo-ing the Shades of Pink charity anthology, and will continue to do so throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness  month, if you didn't know. As part of the promo for the book, authors are sharing posts, interviews and all manner of articles to raise awareness of the charity and the anthology. I was asked to provide something and I couldn't think of a thing to say. I don't often do erotica these days so I didn't have anything to say on that front. Instead I decided to write an FAQ about being a writer and this is it.

bedding sheets and pillow sleep bed
Please follow the link to check out the anthology page and donate if you can to receive your copy.

1 - Why did you choose to be a writer?
Because I couldn't not be! I have always written. I realised the power of stories at a very young age,being a voracious and precocious reader. I read everything I could get my hands on, and still do, and this seems to be a common theme for most writers. Writers are readers; I think you have to read to know how to write because the authors who appeal to you shape your thoughts on how to write well, although it is vital to establish your style and not be an imitation of someone else. Why write like someone else when you can be an absolute original? Yes, there are inevitably going to be comparisons to other writers if you write in the same genre, but that doesn't mean you have to be a copy, or jump on the popular bandwagon. Know what you can write and work with that, rather than try and fit in with whatever is in vogue. You'll write a better tale that way.

Sorry, wandered off point there; I write because I am a writer, mind, body and soul.

2 - How do you find inspiration for your stories?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Seriously, I think all writers can walk out of their front door and see half a dozen story ideas before they get to the end of their road. I discussed the idea of people watching the other day, because garbage collection day is a mine of ideas for me; you can tell so much about your neighbours from their recycling bins and those thoughts can spark stories instantly. I get ideas in the middle of conversations - which is why writers should always carry notebooks because you will forget the idea! - and they often crop up when I pass people in animated conversation on the street. Watch people, they are endlessly fascinating and the simplest actions can lead you to tangential story ideas. 

With the internet comes a proliferation of sites which offer prompts for writers. The quality varies from site to site and often from prompt to prompt, but I consider a bad prompt a challenge, finding a way to turn it into something interesting. There are also books of prompts which can be useful on those 'My brain is empty!' days. Try asking friends for ideas as they often see the world differently and may have an idea you have never considered. 

But in all honesty, my constantly whirling brain is the biggest inspiration, especially when it sees or hears something and takes off running... I rarely know where to!

3 - How do you write?
I put letters in a line and make words! No, seriously, I loathe being asked this question because I don't think how anyone writes is important; making sure you write is.

If you must know, my writing process works like this:
I get the idea (see previous question), I sit at my computer, stick my fingers to the keyboard and let the words come until the story is finished.

Yep, that's it. I don't do plans, character backgrounds or anything else at all. I just write the story. I don't know where the story is going to go, who the participants are, or anything else until the words come up on the screen.

I know this is going to sound terrible, but I have no idea about verbs, adverbs or any of those words. I learned them at school but I don't remember which applies to what any more. I know the words, what they mean and how to use them; that's all I need. My memory has better things to do than worry about a word label, to be honest. A story should come from your gut, from your emotions, without a load of baggage weighing it down with unnecessary 'rules'. As long as you understand how to use the words, the story will make sense.

That's how I write, from head to screen with nothing in between. It may not be your way, and that's just fine. We have to find our own writing style.

4 - Who are your favourite authors?
Anyone who knows me will tell you my favourite author instantly - Stephen King. I have read all of his books to-date and his writing amazes me. Actually, let me qualify that; his writing amazes me still, but he is losing his inspiration lately, I think. He can still write up a storm, but the substance is fading as the years pass. 'Under the Dome' was a prime example of this; it was chock full of characters and possibilities, but it was ultimately a weak idea and that led to a sub-par book. 

However, he is still the best writer I have ever encountered. His ability to write people is unparallelled. He gets inside the heads of his characters and helps his reader to understand them on a level I have encountered in no other author. His people are real, even when in the most unreal situations. He makes it possible to believe the impossible in a way no other author has ever been able to do for me. He also thinks sideways, taking stories where you least expect them to go, and I love that.  For all he is losing his touch (in my opinion) I will always love Mr King for everything he has taught me about how to write a tale that captures and holds the reader in a world they can believe.

I read everything, but other favourite authors are Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony, Anne Rice, Tolkien and Enid Blyton!

5 - Why did you contribute to the Shades of Pink anthology? 
I think I came across the Shades of Pink site via Facebook in 2013. I liked the idea of contributing a spicy number to a book being used to raise funds for Breast Cancer Research and submitted a piece. When the chance came up to repeat the process I was happy to jump on and help. I used to write a lot of erotic fiction, but I fell out of love with it so writing a sexy story has become a bit of a novelty for me, and that made the experience a little more fun. For me the piece is about the story, not about the sex, so the sex does tend to take a back seat (usually a quick flash - so to speak - at the end) which allows me to tell the important bit, the story, fully. I'd love to think the anthology will raise well over the $10,000 mark this year and have every faith in the wonderful and faithful readers out there.

6 - What's your next project and where can we read it?
I'm currently writing a wide variety of short stories. After a very long (a whole year!) bout of writers block it is fabulous to be able to create again. I have a marvelous 'followership' over at WordPress and anyone wishing to read tales which are a little dark, often contain at least one death and are full of people who come from all walks of life and across all ages can visit any time and find a welcome - Mojowritin

I'm also working on a fantasy series, filled with wizards, fairies, pixies, gnomes, trolls and mortals, set in the fictional village of Green Lake. I love the world of fae and fantasy so this is a pet project of mine which I hope to expand to a book one day. 

I'd like to finish with my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Shades of Pink anthology and to all those who are promo-ing like crazy. Good luck and may the words be with you, you wonderful people!

Bright Blessings
Gill Taber

As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the first Shades of Pink event raised over $10,000 through more than 1300 donations!

For our second year, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation? A romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF.

The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via and all proceeds go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).

Who: Catherine Bowman, Mitzi Calderone, Vivien Dean, JJ and TA Ellis, Sabrina Garie, Nina Day Gerard, T. Hammond, Susan Harris, Laura Hunsaker, Kallysten, Amara Lebel, Alicia J. Love, Deelylah Mullin, C. Deanne Rowe, Cynthia Sax, DJ Shaw, Alice Stark, Ashley Suzanne, Gill Taber, Natasza Waters, Zoe York, Angela Yseult

When: Now through November 15th.

What: 22 short stories, including…
4 paranormal, 1 sci-fi, 11 contemporary, 1 historical, 2 military, 3 BDSM, 2 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
3 spicy (ménage or kink), 7 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 12 sweet (no sex)
A couple of vampires, about three dozen humans including soldiers, geeks, teachers, librarians, writers, survivors, bosses, rock stars, teens, mages, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, a few aliens, some werewolves and other shifters.
Pink, pink and more pink, including tattoos, plenty of flowers, precious stones, jewelry, a bookmark, a drawing, ropes, lingerie, a car, a bag, a vase, various clothes, an anteater and a squirrel.

Where: Kallysten’s blog
Here you’ll find links to teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts during all of October, a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause. 




  1. Great post. Thanks for all the info.

    1. You are very welcome, Mary. Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment!