Interview with {A.R. Draeger}: Part One

I met Amber during a workshop sponsored by the Cisco Writers Club. This was my first experience with her style of fiction, and it’s been great to read everything since. She’s been a great friend, and she’s always encouraging, ready to lend a hand. I know you’ll love her new Falling in Deep novella, Of Ocean and Ash.

Tell me about you. What are some of your previous projects?

Oh man. Where to begin?  I’ve created stories since I could read. In college, I wrote a lot of screenplays.  For the sake of brevity, some of my previous projects are Daughters of Men (set to release soon!) and Malice, a short story that I am shopping currently. {Check out Daughters of Men here.}

When did you start writing? When did you start publishing?

I first put pen to paper when I was six..maybe? As an adult, I first began writing with the intention of publishing in August of 2014.  I signed my first contract to publish that October, and hope to release the fruit of that endeavor soon.

You’re new to this world. Tell me what part has been the hardest so far?

Navigation. Old days would have you seek an agent and hope to sell to a big NYC house.  These days? Who knows where your efforts are better placed.  It’s different for everyone, and with the market increasing saturated by half-assed e-books, it’s becoming extremely difficult to decide which winding path to follow.  Sadly, most of the success in today’s market seems to be entirely opportunistic.  Right topic, right genre, right time – and with little regard to talent or effort (at times).

What’s your favorite food? Color?

Ooooh. I love food. Mango may be my favorite. Watermelon?  I can’t decide!  As far as color, it’s a close call between varying shades of blue, blue-green, and purple.  Most of my decisions on food and color depend on mood. 🙂

What has been your favorite character that you’ve written so far?

He’s actually one that I’m writing right now, Bastien. He’s a cocky, know-it-all, spoiled version of myself, and I absolutely adore the man he’s becoming.

Where does your inspiration come from? What do you do to break through a block?

My inspiration comes from any and everywhere.  Reading, writing (usually writing something completely different), watching films, going for walks – all of those inspire me and help me to get through blocks. Brainstorming with others that I trust is a huge help. Learn to trust and take advice. Doesn’t mean you have to apply their specific advice – just heed the fact that something sticks out to them that you may need to fix/repair. I find a lot of inspiration in my dreams and have always been blessed with very vivid, very structured, very fascinating dreams.

Has there been a progression through genres with your writing, or do you mostly stick with one genre?

I don’t know that I have it in me to stick with one genre, although as a new author, I am constantly warned that switching genres early in the game will alienate my fans.  Maybe, maybe not.  I write for myself at the end of the day, quite frankly, and if I’m bored, I’m going to find another venue. I hope to narrow that down to 2 to 3 genres, but we shall see. 🙂

Part Two of my interview with hot, new author A.R. Draeger will be available on June 9, 2015!
Of Ocean…

Cast into the sea at birth, human-born Ia found her adoptive family among the merfolk. While her underwater upbringing was peaceful, Ia’s blood-heritage and the strict societal rules of the merpeople lead her to wonder of the world above the waves.

And Ash…

When a storm lands Ia ashore, she discovers her body has transformed into the human she would have been. Taken in as property by a callous plantation owner, Ia works alongside the slaves until she can make her way back to the water. There is nothing Ia wants more than to go home, that is, until she meets a handsome, troubled man named Matthias, who has a touch that can be as kind as his tongue is harsh.

Torn between two very different lives, Ia must choose – stay in his world and risk her life for a love untested, or return to the familiar arms of the underwater world that raised her and risk losing what may be the greatest love she will ever know.

Will Ia’s choice lead to her happiness or her destruction?


Author Amber (A.R.) Draeger specializes in macabre, fantastical fiction, spreading her interest across multiple genres including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and thriller.  Her debut romance novella, Of Ocean and Ash, to be published in the Blazing Indie Collective’s Falling in Deep Collection, will be released June 9th, 2015. Her debut horror/thriller/sci-fi novella, Daughters of Men, to be published in association with Bathory Gate Press, will follow in Summer 2015.  She resides in rural Texas with her husband and son.

Talk to Amber (:

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Love mermaids? Looking for a great beach read? The Falling in Deep Collection, a collection of 15 unique tales of creatures of the deep, is rolling out the first novella in their collection at the end of May.

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fifteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the Falling in Deep Collection are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before.

Every week beginning May 26th, 2015, we’ll be releasing one unique, never-before-published novella! Each novella will feature our favorite creature of the deep: mermaids.

The Falling in Deep Collection (May – September Releases)

Scales by Pauline Creeden

Ink: A Mermaid Romance by Melanie Karsak

Of Ocean and Ash by A. R. Draeger

Deep Breath by J. M. Miller

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie Wells

The Mermaid’s Den by Ella Malone

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes

The Glass Mermaid by Poppy Lawless

An Officer & a Mermaid by Blaire Edens

The Water is Sweeter by Eli Constant

Cold Water Bridegroom by B. Brumley

A Beyond the Sea Prequel by Emily Goodwin

Immersed by Katie Hayoz

Siren’s Kiss by Margo Bond Collins

To Each His Own by Anna Albergucci

Never miss a release! Join our newsletter for behind the scenes information and release updates:

Join the Mermaids!

Strange & Beautiful – The Hybrid Author


It’s the first Thursday of the month. I always spend this Thursday of every month, in particular, thinking about writing and the business of writing.

I love to plan. I dream about all the what-ifs. A lot.

I’ve been up early today, off to do a segment on behalf of the Cisco Writers Club at the 97.7 KATX studio with Dr. Stace Gaddy. An accomplished playwright, he’s been great to offer us a regular spot on Good Morning, Texas!

And, of course, tonight 7:00 PM at the Mobley Hilton, we’ll have our May CWC meeting. Topic for discussion is “Publishing.” It’s a broad topic. My associate, A.R. Draeger, has written a series of four articles covering the pros/cons of self publishing and traditional publishing for the CWC Column, Rendezvous with Writing, published each Thursday in Eastland County Today. Throughout the process, she’s been feeding me information.

I, also, recently attended an online workshop by Jeff Goins. He offered two free workshops related to Art of Work. One was a general workshop, the other – the one I attended – was for want-to-be-so-bad-it-hurts writers.

During the session, he received lots of great questions. Many of them were related to the query “Which path is better?” The short answer, as always, is whichever one works best for you.

However, Jeff Goins recommends the hybrid approach. He said that his first book, self published (You Are a Writer – which I embraced after 25 years of dreaming), sold about $50,000 worth. His second book, published traditionally, sold about $6,000 – thanks to the standard royalties contracts offered through traditional publishing. In short, he likes the hybrid idea.

It’s like this:

When you say, “I write books,” people automatically assume that you must have a publisher. If you don’t, most people think you aren’t a “real writer.” Recently, I was talking with a friend about my upcoming novella release. I had been in discussion with a small press, considering contracts and the like. Her words were “Congratulations, that is the next step to becoming a ‘real writer.'” I expect it, so it’s not bothersome to my ego. What they don’t know is that the climate is changing – the way to make a living as an author is changing.

In the writing world speaking to the non-writing-is-my-business world, traditionally published is the regular colored peacock. When I say, “I’m an author,” people expect me to be able to tell them which press bought my words. When I say, “I love peacocks,” people automatically assume I mean the blue/green ones. But those blue/green ones typically only pay newbies around 20% of earned royalties.

But that white peacock of the publishing world – or self publishing – is quickly overshadowing the traditional method. If I – as an author – want to pay my bills ASAP and have some left over, self publishing is appealing. The expenses are mine, but the royalties are mine 100%, not to mention that word I’m in love with – “control.”

I want to be a piebald writer – little bit of this one and a little bit of that other one.

The benefits of self-publishing include the higher royalty rate. The benefit of traditional publishing is that it can quickly grow that platform. As writers, we all need “platform.” Self published authors work for years to accomplish what a half-hearted attempt by a large, reputable publishing house can accomplish within six months.

As I rush forward (hoping desperately that my skill catches up to my intentions – arriving in decent condition at the same opportunity at the same time), I am learning the self publishing method from a great bunch of authors this year.

And since I am winding down production on my self published novella, Cold Water Bridegroom, due out August 4, 2015, I am currently writing a suspense romance to pitch to Love Inspired (a Christian imprint of Harlequin) later this year. I might not get any traction on that – competition is fierce and their selection process is specific – but it’s enough of a dream to keep me writing. It’s a great way to pursue my piebald / hybrid dream. (:

Thanks to Erin HayesMelanie Karsak, Pauline Creeden, AW Exley and Margo Bond Collins, to name a few. As well as we three building our own road through the jungle – my girls! A. R. Draeger and Anna Albergucci


P.S. I’m only a control freak when it comes to my work. Mostly.

P.P.S. I do prefer the blue/green peacock variety (just ask my hair). Kung Fu Panda 2 sort of cemented that for me.

P.P.P.S. You can blame my friend for today’s shameless exploitation of peacocks. She surprised me with a drive-by visit this morning, and she brought new peacock goodies for my makes-me-ridiculously-happy collection (a peacock nightlight and a peacock fridge magnet).