Who am I and what do I write?
I’m Eileen Troemel. I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. In our household there were books everywhere. One of my favorite things was when we got the Scholastic book sales. I’d scour it and circle all the books I wanted. This was of course more than was affordable so I had to make choices. I don’t remember a time I didn’t read so books are part of my genes. I started writing fiction in the third grade as part of an assignment and from there, I wrote a lot. When I started writing professionally, I realized I needed pen names so I have two Ava M Taylor for my erotic romance stories and RJ Stone for children’s book. Everything else is under my name Eileen Troemel. Under Eileen I have forty-two books published with seven more coming out over the next year. I write a lot in scifi fantasy romance but I also write contemporary romance as well as have poetry and a self help book out. Oh and I’m an avid crocheter and designer so I publish my patterns too. RJ has four published. Fantasy story for readers tackling the chapter style book. But there are some short stories for older children and young adults. Ava has forty-eight published. Contemporary and scifi fantasy erotic romance. Don’t ask me which is my favorite because I can’t pick just one. I felt it important to separate out the types of writing as I did because the children’s books are targeting children and young adults. I wouldn’t want a younger child to read one of my adult books. As for the split between Ava and Eileen, I want to respect readers and I know some readers don’t want to book with too much sexual content. Ava’s books all have a plot and it’s all wrapped around romance but there’s more sex than other story options in her books.
I love to write. It takes me out of my head and away from everything going on in my life and transports me somewhere else. I focus on the story the characters are telling me rather than anything else. My family has had to remind me to eat and sleep when the writing is flowing. Mostly that was when I was first writing, now I’m better at sticking to a schedule. Since I work a day job, my day starts early with getting up and off to work. I come home and spend time with my husband and one of my daughters who live with me. (The other two live far away. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with them but they are in a different state). Once they both go to bed, I start writing, editing, or doing one of the tasks related to writing. This can start as early as 6 pm but more likely between 7 and 8 pm. Then I write. I try to stop writing at midnight. My family is laughing because it’s anywhere from midnight to 2 am before I get to sleep. Mostly, I sit on my couch with my laptop and everything around me is dark except the one light I use. There’s classical music playing and if I don’t set an alarm, I write until the words stop flowing or I can’t see my screen anymore.
Depending on whether I’m writing a short story or a novel, depends on how long it takes me. Short stories, a week if the story is coming to me. Novels, this depends. If the story is going and I’m getting good writing time, I’ve written one in as little as two weeks and others take as long as a year (sometimes more). It depends on the length of the story and what type of wild chase the characters take me on.
What’s your writing software of choice?
I know there are all sorts of platforms out there you can write on / with. I’m a simple person. I use MS Word. It does everything I need it to and doesn’t cause me too many problems. I use an MS Excel spreadsheet to track information about each book if I think I’ll need it. I started this after I was several books into my Wayfarer series. It taught me, that I needed to keep track of a lot of details. I knew I wouldn’t remember when a particular character was first introduced so I use a spreadsheet. If I don’t start with one, I usually end up regretting it.
Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?
When it comes to my reading pleasure, I’m generally reading on my phone or listening to an audio book. I love paperbacks but I have enough to carry with me so carrying a book or several can be a bit much.
As an author I want to offer as many options as possible for my readers. There are visually impaired people who can’t read a book, even a large print book. The number of audio books is limited. I know this is because of the cost associated with making the audio books and not every author can justify the cost. However, ebook, paper or hard back books, or audio are all important to offer as a writer.
What inspired the idea for your book or series?
Dragon Descendants (https://amzn.to/3b8ia0J) is a series of four short stories based on the cover. I purchased the cover and fell in love with it. To me it spoke all of water. So, I created a sweet fantasy story about water dragons and the two leggeds who descend from them. Marelo comes to Bandor’s beach to study dragons. She never asks him about the dragons but attempts to learn more about them. Bandor meets her and knows she’s his mate but he takes his time to win her over. He can’t reveal the secrets he keeps until they are committed mates.
Once I wrote Marelo, I knew I had to write about the other elements. My intention was to take my time but these characters are pushy and they all stepped forward to tell their story. Solana seeks fire dragons. Upon arriving at the fire geysers, she connects immediately with them. There’s a ranger there who she realizes is her mate. She spends her time meditating and learning the local myths while trying to connect with her mate. Lowkas, after a bad childhood, doesn’t believe in anything he can’t touch or analyze with his five senses. He’s grumpy and resistant despite feeling connected and drawn to Solana. When I returned to my cover designer, I asked her to make me a fire cover to go along with the Marelo cover. Natasha Williams at Dazed Designs made me three more covers to go with Marelo. They are bright and convey a strong woman in each one. She hit the right tone and the design of the covers lends itself to the mystery and fantasy story which they represent.
Once I finished writing Solana, my intention was to go back to another book I was working on but as soon as I finished Solana, Ariana came to me. I’d been thinking about the relationships. First the female was resistant and then the male so how could I make this different. Ariana told me her mate left her. I was through two chapters and suddenly Winnod said ‘Hey, but I had a good reason.’ I got his story and his situation in a blast. I could not get the words on the computer fast enough. Their story came fast and furious. I was annoyed when I had to stop writing to sleep or go to work. At the end of it, I thought whew, and I’d go back to my other manuscript.
I should have known better. Bryony and Zonlet burst on the scene and wanted to tell me all about their life. They are actually together and lovers but are a bit shy about sharing so we stayed in the sweet story telling. This couple took a lot of risks and… well you’ll have to read it. Anything more I say will give away too much. This one kept me busy and writing. I had to finish the overall story that arcs through all four stories.
I think in the end, these four couples reveal their secrets and find their love for each other and the dragons in their lives. The reader gets four romantic happy ever afters and an additional one, I hope they aren’t expecting.
If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
Almost from the beginning of writing Marelo, I knew these four short stories would create a prequel for a bigger, longer series. This is a back story for what I hope will become an exciting series about dragon shifters and how they have adapted due to… hmmm again, I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say, this is the history of another series and there will be exciting occurrences in the new series. I’ve started the first book in that series and I’ll see where it goes.
How do you come up with character names for your stories?
In general, I keep a list of names. I have people who text me names. It’s always fun when I get a name to add to my list. When I need a name, I go to my lists first and then I’ll either ask someone or do some research. Solana for instance is a name based on the sun or fire (once I found it, I didn’t need to remember the origin). With Dragon Descendants once I had Marelo and Bandor, I decided to keep the female names in the same style as Marelo and the male names in the same style as Bandor.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book? What are common traps for new authors?
Write. Just write your story. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar or all the dos and don’ts you’ve heard about. Just tell your story your way.
When you’re done, you have to know you will work with an editor who can tell you the grammatically correct way of doing things. Look for an editor who is willing to work with you. As an editor (yes, I do this on the side), my job is to tell you the right way to write. As the author, it’s your job to decide when to bend the rules. Also, use your tools like spell check or editor in Word or sign up for the free version of Grammarly or another program like it.
Do NOT ever respond to a review. The review is not for the author. It’s for readers. If you must read them, remember this is one person’s opinion of your story. They are allowed to have that opinion. Let me repeat this – do NOT respond to a review – good or bad.
If you ask for an opinion, be prepared for an honest one. The honest opinions are the ones which make you go back and say – okay should I change this? Is there a hole? Oh, I hit it out of the park on this one or a variety of other options. When you ask for an opinion, you need to listen to what they say. Will they always be right? No. But you need to listen and not argue with them. If what they suggest for your story isn’t right for your story it doesn’t matter. What matters is they took the time to read and give you an opinion.
How do readers follow you?
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2375090822721457/
web site – contact page: https://avamtaylor.com/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NT6R0BE
Blurbs for books:
Dragon Descendant – Marelo
Marelo studies water dragons. Bandor studies her heart.
Driven to succeed, Marelo focuses on her studies. She doesn’t have time for males claiming her as a mate. She came here to study the dragon’s ancestral home. She will find the evidence she needs while avoiding all males especially Bandor who makes her heart rush.
Bandor takes one look at Marelo and knows she’s his mate. Her haughty demeaner doesn’t put him off. She’s his mate, he’ll do anything to win her. But he has secrets only his mate can know. Can he convince her to be his mate or will it take something more?
Dragon Descendant – Solana
Fire dragons are easy for Solana. Mates? Not so much.
Lowkas, on his own since he was ten, learned early how to survive alone. Stationed at the fire geysers, he finds home and comfort from a source he didn’t expect. When Solana shows up exposing things he’s kept secret, he’s suspicious.
Will Lowkas put his past behind him, or will it take a dragon intervention?
Dragon Descendant – Ariana
Winnod abandoned Ariana ten years ago.
Ariana’s fated mate denied her. She mourned his loss but she didn’t pursue him. She refused to chase a male who didn’t want her. She found her inner peace but her loneliness echoes from her to air dragons. They tell her to call him in the old way. If he’s a true mate, he’ll return. If he’s not, she should move on.
When Winnod returns, will his revelations tear them apart or heal the wounds?
Dragon Descendant – Bryony
What do you do when confronted with an angry earth dragon? Exactly what she tells you to.
Newly mated young couple Bryony and Zonlet love exploring caves. During a nearly fatal catastrophe, they run headlong into Gidor an earth dragon. Gidor offers more than just advice and with her gift they work with the other Guardians to solve a mystery.
Will Bryony and Zonlet complete their fated mission or turn their backs on the dragons?