Q&A with Diane Cox & Typewriter from Hell Excerpt

Typewriter from Hell

  • By Diane Cox
  • Editions: ebook, paperback
  • Published: October 30th 2013
  • Genre: Adult Paranormal / Romantic Suspense
  • Unemployed librarian Ellen Brinson submits her steamy manuscript to literary agent Henry Morgan. The only thing they have in common is that they are both desperate for money. Henry believes the unfinished piece is his ticket back to the big time.
    His hopes for a winner are thwarted when Ellen falls in love and is offered a cushy job. As her interest in finishing the manuscript wanes, Henry’s desire to get it published increases.
    Enter the Typewriter from Hell. Ellen can’t stop writing. The old Corona is a magnet and it’s wrecking Ellen’s new romance. Henry will pull any dirty trick he can think of to win – and he does!
    You’ll laugh your way through this fast paced suspense story and you’ll never guess the ending.

    ~ Bewitching BT


    Typewriter from Hell Banner 851 x 315


    Chapter One

    Ellen Brinson peered over her half glasses at the messy typewritten page. The ‘e’ on the old Corona was so occluded it looked like a giant dot. She quickly read through the last few paragraphs she’d just pounded out. She had a screaming headache.
    Where the Hell was this stuff coming from? It was true she’d always wanted to write. Her MLS in library science was all about Ellen’s belief that she couldn’t write, so being around books was the next best thing. But, this, this stuff she was typing — she’d never done the things, never even known anyone like the people in this story.
    It didn’t matter. Six more weeks and her unemployment was going to run out. The stress of not having a job for two years, of trying to find something else she could do to earn a living and getting nowhere, the sheer desperation, was about to drive her crazy. This book was the only hope she had right now, and she clung to it.
    Rubbing her eyes, Ellen stretched and the old afghan that covered her lap slipped to the floor. This damn dump was so drafty; she was always cold. Pushing her chair back, she moved to the other side of the room where a row of cabinets and a miniature stove and fridge masqueraded as a kitchen. She poured a cup of hot water from the kettle warming on the stove and dunked a tea bag in it. Then, she reached under the sink and found a pint of vodka, splashing a liberal shot into the tea mug.
    The mug cradled in both hands, she plopped down on the rumpled bed that dominated the small room, and leaned back against the wall. Sometimes she felt like she was someone else. Maybe that explained what happened at the typewriter. Or maybe she was just going nuts. That was probably it.
    Ellen took a big gulp of the spiked tea, her mind running in circles like a hamster on a wheel. She had to do something, even if it was wrong. She got up and crossed to the rickety wooden table that held her typewriter. She grabbed the messy pages of the manuscript that had been pouring out of her for the past three weeks. Automatic writing, wasn’t that what they called it? Ellen read a paragraph at random:
    Serena slid a glance at the senator next to her. With a twitch of her shoulders, she hit him with a blast of décolletage, and then sent her tongue on an exploratory tour of her mouth. She could feel the man heat up like a kitchen stove.
    Another sideways glance confirmed that the front of his pants now looked suspiciously like a tent. Turning her head to look directly at him, she lasered him with the 100 Watt Sex Bomb Smile. Tossing her head back, she trailed her long, red fingernails down her arched, white neck toward her bosom. Then she rose and wiggled her way across the room, giggling to herself.

    My God, what crap! Where had it come from? All the same, it was so trashy that maybe it had some potential for being published. It reminded her of the stuff written by Isabel Ritter –no, Isabel Rider.
    Rider – she got a visual of the author astride a naked man, bucking in unabashed lust. Ellen laughed out loud, then as quickly sobered as the gravity of her situation struck her.
    She ran her fingers through her curly hair. What could she do with this stuff? She needed to send it out to somebody, but who?
    And, why would they read it? She was nobody, unpublished. She didn’t even have a friend at a publishing house. She knew a few writers, but they were mostly historians. They would be appalled if she asked them to pass this trash on to their agent.
    She read through the pages again. What the Hell. It’s worth a try. Taking in a deep breath, Ellen jumped off the sagging bed, pulled her parka on over her sweats, and tugged on some mukluks. Slamming the door to her flat, she descended five floors of walk-up, her mukluks slapping against each step.
    A late spring snow was lazily drifting down as she pushed through the front door of her building, cursing as a splinter poked her hand. She hated this dump. She was beginning to hate New York. Ellen had come here with such high hopes, sure she would discover the glamor and excitement that beckoned in so many novels. Instead, the reality was that New York was no fun for the poor.
    In spite of her disappointment, the farmhouse in Iowa where she’d grown up still didn’t look good to her. That was something. Her mother would make her life a living Hell if she had to go back home, broke. Only her father had believed in her dream, and he’d been dead five years now.
    “Watch where you’re going!” A guy in a plaid wool jacket bumped her as he passed on the busy sidewalk. She turned into the Strand book store, and headed straight for romantic fiction.


    1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be? Fun

    2. What would you say inspired you to write it? Mischief

    3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? My frustration with agent rejections What about your antagonist? Agents who don’t want to see new authors’ work

    4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? Yes and I just put the work aside until the solution comes to me

    5. Your all time favorite book? GONE WITH THE WIND

    6. What made you pick that one above all others? Not the best written ever but so satisfying to a woman’s romantic soul

    7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? Four years

    8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? Yes In what way? I read books in a different way and I analyze the actions of people I meet more than I did

    9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? Every week! What made you change your mind? Writers write. Readers read.

    10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? I have an active happy life. I have four pets, I garden, I ride bikes and I play tennis and bridge. What else do you do, aside writing? I own my own business which gives me time to write.

    11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? I don’t like every book I read and can hardly expect everyone else to like mine. What would you advise other authors to that effect? Do unto others…

    12. Is this title part of a series? Not exactly but my last two projects have dealt with writing, romance and the paranormal.

    13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
    I have another book ready to come out and once again it features writing, romance and a touch of the paranormal. Maybe more than a touch!

    14. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? I believe in my writing and I believe it deserves to be read. The publishing industry has changed so much and agents are really non-commissioned salespeople. It’s hard to get them to take a chance on someone who doesn’t have a large following.

    15. What would you say was the toughest part? It’s a steep learning curve. Intimidating.

    16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? I hired an editor for my first manuscript and though it was very expensive, I learned a lot. Still missed a couple of typos, but my phrases flow very nicely. Re cover design, I found a nice young woman who took the cover art I selected and created text to my specs and did a great job.

    17. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? The editor was recommended by another author. He told me I would learn a lot and I did. Re the cover – awfully important to get readers to open the book. I may not have done the best job but I like it and I think it represents the protagonist and her situation very well.

    18. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? I started out submitting everywhere and that was a pain because formatting was different for them all. I finally went back to just Amazon because that’s where I get my books.

    19. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change? I spent $2000 on two months of marketing which produced NOTHING. I would never do that again. There is an entire cottage industry of book promotion and I think it is going to change the face of publishing.

    20. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing? Marketing. A constant learning curve, very time consuming and very daunting. Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure? No! I thought keeping up with the orders would be the hardest part! LOL

    21. What’s one characteristic of an author who self-publishes, one word that would describe them? Dedicated

    Fun facts:

    1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? Enough money to stop working and write and promote my books! No, I take that back – it would be one more great love in my life.
    2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? Dragonfly in Amber
    3. Name your favorite fruit. Apples
    4. Coffee or tea? Coffee, coffee, coffee
    5. Favorite season? Spring!
    6. How about fav time of 24 hours? 8 to 10 at night when I read
    7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? Never made it past Brownie
    8. Latest book you’ve bought and read? The Sweet Gum Tree
    9. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! Yellow – it stands for hope
    10. Drama or comedy? Drama
    11. Have a fav quote or personal motto? “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    12. Cats or dogs? Two of each
    13. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? Candlelight
    14. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 It’s up there

    Full Disclosure:

    1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is…top secret
    2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… Ava Gardner
    3. Your oldest memory is… holding my grandma’s hand at three
    4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at…solutions
    5. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is…hurting someone
    6. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book…Jamie from the Outlander series
    7. You’d immediately fall for someone who…had that special chemistry we all seek out
    8. If you could have any one superpower, it would be…to feed the world’s hungry
    9. The one thing that always brightens your day is…my daughter and my pets
    10. The awesomest thing in your life is…my life – it’s great!

    About the Author & Links:

    >>author image here {align right or left the image}
    Diane Cox lives in Atlanta, Georgia with two dogs and two cats. She loves to garden, snap photos of her flowers, and dine out with friends. She works hard for her money, so she squeezes in her writing early in the morning.

    Some years ago she fell in love with the true story of one of her neighbor’s pioneer ancestresses. After seven years of rewrites, she had learned about the craft. Her next tale -“Typewriter from Hell” was a complete departure from the first, incorporating romance, satire and a bit of fantasy. This year she will bring out a third project, and once again writing will be part of the plot.

    She has been in love with books and reading all her life and has always wanted to write. Finally it has happened.

    Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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