Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Jeffrey Getzin

Tonight we welcome Jeffrey Getzin, a fantasy author.  Thank you Jeffrey for sharing your experiences with us.  Enjoy the interview everyone!

JeffMuayThaiiTitle: Shara and the Haunted Village
Author:  Jeffrey Getzin

Genre: Fantasy

 

 

 

 

Website: http://www.jeffreygetzin.com/

Social Media connections:
FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeffrey-Getzin/127322360649271 (author page)

https://www.facebook.com/SharaAndTheHauntedVillage (Shara and the Haunted Village)

 

GOOGLE+
https://plus.google.com/b/107462058414643327439/107462058414643327439 (author page)

https://plus.google.com/b/106742355528059710210/106742355528059710210 (Shara and the Haunted Village)

Release Date: Sep 21, 2012
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Reviews:

“Jeff’s writing … is excellent—a tight, quick-moving story with strong characters and a very personal touch that makes this fantasy story read—very much—like an excellent Leiber story, with more modern and complex sensibilities. I wholeheartedly recommend this story.”

— Ryk E. Spoor, author of Phoenix Rising

 

“Easily devoured in an afternoon yet somehow as satisfying as a seven-course meal … a veritable feast of charm, reminiscent of an Irish ghost story with a dash of high fantasy thrown in. The characters are strong and deftly written, and most importantly fun … I enjoyed this romp into fantasy immensely and eagerly await the next tale these two [characters] decide to take part in.”

— K. R. Schulteis, author of Calling

 

“The narrative structure was … pure and handled with confidence. It was immediately apparent that Jeffrey Getzin is a writer with skills. He knows what he’s doing. Even better, the ultimate twists of the tale were deeply imaginative and clever. He made me think and feel, both. The voice held true, as well, without wobbling. All in all, an absolutely delightful read.”

— Josephine Carr, author of My Very Own Murder

 

Other Work: Prince of Bryanae (http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Bryanae-Jeffrey-Getzin/dp/1451525753), A Lesson for the Cyclops (coming soon)

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Shara couldn’t take her eyes off the slain men. Sure, they had been going to mur­der her, but there was some­thing sad in the way their bodies lay sprawled in the dirt, their open wounds gaping.

“We should do something about the bodies,” she suggested.

The two of them were sitting cross-legged on the ground, facing each other. D’Arbignal offered her a waterskin, which she accepted. She took a drink, and her stomach growled—an all-too-familiar feeling for her of late.

“Like have a parade?” D’Arbignal said with an impish smile.

She frowned. She enjoyed D’Arbignal’s sense of humor, but it didn’t seem to stop within the boundaries of good taste.

“Throw a party?” he said. “Compose an epic poem?”

She sighed and handed the waterskin back to him. “I meant maybe we should bury them.”

“By all means, milady,” D’Arbignal said. “Do you have a shovel on you? No? Mayhap a pickaxe? A mattock, perchance?”

At last, he picked up on the sadness in her eyes, and his tone softened.

“I appreciate the sentiment,” he said, his expression becoming thoughtful, “but really, there’s no practical way to dig graves.”

She felt moisture in her eyes and was surprised to find herself crying, but for the life of her, she didn’t know why.

“Couldn’t we cover them with rocks or something?”

He leaned forward and wiped away one of her tears with a gentle touch. He shook his head solemnly. “It would take hours of back-breaking labor to accumulate enough rocks to cover just one of them. It’d be days before we’d covered them all.”

“But…” She fumbled for something to say, for some way to make it work out. “But we can’t just leave them there for the birds and the flies.”

“What birds?” D’Arbignal said, his eyebrows arched. “What flies?”

“What?”

“Do you see any birds or flies?” he said, making a sweeping gesture with his arm to encompass the entire village, the forest, the clearing, and the sky above.

She searched the skies, unnerved. Nothing. And he was right about the flies, too: there were none swarming around the slain bandits. Back in Cerendahl, it wasn’t uncommon for the body of a starved commoner to be left stinking by the side of the road for days until someone finally got around to disposing of it. When it got hot enough, entire carpets of flies would cover the body. And then the birds … best not to think about the birds.

She looked back at D’Arbignal, feeling a dread that gnawed at her from within.

“Do you see any living thing other than ourselves?” D’Arbignal added.

She cast her gaze about with increasing desperation. No birds, no insects, no grass … why, even the trees were dead and leafless. Neither was there any sound: no chirping nor rustling. There wasn’t even a breeze. It was if the world had died while she had lain unconscious.

“There’s nothing,” D’Arbignal said, and at last, she picked up a nervous undercurrent to his voice. “Everything’s dead.”

She knew he was right. Then she saw something that should have eased her mind, yet only increased her apprehension.

“If everything’s dead,” she said, pointing down the road into town, “then why is there smoke coming from that chimney?”

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

 

I started writing at a very early age. I remember writing a poem in grade school that started:

 

Tires, pliers, hubcaps, and spokes,

And liquids that stop radiator smoke

 

and ended:

 

All these parts help make a car,

So you don’t have to stay where you are.

 

Ah yes, it was apparent even at that early age that I would grow up to be the individual I am now: one with no ability to write poetry whatsoever!

 

(Actually, I’m quite proud of the following poem I wrote recently:

 

You may beat him down with baseball bats,

With gunfire, fists, and knives(-es),

You may break his back upon your knee,

But still, like bats, the Dark Knight Rises.

 

Does his obsessive nature disturb you?

Why do you seek his doom?

‘Cause he’s better-equipped than you,

and has a car that goes zoom.

 

Just like phoenixes and sourdough,

With the intensity of Death’s scythe(-es),

Just like hopes springing high,

Still the Dark Knight Rises.)

 

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

 

It never really occurred to me that I should “be a writer”. I have always written throughout my life: in high school, college, graduate school, and beyond. I just found myself writing.

 

I had never really considered it as something from which I could earn a living. Early on, I knew I’d be doing something with computers: perhaps teaching computers, or perhaps programming them. Whereas writing was always a difficult, involved journey for me, computers came easily.

 

Would I be a professional writer if I could generate sufficient revenue from it? Hmmm. It’s hard to say. I think I would prefer to do what the great mystery author author Steve Hamilton has, which is to work both as a novelist and as an employee of a corporation.

 

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

 

It’s odd, you know. Technically, I write Fantasy novels, but I really don’t read much Fantasy. I read Mystery, Horror, Humor, and Suspense, so consequently, while my books are all technically “Fantasy”, they tend to have elements of Mystery, Horror, Humor, and/or Suspense in them.
I definitely do not engage in the genre clichés. There are no prophecies describing a young hero who will grow up to defeat a Big Evil. There are no vampires. The physics of my world are realistic (save for the possibility of magic). I strive to make the characters seem recognizable to the reader, even if they do belong to different worlds.

 

But yes, I do mix it up a fair bit.

 

For instance, my first novel Prince of Bryanae is very dark and violent, with long character- and story-arcs, intricate plot twists, and heavy themes such as redemption and predestination.

 

My second book, Shara and the Haunted Village, is a much lighter book. There is much more humor in it, and it’s a bit of a fairy tale.

 

My upcoming book, A Lesson for the Cyclops, is again completely different. It’s a sad love story about a tragic woman who thinks herself beyond hope … but is shown that maybe there’s more to herself than she realized.

 

After that is The Return of the King, which is a comparatively light-hearted adventure about what happens when the king of a small country has vanished and then a man shows up looking very much like a younger version of the missing king.

 

These books are all loosely related in that they all take place in the same world, and events in one affect what happens in the others. There’s definitely a story-arc in my books.

 

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

 

I draw my inspiration from many sources. I often borrow bits and pieces of real life and use them to form the kernel of an event, character, or plot twist.

 

Other than that, my stories tend to evolve in one of two ways: either I have an interesting character for whom I have to provide a plot, or I have a plot for which I must add a character.

 

The idea for this particular story, A Lesson for the Cyclops, came to me as many do, when I’m falling asleep. A character named D’Arbignal appears in some of my stories, and in one book, he mentions that he once belonged to a circus called the Venucha Players. Well, as I was drifting off to sleep, it occurred to me that the story of this young rogue joining that circus might be very entertaining.

 

However, I couldn’t just write a story called “D’Arbignal Joins the Circus”. D’Arbignal is witty, charming, and flamboyant, and I’ve learned through trial and error that he makes a terrible main character. He’s entertaining in limited doses, but he can’t be the main character.

 

So I started thinking of about who might be at the circus when he arrives, and how his arrival might affect those people.

 

I like to deal in character contrasts, so I was thinking what would be the opposite of a D’Arbignal? I’ve gotten into the practice of using women as my viewpoint characters, so I tried to think of a woman who would be so far removed from the type of life D’Arbignal lived that the difference would be worth exploring.

 

That’s how I came upon the character of Maria, the Cyclops. She’s a tragic character: horribly disfigured, she earns a very meager living as a freak in the circus’s freak show.  She’s the lowest of the low at this circus; even the men who do untrained manual labor look down at her.

 

So what would happen, I asked myself, if this dashing, handsome rogue showed up injured at the circus and poor Maria falls in love with him?

 

Once I asked myself that question, the rest of the story wrote itself.

 

 

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

 

Like most self-published authors, I tried going the traditional publishing route, but I found it too be too tough a barrier to penetrate.  The publishing industry seems to be in turmoil, and is rapidly tightening on just a few names and niche genres. While new ideas and authors do get published, it’s difficult, and there are way too many talented authors out there competing for those limited spots.

 

Therefore, I tried self-publishing. While it’s quite a bit of work, I find it very rewarding. I like being able to control every aspect of my book: everything from finding a good editor, to commissioning a cover painting, to doing the actual setting of type (I love ligatures; I hate bad page breaks).

 

The result has been a mixed bag.

 

On the one hand, it’s been a complete financial disaster. I’ve yet to even break even on my books, let alone turn a profit.

 

On the other hand, I’ve managed to reach so many wonderful readers who have found that my stories resonate with them. I don’t merely want to amuse my readers; I want to generate emotional reactions, to touch them in meaningful ways.

 

And here, I’ve been so wonderfully successful that it makes it all worthwhile to me. A friend of mine (to whom Cyclops is dedicated) was such a fan of my work that he read “Prince of Bryanae” three times even though he was dying of brain cancer. Can you think of a greater compliment than that? Dan knew the clock was ticking and yet he chose to spend those precious hours reading my book. I can’t help but be humbled every time I think of it.

 

Likewise, I’ve heard from survivors of child abuse or spouses of soldiers with PTSD who have told me how accurately I’ve portrayed these horrible situations, and how moved they are by how my characters deal with them.

 

I still keep hoping that as more of my books get out there (readers seem to prefer book series to one-offs), I might start to see some profit. However, even if I never so much as break even, just knowing that there are readers out there who love what I write makes it all worthwhile to me.

 

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

 

I do most of my work in bed! Seriously!

 

Most of my ideas come when I’m lying in bed, drifting off to sleep. I like to play around with characters and various scenarios, seeing how well they fit. It’s like going to a clothing store and trying out outfits to see which ones are god-awful and which ones click.

 

So I play with ideas and characters until I feel I have enough for the basis of a story. Then I start to write.
And I write in bed, too. I sit in bed cross-legged as I am now, typing on my laptop as I am now, and the words just flow from me.

 

If this makes it sound easy, I assure you it is not, because while that last step, the writing, may be easy, the first step is incredibly time-consuming. It may take weeks, months, or even years for me to think of a worthy story to tell. I’ve been prolific as of late, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, it’s agonizingly slow, grinding work coming up with stories.

 

Then there is finding the time and energy to write. I work at Google in NYC. My commute is long. I have family commitments. I practice mixed martial arts. Free time is a precious commodity, and free time when I’m not exhausted and burned out is as rare as an altruistic politician.  So once I start to write, it just pours forth, but it’s so very hard starting …

 

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

 

In general, I think about the character and where he or she is from. What is the culture like there? What do the languages sound like? Those help shape the names.

 

Other than that, it’s just trial and error. I write down a name and see how it looks and sounds. Sometimes, if I find one I like, I may tweak it a bit anyway. For instance, the owner of the circus in Cyclops was originally named Marcos but I changed his name to Marco because it just flowed better.

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

 

Ooh, it would have to be Maria, the Cyclops! She’s such a great character. Life has whacked her around something fierce to the point where she has very little spirit or self-esteem left … but her strength is not gone. It’s just that it’s faded to a mere glowing ember, and it’s so moving to see how she grows when someone fans the fire.

 

At first, she comes across as a nobody. Everybody’s treated her like one for so long that she’s accepted it as who she is. But she’s not a nobody. She’s brave, compassionate, and intelligent. She’s hidden these traits so long that she barely remembers them, and she’s as surprised as anybody when they resurface!

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

 

A challenge I have with D’Arbignal at times is that he’s so handsome and so talented and so witty, he runs the risk of turning into a Mary Sue. It’s always a balancing act: I need to let him be all those wonderful things and yet still show that he’s imperfect, since let’s face it: we may claim to love perfect people, but in our hearts, what we love are the imperfect ones.

 

In “Shara and the Haunted” village I showed how foolhardy D’Arbignal can be. He’s extremely good at getting himself into bad situations, and while he’s good at getting money, he’s not very good at holding onto it. He also has a dark, self-destructive streak that pops up from time to time.

 

In “Cyclops”, the risk of him being Prince Charming was dire. He’s so handsome and Maria is so scarred, it would be too easy for him to just ride in on a white horse and make everything happily-ever-after. But while he’s very bright, he can be a bit obtuse at times. He often charges into a situation before he’s fully taken its measure, resulting in awkward moments and bruised feelings.

 

In addition, I found a way to use his amazing abilities as a disadvantage. I mean, if you’re someone as talented as he is, how can you possibly access the riskiness of an action? After all, if you’re still alive, it means that every time you dove headfirst into a life-or-death situation, you won! Therefore, I realized that one great flaw for D’Arbignal would be overconfidence. He does spectacularly stupid things at times because he just can’t recognize when some things are beyond his abilities.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

 

Still working on that one!

 

Seriously, you don’t want marketing advice from me. My books sell very poorly, and this is despite wonderful reviews, endorsements from genre giants, and terrific covers by artist Carol Phillips.

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

 

You want the sad, honest truth? I’m a perfectionist with my writing, and I’m never satisfied. The first time I saw my published book, I was able to enjoy it, of course, but I kept thinking of all the things I could have done better.  (Ooh, and I hate it when I find a typo in one of my published books! LOL)

 

12   Favorite authors? 

 

That’s easy. R. A. Salvatore and Steve Hamilton.

 

Mr. Salvatore is of course the reigning champ of the fantasy industry, but more than that, he’s such a smart, knowledgeable, and kind man. I’ve learned so much from him.

 

Steve Hamilton is perhaps the greatest living “writer writer” that I’ve read. By that, I mean his prose is just so damn good that I find myself instantly immersed in his books. No warm-up period, or am I going to like this? experience. I literally am hooked by every book he’s written before the end of the first sentence. Wow.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

 

Absolutely. All writers have, I think. What I’ve done is allow it to happen and not to panic.

 

Hey, I’m a full-time software developer with a wonderful girlfriend and fantastic hobbies.  I have other things to keep me occupied if I don’t have a story to tell at the moment.

 

Every night, I toy with the characters and stories in my head. Eventually, something will pop out ready to write. It might only take a few weeks as has been the case recently, but one time it took nearly a decade. I’m not going to panic. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you don’t have an agent screaming at you for your next book. I write my books when they’re ready to be written. Not to go all Orson Welles on you, but I will write no book before its time! 😀

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

 

The hardest thing for me to learn was that pretty much every first draft is a piece of garbage and that’s ok. If I could teach any one thing to an aspiring writer, it would be to teach him how to be a brutal self-critic, to revise his or her writing without mercy.

Writing is an iterative process. When we first start writing, we think we just dash off a bunch of words and we’re done. Oh, if only that were so.

 

No, your first draft is garbage. So’s mine. And as he showed us in his great book On Writing, so is Steven King’s. Everybody’s first draft is garbage. The treasure comes during the editing. Look at it like a sculpture. You take a first pass, and you’ve chiseled away enough stone so that what remains looks sorta like George Washington, but only kinda sorta. That’s when the real work begins, where instead of chipping away huge chunks of stone, now you have to chip delicately away tiny bits to refine the sculpture to make it more in line with your vision.

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

 

I have a number of works in the pipeline. As I mentioned above, “A Lesson for the Cyclops” is on deck. It’s written, it’s edited, and it’s formatted for print. Now I’m waiting on the cover. It should be very soon.

 

After that, I have (the somewhat ironically titled) “Return of the King”, in which the missing King of Bryanae returns to his kingdom and Strange Things Happen.

 

Next, I have a piece I’ve started that I hope will lay some foundation work for some subsequent books, while being a scary and fun story in its own right. This piece has not yet been titled, nor do I know yet how long it will be.

 

After that, I have my very first (and unpublished) novel waiting for a significant rewrite. It’s funny: it’s the book that introduced my world and many of its major players, yet I’ve never published it. When I wrote it, my skills as a writer left something to be desired. However, this book ties a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated characters and events together. I hope to get this book worthy of publishing, because if I can do that, my readers are going to experience chills when things just keep going click!

 

Finally, I’m toying around with an end to the series. I have some ideas. I have some characters. I have some pieces of plot. However, it hasn’t completely gelled yet, so I think about it at night as always, waiting for the book-worthy story to emerge…

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Brenda Franklin

Tonight’s featured author is Brenda Franklin.  She enjoys writing fantasy and paranormal romance. Thank you so much Brenda for sharing a little about yourself and your work with us.  Enjoy the read everyone!

brenda2Bio:

Brenda Franklin was born and raised in Louisiana where she lives with her loving family and two cats. She’s been writing since she was little starting with her first horror story in Elementary school, but wasn’t serious about becoming a writer until middle school.

Now married, and living out in the country, she spends most of her time writing Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. But when she’s not writing she can be found drawing, painting, reading a good crime novel or enjoying long walks in a cemetery.

A Steady Pulse orginal      Barely Beating 3

flatlineTitle: Flat Line (Pulse Trilogy book three)

Author: Brenda Franklin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blog:

In my World of Reading and Writing: http://beefranklin.blogspot.com/

Social Media connections:

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/brenda.franklin.5811

Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrendaFranklin

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/BeeFranklin613

Release date:

May 1st

Where to Buy:

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Brenda-Franklin/e/B009TAXHI4

Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/111454

Pulse Trilogy:

A Steady Pulse (Book One)

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Steady-Pulse-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0099U5U02/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/111454

Barely Beating (Book Two)

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Barely-Beating-Pulse-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00AA2F9UE/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_2

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/158741

Free Short ghost stories on Smashwords:

Drowning with Problems: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248010

Lady with Blue Lips: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/248010

This is a conversational piece between Virgil and Garrison in BARELY BEATING (book 2 of Pulse Trilogy).

“How is Elizabeth doing?” Garrison asked leading Virgil in to the kitchen.

“She is endearing the pain better than I thought, but…”His eyes shifted anxiously. He wanted to do more to help ease her, but there was nothing he could do. It was a frustrating feeling to be so useless.

“That’s only natural. Every human turned is different.  But she seems to be doing well.” Garrisons said.

Virgil filled up a glass of water and sat it on the counter. Pinching the bridge of his nose he refocused.

“The first one is always the most difficult, but your body will adjust. It wasn’t so easy for me when I turned my first either.” Garrison assured him.

“But I thought when you turned William—”

“I am much older than you give me credit for Virgil. William was not my first. Even if he was my tolerance levels are much higher than yours by leaps and bounds. Turning is a painful process at times, but you can grow and learn to coop with it like I did.”

“I just hope she will be okay. No matter what I have to go through I wish I could do more for her.”

“You have done a lot more than you already know.” Garrison comforted giving Virgil a light touch on his shoulder before heading off. “Don’t forget to drink something yourself.”

“Garrison?” Virgil hesitated. “Your first turning how was it?”

Garrison paused. “The first person I turned didn’t survive.” Garrison spoke solemnly. He continued down the hall and disappeared into his room.

1)      When did you first start writing?

I wrote my first horror story when I was in Elementary. I began writing fantasy in Junior High (all of which I still have and want to rewrite). Then I wrote the first Pulse book one summer between school grades. I found it and read it back in 2010. It needed a redo. I threw out the old and rewrote the whole thing ending up with the one we now see today as A Steady Pulse.

2)      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

When I was a little girl I first wanted to me a mother, then a singer, and then by middle school I was set on being a writer.

3)      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?

I love writing Paranormal Romance, but that’s not the only genre I want to work in. I have projects I’d like to have completed within the year, one of which is a Middle Grade book, another is a Dark Young adult, and a fantasy based one that I’ll probably polish over the course of the next year, but will probably be considered for publishing in 2014. For the moment, at least, PNR is my favorite to write. I wonder if it has anything to do with the number of PNR books I’ve been reading this past year.

4)      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

My inspiration has come from not only my love for reading PNR books, but this story specifically started with a woman who could feel other people’s “pulses”. Though I did a lot of cutting back on what to give her ability wise, I started with this question, “what if you could feel someone before they entered a room?” Than the question became, “what if they felt different?” Add vampires into the mix and it made for a good recipe.

5)      What has your publishing experience been like?

Very rocky. I guess I should clarify that the start was very rocky. I didn’t prepare myself ahead of time; build up any kind of supporters. I just dove in without so much as a compass. All I knew was how to correctly lay out my books for Smashwords and Amazon. It was pretty easy to follow a guide and submit my books, but that was it. It’s easy to publish, but the real work is getting people to want to buy what you have written. Thankfully there are many groups out there who can give you great advice, help you with any question (no matter how silly), and many other things.

6)      Do you have a certain routine you do for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

Okay, I get up with Shawn in the morning around four and tell him good bye for work. I’ll than grab a cup of coffee, Dr. Pepper, or Cinnamon Apple Spiced Tea and a snack before returning to my bedroom where my small desk is set up in the corner for me to work. I always tie up my hair and find my glasses, before turning on my music. I have several premade playlists. When my character needs a little pick me up or is struggling internally I have been listening to Mumford and Sons. Or for a fight scene I play Linkin Park. After enjoying my music for a few minutes it’s time to start writing.

7)      How do you come up with character names and place names in your book?

I have worked on pieces of my family genealogy and every time I find a name that is interesting I write it down. I have a whole list of names and ideas on what they were like which helps to build my characters. So in a sense, the majority of the characters are named after someone from my family line. Now when it comes to locations I have used real places at times. What doesn’t sound better than, Iron Spring, Ashland, Small road, ect.

8)      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

In my most recent work Lucas would have to be my favorite character thus far. He isn’t the leading character to Flat Line, but who doesn’t like a bad boy on a motorcycle? He has a bit of an attitude issue which can keep up with Bethany Jean, Elizabeth’s best friend. He’s a good counterpart for her and isn’t as easy to jump in feet first to save Elizabeth as Bethany is, but for her he’s willing–though very frustrated–to do what it takes to keep her from getting killed. I could go on about him! I really love working on him.

9)      Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?

The overall thing I learned while writing my book was, sometimes research is necessary. Don’t write a scene that makes absolutely no sense. Haha it’s the little things. What motorcycle is he driving? What is the correct pronunciation of that in French? Where are the cops? What’s his past? What War did he fight in and where was he stationed?

10)   How did/do you market your work?

Get connected with Twitter, Facebook, blogs, ect… Join groups, set up release dates, plan out a monthly schedule to keep up with all the things that are going on with not only yourself but other people. Stay as connected as you can with your audience as you begin to build yourself up.

11)   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Fear! I suddenly realized that people would be reading my book. The first day I couldn’t get over my fear of someone hating my work, but after that first day (and my loving husband keeping me calm as best he could) I was excited. I was more than excited. I was beaming with pride that I had something published.

12)   Favorite authors?

Lynsay Sands with her (vampire) Argeneau Series, Sherrilyn Kenyon with the Dark-Hunter series, and Diana Nixon with her Love Lines Series

13)   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

Oh yeah! I’ve sat in front of my computer and read the same paragraph over and over trying to force the next sentence, but nothing comes out.

What I have found is that when the situation occurs it’s best to either take a nice, long, hot bath or go on a long walk. I like the second one. Get yourself out of the house and get the blood pumping! Sunlight does the body good. We have a cemetery not too far from the house that my husband and I walk to. And if all else fails, it’s a sign to open a good book and set aside the writing for the day. J

14)   What piece of advice would you give to a new author?

Top things you can do is:

1.) Edit your story to perfection and then let someone else look at it (editor)

2.) A good cover goes a long way (Ashley Wied has done all three of my books for the Pulse Trilogy)

3.) Get social (Join Facebook and Twitter and be a part of the writing community)

4.) Advertise (you’re work isn’t going to sell itself when you first come out of the gate).

15)   Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?

I am working on another book called “Guardian, A Fated Pairing” which will be coming out around the end of March.

Info:

Vampires are on the brink of disappearing.  After years of searching for the cure to turn humans into their kind, one vampire believes he has done it. But in creating the cure he has started a bloody hunt. A race among animals, vampires and Wolves, to find the cure and either destroy it or use it.

It is up to Alice Chambers to keep her sister safe as they try to out run one of the strongest vampires in search of what they are hiding, but is what she protects worth the life of the one man she is destined to be with? And can he get over the fact that she is everything he hates long enough to realize she’s just what he needs? Or will the sacrifice in the end be too great for either of them?

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: K.R. Morrison

To start off the month of May, K.R. Morrison’s interview is tonight’s feature. She writes in the mysterious world of the paranormal filled with suspense, horror, and inspiration.  Seems she and I have very similar interests. So, thank you K.R. for participating and everyone enjoy the interview!

Title: “Be Not Afraid”
Author: K R Morrison

Genre: Paranormal suspense/horror/inspirational

Blog:  kathyree.wordpress.com

Social Media connections:

 bio pic for fest

Facebook author:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-R-Morrison/316522281747349

 

Facebook book reviews:  https://www.facebook.com/KittyMuseBookReviews

 

Facebook editing page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Every-Crooked-Nanny-Editing/587888887903846#!/pages/Every-Crooked-Nanny-Editing/587888887903846

Release Date: April 2011
Where to buy: 

http://www.amazon.com/Be-Not-Afraid-R-Morrison/dp/1462852211/ref=la_B009RBRJ0C_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355461018&sr=1-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/be-not-afraid-k-r-morrison/1100084495?ean=9781462852222

http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9781462852215-1
Reviews: see above

Other Work: Two books will soon be published by Mountains Springs House Publishing.  One will be a prequel to “Be Not Afraid (also being re-published by MSH), entitled “UnHoly Trinity”.  The second is a sequel, and it is called “Resurgence:  The Rise of Judas”.

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Lydia spun around, still on her knees.  Vlad was halfway up the aisle of the church, slowly and deliberately making his way to where she was.

She scrambled up and ran towards the altar, diving under it as Vlad got to the bottom of the steps leading up to where she cowered.  But he did not venture any further; instead he paced back and forth in front of them, staring at Lydia as if she was an animal in a cage.  Finally, he spoke.

“I can understand how you would be able to get out of my house, had you been in any shape to move.  I did leave the door open.  But how did you get the strength—and how did you get here?”

Lydia kept silent, not knowing if he could still read her mind.  Somehow, she felt that he should not know about the beings–who she now knew were angels–that had transported her here (wherever “here” was),  and that they were even now hovering above them.

He glanced toward the floor in front of the tabernacle.

“And you brought the child as well.”  Then he glared back at Lydia.  “Did you really think that hiding in a church would do you any good?  I tell you, your pathetic devotion to this—whatever it is—is useless.”

It was apparent to Lydia that Vlad could come no further than where he was in front of the altar.  She was protected in this area.  It was sacred ground, and the demons that had such free rein over the earth still could not approach it.  God was worshiped here, and the Body and Blood of Jesus was miraculously present on this very altar at every Mass.  No wonder Vlad could not come up and take hold of her!

Empowered by this realization, Lydia came out and stood up in front of the altar.  She looked him in the eye.  And she felt—nothing.  No weakness, no loss of consciousness, no being drawn into his thrall.  He no longer had control over her!

Book cover (2)Vlad, in turn, noticed that Lydia’s skin was as smooth and clear as on the first day he saw her.  Being who he was, there was no room in his mind for the idea of divine intervention as the reason for this miracle.  He believed himself to be more powerful than any other force in the universe, or beyond.  Such are the allures and lies of the ways of evil.

Instead, he said, “Well, you do heal quickly.  Good.  You were running out of fresh areas for me to feed on.

“Now—I thirst.  Come down from there.”

He smirked as an idea came to him.  “Actually, this is an ideal place to get, shall we say, reacquainted.  At the feet of your plaster Savior!”

Lydia stood her ground.

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

I didn’t write to be published until “Be Not Afraid” took hold of my mind and wouldn’t let go.  Before that, it was the annual Christmas letter, and that was about it.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I wanted to be a lot of different things, but math always seemed to be a part of what I wanted to do, and math and I do not get along.  Words have always been my strong point.
There was a time when I wanted to be a veterinarian—couldn’t bear chemistry classes, though.  Psychologist—until I realized I’d have to deal with people a lot more than I was comfortable with.  Missionary, English major, administrative assistant—nothing ever really worked out.  Wife and mother?  Never thought that would be a choice, but here I am, married 27 years, with a 23-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

What I’ve done so far was not my choice per se.  I don’t think I have a favorite genre to work in—most of what is circulating in the whirlpool between my ears is a mix of genres and age levels.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

This question is always difficult.  It brings back feelings and memories that I have tried to stay away from, but I know it’s an inevitable question.

“Be Not Afraid” (an ironic title, by the way, because some people have told me they cannot finish reading it) was spawned by a nightmare I had.  In it, I was attacked by a vampire.  And it was one of those dreams that one experiences completely, with all of the senses.  And it was not pleasant, I can assure you.  When I woke up, the dream continued circulating in my mind, constantly, with each cycle putting in more detail and more storyline.  Inevitably, I had to write it down, and when I did, it finally left me alone.

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

I originally had the book published by Xlibris, a print-on-demand company.  They fulfilled their part of the bargain, after I paid them a lot of money, then I was on my own.  Now it will be re-published by Mountain Springs House Publishing, and I hope I have much better luck   with them.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

When I wrote my first book, I merely sat on the living room couch and wrote for hours at a time.  But then we gave the couch to our son, who needed furniture for his duplex.  The second/third book (it was one manuscript until it got too big), was written in the dining room, and the one I am working on right now doesn’t have a particular place yet.  I am only five pages into it.  I really don’t have a routine, although if I have to write something particularly horrific, I’ll have a couple of beers first.  Numbs the brain—I am not comfortable with writing that stuff.  But I have to get through that part to get to where the good guys win.

7      How do you come up with characters’ names and place names in your books?

With the more common characters, I try to find names that do not belong to anyone I know, or are so common that no one would think the character was fashioned after himself/herself.  There are definitely names in the book that are real, and the characters attached to those names are, in fact, those people.  Place names—didn’t really have any in the first book per se.

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

That would be Toby, a two-year-old who is a mystery in more ways than one.  His father disappears, his mother is close-mouthed about who the dad is, and Toby shows powers and talents far greater than his age.  He will figure primarily in the fourth book, “Enoch’s Return”.

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

I think I have solidified and clarified to myself what was just a vague awareness before, and it is the message of the book:  God created all, and wants all to return to Him.  Therefore, He makes Himself known to all through any way He can.  But it is up to us to turn to Him—He does not impose His will on us.

10   How did you/do you market your work?

Social networking, such as Facebook, Goodreads, Wattpad, and others.  I spend a lot of time on the computer, blogging and participating in events.  I think I spend 20 hours a week on the computer, hoping something will happen to propel my work to the heights.  Don’t we all…

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

I remember it well.  The box came, I took it into the dining room, and set it on the table.  When I opened it and saw the books for the first time, it took my breath away.  I was LEGITIMATE!!   I was PUBLISHED!  My words were on paper, just like Thoreau and Hemingway!!  It was almost like the first time I saw my children after they were born.  But without all the hospital stuff…

12   Favorite authors? 

Oh, where do I start?  I have a constant list of books I want from Tamara Myer, Jasper Fforde, Rita Mae Brown, Terry Pratchett, Jacqueline Winspear, and so many others.  My library is so full of books to be read that I think I will have to carry them with me into the afterlife to finish them.

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

Not  really.  Usually the chapter wants to get written so badly that it practically jumps out of the pen before I can put it to paper.  I am trying to get going on the fourth book, but it isn’t writer’s block that stops me (I have it half-written in my head already).  It’s the lack of time.

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Do not lose patience.  Check all avenues, seek advice, do not go with the first publishing outfit that you see.  E-pubbing your books is a great idea, but you don’t get anything for public author signings.  Make sure your offering is crisply and perfectly edited.  You want the audience to love your book as much as you do, so make sure it is understandable and not awkward.

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

The fourth book in the series “Pride’s Damnation” is called “Enoch’s Return”.  In Genesis, it is     said that “Enoch walked with the Lord and was seen no more”.  That leads one to believe  that, like Elijah, Enoch was taken away to fulfill his role in another time.  This book works off that idea, and involves the demons and saints from the previous three books.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: David Estes

Hi everyone!  Well, the month of April is ending, but that doesn’t mean the blog tour is over.  Another entire month lay ahead filled with authors and interviews.  To end this month, David Estes is the author for this evening.  Enjoy the read everyone and thank you David for joining the blog tour!

Title: Fire Country (The Country Saga, #1), Ice Country (The Country Saga, #2)
Author: David Estes

Genre: YA dystopian
Website: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com

Blog: Same as website

Social Media connections:

David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70863-david-estes-fans-and-ya-book-lovers-unite

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Estes/130852990343920

My blog: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidestes100

Release Date: Fire Country- February 2nd, Ice Country- April 4th
Where to buy:  Links to buy Fire Country:

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Country-The-Saga-ebook/dp/B00B7VTXFO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359662347&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+country+estes

Barnes & Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-country-david-estes/1114268064?ean=2940015975475

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/280371

Amazon Print: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Country-Volume-David-Estes/dp/1482055988

Author Photo
Reviews: Early reviews can be found here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17250818-ice-country

Other Work:

The Dwellers Saga:

Book One—The Moon Dwellers

Book Two—The Star Dwellers

Book Three—The Sun Dwellers

Book Four—The Earth Dwellers (coming September 2013!)

The Country Saga (A Dwellers sister series):

Book One—Fire Country

Book Two—Ice Country

Book Three—Water and Storm Country (Coming June 7th, 2013!)

The Evolution Trilogy:

Book One—Angel Evolution

Book Two—Demon Evolution

Book Three—Archangel Evolution

Children’s Books by David Estes

The Nikki Powergloves Adventures:

Nikki Powergloves—A Hero Is Born

Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council

Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers

Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure

Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming in 2013!)

Fire Country by David Estes ebooksm 

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Excerpt from Fire Country

When I’m sixteen and reach the midpoint of my life, I’ll have my first child. Not ’cause I want to, or ’cause I made a silly decision with a strapping young boy after sneaking a few sips of my father’s fire juice, but ’cause I must. It’s the Law of my people, the Heaters; a Law that’s kept us alive and thriving for many years. A Law I fear.

I learned all about the ways of the world when I turned seven: the bleeding time, what I would hafta do with a man when I turned sixteen, and how the baby—my baby—would grow inside me for nine full moons. Even though it all seemed like a hundred years distant at the time, I cried for two days. Now that it’s less’n a year away, I’m too scared to cry.

Veeva told me all ’bout the pain. She’s seventeen, and her baby’s five full moons old and “uglier’n one of the hairy ol’ warts on the Medicine Man’s feet.” Or at least that’s how she describes Polk. Me, I think he’s sorta cute, in a scrunched up, fat-cheeked kind of way. Well, anyway, she said to me, “Siena, you never felt pain so burnin’ fierce. I screamed and screamed…and then screamed some more. And then this ugly tug of a baby comes out all red-faced and oozy. And now I’m stuck with it.” I didn’t remind her Polk’s a him not an it.

I already knew about her screaming. Everyone in the village knew about Veeva’s screaming. She sounded like a three ton tug stuck in a bog hole. Veeva’s always cursing, too, throwing around words like burnin’ and searin’ and blaze—words that’d draw my father’s hand across my face like lightning if I ever let them slip out of my mouth like they’re nothing more’n common language.

In any case, everything she tells me about turning sixteen just makes me wish I didn’t hafta get older, could stay fifteen for the next seventeen or so years, until the Fire takes me.

It’s not fair, really, that boys get to wait until they’re eighteen ’fore their names get put in the Call. I’d kill for an extra two years of no baby.

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

First off, thanks for having me!

Ahh, I have fond memories of when it all began. I started seriously writing in September 2010.  Before then, like so many others out there, I’ve LOVED reading my entire life, more than any other activity. In the back of my mind, I always wanted to write my own books, but I always managed to come up with an excuse—either I’m too busy, too lazy, or I just don’t have good enough ideas—to not do it. Perhaps it was a fear of failure, I’m not really sure. But for whatever reason, I drifted along, reading, but not really writing.

Then I met my wife, Adele, a sweet and beautiful Australian, who encouraged me to put my dreams first. So, while I had a few weeks off before a new desk job in September 2010, I started writing a book using the first idea that came into my head, one about angels and demons that evolved from humans. Six weeks later, Angel Evolution was born!

I’d officially caught the writing bug, and so I kept writing, averaging 2,000 words a day, and slowly moving up to 3,000 words. I finished my first children’s book, Nikki Powergloves, 4 weeks later. Then I wrote Demon Evolution in another 6 weeks and followed it up with a middle grade book called I am Touch, which I have yet to publish. Finally, 10 months after starting Angel Evolution, I completed Archangel Evolution. So I had 5 books written in 10 months, but hadn’t published any of them!

So I just went for it! The rest has been a whirlwind adventure in which I’ve written 14 books in less than two and a half years, 12 of which are now published. On the back of The Moon Dwellers, I became a fulltime author in June of 2012, making what started out as a dream become a reality!

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I always had dreams of being a writer but I never really took them that seriously. I never really wanted to do anything else. Now that my dreams have come true, I slap myself (literally, I sometimes raise my hand and bring is across my cheeks rather hard) for not taking a risk sooner. So many years lost when I could have been creating novels! Oh well, such is life.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

Primarily YA dystopian, although I’ve dabbled in YA paranormal (one trilogy) and children’s superhero (one four book series). But since five of my books are YA dystopian, with two more to come in the next few months, I’ll focus there.

In short, I’m OBSESSED with dystopian novels at the moment. You have to write what you enjoy reading and what you can connect with, and for me that’s definitely dystopian. The genre has so much versatility and can be combined with many other genres too, although I haven’t really played around with that much (yet). I also LOVE how real dystopian books can feel, almost like it’s something that could really happen, if you just really think about it.

There’s also a real sense of good versus evil in dystopian books, which usually involves some form of an oppressive government. Bad things happen. People get hurt. But those dedicated to the cause fight on, almost like it’s their destiny.

Finally, dystopians have so much room for world building, which really excites me. Imagine if you could take pretty much a blank slate to the earth and start over. What would you build? What would you create? That’s dystopian. In The Moon Dwellers I decided to build my society underground, deep below the surface of the earth. With Fire Country, I took things back aboveground, but in the middle of a changed world where the sun is hotter than hell, the sky is red and the clouds yellow, and the air full of toxic fumes. Yeah, not the best place to live. And yet….humanity struggles on.

Ice Country by David Estes ebooksm

4      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

 

Because most of my life revolves around writing and books, I’ll give you an idea of an average day for me. I sleep in (yeah, not a morning person) first. Get up around 9am, have breakfast with my wife. Then I start writing, putting in at least two hours in the morning (2,000+ words). Have lunch with my wife and then we try to do something fun together, like if we’re near a beach (which we usually are), we go to the beach, go swimming, read books together, etc. I’ll put in another hour or two of writing in the afternoon, too, to bring my word count to between 3 and 4 thousand, or the occasional 5,000+ word day. We have dinner and spend the evening either at home watching movies, watching our favorite TV shows, or hanging out with friends, or going to watch live music.

Throughout the day and into the evening I do all the other stuff that comes with being a writer, like interviews, blog appearances, answering reader mail, doing blog posts, and publishing my books.

I always read before bed, too, usually 50+ pages of whatever book I’ve currently got my nose in. That’s it! That’s a day in the life. Day in and day out I put in 3-4 hours a day, which is the commitment required to publish a book every 2-3 months. It’s a lot of work, but the flexible lifestyle and creativity of it makes it all worthwhile. And, of course, all the support from my readers, who are absolutely incredible, the best people in the world, and my dearest friends!

5      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

 

Honestly, I wish I had something interesting to say here, but I don’t really. Most of my character name’s just pop into my head and I know right away that they’re right. I never use name databases or anything like that. I don’t use a lot of place names, but when I do, they pretty much just appear in thin air and hover around long enough so that I can reach out and grab them, try them out on my tongue, on my keyboard.

6      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?

In Fire Country, my favorite character is the main character, Siena, mostly because she spoke the loudest to me. It was incredible how she just started talking to me one day and then she wouldn’t shut up. She’s someone who speaks to you loud and clear, like no one else you’ve ever met before, and she basically just wrote herself, which is a rare and awesome thing. Her language is colorful and interesting and very, very, real, because like I said, she tells me each and every thing she wants to say! Yes, even now that the book is finished, she still talks to me ALL the time.

7      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

 

Writing is hard! I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I could write a book!” after reading a book by one of their favorite authors. It seems easy when you’re reading it, easy to identify the flaws, where it could have been better. I was definitely one of those people! But since I started writing 3 years and 13 books ago, I’ve learned that writing is extremely difficult and an ongoing learning process that requires years and years of hard work and dedication. There is no easy success to be gained in this industry. Once I recognized that, I was able to focus on improving, on taking constructive feedback, and on moving forward with my craft. Only then did success truly start to come.

8      How did you/do you market your work?

 

I wrote blog post a while back that has become quite popular amongst Indies, called My Dos and Don’ts for Attracting New Readers. Here’s a link for those who might be interested: http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com/2012/11/my-dos-and-donts-for-attracting-new.html

To boil it down to a few things:

  1. I’ve become part of the ever growing book community, particularly on Goodreads. I’ve made friends, talked about the books I love to read, helped people when they needed it. I love talking to other readers, much more than anything else. I don’t expect anyone to read my books, but many people do simply because I care about them and treat them with respect. And if they like them, they read more. I don’t overpromote because people just get turned off by it.
  2. I giveaway LOTS of free books. This is a great time to be an Indie. Publishing is easy. And giving away books is even easier because of ebooks. If someone doesn’t know who I am, why would they take a risk and buy my book? But if I give it to them for free, they might just give it a read. And if they do, they might just like it, and then I’ve got a reader for life, and likely a friend too (even if they don’t enjoy my books, I’ll likely become their friend too J
  3. I’m active online, but I DON’T only talk about my books. When I post on Facebook, I post about other things. What I’m doing, funny pictures, not just endless crap about buying my books.
  4. Appreciating my readers! I know that most people don’t have an endless budget to spend on books, so I value each and every person who spends even a small portion of it to buy one of my books. I thank as many of them as I can, personally if possible, and try to host lots of giveaways to show my appreciation.

Those are just a few of what I feel to be the most important aspects of attracting readers to my books, but I do lots more!

9      Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Giddiness. My wife and I were together when the proof arrived. Ebooks are cool, but nothing beats a paperback. We danced around a bit and then went out to celebrate. I still love when I do book signings and see all my books lined up together. Pure joy in seeing all that hard work pay off.

10   Favourite authors? 

 

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is my all time favorite series! I read it a dozen times growing up. But in terms of current stuff, I love The Knife of Never Letting Go (and the rest of the Chaos Walking series) by Patrick Ness, UnWind and UnWholly by Neal Shusterman, and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

 

11   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

 

To be honest, I find the writing part quite easy.  I have a nutty imagination that works overtime, so I don’t really get writer’s block or anything like that.  My wife always says how she’s amazed how I can just sit down and start writing.  I read the last paragraph or page that I wrote, and just get going.  I don’t worry too much about getting every word perfect, that’s what rewriting and editing is for; rather I focus on moving the plot along, feeling the emotions of the characters, and enjoying the ride.  Occasionally, I will just have a little trouble getting started at the beginning of a writing session, but it’s usually because I’m not in the right state of mind.  To fix it all I need to do it listen to a song I like or read a book I’m enjoying.  That’s it!

 

12   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

I’m going to cheat because I have way too much to say on this topic. I get a ton of messages from other Indies out there asking for advice and I think it boils down to just a few key things.

1) Write awesome books and always work to perfect your craft. No matter how good you think you are, you can always get better and there’s always someone who’s better than you, so listen to feedback, take on constructive feedback, and strive to make each book your best one yet.

2) Become part of the reading/writing community. Don’t do this to sell people your books! Do this because you love books and writing and want to talk to other likeminded people. People will respect you more as a peer than some omniscient writer who thinks they deserve attention just because they write books.

3) Don’t over promote! This is absolutely crucial, because there are so many Indies out there all shouting for people to read their books. So if you shout, too, you’ll just fade into the noise with the rest of them. Less is more. This goes hand in hand with number 2 above. Be a reader first, be helpful in the book community by recommending the books that you love, and never, ever recommend your own book! If your books are good, people will read them because they respect you as a person, and then they’ll tell all their friends to read them too.

4) Give away LOTS of free books. I know how hard this is, because I’ve been there. You work so hard to write a book and then you should give them away for free? Well, yeah, you have to because no one knows how you are or how good a writer you are. Focus on building a fan base over a LONG period of time. There are very few Amanda Hocking’s or Stephenie Meyer’s out there who will find almost instant success. Give your books away in exchange for reviews and over time, the readers will come. Be patient and never give up.

13   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

Always! If there’s one thing that’s certain for me, it’s that I’m always in the middle of a new project while trying to publish my old projects. Well, given I’ve just published the sequel to Fire Country, I’m working on the third book in the series, Water & Storm Country. The first draft is complete and with beta readers, so I’m just waiting in anticipation for their feedback. To keep my occupied while I wait, I’ve begun work on the 4th book in the Dwellers Saga, which will consequently double as the 4th book in The Country Saga. Because the two sagas are sister series, they’ll come crashing together in the 7th and final book in the combined series, titled The Earth Dwellers or Glass Country. Confused? So am I!

After that, I’ve got plenty of ideas for my next series, but one in particular stands out, however, I can’t be too forthcoming with information at this time. Just know it has an awesome title and will combine more than one genre within YA.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Racquel Jones

Racquel Jones is our featured author this evening.  Thank you so much Racquel for participating in this event! Enjoy the interview everyone!Racquel's_photo

BIO

Racquel Jones has been a Michigander for 22 years now. She has a love for all things fantasy, art and the history behind it and comic book heroes. Since she was able to talk, she told stories to her friends rather it be fan fiction or her own original ideas. Right now, she is looking to one day expand her horizons into writing for comics and owning a branch of unique cafes/bookstores.

Title: Desolate City (The Albertos Series #1)
Author: Racquel Jones

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Website: http://racquelthewriter.blogspot.com/

Blog: Same as above

Social Media connections: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Racquel-Jones/206693799354239?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rakeru19

Tumblr: http://racqueljones.tumblr.com/

Email: rakeru19@aol.com

Release Date: January 19, 2013

Book Trailer:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPgYjtQsciE

Where to buy:  Amazon/Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Desolate-City-Albertos-Series-ebook/dp/B00B380CXS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363195637&sr=8-1&keywords=desolate+city

Amazon/Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/Desolate-City-Albertos-Series-Volume/dp/1481909770/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363195704&sr=8-3&keywords=desolate+city

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4120787

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

“I need a drink over here!”

Two hours had gone by and the urge to run drove her up the wall. It was one of The Soul Reaper’s busy nights and it made her mood no better. Haydens were laughing loudly, clashing glasses and literally breaking them. Dimmed lighting with a smoky haze flowed around every table.

Monkey faced Haydens cackled in their corner, while the fairies—sweet smelling and graceful—sung soothing songs and swayed to their own beat. The poisonous Haydens poked at one another in their game of ‘whoever turns a different color and dies, wins’.

The lone ones sat at the bar mumbling to themselves in a foreign tongue. Seiren figured that what they spoke was one of Haydoria’s many languages she heard over the years. Either way, she made sure she wasn’t the one to serve them.

One had rows upon rows of jagged dirt-caked teeth, too big to fit in his mouth. Around his mouth, the skin was stretched and torn, yet no blood poured from the wounds. The skin had white fuzz in patches. How a mouth like that could even mutter words was beyond her. The sight of it speaking was sickening.

She sneaked a peek at another lone one at the right side of the bar. It puffed black smoke in small pants as its chest heaved harshly. One of its eyes was missing, the socket oozing a greenish substance. Its skin, pale and covered in pink warts, sizzled in the light and gave off fumes that smelled of rotten eggs.

He wasn’t the worst of them, though. The one at the very end of the bar had toothless mouths sucking in air like a dying fish and blistered eyeballs all over his body following everyone’s movements. The wheezing noise easing out of his mouth probably meant a lot of words to another Hayden, but to Seiren it meant stay away.

“Hey, waitress! How ‘bout some service?”

“Coming,” Seiren mumbled, breaking her attention away from the bar.

Her dream was to one day leave Black Phoenix. The city was so unorganized when the Haydens were involved. Everyone had their set group, but with all of them mixed with one another, she couldn’t even tell what was what anymore. And that bothered Seiren. She couldn’t even tell the difference between the snake and crocodile Haydens after a while.

“Here’s your beer, sir,” she forced out glumly. “Will that be all?”

Bug eyed and drooling, the devil look alike scanned her body. “No, it won’t,” it said, nudging its crusty friend. “I think I’ll have you next, baby.”

Slowly blinking, she struggled to keep the vomit from rising in her throat. Relax. Just relax. Scum will always be scum, she thought. “Nothing else? Call me if you need anything.”

Not giving it or him a chance to be disgusting for a second time, she walked behind the bar and slid to the floor with a pained moan. The peanut shells from the bar pressed into the bare palms of her hands. It wasn’t enough that she had to work with them. The horrible flirts and jokes had to come with the job at some point. It had to be endured for the sake of earning her keep and her very expensive ticket to freedom. Any ticket, rather it be by boat or train, was well worth over a few thousands.

She massaged her temples. It annoyed her that the rich had all the resources in the world to leave, but they would rather stay for some unknown reason. If she had more money than she could hold in two hands, she would have been on a plane a long time ago.

“I don’t pay you to sit on your butt, Seiren.”

Kat, her boss, worked behind the bar serving drink after drink. The short woman had crow’s feet by her eyes and an uneven bob. Kat came off as a bitter old woman to most, but was nice enough to risk giving a job to an underage girl.

“You’ll actually pay me to sit on the floor?” Kat gave her a sullen look while Seiren slowly wiped the peanut shells from her hands. “I know. Just feeling a little drained.” Over the bar, she could hear another glass shattering.

“You? Wonder Woman? No, that’s a lie,” Kat stopped momentarily to spare her a look. “Been overworking yourself?”

What’s with the superhero names? “Well, you know me. Won’t stop till I drop.”

Kat shrugged. “You’re one of my best workers. We can’t have you dropping now.”

“Yeah. Seriously, I feel crappy.”

“Suck it up then, Seiren. We got a busy night and you’re slacking. And let me remind you, I’m not tolerating any violence tonight.”

Seiren’s lips twitched upward. She punched a scrawny long arm thing once for feeling her up. “I was put on earth to beat on the scumbags. I can’t hide my gifts, Kat.” Oh, the memories of that Hayden’s broken nose.

“Then I guess you’re willing to get fired?” Kat asked sliding a shot glass down to a ghoulish looking fellow. “Not tonight, you got it? Last time, you started a riot. You should have been gone right then.”

“Sure, sure, I got it. But I’m telling you. I’m not making any promises.”

If only she could run for two minutes. Only two minutes and her night would be refreshed. Maybe then she would be able to keep that promise. The wind blowing through her curls when soaring from rooftop to rooftop seemed so far away.

“Seiren, I mean it,” Kat said through her teeth, slamming a bottle of whiskey. “As a matter of fact, make yourself useful and take the trash out. Maybe some fresh air will do you some good.”

At first a protest built itself up in the pit of her stomach. That was not the type of fresh air she was thinking of. However, a Hayden looked over the bar, clear teeth chattering with a snotty nose. She shook her head with a sigh and stood up.

“You know what, you’re right. I’ll do that.”

“Yes, please do,” Kat answered as she turned to the chatter teeth customer. “What’ll it be, hon?”

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Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing? I first started writing in Middle School, but began taking it seriously in the 9th grade; High School.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? No, I wanted to be a singer. I actually went to school with a major in singing, but because of personal reasons, I was unable to complete my schooling and had to figure out what else I wanted to do. That’s when my passion for writing came along.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? Fantasy/paranormal. I wish to try other genres in the future, but having supernatural things involved is something I can’t do without. So I’ll probably be sticking with those two for a while.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? Mostly from music and a few books that I’ve read in the past. If you haven’t listened to Nujabes (may God rest his soul) you need to…like NOW.

5      What has your publishing experience been like? A little frustrating, but I’m managing. I’m still trying to figure out if I like self-publishing or not. I’ll get back to you on that one.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? Well, I listen to music and I can’t stay in one spot for long when writing. For example, I could be in my room for a week or two and then I would feel I need a new atmosphere and will go in the living room or the kitchen.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Some names mostly came from my own head, but some names were from friends and found on the internet somewhere.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? Hmm…I guess I would have to say Echo is. At first, it was another main character of mine, but the more I worked with him, the more he grew on me. He’s mysterious, kind, but also blunt. If there is anyone you need to tell you the absolute truth, go to Echo.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it? I learned that no matter how many times I write an outline for this series, my characters write for themselves. Meaning, I can never follow my true outline. It’s just out of the question.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work? I’m still learning how to get myself out there, but since I’m new to this, I mostly send out review requests and have giveaways. I try my best to connect with different authors and soon I’ll be having a blog tour. If anyone have any suggestions for me, it would help a bunch.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? I was almost brought to tears. I never thought I would see my book in print and to have that dream come true, I really didn’t know what to do but sit, stare and grin like an idiot, glassy eyed and all.

12   Favourite authors? I don’t have any at the moment, but I’m really loving James Dashner a lot lately.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? Oh yes. Who hasn’t? I want to meet that person so they can tell me their secrets. To get rid of my writer’s block, I would get inspiration from author interviews. I know it’s weird, but watching them always seemed to inspire me. If not that, I would have to watch a show or movie to get my mind flowing with ideas again.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? As a new writer myself, I guess my advice is don’t let anyone or anything deter you from your dreams. If you want to write, just write. Write until your hands fall off. I don’t know how new it is, but they have a new program where you can talk to your computer and it records what you say, so even if your hands fall off, you can keep going. No excuse, right?

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it? Yes I am! I wouldn’t technically call it new. It’s an old idea I decided to go back to. Let’s just say it involves a small town and a love so strong you’re willing to jump to Hell and back for it again and again.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Krystal George

Tonight’s guest is Krystal George.   She is the author of Guardian of the Realm: A Faerie Tale.  I would like to welcome her to the blog tour and thank her for participating.

Enjoy the read everyone!

Bio:

Hello everyone!  My name is Krystal George and I have also written under Krystal McLaughlin.  I am an up and coming Indie Author specializing in Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal.  My current books are The Willows, Guardian of the Realm: A Faerie Tale, and the first two in my Enchanted Island Series- The Witches Lottery and A Dragon Forsaken.  Currently I am working on the 3rd book in the series which will be entitled The Goblin’s Daughter.

I am a life long Coloradoan and love spending time with my three beautiful kids and my amazing husband.  The mountains of Colorado are both beautiful and mysterious and provide a lovely setting for a lot of my stories.  Growing up I always had a story going on in my head.  Until I was older, I thought that everyone did 🙂  Once I realized that wasn’t so, I knew that I was meant to write and I have been writing ever since.

I am obsessed with Young Adult fiction and feel like some of my best friends can be found on the pages of a book.  Harry Potter, Alice Cullen, Ethan Waite, Clary Fray…  and so many more!  I would love nothing more than to share the worlds I have created and the characters that live within them to all of you!  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and to get to know me and my books 😉

Guardian of the Realm-FinalTitle: Guardian of the Realm: A Faerie Tale
Author: Krystal George

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Krystal-George-Mclaughlin/432269720181660

Blog: Krystalmclaughlin.blogspot.com

Social Media connections:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/krystal.mclaughlin.98

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Krystal-George-Mclaughlin/432269720181660

Twitter: https://twitter.com/witcheslottery

Blog: http://krystalmclaughlin.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4573103.Krystal_McLaughlin

BookBlogs: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/KrystalMcLaughlin

 

Release Date: February 25 2013
Where to buy:  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Reviews: This story catches hold of you from page one and careens you through a rollercoaster of emotions. Happiness, pain, loneliness, the desire by all of us to fit in, and finally; love. Krystal George is a master of the pen (or keyboard as it may be) taking you on an enchanting tale through The Realm where Darkness is trying to take hold. This tale follows Eric, a boy of the mortal world who is anything but, and Esmeralda, a faerie who longs for what she does not have. Krystal George blazes her own trail through the world of mystical fascination leaving no stone unturned, and making you laugh and cry along with the main characters. Her writing leaves nothing to be desired and I would highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys this genre. You will not be disappointed, and once you turn the last page, you will wish for more. I eagerly rush into more of Krystal George’s books with a sense of joy and excitement!!

Other Work: The Witches Lottery (Enchanted Island book 1) A Dragon Forsaken (Enchanted Island book 2) and The Willows

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Guardian of the Realm:

Smiling, I let the veil begin to slip even further, beginning to distort my mortal form and showing pieces of what I had become.  As my body began to take on an ethereal glow and my eyes began to darken, the whites turning as black as night, both men gasped and sputtered out curses before beginning to back away.

“Oh yes,” I smiled, “I most certainly believe in magic.”

Shawn whimpered as my long blondish hair began blowing in a breeze that only I could feel and a crown of thorns began to appear on my head.  “But you’re only a child,” he cried.

Ian, face as white as a sheet of paper, began shaking his head.  “It’s her.  Damn it, she’s the Guardian.”  He looked at his friend, visibly shaken and terrified.  “She’s one of them.”

“But she’s just a child,” Shawn whimpered again.

“Don’t be such an idiot; she’s more powerful than all of them.  That’s why they chose her.”

When my eyes turned completely black and the smile that covered my face began to take on a demonic appearance, I threw my head back and began laughing.  My sisters, the ones that were close enough to hear and even see the exchange as they hid in the trees began laughing with me.
“You see, I’m terribly sorry,” I said, my voice still carrying the innocence of my youth, “but I can’t let you pass.”

Both men began crying and threw themselves at my feet begging for mercy, but there was no mercy to be had.  Not from me.  That part of me, the part that showed compassion, had been lost in the transformation and I felt nothing for them as I watched them grovel before me.

After a few more seconds, I began to tire of their cries and the game and with a quick motion of throwing my arms up toward the sky I called on all of the powers that had been granted to me.  Dark smoke began curling around me, obliterating the men, covering us with the acrid smell of dark magic.  After a few moments of this, the whites of my eyes began to reappear and with a soft breath, I blew the foul smelling smoke until there was nothing left; nothing, but me standing alone in the middle of a bridge that many would seek out in the years to come.  There were no signs of the men who had been there moments before, and deep in my heart I searched for some sort of regret at the lives I had just taken, but just like any other time, there was nothing.

This was my life now.  This was my destiny and no one would ever get past into the Realm of the faeries.  Not with me as the Guardian.  My queen had chosen wisely, and with my duty done for the time being, I found a tree close by to nestle in and wait.  Wait, because as sure as I was that magic was alive, I knew that those who would seek it would one day find themselves facing me.  And I was ready.

 goblins_daughter_nook

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?   When I was about 13 years old.  I used to want to be the next RL Stine or Christopher Pike (only the girl version!)

 

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?  I actually wanted to be a Marine Biologist until I discovered that I have a horrible fear of orcas!

 

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?    I work mostly with YA Paranormal/Fantasy but I have an Adult Women’s Fiction book in the work as well.

 

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? Everywhere? LOL – Really I can be walking across the street, see a cat jump into a bush and think “hmm, what could have made the cat jump that way?”

5      What has your publishing experience been like?  It has been a lot of work but very rewarding.  I love being an Indie Author because it forces you to network and I have made a lot of amazing contacts and friends 

 

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?  I usually have my ear buds in and I have to have my laptop on my lap

witches_nook

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?  I just go with my gut instinct.  Whatever name or place comes to mind first, I go with it

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?  Esmeralda because she has always wanted to become a faerie and I can relate to her love of magic

 

9      How did you/do you market your work?  Network, network, network!!!

 

10   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?  I cried – first when I was able to search for my name on Barnes and Noble and have something come up and second when I saw my printed version for the first time!

 

11   Favorite authors?  JK Rowling, Cassandra Clare, RL Stine, Christopher Pike, Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, and Johanna Lindsey

 

12   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?   I always have at least 4 books marinating in my mind at once, so if I get a block on one, I usually work on one of the others until a new twist develops and I am able to get back to the original one.

 

13   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?  Make sure that you write from your heart, are sincere with your fans and fellow authors, and always follow through with what you promise you are going to do 

The willows - Online image 

14   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?  I am currently working on the 3rd installment of the Enchanted Island series entitled The Goblin’s Daughter.  I am hoping that it will be released in April and it continues the story through a different perspective.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Vallory Vance

Tonight I am featuring Vallory Vance, a very talented author who I have gotten to know through Facebook.  Thank you so much Vallory for taking the time to interview!  Readers, enjoy!

photo (2)Title: Cheers
Author: Vallory Vance

Genre: Romance / Sensual

Blog: http://www.valloryv.wordpress.com

Social Media connections: Twitter – @ValloryVance

Release Date:  December 2012
Where to buy:  Amazon, All Romance, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble
Reviews:

Other Work:  Music for Her Soul, a contemporary romance published by Amira Press

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Cheers Summary –

As a successful Sales and Catering Manager for the posh Hayden Court Hotel located in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, Darcey St. Claire is absolutely thrilled to be working on New Year’s Eve.  The commission and bonus she’ll receive from the two day Guidry Construction event will not only fund her spring trip to New York City, but buy a cute pair of shoes for the plane ride!

Her enthusiasm quickly turns to barely disguised irritation when Vincent Guidry arrives hours early for his scheduled check-in, demanding access to his suite.  After he slashes the budget for the event, not even the crystal blue eyes of the former quarterback can quell the anger surging in her chest.

That is until he walks into the Chat Noir where she is trying to regroup after her irksome day.

In the private enclave known as the Cristal Room, Vincent willingly lights up Darcey’s New Year’s Eve and may have lost his heart in the process to the young woman who isn’t looking for anything serious.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I filled notebooks with song lyrics and poems and short stories. In college, I moved on to playwriting. After getting married and starting my career and family, I stopped writing for twenty years. I’m so thankful that I starting writing again and became published. What else would I like to be? I envision myself as a lounge singer (once I get singing lessons). Of course, I’ll write all my own songs.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

The works I’ve published have been sexy romances, but I would like to write mysteries as well.

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

I’ve worked with two different publishers and I have self-published. Working with a publisher is a lot easier for me. When left to my own devices, a project could take months before I move from finished project to finding a cover artist and editor. A great example of this is the follow up to Cheers, my editor has completed her first round of edits and I’ve been playing internet games for the past two weeks. I think I need to know that if I don’t get something done on time, I’m inconveniencing someone else. That’ll make me move in a hurry.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

When I sit down to write, I pick a playlist based on the type of scene I’m writing. The music and my writing have become so tightly woven that I think I spend as much time organizing music to write as I spend writing each evening! I also have to have Dr. Pepper and a bottle of water.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

I love naming characters. I always thought I’d give them all the names that I thought were beautiful, but that’s not how it worked out. I tend to name based some aspect of the character’s personality with respect to their ages and cultural backgrounds.

In Music for Her Soul, it was difficult to find the hero’s name. I’m not a Texas native but he is so I had to find a name that would fit with not only his upbringing but his parents. After searching through baby naming sites and using data from the census bureau (amazing site for authors!), I chose Ethan Holden. Still has the not every guy you’d meet on the street feel and is still not improbable for a guy you’d meet on the street to have!

Cheers (FINAL) 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

Darcey is my favorite. She was challenging to write because she is extremely confident and I struggled to make sure that she remained likeable throughout.

12   Favorite authors? 

There are so many that have amazed me with their words and it’s difficult to pick favourites. Though I’m pretty sure that I’ll always find something special when I read Margaret Atwood, Walter Mosley, Amy Tan and Stephen King.

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

After doing this for a year, my frame of reference is very small. But for anyone out there newer than me – keep writing, take classes and read!

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

I’m finishing my edits for the follow-up to Cheers. The soon-to-be released, Déjà Vu, begins six days after Darcey and Vincent’s first meeting. It explores their new relationship while each deals with the consequences of their past decisions.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Sarah Lazowski

Tonight’s guest author is Sarah Lazowski, author of Jaded Nightmares.  I want to thank Sarah for participating in this event!  Enjoy tonight’s read everyone!

BIO

338525_10151301865963007_470911066_oSarah Lazowski is a mother of a fifteen year old daughter and twelve year old son. She lives with her boyfriend of thirteen years in Oshkosh, WI. Sarah works part time for a Newspaper and when she is not at work she is at her desk writing, working on the next novel or writing down ideas for novels, or trying to train for half marathons.

New Cover for JNTitle: Jaded Nightmares
Author: Sarah Lazowski   

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Website: http://www.sarahlazowski.webs.com

Blog: http://www.sarahlazowski.wordpress.com

Social Media connections: @sarahlazowski – Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/sarah.lazowski

Release Date: March 5, 2013
Where to buy:  Amazon, Createspace.com, Smashwords.com
Reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting December 27, 2012

By Lady Snowy Owl

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

I got the book to add to my e-reader and because a friend recommended it. I was happily surprised to find I made a great choice!

Other Work:

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

As I walk through the jaded glass of my past it reminds me of all of the cuts I have endured and how much pain the past has caused me. I try to forget I try to move on. I say the past is the past Live. Learn. Move on, but the past is haunting my dreams and tearing at my soul. How do you stop the hounds of hell in your dreams??? Make it stop, make them go away. I need to sleep to heal and not feel this pain. I want to run and hide, no more pain I beg the night I want to feel pleasure not pain. The voice in my dreams whispered there is always pain in pleasure and pleasure in pain.

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing? I first started writing when I was ten years old. I let the negative reviews of my early writing stop me from writing for almost twenty-four years.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? No, I wanted to be a police officer when I was younger; I even started training to be a sniper when I was sixteen years old.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? I prefer to write paranormal books, I have tried to write poetry and historical romance in the past and I always seemed to mix in vampires and werewolves in it somehow.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? The inspiration for this book came from a pow-wow I went to as a child and hearing all the stories told by the Shaman’s, the images swirled in my head and begged to be written, but I ignored them and then a few years later I tried transcendental meditation and had one of the most vivid dreams ever. When I woke up the details were like a movie playing over and over again in my head until I wrote them all down.

5      What has your publishing experience been like?  A huge learning experience! I found some not so nice people along the way, as well as some wonderful ones who helped me keep going and not give up.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? I always have to listen to music to tune out everything around me but the muse; otherwise I have been seen writing everywhere, i.e., sitting in the bleachers typing away on my phone, writing the words quickly in the car on my notebook before the kids get out of school, jotting notes down quickly and throwing them on my flash drive at work.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Whatever name or place came to me while writing is what I wrote. My muse has travelled the world more then I have. *chuckles*

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? In Jaded Nightmares I do not have a favourite character since it is a collection of short stories that are all tied together in a small way.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it? Yes, I learned to trust your instincts and to listen to what others are telling you about your writing, but to not take it personally, there are people who want to help you and there are people out there who will “help” you only to see you fail.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work? Marketing is something I really need to learn to do. I have made book marks and business cards and left them at coffee shops and book stores as well as posting on my Facebook wall about the release of my book as well as on my blog and website, other than that I have no idea how to go about advertising.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? I screamed like a little girl!! It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders that the book was finally done and available to everyone.

12   Favourite authors?  Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Gena Showalter, Valerie Douglas, Brynn Myers, Tish Thawer

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? With Jaded Nightmares not really, there were days I was not writing the amount of words I wanted but never hit writers block. My next book on the other hand, I knew what I wanted to write, but the words just would not come to me, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture of a dark angel holding a woman in his arms and the words started to flow.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Do not take all the harsh words that are to come to heart. Yes that is easier said than done and yes it hurts, but voice the pain the words caused to a wonderful supportive friend and let it go. If you let the words hold you back you will stop writing.

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it? My next book is the first one in a series of books. Lucian’s Angel is about a woman who learns that she is half Angel/half human and in order to save her half Angel/half Demon husband and father of her children she must embrace her destiny and become the next Angel of Death and Purgatory.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: A.J. Lape

Tonight’s feature is for A.J. Lape, a fellow Ohio author. Thank you so much A.J. for joining the blog tour. Enjoy the interview everyone!

headshotBIO

A. J. lives in Cincinnati with her husband, two feministic daughters, an ADD dog, a spoiled hamster, and an unapologetic and unrepentant addiction to Coca-Cola.  She studied English, Journalism, and Political Science at Morehead State University and left the business world when her daughters were born.  Her love for suspense and a good story was spawned from watching Mystery Science Theater with her sister during childhood.  That and any B movie with comedic undertones they could get their hands on.

When she’s not riding that razor-thin line between creativity and insanity, she  likes to read, watch too much cable TV, or cheer like a banshee at her daughters’ sporting events. She’s a huge hometown sports fan and loves to watch the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds whenever she can.

A. J. loves to connect with fans!  If you would like to receive emails of upcoming releases, please sign up for her distribution list by visiting her homepage at http://www.ajlape.com and clicking the “contact” tab.

Find A. J. Lape Online:

Website: http://www.ajlape.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ajlape

Twitter: http://twitter.com/darcywalker13

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ajlapeauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/ajlape

Email:aj@ajlape.com

SYNOPSIS

Fifteen years ago, Darcy Walker’s parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning “dark walker.” Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they definitely nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she’s boringly average–although flirting admirers claim otherwise–and God help her, she’s infatuated with a bad-boy.

A bad-boy that her hottie best friend, Dylan, wishes would get acquainted with his fist.

And, oh yeah, there’s that tattoo that was a royally stupid idea.

With her life spiraling out of control, everything changes when she skips class and finds a dead body…in fact, it gets worse. It jump-starts Darcy’s inner-verb, and her brain hardwired for action gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.

Set in the fictional Cincinnati town of Valley, Ohio, Darcy falls into a world of threats, violence, and gangland exploits, chasing down every clue to finger the murderer. When a fellow misfit is arrested for the crime, Darcy goes from zero-to-sixty trying to clear his name—constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her, but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.

Trouble is…will she live to see 16?

1      When did you first start writing? I majored in English and Journalism in college so I’ve always had a pen or pencil in my hand, but my journey with the Darcy Walker Series came to me on Friday, 13th, 2008. That was a particularly crappy day—you can hear about it in one of those awful E True Hollywood Stories some day. I just picked up my laptop to “vent.” Darcy literally “walked” onto the page with her kick-butt heroine self and has never left.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?  I loved to write, that’s for sure. And I knew I’d either go into journalism, criminal justice, or police work.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?    The Darcy Walker Series is a YA Mystery, but I’m also working on The Jude Nichols Saga which is urban fantasy.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? I’m influenced a lot by current events and pop culture. With Grade A Stupid, it really comes down to the fact that I have a soft spot in my heart for people that are wired a little differently than everyone else—who can’t fit their square-peg mind through society’s round hole. I wanted to create a character that people could identify with, who showed you that you could accomplish something when you put your mind to it, by simply embracing what makes you unique. (My muse just poked me in the ribs…) Let me rephrase, that’s not totally true. I didn’t set out to create this character. Darcy Walker sort of found me.

5      What has your publishing experience been like?  I’ve had a blast, every step of the way.  Some steps I’ve done easier than the others, but overall I wouldn’t change any of the lessons that I’ve learned.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?  I get up around 8AM, hurriedly go through emails, jump in the shower, take my ten year old to school, then come back home and crack open a can of Coke. Then I look at my notes from the night before because I’ll often map out my next day at midnight or beyond. I’m a major night owl…I’ve tried to conform to the normal world, but so far, conformity and I don’t mix. After I peruse my notes, I pick a song for motivation and say a quick prayer…I’m a pretty simple person.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?  I love weirdness…so if I’m writing an unsavoury character, rest assured, I’m going to give them a unique, gritty name. Most of the time, I research the true origin of a name, too.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? Right now, I’m writing No Brainer, book two in the Darcy Walker Series, and I have to say, Dylan Taylor’s voice is coming EXTREMELY easy for me. He’s Darcy’s best friend and they have a “flirtationship” that’s about to incinerate the planet.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?  That when I hit a roadblock, the universe would open a door. I also found out that I’m not a quitter. Down deep, there are days in self-publishing where you want to throw up your hands and leave the stress behind. Don’t…hang in there, because the feeling of gratification you get for seeing a job through is like no other.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work? Social media, social media, social media. Facebook and twitter helped land Grade A Stupid in the Top 100 within 36 hours of its release. To say I was shocked was an understatement.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? Out of body, really. It was so surreal to see this person that had consumed my life for four and a half years to finally find the voice I thought she deserved.

12   Favourite authors?  Karen Marie Moning and JR Ward. They mix action and suspense like no others.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?  Absolutely, but I think it’s like anything else in life. Don’t let it beat you. Keep writing, even if it’s only 100 words in a day. I promise that you and your muse will get back on track. When that’s happened to me, I usually find it’s because I’ve taken the story in a direction that my muse didn’t agree with. I wholeheartedly believe that your subconscious will speak to you if you take the time to listen.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, don’t ever quit, and embrace the positive and negative feedback as learning experiences. That being said, don’t let “haters” drag you down. I know that’s easier said than done because you feel like you’ve failed a little if people don’t get what you’re trying to do. A good friend of mind told me to concentrate on those that love your character and don’t waste time trying to convert those that don’t. That’s the best advice I’ve ever been given because it sets your muse free to tell the story that needs to be told.

 

Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it? Currently, I’m finishing up edits on No Brainer, book two in the Darcy Walker Series, and hope to dive back into my urban fantasy series when done.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: A. Jacob Sweeny

Tonight’s guest is A. Jacob Sweeny, a very talented author.  Her writing is mysterious and suspenseful, as she describes below. Thank so much AJ for joining the blog tour.  Enjoy the interview everyone.

A. Jacob Sweeny HeadshotTHE PULSE MYTHS SERIES 2012 BEST YA PARANORMAL SERIES!

~Paranormal Reads~

My novels are long and complex, sweet and intense. They are mysterious and suspenseful. Find out the magic for yourself. I have been writing and storytelling ever since I was able to hold a pen. When I spent time working as a teacher with children of varying ages I was fascinated by the awesome power of words to excite and inspire the young mind. The art of Storytelling is what makes a good teacher great.
My degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East, and my personal interest in world myths, combined with my fieldwork in archaeology have inspired my research and development of many elements in the story.
I also remember what it was like to be a girl myself and have often wanted to share my own thoughts, fears and dreams during that age with others. Books were essential to my development especially during my teenage years and helped me become the satisfied person that I am today.

 

Blog Tour Questions

Title: The Pulse Myths series: Pulse Of Heroes/ Of Blood and Pulse/Pulse Genesis

Author:  A. Jacob Sweeny (AJ 🙂

Genre: Mature YA paranormal romance/suspense
Website: http://www.pulseofheroes.com

Social Media connections:  Twitter: @AJSweeny  

facebook.com/ThePulseSeries

Release Date: Oct. 31st 2010/ Oct. 31st 2011/June 21st 2013 Where to buy: Amazon

POHFrontCoverEBook072511Pulse of Heroes

5 of 5 stars -Melissa from Beneath the Covers-Blog.
Review: LOVE. LOVE. LOVE! This book transports you to a whole new world, even though it takes place now. The history in this book is amazing and it makes me wish I were Michelle so I could meet these amazing guys! This book has a mix of many things, history, love, betrayal, action, romance and it is a roller coaster of amazing!

5 of 5 – Joella

Review: I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! A. Jacob Sweeny truly has produced one of the best paranormal story lines I have read in a long time. She is able to incorporate mystery, adventure, suspense, paranormal, love and historical context all into one story. The characters are very realistic despite the underlying paranormal theme. It is not your typical paranormal romance and leaves you on edge wondering what will happen next. The story just pulls you in and you never want it to end! I could not put it down and actually finished it one day!!! Michelle and Elliot are definitely on their way to becoming the next big couple in the paranormal world!!

Of Blood and PulseFacebookcopyOf Blood & Pulse

Katrina Whittaker ** Page Flipperz blog

5 of 5  Review: Oh myyyyyy !! THIS CERTAINLY HAD MY BLOOD AND PULSE RACING …………
I’m a fast reader but was determined to drag this baby out!!! I savoured every chapter, and dragged it out for days… longer…. I know you say why if you loved it… I just didn’t want it to end!!
AJ has done it again!! More mythology, more history, more characters and so much damn action I’m sure the kids on the pinball machines would get a run for their money. Every corner is a page turner and something new. That ping you hear is your brain wandering which direction the story is headed! I laughed at the funny antics, shed a tear, and also had my reader in frenzy in the end. Silently screaming to myself NOO!!!!! Oh man what a climax…Like a roller coaster ride this story will take you on many twists and turns and have you guessing in which direction she is taking us. There love certainly took on a new level, one which I must say also had my heart doing flips, and my toes where curling along with Michelle’s lol.. Elliot is such a dream boat…. sighs.

5 of 5

Kathryn Grimes

Review: FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!! I couldn’t put this book down b/c I wanted to know everything that was going to happen and at the same time I didn’t want to see it end…I am in withdrawals right now b/c I finished it…NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!!
I am so in love with this series!! More importantly, I am in love with Elliot! He is so wonderful and funny, and the love he has for Michelle is mind-blowing…
A. Jacob Sweeney has created a world in which is like no other and I have fallen in love with it. With Pulse of Heroes and now Of Blood and Pulse, I can never put it down because each one is a page turner that has drawn the reader in, hooked them to the very last page…

 

Other Work: A sword for his Women/ Divine Love in time of Storms (Pulse Historia)

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Of Blood & Pulse:

“What’s wrong? What is it?” he asked, his eyes wild with fear. He grabbed Jessica’s arm because it looked as if she might fall.  She freed herself from him and stood up to look at him. There were tears at the corners of her eyes.

“Pain, heartbreak, there.” She pointed down the hallway. Elliot turned around but saw nothing. He looked back at Jessica in confusion and noticed that the tears were now starting to flow down her face.

“Go after her,” she said, her voice urgent. “She loves you.” Elliot’s mind tried to make the connection. He looked back down the hall and tuned his hearing. He heard the metal gates shaking. “Go!” Jessica ordered, her index finger extending in command. “You love someone, don’t you?” she asked as Elliot pulled his shirt back on over his head. He didn’t answer her. He disappeared into thin air.

Michelle hung on the metal bars of the gate in desperation. She pulled and pulled, building herself into hysteria. She looked up, trying to figure out if she could climb over the gate. She needed out or she might start screaming in panic. She already knew that the perimeter wall was impossible to get over. The gate was her only chance. Just as she put her foot up to climb, someone grabbed her from behind and her body went into overdrive.

Elliot felt Michelle’s adrenaline kicking in and soaking her entire nervous system. He could practically taste the sweetness of the glucose as her body used it up with fervor for extra energy. Michelle’s system was bursting in fight or flight mode. She thrashed her arms and kicked backwards with her feet. She shook her head from side to side and her teeth were slightly bared. All her muscles contorted and her jaw tightened in resentment. Her heart rate was at a dangerous speed. For Michelle, Elliot’s arms felt like steel around her body, the claustrophobia unbearable. When she finally turned to look at his face, her pupils dilated and her throat was dry, she yelled at him to let go of her.

“Michelle you need to calm down. You’re hysterical and…”

“Let me go. I don’t want you to touch me. I hate you! I hate you with all my heart!” Michelle yelled as loud as her voice would let her. It was gut wrenching, but Elliot wouldn’t loosen his grip. He knew that she was hurting. Nobody could hate like that unless they were in love.

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?  As soon as I could string words together. And before that I told stories.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? I always wrote but never thought about it seriously. My first dream was to be an opera singer, then an archaeologist, then a fashion designer.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? My first published work is mature YA paranormal, But I have other stories ready to go that are not paranormal. Some are more romance driven, while others are suspense/mystery.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from? From my time spend digging in archaeological digs. There I get a view that is different than what most see. I wanted to bring the reality of history back to the forefront, nit just as mere myth but as it was real and alive.

5      What has your publishing experience been like? Being independent it’s an up and down cycle. I do everything from concept to print-so it’s a 24 hour job. What I love is the control I have over my own work and how I don’t have to answer to anyone. I print what feels right-so far most people love it.  At this point I have had several publishers interested in picking up The Pulse Myth Series but I’m holding out. I will have other books published by different publishers coming up.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? I love to write with my morning coffee. And at times I will make CD’s with songs that keep me focused on my theme and inspiration. I need to be alone. It’s very difficult to write when there are other people in the house. At times I write into the early hours of the morning.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? With The Pulse Myth Series I had to adhere to names that come from the region where each immortal originated, but other than that while I research some name will grab me and I just know that, that’s it!

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why? Elliot De Costa! He’s the true classical embodiment of man/leader/teacher/warrior/lover. He’s beautiful and quiet at times. He is also flawed and he knows this.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it? I learnt a lot about the craft and a lot about myself. Most of all I have learnt to respect anyone that sits down and finishes writing a book. It’s a lot harder and demands way more crazy dedication than most people would ever realize.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work? Internet is king! Blogs, Facebook, website etc.  but I have also gone to a few conferences.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? I’m still shocked and it’s been almost three years. There is a certain emotional divorce that happened to me. I remember thinking wow look at this huge amazing looking book; but that I wrote it? It still doesn’t really connect LOL

12   Favorite authors?  William Shakespeare

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? Not yet

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? An idea is great, a good idea is even better, but unless you are willing to put it down on paper, finish it, publish it and edit and face criticism, then you are only a dreamer. Dedication is a must, and readership is your only true scale of whether you have it or not.

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it? I am in the finishing stages of the last installment of The Pulse Myths Series novel: PULSE GENESIS! Hopefully crossing fingers it will be released June 21st of this year. I also have a romance story fully developed in my mind that I hope to have ready by wintertime. The title for that one is “86 Special” I also have short that will be featured in a collection: My Name is Bimbo Baghim