Happiness is…

30whoa, looky look! That’s me thinking about SKYBAND 15 back in 2009! I’ve drawn that scene now! :D Still working on the chapter, though… coloring… and then lettering… and then publishing… happiness is… finishing! ;)

Happiness isAnd here’s the final panel (without the lettering) – 6 years later… I’m finally there! Happiness! :D

Sunday Surprise

unnamedAnd it’s another Ink Slinger! Straight out of the awesome anthology I’m also part of, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Yawatta Hosby!

Where do you live and write from?
I’m a writer who resides in West Virginia, only an hour from Washington DC. My town is more city than country.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s fun. I daydream all day, and writing lets me be creative in jotting my ideas down.

When did you start writing?
Believe it or not, I was drawing way before I discovered writing. I started drawing, especially paper dolls, at the age of eight. When I was eleven, I took my first creative writing class and fell in love with it. Then, I mixed drawing and writing together to create comics.

What genre(s) do you write?
Since I love reading different types of books, I also enjoy writing different genres. I mostly write suspense and psychological horror. My heart also belongs to dramas, so I write women’s fiction too.

99e75708358238697d0f703205739fcec9c6fd96What does your writing routine consist of?
First, I create character sketches and plot outlines. Brainstorming takes awhile until I feel confident that I know my characters inside and out. Second, I write my first drafts in a notebook. This helps because I can write anywhere instead of waiting until I get home to my laptop.

I jot my entire rough draft without editing. If I edited as I went along, I’d never finish. Once I’m done, I type it in a word document. Print it out. Edit on the paper. After I make changes on the laptop, I get feedback from critique partners, then beta-readers.

After making changes, I hire an editor. Every step that I complete makes me feel good. I live for those moments, getting closer to the end goal of a published book.

What are your strengths of a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
My strengths are writing dialogue and coming up with constant plot twists. I developed these qualities by reading a lot, dabbling in screenplays when I was in college, and being a huge couch potato, my favorite shows are suspense and mysteries. Pay attention enough and you eventually learn how to structure stories for a satisfying journey for the readers.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to know what to look for. I’m inspired by music, especially R&B and alternative rock. Movies, tv shows, other books, overheard conversations, and newspaper clippings are other forms of inspiration.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
I’m an outliner and a fast writer. Unfortunately, I’m a slow editor.

23560545Tell us about your latest book.
My latest published book is my short story, Plenty of Fish.

Local celebrity painter Mackenzie knows better than to talk to strangers. But, he seems to know so much about her already…

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
I’m an indie author because I wanted full control of my books. Plus, I was too impatient for the submitting process. It seems like a daunting task to wait six months to a year to hear a rejection or acceptance from an agent, editor, or publishing house.

However, I wouldn’t mind the waiting time now. I still plan on being an indie author, but I also want to submit some suspense YA books to publishers. My dream is to see my  novels on bookshelves in stores and libraries.

2694ce43f1a88569532bf03cc4499cdecab0b4f9Any other projects in the pipeline?
My suspense novella, Twisted Obsession, is complete. I’m just waiting on that perfect book cover.

I’m working on an urban legends novel. Characters die, one by one, from urban myths in a college town. But, I’m mostly working on short stories and submitting them to magazines and anthologies. To attract new readers, I have to get my name out there.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
My ultimate goal as a writer is to entertain readers. I would love to be known as the female Stephen King. I want to scare the bejesus out of my readers. In order to achieve my goal, I study the craft of writing every day. Being realistic, I know everything takes time.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I need to push myself in emotional scenes. I need to focus on the character’s feelings more instead of just moving the story forward with plot. This advice from my critique partner helped me become a better writer.


Where to find Yawatta:

Twitter: yawatta_hosby
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: http://yawattahosby.wordpress.com

Author Central


Random Friday

More movies and my “review” of the anthology. Between writing and assignments and life rolls I got to the DVD box-set of the Marigold Hotel movies.

I had already seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” on a plane and then on TV (I rented the DVD when they were still rentable? Can’t remember) and it was great seeing it again. Not that I’m near that age yet, but there is a lot of wisdom there. And all wonderful British actors surrounding poor young Dev Patel who manages not to get crushed! ;)

I hadn’t seen The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” yet, though, so I actually watched that one first, because I was curious. The addition of an American actor still doesn’t crush exhuberant Dev Patel and his on-screen betrothed – although, again, I’m probably the only westerner who recognized the song when Sunaina shows Sonny the rehearsal dance through the webcam.

But I had to look online after the movie to find out it was “Ye ishq haj” from Jab We Met. No Shahid, no Karena and not an item song in this movie, unfortunately. But then, this is not Bollywood, is it? ;) Well, it’s not Hollywood either. Lollywood? I doubt the British Film Industry would appreciate such a name… ;)

Didn’t have time to watch the extras on any DVD, but I do love both stories. I doubt I’ll retire in India (too hot for my tastes), but one can dream…

As for When the lights go out, I gave star ratings to each story, then divided the total by 24 (excluding my story, of course) and the final rating is… Ta-daaan! 4stars! The favorite stories are: Midnight Summons, Loving Reflections, The Blue Die, Behind the Door, Legends and Lies, Reapers, Beldren and Through the Willow Tree!

Way to go, fellow authors! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Character Interview Number Thirty – Rajveer


another great interview with the vampire… ahem, with Rajveer! Go check this out!

Originally posted on Library of Erana:

Tell Us About Yourself
Name (s) Rajveer of the Guhilas of Mewar

Age 27… forever.
Please tell us a little about yourself.

My body died when I was twenty-seven. I don’t know what to call myself now. I look exactly like I did then – if a little paler. A kshatriya (warrior) of Chittor turned into a rakshasa (demon) by a foreign bloodsucker… I had to leave Chittorgarh at some point, so they didn’t notice I’m not ageing anymore.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, handsome and honey-eyed warrior.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? The kshatriyadharma enjoins the Rajput male to die the good death on the field of battle and to maintain his personal honor and masculine integrity in all situations. The Rajput women have their own codes, the most exacting demand of which is to join her…

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Writer Wednesday

unnamedAnd the Ink Slinkers Anthology is out everywhere! Check it’s free everywhere as well… Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, i-Tunes, Smashwords and even Feltrinelli, in case you’re an expat living in Italy! ;) Make Amazon price-match to 0 if they haven’t already! ;)

My story in the anthology is about Kaylyn, Rajveer’s sister-in-darkness, whose novel will come out next year. Hope you all checked Rajveer’s interview on Amaranthine and stay tuned for more. Currently writing about Daya and Chandaka, secondary characters of Rajveer’s story…

sixmonths_resizeI have finished coloring SKYBAND 15, so it’s up to lettering and then publishing… In the meantime I re-published as collection some B.G. Hope stories. Six Months and Other Love Stories gather all the contemporary romances I’ve written so far. New cover by the talented Marta Baroni.

Writerly links: promoting a pre-order. I might try that Book Launch page for Rajveer… although we’re getting probably too close to the release date. But I can try one and then next year I’ll already know what to do as soon as the pre-order goes live! :) I do have a post on the publisher’s page with all the pre-order links, but…

Mark Coker on Oyster, Flipkart and… Amazon, of course. The elephant in the room. By the way, today I tried the button on Draft2Digital that automatically updates the “also by” section to all titles… I’m not dropping Smashwords completely, but that’s a wonderful thing! :)

I know, I know, I have too many books out… ;) Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise

unnamedAnd it’s a guest! From the Ink Slingers Halloween Anthology but he was also in last year’s anthology! When I read “Travelers”, I thought I wanted to know more about the guy, but look, almost a year went by and… he did it again! His “Tigress Lizzy” gave me the right chills at the right times… so go grab your copy right now! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rami Ungar!

Where do you live and write from?

I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio, though for the past two and a half months I’ve been living and working as an intern with the US Army in Wiesbaden, Germany. As to where I write, anyplace I can plug in my laptop and let my creative juices flow, whether that be at home, in a café, a library, or even in the office when there’s nothing going on (rare moments, I tell you).

Why do you write?

I think I started writing because I loved Harry Potter and I wanted to write something just as awesome, if not more. After a while it became something I really loved doing. It still is something I love to do, but with my brain now trained to come up with as many ideas as possible—and I have several a week, so you can imagine how they pile up after a while—it acts as a sort of exorcism, getting these tales out of my head and onto paper. I just wish I had more time do these exorcisms, but that’s life!

57a04-strange2bportalsWhen did you start writing?

Somewhere between age five and eight, I think. I remember seeing Harry Potter—or maybe I read it, I can’t remember which came first—but I was entranced by Harry and Hogwarts and magic. And it all came from a single book! There was the real magic, and I wanted to be able to do the same thing. The result was that I started writing. First it was my own versions of Harry Potter, then it was my own original works. Around age ten I decided that writing was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, though every now and then I entertained being a mad scientist.

What genre(s) do you write?

I mostly write horror stories, though I do science fiction and thrillers as well. Stephen King’s really the one responsible for that: I read IT and wanted to write stories to rival his more than I wanted to write stories that rival JK Rowling’s. I’m definitely not there yet, but I like to think I’m on the way.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I don’t really have a writing routine. My life’s too crazy for one, so whenever I have the time, I plug in some tunes and try to get out as much as possible. Depending on a number of factors, it can be a little or a lot. Just as long as I get something out, all’s well with me.

5a3e9db116168bd2d61f13037216dc667ed9a2b1What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I like to think I’ve got a good grasp of dialogue, thanks to lots of practice and plenty of critiques from readers and fellow writers. I also like to think I’m good at putting a scary or creepy spin on any subject or situation, which can lead to all sorts of ideas. Though that latter skill makes me wonder about my sanity sometimes…

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I think authors get inspiration from everywhere, and I’m no exception. From stories I read, from conversations I have or sights I see (I get a lot of that last one here in Germany). Occasionally I do put myself in my stories, or at least shades of myself, characters with bits of me in them. I guess part of me wants a more exciting life than I already have, or I just like having a giggle because I’m the only one who knows that that character is based on me. Who knows?

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Definitely an outliner, I like to have a plan or a direction to go in, though occasionally I write by the seat of my pants just to see where I end up. As for fast or slow, it depends on what you consider fast or slow. A short story can take a month, while a novel can take six to eight months, depending on circumstances. And those are the just the first drafts!

e5401a30f49ac8500a1bedd1f41315a54f9b7007Tell us about your latest book

Snake was published last year in June. It’s a thriller with horror overtones, about a serial killer hunting members of a powerful mafia family in order to save the woman he loves. It’s pretty dark and violent stuff, but I had an absolute ball writing it. There was a lot of influence from slasher films and the suspense novels I was deep into when I wrote it. If anyone loves that sort of stuff, they might like Snake.

Amazon and Smashwords.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I’m an indie writer. I tried the traditional route, but I found not a lot of publishers and agencies were taking on new clients. Impatient, eager to see myself in print, and hearing about friends of mine finding success in self-publishing, I decided to try it out. The results that I ended up liking having full control and creative freedom. It’s lead to so many opportunities for me, and I’m glad I did it.

478f1e69890369ad9d44b500fcae9b85f2d765a5Any other projects in the pipeline?

Oh have I! I’m at varying stages of the editing process for three different novels, and I’m putting together a new collection of short stories. I’m also producing an audio book for one of my novels, provided I can find a narrator for it. No idea when I’ll get them all out, but I hope to have that answer soon.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Boy, that’s changed over the years! At first I wanted to be a millionaire novelist by age twenty, then I wanted to be a bestseller with an adaptation or two by the time I was thirty. These days I just would like to get to the point where I can write full-time and pay all my bills with that. Maybe in a few books I’ll be able to achieve that. Just got to keep writing, publishing, and marketing. With enough book sales and reviews, who knows what could happen in the future?

20150827_175542What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Always try something new. You never know when a story may come from or where you might find something you’ll love. My dad taught me that when I was a kid, and I’ve never regretted listening to him…most of the time, anyway.


Rami Ungar’s blog

Where else can you find Rami?
Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Interview with Rajveer


an interview with Rajveer… learn more about him at Amaranthine! :)

Originally posted on Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor:

Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer. 

Today we have Rajveer from Rajveer the Vampire by Barbara G. Tarn.

Katelina: Welcome Rajveer! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Rajveer: I’m Rajveer of the Guhilas of Mewar, a kshatryia (warrior) of the mighty Chittorgarh, capital of the kingdom at the time of my birth. I’m tall and handsome, with honey-colored eyes and I had the most beautiful wife one could wish for… I was twenty-seven when my physical body died and I became…

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Random Friday

Movie Friday! Lots of foreign directors either just starting or working with Hollywood! :D Did I mention how much I love subtitled world movies? ;)

Starting off with a movie that came to my attention through the Google Alert on Muse K – apparently this is her first movie and now she’s working in Hollywood. After a black and white movie in farsi. What intrigued me was the idea of a vampire with a skateboard and a chador.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut and it’s impressing. Hadn’t seen b&w movies since 1984 – F.F.Coppola’s Rumble Fish! ;) And there’s a vampire with retractile fangs like my Indian vampires. And there’s a love story. And there’s a great soundtrack – I loved all the music and songs. And I can tell she’s a fan of Ann Rice – the scene where the vampire mirrors Arash’s father’s movements was a dejà vu of Louis meeting Santiago in Paris! ;)

I watched the extras – deleted scenes and interviews – as well. I probably would have kept most of the deleted scenes (she cut out most of the story of one character that now makes very little sense as is) and I can tell the young lady likes to throw the f-bomb when she speaks! ;) I do say the Italian equivalent when I’m angry, but not in normal conversation…

After so much of b&w, a deluge of colors in Mirror, Mirror. Lots of very kitch costumes and weird settings (and a fake forest) for this retelling of Snow White. Some things were really funny, others… not so much. I guess I’ll have to do my own retelling of that fairy tale at some point. The final dance number? Very… Slumdog Millionnaire (except in this case it’s an Indian director in a western movie, not a British director in a supposedly Indian movie)! :)

And a good old flashback to the 1990s! I’ve followed Mira Nair from Salaam Bombay to Khamasutra, a tale of love – I think I saw the latter in cinemas, dubbed, but I’m not sure. I had the dubbed VHS of Mississipi Masala, so it was the first time I saw it in its original form (with Spanish subtitles – the DVD was a Spanish edition) and I absolutely loved it as much as the first time I saw it. Sarita and Denzel are marvelous and the story made me cry again.

Last but not least, Bollymovie of the week – an old one (well, 11 years old): Lakshya. What can I say… Zoya is better! ;) It’s just me not liking war movies, I guess – no matter the country. So I’ll leave you with the “before the army” song. Have a great weekend! ;)

Writer Wednesday

And the Inkslingers’ Halloween Anthology is out! I didn’t have time to go through all the stories yet – backlog from last week’s lack of internet connection – but surely they’re great. Stay tuned for more authors from the anthology visiting this blog!

And one of them had me over his blog. Go check this interview with yours truly courtesy of writer Rami Ungar! Since I’m starting a vampire series (albeit historical), I guess I’ll be writing more scary stuff from now on! :)

blogAnd tomorrow it’s the blogoversary! 6 years! Wow! What an old blog I have – so many have died in the meantime! :D I don’t know what to do to celebrate the event, since giveaways didn’t really work until now. So, just sayin’. Here’s to another six years of blogging.

I’m currently coloring SKYBAND 15 – somewhere halfway through it. I’m waiting for a couple of betas for redrafting a couple of stories and am toying with a contemporary title (that would have been published with the discarded pen name), but I’m not too happy with it.

Project block? Yes. So I’m keeping the title and writing something else. Going back to “old” characters and trying to put on paper this period of my life. I’ll leave that other idea for some other time. Stay tuned for “Changes” sometimes before the end of the year (it will be published with Choices and other non-love stories by the discarded pen name).

The workshop assignment was nailed even though I did it in two days for lack of internet access. Obviously the pressure was good! ;) It’s a good opening of a story, but I have no idea of when I’ll write it, since I’m not really in the mood for contemporary stories (see abandoned project above, LOL)!

Some writerly links. Ebooks are not declining – unless you’re traditionally published, that is! ;) Maybe you suck by Joe Konrath – he must be sick of whining authors, since it’s the second post that reminds you that this is not a gold rush and it’s a lottery that involves some luck.

I’m in it for the long run, so I’m not giving up. Even though I do feel overwhelmed sometimes, I won’t stop writing and probably won’t stop publishing either.

Craft stuff: 12 Fundamentals of Writing “The Other” (And The Self). I have “made up stuff” with other cultures and other eras, and tried to find readers from that culture (kind of harder to find someone from past eras) to check I got it right…

Some movie “reviews” coming on Friday and then another guest… Have a great week!


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