Sunday Surprise


And it’s another Eclectica author! I met her and she’s the sweetest girl in the universe! 🙂 Can’t believe it’s been two years already since… And she was even in Nightly Bites Volume 2! Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Felicia Fredlund!

Where do you live and write from?

I currently live in Japan, Kyoto to be more exact. This is also where I write, usually in my apartment.

Why do you write?

I write because I want to experience different kinds of lives. And I would love to live in a mystical world with magic, but alas, that isn’t possible, so I’ll do it through writing.

When did you start writing?

Somewhere in my teens. I was a bit late to reading, only starting to love it when I was about 11 years old, and then I needed a few more years to fall in love with writing.

What genre(s) do you write?

I tend to write a lot of fantasy, especially longer works. My short stories fall all over the map through from contemporary to science fiction, from horror to romance, and most things in between.

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

I’m not exactly sure how to answer this. I don’t have an overarching goal as a writer. I want to write a lot, hopefully find a lot of readers, and have fun.

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

Have fun. Otherwise get a job with an easier paycheck.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser. As to fast or slow, I’m not sure. I think my typing speed is pretty average and beyond that it is about the amount of time I spend.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

It is called Dear Brother and is about a young man trying to deal with the grief from the loss of his brother. I wrote it about a moment I had, dealing with grief from the loss of my mother.

Tell us about your latest book

Angel’s Demise is an urban fantasy short story. Coming out later this May. It is about a guardian angel desperately trying to keep her charge alive. It is pretty twisted and dark.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

A few. Several more short stories will come out this year. Plus two novellas: Commissioned Magic, set in my Riala City fantasy world that is about a painting magician who gets an unusual commission; and the other one is untitled currently, but is the first of several Guild Adventuress series stories (I have another two finished).

https://www.feliciafredlund.com/

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Random Friday


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call them, enjoy these writers’ quotes!

This is true however you publish, whatever you write.
Writing begets writing. Writing sells writing.
Writing is an act of doing. It is an act of making.
It is also an act of persevering.
And surviving.
A lot of writers simply can’t hack it, so they quit. The road ahead and behind you is littered with the corpses of writers who just couldn’t hack it. (And spoiler alert, some of them are the desiccated carcasses of shit-flinging gibbons.) They couldn’t deal, so they gave up and gave in.
Writing is you not quitting. It’s you taking a bite and digging your teeth deeper like a cranky-ass bulldog who refuses to let go. It isn’t you being a crap-tossing primate.
Be the best version of yourself.
Let your writing be the guide.
Write the greatest damn book you can write.
And don’t be a shitty monkey.
The end.
Chuck Wendig

Let me tell you something someone mercifully told me: If readers do not empathize with what your character wants by the end of your first page – and that’s the stubby little three-quarter page of text floating under the title – it will be remarkably difficult to sell your book.
Now read that again: not just understand what your character wants.  To empathize.  As in, to go, “Oh, I could want that too.”  You need to trigger a resonant emotion within 250 words or so.  It likely won’t be a deep emotion by that point, but that first “I get this person” has to be birthed on Page One.
You don’t get emotion by explaining things to people.  And as such, “Everything is inverted in The Uploaded!” became a liability.
Ferret Steinmetz

Oh, and one more thing. I get that writing about spaceships or elves or super-spies or whatever may seem frivolous in times like these. I’ve been there, man. We should be out there donating, marching, calling representatives – spending our time better, right? And yeah, I’ve done those things as well, and I’d encourage y’all to do that too.
But writing really does matter. I had a reader reach out on social media recently just to tell me that reading one of my books was a welcome respite from all the craziness out there. And wow, let me tell you, that was something. I hadn’t really thought of my stuff that way, and it was incredibly awesome to hear that.
I wrote 2,000 really good words that day.
So yeah. It’s OK to be angry, scared and/or discouraged at the world – or your own personal stuff, for that matter, because life throws curveballs all the damn time. Do what you gotta do to get you through it. Watch crap movies or call your reps. Donate, cry, march, hide, scream. Take care of yourself. But know that when you get back to the keyboard, you have a chance to bring stories to life that can help people think about a better future, or get some solace from a rough present.
Saddle up, wordpeople.
Michael J. Martinez

Writing by committee makes dullness. It takes out your writer voice, and often your character voice.
And I honestly have no idea why writers don’t have more pride in their work. That is the aspect of all this that bothers me. No one touches my work. It is my work. Period. Good or bad.
And I am proud of that fact. Good or bad.
The Solution?
Just stop. Go cold turkey.
Grow a backbone and believe in your own writing.
Maybe have one trusted reader and then ignore anything they say that doesn’t fit with your vision.
Get a copyeditor who will only find typos. Ignore anything the copyeditor says if they try to change your style or writing in any way.
Think how much easier that will be.
Keep learning skills and craft and applying it to the next story.
Bad grammar be good in right times and right places. Toss out the Chicago Manual of Style unless you are writing nonfiction.
Toss out the window your copy of Strunk and White unless you are writing nonfiction.
I am talking fiction here.
You are an artist. Allow your characters to live on the page. Allow your own voice (which you can’t see) to be there for your readers.
Always focus on the next story, not the last story.
Just stop even thinking of using beta readers to destroy your work.
Because that is what beta readers do.
Dean Wesley Smith

Almost nobody else is judging our progress. We might imagine that all of our Facebook friends and all of the relatives we see at Thanksgiving dinner are always thinking about how we’re falling short of expectations. The truth is, almost no one is thinking about our writing success at all.
Nobody is making harsh judgements about our return on investment except the imaginary judge we’ve invented for ourselves, and we can kick that person out any time.
(…)
If you love writing, you have to learn to be shameless.
That way, you can always enjoy it, no matter what comes or doesn’t come from it.
Shameless” is a funny word, because we use it as an insult. But we accept “shameless” is negative, then we have to accept being ashamed of ourselves as a positive, which is madness.
The really good things in life rarely result in money and accolades. Walking in the moonlight. Playing with your dog. Turning up the music and dancing around your apartment.
Bryn Donovan

Sunday Surprise


And from the Eclectica Bundle as well as some Curated Anthologies, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back fellow worskhopper Debbie Mumford! 🙂

Where do you live and write from?

I make my home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the USA. Vancouver, Washington to be exact. No, not Vancouver, British Columbia, that’s in Canada, several hundred miles north of where I live. Vancouver, Washington is just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, and in some ways, is a bedroom community to Portland.

As to the question of my writing, I don’t have an actual office. I write on a MacBook Pro laptop, sitting in my favorite chair in the living room … with my feet up. What can I say? I’m into comfort! With my body at ease, my mind is free to wander into other worlds and visit possibilities of existences other than our own.

Why do you write?

I’m an avid reader—I think most writers are—and I’ve always found myself saying, “Yes, but what if that happened?” At some point, I stopped wondering about nuances of other writers’ worlds and decided to create my own. It’s harder than you’d think, being the god of an imagined world, but at the same time, it’s exhilarating and freeing. When I’m really in the zone, I’m completely submerged in my story. Words rush from my subconscious through my fingers onto the screen without me being consciously aware of what I’ll write next. It’s like magic! Characters do things I hadn’t even dreamed of, and my surface mind wonders, “What will they do next?”

Ultimately, that’s why I write…to discover what happens next.

When did you start writing?

I can truthfully say that I wrote my first story before I could read. I dictated it to my mother and then illustrated it with crayon drawings!

Then came a LONG period of no writing other than school assignments and later, Christmas newsletters. I thought about writing often while I was raising my children, but time with them always took priority, so I didn’t truly start writing until my husband and I launched them out into the world. Then I sat down and wrote my first novel. I finished it, all 100,000 words, in a little over six-months and blithely sent it off to agents and editors, thoroughly expecting it to be snapped up immediately.
Yeah. Not so much. My novel was met with universal form letter rejections. I was so green, I didn’t even have a clue what I’d done wrong. At that point, I buckled down, found some writing mentors and began to learn my craft. Can anyone say “cart before the horse”? Definitely. But you don’t know what you don’t know, and at least I started and finished a novel and had the confidence to send it out. I also used the rejections as a goad instead of letting them defeat me.

What genre(s) do you write?

I’ve written a little bit of everything: fantasy, lots of romance (paranormal romance, fantasy romance, time-travel romance), historical fiction, and even a little bit of mystery. Recently, I’ve been branching out into science fiction, especially space opera. Oh, and I write contemporary young adult and middle-grade fantasy under a pen name: Deb Logan.

Interestingly enough, Debbie Mumford writes her tales in third person, while Deb Logan always writes in first person. Yep, I can honestly say Deb is channeling my inner child!

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Tales of Tomorrow is a collection of five of short stories that move from science fiction to the edge of fantasy. The collection includes two “right around the corner” tales, one far flung space fantasy, and two stories of future families.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My most recent release is also a short story collection, Tales of Love and Magick. It includes tales that combine my enchantment with fantasy and my love of romance. Each of these ten tales blends the very human element of love, whether romantic, familial, or budding, with a fascinating bit of magick. I had great fun writing these stories, and I hope readers will enjoy them as well!
You can buy Tales of Love and Magick at most ebook retailers.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m always imagining new worlds! I’m currently dreaming up a historical romance series based on Her Highland Laird, a time-travel novella I wrote a few years back. I also have several short stories in process for upcoming anthologies, and Deb Logan has a few fans clamoring for a follow-up novel to Thunderbird. After all, Coyote isn’t the most patient of totem animals. He’s ready to take center stage!

Barb’s P.S. I must say Debbie and I think alike. Look at her latest cover! She chose the same portal I used for Otherside, although I made quite a composite of that image! 🙂 But then, it’s a beautiful stock image…

Random Friday


Another author who is in both curated anthologies sent me her answers. I would like to spend a few words on this one. She sent me Tethering the Sun first when I sent out the call for portal stories. Then I realized we were at the same workshop in 2017, although there were fifty people there and we barely talked. But we caught up and I requested also The Traveler from that list. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome another workshop buddy, C.A. Rowland!

They are both out now! Click on the image for the BUY links!

1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
I love the idea of crossing into a new world, that wonder and unsettling sense of trying to deal with something new. Portals cause growth and I like exploring that aspect of learning about something new. I also love going to new lands and getting to know them and their people.
 
 
2. What is your story in the anthology about?
In Fantasy Portals, my story is about a woman who is drawn into a painting and has to deal with what that means and the choices she must make.
 
In More Portals, my story is about a woman at Machu Picchu who steps through a curtain of fog and finds a completely different Machu Picchu.
 
 
3. What inspired your story?
I think art is so inspirational. I have written a number of stories based on pictures or drawings or in this case, an oil painting that I saw in New Mexico. The artist’s work has stuck with me and I finally realized there was a story I wanted to tell about one of them.
 
 
4. Do you always write about portals?
If not, what do you write about? No, I write about places I have visited, places I’ve lived, historical stories, mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I don’t know that I could ever write in only one genre or only one kind of story.
 
 
5. What should readers know about you?
My first mystery novel will be published in 2020, The Meter’s Always Running. The main character is a female taxi driving in Savannah, Georgia. I lived in Georgia for years and love the historic district. I live in Virginia now where the backdrop is the Civil War battlefields. I studied History in college so this is the right place for me and the area inspires me and my stories.
 
 
6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I love ghost stories too. I stayed with my grandmother when I was small and both my parents worked. We used to go to the local graveyard where she would weed and talk about the people she knew there. I would imagine what they looked like, where they lived and what their lives were like. Those sometimes show up in my stories as well.

Sunday Surprise


And we have another  Eclectica author! And I met him! Twice at least! On that faraway Oregon Coast where I’ll probably never go back… but whatevs. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome M. L. Buchmann!

Where do you live and write from?

A recent émigré from the dense forests of windy and wet Oregon Coast, I have returned to the land of my youth—Northwest to Northeast. I’ve planted myself on the North Shore of Massachusetts (that’s the chunk just above Boston before you fall off the edge of the map into the strange lands of New Hampshire and Maine).

Why do you write?

Family. And I guess, in an odd form, justice. I seem to have two core stories in all my stories. Second, family. Very rarely the family of birth, but rather the discovery of the second family, the one of adulthood is one of my favorite themes. Not just the nuclear family of spouse and kid, but that family of friends—chosen rather than connected by the accident of blood.

The First common story is far more prominent: I write about strong women. My romance motto is “Strong women and the men they deserve.” I was raised in a matriarchy and seem to always be surrounded by amazing women. Somehow, without my realizing it at first, that has been at the heart of every story I’ve ever written.

When did you start writing?

22 July 1993 (laughing). Oddly enough I know the exact day I began writing fiction because it ended up in a travel journal (pretty much the only time I journal). I had burned out of corporate America (flamed out is more like it). After losing everything (business, career, house, etc.) because of a business partner with a different definition of integrity than mine, I had set off on a solo round-the-world bicycle trip.

During my “Mid-life Crisis on Wheels” I was journaling during a flight from two months cycling through Japan to go ride across the Australian Outback—when suddenly it went sideways and I was writing a crazy fiction story. Cookbook from Hell, a romp of a fantasy, became my first-ever fiction effort, my first novel, and my first sale (it’s now redrafted with much better writing as Cookbook from Hell: Reheated). My career didn’t become full-time until 2012 (I took another plunge into corporate America first), but that is absolutely when I became a writer.

What genre(s) do you write?

I’m a born-and-bred SF/F fan. My first several books were solidly there. Then I wrote a thriller for the fun of it, then another because I loved it. Curiously, I finally sold the third thriller to a romance house. Suddenly I was “that male” who wrote romance. Military romantic suspense and contemporary romance have now spanned fifty novels and just as many short stories. Next? I’m heading back into thrillers and I’m curious how long it will take before I finally get back to writing a lot of SF/F rather than just the occasional story to keep myself amused.

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

I started writing to make the world a better place. I wanted to touch people and hold up ideals in ways that make me as a writer think about how to live better. Sometimes it’s a cautionary tale (much of my SF), sometimes it’s an over the top romance (because I totally believe in the strength of love and relationship). But if I can find a way to make myself a better person, then that touches the people around me (including my readers). Once I had a kid, that really came into clear focus for me. I want to make the world a better place for her, even if it’s just one story, one idea at a time.

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

1) Butt-in-the-chair. 2) Have fun.

If you don’t do the first, the writing never happens in the first place. And if you don’t do the second, the readers can tell. Oh, and if you’re sitting in the chair, your fingers must be moving (pounding them keys, dictating, whatever).

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Yes. Done them all. After 60 novels and 75 short stories, I can start with an opening sentence (my last one began with a character name and a dog). However, my current novel began with a 4-page synopsis, a 5-page set of character sketches, and another 20-pages or so of research notes. Some books fly; some I have to puzzle at for a long time before they start picking up speed. Overall, I’m on the slow side, but I make up for it by putting in a lot of hours.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Hitomi’s Path was a curious little work that I’m dying to turn into a world someday. The seeds were well planted before I ever wrote my first word of fiction. I spent two months riding my bicycle through Japan (not the cities, but the countryside). I rode from the very northern tip (Cape Soya, Hokkaido) down across Honshu and Shikoku to Kyushu in the south (the four major islands). I knew a fair amount about the culture before I went. Or rather thought I did.

My reading about Japan had stopped not long after the opening of the Floating Kingdom in 1854 by the “Four Black Dragons” of US Admiral Perry’s naval fleet. The Japan of today has so little to do with that Japan, and yet it does. That affront is still fresh in the minds of her people. Then I asked the steampunk question: What if Western culture had never been forced on the Japans and they never evolved past their pre-1854 technologic state while the rest of the society changed? In fact, what if it went back 1543 and their disgust with the arrival of the first Portuguese ships and the Jesuit missionaries? Where would they be after the 500 years since they had isolated themselves? And Hitomi’s world was born.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest novel was Big Sky Dog Whisperer, the ender to my Henderson’s Ranch series. Every title is stand-alone, of course, but it is definitely the culmination of that five-short story and three-novel world. At its heart it is a tale about a pair of tails 😊. It’s about two military war dog handlers who were literally blown out of military service. Stan has become a dog trainer for military war dogs on this Big Sky Montana ranch. Jodie’s dog was shattered by a mortar and suffers extreme PTSD. She and her dog travel to Henderson’s seeking help and get far more than they bargained for. http://www.mlbuchman.com/hendersons-ranch/

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always! I currently have a US Coast Guard short-story series going and I’m tackling a techno-thriller. (Gonna be so much fun!) The best way to keep up is to subscribe to my newsletter. It will get you a free anthology of ten short stories that introduce you to my current worlds as well as reminders each month as I release a free short story and any other novel announcements. http://free-book.mlbuchman.com/ or hit my website at http://www.mlbuchman.com/.

Thanks so much for having me.

 

Short bio

M.L. “Matt” Buchman has over 60 novels, 70 short stories, and a fast-growing pile of audiobooks out in the world. M.L. writes romance, thrillers, and SF&F…so far. Three-times Booklist “Top-10 Romance Novel of the Year.” NPR and B&N “Best 5 Romance of the Year.” RITA finalist. As a 30-year project manager with a geophysics degree who has bicycled solo around the world, he is awed by what’s possible. More at: www.mlbuchman.com.

 

Random Friday


And the last author to answer my 6Q is workshop buddy Laura Ware. That’s all for the Portal Anthologies… but stay tuned for more Eclectica Authors! 🙂

Fantasy Portals Author Interview – LAURA WARE
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
A portal is a way into another world, something different and maybe exciting. To me, books are portals that lead us to different worlds.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?
My story is about a woman who’s a frazzled full-time mom. A portal offers her a chance to escape her world – but such an escape comes with a hefty price.

3. What inspired your story?
For one thing, I have been that full-time mom (grin). I am also a full-time caregiver at the moment, and I know the feeling of wanting to escape your life, if only for a moment.

4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
I write in a variety of genres. Some fantasy, a dab of sci fi, contemporary, and Christian fiction.

5. What should readers know about you?
I love writing stories! Hoping to get more out this year.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Check out my website at www.laurahware.com. I am trying to update it, so please be patient with me.

Sunday Surprise


And after the Easter break, here’s another Eclectica author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand !

Where do you live and write from?

I currently live in Illinois and either write there or while vacationing in Hawaii.

Why do you write?

Well, certainly not for the fame or the money! I like to be read and if you don’t write, submit, and publish, no one will ever read your work.

When did you start writing?

I played a lot of role-playing game tournaments twenty-five to forty years ago (I was the world’s top ranked player of classic RPGA tournaments for the last fifteen years of the last century) and that led to running games, then writing tournament scenarios, then writing for game companies like TSR, the my own stories, then novels, screenplays, and the rest.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write in the thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, steampunk, romance, comedy, and memoir genres.

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

To be read. That means writing what editors and publishers want written, submitting it, and promoting it.

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

Writing is like acting or direct sales. There’s lots of rejection, but you have to keep writing.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Outlines take all of the fun out of writing for me, leaving only drudgery. But not outlining doesn’t mean you improvise. If you know where you want to start, where you are going, and two or three things you want to happen along the way, you don’t need to outline as long as you control the trip.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

For a while, I was kind of the unofficial back-up writer for DAW themed anthologies. I wasn’t famous enough to get invited to many of their anthologies, but when someone didn’t meet deadlines or too many people wrote to the short end of the expected range, the editors would have a sudden need for a story fast to fill in. I could write to spec fast and cleanly, so I would often get those gigs. After the exclusivity period for those stories ran out, I took them (plus a few others I wrote) and collected them by genre and put them out in a series of ebooks. This one collects some steampunk and historical fiction.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

I recently published Wet Work, the second installment in my Dick Thornby spy thriller series.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Jean Rabe and I are sending around a pilot script in an effort to turn our novel, The Love-Haight Case Files, into a television series.

FIND DONALD ONLINE

 

Random Friday


And again, since Sundays are busy with Eclectica authors, a short summary of the More Portals authors who answered my 6Questions. Check also this guest post on Library of Erana. Ladies and Gentlemen, from More Portals Debbie Mumford and Lana Ayers!

DEBBIE MUMFORD
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
Fantasy is my genre of choice, and one of the elements of fantasy that has always fascinated me is thresholds. Whether it’s a threshold of light (dusk and dawn – the thresholds between day and night, light and dark), or of place (I’m particularly drawn to beaches – that place where it’s not quite land, not quite ocean), or that magical witching hour: midnight (is it today or tomorrow … or neither?). Thresholds are magical, and a portal, well it’s definitely a threshold and in some ways, the highest form of magic! After all, a portal can transport you from here to … well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
2. What is your story in the anthology about?
My story (Beneath and Beyond) is a science fantasy about two scientists who discover an ancient door buried far beneath the polar icecap. When their team manages to open it, the scientists discover the unbelievable.
3. What inspired your story?
“Beneath and Beyond” was written in response to a challenge from my writing group: write a story that combines science and fantasy. Voilà! “Beneath and Beyond” was born!
4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
I write about all sorts of things! From dragon-shifter fantasy romance to space opera to time-travel romance to historical fiction, if an idea pops into my brain, I embrace it and write. I write for general adult audiences as myself (Debbie Mumford), but I also write for kids and teens as Deb Logan — by channeling my inner child!
5. What should readers know about you?
I’m a wife and mother … and grandmother! I’m an only child with five older brothers (really! My brothers ranged from nine to eighteen when I was born), and I’m a mother of twins. Family is very important to me and figures prominently in my writing.
I love dogs, am fond of cats, and have been known to befriend dragons … Chinese Water Dragons to be specific!
6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I love to hear from readers! I hope you’ll visit my website (debbiemumford.com) and consider subscribing to one or both of my newsletters. Both Debbie and Deb give new subscribers FREE stories for joining their lists!

LANA AYERS
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
Ever since childhood, when I felt alien and other, waiting for my true non-earthling people to come and collect me somehow, I’ve been drawn to the idea of portals. Portals are escape hatches from mundane experience into the extraordinary.
2. What is your story in the anthology about?
My story “Sideways” is about a woman a little too focused on the past to see what is right in front of her. On an ordinary workday, her experience in a portal, forces her to shift perspective.
3. What inspired your story?
The portal in “Sideways” was inspired by a dream I had where things immediately went awry.
4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
In the purest sense, all stories are portals to new experiences. But time travel is my favorite kind of portal to read and write about. Writing poetry, which for me is a portal to the inner emotional realm, is another of my vices.
5. What should readers know about you?
Growing up in a one-tv household with an older brother who controlled what we watched is how I became a Fantasy & Sci Fi geek. My brother gifted me the universe and beyond, and for that, I am forever grateful.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Here’s a quote from author Deb Caletti that nails one of life’s best true portals: “I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands.”
http://LanaAyers.com

Random Friday


Since Sundays are busy with the Eclectica Authors, today we have the Fantasy Portals authors! Only two were kind enough to answer my six questions… so please welcome my workshop buddies Debbie Mumford and Joe Cron! 🙂

DEBBIE MUMFORD
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
Fantasy is my genre of choice, and one of the elements of fantasy that has always fascinated me is thresholds. Whether it’s a threshold of light (dusk and dawn – the thresholds between day and night, light and dark), or of place (I’m particularly drawn to beaches – that place where it’s not quite land, not quite ocean), or that magical witching hour: midnight (is it today or tomorrow … or neither?). Thresholds are magical, and a portal, well it’s definitely a threshold and in some ways, the highest form of magic! After all, a portal can transport you from here to … well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

2. What is your story in the anthology about?
My story (A Walk with Georgia) is about what happens when a young woman takes her dog for a walk (what could be more mundane?) and discovers a tear in the space/time continuum.

3. What inspired your story?
“A Walk with Georgia” was written in response to a call for portal fantasy stories, and while it wasn’t selected for the anthology it was written for, I discovered that it filled a need in my soul. The canine main character is a bull mastiff named Georgia, and while the rest of the story is total fiction, Georgia was real.
Georgia was my dog, and a more loyal companion has never walked the earth. Unfortunately, after far too few years in our family, she developed a massive, inoperable tumor, and we were forced to put her down. I was still mourning her loss when I sat down to write this story, and suddenly, my brave, loyal dog was staring at me from the words that appeared on my computer screen. The dog in this story is very much a tribute to my gentle giant … and writing this portal fantasy helped me heal.

4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
I write about all sorts of things! From dragon-shifter fantasy romance to space opera to time-travel romance to historical fiction, if an idea pops into my brain, I embrace it and write. I write for general adult audiences as myself (Debbie Mumford), but I also write for kids and teens as Deb Logan — by channeling my inner child!

5. What should readers know about you?
I’m a wife and mother … and grandmother! I’m an only child with five older brothers (really! My brothers ranged from nine to eighteen when I was born), and I’m a mother of twins. Family is very important to me and figures prominently in my writing.
I love dogs, am fond of cats, and have been known to befriend dragons … Chinese Water Dragons to be specific!

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I love to hear from readers! I hope you’ll visit my website (http://debbiemumford.com/) and consider subscribing to one or both of my newsletters. Both Debbie and Deb give new subscribers FREE stories for joining their lists!

JOE CRON
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
Reading fiction is escapism. Stories pull us out of our own lives and project us into something else that can somehow or other only be imagined. A portal represents the quintessential moment of the escape; it’s a defined transformation from wherever you are to something unknown. It’s an inherent promise of adventure.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?
It’s about a father and son who discover a unique and amazing way to grow closer through their experiences with a portal in their backyard. They are also connected in deeply emotional ways to the lives they find in the other universe, but ultimately the story is about their new bond.

3. What inspired your story?
Portal stories seem to me to lend themselves to a frequent theme of some discovery by young people that the grownups don’t or can’t believe. I wanted to flip that. In “The Earthbloods of Carapet,” it’s the father who has the wild imagination and initially can’t get his son to believe him. It was fun to explore that angle.

4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
I write about many things, including some contemporary fiction, but most of my stories, and my three novels, are primarily either some type of fantasy story or science fiction. Occasionally horror, but that label doesn’t get used any more. Now it’s “dark.” So I write “dark fantasy.”

5. What should readers know about you?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, was utterly enthralled with Edgar Allan Poe, and had a horror serial, “The Growth of Doom,” running in the monthly grade-school newspaper. (Poe remains my favorite author to this day, some … multiple years later.) I’ve also been a performer for most of my life, spending various chunks of it as a professional actor and musician. About ten years ago I got back to putting a lot of focus on fiction writing, and I continue to indulge in that passion with great satisfaction. It is a source of tremendous joy for me.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I’m so happy to have my story in Fantasy Portals! Thank you!
www.joecron.com

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From the Eclectica bundle, please meet Harvey Stanbrough! And check out An Eclectic Dinner Party at Jackie Keswick’s! 🙂

Where do you live and write from?

I live in St. David, Arizona, about 15 miles north of Tombstone. I actually write in a separate space I call the Hovel, an adobe fixture with 3-foot thick walls. It isn’t much, but it’s mine, it’s quiet, and it gives me a sense of “going to the office.” When I go there and sit down, my creative subconscious knows it’s time to play.

Why do you write?

That’s like asking a mechanic why he fixes cars or a lawyer why he litigates cases. It’s just what I do. I write because I’m a writer. I write almost every day, and I usually turn out 2000 to 3000 words per day, though occasionally I go over 5000 words.

When did you start writing?

I wrote my first story when I was six. But I started writing short stories seriously on April 15, 2014, and I wrote the first word of my first novel on October 19 of the same year. Yet today, I have over 40 novels published as well as almost 200 short stories and all the attendant collections.

What genre(s) do you write?

My first 10-book saga was a western, but today I write mostly thrillers, action-adventure and mysteries. So SF as well.

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

To put out as many novels as I can in my remaining years. To achieve it, I show up (almost) every day and write. I love telling stories. There’s literally (and I don’t mean virtually) nothing I would rather do.

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

Heinlein’s Rules (get a free copy at http://harveystanbrough.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Heinleins-Business-Habits-Annotated-2.pdf). And the second one is to trust your subconscious. Your subconscious has been telling stories since before you knew any alphabet even existed. So trust your subconscious and let the characters tell you their story. That’s another one. The characters are living the story, so let them tell it. My job is to run through the story with them, trying to keep up, and writing down what they say and do.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Nope. I don’t control everything. (grin) It’s all I can do to control my own life. It’s the characters’ story, so I let them tell it. I wouldn’t dream of telling my neighbors how to live their story, so why would I do that to my characters?

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

I have a short story collection in the Eclectica bundle — F, S & H — which stands for Fantasy, Science (Fantasy or Fiction) and Horror. The stories are weird and they all fall into one or more of those categories.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

Ah, my latest book as I respond to this interview is Blackwell Ops 4: Melanie Sloan. It’s currently up for pre-order at all ebook vendors and is set to release on April 15. I’m currently working on Blackwell Ops 5: Georgette Talbot. It will release on May 1.

So Blackwell Ops (crime/thriller) is my current series. I released the first one on February 15, and I’ve released another book every two weeks since (including one from another series).

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Other than to write more titles in Blackwell Ops, I have a sneaking suspicion three of my BO characters (all female) are going to take off in their own series. I expect that will happen in the next month or two.

When I have time, I keep my short story, collection, and novel covers and descriptions current on my website .

Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview. I appreciate it.

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