Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From the Vampires of the World bundle! Where we get to the origins of the legend, Transylvania itself! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kari Kilgore!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in my native Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, though I grew up and have lived all over the place. Our house is at the end of a long dirt road on 250 forested acres, with dogs, cats, and wildlife my husband Jason Adams and I are better off not knowing too much about.

Why do you write?

The truest answer is so I can find out what happens. Once a what if… takes root in my mind, some part of me can’t rest until I know how it turns out. It really is a turbocharged form of reading.

When did you start writing?

I remember telling myself elaborate stories when I was bored as a kid, even before grade school, and directing the other neighborhood kids in dramatic story adventures when we played outside. I first remember using written words for stories pretty much as soon as I learned how. After years of life and other distractions, I focused on storytelling around 2014.

What genre(s) do you write?

All over the place! The best way I’ve found to describe it is genre agnostic speculative fiction. I rarely write anything that stays here and now in the normal world. I’ve ranged from science fiction to steampunk to ghost stories. A whole lot of what I write fits into magic realism, often called contemporary fantasy.

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

My main goal is to have fun and tell myself the story. After that, I love to share it with others. Right now, that means continuing to build up my catalog and practice as much as I possibly can. I’m definitely an indie when it comes to novels, but I submit short stories and novellas to traditional magazines regularly.

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

Write the next thing. I heard Hugh Howey say that ages ago, and I’ve returned to it frequently ever since.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser for sure. Outlines grind me to a halt, every time. Once I get into a story and the characters are in charge, I can write very fast. Several thousand words a day, straight through to the end. I’d like to do that more consistently.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

Until Death started out during a horror writers workshop in Transylvania back in 2015. One of the first writing prompts was to focus on our setting and write for twenty minutes or so. I started with the stray dogs barking outside our mountain inn, and the character Leo showed up right away. That turned out to be the opening of the novel, almost word for word.

I submitted Until Death for the Bram Stoker Awards for First Novel, and much to my surprise and delight, it was one of the ten included on the preliminary ballot after the first round of voting. Since as an indie I have a publicity department of ME, I was thrilled! The whole experience was great fun, and I made a bunch of friends along the way.

Rather than accidentally giving spoilers, here’s the blurb:

Leo Sabov never imagined a day without his beloved wife Maria. Now he faces the rest of his life alone.

After bringing Maria to rest in her native Transylvania, Leo only wants to escape the rumors and superstitions taking over the tiny mountain village.

A former Communist Party boss, a string of unexplainable deaths, and an ancient mama dog force him into mysteries he can’t understand or explain.

Will Leo survive a test even greater than the heartbreaking death of his wife, one with life or death consequences?

Tell us about your latest book

The latest book I published was an Appalachian ghost story called Songs in the Mountain. It’s inspired by and based on the coal mining region where I live. I combined a few towns, conjured a mystery, and set about finding out what happened next. It’s also the closest thing I’ve written to a romance so far, despite the body count.

Hartstown, Virginia, holds stunning natural beauty
and a close-knit mountain community. Deep in the heart of Appalachian coal country, Hartstown also suffers more than its fair share of tragedy. 

Beth Azen discovers a strange ability that leads her deep into the ancient mysteries of the mountains around her. Mark Hersch finds more than he 
ever imagined on his lifelong quest to heal the damage left by decades of mining. 

Together, they discover the deadly nature of true loneliness.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Absolutely! There will be a sequel to Until Death someday, and as usual, I’m looking forward to finding out how that goes. I’ll be publishing another novella this year, a contemporary fantasy set in Manhattan called Legacy of the Land. I’m wrapping up a post-apocalyptic series set here in Appalachia. And as always, more novels and short stories in progress. Folks can sign up to find out more at www.karikilgore.com or www.spiralpublishing.net. Hope to see you there!

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Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not iswitching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever! And this time we have someone who is NOT from the head of that silly woman who thinks she’s writing ME. Hello, there… Tell me a little about yourself

My name is Toby, and I’m six years old.

Oh, cool, haven’t met many children yet! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I’m a little boy with dark hair.

Where do you live?

I live in a house, but I don’t know where it is. We have a big garden, and the house has enough rooms that I don’t have to share my bedroom with my big brother – like some little boys do.

I know what you mean! *roll eyes* I have a twin sister! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

All kinds. My eyes don’t work any more, and it’s hard – and sometimes scary – learning how to do things now I can’t see. Sometimes I feel left out too, because it’s hard for me to do some of the things I could do when my eyes still worked. I feel sad sometimes too, because sometimes people laugh at me – or get mad at me – for things that aren’t my fault, and that wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t blind now. I’m learning how to do things with broken eyes, but it’s not easy, and sometimes I wish my eyes still worked.

People are often stupid. Try to ignore them. *grabs his hand and pats it* Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

There’s my Mother and Father. I also have a big brother named Jake, and a little sister named Emma. I used to play with Jake all the time, but I can’t play all the games he does now I can’t see any more. We have a dog named Max too. He’s a Collie, so he’s big and hairy.

Well, you have a nice family! Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

The main thing you need to know about me is that I went blind not too long ago. I have something called Glaucoma, and it made it so my eyes don’t work any more. It’s not fair, because Jake’s eyes still work, and so do all the rest of my family’s eyes. But not mine.

It is indeed unfair… I wish you all the best in your “new” life, I’m sure you can become a superhero in spite of your limitations!

***~~~***

About the books Toby stars in:

The Toby’s Tales series is a five book series that follows a little boy named Toby’s efforts to adjust after sight loss. It was written as a way to show those in similar situations that they aren’t alone in their fears and frustrations, while also being tools to educate sighted people – mainly children, but adults too – about the daily struggles faced by blind people, and how they overcome them.

The books were written by Victoria Zigler following her own sight loss. They’re available in multiple eBook formats, in paperback, and now in audio – read by Joseph A. Batzel.

Regardless of the format you’d prefer, here’s where you can buy the books:

Book 1 – Toby’s New World

Audible

Smashwords

CreateSpace

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Chapters-Indigo

iBooks

iTunes

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Book Depository

Book 2 – Toby’s Monsters

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Monsters-Audiobook/B074SZ9BJX/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/247103

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5519996

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-monsters-victoria-zigler/1113744687

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-monsters

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-monsters/9781301157921-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-monsters/id574780594

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-monsters-tobys-tales-volume-2-unabridged/id1272267691

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Monsters-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358971

Book 3 – Toby’s Outing

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Outing-Audiobook/B074W95DRX/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251587

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520007

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-outing-victoria-zigler/1113846045

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-outing

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-outing/9781301643264-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-outing/id577001695

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-outing-tobys-tales-volume-3-unabridged/id1273856055

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Outing-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359046

Book 4 – Toby’s Games

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Games-Audiobook/B074WCT1W4/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/271594

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520032

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-games-victoria-zigler/1114302957

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-games

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-games/9781301441082-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-games/id595641562

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-games-tobys-tales-volume-4-unabridged/id1274236264

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Games-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359268

Book 5 – Toby’s Special School

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Special-School-Tobys-Tales-Volume-5-Audiobook/B0756Q5KB1/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/281507

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520068

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-special-school-victoria-zigler/1114473423

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-special-school

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-special-school/9781301489220-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-special-school/id600171798

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-special-school-tobys-tales-volume-5-unabridged/id1277169221

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Special-School-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359336

You can also find the books on Goodreads.

Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15992610-toby-s-new-world

Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16098832-toby-s-monsters

Book 3: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16127032-toby-s-outing

Book 4: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17209761-toby-s-games

Book 5: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17314257-toby-s-special-school

***~~~***

About the author:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time. To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

About the narrator:

Joseph Batzel has a BA and an MA from Brigham Young University in Film and Theater. He is also a professional actor for stage and film for over thirty years. Joseph has over 150 voice- over credits including radio, TV, audiobooks, and animation. He has traveled extensively throughout the US teaching voice over workshops. Joseph is a dialectician and can perform most American regional dialects and most foreign accents.

Mr. Batzel has just joined Deyan audio one of the world’s largest Independent producer of Audiobooks as one of their narrators. He is married to his wife Alice of forty-four years, she is a published playwright and working on her first novel. They have two sons and five grandchildren. He presently lives in Brigham City, Utah where he currently works as an adjunct instructor at Utah State University teaching courses in Creative Arts and Public Speaking.

Sunday Surprise


And it’s writers on writing, words of wisdom, writers quotes and have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
P.D. James

Making money is about providing a product or service people will happily pay for. To publish profitably, you need a book that people want; a book they will enjoy reading. Then, you need to produce it into a beautiful product that appeals the target audience and immediately conveys benefits; then you need sales copy and reviews that overcome objections and convince them to buy. Then you need ways of driving traffic to your product.

After all that, you continue tweaking until your conversion rate is high and consistent. Most authors think “writing to market” or considering your audience means writing shitty bulks to fill a need. That’s not at all what I’m saying. I want you to write better books that people actually enjoy, not the book that you enjoy writing. Write for others, not for yourself.
Derek Murphy

But let me give you a couple hints I gave last year (or you can learn how to fix in the blog posts, my book, or the sales workshop.)
If your blurb contains plot from more than the first chapter of your novel, you are in trouble.
If you can substitute the words… “and then this happened and then this happened and…(so on)” for your plot elements in your blurb, you are in trouble.
If you have any of the verbs… is, was, has, will… (and so on) in your blurb, you are in trouble.
If your blurb is a massive, long paragraph, or two, or three massively long paragraphs, you are in trouble.
Tags…? Got any?
Got any author information besides the fact you were born and love cats?
And so on and so on…
So, are your book sales not what you think they should be??  Then just maybe your actual sales tools are bad.
Your book might be great. But few people will ever read it in this modern world if you push them away.
Just saying…

Dean Wesley Smith

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham

Recently I posted this comment on Facebook: “People always ask me how I find time to write. I don’t. I choose to write.” I was in the process of finishing a movie novelization that I had only a few days left to turn in to the editor, so I didn’t pay much attention to the comments that followed. When I checked Facebook later, I saw that several people found my comment “not supportive” and even hurtful to people who had so much else going on in their lives that they didn’t have the privilege of extra time to write. I tried to clarify by adding that “Everyone has their circumstances, but anyone should be able to find a few minutes a day or week to do some writing.” If people truly want to become writers, they need to make a commitment to producing writing, however they can work it into their lives. Seems like common sense, right? If you want to get good at something, you have to practice.
Tim Waggoner

Sunday Surprise


Hi guys,
I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

Soo! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Th’alia Erlis, Eltenda of the Elfkind – that’s scholar or Lorekeeper to you, human.
I come from Ilthendra, that’s a town in the Shimmering Forest. My age? I think I am about 25 summers.

My oh my… I’m 22 forever, so not really human, am I? *chuckle* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I have honey blonde hair, and elven features.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Ha! Do I have enemies? I am a forest elf caught up in a game of intrigue in which I must commit terrible things, lie and deceive. It will likely kill me. Humans are my enemy – not every human – I am Elfkind thus I am nothing more than a slave or servant to the humans. I must obey no matter what is asked of me, or risk death. I find myself in an impossible situation – I must lead these people…my friends and… and her to the ambush. Their lives for mine, my sister and my town.

Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes, if I had to.

Where do you live?

You don’t listen, do you? I come from Ilthendra, that is in Erana.

*roll eyes* Uptight much? Next question. Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

*Answers carefully. Not as such. But I am Marden’s elf so he takes his pleasures with me. I used to hate him for it, but now I find it’s not so bad. I take the pleasure for its own sake. We are not an elf and human or captor and captive, we are just a man and woman when we are in bed. He doesn’t beat me or actually force me into that; it’s an ‘arrangement’.
I did have a man in Ilthendra, but he belonged to someone else. I must forget him.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Staying alive. Finding the lost city.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

I have a twin sister, M’alia. She is currently the captive of the Order of Witch-Hunters. They rule the land, hate elves and all magic and their word is law. M’alia is both elven and magical; we fell into their hands when we went to seek the Lady of the Light. She will bring us salvation and freedom. Unfortunately, we were captured on the way. That’s why I am doing this – to protect my sister.

Well, I have a twin sister too, so I know what you mean. Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

An unusual fact? I can speak High Elvish – the old noble language. Not many people can – not many elves.

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Why are the elves so oppressed? War, death, tainted magic. There was a plague which almost destroyed the elves and men and the elves were blamed. All elves are a little magical and this plague fed on magic and spread across the lands. The humans say the Order took over to impose martial law, the elves say they did it to end the dominion of the Elfkind, but the plague and the wars had already done that.
How do I feel? I am ashamed, frightened and alone.
Will I live to see the end of this adventure? I doubt it.

Well, I wish you good luck. I’m sure you’ll make it alive. Let me ask my nosy questions to someone else now – hoping he’s not that uptight… Tell me a little about yourself, mister.

I am Captain Marden Harlsen – I’m about thirty – but who is counting?

I most certainly don’t! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Sandy hair, well built human male.

What is your role in the story?

It’s complicated. I’m a Witch-Hunter under cover in a group of elves and mages. My role is to ensure Th’alia does what is required. Or at the least deal with this Archmage. For appearance’s sake (and my own safety) I am her escort through the human lands.

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

It’s complicated…Th’alia is an elf. She can not be more than a bit of amusement. I cannot allow myself to become attached to her, but I do find myself enjoying her company, now and then…

Where do you live?

I live at Greytower fort. I don’t really have another home. I don’t often see my family.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

There are women now and then, or elves if I am bored but no one special. It’s difficult to maintain a relationship in my profession. It’s not actually forbidden but it causes conflicts of interest.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Not being found out. I suspect in a group of elves, half elves and mages I’m not going to be popular. To be honest I’m not sure I thought it through when I agreed. I am one man… let’s home Th’alia does what she needs to and my back up arrive.

Do you have a moral code?

I’m a Witch-Hunter. My word is law. In theory, of course there are plenty of people who think otherwise. Moral code? I don’t kill unless it’s necessary and I try and give those I do kill a quick death.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m not keen on snakes.

LOL! Who is? What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Do I feel guilty about who and what I am?

No, not often. Well not very often. The Witch-Hunters uphold the law and protect the populous against magic.

Do I think I will live through this? I hope so… although as time goes by I feel less and less certain.

_______________________

Book(s) in which the character appears and links

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

https://bundlerabbit.com/members/ebook/overview/1wz3Jw2N

Author bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! As announced, our mighty curator A.L. Butcher is here to talk about her first bundle – More Than Human – and all those neat things happening in her writerly life! You may remember her from the Wyrd Worlds Anthologies… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back A.L. Butcher!

Where do you live and write from?

I am from the UK, born and raised in the South East and now residing in rainy Bristol (in the South West).

Why do you write?

Because I enjoy it, because it’s part of who I am and because otherwise all the people, ideas and voices in my head would drive me mad.

Writing is a release – and to me it is freedom. Nothing is impossible in fiction, unlikely yes, but not impossible. That’s one reason I like to read and write fantasy. Fantasy is the ‘what if’, ‘it can be’, it is pure escapism.

When did you start writing?

I was the ‘imaginative’ child at school – the one who couldn’t concentrate on boring things and was usually off somewhere in my own head. Hmm, not much changes…I’d often write poetry or short stories for the school displays. I suppose though it was when I started writing adventures for Role Playing Games (yes, yes I’m a geek and proud). The novels and short stories developed from those.

I’m lucky, my parents always encouraged us to read from an early age and be creative. One sister is an artist, and one teaches English and drama.

What genre(s) do you write?

Poetry, fantasy, fantasy romance, short stories, and a bit of horror.

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

To give up the day job I don’t like much and be able to write full-time. What am I doing about it? Writing, networking, writing more, working on various projects. Studying too although I don’t have much energy for that as well, these days.

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

Write what you want to read. If you want to read it, someone else will too. Don’t necessarily write what is ‘popular’ today, as it may not be popular tomorrow.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser, definitely. I have an idea and things grow from that. The story usually tells me where it wants to go, sometimes after it’s got there…

I have a full-time job, and various health issues so I don’t write as much as I’d like. Often I’m too tired or brainfried to do anything creative so I tend to write in spurts. So I suppose both and neitheranswers the second question…

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

I have two – The Shining Citadel is the second in my Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series but can be read as a stand alone. It’s set in the world of Erana – a dark fantasy world where magic is illegal, but pretty much everywhere, and elves and non-humans live as slaves. Mages can be executed simply for being mages, if they are caught, and to be an Elven mage is doubly dangerous. Humans are more likely to report a non-human.

So our heroes set out to find a missing elven artefact and end up discovering a lost elven citadel and a lot of unwelcome truths. We have a human (well he isn’t but you’ll have to read the book to discover WHAT he is) sorcerer, who is also a nobleman and a crimelord; an elven sorceress who used to be a slave and knows little of her own history; a half-elven servant, who is also an assassin and works for the crimelord; a forest elf trying to regain her people’s heritage; a Witch-Hunter undercover, and a Troll prince… Plus two elves who are in an impossible situation and might be about to commit treason…

Of course. Nothing is as simple as it first appears, people have secrets which might well be fatal and then there is the ‘lost’ elven citadel hunted for by our heroes, who want to preserve it, and our bad guys who want to destroy it. And there is a bit of romance and time for naughtiness too 😊

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – is a collection of short fantasy stories featuring mischievous imps who lurk in your washing machine and raid your fridge, a baffled wizard/god in charge of a rather familiar blue/green world, cunning thieves and a secret kitchen. It’s a lot of fun.

Tell us about your latest book

The latest publication is The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story. It’s a short story from the Ripper’s point of view, covering the last murder. It’s dark. Technically it’s not new as it was previously published in an anthology but has been revised and expanded.

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the 18 rated for scenes of violence.

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Bundle Rabbit

Shortly before that I published Tears and Crimson Velvet – which is part of the Legacy of the Mask Tales. These feature characters based around Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera. They are ‘what ifs’and ‘might have beens.

Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.
A Legacy of the Mask Tale.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TMFF9M

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073TMFF9M

Not to mention the More Than Human Bundle

Bundle Rabbit

Kobo

Barnes&Noble

Goodreads

To save. To guard. To heal.

Beloved people, precious things, and sacred spaces move our hearts and inspire us to defend them.

In these tales of redemption and rescue, more-than-human heroes stand forth as champions to protect all that is worthy of protection.

Walk with these elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and guardians as they subdue demons, free the enslaved, preserve the world, comfort the exiled, and cross swords with the dark. Read and revel in their triumphs and tribulations.

The Shining Citadel – A. L. Butcher
Technological Angel – Barbara G. Tarn
Needle-Green – Debbie Mumford
The Cartographer’s Daughter – Karen L. Abrahamson
Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Crystal Courtesan – Karen L. Abrahamson
The First Book of Old Mermaids Tales – Kim Antieau
The Guardians – Book 1 – Don Viecelli
Love Apidae (A Recumon Story) – Michael R. E. Adams
The Flat Above the Wynd – Alexandra Brandt
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – A. L. Butcher

Any other projects in the pipeline?
Lots. I am working on Book IV of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, which picks up after events of books II and III. Also, I am working on a novella for my Tales of Erana series, various short stories and a couple of ‘secret’ projects.
I have various bundles planned – including Mythic Tales in November, Immortals, Frisky February, Seasonal Bundles, Here Be Dragons, and lastly a Warrior’s Bundle to raise money for a couple of charities which support wounded and elderly ex-service persons.

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Author Bio:

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’

Blog: http://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

 

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a much revered guest! One of my first Goodreads friends! A lovely British gal I had the honor to meet in person after Loncon – she didn’t make it to Helsinki, but hopefully we’ll meet again in Dublin 2019. Or in London, whatever comes first, haha! Anyhow, she has a new book out, so check this interview! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcom J.A.Clement!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in the UK; I’m from the rural North but live in the South and work in London as my husband’s family live on the South coast.

Why do you write?

I write because I get twitchy if I don’t. I can only go so long without writing. Sooner or later it all bubbles up in me and life goes dull until I’m writing again. Then the gleam comes back.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written, as far as I can remember. The first lengthy piece of writing I can remember was when I was eleven. My English teacher set us the task of writing three interlinked short stories. My friends did half a page each and grumbled about how hard it was. I didn’t dare tell them that mine were about twenty pages each and I’d had to ask for a new exercise book!

What genre(s) do you write?

Mostly fantasy, though I write contemporary humour under another name which I’m not going to tell you (as people will insist that they know who my characters are based on. I try to take that as a compliment that they seem so real, rather than being irritated. They’re not, but still…)

What does your writing routine consist of?

I write in my lunch hour when I get one, so it’s all a bit piecemeal. Sometimes in summer if I’m not too tired I write on the train instead of sleeping. If I’m really compulsively in the flow, I email myself bits of text while I’m in the lift or waiting for the kettle to boil or while tea is cooking. You’ll understand why editing is quite an important bit of the process for me!

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

My latest release is due tomorrow. A few years ago I wrote a Christmas story called A Sprig of Holly, about a girl called Greta. Recently I decided to revisit Greta for a novella called The Holly & the Ivy, which takes place a few years after when Greta’s daughter goes missing in a storm, and Greta finds out a little more about the help which came to her in the course of that first winter.

http://mybook.to/sprig_series

It’s almost fairytale /adventure style in tone – my other stuff is hardly the full grimdark but bad things happen to good people, whereas this is a lot lighter; gripping, I hope, but more like the sort of adventure story you used to get before everything went a bit dark and Nordic. A bit of light relief from an increasingly grimdark world, perhaps.

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

Write the most excellent book you can, and then move onto the next one. It’s easy to get tangled up in self-doubt and over editing, but when it comes to it, you have to trust yourself and your editors, and release your book to the lions, so to speak. Readers will make up their own minds. In the meantime you need to not be wasting time doing stuff like hitting refresh in case a review comes up. There is so little time in this life to actually write, you just need to squash it in wherever there is two minutes spare, and get on with it. Once it’s written, the editing and polishing is time consuming but not generally outrageously difficult, but first you need to write it completely to the end or you’ll be perfecting chapter four for the rest of your life and never publish the damn thing at all.

Blog: http://jaclement.wordpress.com

fb: http://www.facebook.com/jaclementwrites

Author Central

Goodreads

Sunday Surprise


Since I skipped July, here’s some words of wisdom, writers on writing, inspirational quotes for writers, whatever you want to call them, to take you through the summer… Happy Sunday!

NO MATTER WHAT, KEEP WRITING.
William Gibson shared some advice on that phone call. First, never do a multibook deal. Second, don’t buy the big house. Sound counsel, although I was bummed that sinister monkeys weren’t somehow involved. He also said that many of his most successful writer friends are distinguished by the fact that they KEEP WRITING, rather than getting distracted by side projects or celebrity. The week before Cumulus came out, I finished the rough draft of my next novel. It’s currently in editorial and I’m gearing up to dive into a new story. Writing is the ultimate democratic artform. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably written an email. If you’ve written an email, you can write a book. It might not be the Next Great American Novel, but it would be yours. If you’ve written a book, you can write a better one. If you’ve written a better one, then please don’t stop because I want to read everything you dream up. When it comes to storytelling, we are the only things standing in our way.
Eliot Peper

Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice though practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words.
P.D. James

Simply put, your mission with your fiction is to entertain your reader enough for a few hours that they will want to buy more of your work.
If you take the attitude that you are always learning, always having fun, always practicing and trying to entertain people, you will discover you are more productive and sell more.
If you are having fun, entertaining yourself while you write, then your readers will feel that and be entertained as well.
You can sell your practice sessions, folks. Practicing has no pressure on it. Write clean, keep learning, and keep having fun.
That really is the secret.
Dean Wesley Smith

Publishing is a racket because most self-publishing authors see their books as an investment, when it’s actually a gamble. It’s a gamble because they don’t know how to reach their readers (or who their readers even are). They don’t know whether anybody will really enjoy their books. They hope to make some money from their books but because they didn’t write it for the money, they are OK with continuously spending more and more time, effort and money into their books even when they get zero results.
Publishing is a racket because the majority of people making money in publishing are the people selling services to authors. People selling services (myself included) get paid for their time and expertise, but have no interest helping you to make your book successful. (That’s not exactly fair, I should also point out that it’s because, in this business arrangement the author calls the shots and most first time authors make terrible choices, even when the people they hire for help try and get them to make better choices. There’s a built-in tendency towards self-sabotage when the least experienced person gets to make all the decisions).

Derek Murphy

Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”
Neil Gaiman

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Louis L’Amour

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Unexpected but welcome! Please, ladies and gentlemen, welcome Suzanne Kovitz!

Where do you live and write from?
Reisterstown, MD

Why do you write?
I wrote a novel entitled, “Enemy Self” because it was a form of escapism from life and I have a message of perseverance.

When did you start writing?
I began soon after college. The idea was founded in a dream.

What genre(s) do you write?
This a work of fiction with cross-over genres including sci-fi, fantasy, and YA.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
I enjoy getting the reader right into the story without much intro and description. I also inserted inside voices as a narrative.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
From life’s experiences. My story is more like a movie inside my head.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Neither. I’m a slow hobby writer.

Tell us about your latest book

Enemy Self

Jessica Wheaton, a sweet and innocent high school girl, suddenly finds herself transformed into the body of her bully, Denise Bower.

She lives Denise’s life and experiences all the struggles Denise endures including child abuse, incest, drug experimentation, failing school grades, and dangerous relationships with men.

Finally escaping from an abusive home, Jessica (in the body of Denise) goes on a tumultuous journey of violence, drug addiction, rape and prostitution. She is in an endless search for love and true identity.

Will Jessica ever find a way to return to her body? Will she ever experience true love? How can she possibly defeat her enemy if she is her enemy?

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie author. The traditionals wanted tried & true. Being an Indie author I can be in control of the book and its creative process.

Any other projects in the pipeline

Working on a memoir entitled, “Walking on Eggshells”

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

I would like to make my book available internationally. There are many and growing opportunities for indie authors now-a-days, including social media and podcast.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP

also known as Galaxy Quest’s motto “Never give up, never surrender” LOL! Thank you for stopping by! You can find Suzanne here or on Author Central.

 

 

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another Sci-fi July author! And I even met him three years ago, yay! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Michael W. Lucas!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Detroit, Michigan, and write from my authorial garret above my family home. As garrets go, it’s pretty nice. I have running water and a view of the power lines.

Why do you write?

Because I love doing it. I love telling stories. Good writing is clear thinking, and while my brain is usually full of mud writing forces me to sieve away the muck and produce clarity.

When did you start writing?

I was four when I discovered that books were not a gift from On High. They were produced by people–real people, not, like, TV stars or Presidents. People like me.

So I started writing books. And annoying my relatives and schoolmates with them. Now I get to annoy the world at large.

What genre(s) do you write?

As Michael Warren Lucas, I write SF and crime novels. I’m probably best known for the Immortal Clay books: a play off of Carpenter’s amazing The Thing, but set after we lose. I write just about anything as short stories.

As Michael W Lucas, I write nonfiction technology books. Nonfiction provides
some interesting storytelling opportunities. My fiction and nonfiction writing each feeds off the other.

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

I am always looking to become a better writer. Every book I write, I’m practicing a particular skill.

Writing is my full-time job, so I have business goals too. I’m looking to boost the share of my income that comes from fiction. Each novel I write sells better than the last, so the solution is pretty clear: write more novels.

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

Writing advice is a weird thing. What’s great advice for a beginner is terrible advice for a medium-stage author and irrelevant for an advanced author.

The best writing advice I’ve ever been given actually isn’t writing advice, it’s life advice: “Listen to the people who are doing the thing you want to do, the way you want to do it.”

Hanging around with other writers and talking about writing is great fun. I’m thrilled to hang out with more experienced authors, and I’ll happily chat with writers that aren’t as far along as myself. But I’m really choosy about whose advice I listen to.

Many people who can’t do a thing talk a really good game about the thing. That guy in your writing group who is full of comments about your use of passive voice and how you break up paragraphs, but who has never sold a dang thing?  He’s not providing useful information.

When someone tells you how your work made them feel, though: that is ALWAYS valid and useful. Always. It’s the most useful writing advice you’ll ever get.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I always have an outline. Permit me to present the complete outline for my crime thriller “Butterfly Stomp Waltz.” It’s utterly full of
robbery and bloodshed and vengeance.

Anthony Bourdain:

  • Atlanta
  • Portugal
  • Myanmar

Yep, that’s it. Food and travel shows are great for researching foreign places. If you can make the reader taste the food in that little town in the back of the Myanmar jungle, they’ll believe you’ve been there.

My writing speed depends entirely on the project. The novel I’m currently writing, a sequel to BSW called Terrapin Sky Tango, is being difficult.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

In the Montague Portal series, the Montague Corporation has figured out how to leap into alien universes with different natural laws. Unfortunately, not all of those universes like humans.

More unfortunately, we bring human nature with us.

Mind rotting from an incurable prion disease? Go to a universe where the disease cannot progress, and get attacked by aliens (No More Lonesome Blue Rings). Or be among the first to visit a universe, solve a robbery, and save the world. (Sticky Supersaturation). There’s a universe where density varies linearly and there’s no ground… more specifically, no grounds for murder. (Forever Falls).

Montague Portal is kind of Star Trek, but every story has a built-in excuse to change how everything works.

Hydrogen Sleets is set in a universe exactly like ours, but it’s only about half a billion years after the Big Bang. The universe contains only hydrogen atoms screaming past at half the speed of light and a 1960s-style space station made of spinning concentric rings. It’s not just a SF mystery where our heroine needs to figure out why people are going insane and attacking the station; it’s a corporate procedural, where the frustrations of working for a company form part of the story. With laser guns, and forbidden shwarma.

It’s a perfect book for the Sci-Fi July Bundle. I was thrilled to be asked.

Tell us about your latest book

I describe git commit murder as “If Agatha Christie ran Unix cons.” If you work in the computing industry, if you’ve ever been to a computer conference, this book is for you.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m currently writing a sequel to Butterfly Stomp Waltz, called Terrapin Sky Tango. Yes, I’m watching a few Anthony Bourdain episodes for that one. Plus a new, big nonfiction book.

Non-fiction Author

Fiction Author

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a Sci-fi July author! We even were in the same bundle last year! And I met him on the Oregon Coast this year! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Blaze Ward!

Where do you live and write from?

     “West of the Mountains, WA” USA

Why do you write?

     How do you make it stop?

When did you start writing?

     As long as I’ve had words. Professionally, about four years ago.

What genre(s) do you write?

    Primarily SF. Plus Fantasy, superhero, modern crime, and Post-apocalyptic-distopian-cowboy-stories

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

     Be the most successful writer nobody has ever heard of. (See Taupin, B.)

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

     They only win if you stop.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

     I write into dimly-lit hallways, so I know where it starts, and roughly where it ends, and let the characters and the story direct me. Fast writer, but not as fast as Dean. 400k/year the last 2 years.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

     I wanted to do something new for me and for a lot of what I’ve read. Hard SF archaeology, without gods, magic, or anything else. Focused on one person struggling to overcome her demons, and what it would really be like, exploring a potentially-hostile world.

Tell us about your latest book

     Flight of the Blackbird  5th of the Jessica Keller series. Epic Military Space Opera.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

     I will publish at least one thing on the 10th of every month for at least three years after I’d dead. Publishing four Science Officer books (5-8) this year, plus superhero stories and the cowboy collection.

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