Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Another wonderful indie author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Audrey Rich!

Where do you live and write from?

I live and write in Sunny South Florida in the USA but I’m originally from New York City.

Why do you write?

My soul calls me to write and my characters definitely beg for their stories to be written.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved to write and put together stories in my head but I earnestly began to write in 2011 after one late night I opened up Word and the words spilled from my fingers. There wasn’t even an inkling that I would choose to become a writer.

But it was an answer to a prayer for a career change that led me to embark on my writing adventure until the moment the characters came to life in my head and the words appeared on the screen and the writing bug burrowed itself into my heart.

What genre(s) do you write?

Currently I write YA, NA, and Dystopian Contemporary Romances as well as Fairytale retellings and I’m co-authoring a Sci-Fi story about aliens with a friend.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Definitely an improviser (pantser) but I can follow someone else’s outline. Depends on what is going on in my life. My debut novel was completed in three months so not too slow but there are times that it takes me forever to write a word.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book, Queen of Mermaids, is the first of four books, which is Season 2 of the Kingdom of Fairytales series will be released on January 29th 2020.

It’s the after the happily-ever-after of The Little Mermaid. My character is Princess Blaise, daughter of The Little Mermaid and she’s a proud member of the Anti-Mermaid League. The irony of it all.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing because despite having an acquiring editor who liked my writing and the plot of my first book, I decided that I wanted complete control of my publishing career. I wouldn’t mind working with a traditional publisher in the future when I would have more control but for now managing my own books and career works for me.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Definitely many projects that need to be polished and written but I believe I will focus on the stories from my YA series that will lead to my NA/adult Contemporary Romances because these characters’ stories need to be written.

I working on the final edits of Igniting Our Love and finish writing Denying Our Love, which are both part of my A Stonehaven High Series.

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

My goal is to continue improving how I tell my stories by writing every single day.

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

The best piece of advice is to write what your heart and soul call you to write instead of trying to ride the trends that are popular at the moment.

_______________

Find Audrey online

Goodreads

Facebook

Blog

Amazon 

Bookbub

Instagram

Twitter

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I’ll still have those if someone is willing to be interviewed! This lovely young lady I met in person and when I saw her excited about her upcoming new release, I had to offer her a spot! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kate Grove!

Where do you live and write from?

Hello and nice to meet you all. I live in Budapest, Hungary.

Why do you write?

I write because I’d like to share stories with the world. I want to invite my readers to journey to a faraway land so they can experience fun adventures there!

When did you start writing?

Well, I was probably around 7 or 8 when I’ve written the first story that I remember. However, if you were to ask me when I decided to be a novelist, then it was at 13 years old.

What genre(s) do you write?

I mainly write romantic fantasy, with humour and adventure.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I like to use sprints. I write for 20-25 minutes, then take a 5 to 10-minute break. In an ideal world, that is. Sometimes I forget the time and just write until something breaks me out of the trance. The same might happen when I’m having a break, so I need to pay attention. I usually schedule 1 day off every week.

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

Probably plotting and world building. How did I develop them? Not sure, but I suspect it has something to do with me being a single child and coming up with ideas to entertain myself whenever my friends were unavailable to play.

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

Inspiration is everywhere. It just strikes you at unexpected moments. It could be because of a snippet of a conversation, lyrics, a cool music video, an article, or just taking a walk in a park. Really, anything can be used as inspiration.

You won’t find me as I am in my stories, however, when my characters are formed, I think every one of them takes a little something from me. There’s a connection between me and all my characters. I think that might be the same for most writers 🙂

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

The middle ground. I like to outline – and it looks so detailed! But when we’re talking about a 95K novel, you realise there’s a lot of room to wiggle. I like to see what comes next and how will we get to the end before I start writing. But I always leave room for random events and developments, because sometimes, when you write fast enough, the most exciting scenes appear!

Am I a fast or a slow writer? I type very fast. I can probably write a 95K novel in 2 or 3 months at most. That’s slow for some people. Other people would find it a breakneck speed. It’s all relative!

Tell us about your latest book (

My latest book is the first one in a series, called Sword and Mirror. It’s being published on 30th September (tomorrow), here is the link.

It’s about a woman who is thrown back in time, to 16th century Japan and she strikes a deal with a samurai lord in order to survive this war-torn period. It’s a very exciting time in Japanese history and I had fun researching! Anyway, she agrees to pretend to be the samurai lord’s fake fiancée for a month in exchange for his help, but she realises the dangers of it a little late. After all, a samurai lord has many enemies, and in this case, not all of them are humans.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

It took me long to decide on indie publishing. When I started writing, the only route to go seemed traditional publishing, but when I felt ready enough for finally publishing, the book market had already changed. Indie publishing underwent a revolution and better and better books came out, nurtured by indies. And when I weighed the pros and cons…

In the end, being indie allows me more freedom in the creative and business processes and better royalty rates. And I basically would have to do the same amount of work as in trad pub, so why not? The only disadvantage would be that it’s probably harder to see my book in bookshops, but if they can get on the bookshelves of my readers, I don’t mind 🙂

With POD services and the e-book platforms, it’s easier to share my stories with more people than ever. And it’s especially important that I can reach out to them, since my readers are English speakers and I wouldn’t have any other way to connect to them.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m working on the next book in the series, which is called Smoke and Jewel (it comes out on Leap Day!), and it’s already on pre-order. Meanwhile, I plan to release side stories related to the series, whenever I have the opportunity.

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

I want to entertain people with my stories. If it helps them even a little bit to get away from the usual day-to-day events, then I’d be very happy.

And I’d love to stay a full-time writer. I have a limited time to try it out, so we’ll see how that goes.

What do I do to achieve these goals? Write more and be active on Patreon! Learn online marketing and see where I can improve my craft and business practices.

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

You can’t edit a blank page.

Thank you for having me over today, Barb!

Find Me On:

http://amazon.com/author/kategrove

http://facebook.com/kategrovewriter

http://bookbub.com/profile/kate-grove

http://twitter.com/kategrovewriter

http://goodreads.com/kategrove

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! With a new bundle out, how could I not interview some fellow authors? Even if I didn’t curate it, I’m still curious about other writers’ process!Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Karen C. Klein!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in the Chicago area, but am making a move down to Fort Worth, TX. I tend to write from home on my laptop, but also enjoy taking my laptop or tablet out with me to a library or café.

Why do you write?

Gosh, I could probably write an entire book about why I write. I think the short answer is because I love to tell stories and writing them down in book form is my favorite “container” for sharing stories.

When did you start writing?

I started telling stories to my Aunts when I was four on the train to downtown Chicago. And I wrote my first fan fic when I was eleven and my first original fic when I was twelve. I lost the notebook with the fan fic, but I still have the notebook with the original fic.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write fantasy & sci-fi, broadly speaking. I love combing sub-genres of sci-fi and fantasy in new and interesting ways.

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

I want to write the books that I didn’t have growing up. I also want to write books about a better, more inclusive world, where people are better than they are in the real world. And I want my books to provoke an emotional response in my readers – give them hope, or make them angry or make them cry.

I achieve these goals by writing the stories that I wish I had or wish existed when I was growing up. Or I wish I had now. I write from a character driven position. I put a lot of heft behind a character’s emotional arc and growth. I don’t really have static characters on the page. I also study the world as it is now. I study history. To better understand humanity and our motivations as a species. Finally, I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction.

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

Take other writers’ advice with a grain of salt. What works well for someone else might not work for you.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I tend to start with a jumping off point, like a character or a world idea and then do some loose world-building before I jump into drafting. My drafts are mostly improvisation. I tend to rebel against traditional outlines in my fiction. I can outline non-fiction. Brains are weird. My writing is slow in that I don’t write every day. But, fast in that I can write an average of 1000 words in an hour when I am able to sit down and write. Not every writing day is a great day, but I try to squeeze the most out of what writing time I do have.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The book that I have in this bundle is titled Shakespeare’ s Curse. It is about how the wizard Shakespeare was cursed into a map by his brother, the wizard Teneyros.

I had so much fun writing this short story because Shakespeare & Teneyros are more supporting characters in the first two books of the Chronicles of the Mages’ Guild books. This short story brings out their dynamic. And it gives readers a chance to find out how Shakespeare ended up as a map.

Tell us about your latest book

I’m drafting a book where the main character Adra is going to the city from the country to pursue her magical University education. Along the way, she discovers she’s not the humble orphan she thinks she is, but part of something much larger than herself. She finds herself unexpectedly caught up in political intrigue that brings the country to the brink of civil war.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I always have multiple irons in the fire so to speak. I am working on the next two novels of the Mages’ Guild series. Both of those are past the first draft stage. As well as collaborating with my friend Matt Hope on what we’re calling a queer space heist, which is still in the first draft stage. It is set in a world in the far future. Ella & Charlie are tasked with rescuing their royal friends off of a high security space station or the princesses and prince will be forced into unwanted arranged marriages for political alliance.

Website: https://karencklein.com/

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another Eclectica author! Her short story collection is awesome, you’ll see it in my recommended reading list at the end of the year… but why wait? Get it now along with all the other awesome authors! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sherry D. Ramsey!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and I can see the Atlantic Ocean from my house. I’ve lived here all my life, except for my university years (also spent in a port town…do I see a pattern here?). I can’t imagine living far from the scent of the salt sea air.

Why do you write?

I think I’m just mentally tuned that way. Stories and characters show up and I simply want to write them…to delve into the possibilities and challenges they present. I can go for stretches without writing, perhaps a month or so, but I always come back to it.

When did you start writing?

The first “real” story I remember writing was around the eighth grade. It was a very Edgar Allan Poe-type story, with a creepy house and a storm and portraits on the walls whose eyes followed the main character. My teacher at the time really encouraged my writing, and I give him a lot of credit for making me believe this was something I could actually do.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write all over the speculative fiction spectrum (although not much horror). Science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy; I love it all, often mashed up with a dash of mystery and detective.

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

I suppose my goal as a writer is to give readers stories they can get lost in and enjoy, and characters they will love and care about. I lean toward writing that primarily entertains (although it can certainly have important underlying themes and messages). I think reading is a necessary form of release and escapism that helps keep us sane in an increasingly crazy world.

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

It’s a pretty simple one, really: “Keep going.” The writing life has a lot of ups and downs—the downs usually dominate at first—and it’s so important to keep writing, keep learning, and keep improving. I believe it will happen for most people if they really love to write and accept that it’s a process of getting better in small, incremental steps.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Big-time improviser who dabbles in outlining with varied success! I can appreciate the value of an outline in many cases, but I’m not always so great at implementing one. I tend to write fast first drafts, and if I don’t start with an outline, I make one as I go—it’s an invaluable tool for those inevitable revisions.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

My book in the bundle is “The Cache and Other Stories,” a collection of (mostly) previously-published short fiction. The stories range across the specfic genres, so it’s a great fit for the Eclectica bundle. You’ll find an alien ship in a forest hideaway, ghosts inside a computer network, a distraught goddess in a detective’s office, a teenage busker on a space station, and more.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book is the novella “Toil and Trouble,” the fourth installment in my Olympia Investigations series (one of the earlier OI stories is in the book in this bundle). Here’s the blurb:

Acacia Sheridan is a private detective with a special gift for perceiving the supernatural. When a local coven of urban witches mistakenly summons a malevolent spirit, they look to Acacia to help track him down. Inconsistencies in the witches’ story make Acacia suspect they’re not telling her everything—and then the murders start.

With her assistant Oliver stressing over an unfortunate witch encounter in his past, a demon on the loose, and a handsome police detective who wants to know too much, Acacia’s up to her sixth sense in supernatural trouble in this new novella in the Olympia Investigations series.

It’s available in print and multiple ebook formats, and you can find your favourite retailer link at https://books2read.com/ToilandTrouble

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always! I’m currently working on revisions for the fourth book in my Nearspace series, and writing the first draft of a new comic fantasy novel I hope to release later this year. Juggling projects is my usual modus operandi (whether that’s a good thing or not, I’m never sure), but those are my projects while I wait with bated breath for spring to arrive in my part of the world.

www.sherrydramsey.com

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.

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

Sunday Surprise


Rocketpack Adventures Sunday Special! Revered Guests, here are eight fearless authors answering six questions about this  anthology, available as ebook and paperback. Get it now!

AUTHOR/CURATOR RUSS CROSSLEY

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

I fell in love with the idea of jet or rocket packs in the early 1970’s when I saw part of an old serial on a children’s morning program. Looking back I think it was 1949’s King of the Rocketmen. Then the 1991 film The Rocketeer reignited my interest in this subgenre of fantastic film (a long time love of mine). I now own all the old serials with rocket suited heroes and of course the Rocketeer on DVD. The whole idea is so much fun I decided to compile a collection of stories by various authors to see how other authors might approach the idea. And, boy, did they ever write some clever tales. I hope everyone enjoys these stories as much as as I do.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Mine is called Mercenary Knights. It is about rocket pack wearing knights jousting on antigravity boards in the 42nd century. Of course there is danger, action, and peril and a cliffhanger ending as is fitting for this genre with a surprising twist. Great fun to write my own rocketpack story.

3. What inspired your story?

As it happens I have an ongoing series of books about team of mercenaries set in the 42nd century and two of the team love to compete in outrageous, and dangerous sports. It occurred to me why not jousting knights wearing rocketpacks? This provided me the perfect frame work for the story.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

No, not much,. At the moment I’m in the process of finishing the seventh book in the Blaster Squad series and have plans to write a paranormal mystery next.

5. What should readers know about you?

My professional writing career started when I sold three Star Trek stories to Pocket Books.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I have a large collection of Star Trek fiction dating back to the 1970’s. Science fiction has been one of my passions for most of my life inspired by the US Space Program in the 1960’s and the seemingly inevitable goal of peaceful space exploration of my generation.

AUTHOR MARY JO RABE

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

The idea of getting away, leaving the solar system, galaxy, or even universe.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

An efficient engineer builds her own rocket.

3. What inspired your story?

In my Blue Sunset collection I have poems about life on Mars. One of them deals with an efficient engineer leaving Mars in her own rocket.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write science fiction, some fantasy, and some historical fiction, all with different topics and themes.

5. What should readers know about you?

I prefer to write optimistic fiction with happy endings because that’s what I like to read.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? I am very amazed and grateful to be in this bundle.

Personal blog: https://maryjorabe.wordpress.com/

Publishing blog: https://teedsgalaxypress.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.teedsgalaxypress.com

AUTHOR LESLEY L. SMITH

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Rockets and jetpacks are super fun. I think it goes back to the ideas of the golden age of science fiction–when everyone was jetting around. I wish I had a jetpack right now!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

My story “Girl Power” is the tale of a group of girls inventing a wearable jetpack.

3. What inspired your story?

I must admit I’m on a bit of a ‘girl power’ streak this year.  I love the idea of girls becoming empowered–in more ways than one!

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I often write about rockets and spaceships, but my stories are really about characters and their relationships in science fictional settings.

5. What should readers know about you?

Readers should know that in real life I’m a physicist, and have worked on a NASA project (so, am a rocket scientist?). 😉

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

This particular anthology has been super fun and all the stories are marvelous. For more info, check out my website: www.lesleylsmith.com

AUTHORS/CO-WRITERS JIM LE MAY AND CHUCK ANDERSON

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Chuck- I had never written a jetpack story, and when Russ asked I was intrigued.

Jim – Honestly, I had never thought of writing a story about jetpacks until my co-author, Chuck Anderson, brought the idea up. It sounded like fun to write and indeed was.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Chuck – Jim and my story is about a down-on-his-luck hero during the Great Depression who is recruited by a former gunfighter to fight against crime.

Jim – International intrigue in the pre-WWII era, a sexy female Nazi spy, Alcatraz island in the San Francisco bay and a heroic jetpack pilot.

3. What inspired your story?

Chuck – The old television show ‘Have Gun- Will Travel.’ I wanted a character who’s for hire but generally tries to do the right thing.

Jim – Partially, the late ’50s TV show “Have Gun — Will Travel” and in part the ’90s film “The Rocketeer.”

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

Chuck – I have not written a jetpack story before, and I usually write under a bunch of different areas of science fiction.

Jim – That was my first jetpack story, though Chuck and I might write another. I usually write about future history or gonzo versions of fairy tales and other stories.

5. What should readers know about you?

Chuck – I am a publisher, writer, and an art student, but I used to be a teacher, volleyball coach, and an athletic director. I also have a weakness for muscle cars.

Jim – I write character-driven short stories and novels, most of them set decades or centuries in the future after antibiotic-resistant bacteria has drastically reduced the earth’s population.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Chuck – I think this is going to be a fine collection of stories, and I can’t wait to read the rest of them.

Jim – Yes. You can access my blog here: https://www.lemaysshadowworld.com/ , find my books at Mad Cow Press (https://www.madcow.press/ ) and Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jim-LeMay/e/B076MGDHFC ).

AUTHOR  KELLY CAIRO

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Flying. My best dreams include me figuring out I can fly. And it’s wonderful. (Also, as a tourist on a helicopter flight, I was delighted to realize if felt exactly like flying in my dreams.)

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Without giving too much away, it’s about differences and similarities and communication.

3. What inspired your story?

As a kid, I never understood why anyone would consider creating an all-boy or all-girl school. As, er, not a kid, I do understand the appeal of every single opportunity not influenced by stereotypes. (However, I remain grateful I never experienced the all-girl school first hand.)

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

Most of my published work is sci-fi — time travel, Star Trek, and steam punk — and paranormal romance. And I enjoy reading and writing anything that offers a twist.

5. What should readers know about you?

I love the idea of helping people through what they read. Whether it’s providing a half hour of entertainment as reading/relaxation time, or providing a perspective on something a reader thinks about outside of the story — that is the fun of story telling.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

For a good time, check out free samples of my Guardian Angel series. It’s paranormal romance, so the stories are under the Lynn C. Kelly pen name, and available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. There’s a complete, free short story written from the point of view of the guardian angel (parallel to the novel), plus a sample of the novel that (I hope) will make you ask yourself, “What now?”

AUTHOR DEANNA KNIPPLING

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

I love all things pulp.  I watched a million episodes of Flash Gordon as a kid, that’s probably where it started.  Rockets…well, they’re okay.  Space rockets, they can be great.  But jetpacks are so impossible from a practical point of view that you can only think of them as belonging to another reality, one where all our problems have been, or will be, improbably solved by technology.  Maybe that’s the modern version of a fairy tale, I don’t know.  But I’ve always liked that sort of thing.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Jetpacks!  And the fact that a lot of our early rocket scientists were former Nazis that we raided out from under the USSR’s nose.  Maaaybe a little unethical testing went on.  Who’s to say?

3. What inspired your story?

I started on a different story that turned into a 100,000-word novel, or at least it will at some point.  Phooey!  I still wanted to write a story for the anthology, so I borrowed some of the characters from the book and sliced off a smaller chunk of story to play with.

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write science fiction, fantasy, horror, and crime.  A lot of aliens, fae, and monsters.

5. What should readers know about you?

Hahahahaha…that’s assuming they really should know anything.  I like pushing readers’ buttons, so maybe it’s best for everyone concerned if they don’t.  Anyway, my website is at www.WonderlandPress.com.  I’m obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and there happens to be more cannibalism in my stories than maybe there should be.  I live in Colorado.  I am not a direct descendant of anyone involved in the Donner Party, though, in case you were wondering.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I have a blog series of free flash fiction stories running during October.  This year, the theme is “normal things gone wrong.”  You can find Tales of the Normal here.

My latest release is under a pseudonym, Dean Kenyon, two books in a series of near-future detective thrillers full of sarcasm, serial killers, and self-driving cars.  You can find those here.

AUTHOR AND BLOG HOST BARBARA G.TARN

1. What is it about rockets and/or jetpacks that draws you to it?

Actually, it’s my first story with jetpacks and I had a lot of fun writing it, so I must thank Russ for requesting a story with rockets and/or jetpacks! 🙂

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s one mission of the Lone Wolves Team, a group of solitary people who teamed up to work. They call themselves the problem-solvers of the Star Nations, and at the beginning the team is an enhanced Humanoid, a telepathic assassin, a hacker and a starship pilot. This mission focuses on Hariel and Icy Aya , since they’re the right ones for this job.

3. What inspired your story?

The characters inspired the whole series of short stories about a Lone Wolves Team. They’re all quite introverted (except the starship pilot, Shanell) and I like watching them work together. Other loners will join in future episodes. The Star Minds Lone Wolves Team stories are currently (as of 2018) unpublished except the first mission, Wonder Man – included in Hacker (Star Minds Lone Wolves book 3) and the one in this anthology, the rest will come out sometime in 2019

4. Do you always write about rockets and/or jetpacks? If not, what do you write about?

I write mostly science fiction and fantasy (actually, science fantasy more than sci-fi, but my models are Star Wars and Star Trek, not hard SF). This short story belongs to the Star Minds Universe, then there’s Silvery Earth (secondary world fantasy), Future Earth (just started, including some Post-Apocalypse Chronicles) and Vampires Through the Centuries (historical fantasy).

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a prolific one-draft writer, and there’s plenty for you to discover at www.unicornproductionsbooks.com or on my blog https://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com. And if you want a glimpse of the artist (I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist), find me on Deviantart https://www.deviantart.com/creativebarbwire

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I guess I rambled enough. Enjoy this anthology curated by my wonderful writer friend Russ Crossley!

Rocketpack Adventures ebook universal link and paperback.

Sunday Surprise


(already posted on the Facebook page)

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Lesley L. Smith

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Of course, vampires have been popular for over a hundred years and they have been used as metaphors for a variety of things including AIDS, homosexuality, class warfare and more. In my opinion, however, I think people like the idea of living forever. They like to imagine they’ll never have to age or die. Vampires let us experience this vicariously.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

“A Study in Scarlet” is about a vampire living in the future, on a spaceship, when a murder occurs. Not surprisingly, a vampire is pretty handy to have around when blood is spilled (if he can keep control over himself)! Without giving too much away, the protagonist does use his special skill to good effect.

3. What inspired your story?

This story actually encompasses horror, science fiction, and mystery! Yes, I got a little carried away with genres. I started out wondering about the strange and horrible idea of globules of blood floating in zero gravity.
In addition to floating globules, my story was inspired by the wonderful Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel of the same name, from 1887. It doesn’t get any better than Sherlock Holmes.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

While I enjoy horror and mystery very much, I primarily write science fiction. I really enjoy the combination of science’s rationality with fiction’s imagination.

5. What should readers know about you?

In real life I’m a physicist and I’m a little obsessed with quantum mechanics right now. A lot of my fiction seems to have quantum mechanics in it. Since I’m also a woman and a lot of my fiction has female protagonists, the combo of physics and kick-ass women surprises some readers. But, I believe in following the muse, and my muse wants to show all kinds of people that science can be a fun adventure THEY can do.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I’m honored to be included in Nightly Bites! Thanks for the opportunity!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Barbara G.Tarn

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

I had read the first three of Ann Rice’s books and enjoyed the movie “Interview with the vampire” (1994) but then I got bored with the whole topic – too horror/gory for my tastes. Some fifteen years later I went back to the bloodsucker stories through Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine series, and even read Dracula (I didn’t enjoy the movie much, so I didn’t read the book until 20 years later).

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s set in the 12th century, starting at the siege of Damascus during the second crusade, and ending in Lincolnshire, where Baldwin was born. He’s one of the shortest-lived fledglings of Bran the Raven, a millenarian bloodsucker of Celtic origins.

3. What inspired your story?

In all the “Vampires Through the Centuries” stories, I like to explore moments in history through vampires. The other very short story in the anthology shows an 18th century Maratha soldier turned into a bloodsucker after a battle and even more short-lived than Baldwin! The long-lived ones (Rajveer, Kaylyn and Shashank) allow me to explore centuries of history, which is very funny and entertaining.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

I had only one “Bloody Story of Vampires” (that I may include in “Nightly Bites Volume 2”) before starting “Vampires Through the Centuries”, and that’s just one of my series. I write mostly fantasy – historical in the above example, secondary world fantasy (Silvery Earth), science fantasy (Star Minds), urban fantasy (body switches) – and some science fiction and every now and then a contemporary story (but the present doesn’t inspire me very often).

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist! I did comics and some of my own covers covers, and I dream of an illustrated book for adults or ten. My influences come mostly from movies and comics, more than books, so my prose is quite dry and I don’t write long epics, hence I gave up traditional publishing that required 100K opuses in my preferred genre…

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

It was fun to put together this anthology and I look forward to working on Volume 2!

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Joleene Naylor

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

Vampires can be anything. They can be scary, romantic, thoughtful, sad, happy – a vampire author can do a period piece, a contemporary story, even a sci-fi, and use the same universe. In the Amaranthine universe, I’ve written stories that span from the 1600s to modern times, I’ve written shorts about losing loved ones, about playing poker, about revolts, wars, death, and even about a child vampire looking for a playmate. Writing vampires gives me so much freedom, and they’re immortal, so you can really dig into character development.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s the origin story of Verchiel, one of my most popular characters. Kateesha, his master, botched the turning and when he wakes in an inn, he has no idea who he is or who she is, and he doesn’t remember being human.

3. What inspired your story?

I’m working on a series of Executioner stories – the Executioners are the police in my vampire world. I already knew a little about Verchiel’s turning, so I thought it would be fun to find out the rest.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

For the most part, yes, because my fans aren’t really interested in me as a person, but rather in the characters and the universe. However, I am working on a fantasy novel with my brother.

5. What should readers know about you?

I have a lot of free short stories available. A. Lot. Like more than fifty. Most of them can be read as stand alones, though of course they’re better if you’ve read the Amaranthine series. You can find the full list on my website at JoleeneNaylor.com.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Okay, quirky fact: I love stuffed animals, and treat them like they are sentient beings part time. They all have their own personalities, and relationships with one another, etc. etc. Their society has been set up since I was a kid (my mom used to talk them for us), and I think that’s where a lot of my imagination and characterization abilities come from.

Six Questions for Nightly Bites – Author Russ Crossley

1. What is it about vampires that draws you to them?

The immortal nature of the undead vampire fascinates me. If the vampire isn’t destroyed how do they survive the centuries?

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

My story takes place in an alternate future where the Confederate States won the US Civil War. The story centers around a female vampire and her sister who are rebelling against the Confederacy and the vampire leader and the consequences of their rebellion. It is a story about love, family, and courage.

3. What inspired your story?

I often wonder how if vampires took over the world what it might look like with these undead immortals in charge.

4. Do you always write about vampires? If not, what do you write about?

No, not all the time. These days I’m writing mostly space opera set in the 42nd century.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’ve written stories in many different genres including romantic comedy, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and zombies to name a few and love to read in many genres of fiction and non-fiction. I read and write for characters than inspire me and they are always seeking some form of justice from their perspective. They love to right wrongs. For some reason I write many strong female characters though I am a male.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am married to a writer, painter, and musician and my youngest son is an actor, playwright, and producer who has worked extensively in Europe and Asia. We are a very arts forward family and truly love what we do.

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

%d bloggers like this: