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.

____________________________________________
Web page
Facebook
Author Central

 

Writer Wednesday


Mmm, still working on Quests 4 between assignments and other deadlines… but don’t worry, it will be sent out on time to Mighty Editor on the 23rd and will come out in March. In February I will publish Quests volume 1 which will include the Path of Water and the Path of Air and will also have the paperback version.

The newsletter went out with the free PDF that eventually will be available also on the publisher’s website. Still pondering about Patreon and rewards and all that stuff, but my brain is half-frozen, so I’m not very quick-thinking at the moment.

I realized I did the characters interview only for Quests 1, so I’ll soon publish Quests 2 and 3 character interviews! 😉 If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed or have your characters interviewed, drop me a line…

Only now did I find the time to look for the results of the Indie Author Survey I did last year… interesting as usual. Yes, Indie Publishing is a pot of gold for some (especially whoever writes romance, which I don’t, unfortunately) and a work in progress for most of the others – like me.

Also, Sunday is the last day to vote for the Golden Book Awards that include yours truly, so… go and vote if you haven’t already! 🙂

And another good news – both my web pages are mobile friendly! Check yours with this article

mobilefriendlyThat’s all for today! Have a great week! 😀

Writer Wednesday


So, the small&medium publishers fair is over, and I’m sorta kinda bummed. In my blissful ignorance I hadn’t realized there are Italian indie authors who earn a living in SFF. Sigh. Now I feel waaaay behind in my publishing history, but I’m also aware this is the beginning of phase 2, so…

As soon as my least favorite month of the year ends, I hope to be strong and determined enough to make plans for phase 2, because I freely admit that currently I don’t feel like I can tackle the next five years of indie publishing. Must be end of the year blues or this very bad year for the world or whatnot.

Anyhow, still pounding out wordcount, and then I’ll have to check how the year went, so I’ll have another bout of depression, LOL! By February I’ll have recovered and be ready to move on. I still have stories to publish that I wrote this year, but I plan to publish less next year anyway.

Upcoming temporary sale – Kobo only! December 40% Off Sale Dec 15 2016 – Dec 19 2016 on Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness! Here’s to finding a few more readers on Kobo and that the person(s) who found me on Apple back in October will go back for the i-bookstore for the Holidays! 😉

And if you need books to read for the Holidays or want to gift some ebooks to friends, StoryBundle still has three great bundles also for your writer friends:

NaNoWriMo Bundle (for writers)!
Leading Ladies Fantasy (for fantasy lovers looking for strong female characters – this ends really soon, so grab it today)!
Immerse or die (indie authors that grab the reader)!

And more bundle galore at BundleRabbit as well:Fabulous Familiars and here’s a list of all the other available bundles! Yes, even on your favorite retailer!

Oh, and let’s not forget planners for writers. I have used the Writing World planners for the past 2 years, but I wasn’t totally happy with the 2016 version. So I might try this version instead – or just do without in Phase 2! 😉

I’m hopeless with widgets… the sidebar allowed you to subscribe to the newsletter but didn’t go directly to MailChimp, therefore you won’t be able to claim the free story for subscribing… So for you who signed up through the previous form, please do so again here, or click on the image on the sidebar. Sorry about that.

Last but not least – indie authors Golden Book Awards. The first phase is free, and feel free to pay the fee if you get to the finals. Enter your books here and/or vote for the entries. I have added a couple of mine… but vote for whoever you want! 🙂

Now I better go finish the previous bundles and the paper book I’ve started… Reading year coming soon… Have a great week!

Writer Wednesday


Sales… nobody took advantage of it (except Tori, thank you for the review), but it’s been on my author of the month thread all this time. You can have Rajveer the Vampire 50% off at Smashwords – Coupon Code: JH97Z – Expires: December 2, 2015. Not many days left, so get it now.

Also, to celebrate the new cover by Cristina Fabris, I’m putting Kilig & Hakeem at 50% off until the same day. Coupon Code: KQ83V – Expires: December 2, 2015. In December I will do a Smashwords-only sale with 50% off selected titles… stay tuned for the list! 🙂 It will be mostly m/m titles, so if that’s what you come here for, come back next week.

By the way, I did the catalog for Unicorn Productions, you can download a free PDF on the homepage. I will soon go to the shop to have it printed on thicker paper to take to the English bookshop(s) here in Rome, and if I manage to get them books, I’ll try to send the printed catalog to the US bookstores, starting with the ones I know on the Oregon coast. Since I plan on doing more PODs in January, this might take some time and a few updates before I actually go with it! 😉

A couple of posts on writing for the market – not! Just don’t. Hear it from two people who have been in the market since before you were born. Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Write what you love, what you want to read. Like Fairytales Revisited as m/m romance, if that’s your fancy right now! *stares into the mirror with a big grin*

When I’m done with those 3 I have in mind (well, Beautiful is out, currently writing the Snow White one, then I’ll have the Cinderella Man), I’ll move on to something else. Try to write that contemporary story that is meant to be written, finish the other longer contemporary story I have put in a drawer back in September, maybe write that Star Minds story with aliens on Earth, or maybe who knows. I haven’t decided what I’ll write next year yet (besides the two vampire historicals and finish the fairytales revisited, I mean)! 🙂

And if you’re looking for places to promote yourself or your books, here’s a list. I’m currently going through it, looking for places where I or my characters could show up. And as you can see in the comments, you can also contact me – I welcome guest authors from all backgrounds and all fiction genres! 🙂

That’s all for today! Have a great week! 😀

Random Friday


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! Hello there. Tell me a little about yourself.

Marden – just Marden now. I’m about 30 years of age and well, my past is a bit shameful. For years I was a Witch-Hunter, a killer of mages and adepts. I killed for my duty, because I thought I was correct in doing so, because it was the law. I asked too few questions and believed too many easy answers. Now that man is dead. Now I am Marden, captain of the Tremellic Militia.

Mmm, witch-hunter… maybe I should turn you into a toad! *winks* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Human, sandy hair, a few scars on my face.

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

That’s an interesting question, I used to think my enemy was magic and its users. I used to believe many lies. Now, well now I know better. I suppose my enemies now are the Order of Witch-Hunters.

You’ve just earned a few point! Now I actually like you! *grins* Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

I thought I could not kill for someone I loved. I killed for duty – which is not the same, but now, yes I could kill for someone for whom I care. And I have.

Would I die? Yes, yes I would. A man can give his life for many reasons – the love or respect of another is not an unworthy death.

Wise man. Where do you live?

I live in Harkenen in the Tremellic Valley, before that I was raised in a small village by the Silver Sea and moved around quite a bit as a soldier.

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

It’s complicated. Let’s just say there is a woman. Whether it’s a relationship – that is hard to say. It’s not love, for either of us. Duty perhaps, guilt perhaps, but not love.

Interesting! What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Surviving. Finding out I’m not the man I thought I was. Finding the truth is not what it seems. Reality was quite a shock, I can tell you.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

I have a son. He’s a treasure and I don’t deserve him. Other than that I don’t. Not anymore. My brother was killed in a riding accident. He was always reckless. My parents? My father – well I think he still lives. I can never go home. I can never see my mother’s face again. It would be too dangerous. To them I am dead.

You have a son? What about the son’s mother? Never mind… Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I almost got eaten by a giant snake. Then I ate the snake.

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

Why did I embark on my adventure?

Money, glory, duty, honour.

Where did I find the answer to a question I didn’t even know I was asking myself? A bridge of ice in a storm from hell. I had two choices – one would have been easy and resulted in promotion, renown and money; the other would mean probable death, and exile if I survived. I do not regret the choice I made.

Wow… I’m impressed. But here we have someone else! Hello, there! Tell me a little about yourself!

Commander Hendrick, of the Order of Witch-Hunters. I am forty. I command many cohorts of men.

Ooh, tough man. Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Brown hair, human, well built.

I imagine the “well built” comes from years of weapon training… What is your role in the story?

I am a Witch-Hunter. It is my right, and my duty to uphold the law of Erana. I hunt mages, the filthy scum who pollute our land with their magic, and elves who bring the Plague. Elves must know their place or be taught it. Elves are nothing but slaves, they cannot be trusted.

If I destroy Lord Archos, if I find this elven city full of riches my career is assured. I’ll make High Commander and I’ll rid the land of its blight.

And I sure hope you fail! *glares* What is your relationship with the protagonist(s)?

He is my man. He works for me.

Where do you live(world/town/whatever)?

I live at the fort, but I have a home elsewhere. I am a very busy man, so do not see it much.

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

No. My career is my mistress. If I want a tumble, I take one. If there is a comely elf or mage brought in, she is mine to do with as I please.

*snorts* I had guessed that much What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Policing Erana is always a challenge. My biggest challenge? I could hardly tell many of my superiors or men about this elven city, if it didn’t exist or they failed to find it I would look a bloody fool. The Lord of Tremellic is no threat to me. He is just a mage, he will fall to magebane.

Do you have a moral code?

I do my duty. I uphold the martial law and protect the ordinary citizens, what is more honourable than that? I do no steal, I have no need to. I hang thieves.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I don’t like cats.

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

Why is magic illegal? Because the elves and mages brought war, they brought Plague and almost destroyed us all. Magic is dangerous – it must be eradicated.

Why do I think Lord Archos has not been challenged before? Because like many nobles he pays bribes. Certain members of the Order are not above bribery. He hides in his valley and thinks he is safe. Because the Order is undermanned. Because he has friends. I will find them.

_____________________________

Book 2 EbookBook(s) in which the characters appears and links

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II

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

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (Please note the 18+ rating.)

Available as an e-book in all the Amazon Stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores, and in print on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Citadel-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00D4CF6W8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-shining-citadel-alexandra-butcher/1116863431

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shining-citadel-light-beyond/id701320767?mt=11

Available as a paperback on Amazon and Createspace.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Shining-Citadel-Beyond-Chronicles/dp/1489591222/

Author Bio:

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  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’ and her poetry as evocative.

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


sog advertAnd it’s a guest! And an old friend, since her first interview came out with her first book that I loved (and it came out before more famous shades of gray was published – and it’s a completely different genre!)! So, here we are again, almost five years later, another six books for a great series I keep recommending whenever someone asks me. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back fellow indie author and beta swapper Joleene Naylor!

Where do you live and write from?

We recently moved back to southwest Iowa, which is where I grew up at it. There are things I miss about southern Missouri, like the warmth, but there are things I’m enjoying. Like autumn was much autumn-ier here. The change of location hasn’t had any impact on my writing, except that the moving and house renovations put me behind.

Why do you write?

Hmmm. Everyone asks this question and I usually give one of the standard answers, but the truth is I don’t know. I took a writing break for a few years and I got back into it because I wanted to join a Harry Potter fan fiction/role play group. Then I started the vampire series because I wanted to write something dark…I guess I write because I can.

When did you start writing?

I used to write “books” when I was a kid, which went into my teenage and early adult years. (I have several novels stacked up in notebooks) but as I mentioned above I quit for a while and it was the Harry Potter Fans Around the Globe Yahoo group that got me going again. Wow, looking back on it those first few posts were terrible! It just shows if you don’t use it, you lose it.

CoL advert1What genre(s) do you write?

Speculative fiction. I have vampire series Amaranthine, but I have been considering doing a second fantasy series on the side if I ever get time, and then there is the meg project I have with a co-author. We may never finish it but by God we’ve made a go at it.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I need a routine, but alas it’s all very random. Everything I do is random. Sometimes I think a schedule would be great, but I never manage to stick to one.

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

I’m good at torturing characters. I’d actually like to torture them more than I do, but I try to stay lower key. I think that’s why the unpublished Patrick prequel had issues from beta readers – because I torture him a LOT.

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

This is where I am supposed to tell you about all the vampire series I read, but truth is I’m bad and I don’t. Most of my inspiration comes from anime. I’d love to see the Amaranthine series as anime or manga.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser most of the time. If I do an outline I feel like I’ve already written the book. And I’m slow. Mind numbingly slow. Probably because I lack that writing routine…

CoL for amazonTell us about your latest book

Clash of Legends is the seventh book in the series. It’s the end of a story arc and wraps up a lot of things that readers have been waiting for. Or I hope they’ve been waiting for it. For new readers, it could be read as a standalone if you don’t want to invest in six previous books.

The explosive seventh installment in the Amaranthine series brings blood, ruin, despair, and hope, for even in the darkest night there is still a moon.

After the battle in Indonesia. Katelina wakes in Samael’s domain. Though her memories are tattered, she knows someone is missing: Jorick.

Her vampire lover gathers an army to save her from the ancient, but his master Malick interferes. For five hundred years Malick has manipulated and ruined Jorick’s life. When he leaves Katelina broken and bleeding in the bowels of his oasis, it’s the final straw.

While Malick sets up his glorious war with a living legend, Jorick plans the ultimate taboo: to kill his master. He’s tried before and failed. Will this be different, or will he and Katelina be crushed in the carnage of a greater battle, between two whose blood goes back millennia?

Links:

amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TR7IA36

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1121251968?ean=2940046584363

smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/520737

apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/clash-of-legends/id968843228?mt=11&uo=4

kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/clash-of-legends

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie. I like to control everything, and this way I can.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m planning to rework that Patrick sequel I mentioned and give it away to people on my mailing list (you can sign up at http://www.joleenenaylor.com/books/newsletter.php ), There’s a short story collection I’d like to finish (Tales of the Executioners), and then the eighth book, of course. There are some people who think I should quit the series after the next book because it’s too many books for one series. What do you think?

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

I’m going to be honest again. I don’t ever expect to make a living from my books – it was hard before and is only getting harder. Many traditionally published authors don’t make a living wage, and there are even fewer indies who do. I just want to know that there are people who enjoy my stories. Sure, I’d like there to be hundreds, but you know what? When I had seven fans I was happy, too. So as long as people are enjoying it I’ll keep plugging along.

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

That’s a tough question. I guess the best is to never give up and not to expect too much. Having goals is great, but none of us will be the next Stephen King just by putting a book on Smashwords. Be realistic, and then work towards whatever your goal is, whether it is to be the next Stephen King or just to entertain people.

joleene naylor 2About Joleene

author blog: http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/

FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks

twitter http://twitter.com/joleene_naylor

website- http://JoleeneNaylor.com

good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3165393.Joleene_Naylor

facebook profile – http://facebook.com/joleene.naylor

pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/joleenenaylor/boards/

google + – https://plus.google.com/102925915756209535618/posts

Sunday Surprise


57a04-strange2bportalsAnd it’s another guest! From Strange Portals! And her story is actually one of the 5stars – I didn’t mention them all, but I had jotted down to contact the author for an interview and there you have it! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Adan Ramie!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in a small town in Texas. It’s a quiet, unassuming little city, which is nice, but I’d prefer to live in a less conservative state. I write in the middle of my living room, amidst the shuffle of family life; it isn’t always the best environment for concentration, but it helps me remain in control of the little ones.

Why do you write?

I write because it helps me make sense of the world. When life throws me curveballs, I can use my writing to help me process the emotions that are often too overwhelming to face head-on. I’ve tried NOT writing, and it was terrible.

When did you start writing?

I started writing as soon as I could make words on paper. I started writing short stories in elementary school and novellas around puberty.I wrote my first novel around fifteen; it has since been properly destroyed.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write mostly dark fiction. A lot, but not all, of my stories have LGBT+ themes or characters. Some genres my work fits into are thriller, drama, dystopian, and horror.

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most days I start by chugging down some water while I’m checking e-mails and doing other writing-related tasks. Then I eat breakfast, send the children off to school, and get down to the business of writing and/or editing. I tend to end my day with writing or writing-related things as well.

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

My strengths as a writer? I think my writing has a distinctive voice that carries a punch. I am often able to tell a whole story in a small amount of words. I’ve developed these qualities the way anyone would: practice, execute, fail, practice…

22842611Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes I go looking for it in writing prompts. Other times, a phrase, scene, or feeling hits me, and the skeleton of a story is born.

I think a lot of authors will tell you that it’s difficult NOT to put yourself in your stories. A part of me, whether large or small, goes into everything I write. I try to stay out of Mary Sue territory, but I can definitely see myself and my life in the stories that I write.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Forever, I was an improviser, a “pantser” without so much as a fully-formed idea, let alone an outline. But I couldn’t get any novels written that way. I have piles of half- or partly-finished manuscripts on my hard drive that are gathering figurative dust because I never played the long game with them. I didn’t think them through, and they ended up falling flat. Now, I plan and it works a whole lot better for me.

If I can get myself to sit down and ignore all the distractions that come with life, I can write pretty fast. I type at an alarmingly quick pace, and my brain is always going faster than I would like it to, so the words tend to come quickly. That being said, some things have taken me way too long to finish because I’m a chronic procrastinator. (But I’m working on that.)

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

Right now, I’m in the second round with my book, Maladaptation. It’s out with some beta readers, but I’m hoping I’ll start getting feedback soon and be able to do the last round of big revisions within the next month. I’m shooting to publish it within the next three months.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I like indie publishing. It’s an interesting process to me, and it appeals to me in the very different spheres of my personality. I love control, order, and a detailed process, and indie publishing definitely gives me that. I also live for pumping my creative juices into a project, and it gives me that, too.

That isn’t to say I won’t one day pursue traditional publishing. I have been published traditionally for several short stories. Some of the publications that have published my work are This Dark Matter, Paper Tape Magazine, and Skin to Skin. I’ve also been a part of two anthologies, Beyond the Nightlight and Strange Portals.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Right now, I have a lot going on. When I’m not working on Maladaptation, I’m submitting short stories for publication, writing flash fiction for my blog, reading and reviewing books, and working on a degree. Who knows? I could have another novel almost ready for publication by the end of the year.

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

My goal is to be a full-time author who can pay the bills with her earnings. It’s all I’ve really ever wanted. What I’m doing to achieve it is to keep writing, editing, revising, submitting, and publishing. It takes a lot of work to be a full-time writer, and I’m giving it all I’ve got.

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

That’s simple. The best piece of writing advice I ever read was from Stephen King. He said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

________________________

Where to find Adan

Blog: http://adanramieblog.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AdanRamie

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

Tumblr: http://adanramie.tumblr.com/

Sunday Surprise


Last guest for this month, another Smashwords author I met on Goodreads. She will be author of the month after the summer, so this is really a preview and insight into her.  Although she has her own thread already and will participate to Wyrd Worlds II… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Victoria Zigler!

0e834a609b65d6f4c44b22eaf9be2c55cbc35753-thumbWhere do you live and write from?

I live in a town near the sea in the South-East of England, UK, and write from the comfort of the little apartment I share with my hubby and our pets. I was born and raised in the shadow of the Black Mountains in South Wales, UK, spent some time living in Alberta, Canada, and now live in the South-East of England, UK. Since I’ve been writing all my life, I’ve ended up writing while living in all three places.”

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was really young; I fell in love with the written word from the moment I learned to read and write, and have been writing ever since. As a child about half my writing was done in Welsh, but by the time I was in my teens I was only really writing in Welsh for school while doing my leisure writing in English, and these days I only ever write in English.”

8c4cb912da1c78a6dac91ed3520ee23a78f940d2-thumbWhat genre(s) do you write?

“I write a variety of children’s fiction, and some poetry. I’ve tried writing for older audiences, but I prefer writing for children, and people who have read my writing over the years have enjoyed my children’s fiction more than the things I’ve written aimed at older readers. Most of my poetry isn’t aimed at children though.”

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

I find my inspiration from everywhere: from wondering about alternative ways other stories could have happened, or from asking ‘what if’ questions about things that happen around me or things I hear on the news, or from over-heard snippets of conversation, and so on. As for putting myself in to the story… Well, most authors end up doing that a little, whether they mean to or not, but in my case I intentionally did with my ‘Toby’s Tales’ series, which is a semi-fictionalized five book series telling of the struggles faced by a little boy named Toby after losing his sight, and is loosely based on my own experiences with sight loss.”

a780466de5b7b183cc8b9a55cdb6853cf3e2f3ee-thumbDo you have a specific writing routine?

I don’t do well with routines. I have an irregular sleep schedule, and like to do things when I’m good and ready if I can, so a routine just doesn’t end up working out for me for more than a couple of days. Mostly I sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry, and write when I’m feeling creative. I usually end up doing at least a little writing each day though, even if it’s just a few words.”

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

“I think outlines restrict the story too much, and – though I’ll sometimes have an idea where the story will end up by the end – prefer to just sit down and write; letting the story take me where it will. As for my writing speed… It varies. Sometimes I can get the first draft of a story done in a day and will go back to it so much that within a week or two it’s gone from an idea floating about in my head to a story that’s ready to be published, but other times I’ll need a week or two to even finish the very first draft, let alone all the other drafts and the editing. Mostly I’m a fast writer and can finish a story in a couple of weeks though.”

bc0f66a906fe3e6483dbcb9c79aaaaccc7c5c6f4-thumbTell us about your latest book

My latest book is called ‘Thistle The Fairy Trickster’ and is loosely based on the well-known story of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. It tells the story of a little fairy named Thistle, who decides to have some fun by tricking the other fairies in to coming to help non-existent children she claims are in need of help from the fairies, and does it so many times that the other fairies get fed up of her tricks and won’t believe her when there really is a child who needs help. It was published on May 16th 2014, and you can buy it from Smashwords in all formats they offer by going to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418096 as well as from some other ebook retailers. It will also be available in print some time in the near future.”

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing. I like to be able to work to my own schedule, and I want full control over my finished books, so I prefer to self-publish. It means I’m on my own with marketing, but I think the benefits of having complete control over everything from the idea to the completed book is worth the extra work involved in marketing.”

11e73a5ae4fdeac8604e083a5b68e383ba685648-thumbAny other projects in the pipeline?

I’ve always got at least one project in the pipeline. Right now I’m working on finishing up a book called ‘Jinx And The Faerie Dragons’ and have another in early draft called ‘Cubby And The Beanstalk’. ‘Jinx And The Faerie Dragons’ is about a pixie and some faerie dragons who end up in danger when their thirst for fun and adventure gets them caught by goblins, and ‘Cubby And The Beanstalk’ is a re-telling of ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ with my own twists to the tale, and a whole lot of bears; Cubby himself is a little polar bear.”

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

My goal is to become popular enough that I know there are at least several dozen people waiting to grab my next book; hundreds of people waiting for my next book would be even better, but if I can at least get a few dozen fans I’ll have achieved my goal. After that I can work on getting the number up in to the hundreds. To try and achieve this I’m taking every opportunity I can to get some publicity; grabbing every interview opportunity I can, for example. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool out there, so I’m hoping if I spread my name about enough then enough people will learn I exist that I’ll get a couple of dozen people to buy my books, then they’ll tell their friends, and the next thing you know I’ll have loads of people eager to read my books. That’s the plan anyway. If you want to help me achieve my goal, then tell your friends with children about my books… Please? *Gives you a pleading and hopeful look*”

fd4dec907f4cd5cfb5bece4f026b85f1311b8bf3-thumbWhere to find Tori online

Her website

Goodreads

Smashwords

Twitter: VictoriaZigler
Facebook: Facebook profile

Sunday Surprise


May is the month of hospitality – yes, you get another guest! He interviewed me on his blog at the end of April, and now here he is. Apologies if I picked random covers, but as you can see here’s another prolific author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Duane L. Martin!

f0808eb568faa2e9abde6dc9c27f9810aed39dfa-thumbWhere do you live and write from?

My name is Duane L. Martin and I live in and write from Boise, Idaho.

When did you start writing?

When I was a teenager really. I was always a voracious reader, so for me writing was just an extension of that. I never wrote my first completed novel however until October of 2013.

What genre(s) do you write?

My series is called Unseen Things, and it started out as a contemporary fantasy series, but with the release of the eighth book, Ghost Worlds, it’s turned into a fantasy / sci-fi hybrid.

f56f38a4121021fe2fa218f3901b0e2ed3afc67a-thumbWhere do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Yeah actually, there are quite a few things from my life that I’ve included in my books. For example, one of the characters in the first book takes his girlfriend to this abandoned house that’s surrounded by trees and hills, and when they arrive, there are tons of birds that fly up out of the trees in a great mass and fly together in swirling, synchronous patterns in the sky. I actually visited a house like that as a teenager with some friends, and I later came to find out that those birds are starlings. If you look them up on YouTube, you can find videos of them flying together in those swirling patterns. There’s a lot of me in the stories, and a whole lot of me in one of the main characters.

Do you have a specific writing routine?

I tend to start writing about midnight, write until about 4:30 – 6:30 in the morning, eat breakfast, get some sleep and then I’ll get up and write some more during the afternoon. My goal is always to finish one chapter a day, which is typically 5,500 words or more. Typically it takes me about three weeks (roughly) to write a completed novel and then I spend several days proofreading and editing it. One of them I actually wrote in two weeks, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much coffee and lost sleep went into achieving that.

6c52dfcc4a699cfa23fc12ae6e7a110892c66712-thumbOutliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser definitely. I rarely plan out things in my books. I may have a general idea of certain events I want to take place, but I let the actual writing just flow out of me organically so the story has a flow to it and doesn’t feel contrived. I’ve actually had ideas for certain things I wanted to do that never made it into the books, but those ideas led me in a different direction that evolved naturally as I wrote.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest published book is Ghost Worlds, which is the 8th book in the Unseen Things series. I’m currently writing the 9th book in the series, Resurrection. All the books in the series are available through the following sites:

Amazon

Smashwords (including their premium channel retail sites)

And my official site

4c02f734ce8d9d632187c9a71891c3be96ed4ebc-thumbIndie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie, for several reasons. First, it’s insanely hard to get an agent, and even if you do get one they still have to find a publisher willing to take on your books. Then there’s the turnaround time with traditional publishing. It takes a long time to get from submission to printed books that are available in the stores. Then between the publisher and the agent, you’re losing a considerable amount of your potential commissions. It’s a trade off though, because they handle things for you that you otherwise end up having to handle yourself, like marketing, cover design, etc…. Personally, I’m too impatient to deal with the turnaround time. When I finish a story and get it proofed and edited, I want to get it out there and make it available right away, and self publishing e-books allows me to do that.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Just the 9th book, Resurrection, which I already mentioned. Some authors actually write books in two or more series at once, and I’ve considered doing that, but then I decided against it. I know all of my characters intimately and they all have distinct, individual personalities. I think if I spread myself out between two or more series, I’d lose touch with my characters and the stories would suffer for it. For now I’ll just continue on with Unseen Things, and if that series should ever reach a point where I feel like it needs to end, I’ll write the final book and move on from there.

9d1a45452264e099bec14bbc9ecb750839093a6e-thumbWhat is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Some people say they do it for the art or the need to create and express themselves. You know how it goes. Yeah, I love the feel of creating a whole world and multiple dimensions and populating them with all sorts of different characters. For me writing is a passion, but I’d be lying if I said the ultimate goal behind it all wasn’t to become successful and to make money at it, which is something I think everyone wants really, though some would probably be loathe to admit it. As for what I’m doing to achieve that…I’m writing as prolifically as I can so I can get my books out there for people to read and enjoy. However, the unfortunate flip side of that is that without getting into the whole marketing side of things, your books end up getting lost in a sea of books that are published every day by other indie authors. You have to get out there and get your stuff noticed if you want to have any hope at all of building a buzz and gaining a fan base. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at marketing and rather shy about putting myself out there. So for right now I’m simply writing and publishing. At some point I’ll have to do some heavy duty focusing on the marketing side of things though if I ever really want the series to take off. It’s all about finding that balance between the writing and the promotion. Unfortunately, at the moment I’m still way off balance. 😉

c8a7c500239e568b4854c7e9168ea9ef9751a493-thumbWhere to find Duane L. Martin online

Website: http://www.duanelmartin.com
Twitter: Duaners
Facebook: Facebook profile
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=19691283
Smashwords

Goodreads

Author Central

 

Sunday Surprise


… and it’s a guest! Another leg of her blog tour… please welcome Amaranthine author Joleene Naylor and – erm – her guest! 🙂

blog tour bannerHello! Joleene Naylor here, the author of Children of Shadows, book six in the Amaranthine series. First I’d like to thank Barb for letting us hang out on her blog today. Hopefully we don’t make a mess.

I’m here with Jorick, the hero of my vampire series. Although he looks unenthusiastic, I promise you he’s really excited. Just look at that face:

Jorick (insert Barb drooling over him here)

Jorick (insert Barb drooling over him here)

See? It has excitement written all over it.

Jorick: The only thing I’m excited about is the potential break between books.

Jo: Why? Thanks to my real life problems, you already got an extra five months between the last book and Children of Shadows.

Jorick: And you made up for it by torturing us, didn’t you?

Jo: I don’t think so. If anything I was too soft on you in the new book.

Jorick: You would say that. Sorry, but I think that resurrecting an ancient cult to try to kill us, letting Munich keep us prisoner, having us attacked by our allies-

Jo: Hey, hey! You wanna give away the whole book? Geeze. Quit complaining. At least I didn’t kill you.

Jorick: You can’t. The fangirls would riot.

Jo: I don’t know. Verchiel – that vampire you love to hate – is getting quite a following. In fact I had a request for a picture of him in his underwear. I mean there you were in yours and people thought-

Jorick: Excuse me?

Jo: You know, the paper doll of you? So they wanted to see Verchiel too, so I posted it on my FB author page and-

Jorick: I don’t want to have this conversation.

Jo: All right then, back to the book. Would you like to tell our readers what it’s about?

Jorick: It’s the sixth book in the series, wherein our horrible author finds new and creative ways to make us sorry she ever learned to string two sentences together. Not that she does that effectively, mind you.

Jo: Hey!

Jorick: It starts on a lovely beach, but our author can’t leave us there. No. She makes Wolfe, the minion of Munich, demand we go back to the vampire stronghold in Germany and testify about what happened in the cave at the end of the last torturous book. That’s when an extinct vampire cult resurfaces and decides to try to destroy half the world, which leaves us in a precarious position for a lot of reasons. The only semi-good thing is that someone shows up who claims to know that idiot, Verchiel, and he’s in a tight spot for several chapters.

Jo: You really dislike him. Why?

Jorick: He’s arrogant. He’s obnoxious. He doesn’t take anything seriously.

Jo: And you can’t read his mind so you have no idea what in the hell he’s up to.

Jorick: I don’t need to read his mind to know what he’s up to. He’s always trying to get Katelina alone.

Jo: You’re really suspicious, huh?

Jorick: Of course I am! Especially with you as an author!

Jo: Well I can promise that at the end of children of Shadows she’s most certainly not alone with Verchiel.

Jorick: Oh, ha, ha. I know where she is, thank you very much. What I’d like is a guarantee on the next five hundred books. Or you could just let me kill Verchiel.

Jo: I could but…no. Not happening, slappy. If I let anyone kill him it would be – whoops. Never mind.

Jorick: What? Are you considering it?

Jo: I think that’s about all the time we have. Thanks to my surly vampire hero Jorick for taking the time to talk to me, to Barb for hosting us, and to you, the reader, for reading. Be sure to check out the giveaway link and enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

Barb sez: It was a pleasure having you both. You’re the reason why I started reading about vampires again (after reading Anne Rice in the 20th century)… And sorry Verchiel is driving you crazy, Jorick, but someone has to, otherwise you’re too cool! 😉

joleene naylorBio:

Joleene Naylor is the author of Amaranthine, a paranormal series where vampires live in the shadows and don’t sparkle. In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. You can find information on all of her pursuits at her website http://JoleeneNaylor.com . She also maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo and a couch coated in cat fur.

Blurb:

CoS-thumbThe sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.

The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, claims to know Verchiel and offers the help of her secret organization. But can they trust her?

As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike?

Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.

Buy links:

Paperback

Amazon Kindle

B&N NOOKbook

Smashwords

itunes

Find Joleene:

website

author blog

FB author page

twitter

good reads

facebook profile

pinterest

and last but not least:

giveaway link

enter for your chance to win one of three awesome prizes:

1st prize: Amaranthine t-shirt (size is winner’s choice), set of bookmarks, and $20 gift card for Barnes and Noble or Amazon (winner’s choice).

2nd prize: Amaranthine t-shirt (size is winner’s choice), bookmark set

3rd prize: The last Executioner trading card set

blog tour banner

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