Sunday Surprise


And it’s the last guest for now. Another Eclectica Bundle author to close this series up for the summer. Hopefully more guests will show up in September. Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Diana Deverell!

Where do you live and write from?

I live on a hilltop in the Danish village where my husband was born. The window in my writing space overlooks Helnaes Bay and the Jutland peninsula is on the horizon. Because of the perverse nature of my creative process, I don’t stare at that view for inspiration.

The story I want to tell never seems to take place where I actually am. Some scenes in my international thriller, Night on Fire, are set in this village but I lived in Oregon when I wrote them.

Now, I’m in Denmark and the legal thriller I just finished happens in the landlocked cities of Eastern Oregon and Washington. I guess that’s how my imagination entertains itself when I cut it off from other distractions.

Why do you write?

I want to take my readers places and give them experiences they may not have the opportunity to enjoy in real life. And of course, like others who’ve posted here, at some point, I’m always wondering: What if things take a surprising turn? During the Cold War, I worked behind the iron curtain as personnel officer at the US Embassy in Warsaw. My international thrillers draw on that experience, but my burning question was: What if, instead of falling in love with a military attaché working for a NATO ally, I was seduced by a Polish intelligent agent? With that twist, my heroine doesn’t spend her time pushing paper—she’s passionately fighting evil.

My legal thrillers are told primarily from the viewpoint of an appeals lawyer. She has the skills and passion to force a broken justice system to treat her clients fairly. In college and for a few years after, I earned my living as a legal secretary. I’ve worked in law offices in California, Massachusetts, and Maine. I understand the legal process and the lingo and I’ve spent countless hours researching appeals law to get my facts right.

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

My personal goal with my thrillers is to imagine a fairer and more just world than I face. On the legal thriller side, I have a loved one behind bars. My inmate has another five years to serve on her mandatory sentence of nineteen years and two months. I visit her whenever I am in the US. Fourteen years into this, I have to steel myself to go through the sally port, because I hate being inside that prison—and I’m there for only one hundred and fifty minutes per visit.

In my legal thrillers, I want my reader to feel how decades-long incarceration adversely affects both inmates and correctional officers. The soul-destroying nature is worsened when the primary goal of imprisonment is punishing wrongdoers rather than preparing them to return to society as productive members.

And I also want readers to share my heroine’s personal satisfaction when she brings mercy, compassion, and fairness to her clients.

When did you start writing?

A creative writing class I took in college encouraged me to believe I could learn to write good stories. The second was an awareness that I’d tell better ones if I had a little more life experience. I spent twenty-five years getting that “little more” before I began seriously writing fiction for publication. I was lucky and a New York publisher gave me a two-book contract and released my first novel in 1998. My good fortune ran out when my publisher was sold to another. In the downsizing that followed, I wasn’t offered another contract. By 2011, I had my rights back to those novels and started indie-publishing them and brand-new novels as ebooks.

What genre(s) do you write?

Primarily thrillers and mysteries, set in current time. I’ve written short stories set in the past and featuring young adults and even one with a robot vacuum as a protagonist. But for my longer work, I like to spend my time with a sharp, gutsy woman as she digs into a contemporary problem.

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

I did not understand this piece of advice the first time I heard it: Reveal your character’s emotional history through the character’s opinion of the setting. But in several online workshops with Dean Wesley Smith I learned what he meant by that.

I saw that I should put my character in an interesting place packed with descriptive possibilities. She should experience that setting through her senses. What she sees, smells, hears, tastes, and feels triggers memories that are clues to her past. When I finally got it, I realized that I’d first recognized that technique in The Little Drummer Girl by John LeCarré, the spy thriller that hooked me on the genre. Instead of giving us big chunks of narrative back story, he slowly builds up Charlie’s history and the reader comes to understand and care about her.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I write as if I’m driving slowly at night, unable to see beyond my headlights, and constantly checking my guide books. I hit the million-words-published market last year and by now when do start a new book, I trust my subconscious to get me to a satisfying conclusion. Often it’s not one I anticipated when I began.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

I have two mystery titles in the bundle and each includes a bonus mystery. FBI Special Agent Dawna Shepherd stars in all four. Dawna was a college basketball star and she first appeared in the cast of my international thriller Night on Fire. Turns out, an FBI is very agent useful in thriller territory and she played a supporting role in two more international thrillers and my new political thriller, Bitch Out of Hell.

Dawna stars in sixteen published short stories, dealing with human trafficking, health care fraud, illegal sports betting, nuclear smuggling, and other not-homicide crimes. “Blown” is an entertaining spy caper that takes Dawna to Poland in hot pursuit of a renegade NSA contractor. The bonus story, “Polonaise,” is also set in Poland and has her protecting a witness scheduled to testify against a Warsaw crime boss.

In “Shaken, Not Stirred,” Dawna takes a break from busting bad guys to vacation in Mexico at SpyGirl Fantasy Camp with her pal, ex-Secret Service Agent Ladyshimarray Harms. My story answers the simple question: Does a hardboiled FBI agent ever get to have fun? The bonus story, “Hungarian Dance No. 5,”is the first published short story featuring Dawna and Ladyshimarray. They run into trouble during a teaching gig at the FBI’s international law enforcement academy in Budapest.

Tell us about your latest book

Lay Bare the Lie, my sixth Nora Dockson legal thriller, will be released on July 1, 2019. An ex-con, Nora pulled herself out of the gutter and became an appeals lawyer. She works only for convicted felons.

She’s sure her current client didn’t murder his wife. The jury was misled by testimony from an expert witness who reconstructed the crime based on bloodstain patterns. She’ll prove the so-called expert made leaps of logic incompatible with the latest forensic science.

But before she can started on the case, a family emergency pulls her back to her roots. Events spiral out of control. Instead of arguing in a courtroom, she’s struggling once again on the dangerous turf of her childhood. And this time she may not get out alive.

You can preorder this novel at the bargain advance sale price from your favorite ebook retailer by following this universal link.

For more about my books, visit my website http://www.dianadeverell.com/

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Sunday Surprise


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

Where do you live and write from?

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

Why do you write?

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

When did you start writing?

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

What genre(s) do you write?

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

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

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

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

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

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

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

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

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

Tell us about your latest book

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

Any other projects in the pipeline?

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

https://www.feliciafredlund.com/

Sunday Surprise


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

Where do you live and write from?

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

Why do you write?

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

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

When did you start writing?

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

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

What genre(s) do you write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

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

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

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

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

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

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

Any other projects in the pipeline?

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

Thanks so much for having me.

 

Short bio

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

 

Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Surprise


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

Where do you live and write from?

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

Why do you write?

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

When did you start writing?

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

What genre(s) do you write?

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

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

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

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

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

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

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

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

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

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

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

Any other projects in the pipeline?

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

FIND DONALD ONLINE

 

Random Friday


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Surprise


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

Where do you live and write from?

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

Why do you write?

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

When did you start writing?

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

What genre(s) do you write?

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

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

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

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

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

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

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

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

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

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

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

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

Any other projects in the pipeline?

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

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

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

Random Friday


And it’s another anthology author! She was also part of my first bundle and I met her at my first offline workshop on the Oregon Coast, back in 2011. She’s a sweet Canadian who writes gripping stories. You can find her work in Sci-fi Short Stories Space Opera Mashup as well as her own site below. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marcelle Dubé!

1. What is it about space opera that draws you to it?

I love the vast scope of space opera, and the mystery of what might be out there, and the adventure of discovery. And if there are aliens, even better!

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

Station OSCX-9 is the story of Stokes, a young machinist working on an Orbital Station being constructed around Star CX-9. He and his crew are on a shuttle, heading back to their work site after leave, only to discover the construction site abandoned.

3. What inspired your story?

I’ve written a couple of other stories in the Alliance world, though none related to Stokes. Those stories are Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside. While they both feature star ships, they aren’t technically space opera.

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

Nope—in fact, I was very surprised to discover that I had actually written a space opera story. I usually write fantasies and mysteries. While many of my SF stories feature starships, many don’t.

5. What should readers know about you?

My stories never fit neatly into one category or another. My A’lle Chronicles series, for instance, is an alternate history / SF / mystery series. My Mendenhall Mystery series is technically a police procedural that feels like a cozy. I can’t help it…

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

I’m tickled to be in an anthology with a collection of such fine authors!

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces – not to mention Belgium – she settled in the Yukon, where people outnumber the carnivores, but not by much.

She writes science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories, and has 11 novels to her name. Her upcoming novel, Epidemic: An A’lle Chronicles Mystery, will be released in Fall 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies.
If you liked Station OSCX-9, you might also enjoy Jhyoti and Jhyoti: Planetside which are also set in the Alliance universe.

Learn more about her and her published work at www.marcellemdube.com

Random Friday


And it’s another anthology author! His story is very funny as is this  brief interview. I never had the pleasure to meet him in person (yet) but he can tell you how to make a living with short fiction! In fact he is both in Nightly Bites Volume 1 and Sci-Fi Stories Starships. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Douglas Smith!

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

Usually the tractor beams.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?

It’s about 6,700 words. It’s also about what happens when a star ship hires a crew member who is a real “Murphy” — the living embodiment of the law that if something can go wrong, it will. And an interstellar space ship and Murphy’s Law do not mesh well (except in my story, where hilarity ensues. Along with flying mashed potatoes.)

3. What inspired your story?

It came out of an anthology workshop at one of Kris Rusch’s and Dean Wesley Smith’s Oregon Coast workshops. We had a day to write a story. So you could say I was inspired by fear of Kris if I didn’t submit something. The theme, I think, was “Bar Flys” or something like that. Anyway, it was to be an SF antho, and it brought to mind for me Spider Robinson’s “Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon” stories, which I always loved. That was the mood and level of silliness I was going for. The story first appeared in Baen’s Universe.

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

My short fiction has been a mix of SF and Fantasy, mostly in the darker vein. “Murphy’s Law” is a rare humour (yes, that’s spelled correctly — I’m a Canadian) piece. My novels so far have all been urban fantasy (THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD and a current two-thirds finished YA trilogy) but I have a standalone SF novel planned, based on several of my short stories.

5. What should readers know about you?

I’m a multi-award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction” (but then what do they know, right?). My fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries (but who’s counting?) and includes the novel The Wolf at the End of the World and the collections Chimerascope and Impossibilia (all of which are awesome).

I’m a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award (try saying that three times fast) and have been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane (the latter cuz I had a translated collection of my fantasy stories).

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

Buffy remains the single most creative piece of television ever. Discuss, citing specific episodes. You have 60 minutes. Use both sides of the page.

Douglas Smith is an award-winning Canadian author described by Library Journal as “one of Canada’s most original writers of speculative fiction.” His fiction has been published in twenty-six languages and thirty-two countries. His work includes the urban fantasy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World, and the collections Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and La Danse des Esprits. His non-fiction guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is a must read for any short story writer.

Doug is a three-time winner of Canada’s Aurora Award, and has been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, CBC’s Bookies Award, Canada’s juried Sunburst Award, and France’s juried Prix Masterton and Prix Bob Morane. A short film based on Doug’s story “By Her Hand, She Draws You Down” won several awards at film festivals around the world.

His website is www.smithwriter.com and he tweets at twitter.com/smithwritr

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! More fantasy during the sci-fi month, yay! Epic fantasy no less! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sarah Ashwood!

Where do you live and write from?

I’m a genuine Okie from Muskogee (Muskogee, Oklahoma), in the USA.

Why do you write?

Writing allows me to tell the stories in my head and give life to the characters who live there.

When did you start writing?

I wrote a few short stories off and on throughout my childhood, but it wasn’t until I was about 18 and discovered the epic fantasy genre that I found my passion. My Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy was born from this.

What genre(s) do you write?

As already mentioned, I write epic fantasy, but its subcategories would be portal fantasy and fairytale fantasy. There are elements of both in my fantasy novels. I also write historical fiction.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I am a stay at home mom of three young boys. There is no writing routine for me. It’s write whenever and wherever I get the chance! However, I always, always drink coffee when I write, so I guess you could say that’s a routine.

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

My gift of description has been complimented by readers and fellow writers. I’m not sure how I developed that particular quality. I simply try to describe what I see in my head without it being too wordy, since there is such a thing as being too descriptive.

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

Inspiration comes from all over. The world around me, music, other people, my own life…
I would say the MC in my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, Hannah, is the closest I’ve ever come to putting myself in my writing. She reeks of my sense of humor. She’s also a caring person, but rather quick tempered. She definitely gets that from me.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I always start with a brief outline, but it usually gets trashed as I write. I tend to be an extreme pantser. You should see the jumble of notes I jot down to try and keep everything straight while the novel grows! As for the other question, I tend to set a daily goal of about 1,200 to 2,000 words a day, and I usually accomplish my daily goal. You can get through a novel fairly quickly at that rate, I find.

Tell us about your latest book
Aerisian Refrain is the first book in a brand new fantasy series called Beyond the Sunset Lands. It’s a follow up series to my current fantasy trilogy, the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, and has many of the same characters. However, Aerisian Refrain can be read as a standalone.
Aerisian Refrain tells the story of a world-famous performer, Annie Richards, who is haunted by troubling nightmares to the point that she’s given up her career and is on her way to her childhood home to convalesce, when creatures straight from her nightmares bring down her plane. Annie wakens in a parallel world, Aerisia, a world inhabited by fairies, giants, immortal warriors, dragons, and pirates. Not only must Annie stay alive, but she has to track down the truth behind why she’s there and who she is meant to be.
Currently, Aerisian Refrain is on a special pre-order sale of just $0.99! Find Aerisian Refrain on Amazon and Goodreads.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy was published by a small publishing company, but I’m publishing my Beyond the Sunset Lands series (a planned four book series) myself. I loved having a publisher for handling a lot of the leg work (and expense!) of getting my first books off the ground, but as an Indie I also love the control I have over every aspect of the process.
Currently, I also have three books with an agent. Been traditionally published by a major publisher has always been a dream of mine. I long for the day when I can walk into a bookstore and pull my book off the shelf! However, even if that happens, I will likely still remain a hybrid, and go Indie on certain series.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! Watch for a fun Young Adult Fantasy/Fairytale called Knight’s Rebirth, coming in time for Christmas 2018! It’s the story of a famous knight, Sir Buckhunter Dornley, who is content to live alone until he meets the charming and outrageous Princess Mercy. When he discovers Mercy lives under a deadly curse, how far will he go to break it?

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

My ultimate goal as a writer is simply to tell my favorites of the stories I create, and share them with the world. When I get reviews or messages from readers telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my work, that inspires me to keep going!

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

Write. Just write. You can polish it later, but you can’t polish what isn’t written.

_____________

Author Bio:

Don’t believe all the hype. Sarah Ashwood isn’t really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That’s only in her mind. In real life, she’s a genuine Okie from Muskogee who grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma and holds a B.A. in English from American Military University.
She now lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons, where she tries to sneak in a daily run or workout to save her sanity and keep her mind fresh for her next story.

Sarah’s works include the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy and the fantasy novella Amana.

To keep up to date with Sarah’s work and new releases, sign up for her newsletter. You can also visit her website, or find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

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