#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Calling of the Trinity – Britany Elise @BrittanyElise23 @brwpublisher

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Calling of the Trinity’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

1FVHot7IBrittany graduated from college with a degree in photography, and later became on obedience instructor. During the day, Brittany manages an FBO at a local hometown airport in Ohio and services aircraft. Writing has always been her greatest passion. She enjoys the outdoors and exploring new places in an endless quest to keep that artistic inspiration burning.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

V0xj2mjsThe fate of the supernatural world lies in the hands of the Trinity. Now that their powers have awakened, they’re one step closer to putting an end to the Darkness surrounding them. Or so they thought…
The death of Wren’s father brings an unsolicited visit from the Alpha Master of the Thornwood werewolf pack, and with it some troublesome news. Wren is faced with a decision that could mean the end of his life if he doesn’t choose wisely.
A mysterious book hidden in a secret room just might have the answers the Trinity is searching for. Perhaps with a little help from the past, a winged guardian, and new friends–the Trinity can persevere and rise against the Darkness.

Purchase Links:
Black Rose Writing
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you for having me!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve been creating stories for as long as I can remember. I know that’s a typical response, but my mom can even attest to the fact that as soon as I could read/write, I was hand-writing stories with a Number 2 pencil and drawing pictures to go along with the scenes. It started out as a hobby, but I was never able to give it up so I decided to try and make something happen. I am also a canine obedience instructor, and one of my clients is a children’s author. I picked her brain about how to get started and bought myself a “Writer’s Market” book. A lot of time and hard work later, Black Rose Writing offered me a contract deal, and I accepted.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Any and everything by Sarah Dessen.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
The aforementioned, Sarah Dessen, haha. She’s the literary queen of YA fiction in my mind. She’s utterly brilliant, as is everything she creates.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Excellent question! I’m actually working on a YA post-apocalyptic novel right now and the male lead in that story is probably, to date, the most favourite character I’ve ever written. I’d choose him because he feels like an extension of someone I’d want to be like.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I typically like to write in the mornings. I like the quiet, slow-moving hours when the world is still waking up and the chaos of the day hasn’t yet begun. I usually have tea or coffee with me, and maybe some relaxing music playing in the background.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I draw inspiration from a lot of things. Music is a big one, but sometimes what I write starts as a thought about something and then my brain just carries it away. I haven’t published anything with characters based on people I know, though some personality traits have been selected to mimic certain people in my life. One of these days I’ll probably base some of my characters off people I know, but nothing to be worried about. 😉

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I write with a very loose skeleton outline. I usually know how I want things to begin, where drama will present itself, and peak, but I rarely know how everything will pan out when I first begin writing. Everything is subject to change.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t ever give up. When things seem overwhelming, allow yourself to take a break and focus on something else. Sometimes when things aren’t flowing properly for me, that’s usually an indicator that something I’ve written in the previous chapters needs to be cut or edited differently.

What are your future plans as an author?
I have the prequel to Awakening the Trinity almost edited which will probably be posted for everyone to read (free of cost) on my website: BrittanyEliseAuthor (dot com) I have plans to put that out into the universe this winter/spring. I’m currently writing the final book to close out the series, which will hopefully be out by next year. I’m working on a lot of new things right now too, so my attention is divided between novels and genres, but I hope it will all be exciting for my readers!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Ooh, a teaser! A friend of mine suggested a scene from the book, so here’s a display of Quinn’s power from Chapter Twelve:

Courtney and Hailey pushed through the double-doors at the front of the courtyard, their arms linked together at the elbows. It was right about then that I heard a deep rumbling coming from around the bend. I looked up at the road as a group of bikers, clad in black leather jackets, slowed in front of the courtyard. Hailey lifted her manicured hand in a wave, pulling Courtney along as they hurried across the lawn to the parking lot. Beside me, Wren stiffened.
“Weres,” Blaire said, rubbing the goosebumps that trailed her arms. I noticed that her ring was glowing aqua.
“Thornwood,” I corrected. My stomach tightened as the group of five parked their bikes in the side lot. I picked Roy out of the bunch first. He was the only one with long hair; the wind had pulled a few strands loose from the ponytail fastened at the nape of his neck. I recognized a few of the others from the bar, but they’d remained in the shadows and hadn’t introduced themselves.
“Friends of yours?” Blaire asked acerbically.
“I wouldn’t call them friends. Pack your things away.” He meant the grimoire; I didn’t have to be told twice. I grabbed the notebook and the grimoire and stuffed them in my bag as the bikers, led by Hailey and Courtney, started making their way in our direction.
The back of their jackets were adorned with a large face of a wolf. Its jaws were parted in a menacing snarl, revealing sharp white teeth. Bloody roses covered in thorns formed the shape of parentheses on either side of the wolf’s head. Thornwood was written in bold letters across the back of their shoulders, and below the wolf’s head was the phrase: honor thy brothers with blood. I swallowed hard.
“Well, well, if it isn’t Wren Whelan,” the leader of their group said. He was shorter than the others but he was built like a tank. Bulky muscle jutted up from his shoulders, joining either side of his equally thick neck. He had short, spiky blond hair and eyes the mirror image of Hailey’s. He smiled and offered his hand to Wren.
“Maddox,” Wren said in greeting, shaking his hand. I remembered what Wren had told me about him–he was in Ryker’s inner circle, and possibly the pack Beta. Hailey was his younger sister. “What brings you out this way?” Wren’s tone was even and borderline unfriendly but Maddox didn’t appear addled in the slightest.
Maddox draped a big arm around Hailey and pulled her into his side. “Just came to check on my little sister,” he said. “I wanted to make sure she’s playing nice with all the new kids.” Maddox’s cool water gaze leveled with mine.
“Stop it,” Hailey said in a playful but annoyed sounding tone. “I haven’t bitten anyone… yet.”
Courtney laughed.
“Sorry I missed your father’s memorial,” Maddox said, shifting his eyes back to Wren. “I was away on business.”
“I heard that you’re still Ryker’s errand boy,” Wren commented in a detached sort of tone that made Maddox’s expression falter.
“I’m his second.” Maddox glowered, eyes darkening. Yep. Definitely the Beta.
“Oh, his second; well then I suppose I should congratulate you. It’s good to see all the ass-kissing finally paid off.”
Maddox sniggered, revealing a straight set of teeth. Wren had Maddox by a couple of inches in height, but Maddox’s bulk was nothing to take in stride. Wren was already treading very dangerous waters, squaring off with the Beta–especially one that was besieged by his pack brothers–was not in his best interests. I reached out, wrapping my palm around Wren’s wrist hoping that my touch would convey a reminder. Maddox saw this, and his eyes cut to me.
“You must be Quinn.”
“That’s right,” I said, forcing myself to hold his gaze.
“Ryker told me all about you,” he said in a tone that one might mistake for charm, but I heard the mocking nature in it. He pulled my free hand to his lips and brushed the back of my knuckles with a kiss that sent a shiver of disgust slithering down my spine. I pulled my hand free of his grasp and squared my shoulders as Wren bristled beside me.
“What do you want, Maddox?” Wren growled.
“Be nice to my brother, Wren, or you will be the first one I bite,” Hailey said with a smirk. She slipped out from under Maddox’s arm and grabbed Courtney by the elbow and started introducing her to the rest of the pack. I watched Courtney flirt with the guys, knowing that Hailey had pulled her away so Maddox could talk more freely with Wren.
“Ryker wants to know if you have an answer for him.” Maddox leaned up against the trunk of the maple tree, crossing his arms over his chest.
“So he sent you and four others to what–drag the answer out of me if I didn’t comply? He’ll have his answer tomorrow,” Wren said.
Maddox smiled even bigger. “We both know you’ve already made up your mind. We’re just here to remind you of your fate should you choose to concede.”
“Come on Summer Boy. You know what you need to do,” Hailey added. “You know what would be best for you.”
Rage flickered through my core. I took a step forward on instinct, but it was Blaire who wrapped a hand around my arm to hold me in place. My chest swelled with an icy heat, feeding the Darkness that was swelling in my amulet.
“Such fire,” Maddox commented, staring at me. “I can see why you like her, Wren. But is she really worth dying–”
Behind me, I heard the school bell ringing, signaling that our lunch hour had ended, and thankfully, cutting off the rest of Maddox’s words.
“Come on Hailey, I don’t want to be late for the student council meeting,” Courtney said, reaching for Hailey’s free hand as the two skipped away.
“Since you’re incessantly headstrong, Ryker told me to tell you that you have until sundown tomorrow night. Be at the bar, seven o’clock sharp with your answer.” Maddox pushed himself away from the tree trunk and the others flanked to his side. As he started walking away, he called over his shoulder, “I hope she’s worth it, Wren.”
My teeth ground together as my fists clenched at my sides. Fury surged through my body like a bolt of lightning and the sky above seemed to darken. It revealed the veil of the in-between and shrouded my vision.
Teach them their place, the Darkness whispered against my ear. The rage that had been building inside me boiled over the surface, and my neck snapped sharply to the side. A big gust of wind swept out of the eastern woods and knocked all five of the heavy chrome-plated bikes over in the parking lot.
“What the hell?” The group took off running toward their fallen machines.
Blaire squeezed her nails into my arm until the pain registered. I blinked away from the scene and turned to face her coal-black gaze. “Quinn,” she breathed, “did you do that?”
My lips parted, and air rushed through my lungs in a ragged gulp. “I-I don’t know.” Her eyes were swimming over mine, and I knew she was searching my aura for the Darkness that had already departed.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Britany Elise.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

#BookBlitz #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #PromoPost : Five Wives #FiveWives – Joan Thomas @JoanThomas_Sky @HarperCollinsCa #HistoricalFiction

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Five Wives’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author Pic(2)Joan Thomas’s fourth novel Five Wives won Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Described by the Globe and Mail as “brilliant, eloquent, curious, far-seeing,” it is an immersive dive into a real event, the disastrous attempt by five American families to move into the territory of the reclusive Waorani people in Ecuador in 1956.
Joan’s three previous novels have been praised for their intimate and insightful depictions of characters in times of rapid social change. Reading by Lightning, set in World War 2, won the 2008 Amazon Prize and a Commonwealth Prize. Curiosity, based on the life of the preDarwinist fossilist Mary Anning, was nominated for the 2010 Giller Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award. The Opening Sky, a novel about a family navigating contemporary crises, won the 2014 McNally Robinson Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award.
Joan lives in Winnipeg, a prairie city at the geographical center of North America. Before beginning to write fiction, she was a longtime book reviewer. In 2014, Joan was awarded the Writers Trust of Canada’s prize for mid-career achievement.

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Synopsis :

Title: Five Wives
Publication Date: September 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins CA

Five Wives Cover ArtIn the 1950s, in the aftermath of World War II, five American families moved to Ecuador, determined to take the Christian gospel to a pre-Neolithic Amazonian tribe they called “the Auca.” The Waorani (proper name) were just as determined to maintain their isolation, and killed the missionary men at their second meeting. Four of the wives remained in Ecuador and one, Elisabeth Elliot, went further into the rainforest with her three-year old daughter to live with the Waorani.
Joan Thomas’s fictional treatment of this incident explores themes that are both eternal and immediate: faith and ideology, autonomy and self-protection, cultural understanding and misunderstanding, grief and doubt, and isolation. Five Wives rises out of immaculate research, including a visit to the ruins of the Elliot house in Ecuador, and out of the author’s own experience with the thinking and imperatives of evangelical missions. The novel sinks into the points of view of characters who are bound by past choices, yet make their own personal bargains in the midst of a crisis.

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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#ReleaseBlitz #RABTBookTours @RABTBookTours / #PromoPost : Starfighter Rising #StarfighterRising – Daniel Seegmiller @DanSeegWrites #DanielSeegmiller

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Starfighter Rising’ blogtour, organised by RABT Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

PuYa_aUp_400x400Daniel Seegmiller grew up loving Star Wars, Mech Warriors, and all things sports. He started out as an English major before switching to his other love, science. He has an MS in mechanical engineering and has worked on everything from biomechanics, to machine learning, to defense technology.
Daniel loves dreaming up awesome adventures…like, literally, he wakes up in the middle of the night with the best ideas. Most of the stories he writes are for his kids. Starfighter Rising is his debut novel.
He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and three squirrelly children.

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Synopsis :

starfighter_ebookThe enemy wanted him. The galaxy needed him.
Sixty years ago Nolvarics nearly conquered the solar system. They were defeated by starfighters.
Konran dreamed of becoming a starfighter, but he blew his one shot five years ago. Now his life is stuck in neutral as a glorified rock hauler.
He didn’t expect to find Nolvarics lurking within the solar system. They didn’t expect him to survive the confrontation.
Now all eyes are on Konran as he is plunged into a whirlwind of space battles, peril, and conspiracy. The Nolvarics will stop at nothing to catch him, dead or alive.
Can Konran rise up and claim his destiny, or will the galaxy fall?

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Giveaway :

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Release Blitz Organized By:

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RABT Book Tours

#BookBirthdayBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : The Rue Stone – Janet Stock @JanetStock12

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Rue Stone’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

6i_6ltXgHaving written all of my life, I decided to self-publish my writing when I turned 50. I have published four books since then. Two are collections of short stories; Dark & Fluffy; Dark & Fluffy II and 500 Words, which is flash fiction. My latest book The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella.
My passion is medieval fiction, and I am working on my first novel The Little Servant – The Wait’s Son, set in the 12th century, in Lincoln, where I live.
All four books are available on Amazon.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Synopsis :

FMHY5dz4The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, and Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life has changed, and she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again, but only time and the rue stone know the answer to that question.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Janna is the main female character in The Rue Stone, and she first encounters the rue when she is working in the bar one evening. The extract below describes the first time Janna and the rue set eyes on one another.

After having a quick few words with Vem, she walked back out into the bar, and that was when she saw him coming through the door.
The early wintour fog seemed to wrap around him, as if trying to tempt him back out into the night, but he didn’t seem to notice the fragile bonds that swirled around him. She could see a low moon hanging in the sky, looking like an ice-blue crystal ball, and it silhouetted him, giving him an ethereal air.
He looked around briefly, assessing his surroundings, and being satisfied with what he saw, stepped into the bar.
The heavy door slammed shut behind him, just a fraction before the fingers of fog and cold air took hold on the nearest customers.
She couldn’t take her eyes from him.
No-one else noticed him at first, but as he walked through the room, Janna saw that men were halting their conversations, and even the dog shut up without being kicked. It whimpered slightly and curled up tight under his master’s legs.
He didn’t seem to be aware of, or concerned about, the attention he was attracting. Confidently, he strode past the wide eyes and open mouths to a booth. Sliding a battered leather sack onto the bench, he sat himself down with a flick of his thick grey cloak.
He shook the cloak a little to remove some of the damp, and as he did so, his hood fell back, and she saw his flowing hair shining in the torchlight.
Rubbing his hands together as if to warm them, still either unaware of the interest he had caused, or not paying any heed to it, he turned his head to attract a server’s attention. Jenna exhaled not realising that she had been holding her breath.
The rue was looking straight at her.
A complete hush had now descended over the room, and she realised that it wasn’t only the rue that was looking at her, everyone else was too; all waiting to see what she would do.
Hera had been mopping up some spilt ale, but now she was distractedly mopping up the feet of one of the patrons, as she watched Janna.
Time seemed suspended. There were clouds of smoke from the numerous clay pipes, swirling above the tables in slow motion. The fires popped and crackled, seemingly a million miles away, but apart from that, nothing stirred.
The longer she stood there with all eyes on her, the more aware of them she became, and the more uncomfortable she felt. She needed to move, to break the tension.
For a split second she thought she saw a small smile on the rue’s lips, then it was gone, just a fleeting impression of amusement.
She heard Vune call her name, gently but insistently, and it stirred her from her trance.

Giveaway :

Win x 5 paperback copies of The Rue Stone (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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#ReleaseBlitz #RABTBookTours @RABTBookTours / #PromoPost : Against My Better Judgement #AgainstMyBetterJudgement – B.T. Polcari @btpolcari #BTPolcari

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Against My Better Judgement’ blogtour, organised by RABT Book Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

B.T. Polcari HeadshotAfter a long career as a business executive, B.T. Polcari tried to retire. Spoiler alert: he’s really bad at retirement. Bowling, tennis, and sailing can only keep you busy for so long, so B.T. is now pursuing his childhood dream of becoming a published author.

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Synopsis :

AMBJ Cover 1400x2243 PixelsWhen freshman year at the University of Alabama draws to a close, Sara Donovan finds herself grappling with the same old question—listen to her head or follow her heart. What she ends up doing is purchasing an Egyptian
souvenir funerary mask, and after a mysterious phone call, she’s certain a ring of antiquities smugglers are operating in Tuscaloosa.
With finals never far from her mind and her return to ‘Bama hanging in the balance, she should be studying. Instead she launches her own investigation to prove her mask is indeed a stolen artifact, and not a cheap trinket. When it comes time to snoop, Sara is more than ready, or at least she was until a hot new teaching assistant moves in next door.
Suddenly she learns things are never as they seem. Ever.

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Giveaway :

$5 Amazon Gift Card & eBook Copy

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Release Blitz Organized By:

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RABT Book Tours

#CoverReveal #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup : Tree Slayer #TreeSlayer – Harriet Springbett @HarriSpringbett @impress_books

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Today I’m super pleased to be on the blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour, to reveal the cover of

Tree Slayer - Twitter Cover Reveal

But first some information

About the Author :

Harriet-Springbett-250x253Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.
She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.
Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.
Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com.

Synopsis :

Nine months after the events of Tree Magic, Rainbow is struggling to come to terms with how she’s changed. Her bond with trees has grown, but now they’re under threat from the Tree Slayer.
To save them, she’ll need to leave everything she knows and loves. It will be her greatest adventure yet – but she cannot succeed alone.
She’ll have to enlist the help of Eole, an enigmatic scientist and sceptic.
Does Rainbow have what it takes to face the Tree Slayer? And can she trust Eole, who has powers of his own?

After this great teaser I hope you are still excited for the

blog-cover reveal

because this is happening

right now!

Tree Slayer ebook cover

Did this all pique your interest in reading the book? It will be released October 6th, 2020, but it’s already available for pre-order at Amazon.

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#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #QandAs : Median Gray – Bill Mesce Jr @btwnthelinespub #Thriller

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Median Gray’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author Pic(1)Bill Mesce, Jr. is an author, screenwriter, and playwright living in New Jersey.
His first professional writing gig was the product of a screenwriting contest landing him an uncredited stint on Brian DePalma’s 1981 political thriller, BLOW OUT. Since then he has worked on a number of film projects, including the 1998 feature ROAD ENDS which was screened at a number film festivals.
Another writing contest led to his award-winning one-act play “A Good Kid,” which, in turn kicked off a series of related one-acts which were eventually rolled into his first full-length stage effort, A JERSEY CANTATA.
And yet again, a writing contest brought him his first published credit, the critically-acclaimed WW II drama, THE ADVOCATE. Since then, he has turned out a range of work from academic studies to literary short fiction and including several well-received sequels to THE ADVOCATE.
From 2010 to 2017, he was an adjunct instructor at several colleges and universities in New Jersey. He now teaches screenwriting at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Synopsis :

Title: Median Gray
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Genre: Thriller / Crime Thriller / Police Procedural
Publisher: Willow River Press

CoverAt a time when New York’s mean streets were their meanest, one NYPD detective at the end of his career takes one last chance to correct a 20-year-old injustice, and another cop at the beginning of his career tries to stop him before a police department already scarred by corruption investigations takes another hit.

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I started out as a screenwriter, and rather arrogantly thought my prose work, which I knew was weaker than what I wrote for the screen, would piggyback on my phenomenal success writing for the movies. However, most of my film work was for low budget junk, most of which, thankfully, was never produced. But while I was waiting for my screenwriting career to take off, I was slowly getting better at prose, and then, both from a better understanding of how prose worked and realizing I had a better chance of writing more substantial work for the page than for the screen, I came to love writing writing for the page. Since my first book was published in 2000, screenwork is now the adjunct and prose my concentration.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I didn’t read books for my age. I used to read a lot of comic books, but my mother thought they were giving me nightmares so she threw them out (the real nightmare is how much they’d be worth today!). Out of boredom, I started reading what my parents read. They were voracious readers, mostly thrillers and mysteries. So, there I was at 10 reading Alistair MacLean thrillers like Ice Station Zebra.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Oh, there’s so many, but for particular things. Among the major names, Steinbeck has always been a favorite. As a more-or-less genre writer, John LeCarre, the late George V. Higgins. For how to manage a career, Evan Hunter who bounced between literary work and screen work under his own name, and some terrific genre stuff under the pen name Ed McBain. When I went back to school for my MFA, I did have the good fortune to be a student of Thomas E. Kennedy. I became a big fan of his “Copenhagen Quartet” and he did allow me to interview him for a review/interview through which I learned a tremendous about about how to stand a genre on its ear.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
The only one I can picture sitting down to tea would also be an insufferable ass (Dante DeMarchese from Legacy). But burger and a soda, if I was younger, Ronnie from Median Gray, but now closer to my age, Harry from The Advocate.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I’m not a particularly organized or process-oriented writer. If I’m on a project, I write when I have the time. I do spend a lot of time running things over in my head so when I do have writing time, I’m at the keyboard to pound stuff out.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Oh, wow, anywhere, everywhere. One of the few decent screenplays I did that was produced came from a news story, most of the Harry Voss trilogy came from my agent and editor hounding me for sequels. Median Gray was initially prompted by my experiences working in New York City in the 1980s. There’s no real pattern. I am, however, very sensitive to using anything personal for fear of embarassing myself, offending friends and family, and not wanting to get a punch in the nose.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Sort of both. I don’t start anything unless I have a pretty good idea of what the spine is, but I often discover a lot in the process.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I’m always very wary of doing this because I’ve come to learn that what works for me may not work for anybody else, and I think that’s what it comes down to in the end; you have to find your process, your rhythm, what works for you. As a novice, naturally, you won’t know what that is, so you experiment. You read about how other writers work, you try those routines, maybe you find they don’t for work or you cherrypick elements that do work for you and drop the rest. There is no formula, there is no recipe. It really is about self-discovery, learning how your head works.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’ve never had a plan. I’ve been lucky enough to pursue material – fiction and nonfiction – that interests me and have almost everything I’ve written published in one form or another. Every time I think, “Well, that’s it, I’m done, I don’t have anything else to say,” an opportunity of some sort presents itself and I find myself at the keyboard again. I’ve been doing this long enough now that for all the frustrations and disappointments that go with this trade, I can more-or-less be philosophical about it and say, Hey, what happens happens.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

It’s not like he’s going to go hunting down those dark halls and stairways after the perp, that’d be stupid, that’d be fucking insane. He’s just going to find McInerney, keep him company until the ambulance gets there, maybe he can do some First Aid; maybe he can do… something. Anything.
He unsnaps the restraining strap on his holster and pulls out the .38, and he’s surprised at how light that pound and a half of steel feels, not tugging at his hand the way it does on the firing range at Rodman’s Neck, but popping clear of the leather like it’s on a spring because he’s got so much adrenaline going through him he could spin a Mack truck on his finger.
He steps through the foyer and into the must-and-cabbage smell of the hallway. It’s hot and close in there, he wonders why there are no fucking lights.
“I’m coming, Mac,” he says moving slowly down the hall, straining his ears, trying to find shapes in the dark.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Bill Mesce Jr.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Someday in Paris – Olivia Lara @olilara_writes @Aria_Fiction

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Someday in Paris’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

7nDjl7mgOLIVIA LARA was born and raised in Bucharest in a family of booklovers and storytellers. Since university she has worked as a journalist and marketer in Romania, France and the United States. She is currently a marketing executive in San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area with her husband, young daughter and four cats. Someday in Paris is her first novel.

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Synopsis :

4CsFcyOIFinding the one is only the beginning…
1954. Zara is fifteen the first time she meets Leon. During a power cut in a small French museum, the two spend one short hour in the dark talking about their love for art, Monet and Paris. Neither knows what the other looks like. Both know their lives will never be the same.
1963. In Paris, Leon no longer believes he will ever find the girl he lost that night. After dreaming about him for years, Zara thinks she has already found him. When they meet at an exhibition, they don’t recognise each other – yet the way they feel is so familiar…
Over the course of twenty years, Zara and Leon are destined to fall in love again and again. But will they ever find a way to be together?
‘It’s about dreams and taking chances. Missed opportunities and mistakes. Loss and sacrifice. But above all, it is about love. The kind of love that survives time, distance… even death. The kind of love I wish for you.’
A magical new love story about star-crossed lovers, perfect for hopeless romantics and fans of One Day and The Notebook.

Purchase Links:
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Kobo US
Apple US
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Amazon UK
Kobo UK
Apple UK

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m a Romanian born citizen of the world, now living in California who always loved to read and write stories. I was a bone fide bookworm growing up and luckily my family encouraged me to read widely and that opened up whole new worlds for me. At first, in my teens, my writing was inspired by the books I read. In time I developed my own style and interest in particular stories, settings and characters. Although I’ve always loved to write, I didn’t sit down to write a novel until much later on, after I moved to the US. And while I’ve always dreamed of becoming an author (next on my list is becoming a full-time author), that dream didn’t become a reality until 2017 when I first met my now literary agent. And the rest as they say is history.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Anything and everything. From love stories to scary ones, biographies, true crime, fantasy. I still read pretty much every genre. As long as the story grabs me, I will read it.

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to chat with many authors I admire. Too many to list, but I’ll just mention two: Alice Hoffman and Isabel Allende because they are magical realism queens.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
For coffee. Well, tea works too.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I’d say two things are a constant while I write: I have to be outside and I need to listen to the same music while I write (a carefully curated list of songs that perfectly match the mood of the story). Oh, a third: there needs to be a big cup of coffee close by.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No worries at least while I’m writing love stories 🙂 . Now, in all seriousness: I do get inspiration from my life, or things I hear or see, but I don’t necessarily base my characters on real people. Characters, I’ve noticed, have a mind of their own, so I couldn’t force them to be what they don’t want to be anyway.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
In the beginning, I was a 100% panster which was both exciting and challenging. You can write yourself in a corner if you’re not careful and the half-finished manuscripts in a box in the attic can attest to that. Lately, I’ve become more of a plotter-pantser hybrid. There’s a bit of planning involved, but not so much that I feel it’s damping my creativity. It’s more of a high level, directional type of planning. As I write, the story can follow the direction or not. I never know. And I quite like it that way.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
1. Do write all the time
2. Do read all the time
3. Do your research
4. Do reach out to other writers and build a support system
5. Do take your time with edits. They don’t say ‘writing is rewriting’ for nothing
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself
7. Don’t expect things to happen overnight
8. Don’t let anyone or anything put you down
9. Don’t compare yourself to others
10. Don’t give up

What are your future plans as an author?
To write. Make more time to write. I have a list of ideas that have been bouncing around my head for a while. I just need to put them down on paper (well, type them on my computer, but still the same thing). In time, I’m hoping I can become a full-time author, but I know it’s going to take a while. And having a full-time day job has its advantages too, among them the fact that it forces you to prioritize and get a lot done in a short amount of time.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

‘I wish we had more time. I wish we could talk more.’ He took a deep breath. ‘Could I maybe write to you when I get back to Switzerland?’
She gulped.
‘You want to write to me?’
‘If you want me to, of course. But if you don’t, and you think I’m—’
‘I’d like that very much,’ she said, not letting him finish. Her face was on fire.
Heavy footsteps. The watchdog was coming.
‘You have to go,’ she said shortly.
He turned to leave, then stopped.
‘Where’s my head? How can I write to you if I don’t know where to send the letters?’ He chuckled. ‘I never asked you what your name is. Silly me.’
‘Zara. My name is Zara Ionesco.’
‘Zara,’ he repeated.
She loved the sound of her name coming from his mouth.
‘24 Rue des Jardins. That’s my address.’
‘I’ll write as soon as I get back. Promise.’
A door opened then closed. Two sets of footsteps were approaching. They were now dangerously close. ‘We can look here as well if you want,’ said the watchdog.
‘I have to go. I’ll be seeing you, Zara,’ Leon said and ran towards the door.
Standing in the middle of the pitch-black corridor, ignoring all sounds and shadows, she watched him leave and wondered if he was right. If she would ever see him again.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Olivia Lara.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

 

 

#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Unquiet Spirit – Penny Hampson @penny_hampson @crookedcatbooks @darkstrokedark

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Unquiet Spirit’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

5YR3I-3MSome time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.
Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a historical mystery/romance. Other books in the same genre soon followed.
But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.
Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

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Synopsis :

geNxFVb0A new beginning. A house with a past. A man with secrets.
It was a dream come true…that turned into a nightmare.
Kate Wilson thinks moving back to Cornwall might be the answer to her prayers. But it isn’t long before she begins to have doubts. Is the house she inherited from her godmother haunted? Or is she going out of her mind? With a stalker, threats, and attempted break-ins, Kate’s troubles multiply.
Then there’s her enigmatic neighbour, the brooding Tom Carbis; a man with secrets he doesn’t wish to share. Can she trust him when he says he wants to help?
In her quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding her, will Kate uncover more than she bargains for?
Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Unquiet Spirit is a gripping suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Fans of Barbara Erskine will enjoy this tale.

Purchase Link

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I came to writing rather late in life, having spent most of my adult years bringing up my family and then working as researcher in an academic library. It was only when I made the difficult decision to give up working full time to enable me to care for a close family member that I decided to write my first novel. I’d been juggling both caring and work for ten years and it was beginning to get too much.
Of course, being a historian meant my first book was going to be an historical novel. I joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, who were very helpful in critiquing my work and introducing me to other authors. A Gentleman’s Promise was eventually published in 2018. I’ve now written three historical novels, the third to be published in October this year. The Unquiet Spirit is my first contemporary novel, but it won’t be my last. I feel I’ve got a lot of catching up to do having started so late!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
What books do I read now? Well, for escapism I always go to Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels; well-written and historically accurate, they give me a lift when I’m feeling down. I also love crime fiction and stories that have a strong sense of place. Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels fit the bill here. I only visited Edinburgh a few times when I lived in Scotland but through his books I feel I know it so well. Because I worked in Oxford for many years, reading Colin Dexter’s Morse novels was a must; the plotting is so intricate and detailed, and again, there is that great sense of place. My favourite book from childhood has to be Peter Pan. Even as a child I picked up on the sadness of the little boy who never wanted to grow up, and I always dreamed of being able to fly. I also enjoyed the Narnia Stories by C. S. Lewis and loved Edith Nesbit’s Treasure Seekers.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
There are lots of writers that I’d like to ask for advice. First I think would be Jane Austen, whose stories are bestsellers even today. Her stories are so beautifully crafted, I’d love to know her secret. Agatha Christie is another author whose advice I’d seek; her plotting is meticulous and intricate.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d like to take tea with Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s unlikely sleuth. She might be getting on in years and lives secluded in a small village, but her knowledge of people and events is formidable. I’m sure she’d have many tales to tell. Plus everyone she meets seems to like her; she has a way of persuading them to open up and disclose their secrets. Who knows, she might learn more about me than I will of her!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No, nothing like that. I’m usually so relieved to get time to write that I just get on with it.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Not sure where my ideas come from, they pop up out of nowhere. Sometimes I’ll see someone and imagine what sort of life they lead, or I’ll read an article in a newspaper and that will start me thinking. My current work in progress started like that, prompted by a true news report I saw in the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1804 about a young Frenchwoman who, after escaping the perils of Revolutionary France came to London and married an Englishman. There were elements in the story that seemed quite odd to me, so that set me off thinking.
On a walk on a National Trust estate a couple of years ago, I came across something that triggered an idea – it forms an important element in The Unquiet Spirit, so you’ll have to read the book to discover what it was. No spoilers here!
I don’t think the people in my life need to be worried! I do use little character traits that I’ve observed in passing over the years but no character I’ve created is entirely based on a person from real life.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a bit of a mixture really. I have the idea of a plot to begin with, but very often this goes out of the window when my characters form on the page and start to speak to me. I always know where my characters are going to end up, but the journey there often veers off the planned path. Ideas sometimes crop up in the middle of a scene, leading me in different directions. It’s quite exciting when this happens, I love exploring new ideas and ways to make my characters interact.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
As a relatively new writer myself, I hesitate to give advice. I’d only say that, if you’re passionate about your stories, don’t give up.

What are your futureplans as an author?
My next book is already written. A Bachelor’s Pledge, an historical mystery/romance set in 1810 will be released on 7th October. It tells the story of government agent, Phil Cullen and Sophia Turner, the young lady he rescues from a notorious brothel. Both become embroiled in a plot to unmask a ruthless French spy and prevent a hidden cache of gold reaching French shores. Expect lots of adventure and action. Like The Unquiet Spirit, it too is mainly set in Falmouth and Bath, making my research trips to these places doubly useful!
Beyond that, I have more contemporary paranormal mysteries to come. I’ve plans for Freddie, a minor character from The Unquiet Spirit, to have his own encounter with the supernatural, and I’m also working on a short story about witches set in Glasgow.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
The inheritance from Win, Kate’s godmother, sets the whole story in motion:

Win’s bequest had been a massive surprise. Not only the house but also a sizeable amount of money.
“You’ll need most of it for the upkeep,” her father had joked, breaking the shocked silence induced by the solicitor’s words. Funnily enough, her parents hadn’t been surprised at all by the generous bequest to their daughter.
“Well, Win always said you were the daughter she never had,” were her mum’s words. “And you are her goddaughter. She was over the moon when you decided to do history. Win always regretted not going to university, so I suppose you were living her dream.”
Still, Kate found it puzzling. Had Win lost it, in her final months? Though to be fair, the will had been signed and dated some two years before Win’s death, and she’d seemed fine the last time Kate had seen her at Christmas. Apart, that was, from the weird conversation she’d had with Win on Christmas Eve. Well, she’d soon find out. That was just one of the puzzles to be solved when she got there.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Penny Hampson.
Thank you, Stefanie, for choosing The Unquiet Spirit to feature on your blog. I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #Booktamins @booktamins / #QandAs : Of Ash & Shadow – Sarah King @SKingAuthor

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

ofashandshdobanner

Today I’m on the ‘Of Ash & Shadow’ blogtour, organised by Booktamins.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Sarah KingSarah King is the author of the YA Dark Fantasy novel Of Ash & Shadow. Sarah wrote her first book at fourteen and quickly decided it would never again see the light of day. Six (never-to-be-seen-again) books later, she wrote the first incarnation of Of Ash & Shadow during her final residency at Seton Hill University‘s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program.
A Connecticut native, Sarah currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her very understanding, listens-to-her-rave-about-the-stupidity-of-writing-a-golden-sword-into-her-book, boyfriend and two (lovingly spastic) dogs. Dogs who she honestly talks about more than her writing.

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Synopsis :

Of Ash & Shadow CoverThe Fae stole everything from Wyn. Her home. Her family. Her soul.
Now they want Her help. A murderer for hire, but this mission – kill the Shadow Queen, the boogeyman of the realm – is a suicide mission. At best! If she doesn’t say yes, they’ll steal more of the small family she’s piecemealed together since dragging her ass out of Faerie three years ago.
Guided by a vaguely familiar dark elf, Wyn must traverse the Shadow Court, a barren wasteland with toxic air populated by nightmarish creatures. Faerie warps everything it touches.
And helping them? Means giving them the last part of herself. Her humanity.
Trigger warning: mention of abuse

Amazon US
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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
For those who don’t know me, as a child I hated writing and reading. It wasn’t necessarily the act of writing, it was the fact that, as a student, I was forced to write papers that were boring and pointless. On the rare occasions I got to write fiction in lieu of papers, I excelled. I found my way back to reading thanks to my mother, who wanted to foster my love of books. She picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at one of our book fairs (I believe) when I was about nine, and started reading to me every night. I found out later, she often stayed up after I fell asleep to finish the books herself. Harry Potter led to A Wrinkle In Time, which in turn led to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. From there, there was no stopping me.
Years later, the night before my first day of Freshman year, I had a dream and awoke with the urge to write the dream down. The story was absolutely terrible, I had no clue what I was doing, and unfortunately, it became the main reason I did not do well in class – choosing to write instead of listening to my teachers. I’m sure my mother would not have been happy to hear that back then, now she’ll probably just chuckle. Though she did give me a thorough kick in the butt my sophomore year as my grades slipped, making it clear, if I didn’t get my grades up I’d never get into college. Depending on the circumstances, I have the silly need to prove people wrong. So, I became an A and B student, went to college and then ended up in graduate school to boot. During that time I wrote six or seven novels before I started Wyn’s story. That was four years ago. Four years of writing, rewriting, and endlessly editing this book, until a fellow author told me it was time to get my butt out of the editors chair and publish the darn thing – so here I am.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Harry Potter will forever be the series that started it all. There is a special place in my heart for the golden trio and their magical adventures. Similarly, A Wrinkle in Time is a favorite of mine. I always connected with Meg, how she was different from other kids, how she felt like an outcast. Something about her spoke to me, even more so than Harry, Ron, or Hermione. To name a few others from my childhood: The Pendragon Series, The Inheritance Cycle, The Mortal Instruments, The Chronicles of Faerie, even the Twilight Saga. There are honestly too many to count.
As an adult, I still love YA. It’s what I love to write. Today (while writing this) I’m enjoying House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin J. Craig. My TBR list is ever expanding. But, my favorite author as an adult is a Paranormal Romance writer – Nalini Singh. I own every one of her books, and will autobuy anything she writes going forward. Her craft is phenomenal, I wish I wrote like her, and her stories, the tales she twists, enchant me every time I read and reread them.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
This may not come as a shock after my last answer, but Nalini Singh. For sure. To be able to pick her brain about how she comes up with her ideas, how she fleshes them out, the questions she asks herself when writing each book or building a new aspect within her worlds – would be priceless. I am such a fan of her writing, it’s beautiful and descriptive without ever losing me or being – this is a terrible word but – pointless, if that makes sense. Every description, every sentence drives the story forward. Not just the romance, but the plot, and I would be honored to learn from her. She is an author whose books I don’t just consume for the sheer love of her stories, but to study her mastery of the craft.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
This is so hard haha.
From my books? Probably Wyn, I think our sense of humor would jive, though we’d not be having tea. I could see instead maybe a knife throwing or self defense lesson. I’d love to meet the Wyn from the end of OAAS, right before book 2, after everything she’s been through, seen, learned. If I were picking a secondary character, maybe Hella or Cré, both I know would have amazing stories, but also they seem like they’d be fun to go out on the town with haha.
From another book…my best friend and I always talk about how, if we had to live in a fantasy world, we’d wanna live in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling world and if we did, the species we would choose to be – changelings. So I think I’d have to say Valentin, the Alpha of the Stonewater bears, because I’d definitely be a bear changeling. They’re loud, always eating, love to have fun and everything revolves around family. Not to mention their senses of humor and penchant for antics is wonderful. They are essentially just like my family. Also, super stubborn and hard headed, which I am as well. So, I think hanging out with Valentin or anyone from the Stonewater pack would be great fun.

Do you have some rituals or habits while writing?
Oh, I have a terrible habit haha, I make faces while I write. When I get super deep into a scene, to the point where the outside world is completely out of my mind, I end up making the faces I assume my character is making at that moment. Which is terrible when I’m writing anywhere I can be seen, because I probably look like a deranged madwoman. Rituals – no, there isn’t any one thing I MUST do to write. I taught myself to read/write from a young age in noisy places so I can pretty much drown out the world no matter where I am when writing. Sometimes I’ll play music if there is a song that particularly inspires me during that chapter. In the End by Black Veil Brides, was pretty much the anthem for Wyn’s story, though I listened to their whole catalogue of music while writing book one. Another habit, which is probably something most writers do, is daydreaming what’s happening in the next scene. If I can’t write at that moment, I’m usually daydreaming about what Wyn is saying, or Keir, or what they’re doing. One habit I try not to do is daydream about chapters in the future cause I’m a linear writer. If I jump around from chapter to chapter, I tend to have timeline issues and inconsistencies.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
BAHA maybe a little! 😛 There are very few characters who have a passing resemblance to anyone in my life, and the small resemblance is shown in the best light. Places, on the other hand, are different. I use real places often throughout the book. I’ve never actually threatened to kill anyone in my own books, though a friend did threaten to kill me in one of theirs for being too cheerful in the morning before they’d had their coffee. I take that as a compliment though.
Generally, my ideas are the first chapter. Majority of the stories I’ve written are born from daydreaming where the initial chapter springs into my mind, almost fully formed, and then I have to figure out what happens from there. So, for Wyn’s book the opening chapter is almost exactly as I first imagined and wrote it. Thanks to a revise and resubmit, I actually pushed the opening chapter further back by about an hour’s time. Originally it began with Wyn atop the fae she’s hunting, striking the killing blow. The R&R I received suggested giving the opening just a little bit more time to unfold, so I pushed it back to her hunting the fae and why she was hunting it, which I think was for the best because it helps build the world and her character for the reader a bit quicker. I then took a course at the Margie Lawson Academy about honing your first five pages which helped solidify the chapter the reader will see when they open the book. But, when I started writing that chapter – four years ago – I had no idea where the story was going at all.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plotter all the way, and if I didn’t know this years ago, I was taught the harsh lesson over again that I will never be anything other than a plotter, when I started writing Of Ash & Shadow. I started writing OAAS during my final semester of graduate school. At this point, my mentor and I had already discussed the fact that I probably shouldn’t write another post-apocalyptic/dystopian story seeing as they had just fallen out of trend at the time. So, of course, what do I do? I start a post-apocalyptic fae novel. Cause that’s a bright idea. But, I knew I had to write Wyn’s story. She wouldn’t leave my head no matter how hard I tried.
At the same time, I decided I wanted to give pantsing another go. I used to be a pantser whole-heartedly until I got to my thesis novel, which I plotted out like it was my job – which it sort of was. Trying to be a pantser again was a massively dumb idea on my part. I wrote the first five chapters of the book and had no idea where it was going from there. Cue about three months of agonizing over where the book was going, because I knew the end, but the middle eluded me.
I went to my final residency annoyed that I could not figure the middle out. I had handed in my first ten pages – at the time the whole first chapter – for review by my classmates, which was hilarious when I discovered my mentor was running my critique session. We had a nice laugh over my inability to take her advice about trends and what to write next, as well as my stupidity in thinking I could just pants a new novel.
Thankfully, I have some of the best friends, who after graduation, sat down with me and helped me figure out where the story was going. I love them dearly for the brainstorming session. I also learned, I will never pants a story ever again.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I sometimes still feel like a novice writer, and I’ve been writing for almost sixteen years now.
We’ve all heard this before, but I’ll repeat it real quick – read. Read everything, voraciously read in and outside of your genre.
Look at the voice of other authors and decide what you like and what you don’t, so you can then move on to figure out your own voice. I was taught, by an awesome writer and teacher, Julie Rowe, that voice isn’t just how the character speaks, but also becomes an extension of who the writer is and so the writer’s voice will always filter into their writing. It’s this huge amalgamation of description, conflict, pacing, emotion, etc. I think finding your voice is something that takes the longest. My voice, writing my first, second, third books, is 100% different from the voice I use today in my writing. I can see where it was starting to show up in previous stories, but OAAS really helped me solidify my writer voice.
A great resource for writers to learn more about in-depth topics on writing – such as voice – is the Margie Lawson Academy. Obviously, money may be a little tight right now for many, but a great alternative to taking her classes live is to purchase her lecture packets which are far cheaper. If you have the discipline to teach yourself, which I think all writers should have as we are always learning, then the lecture packets are a wealth of knowledge.
I want to say plot your stories, because I understand that some writers are just true pantsers and plotting doesn’t work for them. I will say, however, that I think all writers, even if they don’t plot the book out ahead of time, need to understand goal, motivation, and conflict. Not just for each main character – we sometimes call this what they want and why they can’t have it – but also for every scene within the novel. GMC helps keep the tension and the pace in every scene. Even if you don’t plot, it’s good to know GMC as you move into the scene you’re writing next, to help keep the story running at full speed toward the climax and then resolution. There is a book called GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon which is worth checking out.

What are your future plans as an author?
My current plan is to work on Book 2, which I’m hoping to put out next September, if possible, while also potentially working on a secondary story. The secondary story is still just a notion, not a firm plan. Book 2 of Wyn’s story is currently in early stages. I’ve plotted it out thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law who sat and asked me tons of questions, and I’ve just begun to write. Past that, I am unsure. I usually don’t focus on more than one story at a time, I’m just not very good at it, but we will see what the future holds.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course! Hopefully, this isn’t too long haha.

Keir plunged his fingers into the warm earth, trying to ground himself in the loose ash. Blue lightning streaked across his brain, every synapsis firing at once. Power overload like nothing he’d ever experienced before ate like brush fire through his body. In the functioning parts of his brain, he half wondered if spontaneous combustion were real. If his brain were melting and would soon leak out his ears.
Words gifted to him by Wyn fanned the flames. Pieces of her memories tugged at hidden strings in his mind like a puppet master and his marionette. A groan ripped free of his throat, his back bowing under strings pulled taut. His insides were tearing apart. Expending all his magic to heal the fissures in each muscle, each tendon, each vein in his body was tiresome. Bearing memories submerged under Gods knew what kind of bindings, trying to force them to the surface, near swamped him in unconsciousness.
A benefit of releasing his powers so extensively was its ability to act as radar, picking up the imminent incursion of the Wild Hunt. Hiding what ailed him from Wyn would be difficult, but first they needed to survive this encounter.
Keir swayed, her hand leaving his chest momentarily to sling his arm across her weakened shoulders. Dragging him onto his feet was no use though, his body frozen in its attempt to heal itself.
“Keir, get up! We need to run,” she said. “Find somewhere to hide.”
“There is no hiding from the Hunt,” he said, power vibrating through his vocal chords.
Too much longer and he’d burn out. Wyn would be defenseless against the Hunt or the likes of the Shadow Court. A fact concerning enough to rip his mind from its search for answers hidden within and allow his magic sweet release. Arm still resting over her shoulder, he used his free arm to spin her body against his side before toppling them behind a charred tree trunk. Part of him wanted to fall asleep, the magic leaching from his system zapping his energy. She was so small, so perfectly fitted against his side, it was hard to fend off sleep’s silky grasp.
“We can’t stop.”
Wyn shoved at his chest half-heartedly, her arms pressed in tight to her body by the cage of his own. Above them, the drum of thousands of equine and lupine hooves and paws pounded through the air, creating small booms of sound. With each soldier who landed, the ground beneath them shook like a great earthquake rumbling through the center of the earth, churning up the land. Minutes passed before relative silence settled once more.
“Keir!” A guttural, barking sort of voice shouted at him.
He rested his forehead against Wyn’s, eyes shut, their noses brushing. Under other circumstances he would have relished their current position. Breathed deep a scent so intrinsically her, that were he blinded, he would still know her anywhere. She was the slight tang of metal, the crackling, smokey flames of a raging bonfire mixed with the tart burst of mandarin juice splashing on his tongue. But, there was no time to admire or luxuriate.
Keir puffed out the disheartened breath he held in a short sigh. Hope and luck were not words used when facing the Hunt. Both died quick deaths when his brethren came knocking. Rolling off her, he shoved to his feet and brushed the ash from his knees and hands while he continued to shield her from the men and women at his back.
Eons of loyalty were under fire. Long nights riding the skies of Faerie and Earth. Battles fought together to the bloody end. Missions run for whoever paid the highest and the resulting enjoyment of their spoils. All, he knew, would be tested in these next minutes.
Dread was a flash fire in his veins. Controlled his muscles to bring his hand to the hilt of his sword. Spread the bitter taste of death across his tongue.
“Majesty,” Keir said, turning to face Anam, the Erlking, commander of the Wild Hunt.
Whosoever defeated the Erlking in combat within the realm of Faerie, took control of the Hunt. A title not suited to many fae, Anam’s rule was ancient. And so was the power he funnelled to his soldiers, gifting them abilities far beyond the regular fae’s. Wyn’s slaughtering of Bakor was a feat unmatched by any other human in existence. This mysterious girl of his broken memories possessed a power of her own, one he’d not witnessed through the ages.
Towering height, broad shoulders, barrel chested and thick legged, the Erlking was an imposing figure missing one key feature. Carried beneath his right arm was his maggoty, red-rimmed and swollen-eyed, gnarl-haired head.
Wyn rose to her feet, hands pressed to his back as she peaked around, one word, a rushed whisper, fell from her lips, “Dullahan.”

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Sarah King.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!