#BookTour #BookAndWineLoversMarketing / #QandAs : Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven #BirthOfTheFae – Danielle M. Orsino

– ‘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 ‘Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven’ blogtour, organized by Book And Wine Lovers Marketing.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Danielle M Orsino, destined to be a writer from a young age, was working as a nurse and treating a patient who needed some distractions during long I.V. Treatment sessions. So, Orsino reached back to a forgotten skill, A childhood dream. Danielle had wanted to be a writer and so she decided to tell a story. Little did she know the seed would grow into a fantastically epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and rebirth — Birth of Fae: Locked Out of Heaven. Drawing from her passion for comic books, Cosplay and fantasy along with her expert martial arts expertise, Orsino brings forth an electric and hopeful debut.
Danielle is taking on her biggest challenge to date: taking the story born from the long treatment sessions with a patient into a fantasy book series-Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven. Expanding her love of writing, comics and exploring the world of fantasy novels, she delves into the realm of fairies and retells their origins from a completely new perspective. Orsino has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise science and is an LPN with a special interest in Lyme disease research. Orsino has been widely recognized from her influence and experience in martial arts realm, training for over 20 years and with over 500 tournament wins, and accumulating national and world titles. She has performed for former President of the United States Bill Clinton and has been featured on “Soap Talk, Fox Five news CBS, TLC and E! With this experience, she worked as a Fight Choreographer on ”Wonder Woman: Balance of Power” and has worked with the likes of martial arts legend Vincent Lyn and WWE marvel and action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nothing Danielle ever does is simple, look at what NY times Bestselling author Clete Barrett Smith has to say about her debut endeavor: “After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together… My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.

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Synopsis :

BirthoftheFae-frontRide on the backs of fire breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.
Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.
Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. It is a fantastic tale of good vs evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon riding Dark Fae warriors.

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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?
My name is Danielle M. Orsino, I am a competitive martial artist and Nurse. However, I have left that all behind to write the Birth of the Fae series. I have two rescue pups, Carlos , which anyone who has read Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven, may know him as “Los” the dragon. Penelope, my other little dog, the readers will meet later in the series as “Lady Penelope” , a member of the Aubane Faction. The Aubane are oversized white deer with gilded antlers but of course, Lady Penelope will have something extra special. I am not a “Classically trained writer” the entire process was a huge learning experience. Overall writing the book for all intensive purposes was joyful. It came from an organic place, inspired by a patient who had been undergoing long IV treatments and needed a distraction. The story was born from these sessions with him.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child the first book I was read to aloud and inturn learned to read on my own was “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss. The book which i fell in love with was the “Secret of Nihm” later on. However, the books which influenced me the most were comicbooks, Wonder Woman, X-men, those had a huge effect on me.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
That would be a toss up between Chris Claremont from the X-men series, he wrote some of the most legendary storylines-The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future past. He was with Marvel for over 15 years. He was integral for some of the most iconic mutant characters. The next would be Anne Rice, she has changed and evolved in her writing so much I would love to know her views on the industry.

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 would like to sit and speak with my own King Jarvok and talk about how he feels regarding his journey and if I am doing him justice. He is a complex character, not a hero but not a villain, I am sure he has opinions.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I make a playlist which mimics the emotional crescendo of the book that I listen to over and over as I write.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I always pull from real life, fantasy is just real life with magical dust sprinkled on it. The problems are the same just set in a fantasy world. Human issues and dynamics translate to gnomes or Fae it all in how you package it. I wrote what I know but with a magical feel. Who would have thought my nine pound yorkie would be a chameleon dragon but there he is.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I go with the flow, I handwrite the books and begin the real editing work when I sit at the computer to type it out that is the first real edit. When I handwrite it is just to get it out of my head, I build the skeleton first, the first edit on the computer places the organs and I go from there.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
A tip for a novice writer is keep writing, don’t stop. Who cares if it’s good or bad. You will improve with every stroke of the pen or key. Write what you know, relationships and human connection we all understand whether you set it in a sci-fi world or a magical realm it’s all the same. Unrequited love, someone searching for validation or a person on a quest for redemption we can all relate. Chose your setting and write.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I would love to do a Birth of the Fae graphic novel with Image comics and eventually a cartoon series.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
A teaser would be cheating! However what I can tell the readers is Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven will take them on a magical journey and ask them to question what would they do if they were abandoned by all they knew? How would they reinvent themselves. Would they become an antihero like King Jarvok or the quintessential Queen like Aurora ? Birth of the Fae will give them insight into that question and show them a new twist on the origin of the Fae, one we have never seen or heard before. Let’s see what happens when angels cannot go home and become our Fae!

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

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 #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Girl With Flaming Hair – Natalie Kleinman @NatKleinman @SapereBooks

– ‘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 on the ‘The Girl With Flaming Hair’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Natalie’s passion for reading became a compulsion to write when she attended a ten-week course in creative writing some sixteen or so years ago. She takes delight in creating short stories of which more than forty have been published, but it was her lifelong love of Regency romance that led her to turn from contemporary romantic fiction to try her hand at her favourite genre. Raised on a diet of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, she is never happier than when immersed in an age of etiquette and manners, fashion and intrigue, all combined into a romping good tale. She lives on the London/Kent border, close to the capital’s plethora of museums and galleries which she uses for research as well as pleasure. A perfect day though is when she heads out of town to enjoy lunch by a pub on the river, any river, in company with her husband and friends.
Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

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Synopsis :

Sophie is plagued by the shadows of the past…
Regency England
While driving his curricle, Rufus Solgrave, Earl of Luxton comes across Sophie Clifford lying unconscious in the road, having fallen from her horse.
Not too far from home, he takes her back to Ashby, his country seat, leaving her in the care of his mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Luxton, and his sister, Lydia. Under their kindly supervision, Sophie soon begins to recover.
Upon discovering that Sophie has never mixed with London society, Elizabeth invites her to accompany the family to town for Lydia’s come-out. Unhappy with her homelife and eager to sample the delights of the season, Sophie accepts.
However, her enjoyment is marred when talk of an old scandal surrounding her birth resurfaces. What’s more, her devious stepbrother, Francis Follet, has followed her to London, intent on making her his bride.
Sensing Sophie’s distress, Rufus steps in to protect her from Francis’s unwelcome advances.
And although neither Rufus nor Sophie are yet thinking of marriage, both soon begin to wonder whether their comfortable friendship could blossom into something warmer…
THE GIRL WITH FLAMING HAIR is a historical romantic tale set in Regency England, with a spirited and intelligent heroine at its heart.

Amazon

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’ve always been a reader but I definitely wasn’t one of those people who aspired to becoming a writer. It thrust itself upon me quite by accident when I joined a creative writing class. I could as easily have chosen Art Appreciation or French or any number of other things. It only took one lesson and I was hooked.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I ran the usual gamut of children’s books and suddenly, I have no idea why, The Prisoner of Zenda has popped into my mind. I haven’t thought about it for years! I must read it again. As an adult I went through a sci-fi phase and devoured a huge number of books. Asimov and Heinlein etc. I also loved (and still do) Agatha Christie. Oh, and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. A short period of some wonderfully written horror stories but I had to give up when they gave me nightmares. I can’t watch films in that genre either, for the same reason. But throughout my life since the age of eleven and I have read again and again Georgette Heyer’s historical romances. It’s my comfort reading, though ‘comfort’ isn’t to minimise how very clever she was, and it’s almost entirely due to her that I became the author of traditional Regency romantic novels. There is another who influenced me as well. Now what was her name? Ah yes, Jane Austen. 🙂 I just love the world in which one lived and both wrote.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen for their superlative writing.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Paddington Bear, because he could have all the marmalade sandwiches while I ate the egg mayonnaise and tomato. He’s honest, earnest, and I imagine a joy to be with.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Rituals, no. Habits, yes. I always get ‘jobs’ out of the way before I begin writing because I find it hard to focus when I know there are things that have to be done. And usually those jobs, the regular ones, are done in a particular order so maybe I was wrong to say no rituals 🙂

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
There are one or two people I would like to put in my books but I think they’re safe, for the time being at least. Plot ideas can come from a variety of sources. An old photo in particular can be the catalyst that fires up an idea. This works especially well for short stories. Visiting stately homes where the house itself becomes the setting for a new novel or a city where the architecture is predominantly Georgian, and then something jumps out and I ask myself ‘what if’. An old well in a garden centre was the inspiration for one of my as yet unpublished books. It grew from ‘what if’ into a whole book.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’ve always been a pantser though I’ve learned over time that a certain level of plotting can be helpful. I have to be careful though. I once plotted an entire novel which ended up forced and stilted. It’s still in the virtual drawer and there it will remain.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Writing is a craft and like any other it takes time to learn. The overnight successes one hears about are usually the result of years hard labour. There’s a lot of help out there. Don’t be afraid to ask. Attend what workshops and classes you can but you can’t do everything so choose wisely. Read. Above all, write something every single day. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised. Don’t be disheartened by rejections – difficult I know – but every writer get them. Even those overnight successes I mentioned above.

What are your future plans as an author?
My publishers, Sapere Books, have three more of my Regencies in the pipeline so I’m hoping for more of the same. Only this morning in the wee small hours I had an idea for another book and no, I have no idea what triggered it. One day though I’d like to write a cosy crime. I love reading them or watching them on TV so it’s something I’d really like to pursue. For the time being though I’m well and truly settled in the early nineteenth century.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
I’d be delighted. There’s a clue in the title – The Girl With Flaming Hair. When the past comes back to haunt her, Sophie Clifford learns that her whole life has been based on a lie. A lie that will affect her whole future.

“That man. The one who has just ridden by. I think I have not seen him before, but he seemed to acknowledge me as if we were acquainted. Pray, can you tell me who he is?”
Bridlington, whose gaze had been fixed on the tree, had not seen the rider. He looked over his shoulder to see who she was referring to. “Good Lord, is he back in town? I haven’t seen him for years. We should move on, Miss Clifford, for I do believe we are causing an obstruction,” he said, gripping her elbow and moving forward. She went willingly enough but repeated the question.
“Why, that’s Joseph Templeton,” he answered. “He’s been fixed abroad for an age. Frankly, I thought never to see him again.”
“He looked surprised when he saw me. I couldn’t help noticing. His hair, Lord Bridlington. Streaked with grey but nevertheless red. Very red. Like mine. I wondered if perhaps we might be connected in some way.”
Ollie was no coward but he didn’t think it fell to him to offer a full explanation, and certainly not in the middle of Hyde Park.

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

Thank you so much for the lovely welcome today. I’ve really enjoyed 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!

False Truth (Joe Wilde Investigation Book 1) #FalseTruth – C. D. Steele @BookGuild , an #Interview #QandA

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

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing my own interview with C. D. Steele, author of ‘False Truth’, to promote his book!
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

steele national prC. D. Steele works as an Executive Officer in the Civil Service. He has a degree in Recreation Management and lives in Bangor, County Down. This is his first novel.

Synopsis :

51-2twHmp6L._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…
Private Investigator and former MI6 agent Joe Wilde is hired by Sally Devlin to investigate her son’s disappearance. Liam Devlin was a rising football star. His car was found abandoned at Lea Bridge in Hackney, a known suicide spot, six weeks prior.
With help from friend and retired MI6 Data Technician Mark Thompson, Joe uncovers a huge secret in Liam’s life. Putting the pieces together, he starts to suspect that this case is far more complex than he originally envisioned. Falling ever-deeper into his own investigations, Joe meets with the detective in charge of the case, D. I. Carl Whatmore, who does not take kindly to Joe getting involved.
As Joe and D. I. Whatmore go head-to-head in their own investigations, more lives are put in danger. But who will crack the case? Only time will tell…

Amazon

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?
Hello, my first name is Christopher, I live in Bangor Northern Ireland and I work as an Executive Officer in the Civil Service.
When Northern Ireland first went into lockdown becuse of the Covid-19 pandemic at the end of March last year, for the next few months I only had to go into work every other week. This gave me alot more spare time at home, so with not being able to go out and do anything I decided to use this spare time to try and write my own mystery thriller novel. It took me two and half months to write and at the end I was quite pleased with what I had managed to come up with. I sent out my manuscript to half a dozen UK publishers who accept submissions from first time authors, more in hope than expectation and to my great surprise two got back to me offering me publishing deals. I chose what I considered was the best offer and that was with The Book Guild.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I wasn’t really much of a bookworm when I was a child, I did read a few of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven stories. The reading bug only took hold of me after reading Jeffery Deaver’s James Bond novel Carte Blance about ten years ago. I liked the way it brought Bond in to the 21st cetury, it had a terrific plot, brilliant description of the locations and the pacing was perfect.
As well as Jeffery Deaver other authors who’s novels I really enjoy include Jeffrey Archer, Paul Finch, R.D Wingfiled, James Henry, Brad Parks and Chris Brookmyre.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would have to be Jeffrey Archer, he is such a brilliant storyteller and his creating of memorable characters is in my opinion unparalleled.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would have to be James Bond. He is quite a complex character but is also suave, sophisticated, intellegent and just think of the stories he could tell! Although instead of having him round for tea, perhaps share a vodka martini instead ‘shaken not stirred’ obviously.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
None at all.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
A little bit from the internet, but mostly from what I dream up in my head. People in my life need not worry.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am very much a pantser. I think up a starting point and an end point but how I get from the start to the end is very much a case of making it up as I go along.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Having only one novel to my name I still consider myself very much a novice. False Truth was my very first attempt at writing a novel, I have never attended any creative writing courses. Based on my very limited experiience if I was going to offer one bit of advice it would be to trust your instincts, if you are a pantser like me your first idea will probably be your best.

What are your futureplans as an author?
My immediate plan is to write a trilogy of Joe Wilde mystery thrillers. I have already written the second one.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Well the private investigator Joe Wilde was formerly an MI6 agent and as I have mentioned a couple of times a particularly famous fictitious spy so perhaps it won’t come as too much of a surprise that False Truth is influenced slightly by the James Bond Novels. But don’t be mistaken, this isn’t my attempt at writing a Bond novel but with a different spy. I have tried to come up with something original and lets just say the footballer Liam Devlin’s disappearance is just the tip of the iceberg!

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

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 #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #QandAs : The Reckoning (The Unadjusteds Book 3) #TheReckoning #TheUnadjusteds – Marisa Noelle @MarisaNoelle77 #QuestionMarkPress @QuestionPress

– ‘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 on the ‘The Reckoning’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s 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 :

Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy & mental health including The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep.
She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels.
When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words.
Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children.

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Synopsis :

THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER.
A NEW NEMESIS HAS AWOKEN.
Sinister visions of an evil entity with looming yellow eyes haunt Silver’s dreams, threatening to destroy the new world she and her friends have created. The terrifying omens push Silver to experiment with her abilities, but awaken a burgeoning thirst for more power.
As Silver walks a fine line between good and evil, her friends become wary of her intimidating abilities. She finds understanding in a sympathetic newcomer, but their deepening friendship drives an even deeper wedge between Silver and her suspicious friends.
Tragedy strikes during preparations for the final stand, bringing a terrible choice. Grief drives Silver toward reckless actions that may doom the final battle. Can she repair the relationships with her friends and control her powers before her vision becomes reality?

Amazon UK
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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! 🙂
Yay! A pleasure!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I became an author by accident. I’ve always been a book worm and would read well into the early hours of the night as a teenager and beyond, but for some reason it never occured to me to try and get a career in that world. I was always very sciencey at school and tended to lean in that direction. But when I lost 2 friends to Meningitis in my first term of uni I developed an anxiety disorder. Writing poetry helped me deal with it and I became passionate about writing. I went away and did a few courses and found the more I learned and wrote, the more I loved it. So it’s part therpay, part passion and part obssession!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
When I was a child I quickly dived into the horror realm, I was about 10 when I started inhaling the Point Horror books and Christopher Pike. Living in California at the time, I also discovered an adult horror writer, Dean Koontz, who remains my favourite author today. I’ve learned so much about tension and pace from reading his books. Before that I adored all the Dr Suess books and love reading them to my kids today.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Again, Dean Koontz. It marvels me how I get get halfway through one of his books and nothing concrete has actually happened, and yet I’m on the edge of my seat. I’d love to sit by a fire with him and sip on a glass of wine and discuss books!
I also love a bit of Shakespeare. I do wonder if he intended people to be stufying his work 600 years after his death!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my book I would love to have Silver over. I’d want to see a demonstration of her amazing powers, but I’d also love to give her a hug and tell her everything is going to be ok.
For a character in another book, I’d love to interview Hannibal Lecter. I studied psychology at uni and I’ve always been fascinated by the criminal mind. Obvioulsy, I’d like to keep him behind the bars for that conversation!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I have a SAD light on my desk for the winter months and usually something nice-smelling in the diffuser to keep me focussed. I tend to work during the school day when the kids are out, but can find it hard to get going in the morning as I’m more of a night owl at heart. There will always be tea! Usually getting cold! And I swim at least three times a week. It really helps clear my head.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! All sorts of places, but most of the time I get hit by the central plot idea in dreams, or when I’m just musing. For The Unadjusteds trilogy, the idea came from my love and experience of science, the introduction of the first cloned sheep, and the idea of designer babies. Often ideas come to me in my dreams. My dreams are always running/chasing/fleeing type dreams so it feels good to put them to use, rather then them jsut scaring the crap out of me!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am 85% plotter. I like to really pick apart the plot, understand who my characters are (as much as possible) before I start writing. I tend to use a spreadsheet and will have a chapter by chapter plan and scene by scene outline within those chapters before I start. That outline will keep me on track and allows me to write high word counts per day. I allow room for things to change. As I get to know my characteers, sometimes they can veer off the outline and come up with their own ideas. I love it when that happens! And always give them a chance to take the reins.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Persevere! If you give up it will never happen! Find other authors in your genre and commiserate those rejections together. It makes it a hell of a lot less lonely. Also, understand the rules and how to break them. They change over time and can be confusing, so just be able to go with the flow!

What are your futureplans as an author?
Take over the world! Ha! I’ve got a lot more books to get out there. I’m currently on sub wiht a road trip MG with my agent and about to send out a YA cli-fi that I like to think of as Jaws meets the environment. I’ve also been getting together with authors from Question Mark Press where we plan to release a YA horror series in the style of Point horror. Exciting!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure! In book 3 we see a second POV in Eli, a character Silver rescued at the end of book 2…

Eli stares out the square cabin window while he waits for Silver. He taps an unusual rhythm against his tin coffee mug, which is complemented by an edgy wriggling of his toes. He goes through the events of yesterday, trying to keep all the lies straight in his head.
Okay, okay, maybe they aren’t all lies. He does have horrible headaches and he is experiencing crazy dreams and he does feel a level of urgency in them. It’s like one of those computer games where he has to complete each level in a certain time, those games he used to spend his pocket money on in the arcade strips when his mother allowed it. Well, he’s running out of time and he isn’t anywhere near the end of the level. He has Earl’s powers. And then some. He’s pretty sure he knows what most of them are, but a few remain a mystery.
He drinks coffee from the mug, not caring that it’s cold or that the caffeine will agitate his burgeoning anxiety. Yesterday he had the opportunity to tell Silver everything. But he didn’t. She said she’d be supportive if he possessed abilities, but Eli suspects if she was confronted with the truth she’d feel differently. He’s seen it happen before. Like the way people looked at Earl. Even Carmen, who could get any animal to do her bidding and was Earl’s oldest friend, was scared of him. Only too happy to run off to that town in Utah and get as far from the mountain as she could. Much to her detriment. Erica killed her, and Silver let it happen. Carmen was nice to him.
Putting the coffee cup and toothbrush down, he dips his head. He will never admit he carries all the powers of their defeated nemesis. People would exclude him. They would look at him in fear. They might drag him to the oak tree and hang him there for all to see. That will not be his future.

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

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 #PsstPromotions #LetsTalkPromos @PromotionsPsst @LetsTalkLTP / #QandAs : Agent Zero – Janet Walden-West @JanetWaldenWest

– ‘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 on the ‘Agent Zero’ blogtour, organized by Psst… Promotions & Let’s Talk Promos.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Janet Walden-West lives in the Southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print. A member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance, she is also a founding member of The Million Words craft blog. She pens inclusive Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy. As a two-time Pitch Wars alum turned Pitch Wars 2019 Mentor, Sherrilyn Kenyon scholarship recipient, and Golden Heart® finalist, she believes in paying it forward by supporting burgeoning Southern writers.
She is represented by Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency.
Find more about her at janetwaldenwest.weebly.com or on social media.

Synopsis :

Print Length: 282 pages
Publication date:
June 1, 2021
ASIN:
B094DNGK3X
ISBN:
1737219018
Language:
English

He owns the spotlight, she lives in the shadows.
VEE: My only purpose? Keep lethal cryptids in check, and our Company existence secret.
Sometimes a girl needs a night of karaoke and tequila though. Instead, after a vicious new cryptid species crashes the party, I end up saving and carting home a way arrogant, way hot chef. With Bruce Kantor now a temporary roommate it seems like the perfect time to indulge my forbidden civilian fascination—especially the friends-with-benefits part. But the feelings he ignites threaten my oath and mission.
BRUCE: Damn right I’m the bad boy of the culinary world.
I live for the limelight, and the legions of #BruceTheBastard fans love my temper as much as my food. After stomping out of one high-profile gig, all I’m looking for are directions to my next. What I get is a giant Komodo Dragon-wannabe, and Vee Ramirez, the most infuriatingly irresistible woman to ever hit my radar.
Even if we survive the relentless monster on my trail, our future is toast unless I can convince Vee there’s more to life than the Company.
Welcome to Region Two.

GoodReads

Amazon

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! 🙂
Stefanie, thank you for inviting me over!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I write Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal, Suspense and Contemporary Romance. Strong heroines and found families show up, no matter what genre I’ writing in. I owe the greater writing community and Pitch Wars for finding my voice as a writer.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was one of those horse and dog obsessed girls growing up, and inhaled stories like the Black Stallion series.I also found fantasy when I picked up a copy of The Prydian Chronicles and Jane Yolans Pit Dragon series.
I have added Science Fiction like Gideon the Ninth and Romance, but still have a ton of animal cozy mysteries on my eReader.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I have been really lucky in having multiple authors generously offer their time and teaching skills over the years.
Sitting down with Arthur Conan Doyle and hearing his process when coming up with intricate mysteries for Sherlock to solve would be amazing.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
My characters tend to be trouble makers, so maybe someone a little more civilized. Although Bruce, the hero of Agent Zero, is an excellent, if temperamental chef.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I need coffee and a laptop, and I’m good. Purely by chance, I do tend to end up with playlists for each story since I usually have Spotify playing in the background.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Although my sister is positive I use her, ideas and characters usually pop into my head, fully formed. I think all authors have some part of their lived experiences find its way into stories.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Hard core plotter. I learned that I need scenes laid out to glance at instead of wasting time on a plot or character that two chapters later, slowed the story pace, or acted out of character.
Both methods or a combo are all ,legitimate. The right way is the way that works for you.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I always suggest reading craft blogs, like KM Weilands and Fiction University. Then finding critique groups or partners you click with, and not shy away from critiques and revisions.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I just launched a new Urban Fantasy Romance June 1st, and have books two and three coming in August and October.

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

Chapter Two
Vee

Aside from using the wall for balance, he seemed fine. Adrenaline often masked pain though.
“Are you injured? Does anything hurt?” Despite knowing it hadn’t been a ghoul or vampire, I caught his thick right arm, rolling it to check the light skin for bites, then the same for his left. The tattoos I’d glimpsed when he walked into the bar like he owned it formed colorful sleeves, starting at his wrists and disappearing under his shirt. I caught his chin, his short blondish beard scratchy, and turned his head to check his throat.
He blinked and some of the intensity and intelligence I’d seen while he watched us sing eclipsed his bleary-eyed stupor. He hadn’t seemed drunk earlier, but he definitely was now.
“What?”
“Are you hurt?” He let me turn his head from side to side, the skin unblemished except for a hint of green ink curling up at the neck of his tee. I ran my hands down his sides, then knelt and repeated the search along his legs.
“No.”
“No, you’re not hurt?”
“Right. Quit.”
“I’m sorry, but I need to confirm. There. All done.” I rose and faced him. “All good except for the drunk off your butt part.”
He scowled and straightened, the strong jaw I’d felt under the facial hair setting into a stubborn line. “I’m not drunk.” His tone was fierce and for a moment, his words sharp and clear.
“Then what did you take? How long ago was it?” Crap. If he’d taken something after he came out here, it worked fast, meaning the drug was possibly as dangerous as the escaped cryptid. I caught his wrist again, pressing two fingers against the underside and monitoring his pulse.
“I’m not high and I sure as hell don’t abuse drugs,” he snapped, his frown lopsided. “Something must have been slipped into my drink.”
Maybe, maybe not, but his pulse was strong and only as elevated as confronting a large predator would account for. “Any friends inside waiting for you?”
“No. Told that shithead Lewis to piss off.” His gaze lost focus.
“Sounds like you’ve had an eventful day—ahh, here we go.” I opened the wallet I’d palmed during his exam. “Mister Kantor.”
“How’d—”
I flipped through the rest of its contents. The Colorado address on his license didn’t help me out, nor was there a keycard to a local hotel inside. His phone was equally unhelpful, password protected, and the code wasn’t 1234. Kimi, my other sister and teammate, could crack it in under sixty seconds, but since she was occupied searching for our mystery cryptid, I was on my own.
“Hey! Put that fucking back.”
I complied, tucking it into his pocket, but kept the key fob I discovered. “I hope this serves as a life lesson about not getting wasted and following sketchy women into alleys to make out.” I glossed over the part about it not being a woman he’d followed.
“I wasn’t fucking following her, damn it. And I told you I’m not drunk.”

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

Giveaway :

$5 Amazon Gift Card and An e-Copy of Agent Zero by Janet Walden-West

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

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!

The Wild Expanse: The Wild Isles #TheWildExpanse – J. Mills @AuthorJMills , an #Interview #QandA

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

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing my own interview with J. Mills, author of ‘The Wild Expanse’, to promote his book!
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

J. Mills is the author of The Wild Expanse. A stay-at-homedad by day, novelist by night, he studied business administration at Columbia Southern University and Intelligence Operations Studies at Cochise College. He is a disabled combatveteran who served 13 years in the United States Army as a Multiple Launch Rocket Systems crewmember and a Human Intelligence Collector where he has several published intelligence reports throughout the Intel Community. A Chicago native, he is a lover of coffee, naps, the Blackhawks, and an advocate for children with special needs, currently residing in South Carolina. He loves spending time with his wife and children.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
GoodReads

Synopsis :

Josef was a Soldier with unwavering moral character who lived his life as a citizen patriot of the Roman Empire –
Until one day all he had ever known was torn away by the hands of an unrelenting Sea.
Ripped from the world he knew only to be left stranded on the shores of a Land veiled in mystery, and magic; filled with unimaginable adventure.

Amazon

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 am a 36-year-old happily married father of four. I am disabled combat veteran with just shy of 14 years active federal service. While serving I was a multiple launch rocket systems crewmember for the start but then later changed my MOS to Human Intelligence Collector (Interrogator).
I started writing poetry and short stories early on when I was in 4th and 5th grade. Much of my writing was influenced by Tolkien, Dungeons and Dragons, and the Beatles. My passion when I was younger was always music.
After I was medically discharged from the Army I began going through my bucket list. Number 184 was “write a book” and number 185 was “become a published author.” Both of these things were marked off my bucket list early in 2020 with my debut novel, “The Wild Expanse.”

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Growing up I read a lot of books on different cultures and civilizations. When I was in 3rd grade I was introduced to “The Boxcar Children” which I loved. My greatest love for books came when I was introduced to Tolkien’s “The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings “ books. I read them at least five times over the span of one summer.
Now I tend to surround myself with other works by Tolkien, as well as R.A. Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, Johnstone, or Louis L’Amour.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d loved to sit and play a game of Dungeons and Dragons with Rothfuss and Salvatore just to have the opportunity to pick their brains a bit!

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’ve secretly always wanted to celebrate a very merry birthday with the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have the terrible habit of doing much of my research and writing from my phone. I typically always pair that with a cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull. My children are always up and on me, being a stay at home dad, so I have to work around their schedule all of the time.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Many of my ideas are the manifestations of past D&D games, or have been influenced by video games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Admittedly, in my current work in progress every character is based on a real person or event from in and around Central Europe circa 1453. No one has anything to worry about…yet.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am 100% a Pantser. I have tried on so many occasions to plot and plan out my stories with timelines and other tools to help better prepare, but I always find myself losing interest until I have a random thought. With those random thoughts I enjoy writing them down and surprising myself with where they take me.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
People need to put pen to paper and write. Write everything down that comes to mind at any time. Every thought not written down is a possible story someone will never get to read. Also, always have fun! Writing should never be a chore!

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m medically retired and write for fun. My plans are to sit back and share with the world my crazy little stories before I’m no longer capable of sharing anything at all. I love the thought of my children someday picking up one of my stories and inspiring them well enough to make the world a little bit better, and a whole lot more fun.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
The Wild Expanse is a culmination of my love for Ancient Roman history and the excitement that comes from world-building a D&D game. The characters are loosely based on myself and other influencers from my life.
“Josef was a Soldier with unwavering moral character who lived his life as a citizen patriot of the Roman Empire –
Until one day all he had ever known was torn away by the hands of an unrelenting Sea.
Ripped from the world he knew only to be left stranded on the shores of a Land veiled in mystery, and magic; filled with unimaginable adventure. “

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

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 / #QandAs : The Lost Soul (The Hoarding Book 2) #TheLostSoul – Patrick Johns @patjohnswrites

– ‘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 on the ‘The Lost Soul’ blogtour, organized by Patrick Johns.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Born and raised in Ramsey, New Jersey, Patrick Johns attended university at Virginia Tech, obtaining an engineering and mathematics degree. Go Hokies! However, writing is Patrick’s true passion. After writing his first novel, Junkland, the first book in The Hoarding series, Patrick left his engineering job to teach English overseas. Patrick currently lives in Spain. When he’s not writing, managing his literary magazine, The Kraken’s Spire, and teaching English, he’s surfing, hiking, or traveling.

Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Synopsis :

Jahrys Grent, now King of Astenpoole, is faced with restoring Astenpoole and cleaning up the Junkland. While King Jahrys reshapes the kingdom, dealing with lords and knights, word of another sorceress, Emilia Danell, reaches Astenpoole. Preparing for another fight, Jahrys worries that Emilia comes for the same reason as the previous sorceress, Nadia Danell.
Once Emilia reaches Astenpoole, Jahrys quickly realizes things are not as they seem. With nightmares plaguing him, and a power he doesn’t understand, The Lost Soul takes Jahrys on a quest beyond the Western Mountains and into his destiny.

Amazon

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?
Hello! I’m Patrick. I grew up in Ramsey, New Jersey, and I studied industrial and systems engineering and mathematics at Virginia Tech. After university, I worked for three years as a systems engineer at a large engineering firm just outside of Washington D.C. I knew this job wasn’t where my heart truly lied, so I entered my quarter life crisis, where I spent my time in anxiety, stress, and doing way too much thinking. I was surrounded by a culture that told me I had to stay in this engineering job because a job is a job and it’s not supposed to be enjoyable, only to pay the bills. I began to question this and ask myself, well, why can’t I find a job that I enjoy doing? But the big question was, what could I do?
I began to recall all the times I rode my bike to the bookstore just to be surrounded by books. All the short stories my teachers made me write in elementary school. All the song lyrics and poems I wrote as a teenager. All the books I read in my room and at the beach. And even the creative writing class I took in university just for fun. After nearly half a year of thinking of these past memories, it all came together for me at twenty-five years old: I didn’t want to solve problems in the real world, I wanted to solve problems in the worlds that I create. I wanted to be a writer.
But I was hit with the hardest question of all: What do I write about?
In January 2016, I went to see Aladdin on Broadway. Aladdin is my all time favorite Disney movie. But I felt different this time watching Aladdin on stage. I laughed. I smiled. I cried. I had chills running down my spine. I felt…inspired. I could really relate with Aladdin this time because he was also struggling with his current situation, and he wanted to make a positive change in life. After the play, I knew what I needed to write: a story just as powerful as Aladdin that would make my readers feel inspired to make a positive change.
I returned to Washington D.C. with this new inspriation flowing through me. I was walking through a stairwell, one I walked up and down many times, when the familiar emergency light on the second floor caught my eye. This time, I saw the emergency light differently. It had a little square body and two, round lightbulb eyes; it looked like a Disney character. I did what any normal person would do and took a picture of it. I found a desk and analyzed the photo. I first thought, what kind of setting could I see this character in? I instantly thought a junk land type of setting like the world Wall-e lived in. I then whipped out the Notes app on my phone and began to write an outline. The outline was barely a page long when I finished, but it had a beginning, a fuzzy middle, and an end. Once I saw my end I didn’t hesitate to begin writing.
Soon, something that was planned to be thirty pages turned into fifty pages. Fifty pages turned into seventy. Seventy pages turned into a hundred. A hundred pages turned into two hundred. Next thing I know I’m tubing down a river, thinking of my story, when an idea of a book series pops in my head. I had to rush to shore to write it all down. And that’s how The Hoarding series was born.
I made it my goal to finish Junkland, the first book in The Hoarding series, and then leave my engineering job. So once I published Junkland, I said goodbye to my life in Washington D.C. and moved to Spain to teach English and pursue writing.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
When I was really young I would always love getting lost in another adventure with Jack and Annie in The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. Like Jack and Annie, I also had a wild imagination growing up as I always pretended I was on my own adventures as a dinosaur hunter, fighting with lightsabers, and even taking my basketball team to the championship numerous times.
I also loved the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. This series introduced me to medieval fantasy. I loved how light and playful the books could be, singing over a feast with a bunch of talking animals, but also how dark the story could get with betrayals and twists planted in each book. I always wanted to embark on my own quest in Mossflower Wood.
When I got a bit older I fell in love with the Harry Potter series. I’ve read this series three times. Each time I read the series through, I pick up on new things. Part of it is because I can relate to the story and characters in a different way as I get older, and also because the way I read stories now has changed ever since I’ve written my own books. I loved this series so much that I even read it in Spanish. If you had to ask which book is my favorite, I would choose The Order of the Pheonix.
Now, I love reading fantasy like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I love how realistic he made his world as if it could really exist in the history books. And I also like how he introduces fantasy elements into the story, like magic and dragons and monsters, making it scary as you progress in the story because it slowly creeps away from that normal world you thought you knew to a world filled with the unknown. I’m just hoping he will finish the series. I’ve been waiting for The Winds of Winter for far too long.
Talking about waiting for books to come out…I’m also waiting for the third book of The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. While waiting for both of these books to come out, I’m chugging along with The Wheel of Time series. I’m currently on book six out of fourteen and plan to be done within the next decade. I am looking forward to the Amazon adaption of this book series! I’m hoping they do just as good of a job as HBO did with Game of Thrones (except for the ending which was probably the worst ending in television history. I couldn’t sleep after the series finale).
Eventually I would like to start reading books by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve heard great things about the Mistborn series.
On the side, I like reading mystery books. Esepcially books like Gone Girl, A Girl on a Train, The Woman in Cabin 10, all those mystery books about an alcoholic woman with problems.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to sit down and have a conversation with George R.R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire. I would first want to ask him how much of the story he had planned before starting the first book. A single sentence in a one of his books can foreshadow something that happens two books later. And that’s mindblowing for me. In The Hoarding series, I also like foreshadowing things that will happen later on in my books, but I find it difficult at times especially when the books don’t exist yet. And sometimes I find it hard to imagine that George R.R. Martin also knew exactly how the story would turn out in each book.
I would also like to ask George R.R. Martin how he wrote such real and relatable characters. I did watch one of his interviews where he said it usually took him two weeks to think of Tyrion’s witty jokes. He even admitted he wished he could be as funny as Tyrion. I also wonder how he kept track of all of his characters while writing the series. It must have given him a headache. I watched one interview that said he had a super fan that he would call up when he had questions on his own story about how certain characters were related to other characters, and the super fan would help him. That’s my goal, to obtain a super fan.
I have to pick another author for this next question because George R.R. Martin doesn’t qualify. I would like to ask J.K. Rowling how she wrote books so fast. The Harry Potter books get lengthy in page count, but she still knocked out books every one to two years. It would be nice to know her writing process of how much she knew of the series before starting the first book, how much she outlined for each book before beginning to write, and how often she would write a day. I would also like to know how many drafts she had to go through for each book.
Junkland only took me a year and a half to write. I thought that was a perfect amount of time. But The Lost Soul took me nearly three and a half years from start to finish, but this was mainly because I moved to a foreign country, which, believe it or not, delayed my writing a bit. I’m hoping that the third book in The Hoarding series doesn’t take three and a half years to write.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books, I would like to invite Frayel Aberin for a tea. He’s a very minor character in Junkland, the first book in The Hoarding series. Frayel is a family friend of the protagonist’s father. Even though he’s a minor character, I had so much fun writing him. He’s just a jolly guy, and I feel like he would be fun to spend the afternoon with. He’s the kind of guy at a family party who is always asking if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, always trying to give advice from his personal experience, and just brightening the mood of the room.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I drink a lot of tea. I’m currently drinking a piña colada green tea as I write this very sentence. I write when my mug is filled. I stop writing when my mug is empty. Then I get up and refill some more.
Also, when I need some writing inspiration, I’ll play music that inspires me. When I wrote Junkland, I would listen to Disney playlists, as the story was highly influenced off of Disney movies. The anthem for the first book in The Hoarding series was “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. My inspiration shifted when I wrote The Lost Soul, the second book in The Hoarding series, however. My playlist for writing this book turned into songs from The Greatest Showman, one of my favorite movies.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I wouldn’t say my stories are directly related to real life events, more indirectly. This makes sense as I never experienced invaders coming down from the mountains with laser-like guns, sucking up everything and turning my home into a junk land (knock on wood). But I will say my work is highly influenced off of the energy I get from real life events. For example, the motivation of writing Junkland came from a break up and working at a job that I didn’t like. If I didn’t go through both of these events, I am convinced I wouldn’t have gotten the push I needed to start writing a book. You can see these feelings being portrayed in Junkland as the main character, Jahrys Grent, has bad luck with girls, but ends up falling in love with someone. He also hates working for his father and dreams of a better life of becoming a knight.
I wrote most of The Lost Soul after I left my engineering job and moved to Spain to teach English and pursue writing. Moving to Spain has been the best decision of my life, but also the most difficult. It is said that when you move abroad, you really discover who you are because you are now able to see your past life with a different set of eyes and begin reflecting on it. When I worked for that large engineering firm, I dreamed of a better life, just like Jahrys did. Now that I received that better life, I’m going through a period of discovering who I truly am and what I truly want in this world. And this reflects through Jahrys in The Lost Soul as he also finally obtained the life he dreamed of, which pushes him to discover that maybe it’s not exactly what he wanted, instead, he wants to discover who he truly is and what his purpose is.
I do think some people have to be worried, as I try to write most of my characters based on people I encounter in every day life. It’s like what they say about your dreams: you can’t dream about someone you’ve never met before in real life. But sometimes these people in your dreams are combinations of people you’ve met. And that happens in my writing, too, when I create characters: they end up being a mixture of qualities, personalities, and traits from multiple people I know.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’d say I’m a mixture of the two. I like to know my major plot points, but I also like to go with the flow. I think it’s hard to discover most of the story without diving into it. The story kind of unravels as you move along. I also think it’s important to see your beginning and see your end. If you don’t see your end, how do you know what you’re working toward? And once I see a clear beginning, middle, and end, I will go back and develop the story more revolving around these major plot points, which become more clear through the second draft and third draft and so on. If I know I need to go back and fix something, I usually label it with a comment and keep pushing forward. I don’t go back and fix things until I have arrived at the end of that current draft.
When I wrote Junkland I only outlined a few short lines of phone notes before diving into the story. I had my beginning, my fuzzy middle, and my end. The end product was something way beyond what I had originally imagined. I didn’t even think I would publish Junkland. I thought it was going to be a thirty page story.
I mapped out The Lost Soul more than Junkland. But a lot of what I had originally otulined had changed completely when I finished my first draft and progressed through my second, third, fourth, and fifth draft. So I do truly believe a lot of the story can only be discovered when you begin writing.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
My biggest piece of advice is to write from start to finish. I had a friend who was a better writer than myself. He would always show me beautifully written paragraphs to the great story idea he was writing. But there was a huge difference between me and him: I finished a book and he didn’t. And it’s because he never saw his end. In fact, he never even saw the end of his first chapter. And that’s a problem.
Many writers get frustrated because they go back and read their writing and see how bad it is. Well, yes, it makes sense the writing is bad as it’s your very first draft. J.K. Rowling rewrote the first Harry Potter book five times. No one will ever see that first draft. So when you start writing your book, write with the door closed as if no one is hunching over your shoulder, judging every word you type. Write with a free mind. If things don’t make sense, that’s okay! Keep pushing forward until the end because you NEED to see the end. Once you do, your story will become more clear.
As I advance through a draft, I always add notes to remind myself of things I need to change later on. I add the note and keep typing away until I hit my end of that current draft. Then I go back and read my notes and start writing the next draft to fix everything. I then add more comments of things I need to fix again, and so on. I know I’m finished with my book when I have no more comments to address.
Just remember: You can always go back an edit what you wrote, but you can’t edit blank pages.

What are your future plans as an author?
This summer I will return to New Jersey to reconnect with my Jersey roots. I want to begin outlining The Palms of Light, the third book in The Hoarding series so I can participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this November where participants have to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It’s a good way to get the motivation to crank out a good portion of a story.
I also want to begin to publish poetry. This year I will be releasing Stages of a Scattered Mess, the first book in A Poetry Collection of Growing Up. This poetry series will include all of the poems I had written in the past twelve years of my life, focusing on the themes of love, breakups, moving on, and change.
My future plans consist of me living on the beach, writing in my office with a beach view, and then enjoying my free time with a sunset surf.

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

THEY WERE LOST.
They had discovered footprints in the snow—human footprints. To think that there were other people in the Western Mountains was an incredible thought for Gabe Glumbermann. The footprints had vanished, however, when the snowstorm picked up. The snow was falling at a frightening rate; it was too thick to see anything—an endless white. Even the light on their helmets didn’t help their visibility. As the early evening sun disappeared into the thickening gray, Gabe knew they had to find shelter quickly.
They got lucky when Kat had found a crevice they could spend the night in to hide from the storm. They would continue the trail in the morning. Gabe was thrilled to have shelter, but he was afraid that in the morning, the trail of the footprints would be lost.
Gabe stacked rocks he’d found against the farthest wall of the crevice to build a fire. He used the light from his helmet to guide him. With his one hand, Gabe piled them onto the crusted ground, making a circle. This was all he was good for these days: fire maker. Ever since his left hand had been blown away by a Captor blast, people treated him like a cripple, even his closest friends.
Innkeeper Willem, the owner of The Arcalane, had done a good job patching his hand up. It was the last thing Willem had done for him before The Arcalane had been attacked by the Hoarders the night of the Coming of Zalus—when the single full moon of the year appeared in the sky. This once wonderful festival would forever be a painful memory for Gabe. So many of his friends were now dead, including Willem, who had sacrificed his life for the Retrievers to escape.
Gabe still didn’t know how the Hoarders had found The Arcalane. It had been well hidden. Someone must have spoken of our location, Gabe thought as he stacked another rock.
“That fire ready yet, boy?” Landerin Raneir, the former Captain of the Poolesguard, asked. Old Lan was standing at the edge of the crevice, looking out into the whiteness beyond. He was drinking from a waterskin. His suit was glowing blue, like all their suits did, but his helmet was resting on the ground next to him. Everyone else in the crevice had theirs on.
Old Lan reeked of alcohol. Yet, Gabe couldn’t figure out how that waterskin could still be filled with that stuff after weeks of traveling over the Western Mountains.
“Almost. Just waiting for Felix to get back with the firewood,” Gabe said. Gabe couldn’t wait for Felix to return. Perhaps he’ll play ‘Drunken Day at The Arcalane’ tonight. Oh, I love that song! Felix’s singing was the only thing getting him through their journey over the Western Mountains. The song always reminded him of home, and of his friends…All the good times in The Arcalane before the Hoarding.
“The quicker we get that fire ready, the quicker we’ll be able to eat,” Old Lan yelled, tossing the now frozen rabbits they had captured to Gabe.
Gabe grabbed the rabbits as they hit the ground. He always hated when the man was drunk.
“Did you get the Captors charged yet, Rallick?” Old Lan asked, each word slurred and demanding.
“Yes. Taygar and I just finished,” Rallick Henner said, sitting next to Taygar. They were carving sticks to use to cook the rabbits with.
“Where’s Stade?” Old Lan asked.
“He went with that serenader,” Rallick said, gritting his teeth as he ran the knife down the stick.
“Hargh!” Taygar Flebb grunted loudly.
“Quiet down, tubby,” Old Lan snapped at Taygar. “Or else those wolves will add to that missing tongue of yours. We don’t want those beasts tracking us down. They’ve been getting closer every night. Nobody leaves this crevice without asking me first. Is that clear?” Old Lan scanned the crevice, catching everyone’s eye.
“Yes, sir,” they all said.
“When this storm clears, we should turn back,” Ebanie Ivoria said. She was huddled against the crevice wall, clutching Miller, Jahrys’s old pet chicken, close to her chest. She was rocking back and forth. “We have to turn back! There are probably still other survivors from The Arcalane. From the castle!”
“By Zalus, will someone shut her up? She’s been saying the same damn thing for weeks now. My ears can’t take no more,” Old Lan snapped. “Do you want to be eaten by those wolves?” Old Lan pointed a finger into the white abyss beyond the crevice. “Jahrys is probably dead, along with the rest of them, anyway.”
Ebanie shot to her feet, a menacing look on her face. “You don’t know that!” she shouted, voice bouncing off the crevice walls. “Don’t fill my ears with your drunken words! I will not take it!” She was clutching Miller so tightly now that the chicken’s eyes looked like they were about to bulge out of his tiny head.
Old Lan said nothing, only took another sip from his waterskin.
Kat placed a hand on Ebanie to calm her down, bringing the still huffing girl back to her seat against the crevice wall.
“Why do you always have to be so rude?” Kat Laver asked, shooting Old Lan a dirty look.
Old Lan offered a noncommittal grunt, his shoulders rising in a feeble shrug.
“I think Ebanie’s talking the most sense out of anyone,” Tarl Frast said. Tarl had been going through their supplies before Ebanie jumped up. “We should go back. We can’t last much longer out here with these storms and those wolves following us.”
“Back?” Old Lan snorted. “Back where? There’s no home, you fool.” Old Lan took a long swig from his waterskin.
“We can leave in the morning,” Kat suggested, ignoring Old Lan.
“Did you not hear me?” Old Lan spat, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “There’s no home!” Old Lan screamed, ignoring his own warnings about being quiet because of the wolves. He took another swig from his waterskin and spun away from them. He had turned so fast he almost stumbled over his feet.
Ebanie’s right. He is a drunken fool, Gabe thought, as he returned to his rocks. He’s been drunk ever since we left Palor.
“How can you be so sure?” Tarl asked Old Lan.
Quiet, Tarl! It’s useless trying to reason with this man, thought Gabe, awaiting Old Lan’s reply.
Old Lan was getting frustrated. “I’m sure.”
“You’re just upset because you were left on the wrong side of the wall,” Kat spat.
Gabe gulped, sliding his eyes away from his rocks to see Old Lan’s reaction. However, the former Captain of the Poolesguard kept his back to them.
“You have no home because your home abandoned you,” Kat continued relentlessly. “King Leoné gave up on you, tossed you away like you were nothing. Just like he did with all of us! You have nothing. You are just running away from your problems. You’re a coward! And we all know that isn’t water you’re drinking!”
“Kat, quiet!” Gabe hissed at her.
Everyone looked at Old Lan, waiting for his reaction. But Old Lan simply took another drink from his waterskin and continued to stare at the white abyss.
After a long silence, Old Lan said, “You’re right. King Leoné stripped my role of Captain of the Poolesguard because of that Sir Piller Lorne. After all my years of service…Pah! And you know how they repaid me?
“King Leoné made me a gate guard…A gate guard! And when our home was invaded by those Hoarders, King Leoné ordered Sir Piller to shut the gates, trapping me outside when I was trying to prevent any more people from entering the castle. He knew what he was doing. He thought trapping me on the other side of the wall would solve all his problems. But he was wrong. They will not survive long without us retrieving things for them. They are stuck! They’ll either have to open those gates and fight, or starve to death. Either way—” Old Lan tilted his head back and took a long drink from his waterskin, “They’re all dead.”
Ebanie moaned against the wall.
“It’s okay,” Kat said, comforting her.
“Yes, dead!” Old Lan said without any remorse. “And don’t forget you’re all part of that awful kingdom. King Leoné abandoned you all! Leaving your home to be destroyed by the Hoarders, watching it become the Junkland. Last time I checked, Palor was part of Astenpoole and the Four Cities. So, yes, your home’s gone, too. If you all want to go back to that damned place you can do so in the morning. I’m carrying on, however. To better things. To a better life. And let me remind you, you all would be dead now if not for me.”
Everyone was silent. They all knew it was true; he was right after all. Old Lan had been the one to rescue them from The Arcalane after Willem had sacrificed himself. Old Lan had been the one to take them far from The Arcalane, over the mountains, far away from Astenpoole and the Four Cities. Far away from everything they had ever known.
They had encountered land Gabe had never seen before, like snow, thick shrubbery, and a sea of rocks and pebbles. Food was scarce here. And fights broke out among the group nearly every day. Gabe had thought the Junkland had been bad, but the Western Mountains…They were far worse. He now knew why the old kings used banishment over the Western Mountains as punishment: it was suicide.
Gabe couldn’t stay silent anymore. “We’re lost. You may have saved us, but you led us here and you don’t even know where we’re going, do ya? This snowstorm will erase those tracks as if they had never existed. There will be nothing to follow come morning.”
Old Lan took another swig from his waterskin. “You worry about getting that fire ready for when Felix and Stade return, and I’ll worry about where we’re going. Those tracks were fresh. The makers can’t be far off.”
Gabe let out a sigh and continued stacking rocks.
Everyone was silent after that.
“BUCUUUUUUCK!”
Miller hopped over to Gabe and began to peck at the stones Gabe had placed down.
“What are you doing, Miller?” Gabe asked Jahrys’s chicken. “Go keep Ebanie company. She needs you.”
Miller cocked his head to one side and blinked before wobbling back to Kat and Ebanie. Ebanie opened her arms so Miller could jump back into them. She kissed Miller’s forehead and held him close to her chest.
“What are we going to do for food?” Rallick asked from the other side of the crevice. “I’m starving!”
“Hargh!” Taygar agreed.
“We have rabbits,” Old Lan said.
“Again?” Rallick moaned, rolling his eyes. “What about the chicken?” He pointed at Miller.
Miller poked his head out from under Ebanie’s arm.
“We can cook him once Stade and Felix get back with the firewood,” Rallick suggested. “It won’t be a lot of meat, but at least it will be better than having rabbit again.”
“No!” Ebanie yelled. “Jahrys’s chicken is not for eating.”
“We’re going to have to eat him eventually! Would you rather starve to death?”
“Yes, I would!”
Rallick stood up in anger and marched over to Ebanie. He grabbed Miller by the back of the neck and lifted him up.
Miller was squawking and his legs were skittering frantically in the air.
“Put him down!” Kat yelled, standing up to confront Rallick.
“This isn’t funny, Rallick,” Tarl said.
“Hargh! Hargh! Hargh!” Taygar was wobbling nervously next to Rallick.
Ebanie’s face looked as if it were about to explode.
“SILENCE!” Old Lan’s voice shook the crevice. “No one’s eating that damn bird. Put him down…Now!”
Rallick listened, dropping Miller to the ground.
Miller jumped up and wobbled back to Ebanie. She bent down to scoop him up.
“Everyone will wait in silence until Felix and Stade get back with the firewood,” Old Lan ordered. “Anymore shouting, screaming, squawking, and I’ll tie you up and leave you to the wolves.” Old Lan turned away from them and muttered, “Why didn’t I just save myself?”
They all waited for Felix and Stade to return.
Gabe continued to stack more rocks while he began to mutter, “Cheers, cheers to all the girls in here. We toast to you with all our beer…”
The wind was howling outside the crevice.
As Gabe continued to sing under his breath, the light on his helmet began to flicker. Gabe tapped the light with his finger. The light stayed lit for a few seconds, but then began to flicker again. All the helmets were acting the same way. The whole crevice kept flashing back and forth from light to darkness.
“What’s happening?” Gabe asked.
Miller’s head was spinning around, his eyes looked confused from the flashing lights.
“I don’t know,” Kat said.
“Quiet,” Old Lan commanded. It was the most serious Gabe had heard him speak that night.
Everyone’s attention turned to the white storm outside the crevice. The snow was falling even harder now. Mixed into the whistling wind were shouts, but they sounded distant and were easily swallowed by the wind.
Old Lan stood with a straight back, concentration on his face.
“Run!” a voice echoed through the high winds. “RUN!”
Through the heavy snow, Gabe made out the flickering lights of a blue suit.
“Felix? Felix, is that you?” Old Lan shouted through the wind. “What happened?”
“GET OUT OF THERE!” Felix’s voice whistled back.
“Where’s Stade?” Rallick asked in concern.
“Hargh?” Taygar asked.
“Shut up!” Old Lan snapped. “Everyone grab your things. Hurry!”
Everyone scattered in the crevice, grabbing the charged Captors and their bags. Gabe piled the rabbits into his bag with his only hand. Kat insisted on helping him. Ebanie helped Tarl with all their supplies. Once finished, Ebanie grabbed Miller.
“Run!” Felix repeated. “They’re—”
Felix’s missing words made Gabe lift his head. A dark shadow, illuminated by Felix’s blue suit, shot across the snow, colliding into the serenader. There was a loud pop when the extendable tube on Felix’s suit was torn apart. Screams echoed with the sounds of snarling, tearing, and ripping.
And then silence.
“Felix?” Old Lan shouted, as he took a step out into the storm. He had exchanged his waterskin for a Captor, and he had put on his helmet.
A blue cloud had filled the area Felix had been, but as the cloud faded, Felix was nowhere to be seen. Old Lan raised his Captor. He pointed it left and right, trying to find the shadow that had attacked Felix.
Gabe and the others also raised their Captors. Their suits continued to flicker.
“What was that?” Tarl asked in alarm.
“I don’t know,” Gabe replied.
“Wolves?” Kat asked.
“Where’s Stade?” Rallick asked again.
“Hargh!” Taygar was shaking as he grunted.
“Look!” Ebanie pointed her finger toward the tree line.
More shadows had appeared.
“Wolves,” Old Lan muttered almost to himself. He then turned to everyone in the crevice. “Out the side and into the forest. Hurry now!”
“What about Felix and Stade?” Ebanie asked.
“They’re gone.”
“No!” Rallick moaned. “They can’t be gone. Stade was just out getting firewood!”
Old Lan placed a hand on Rallick’s shoulder. “The wolves got him. Make for the forest. Go!” Old Lan shoved Rallick out of the crevice and ran out after him.
Gabe was the last out of the crevice. He ran as fast as he could to the edge of the forest. Before he entered, Gabe took a glance behind him and caught a glimpse of the shadows closing in on them.
Gabe gulped, picking up his pace as he entered the forest. It was hard to run in the thick layer of fresh snow. Plus, he had never been a strong runner.
The wolves behind kept him moving.
Branches whipped against Gabe’s helmet as he zigzagged through the trees, heart pounding. His legs felt like they were going to collapse. He could barely see anything in front of him because the snow was so thick. The wind howled in his face, and the wolves howled behind him.
The shouts from his friends up ahead were distant now. He could no longer make out Tarl’s shape running through the trees.
Suddenly, Gabe burst from the forest into a clearing. When he reached the center, he stopped. His head spun in a circle, searching. Searching for any sign of his friends. He only saw the line of the forest all around him. He didn’t know which direction his friends had gone.
“Tarl? Kat? EBANIE?” Gabe shouted against the wind. “RALLICK? TAYGAR? Miller?” With each name, his voice shrank.
A sudden flash of movement made him spin around. Then, a snap of a branch came from his left. The growling and howling grew around him, and with it, Gabe’s heartbeat.
In the shadows of the trees, just ahead of Gabe, a pair of blue eyes appeared. And then another. And another. Soon, dozens of blue eyes stared at Gabe.
The snow crunched in front of him. A wolf had stepped out of the shadows into the clearing.
Gabe gulped. “Stay back!” he warned.
A growl sent him running. He turned back around and ran straight ahead. But the wolves were fast, he could feel them closing in. Gabe stopped and turned to face the wolves, gripping his Captor tightly in his hand.
Zalus be with me, Gabe thought as he raised his Captor at the wolves.
But the line of wolves had stopped moving. It seemed as if they were waiting for something.
He heard something move behind him. Gabe spun, and his stomach fell as he gazed upon the largest of the wolves standing before him. It had snuck behind him.
This wolf was nearly the size of a horse. As the wolf stepped closer, Gabe could see every rib outlining the wolf’s side. It looked as if the wolf had never eaten. Not a single hair covered the wolf’s body, either. The eyes glowed blue.
It was not a normal wolf.
The wolf opened its mouth and bared its sharp teeth.
Zalus, help me! Gabe thought, as he tried to stop his Captor from shaking.
As the wolf’s mouth grew wider, the lights on Gabe’s suit, Captor, and helmet flickered. “I don’t want to hurt you!” Gabe said, feeling the shakiness in his voice. The wolf stepped closer, and Gabe pressed down on the trigger of his Captor. His Captor hummed, and the tip lit up blue. But then it faded, and his Captor let out a hiss.
No! Gabe thought as he pressed down on the trigger again and again. Rallick just charged this! But each time, there was just a gentle hiss. Gabe shook his Captor, hoping it would help.
When Gabe looked up at the wolf again, he noticed a blue ball, no larger than his fist, glowing in the space between them. A blue beam floated in a line from the ball into the wolf’s open mouth. Gabe watched the blue ball shrink as the seconds ticked by. When the light from the ball was no more, and the last of the beam entered the wolf’s mouth and the light disappeared, the wolf snapped its mouth shut.
Gabe’s suit was no longer lit. All of the energy from his suit was now gone. Gabe was left in the darkness. The only light came from the bright blue eyes of the wolves that surrounded him.
He didn’t need to see the wolves to know they were charging him. Gabe raised his Captor, preparing to hit any wolf that came close to him. As he heard the first wolf approach, he swung, but he was too slow. The wolf collided into him and Gabe was thrown to the ground. His Captor flew from his hand, but it was still attached to the tube. He wrestled with the wolf, trying to keep its sharp teeth from reaching his throat under his helmet. Another wolf flung itself on Gabe, digging its claws into his suit, and then another and another.
Gabe let out screams of pain as claws and teeth continued to find his flesh. He knew it was over for him.
Gabe yelled out a useless cry for help as one of the wolves thrust its jaw forward.
Then, a blinding white light illuminated the darkness. Gabe felt the weight from one wolf disappear, and then the others. Relief spread throughout Gabe’s body as the claws and teeth left his skin.
When the white light faded and Gabe’s vision returned, he sat up and looked around. Someone had saved him.
He lifted his head from the ground, looking for his friends.
Suddenly, something smashed into Gabe. Gabe felt his helmet snap off. Cold snow met his face. Before he could turn and comprehend what had just happened, he received another blow. He was blinded with pain.
“Bind this one up with the others,” a man’s voice said, unfamiliar to Gabe. It sounded so distant. Hands were upon him. Once he was lifted from the ground, a woolen bag was shoved over his head, and he could no longer see who had saved him from the wolves.

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

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!

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance – Lucy Morris @LMorris_Author @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– ‘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 on the ‘The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance’ blogtour, organized 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 :

Lucy Morris lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two young children and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves gin, bubbly and Irn-Bru. A member of the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association, she was delighted to accept a two-book deal with Harlequin after submitting her story to the Warriors Wanted submission blitz for Viking, Medieval and Highlander romances.
Writing for Harlequin Historical is a dream come true for her and she hopes you enjoy her books!

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

A challenging wife
For a warrior Viking
When Thorstein Bergson rescues a beautiful woman from a storm-tossed long-ship he little expects to broker a powerful marriage alliance with her. This high-status ice queen is not the comfortable wife this warrior chief is seeking. But maybe the bitter-sweet pain in Gyda’s eyes hides another woman beneath? The one he tasted that first night when she’d kissed him with such pent-up longing…?

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! 🙂
Absolute pleasure, thanks 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 always loved building stories and worlds in my head. I even scribbled down a few ideas over the years. But I never had the confidence to finish a book or even contemplate about submitting it anywhere.
I did a media degree and then bumbled around until I eventually got a production assistant job at a magazine publishers. After I had my two children, I was at a loss as to what to do with my life. I’d given up work but still needed a focus and some kind of income, like a lot of women, I loved being a mother but also felt as if I’d lost a part of myself.
Writing was a great creative outlet for me, and there was something wonderful about snatching time to write during nap times and free moments. When I finished my first book I was elated, and after ‘editing’, or at least what I thought was ‘editing’ it. I thought ‘what the hell’ I’ll give publishing it a go…what have I got to lose?
Turns out that first book wasn’t any good, but it gave me the confidence to try again. I joined twitter and subsequently found writing tips, groups, and the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers scheme. The second year I was on the scheme I was thrilled to be offered a two-book contract by Harlequin Historical.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a young child I loved fairy tales. I guess that’s a huge hint to my romantic streak right there! Then I started to sneakily read my mum’s historical romances. She was a big Johanna Lindsey fan and I devoured every one of her books. My mum spotted what I was doing, and bless her, she only encouraged me to read more! What does a romance reader love more than books? Talking to other romance readers!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I guess I’ve got to go for the queen, Nora Roberts. I’d love to know how she moves so seamlessly through different genres. As that’s something I’d love to do, I’d also love to know how she manages to write so much – her productivity is immense.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Ahh I’ve been asked this before, and I’m afraid my answer is very sentimental. I lost my mum in the autumn of 2020, so maybe my mum and my characters Gyda and Thorstein? That way my mum could get to know them. I’m so glad she was alive to learn about my publishing deal, but she passed away suddenly and never got to read my book (I’d insisted she wait until the final version). I’d love to spend a bit more time with her and for her to meet my characters, I think she’d have liked them. Plus, Thorstein is pretty hot so not bad eye candy for dinner!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Now that my kids are at school (well depends on the latest lockdown), I try to treat it as a job and sit down to write after I’ve dropped them off.
Firstly, I always write a to do list while I drink the first (of many) cups of tea. I write down what I need to achieve that day, both in writing, promo, and personal life. I find it helps focus me and if I don’t do it then I feel like I’ve achieved nothing or I become overwhelmed by the list of things to do buzzing in my head. I have both a weekly to do list and a daily…I really like lists! Which I know is a bit dull!
I also sometimes light a candle. I heard that can create a sort of Pavlov’s dog response to accessing your creativity… not sure if it works though as I keep forgetting to bring the matches up with me, and the candle I last bought didn’t smell of anything – what a waste! Sometimes while I’m editing or doing promo work, I’ll play music quietly, but music can be a bit of a distraction so I won’t always.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No, don’t worry. I rarely base characters on real people, maybe aspects of them, but never the ‘whole person’. I love to read and I think that helps with ideas and your skill as a writer. Sometimes I’ll think of a character first or a situation and then work from there. I started ‘The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance’ with the idea of storm and a shipwreck. I had the image of a broken longship smashed against the rocks, illuminated by the light of a burning tree. I loved the contrasting imagery, of fire and rain. I guess that’s where the idea of an ice queen heroine came from too. I used this image in the start of my book and the story went on from there.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I plot – but not in too much detail. I write the general gist of characters and storyline in one of my many notebooks. Then I write my ‘skeletal draft which is always very short and basic. I sometimes give this first draft to my poor critique partners who obligingly read my ‘hot mess’ and tell me what’s working and what’s not. I then go through fixing the problems in my plot and characters, and develop a much stronger, more detailed draft. I then edit and tweak this draft until I’m happy to send it out into the ‘real’ world.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Tip One: Finish your first book. Once you’ve completed your first you know you can actually do it. I spent far longer on my first book then any others…and it’s still unpublishable. You need to learn writing by doing, and there’s no point agonising for too long on your first book. Write it, edit it and then write the next. ‘The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance’ is the third book I’ve ever written. I was finishing my fourth book when I got the Call. Writing is not like a story with a beginning, middle and end, it’s a constantly turning wheel, and we’re the hamsters pushing it.
Tip Two: Find good critique partners, beta readers, writing groups. Not everyone will like or get your work. But hopefully, you’ll find some people that do. These people are like gold dust and I would not have my publishing deal without their advice and encouragement. My writing group and critique partners have lifted me off the floor when I’ve been rejected. They’ve also given me the encouragement and criticism to improve on my writing. By reading their work I’ve gained insight into my own words. They are essential. I’d also recommend the RNA New Writers Scheme if you’re writing romance.
Tip Three: Target your writing to what you know and/or love. I have loved historical romance since I first started sneakily reading my mum’s Johanna Lindsey books as a pre-teen. But I have no academic background in history, so there’s no way I could write my favourite sub-genre, right? Wrong. I’ve read this sub-genre for nearly twenty years. It’s amazing what you pick up along the way. So, write what you love. That’s not to say I don’t do any research, I do. But as it’s a subject I love anyway, I don’t mind doing it. You don’t have to be a history professor to write historical romance books, you just need to be willing to learn. Don’t let anyone or anything put you off from writing what you love.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’d love to write a series next. I’m thinking a trilogy maybe? I really hope people like my books and I can develop a readership with Mills and Boon. The idea of anyone ‘anticipating’ the release of my next book would be a dream come true! I follow my favourite authors on social media and amazon so that I always know when their next book is out…the idea anyone would do the same with me is inspiring….But we’ll see!
I’d like to explore different time period in historical romance…Maybe write something set in the ancient world.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Well as I mentioned my burning tree scene – I might as well show it. It’s at the start of my novel.

North Sea, Coast of Northumbria, 880AD

Thorstein Bergson’s longship crashed through the turbulent waves at a relentless pace. Even so, he feared it would be too late for the survivors of the shipwreck that lay broken upon the rocks. The wind and rain stung his face as mountainous waves threw his boat up and down with merciless fury. But he knew these waters, every dip and every shallow—unlike the unfortunate travellers who’d strayed too close to the broken teeth of land.
Above the wreck, high on an arching cliff, a lonely oak tree burned. Struck by lightning, it blazed from the inside out, its blackened branches reaching up into the storm as if screaming for mercy. Its centre a glowing beacon of death and destruction in the early light of dawn.
A message from the gods that even he could not ignore.
If there were any survivors they should leave an offering at the base of that tree. Without it, Thorstein would never have seen their longship and come to their aid. He was still unsure why he was risking his men’s lives, and possibly his own, to help strangers.
At least the storm that had raged throughout the night was beginning to die. Thor no longer beat his hammer in the righteous sky, and the lashing rain was beginning to ease. It wouldn’t be long before they reached the horseshoe of cliffs that surrounded his settlement’s harbour.
His friend Magnus came to join him at the prow of the ship. Magnus leaned his shoulder against the intricately carved serpent’s head and clicked his tongue against his teeth as he followed Thorstein’s gaze. ‘We shouldn’t sail too close to the rocks, or we might meet a similar fate.’
Thorstein grunted in agreement. The storm was running out of power, but the cliffs were treacherous at the best of times. Currently the tide was coming in, and it was coming in fast.
Magnus eyed his friend thoughtfully. ‘They’ll probably all be dead before we reach them.’
Thorstein frowned and folded his arms against his barrel chest. The longship slowed as his men turned the vessel to come abreast of the wreck. Both men braced their legs and barely moved as the ship swung to the side. They had been in worse waters than this.
Thorstein’s arm ring shone in the amber light of dawn and he stared at the burning oak above the wreck, his facial scar aching in the bitter whip of the wind.
‘I’ll get as close as I can,’ Magnus said, and he nodded.
He frowned at the survivors where they clung to the side of their upturned hull. Their pale, exhausted faces were like skulls in the weak light of dawn.
A cobalt cloak drew his eye. The shade was deep and rare, reserved for only the wealthiest of nobles.
Was this why Thor had brought him here? Was he to save a noble and win a reward?
Thorstein crossed his arms and braced his legs wide as his boat rocked from side to side. He had no need for wealth. His hoard was safely buried beneath his Hall. He had enough for both his future and the afterlife. No, there must be some other reason he’d been called to their rescue.

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

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 #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : Berlin Reload #BerlinReload – James Quinn #JamesQuinn

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

Berlin Reload BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Berlin Reload’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

James Quinn Author PicJames Quinn is the author of the “Gorilla Grant” series of spy novels. A professional security consultant and corporate intelligence operative, he currently resides in the UK but likes to travel extensively around the globe.
His next projects are “Clandestine” – a short story anthology, based around espionage, deception and intrigue – and The Fisherman, which introduces a new character to the world of covert intelligence.

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Synopsis :

• Publisher : Blurb (28 April 2021)
• Language : English
• Paperback : 326 pages
• ISBN-10 : 1034532685
• ISBN-13 : 978-1034532682

Berlin Reload Cover“The time of reckoning is here, Gorilla Grant.” Jack “Gorilla” Grant, retired assassin and former spy, is living a new life as a peaceful, successful businessman. But when his daughter is kidnapped in Rome, it is just the opening gambit in a series of events that pushes him back into the “Redaction” business that he once walked away from. Unseen forces are moving against Gorilla and dangerous enemies from his past are threatening his future, intent on turning a cold war into a hot war. But Gorilla has one rule; don’t mess with my family. And he’s willing to kill to enforce it. From the dangerous streets of 1960’s Berlin to a hit contract in Austria, and finally to a race against time in East Germany, Berlin Reload is an epic cold war spy story that spans the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and throws James Quinn’s anti-hero Gorilla Grant into a mission where he may have to decide between the life of his daughter and the dawning of a new conflict between East and West.

Amazon

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! 🙂
It’s my absolute pleasure and I have been looking forward to it.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My name is James Quinn and I write spy thrillers, my most well known character is Jack “Gorilla” Grant; a former spy and assassin for the British Secret Intelligence Service. I hit my forties and decided that I wanted to try an experiment and see if I could actually write a book. Six months later I had finished the first one – A Game for Assassins. I had a lot of good people around me who pushed me in the right direction and supported me; I was very lucky.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Ha! Someone asked me this question the other day! I still go back to Frank Herbert’s Dune; I’ve carried that with me since I was a teenager and still look it over every once in a while. It’s such a rich universe that I find something new in it every time I read it.
Having children gives you the opportunity to dip into books – new and old – that you would never have read normally. My children have introduced me to Harry Potter, Julia Donaldson and even Dr Seuss!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Absolutely. John Le Carre was a huge inspiration to me and I would have loved to have spent an hour with him asking him questions and lapping up every piece of information. They say that you should never meet your heroes, but I think on this occasion it would have had merit. He seemed like a lovely, generous man.

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 was lucky; one of the main characters from A Game for Assassins and Berlin Reload was Colonel Masterman. He was based on a mentor and friend of mine that is sadly no longer with us. He was a great inspiration to me and we shared many a friendly drink together in the Special Forces Club. He more than anyone pushed me along the writing route.
From other peoples books; it would have to be John Le Carre’s spymaster, George Smiley. That calm, non-threatening exterior, but with a mind like a ruthless steel trap! If you’ve ever seen the interviews with Sir Alec Guiness, then that to me would be what Smiley would be like.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I really don’t. I write like machine gun bursts. Nothing for weeks and then a veritable onslaught at break neck speed just to get it out of my head. The nearest “quirk” I have is leaving notes all around my office – they look like the scribblings of a crazy person! But to me they all make sense, a bit like a jumbled up jigsaw.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! Yes they do 😉
I always start with the characters. They are the things that interest me the most, then I put them in an environment or situation to see where it takes them. That is the question that I get asked the most; are the characters based on real people? Some are, some are made up and some are a mish-mash of the two. That’s part of the fun, trying to figure out which is which.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I always have a start and an end point, but what happens in the middle is very much left to the characters and what they would do. That sounds a bit woolly I know but its true. I’ve never been one for we have to do this to do that to get to X Y Z. It just doesn’t work for me like that.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Stephen King always said that if you want to be a good writer you have to read and write a lot. I think thats a truism. Its an art, a discipline, it takes time and practice. My first book A Game for Assassins was an experiment, I threw everything into it but the kitchen sink. And it shows! But over time each of my books, and my writing style, improved. It’s a process after all. Above all else it should be FUN!!! If it’s not then you are doing something wrong. So find a story, write it and enjoy it along the way.
The only other piece of advice is don’t worry about negative reviews. Not everyone has to like your work and thats ok. Focus on the positive ones and learn (if the criticism is warranted) from the negative ones, but yeah, don’t take it personal. I love the line; writing a book is like telling a joke and then waiting two years to see if people find it funny or not. Welcome to the world of being an author.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I hit my late forties and decided that I was going to give this writer malarkey my full attention. When I first started I was a security consultant/intelligence operator that wrote a book, now at this time of life I want it to be reversed and be a writer that occasionally does some intelligence/security work.
I’ve completed the five Gorilla Grant books and now I’m working on a short story anthology entitled Clandestine. It deals with deception, intrigue and the world of intelligence operations.
Once that is completed I’m starting work on a new book called The Fisherman; which introduces a new character to the world of covert intelligence.
After that….a bit of time off, give the creative juices time to regroup and see where the new characters take me.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
It would be my pleasure. So to give the reader some context; we are in Berlin, ours not theirs, 1960 or thereabouts, and we are in the operations base of an undercover British team. For long time readers of the books you may recognise a familiar face or two. For those that are new to the story I hope it will encourage you to invest your time in the earlier books. Anyway that’s enough for now. Enjoy!

Then a job came up, a rush job, orders from London, something a bit special that fitted the unconventional remit of the newly founded “Gutterfighters.” And for their fledgling operation it was as real as it got. Masterman had called them all into the Ops room. He stood his full height and looked them all squarely in the eyes, his tone serious.
“It’s a hit. Chap living under an assumed identity. I don’t know the full details of why “six” want him dealt with, but the orders are clear. They want him eliminated. My best guess is that he’s in the way of someone that “Six” are running. Either that or he’s too close to the source and is seen as a potential threat. None of that is our concern. Our job is to take him out of the game. The only specification is that it’s to be made to look like an accident. There has to be no intelligence connection.”
They all looked around at each other. Assassination; but what they were really thinking was murder, dress it up how you want, it would still be killing a man in cold blood. It was Masterman, as usual, that broke their self reflection and turned to more practical matters.
“I know what you are thinking. But this is still a war and this target is an enemy. It’s as simple as that. Part of our brief is that it has to look like an accident,” he said. “So let’s focus on that.”
“Car accident? Hit and run,” suggested Simon.
“Or a robbery? Make it look like a black market deal gone wrong?” said Johnny Blease.
“Who is he?” asked Jack Grant.
Masterman flicked through the file in his hands and then pushed several copies of paper across to each of them. It was a biography of their target and included his photograph, physical description, address and known haunts.
“The name he currently goes under is Hans Winter, a clerk in the Ministry of Justice. Single, lives alone, boring. In reality he is none other than Wolfgang Muller, former SS Major that was responsible for the deaths of several SOE and SIS agents and their networks throughout France. So it’s a double whammy. We take out a threat to a potential source AND a Nazi!”
“He doesn’t look much,” said Johnny.
“Yeah and he’s nearly fifty years of age. It says his health hasn’t been too good recently; heart. Is that something that we can use?” suggested Grant.
“First thing we need to do is take a peek behind the curtain. Put some local boys on him, bit of discreet surveillance see if we can spot a pattern and an opportunity,” said Bob, sipping at his mug of tea. Over the past month he’d managed to recruit some locals to help him with a bit of ad hoc surveillance work. He called them his “Street Angels.” He’d given them some “test” operations to try out and so far they had performed well, but this would be their first “live” operation against a target that may well be twitchy on the street.
Masterman nodded in approval. “Excellent. Good idea. Bob we’ll leave that with you for the moment. Let us know when you have something. Jack?”
Grant looked up. “Yes, boss?”
“I’d like you to be team leader on this one. Once we have the intelligence about the targets movements from the surveillance team I want you to plan it out. Give me options. Ok?”
“No problem,” said Grant, looking forward to the challenge of the Gutterfighters first operation.
“Right, that’s it,” said Masterman. “This is the COG’s first operation. I want it to go smoothly. We are only effective and useful to SIS Berlin if we are covert and don’t get caught. I want you to check, check and check again. Leave nothing to chance. Our operational survival may just depend on it.”

Berlin Reload Graphic

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

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 #ZooloosBookTours @zooloo2008 / #QandAs : Her Sister’s Baby #HerSistersBaby – Emma Bennet @romanceemma #SpellboundBooks @SpellboundBks

– ‘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 on the ‘Her Sister’s Baby’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s 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 :

Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to marry her own hero. Emma now lives with her husband, 4 children, and many animals a few miles outside of a small Welsh market town. She can often be found in rivers attempting to control two overexcited chocolate labradors.
Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!

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Synopsis :

A beautiful and emotional page turner about loss, promises and finding love in the most unexpected of places.
Woken in the middle of the night by the horrific news that her estranged sister has been killed in a fatal car crash, Sophie abruptly finds herself guardian to a niece, Alana, she never knew existed. The baby gives Sophie a way to cope with her grief, and a new focus to her life, but the unexpected appearance of Samson, Alana’s father, wanting his daughter to now live with him, threatens to destroy Sophie’s newly formed family.
Can Sophie and the seemingly feckless Samson, reach a compromise, or will Sophie be forced to give up her sister’s baby?

Amazon

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 British author living in mid Wales. I was first published six years ago and I write contemporary romance. My fifth full-length romance, Her Sister’s Baby, has just been released by the wonderful Spellbound Books.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I adored Enid Blyton books, especially the Faraway Tree stories and anything to do with boarding schools! When I was a bit older, I really enjoyed Little Women and What Katy Did. Oh, and how could I forget Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild?!
I enjoy lots of different genres as a grown-up, but especially romance and contemporary women’s fiction. During the last year, when libary books haven’t been so readily available, I’ve been reading books I’ve always meant to from my own collection, which has really broadened my reading horizons; I unexpectedly loved Dracula, for example!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would have to be Jane Austen. Her wit and asute observations of society and culture make her writing unparalled in my opinion.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Could I invite all my heroines round for a cuppa and a good natter? I feel I owe them at least a slice of cake for all I’ve put them through, especially poor Sophie from Her Sister’s Baby! She loses her sister and then has to look after a baby she didn’t even know existed all by herself!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I need QUIET! I do a far bit of writing long hand, and I’m quite particular about the notebooks and pens I use. Oh, and my hair needs to be tied back…

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas tend to come to me when I’m by myself and my mind is wandering, sometimes when I’m in bed or doing the washing up. I’ve always been good at coming up with ‘what ifs’, and I see where my imagination takes me.
I don’t often get ideas from real-life happenings, but my novella, Just Desserts, is based on a story a friend of mine told me about how she and her husband got together – I did ask her permission before using it!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a plotter. With my debut novel, The Green Hills of Home, I went with the flow and it was a NIGHTMARE. Editing took so long and was really stressful. Now I make a detailed plot line and character sheets before I write anything else.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Read as much as you can, and as widely as you can, then just start writing and carry on, trying out different styles until you find your voice and what suits you. Don’t try to force yourself to write in a way that doesn’t feel natural.

What are your futureplans as an author?
As my children get older (my youngest is 11 now), I’m able to devote more time to writing, so my aim is to publish a book a year so my readers have plenty of Happy Ever Afters to enjoy!

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

‘She was putting the letters back in the bag when another unopened envelope caught her eye. She pulled it out and saw her name written on the front. Cack-handedly tearing it open, she drew out a single sheet of paper covered with her sister’s unmistakable scrawl.
‘Dear Sophie, Thank you for taking the time to read this. I thought it better to write because I know I won’t be able to find the words in person, and I wasn’t certain how you’d react to seeing me. It’s been a long time I know, and I’m sure you’re still angry with me for the way I’ve acted in the past. I treated you and Mum and Dad very badly, and for that, I’m very sorry. I was selfish, and I know I hurt you all, but I have changed, and I want to try to make amends if you’ll let me. We’re the only family either of us has, except for someone I’m dying to introduce you to: I have a daughter, Alana. She’s 7 months old. I understand if you don’t want anything to do with me, but there’s nothing more important than family and I so want you to be a part of my and Alana’s life. Please get in touch. Love Natasha’.
A mobile number was written on the bottom of the page.
Natasha must have been travelling to deliver the letter; the hospital had said she was driving out of Brighton, Sophie realised. She’d been on her way to Sophie’s flat to try to make amends. If only she’d completed her journey, if only they’d had the chance to reconcile, put the past behind them, and become proper sisters again.
Sophie somehow got up while still holding the sleeping baby and packed up the bits she’d pulled out from the bags. She stood up straight, trying to instil within herself the self-assurance she wasn’t feeling at that moment and allowed herself one long, final survey of the sea. “I’ll always look after her Natasha. I promise,” she said out loud, “I’ll take care of your daughter.”’

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

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!