Interview with Quan Williams – Godmode

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Today I’m delighted to welcome Quan Williams to my blog. Let’s find out all his latest news!

Quan Williams

What Quan Williams is working on Now.

I hope you guys have taken a minute to check out my Sci-fi/Horror novel GODMODE, and for those who did check it out, I hope you liked it. Meanwhile, I’m working on my next book.

This project started out as a fantasy comic book I was developing for an entertainment corporation I co-founded. The original title of the comic was called “Phalanx: Revolution” (named after my corporation, Phalanx International Inc.) and centered around a group of people uniting to change the world.

I wanted it to feel like an epic JRPG like Final Fantasy 7. I liked the idea of having a set number of powerful artifacts that could be used to change the course of the world, like in Fred Saberhagen’s “Book of Swords”. In fact, I liked the swords in those books so much I wanted to put them in my story. And I created people with personalities and styles to match those swords (I wasn’t thinking of copyright issues when I had the idea).

The characters were also based on the members of my ill-fated s-corporation. the comic book was going to be one of our corporate ventures, as well as a marketing/branding tool for the company and music group. I wrote scripts and did extensive thumbnails sketches for about 5 issues, and had a rough outline for the entire saga (even had a bit of input from my godsister/content editor) but when the company folded, so did my interest in telling that story.

Flash forward almost 15 years, and I’m looking for a new project to work on. I don’t want to go through the trouble of starting a new property up, and I have a plethora of undeveloped stories in the vault, so I dust a few of them off to see if any of them speak to me. This project did, because in the scripts were a bunch of moments that could be elaborated on and fleshed out.

So I dove in and did some new development on the story and characters, as well as a bit of worldbuilding. But some conversations with my godsister/content editor really helped me find a creative voice for the story. After reading “Pax Americana” which was Grant Morrison’s excellent homage to/critisicm of Alan Moore’s seminal “Watchmen” story, as well as an in depth article explaining, analyzing and annotating “Pax Americana”, I realized I wanted to someday write something worthy of such examination. And if I can write it someday, why not now? Up until now I hadn’t written any stories with any real depth, not at the Meta level. And material like that was brilliant, but always intimidated me. I wasn’t ready to dive that deep into the deeper meanings behind my stories. But after talking with my godsister, she gave me a vote of confidence and told me I was capable of it. So I decided to use this new epic as my stab at it.

The first obstacle was finding a message that could hold the weight of that much depth. Then there was the matter of finding material that correlated with it and finding a way to integrate it into the narrative. What did I want the story to SAY? I realized that the seeds to the answer for that were already planted in the story, especially within the title: Revolution.

godmode-coverWith the volatile climate that was festering in the wake of incidents in Florida, St.Louis, New York and Cleveland where white males in positions of authority or high status got away with slaying African-American males, the idea of a downtrodden people rising up and taking definite action intrigued me. On top of that I had stumbled on the theory of “The Deep State” which is a network of the American Military-industrial complex which operated basically above the government. I thought that was a concept that had a place in my story, but it was just a backdrop and an explanation of why things were the way they were in my saga…until now. So I started digging deeper, examining three other major revolutions in history I could draw inspiration from: the French revolution, the Russian revolutions, and the Iranian revolution. I also looked a little at the Hatian revolution and the Brazilian slave revolts And in those studies I found some eerie similarities within them, as well as a disturbing connection to the Deep State. I could use that.

Then I started looking deeper into Fred’s 12 swords, and I found new elements of the swords that I can further build around, as well as a reference to one of Saberhagen’s earlier stories that also fit within the theme I’m trying to research. What if, instead of swords, my artifacts of power were gems that had the same effects? And since this was urban high fantasy, what if they were tied to the world’s magic somehow? I had also stumbled across the concept of the Orisha (African pantheon). What if each gem represented one of the Orisha, how would that change the perception and use of the gems, and of the people chosen to wield them?

With all of this information, then a narrative, a premise, and most importantly a message started to formulate. And here’s the final clencher. When deciding what story to rehash, I was debating between Revolution and a kung-fu high fantasy epic set in feudal China based on the story of the Wu Tang Clan rap group. But that was also a story of revolution, just like “The Revolution.” It was basically the same story in a different setting. What if I just combined the two? One of the coolest features of Watchmen was the story-within-a-story, with one of the characters reading a seemingly unrelated comic book that upon closer examination had a narrative that metaphorically mirrored what was going on in the story proper. What if I did something similar with my wu-tang story, maybe as a historical tome that shows that it isn’t the first time these events have happened in the world I’m writing about, and maybe also giving some insight into the origin of the gems?

So now I have a whole lot of new ammo to work with on this story, and it might end up being the deepest, most multi-layered thing I’ve ever written. Can’t wait to start.

By the way, if you’re interested in how my mind works, check out some of my ideas at http://www.quanwilliams.com. And if you haven’t checked out GODMODE, learn all you need to know about it at http://www.godmode.quanwilliams.com.

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Guest Post from Lee Dunning – Exile’s Redemption

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Today’s guest post is from author Lee Dunning. Read on to hear all about Exile’s Redemption!

Exiles RedemptionAbout the Story

Exile’s Redemption is, on the surface, a fantasy adventure tale about good versus evil, but it goes beyond that. It’s about paths taken which changed the course of history and sent a proud race down a road of slow decline – so slow they don’t even realize that one day they’ll exist only in history texts and children’s stories.

One of the individuals from days long past, Umbral K’hul, returns after ten thousand years of exile. He discovers his flare of temper as a boy not only saw him banished but set the stage for pride and ambition to run unchecked among his people. He must come to grips with his failings and work to rebuild his people while keeping them from discovering his true identity. Adopting the name W’rath, the elves’ first-born son, joins with a young, untried warrior and strives to save their people.

While the story tackles serious subjects, the story is written to entertain and amuse. The characters express themselves in unique ways, and carry the story along in a fast-paced manner. Exile’s Redemption is very much a character driven story, quirky characters for certain, but never boring.

Brief Character Profiles

Umbral K’hul: Ten thousand years ago he tried to murder his father. He failed and found himself exiled to the Abyss to face certain death. Fate has opened a door and given him as second chance.

Lady Raven

Lady Raven

Raven: A young scholar, she has traveled to Second Home to research the truth about the first child born to the elves, Umbral K’hul.

Lady Swiftbrook: Driven insane by demons, she is rescued and healed by a small, filthy elf, and so starts a dangerous friendship.

Lord K’hul: Newest war leader to the elves, and lover of Lady Swiftbrook, he trusts not the smirking new arrival at his lady’s side.


Excerpt

Okay, this is a scene from Exile’s Redemption between my primary male protagonist, W’rath, and his pain-in-the-arse half-nephew, K’hul. W’rath wants to put a stop to a rather nasty practice going on in the Elven nation of First Home, and K’hul, who has just replaced his father as “First Among Equals” is standing in W’rath’s way. Enjoy.


smirkingNow that they were away from the others, and any possibility of public humiliation, K’hul’s confidence reasserted itself. He faced W’rath, arms crossed, his face hostile. “You have me here now, Exile. What do you plan to do? Chew on my ankles?”

“Really, lad, short jokes? Even among the Shadow Elf population, I’m shy several inches of average. I’ve heard every possible insult in existence. You’ll have to work much harder if you wish to provoke me. Oh, I know, threaten to keep my lads helpless and labeled as inher­ently evil. That will get my attention.”

K’hul raised an eyebrow. “You’re lads? Until a few days ago, you didn’t even know they existed. Until a few minutes ago you’d never laid eyes upon them. How can you call them ‘your lads’ when you don’t know a thing about them? Their own councilors wanted them collared. You just strut in and decide they should have full access to their psion­ics without first finding out why your predecessors thought it was a bad idea?”

“Interesting.” W’rath cocked his head. “That actually came across as a coherent argument.”

“So we’re done with this, then?”

W’rath chuckled. Ah, so young, so naïve. “Of course not, lad. Those collars will come off. But since you went to the effort to put together a logical reason for your obstinacy, it’s only fair I do the same.”

“Or, since we both know nothing you say will change my mind, we could just skip that part and move on to where I pummel you into a jelly. A very small jelly.” K’hul made a show of cracking his knuckles.

“Charming. However, isn’t that a bit archaic? Isn’t the whole purpose of having a council to facilitate communication and the exchange of ideas? Or am I mistaken and it’s really only an attempt to put a civilized face on our government while the First’s descendant continues to bully the rest of the population?”

“I’m the bully? You’ve already made it clear you expect the collars to come off regardless of the outcome of any discussion. In fact, you used threatened violence to lure me here in the first place. So be it. It worked well enough for the First, I’m only too happy to continue the tradition.”

W’rath had only a fraction of a second to chide himself for underes­timating his nephew before the huge First Born smashed a granite-like fist into his jaw. He attempted to roll with the punch, but the lad’s speed shocked him, and W’rath felt the bone shatter. Most people wouldn’t expect someone of such size to also have the agility and quickness of a hunting cat, but W’rath, of all people, realized he should have known better.

The force of the blow sent him flying across the room. He landed and continued to tumble across the floor until a wall brought him to a bone rattling halt. He spat out blood and teeth, but already felt his body regenerating, knitting the bone back together. Another fifteen minutes and he’d completely heal. Of course, K’hul wouldn’t allow him to regen­erate in peace. W’rath’s father hadn’t either.

“I knew without your psionics you’d lose miserably in a fight,” K’hul gloated, “but really, Exile, I still expected better. What were you thinking? Is this how you go about turning me over your knee and giving out a good paddling?”

He swaggered over to W’rath, hands on hips. “Did you think because I’m younger than you, you can lord it over me? Or, maybe you think I’m just some big, dumb fighter you can tear apart with your self-imagined superior intellect? Lesson one, Exile, never underestimate your opponent.”

I agree entirely. With the speed of a striking snake, W’rath lashed out with his legs, hooking onto K’hul’s ankle with one foot, and smashing the side of K’hul’s knee with the other. A resounding crack echoed off the walls as the knee exploded. K’hul crashed to the floor, howling in pain and surprise. The entire dojo shook with the force of his massive body splitting the floorboards.

With reflexes honed from years of surviving in the Abyss, W’rath sprang up and forward, smashing K’hul’s ruined knee, causing the First Born to nearly bite through his tongue in his efforts to keep from bel­lowing in agony. Even so he could not help but cry out as the Shadow Elf launched himself into the air using the shattered knee for leverage. The older elf fell back earthward, smashing the elbow of the hand that had seconds earlier broken his jaw. He tumbled forward and came to rest with his knee against K’hul’s throat. He pressed just hard enough to make it clear how easily he could crush the huge elf’s windpipe.

K’hul went to brush the Shadow Elf from his chest only to find his other arm pinned to the floor by a knife, which hummed with faint magic. Tendons neatly sliced, the embedded knife kept him from healing. For now the arm lay useless. He starred up into W’rath’s furious face in horror.

“If you ever strike me again,” W’rath said, struggling to enunciate through broken teeth, and a partially healed mandible, “your current injuries will seem but pleasant memories. I shall break every joint in your body, and then march up this puffed up chest of yours to smash every bone in your face. If your bloodline to the First survives as unsul­lied as you claim, you may regenerate perfectly, but odds are you won’t present quite as handsome a visage as you’re used to.”

K’hul gaped at the Shadow Elf, confirming W’rath’s suspicions that no one had ever dared speak to the young warleader in such a manner before. K’hul nearly choked on the blood from his partially severed tongue. W’rath grinned. “Oh, yes, the various races of elves may differ in a great many ways, but one thing you can always count on is our vanity. Lad, you may hate me with every fiber of your being, but by all the ancestors you hold dear, you will respect me.

W’rath’s smile widened. “And now … if you don’t mind, I do believe I have won our … debate.”


Lee Toon Head

About Lee

Lee has always loved writing, and wrote her first book in ninth grade. It was deplorable, though at the time she thought herself the next J.R.R. Tolkien. Since then Lee has written several short stories and books, but thankfully had enough sense not to publish them. Now as an older, and hopefully more skilled writer, Lee has published the first story she deems worthy of sharing with the world – Exile’s Redemption. She published it through Amazon in July of 2014.

In addition to writing, Lee absolutely loves reading, working on digital art (she did her book cover and has sold several covers to other authors (including Chris Kennedy’s novel, Can’t Look Back), wasting too much time on computer and tabletop gaming, and baking. She’s working on the sequel to Exile’s Redemption and hopes to have it out in the second quarter of 2015.


Links

Exile’s Redemption at Amazon: http://bitly.com/1rczyyd

Lee’s Book Review Blog: http://wildhuntreviews.com

Lee’s Author Site: http://leedunning.com/

Lee’s Goodreads Page: http://bit.ly/1wB8eju

Guest Post from Maeve La Fay

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Today’s guest post is from Maeve La Fay, with an excerpt from her book, Tree of Nine Worlds: Quest for the Lochbhan.

About Maeve La Fay

maevepicStories are how people communicate lessons, feeling and desires. I have learned that even the most fantastic of stories express something fundamental about that author’s thoughts or feelings on any given topic. I have always had a passion for strong, stories that told of far away lands and times and began creating my own at an early age.
Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, I am twenty-four-years-old and have been writing for at least sixteen of those years, and telling stories much longer. Growing up I always loved reading or hearing old ghost stories and faerie stories. This very soon developed into a love of speculative fiction and several cultures mythologies. My pen name was born of one of two of these great loves, Mebd the great Irish queen of myth and Morgan La Fey from Arthurian legend. Stephen King and J.K Rowling were staples of my middle and high school years allowing me to branch out into the wonderful world of speculative fiction and folklore.
I am currently studying psychology for my undergrad at university and am writing a novel of the fantasy genre along with several short stories. “The Otter King” is my first of what will hopefully be many publications in the future.

You can connect with Maeve on her website here: http://talesfromthemists.wordpress.com/


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Excerpts:

Tree of Nine Worlds is an in progress fantasy novel series. I am currently working on the first two novels. The Tree of Nine Worlds series is a multi-perspective Celtic and Norse fusion fantasy taking place in an original world. The tale begins with an unlikely group of characters coming together in the home country of Princess Saoirse and staying at the castle as the group discovers a horrible plot from an unknown dark force to destroy the world and rebuild it in his image. It is also discovered that there may still yet be hope, for if a fairy woman of the lost city of Crannllwynn still lives, and if they can find the Lochbhan they maybe able to save the world from the darkness taking over. Saoirse, Percy, and Aisling take off with Doug to find the city of legend in what is now a war torn land as several kingdoms fight for control both against each other and against themselves.


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Tree of Nine Worlds: Quest for the Lochbhan

Everyone knew what a bride to be singing that song meant. This was the entire reason for betrothal ceremonies before they became an excuse to feast for the sake of feasting.

“Saoirse!” King Agnew cried angrily down at his daughter . “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Saoirse inhaled deeply and spoke as she had rehearsed it in the mirror before coming down to the hall. “I am invoking the Bridequest, as is my right by Highland Law!”

Everyone around her let out a gasp, and nobles from both highland kingdoms stared at her, wide eyed or simply squinting in anger. King Ferghus stared at her the most intently, his fair skin reddening by the minute. She knew better than to hope the Sluadaighish king would not be slighted.

“Ach! Ye cannae do this to me lad!” Ferghus announced angrily waving a large square index finger in her face. “King Agnew, your daughter can’t resurrect this archaic ritual.”

“You have to renounce the Bridequest, Saoirse,” Agnew pleaded. “No one has invoked a Bridequest in over eighty years. The match has already been made, this isn’t fair to any of the parties involved.”

Except perhaps me, Saoirse thought bitterly, but said. “It is my right by ancient highland law to name a quest for any suitor who wishes to strike a match, to prove he is a good enough match, and ensure that our sons will be strong. There was once a time that any noble man who wished to marry had no choice but to complete a quest chosen by she who was promised to him.”

“Aye,” Agnew conceded. “T’was a strong tradition, but, Saoirse, but these are dire times and we have to keep making noble matches before more houses die out.”

“Your king father’s right, your highness,” Doug stated without expression. “As my father’s only son, it is important for me to continue the line. A quest could kill me, and thus end it.”

“The bridegroom has the right to refuse the request,” spoke Queen Adelaide, Saoirse knew not to be surprised with her stepmother. “But in refusing the Bridequest, he is also refusing the right to his bride.”

“Adelaide!” Agnew choked, his hazel eyes staring widening.

“I am sorry, your grace? Is it that you want your daughter to wed a man who could not prove his worth?”

“Your grace?” asked Gawaine in amazement. “Our alliance with Sluaghdaigh—“

“Does not depend on my step-daughter’s hand in marriage,” Adelaide stood with her arms open and spoke loudly. “We are one land split into four kingdoms and we are naturally allies against those who would see us harm in this growing world. The princess’s hand in marriage is an act of friendship between two allies, no more, no less!”

“Name your quest, Princess Saoirse of Daoinebhaile and I shall fulfil it.”

Saoirse stared blankly in amazement. She didn’t expect him to accept the quest. She couldn’t remember what she had wished him to do for a second. Disbelief clouded her memory and caught her breath while her heart thudded loudly in her chest. She now remembered what it was she had wanted him to do. Never did she imagine he would accept her quest, but she would happily marry him on the morrow if he gave her the means to do this.

“I want you to help me find the sacred city of Crannllwynn and grant me an audience with the Lochbhan.”


http://talesfromthemists.wordpress.com/

Guest Post from R J Mirabal

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Today I have a guest post from author R J Mirabal, talking about his current and upcoming novels.

RJ Mirabal loves the Middle Rio Grande Valley having lived there for most of his life. Los Lunas High School 2006 Teacher of the Year, author RJ Mirabal, went on to win the Excellence in Education Award for NEA-New Mexico in 2007, having taught English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now happily retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with a motorcycle club and teachers’ organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl. “The Tower of Il Serrohe” is his debut novel with the first of two sequels to follow in early 2015.

His writing is aimed at adults of all ages who are readers of contemporary fantasy with an interest in unusual settings such as the high desert of the USA and generous blend of psychology, adventure.

Author R J Mirabal

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

My writing habits are not unusual, at all. I like to write knowing I am in control of plotlines and character development. So I jot down plot/character ideas, then work up a simple outline and character descriptions. Next I write a few paragraphs plotting the action of each chapter. I let that sit while I occasionally revise, add, and eliminate elements in the plotline. Finally, I start writing each chapter, not always in order, to produce the first working draft. Then edit, edit, revise, revise, and repeat. Then beta readers report back what works and what doesn’t. More revision and creation. Finally, my editor and I work it over to produce a publishable manuscript.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

My advice to new authors is “No one knows anything for sure” Remember that. Not other authors, editors, publishers, etc. What many will say won’t work, turns out to be “golden” once readers get ahold of it. So many hugely successful writers (and even a lot of modestly successful ones) were told by the “experts” that what they were doing wouldn’t sell, no one would read it, etc. etc. Do what you believe in and if the rest of the world likes it, great. If not, you have at least created what pleases you. Beyond that, of course, advice from other writers, readers, and editors is important but only how that advice fits you. Believe in yourself and cherish those who encourage you. Finally, have as many people read your work and especially get a professional editor whether provided by your publisher or hired on your own if you want to be taken seriously and not rejected for faulty writing. Everyone needs an editor. Everyone!

What is your best method or website for book promotion?

Concerning promotion, I find face-to-face contact with potential readers works best for me. My story is rather unusual since it doesn’t fit into well-established sub-genres like vampires, hard science fiction, high fantasy, etc. so it takes a little face time and conversation to help develop interest. Of course, my hope is that the books will soon speak for themselves, but it takes many readers to make a following. And my growing band of followers will help get the word out.


RJ Mirabal Promo_BookCover

Book title: The Tower of Il Serrohe (Book 1 of Rio Grande Parallax Series)

Author: RJ Mirabal

  • A man who has lost his way.

  • A rundown casita near the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.

  • A bat offering a formidable quest to this unlikely hero.

  • A Portal to another valley called the Valle Abajo.

  • Clans in the Valle needing help to overcome the evil Soreyes.

  • A Tower, the mysterious source of Soreye power.

 

Early in the past century Teresa, a young curandera, traveled to the Valle Abajo to bring down the Tower. But the Tower still stands and Don Vargas, an alcoholic looking for escape from failure, may be the only one to destroy it.

Don travels through the Portal to the Valle, encountering beautiful Raquela and feisty Nersite who join him to fight the Soreyes. Meanwhile Nightwing, the enigmatic bat, manipulates events behind the scenes. Many surprises and revelations await as this contemporary fantasy unfolds.

Though the book ends, the story doesn’t. Coming this winter, Book 2 of the Rio Grande Parallax: Extreme Dust Storms May Exist. Many familiar characters from The Tower return along with new exciting personalities to spice up the adventure:

Extreme Dust Storms May Exist:

  • Esther has dreams of a valley much like her Rio Luna home, yet ominously different. A bat slams its body against her window in the night. Markey, her best buddy, thinks she might be going crazy.

  • It is five years after the final events of The Tower of Il Serrohe and Esther, a young cousin of the missing Don Vargas, is drawn to the Portal in Don’s old Casita.

  • In the Valle Abajo, an old enemy of the clanspeople returns. And a mysterious presence makes itself known.

Why New Mexico Fantasy?

I’ve always loved the way fantasy and science fiction take my imagination beyond the ordinary. Realizing the obsessive creation of stories in my head meant I should be a writer, I set out to fashion a unique niche for my musings calling it Southwest Contemporary Fantasy, specifically New Mexico fantasy. Thus Don, Nersite, Raquela and all the other characters were born and sent out on their unpredictable adventures.

But like many children, they have their own ideas, and I struggle to keep up with them, attempting to tell their story as accurately as I can. I admit they share some of my life experience growing up in New Mexico with its unique culture, terrain, and climate. But at times, I wonder where these people came from!


RJ’s Blog: http://rjmirabal.wordpress.com/

Buy links for The Tower of Il Serrohe:

Black Rose Writing: http://goo.gl/fZXWgF

Amazon: http://goo.gl/GvXAUT

Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/42OHpk

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/2LmWHu

Signed copy from the author or other questions, email: rjmirabal@gmail.com

Interview with V M Sang, Author of The Wolves of Vimar Series

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Today I’m delighted to be hosting an interview with V M Sang, author of the Wolves of Vimar series.


Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

I live in the UK near the south coast. I am a retired science teacher. I enjoy reading and writing as well as a variety of crafts and I also paint. I have written 3 books.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

My latest book is called The Never-Dying Man and is the second book in the Wolves of Vimar. The whole series grew out of a Dungeons and Dragons scenario that I wrote when running a D&D club at the school where I was teaching. It has sort of grown out of that. I don’t think many of the pupils who played would recognize it now.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Don’t think so.

What authors or books have influenced you?

Obviously Tolkein, because he was the first, but I would add Weiss and Hickman and their Dragonlance books. George R.R. Martin, whom I would add that I discovered long before the TV series and everyone jumped on the bandwagon, and of course, Robert Jordan, and also Brandon Sanderson.

What are you working on now?

I am working on part 3 of The Wolves.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?

Not sure. I’m still struggling to find it!

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Never give up. Some of the best thought of authors had a struggle at first.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

My uncle once wrote in my autograph book when I was a child: ‘A winner never quits. A quitter never wins. Keep on trying.’

What are you reading now?

Just bought a new car and am reading the owner’s manual!

What’s next for you as a writer?

To follow Uncle Roy’s advice and keep on trying. I want to finish and publish Book 3 of The Wolves and then write either a historical novel or a different fantasy one that I have been planning in my head for some time.

What inspires you to write?

I have stories that I tell myself running about in my head. They need to get out and so I write them down.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer? If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software? Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

I have a general idea as to where my work is going, mainly in my head. I rarely write it down, so it can change, and frequently does. My characters develop as they themselves wish. I do have a rough idea as to what they are like, but I usually let them do as they want.

Do you listen to or talk to your characters? How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?

Always. They are always telling me to do something different, often most unexpected, or saying something that surprises me.

What advice would you give other writers?

Please, please, please check your spelling and grammar. There is nothing so distracting for a reader as poor grammar, and there are many authors who write bad grammar. I have been known to take a pencil and correct it as I am reading (the teacher coming out!) Since I send them back to a charity shop for recycling, I assume other readers come across this. It probably irritates the hell out of them, but I hope they will learn a bit from it!

How did you decide how to publish your books?

Don’t really know. I just decided to try when I’d finished The Wolf Pack. It seemed the natural next step. I tried to find a traditional publisher and agent, but could only find one of each in the USA. Since I am based in the UK I decided not to go along this route and join the indie published brigade.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I think more will be electronically published. This is only in its infancy yet. It is convenient to carry around, especially Kindle and ipad mini, lighter and less bulky than a book. You can also carry large numbers of books away on holiday. This was always a bone of contention between my husband and myself. He complained about the weight! I hope that books do not disappear altogether though, because there is nothing like the smell and feel of a real book.


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I was born in the north west of England in a town called Northwich, which is between Manchester and Chester.

I was educated at Northwich Grammar School for Girls, which was a selective school. It has now become a comprehensive school and takes in all ability levels and both sexes. From here I went to Elizabeth Gaskell College in Manchester to do teacher training where I studied Science as a main subject and Maths and English as subsidiary.

After finishing my training I taught in several places. I began in Salford, near Manchester, then taught in Lancashire, Hampshire (south of England) and Croydon (a London borough)

I am married with 2 children, a girl and a boy, and 3 grandchildren, 2 boys and a girl. I like to spend time with them as they are great fun. I also enjoy a variety of crafts (cross-stitch, card making, tatting, crochet, knitting etc) and I paint as well as write. I enjoy gardening too and walking, cycling and kayaking.

I am now retired and live in East Sussex with my husband.


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Book title: The Wolf Pack, Book 1 of The Wolves of Vimar series.

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Pack-Wolves-Vimar-Book-ebook/dp/B00CJ16VZ6/ref=asap_B00CK8JHRM?ie=UTF8

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I have also published Book 2 of the Wolves of Vimar, The Never-Dying Man, and a recipe book called Viv’s Family Recipes that covers at least 100 years of recipes and many of my grandmother’s.

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Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Vivs-Family-Recipes-V-M-Sang-ebook/dp/B00IARRS50/ref=asap_B00CK8JHRM?ie=UTF8


 

You can find out more about me and my books on my website:

http://vmsang.moonfruit.com/ and on my blog: http://aspholessaria.blogspot.co.uk/

My books can be bought from: http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk/ and other amazon sites.

Interview with C.B. Mac Gillavry

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pic C.B. Mac GillavryToday I’m pleased to be hosting an interview with author C.B. Mac Gillavry .  Below is a character interview, answered by one of her characters.

C.B. Mac Gillavry studied English and Dutch literature, she has an affinity with Colonial Dutch literature. C.B., like so many authors, started writing as soon as she was able to write, although the actual reading started at a later stadium, with the discovery of Jane Austen. She enjoys many different genres and writers, preferably in the original language. The environment is a key topic in her writings and she ideally writes for young adults, in the hope of enchanting them, even if just for a short while.

You can visit C.B. Mac Gillavry on her webpage here: http://cbmacgillavry.weebly.com/


 

Character Interview Questions, answered by Agatha, C.B. Mac Gillavry ‘s Golden Fairy

Q: Who are you closest to (a best friend, family member, lover etc) and why?

A: Most of my friends are humans, then there is Lucio the gnome, he’s a father figure to me, there’s Sparky the hearth creature, who’s also a good friend, my cousin, and last but not least a Nature Spirit, Chloros, who has been kind enough to make me fall for him. All these people and creatures have been there for me when I needed help and healing. They are family. Oh, and I am Agatha, a Golden Fairy.

Q: Where were you born, and what are your strongest memories of the place you grew up?

A: I don’t really remember when I was born or started existing. Some say we are ancient, some others say we last as long as a heartbeat. I don’t know really, I only know I’m older than most of my friends, even if it doesn’t show.

Q: Where do you go when you get angry or upset?

A: I go to a field where the grass grows tall or to the woods, where the others can’t see me. I don’t like to be seen in such states.

Q: What makes you laugh out loud?

A: Chloros is very good at that. Otherwise it’s Lucio, he knows me best, he has been busy with me for some time now. And my friends also make me laugh out loud: have you ever seen a puppy dragon setting a garden on fire? That can be funny to watch.

Q: When were you most satisfied with your life?

A: When I managed to leave the past behind me and was able to look straight ahead!

Q: Who is your role model and why?

A: I’m my own role model! There aren’t so many Fairies left where I live, and my cousin is really too messed up to be one for me. So I have to try to be my own hero, when I need one.

Q: What is your favourite journey?

A: To my friends’ house: it’s a good place to be, its magic is very powerful and that always feels good.

Q: What is your greatest regret?

A: I have opened up too much to creatures that didn’t deserve me. They took advantage of that and treated me badly. That’s the only regret I have.

Q: How would you like to die?

A: Alone. After all my friends, so that they would not miss me.

Q: What is your motto?

A: Love always wins.

Q: What is your most marked characteristic?

A: I am crazy in many ways, good crazy mostly.

Q: What talent would you most like to have?

A: I’m not so good at being resolute, that would have been nice.

Q: What’s your most treasured possession?

A: My family and friends

Q: What are you most proud of about your life?

A: Against all odds, I’m still here, happy and alive.

Q: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

A: I had to push them away, after they had hurt me. I had to protect myself in the end, even if it meant their sadness.

Q: Describe your ideal mate. Have you found them yet?

A: I have found my ideal mate, he is the one that accepts me for what I am and loves me anyway. He tries to make me smile a lot, he’s always by my side and he sings to me. He takes “being green” to a whole new level, because he is green!

Q: What’s your greatest fear?

A: To be stuck in the past.

Q: If you could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be?

A: I don’t know, I’m pretty good at what I do, which is breed and train fireflies, and I don’t feel the need to try anything else.

Q: What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

A: No, it’s too embarrassing!


 

Short story – Fog on the Loch

“Come not between the dragon and his wrath.” –Lear from “King Lear” (1.1.127) William Shakespeare
‘“The name is Alexandra Drerea Ramsey. You may call me Twang.” But the old man looked puzzled,’
The girl explained.
‘So I added “I shoot pretty well with the crossbow, and that’s the sound the arrow makes every time I shoot.” And I smiled.’
Twang paused.
‘He still looked at me, but he smiled back, eventually. He cleared his throat. He readjusted his big, fluffy coat. “Did you bake those cupcakes?” he asked pointing at my table.’
She mimed his movements.
‘I had just finished the cakes for my mom’s birthday, you see. I’d made several cupcakes with sugar flowers and coloured buttons and the big cake with roses. The one that looked like it was made of china, remember?’
Victoria nodded quickly, she wanted her friend to continue her story. She motioned her to continue.
‘Yes, and…’
‘Well, I said “Of course I made them! And they should be pretty good too!” and that’s when I heard the foghorn screaming outside. He turned towards the window, he looked worried, absorbed in his own thoughts. It can get spooky around the lake when the fog is that thick and I would have sworn that he was starting to feel a little restless.’
The girl slightly raised her voice.
‘Then he turned to me again and said “I heard that you weld things together.” I didn’t like this one bit!’
Her cheeks reddened.
‘I had left the newborn dragon, George, in the workshop, because when they are that young they tend to breathe more fire while they are asleep. I didn’t want him to burn down the house by accident. You need to train them first, right? Plus, Charlie, my black cat, was there too, taking a nap and keeping the little one company. I really didn’t want the old chap to see baby George.’
Twang paused again. Victoria feared this was due to the effect: the girl knew how to tell a story, that much was clear! She readjusted her long black skirt, fidgeted with the laces of her high heeled boots and sighed. Joe noticed that Victoria could hardly wait for Twang to continue, perched as she was on the sofa, almost lauching herself in the other’s arms.
‘Anyway, I was curious. Why was he asking about my welding? And he said these words, honest to the dragons, he said “My sledge, I think one of the runners needs some welding, and I really have to leave tonight.”’
Twang shook her head in disbelief.
‘ I replied “I understand, sir, but the fog is too thick anyway, you wouldn’t be able to see anything. The Police notified us that it would last for a couple of days and that it’s too dangerous to drive.” He looked at me with that puzzled look again and said “I wasn’t going to drive, I wanted to slide away.”’
She shrugged.
‘I said, “Well, I suppose that doesn’t change much. Are you hungry? I just made some organic popcorn. I was going to watch some tv before going to bed.”’
She pointed her finger towards the imaginary table with the cakes.
‘He looked at my cupcakes again. I swear, he would have eaten the whole table if I had let him! Not that he would have needed the extra pounds, if you know what I mean…’
Victoria knitted her eyebrows, ‘No, I don’t. I thought it was his coat that was big, not that he actually had a big belly!’
Twang replied, ‘Well, yes, he was filling the coat all right!’
‘What did it look like? You said it was fluffy…’ said Victoria.
‘It was red, with a thick white hem, like it was fur.’
Joe and Victoria both pulled faces at that word, as they felt very strongly against fur and leather.
‘Don’t get all touchy! I pretended I was passing him the popcorn and actually felt with my hand: it was just fabric, I’m positive.’ Twang explained.
The others relaxed. Joe smiled amaibly and counted on his fingers, while he spoke,
‘So, he wasn’t thin, was waring a big red coat with a thick white hem, he was rather old… What did he look like?’
‘Oh, he had a bit of a beard, white hair, red cheeks… you know, the rubicund kind!’
‘Yes,’ allowed the boy, ‘but he didn’t take the popcorn you offered him and you never let him touch the cupcakes. So maybe he wasn’t the rubicond kind..’
‘Oh, well,’ Twang was getting impatient, ‘whatever! I wanted to go to bed, but with him there, all stressed out and all, I couldn’t. He even started flipping through my photo album I keep near the the antique typewriter and I was afraid he might get to the part with the pictures of the dragons! I found it rather rude to be honest, so I got my angle grinder and my soldering iron at once, and went outside with him to take a look at the sledge. He had the most ridiculous hat on, it was also red and rimmed, but with this white pompon dangling next to his ear.’
Joe and Victoria looked at each other and sniggered.
‘What!’ the snigger turned into laughter, ‘What!! I don’t understand… Oh, stop it! I won’t tell you how it ends if you continue…’ said Twang.
The two forced themselves to stop laughing, wiping the tears from their cheeks, and tried to resume their seriousness.
‘That’s better,’ Twang snorted, ‘so, we went outside and the sledge really needed some welding. Lucky for him, I’m good at that too, so I fixed the runner. It looked like I had used glue to repair it. I was quite pleased with myself! Then he thanked me, he said he had to go even if I had told him it wasn’t safe.’
Twang imitated the man’s manners, ‘“Don’t worry, Miss Ramsey, my deer have a kind of built in alarm in the tip of their ears. I never bumped into anything before, and I’ve been going about in this kind of weather for quite some time now.”’
She said in her usual way, ‘“Where are you actually going?” I said.’
Then, imitating him again, she said, ‘“I’m going home, I have done everything I had to do for this year.”’
Twang spoke like her normal self once more.
‘And he winked at me. Then he stepped on the sledge, it didn’t even wobble a bit under his weight, he waved at me, and turned towards the Church. He had little bells attached to the reins, and they jingled when the whole thing moved, that’s how I heard where he was going. He laughed too, it sounded like “Hohoho…”, very peculiar. I swear I heard the sound over my head at a certain point.’
Joe and Victoria boomed with laughter.
“What! Stop that already. Why do you do that?”
And the two sang, mocking,
‘Santa Clause is coming to town…’


Please visit C.B. Mac Gillavry’s webpage here: http://cbmacgillavry.weebly.com/

Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour Guest Post Schedule

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The Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour kicks off in January.  I’ll have some juicy fantasy / author / writing related posts on my blog from the following guest authors on the following dates:

05/01/2015: Danielle Ross
06/01/2015: Debbie Manber Kupfer
07/01/2015: C. B. McGillavry
08/01/2015: Charlotte Henley Babb
09/01/2015: V.M. Sang
11/01/2015: Sarah Daltry
12/01/2015: Robert Brooks
13/01/2015: RJ Mirabal
14/01/2015: Renee Scattergood
15/01/2015: Maeve La Fay
16/01/2015: Lee Dunning
17/01/2015: JuQuan Williams
18/01/2015: JoElle Martin
19/01/2015: Jean Lauzier
20/01/2015: J Lenni Dorner
21/01/2015: Elizabeth Lorraine