Interview with Charlotte Henley Babb

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Today I’m delighted to welcome Charlotte Henley Babb to my blog page to answer some questions about her writing habits, and share some of her work.

What originally drew you to writing?

I loved reading, and when I read Little Women in the third grade, I decided to be like Jo March and be a writer. I liked being able to make up stories about fantastic things that did not happen in my life. There is a part of me that gets warm and sparkly when I say I am a writer, even when the words are not flowing as I would like.

Which writers inspired – or continue to inspire you – to write?

Along with Louisa Alcott, I read Robert Heinlein, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I read all the science fiction I could get my hands on. I found that novels set in the English countryside in the 1700s or Agatha Christie’s mystery settings were just as alien to me as other planets. I enjoy seeing how others view the world, both my favorite authors and my favorite characters.

My current inspiration is Sir Terry Pratchett, with Neil Gaiman as a close second. I read Jim Butcher and John G. Hartness. I like Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency as well.

What most inspires your stories?

My primary inspiration these days is Netflix. I enjoy seeing how an arc for both a character and a series develops over a season, and I’ve had to limit my binge watching to have writing time. I consider how a story would change if different actors played the parts, women instead of men, older people instead of younger ones. I’m fascinated by the characters who live on the edge of society in the gray spots of the law, who sink to the dark side or who prevail despite personal losses.

Do you have a special time of day that you prefer to write?

I like to write in the mornings, but my day job sometimes gets in the way, unless I go to bed early enough to get up at five or so. I’ve learned to take some writing time when I get home from work before starting on something else. I’m not a night owl, so I want to be able to stay awake when I am conjuring.

Do you have any tips on overcoming writer’s block?

Keep typing. If you peck out a word and a word and a word, at some point, the rockslide will occur, and if not, you have shown up to do the work.

Are you an e-book person, or do you prefer to own a hard copy?

I read on my phone and on the computer screen as much as I do on paper. It’s not that I don’t like paper, but e-books are cheaper and don’t take up space. I have four boxes of books to carry off to goodwill or the library as soon as I can get them loaded in my car.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Elvira O’Sullivan has not only survived her nasty childhood as a prostitute, but has made an empire of women workers, providing them with housing, food and education, much like the mill villages in the south. Her workers produce items that her shopkeepers sell, and that she trades with others. Her airship brothel is literally the highest class (at least in altitude), providing not only pleasures of the body, but of information discreetly gathered and dispensed among her clients and for her own investments. She is a smart cookie, but she does not trust anyone, not even her bodyguard and partner, Zulie Mensah. Her great strength in her business operations is a weakness in her own life, one that she must face to accomplish her goal. She must learn that there is always risk of betrayal, and that there is no way to control all the variables.

What genre do you prefer to write in, and why?

I like fantasy, science fiction and steampunk. Each has its own flavor, like fine chocolates, an otherworldliness that I enjoy. I’ve never felt very comfortable in the mundane world, and often wonder if the mother ship will ever come and get me.

Have you ever been involved in a collaborative project with another author? If not, is it something you would like to do in future?

I wrote with a writers’ group on a shared world project, which was amazing fun until philosophical differences separated me from the group. I was devastated at the time, and since then I write on my own.

I’d be willing to collaborate with someone else if we could agree on a vision for the work and find a common voice for the project.

Do you set yourself a daily word target? If so, how often do you meet it?

I have at times set a word count, but I find that if it is only a mechanical thing, I tend to write rants and whines rather than useable storyline. I am working on keeping a schedule of writing every day for 15 minutes. I can sometimes write a thousand words in 15 minutes if I know where I am going to start. Sometimes it takes much longer.

What do you do to get book reviews?

I ask for them, writing to bloggers or connecting with reviewers on LinkedIn. I’ve done a number of review swaps, an “I’ll read yours if you’ll read mine” sort of thing.

What are your views on social media for marketing?

To misquote W. Somerset Maugham, there are three rules for social media marketing, and nobody knows what they are.


charlotte henley babb

Brief bio of Charlotte Henley Babb, Author

Web designer, social networks manager, blogger, novelist, and online writing instructor, Charlotte Henley Babb has been writing since she was four, and now makes up fractured fairy tales for people who have survived beyond the love’s last kiss. Where the stories are for people over 20 who have survived marriage, divorce, child-rearing, post-graduate education, bankruptcy, empty nest, and widowhood?

Charlotte Henley Babb writes them.

Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Sharp Writ First Place in Fantasy and Science Fiction. It also received an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women communications contest for adult novels. She has self-published short stories in ebook and print format, doing the technical work, cover design, and layout herself.

Charlotte has taught English in high school and junior college, written procedure manuals, and edited association newsletters. She has presented at education and writing conferences on using the Internet, blogging, and writing science fiction. She brings to any project a number of experiences: technical writer, gasket inspector, wait staff, fabric and craft retail associate, craft artificer, secret weapon, and telephone psychic. Currently she manages the website, social media presence, and monthly newsletter for Sherman College of Chiropractic.

Charlotte’s Books

Work in progress 20 hours to Atlanta
When an airship madam arranges a secret meeting of colonial ambassadors, can she trust her crew and a rogue operative to keep her clients safe from his handlers, her allies, and an anarchist?


Maven-fairy-godmother-200x300Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil 
A dead cellphone calls with a job offer and a promise of dragons.

Giving up what’s left of her self-esteem for coffee, her last chance to redeem her life comes as a job offer to be a fairy godmother. But Faery is shrinking, the other fairy godmothers have disappeared, and nothing she does turns out right.

How can she put together the happily ever after each of her clients wants with her boss standing in her way?
http://bit.ly/Maven2ed
$5.95 Kindle $15.99 Paper


Fractured-Fairy-Tales166x200Maven’s Fractured Fairy Tales

Fairy Godmother Maven Morrigan has her own way of making the happily ever after come true for The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast. Three fractured fairy tales to bring you a smile
http://bit.ly/eMFFT

$2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper


Separate stories also available $0.99

Bubba and the beast: http://bit.ly/BubbaBeast

MavenStiltskin: http://bit.ly/MavenStilt

Fairy Frogmother: http://bit.ly/FrogMom


Just a Smidgen of MagicJust a Smidgen of Magic: Enchantment at the Edge of Mundane 

Five flash fiction stories of magical encounters in the modern world.

http://bit.ly/Smidgen

$2.99 Kindle, $5.49, Paper


Walking off Heaven's Shore

Walking Off Heaven’s Shore
A ten-piece bucket of Southern fried flash fiction.
http://bit.ly/WalkShore
$2.99 Kindle $5.99 Paper


Turning pointTurning Point

A short-short about a cup of coffee on a sunny morning and a decision.
http://bit.ly/TurnPoint
$0.99 kindle


Connect with Charlotte Henley Babb

Guest Post – Sarah Daltry, author of ‘Dust’

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Today’s guest post is from author Sarah Daltry, with an interview, and information on her current novel, ‘Dust’.

Dust Cover

An Interview with Sarah Daltry

Who is your audience?

People like me, who value words and ideas as much or more than plot.

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

I am an introvert and a nerd. I’ve written more than 15 novels, but only five are available. Dust is a YA fantasy/philosophical fantasy novel. I also wrote No Such Thing as Perfect, which is contemporary women’s fiction/literary fiction about growing up, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Modern Reimagining (literary fiction based on the poem), Backward Compatible: A Gamer Geek Love Story, and the vampire NA urban fantasy (18+) Bitter Fruits.

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

Dust came to me one morning and I don’t really know what inspired it. It’s the story of growing up amidst war when the world has survived by holding secrets. Alondra must navigate the past, specifically that of her mother, to learn about what led to the events that destroyed her kingdom, and she must face the darkest parts of herself.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Not really, although I am a binge writer. I will write 1/3 of a novel in one day and not write for two weeks.

What authors or books have influenced you?

Hemingway, Salinger, The Book Thief, The Lovely Bones

What are you working on now?

A bunch of different things – contemporary realism, literary fiction, and fantasy

What is your best method or website for book promotion?

I don’t really have one. I don’t think I think like most people and I seem to struggle with connecting with them

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write what is in your heart, not what other people tell you to write.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

You can’t take it with you. 🙂

What are you reading now?

Mrs. Dalloway

What’s next for you as a writer?

Not sure, really.

3 or 4 books for deserted island?

The Catcher in the Rye, The Sun Also Rises, Frankenstein, and Dracula

What inspires you to write?

I need to. I need it like oxygen. I never stop writing, even though I stop talking to people

Tell us about your writing process.

“Sit down at a [computer] and bleed.”

Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer?

Both, but mostly I don’t plan.

If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software?

Notes that make no sense to anyone but me.

Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

Both – depends on how things come to me.

Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

Yes, all the time.

How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?

We talk – and I convince people it’s totally normal to live with characters in your head all the time.

How did you decide how to publish your books?

Self-published and small press, because I’m not marketable apparently.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?

I don’t know. I don’t have a lot of hope for the future of humanity, not just in books, and publishing is just another business that gives millions of dollars for One Direction porn, but has lost interest in the human condition.


Dust

Dust is the story of a young girl, Alondra, in another world. It’s a world that normally would be draped in magic – the kind of world traditional in fantasy. There are castles and kingdoms and all those fun fairy tale elements, but it’s also a world with futuristic features, such as teleportation and giant glass towers that reach into the sky. Picture something out of the Final Fantasy series, with less steampunk.

There used to be magic in Alondra’s world, but well before she was born, all of the kingdoms were part of war. It was a war that happened because human beings grew too powerful. They wanted more and they wanted it for themselves. No longer was man satisfied to have the power of the gods and use it for the greater good; now he wanted to be a god. Because of the fear of magic and the damage it wrought, it has been suppressed and Alondra only knows it as a hobby.

When a new villain appears, though, and the world so desperate for peace and security is shattered anew, Alondra sets out on a journey through the past. She soon discovers that the secrets people keep in order to preserve a facade of safety run deep.

I see this as a fantasy novel woven through with philosophy and moral questions, as well as a sprinkle of romance. Although there is a love story, it is not about romance, but about coming of age, about learning who you are and understanding your role in the world, and about independence and choice (as well as the associated consequences).

Take the journey with Alondra! The book is available now! Read a sample here!


GOOGLEPIC Sarah Daltry is the author of No Such Thing as Perfect, Dust, Backward Compatible, Bitter Fruits, and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved books and her passion in life is writing – weaving tales of magic and beauty. She originally wrote romance, but Sarah’s real focus is lyrical and introspective fiction that gets to the heart of being whole.

Sarah is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer, feminist, hermit, and sarcastic nerd. She’s extremely introverted and craves quiet and solitude, but she does enjoy hearing from readers. Find her online at http://sarahdaltry.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.


109vivnoframe

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.


wolfpackcover1

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.

recipebookcover1

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/

Interview with T. S Rider

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We’re kicking off the tour with an interview with  T. S Rider, author and artist!


What originally drew you to writing?

  1. I loved to read, and had a number of stories in my head that I had to get out.

  2. Which writers inspired – or continue to inspire you – to write?

    Anyone I’ve read, and that’s a lot of authors.

  3. What most inspires your stories?

    My dreams. I usually wake up in the mornings with very vivid dreams that I remember every detail of, and no, I’m not in my underwear. XD But I am flying or fighting in a battle of some sort.

  4. Do you have a special time of day that you prefer to write?

    Whenever I can sit down and do it really.

  5. Do you have any tips on overcoming writer’s block?

    Just start writing, even if it’s just random thoughts out of your head. Usually, if you get that out, then you can concentrate and think about the story.

  6. Are you an e-book person, or do you prefer to own a hard copy?

    I prefer to own hard copies. E-books are too easily lost. I mean, all that has to happen is a server crash, virus, drop your e-reader in some water, and all your books are gone. Hard copies at least take a major disaster to destroy.

  7. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

    My main character is typically a strong female type. She either has some special skill, or something in her background that makes her important to the story. Often she is the key to reaching the ultimate end of the story.

  8. What genre do you prefer to write in, and why?

    Sword and sorcery style fantasy. I don’t want to call it epic, as that implies a series or great writing. True some of my stories are series length, but most can be kept short to one story.

  9. Have you ever been involved in a collaborative project with another author? If not, is it something you would like to do in future?

    No, and no. I’m too controlling a person to be able to really compromise.

  10. Do you set yourself a daily word target? If so, how often do you meet it?

    Only during NaNo, and most days I can hit the target easily, other days I have trouble. Usually though, I just sit and write and see what happens.

  11. What do you do to get book reviews?

    Since I have no stories really published, I don’t do much of anything for reviews. Though I think I would start by sending it to people I trust to give me an honest and fair review.

  12. What are your views on social media for marketing?

    It’s helpful, and probably the best way to get new readers interested in your work since most people are online in some way.


 About  T. S Rider

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T. S. Rider is an author/artist in love with the sword and sorcery genre.  Most all of her stories take place in worlds of her own design that somewhat mirror Medieval Europe.  She has two short stories published to date, and has been working mainly on her longer fiction and artwork.  She is a maker of custom magic wands (no not Harry Potter style), that reflect the individual they were made for.


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

I have a Master’s of Sceince in Biology, and currently teach at a local University as an adjunct. I’m also an artist and crafter, and currently make wands from natural pecan wood, tumbled gemstones, and suede. I’ve lost count of how many manuscripts I’ve written. Most all are longer than 50K, and very few under 10K.

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

Most all of my stories are untitled until I finish them. As my current one is unfinished, it’s untitled. What inspires all my writing typically are my dreams. I usually wake up in the morning from a very vivid dream, really a single scene, and create a story around that.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I often make things from my stories. Whether it is the costume of one of the characters, or a sculpture of one of the creatures that I made up for the story. I do like to make up creatures where it is needed. XD

What authors or books have influenced you?

There are too many books to list, but some of my favorite authors include, Kate Elliot, Kristen Britain, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Van Lustbader, Lee Martindale, Tanith Lee, Gale Greeno, David Gemmell, etc. XD

What are you working on now?

PegasusWandCurrently I’m working on my wands and wand shop. I have a couple of stories that I’m playing with writing, and trying to get one of my manuscripts ready for submission.

What is your best method or website for book promotion?

No idea, but I tell everyone I know where they can get a copy of something I’ve written through every medium possible. Including Facebook, e-mail, and word of mouth.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

The things I’ve been told the most: Keep at it, don’t quit. Money flows to the author. Once you finish one project, go on to the next, don’t sit and wait for the story to be rejected or accepted before starting your next one. And finally; don’t quit your day job, at least not right away.

What are you reading now?

Kate Elliot Crown of Stars series

What’s next for you as a writer?
Finish polishing one of my longer manuscripts for submission.

3 or 4 books for deserted island?
I have to choose! 😥 Really, anything I haven’t read yet would be a good choice.

Tell us about your writing process
Often I just sit down and write. I have to have some music or the TV on while I write because I have mild ADD, and need something to turn to when I lose focus on the story.

Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer?
Sometimes I outline, most of the time I write by the seat of my pants. Often when I outline, once I start writing the character decides they want to change the story, and then the outline just goes out the window.

If you are an outliner, what do you use to outline? Whiteboard? Software?

Notebook paper mostly. That way I can look at it, and look back at it at anytime without having to change the window on my screen. Whiteboard might be a good change, except I don’t think there is a whiteboard large enough for me to outline one of my stories on that’ll fit in my room. XD

Do you create character sketches before or during your writing?

During, it’s often easier to flesh out the character that way.

Do you listen to or talk to your characters?

I talk to them all the time, I just don’t do a lot of listening. The last time I did, the character decided to throw out the outline halfway through the story, then at the end decided she wanted to go back to the outline.

How do you interact with your characters while you are writing?

I make them do the things I’m writing, and squish their complaints because I’m the writer!

What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t write for fame and fortune, write because you have a story to tell.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I like physical books, so I hope to have my books printed, but I am open to e-publishing just because I could do it myself.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Physical books will never go away, but they will become more of a luxury item since e-books are so easy to get and store. I think I’ll lose my mind if all the books I want in the future are only available as e-books. I don’t trust technology, and a physical book’s battery never runs out, nor does the software crash and loses a library worth of books. With physical books, it takes a library fire to lose that many stories.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArtwork?
I make various types of artwork, including sculpture, costumery, accessories, woodworking, and jewelry. I have been primarily working on selling the wands I make from natural pecan wood, tumbled gemstones, and suede. I also make boxes, stands, and pouches for the wands.

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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