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

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.

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 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

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.


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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 JoElle Martín

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Interview with JoElle Martín

Q – What originally drew you to writing?

A – It was a subject I enjoyed and excelled at in elementary school. In fourth grade we were given an assignment to write a story. The other children in class turned in one or two pages. I turned in a eight to ten page “book”, complete with illustrations.

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

A- All the fairytale writers. I love fantasy and happily ever afters.

Q – What most inspires your stories?

A – Everything around me. I see magic and fantasy in everyday life. A single tree in a field becomes a gateway to the fairy world. A homeless person becomes an elf lost in our world. Anything and everything becomes a possible story.

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

A- Not really. I write when “that feeling” hits me.

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

A – Sort of relates to the previous question, don’t force your writing. If it isn’t there, do something else and come back to it. Otherwise, you end up stuck and frustrated and that kills creativity.

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

A – Hard copy.

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

A – My female and male characters in Julianne’s Wish are Julianne Carter and Forest O’Connell. Julianne is human and Forest is elf; and they are true soul mates. They actually share the same soul. However, as a broken hearted young teenager, Julianne makes a wish to never fall in love again. She doesn’t realize her wish has come true and she is unable to fall in love with Forest.

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

A – Fantasy, young adult, and romance. Why? I am a romantic who believes in fairies.

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

A – No. I know what I am like. I would drive the other author nuts. I couldn’t do that to another person.

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

A – No. I do not do well with deadlines and goals.

Q – What do you do to get book reviews?

A – Beg. Bribe. And sometimes get lucky.

Q – What are your views on social media for marketing?

A – It is an evil necessity. I don’t like social media and the internet, but it works and as a society we’ve allowed ourselves to grow dependent of it. If we want to market and reach our audience, it is a must.


JoElle MartinJoElle was born in the Pacific Northwest. When she was a young girl, she moved with her family to Guadalajara, Mexico. She has since lived in South Texas,Central Texas, the Bay Area of California, and now her home is in Northern Nevada.

Today she spends most of her time wandering the scenic highways of America with her husband and creating new worlds and characters for her novels.

JoElle comes from a large family. With two older brothers and three younger sisters, she enjoyed the middle spot while growing up. (She was the official tattletale – a title none of her siblings ever let her forget). Though she loved playing outside as a child, she was also a bookworm.

Married shortly after graduating high school, she and her husband have been happily married over 30 years. (Which is a big reason JoElle firmly believes in happily ever afters!)

When they are home, JoElle and her husband enjoy visiting their son, daughter in law, and four grandchildren.

Ever since she was a little girl, and wrote her first multi-page story in fourth grade, JoElle knew she wanted to be a writer. She competed in Journalism in high school, winning several awards in feature writing. JoElle writes both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her novels, she has written a number of feature stories of community interest for local newspapers on subjects such as volunteering, guide dogs, homeschooling, and the Explorer program. She served as a regional editor for a homeschooling newsletter and has had a number of short stories and articles published in print magazines and e-zines.


Connect with JoElle

Website: www.joellemartin.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/JoElle_Martin
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dreamersforest

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