Author Interview – Megan Linski

Megan_Linski

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Fallen From Ashes is a mixture of Aladdin and 1001 Arabian Nights, with themes such as equality for women and staying faithful to your true love, no matter what the cost.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

Fallen From Ashes is the sequel to Kingdom From Ashes, #1 in the Kingdom Saga. WhenKingdom from Ashes came out, I got such a high demand for a sequel that I knew I had to get right on making another story in The Kingdom Saga for my readers to explore.

Which authors have influenced you?

J.K. Rowling (that’s a given) Peter S. Beagle, C.S. Lewis, and David Clement-Davies. As you can see, what I like is really specific.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

I particularly love fantasy and issue-novels, focused on young adults (which is the main genre’s I write in).

What makes a book/story special for you?

I believe you have to have something different in your book that’s unique to you, and you have to stand for something. The books that mean the most and create the most change in the world aren’t afraid of making a statement and not pleasing people. They’re not afraid to be bold, and I try to do the same thing in my writing.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

My hometown is pretty small and boring, so to create the exotic, adventurous desert of Sahrahn (where The Kingdom Saga is set) became an escape for my readers and for me.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

Kingdom From Ashes took nearly three years from start to finish. By drastic contrast, I wrote Fallen from Ashes in ten days and took a month to edit and revise.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I have two editors: Sam McClure from Resolution Edits, and Thalia Smithingell, who works for me under my company, Gryfyn Publishing. My cover artist is the amazing Clarissa Yeo of Yocla Designs.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?

Oh, definitely! Before I started I thought I had a great plan and knew everything about marketing, but it turns out I didn’t know anything. Things that I’ve really worked hard on haven’t really panned out, and other things that I’ve ignored have ended up exploding my book’s visibility on Amazon. This is why it’s important to read marketing books and know how to get your product out there. A good one to start with is Write. Publish. Repeat.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

When readers asked for a sequel to Kingdom From Ashes, I had absolutely nothing. No plot, no outline, not even an idea of where I wanted to go. I sat down and didn’t let myself get up until I had an outline. The Kingdom Saga requires a lot of research, because it takes place in an ancient Arabic society, so I did that as I went along and made sure to stick as close to Middle Eastern folklore as possible. I just had a fire lit underneath me, and I didn’t let myself stop. Now that I’m working on #3, that fire is gone and it’s a lot harder to keep writing, but I’m forcing myself through it and not allowing myself to quit, which makes all the difference in the world. When you stop making excuses and start expecting results of yourself, magic happens.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I would treat myself better! My work ethic when it comes to writing is absolutely crazy. It’s not uncommon for me to be icing my hands and wrapping my wrists late at night after I’m done writing. With Fallen, it took only ten days to write, and I didn’t plan it that way. I simply went crazy and wrote as much as I could. I personally think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever written, but when I was finished I was shaking and on the verge of vomiting. I really need to take better care of my temple, otherwise I won’t be able to produce!

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Stop making excuses and do what you want to do! You’re wasting time and money waiting for the right time or the right opportunity to go ahead and do something. You can always fix mistakes later, but if you wait too long, you’ll miss your chance. One of my biggest mistakes was not publishing in 2011 like I wanted to during the indie boom and waiting until 2014. I lost precious time and sales because I was waiting around until things were perfectly in place, until I accepted the fact they never were going to be.

Before you publish, though, go ahead and read every single book on writing and marketing that you can. You need to accumulate as much knowledge as possible before you go into publishing. The more you know, the less difficult things will be later.

Another thing: successful people network and know a lot of other people! You may complain that it’s not fair and your career shouldn’t be like high school, but the more popular you are and the more friends (READERS) you have, the more successful you will be. Most authors are natural introverts, and I am definitely not the most social person, but if your book really means the world to you then you will find a way to get yourself out there and make some acquaintances. It may seem unfair, but nobody is going to find you if you’re underneath a rock. Posting your book everywhere, paying for lots of advertisements and spamming people doesn’t work. Making connections and lasting friendships does.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

www.meganlinski.comand you can sign up for my VIP list here!

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I’m currently working on Redemption From Ashes, #3 in The Kingdom Saga!

You can find Fallen From Ashes here! :

http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Ashes-Kingdom-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B014TZ1AVO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443464228&sr=8-1&keywords=fallen+from+ashes

Fallen

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Cover Reveal: Wicked Rescue Mission

Wicked Rescue Mission is the second novel in The Valhaven Island Trilogy. You can find the first book, Wickedly Misunderstood on Amazon.

Blurb:

What do you do when the world is perfect one moment and in shambles the next? When your girlfriend’s kidnapped and taken to Hell by the Devil’s son. All we know is that Ember overheard a conversation between Piper and her father one night before Blade kidnapped her. She left us a message on a crumpled painting that gave us pieces of information. Leaving the eight of us to put it together to save her.

Our only mission is to get her back because our lives mean nothing without her. But, we’re only teenagers with superhuman powers, we don’t have the power to walk between Earth and Hell. So, we turn to the only person we believe we can trust.

That’s when the unthinkable happens and we’re left back at square one. Can we keep fighting and save Ember from her exile? Does someone work out a plan to travel to Hell to save her?

The people we thought we could trust are turning against us in ways we never expected. So now, we must hurry to save Ember before it’s too late.

Release Date: December 7th, 2015

Release Event on Facebook

WickedRescueMissionCover

Author Interview – Brian Downes

BF Author Photo

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Five survivors develop profound and profoundly sexual relationships with one another during a zombie virus quarantine.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?

Our culture is relentlessly sex negative. I wanted to speak out against that grotesque darkness.

Which authors have influenced you?

I always cite F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tim Powers, and William Gibson.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

My favorite genres are non-fiction history, science for the layperson, urban fantasy, and literary fiction.

What makes a book/story special for you?

When it is original.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?

I live in Orlando, Florida, and I have written two books set there. I was born and raised in Ashtabula County, Ohio. I often mention that place in my books.

How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?

I did not time it. I would suppose two years.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

Yes, I hired a cover artist. I also used a proofreader. I recommend it.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?

Inspiration is a chimera. You hammer and grind on the project every day until it is finished. Halfway through, you start thinking about your next project.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I would write a different story.

Best piece (s) of advice for first time writers?

Give up on this sickness and go get a business degree instead.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?

https://www.facebook.com/Brian-Downes-Author-241226129234925/timeline/?ref=hl

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I contribute to the website Florida Geek Scene, and am always working on an article for them. Also, I am writing my fifth novel, Red Sleeper. A follow-up to The Berlin Fraternity, Red Sleeper is set in Detroit in 1956. FBI Agent Christopher Haigwood hunts communist spies. To his surprise, he will discover that vampires exist, and that some of them are working for Moscow.

Carrefour Crisis Front Cover

Author Interview – Debbie Manber Kupfer

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Debbie Manber Kupfer is the author of the P.A.W.S. series.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?
Stories surrounding the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves and Shapeshifters!

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
Ever since I read the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, I’ve been fascinated by animagi, but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how Sirius and James turned themselves into animals. What it felt like? What were the spells involved? Those thoughts led me to the creation of P.A.W.S. and today as I write the third book of the series, Maze of Shadows, I delve even deeper into the mythology of all kinds of shapeshifters.

Which authors have influenced you?
Well obviously JK Rowling, but also Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman and Cornelia Funke are high up on the list.

Which are your favorite literary genres?
Mostly fantasy, but I also delve into other genres (sci-fi, humor, literary fiction and the occasional mystery) both in my reading and my writing.

What makes a book/story special for you?
The characters. I need to fall in love with the characters, both good and bad, in order to really get into a book.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influence your story?
Yes, yes, and yes! I grew up in London, the daughter of a holocaust survivor from Vienna. I lived eight years in Israel and today live in St. Louis, Missouri. Pretty much all of that plays into my stories.
The P.A.W.S. Institute is located underneath the Jewel Box in Forest Park, St. Louis, a real location that is often closed, so made a great site for a secret organization.
Miri is Jewish and her grandmother, Celia comes from Vienna just like my father. She even lived in the same street my father grew up on.
In book 3 of the series we’re going to spend some time in Israel and in London. I like to write about places I know well. I feel it gives my story more authenticity.

How long does it take you to write your books /for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
It takes me about a year to finish a book.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?
For this new version of P.A.W.S. I hired Rachel Bostwick to make my cover. Previously I was published with a small press that paid for the covers and editors. When I get ready to publish book 3 I will hire an editor. I’m an editor myself and know you cannot possibly find all your own mistakes.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happen?
Oh yes, definitely. In my original concept of P.A.W.S. the villain was supposed to be Miri’s uncle, David, but a few chapters into P.A.W.S. Alistair (diabolically evil werewolf dude) emerged and made the story all about him.

What helps you get inspired and overcome hurdles when you are writing?
Whenever I get stuck I go for a walk. I’ll take my work with me – either my tablet or just a notepad and pen and go sit in a café and watch people. I’m inspired more by people watching than anything else.

What would you do differently on a future project?
There’s a world of difference to how I wrote and published P.A.W.S. to how I am today. For one thing I now have a wonderful set of writer friends I’ve met online in groups like the Dragon’s Rocketship, Fiction Writers and YA Author Rendezvous. Having support while you write and promote is really important. First time around I was much more alone.

Best piece of advice for first time writers?
Try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November). It truly helped me keep on track and let go of the idea that first drafts have to be perfect.

Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
Yep – Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/
Or Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

I love connected with readers. Please come by and say “Hi”!

What are you planning to write/publish next?
I’ve got quite a few projects in the works. Firstly on October 1st I’m releasing a short memoir, The Big C, about my experience going through cancer treatment. This was probably the most difficult thing I ever wrote. The money is going to Knitted Knockers, a wonderful charity that gives soft breast forms to women who have had mastectomies.
I’m also the editor and contributor to a horror anthology, Sins of the Future, which should release on Halloween.
Then in early 2016 I hope to be releasing a picture book, Adana the Earth Dragon. I’m really excited about this one and am currently working with a talented illustrator who is bringing my little Adana to life.
Later in 2016 I will rerelease Argentum (P.A.W.S. 2) and at the very end of the year hope to bring out Maze of Shadows (P.A.W.S. 3).

debbiePAWS3ArgentumSmallerThe Big C kk

Sibling of the World Award

A very special thank you to Mike Wolff for the nomination.

 

Here are my answers:

Orange or Green…Why?
Being a painter I think that all colors have the right moment to appear, so they all have their specific role. So I would not have a favorite.

Paper or Plastic…Why?
Paper. Because it will never get totally out of fashion even with e-readers. Plastic is more of an environmental problem we have to deal with.

Fantasy, Science Fiction or Horror…Why?
I alternate reading science fiction and fantasy. To read only one of the two genres would be boring for me in the long term. I usually don’t read horror itself, but love Gothic novels.

If you had to describe your writing style as an animal, what would it be?
Funny question, lol. I think it would be an eagle, flying high in time and character motivations, and then fixing a certain moment and approaching it, diving into its details, emotions, and action. This brings in the necessity to write the time and point of view transitions with great care.

If you could chose a super power to have, what would it be and why?
I would like to be extremely fast, only this way I would manage to do everything I plan to do. If I could choose a second power I would choose to be very strong. My supernatural characters have both powers so they aren’t bound by these human limitations, but their powers are contained by their short duration. They aren’t over powerful all the time like super heroes. It’s anyway fun to play with limitations both in a story and in real life.

 

Who is your favorite literary character and why?
It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I would say that Emilia the rag doll, from the Brazilian children’s book: Sitio do Pica-pau Amarelo (The Yellow Woodpecker Grange) is one of my favorites because she is witty, not aware of her flaws, but pure of heart as most children. She is also never afraid to question everything and look for her own way of doing things. I once wrote a blog post about that (https://leticiatoraci.wordpress.com/2015/03/)

 

What is you favorite sandwich?
If would pick a sandwich I would choose one with roast beef. Something from a good place, I don’t like stuff from fast food chains anymore. I also usually eat bread only for breakfast too. An ideal lunch for me is a good salad with grilled aubergine.

 

A fairy, a robot and a zombie walk into a bar…what happens next?
They ask to see Gandalf and ask him to open a temporal dimensional portals to their respective worlds. Or they all go to the Lord of the Rings world together. There the fairy goes to live among the elves and falls in love with Legolas. The zombie goes to search for the one ring instead of brains, and the robot goes to help the humans on their house shores, or he gives up on technology altogether and goes to live among the Ents.

 

How many books to you read a year…roughly?
I never counted it before entering Goodreads. 🙂 I read a lot in my childhood, among them all Emilia books, one of my favorite books then was The wizard of Oz. In my teens I read every Anne Rice book every story based on the Star Trek universe and every Asimov book I could find, not talking of repeatedly reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I love its Gothic universe with unrequited love. In this new century I spent some years reading few books while I was playing computer games. This year I read 39 so far, but with two small kids you can only read so much.

 

Social Media: a great tool for the Indie Artist or a hinderance to creation?
Mostly a great tool to get to know interesting people who are passionate for the same things you are, even if none of them lives in your town or even country. It all depends on how disciplined you are with your time. Sometimes it leads to procrastination, but in my case social media isn’t really the problem, but more all the possibilities of learning you find in the internet. It is an almost infinite source of great information and I never get enough of it. But everything you learn is never wasted so that’s OK in the long term.

 

The official rules of this award are:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post
Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
Nominate ten other bloggers (or up to 10).
Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nominations.

My Nominations:

Debbie Manber Kupfer

Lorna George

Pete Sutton

Carol Van Natta

J.M.Turner

Kristy Carey

R. K. Summers

S.A. Gibson

Jen Ponce

M.A. Ray

And anyone who would like to play is also invited!
My Questions:

1.What have you been up to in your writing life?

2. Which theme has surfaced in your story? Has it surfaced naturally or you wanted to talk about it since the beginning of your project?

3. How do you find time to write?

4. Did you always wanted to write a book since your childhood or was this an idea that you had later in life?

5. With what did you have difficulty with in your first draft? How did you overcome it?

6. Do you have other ways to express yourself artistically or is writing your sole passion?

7. In which social media are you more active?

8. Do you sometimes need a break from social media and/or writing?

9. What are your favorite authors?

10. Which books influenced your writing?

My writing playlist, 25 songs full of emotion

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Writers often speak about which music inspires them to write. All these are songs bring up a lot of different emotions in me, they conjure specific moods for writing scenes. I also hear them gladly in my everyday life.

1) Tomoyasu Hotei – Battle Without Honor Or Humanity

2) Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

3) 3-11 Porter/ Surround me with your love

4) Duffy – Rain On Your Parade

5) Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

6) Pharrell Williams – Happy

7) Vance Joy – Riptide

8) David Bowie – Absolute Beginners

9) Duffy – Distant Dreamer

10) You’re Beautiful – James Blunt

11) Capital Cities – Safe And Sound

12) Gabriella Cilmi – Sweet About Me

13) Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life

14) The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony

15) Gary Barlow – Let Me Go

http://www.universal-music.de/gary-barlow/videos/detail/video:330626/let-me-go

16) Rockferry – Duffy

17) Nelly Furtado – Powerless Say What You Want

18) Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger

19) Travis – Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

20) Coolio- Gangster’s Paradise

21) Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

22) Game Of Thrones “Official” Show Open (HBO)

23) Gloria – Laura Branigan

24) Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

25) Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men

http://www.vevo.com/watch/of-monsters-and-men/little-talks-(official-video)/USUV71102089