Interview – S.A. Gibson

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Published author of academic books, articles, and book chapters and post-apocalyptic “woodpunk” fiction, S.A. Gibson turns his passions for learning, artificial intelligence, and human communication into accessible worlds of wonder and fascination. He lives with his wonderful wife and their beloved Dachshund-Chihuahua in Southern California, where he is currently working toward a Ph.D in education.

 

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Thank you for allowing me to speak to your readers, Leticia. The daughter of a Gullah farm owner allies with a warrior from the Library to protect her family’s land in the future post-technology Southern United States.

 

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

This is the first story I’ve written with an African and African-American centered story. I wanted to explore parts of my heritage and see how a story might read that is set solely in one ethnic community. After learning about the unusual dialect spoken by African-Americans in some parts of the Gullah areas of the Carolinas, I worked on crafting a tale centered on their survival after the fall of modern civilization.

 

Which authors have influenced you?

I read Andre Norton and the other Golden Age science fiction writers. More recent writers that I actively seek to emulate include Lindsay Buroker, Carol Van Natta, and Rachel Bach.

 

Which are your favorite literary genres?

I most often read hard science fiction. Sometimes I read detective mysteries, and I have to admit I have read a fair smattering of cozy mysteries.

 

What makes a book/story special for you?

I enjoy conflict between characters. And, I love characters who live ordinary lives, but must rise to meet unexpected challenges. These characters begin the story with a simple history, and end the book having accomplished incredible things.

 

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

I have lived my entire life in California. Either in the San Francisco area or Los Angeles area. Aspects of my fiction stories reflect a desire to challenge the culture I grew up in the United States. I am old enough to remember when we were starting to convert to the metric system. But, that change was never carried out. Most of my stories are set in America, but use kilometers, liters, and kilograms.

 

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

The first draft of a book takes me about six months. Editing is an exhausting process. It often takes another six months for editing and proofing.

 

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

The cover illustration was produced by Aaron Radney. He is a talented new artist who has a sweeping vision. The drawing was a collaboration based on ideas about the story. Set in a library with the two main characters, it reveals some of their traits in a still image. Rachel Bostwick turned the art into a cover for this book. I have been working with a wonderful development editor, EJ Runyon. I can’t express how valuable it is to work with a good editor. She encourages me to take my writing to a whole new level. I love creating stories and driving the characters to meet difficult challenges. My editor helps make the stories a more immersive experience for the readers.

 

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

It is fascinating how the story will change as you write it. Some characters decide they want more page time. Some plot stories become more important than you planned. Going with the flow is part of the process of writing fiction. I faced the challenge that many authors face, needing to improve the quality of my writing. I required coaching and editing help to improve my stories. Next, I learned that marketing, for me, is even harder than writing. It is an important job to rise above the many other book titles out there.

 

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

The types of stories I tell require continuous research. I am always finding new ideas, information, inspiration, and unfortunately distraction in my search to describe my semi-fictional world. For example, in this story, I wondered how to describe the sailing ship that would be used. Researching the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Eagle gave me information to fill in a scene in the book.

 

What would you do differently on a next project?

I am becoming more of a plotter, and less of a pantser with each book. I want to know where the story is going, and which characters are needed for each scene. While the story will change during the writing process, I find it helpful to have the whole story laid out, at least in outline form.

 

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

Probably two separate pieces of advice. Be clear on the genre you want to write in. Marketing is difficult. It is almost impossible for new writers to get started in selling books. It is important to think about what will happen to your baby after you have invested a year into creating it. If your targeting of an audience is good enough, you may have some success. The other task for new writers is to review the product you are going to bring to market. Does the writing meet expectations in the genre? Has the editing been done? Are the characters well developed, and does the dialog make sense? Remember, you want to deliver a good experience to your audience.

 

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

I have a blog at https://gibsonauthor.wordpress.com/ Also, I’m on Facebook at GibsonNovel

 

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I am working with my editor on a sequel to Feeling a Way. This story is an epic collision between the native Americans and a horde of invaders from Asia. This book titled, A Final Way is available for pre-order at Smashwords.

Win the ebook of Asante’s Gullah Journey by S. A. Gibson from Amazon. (Participant must reside in the United States and be 18+ years of age)
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e7b66066726192a8

 

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Author Interview – Katymarie Frost

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Katymarie Frost never had a shortage of stories in her head, but she knew she wanted to be a writer from the moment a librarian called her “the next J.K. Rowling” after winning a writing contest when she was only ten or even years old. It has been her dream to share the many tales her imagination has created and to give others a springboard for their own imaginations to take flight. Since then, she has started many different literary endeavors, but the first one she has been able to finish was what has now become Gateway to Aviandria, which she is hoping to release this fall.

Questions:

How would you describe your story in one sentence?
Ashlynn is quite content with her ordinary life as a college student, but all that changes when she is hurtled into a completely different world where she is forced to confront cruel kidnappers, a manipulative tyrant, and a decision that could obliterate her chances of ever returning to her home.

What inspired you to write your story/characters/theme?
I have been writing stories for most of my life, but the idea of Aviandria, the setting where most of my story takes place, was inspired by my best friend in college. She told me about a world she had created that included elements of magic and mythical creatures, and I thought it sounded like fun to do something like that for myself. At first, it was more of a game to see if we could come up with viable countries, complete with government systems, economics, demographics, geography, ecology, and all those sorts of things. Then we started writing short stories incorporating our countries. Those morphed into longer stories, and eventually one became what is now Gateway to Aviandria.

Which authors have influenced you?
I have a large list of authors who influenced me to write. A few of these would include Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Cheri Maude, J.K. Rowling, and Baroness Orczy. Those authors who influenced what I write the most would probably include C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, Terry Brooks, and Chris Heimerdinger.

Which are your favorite literary genres?
I love fantasy and science fiction, but I also really enjoy historical fiction, mysteries, and some of the classics.

What makes a book/story special for you?
I would have to say the thing that usually wins me over in a story is the characters. When I can actually feel like the characters are my friends and I start feeling the same things they are feeling and caring about what happens to them, they almost become real people to me. That is when I start loving the story. Then, of course, I would have to say happy endings. I love happy endings.

Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influence your story?
I live in Utah surrounded by mountains. These mountains influenced a lot of the geography in parts of Aviandria, but I have also taken many elements from other places I have visited. I was going to college in Rexburg, Idaho when I wrote a lot of this story, and that was a huge influence as well, especially when I am describing my main character’s ordinary world in the beginning of the book. I’m sure my culture influences my writing more than I am even aware of. I don’t know that a writer can entirely escape being influenced by their culture. If I look at it closely, many of the ideals and values of my characters are the same as those I grew up with.

How long did you need to write this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
I’m guessing it took around a year, possibly a bit more to finish the first draft of my book. I had to fit it in around going to college full time, so I didn’t get to write as much as I would love to. After that, I set it aside for a time while I focused on writing other stories, school, and other important things in my life. Since then it has gone through several revisions. Those didn’t take as much time as the first draft because I at least knew where I was going better. Right now it is in the final editing phase, and that is taking more time because I have to work with other people’s timetables as well as my own.

What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happen?
While I was writing, I learned to keep an open mind and be flexible with some things in the story. Sometimes characters almost seemed to have a life of their own and would do unexpected things, or my friend would throw in new ideas, and I learned to incorporate those. It’s fun reading through plot twists, but it’s almost more fun writing through them.

What helped you to get inspired and overcome hurdles along the writing of your book?
I fell in love with writing it, so I really wanted to get it done. Sometimes it did get hard, and I would get stuck, but because I really wanted to finish I found things that helped motivate me. One of the things that helped was talking about it, especially with my friend who inspired me to write it. It helped to be able to send her snippets I had just written to get feedback. Another thing that would help was to visit with the characters, whether it meant getting to know them better through extra character development, or trying to draw them. Sometimes I had to go back and read favorite passages I had already written. Other times it helped to read something written by somebody else, just to recharge my creativity. Really, it was mostly my craving to write that carried me through. It often just called to me, so I wrote.

What would you do differently on a next project?
I don’t know if there was a lot I would change because writing Gateway to Aviandria was what I wanted it to be. It was something I had fun with and enjoyed, which was the number what reason I wrote it. Perhaps in the future, I will do more planning and plotting before I write much, but if inspiration strikes, I don’t mind simply starting to see where it goes.

Best piece (s) of advice for first-time writers?
Don’t give up. If it seems hard, keep going. If you don’t know if anybody else will ever read it, keep writing. Write it for yourself first and foremost. You never know when the opportunity to share it with the world will come up. Even if you don’t think it’s good enough, still write it.It can always be improved, but even an imperfect story is better than no story at all. If you don’t write your story down, who will? Something amazing could be lost. Think of writing a book as your own adventure. You often get more from the journey than the actual destination. If you can enjoy the journey, you will reach the destination sooner or later. Work hard, keep going, but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process.

Where can readers contact you on the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
Readers can find my contact information as well as more about me and my book at http://www.katymariefrost.com. I also have a blog on that site where I write about things that influenced and inspired my writing, extra details about my book that aren’t found anywhere else, and any news regarding the upcoming release.

What are you planning to write/publish next?
Right now, my primary goal is to release Gateway to Aviandria. If all goes well, I’m hoping to do so this fall. After that, I actually have a sequel written, though it needs some major revisions. After Gateway to Aviandria is published, I plan to start those revisions and work toward publishing the sequel.

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Author Interview – M.J.Kobernus

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MJ Kobernus is a writer, editor and founder of Nordland Publishing. He lives in a small village an hour outside of Oslo, Norway. With a distinct leaning towards Metaphysical Fantasy, he has authored several novels in the Guardian series, where a hapless historian inherits a . . . well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out. He has also a good many short stories published, which you can find in various anthologies and magazines.

MJ drives a vintage motorcycle, plays a vintage guitar and has a love of 70s rock music. He is also the self proclaimed inventor of the micro genre of “Flash Philosophy” and is the founder of Nordland Publishing, where he is the Editor in Chief and tea-boy.

MJ is also an avid gamer, so you might find him online as part of the SC2 community, where he delights in teaching people half his age why they should respect their elders. He has published over 40 scientific articles, as well as many short stories in various collections and magazines.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

What an awful question! Impossible to answer….but here goes…

“Things go badly awry when a historian stumbles into a magical conspiracy and uncovers a secret hidden for a century that threatens not just his life, but the future of humanity.”

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

I am deeply interested in history, philosophy and science, and these elements are major themes in the Guardian. It is well known that all physical matter is comprised of energy. Therefore, if we take it one stage further, it may be possible that energy itself can become matter. This underpins the ‘magic realism’ of the story and is the basis for Metaphysical Geometry, the ‘science’ of witchcraft that is alluded to frequently in the series.

In Blood in the Sand, there are two main characters, and two stories that intertwine. The first is a historian, Philip Entwhistle. He is a ‘nice guy.’ The sort that will help a kid with his homework. Academically average, somewhat timid, he is fascinated by a historical figure that is everything he is not.

Sir James Francis is a linguist, spy and inveterate seducer of other men’s wives. Philip is obsessed with finding out what happened to Sir James in Khartoum in 1922. Was he murdered? Did he catch something nasty and just die? There are no records, but Philip is determined to find out.

What he discovers is extraordinary, dangerous, and sets him on a path from which there is no coming back.

This is the starting point from which I push the envelope in terms of Metaphysical Fantasy and it is continued in the second novel, Blood in the Snow. Release date sometime in 2016.

Which authors have influenced you?
In spite of Heinlein’s penchant for chauvinistic writing, I think a good deal of what he wrote was extremely interesting. He explored themes that were not always acceptable to mainstream society and introduced characters that no one else would write about. For example, I believe that he was the first to cast a Black main character in a sci-fi novel. Also the first Asian main character. In spite of what movie adaptations would have you believe, Jonny Rico in Starship Troopers spoke Tagalog and was from the Philippines. Not a lot of people know that!

I also rate Orwell very highly. Not just his epic 1984, but his other works too. In particular those that deal with social injustice. I think he was a sublime writer, and when in doubt, I always ask myself, “What would Orwell do?”

In terms of Fantasy writers, I have not been inspired by any, in particular. I love Tolkein, but High Fantasy is not for me. I am particularly interested in the advent of more ‘realistic’ fantasy, so I really like Abercrombie’s and Martin’s books, for example. And while my work is very different, I aim to develop a realistic portrayal, as much as that is possible when dealing with fantastical elements.

Which are your favorite literary genres?
I am a big fan of Dystopian literature. Stories that revolve around the collapse of society, for whatever reason, and the subsequent struggle that people endure, merely to survive. I am planning a trilogy of books on a major dystopian theme to follow the Guardian series. That is years away, but it is always on my mind.

What makes a book/story special for you?

Characterization first and foremost. Well defined people that seem real. Add to that some excitement, drama and a crazy adventure and that is probably enough for anyone! I don’t necessarily have to identify with any of the characters in a story, but I want to feel that they are alive.

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

I live in a small village in rural Norway. I have a view of snow covered hills for most of the year, otherwise pine forests on the off chance that it is actually warm.

Book I of the Guardian begins in England, but book II, Blood in the Snow, takes place largely in Norway. So being resident here has definitely influenced me in terms of the settings of the book. Also the characters too, since I introduce various Norwegians in books I and II.

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

Blood in the Sand took about 3 months to write the first draft. Approximately 95,000 words. I then ‘sat’ on it for a further 3 months, while I wrote various other things, including another novel (a sci-fi, with a heavy emphasis on the classic pulp styles of the 50s) that I plan to publish in 2017.

I went back to the manuscript after 3 months, and did a second and third revision. After that, I worked with an editor and trimmed it down to about 85,000 words. So, all in all, about 6-7 months of work, spread out over 1 year.

Book II of the series took longer to write and revise, but I think that was largely due to being overworked. I got a bit burned out, I think.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I have worked closely with a cover artist on all the books in the Guardian series. My design guy is awesome. Very dedicated to getting every detail just right. His name is Ash, and you can find a link to him on my blog.

I did not hire professional proof readers, but a good circle of like-minded people (authors many of them) reviewed the manuscript for Blood in the Sand, and helped find the annoying little errors.

I did hire an editor, and I hope to take advantage of him for years to come. It is so vital to have someone really vicious to work with. In my opinion, if your editor is not upsetting you, he is not doing his job. I believe that mine made me look smarter than I am. So a big thanks to Chris Hagan!

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

I made contact with a lot of people. There are so many people that want to write. The good news is, nothing is stopping them!

If there is one lesson learned from my own experiences it is this: writing takes time. You cannot be in a hurry. If you are, get into a new game, because writing is about patience, diligence and detail. Everything takes longer than you would like, from proofing, editing, design, publishing, etc. The big lesson is writing is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

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

I suppose being somewhat obsessive compulsive helped me. When I want to do something, I tend to throw myself into it and work hard until I achieve my objective.

Also, my wife was very supportive, enabling me to focus on writing without placing too many demands on my time for things that I would simply rather not do. I prioritized writing above socializing, movies, going out, and even sleep. But I always tried to have family time. After all, there are some things that are simply too important to give up.

What would you do differently on a next project?
Not stress out that everything takes longer than I want. And get a cushion for my chair. The damned thing is way too hard. My ass is still hurting.

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

Work only on one thing at a time. Don’t stop until you are done. And proof read your work carefully. Read it aloud. Get someone else to read it aloud, and listen! When you are done, find an editor who will not blow smoke up your ass.

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

Indeed. You can find me on various writing forums, Facebook and via my blog.
http://metaphysicalgeometry.blogspot.no/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8345150.M_J_Kobernus

http://amazon.com/author/mjkobernus

http://www.nordlandpublishing.com/team/mj-kobernus/

You can also email me at michael@nordlandpublishing.com

What are you planning to write/publish next?

Book II of the Guardian is almost finished, and will be published later this year. This follows only a month or so after the conclusion of Book I and Philip finds himself, once again, biting off more than he can chew when it comes to dealing with dark powers.

I am writing books III and IV right now, but this will take much longer, I feel. I also have another novel, Blue Water, which I plan to release in 2017. It is a standalone story about alien invasion, corporate greed and a computer hacker with a crippling social anxiety disorder.

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Author Interview – Bard Bloom

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Bard Bloom is a software engineer by day, a parent by night, and a fantasy/sf writer on the train between the two.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Nine naïve young dragons venture to an unfamiliar high-tech universe for a relaxing decade of figuring out who marries who, but are distracted and devastated by undead gods, giant ray guns, mind-controlling parasites, friendship and conquest of the natives, and their own nature.

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

One fun inspiration was to reverse the fantasy trope of underdogs on the side of good achieving great power and victory against huge odds.  My dragons are extraordinarily powerful and never lose a fight against non-dragons — and they’re not always the good guys.  So I gave them a heaping plate of problems which couldn’t be challenged to a battle, like communicable diseases and civil disobedience.  And the dragons don’t always win.

Which authors have influenced you?

I wish I could write like some combination of Jack Vance and Roger Zelazny.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Fantasy, science fiction, science, math, sociology.

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

I live near New York City.  I definitely enjoyed sending my naïve dragon narrator in disguise into a sophisticated tourist-friendly city, and watching her stumble around with unfamiliar customs.  E.g., trying to hire a personal tour guide and not quite understanding an euphemism like “escort”.

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

Mating Flight took a year or so for first draft, then a couple years of sitting quietly and getting occasional revisions and editing.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

Yes.  I didn’t expect to make much money on the book, but I have a longstanding relationship with the artist Tod Wills, who gave me quick but delightful cover art for a song.  After the first edition got spelling complaints, I hired another friend to copy-edit and proofread it, again at very generous friend rates.  (Spell-checking a book full of exotic names is not easy.)

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

I wrote a complete outline.  Then the undead god Xolgrohim manifested on page 3 and added a couple major plotlines that wrecked the outline.

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

I have very limited bits of time in my day to write — lunchtimes, for Mating Flight, or my half-hour morning train commute for more recent books.  I gave each book a theme song and a playlist, and trained myself to get into the headspace for writing the book when I hear that song or playlist.

What would you do differently on a next project?

Make the names easier to pronounce.

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

Start out by figuring out why you want to write.  If your answer is “To tell these stories”, we can talk more.  If it’s “to sell books”, I’m not going to be any help at all.

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

bard.bloom@gmail.com, or Facebook or Google Plus as Bard Bloom.

I serialize fiction at bardbloom.com/matingflight

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I have a YA-ish book, /Snake-Armed/, which I am quite pleased with. Publishers less so: they complain about not being able to market it as unambiguously either fantasy or science fiction, and the part after the Grand Sacrifice where the narrator has to figure out how to live with the consequences of having made her Grand Sacrifice.   So I’m expecting to collect some more rejections and then self-publish it too.

 

 

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Author Interview – Jen Ponce

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Jen’s love for reading came from her mom, who valued books above all things (except maybe the Dallas Cowboys and Michael Jordan.) She writes for the same reason some people run marathons, climb mountains, sculpt, paint, or put on suits of Mentos and jump into vats of Coke: because there is a fire burning inside her that doesn’t let her NOT do these things. Writing is necessary, like breathing or double chocolate chip cookies and perfectly salted potato chips.

Reading is not a lost pastime and Jen refuses to believe that something so magical could ever go away. Even during the zombie apocalypse, she will be reading. She will just have to learn how to wield an ax in one hand while holding her book in the other.

Jen Ponce lives in the Panhandle of Nebraska, with her boys, her cats, her goldfish Reggie and a large supply of books that help insulate the house in the winter and expand her mind.

She loves connecting on Twitter and Facebook. You can also send her email and she’ll write back. Visitwww.JenniferPonce.com to figure out how to do all of the above.

Jen Ponce. Writer of kick ass women and oogy monsters. One-handed, ax-wielding zombie hunter/reader.

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

The story I’m working on now: A young woman with a troubled past discovers that evil can wear a pretty face.

 
 

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

This story came from a dream that inspired a three-day writing binge that left me with 275 pages of story. I’ve been picking at it for a long time, trying to figure out what the purpose of it is, what the ending is, why it has stuck with me as something that needed written. I’ve finally gotten the handle on what I want to say with this book and I’m about halfway done with it.

 

Which authors have influenced you?

There are a lot of romance authors who inspired me to start writing way back when: Johannah Lindsey, Laura Kinsale, Lisa Gregory, Rebecca Brandewyne. Then I picked up a novel that looked like a romance (with two lovers in passionate embrace) but of course, the male model was Stephen King. That book was Misery and started me on a nom, nom, reading binge of horror.

 

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Fantasy of all kinds, romance, and historical fiction.

 

What makes a book/story special for you?

Books with female characters who have agency and independence. Books that have fast action, gory horror, engaging characters and magic!

 

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

I live in the Panhandle of Nebraska and while I have used Nebraska as the location for several of my novels, it’s more because there aren’t that many novels set in Nebraska rather than my desire to write novels inspired by Nebraska. Does that make sense? I think of books like My Antonia inspired by and grown by the land about which they are written. My books just use Nebraska as a backdrop.

 

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

I can type words very quickly, but getting them into the right order for a novel is a lot harder. (Imagine that! LOL) If I have a firm grasp on the novel and where I want it to end up, I can usually get a first draft written in two or three months. I set the thing aside for a while, then pick it up again to read through it with fresh eyes. I’ll make corrections, revisions, and then get it to someone else to read. When they send back their feedback, I plunk it into a program that will read the text to me so I can hear all the things I missed during a read through. It’s different for each novel, too. If I write the book more slowly, there are less mistakes.

 

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

I’ve been making my own covers and looking back on some of my first covers, I see that I’ve made a lot of progress as a cover maker. I’ve translated that knowledge to my day job and have won a state-wide award related to the skills I’ve been honing through my writing.

 

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

I’ve learned that I am very much capable of planning a project, carrying it out, and seeing success from it. Writing will always be something I do, even if self-publishing goes away, even if no one ever sees anything I write. It was really the publishing and all the things that come with it that made me realize that I can accomplish what I put my mind to. I love that feeling.

 

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

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing lately in preparation for another book I’ll soon be writing. It’s an epic fantasy, a genre I haven’t really written in before (aside from some small stories) and it’s both invigorating and nerve-wracking to contemplate a book the size I think this one will be. The drawing helps me focus my creativity in different ways to enhance the writing I do. At other times, I’ve used writing workbooks or creative writing exercises to overcome hurdles, or I completely scrap all that I’ve done and come at the problem from a different writing angle. That one is painful and hard, but I’ve written pretty good stories from those moments of bravery, so as hard as it is, sometimes throwing away all that you’ve done to start fresh can work wonders.

 

What would you do differently on a next project?

I am a pantser down deep in my soul, but I’ve seen the benefits of pre-planning stories in my own work. I’ve done a lot more structuring of plot and character work for the upcoming writing project than I’ve done for most of my stories, so I’m excited to see if that makes a difference or not.

 

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

Don’t forget to have fun with your writing and don’t show your work too soon. Valid or not, other people’s opinions can totally wreck your mojo. Keep the assholes and cheerleaders out of your creative space for as long as you can stand it.

 

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

You can visit me at www.JenniferPonce.com to see my books, read my blog, and contact me. You can also play with me on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/JenPonceAuthor or on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/JenPonceAuthor.

 

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I’m publishing my next book on June 6, 2016. I’ll be writing Brokeneck Raven (my epic fantasy) next, and then I’ll be writing Fungus Queen (horror novel) with the hopes of having it published in October of this year. I don’t think Brokeneck Raven will be done this year, but miracles do happen! 🙂

 

 

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Author Interview – Misha Burnett

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Misha Burnett has little formal education, but has been writing poetry and fiction for around forty years. During this time he has supported himself and his family with a variety of jobs, including locksmith, cab driver, and building maintenance.

His first four novels, Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, The Worms Of Heaven, and Gingerbread Wolves comprise a series, collectively known as The Book Of Lost Doors.

More information can be found on his website: https://mishaburnett.wordpress.com

Questions:

Which authors have influenced you?

Mostly the New Wave Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. William Burroughs, Phillip Dick, Samuel Delany, Tim Powers, Tannith Lee. More recently, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Charles Stross.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

None of the above. I like books that break genre boundaries. Recently people have taken to calling that “slipstream fiction”.

What makes a book/story special for you?

The characters, plain and simple. I don’t care much what the story is about, what grabs me is who the story is about.

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

I live in St. Louis, Missouri, although I have lived all over the country, mostly in the Southwest. My culture is blue collar American—people who work with their hands and keep the machine running that keeps us all fed. It very much influences my stories. My heroes are people who face problems squarely and get things done, regardless of what anyone else is doing.

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

Each of my books took about a year to write, while working a full time day job. I don’t revise or edit or write in drafts. I start at the beginning, work through to the end, and then I’m done. What you see on the page is pretty much exactly as I wrote it the first time.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

Nope. My roommate took the photos and I made the covers. I had beta readers who pointed out typos, which I fixed.

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

In the writing process a lot of unexpected things happened. I had no clear idea of where I was going with the story, and it kind of unfolded as I went. I didn’t even know that I had finished the series until about a month after I published the last book and realized that it was the last book.

Best piece of advice for first time writers?

Nobody cares about your book. That sounds discouraging, but it’s really not. It’s very freeing. I read a lot of posts from new authors asking “Will readers like this? Do publishers like that? Will an agent want the other thing?” The answer is nobody cares. There are seven billion people on this planet and most of them will go to their graves without ever knowing that you exist. Write for yourself, or give it up.

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

https://mishaburnett.wordpress.com/

What are you planning to write/publish next?

I’m not. I’m doing a series of reviews of for a publisher’s website, focusing on what I consider to be forgotten classics of speculative fiction, and I’ve written a few short stories for various collections, but right now I have no plans to write another novel, much less a series.

Author Interview – Shannon L. Perrine

Shannon

 

SL PERRINE is a wife to a mechanic and mother of four crazy teenagers (3 are boys) who eat her out of house and home. While raising her kids she has obtained three degrees, and now works to feed this bunch as a Registered Medical Assistant in a private physician’s office in the city she currently resides.
She is a native of Schenectady and Saratoga Springs, New York, having spent equal time growing up in both cities.

Writing has always been a passion of hers since she was young. She finally sat down and finished her first book in 2012 and self-published.

She has several projects in the works.

“If I never make a dime off my books I don’t care, I just love the fact that my work is out there for others to read.”
~SL PERRINE~

Questions:

How would you describe your story in one sentence?

Immortal Slumber is a story about an adopted girl who, on her 18th birthday discovers she’s a witch and all her friends knew about it.

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

I watched a few different movies with my husband and kept saying, “that story would be so much better if it went like this…” Finally my husband got tired of hearing me say that and told me to just start a new series.

Which authors have influenced you?

Originally, Nora Roberts. I had spent ten years getting borrowed books from my step-mom. Eventually I started going to the library, and I was never really sure what I was getting. I kept getting what I knew I liked until the library didn’t have anymore. So I picked up a couple YA Fantasy books and fell in love.

Which are your favorite literary genres?

Fantasy and Romance.

What makes a book/story special for you?

Originality… Nothing beats the feeling of not wanting to put a book down because your so interested in what’s coming next.

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

I divided my time between parents, so I grew up in both city and country settings in Central New York. I love the country setting, but find I choose more of a urban setting for my books. That’s just how they worked out.

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

I think this book took me close to 3 months. About 1.5 to write and then I procrastinated on the editing. I was waiting for a specific publisher to open for submissions. We haven’t gotten to the revision/editing yet.

Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?

Fortunately I have been given a contract to publish and my publisher will be handing it off to those she has on staff

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

I learned that really anyone can write a book if they want to. You have to be dedicated to complete a trilogy/series if you start one. Which will keep you going if you have it in you to do it. Then just start another one. Keep the momentum.

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

There were so many days that I didn’t want to write, and so many I couldn’t. But eventually I had to allow myself those days to not write, so that way when I sat down to my story again, I was able to give it my full attention without feeling like the story was being forced. If I began to feel like I was stuck, I’d sit down with a book or a movie and just forget my book for a day or two. Then I was able to go back refreshed.

What would you do differently on a next project?

I don’t know that I would do anything different on my next project. Except maybe the story.

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

I’m asked this a lot. My only advise is this…if you want to write, then do it. Don’t think about it,don’t plan,just sit down and see what comes out.

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

My new website is now up… http://www.slperrine.com

They can also contact me on Facebook. http://www.Facebook.com/slperrine

What are you planning to write/publish next?

Currently I have two series that I’m working on. Immortal Slumber is book one of The Crawford Witch Chronicles, an will be published by The Dragons Rockettship Publishing, LLC.

The other is The Beast Within Series and The Beast Within: book one is scheduled for release for March 2017 with Burning Willow Press, LLC.

 

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