Interview with @erineveland #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Erin Eveland, author of Darkness.

Hi Erin, thank you for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

10494808_740322896032829_5112097613903221088_nErin: I live in Michigan, USA; in the same state I was born. I live in a completely different area than where I was raised. Now, I live in the outskirts of Metro-Detroit, in an area which I like to call the country suburbs. I grew up in the heart of Mid-Michigan country, a real backwoods with a small town. It’s funny how neighbors around here think we live in the country but the sticks where I grew up, well, I knew kids who could fix a refrigerator before they hit puberty, people carried coat hangers and duck-tape for car repairs and if you saw someone on the side of the road – you stopped and you helped them out.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Erin: An honest story is a good story. No matter what kind of story it is. As a writer, I believe you know your story is working when the characters start taking on a life of their own. They become your children and even though you have given them life they start choosing their attitudes, behaviors and what to do with it, no matter if you like it or not. They can become unpredictable and stubborn. This becomes extremely frustrating. You may have a clear path for them, but suddenly their telling you, “Nope – Nada, I’m not going down that road no matter how you’d like to write it.” I think that when writers don’t listen to their inner character, the story becomes forced, manipulated and ultimately unbelievable – which ruins the magic of any story. In my last novel, Darkness, one of my characters, Nathan, was never intended to become a “Master of Darkness.” I had a plan for him, or so I thought. One night of writing, the character Nathan decided he was going in a completely different direction. I didn’t like it at all, but I was overly compelled to write the story the way I felt the character wanted it. Honestly, I still feel like I wrote that moment in the story with my eyes closed. A close friend of mine was reading the manuscript and she told me that when she came to that part in the story she threw the manuscript on the table because she couldn’t believe Nathan would do such a thing. She wanted the character to remain “pure” if you will. She yelled at me too, I might add, which was very funny. But no matter the ‘disappointments’ in regards to that character, because the character brought to life his personal path – the story in turn has a genuine life of its own. A formulated story, where the characters are not allowed to breathe their own life, reads like stick people walking on flapping paper. It’s the same as talking to someone in front of you; you hear what they say but you feel their eyes are lying.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

Erin: I always like to try new things. One day I thought, “Today I’m going to write a story.” Which I did, and discovered I was a horrible writer. A lot of people make the mistake by thinking they’re a reader – they can become a writer overnight. At that time, I just wanted to write a story even though I was writing material I could eventually become blackmailed with. Yeah, it was that bad and I might have burned it all one night in a fit of disgust. But maybe because I’m stubborn, I stuck with it and after two years of continuous writing, reading books, meeting others, I would like to say I started to pull it together. 

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Erin: There isn’t one, but there should be. With children at home, scheduling etc… life gets unpredictable. I’ve spent numerous nights and early dark mornings trying to fit in blocks of uninterrupted time.    

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Erin: I guess it’s weird to people that I like to write in my garage. It becomes my bat-cave for writing. I find that’s the place I can shut out the world and not look at chores of the house or yard that always needs to be addressed. Recently, I tore down my makeshift desk and officially moved my desk, bookshelf, papers and all in the garage next to my wood burning stove for the Michigan winter.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Erin: The title is Darkness, which is the first book in this dark fantasy series.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

10365329_719433678121751_6729065329366970428_o.jpgErin: Hummmm…well, a lot I’d say, especially because when I started working on it I have learned so much by completing Darkness, and by completing it – I don’t mean the first draft. Ha!  By that time I had a few short stories published, finished a novella and had other works in the making, but this was the first steak I slapped on the table. I will say something that really threw me was the fact this story turned into a series with multiple characters and paths that intersect. When the idea for the novel, Darkness, first came to me I only envisioned one book, but by the time I started working on it, I realized that the book was a bit too big for my britches. Even the second book in the series, Shadows in which I am currently working on, has become more of a monster than I anticipated. I saw the story beginning to end, but that didn’t matter when I started writing it. It all comes back to allowing your characters to tell you the story when you’re messing it up, not the other way around.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Erin: Sure. I chose this little bit because I had mentioned this character, Nathan, previously. This is the first time we hear from Nathan in Shadows, book two in the series:

SHADOWS:

Nathan didn’t know if he was alive or dead. He tried to pull his muddled thoughts together. His body and mind felt trapped as though he were entombed; the blood drain from him, his brain scrambled and pulled out with a skewer and placed alongside other jars that must rest near his body, those which contained his other internal organs, neatly sealed and packaged for death. Maybe this was death. Maybe this was eternity, his personal hell.

Nathan had died, that much he was sure.

There was a mirror – a cracked oval mirror in the trailer. It was starting to fall apart at the frame because the frame was on fire. There were hands in the reflection of the mirror, his hands, and they seemed to move to cover his face because he too was on fire. He was aflame inside and out.

Nathan had heard himself cry out in the inferno, a scream that went mercilessly unanswered as he was whipped with long black threads like that of fiery eels, before the fire engulfed him. He saw his fingers in the mirror, burning to bubbling peaks. His singed hair melted around his brow like fine wax and a horror covered his face as he saw his blood starting to pour from his flesh like lava. That was inside Catherine’s trailer. That is what Catherine did to him. But he knew it wasn’t she who attacked him. It was the dark essence, the black power, and if he were still alive it would be from its pyre coffin he would arise.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

Erin: Shadows, the second book in the Darkness series, which I’m really looking forward to. In the next year I would also like to publish a side line horror novel I’ve written entitled The Pile. The Pile is a story I wrote for myself, but I think that fans of the horror genera, which seems to have been quite depleted these past few years, would get some fun out of it.          

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Erin: When I started writing, the only computer in my possession worked about as good as a toaster that only burnt the bread. So, for months I was consuming boxes of pens and notebooks while my interest in writing became stronger. I was addicted. I knew that writing was something I never wanted to stop doing in my life, but I also knew I really needed a computer and I became pretty desperate about it. To make a long story short, I ended up selling damn near all of my music equipment, amps, heads, instruments, accessories etc… to buy myself that computer. It was a hard, emotional process to let go of my music equipment, but after that I was so happy I did.            

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

http://www.darknesstheseries.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8185856.Erin_Eveland

https://www.facebook.com/authorerineveland

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Author Interview – Mackenzie Flohr

Aaron-Michael Hall

16684872_1313696542002169_1123684344_nAuthor Spotlight
Mackenzie Flohr

Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight. Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

Thank you for the invitation! I’m happy to be here. My name is Mackenzie Flohr and I am a fantasy author through BHC Press.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

I have always dreamed of writing a book and being an author, but seeing it actually get published? That part I wasn’t sure would ever happen. It’s one thing to start a book, but it’s another thing to actually finish it!

My parents nurtured a love for the creative arts from a very young age. From the time I could hold a pencil, I was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, a childhood friend and I were authors and reviewers of our…

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Interview with @C_Wellington2 #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Charles Wellington II, author of Corsana – The Phalanx Syndicate.

Hi Charles, thank you for agreeing to this interview!

Thanks for having me.

charles_bhc

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I come from the United States; and currently reside in Reno, Nevada.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

I feel that a good story always includes an air of adventure and suspense.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

D&D inspired me, but my friends gave me the kick. I’m going to nerd-out right now. I play Dungeons & Dragons. I haven’t ever used any of their written tales, and always wrote my own storylines. One day, all of my player’s suggested I put my creations into a book. Originally I scoffed at the idea. But one day, I sat down at the computer and the words just came rolling out. I was stunned.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Oh. It’s hectic. Like everyone else, I have the eight hour job. And that’s not including regular life. So I actually have to plan every minute of my day; right down to when I eat. Which means that when it comes to my scheduled writing time, there is no time for anyone else. I have a laser beam focus on my book.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

That I have to have a can of Mountain Dew there, sitting next to me at the desk. I don’t drink as much soda anymore, as I’m trying to get back in shape. But something about having it there in my peripheral vision just makes things go easier.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

corsana1The latest book is called: Corsana – The Phalanx Syndicate. It’s of the epic fantasy genera. I always like to say it’s like Lord of the Rings meets the magical qualities of Harry Potter.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That (for me) I know how to beat writer’s block.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Not at the moment. I think the synopsis on the back of the book really shares what I can say without giving too much away.

Before CK lies an unknown destiny, but as that destiny begins to reveal itself, and a villain to focus on emerges, the eyes of a powerful presence ― far greater than any he could have imagined ― will be drawn to him; that is, if he can survive. And in a world teeming with goblins, orcs, giants, and dragons, and danger lurking around every corner, all odds are against him!

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Definitely a continuation of the Corsana series. But I’m already looking at what other different genera’s I might explore in the future, should I choose to brancbooks_wellington_corsana_phalanx_syndicateelement149h out away from fantasy.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?  

The cost for my book cover. Working with Paul Davies – an artist I met on the website; Deviant Art – was just amazing.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Currently you can follow my book’s Facebook account. I’m always throwing up new things, whether that be where I am in my writing, or artwork I’m commissioning, on there.

https://www.facebook.com/Corsana.Saga/

http://www.bhcauthors.com/Author_Charles_Wellington.html

Interview with @Jsagreenauthor #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m fortunate to present Julian St Aubyn Green, author of Suffrage – Book 1 The World Key Chronicles.

Hi Julian, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Thanks for inviting me.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from? picture1

G’Day. I’m an Australian, born in Perth W.A.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story? 

Stories are the method in which an artist tries to connect and communicate with their audience. For me a story that has a clear underlying message, or a message that is revealed during the narrative is really important. I love those a-ha! moments of clarity when everything becomes clear.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

Oh dear, now you’ve done it. How much time do we have? I’ll give you the short version. I worked in Finance for many years and the one event which impacted my generation, like the Kennedy assassination was for my parents, was 9/11. Being in finance I had a closer view than a lot of other people in Australia. We were at arms-length from what was happening. Just, terrible images on the TV. And I watched as the world change in response to it. What people did to try and feel safe. On the ten year anniversary, this idea for a story snuck inside my head and wouldn’t go away. I had to write about it, and the idea has personified in my head as a Muse called Wonda, which is short for Wondevil, both wonderful and evil at the same time. She likes to pummel my brain with ideas.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Well, I love Nanowrimo. I wish it had been around when I was a kid trying to write my first novel. I tend to do the bulk of my writing during the month of November, which is this insane period of time where sleep, food and sanity is secondary to words, but there is a bunch of other authors riding the crazy wave with you. That sense of community is great. Outside of November I’m still writing, just not at the same intensity.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My beta readers and editors tell me I do great scene transitions. I like to use scene ends to amp up the tension. It’s far more fun to drop a hook and leave the reader wondering what is going to happen rather than spelling it out for them.

Question 6) picture3Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

It’s called Suffrage, a word which literally means ‘the ability to choose’ and is the first book in a series. I actually struggled for quite a while with the genre. It takes from a lot of places, but the strongest elements would be science fiction and fantasy, although it also blurs lines into other genres.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Ha ha, well I’m a huge planner. My outline for the novel is a couple of thousand words long. During the 1st major edit, I decided to rewrite some stuff at around the three-quarter mark of the book. I wanted two characters to meet, and when they did, they liked each other. I’m like ‘What the hell? But… you can’t.’ And all the while Wonda is standing in the background growling than this needed to happen. It actually stopped me in my tracks. I had to sit down and really think about why they were attracted to each other, and what it would mean, not just for this book, but the other books in the series. Here I was thinking the author is in control of the characters; finding out they can sometimes flip you off and do their own thing was a surprise, but probably something only another author can appreciate.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

But book two is still first draft! It’s not ready! It hasn’t been edited! Okay, I’ll share a little bit about Tariq. He’s a new character in book two and I’m having great fun writing him.

“Where did those rascally rebels go?” Tariq said as he sliced through the heavy pressure door.

“You are such an idiot sometimes Tariq.”

“I’m wounded Belya. Turn the other cheek. No, I mean it literally I can still see a hole, it’s freaking me out.”

“Just get that door open.” Belya touched her cheek as the flesh mended. Much of her hair on one side was now ash, filling the air with its acrid scent.

At the clang of metal as the door slammed onto the grating, Belya pushed past him and immediately stepped through, burning her hands on the red hot edges. A gust of roast pork smell fought for supremacy over the pungent aroma of burnt hair and molten steel as the slag burned into her.

“Phew. I’ll never get used to that smell. Reminds me of when Father sentences Lifers. Disgusting.”

“Will you stop reminiscing about your childhood and hurry the fuck up?” Belya snapped as he stepped through.

“Certainly.” Tariq made a small glowing ball of flame that he moved ahead of them like a mobile torch.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I’m working on the mountain. The series is four or five books and I hope to get one out a year, but I’m also writing some short stories. I was challenged by an author friend to write outside my normal comfort zone and do a horror flash fiction, which was really fun to write. I started writing more in the same world and one of those stories has been accepted into an anthology called Futurevision, which will be released in September 2017.

Question 10) What was the best money you every spent as a writer? 

I’m a big believer in using other people’s skills where it would take a long time to learn them on your own. I did a book marketing course with a great guy called Ocean Reeve and it’s helped me leapfrog a lot of pitfalls I think, and have confidence about what I’m doing.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

The best place to go is my website.

www.juliangreenauthor.com

https://twitter.com/jsagreenauthor

https://www.facebook.com/suffrageworldkeys/

https://youtu.be/xpykrMfx0yA <- Book trailer

If you are one of the first 1000 people to purchase a paperback, you go in the draw to win the art that the cover is based off. All first thousand paperbacks will be signed by the author and postage is free within Australia if you buy through the website.

Interview with @Tjay_green #TuesdayBookBlog

Today I’m fortunate to present TJ Green author of Tom’s Inheritance and Twice Born.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview!

 iamgeQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

Dudley, Just outside Birmingham in the UK. However about 10 years ago I moved to NZ, and I live in a gorgeous valley called Pinehaven, just outside Wellington.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Engaging characters who act in believable ways. I also enjoy a good plot, something with depth and a little mystery, and good pace. I enjoy most types of books, the only style I’m not really a fan of is romance.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and I challenged myself to write a short story beginning with “Once upon a time.” That introduced the characters of Jack and Fahey in Tom’s book1Inheritance, and from there I wanted to know what happened to Tom, so I slowly – very slowly- started to write Tom’s Inheritance. The short story was stripped back and became the prologue. I also wondered what it would be like to write for someone. I have a nephew called Tom, so that’s my main character!

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Intermittent. I work full time, so I try and write most evenings and on weekends, but it doesn’t always happen. However I find that if I write more frequently my writing is much better. Unfortunately marketing can get in the way of writing too.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure I have one! I’ll write anywhere I can, but my preferred space is my study. I use the computer for writing, but use paper for notes and ideas, and working through issues. I have a notebook for each book.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Twice Born is the sequel to Tom’s Inheritance. It’s a teen/YA fantasy that follows Tom’s adventures with King Arthur in the Other. It’s a sort of reworking of the King Arthur myths following his awakening on Avalon, as well as new stories and characters.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I’m not a plotter. Although I have vague nebulous ideas for the story, it’s not until I sit down and start writing that the story becomes concrete. Writing is a very intriguing process!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

This is from Twice Born, released on the 10th February 2017:book2.jpeg

“We’d better find Woodsmoke and Arthur. Woodsmoke said he would try to check into the Quarter Way House,” said Brenna. She pointed to a big building with balconies on the far side of the square, built against the bank and onto the field at the top. “It’s more expensive than most, but it guarantees a clean bed and good food.”            

They found Woodsmoke and Arthur sitting in a bar to the side of the main entrance. It was an oasis of calm after the bustle of the square, filled with an assortment of tables and chairs, and screened from the square by thick-limbed climbing plants covered with flowers and a coating of wind-blown dust.

“Well, don’t you two look relaxed!” Brenna said, hands on hips.

“The rest of the deserving after a hard day’s work!” Woodsmoke said with a smirk as he and Arthur stood to greet them. “Tom – you’re here! And you’ve grown.” He walked around the table and grabbed him in a bear hug. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see you again.”

“You have no idea how pleased I am to be back,” Tom said, giving Woodsmoke an equally big hug in return.

Tom turned to Arthur, who gripped the top of his arms and stared at him. “You look well, Tom. It’s good to have my great-great-great-something-relative here,” and he gave him such a crushing hug that Tom struggled for breath.

Now he was reunited with all five of his closest friends in the Other (or anywhere else), he really felt he was back. Unlike Brenna and Beansprout, Arthur and Woodsmoke looked reassuringly the same. Although Tom had grown, they were both still taller than him, Woodsmoke lean and rangy, his longbow propped next to him at the table, and Arthur muscular, Excalibur in its scabbard at his side.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

There’ll be a third book, a sequel to Twice Born and Tom’s Inheritance. I’m writing that now. I’d also like to write an adult magic/mystery book, but I only have vague ideas for that at present!

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Hiring a professional editor and cover designer. Both have been fantastic and I highly recommend using one. If you can’t afford both, get an editor. However if your cover’s awful, no-one will buy it anyway!

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I have a website where I post on all bookish things, including reviews, – http://www.tjgreen.nz/p/home.html

I’m also on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/tjgreenauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tjay_green

Pinterest – https://nz.pinterest.com/mount0live/my-books-and-writing-author-name-tj-green/