Replay of Author Assist with Karina Kantas


If you were unable to hear the live radio show, you can now listen to the replay!

Join Victoria Saccenti, Historic romance author of Destiny’s Plan and Destiny’s Choice, Young Adult fantasy author, Mackenzie Flohr, and KKantas #AuthorAssist, Author, and owner of Author Assist, affordable author services for new and established indie authors, LIVE this Friday at 12 PM EST. We’ll be talking about historical romance, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, The Rite of Wands, audiobooks, trolls and other hot writing topics in the industry.

ArtistFirst Radio’s “Author Assist Host: Karina Kantas” is a LIVE one-hour prime-time worldwide promotional radio show on the ArtistFirst Radio Network, broadcast about independent authors, their books, their life and their struggles as an indie author. It’s a comfortable fun chat with some music thrown in for good measures. There is also a Q&A session where Karina will be answering promotion and marketing problems.

Author interview with Ginny Clyde #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Ginny Clyde, author of The Rose Chronicles series.

Hi Ginny, thanks for agreeing to this interview. 

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

61n8i3d8uML._UX250_Ginny: I am Indian, but spent a great amount of time in Scotland, finishing my higher degrees. 

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

I love stories that make me want to know more. I like plot twists and unexpected results, something that I could not have thought of when I had first started reading the book.

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

Ginny: The first thing I wrote was fanfiction. It is the untold stories of my favourite anti-heroes that sparked my imagination and drove me to write about them. 

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

Ginny: I write whenever I get time. All things in my regular routine have to get done before I even sit down to write. This means that I would generally start writing in the evening, take a break to prepare and eat dinner and then write for a few more hours before I hit the bed.

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

Ginny: That’s hard to say. I believe it is something for others to decide!

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

51q9eKyWJsLGinny: My latest book is Immortal Rose which is the third part in my ongoing series. The genre is Gothi paranormal romance. 

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

Ginny: I was unsure if I could write violent scenes depicting torture and murder but now that I am working on my draft, I would say it has turned out rather well.

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

Ginny: Sorry, no spoilers!

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

Ginny: More books that have paranormal elements in it. I enjoy writing romance, adventure and horror but they are all in a supernatural world. 

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

Ginny: Definitely for advertising my book.

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

Ginny: My Amazon page



Fans Interview Author Mackenzie Flohr

Welcome B2B CyCon readers, authors and publishers to my author blog!


You’ve reached the next stop in the B2B CyCon Fantasy Blog Hop Hunt.

On March 10th, Mackenzie released the first book in her exciting new young adult fantasy series titled The Rite of Wands published through BHC Press. Her book has already gathered hype and received some incredible reviews!

Mackenzie recently gave her fans the opportunity to ask her questions about writing and The Rite of Wands.

Learn about what all the hype is about by following along!


Barnes & Noble:


One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever.

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

Book Trailer:


Question: What is the first thing potential readers should know about The Rite of Wands, that will draw them into the story?

Mackenzie: That’s a great opening question! I would say it’s the fact that witches and warlocks in the world of Iverna are not born with their magical powers. They must endure a harrowing ritual, named after the title of the series, in order to receive them.

Question: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Mackenzie: I wouldn’t say I came up with anything, it more like came to me! When I’m traveling, I often stare at road signs to see if I will come across any names that just kind of jump out at me, and this one particular sign did more than just that. It gave me a story!

Question: How long did it take you to write The Rite of Wands from idea to publication, and a general timeline of each stage of writing.

Mackenzie: Oh gosh! I actually started writing The Rite of Wands thirteen years ago, and it honestly looks nothing like what I had originally envisioned. It is sometimes hard for me to believe it was even the same story! The problem was I  kept finding issues that needed to be fixed, so I would do re-write after re-write after re-write. It honestly became like an obsession to me.

Fall of 2015 is when I technically started forming the book into how it appears now. I submitted a portion of my novel to BHC Press in March 2016, and by November, I was in the beginning stages of editing. I spent the next three months expanding my novel and by the end of January, my novel was submitted to my publisher.

Question: What made you decide to write a YA novel?

Mackenzie: That’s actually an interesting question because I wasn’t intending on writing a YA novel. My intention was to write for those who grew up with Harry Potter, but as the book evolved, I started to feel it was actually more appropriate for YA. That was validated when my editor said the same thing!

Question: Who is your favorite character to explore throughout the series?

Mackenzie: This will probably come across as bias, but it would be Mierta. I find myself having to be loyal to this character because without him in all honesty, The Rite of Wands wouldn’t have ever been finished.

In majority of my rough drafts, this character was completely omitted. In fact, he only starting to appear about 3 years ago when I imagined him to be completely different than he actually turned out to be. For example, I originally called him Girard, and he was mostly in the background, having others perform his dirty deeds. To quote author Rachel Aaron, if there’s a problem with your book it usually is your bad guy. And that statement is so true! I discovered Girard wasn’t the bad guy. The problem was he needed a “face” and a new name.

I am one of those people who believe that people come into your life for a reason. I can honestly say if I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to meet actor Matt Smith at Wizard World in Chicago, IL, back in 2014, this book would be still sitting somewhere in my writing office unfinished. Matt has some kind of “magic” about him, I can’t really explain. But whatever it was, seems to have cast a spell on my muse. So, instead of fighting it, I went with it, and turned Matt, so to speak, into a wizard, and thus Mierta McKinnon was born. And you know what? Wizards are cool!

Question: What is the hardest type of character to write?

Mackenzie: For me, it probably was Orlynd because of his very strong Scottish burr. I wanted him to sound different than everyone else to emphasize him being an outsider. I also did it to poke fun about a Scottish actor who was accused of mumbling when he starred on television series in America. He actually never mumbled, the problem was the audio on the show was overpowering!

I was also inspired by the dialect found in Irvine Welsh’s series, Trainspotting. The entire book is written that way so it’s not an easy book to read, but once you understand that everything is written out phonetically to emphasize the dialect, eventually you get used to reading it, therefore you can write it.

Question: Who does your editing?

Mackenzie: My editor is the amazing Lisa McNeilley. She is actually CEO of Writer’s Alley, which is dedicated to evolving into a full service writing center that will serve the needs of students, professionals, teachers, parents and writers.  She really helped me develop my vision by helping me understand what young adult readers may think or come to expect.

Question: Tell us about the cover… Who designed it? What was the process like? Any cute little tidbits that tie just right?

Mackenzie: My cover was designed by my publisher, BHC Press. When we were first discussing ideas for the cover, they gave me a questionnaire to fill out, which helped them understand my vision. I really honestly only told them one specific instruction as a requirement – put my wand on the cover! I wanted fans to be able to associate that wand with my series.

An interesting tidbit is that wand, in fact, was hand-crafted exclusively for my series by Magical Alley – Wand Makers, located in the state of Washington. I wanted something I could remember the series by, and I couldn’t think of a better way, than by having a replica of my main character’s wand. I thought that would be extremely cool to have Mierta’s wand as a souvenir!

Another interesting tidbit is the character, Mierta, was inspired by English actor Matt Smith. What’s really awesome is I had the pleasure of meeting him at Wizard World Cleveland in 2016 and not only did he sign that wand, I got to watch him briefly play with it, and he acted just like I imagined he would.

Question: I have been admiring your marketing. Do you find it has cut into your writing time and how have you managed that aspect?

Mackenzie: OMG, yes! Authors I know who have published books warned me that it was like having another full-time job, and it really is. Nothing really can prepare you for what to expect as an author when it comes to how much you have to put into your marketing. It’s even tougher as an indie writer, in my opinion, because you’re essentially a nobody, and have to quickly adapt in order to be something.

I have honestly not been doing that great of a job lately managing my time when it comes to writing. What readers may find interesting is I have a full-time job as a phone bank representative. Lately my days have consisted of getting up, working on marketing, going to work, and then coming back home to continue working on marketing till about 4 in the morning. I  get a couple hours of sleep and then do it all over again. However, I have started a couple writing projects, including the second book in the Rite of Wands series.

Question: Which is mightier? The pen or the wand?

Mackenzie: That’s a really tough question! As much as I want to say the pen, I have to go with the wand! I mean not many authors can say they had their wand signed by the actor that inspired their main character – it’s something permanently infused with inspiration.


I want to thank you again for stopping by! Please stop by my booth on Goodreads to learn more about me, my novel, enter some contests, and just have some fun!


Special Author Interview with Genese Davis

Today I’m fortunate to present Genese Davis author of The Holder’s Dominion.

I had the pleasure of meeting Genese through Wizard World Chicago in 2015. We instantly connected as friends and fellow authors. She is definitely an inspiration and a kindred spirit, and if you don’t know anything about her or her book, you are in for a treat! If you like what you read, subscribe to be notified of other posts like this!

Please assist me by giving her a warm welcome!

Hi, Genese! Thank you for agreeing to this interview!GeneseDavisHeadshot

Genese: Thank you for having me!

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

Genese: What a fantastic opening question! Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to e-meet all of you! I was born and raised in the city of Santa Fe in the sunshiny state of New Mexico. What’s interesting too is that as young girl, I couldn’t wait to move away and go to an out-of-state college, but now, looking back, I miss Santa Fe’s crisp mountain air, the views, and the history and culture that’s revered and so well-preserved. A lot of people don’t realize that Santa Fe sits at 10,000 feet elevation so it gets super cold there in the winter and the summers are very mild.

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

Genese: If a storyteller can pull me in to the characters’ viewpoint, where I feel the strain, the heartbreak, and their conundrum’s instantaneously, it’s a good story for me. Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series is a great example. In one of the opening chapters of the first in the series, Way of Kings, I wonder why this intriguing soldier character is caught in a slave trade wagon. I’m drawn in by how the soldier interacts with the other enslaved, too. That shows the reader so much (these interactions between characters). Brandon then weaves a breathtaking, interesting, and innovative world around this soldier and several other main characters that I got completely absorbed in. It’s beautiful.

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

Genese: The Holder’s Dominion began as a tiny seed of an idea back in 2009. I wanted to write a story that infused both hackers and gaming, plus some scifigenese_davis_signing_books_booklaunch_the_holders_dominion, fantasy and modern-day tech themes to boot! And all of those things combined with a twist: a female hero.

Unlike, young adult, where the characters in a story are in high school, I love that Holder’s Dominion allows the reader to immerse themselves in that pivotal time in our lives when we’re plunging outside the proverbial “lifeboat” that is our childhood home. College, a new career, or a new relationship are great examples. Holder’s Dominion falls into the new adult genre because all the characters are college age. But, you don’t have to be in college to enjoy the story. Every age group has sent me feedback that the human frailty elements in the novel struck a chord in their own lives, because I weave real life challenges that we all face day-to-day into the novel.

Here’s a sneak peak of the synopsis of the novel:

The Holder’s Dominion is a speculative thriller with a fantasy twist. It’s a story about a HoldersDominion_BookCoverArtyoung woman who discovers gaming and hackers while facing some serious problems online and off. Guided by her friends, college sophomore Kaylie Ames signs on to the massively popular online game Edannair. There she discovers a world of beautiful vistas and magical creatures. But a real-world evil threatens the players: the mysterious Holder, leader of the elite team known as Sarkmarr, is coercing his followers into traumatic offline dares known as “morphis assignments.” To save her friends, Kaylie must infiltrate Sarkmarr and survive the Holder’s tests. But will she find the courage there to keep her own family from falling apart?

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

Genese: Recently, I got a book deal with the movie company Benaroya Pictures. I’m writing a new scifi novel for them and it is going tremendously well. It’s an incredibly alluring intellectual property that will be tied in to a TV series, graphic novel, and a movie. I schedule time almost every day dedicated for this work only. In between that, I juggle traveling every month for Holder’s Dominion book signings plus conveauthor boothntions where I am asked to speak on writing topics such as plot, publishing, villains/protagonists and more.

Two years ago, I gave birth to our amazing little girl, Cora. This of course impacted my daily routine and sadly I’ve neglected myself in a hundred different ways, forgetting to eat or drink or just simple things like brushing my hair or taking a walk accidentally get put on the back burner. This is pretty normal for a new parent (at least that what the research has said, hehe) and I know it won’t last forever. My writing time was affected but I’ve found a really great routine now where I have designated writing time every week.

Question 5) You have hosted several panels at Wizard World and San Diego Comic Con. How did that come about?

Genese: Years ago, I survived multiple accounts of violence and manipulation. This broke a part of me that to this day has not healed. I lost trust in the world and could not speak in public or have a normal conversation with more than two or three people at a time, and even that was a stretch. So, when I was asked to speak on my first panel, I remember being filled with ever-present butterflies and my hands were shGeneseDavisGamingaking with anxiety. I told myself to have courage and that someone out there in the audience also felt my pain and had probably survived similar accounts in their lives. In order to help them I would need to share my story. I would have to be brave and get up on stage. I had to believe that I could do it. So I did. I was open and vulnerable and shared real, tangible gems that I’ve collected over the years for writing and for personal growth.

Panelists and moderators continued to ask me to participate because they appreciated that I did not get up on stage and pontificate about awards, superficial topics, or ego centric-subjects. This garnered the attention of companies who then asked me to be full-time speakers for their events.

Today, I travel twelve to seventeen times a year across the country, speaking on panels and hosting panels. That’s pretty unbelievable considering I was so shell shocked from life that the day-to-day terror ruled my actions and getting up in front of people was the last thing I thought I could do.

Question 6) You have also helped to inspire writers and gamers through Assembly of Geeks and Gamer’s Dominion. Can you tell us a little bit about both of them and how we can follow you there?

Genese: Scott Murray is ththe-gamer-s-dominion-logo-smalle producer for Assembly of Geeks which is a wonderful company that umbrellas all kinds of great content. Scott asked me to host a gaming themed podcast that he named The Gamer’s Dominion, as a sort of homage to the title of my tech/gaming book The Holder’s Dominion. It was such an honor to be asked and I have been hosting Gamer’s Dominion ever since. It is a bi-weekly podcast that is fun-filled and informative not only on gaming topics but also on tech and development themes as well.

You can listen to the show via iTunes, the Assembly of Geeks website and other podcast outlets, too. You can find podcasts like Comic Book Noob and The Geek Directive which are both fantastic shows.

Question 7) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Genese: I work with a writing producer! Which is the best thing ever! I’d love to discuss in-depth sometime how beneficial a writing producer can be. This is a position Eric Kieron Davis invented where he works closely with a writer just like he does on a day-to-day basis as a senior producer for artists, leads, and designers. Working with the right producer is so unique because the producer acts as a mentor and project manager in a way, where he helps the writer with logistics, mini-goals, stretch goals, creative input, and even writing blocks when they come up.

It’s natural and normal to feel like you’re in a rut sometimes with your writing and creative blocks exist in all kinds of artistry. One of the best ways to help with blocks is to talk to a trusted mentor, producer, or confidant and to also take a break from your work. The brain needs time away from complicated projects to rejuvenate and get ready for the next stretch session. Putting your writing away for a day or two and coming back to it really helps refresh your perspective. Also, taking time to peruse other artwork, read other books, watch movies, or play video games can help get you out of a creative rut.

Question 8) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Genese: The novel I’m writing for Benaroya Pictures is still under wraps but I will be able to release the title and release date soon. I’m also in the middle of contract details for another book deal for a fantasy novel. Plus, my reading fans want a sequel to Holder’s, so there’s that too, hehe. Phew!

Question 9) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Genese: That I could do it. I’ve struggled with so much self doubt not only in personal scenarios of my life but in professional areas as well. It took year after year to build my brand, my platform and hone my craft. That’s years of every weekend and practically every night stuffed to the brim with writing, research or countless other work-tasks. No free time, no days off. So, after Holder’s was published and garnered attention I had to allow my perception of myself and my talents to evolve. I had to make a decision to believe that all that past hard work was worth it and I had to trust in my abilities and commit to a creative career full time.

Question 10) What can we expect from you in the future?

Genese: Be on the lookout for my next three novels plus my 2017 book tour is underway. I would love to meet fellow book lovers, creators, readers, and people of all fandoms and passions. My goal is to springboard everyone I meet in an effort to help them also achieve their dreams. Coming up, I will be speaking on panels and signing books in Portland, Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Chicago, Albuquerque, Tulsa, Austin, and more! If you are near any of those cities, please stop by and say hi.

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

Genese: My website is a good place to start: and you can see all my live updates on Twitter and Instagram @GeneseDavis and on my author Facebook page: Or send me an email. More contact info is located on my website! Cheers! And thanks so much again for having me.

Interview with A.E. Lowan #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present A. E. Lowan author of Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding.

Hi, A. E., thanks for agreeing to this interview!

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

A. E.: We are three authors who collectively write under the pseudonym A. E. Lowan.  Jessica Smith comes from the state of Texas, Jennifer Vinck is from Missouri, and Kristin Vinck was born in Georgia, but raised in Washington state and California before moving to Missouri back when hair bands were popular.

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

A. E.: A good story should draw the reader in with authentic, relatable characters and through plausible but gripping plot.  The story should evoke an emotional response and leave the reader with unanswered questions and a thirst for the next installment.

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

A. E.: We all began writing as children.  We were all voracious readers and began writing our own stories while in elementary school.  Our first full length novel, and Seahaven, the fictional city in which it is set, both evolved from a conversation years ago about where has magic gone and the idea of a white haired wizard who has lost everything.  It is a series about the importance of found families and the idea that a small dedicated group can absolutely change the world.

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

A. E.: Because there are three of us, our schedule may look a little different than most.  At any given time, one of us is drafting our work in progress, while the other two are polishing or promoting the last work and developing the next one.  We’re always working on three projects at once.  Our drafter works her in pajamas, drinks an obscene amount of caffeine, and works in two to three hour spurts, several times a day, around meetings with our plotter in chief and our resident development guru.  Our plotter doubles as our head office minion and spends her days balancing revisions and future tortures to inflict on the good people of Seahaven and taking care of the day to day care and maintenance of a writing collaboration.  Our development wiz does extensive prewriting and roleplaying with whomever she can pin down at the moment to cement what is coming up in the series, while also doing edits and rewrites of each day’s material.

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

A. E.: Our most interesting quirk might be that we often get away from our computers and act out our scenes during prewriting, figuring out the blocking much the way that a storyboard artist would for a film.  We make extensive use of roleplaying to take on the mantles of our characters before they hit the page.  We call it method writing, though most other people just call it downright strange to watch.  That and one of us can’t think without a metal slinky in her hand.

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

2017-992 AE Lowan, B01A. E.: Our latest book is Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding.  It is an urban fantasy about a woman who has lost everything except the will to fight.

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

A. E.: One of the most surprising things we learned during Faerie Rising is that even with detailed outlines, characters still have a mind of their own and being willing to be flexible can lead you to a much better story.

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

A. E.: The world shifted sideways. Winter braced herself against the wall with her one good hand, the chalk grinding against the concrete as she fought the initial wave of disorientation. Something was horribly wrong. Within the rift, power was building up, as if someone had just crimped a running hose.

And she was holding the nozzle.

Nine glyphs in the warding, each unique, complex, and time consuming. Each must be drawn with precision, or the whole seal would fail. Winter had never drawn glyphs so fast in her life, her hand frantically scraping the chalk against the wall in her desperate race against… against what? It felt like a tidal wave, rushing implacably toward her. Somehow, something was affecting the balance of power.

She spoke each glyph as she drew it, magic resonating in her voice with each syllable. Six glyphs to go. Its name spoken, the glyph would take on a glow, casting the hole in sharp relief, bringing out each line of exhaustion on Winter’s face.

Highlighting the growing cracks in the cement around the rift.

After the seal went up, the cement became irrelevant. It could be ground to dust, and the seal would hold. Before then, however… the seal needed a matrix, something solid to hold the lines she drew with the enspelled chalk. Before then, the seal was all too fragile.

When the surge hit, it would blow the rift wide open. There would be precious little left of Winter and probably the surrounding square acre or so.

Five glyphs.

She wasn’t going to make it. Winter’s shoulders were burning, her hand beginning to cramp and shake, her hurt wrist felt like it was on fire. The glow of the warding began to fade as her magic was drained by pain and panic and exhaustion. She needed more power. She did not have time to ground and pull power from the earth… leaving only one choice. “Karen!”

There is power to control in a name. She spoke the name with resonant Command, and suddenly the cougar was there, terrified eyes wide on the wizard beside her. Ruthlessly, she pushed aside the older woman’s flimsy natural protections and pulled what power there was into herself. It was wild, and tasted of dark places, pain-filled joy, and kittens warm in the den. This was not a wizard’s gift she used, but came of her mixed blood. The spell flared back to life, and Winter redoubled her efforts.

Four glyphs.

The hole began collapsing inward, little chunks of cement falling into the flame-wreathed darkness.

Three glyphs.

The chunks were getting larger, the cracks creeping closer to her fragile chalk lines.

Two glyphs.

The surge was now audible, a tsunami rushing toward them.

One glyph.

The ground beneath her knees was quivering with the building pressure.

The warding blazed just as the tidal wave of magic rammed it from the other side, the whole ravine shuddering from the impact, then the lettering settled into the cement, leaving the two women alone in the quiet night.

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

A. E.: Faerie Rising is the first Book of Binding, but far from the last.  The Books of 17434662_1343113592401496_2028637344183891665_o.jpgBinding are a multigenerational family saga.  We will be introducing many of the denizens of Seahaven and the larger preternatural world.  Our current work in progress is Ties of Blood and Bone: The Second Book of Binding.

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

A. E.: Hands down, the best money we ever spent on writing was a research trip to the Pacific Northwest while we were developing the world in The Books of Binding.  Faerie Rising is set in the fictional city of Seahaven, Washington.  We were honored to spend some time in the beautiful and culturally rich city of Seattle to get a more authentic feel for the region.

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

A. E.: We would love to see you at  Our website houses our blog which features character snapshots and original fiction from The Books of Binding.  We will also soon be unveiling A Visitor’s Guide to Seahaven, a tongue in cheek homage to our favorite fictional city.

You can also contact us at any of our social media links: