Mount Morris Resident, Mackenzie Flohr’s Book, “The Rite of Wands,” Nominated for Global Award

Flohr is up against 9 worldwide authors in the “Fantasy” category of the prestigious Author Academy Awards

FLINT, Mich. – Aug. 26, 2019 — MOUNT MORRIS, MI—The Rite of Wands, written by Mount Morris resident, Mackenzie Flohr, has been nominated for a 2019 Author Academy Award, an honor bestowed for literary merit and publishing excellence in the writing and publishing industry.

Mackenzie’s book is up for an award in the Fantasy category, which tells the tale of Mierta McKinnon, a young wizard.

“Hundreds of books from authors throughout the world are up for an Author Academy Award,” said Kary Oberbrunner, founder of Author Academy Elite and the Author Academy Awards. “Our goal is to help further connect this global community of authors, maintain excellence and integrity of the book publishing industry, and raise awareness that the stories being told and the authors who write them are worth our attention.”

Book two in the series, The Rite of Abnegation, is currently slated for an April 2020 release.

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Author Interview: Tasha Madison #ya #fantasy #historicalfantasy #historicalfiction #fabricofageneration #authoracademyelite #authorinterview #FridayFeature @theTashaMadison

Today, I’m fortunate to present Tasha Madison, author of Fabric of a Generation.

Hi Tasha, thanks for agreeing to this interview!!! 

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

(I’ve lived all over, but) I’m from Seattle, Washington.

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

As a reader, my expectations are genre-specific. A crime novel needs suspense. A romance novel needs passion. However, as a writer, I believe a good story requires a bit more … Thoughtful planning. Attention to detail. A penchant for crafting relatable characters. 

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

Like most things, for me at least, I was inspired to write my debut novel, Fabric of a Generation, while watching TV or doing some mundane household task. The seed of the idea came to me inextricably in a flash. Over time, the story germinated as I cultivated the plot and started to develop the various characters. 

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

Immersive! When I am writing, I tend to neglect all other things. I narrow my focus, and I submerge myself into the world I am creating. My sister sometimes has to send me text reminders to eat. I completely lose track of time. My family jokes that they forget what I look like until I emerge from my writer’s haven with a manuscript in hand. 

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

When I am feeling less than inspired (aka writer’s block), and I am having difficulty typing out the words I want to say on my laptop, I always revert back to pen and paper. It works every time! There’s something about scribbling your thoughts by hand that forces you to overcome distractions and think more thoughtfully about what you wish to say.

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

My book is called, Fabric of a Generation. It is a family saga that morphs into a historical fantasy novel.

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

I was surprised most by the different perspectives I received from book cover designers. It’s always interesting to see how others interpret your brainchild. 

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

Here is a 3-page excerpt from the end of Chapter 5:

Miranda navigated through mountains of gaudy souvenirs and meaningless tchotchkes. Although she did not search for anything, in particular, she inexplicably followed her curiosity. She opened a trunk sullied with age but found nothing but old textbooks and sports memorabilia from when her parents attended college. 

After scouring heaps of other junk stuffed under shelves or inside cabinets, Miranda gave up her impromptu quest. She somberly headed back toward the faded rocking chair but, before she could complete her return to boredom, her feet collided into something on the floor.

She partially caught herself but not without her head converging with one of the unfinished floorboards. Thankfully, her hands, forearms, and feet managed to brace her athletic frame from any real injury. Miranda shook her head from side to side as if cleaning out cobwebs from a derelict piece of furniture.

“Ow!” she bellowed to herself, more embarrassed than hurt. 

She circumspectly raised her body and turned to see what had caused her to stumble. An unmarked cardboard box rested on the edge of her right foot. 

“Stupid box!” Miranda chastised, kicking the inanimate object with the force she generally reserved for one of her soccer matches.

As her foot disciplined the carton, the flaps of the box thumped open and spilled some of its contents onto the attic floor. Miranda, still angry, stooped down to inspect the items. She first examined a forest green book tied closed with a mint-green, silk ribbon. When she unfastened the ribbon, the volume burst open to uncover a cookbook printed in 1946. The original owners had treated the book as a historical catalog to chronicle issues affecting their family, stuffing it with newspaper clippings, holiday greetings, sympathy cards, and several handwritten recipes. The tattered spine of the worn book and shredded edges of the pages annoyed Miranda. She casually leafed through the cookbook, unimpressed. Then, she sloppily retied the ribbon and cast the book aside.

Next, Miranda flipped through a stack of cards and crafts she and her brother had made for their parents over the years. She found greetings they had created for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as childhood doodles that had once decorated the kitchen fridge. What a bunch of junk! Miranda thought as she skimmed over the other items on the floor.

Miranda started to scoop everything up and dump it back into the now-crumpled cardboard square when she glimpsed a tuft of fabric out of the corner of her eye, tucked into the edge of the askance box. She gingerly released the wedged fabric, revealing a vibrantly colored shawl.

Miranda, entranced by the dramatic swirls of color and romantic wisps of woven thread, held the cloth in her hands. She observed its alluring charm like an anthropologist who had made a discovery of a rare find. Although large and almost cape-like, the shawl had delicately feminine features.

The dyed strands elegantly incorporated tinges of flushed and pale hues. Flaming orbs of color cast a deep summer glow on the design. Miranda inhaled the golden opulence until her eyes settled upon a mystery thread used parsimoniously like brilliant flashes of sunlight. Her gaze continued to the gossamer-like layers of embroidery where the hem of the shawl met the passionately intricate layers of fringe.

She gently ran her hands over the hemstitching, brazenly admiring its beauty. Then, she smiled and rapidly jumped to her feet. She stood in front of the vintage, full-length mirror nestled in the corner. Although the glass had heavy mottling, she could still visibly see herself. She swung the shawl around her body, letting the dance-like movement of the fringe parade across her shoulders.

“What happened to my reading glasses, dear?” Miranda asked her reflection in a venerable tone. “I can’t find them anywhere!” she proclaimed. “Did I put them in my pockets? No? Maybe in my purse? Oh, wait. They’re right where I left them … on the top of my head! I guess I am too ancient to remember!” she sneered as she chuckled at her rendition of her grandmother’s flagrant absentmindedness.

Suddenly, a shadow flickered across the edges of the mirror and interrupted her mirth. Miranda flinched. Her fingers grew cold. She felt a gust of air and shuddered uncontrollably. She wrapped the shawl around her trembling body, crossing her arms over her chest for additional warmth. She stared into the center of the mirror and examined it. The shawl that had once mesmerized Miranda now seemed to numb her entire body.

Confusion emptied her mind. Her eyes became useless. Shadows flashed before them. Miranda caged her eyes and tossed her head rapidly from side to side in an attempt to free it from the muddled images that settled there. She searched for clarity but found nothing until slowly, very slowly, she opened her eyes and saw candles flickering on the walls around her, exposing a slender corridor.

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

I love all things history. So, you can expect a lot more historical fiction from me.

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

The best money I ever spent as a writer was on a vintage Royal typewriter. Sometimes, when I need to court the muse, I’ll bang on the keys from time to time. It makes me feel connected to past writers and all of the unwritten stories that remain within so many people that have yet to be told. 

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

You can reach out to me via any of my social media channels or online at: www.FabricofaGeneration.com.

Instagram: @thetashamadison

Twitter: @theTashaMadison

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/theTashaMadison

Facebook (Book Page): https://www.facebook.com/FabGenBook

Amazon.com Pre-Order Link:

Barnes & Noble Pre-Order Link:

Now Available: Autographed Copies of The Rite of Wands

Have you wanted to purchase an autographed copy of Mackenzie Flohr’s award-winning young adult fantasy book, The Rite of Wands, but haven’t been able to attend one of her book signings?

Now you can purchase autographed softcover copies directly through the largest Doctor Who store and museum in America, Who North America!

http://www.whona.com/The-Rite-of-Wands-Softcover-Autographed_p_7792.html

Preparing For Summer

READY, SET, JUMP INTO SUMMER: C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y BLOG HOP

Summertime is my most favorite season of the year. To me, it means travel season – warm weather, craft shows, sunscreen, time in the pool, multiple book signing appearances, vacations, etc.

Normally I blog on a regular basis, however, because I have neglected this blog the last couple of months due to multiple writing projects, I wanted to do something different and briefly talk about what I’ve been up to, reading, writing about, listening to and anticipating. Then, visit the #Gr8Blogs at the end of this post for even more inspiration and smiles.

What I’ve Been Up To:

Lots of exciting things have been going on lately. First, I officially handed in my manuscript to my publisher for the next book in The Rite of Wands series. It is titled The Rite of Abnegation. Though there is no official release date yet, I predict it will be released towards Fall of 2020.

And second, earlier this year, I also joined a podcast called The Legend of the Traveling TARDIS Radio Show. Check out & SUBSCRIBE to the newest and the best Doctor WHO radio show. A new episode every Saturday on Krypton Radio and you can listen and download the episodes at:

#iHeartRadio: 
https://www.iheart.com/…/966-the-legend-of-the-travelin-302…

#iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/…/the-legend-of-the-…/id1438318607…

#Spreaker:
https://www.spreaker.com/show/3183127

#Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/show/6ByuHSZ1SUZPnTurMaF3dx

#CBSRadio:
https://www.radio.com/media/podcast/legend-traveling-tardis

Currently Reading:

I had always been under the impression the Star Trek novels were just novelized versions of each of the episodes of the show. Instead, I most recently discovered that while some may, most contain stories that were never seen on television. Seriously, where have I been?

Currently I’m reading The Murdered Sun by Christie Golden as part of the Star Trek Voyager novelizations:

When sensors indicate a possible wormhole nearby, Captain Janeway is eager to investigate, hoping to find a shortcut back to Federation space. Instead, she discovers a star system being systematically pillaged by the warlike Akerians. Janeway has no desire to get caught up in someone else’s war, but in order to the check on the possibilities offered by the wormhole — and to save the innocent people of Veruna Four — VoyagerTM has no choice but to challenge the Akerians.

Currently Writing:

With the 25th anniversary of Star Trek Voyager coming up next year, I’m currently working on a science fiction short story collection, containing stories all written by me, that will be similar to a mesh of Star Trek Voyager and Doctor Who. One of the featured stories, I’m also planning on submitting for possible inclusion in a science fiction/fantasy anthology, that, if accepted, will be released in September 2019.

Currently Listening To:

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this audiobook, The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 2, from Big Finish Productions ever since it was first announced. I absolutely HAD to know how our favorite Captain Jack Harkness would end up in the 6th Doctor’s clothing and would become the Doctor in Piece of Mind written by James Goss.

It is a brilliant, clever story, though not 100% without flaws. I’ll discuss more about this in an upcoming podcast episode of The Legend of the Traveling TARDIS Radio Show.

What I’m Thinking About:

This past weekend, I did a book signing at the largest Doctor Who store and museum in the United States called Who North America. It’s located in Camby, Indiana, just south west of Indianapolis.

I had the pleasure of sitting in the designated area for official Doctor Who writers. There, I got to be part of both worlds – getting to meet new readers of The Rite of Wands and talking exclusively about Doctor Who!

The last week of October, they will be having another wonderful Doctor Who event called Doctoberfest! They will have a costume contest, Doctor Who exclusive vendors, pumpkin carving, and much much more!

You name it, this store/museum has it, including an original designed Cyberman! If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, you live in the US, and have never been there before, you have GOT to check it out.

Seeing In My Camera Lens:

If you may love dragons as much as I do, you may be able to see the dragon that I swear formed in this set of clouds when I captured this photograph.

Hey, Bloggers! Join us on our C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y Jumping into Summer Blog Hop. Just add your PG-13 post link below in the comment section. We’ll visit your blog and give you some blog love. And if you use #Gr8Blogs, we’ll support your family-friendly summer-themed post.

Cat Michaels on Cat’s Corner 
KidLit Blog by Rosie
Rebecca Lyndsey 
Julie Gorges on Baby Boomer Bliss
James Milson “Writing & Things”
Sandra Bennett  
Carmela Dutra
Auden Johnson

Book Spotlight: Wake The Dead by @Rourkewrites

Wake the Dead
Written by Stacey Rourke
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: Feb 28, 2019
Preorder Link: https://amzn.to/2svLLrg

Blurb:

With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.

Seattle, Washington: Land of cloudy skies and a great cup of coffee. 
Octavia blew into town in search of information, only to get swirled up in a paranormal predicament even she couldn’t fathom. A neonatal nurse is dead, and her young patient is aging at an alarming rate.

Can Octavia unlock the secrets to this confusing curse before time runs out?

 

Calling YA Fantasy Reviewers & Bloggers

IydgluWy_400x400Audiobookworm Promotions is organizing an audiobook blog tour for The Rite of Wands, a Young Adult Fantasy Novel.

The tour will run from Nov. 27th to Dec. 3rd and have a maximum of 11 stops.

The Rite of Wands is narrated by Chris Walker-Thomson and is 6 hours and 57 minutes in length.

Reviewers will receive complementary digital copies of the audiobook via Author’s Direct.

Review copies will be distributed by Oct. 27th. Reviews must be of at least 3.5 stars.

Post options for this tour include: Reviews, Spotlights, Audio Excerpts, Author Interviews, Dream Casts, Music Playlists, Character Interviews, Character Profiles, and a giveaway.

Would you like to partake in the tour?

Join The Rite of Wands Audiobook Blog Tour!

Rite_of_Wands_Mackenzie_Flohr_Audio_Cover_WEB

Signups end on Nov. 21st.

 

 

Interview with @ChrisWalkerT #MattSmith #theriteofwands #audiobooks #vo #DavidTennant #DoctorWho #TuesdayTeaser #doctorwhoislife @DrWhoOnline @FindawayVoices @smith_lynne

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In this special edition of Time And Relative Developments In Stories, I have invited my incredible voice actor/narrator, Chris Walker-Thomson, from The Rite of Wands audiobook, coming out later this month. He’s here to talk about voice acting, Doctor Who, Big Finish, Matt Smith, and especially, my book, The Rite of Wands.

Question 1) What got you interested in voice acting?

thumbnailI’ve always had a thing for putting on voices. Earliest memory I have is of me putting on a different voice for each toy I played with, so they’d converse on whatever adventure I’d be putting them through. As they years went on, I discovered impressions – particularly Dead Ringer’s Jon Culshaw – and ended up emulating people around me. So it all grew from that really, until finally, I went professional.

Question 2) What was it that got you your first “big” break?

61C9I66yXjL._SX342_There’s a few that I considered my “big” break until something even bigger happened. I did a lot of Doctor Who fan audio dramas, doing my performance as Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor, which got a lot of attention. But one day I was asked to do the audiobook for City Of The Gods: Forgotten, which gave my first official credit and paid work that really pushed me into being a working actor. So I’m immensely grateful for them giving me a shot, and setting me on my way.

Question 3) Where you would suggest someone brand new into voice acting start to find job opportunities?

I’ve found websites like Mandy.com, or Findaway very good. There are many others out there, some low-paid, some not, but experience is key. I started small, and am still small in comparison to others, but experience is great and attracts more interest. And never be ashamed to ask to be paid.

Question 4) Do you enjoy working better independently or in a studio environment like Big Finish, and why?

Oh, a studio environment for sure! I’m an actor foremost. As great as putting on voices is, and you can do so independently, to have someone to bounce off is such a thrill and really improves the performance. Even when it comes to Pixar films or any animation, they do feed the lines to the actor. Plus, I like the energy. Independently can get quite lonely, tiring, and if you work from home, you get a bit of cabin fever from not going out.

Question 5) How did you first come across The Rite of Wands?

doctorwhoonline.pngAgain, I owe thanks to the Doctor Who fan world. I have got to know a lot of people in the community, such as people behind big blogging sites such as Sebastian J Brook from Dr Who Online. Seb mentioned that an author friend (Mackenzie) was having trouble with her book, as the person who was meant to be doing it had to pull out due to other commitments, leaving her in the lurch. So, he suggested myself.

I was a bit down at this point. It had been months since my last job, and any job, so I was thinking of calling it a day. But on a whim, I dropped an email to Mackenzie and she got back asking me to audition. I was a bit late to doing the audition, but I did it, sent it off and left it as that. Then, in early January, I got an email from Mackenzie offering me the gig. Hilariously it came at the same time I also got a part-time job offer, so like they say about buses.

Question 6) What kind of research did you have to do to prepare for recording?

template-4-12172901503297868-largeAlthough I do record reading off a tablet (to avoid paper turning sound, etc.), I don’t find it a great way to read. Like everyone who has ever owned a Kindle says: they actually prefer reading a physical book in their hands. So, I asked nicely if I could get a copy to read at my leisure, which Mackenzie was very kind to send me with a signed message within. For someone who does audiobooks, you’d be surprised to hear that I don’t really take the time out to read books as much as I probably should – mostly because it takes time out of the day. But, I found myself engrossed in it and really finding it difficult to put it down, so I knew this was a good book if it managed to hook me in. Afterwards, I went over it again and made notes.

But the research I had to focus on was my performance of the main character, Mierta McKinnon, which Mackenzie had noted as “I wrote it with Matt Smith in mind”. I could do a reasonable impersonation of Matt Smith beforehand, but I needed a refresher course, so I started a marathon of his Doctor Who episodes to let it sink in. The rest of the voices I’d pieced together, but Mierta’s voice took some time to prepare.

Question 7) Knowing the history of the project being passed around multiple narrators, did you feel any extra pressure before recording it?

Eleventh_Doctor_(Doctor_Who)Only that the previous narrator was better at doing a Matt Smith impression than I was! So I kept saying “it’s not exactly right, but the best I can muster”, to which Mackenzie was immensely happy with my effort anyway, so I didn’t need to worry. So aside from that, I didn’t have any pressure. It was quite fun, until I got the email after I’d finished recording it, saying “we’ve redrafted the book”, and prompting me to redo it all from scratch. But I think it sounds better than it did previously, especially my Smith’ voice for Mierta.

And, here’s a little tease of the audiobook, releasing in the next couple of weeks!

Question 8) Okay, be honest. How many times did you have to practice saying “Emaculavi el curpas y mehartis” before you got it right? LOL!

Too many to count! Quite a few spells got me frustrated. Especially as they’re not spelt accordingly due to their country’s origin, or the pronunciation guide in the book wasn’t exact. I’m all for learning new words, but wow. Ha.

Question 9) How do you go about deciding which voice to use for a character?

tumblr_mr4l73sHmL1surntbo1_1280It’s not a long process, I tend to read the dialogue and think, maybe this voice? Maybe later on I’ll change my mind, and go back to redo it. Orlynd was Scottish, which wasn’t my best accent, or one I’d spent a while working on. So I found the root of the voice in my memory as a scatty, young David Tennant, and just went from there. I found it also helped to jog the accent by swearing between lines of dialogue, just to really get the Scottish tone right. Then after a while it just settled in, and I can now talk fluently. The rest of the voices just seemed right.

Question 10) Did anything in particular surprise you while you while performing?

Only that my neighbours really couldn’t care less as to what I was doing. Either they’d get out a pneumatic drill, or they’d completely ignore my dying screams. Probably used to my madness at this point.

Question 11) Fans of the series tend to favour the character, Mierta, however, from recent discussions, I’ve learned Orlynd is your favourite character. What is it about him that you like so much?

Well, I just think Mierta grows up to be a dick, ha. Orlynd has me feeling sorry for him from the first time we meet him in the book, and he’s stuck in a place he’s despised, yet is “Aye yer Majesty” in a sad, yet shy tone. But as he progresses, he gets stronger and becomes more heroic. He even shouts at the King’s guards. It’s great character development, and a delight to play.

Question 12) What would you like to see happen in the series?

I’d like to see Orlynd and Deor become better friends as time goes on, and even more of Anya’s conniving. But, I’d also like to see Lochlann (Mierta’s brother) knock Mierta off his own pedestal. From what I’ve heard of what’s going to happen, it’s already ticked my boxes.

Question 13) How can others find out more about you?

My official website is www.chriswalkerthomson.com and I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and such. I do keep it all updated if you’d like to follow me there?

Be sure to check back in the next few weeks for the official release of The Rite Of Wands on audiobook, performed by Chris Walker-Thomson.

How You Can Participate!

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