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.

Read More

Advertisements

Author Interview: Rob Davies, author of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd @rcdaviesbooks #paranormalromance #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Rob Davies, author of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd.

Hi Rob, thanks for agreeing to this interview. 

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

I live in Washington state now, but I was born and raised in a small town called Niles, southwestern lower Michigan

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

An argument could be made in lots of areas, but for me the essential element is an engaging and believable character or characters. Storylines will likely follow a more or less predictable path according to genre, but a compelling character the reader connects with (and will invest emotional capital willingly) is often the mechanism that keeps a reader turning the pages.

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

 I waited a long time before taking the plunge, but to be honest, it was curiosity.  I wanted to find out if I was “publishable” and capable of writing stories anyone would enjoy reading.  My mother was a librarian and always encouraged my scribblings in childhood, so credit to her for igniting the fire.

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

On the fly and rarely according to a comprehensible schedule.  I still work a day job, so writing is limited to evenings and weekends.  The creative force often runs in peaks and valleys, which limits production as well.  I hear others insist that writing even a few lines every day is important.  Not to me.  I write when I have something worthy of writing.  I edit differently than I write, which is much more disciplined in terms of time management.  Dreaming up stories is a scattered, ‘ride the wave while you can’ proposition in my experience.

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

I can write with music in the background, but it has to be instrumental or orchestral only – no vocals.  I prefer looped music, or extended versions (video game ambient music is great for this purpose).  Also, I can’t seem to type “this” on the first try – it always starts out as “shit” and has to be backspaced and typed again.  I don’t suffer dyslexia, so no idea where that eye-to-hand problem came from.

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

The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd (paranormal romance)

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

How much I thought I knew about history that, as it turned out, I didn’t.  Research hours to writing hours is always a disproportionate ratio slanted toward research, and I considered myself quite versed in the historical elements I needed to tell the story.  I was wrong, and that was both surprising and humbling. 

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

My new neighbor’s interest was obvious, but not as clear was her goal. Vienne said it was terrible of me to say but I felt uneasy at the prospect of a mental patient lurking on the edges of my property. In simple terms, I wondered what the hell she wanted. “Treat her like any other,” Jeremy had cautioned, but that’s not so easily accomplished if she isn’tlike any other. 

It seemed useless to worry about it, and I resumed my slow property walks, establishing from Jeremy’s map the neighboring property line I was determined not to violate. Damon’s investment was a rough, dogleg parcel matching the contours of our road on the western side and those of the hill separating it from Aline Lloyd’s farm to the east. It was getting late in the day, but splendid sunbreaks made for a nice stroll through the trees when I decided to aim downhill toward the southeastern corner and the limits of my modest domain.

The ground levels for a while with space between the groves where sunlight splashed across gathered leaves and twigs. I moved through them, dry and rustling with each plow of my boot, uncaring for the noise that echoed beyond. I remember being charmed at the notion of becoming a gentleman farmer until I saw in tangible terms what the process would demand. Taking out the underbrush alone would consume a summer, I reckoned, and that meant time I didn’t want to spend. It wasn’t long before my fanciful idea died out under the weight of cold reality, and standing on a decent-sized plot of land that was suddenly mine brought a strange calming effect I couldn’t help but notice. I bathed in it for a while until the daydream changed abruptly when I could hear the thump of my own heartbeat. 

There was no reason or cause; I was at peace, alone and content in that solitude. I didn’t know why—not back then—but I turned left slowly and looked at a precise spot halfway up the hillside. Of course, she was there, motionless and watching me through the trees. She hadn’t made a sound and my line of sight was focused in the opposite direction, but somehow, I knew just where to look. 

There is an interesting effect that happens in the ocean when predators hunt the shallow waters of a reef. Sea animals make noise—clicks and pops, squeaks and gurgles—and it is unexpected if you’ve never heard it. I marveled at a sound, shouting out the power of life, while snorkeling ten feet deep along a cliff of coral in the tidal channels of Takaroa when suddenly the water around me changed and went quiet when a sleek, gray shark moved through, perhaps compelling the subordinate creatures to silence (and survival). In the sunlight that poured on an angle through the trees, I felt like that as I stood perfectly still, looking only at her. Was I predator or prey?

I decided to offer a test, an unexpected action that might provoke an interesting response. Instead of a shout or another idiotic wave, I knelt down in the leaves and leaned over a bit to prop myself up with an outstretched arm as one might in the park on a summer afternoon. Would she return a gesture of her own, I wondered, or move down the hillside at the very least? Instead, she did nothing. A test returned in a silent war of wills? It was childish, but I wanted to see how far she would go. Could she be spooked if I called the bluff?

I looked away, only for a second, and when I turned back, she was gone. But as I grinned with a self-satisfied chuckle, a sudden, sharp noise like rocks being clapped together in a slow, deliberate cadence pulled me to my feet when I realized it came from the direction of my house. Without a thought, I sprinted across even ground and the spaces between trees, dodging them like a football player on a straight line for the opening to my weed-covered backyard. I could hear the clacking sound increase in its frequency, as though reacting to my pounding feet. Suddenly the direction changed, echoing downward from the north through trees to my right. As I drew nearer, and the roof of my house came into view, the air went suddenly and deathly still. 

I paused where the ground levels off to catch my breath beside the remains of an old, fallen tree rotting on its side among the ferns. The odd sounds seemed frantic and hurried to draw attention but were now only a slight rustle in the leaves as a soft breeze wandered through. I breathed with relief those strange noises had not been made by uninvited visitors at my house. By habit, or maybe instinct, my eyes wandered from left to right looking for something—anything—to account for the sounds. Only the oaks, still holding their brown leaves tightly, looked back at me. The answer would stay hidden, it would seem, but I decided to move up the hill on my next foray to look around and find the source. A mystery to be solved, I thought to myself, but only for the moment. 

As I turned to go, she stood in the open a few yards away, and I felt the hair on my neck standing in the shock and wash of adrenaline sudden surprise always brings. It was impossible she could have closed the distance so silently in a tangle of branches and dead leaves, yet she faced me without the slightest sign of fatigue or breathlessness. For a moment there was only the quiet of an undisturbed forest and an awkward pause until she spoke. 

“Hello, Mr. Morgan,” she said.

“Evan,” I replied. “You must be Aline.”

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

My next manuscript (WIP) is the third book in a sci-fi series and follow-on to my first two books, Specimen 959 and Echoes of Esharam.  It will release in mid-2020.  After an interesting exploration of romance and paranormal, I will return to my traditional sci-fi genre in the foreseeable future with a second Specimen Chronicles trilogy and two other, standalone novels.

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

A Pleasure in Words, by Eugene T. Maleska  

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

Facebook: @R.C.Daviesbooks

Instagram: r.c.daviesbooks

Twitter: @rcdaviesbooks

Web site: www.rcdaviesbooks.com

Publisher’s author page:  https://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Robert_Davies.html

Specimen 959

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/specimen-959-robert-davies/1126812840?ean=9781946006684

Echoes of Esharam

ISBN: 978-1-946848-96-3

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/echoes-of-esharam-robert-davies/1127706067?ean=9781946848963

When the River Ran Dry

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-the-river-ran-dry-robert-davies/1129445772?ean=9781947727359

The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-seventh-life-of-aline-lloyd-robert-davies/1131543136?ean=9781947727939

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.

 

 

Author Interview: J.E. Reed #fantasy #newrelease #runningwiththewolves @J_E_Reed_author @bhcpressbooks

Today I’m fortunate to present J.E. Reed author of Running with the Wolves.

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

JE_ReedI live on the outskirts of Cincinnati, OH.

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

Character. I love it when a story develops a character through adversity. Watching as someone grows up or grows stronger and gets through whatever they are facing is inspiring and I never get tired of it.

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

I’ve always had a passion for writing, but oddly enough it was gaming that inspired my first published work. The new craze is virtual reality and we’ve seen movies/books that depict people in that environment, but the technology is always involved. I wanted to create a story where people are trapped in a sort of gaming world, but without technology’s interference. Kind of ironic, I know.

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

Messily organized. I’m a pantzer, which means I don’t outline and just write on the fly. My characters determine the direction of the story. Naturally, this has its draw backs as I’m forced to write more drafts to get everything right, but I feel like the story has better flow when I just let my imagination take over. I strive to write 3000 words a day when I’m working through a draft.

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

Sticky notes, they’re everywhere.

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

Running with the Wolves is the title of my fantasy debut novel and I’m very excited to share it with the world.

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

Running with the Wolves has a medieval setting. Due to this I’ve done research on that era, but I’ve also done a lot of research on various survival methods and tools. One of the more interesting things I learned was how to pick up someone who is dead weight. Have you ever tried to pick someone up from the ground? It’s hard and if you’re in a situation where you have to move fast, it creates a problem. There is a roll technique that enables you to grab the hurt/unconscious individual and stand with them on your shoulders. Yes, I’ve practiced this haha. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPrATJ-u5Rg

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

Chapter 1

Unknown

Realm: 1

Day: 1

Running_With_the_Wolves_JE_Reed.jpg

Lying in bed, the chatter caused her mind to stir from that blissful place that lingers on the edge of dreams. It was too loud, too early. She rolled over, the fog slowly clearing as voices turned to song, birds greeting the morning sun. Strange how they’d never woken her before.

She groaned, reaching for a pillow, but something stung her fingertip, and she jolted. A small droplet of blood formed on the tip of her index finger. Her heart thundered as she looked at the culprit and then her surroundings.

This wasn’t her room.

Instead of cool sheets and a soft bed, she lay on dead leaves and grass, the musty forest scent filling her nostrils. White walls were replaced by an endless array of trees that blotted out the sun, save for a few rays that fought their way through.

 

 

She blinked, pushing herself up.

Am I still dreaming?

Her finger pulsed as she scanned the vicinity, and fear crawled into her mind.

Nothing.

No fire, no tent or tracks. Nothing that indicated civilization existed.

Surely someone had to be here, someone could explain—wait, had she been abducted?

Who would want to kidnap her? Why wasn’t she bound if that were the case? The list of reasons for waking in the middle of a forest were slim. Abduction, a lapse in memory, a vacation gone horribly wrong.

She stood, using a tree for support, but dizziness rocked her back. She leaned her head against the trunk, waiting for the spell to pass.

Small specks flew across her vision. Abduction seemed the most likely of scenarios, but where were her captors? Could a drug explain her lapse in memory?

The last thing she could recall was dressing for bed. The girl examined herself, pleased to find shorts and a tee-shirt rather than pajamas. Brown hair hung loose around tan shoulders, and nothing around her wrists indicated she’d been bound. The only odd possession she carried was a little bracelet with leather threaded around a small blue stone. White veins traced a sky-colored surface like cracks of lightning.

Unease settled in her gut at the name etched on its surface.

Kiuno

It was a surrogate name. Something she used for gaming and online activities. Few knew her—

She paused. Her name. She couldn’t remember her name…

What’s going on?

Her throat tightened as she slumped against the tree again, fighting back tears. She was alone and didn’t know her own name. What were the odds?

She took a deep breath, trying to steady her racing heart.

Stay calm.

A forest in mid-summer wasn’t so bad.

Summer? Wasn’t it only January?

Her heart pounded faster as she realized one of two possibilities. Either time had passed without her knowledge, or she was further from home than she imagined.

Calm down. Think.

Summer, okay. Food would be easy. She’d a spent a lot of time camping and experimented with a few survival techniques. That would help as long as she could remember them.

She glanced back at the name on her wrist. She tried to picture her husband calling when dinner was ready or when he needed her to fetch something from the house, but every time the recollection came close it eased away again. Like a cloud hanging over her mind. Maybe she’d recall it later. For now, Kiuno would have to do.

Knee-high foliage surrounded large trees, and fur covered vines snaked their way up the trunks. Thick air caused sweat to roll down her neck. She needed to find water.

Kiuno made her way through the foreign forest and allowed herself to become lost in its beauty. Heavy, snarled roots spread across the ground, connecting each tree in an endless network. Small animals eyed her with curiosity before scurrying beneath the brush.

It would have been the perfect painting.

Hours passed, and the temperature continued to rise as mosquitoes and other insects nipped at her skin. Beauty was turning to nightmare.

Kiuno stopped to catch her breath and plopped on a fallen log. Sweat rolled down her face as she tried to lift her hair for some relief. She was no stranger to the outdoors, but didn’t remember camping ever being so miserable.

She looked at the sun. Had someone noticed her missing yet? Surely her boss would call home regarding her absence. Her husband would know something was up.

Standing, she took another breath, wiped the sweat from her brow and started walking again, the dry patch in her throat a nagging reminder. Using the tree roots, Kiuno slid down a small hill and finally heard the sound she’d been searching for. Running water.

She made her way around a few more trees to find clear water cascading down a rocky cliff that stood twice the size of any person. The river stretched twenty feet across and flowed with a steady pace. Thick brush and cattail lined the bank, and a large piece of rock lay just below the falls, its previous fixture visible above.

Rushing to the water’s edge, Kiuno cupped her hands, the cool liquid easing her scratchy throat. She splashed more on her legs to ease the itchy bites.

Deep colored pebbles lined the river bank with small water plants growing between them. Little fish played among the foliage and larger stones. If she could catch one that would resolve her growling stomach.

Before worrying too much about food, Kiuno hoisted herself onto the fallen rock, slipping a few times on the green moss. She looked down river, hoping for some sign of civilization, but it only renewed her sense of dread. Forest extended for miles.

Her stomach flipped, and she sank down, drawing her knees into her chest.

Trapped. Alone.

Kiuno stayed there for some time wrestling with ideas. She had water, first priority taken care of. The river would provide food, and it wasn’t as though she’d be there forever.

Despite some optimism, her nervousness grew with the looming shadows. Beings seemed to form and vanish as evening played on her fears. It was too late to build a fire, but at least a tree would be safer than the ground.

Glancing between branches, Kiuno found one that split, creating a nook just big enough for her to squeeze in. She rested her back against the biggest branch and watched the orange glow dip below the horizon. Her stomach growled, her skin itched, and every sound made her jump and recheck her surroundings. She curled into herself, trying to reason the shadows were nothing more than the reflections of trees.

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

Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Running with the Wolves and I hope to finish it as a trilogy. Beyond that I have ideas for dragons, kitsune and pirates. It’s just a matter of picking which one to work on first.

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

A developmental editor. There is literally no better money spent. They’re not your friends and they know what to look for. A good editor will tell you what needs to be fixed and they aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings. You might think your book is good enough, but give it to a good developmental editor and they’ll make it shine.

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

Visit my publisher’s website www.bhcpress.com to learn more about me http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_J_E_Reed.html and Running with the Wolves http://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Reed_Running_With_the_Wolves.html

Love social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/J.E.Reed.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/J_E_Reed_author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jereed_kiuno/

 

Author Interview with J.W. Garrett, author of Remeon’s Destiny @garrettjlw @bhcpressbooks #ya #fantasy #scifi

Today I’m fortunate to present  J.W. Garrett, author of Remeon’s Destiny.

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

DjMPNbfU8AIIWgtI live in the Jacksonville, FL area, but I’m originally from Lexington, VA.

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

There are so many elements that need to be blended together to create a great story: fully developed characters with needs and desires, lots of conflict, and a strong emotional connection throughout the story especially.

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

For as long as I can remember I’ve written, at first, poetry and short stories. Thomas, the main character in Remeon’s Destiny was inspired by my father, who also wrote poetry throughout his lifetime.

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

I set a writing goal for each day and write six days a week.

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

My characters routinely wake me up during the night, so when that happens I write, often late into the early morning. It can make for some really long days!

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

Remeons_Destiny_JW_Garrett_FC_WebRemeon’s Destiny; YA Fantasy / Sci fi. It’s the first in a series titled, Realms of Chaos.

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

I would say how emotionally attached you become to your characters and world. It’s a little disconcerting, especially to those around you, so I’ve been told…

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

Link to blog post: https://bhcpresspublishing.com/2018/06/19/read-an-excerpt-remeons-destiny-by-j-w-garrett/

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

Well, Book 2 in my YA fantasy series is in the editing process. I’ll begin plotting book 3 in the very near future.

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

Editing for sure! That extra set of eyes from a different perspective is a true gift!

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

Visit me at my publisher’s website – link below to my author page

https://bit.do/Garrett-RemeonsDestiny-order

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/garrettjlw

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17913503.J_W_Garrett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifergarrettwriter

Website: https://www.jwgarrett.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jlwgarrett

Best and Worst Things About Being a Writer, and Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew by @Laire_McKinney @XpressoTours @BHCPressBooks #Tuesdaybookblog #bookblitz #newrelease #fantasy #destinyfulfilled #womensfiction #romance #faeries #druids #writingadvice

Destiny Fulfilled
Laire McKinney
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Only love can save them…

Wren O’Hara is waiting for the day she succumbs to mental illness like her mother. When she is attacked by a psychotic client at work, and saved by what must be an angel, she fears the time for insanity has come.

Little does she know, her savior is an immortal warrior druid named Riagan Tenman, and that he will challenge everything she ever thought she knew about reality.

Now Wren must decide if the fantasy unfolding before her is true, or if she has finally lost her mind.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Guest Post by Laire McKinney:

Best and Worst Things About Being a Writer, and Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew

The best things about being a writer are seeing my name in print, fulfilling a childhood fantasy, and letting my mind run wild, knowing it will only make a story better.

The worst things about being a writer are the slow pace of publishing, the uncertainty of any outcome, and the at-times debilitating self-doubt.

Ten Things I Wish Every Aspiring Writer Knew:

1. Your first attempt at a novel will not likely be the one. (There are always exceptions, but I know several authors who did not snag the publishing contract until book #2…or #3…or #4…). As for me, I was offered a contract on the second full-length novel I wrote, but that was already two years into the writing experience. One year was spent writing the novel that will never been seen. The second year was writing the one that got published. It is not a quick-turnaround business so reevaluate if that’s what you seek.

2. Community matters. I am as introverted and socially-awkward as they come, but I do venture out to writers’ groups and conferences, and am active on online forums. Having a peer group is essential to survival. I use them to bounce off plot ideas, to beta read, to cheer me on when I’ve been given good news, to cheer me up when I’ve been given bad news.

3. And there is a lot of bad news, so thicken that skin. Rejections. Rejections. Rejections. Then if you do land the contract and sail your way (via tumultuous seas) to the published novel, then there are the reviews—hopefully good, sometimes bad, occasionally downright mean. Then, if you’re one of the few, you’ll sell a lot of copies and make a lot of money. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, and this can vary month to month. Sometimes you might very well find yourself at the bottom and that sucks but it’s reality.

4. Do not be competitive with your peers. My writer friends have been some of the most supportive and encouraging and non-competitive people I could hope to know. A perfect example: I was at a workshop and the speaker wanted those in attendance to create a story together. Her disclaimer: do not worry that someone will steal the idea you’ve thrown out. Even if they started with that idea, their story will be vastly different from yours. Not to say there isn’t plagiarism and piracy, but among the writers you choose to call friends, be supportive and encouraging. You’ll appreciate that when it’s reflected back to you.

5. Be fearless. There is something to be said for writing for the masses. Agents and publishers know what’s trending, what has sold in the past, what is expected to sale in the future. But there is always the break-out novel that’s just different. In a cookie-cutter world, be a free-styling carver and you’ll land on your mark. (I hope that last statement makes sense!)

6. Enjoy the writing. I know from personal experience if I get bogged down in the business of writing (which you must learn), then I lose the creativity. It’s a balance. You can’t have one without the other, and if you no longer find you enjoy it, take a step back and write something for your pleasure only. There is a chance it might very well be your best yet.

7. You will have to spend money marketing, even if you have a publishing contract with a big agency. You need a website, social media, head shot, etc. It helps to join one or more organizations. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America (an excellent place to begin), as well as Women’s Fiction Writers. If you write YA, there is Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

8. If you want to write a genre but are embarrassed or afraid of how it’ll impact your day job or your image, use a pen name. It’s all good, but it’s best to decide that before you get published. If you want to write erotica, it’ll be hard to turn around and write YA under the same name. Not impossible, but tricky.

9. Understand there will be times when the words do not flow, the mind will not concentrate, and the writing timeline falls by the wayside. This happens to me all the time. I have three children, a dog, a hubs, a job, and sometimes it’s just not happening. What do I do? I don’t stress about it. It could be a day, a week, sometimes a month. That recharging period will help you come back renewed.

10. Writers are often introverts. I know I am, and I love to live in my head, to watch tv alone. I love to be in my house when it’s as quiet as an early morning in snowy December. But living your life is essential to good writing. We need experiences to draw from, ideas that simmer and stew and eventually become plot…we need to live life so we can retreat and create.

If you’ve already stepped onto the writerly path, what suggestions would you give to a new writer?

Many thanks for hosting me today. Cheers, Laire.

 

Author Bio:

Laire McKinney is the author of contemporary and fantasy women’s fiction. She believes in a hard-earned happily-ever-after, with nothing more satisfying than passionate kisses and sexy love scenes, endearing characters and complex conflict. When not writing, she can be found traipsing among the wildflowers, reading under a willow tree, or gazing at the moon while pondering the meaning of it all. She lives in Virginia with her family and beloved rescue pup, Lila da Bean.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

 

Author Interview: Caytlyn Brooke @caytlyn_brooke #ya #interview #scifi #contemporary

To celebrate the recent release of her new book, Wired, I’m sitting down with award-winning author, Caytlyn Brooke.

Welcome!

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

Caytlyn_BHC_WebHello! My family is from English decent and I have the freckles and pale skin to prove it. I have lived in six states, but currently reside in the Southern Tier of New York where camouflage is the epitome of fashion and everyone drives a Ford F150.  I’m working on convincing my husband to move south to the beach, but for right now I’m enjoying rolling hills and cornfields.

 

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

It’s amazing how much thought and planning goes into creating a story. My favorites, in both what I read and write, are stories that make you feel as if you’re right there running alongside the characters. Description is the biggest thing for me. I want to be able to picture everything and everyone as if I’m watching a movie. I enjoy books with a fast-paced plot that make it impossible to put down. I especially love cliff hanger endings! I know many readers who like deep, complicated plots that make you think and analyze, however that’s not me. I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I prefer exciting stories with an immediate hook that aren’t afraid to jump right in.

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

Dark_Flowers_C_Brooke_FCI’ve wanted to be a writer since third grade. I loved when my teachers would assign a prompt and let our imaginations go wild for half an hour. My friends would barely craft a paragraph and I’d be on my fifth piece of paper. Growing up, I was obsessed with fairies, goblins, nymphs, you name it. If it involved any mythical creature I was hooked. It was out of that love that I created my first novel, Dark Flowers. Every little girl dreams that she finds fairies in the woods, dreams that she dances with them and is invited to be one. I took that idea and layered it with a touch of darkness. I’m a big fan of the Grimm Brothers and enjoy taking innocent stories and twisting them to keep my readers on their toes. Not every story has a happy ending and in Dark Flowers I changed the beautiful fairies everyone is familiar with, to sinister creatures that will make you rethink walking alone in the woods.

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

Trying to find time to write is a job in itself! I have two small children and a full time job so most of my writing gets done on my lunch break and at ten o’clock at night after I get everyone to bed. As you can imagine with that schedule it’s pretty slow going so I taught myself how to type pretty fast. Most nights I’m up past midnight writing, but I love it. I feel bad for my husband because he waits up for me and my, “I’ll be done in ten minutes” always turns into another hour and a half.

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

Hmm an interesting writing quirk. I guess that all my novels originate from my notebook, old school pen and paper. I always keep a notebook by my bed because most of my story ideas come from my dreams. As soon as I wake up I jot down the idea or image and then expand upon it from there until I have a solid concept. Then, I just start writing. Rather than create an outline and detail step by step what will happen, I just sit down and let my mind wander and craft the story as I go.

Question 6) Tell me about your latest book. 

Wired is a mix of YA contemporary/scifi.

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

Wired_Caytlyn_BrookeOne of the most surprising things I learned after writing Wired was how spot on my imagined world was! I started writing this novel three years ago and back then cell phone usage and dependency was annoying, but nothing to the degree it has reached today. In the slightly futuristic world I created, people have iJewels which are essentially Smart Watches. I remember last year hearing my co-workers talk about how they had to have the new Apple Smart Watch and my eyes bulged. It was exactly like the technology from my book! Wired focuses on cellular device addiction and when Maggie isn’t “connected” she experiences the same withdrawl symptoms as a drug addict. Come to find out, people are actually going to rehab for cell phone addiction and there is even a term called Nomophobia that explains the intense fear and anxiety people have if they become separated from their phones. I wrote this book because I noticed an unhealthy dependency people were forming with their phones and now it’s actually coming true. Maybe this means I’ve predicted the future?

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

wiredfeedback.png

I look around at everyone seated. All of them are staring at me blankly, colorful Vertix H2’s all implanted successfully on their necks. It’s like they’ve been brainwashed. My heart rate speeds up as fear grips my stomach. “I want to leave,” I whisper, pushing back further in my chair, but the feet are stopped and when I turn around, another rep is staring down at me.

“It’s an incredible experience,” Brad says, his smile growing wider. “And you’ve already paid for it. Just try it. If you still don’t like it, we will give you a twenty-five percent refund.”

I can feel the rep behind me grip the back of my chair and I realize he’s sliding me forward, back to the table. The copper device still whirs in my hands, the green light seeming to grow brighter and brighter. A cool breeze grazes my neck and I stiffen as the rep pulls my hair away from my neck, depositing the heavy bulk onto my chest.

“Have fun,” he whispers in my ear before stepping back.

Brad is still staring at me, waiting for me to follow his instructions. With shaking hands I lift the copper Vertix to the back of my neck, wincing as the searching sensors brush my fingers. It’s going to be fine, you’re going to be fine, I tell myself over and over again as I breathe steadily through gritted teeth. Just do it for a minute, then they’ll let you go.

The device slips from my sweating fingers and lands with a solid thud onto the back of my neck. Involuntarily, my hands grip the smooth edge of the table and I close my eyes, anticipating the sharp pain I witnessed everyone else endure to make the connection. The bug-like legs dance atop my skin, settling into place. Then, without a sound, the sensors still and then plunge into the soft skin on either side of my spinal cord.

My eyes flash open and my fingers stiffen into claws as a burst of pain washes over me. I can feel the sensors inside my body, reaching, reaching for some unknown destination. A moment later, all four seize upon my brain stem and the Vertix H2 deepens its hold. My vision blurs and the eerie blue up lighting spins and swirls as the Vertix infiltrates my brain.

The connection has begun.

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

More books! I have several in the works, including a YA fantasy trilogy that I’m super excited to release next year. My other novels revolve mostly within the fantasy realm with mermaids, trolls, and witches and all border on the darker side. You can also check out Dark Flowers, if you’re into creepy fairies and muggy swamps. 

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

DI4oQC2VAAEfEEpThe best money I ever spent as a writer was when I went out to South Dakota last year for the Literary Classic Book Awards. Dark Flowers won the silver medal in the YA Horror category and I was invited to attend the awards ceremony. I didn’t win a cash prize, but I was able to tour the Black Hills of South Dakota, wear a pretty gown, and meet a fantastic group of authors from all over the country. That was such a fun experience and I’m hoping I get the chance to go out there again.

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

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter at the links below. Some days I have some fun things to say:

https://www.facebook.com/Caytlyn-Brooke-659444394222760/

https://twitter.com/caytlyn_brooke

You can also find me at my publisher’s website www.bhcpress.com to learn more about me http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Caytlyn_Brooke.html and http://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Brooke_Wired.html

Thanks for having me!