Author Interview Andy Peloquin #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Peloquin, author of The Last Bucelarii and Queen of Thieves series.

Hi Andy, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Hello? Is this microphone on?

Heh, thanks so much for having me!

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

andyOh boy, straight to the tough questions! To sum me up: Born in Japan to French/Canadian/American parents, lived in Mexico for 15+ years. Basically, I’m from everywhere and nowhere.

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

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

An intriguing, realistic character with relatable problems, forced into impossible circumstances, making difficult choices to achieve outstanding changes, even if only one person’s life is changed. 

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

I come from a very creative family, so the innate desire to create new things is in my blood. But I was always fascinated by the darker side of fantasy societies: thieves, criminals, assassins, thugs, and the underbelly/dregs. I wanted to write a story about a killer who you, the reader, could root for. You may not agree with his actions (killing), but you can understand and empathize with them. Thus, the Hunter of Voramis was born!

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

I get about 2 hours of writing time per day, with a bit more on the weekends. I’ll usually sit down at roughly the same time every day and not stop writing until I finish the chapter, scene, or important part of the story. That usually is anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 words per day. Given the extra time I can set aside Friday and Saturday, I’m sometimes able to hit 20,000 words in a good week.

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

I HAVE to have at least one of three things: Winterfresh chewing gum, a coffee/hot chocolate/chai tea/something hot and sweet to drink, and a little cookie/pastry. As long as I have one of the above, I can get into the groove.

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

Thief of the Night Guild CoverThe latest book is Thief of the Night Guild, the second in my dark fantasy Queen of Thieves series. It follows Ilanna, a thief through the month she spends planning and executing the first bank heist ever accomplished in the fantasy world.

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

I learned SO MUCH in this particular book. I had to research lockpicking, vaults, safes, metalsmithing, basic chemistry, and more. This was also my first serious stab at romance (and not your usual kind!), so it was a fascinating chance to look at the dynamics between people to make a believable romantic interaction. Turns out I have NO idea what real romance is like!

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

Absolutely! This is a snippet from the third and final book in the Queen of Thieves series, titled Queen of the Night Guild:

Ilanna’s hand darted to her sword. The pain of her scorched flesh didn’t stop her from drawing the blade.

“Wait!” Master Gold’s voice cracked like a whip. “Follow me.”

He scurried from the Council Chamber. Ilanna fell in step behind him, her eyes wary. Chaos reigned in the Night Guild. Cries, shouts, and the clash of steel echoed off the earthen walls of the tunnels. Yet Master Gold led them away from the tumult.

“Where are we going?” Ilanna demanded. “We need to fight.”

“No, we need to hide.”

Ilanna jerked to a stop. “What?” Fury burned in her chest. “We’re under attack, and your first thought is for your own skin?”

Master Gold shook his head. “Think about it, Ilanna. I am Master of the Night Guild. What will happen to the Guild if I am killed, or worse, captured?”

“But we don’t know who’s attacking us!” Ilanna half-turned toward the sound of fighting. “We have to find out more.”

“Does it really matter?” Master Gold’s jaw muscles worked. “Either the Duke’s Arbitors have found our tunnels, or the Bloody Hand has. There’s no heroism in dying today.”

Ilanna clenched her fists. “Damn it, Master Gold! We have to help.”

“No, we don’t.” The Guild Master shook his head. “We need to be safe. House Serpent and House Bloodbear were formed for just this eventuality. They’ve enough fighters between them to drive out a small army.”

“They’re going to get killed!”

“And they’ve known that since the first day they were chosen by their Houses. Just as you knew what would happen if you were caught in the wrong mansion.” He gripped her sword arm. “But I must live. If we are to recover from this, we will need a clear head and a firm hand to direct our next step. You know as well as I that there is no one better-suited to leading the Guild in a time like this than me. If that means I must act the coward and hide, so be it. I do it for the Guild.”

Ilanna looked in his eyes. His expression showed no sign of fear, only the cold pragmatism that had made him such a useful ally. He spoke the truth. That didn’t mean she had to like it.

“Well, you may be comfortable running and hiding, but I stand with my House!”

“With those hands?” Master Gold’s voice grew harsh. “You can barely hold that sword without wincing. You wouldn’t last two minutes in a fight.”

Ilanna wanted to argue, but the pain radiating from her scorched palms forestalled her argument.

“If you will not listen to reason, you will obey a direct command. Protect me, Journeyman Ilanna of House Hawk. Protect your Guild Master. That is an order.” Master Gold’s eyes narrowed. “And before you protest, remember that you are still a Journeyman. You have not yet been released from the oaths you swore to your House, to the Guild. To me.”

Ilanna growled low in her throat. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She had to heed his command.

“Let’s go.” Master Gold jerked his head down a side corridor. “To my office.”

The Council Chamber stood a few hundred paces from the Guild Master’s quarters, on neutral territory belonging to none of the Houses. Master Gold and Ilanna covered the distance in less than a minute.

“Secure that door.” Master Gold instructed.

Ilanna threw the deadbolt. The door, built of solid Ghandian blackwood, would keep out anything short of a battering ram.

“Now what?” Her gaze darted around the room. If they dragged Master Gold’s enormous desk in front of the door, it could buy a few more minutes.

“This way.” Master Gold strode over to a bookcase, upon which sat seven golden figurines: a hawk, a serpent, a scorpion, a bloodbear, a fox, a hound, and a grubber mole. The Guild Master pulled on the hawk. Something clicked, and the bookcase slid to one side, revealing a darkened tunnel beyond.

“Secrets within secrets, Ilanna.” The Guild Master pointed to the alchemical lamp that hung on the opposite wall. “We’ll need light.”

Ilanna darted across the room and lifted the lamp from its sconce. Once inside the hidden passage, Master Gold pressed on a stone and the bookcase slid shut without a sound.

Ilanna held up the lamp. The tunnel ran for ten paces before turning a corner. “Where does this go?” she whispered.

“To the sewer tunnels beneath the city. And to the chambers of every House Master.”

Ilanna’s eyebrows shot up. “What?”

Master Gold grinned and shrugged. “There is much about the Night Guild known only to myself and the Masters I trust.”

“Master Hawk?”

The Guild Master nodded.

Relief flooded Ilanna. “So he’ll be safe.” Master Hawk could hide until the Serpents and Bloodbears dealt with the threat.

Master Gold’s expression darkened. “You’ve known Jagar Khat for years.” Sorrow filled his eyes. “Have you ever known him to back down when someone threatened his House?”

Ilanna’s gut clenched.  Master Hawk would be the first to face whatever came through the doors of the Aerie. He would protect his House, the cost be damned.

Master Gold’s hand gripped her shoulder. “You can’t go out there. You can’t save him.”

Ilanna whirled. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She drove a fist into the earthen walls.

The Guild Master’s voice dropped to a whisper. “He’ll survive this. He has to.” He spoke as if trying to convince himself.

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

SO MUCH! Once I finish this final book in my trilogy, I’ll set to work on other stories: dark fantasy romance, military fantasy, literary fantasy, a dark fantasy murder mystery story featuring this character Ilanna (from the Queen of Thieves series) and the Hunter of Voramis (from my The Last Bucelarii series), and many, many more. I may even wander into the Urban Fantasy genre to put out a few short stories, novels, or even a trilogy.

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

A pair of glasses. Heh, it sounds silly, but I refused to wear glasses for a year or two after I needed them. When I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair, it made all the time I spent on my computer so much less exhausting.

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

You can find me EVERYWHERE as Andy Peloquin. I’ve added all my links below—feel free to check them out, join the club, and enter my dark fantasy world!

Website: http://www.andypeloquin.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyqpeloquin
Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1383986274994456/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KnIEoUDWRJkAhJ16CN5Dw
Reader List Sign-Up: http://andypeloquin.com/join-the-club/
Fantasy Fiends Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFantasyFiends/
Follow on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andy-peloquin

 

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Author Interview with J.M. Sullivan #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present J.M. Sullivan, author of ALICE: THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES.

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

JM Sullivan - small.jpgJ.M. – Well, I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and spent most of my life there. But just recently my family has embarked on a rather grand adventure and we are living in the United Arab Emirates so I can teach science in Abu Dhabi! The crazy thing is that even though we moved halfway around the world, it seems a lot like home—I guess that’s what happens when you move from one desert to another! 😉

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

J.M. – I think there are lots of elements than can go into books that can make them very good, but for me personally it lies in the characters. Even if the plot is rocking, if the characters fall flat for me, it’s not likely to get on the vote. On the flip side I’ve read books where I wasn’t completely sold on the premise, but the characters bought me in. And while other elements are definitely important, my thought is- if I’m going to invest 300+ pages of my life to these characters, I need to enjoy being around them.

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

J.M. – I’ve always loved writing and wanted to be a writer, but up until recently I let life and schedules and uncertainty keep me away from ever finishing a WIP. I’ve started several stories, but just never reached the point where they made a full ‘book.’ But when I got the idea for Alice last year, I don’t know, something just clicked. I knew that I HAD to write this story and finish it. I read once that a story won’t be written until it’s ready. I guess Alice was finally ready.

Question 4) Speaking of inspiration, you created the twitter hashtag game #authorconfession. Can you tell my readers who may not be famiC-qC7m8XYAAVI9oliar with it a bit more about it?

J.M. – Sure! #AuthorConfession is a writing game on Twitter where other writers answer questions about their writing, their WIPs, and themselves using the Author Confession Hashtag. Each month, I make up a different set of questions that we go through together, answering one prompt per day. I love it because it’s a great chance to meet other writers and see what they are working on and find more great books to read!

Question 5) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

J.M. – Well, since I am a Teacher and a mom writing is my ‘side job,’ so I don’t really have a set schedule. Really, I just try and work it in whenever I can. Sometimes that’s in the mornings while everyone is asleep, or if I can stay up late writing I’ll do that too. Weekends are great for giving me some extra writing time, but my favorite days are when I can sneak off to the coffee shop and write, but that realistically only happens about once a week. For me it’s not so much having a set schedule, but rather making sure I actually sit down and get words in.

Question 6) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

J.M. – Oh gosh. Well I guess one of them would be I absolutely cannot work if I’m not comfortable. You will probably never find me working on my creative writing while sitting at a desk in the library. I much prefer curling up in a comfy chair, snuggling up under my laptop and typing away. If I can’t get situated and settled in, I can’t focus. Weird, right?

Question 7) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Alice Cover.jpgJ.M. – My debut novel, ALICE: THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES Is a YA Dark Fantasy retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

Question 8) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

J.M. – That I actually COULD finish a book! Before I finished the final words on my draft for Alice, I wasn’t fully confident that I was going to be able to do it (not having a great track record before didn’t help anything). Finishing Alice was the final piece that made me believe that I could do the writing thing, and since then it’s just taken off. It’s been so surreal, but at the same time, incredibly awesome.

Question 9) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

“Don’t come out ’til morning,” he growled, piercing her with his golden gaze. Another animalistic screech sounded through the streets. The momerath were close. The boy glanced over his shoulder anxiously and grabbed the door handle. He tensed his arm to swing it shut.

“Wait!” Alice cried, realizing her voice sounded more than a little frantic. A million thoughts ran through her mind—Whose car is this? Why did you bring me here? Where are you going? Why are you leaving me here? These questions and more clashed into each other, demanding an answer. The winning query spilled out before she could stop it. “Who are you?”

The boy flashed her a sly grin and tightened his grip on the door. “I’m Chess,” he said. “Welcome to Wanderland.”

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

J.M. – More retellings! Currently I am also working on two more novels – a YA Sci-Fi retelling of Peter Pan that is in the editing stages, and a draft of the sequel to ALICE! (I’m so excited!)

Question 11) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

J.M. – Without a doubt, the best investment I’ve ever made was on the writing program Scrivener. I absolutely love how it helps me to keep my work organized and all in one place. It’s also super customizable so I can make my workbooks look however I want. So even though to other people it may look completely strange, I have a method to my madness, and Scrivener makes it possible.

Question 12) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

J.M. – Find me on Social Media! I love Twitter and that’s probably my most active platform (@_JM_Sullivan), and where the monthly #AuthorConfession game take place. If you’re more of a photo person, I also have an Instagram account with the same handle that has lots of pictures of my kids, my cats, and my work. For an overall collection of my work, thoughts, and musings, you can check out my blog JMSullivanauthor.wordpress.com. Whichever you prefer, send me a message, I’d love to connect!

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Interview with @erineveland #Tuesdaybookblog

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

Hi Erin, thank you for agreeing to this interview!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHADOWS:

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

Nathan had died, that much he was sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.darknesstheseries.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/authorerineveland