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.

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Interview with artist & writer, @sophilestweets! @18thWall @DWMtweets @DrWhoOnline @WhovianLeap @bbcdoctorwho #DoctorWho #DoctorWhoIsLife #DrWhoArt #DoctorWhoFanart #DoctorWhoMagazine #Tuesdaybookblog

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In today’s edition of Time And Relative Developments In Stories, I sit down with the very talented artist and writer, Sophie Iles, whose work has appeared in kOZMIC Press’ Children of Time: the Companions of , The Time Travel Nexus and multiple charity works.

Welcome!

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

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The British Part! I grew up in Slough in the United Kingdom, a name those may recognise as the town the Original UK series of The Office was based. I have also lived in Bristol (The location of St. Luke’s University in the more recent Series 10, and where I believe in Big Finish, Alex, Susan’s son lives in The Earthly Child) and quite a few other locations including Cardiff, Aylesbury Milton Keynes and Chesham.

I’m currently back in Bristol and enjoying this artistic and creative part of the UK.

Question 2) When did you become a fan of Doctor Who?

formackenzie_2I became a fan of Doctor Who very late. I was 19 when I discovered Doctor Who for what it was. Doctor Who was something in the UK you grow up with, even during its wilderness years. You all know about the Daleks, you all know your parents hid behind the sofa. But in 2005 that became less nostalgia and more prominent to a child’s intake of sci-fi. It just wasn’t something you could easily ignore.  Personally, I somehow succeeded in doing into my late teens.

I had been a fan of everything and anything I could get my hands on as a child–Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to name a few. But I didn’t think I was geeky enough for Doctor Who. Boy, was I wrong.

By the time I was at university, I was lovingly nicknamed K-9 by a friend, and curiosity got the better of me. By the end of that year I became a fan just in time to watch David Tennant regenerate, my first episode being The Waters of Mars, and I’ve not looked back since…

Question 3) Who is your Doctor?

PeterCapaldi

I always find this a tough question because there isn’t a Doctor I dislike. I love them all for their own qualities and what they bring to the role.

I think the moment they announced Peter Capaldi, however, I was completely hooked. I loved the idea of Peter playing him. I was reminded of William Hartnell, who seemed cranky and abrasive at first but was soothed by his supportive companions. I hoped this would be the case for his character too, if they went down that route. By the time Peter’s three years were up I didn’t want him to leave.

He had been there for me through four house moves, a family death, and multiple life issues. When I met him in London to sign my Series 9 DVD I able to tell him how important his Doctor meant to me.

He just smiled gratefully and said “Isn’t that what television’s for?”

I will never forget that, and I will always see him as my Doctor because of it.

Question 4) Congratulations on recently being featured in the Doctor Who Magazine! It is unfortunate I cannot get the magazine where I live. How did that opportunity for you come about?

formackenzie_5Honestly, It was as much as a surprise to me as anyone! I have been actively drawing scenes and characters from the recent Classic Doctor WhoTwitch, at least one drawing a night. A few weeks ago, I was asked if one of my pieces could be used on the Doctor WhoTV to blog about the wonderful reactions to the Twitch shows. You can find the link here!

I didn’t expect that however to extend to the Magazine itself. I didn’t know if this was due to someone emailing in regards the piece, or if it was the editor’s choice to illustration the Galaxy Forum page. Either way I was beaming from ear to ear when I found out!

Question 5) You have drawn a number of Doctor Who pieces. What has been your favorite and why?

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It’s a difficult question, mostly because every recent piece is my favourite. It’s often for different reasons. Sometimes I prefer the original drawing over the finished piece, sometimes it’s the colouring.

I think, just because of the sheer scale, my most recent piece is my favourite.  It’s all of the Doctors together. It took considerable time and effort to produce to a high standard (I mean, 14 figures fully drawn isn’t the easiest thing in the world) but it was worth every second.

I also think my London 1965 piece might be my second favourite. I had been trying to simplify my designs for a long while, and it was then I really caught that essence when I drew Ian and Barbara against the brick wall. Luckily in both cases lots of people seem to agree!

Question 6) I always find it intriguing to learn about an artist’s technique. Can you share a bit about what goes into drawing a piece like this? Time frame? Skill? Software used?

In terms of what I draw, some of my favourite artists/designers/creators are listed below. I highly recommend all of these people as inspirations.:

  • Quentin Blake
  • Hergé
  • Ronnie Del Carmen
  • Vera Brosgol
  • Bill Watterson
  • Pete Docter
  • Pascal Campion
  • Nick Sharratt
  • Glen Keane

When it comes to process: both of these pictures were created the same way. There’s a rough I draw. In the case of Ian and Barbara, I drew them in my sketchbook at work, looking at old pictures of the show. Most of my main issues with drawing is posing and gesture and making sure that’s clear. I’m always learning and practicing and understanding so my sketchbooks are incredibly rough. Once that’s done I take a photo and put it into Adobe Photoshop when I get to my computer at home. I’m also fortunate enough to have a Cintiq. This is like a tablet, except is actually a separate screen I can draw straight onto. This way I ink and tidy up my sketches in black, before then using layers to colour behind. I usually colour drop straight from pictures I’m referencing, or if there are some colourisations. Then, adding shadow, lighting (and if necessary a background).

For the Ian and Barbara picture, I didn’t really want to add all the detail of a brick wall, so I decided to use a texture layer and implied it instead, which I think for the style works quite well.

I can draw straight into the computer, but I really like drawing in my sketchbook too as it feels like a more organic process.

Question 7) I understand you are also a writer. When did you start writing?

I have always wanted to be a writer. I actually wrote this statement on a primary school worksheet I had found a few weeks ago, which made me beam with pride. I think it started with my nan. She was a wonderful storyteller who would tell me Greek myths and legends from a very early age, and I would read all of her strange books regarding fables and legends. I’ve always been drawn to storytelling, whether through illustration or writing.

I didn’t really get into writing until I entered my last year of university. I wanted to find a way to make sure my story worked for my animation courses short film module and a friend suggested I join their Drama Society’s creative writing group. I wrote short plays for the university, which were performed. Though it was a slow start from there, I never stopped coming up with ideas for dramas. I just wasn’t very good at completing them.

It was being part of 18th Wall Productions that gave me the courage to start submitting to their short story submissions and getting involved in writing. I love to get involved in creating stories and believable characters, and I love the idea that I get to– as a writer– share emotions and worlds with someone else. Wherever that’s a world we think we already know, or a new one.

Currently I’m working on quite a few writing projects, submissions and some of my first original works, so I can finally truly consider myself a writer.

Question 8) You have written articles about Doctor Who for 18thWall Productions and The Time Travel Nexus. Can you elaborate on what these are and why you chose the subjects you wrote about?

Just under three years ago, I was sort of thrust upon, without knowing at the time, the founders and CEO of 18thWall Productions. It was just a casual chat about Doctor Whoand other interests, but they clearly saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself.  One of the highlights of last year was being able to meet a lot of those related to 18thWall at LI Who 5, which was almost just as exciting as being in America itself.

The-Racoonteur-Roundtable-Logo-1600X1600Professionally, I was a guest on one of their discussion sections on their podcast The Raconteur Roundtable, which was an amazing experience as it also meant I was able to ask Big Finish’s Scott Handcock questions as part of their team, a link to which you can find here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/raconteurroundtable/2017/06/28/rr-13–the-bard-on-gallifrey–scott-handcock-big-finish-productions

It then led to for a small time helping run their blog, talking with their writers and editing their posts. It was around then they asked that if I had something I wanted to write about they would happily like to know what and see if it would work for them. I offered watching the Classic Doctor Who Series and talking about it as a series of articles, with some fresh perspective as someone who didn’t know the Classic Series very well. They loved the idea.

At the end of last year, The Time Travel Nexus also contacted me and asked if I wanted to write something for Peter Capaldi’s send off, something which I was happy to do and to draw something for it. I don’t think I would be where I am now, writing and drawing so publicly, without their constant support and guidance.

Question 9) What inspired you to create the short story for kOZMIC Press’ Children of Time: The Companions of Doctor Who?

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I’ve always wanted to write something for Doctor Who in a way that wasn’t just a review. A few of my friends had mentioned to me that there was someone looking for writers for this charity anthology. Even though all of my favourite companions were already taken, I decided to apply to see if Rigsy was a possibility. Rigsy was the first male companion who’d really felt like part of an adventure since Danny Pink, and even then, I didn’t count Danny as a companion. Rigsy was also the companion to the companion, as Clara played the Doctor’s role in that episode, proving she could handle the adventures on her own without her alien friend. I always felt that more could be done with Rigsy, and I always wanted to know what happened to him. This was my chance to write something!

At first I was just a placeholder, as they were hoping to get someone else involved in Rigsy’s creation, but I was ecstatic when they asked if I was still interested. I had a month to write something, but as the condition was positivity about the character I just wanted to share ideas on the Rigsy we never got to know. We knew he was engaged and had a daughter, so I decided to look at it from her perspective– a look at someone who loved him dearly. So, with the idea of wanting to commemorate the life of Rigsy and his life’s work, something the Doctor suggested would be great, I had her write the foreword to a book about his life as a famous graffiti artist.

I also offered to draw some illustrations for the book, including illustrating my own. I was very proud of the drawings I gave them. I am particularly fond of an illustration of the Brigadier and his daughter Kate and his grandson Gordon Lethbridge Stewart on a polaroid. It fits the writing (by Hilary Hertzoff) that went with it very well.

Also, the charity it supported was Furkids, Georgia’s Largest Animal Rescue and No-Kill Shelter which I was glad to be supporting. You can find a link to this book here!

Question 10) Do you have an excerpt from any of your writing you’d like to share?

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This is from an upcoming release with 18th Wall Productions, in an original anthology from the story “A Single Wolf, Grey and Gaunt.”

He couldn’t really be a ghost, Timmy thought. His form seemed solid, unwavering against the waves as the tide tried to come in. Lancelot didn’t quite seem real. as though you could easily step through him if you looked at him in a different light. Perhaps it was because it was dark. Timmy wasn’t sure.

That hadn’t however stopped him from rushing forward with the stick in his jaws, head held high before placing it at Timmy’s feet.

“You want to go again, huh?”

The dog heeled, his head held high. Not a sound left from him. Timmy laughed, this large boyish sound bubbling from his chest.

It surprised him. When was the last time he’d laughed?

Question 11) You’re currently putting together a Doctor Who fanzine. Can you tell my readers more about this project and how they may be able to participate?

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Well, due to the success of Twitch, and the love discovered for Ian and Barbara, I had an idea. I couldn’t help thinking how lovely it would be to share some art and stories about these two much loved companions for everyone to see in a printed format. I put out some feelers to see if anyone was interested in supporting this and it sort of exploded on social media, so I decided to make it official.

So anyone out there reading this who wants to contribute, yes, I’m looking at you! If you love Ian and Barbara and want to share stories or illustrate about what happens to them in their lives, why don’t you submit?

I’m looking for stories and artwork within three major stages of their lives: Life before the TARDIS, the times during their adventures, and then after they get to London 1965. I’m looking for small stories about their lives, or full scale adventures. As for the art, I’m looking for some art to highlight these moments in their lives. Also, it doesn’t have to be shippy, if you see them just as friends that’s more than alright, this is about the characters, not their romance!

We will be donating the funds made to Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity. The donations will be given in loving memory of Jacqueline Hill, who would have been 89 this year in December.

It’s all very exciting really. I’m looking for submissions from August 15th to close in October 1st.

All of the details you could possibly need can be found here:

Question 12) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I have a few plans in the future. When Twitch is over I intend to try and draw as much from the New Series as possible, including the spin offs and any of the Big Finish dramas, as there’s really so much to explore. As well as that there are also other aspects of the Doctor Who extended universe to look into, particularly the works of the  wonderful Obverse books, and then delving into Faction Paradox.

One of the exciting projects I can talk about is I’m helping with the cover art, art indents and a short story for a Sarah Jane charity anthology. The official announcement is coming soon!

There’s some other really exciting writing projects I can’t talk about just yet that’s coming up that I want to pitch for / currently writing and drawing for. I’ve been talking to some cool people about some artwork for some more charity anthologies on the way. Lastly there’s two big Doctor Who conventions that I’ll be attending before the end of the year where I will be selling my artwork here in the UK. And I will be continuing to do this throughout the next year.

In other words, watch this space!

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

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I’m on most social media sites these days. Trying to be active on all pages is difficult but I’m mostly found on Twitter with the handle: @sophilestweets

I am also available on my website www.sophieiles.co.ukFacebookInstagram and Twitch on occasion!

Thank you again, Sophie! Fans, please make sure to check out her social media, art and books! And if you’d like to be part of Time And Relative Developments In Stories, follow the instructions below!

How You Can Participate!

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Author Interview: Stephanie Ayers #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Stephanie Ayers, author of The 13: Tales of Illusory.

Hi Stephanie, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

11224037_860439547360338_7629373995538696974_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I call the east coast of the United States home. I live in Virginia, closer to Washington, DC, though I crave a home in the mountains. 

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

To me, a good story is well-told with vibrant images that play like a movie in my head as I read. To me, it’s when I’m reading and the whole world disappears… that is good story.

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

I have been writing as a child. My dream to be famous started with writing, then singing, then acting, then singing, and I have found it most peaceful to write. The inspiration behind my first published book was a publisher’s admission that she loved it after I wrote a blurb to it. It began as a serial on my blog.

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

Honestly writing takes a back seat right now as we work on building our publishing house up. I’ve been doing a lot of focus with graphics, but writing is still instrumental to all I do. It must be creative, and that is a successful day.

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

Hmmm… some would say love stories with a twist, but my writing quirk is probably more along the lines of all the headless or beheaded characters in my stories.

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

The 13: Tales of Illusory is a collection of short horror stories.

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

I’m always surprised by people’s interest. I’m in my own little world, just being me, so when people step up, it’s always the biggest surprise. It’s also a surprise how well received my book cover is.

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

Sure…this is from Wade, Haunted:

The 13

The front door of the white house opened with a squeak that made Wade’s heart skip a beat. His eyes closed, and the dusty silence of the long empty house accosted him. Nothing disturbed the air, not even the buzz of appliances. Sensing the vacancy, he opened his eyes. A photo album s

 

at on the rickety coffee table just beyond the front door. His stomach clenched. Hesitant eyes searched the room as he moved towards the table, noting the crumbling paint on the walls and broken bricks of the fireplace, but he switched direction at the last minute. Despite the dead silence, he needed to know there was no one there. His feet carried him through a small opening and into the kitchen.

Cobwebs crowded dark corners, and a spider web covered the base of the sink. The stale odor of disuse exuded from the refrigerator as he opened it. Nothing there but more cobwebs. He coughed and closed it. A glance out the window showed him a yard filled with unruly weeds and tall, browning grass. He followed a short hall to a closed door. Inside the closet a few musty jackets hung on metal hangers and dust coated the floor.  

A short staircase with an ornate brass bannister loomed opposite the closet. He ascended, the ominous creaking and sighing of the steps disturbing the silence. Wade’s heart plunged to his belly. He raced to the top looking over his shoulder every other step. Once he reached the top, an open foyer looked down into the front room. With bated breath he investigated the rooms behind him and found most of them empty. He flipped the light switch in the bathroom out of habit, and a pasty white face stared at him from the mirror. Startled, he jumped and his heart quickened, until he realized it was his reflection.

Wade’s fingers trembled as he turned the knob of the last room, and the door opened without noise. Rose pink covered the walls, and gold-framed landscapes of mountains and sunsets hung on either side of an elaborate oak dresser. A large gold headboard disappeared behind a yellowed rosebud coverlet. A layer of age and abandonment coated everything. He shut the door, a sense of intrusion replacing his dread, and moved to the railing. The album winked up at him from the coffee table, drawing his attention. His curiosity aroused, he worked his way to the front room.

A cloud of dust exhaled from the couch as he sat. His hands quivered as he opened the cover; he took his time pouring over each page. Pictures of a handsome family rose from the pages. A sincere-faced father draped an arm across each son’s shoulders. A beautiful woman stood beside him, cradling an infant in her arms. As their story unfolded, the family appeared less and less, until only pictures of the woman remained. Loneliness seeped from her eyes, and he wondered what had happened to them.

With his eyes in a half-squint, he concentrated on the surrounding room, searching for a clue. A dark stain on the wall near the baseboard caught his attention. Hot breath blew against his neck. He turned and startled. The woman from the pictures sat next to him. Her ruby lips pouted coyly. Her blonde hair twisted seductively down her body, drawing attention to her full breasts. They pressed against her tight top as she leaned forward, teasing Wade with her closeness.

“What brings you here, lover?”

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

I have a holiday children’s story and two fantasies in development, along with another short story collection and a few stories I’d like to flesh out and use in a collaboration with my best friend and writing partner, A.L. Mabry.

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

Getting copies of my books and smelling that new book smell when I open the box.

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

I’m all over social media. The absolute best way is to follow my blog or my author page.

Most of my other haunts are with the handle “theauthorSAM” and I’m on Instagram as my graphic’s page, OWS Creative Studios. You can also contact me through OWS Ink and find out about any new books by subscribing to the newsletter

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

 

Author Interview: Tom Tinney #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Tom Tinney, author of “Blood of Invidia” and numerous other works.

Hi Tom, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

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

61dk10LR0gL._UX250_USA. Originally lived in Arizona, but currently, reside in Wisconsin. Travelled the world when I served in the USAF.

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

An unforced story. No matter the genre, if it feels like the author is “Checking the PC/genre boxes”, it’s boring and contrived. I also love to become immersed. The author needs to help me suspend reality (especially in my favorite genres of Sci-Fi and Fantasy).

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

I used to edit and write for a Biker magazine (V-twin, not peddle-type). People kept saying I should write a book. So, I did. Just not the book they thought. Instead of spooling out the next “Sons of Anarchy” with “Bikers, brawls, and broads”, I wrote the epic Sci-Fi Space Opera Thriller “Threads”. It’s why I’m the Biker-Nerd.

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

I start each session with a little clean up from the last sit down, then plow ahead. I have a spreadsheet system (and giant whiteboard) for capturing and refining my ideas. I use those to keep from straying too far off the planned story. Sometimes a writer comes up with a jewel, or two, worth pursuing and characters take on a life of their own. You should explore those, but they can’t overwhelm or distract from the story.

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

I can write anywhere. Noisy, quiet, busy, alone. Just write. I’m not one of those “Gotta have my music on” or “I need total silence” people. As a matter of fact, I’m REALLY bored with those sorts of questions in writing groups. “What music do you write with?” and “1st, 3rd or blah blah blah person point of view, which is best?” None. All. Who cares…just write the story that comes and be true to it.

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

51FiQ8BzT2L._SY346_“Blood of Invidia: Book One of the Maestru series”, Sci-Fi/Galactic Empire/Paranormal. We blend old classics (Vampires/shape shifters) with SciFi (Gray Aliens, Hi-tech Yakuza ninjas). By “We” I mean myself and my son, Morgen Batten, who co-wrote it with me in the cloud. He lives in Australia and we have never met in person.

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

I could separate the “Dad-mode” from the writing effort. When we collaborated, we were both thinking about the story. We resolved differing views and nuances during great discussions (Usually via Skype) and by shooting each other examples via messenger.

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

Malikae focused on his prey’s back. He pressed his hands deeper into his coat. They rested not in pockets, but through holes that allowed him to grab and manipulate the weapons held up by their hidden nylon support straps. He wore a service jacket he’d purchased at an army surplus store. The weapons had been stolen from a nearby military facility. He kept pace with his prey.

Cla-clink-clink.

A minute, but very distinct sound. The sound of a mechanical lever being thrown and engaged. Simultaneous metallic clicks originating from both of the oversized front pockets of his jacket.

He wondered for a microsecond about the safety of the other beings between him and around his target, but the thought turned to grey mist and he became unconcerned that he was on a crowded street.

He was compelled to act. Something inside him screamed for him to turn away, to return to his companions. To take his new family and run back to— who? To her. But that screaming voice died in the fogginess of his mind, as well. He wasn’t sure if it was wrong or right, but it was necessary. He knew it.

He pushed the machine-pistols forward and up, so they brushed his coat out of the way, the trapezoidal metallic protrusions on the back of his hands catching slightly on the coat.

He raised the weapons quickly and took a bead on his intended target. He drew a deep breath and released it. Some of the more observant people in the crowd noticed the black metal shapes and looks of recognition began to appear. They wouldn’t recognize the metallic pieces embedded in his hands or the set that were attached on either side of his neck beneath his long black hair.

 The more observant people started to flex away from the obvious danger, or avert their course out of the path of the barrel tips pointed through them at the target. Malikae released the breath, and at the end of his expulsion of air, the point at which the hand is steadiest, he pulled the triggers of both weapons.

Although his mission briefing stressed that his quarry was dangerous, it was only at that moment that the truth of that statement became apparent. The pistols bucked in his hand once, twice, three times in succession and his intended victim seemed to blur and then simply was no longer in his line of fire.

He watched through the grey haze of expended gasses and burning gunpowder as his bullets passed through the empty space where his target had been walking. The projectiles from his weapons tore the line of pedestrians beyond to shreds. The air, moments before the domain of generic city sounds, now filled with the screams of the wounded, dying and those terrified that they’d be next.

And still, the guns fired, the barrels searching for a target that was no longer there. They swept right and left, wherever Malikae looked, the barrels followed and the people died.

Failure. His hands shook and his legs tensed. He screamed, but it came out as a howl. He saw red, knowing the element of surprise had been lost. The weapons in his hands were now useless. Anger and frustration took the place of calculation and cunning. The emotional shift set off a rush of endorphins and adrenalin. The magazines ran empty. He wouldn’t be able to finish this with machine pistols, so he let them go and pinched the strap release buckles, dropping them, and their harness, to the ground. He’d trained with these primitive weapons in order to blend in and they’d proven ineffective.

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

Lots. Currently working on “ManaTech: Mages” a new FantaSci/Alternate History series that is part of a book deal. Also have to do two more books in the “Fabric of the Universe” series associated with my first novel “Threads”, as well as three more books that will complete the “Maestru Series” that “Blood of Invidia” started. I also write a WEBisode series on my website called “PULPED!” which is near future detective noir set on Mars.

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

It’s a tie. Professional cover and professional editing. Elevated my novels.

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

Everything can be found on my website Https://www.tomtinney.com (If fans sign-up for my newsletter, they get a free copy of “Threads” to read.

Or on my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Tinney/e/B00EAWJWVM

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

Email: forests.daughter@gmail.com

 

Interview with R.A. Andrade #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present R. A. Andrade author of The Field Trip.

Hi Ron, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

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

Ron: First, I would clarify that the world I come from is planet Earth to dispel anyB1uXJ7qnXrS._UX250_ rumors to the contrary. I was born and raised in New England, and then moved to Michigan after graduating college.

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

Ron: If people enjoy reading a story, it is a good story. What is a story people enjoy reading? I believe everyone guesses at the answer to that question, or write what they like and get pleasantly surprised to discover other people like it as well.

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

Ron: There was a point in time when I became addicted to reading novels at any opportunity. I would read anywhere and anytime, even if only there was only a fifteen minute window. Primarily reading science fiction and mysteries, many of the plots became repetitive and all too familiar. Hungering for something different, the urge to try writing my own story overtook me…so I did. I worked on that novel in the same manner I had been reading…nonstop. When finished, I considered it great; in need of little editing, which I could surely do myself.

Reading through that first novel now, only one word comes to my mind…trash.

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

Ron: There is no schedule. I write when I make the time, which can be any time of day or night. I usually write daily in blocks of time that fit opportunity and flow of thoughts. This most often occurs late night but the story still works in my mind during other daily activities that allows me to escape to my work. 

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

Ron: Nothing terribly interesting, but most short fiction I write begins with an idea intending to be a science fiction story. Somehow, I lose control of the stories along the way and the results are something else…a spooky murder where a crow is the victim…Santa Claus straightening out management at a corporate staff meeting…and of course a superhero squirrel tale.

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

Ron: The Field Trip. The back cover states it is “An adventure mixe23702427d with a touch of fantasy. Add a twist of love.” Some readers classify it as science fiction.

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

Ron: That my spelling improved dramatically. This was unintentional since I have always bragged about being a poor speller. Fortunately, there are some words I continue to misspell although used thousands of times.

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

Ron: These are a few paragraphs from an upcoming novel:

Glen backed the Mustang to the park entrance road, and then proceeded in. They passed the deserted collection booth, following the arrows that indicated the route to the lake. Parking at the edge of the lot that would have normally been crammed with a hundred or more cars and trucks on a hot August day, they sat alone.

They all got out of the car, Sunshine and Glen pulling bags, a cooler, and a blanket from the trunk. Traci watched the two in disbelief, her hands on her hips. “The world is coming to an end and you two are going to have a picnic?” She looked down at the T-shirt she was wearing that Glen had found for her, pulling it away from her body. “And who the hell is John Denver? I would die if anyone saw me in this.”

Closing the trunk, Sunshine said to Glen, “When I get my memory back I hope I don’t discover I have children. They are a pain in the ass.”

Traci mouthed “what”, and then yelled, “You know I’m standing right here.”

Sunshine chose a location on the side of a small hill overlooking the lake. Spreading the blanket on the well-manicured grass, she knelt looking across the water. The fog bank traversed the lake, hiding the far shore. She shivered.

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

Ron: A novel entitled, “Sunshine at the Oasis.” The excerpt in the last question is from that story. It may be science fiction, or maybe a mystery, or maybe….

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

Ron: That is an easy question. Undoubtedly, the money spent for my laptop. It transforms thoughts into printed words. All I need to do is place my fingers on the keyboard and it writes stories for me. Very cool.

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

Website: raandrade.com

Goodreads: R.A. Andrade

Amazon: Author page