Horror Author, Jeremy Hicks talks about The Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers

Jeremy Hicks

      Jeremy Hicks

Author Jeremy Hicks is one of the first authors I met when I started going to conventions. Let me tell you, if you’re just starting out and haven’t had the opportunity to meet your fellow authors, conventions can be very intimidating. Meeting Jeremy immediately put me at ease. I knew if all of the authors I met were like him, then I was going to have a great time!

Jeremy has been on my blog before and I am so glad that he’s back to talk to us about his horror novel The Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers. He’s also giving away a paperback copy! Enter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba827/

AP: Where did you get the idea for The Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers?

JH: The idea came from my past role-playing experiences, specifically playing in a D&D campaign run by my friend and co-writer Barry Hayes. We both ran games using several different RPG systems, so our friends used to tell us that we should turn our stories into novels or short stories. When we finally got around to doing that, we decided to combine our ideas, fuse our worlds, and use a plotline from one of his games as the basis of introducing our new world of faraway Faltyr, its places, peoples, and predators. We ended up with a hard-hitting dark fantasy storyline set on a world evocative enough of Earth to be familiar to our target audience but strange enough to feel like an alien world seeded from multiple sources. We wrote a feature length screenplay to introduce it and eventually a novel. While trying to get produced and later published, we tried to get licensed by Wizards of the Coast actually but the deal never materialized. So we settled for forging ahead with our own franchise and crediting our major influences like Gary Gygax, Robert Howard, and even Ronnie James Dio.

AP: Who is your main character? Why are you writing from that perspective?

JH: The main character in Finders Keepers is Kaladimus Dor. Our calamitous mage of Myth is the catalyst for the events that transpire in the first novel, so we feature his perspective heavily in the course of the story. However, the novel is a multiple third-person viewpoint work. Each chapter or subsection is written from the perspective of either Dor or one of the other survivors of the shipwreck that strands them on the island. We wanted to introduce Faltyr through a number of viewpoints, each one from a radically different character, to provide several perspectives on Faltyr and its happenings, rather than using a single limited narrator.

AP: Is there a supporting character that you want to spend more time on in the future?

JH: Barry and I have our favorites. For me, it’s the elven mercenary Yax’Kaqix (pronounced Yahsh-Kah-Keesh). His name translates to Blue Macaw in the language of his people, the Unen’ek elves. I based their culture on an elaboration of Mayan culture that focuses on dragon worship and a dedication to the Eternal War, a millennial long jihad against the insidious forces of Faltyr’s expansive and very real Underworld. Yax is a centuries old lesser noble son who trained as a monk before becoming a high-ranking war mage, often referred to as a Choj’Ahaw or Wand Bearer. Drawn by an insatiable curiosity and wanderlust, Yax travels the world and wages what he deems righteous wars where he can, padding his pocket and increasing his material or magical power along his own Long Road across Faltyr. I’ve completed one story for Yax so far; it’s called “Deep Diving Death Defying Dwarves of the Deep” and can be found in the Dark Oak Press anthology, Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam. That tale is set about two hundred years before the events of Finders Keepers and focuses on Yax’s relationships with the Free Dwarves of the Underworld (or Hollow World, as the dwarves call it). It also sets up events that will be concluded in one of our future novels in this saga.

FindersKeepers

AP: What do paranormal/horror readers have to look forward to in your new release?

JH: Our world of Faltyr is a blend of classical horror and fantasy elements, albeit with our own twist on most of them. In Finders Keepers, there are sad ghosts, angry ghosts, and even hungry ghost who feed on the living. There are also elements of necromancy, featuring exorcisms and the undead. We even feature vampires, although they do not sparkle. They are as dark and bloody as our tale. On a different level, this first installment of the Cycle of Ages Saga feels very much like survival horror, since it involves a shipwreck where most of the crew goes down with the ship and the survivors are hunted by a winged predator from the moment they hit the beach. And for Dor, there is an aspect of personal horror as he is the one who sinks the ship and strands them there in the first place.

AP: Where can it be purchased?

JH: The Cycle of Ages Saga: Finders Keepers is available in trade paperback, hard cover, and e-book through Dark Oak Press. You can also find it online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Books-a-Million. It is also available in select bookstores in Alabama and other parts of the Southeast.

AP: What influenced you to write this novel?

JH: Originally, we had no intention of writing a full length novel. We wanted to see the Cycle of Ages Saga on screen as a major motion picture, so we wrote it as a screenplay first. When intrigued producers told us that we needed to develop a fan base due to the budgetary considerations, we attempted a graphic novel version, as it would allow us to storyboard the story in the process. However, our artist was unable to complete the project due to commitments with his full-time employer. At that point, we realized we needed to sit down and take a stab at novelizing the screenplay. After an awful first attempt, we started anew, found a professional editor, and then a publisher. To risk a cliché, necessity was truly the mother of this invention.

AP: With this being a Halloween post are you a fan of the holiday? If so, why or why not?

JH: Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I grew up in a family that enjoyed the scary, spooky, macabre, and horrific, whether it was Vincent Price or Stephen King. I was raised in a haunted house, watched old horror movies, and read/wrote/and listened to ghost stories whenever possible. And one of my first crushes was on Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark. My family even had several hearses over the years that we used for Halloween, haunted houses, and trips to Florida in the summer. Nothing colder than the AC in the back of something designed to haul dead bodies. In fact, I liked them so much that I used to drive an old Oldsmobile ambulance that looked like Ecto-1. I bought it to piss off the preps at my high school, but they loved it as much as everyone else. Although I don’t dress up as much as I used to for Halloween, I started going to HallowCon last year and will be a guest again this year at this great little three-day costume party in Dalton, GA.

AP: What is your favorite Horror movie? Why?

JH: Hmm. That’s a very interesting question. And a hard one to answer, I hate to admit. I like many of them for vastly different reasons. But one of my favorites from childhood onward is a movie that I bought on DVD recently to introduce other people to it. Something Wicked This Way Comes is based on one of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories and is a successful horror tale that Disney sadly will never be able to replicate, even though they are remaking it soon. Much to my chagrin.

As to why I enjoy it so much, it’s Ray Bradbury. It’s hard not to love anything he writes, but he excels beautifully at coming-of-age spooktacular tales like The Halloween Tree and Dandelion Wine. His only rival for me would be Stephen King’s Stand By Me (based on his tale, The Body, featured in Different Seasons). These kinds of stories resonated deeply with me as a growing boy and stuck with me long after I made the transition to adulthood. In fact, I still relish the transition to the fall season as much as the boys in Something Wicked This Way Comes look forward to it, until the Autumn People arrives in town.

AP: Could you see your book in film? Who would you want cast as your characters? Who would you want to direct it?

JH: Since Finders Keepers and its upcoming sequel Sands of Sorrows started out in screenplay format, we have thought about these questions endlessly. In fact, the hard part was transitioning from a visual format to a literary one. Originally, the character envisioned for Kaladimus Dor is much too old now. But I could see Robert Sheehan from Misfits bringing our Master-of-Disaster to life on the big screen. My personal preference for Yax is still Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice; he has the right fierce face for our elven war mage as well as the appropriate background in production, martial arts, and action sequences. For Breuxias, we went as far as contacting Peter Mensah’s agent who accepted copies of our screenplays. But our former manager never heard back from him, which isn’t surprising since there was no money behind the project at the time. As far as directors go, I’d love to have Guillermo Del Toro do it. He has the right respect for fantasy, horror, world-building, and storytelling, not to mention he’s a talented writer/director and well-known nice guy around Hollywood.

AP: Tell us which Horror author has had the most impact on you.

JH: That would most likely be H.P. Lovecraft. I read his work heavily during middle school and high school, even going so far as to write an essay on his Cthulhu Mythos. In fact, the last story I completed was a short submission for The Summer of Lovecraft anthology. It was a wild ride through the war in South Vietnam through the eyes of Viet Cong operatives who end up on the wrong side of an otherworldly entity from the Cthulhu Mythos while trapped deep within a subterranean temple. Unfortunately, it ended up in the spam folder apparently and wasn’t even read for consideration. Pretty disappointing since I poured a lot of time and effort into doing Lovecraft proper justice. Thanks, Spam Filter. You and your cousin, Auto-Correct, can **** right off!

AP: Give us a sneak peek at your WIP.

JH: Hmm…that would imply I had a work-in-progress at the moment. Most of my projects are in the stage of being edited or outlined. But I can probably get away with posting a snippet from The Cycle of Ages Saga: Sands of Sorrow without getting into too much trouble with my co-writer and publisher. I hope.

The following excerpt comes from within the first chapter of Sands of Sorrow. Please keep in mind that it is still in the final stages of the editing process.

Dor’s attention shifted to the colorful display beyond the high walls of Eastgate. The aurora danced and played over the desert sands to the north and west of the border city. Known as the Sands of Sorrow, the desolate area between Eastgate and the broken profile of the Meshkenet Mountains was a byproduct of the Cataclysm, the final apocalyptic battle between Artemis and Ra’Tallah. Dor shivered as he recalled his previous visit to that terrifying, twisted wasteland.

The grumbling of his allies pulled Dor out of his horrific reverie. With some considerable effort, he tore his lingering gaze from the hypnotic patterns swirling in the aurora above the Sands of Sorrow.

He took hold of the rope unsteadily and lowered himself through the hole in the roof. The weight of the chest shifted within his pack, causing him to swing wide on the rope toward the wall of the room. The slack on the rope stopped short of sending him face first into the wall. Sighing with relief, he clung to the rope and waited for it to cease swaying.

That blasted chest, Dor thought, it’ll be the death of me yet.

Jeremy’s Contact Info:

Email: jjeremyhicks@wordpress.com
Twitter: @Jeremy_Hicks 
Facebook: Https://www.facebook.com/JeremyHicksAuthor

A Woman of Many Talents: Blogger, Cover Designer and Author, Ginny Gallagher, Stops by the Blog Fest

I “met” Ginny Gallagher when I first started looking for Book Bloggers to help me promote my book. She was willing to help me and I was thankful for her honest review of both of my books. Ginny is one of those bloggers that you know puts her heart into what she does, keeps her word and is a true champion of Indie Authors. She is a Book Blogger, Graphic/Book Cover Designer and still finds time to write. It seems fitting that she is our Blogger of the Month for our Blog Fest!

Ginny-Gallagher

Blogger Questions

What made you wake up and say, “I’m going to blog about books!”

I read a lot of books and I found myself not being able to keep track of those favorite quotes or remember if I even liked the book or not. So I started a blog without knowing there was even a thing called book blogs. I just wanted a place to journal my reads.

What genre do you enjoy reviewing the most?

Honestly, it depends on my mood. I most enjoy reviewing books that I love. The hardest books for me to review are the middle of the road books that I didn’t love but I didn’t hate either. It’s sometimes hard to put your finger on exactly what didn’t work for you as the reader.

Is there a genre you haven’t reviewed yet, but want to?

I don’t think so. The only books I don’t review are horror and erotica and those are two genres that I don’t intend on reading.

What hosting site do you use? Blogger, WordPress, other?

Self-hosted WordPress

Are their other Bloggers that you follow?

That’s a tough one because I follow A LOT of blogs. I love blogs. I follow book blogs, design blogs, food blogs, craft blogs, and coupon blogs. You get the idea. I love blogs! I have a Pinterest board for some of the book blogs I follow and I try to add to it as I find other great blogs to follow.

How much time does it take you to get one blog post up? Tell us your process.

Oh no! I’m embarrassed to say that it takes me about two hours to get a review post ready to post. I am anal and I agonize over the review. I don’t want to offend anyone but at the same time I am committed to being 100% honest in my reviews. Sometimes it takes a lot of adding and subtracting of words to find the right balance and not give any of the story away.

I usually get all my basic information set up (book cover, blurb, book links, author information, etc.), take a short break, and then go back and work on my review for about an hour. I really wish I could shorten the time it takes me to write a review. I’m working on it but haven’t found the special potion yet. 🙂

Do you listen to music while you’re blogging? If so, who do you listen to?

Most of the time I keep things quite. I get distracted easily so silence is usually my friend. If I’m just doing formatting or something that doesn’t require too much brain power I turn on Spotify and it’s usually set to 80’s music channel or movie soundtracks. LOL. I am not a loyal music fan. I flip flop all over the place. It drives my husband crazy.

Gins-Book-Notes-Profile-Pic

When you’re not being an amazing Blogger, what do you for fun?

Take a nap. 🙂 Really…I love naps. I guess it goes without saying that I also love to read. Outside of naps and reading I enjoy sewing, arts & crafts, watching TV, and just being lazy. Having a lazy day is totally FUN!

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your blog?

Attending UtopYA2014! It was awesome! You can read my post about it here. http://ginsbooknotes.com/no-fear-utopya2014-book-convention/

Who created your cute logo?

That would be me (blushing). I love designing. It took me a couple of tries to get something that I really felt captured my personality and blog. I am really happy with how it turned out. Thanks for the cute compliment. 🙂

When did you realize that your blog was a full-time job?

When I was staying up until 2 am to finish a post, reply to emails, and schedule social media posts for the next day. I am still working on balancing everything and not letting it be a 24 hour a day job but I think realizing that you are only one person helps.

You’re also a writer; do you want to tell us what you’re working on?

Eeep…I’m still not used to being referred to as a writer. I’m working on a romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal and a big dose of mystery. It will be a clean romance because that’s what I’m comfortable with and I’m sure readers don’t want to read my juvenile words for body parts. I’m hoping to be able to hit that publish button in Feb. 2015. My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Ginny-Gallagher/880340855311888. I would love for everyone to stop by and give it a like.

Will you be enlisting other Book Bloggers to help you market your book in the future?

Ummm….yes! I will be begging and pleading just like everyone else. I know it is hard to get your book “out there” and I know that everyone has limited time to share and help promote. I hope to have a product that everyone will be proud to share and talk about (fingers crossed and prayers being said).

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Dead guy – Nathaniel Hawthorne. I love his stories. Young Goodman Brown is my favorite.

What about a book turns you away?

Overly graphic sex or/and violence earns an instant do not read from me. I don’t have a problem with other people reading and enjoying it. It’s just not something I like.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it? How does this work if you’ve promised a review on your blog?

Sometimes I continue on and find that I was just in a mood and the book turns out to be one of my favorites but if I just know that it isn’t going to work out I will go ahead and cut my ties. I also try not to promise reviews. Sometimes books that you think will be a good fit for you and your blog end up not being what you expected. In cases like that I just contact the author and let them know.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

Oh, I read around. I’m totally skanky like that. 🙂  There are too many books in the bookstores for me to settle down with just one.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Both. But I do tend to read more on my ereader.

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Completely mood based but if I could only pick one to watch for months on end it would be Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Favorite TV show?

Currently I’m Netflixing my way through Heart of Dixie. But I also love Sleepy Hollow and can’t wait for The Originals to come back on. Oh, how I miss my vamps.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is hard. Let’s go with Pot Roast that way I still get meat and several different vegetables.

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Lemon meringue pie for dessert and I love Twizzlers.

What’s your hidden talent?

Bahaha…. as if I would ever hide a talent..haha. No way! My motto is: “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.”

What is your dream vacation?

No laundry, no meals to cook, no chores, and a month with no bills.

Contact Information:

Blog: http://ginsbooknotes.com

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/@ginsbooknotes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7068334-ginny-gin-s-book-notes

Pinterest: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7068334-ginny-gin-s-book-notes

Adult Paranormal Romance Author, K.J. Coakley and her Otherworldly Enmortals Series

I first met K.J. Coakley at the TNVAE in Knoxville this past summer. If you were unable to attend that event then you truly missed out on a lot fun! I was walking around, trying to meet all of my fellow authors before the doors opened and the first thing I noticed was the cover for Kairos. It is absolutely beautiful!

Kelliefrontcover

I had to know more about this book and the author who wrote it! That is why I am so glad that K.J. decided to join me on my blog today.

Kellie

Author K. J. Coakley lives a life where she plays many roles…as most women do when they are a wife, mother, and caretaker of two rowdy dogs. But when she’s not working her nine to five gig, or spending time with her family, she can be found glued to her laptop where she loves to create worlds with sexy alpha males and brazen heroines. She is also an avid fan of heavy metal and rock music, and regularly attends music festivals.

Coakley received an Associate degree in Business Administration from Walters State Community College, and a Bachelor of Business Management degree from East Tennessee State University. Her debut novel Kairos is the inaugural installment of a new paranormal romance series.

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I have been writing since I was a small child. My mother has so many poems and short stories stock piled in her attic that I’m sure it’s a fire hazard. So, if I had to put a number on it, I would say that I decided to seriously write when I was 25. I was a sophomore in college at the time and taking a creative writing course that sparked my old imagination to life again. That was when I began writing the Enmortals Series.

 In what genre do you write?

Adult Paranormal Romance

 Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

I’m tinkering with a Contemporary Romance novel, but haven’t finished it yet.

 What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

I am what most refer to as a “quilter”. I write my stories in sections and then piece them together when I’m about 70% into it. I never outline. I never write on paper. But, I use WriteWay to section out my books into Chapters, Acts, and Scenes. This keeps me organized.

 Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning, and Diana Gabaldon.

 How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

I have to research heavily for my books. There is Norse mythology in my books, Finnish translations, Gaelic translations, and overall Scottish historical data research. Not to mention, I had to study the Templar Knights and Joan of Arc extensively. I also watch Ancient Aliens for ideas on how to intertwine myth and reality into my series.

Back cover of Kairos

Back cover of Kairos

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

I usually need silence to write, but if I’m writing a steamy scene…Nine In Nails and Deftones are my go to bands. I also listen to different types of heavy metal for fight scenes and overall mood setting.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I love to travel and go to music concerts. My husband and I are heavy metal junkies and you can find us traveling throughout the summer to music festivals. As a family, we like to take our boys to amusement parks and we go to the beach several times a year since my parents live in Florida.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Signings and conventions. I love meeting my fans and it never gets old listening to them talk about my characters.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Kari Ayasha from Cover to Cover Design is re-doing the cover for Kairos. We’ll be re-launching that in mid September. She is also designing the cover for Metanoia.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

Jenny Sims from Editing For Indies

The ladies form Smexy Fab Four: For managing my street team and just being wonderful women to work with.

Iris: For being an amazing VA.

And mad props to my fantabulous street team ladies at Coakley’s Angels. Sarah, Vanessa, Reagan, Melissa, and Bambi…you ladies are awesome.

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I just finished Metanoia, An Enmortals Series Novel (Book 2). It’s the second installment to The Enmortals Series and picks up exactly where Kairos ended. In this book all of your questions from Kairos will be answered and new questions will arise.

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

I can’t name just one so I’ll name series instead.

Fae Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

Outlander was just made into a series, so I’m pretty good right now on that subject.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Bad editing

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

I always finish them unless the editing is so bad that I feel like launching my kindle across the room. That’s happened a couple of times…but it’s rare.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I read anything with a romance undertone.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Ebooks

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Lord Of The Rings

Favorite TV show?

Outlander

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken Fried Rice

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Alpine chocolates

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Avenged Sevenfold, Apocalyptica, Metallica, Seether, Chevelle, Tool, A Perfect Circle, The Black Keys…the list goes on and on. When it comes to music I have a great love affair with anything rock and heavy metal. But, if I had to pick one band…TOOL.

What’s your hidden talent?

I’m wicked with a compound bow.

What is your dream vacation?

Scotland and Ireland

Contact Information:

Author Name: K. J. Coakley

Blog: www.kjcoakley.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkjcoakley

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@authorkjcoakley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authorkjcoakley

Book Links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kairos-an-enmortals-series-novel-k-j-coakley/1119726422?ean=2940149689101

http://www.amazon.com/Kairos-An-Enmortals-Series-Novel/dp/1496039874

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kairos-enmortals-series-novel/id889338542?mt=11

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/447750