The Origin Key: Fantasy and Sci-Fi Collide

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I’m thrilled to feature another Alabama author on my blog this month. Susan is such a sweet spirit and has always been so kind to me. Sometimes when you meet people you automatically think, “I like her. We’re going to get along just fine.” Believe me when I say those types of people are in short supply.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean she’s too sweet to write a nail-biting fantasy book with a dash of science fiction because she did the thing. Are you intrigued? Good! Keep reading.

Susan McPhail spent years writing technical documentation and developing marketing materials for high-tech engineering firms. She is now a fantasy/science fiction author living in Huntsville, Alabama (aka the Rocket City) with her husband. When she’s not writing or catching the latest movie, Susan enjoys handcrafts like crocheting and quilting because it looks like she’s doing something useful while in fact she is pondering how to work out tricky plot points.

The Origin Key is her first novel, and is the first book in the Treasures of Dodrazeb series. You can find her online at www.sdmcphail.com and on Twitter @susan_mcphail.

 

the-origin-key

The Origin Key on Amazon

Author Questions

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

S. I’ve always been a voracious reader and welcomed opportunities to get creative with words in my work life. A few years ago when I transitioned out of a full-time job, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could write fiction. About halfway into the first draft of my first novel, I realized that I had also always wanted to be an author—I had just not taken the time to acknowledge that passion.

A. In what genre do you write?

S. My first published novel is Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key. It’s historical fantasy adventure, a heroic quest that I describe as “sword-and-science” because there is an element of sci-fi in it as well.

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

S. I have plans for a humorous cozy mystery series featuring a smart wife/mom/working woman who reluctantly gets drawn into murder investigations. It’s set in a small, rural southern town filled with marvelously eccentric characters.

A.Oooo! This sounds so fun!

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

S. My process tends to be less outline-oriented and more seat-of-the-pants. I start out by jotting down notes about major plot points that turn into a somewhat vague synopsis. Then when I start working on a first draft, I develop new and better ideas as I go, so the story starts to diverge from my original notes. The basic story I had in mind remains the same, but taking my characters from the beginning to the end is a very satisfying creative endeavor.

I’m always jotting down notes about different ideas for different stories, so much of that is done with pen and paper (or notebook or napkin or whatever is handy when an idea strikes). But when I have big chunks of writing time, I like to be on my computer. I can type faster than I can write legibly!

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

S. Stephen King has been a favorite author of mine for decades. I don’t like every book he’s ever written, but he is a master story teller. I love J.K. Rowling’s imagination and world-building skills. I was also influenced by lots of science fiction writers from H.G. Wells to Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Ray Bradbury. One of my all-time favorites is Anne McCaffrey’s science fantasy series Dragonriders of Pern.

A. YES! Rowling is an artist!

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

S. Since my series Treasures of Dodrazeb is grounded in real human history, I have to do quite a bit of research. The hero is a third-century Persian warrior-prince, so I’ve done extensive reading about ancient Persia and that region of the world. In addition to historical research, it’s also necessary to get the details right on a hefty amount of science. While on a quest to bring a criminal to justice, the Persian warrior-prince discovers a hidden kingdom using what we consider to be modern technology in everyday life. That means I have to understand their technology and then be able to describe how an ancient warrior would react to it.

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

S. No, I’m not usually listening to music while I write—I listen to the TV. It’s an old habit from when I was in school. I would do my homework in the living room with the TV on. Apparently, that works for me just like listening to music works for others.

A. Interesting. I’ve never heard that before.

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

S. What’s more fun than reading? I read a lot. I like going to the movies, too. Touring historical sites is fun. I recently got to tour the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta. Her novel, Gone with the Wind, was an incredibly successful historical novel with vivid, unforgettable characters. I was able to celebrate a love of history, movies, reading, and writing all at once in one afternoon!

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

S. Receiving the first print copy of my first novel was too awesome for words. Being able to hold an actual copy of a book that I had written made it real for me. I wasn’t just an aspiring writer any more—I was a published author!

A. There is no greater feeling!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

S. I did! We tried working with a cover artist, but he just never could quite capture the look I wanted. So I put my years of marketing experience and working with graphics to good use.

A. That’s awesome. Maybe I’ll be hitting you up for some tips on that. 😉

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

S. Absolutely! The Rocket City Lit Fest in 2015 was a major catalyst in spurring me to take the final steps and get my first novel published. Thanks to Ashley Chappell-Peeples and A.G. Porter, both wonderful writers themselves, for all your hard work on that event.

I also want to thank my amazing editor Molly Felder. With her help I was able to polish my pretty good story into a true gem of a first novel. I appreciate her patience, eye for detail, and willingness to teach me how to be a better writer.

A. The Lit Fest was amazing! Thanks for the shot out!

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

S. Treasures of Dodrazeb: The Origin Key, is a historical sword-and-science fantasy adventure set in the third century. While on a quest to avenge a horrific attack on his father the king, a Persian warrior discovers a strange kingdom isolated from the rest of the world. He thinks the villain is hiding there, but a sly princess is determined to sabotage the Persians to protect her kingdom’s ancient secrets. What is she so desperate to keep hidden?

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

S. I do enjoy Halloween. I like seeing children donning costumes and exploring the idea of becoming someone or something else for a little while. I like seeing the older kids and adults freeing themselves of their conventional identities for a time and getting creative. I like the idea of costume parties. Perhaps most of all, I like CHOCOLATE!

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

S. I like to watch favorite old spooky movies or fun ones like Hocus Pocus or Nightmare Before Christmas leading up to trick-or-treat night. Then we usually order in pizza and have fun answering the door to shower neighborhood kids with candy on Halloween night.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

S. Yes.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

S. Yes.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

S. Donnie Darko. Not necessarily scary, probably because I’ve seen it so many times, but that’s the kind of movie that haunts me.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

S. Tootsie Rolls. Hershey minis. M&Ms. Milk Duds. Chocolate!

Reader Questions

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

J.K. Rowling. She is my idol!

A. Yes! She’s on my list. I would probably faint. Haha!

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

S. It used to be Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Reading it as a teenager introduced me to so many questions about so many things, I began to develop the ability to think independently, examining issues from many sides.

If you consider an entire series as a single story, it might now be Harry Potter. That story is just magical in so many ways with layers upon layers of meaning.

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

S. Other than my own book? 😉 I think, if done correctly, any good book can be a good movie if filmmakers respect the source material. The book will always be better, but sometimes it takes a movie to get a person interested in a book. The Harry Potter series was done well as movies and I was also impressed with The Hunger Games films.

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

S. I don’t care too much for whiny, one-dimensional characters.

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

S. When I start a book, I’m usually committed to finishing it. I keep thinking that if I stick with it, the book will eventually get better. This is not always the case.

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

S. My personal preference tends toward speculative fiction, but I’m game for lots of other genres. The one I tend to avoid is Romance, unless there is a strong element of mystery, suspense, humor, horror, or some other kind of genre mash-up.

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

S. I like to acquire autographed books, and there’s something about turning pages and never worrying about battery life that is appealing. But I also read e-books for their convenience, portability, and affordability.

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

S. Donnie Darko

A. Favorite TV show?

S. All time: Star Trek (every one of them). Currently: Game of Thrones, Westworld, Big Bang Theory

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

S. That’s a tough one! If I could or if I had to? What keeps popping into my head as I ponder this question is pizza, so I guess that’s my answer.

A. You can’t go wrong with pizza!

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

S. Did I mention chocolate already? Warm brownies with a scoop of ice cream!

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

S. Beatles. Styx. Michael Jackson. Adele. Is my age showing yet?

A. What’s your hidden talent?

S. Sarcasm. No, wait—that one shows up pretty frequently. My hidden talent is appearing confident in public when I’m ready to shrivel up and die inside.

A. I know what you mean!

A. What is your dream vacation?

S. Leisurely touring Great Britain and Ireland, staying in castles that have been converted into 5-star luxury hotels.

Contact Information:

Author Name: S.D. McPhail

Blog: www.sdmcphail.com

Facebook: S.D. McPhail, Author

Twitter: susan_mcphail

Goodreads: S.D. McPhail

Book Links: https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Key-Treasures-Dodrazeb/dp/1533454116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476817108&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Origin+Key

 

              

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Call For Submissions-What Lurks in the Dark Anthology

What Lurks in the Dark

Halloween Anthology

 

Authors A.G. Porter and E.A. Kelso are compiling a Halloween themed anthology and we want to add your story to our collection!

You’ve heard the stories, read the books, and watched the movies, but we want to know which classic monsters keep you up at night.

Is it vampires, werewolves, zombies, or maybe even ghosts?

Whatever it maybe, we want your take on these classic ghouls. Tell us what monsters lurk in your darkest fears!

But, here’s the deal, it has to have a modern twist or a new spin.

Meaning, it can range from having your monsters set in the modern world or something we’ve never seen before.

Submission Open: February 1, 2016
Submission Close: June 30, 2016

Release Date (Estimation): October 1, 2016

 Payment: $10

Length: Max 15,000 words

*Will accept Horror, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Fantasy, or anything relating to a classic monster theme.
NO EROTICA
PG-13 Rating

 Submission Guidelines:

1. Word document submission
2. Times New Roman
3. Font Size 12
4. Double spaced
5. In subject line: E&A’s Halloween Anthology, Title of your story, Your name
6. Email to: whatlurksinthedarkanthology@gmail.com

*Any manuscripts submitted incorrectly will be rejected
*We reserve the right to refuse any story submitted without explanation

What Lurks in the Dark

YA Book Signing at New Hope Public Library: Meet Author Ashley Chappell

Ashley Chappell

Ashley Chappell

This Friday, July 24th, will be the YA Book Signing at New Hope Public Library in New Hope, AL. I’ll be joined by two fantastic YA Authors. One of them is Ashley Chappell, author of the Dreams of Chaos Trilogy. It feels as though I’ve known Ashley my entire life, but in reality it’s been just a short time. But that is just the kind of person Ashley is; she makes you feel welcome no matter who you are.

I was more than happy that she agreed to come to this signing and share her work with the people of New Hope and surrounding towns. And while I feel like I know her pretty well, I couldn’t help but dig a little deeper into her work. So, sit back, relax, and get to know more about one of the best YA Authors out there today.

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

It probably wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that my love of books began in utero. My mother read constantly throughout her pregnancy and then read her books as well as mine to me from the time she brought me home to the moment she handed the reading reigns over to me as a kindergartner. However, I can’t say that there was a single moment in my life that I decided, ‘Hey, I should write one of these things.’ For me, writing was a natural step from my love of reading, although my motivations for writing have evolved over the years.

In what genre do you write?

Primarily Fantasy, but I love to step outside of the other-worldly on occasion for a good old-fashioned Satire. Mostly, I think, because it helps keep me the heavier cynicism out of my fantasy.

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

I do have story lines that I want to pursue in Science Fiction, but I don’t have the time for the research yet. One day!

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

I think best when my fingers are flying across a keyboard and not giving my brain enough time to overthink a scene. My writing is always strongest when it starts out fast and ugly. As for pens… ugh. I get a hand cramp just signing books!

Of War & Taters

Ashley’s deep south satire, Of War & Taters

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Without a doubt, those would be Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. When the long nights and weekends of studying manuscript preparation, revising, editing, re-revising and editing my edits exhaust me while the characters for new stories are jumping on my back to get my attention it is always a dog-eared Pratchett novel that I pull down to restore my sanity. And let me tell you, restoring my sanity is no small task. But I’ve also fallen in love of late with Catherynne Valente and Patrick Rothfuss for their lyrical styles. They both can make a page flow straight into the canvas of the imagination.

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

Most of my research has been into mythology and the study of historical cultures that were beginning to drift away from their classical pantheons. Granted, war and conquest were typical causes for a theological shift in a culture, but they seldom stood alone. Scientific advancement, easing societal taboos, and most especially prosperity were always key drivers in the shift away from devout pantheistic belief structures in which all natural phenomena were ascribed to the machinations of the gods. I wanted to create a society that was in that later stage of development and no longer “needed” the gods, but that were on occasion reminded of their existence through typically unfortunate events. I wanted to answer one primary question before I began writing a pantheistic culture endowed with magic and science side by side: What happens to a society that has evolved past blind faith in gods to make the sun rise every day, but can still be subject to the whims of otherwise disinterested gods? The Dreams of Chaos series explores that relationship across all three of the books.

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

Rain Ambience! Although right now I’m listening to some soft instrumental paired with it. I need something to drown out the world outside, but if it has words I’ll forget what I’m doing and sing at the top of my lungs 🙂

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

What? There are other times? Ha! I read every chance I get, but I also love to be outside on the water. My husband and I go sailing and camp on the boat any chance we get – which are unfortunately far fewer than we would like.

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

That’s an easy one to answer – it’s every single time I get a nice note or a great review from a total stranger. They have no ulterior motives for telling me they found and enjoyed my work, and nothing to gain other than my eternal gratitude, but it feels AMAZING. It makes every day cursing at a keyboard not just worthwhile, but absolutely a mission.

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

Specifically?? Oh lordy. It might sound like a cop out, but I can’t narrow down this list without doing hundreds of others serious injustice. The literary network is so much more than authors – although we’re certainly the neediest of the group. I’ve met a number of book bloggers, editors, and artists who are every bit as passionate about the written word and support the advancement of it in a million ways, whether they do it for a career or as a much-loved hobby. We owe them all so much!

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

I’m still working on my monster, the third and final book in the YA Dreams of Chaos series. A God of Gods: Dreams of Chaos #3 is going to wrap up Trotter’s story arc. She’s no longer able to hide from her role in the prophecies of Realm, though other entities, more ancient and powerful than the gods themselves, are trying to alter her role to suit their own ends.

Alice Will

Reader Questions

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

Since I can no longer meet Sir Terry (cry!), it would have to be Neil Gaiman. I’d probably stand there like a moron and gape given the chance, however.

It’s completely impossible for a reader to pick their favorite book. However, if you were banished to a deserted island with no hope of returning and were allowed to bring 5 books with you, which ones would you choose?

Hmmm… time for a little creative cheating! 1. The Wheel of Time Compendium. It might way 500 lbs and be 5 feet thick, but I’m sure I can cram it all into one book 😉 2. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. 3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. 4. Ringworld by Larry Niven. 5. Can I make this a revolving slot? Picking one last book is giving me a stroke..

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

I have the same answer for both sides of that question. I would LOVE to watch the Wheel of Time series on a big screen, no matter how huge and sprawling the films would have to be. On the other hand, I also know Hollywood would cut out hundreds of pages of the slower parts (aka, parts where nothing goes “boom”) and I’d spend the entire experience gnashing my teeth and composing hate mail that might earn me a place on a watch list.

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

Too much backstory. If the author can’t weave important information fluidly into the story without having to stop the story for an expository aside, I’m going to get bored because I’ll never fall into a rhythm reading that way.

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

I can only think of 1 book I’ve ever finally given up trying to read. Of course, that means I’ve also finished some real turds, too. And no, I’m not sharing the name of the book I gave up reading.

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

I tend to stay with fantasy, science fiction, and satire above all else. I enjoy historical fiction (I am a huge Ken Follett fan), but it’s not a genre I crave in the same way as I do the others.

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

I swore for the longest time that they’d have to pry a bound book out of my cold, dead hands. My arthritic neck and bad eyes had other plans, however. I hardly ever read on anything but an e-reader now.

Tilt

 

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Okay, now you’re putting me in stroke territory again.

Favorite TV show?

What is it with you? You’re a sadist! Too many possibilities!

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

Salmon Nigiri!!

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Reese’s Pieces. But only if you say it exactly like E.T.

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

Nickel Creek, Zee Avi… those are two of my usual obsessions.

What’s your hidden talent?

I can out-belch my husband? Okay, I probably shouldn’t claim that, but it’s true. I still dabble in piano enough to write the music for my book trailers, but I’m rustier than ever.

What is your dream vacation?

I want to rent a quiet apartment on a Croatian island in the off season, maybe Hvar, and write in old-world paradise.

Contact Information:

Author Name: Ashley Chappell

Blog: www.ashleychappellbooks.com

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

Twitter: @AshleyNChappell

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ashleynchappell/

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Chappell/e/B00AQIN99U

 

  

Local Authors Expo at the Birmingham Public Library

Hello y’all,

This Saturday I’ll be in Birmingham, AL at the Local Author Expo at the Central Branch of The Birmingham Public Library. It starts at 9:00AM and is ends at 3:00PM. From what I understand there will be over 100+ authors at the Expo of all genres! This event is going to fantastic!

local authors2015

Some of my authors will be there! Here are a few you need to check out!

Author Ashley

Ashley Chappell is a YA author of many talents and sweet to the core. She also writes satire and if that is your thing then you must check out Of War & Taters! It is hilarious! Not only does Ashley write, but she, I and several other superduper ladies are heading up the first ever literary festival in Huntsville, AL this year. It is the Rocket City Lit Festival (RCLF). Ashley has put in many, many hours to make our festival dreams come true. We are a team, but every team needs a great leader, she is definitely ours and boy has she done the most amazing job! If you want to know more about the RCLF then just follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/RocketCityLitFest

http://www.rocketcitylitfest.com/

RCLF

Amazon Page for Ashley:

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Chappell/e/B00AQIN99U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105365&sr=1-1

 

Kyle Hannah

Kyle Hannah is one of those gentleman who is just that, a gentleman. He has a love for history, which translates well into his Time Assassins series. Time Assassins is a time traveling adventure like no other; just imagine having the job of protecting our history?!? Being in the military for over 28 years you would think that Kyle would be this hard-nosed, rule following and hard to talk to sort of guy, but in truth, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Still, there isn’t a shy bone in his body! 😉

Amazon Page for Kyle:

http://www.amazon.com/R.-Kyle-Hannah/e/B00876V5LW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105619&sr=1-1

 

Keeton

B.J. Keeton is the phenomenal steampunk author of the Nimbus series and Birthright, the first in his science fiction trilogy. B.J. wears many hats; he’s not only a writers, but also a teacher and a runner. He has impressed me with his ability to mesh his love of all things geek with a healthy lifestyle. The dedication that it takes to write, get your health under control, teach and just mange your day-to-day life is astounding! If it sounds like something you’re interested in then check out his Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/geekfitnessnet?fref=nf

Amazon Page for B.J. Keeton:

http://www.amazon.com/B.J.-Keeton/e/B00C896UU0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Amy Leigh Strickland

Amy Leigh Strickland is well known for her Olympia Heights series and for a good reason. My stepson is currently on the first book of the series, Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, and is enjoying it immensely. When I first met Amy at the Alabama Phoenix Festival last year on the panel we shared, my first thought was, “Who the heck is this girl, where did she come and why do I love her brain so much?” Amy is so well spoken, spunky, witty and downright adorable.

Amazon Page for Amy:

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Leigh-Strickland/e/B006LM3ZUS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Brian Weimer

Brian Weimer was another author I met at the Alabama Phoenix festival. We were both new to the convention scene so we became fast friends. His book, Nexus, caught my attention right away and after the convention I started reading it and devoured it within a few days! I probably could have read it in sitting if I didn’t have to do inconvenient things like eat, sleep and work. The novel took the supernatural and science fiction and blended the two in a way that I hadn’t seen in long time or ever really. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel to Nexus, Brian!

Amazon Page for Brian:

http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Weimer/e/B00KQO36DI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105773&sr=1-1

The Fantastic Mind of Willow Renner

Willow

 

Willow has been furiously working on her three series for many years. She hopes you enjoy reading about the worlds she created as much as she enjoyed building them.

In her free time she enjoys designing and making jewelry, soap and candles. She adores writing with fountain pens and loves collecting them.

She is very active in the Twitter Writing Community.

It is universally known and recognized that Willow is made of awesome.

 

Willow is also giving away ebook copies of books 1 and 2 of her Lux Series. You can enter here!

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NWMwMWJhODI2YjgyMWYwODhmMTJmZGNiNzRjY2M0OjE0/?

 

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

In 2007. I kept having vivid dreams about the first series I would write: The Lux Seekers series. The dreams wouldn’t let me rest until I started writing them down.

 In what genre do you write?

YA fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian

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

Paranormal Romance. But I’m too embarrassed to write the sex bits.

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

I’m an outliner. I write with pen and paper first. I love to see the ink flow across the paper. I think better on paper. After I’m done, then I type it into the computer.

 Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Larissa Ione, Katie MacAlister, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe

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

I do research into the time period and the customs that I am writing about. I also do extensive world-building.

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

The only music I can listen to while writing is instrumental “mood music.” I use the tempo of the music to fit the emotion I am working toward. I can listen to vocals before I start writing a scene. The music I like to set the scene is by: Apocalyptica, Evanescence, Seether, Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin.

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

READ. I love to read, to be caught up and transported by a story.

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

I am still fairly new to writing. I guess the most exciting experience would be the satisfaction I feel when a scene comes together.

 Who created your amazing cover art?

The incredible graphic artist, Leah Kaye Suttle.

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

The Vita BioGen Legacy: Gods

YA sci-fi, dystopia

A disillusioned teen struggles to survive “winning” The Genetic Lottery.

I am currently working on a 3 book YA sci-fi dystopian series about Human Genetic Engineering. I think the technology has incredible potential, but where do we draw the line? Do we strive for perfection? Will this tech be available for all? Or will only the rich be able to afford it? I was inspired by MT Anderson’s book FEED and an informational video about the future of Bio Chips. It was truly frightening. Now, I believe Bio Chip tech could be a wonderful technology to store data only. But the potential is there for it to become very invasive and privacy robbing.

My series deals with a future where people have surrendered all personal rights and freedoms for a Corporation that takes care of their every need. But for a price. You must obey the Vita BioGen Corporation at all costs. Do what the Corporations tells you. Think, act and dress the way the Corporation wants. Above all, you must obey the rules. For the price of disobedience is Termination (death).

 TheSeekerMustAwakenFrontFINAL (2)

Reader Questions

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

Stephen King (The Master of Horror)

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

Excessive gore and violence (I don’t like gore either)

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

I’m a trooper all the way. (There have only been a few that I haven’t been able to finish)

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

I definitely like to read in other genres.

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

Both. But if I had to pick a favorite: book-in-hand.

 

Random Questions

Favorite TV show?

The Walking Dead (Oh! We must chat more about this! Who is your favorite character?)

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

Since I’m a vegetarian that would be beans. They have the most protein.

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Pumpkin Pie (Do you make your own pie? Is there someone in your family who does? I love baking pumpkin pie!)

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

Breaking Benjamin and Evanescence (Are you a pre-breakup Three Days Grace fan? I’m just curious?)

What is your dream vacation?

India. I want to spend a month living in an Ashram (holy place) and visiting all the temples in Tamil Nadu.

BookOfShadowsFrontFINAL (2)

Contact Information:

Author Name: Willow Anne Renner

Website: http://www.willowarenner.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Willow-Renner/288927907916707?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillowRenner

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9797903.Willow_A_Renner

Book Links:

The Seeker Must Awaken: Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Book of Shadows: Amazon     Barnes and Noble

 

Author M. Pax talks The Rifters and Urban Fantasy

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M. Pax is author of the sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

M. Pax isn’t leaving you empty handed! She is giving away 2 ebooks and 1 audio book from her works. Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba8211/

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

It’s always been part of me. In high school, I used to write stories about my friends and I, a running soap opera, and I’d stick the installments in their lockers. In junior high I either wanted to be an aerospace engineer, a horse trainer, or a writer.

In what genre do you write?

I write mostly speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy.

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

Yes, I’ve begun work on a historical fiction series, and I’d like to try my hand at womens fiction.

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

I start with jotting ideas in a journal. Each project gets a journal. When enough of the ideas and research have gelled, I’ll type a draft tagline, blurb, and an arc for each major character in the story. Those are at the top of my document. At the end of my writing session, I print out what I wrote. Later, I hand edit it and make a very brief sketch of the next couple of chapters.

This makes for a slow first draft, but it’s how my brain works. I do more outlining than I used to. I find I write more during each session if I do the brief scene sketches.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Definitely Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ray Bradbury. Thomas Hardy had a big impact on me and Hermann Hesse. I read a lot of classic literature.

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

Research is one of my favorite parts to writing. I love learning new things. I put quite a bit of research into every book. First off, there’s the science. With The Rifters, one of the characters is an actual historical figure. So, I read several biographies to get into his head as best as I could.

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

No, I prefer silence. However, there are often cats yipping at me.

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

I volunteer at an observatory in the summers as a star guide. The reward is looking through the big telescopes. What’s out there is so amazing.

Husband Unit and I like to watch bad sci fi movies, and we enjoy exploring the wilds of Oregon. I like taking a lot of pictures. It takes us 3x as long to get anywhere as other people, because I have to stop every five miles or so to take photos.

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

Hearing from fans is the best and most exciting part of being an author.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Erin Dameron-Hill of edhgraphics handles all of my graphic needs. http://edhgraphics.blogspot.com/

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

Kelly Schaub is my awesome editor. She keeps me from creating Sharknados, and a huzzah to my author pack, Untethered Realms. We have an anthology coming out October 14th, Twisted Earths.

theriftersWEB

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

I just released the first two books in a new urban fantasy series, The Rifters and The Initiate. The stories are set in the fictional town of Settler, Oregon. There’s a misplaced outlaw from 1888, a misplaced librarian newly transplanted from New York City, quirky residents, a secret society, a rift, beings from other worlds, and a rift.

Reader Questions

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

Is it possible to raise Jane Austen from the dead? I took a workshop from Ursula K. Le Guin a few years back. Awesome. It’d be cool to hang out with John Scalzi, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman for an afternoon. Oh, I’d love to meet Tanya Huff, Margaret George, Tanya Huff, Peter Hamil, and Peter Mayle. I should shut up now…

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

2001: A Space Odyssey. It made me think and wonder. The sense of awe inspires me every day.

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

There can never be enough movies based on Jane Austen and her work. Other than that, I’d love to see Tanya Huff’s Confederation novels on screen. Fantastic series.

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

Predictability.

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

I used to be a trooper. Now I put it down.

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

I read around.

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

Both, but I’ve grown to prefer my Nook. However, the big publishers charge too much for their ebooks, so I opt for paperbacks there.

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

The new Star Trek.

Favorite TV show?

Firefly

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

Lasagna

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Ice cream

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

Elvis Costello, Muse, The Cure, and Radiohead

What’s your hidden talent?

I don’t like baking, but I bake a mean pie

What is your dream vacation?

Iraq, to see the ruins of the ancient cities of Sumer and Babylon… if they still exist. Second, is the Alsace region in France/Germany.

Contact Information:

Author Name: M. Pax

Blog: http://mpaxauthor.com/blog/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/mpax1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081223.M_Pax

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mpaxauthor/

Book Links:

The Rifters [Free until end of the year Amazon / AmazonUK / B&N / Smashwords /Googleplay / iTunes / Other

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

Author Racquel Kechagias is on Fire for YA Fantasy

Hey everyone! I’m so thrilled to be kicking of the Paranormal/Horror Blog Fest with Author Racquel Kechagias.

 

Born in March 1991 in Sydney, Australia, Racquel Kechagias spent most of her childhood reading adventure and fantasy books, while exploring the inner creativity of her mind through her interactions with other children and story-telling. After graduating high school, she entered university to study her Bachelor of Arts where she is majoring in English and Education. She has a deep love for books, chocolate, Supernatural, Marvel movies, anti-heros and villains. She would prefer to have Loki over Thor any day of the week.

Racquel is giving away TWO ebook sets of The Fire of the Soul series. Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9106c51/

 

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I realized that I wanted to be an author when I was in my late years of high school around 2006-2008. It was when we were requested to do a creative piece of writing that I realized that I had the potential of turning a school project into something more.

In what genre do you write?

The majority of what I’ve written so far has been YA Fantasy as that is my preferred genre to write in. However, I have also released a collection of poetry.

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

Yes, I would like to one day try my hand at a thriller or horror genre story. I think a major reason behind that is because I’m a huge Stephan King fan.

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

It’s a little bit of everything I guess. A lot of it is computer based but I do have a lot of resources that I use that aren’t on the computer either i.e. Character flashcards. Although this may be a little unorthodox when planning a new book or series I start by compiling a playlist. That playlist helps me to keep the same theme, style and mood throughout my process of writing. Most of my outline is done by computer, or through my phone/iPad. I like to back it all up through google drive so I can access it wherever I go. I outline in dot points, elaborating on the major or more complex plot lines. I do both well before I start writing a new book or series as it helps me to stay focused and helps avoid ‘writers block’ 90% of the time.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

That’s a hard one. There is so many people that are inspirations for me but I’ll only name two to save time. As I mentioned earlier Stephan King is a big one but I’m also inspired by Rachelle Mead as well, every time I read a new book of hers or return to one of my favorites (of hers) I’m left with that same feeling that I got the first time I read the book and that’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now aim to do.

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

For this series ‘The Fire of the Soul’ there wasn’t much research that I had to do. As the story is set in a parallel world not much of what makes sense in our world relates in there but despite that fact there was still some research that had to be done, mainly it was spent on weapons and naming characters especially the ‘Immortals’ in my series as they are based off of ancient gods (greek, roman, celtic etc).

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

Definitely. As I mentioned before I create playlists before I even start writing to get that style and mood that I want for the book/series. One of my favorites to listen to is ‘Two Steps from Hell’. Their music doesn’t have lyrics but it’s all instrumental and is simply amazing. Besides them my taste in music is all over the place. I go from classic rock (Foreigner, ACDC, Bob Seger, Metallica) to more modern rock (Muse, Avenged Sevenfold, The Cab, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Matchbox 20, Maroon 5, Paramore), Movie Scores (I particularly like the Transformers and Dark Knight albums) and I’ve even got some Jazz/Blues in there (I put a spell on you by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins).

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

Haha besides reading? There’s not much time for fun between work, school and writing but in those precious moments where I do get some free time I’m either chilling before the T.V. screen catching up on my favorite shows or at the mall, do some shopping.

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

The most exciting experience for me since starting on this crazy ride is being able to meet other authors and some of the amazing readers who have read what I’ve written.

The Fire Within (brighter) 

Who created your amazing cover art?

I tried to work with a few people to make my cover art but every time I just wasn’t satisfied. So I decided to learn how to do it myself lol!

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

My current WIP is ‘The Eternal Flame’ the third book in my series ‘The Fire of the Soul’. It basically picks up a week after the events of ‘Last Ashes’ where the main villain Novak has returned from his imprisonment and raises his son Christian back from the dead. The novel follows Anna and her friends during the last leg of her trials and sees her eventual rise to destroy Novak, in a battle that will obliterate the world around her.

I won’t say if Anna is successful in destroying Novak or not but it’ll definitely be something to see. I’m actually really looking forward to publishing this in late January/early February. I don’t know if it will have a HEA/HFN ending but if it does it will have a twist that may or may not cause a riot lol.

 

Reader Questions

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

Hands down it would be Richelle Mead. Why? Because what girl can’t resist the charms of Adrian Ivashkov? But also because she is one of my favorite authors of all time and I kind of geek-out every time I read one of her books.

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

Oh that’s hard. Haha there’s so many and even if I name a series there would still be too many. It’s most likely a tossup between House by Frank E. Peretti & Ted Dekker and Phantom by Susan Kay. House is one of my favorites as it’s a great supernatural thriller about the true extent of humanity’s evil. The second because I’m a fan of The Phantom of the Opera and ‘Phantom’ is about the Phantom (named Eric in the novel) and his life from birth until death. For those who have seen the movie or better yet the musical you would know that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the Phantom’s life before the Opera and this book goes into great depth and sheds some light on to what exactly the Phantom/Eric actually experienced in his life.

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

I love film adaptions of novels, they provide a gateway for interest in the books for those less inclinded to read and for those of us who have read the book before the movie, it shows us an interpretation of the stories we love. Yes, there are some that aren’t as great as the book i.e. ‘Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters (2014)’ and ‘The Host (2013)’ but there are some that go beyond expectation such as ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Catching Fire’ and the much-awaited ‘Mockinjay Pt 1’ as well as ‘The Maze Runner’ and ‘The Fault in our Stars’ to name a few.

The movie I’m most excited to see (that’s already in production) is the Mockinjay movies. I mean who isn’t excited to see it?! But as for what isn’t made into movies I think I would like to see Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel ‘The Sandman’ done as a TV series. I think it would be too long of a series to be done as a movie but it would definitely be interesting to see.

Last Ashes (Final Draft)

 

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

I think what turns me away most is if it’s slow to begin or if it’s too predictable. I feel that a book should pique your interest from the first few pages.

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

I’m usually a trooper and push through. I rarely find that I can’t finish a book but there are times when it happens.

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

I do like to read around but I tend to stay away from anything in the romance/erotica genres. I don’t mind if there’s some romance thrown in with a different genre but I don’t stay interested in it for too long if it’s by itself.

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

Both. If it’s a traditionally published book then I prefer a paperback but as I’ve begun reading indie books as well (in a sense to give back and to help out others) so I usually get them as e-books.

 

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

There’s far too many to name them all. I enjoy watching anything with Jim Carey in it (but especially Bruce Almighty, The Cable Guy), Easy A, The Underworld Series (But not #2) and The Hunger Game movies.

Favorite TV show?

There’s far too many to name them all. To name a few though there is Supernatural!!!, Haven, American Horror Story (That clown looks scary as hell, did I mention I have a fear of clowns?!), The Strain, Hart of Dixie, Hannibal!!!, The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, Beauty and the Beast, Game of Thrones and Grimm.

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

Haha I don’t know, maybe Shepherd’s Pie but eventually I would get sick of it.

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Any type of pie or tart, though I prefer apple or pecan pie and custard tarts.


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

I think that may be Lady Antebellum, Tyrone Wells or The Cab.


What’s your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is good at hiding that even I don’t know what it is lol.


What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be somewhere out in the woods in a cottage or a cabin.


Contact Information:

Author Name: Racquel Kechagias

Blog: www.rkechagias.wordpress.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/R_L_Kechagias

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

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rkechagias/

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Racquel-Kechagias/e/B00B0OM3FU (Amazon Author Page) 

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