Character Interview Number Twenty-One Shyamal – Fantasy/YA


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Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Tell Us About Yourself

*Author’s note: Shyamal is mute.  He usually communicates via written word or projection of visions.  He must touch someone to project his thoughts.  Thus far only one person can hear his voice within a vision, and that is his friend, Arwyn of Heron.

Name: Shyamal, guardian-child of Lady Kali, recorded in the Book of Ages as member of clan Tyrel.

Age: timeless – Guardians and their kin do not age in the way the Faie or Nimisa do.


  • Please tell us a little about yourself. I am Shyamal.  I emerged from the sacred pool within my mother’s realm when the Dreamweaver visited.  I have only recently joined the Faie as a member of clan Tyrel, but from my arrival they have known me as a puppy with a touch of magic.  Some of the magics I have access too are shapeshifting, calling visions, and pushing time.


  • Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, thin, skin of ashen grey, hair of silken black.

(ten words is so confining)


  • Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? A moral code?  I am a guardian-child.  We are charged with helping to guide the clans, although I’m not certain that’s the sort of answer you are looking for.


  • Would you kill for those you love? Only if it was unavoidable.  I do not approve of death or killing, and there are beings from realms that are drawn to violent death which are best left alone.


  • Would you die for those you love? Gladly.  Without hesitation.


  • What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? My magics.  I have access to well many more magics than any individual or clan of Faie.  I am not certain, but I do not think I have discovered the full extent of my abilities.  I have, however, pushed myself beyond the endurance of my energies on more than one occasion while assisting my friends.  I know Mother sees that as a weakness, and I am working on correcting that.


  • Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? *His face flushes as he rubs his hand back and forth over the paper for a moment before writing a single word.*



  • Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My mother is Lady Kali, the Keeper of Time.  The clan I chose for myself when I left her sacred pool was Heron, for it was the Dreamweaver who reached out to me when I was still but a serpent swimming in the waters.  The clan Mother has chosen for me to join because their magic is the closest match to mine is Tyrel.

I have pledged myself to Lord Grypos and the scholars so that I may study in the great archives and learn the history of magic.  I suppose, as I left my brothers and sisters behind in the pool, that the scholars are my family now as I do not expect to ever live with the Tyrel clan.


  • Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? Childhood?  I have had no childhood such as you know it.  We simply waited in our chosen pool from the time of beginnings until the time was right to emerge.  I have watched the true gateway and waited.


  • Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I am the only guardian-child so far known to take on Faie form.

Tell Us About Your World


  • Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I have traveled a good many places during our adventures.  First I left my home in the Stoney Deep to visit the clans of Faie on the Fertile Plain.  I traveled with Arwyn to the archives in the Expanding Desert.  Together we set out on a quest for Lord Grypos across the Great Expanse and through the Obsidian Wall to the Beyond.  On our most recent adventure we traveled through the very Mists of Time themselves to a World Beyond.


  • Name and describe a food from your world. I have had so many wonderful foods since joining the Faie, but the one that lingers in my mind is the first food I ever had in the beginning days.  It was small and pink and velvety soft.  It was sweet and fragrant and you only had to eat a few to feel full.  Sadly, it does not exist outside of the River of Life.
  • What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) I know not this word “politics”.  I shall have to research it in the archives.


  • Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Myths and legends?  Do you not believe that the old tales of times past actually occurred?


  • What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Technology – the strange glowing things that do work for you on some Worlds Beyond?  We have no such things in Feyron.

What item can I not live without?  Considering the ages spent with no items at all, I can think of no item that I am bound to.


  • Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. Mystical, as in, of the mists?  We are all of the mists, every living thing.  All contain sparks of life that return to the mists when their time has passed. I do not understand this word “supernatural”.  Everything is natural to the realm it is from.  They only appear unnatural when found in an unusual location.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

The Dreamweaver’s Journey

The Guardian Child Returns

Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Author name: Diana L. Wicker

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Author’s website:

Facebook fan page where updates are periodically posted for the series:

Twitter: @FeyronTales

302 event flyer

Richard Mann’s Radio Reflections — and my response


Great post about the influence of radio.

Originally posted on The Peers of Beinan series on Word Press:

Hello everyone.  Happy Hanukkah!

Boudicca audio coverIf you follow this blog regularly, you know this year was very special for me as an author, especially after joining Amazon’s audio book publishing platform called ACX in April, right about the time I started really promoting my latest release, Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni.  Roughly two months after publication a moment of inspiration told me to post Boudicca to ACX for audio production.

That proved to me one of the best decisions of my life, though I had no way of knowing it at the time.  That morning I listened to six or seven potential narrators, ACX messaging about half of them requesting they audition.  Richard Mann was the first to respond — and obviously the best.  A teleconference the next morning confirmed that choice and that week Boudicca was off and running.  On 9th September the book was live on audible to my…

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Legacy Of Mists and Shadow – New Release Diana Wicker – Book Signing 20 December


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I’m delighted to be promoting this event – Fantasy and Young Adult author Diana Wicker is celebrating her new release with a Storytelling event.


302 Artisans at Senate’s End is pleased to host a book launch event for Diana L. Wicker in celebration of her new young adult fantasy novel, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, on December 20th from 10:00am – 3:00pm.

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Diana will be signing copies her books from the Tales from Feyron series.  There will also be readings from the unreleased Tales of Lore by the narrator of the stories, the Storyteller of Feyron.

The series, Tales from Feyron, begins with the historical period known as the Age of Awakenings.  The first book, The Dreamweaver’s Journey, follows the first Dreamweaver to come of age in over three hundred years on a quest across the four Realms of Light within Feyron. The second book, The Guardian Child’s Return, follows a group of young adventurers beyond the Realms of Light to a place that few knew could even be reached.  The newest tale, Legacy of Mist and Shadow, begins to hint at the past during the Age of Fading and explore the Worlds Beyond that are connected to Feyron.

Diana is an indie author living in the balmy climate of Columbia, SC with family, two dogs, two cats, and a cantankerous rabbit.  She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy-making), and RPG games.  (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)  And, as if she had more time to spare, she has recently invested in her first Asian ball jointed doll.

302 Artisans at Senate’s End is located at 302 Senate Street in the Columbia Vista. The eclectic shop features books and CD’s from locals along with cast iron cookware, antiques, specialty foods and gothic steampunk art and jewelry. Several days a week food trucks set up by the side porch for a quick lunch next to the river. The store is open M-F 11-6 and Saturdays 10-3.

Author’s website with blogTales from Feyron

Facebook fan pageTales from Feyron

Twitter: @FeyronTales, #FeyronTales

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Character Interview Number Twenty – Arywn of Heron – Fantasy/YA


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The Guardian Child’s Return

Tell Us About Yourself

Name: Mistress Arwyn of Heron, apprentice scholar.

Age: 15

  • Please tell us a little about yourself. I am Mistress Arwyn of Heron, youngest daughter of Lord Tiernan and Lady Lei.  I am a grower; that’s plant magic.  Growing up there was sort of the expectation that I would likely marry well and have a lovely farm, grow lots of food, have lots of kids, that sort of thing.  But after my sister’s big adventure, and the Guardians returned I started reading all that I could find about the Guardians.  I am apprenticed to the scholars now, learning to be a scribe. There’s so much to learn about the history of Feyron that they don’t teach us in summer academy.  It’s all very exciting.
  • Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Long, wavy coppery-chestnut hair, chocolate brown eyes, dainty and petite.
  • Do you have a family? Tell us about them. What a funny question.  I guess I’m used to everyone knowing who my family is.  My father is Lord Tiernan of Heron, and we are unicorn-children.  We have creation magic. My mother is Lady Lei of Phania, and she was a scholar’s apprentice in her youth.  I guess you could say I’m following in her footsteps.

My older brother, Nye, will be the next lord of the clan when father is ready to step aside for his life of leisure, but I don’t expect that will be for quite some time to come.  My older sister, Aideen, is the Dreamweaver, the representative of the Guardians to the Court of Clans, as well as the hope for the future of two clans.  You see, her husband Nolan is the last descendant of clan Tyrel, the true sorcerers, and the healers of clan Vidya.

The newest member of our family is the guardian-child, Shyamal, son of Lady Kali. Aideen says he was just a little black water serpent when she found him in the Stoney Deep, but his mother gifted the form of a little black puppy before they returned from their adventure.  He’s been my constant companion almost since he arrived, but believe me, just because he spends most of his time racing about getting into this and that like a mischivous toddler does not mean he’s a pet.  I wouldn’t ever think of guardian-children as pets, even if they do look like animals.  But, they are definitely great friends.

  • Would you kill for those you love? Kill…oh my!  No, I…I don’t think I could ever kill at all.  That’s just so far from my gift of creation magic.  I don’t know how hunters and animal keepers can look something in the eye and take its life away.  I have respect for that ability, for I appreciate the food I eat, but I don’t think that I could take anything’s life.
  • Would you die for those you love? Would I die for those I love?  Hmm.  Before I went on my quest for Lord Grypos and actually faced danger for myself, I think I would have been just as confused by this question as I am by the last one.  But now…

*sighs heavily*

Now I know that such choices sometimes happen, especially if you are traveling outside of the Fertile Plains.  I hope if such a situation happens again, and it is my magics that can make the difference, that I will be brave enough to do so.

  • Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. Well, I was paired with an earth-child in my early years, for planting day.  Growers, earth-children, and water-children work together to plant the fields.  Our folks sort of expected we would have our second lives together, but I decided to join the scholars.  I don’t know how interesting that is, but it is sort of unusual to not follow a recommended pairing that has been set up.

Tell Us About Your World

  • Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Feyron is the realm of magic.  This is where all magic originated.  In the beginning of days, the Children of Tomorrow traveled the River of Life to the different Worlds Beyond, and that is how the clans of magic were founded.

Magic in Feyron is as natural as eating or breathing, although I understand on some Worlds Beyond it has been seen as unnatural or even dangerous.  I cannot understand how any people could not see the many helpful uses of magic.  Oh, I guess that answers your question about magic in our world.


  • Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. Religion, I have heard of this term from the Worlds Beyond, but we have no such thing here.  As for spiritual beliefs, we know that our essence moves on to the Beyond when our time is done.  The light of Feyron guides those of the Faie, while the daughters of the mists guide the Nimisa along the sacred path to the Beyond.
  • Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. Mystical beings?  As in, from the Realm of Mists?  All of the beings of magic on all worlds came from Feyron.  The creatures of the wild magics are from the mists, and the daughters of the mists are from the mists.  I already mentioned them.  They are the Keepers of the Sacred Path, sphynxes, and they guide the light within each person to the Beyond when they have passed.
  • Name and describe a food from your world. The most amazing food I have ever found was a little tree, lost and forgotten in the desert.  With help from a friend, I was able to awaken it.  The fruit from that tree was so sweet, and it was magical!  It was a tree of regeneration, and the fruit was healing. Sadly, the tree was destroyed in an accident, but luckily I had saved a seed from a piece of fruit Shya had eaten.

*softly strokes the knotted scarf about her neck*

  • Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? I’m not sure I understand this question.  There are the Faie, the people of magic, and the Nimisa, those from the Worlds Beyond who are not Faie.  On Worlds Beyond I understand the Nimisa are often hostile and violent, but there are no such problems here.
  • Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Well, since I’ve talked about the Children of Tomorrow and the clans of Faie, why don’t I tell you the Beginning Tale?

The Tree of Life

A soft, tinkling music filled the air, blending with the sound of the waterfall as it flowed over the crystal columns of the mountain on its way down from the snow covered peaks above.  The great tree stood, as it always had, in the shadow of the waterfall beside the Sacred Pool in the hidden meadow, a gentle sprinkling of pink petals perpetually falling over the milky waters.  Floating on the water beneath the tree, the delicate petals swirled on the eddies eventually following the currents below the surface.

Dark as the depths she traveled from, her black tresses glistened blue in the morning light as they trailed through the grass behind her.  Wearing the form of Lady Kali, she crossed the soft emerald grass slowly, approaching the great tree with reverence. Wrapping her arms about the trunk, she crooned softly as she pressed herself against the smooth bark of the tree.  A host of brightly colored fairies began to appear, fluttering up from the flowers scattered throughout the meadow.  They sang as they circled about her, and she sighed as she released the tree and knelt in the grass beside it.

In one hand she held a sliver of obsidian, with the other she held the train of her hair. Slowly she cut half an arms length from the bottom of her hair and gently scattered the strands over the milky water.  As the black strands floated, mingling with the pink petals, they began first to swell and then to wiggle.  Little black water serpents formed, a single fin colored in the blues and greens of the depths running the length of their backs ending in a long, flowing fan at the end of their tail.  They played and danced together in the Sacred Pool, happily nibbling on the petals.

Leaning in close to the water she whispered, her tone soft and reassuring, “Children of Tomorrow, born of Feyron, follow the currents, find your true homes.  There are many Sacred Pools, you simply have to find your place.”

Little by little the serpents swam away towards the waterfall and the deep currents until only a handful remained.  “So be it then, your life begins here.  I will summon a Guardian for you, and then I will see to the others.”

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Diana is having a book signing event

signing flyer 2

Author name: Diana L. Wicker

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Author’s website:

Facebook fan page where updates are periodically posted for the series:  Tales from Feyron The Ripples of Power

Twitter: @FeyronTales

Guest Post #1 – A. L. Butcher, who just published Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse


My latest author interview

Originally posted on Lazlo Ferran - Author, social commentator and freelance editor:

This week, I am giving over my blog to the author, A. L. Butcher who runs the excellent Library of Erana website, which, among other things, showcases writing talent and has featured interviews with me on two occasions.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles - Book 1

The Light Beyond the Storm – Book 1

Welcome to A. L. Butcher (Alexandra); author of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

Hi Alexandra, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, and thanks for the interview. Let me see, I am British author of fantasy, fantasy romance and poetry. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Aside from the writing and reading I like science, history, astronomy, gaming and movies.

1. What were you like at school?
Rebellious ;) I was raised to be individual, to stand up for my beliefs and to question things. This caused problems, especially…

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Character Interview Number Nineteen – Jo Sullivan – Suspense


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Name (s): Jo Sullivan.  That’s what I go by now, anyway.  Anyone that calls me Jody these days better be prepared to piss me off.  It brings back too many memories.

Age: A girl never tells.  Let’s just say old enough to walk around with my eyes open about what life is really like, but not so old I don’t still occasionally hope it’s possible to make a difference in this world if you try.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was in pre-school, I think. So when I got an internship at the Chicago Tribune straight out of college, I thought I’d made it.  That was until the reality of a male-dominated industry was made clear to me when my editor tried to grab my ass and take credit for stories I did all the work on.  My career aspirations these days probably look like they’re on a smaller scale, but the implications are much more broad and satisfying.  Winds of Change may only be a weekly rag, but they aren’t afraid to point out social injustice and try to make it right.  Letting me write my Street Stories column about the homeless individuals I meet is one example. Also, except for one annoying employee, all the paper cares about there is that you write a good story and get your facts straight, not how big a booty you’ve got.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Boy, you do like to ask the tough questions.  Sure, I like to believe I have a moral code.  Don’t screw people over, don’t cover bullshit with fluffy pink frosting, and own up to your mistakes and make them right. Is that a moral code or just three of the rules I try to live by?  I don’t know.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? When I was in seventh grade, my father was accused of molesting and murdering a young boy.  He was arrested and tried, but never found guilty. My mother likes to say that proves he’s innocent, but what really happened is that the DNA evidence was contaminated by a rookie cop. They may not have been able to convict beyond a reasonable doubt, but reasonable doubt is enough for me to want him to stay the hell out of my life.  My friend Keisha thinks the reason I get so wrapped up in helping these homeless kids I come across is because I’m trying to atone for what my father might have done.  She may be right.  It doesn’t matter to me why, it just matters that somebody takes the time to listen and care, because there sure aren’t very many others who do.

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. You might not believe this, but the Chicago streets the homeless navigate are as alien as any dystopian sci-fi world you might read about. Walk around in the shoes of a kid who’s been kicked out of his home because he refuses to be abused anymore and you’ll see what I mean. You’re like a spectre floating aimless and ignored until the “real world” needs someone to blame for the darkness that happens in their lives. Then you stand out like a two-headed green Reever. Sometimes I feel like a shaman or a psychic, able to see through to this other dimension they live in, the Twilight Zone of homelessness. Is it a good thing to pull them back into the same place the corrupt politicians and so called “Christians” live in?  I don’t really know, but until someone discovers another layer of life, one where we care about each other and treat ourselves and our neighbors with respect, this world will have to do.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I’ve travelled all over Chicago in the last five years, and have discovered I don’t need to go anywhere else to experience the world. From Little Italy to Chinatown then on to Greektown and Little Vietnam.  Devon Avenue is like a miniature India and the Pilsen neighbourhood has a distinctive neo-Bohemian-Baroque architecture from the Czech and Bohemian immigrants who settled there. There’s a strong Ethiopian community in the Uptown area and if it’s food I’m looking for I don’t think there is any culture not represented somewhere in the city.  Why fly when a quick “L” ride can get me anywhere I want to go in the world?

Name and describe a food from your world. Have you ever had a Chicago dog?  If not, then you’ve never tasted a hot dog. When I was a kid, my mother used to feed me a water-logged wiener on a saucer with no bread, just a puddle of ketchup on the side to dunk the meat in. I didn’t know what I was missing till I lived here.  You take a perfectly steamed dog and nestle it in a soft poppy seed bun. Squirt some tangy yellow mustard on there and cover it with relish, tomatoes and a pickle spear.  The best part for me is the onions and peppers, sweet and juicy.  You top that all off with a sprinkle of celery salt.  Trust me.  You will never eat any other style of hot dog again.

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) Stupidity, plain and simple. Lacking in reason and compassion, weighted down with red tape and pork fat.

Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Myths surround the street culture homeless people live every day. The most common and most damning is that “these people are just lazy and should go out and get a job.” Walk the streets for one night with Night Moves counsellor Jack Prescott and see how many people have two and sometimes three jobs and still can’t afford to pay rent in a safe neighbourhood. Volunteer at a service agency that educates people on how to write a professional resume and find out how often people get turned down despite their qualifications simply because they don’t have a home address.  You can’t get a job unless you prove you are stable and reliable.  You can’t have stability until you earn enough money to afford a place to live and food to eat and transportation to get back and forth to work. Learning disabilities, lack of education, and mental illness are often additional factors that prevent someone from being hired.

Another myth is that this can’t happen to you. Don’t fricking fool yourself. Imagine you get sick or suffer a disaster that depletes all your resources. The economy is in the toilet and you lose your job.  You’re over fifty, maybe, or your experience is limited. What if your family is gone or you fall out with them and you have no one left to help you out? The face of homelessness is changing. The fastest growing segments of the homeless population are women and families with children.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Painted Black

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Bend Me, Shape Me
Box of Rain

Author name

Debra R. Borys
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – Fantasy Short Story New Release!


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In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved a half-elf, a troll woman and an on-the-run human attempt to make their fortune searching for treasure among the abandoned ruins or Erana. Erana is a world of secrets, lies and deception and the past was not much different. The three adventurers unleash more than they bargained for, and more than they can understand when a story long in the mists of a time gone by is revealed.  Witches, dark magic, greedy adventurers and tragic heroes all feature in this exciting tale.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse is a short tale of fantasy, heroes, greed and magic.

Warriors Curse Final - ebook

Although set in the world of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles this particular tale doesn’t feature any of the main characters; these are the tales of the past, the tales of simple people, and the tales of heroes and monsters.  These tales are a companion series to the Chronicles but can be read without prior knowledge. One might say they are a peek into a world of magic and myth.

Currently available on Amazon other versions will follow shortly, including, hopefully, an audio edition.

So what else will come in the new year? There will be more Tales to follow, and of course for those who love short tales of myth and magic there is Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends.


Returning Author Devorah Fox


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I’d like to welcome back, Devorah Fox.

  1. Please recap briefly about your books:

I’m the author of The Lost King, The King’s Ransom, and The King’s Redress, Books 1, 2 and 3 in the acclaimed literary fantasy series The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam. I also co-authored with Jed Donellie Naked Came the Sharks, a contemporary thriller of murder and mayhem in the Texas Coastal Bend.

  1. What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!

When we chatted last year, I was working on Naked Came the Sharks which hadn’t been released yet, and hadn’t even started on The King’s Redress. The former was released in December, 2013 and the latter in June of 2014. And I got another pet: Scottie, a rescue cat, who joined Sago, the senior cat, and Shumba, who was adopted from the local animal shelter in 2012. So my bookshelf and my lap are a little fuller now.

  1. Do you read work by self-published authors?

These days I read primarily self-published work. I find they’re especially fresh and original.

4. What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors?

I must think it’s OK for authors to review other authors since I do that myself, and readers of my reviews find them helpful. For the most part, I approach a book as any other reader would. I want to be entertained and enchanted. I want to become invested in the characters and engrossed in the plot. My reviews relate the degree to which I had that experience and what elements of the book contributed to that. It’s only after I’ve finished the book that I put on my author hat to see if there’s something that I can learn about craft from the author.

  1. Do you have any unpublished novels under the bed/in a folder anywhere which you thought were awesome at the time, but now will never see the light of day?

On the contrary, it’s the other way around. I have some “drawer stuffers” that came this close to being traditionally published but never did because of changes at the literary agency that represented me at the time. With all the self-publishing platforms available, I can now get those stories between covers after all. I even had the most curious experience of discovering nine—count ‘em, NINE—chapters of a book that I didn’t remember writing. I still like the story and hope to finish it.

  1. How have you progressed as a writer since you started?

I believe that I’ve gotten bolder, more daring with my writing. I’ll get an idea and think, “Nah, that’s outrageous” but then I’ll decide “What the heck, let’s see where that goes.” I’ve been pleased with the results. What seemed risky in concept worked out surprisingly well once I got it written.

  1. What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?

The aspect of writing that I least enjoy is … writing. Well, at the outset, at any rate. It seems to take me a long time to get going. Fortunately at some point I get up to cruising speed and then it becomes enjoyable but when I first begin I have to keep cranking the engine before it will kick in. There’s a lot of sputtering and false starts.

  1. What are your views on authors offering free books?

I will admit to taking advantage of giveaways. I discovered an author whom I really enjoy that way and I might not have otherwise. This year, I tried a giveaway for the first time. It did help to make some new friends for my books. That said, I don’t like the idea of free books. We put so much effort into our writing and our work has value. In our society, that’s means a price tag. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously as an artist and command appropriate remuneration without giving our work away. It also concerns me that “free” implies to the reader that a book has little merit. In addition, so many of us struggle to squeeze our writing in while we labor at some other job to pay the bills. I fear that the more of us who give in to the pressure to give away our work, the harder it will be to get paid for it. I will say that I believe “FREE” has lost a little of its power as a marketing tool because so many giveaways are being run these days. It’s not so special anymore and I don’t see authors getting tens and hundreds of thousands of downloads the way they may have only a few years ago.

  1. Do you have a favourite movie?

If I had to pick just one, I’d name “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I never tire of watching that and I learn something new about storytelling every time.

10. If your book was produced as a film who would you like to see play the lead?

Ooo, I played this game with King Bewilliam’s fans. They suggested Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. Either would be great. Someone else suggested Liam Neeson. He’s one of my favorite actors but I think he’s too old for the character, although if this series goes on long enough, he’ll be just right. I tend to picture Sean Astin when I write.

P.S., The King’s Redress ranked in the Top 25 Kindle Free books and The Lost King ranked in the Top 100 Kindle Paid sales.

Links etc.

Twitter: @devorah_fox


Facebook author page:


amazon author page:

smashwords profile page:




Amazon Links:

The Lost King:

The King’s Ransom:

The King’s Redress:

Naked Came the Sharks:

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Author Interview Number Seventy-Seven – Echo Fox – Fantasy/Young Adult


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Welcome Echo Fox, YA Fantasy author!

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’m currently writing the fourth book of my fantasy series. The Equilibria Series is different from many other series, in that each book can be read as a standalone. Each one focuses on a different character in the same world, Pangaea – it will only be in the fifth book that the characters will meet each other. So it really doesn’t matter what order the books are read in. The order I’ve written them in however, is ‘Wave Singers’, ‘Earth Drummer’ and ‘Air Riders’. Can you guess number four’s title?

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I love researching and do it constantly; as a hobby rather than a chore. I maintain a Pinterest board where I keep all the latest images inspiring my fantasy world and characters and once I have that visual aspect it’s much easier for me to start creating the blanks – who is this person, why they act like that, what their history is. You can see my board here:

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Tricky! I’d have to go with solid plot, great characters, great world-building, technically perfect. Although saying that I do find bad spelling or grammar a big no-no when reading, it distracts me from the story too much. If the plot has obvious, gaping holes in it then the whole story fails in my eyes. Great characters help move things along and provide someone for the reader to empathise and identify with. World-building is important, especially in a fantasy or sci-fi work, but ultimately the characters and plot line is what you fall in love with.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? My other job is as a copywriter / editer, so yes, I do self edit. However, you can always miss things or get carried away so I generally have a couple of beta readers on hand to help out. My book is always read and checked for consistency and errors by about four or five people before I publish it.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes, indie books are often an untapped well of brilliant stories unbound by the publishing house’s views on ‘What sells’ or ‘What the public want’. I find my next reads through the social movement #IndieBooksBeSeen.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are everything. Well, no, that’s melodramatic. Reviews are pretty important. It’s how I know whether someone liked the book, or what they would have changed. It helps me grow as an author and it helps potential new readers make a decision on whether to take a chance on my books. I really appreciate every review that comes my way and I love chatting to people on Twitter and Facebook about their favorite characters.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

  1. Start writing. Just sit down and do it.
  2. Keep writing. Don’t stop to edit or change things until you have a first draft down, complete.
  3. Join a club if you need motivation, like NaNoWriMo – I love the charts, I’m a sucker for gold stars. Find my profile here:

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I just finished ‘The Palace Job’ by Patrick Weekes and loved it – you can see my review on Goodreads:

What are your views on authors offering free books? I think it’s great, I do it myself. Many people cannot always take an expensive chance on a new author, so a free book is a chance to discover a new author without any monetary risk. If you’re interested in knowing when I next offer a free book, you can sign up here:

Do you have any pets? I do, a black and white cat called Kiddo, who I adopted from my boyfriend’s sister when she moved house and couldn’t take the cat. She is hilarious, but camera shy, otherwise she would be an internet sensation by now.

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? Hmm, worst job? I was officially a Receptionist at a Day Spa, but the position eventually boiled down to ‘General Dogsbody.’ I can draw on that for feelings of being put upon, for sure. As a freelancer, I’ve had lots of jobs that fuel my writing, such as Crematorium Assistant, Sports Coach, Nutritionist or Florist!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I used to hiccup – a really tiny, squeaky little hiccup – at least once a day, consistently, for about three years.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Twitter: @EchoFoxBooks






Mailing List:


Amazon Author Page:




1st book Wave Singers on Amazon:


2nd book Earth Drummer on Amazon:

1st book Wave Singers on Goodreads:


2nd book Earth Drummer on Goodreads:


3rd book Air Riders on Goodreads:




Author Interview Seventy-Six – Deb Borys – Suspense


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Welcome to Deb Borys

Where are you from and where do you live now? – I’m from small town Midwest U.S. and after about fifteen years of living in the big cities of Chicago and Seattle, I’ve come back to my roots and my hometown.

Please tell us a little about your writing – My current focus is my Street Stories suspense novel series. The first book, Painted Black, was released in 2012, then Bend Me, Shape Me in 2013, and the third, Box of Rain just became pre-orderable on Amazon.  The ebook will be released December 15 but the print version won’t be out until the spring of 2015. You can basically say I’ve been able to get a book a year out now.  I’m hoping I keep up that pace.

Each book in the series tells the story of a kid living on the streets of Chicago who finds him or herself in a jam that no one but my protagonist seems to care about.  I take the real life drama that homeless people have to deal with every day and twist fictional, quirky suspense plots into it.  Like a mortuary freeze-drying corpses like special order pizzas and psychiatrists trying to brainwash an army of terrorists, or finding a decapitated body in a back alley dumpster.

Where do you find inspiration? – I found my inspiration on the streets of Chicago where I  volunteered with homeless youth and adults and discovered heartbreaking but uplifting tales of people doing the best they can under the circumstances.  My eyes were opened to the fact that they are no different than the people I meet in my everyday life, not deep down, where it counts.  I want to somehow make everyone aware of that.

Are your characters based on real people? - My primary characters are completely fictional, but their ideas, goals and opinions reflect real people I knew when volunteering on the streets of Chicago. Throughout all the books I have sprinkled versions of people and situations that I actually experienced myself, or heard about from other service workers.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? – There are stories worth listening to in everyone’s life, even that homeless man standing on the corner with his hand out for a quarter. How can you judge someone’s actions or attitude or situation if you don’t know anything about the person you are condemning?  My hope is that after reading one of my books, you might take a second look, or even stop and listen.  I don’t think all books need to have an underlying agenda or should try to speak deep thoughts about life or the world.  Sometimes books should just be about escape and enjoyment, because we all need that once in a while, too.  My Street Stories series, I hope, does both.  At least that’s what I intend them to do.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) – I think you pretty much have the correct order there. If you don’t start with great characters, why should the reader care about the journey or how the story ends? World building may seem less important than all the others, but that’s only because it is intended to be almost invisible.  You need to know it well yourself but only give out the tiniest but most important details in such a way that it is recognizable and understandable without calling attention to itself.  The reader should never be pulled away from the story in order to admire or wonder about the world in which the story takes place. The path down which the plot steps should flow naturally out of who the character is and what world he or she is living in.  A warrior in Roman times will make different choices when confronted with conflict than a teenager from the slums who has been abused all his life. Correct grammar and typographical errors, etc. do need to be kept to a minimum, or else they are too distracting, but if you do the first three things to perfection, your readers will give you a lot more leeway on technicalities than they would otherwise.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? – Painted Black and Bend Me, Shape Me are available in both ebook (mobi and epub) and trade paperback.  Box of Rain will be released as an ebook Dec. 15 and will be out in trade paperback sometimes next spring.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? – I do self-edit, but so does my publisher.  I never send the first draft off to them. I polish as much as I possibly can before letting them or anyone see it. For Box of Rain, I also had several people beta read for me to give me advice on the big picture, rather than line editing. I really do think everyone needs to let someone else edit or at least make suggestions for edits.  And by that I mean someone with knowledge or expertise, not just your mom or boyfriend.  You are too close to your work to view the finished work objectively.  In the beginning, you are often so in love with it you think it is all diamonds and gloss over the lumps of coal among the glitter.  If you’ve been over and over the book many times, you are often so sick of your own words you can’t tell which are gold and which floss.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? - The more reviews a book has, the better, I think, even if some of them are negative.  Reviews show people are reading the book, at least.  I think it’s a fine idea to thank someone for their review in a comment.  It’s even okay to make some remark about the content of the review, as long as it isn’t arguing or disagreeing or trying to explain yourself.  If anything, say something like, “That’s an interesting take on the subject.  I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?” Vindictive, extremely negative reviews are best left ignored.  There is no need to stoop to their level.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? – When I see a book with absolutely no reviews, unless it is very recently released, I tend to suspect it must have been pretty boring.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? – A book makes us work at our entertainment.  Instead of being a passive mushroom watching the story, we are forced to partake in it, interpret it. Since we don’t have the visual or the sound, we have to burrow deep in our minds to envision and experience the world.  Because there are narrative passages, we can know and explore the inner thoughts of characters, instead of simply trying to interpret them from their faces or voices.  The amount of detail, and the time it takes to read, interpret and experience all the words on the pages immerses you more fully in the story than a one dimensional viewing on a screen. You’ve probably noticed it yourself. Have you ever read a book about a blind person, for instance, and when you finished it, it felt strange to be able to walk around and see again?

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Painted Black

Bend Me, Shape Me

Box of Rain

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