Book Spotlight – New Release – Dragon’s Destiny – Debbie Mumford #Fantasy #Dragons

Blurb:

The last of Sorcha’s six dragon-shifter offspring, Luag has always known his destiny. The self-assured and highly intelligent black dragon is heir to the Rex of the ice aerie, destined to lead his flight into the future.

But Luag is consumed by questions about the past. Why is his beloved ice aerie antithetical to magic? Why have there never been gold dragons clutched in his weyr? These haunting questions lead Luag on a quest that will change everything… especially his destiny!

 

Released May 23rd – On preorder beforehand.

Dragon’s Destiny Link DragonsDestiny-ebook

Audiobook Narrator Interview – Emma Thorpe

*Name: Emma Thorpe

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production?  I was listening to an audiobook one day on my commute to work and I found myself wondering how you became an audiobook narrator, so I decided to search on the internet and find out for myself. I have always enjoyed reading (I read a lot to my two children) and I’ve been involved in amateur dramatics from a very young age (I was 8 when I first went on stage). Audiobook narration seemed to be a perfect way to combine my love of reading and performing. I took a free course with Krystal Wascher to learn about the process and just went for it. Within 5 minutes of submitting my first audition, I had an offer.

Is this your day job? I also run my own handmade jewellery business (Atlantic Rose), designing and making sterling silver jewellery.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? I’m still very new to the audiobook world (I only started back in March 2019), but I now have produced 10 titles. I have enjoyed narrating each one of them so it’s hard to pick a favourite, as I have a few. I loved narrating Ann Carroll’s adaptation of “The Children of Lir” as this is a story I would listen to my grandfather tell when I was little and coming from Northern Ireland, it is a story that is very close to my heart. I recently finished narrating a childrens’ trilogy- “Magical Chapters Trilogy” by Victoria Zigler, which I really loved. The characters were such a joy to read (Daisy the Dragon being my favourite) and Victoria was kind enough to allow me to determine the accents for each of the characters.

Do you have a preferred genre? I love narrating children’s books

Do you have a genre you do not produce? I tend to narrate books that I myself would be interested in reading

What are you working on at present/Just finished? I recently just finished narrating my first novel for adults – “December Girl” by Nicola Cassidy.

Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) I always start by reading the book cover to cover. If it’s a book with multiple characters, I’ll make notes on each, to help me ‘find their voice’. If no directive has been given by the author regarding a character’s accent, I’ll use this process to determine what their accent may be. Depending on how the book is written, I’ll either record the book, in sequence, chapter by chapter, or, as in the case of “December Girl” were each chapter focused on a different character, I’ll record all the chapters featuring one character first, then all the chapters featuring another character next and so on, until the book is recorded. I find narrating this way really helps me maintain a character’s ‘voice’.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable? Interpreting the characters and bringing them to life is my favourite part of narrating.

What do you find least enjoyable? Submitting the finished files. But only because it makes me feel as though I’m back at school and waiting for exam results 🙂

Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? This hasn’t happened to me yet.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? I tend to look at the book and decide if it’s something I want to narrate, irrespective of whether its Royalty Share or not.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Yes I do. I usually listen to them when I’m in my workshop working on a piece, or if I’m travelling on my own.

With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? I think that audiobooks will play a big part in how people enjoy books and storytelling, especially adults, who don’t tend to have books read to them by others.

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? I think that in a world where everything is becoming faster and faster, where many people have very little time to just sit down, relax and read, audiobooks are a wonderful way to keep enjoying books. As I mentioned earlier, I often listen to audiobooks while I work.

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? Stephen Fry’s “Mythos”

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) So far, yes it has. I love that I’m not obliged to produce X number of books in X number of months, so it’s really up to me how much work I take on.

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book?  Not so far

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? She who risks nothing, has nothing. I’m planning on making that the family motto 😀

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? I would love to narrate any of Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree” books. I loved reading these books as a child and I loved reading them to my own children and bringing the characters to life or them.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. I talk to myself…. a lot. Even when there are other people in the room with me.

Check out Emma’s narration of Victoria Zigler’s books on the links below:

 

Witchlet Audiobook Cover.jpg

Book 1 – Witchlet
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Witchlet-Audiobook/B07SW9RGYY
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/167766
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witchlet-victoria-zigler/1111650082
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/witchlet
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/witchlet/id540402721
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/witchlet-magical-chapters-trilogy-book-1-unabridged/id1468691085
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Witchlet-1-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy/dp/1512358533/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Witchlet-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358537

The Pineapple Loving Dragon Audiobook Cover.jpg

Book 2 – The Pineapple Loving Dragon
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Audiobook/B07T14QJW3
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260695
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pineapple-loving-dragon-victoria-zigler/1114043058
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-pineapple-loving-dragon
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-pineapple-loving-dragon/id585949046
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/pineapple-loving-dragon-magical-chapters-trilogy-volume/id1468684612
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Magical-Chapters/dp/1512358622/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Pineapple-Loving-Dragon-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358629
A Magical Storm Audiobook Cover.jpg
Book 3 – A Magical Storm
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/A-Magical-Storm-Audiobook/B07SZ3FVQH
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303746
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-magical-storm-victoria-zigler/1115113126
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-magical-storm
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-magical-storm/id634577504
iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/audiobook/magical-storm-magical-chapters-trilogy-volume-3-unabridged/id1468692149
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Magical-Storm-Chapters-Trilogy-x/dp/1512358681/
Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Storm-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358681

You can also find the books on Goodreads.

Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14743914-witchlet
Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16192834-the-pineapple-loving-dragon
Book 3: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17736387-a-magical-storm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 – roundup

2018 seems to have flown by. Isn’t it odd how individual days appear to last an age, but the year as a whole just zooms past?

Politics has lost what little mind it had – the US government – probably the less said about that the better as I’ll only start an argument. The UK government has been dominated by Brexit, leadership problems and everyone is thoroughly sick of it all. I will say this year there has been a revolving door both at the Whitehouse and the Houses of Parliament.  Jeez – grow a spine, some balls or get rid of the person who is the problem and do it quickly….

Reading-wise – I’ve read over 60 books from true crime to historical to mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. I am planning to read a bit more fiction next year, and pick up some new authors.

Writing-wise – not as productive as I hoped and I’m not going to bore you with excuses. Let’s focus on what I have done.

Lovers in Hell  What a fun universe to write for! Anything can happen – but it usually backfires in ironic, dastardly and hellish ways. (See interviews for Hell Week).

The Secret of Blossom Rise This was my first ghost story – written for the Here Be Ghosts bundle, and Boo V.

The Kitchen Imps won the NN Light Fantasy book of the year.

Bundles:

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Fairies

Here Be Ghosts

Here Be Monsters (no longer available)

Remembering Warriors (no longer available in 2019)

Spring Surprise (no longer available)

Summer Shimmer (no longer available)

Frisky February (no longer available)

There were also audio editions for The Watcher (a Jack the Ripper Tale)

And audio and print editions for the two current Legacy of the Mask Tales:

Tears and Crimson Velvet

Echoes of a Song

What will 2019 bring? That is a good question…

Hopefully more Kitchen Imps, working on book IV of the Light Beyond the Storm, Heroika 2, another Heroes in Hell (assuming I can get the damn story finished), and possibly the completion of at least one novella.

I’m also learning Photoshop (steep learning curve), and have completed a course on Copyright, GDPR, Ancient Egypt, and DSE.

I’ll be a better blogger too….

Narrator Interview – Ella Lynch

*Name: Ella Lynch

*Tell us a bit about yourself: I am a 31 year old mum of 1, with a passion for reading and living authentically.  I love food, books, living in each moment, my family, crochet, camping, fires, the ocean… I’m vegan and was brought up as a vegetarian.  I suffer with anxiety and OCD, and have found that being open about this helps others to realise that we all have our demons, but they don’t make us bad people, just human.  I got a triple distinction in my National Diploma in Performing Arts from Truro College in Cornwall.  I am trained as a dental nurse, started training to be a midwife (!) and am finally now living my life-long dream of narrating audiobooks!

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? I have wanted to be a narrator and voice actress for as long as I can remember.  I studied Performing Arts in College 15 years ago, and when I didn’t manage to get into Drama school afterwards I was so crestfallen I pushed the idea of following my passion to the back of my mind.  My anxiety felt too big to be able to find a way to realise my dream, so I didn’t try…

Fast forward 14 years and I have had many different jobs, am married with a 5 (nearly 6) year old daughter and 2 cats. I had recorded a couple of picturebook audios on YouTube a couple of years ago, and loved it, but my technical knowledge was nil, and what with working part-time as a waitress in a vegetarian restaurant and being a full-time mum I had no time to really invest the energy in to researching how I could make my dream into a reality.

My daughter started school in September and I thought maybe finally I could dedicate some time to at least *trying* to find a way to read storybooks out loud for the enjoyment of others.  I was visiting a friend Claire, and she asked me if I had started to do the voice work I so desperately wanted to, I said no, I didn’t see how, I didn’t know where to start, I would probably fail any way, so what was the point.  My wonderful friend said that that was fine, I could live like that, but I wouldn’t be living my authentic self.  I would only be realising half my potential.  She said she would help me find some voice acting courses and made me see that actually, you know what, I WANTED this.  Really badly.  And if I did try, and fail, I wouldn’t have lost anything.  And at least I would have tried.

So I got signed up to 2 courses that very day, a voice acting workshop with a renowned voice coach Jacquie Crago, and a podcasting course.  From that moment I spent hours and hours researching how to make the best studio and how to get work.  Another friend Ruth got me in contact with a friend of hers that has done voice work and he sent me the most invaluable email detailing all the things I needed to know, but didn’t know how to ask.  I bought the equipment and I started practicing.  I applied for jobs on Mandy.com and joined lots of different websites trying to find work.  I didn’t get anything, but I was fired up and excited.  I didn’t feel like every job I didn’t get was a failure, I felt like it was an incentive to do better, to try harder, to learn more, to hone my skills.  And then I came across ACX.com via a brilliant voice actor Howard Ellison; we met on the Jacquie Crago workshop.  I built my profile and started to audition for books.  I was then approached via my ACX profile and asked to audition for a book.  I couldn’t believe it, was this some kind of hoax?  I auditioned, and got it!  I had landed my first real narration gig and I was so thrilled!

Is this your day job? It is my day job, my evening job, my everything in between job!  As I said I have a 5 year old, my husband works all manner of shifts for the NHS so I have to do the school runs, and I am still working part-time in my local veggie restaurant.  I have just dropped a day waitressing, so now I have 3 days in the studio, and every week-day evening too.

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? I have narrated a range of titles so far.  The genres are quite funny in that I have narrated an erotic thriller alongside children’s books, short stories and lesbian romance!  My first job was “Always In My Heart” by M Claire Gager.  I loved it, but it was a bit of a baptism of fire as it was nearly 6 hours long.  However, by the end of producing that book I had learnt so much about editing, and that gave me confidence and valuable knowledge.

I don’t think I do have a favourite, as they are all so different, and they are all good!  I narrated “Photo Shy” a short story about an abuse scandal in the modelling industry – I enjoyed the challenge of making something enthralling in such a short space of time.  I loved narrating the Zeena Dragon Fae series as I had to think of different voices for the various magical characters, and it has a lovely moral message at the end of it all.

Do you have a preferred genre?  Do you have a genre you do not produce? Why is this? I have really enjoyed narrating from all genres so far.  I don’t have anything I won’t produce yet, but you never know.  If something didn’t sit right with me then I don’t think I could narrate it.  I need to be authentic to myself, and to the listener.  I am a good actor, but I think anything I felt uncomfortable with could come across in my voice, and that wouldn’t be fair on my listeners.

What are you working on at present/Just finished? I have just finished narrating and producing the Zeena Dragon Fae series by Victoria Zigler.   This series is about Zeena the faerie dragon. She doesn’t think she’s special, even though she’s the only one of her kind to have mastered the magic for all five elements equally. But when a dryad named Kishi comes to her for help, she doesn’t hesitate. Together with her best friend – a mischievous pixie named Saarik – Zeena sets off to free Heidi the earth fairy, as well as to save the woods and the creatures of Earth.  The first 3 books in the series are available for purchase now from Amazon, Audible and iTunes, and the 4th title is just going through ACX’s quality checks, but should be available in the next few weeks too.

I am currently in the editing stage of “The Road Ahead” by A E Radley, which is a novel about 2 women from very different backgrounds, forced to share a long car journey home, and the relationship that forms between them.

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) I like to read the whole book through in my head first, so I have a feel for the story, and know how many characters there are, and what is going to happen.  Then I get to work!  With ACX you have to submit the first 15 minutes for approval before you continue with the whole book, so I narrate the first 15 minutes and then I edit it and submit it.  I use a Rode NT1-A microphone and pop-shield, with a Behringer Uphoria UMC204 HD interface, and MacBook Air.  I use Garageband to record and edit.

Once the first 15 minutes is approved I will narrate the rest of the book.  Depending on how long it is I will either record it all in one sitting (eg if it is a short story, or a children’s book less than 2 hours long) or I will record in a few sittings.  I record mostly in the evenings as that is when it is silent in my house!  I always do a vocal warm-up before I start recording, I guess I should say a body warm up, because you use your whole body when you are narrating, not just your voice.  I do head, neck and shoulder rotations, along with different vocal exercises.  I have a big glass of water near by, and I record.  I tend to read standing, but sometimes if it’s a long read I will sit down for a bit.

I don’t edit until I have recorded the whole book.  Once it is recorded I will work through it systematically chapter by chapter, and once each chapter is retail ready I will upload it to ACX so that I know it is good to go.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?  The recording!  I love it.  I get totally in the zone.

What do you find least enjoyable? When my Mac has technical issues and corrupts files.  That is infuriating!  And when aeroplanes or too many cars drive past when I am recording.  I don’t have a completely sound-proof space so I have to just pause and wait for them to go past and then carry on.  That can be very frustrating when I am mid-flow.

Have you ever found an author you couldn’t continue to work with? How was this resolved? Yes I did have an author I couldn’t work with.  This was due to the content of their book.  It wasn’t clear in the book description when I auditioned, but once I started reading I knew I didn’t feel comfortable with the subject matter, and it wouldn’t be fair to me or them for me to continue with the job.  It was fairly easily resolved.  I sent their agent a polite email explaining how I felt, and apologising.  They offered for me to narrate under a pseudonym, but I declined, and then we contacted ACX and the contract was dissolved.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate? If not why is this? Yes I do plenty of royalty share deals.

Do you listen to audiobooks? YES!! I love them!  I grew up listening to audiobooks every night to go to sleep.  They were on cassette tapes, so they were “story-tapes” to me.  I had a few firm favourites that I listened to for years.  Five on Treasure Island, The Sheep Pig, Elidor and Danny The Champion of The World.  If I could tell my childhood self that I am narrating audiobooks as a grown up I would be absolutely over the moon.

*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? I think that it is great that more people are engaging with books now because of MP3 players.  Some people struggle to find the time to sit down with an actual physical book or kindle, but listening to an audiobook allows them the freedom to enjoy the stories in a different way.  I think there will always be space for real-life storytelling, you can’t take away from the magic of sharing a book with a loved one in person, so I don’t think people will stop physically reading to their children or partners, but I think that listening to an audiobook is so magical and relaxing, and the current market seems to be ever-expanding, it can only be a good thing.

Why do you think audio books are becoming so popular? I guess like I said above, it’s a way for people to enjoy a story without necessarily having to sit down and dedicate their full attention to it.  They can listen in the car, on the bus or train, whilst walking the dog, or out for a run.  People like to be entertained, and audiobooks are entertaining, but in a relaxing way.  They don’t ask anything from you except your ears.  What’s not to love?!

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? I think the first one was this tape which had 2 stories on it – “The Princess and The Dragon” and “Scaredy Cats”.  I can still hear the Scaredy Cats song in my mind now.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) Yes.  So far, so good.  It has only been 4 months since I started getting work through ACX so earnings wise I am a bit thin on the ground so far.  But I am so happy to be able to apply for any book that is up for audition, and to be getting work regularly doing my dream job.  It’s great.

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book? Not yet, no.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve had? It was from my friend Claire, telling me that if I didn’t try then I would only be living a half life.  I wouldn’t be being true to myself.  I will forever be grateful to her for making me realise my potential, and jump in head first, giving it my best shot.

What is the worst piece of advice you’ve had? I haven’t had any bad advice with regards to narrating yet.  Everyone has been very positive and supportive.  I don’t have any other narrator friends though.

If you could narrate any book you wanted which would it be and why? Oooooh, the Harry Potter series because I LOVE HARRY POTTER, but Stephen Fry did an exceptional job with that, so I wouldn’t want to try and improve upon that.  Maybe an Isabel Allende novel.  I absolutely love her work, or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.  That book really got me.  It was amazing.  So raw and painful, but so beautiful at the same time.  As long as I could narrate it with my British accent I would love to narrate that.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. When I was pregnant I had a mad craving for Broccoli.  At the time there had been flooding on the farms and all the broccoli harvest was destroyed.  I went into my local Tesco after a yoga class like a woman on a serious mission.  I couldn’t find broccoli anywhere and I was getting very wound up about it.  An employee managed to find me a bag of pre-cut carrots and broccoli, the only one in the store, and I could have kissed her I was so happy!!

Where can we learn more about you?

I am on Instagram as @voice_and_narration_with_ella

Twitter as @narrator_ella

Facebook as @voice.and.narration.with.ella

You can find Ella and Tori’s books here:

Book 1 – Zeena And The Dryad

Zeena And The Dryad Audiobook Cover

Zeena and the Dryad – Audible UK

Zeena and the Dryad – Universal Link

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, I books, Monadori, Indigo

I-tunes

Amazon Canada

Book Depository

Zeena and the Dryad – Goodreads

Zeena And The Gryphon Audiobook Cover
Book 2 – Zeena And The Gryphon

Zeena and the Gryphon – Audible UK

Universal Link books2read.com/ZeenaGryphonVZigler

Smashwords, Amazon, I books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Indigo

Zeena and the Gryphon – Itunes

Amazon Canada

Book Depository

Goodreads

Zeena And The Mermaid Audiobook Cover.jpg

Book 3 – Zeena And The Mermaid

Zeena and the Mermaid – Audible

Universal Link books2read.com/ZeenaMermaidVZigler

Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, I books, Barnes and Noble, Indigo and others

I tunes

Amazon Canada

Book Depository

Goodreads

Zeena And The Phoenix Audiobook Cover

Book 4 – Zeena And The Phoenix

Zeena and the Phoenix Audible UK

Universal Link Zeena and the Phoenix Universal Link

I tunes

Amazon Canada

Book Depository

Goodreads

Sale!!!!! Bundles

There’s a spring bundle sale!

Spring Surprise will be on sale for $2.99 until 28th April

Bundle Rabbit  Spring Surprise

Universal Link Spring Surprise

 

Immortals will be on sale for $2.99 $2.99 from 24-Apr-18 through 30-Apr-18

Bundlerabbit Immortals

Universal Link Immortals

 

Here Be Dragons will be on sale for $3.99 from 1-May-18 through 5-May-18

Bundle Rabbit Here Be Dragons

Universal Link Here Be Dragons

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – John D. Payne #Fantasy #Dragons

John David Payne-0820.jpg

Author name: John D. Payne

  1. Please tell us about your publications.

Well, in this bundle https://bundlerabbit.com/b/here-be-dragons#cbp=/products/detail/crown-dragon, you will find my debut novel.  The Crown and the Dragon is an epic fantasy about an uncrowned princess and an outlaw with a price on his head.  Thrown together on the road by fate, they are pursued by a blood-soaked sorceror, an occupying army, a demon monster made of crows, and a dragon of mass destruction.  They have nothing in common, but somehow they end up saving the kingdom and falling in love.

Also in this bundle is Dragon Writers: An Anthology, which happens to feature one of my stories.  “Lullaby” is about a mommy dragon (and a daddy dragon) trying to get noisy little ones to pipe down and go to sleep. I wrote it in my head while rocking my own kiddos to sleep. In fact, I was rocking our second child when my phone informed me that this story had been accepted to the anthology. I said “Awesome!” which woke my little boy just enough to barf all down my shirt. Lots of other great stories in this book, but I don’t know that any of the others have received this particular mark of quality.

 

  1. What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Write what you love, but also try new things.  You never know when you’re going to find something new that you love doing.

 

  1. What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

I heard: “Don’t try it.  It’s impossible to make a living as a writer, and you’ll waste years of your life trying and failing.”  And for a while, I believed this.

But!  Anything worth doing takes years to learn.  And while you’re learning, you won’t be making much money.  And there’s going to be a lot of failures along the way.  This is normal in any field of study, in any trade, in any new venture.  But are any of those as much fun as playing make-believe?  If your answer is an emphatic NO, then write.

And don’t worry if you can’t spend eight hours a day at this.  Take twenty or thirty minutes every day and write one page.  In 365 days, you’ll have a 365 page novel.  Then move on to the next one, and the next.  So what if they’re not perfect?  You’re learning.  And having fun!

 

  1. Tell us about your latest piece?

Just finishing a short story for D.J. Butler’s anthology of Mormon Steampunk.  It’s about two stowaways on a giant steam-powered land ship heading out west with the pioneers.  One is a Danish house-gnome following one of his household, and the other is a labor automaton who decided the Emancipation Proclamation applied to him.  It was my first ever steampunk story, and I had a blast writing it.  Not every day I get to talk about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, salty black licorice, and the alchemist Paracelsus in the same story!

 

  1. If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

As a stay-at-home dad with a kindergartener, a preschooler, and a toddler (so far), the mythical person I most envy is Sleeping Beauty.  To conk out for a hundred years?  Man, that is the life.  Tell you what, if I ever see a spinning wheel I am going to be stabbing my finger with that spindle.  You never know, right?

 

  1. What is your writing space like?

When we were house-hunting for our current place, I was so excited to see that it had a room that would work as an office.  Good natural light, out of the way but close to the bathroom.  Perfect!  I lined the walls with bookshelves and set up the world’s best futon, so I could write sitting or lying down.  (I don’t like to stay in the same position too long when I write.)  I put a mini-fridge in the closet and filled it with my very favorite Brazilian soda pop (Guaraná Antarctica), and made sure to stock some snacks so I could stay in there for hours and just write.

Naturally, the kids have decided this is the funnest room in the house, and absolutely will not leave me alone when I’m in there.  So I do a lot of my daytime writing at our church, sitting on a couch in the foyer with pillows I steal from the mothers’ lounge.  It’s not nearly as comfy as my office at home, but there’s usually nobody else there so it’s nice and quiet.  Which is really all I need.

 

  1. What is the last book you’ve read?

Most of my reading is actually listening.  It’s a habit I picked up back when I had a long commute.  So the last audiobook I listened to was Food: A Cultural Culinary History by Ken Albala.  The first three-quarters of the book (everything up to about 1800 AD or so) was full of great new information.  And it made me want to try the recipes!

If we’re just talking about fiction, my most recent read was Obstacles, Volume 1 of the Acts of Androkles, by Ryan English, which I read as an ebook.  Set in a world much like our own ancient Greece, it’s the tale of a hardened warrior who sets out on a quest for vengeance and along the way finds a  family. It’s like 300 meets Payback, plus The Bad News Bears.  Or maybe Horsin’ Around.

 

  1. What are your views on authors commenting on reviews?

I think the wisest course (and the happiest) is to avoid reading reviews, much less commenting on them.  But if I was going to comment, it would probably be to thank a fan for leaving the review.  Or to let someone know I was glad they noticed something I worked hard on.

 

  1. How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I mostly do research as I go, when I bump into something I need to know to write the scene.  For example, the novel I’m working on now is a superhero book that takes place in a city built on the old Roanoke Colony.  So I’ve been learning a lot about the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  But lots of other stuff, too.  For scenes in the last few chapters, I’ve researched all of the following: garbage trucks, supermodels, barbecue, electromagnets, she-crab soup, secret societies, mary jane pumps, tax fraud, dark energy, good pistols for women to concealed-carry, missing planets, and the demon wife Adam had before Eve.

 

  1. If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat.

Bilbo Baggins.  That little dude knows how to lay out a spread.  And I think I’d want to drop in for Elevensies, so we could do breakfast food, brunch food, and lunch food.  All of which will feature bacon.  Yum!

 

  1. Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

People love stories, and they get them in a lot of different ways.  Leaving out movies, comic books, TV, games, etc., and just thinking about written fiction, there are so many ways to deliver it these days.  Hardcovers, mass-markets, trade paperbacks, ebooks, audiobooks, etc.  People might buy your novel online, or in their local bookstore.  They might borrow it from a friend, or from a library.  You can chop it up into chapters and serialize it in magazines (print or electronic), a newsletter, on blogs, podcasts, or Patreon.

Ebooks are great, but they’re not the only way to experience a story (or to reach an audience).  This is the age of innovation, of creativity.  I think this is the best time in the history of the world to be sharing your stories.   There are just so many options!  And it’s only going to get better.

 

  1. What’s your next writing adventure?

As soon as I finish my superhero book, I’m finishing (and revising) a novel that follows on from a story I wrote for One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology.  In the story, an awkward grad student (Lem) finally gets the courage to ask out the cute hipster girl (Pris) who’s always reading at his stop.  But what he doesn’t know (that the reader does) is that she’s really a secret watcher from another dimension.

The book is set a few months after their disastrous first date.  Pris shows up out of nowhere on Lem’s doorstep, reveals her true identity, and asks him to help her unravel a sinister conspiracy that spans the multiverse.  They have 48 hours to clear her name, save earth from extradimensional spies, and win the film competition at the local Con.  And maybe . . . have a second date?

 

Meet the author: John D. Payne grew up in the American midwest watching the lightning flash outside his window and imagining himself as everything from a leaf on the wind to the god of thunder. Today, he lives with his wife and family at the foot of the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, where he focuses his weather-god powers on rustling up enough cloud cover for a little shade.

His debut novel, The Crown and the Dragon, is a thrilling epic fantasy published by WordFire Press. His short fiction has been published in anthologies like Tales of Ruma and magazines like Leading Edge.

For monthly stories, exclusive bonus content, updates and more, please subscribe at: Patreon Or tweet-stalk him @jdp_writes.

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Rufus Redblade #Dragons #Fantasy

 

Name: Rufus Redblade

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in Ilmar, which I understand is featured in Of Blood and Scales – which itself is in Here Be Dragons Bundle and Heroika – Dragon Eaters. I suppose you could say it’s part of my chronicle – although I have never met the bard who sang the song, nor the scribe who penned it.

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I am a Griffin-rider. We used to protect the Archduke and his household before he was murdered. One might say we failed, but a man may be killed in many ways which do not look like murder.

The Griffin-riders are, I suppose you would say, airborne cavalry. We have fought with monsters, men and sometimes magic, but since the new religion has swept the land we were disbanded, now we are scattered. I am now, officially, a mercenary. But I work for the Archduchess Silena if she requires me. I make my money where I can these days.

How do you see your world?

Before the Followers of Arun spread their lies it was a pleasant enough world for a warrior. Border skirmishes, battles with rival houses for the Ivory Throne. The late Archduke brought peace, hard won and hard fought. We maintained the peace, and kept the lands free of monsters, such as hydra. The old gods were more…understanding. Arun is a jealous god and his Followers zealots, one does not disparage Arun’s name in public. There have been a great many…purges.

I have a remarkable, strong and intelligent woman in the Archduchess, and one whom eclipses all other women. I have loyal companions and a fine, courageous griffin. I have money enough to live, and food in my belly. The world is not as bad as it might be for me. Even if I now have to live on the edges.

What part do you play in this tale?

The young princess – who is the last remaining heir – is dying. If she does not live there will be bloody civil war. Peace is worth the cost of my life if it maintains the throne in the correct hands. Silena is regent, and fair, but a woman has never ruled the land. Times must change, but many are loath to see it. I must find a cure for the malady, the curse on the young princess. The Archduchess rightly trusts few and prayers to the new god have brought no response. We must seek the old ways. We must kill a dragon to save a throne.

Do you consider yourself a good person/creature?

Define good. I have taken life in battle, that makes me a killer. I have turned away from the state religion and dabbled in forbidden magic, that makes me a heretic, I have brought about the downfall of a noble house – some would say that makes me a traitor. Good and bad are defined by who is asking, and where he is standing.

Do you follow any religion?

If anyone asks I pay homage to Arun, same as everyone else. In truth I hedge my bets. I have paid homage to the old ways and the old gods. When a man is a warrior and especially a Griffin-Rider one must murmur a prayer to whoever is listening and hope they look favourable on the unworthy such as myself. Religion can be dangerous.

What is your favourite colour/food/music (pick one)?

I have never really thought about my favourite colour. I like good ale and mead, soft bread, firm cheese and good meat. I have eaten far worse.

Here Be Dragons bundle

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I -books and Nook on the universal link

Universal Link https://books2read.com/HereBeDragonsBundle

Published by Kydala Publishing

 

Heroika: Dragon Eaters

Published by Perseid Press

Available on Amazon, Amazon print and audible.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2lRDLPf

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2lHCrN4

Amazon print UK http://amzn.to/2mpBNnn

Paperback US http://amzn.to/2mwZbhY

Audio – narrated by Rob Goll

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bnbGu1

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2kXAQp2

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2mpH6mC

 

Here Be Dragons Bundle – #Fantasy

Here Be Dragons – Myth, Monsters and Mayhem

Vol III 

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

Available for pre-order now! Released 31st March 2018

Dragons boxset.png

Available on

Here Be Dragons on Bundle Rabbit

Kobo

Amazon. com

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

I tunes

Featuring 13 fabulous dragon-themed stories.

The Crown and the Dragon – John D. Payne

Dragon Writers – Lisa Mangum

Of Blood and Scales – A. L. Butcher

Devouring Light – J.M. Ney-Grimm

Ascension of the Whyte – Karen Wrighton

Of Dragons and Centaurs – Deb Logan

Night of the Clockwork Dragon – Louisa Swann

The Legend of G and the Dragonettes – Russ Crossley

The Dreamweaver’s Journey – Diana L. Wicker

Graybill – Rita Schulz

Star-drake – J.M, Ney-Grimm

Like at Loch Ness – Karen L. Abrahamson

Winter Glory – J.M. Ney-Grimm

Dragon cover FINAL.jpg

 

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Sorcha #Fantasy #Mythic

Welcome; SORCHA

Scorchas heart.jpg

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a fully-trained sorceress, though my mother sometimes forgets this. I guess I’ll always be a child in her eyes. I’m in my early 20s, trim, active, and healthy. I’m not particularly beautiful, but then my physical appearance has never been important to me. I’m not interested in fashion or the latest hair styles. I wear sturdy, serviceable dresses and my long dark hair is usually in a single braid. My eyes are my most interesting facial feature, deep blue with an exotic slant that people often compare to a cat’s eyes. I’ve never met my father, but Mother says I inherited his eyes.

  • What is your world like? How does it differ to mine?

I believe your people would refer to my world as medieval and feudal, but those are political terms which we’ll discuss later. As far as the world itself is concerned, it is much like Earth, possessing mountains and lakes and oceans, and even deserts, though I’ve never seen one of those. The mountains near my home are tall and rugged and capped by brilliantly white glaciers.

  • Is your world populated by different races? How do they get along?

The intelligent races of my world are humans and dragons. We have the usual non-sapient creatures. Domestic animals such as horses, sheep, cows, dogs and cats, and wild animals such as wolves and bears and predatory cats.

How do humans and dragons get along? Not very well at the moment. In fact, that’s the reason for my adventure.

  • Within your culture what is the political structure?

Human society is made up of feudal kingdoms. My mother and I live in Glengorm under King Leofric. Our nearest neighbor is Rossal, which is ruled by King Dougal. Each kingdom is divided into hereditary holdings ruled by lords and their ladies. The common folk who work the land live in villages and are often represented to their lords by village elders who are elected by their neighbors for their wisdom and experience.

  • What is your greatest fear?

I’m so afraid that King Leofric will declare war on the dragons of the ice aerie that I’m considering a rash action. Mother has advised me to stay out of it, to let Leofric and his counsellors deal with the situation, but if I have the power to stop a war, don’t I have a moral obligation to use it?

  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

To prevent a war between my kingdom and the dragons of the ice aerie, thereby saving my people. I don’t think King Leofric truly understands how completely outclassed his knights are by the dragons.

  • Tell us about your family?

My family? I don’t really have one. It’s just mother and me. My father deserted Mother before she even knew she carried me. Mother is the bravest woman I know. She’s a sorceress, as I am, and women aren’t usually accepted for training in anything more challenging than the potions of a hedge witch. But Mother refused to be held back by bigotry. She fought to be accepted and finally found a wizard willing to train her, though he had his doubts. Not about her ability. He knew she was powerfully gifted, but about her commitment. He believed women were fickle. Too prone to fall in love and desire family and children. When Mother confessed her pregnancy, he sent her away and told her not to return until she’d been delivered of the child and found it a suitable home. Mother stood up to him. She would not hide her pregnancy for his convenience, neither would she give me up. She would continue her studies and raise her child. The force of her personality and her magical potential were too much for him. She remained his apprentice and I was not given away.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Without a second thought. I’d rather not, of course, but if my death would save my people, I would sacrifice myself gladly.

  • Do you believe in magic?

Of course, don’t you? Its power courses through my veins. My entire reason for being is the study and responsible use of magic.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset?

My determination. Once I decide upon a course of action, nothing can deter me.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).

I’m very stubborn. (Another name for determination.) Once I decide upon a course of action, nothing can deter me.

  • What do you think of your author/creator?

She’s an adequate chronicler. She has told my tale fairly and well.

 

For the author

Books in which this character appears:

Also appearing in  Mythic Tales

mythic-fb-post-image

Links, short author bio…

 

Website: http://debbiemumford.com/

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

Newsletter: eepurl.com/bTXLhX

 

Bio:

A prolific copywriter by day, Debbie Mumford has been published in WMG Publishing’s Fiction River anthologies, Heart’s Kiss Magazine, Spinetingler Magazine, and other markets. She has also published several novels, novellas, and short story collections, including the popular Sorcha’s Children series. Debbie writes about faeries, dragons, and the supernatural for adults as herself and for tweens and young adults as Deb Logan. Find out more about Debbie’s work at debbiemumford.com or follow her on Facebook: @DebbieMumfordWrites. Join her newsletter list at eepurl.com/bTXLhX to receive an exclusive FREE story!

Book Spotlight – Quest for the Sundered Crown #fantasy #new release

Title: Quest for the Sundered Crown

Author: Matthew Olney

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Main character description (short).

Luxon Edioz now nineteen fights to save the Kingdom of Delfinnia from the evil that threatens to consume it. He has short sandy blonde hair, blue/grey eyes and strong jawline. Typically, he wears a simple tunic, breeches and boots with his green wizard’s cloak over the top. Strapped to his back is his staff ‘Dragasdol’ a powerful staff forged in a dragon’s flame.

Synopsis:

Danon’s army sweeps across the Kingdom of Delfinnia and Luxon, the only one capable of stopping the annihilation of the realm embarks on a desperate quest to cure himself of the deadly Void Sickness that threatens his life. To find the cure, Luxon must travel through the Magic Gates and find the Waters of Magic, but in doing so, he will be sent to new worlds and even through time. There he will uncover the shocking truth about Danon and another he calls friend and mentor.

Elsewhere, dragons ravage the eastern lands spurring Kaiden to reform the Knights of Niveren and in the south, the King’s Legion, led by the usurper Ricard makes a desperate stand against Danon’s hordes. As the world turns ever darker, one hope remains. The legendary sacred sword Asphodel remains hidden.

The Quest is on to claim the blade and perhaps push back the evil threatening creation itself.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

The little girl cowered in the cellar of the town’s tavern. Around were other citizens who had fled blindly from their beds and who had been smart enough to seek sanctuary underground. Deafening booms, roars and screams sounded from above.

An hour before the horror now unfolding around her began the girl had been sound asleep in her mother’s house on the next street over from the inn. It had been a night like any other. She’d been carried up to her bed by her father, and as usual, he had sung her a nursery rhyme. She’d drifted off to sleep with not a care in the world feeling loved. Then the roars had started and then came the screaming. A powerful explosion had tossed her out of bed, and the smell of smoke quickly filled the bedroom. Crawling over splinters and broken glass, she reached the landing and cried out for her parents. Where their room had been was now a gaping hole that revealed the hellscape beyond.

The fire was everywhere, and people were screaming and running in all directions. The roar had sounded again, so loud that the girl covered her ears lest the noise burst her eardrums. Dazed and confused she staggered down the ravaged staircase and outside the front door which had been blown off its hinges. She cried out for her parents once more, but her voice was drowned out by the chaos happening all around her. She noticed the people running and watching the night sky. She looked up and screamed. Massive winged shapes flew over the town.

Dragons.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

Quest for the Sundered is the third book in the epic Sundered Crown Saga. If you love dragons, magic and epic conflict then this is the book for you!

covq

 

Links etc.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07231N8YV

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07231N8YV