Dirty Dozen Author Interview – L. J. Kerry – Dystopian/New Adult

Author name: L.J. Kerry

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I’m definitely a ‘pantser’

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Don’t give up, self-publishing is an option if no literary agents want you.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? To each their own to be honest. I don’t think it demeans an author’s work, I find this can entice somebody to actually purchase a book and some do see it as a marketing magnet.

How do you deal with bad reviews? It depends on the review’s content. If it is a critical review that can help me grow as a writer, I will take those comments on board and implement them into future work. However, if it doesn’t help me as an author I ignore it.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I do a lot of research for my books, it takes a huge majority of my time. The wildest subject I’ve looked at is how much weight a bird’s nest can hold before it breaks, turns out not that much.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Just write. Ignore it if it’s bad you’ll clean it up later.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Don’t pay for an editor.

Tell us about your latest piece? My debut novel LISTED is a New Adult Dystopian novel about Judas Wells defying his country’s ruthless regime to rescue Nadine Ellis from her execution. This leads them both into a desperate situation and a fight for their survival.

What’s your next writing adventure? My next writing adventure is LISTED’s sequel REBOUND. Following on from the events of book one, my main characters are finding the past repeating itself but with a much more sinister twist.

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? Definitely, especially with the recent loss of publishing houses making competition in the traditional world even more difficult. Hopefully in the future we can see more indie authors in bookstores.

Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? Yes self/published authors are viewed with a lot of skepticism and I think that is because of the stereotype that we publish poor-quality books that are either cheesy, and riddled with errors. I know there is a large majority of the poor-quality work in the self-publishing world but there are some self-published works which challenge traditional publishing.

Is there a message in your books? There is light in a dark time

Links

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram – @ljkerrybooks

Website: www.ljkerrybooks.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20632594.L_J_Kerry

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-j-kerry

Bio

L.J. Kerry was born and raised in Sheffield, England. She has always loved to read and write from a young age, some of her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy and Dystopia.

Now living in Derbyshire, England. L.J. Kerry likes to spend her free time (aside from reading or writing) playing video games, travelling and learning new languages/cultures.

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Judas Wells and Nadine Ellis

CHARACTER NAMES: Judas Wells / Nadine Ellis

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Judas – I’m 23 and come from the country of Denmé, the oldest brother of my two younger siblings Gabrielle and Michael. There’s not much else to say, I’m not allowed hobbies aside from my government mandated tasks.

Nadine – I’m 21 and come from the country of Olympia and the youngest sibling in my family. I like photography, going to the gym and hanging out with my best friend Payton on weekends. 

  • How did you end up in the situation you’re currently in?

Judas – You’ll have to read the book.

Nadine – I know how Judas got in his, but yeah read the book.

  • Is your life now as you envisioned it? If not – then why?

Judas – HA! No. I lost my freedom when I was six years old, and have been a puppet since. My dad always told me how great the old country was, and wished I grew up there.

Nadine – Yes and no. Life takes us on weird journeys.

  • Have you committed a crime? What was it? If not, what circumstances would cause you to commit a crime?

Judas – Yikes. Erm, read the book.

Nadine – I got a DUI once from drinking cough medicine

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be

Judas – Act how you expect to be treated, treat others like poop get it in return.

Nadine – I second that.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

Judas – Who’s to say I haven’t already?

Nadine – Depends who

  • Would you die for those you love?

Judas – Yes

Nadine – Again depends who

  • Who is your greatest enemy?

Judas – Our Leader, hands down.

Nadine – President Sanchez or Our Leader as Denmé citizens call her.

  • Tell us about your family?

Judas – I have my mum, my younger sister Gabrielle and my youngest brother Michael

Nadine – I live with my mum and dad, and older brother Wyatt.

  1. What is your greatest skill/asset?

Judas – I think the government mandated tasks have made me a man of all trades

Nadine – My dad taught me self defense since I was a child

  1. Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?

Judas – Hopefully

Nadine – Let’s kick ass! Ha, ha, ha!

  1. What do you think of your author/creator?

Judas – If you take my mental health and run over it with a train and then a second train that is what my author has done to me. Seriously, why?

Nadine – I think they’re great, we were promised pizza for going through with this…still waiting for that pizza.

For the author

Books in which this characters appears:

LISTED by L.J. Kerry

Links, short author bio…

L.J. Kerry born and raised in Sheffield, England. She has always loved to read and write from a young age, some of her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy and Dystopia.

Now living in Derbyshire, England. L.J. Kerry likes to spend her free time (aside from reading or writing) playing video games, travelling and learning new languages/cultures.

www.ljkerrybooks.com

https://amzn.to/3o9b3WX Listed on Amazon

L’ULTIMA FORESTA – Last Forest Italian Edition

Quando gli umani arrivano per abbattere l’ultima foresta, hanno una brutta sorpresa

Un racconto sull’ira della natura

Tweets: #Fantasy #Darkfantasy #distopico #racconto

https://books2read.com/LultimaForesta-LastForestItalian

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L7ZCMTG

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08L7ZCMTG

Dirty Dozen Bundle Author Interview – Michele Laframboise

Author name: Michèle Laframboise

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Figure 1 My first novel

What first prompted you to publish your work? The desire to right wrongs, imagine other futures. Often, a gut reaction to a very bad novel led me to create endearing characters that are not stereotypical heroes. For instance, in my Jules-Verne series, the entire narrative POW is from a very shy Martian woman with brittle bones, which gave her a peculiar voice.

How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it? Bundles allow us to discover new writers: buying for our favourite writers in the lot, then discovering new ones in the same genre. Bundles are a way to mutually enhance our reader’s platforms, doing amiable coo-petition. It is important that the bundle has a shared specific theme that will appeal to readers, and prompt them to try the authors they don’t know, because of the subject.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

Figure 2  Getting stuck in a plot loop

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I had had my heavy-plotter period, outlining, erasing, outlining again, rewriting, and still getting me in a stuck in a corner!

My first novel took 12 years to complete this way. My last novel was longer, but took me about two months.  Now I’m a pantser for most of my works, but I usually have a good idea of what’s cooking ahead, like when you walk in the dark with a flashlight, seeing a few steps ahead. Some times I do not even write my scenes in order. If I’m stuck, I manage to back up and find a way out.

Figure 3 Finding a way out

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What does writing bring to your life? First: I love sciences. I graduated in two fields and did research. Alas, the “publish or perish” saying is true, especially for a shy woman.

Academia spat me out like an alien body.

As a “failed” scientist, I discovered I could tell stories and share my enthusiasm for sciences and nature, and also, invent other types of societies.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Do not spend months polishing a text. Perfection can never be attained. Stop worrying.

Do your best, correct a few typos or get someone to read the text over, and move on to the next story.

Beware of the tiny, high perched signing tables (yes, I fell from those!)

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Figure 4 Those high tables are dangerous!

Sort these into order of importance:  Awesome world-building / Great characters / Good plot

(very far after the three first)

Technically perfect

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

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Figure 5 Researching for my SF novels

As an ex-scientist, I used to spend far too long researching a novel. Now I do it on the fly, because science changes fast. The specialised research I did 20 years ago for my first novel is totally outdated today. When a new publisher took up the story, I had to redo the research and make some change in the plot.

Subjects:

Ecological space lifts (there’s one described in my SF series)

Black holes and membranes

High-altitude sickness

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Get a copy editor, and a first reader.

What’s the worst advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? You must absolutely get an agent to get published.

Tell us about your latest piece? Ice Monarch follows a lonely cyber-butterfly as he drifts over a planet scarred by climatic changes. A former scientist transplanted into an immortal body, he serves powerful masters from former fossil energy companies. He has to live with the consequences and sacrifices of his past choices, while survivors scrape a miserable existence from the earth. He may get a chance to redeem his past mistakes. But can he? It has been prompted by my long-standing involvement in ecological sciences, and I imagined what a distant future could look like.

What’s your next writing adventure? I am writing the first in a series of steampunk-dystopian SF novels. And I am taking narrative risks, so it can go both ways. My two first readers liked it.

What is the last book you’ve read? The Murderbot Chronicles, by Martha Wells. Just for the title character’s voice!

Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? There were a lot of quality issues in 2010, when electronic books were rare. Now there are millions, and the first wave of get-rich-quick hopefuls have left the field. The quality level is getting better and better, as many writers looking at bad contracts from trad-publishers choose to go indie.

Four of my publishers have gone down in the last five years. I created my own publishing company, Echofictions (dot) com, to get my backlist available for my readers, and to control the publishing process. I love to do the graphical design of my covers.

Ad Astra

Figure 6 My table at the last Ad Astra convention in Toronto (pic by the author)

Echofictions specializes in fun and sweet (sometimes bitter-sweet!) stories in multiple genres, from short form to novel-length. Most of my stories have been previously published in pro/semi-pro magazines, so the professional editing/revision steps have been done. The quality is not in question, the challenge is getting the public to discover my brand of satiric and (generally) upbeat SF&F stories.

Links

Author website https://michele-laframboise.com
Echofictions https://echofictions.com
AMAZON author page https://www.amazon.com/Mich%C3%A8le-Laframboise/e/B00JFGLMPM/
 
SundayArtist blog https://sundayartist.wordpress.com
Patreon http://patreon.com/sundayartist

Bio

A science-fiction lover since childhood, Michèle Laframboise sprinkles coffee grounds on her tomato plants to help them achieve consciousness. Beside gardening, Michèle has published 18 novels and more than 45 short-stories, earning some reticent recognition among the literati. You may taste her fiction in magazines like Solaris, Galaxies, Fiction River, Compelling Science Fiction, Abyss&Apex.

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Figure 7 A fun picture of me in a first contact situation!

(credits: Gilles Gagnon)

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A face pic with my steampunk goggles!

(Credits: Sylvie-Anne Jeanson)

Michele’s story features here:

Worlds on the brink of apocalypse, or already there.

Nature’s wrath and dominion over humanity, and humanity’s folly incarnate.

Dark magic, terrifying tech, greed, ravaged environments, rare courage and grim hope in lost cities and fallen worlds.

Brave new worlds or last best hopes — Dare you glimpse the future?

https://books2read.com/HereBeBraveNewWorlds

ML BNW

New Release – The Last Forest – Short Story

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest short story:

The Last Forest

#Darkfantasy #shortstory #nature

When humans come to fell the last forest, they are in for a surprise.
A short dark fantasy tale of the wrath of nature.
Approx 2500 words.

Universal Link

Available as an e-book in all the major e-book stores.

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Book Spotlight – The Kitchen Brigade – Laurie Boris – Dystopian Fiction/Women’s Fiction #Indiesrock

Title:  The Kitchen Brigade

Author:  Laurie Boris

Genre:  Dystopian fiction/women’s fiction

Main character description (short). Valerie is petite and pretty, with chestnut curls. But beyond that seemingly innocuous exterior, she’s resourceful and much tougher than she would have believed before her world went to hell.

Synopsis: The Kitchen Brigade is a dystopian novel set in a future America torn apart by civil war and Russian occupation.

Valerie Kipplander is a talented culinary student and daughter of the assassinated secretary of state. When the regime discovers her in a refugee camp jail, she’s forced to cook for the Russian general whose army is occupying New York.

But being part of the head chef’s kitchen brigade is only a different kind of prison. The safety that had been promised her is an illusion. The resistance wants her to join them. And one of the guards wants her dead.

She knows she has to act. To rebel against her Russian captors could prove deadly, but how long can she serve the men destroying her country?

Brief Excerpt 250 words: Valerie might have been in this house before. During her childhood, perhaps, when her father the diplomat and her mother the French heiress attended parties and teas at which Valerie was made to wear uncomfortable dresses and sit still, hands folded like sleeping doves in her lap. But as Chef took her to where she presumed she would sleep, Valerie didn’t dare ask who owned the house, or where the previous owners had gone. Since the war started she’d learned many things she would have preferred not to know.

“The general rises early,” Chef said over her shoulder. “So we rise earlier. You will learn the routine.” She paused in a corridor and rapped on a door. A woman swung it open as if waiting breathlessly for the knock.

“Yes, Ma—Chef.” She looked to be in her early twenties. Her honey-blond hair, scraped into a severe ponytail, accentuated her rounded face and long nose. She was tall, her shoulders slumped slightly forward as if she’d spent many years trying to hide her height, or the fact of her existence, but her frosty blue eyes—incongruous against her olive-toned skin—went to Chef Svetlana as if the sun and moon rose and set by her will. Then her jaw tightened as she caught sight of Valerie.

“This is Two,” Chef said to Valerie. “She’ll show you the way things work.” Then Chef Svetlana paused a moment, as if mentally sliding a few puzzle pieces into place. “You’ll answer to ‘Three’ and nothing else. It’s easier that way, and the sooner you get accustomed to that, the better.”

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

It’s a fast-moving, entertaining story about what unites us even as the world divides us. It’s full of cooking—it revolves around a band of female chefs—snappy dialogue and unforgettable, broken characters seeking redemption. If you like adult dystopian stories without the apocalypse, you might enjoy The Kitchen Brigade.

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Links etc.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.boris.author/
Twitter:  @LaurieBoris
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Boris/e/B005I551QA
Website:  http://laurieboris.com

 

 

Review – Spawn of Dyscrasia – audio – fantasy/dystopian/specfic

Spawn of Dyscrasia is the second book in the Dyscrasia world fiction – a reader doesn’t have to have read the previous book, but I think it helps. I shall be reading the others soon.

This world is dark, corrupted and filled with monsters – giant insectoids, twisted humans, bird-creatures and hybrids. Sickness has left its mark on the world, and most of the humans live in fear, ignorance or semi-enslavement to magic, monsters and dark forces.  There are, of course, good people – Helen is a curer – an artist who uses her craft to heal the strange lords, who protect the lands from the disease and dark forces. That, I think was the most fascinating aspect of this unique world. Art is power and magic. It heals and gives strength to Lysis – the skeletal necromancer lord who rules. I loved this idea – Helen’s art is her power, her salvation and, in many ways, her curse.  Helen is young, naive, afraid, confused but brave, loyal and the hero of the piece.  She has her burgeoning magic and strength of will which keeps her alive.  Helen is awesome!

The narrator for the audio is well chosen, her voice is powerful, yet easy to listen to. I was captivated.

5 stars.

I am definitely going to read the other books – I want to know more of this world, and it’s history – and listen to other audiobooks by this narrator.

Review – The Day of the Triffids – audio

The Day of the Triffids – Audible UK

I’d forgotten what a great book this is, and the radio adaptation was splendid. This post-apocalyptic tale of plants, the destruction of civilisation and the human spirit is told in a series of episodes. The cast was well-chosen – and I especially liked the lady playing Josella. There is a good deal of suspense and fear. As civilisation rapidly crumbles the hero (Masen) questions everything.

The book – although written in the 1950s this tale is also (as they so often are) a tale for today. Genetically modified plants – the titular Triffids – are bred from an assortment of other plants (and it hints not just plants) and produce oil which surpasses other types of oil. Of course, humans need this oil and merrily breed these plants – which not only are rather aggressive but also mobile. When a comet (is it a comet or something brought about by the Triffids?) brings world blindness to anyone or anything who saw the impressive light show the triffids now have the advantage. They are tough, mobile, poisonous, aggressive, can communicate and are ruthless.

As with many of the sci-fi books written around that time, there is a good deal of classic horror – expect a body-count, and the majority of humans don’t come out so well. Civilisation is only a veneer – and as soon as the comforts and safety of it disappear the fighting, the looting, the backward steps start. Our heroes have to review their moral code. Decent folks who would not, under normal circumstances steal, or cause harm, are now looting, shooting and uprooting.

There are many facets – GM crops (as we would call them today), bio-warfare, the fall of civilisation and a good deal of survival of the fittest. But of course, the human spirit, and brain will find a way to survive.

It’s a great book and a great audio rendition.
5 stars

Book Spotlight – Assassin 13 – Adult Dystopian

Title: ASSASSIN 13

Author: Tom Reppert

Genre: Adult Dystopian TimeTravel

Main character description (short): Like all badass heroines, Lauren projects sass and grit to cover past hurts. She’s trained as an elite assassin and takes pleasure in the lives she ends to better her world. Then she ends up in 1920s Hollywood, and her purpose shifts from hit jobs to caring for and protecting others, ironically, from gangsters who were idolized in her dystopian world.

Synopsis: Lauren Ramirez, an Assassin 13, which means she’s the best at her profession, is betrayed by her employer, the President of the United States, when she takes a high-rank target job to get information on her mother’s killer. While she’s attempting to escape in a space shuttle from his trap, she hurtles through a time displacement anomaly and lands in the glam of 1927 Hollywood.

 Lauren finds herself working for one of Hollywood’s top actresses, Pauline Windsor, who is dating mafia member Benny Sorrentino. He is caught up in a gangland war with the Colombini brothers for the city’s profitable bootlegging and gambling rings. Even as she clings to the revenge for her mother’s death and somehow fixing her broken shuttle to return for the information, Lauren’s relationship with the people she meets, stunt pilot Remy Garnett, Pauline, and Pauline’s children, all begin to change the hard surface of her heart.

 When Pauline’s relationship with Sorrentino draws her and her family into the gangland war, Lauren must decide whether to use her 22nd century talents and technology in their defense or abandon them to slip back into her time and get the information she needs to avenge her mother.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:
A malignant aura emanated from him that only Lauren could see. The Pelosi brothers flanked him like two cobras.

When he walks, he brings menace like the night, Matt said quoting some long forgotten future movie.

Leaning down, Sorrentino kissed Pauline quickly on the lips. “Hey, doll.”

Doll? That’s a bit cliché, isn’t it? Matt said. Is he going to stick a grapefruit in her face now?

Focused on the gangsters, she didn’t answer.

Pauline’s eyes lit up, then worry crossed her face. “Ben, are you all right?”

He waved her concern away, “Hardly more than a scratch. I’m fine.” He glanced at Lauren with raised eyebrows. A dark look came into his eyes. “I remember you, toots.”

“Ben, this is Lauren Ramirez. She manages my business affairs. She was at the dinner party.”

“Yeah, good to see you again.” Sorrentino reached for Lauren’s hand, but she kept both under the tablet. Frowning, he retracted his, and locked eyes on her. “Business manager? Then you’re just the person should be here with what I got for Pauline. Miss Ramirez, or is it Mrs.?”

“Benny the Bug,” Lauren said. “How did you get a name like that?”

He stiffened. His features grew dark.

Pauline glared at her. The room had been silently watching. Now, tension floated through like static electricity among gasoline barrels.

Lauren’s hand went theatrically to her chest in a picture of innocence. “I hope I didn’t offend you, Mr. Sorrentino. I meant no harm. Benny the Bug? That is your name, isn’t it.”

“What the hell’s with you?” His voice, low and cold, sounded like gravel being stomped.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? Buy this book because it is a fun read. It is entertainment pure and simple. I write books I would want to read. It is heart-pounding, thriller action, so I’m told, with a little romance and strong emotions. I hope people will feel those when they read it.

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Author bio:

Tom Reppert is an army veteran with a BA in English and History, as well as MAs in Creative Writing and Professional Writing. He spent twelve years in Africa and Asia teaching English Literature and Composition. An award-winning author, his writing includes educational essays, short stories, and novels Past Murders, The Far Journey, and The Captured Girl. Tom lives in Sandpoint, Idaho on idyllic Lake Pend Oreille, where he is currently working on his next novel, one set both in the future and the past.

 

Author Social Media Links

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Tom-Reppert-1506957986047973/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Repptom

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7219792.Tom_Reppert

Amazon

Amazon UK

Goodreads
Book: ASSASSIN 13
Category/ Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Teaser: Assassin 13 is a time travel thriller set in a dystopian future and 1927 Hollywood.

Lauren Ramirez, an Assassin 13, which means she’s the best at her profession, is betrayed by her employer, the President of the United States, when she takes a high-rank target job to get information on her mother’s killer. While she’s attempting to escape in a space shuttle from his trap, she hurtles through a time displacement anomaly and lands in the glam of 1927 Hollywood.

Lauren finds herself working for one of Hollywood’s top actresses, Pauline Windsor, who is dating mafia member Benny Sorrentino. He is caught up in a gangland war with the Colombini brothers for the city’s profitable bootlegging and gambling rings. Even as she clings to the revenge for her mother’s death and somehow fixing her broken shuttle to return for the information, Lauren’s relationship with the people she meets, stunt pilot Remy Garnett, Pauline, and Pauline’s children, all begin to change the hard surface of her heart.

When Pauline’s relationship with Sorrentino draws her and her family into the gangland war, Lauren must decide whether to use her 22nd-century talents and technology in their defense or abandon them to slip back into her time and get the information she needs to avenge her mother.

Click to Tweet Get your FREE copy of ASSASSIN 13 by @repptom MARCH 16! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38929567-assassin-13 #timetravel #scifi #ontheporch #hollywood #dystopian #readers Please RT!
Click to Tweet: Click to Tweet Check out reviews on @Repptom #dystopian #timetravel ASSASSIN 13 & get FREE COPY https://ctt.ec/7oJ51+ #ontheporch PLS RT

Blogs Participating in the Blog Tour (with more chances to win a free hard-copy of ASSASSIN 13!)
The Tattooed Book Geek
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OD Book Reviews
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Navigating Worlds
EG Moore Freelance and Fiction
Rebecca Waddell

The book will be free March 16-20
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kirkus Review: “Characters are dynamic, especially headstrong Pauline, but Matt is a real surprise; he adds comic relief and Hollywood trivia to keep Lauren informed, even if she occasionally threatens to scrub the opinionated AI from her neurobots. The old Hollywood backdrop imbues the story with authenticity, including the name-dropping of classic film stars and the impending introduction of movie sound, a possible detriment to the current silent-era actors. Reppert wisely simplifies the time traveling, with its explanation decidedly less important than rich character development. Regardless, the oddly practical ending should appease fans of the subgenre. A striking tale flaunting a strong protagoni

Dirty Dozen and Returning Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston – Sci-Fi

#Dirtydozen #Meetanauthor #Scifi

Name: Andrew P. Weston

Please tell us about your publications.

My publications have been produced with the guidance and support of the team at Perseid Press and as you will see, I tend to favour themes with a science fiction, fantasy and paranormal bent.

The science fiction slot is filled with the IX Series, detailing the trials and tribulations of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again. Needless to say, they didn’t just disappear, and the series has grown into something of a gem.

The trilogy is comprised of the following books: The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow. (Just released, get it while it’s piping hot!)

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The fantasy paranormal niche is nicely filled by the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. His adventures are told through a series of anthologies and full novels incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
The novels are: Hell BoundHell Hounds – (and Hell Gate out in the Fall of 2018 – stay tuned).

The anthologies that leapfrog the novels are: Grim – Doctors in Hell, Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell, and later this year, Devil’s Trull – Lovers in Hell.)
If you want to stay with the flow of Daemon Grim’s evolution, it would be best to start with Doctors in Hell, and then go on to Hell Bound; Pirates in Hell, followed by Hell Hounds. Do you see? Each of the anthology pieces is a complete short story in itself, but it also adds substance to Grim’s overall adventure.

What first prompted you to publish your work?

The challenge! There’s a well-known maxim that states we all have a book inside us. But how many actually sit down and do it? How many dedicate themselves to the uphill marathon of putting all those thoughts and ideas into a coherent mass, from which you have to pick out the nuts and bolts of an organized tale that grips and entertains? I nearly gave up a good half dozen times on my first book. But I’m glad I persisted … because now I can’t seem to stop.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process?

Now I’m progressing? Being too picky. When I write the first draft and complete my running edits, I’m paranoid about not repeating the mistakes I made in my first few manuscripts of overusing certain ‘descriptive’ words or expressions.

I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me my own worst enemy when it comes to relaxing and letting things roll naturally. (The amount of hair pulling and fist clenching that goes on in my house would entertain the most avid WWE fan).

However, I’m addressing that particular challenge and hope to grow my hair back soon.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I think it’s true to say I plot by the seat of my pants!

My readers will know I do plan things out rather meticulously before I start writing, especially during the world building stage. The same goes when it comes to the story arc. I like to chart the course I intend to follow so I can prepare sub-plots and mini-arcs along the way. You know, those little side-stories that keep the reader engrossed. However, I’ve learned NOT to stick rigidly to plan. Some of my best, most heartrending scenes came to me ‘mid-type.’ And when I went with those spur-of-the-moment ideas and allowed them to expand until they were interwoven into my concept…? Well, I think my stories have been enriched in every case. (Mac McDonald’s death in The IX being one such panster moment. Originally, he wasn’t destined to die, you see J ).

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Nowhere near as influential as it should be.

I was very fortunate growing up, my mother would read to me every night before bed, and my father was always making weird and wonderful tales up with which to regale me. Whether it was written or no, I remember how I lived what I was listening to, imagining in my head what the monsters looked like, the creatures in the forests, the undersea caves full of treasure, etc. Storytelling stimulates the mind – in both the speaker and listener – and encourages a world of fantasy in ways mobile phones and iPods never will.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Stephen Donaldson: for his use of descriptive prose. (and a darn good story-arc).

Tad Williams: for writing in a way that involves you in the most incredulous adventures as if they really could be a part of everyday life.

Neil Gaiman: Because it’s Neil Gaiman and I don’t think there’s a topic in existence he can’t turn into a weirdly, wonderful marvel that will hold you spellbound to the end.

Edgar Allen Poe: He inspired me to bear my dark soul in poetry, and damned the consequences.

What is your writing space like?

Think of what a gaily decorated and fully-laden Christmas Tree looks like after playful kittens high on catnip have been let loose on it for a while, and you won’t go far wrong.

Tell us about your latest piece?

I’m just concluding the Author’s Cut edition of Kiss of the Succubus, book 2 of the Cambion Journals. This particular series is being completed in tandem with the first Guardians trilogy. Both were debut works I completed as I broke into the business and I’m ensuring to give them the attention they deserve. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters – especially Augustus Thorne. (You’ll see, ladies. You’ll see.)

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m still thinking about it. Once the Author’s cut versions of the Guardian Series and Cambion Journals are out the way, I have the foundations in place for several projects: Something from the IX world – most likely a prequel; the completion of the second trilogy from the Guardians universe; new adventures within the Cambion multiverse; the further exploits of Daemon Grim; and a brand new untitled project set in a dystopian future.
I know…so much to do, so little time, and only one pair of hands!

What is the last book you’ve read?

The Artisans of Albia trilogy by Cas Peace. (It comes as one book you see…a cunning ploy) I really do recommend it. It’s great fun to read and will definitely pique your interest in the follow-ups. (I know I’ll be reading them)

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

No. True readers love real books too much. The smell and atmosphere in a bookshop can’t be replaced. This subject reminds me of a wonderful little one-liner the actor Stephen Fry said to an interviewer who asked him a similar question. His reply ran along the lines of…”Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

Isn’t that awesome? And it makes a powerful point, doesn’t it?
Yes, I enjoy ebooks and the ease by which you can buy them online. But buying and reading them that way will never usurp actually holding the real deal in your hands and feeling its cover, the texture of the page, the smell of the printing process and the ambience of a shop. Heaven.

Is there a message in your books?
Always. The thing is, spotting them.

Some are tongue-in-cheek. From the very beginning, I’ve sprinkled cross-references to my other works in each novel. Little phrases here and there. A name, a title, a term of endearment or address. (Here’s a good one – when The Rage of Augustus, Book 1 of the Cambion Series becomes available, see if you can spot a direct nod toward ME – Andrew P. Weston, author). I’m there if you look carefully. And no, I’m not talking about my name on the cover. J

Apart from that, I do like to include some form of real-world moral or ethical dilemma within my story arcs that helps the reader appreciate, “What if?” What would I do if I faced that predicament? Would I be as restrained? That strong? That determined? Or would I simply take the easy course and go with the flow?
Again, they are there if you look, and each of them are specific to the story arc in question.

Links:

Links to Prelude to Sorrow

Amazon UK

Amazon

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston

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Bio:
Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.