Swift Six Author Interview – T. Norman #EpicFantasy

Name: T. Norman

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): I am a self-published author from Southeastern Wisconsin. I started writing my first novel in 2014, and since then have published 5 within the Ascent Archives. I love spending time outdoors hiking or canoeing. One of my favorite things to do in writing is experiencing as much as I can in real life to what I’m writing about. I picked up archery to better write about it. I have been an avid horse lover for years, using my experience working with horses in my books. I also spent some time sailing on a Schooner in college and used that when writing about different ships and crews. I find it’s the easiest to help readers connect to my writing when it comes from personal experience.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short): I have written five books in the Ascent Archives. Blood-Stained Heir, Dead King’s War, Primordial Judge, and Brother’s Promise are books 1-4 and comprise the main series. They follow a wide cast of charaters as two nations are at war with one another. Book 5, Lost Lore of Draxos, is a collection of short stories following charactesr from the main series. Many of them are backstories and histories that are hinted at. All the stories are Epic Fantasy as a broad genre, but specifically NobleDark. (Noblebright/GrimDark combined). There is darkness in the world as a whole, but they’re stories about heroes and good people fighting against evil.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? I started writing this series in 2014. The inspiration actually came from my childhood. When I was young, my brother and I would play with toy figurines together and we would create these in depth stories and characters. It was during that time that I started creating some of these characters, the world, and the conflict.

What writing plans do you have for the future? I am currently writing a spinoff series. It follows some familiar characters on a new adventure. It is looking to be a trilogy, and I can’t give away too much yet but the plans are to release it in Spring 2023.

What do you like to read? I love reading epic fantasy, specifically grimdark and noblebright. I try to read books similar to mine, because that’s what I enjoy but also to see what other authors are writing. I love finding stories with unique magic systems and worlds that I haven’t seen before. The more unique, the better.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure? The biggest thing I wish I knew was that no two writing journeys are the same. I struggled right away in writing when I followed others authors who started at the same time, and they published books faster than I ever could. I tried to rush my publishing to keep up, but couldn’t sustain it. I had to take a pause, and look at what worked for me. I’ve come up with a plan that fits my author career, and I’ve stopped trying to compare my journey to those of other authors.

Author bio

T. Norman, self-published author of the Ascent Archives, grew up in small town Minnesota where his passion for reading and immersing himself in to the fantasy worlds of his childhood grew in to creating and writing his own stories. T. Norman’s series, the Ascent Archives, was first formed during his childhood playing toys with his brother, and now it is set to become a four part series. With experience in a variety of fields, writing has become his passion. T. Norman currently lives with his wife, two children, and dog in southeast Wisconsin.

and book synopsis

After the sudden death of his beloved wife, Rysh Trell struggles to keep his life together and devotes everything to raising their son. When the King of Ansaroth seeks vengeance for the murder of his father, Rysh is forced to defend his home and family again.

As an army pursues him across Ansaroth, Rysh fights to honor a promise he made to a dying friend. With little hope of survival, he searches deep inside to find the soldier he spent years burying away.

Will Rysh keep his promise, or will evil forces stop him from reaching his goal?

Links/Social media

https://www.facebook.com/t.norman.author/

https://www.instagram.com/t_norman_author/

http://jntpress.com/

Swift Six Author Interview

Name: Thomas Kast

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Hello, I’m Thomas Kast, and I write absurdist philosophical science fiction. I’m also the author and illustrator of Bablah’s Odyssey — an upcoming comic book series.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

The Great Convergence: science fiction and social satire. Two competing academics living ten million years in the future travel back in time to 2022, wrecking reality in the course of their investigation into a mysterious event — the Great Convergence.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

Frankly, I don’t even remember how did it start. The Great Convergence took me about ten years to complete until I was happy enough with it to release it into the wild. It went through several editors and iterations.

I wanted to create a book that can be enjoyed, read and re-read and could give the reader a memorable experience. I’ve noticed that most contemporary sci-fi often ventures into the strictly commercial territory. Not entirely happy with this trend, I wanted to use science fiction as a vehicle to highlight many social and philosophical problems, but with a healthy dose of humour.

There are several recurring themes in my book, which result from observing and analysing the world around me. One of those inspirations would be stupidity. It’s a subject that has always fascinated me. All of my characters make inexplicably unwise and shortsighted decisions despite being exceptionally smart (some of them). Superheroes are great but, often being no more than mere archetypes, they often lack humanity. It’s the crazy ones who provide all the fun.

Another recurring theme in my book inspired by real-world observation is miscommunication. My characters are all stuck in uncomfortable situations. Constantly missing the point, they don’t understand each other’s motives, and they’re unable put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They oscillate between being inordinately overconfident or hopelessly insecure but can never think on two feet. Above and beyond, they’re blinded by their personal goals they consider of great consequence and which are insignificant and trivial. As irony would have it, they all have a profoundly important part to play on the universe’s stage — something they’re never to discover.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

Currently, I’m working on the humorous and philosophical comic book series Bablah’s Odyssey, which is scheduled for release in August 2022. Bablah’s Odyssey features a mad scientist, lord Bablah as he traverses the universe, mansplaining the ‘wonders of progress and civilisation’ to his unassertive yet perceptive mutant sidekick, the Pet-Thing. It’s colourful, psychedelic and contains a lot of irony and dark humour. I’m both a writer and illustrator.

I’m also working on another sci-fi mystery: Apoptosis. But this will take me another year to complete.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Someone asked me once: ’Is there a market for what you write?’ To which, I replied: ‘I hope there isn’t’. I believe the writer should create demand rather than try to fit into an existing trend. This is what all successful writers do. The unsuccessful ones will advise you to ‘write for the market’. There’s a strong need for original content that breaks the rules instead of following them. Write a good book, get your tea-box out and yell about it.

Bio:

Thomas Kast is an award-winning independent photojournalist and illustrator based in Zurich, Switzerland and has published a number of photography art books. Thomas spent a big part of his life in Israel, where he taught design, photography and illustration at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and other Israeli colleges.

A long time in the making, his debut novel — a philosophical science fiction piece, the Great Convergence — evokes many of the author’s real-life experiences fused with his unhinged fantasies.

Synopsis:

10.000.002 A.D. A cantankerous scholar slipping into obscurity is out for revenge. He time-travels to the year 2022 to stop his nemesis, Scott — a successful scientist at a competing university — from thwarting his research into the origin of a mysterious phenomenon, the Great Convergence. Cunning and ruthless, Scott will stop at nothing to defend his tenure track. The feud quickly spins out of control, and the damage to reality grows unchecked.

Caught in the crosshairs are three characters responsible for triggering the Great Convergence: an art-hating professional art critic who, unbeknownst to him, spontaneously switches between universes wreaking havoc as he goes; a talentless artist whose sculptures act as trans-universal portals; and a schizophrenic astrophysicist trying to avert the invasion of alternate versions of himself from different realities. As their paths converge, the apocalyptic event takes place, and the inescapable tragedy of human existence unfolds. 

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z5KH33

Personal website: https://thomaskast.com

Writings: https://thomaskast.space

Comic Books: https://thomaskast.space/bablahs-odyssey

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Swift.Bromba

Stand Together – Author Interview – Joe Bonadonna

Author name:

Joe Bonadonna

How did you become involved with this project?

Alex L. Butcher, who put the project together, and I are Facebook friends, have worked together before, and are also involved in Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell™ series.

Tell us a little about your work in this book?

I’d been writing short stories since fifth grade, and then I started playing guitar. Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Peter Sinfield who wrote lyrics for King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Keith Reid, who wrote lyrics for Procul Harum, I started writing poems and then soon afterwards, song lyrics. A couple of years ago I started dabbling in haiku.

Please tell us about your other publications/work.

I’ve written three books thus far in my sword & sorcery, heroic fantasy series, Mad Shadows. I’ve also written a space opera and a sword & planet novel, co-authored two children’s books with Erika M Szabo, and co-authored a pirate/horror novel with David C. Smith. I’ve published a number of short stories and novellas, and have appeared in six recent volumes of the Heroes in Hell™ series.

Do you think the written word (or art) brings power and freedom?

Yes! The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Fascist, authoritarian governments fear the power of the word. They fear any artform they think is harmful to their “regimes,” to their plans: art is transformative, it teaches and enlightens us, it makes us hope and dream. To “them,” its greatest threat is that it makes us think, and gives us ideas. Art is truth, and oppressors the world over would bury Truth beneath the dirt of propaganda, censorship and book burning.

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

I’ll pick an author, and not to offend anyone still living, I’ll pick a dead author: Raymond Chandler, because he was the key to my writing my Mad Shadows Triad. Oh, maybe we’d eat pizza or steak, drink whiskey and/or Guinness Stout. Since he lived in California, maybe we’d eat seafood and drink wine.

How influential is storytelling/poetry to our culture?

It’s not only influential, it’s important: it is life affirming. We need poems and literature, music and paintings, and all forms of art. It keeps us sane and healthy. Storytelling and poetry reveal what’s in our hearts. Every art form reveals what we think and dream and hope for. It reveals the depths of our souls. Once again, it teaches and enlightens, as well to help ease the burden of our worries and our troubles.

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

I’ll go with being a vampire. They dress well, only go out at night, have superhuman powers, and if they invested wisely during their natural lifetime, over the long years of their afterlife, they could live quite handsomely, indeed.

Which authors/books have influenced you the most?

Once again, I’ll stick with dead authors: JRR Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Edgar Allen Poe, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Thomas, Larry McMurtry, and the list goes on and on ….

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m hoping to write a fourth and perhaps final volume of novellas for my Mad Shadowsseries — making it a quartet instead of a trio. I’m also working on my seventh novella for the Heroes in Hell™ saga.

What is your greatest success?

That I’m still alive at age 70! Seriously, I’d have to say my Mad Shadows Triad, my, The MechMen of Canis-9, and the stories I’ve written for the Heroes in Hell™ saga are my greatest success stories, and my personal bundle of pride and joy.

What’s your favourite quote, who said it and why?

I actually have two, if I may: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. That’s because inside a dog it’s too dark to read.” — Grouch Marx. Why? Because he was a comedian, and his sarcastic wit often had truth and deeper, more subtle meaning. And: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” — Anonymous. Why? Well . . . wouldn’t you?

Tell us a silly fact about yourself.

I collect Halloween knick-knacks and cheap snow globes.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

A rock-star guitar god. When I started growing up and growing older, I just wanted to be a kid again. I think a lot of us would like that.

Thank you for everything about this project and for asking me to take part.

https://books2read.com/StandTogetherUkraine

Swift Six Author Interview – John Wells #YA #Fantasy

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Hello! My name is John Wells III. I love long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners— Okay, I am only joking—Well, not about the long walks on the beach. Or the dinners, But that is because I’m a San Diego Native, and who doesn’t love the beach and tacos? So let’s see, about me. Well, I am a nerd with a wild imagination. I love fantasy and the supernatural, which is why I write about them. I picked up my first Animorphs book in the third grade, and I haven’t left the genre since. (I know, I know, Animorphs is more science fiction, but eight-year-old me didn’t know the difference). I even thought I was an Animorph for a while. I wish I were joking, but I am not.

I love telling stories in all forms: books, plays, movies, etc. I am also a loving dog dad of two beautiful pitbull mix-breeds. But enough about me, let’s talk about well…me?

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I write YA Contemporary Fantasy. I currently have two books published (The Last Angel Warrior & The Heir of Ambrose), A Novelette (The Forbidden World), A Short Story that will be released in August (They Call Him Destroyer), And an upcoming book that will be released at the end of the year (The Invisible City).

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. My first writing assignment was in the second grade when I was supposed to write a book report, and I wrote a story titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Lizards.” Very Original, right? Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I wrote the stories that I wanted to hear. A lot of this started because I hated when books ended, so I continued the stories.

Later, as a teenager. My best friend invited me to write two scenes for an ambitious film script he was attempting to complete. Unfortunately, his lofty aspirations for the script never materialized, but the experience was enjoyable and helped me realize that writing as a career was a possibility for me. So, a year later, in 2008, I began my journey as an author. 

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I am excited to release my third novel this year, The Invisible City. My plans for the future include continuing the series with an additional four books and several compendium stories. I don’t foresee myself being done with the Kalib Andrews Universe for a very long time.

What do you like to read?

  • I like to read the same genre that I write. Contemporary Fantasy and Magical Realism. I love books that bring magic to my world in a believable way. When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the possibility that what I was reading could be true and that the general public just didn’t know about it.
  • When I choose a book, I look for a book that will take me on a journey with the protagonist. I love underdog stories or coming-of-age stories. I also really enjoy a sympathetic character that is forced to go through extreme circumstances. I suppose Dystopian and Post-apocalyptic stories also fit the bill of what I enjoy; basically, just give me a good fast-paced story with witty dialogue and a sympathetic character, and I am happy.
    •  

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your writing adventure?

Let go of perfection and just keep writing! It is the most basic advice you can receive but the easiest to forget. Don’t edit while you are writing. Let go of the need for the first draft to be “good” it doesn’t have to be good; that’s not the purpose of the first draft. The purpose of the first draft is to get the story out of your head and onto the paper.  Perfectionism is the enemy of progress. So just get the story out of you. True magic is made during the rewrite, but before you can uncover those hidden jewels, you must first write the story. So write!

Author bio and book synopsis

 John Wells III is a native of San Diego, Ca. He loves the beach, tacos, his two dogs, and all things supernatural. As a child, John had a vivid imagination and often found himself lost inside his own daydreams. So it was only fitting that he became a storyteller. John is the author of The Last Angel Warrior and The Heir of Ambrose. In addition to writing books, John also acts, produces, and owns a small theatre company in San Diego, Ca.

The Last Angel Warrior (available on Amazon).

Kalib Andrews discovers that maybe his life isn’t as normal as he thought it was. Not that it was ever really “normal” to begin with. He is the adopted son of the mayor, a detail that he never quite felt comfortable sharing, mostly because he always suspected that he was his adopted parents, the Donovan’s, “Humanitarian purchase.” Adopting the underprivileged African-American kid was good for their image. But when strange things start happening in town, like, a creepy-smelly-shadow-demon-thingy appearing out of nowhere and trying to kill him on the street during his walk home from work one day, Kalib starts to think that maybe there’s more going on in town, than he originally suspected. And furthermore, he starts to wonder if maybe, somehow, whatever was going on in town, had something to do with him.

The Heir of Ambrose (available on Amazon)

Legend has it that “Ambrose,” the first Magicborne, was behind the annihilation of the Angel Warriors. Now, Kalib fears that the mysterious Heir of Ambrose is determined to fulfill his predecessor’s vendetta both against him and his kind. And when citizens of Hainesville suddenly begin to vanish, he becomes more convinced than ever that this heir is coming for him. But the real question that Kalib is struggling to answer is… Should he let him?

The Invisible City (Coming Soon)

Kalib and his friends are forced to leave Hainesville after the town is afflicted with a supernatural plague. And the only way to save the city is to find one of the last remaining Enochian stonThates.  stone, combined with an ancient spell and the blood of the Angel Warrior, will vanquish the demon, Beelzebub, who is responsible for the city’s supernatural disaster. But where does one find an Enochian stone? Legend has it that a fragment of the stone was hidden inside an ancient city. So, what’s the dilemma? This ancient city has been veiled by magic, rendering it visible only to those who know where to look. A difficult piece of knowledge to come by considering that the city inhabitants have been forbidden to leave the city for thousands of years.

The Forbidden World: A Kalibverse Novelette (Available on Story Origin)

A demon market is no place for children. At least that’s what Manaan’s parents always told him. Besides, Nephilim were prohibited from entering the demon side of town without an escort. But despite the startling omen he’d been sent, warning of impending doom, Manaan knew one thing for sure. The peculiar ring he found tucked away in his father’s secret satchel was drawing him there. And if his hunch were correct, Manaan would find what he needed to reverse a curse, save his baby brother, and escape the clutches of the treacherous Shadow Man.

They Call Him Destroyer: A Kalibverse Short Story

After the Angels invade his town, Ravlyn and his younger brother, Mar, are rushed out of the town with one final message from their parents. Find the one the Angels call the Apollyon. Now Ravlyn is determined to honor his mothers final wish, but he has one question. Who is Apollyon?

Links/Social media

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/TheKalibAndrewsChronicles

TikTok –https://www.tiktok.com/@johnwellstheauthor

Instagram –https://www.instagram.com/j.waymanwells

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jwaymanwells

Website/Blog – https://www.thekalibandrewschronicles.com

Swift Six Author Interview – Raven Oak #Fantasy

Name:   Raven Oak

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I’m a disabled, geeky, enby and full-time SF/F author and artist. I live in the Seattle area with my partner and three special-needs kitties and we both enjoy gaming (tabletop, board game, and video games) and exploring the ocean. Cartography and linguistics are both hobbies of mine, and I love living in the Pacific NW.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I have a lot of them so I’ll tell you about Book I of my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Blood.

It’s been described by others as Disney’s Tangled meets Game of Thrones. I don’t think it’s as violent as GoT but it’s a valid description in terms of the study of familial relationships and political intrigue. My short blurb for it is: Two sisters. Two loyalties. One path together. The two sisters didn’t grow up together and are the antithesis of each other. Adelei has been raised in the Order of Amaska, a holy sect of assassins that seek out Justice for their clients. Margaret is the very stereotype of spoiled princess. Through book I, as they grow to know each other, they both learn lessons from each other that make them better people. While the familial themes are going, there’s an ancient evil brewing because let’s be honest, there always is in epic fantasy. The trilogy is about how they deal with various shades of evil and what evil really is.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I’ve always written. My first publication was actually a children’s book I wrote and illustrated that was published as part of a university study on children’s literacy. Whenever I got into trouble, I made up a story to go along with it and explain what “really happened” and why it “wasn’t my fault.” Some people call those lies or super-elaborations but in my brain, they were stories. Adventures to entertain me and keep me from thinking too hard about the environment I grew up in.

When I was twelve, I discovered the majority of SF/F, specifically Anne McCaffrey. I liked her photo in the back of the book because she looked like my grandmother and even shared the same birthday (April 1st), plus the books I first found had dragons (my fav). After devouring the Pern novels, I spent my summer that year writing a 350+ page novel that was my own version of The Dragonriders of Pern. I didn’t know what fanfiction was but it was pretty much that. I even got map making supplies and drew my own maps. I drew dragons and characters as well. I was hooked. I’d written stories before then but never a full novel. After that book, I wrote a trilogy, and by the time I was in high school, I was writing daily of my own material (not fan-fiction). It wasn’t until college that I began to seek publication.

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I’ve got three novels, 1 short story collection, and 1 story in an anthology due out in the next twelve months! Right now, I’m working on revisions for most of those works with some pretty serious deadlines so wish me luck!

What do you like to read?

I read most genres: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, thriller, mysteries, urban fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, etc. I don’t read a lot of romance unless it’s mixed into one of the other genres. Straight up romance and erotica tends to bore me as a demisexual. As far as my favorites, they shift all the time since I read a LOT, but some favs are: Rebecca Roanhorse, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Jenny Lawson, and Shannon Mayer.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

Don’t be afraid to experiment. It’s how we learn.

Author bio and book synopsis

BIO:

Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.

Amaskan’s Blood Book Synopsis:

Adelei was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy, her birth father. The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.

They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands. But they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.

Links/Social media

Website: www.ravenoak.net

Mailing List: https://www.ravenoak.net/join-the-conspiracy/

Facebook Author Page:  https://facebook.com/authorroak

Facebook Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/raven_oak

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/author_raven_oak/

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Oak/e/B00P5PT4AM

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/kaonevar/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravenoak1

Swift Six Author Interview – Bruno Martins Soares

 

Name: Bruno Martins Soares

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I don’t really know how old I was when I started writing stories. I wrote them for school, I’m certain, but the first time I wrote without any academic goal I was 12, I remember that much. I just loved reading and stories and the books I laid hands on didn’t last that much and I had so many stories in my head I just started playing with them until it was impossible not to write them down.

 

I kept writing different stuff. When I was 22, a friend of mine incited me to enter one of the largest and most prestigious Young Writers’ contests in Portugal. I did and won an Honourable Mention. I tried again two years later and won it. I went to Torino and then Rome and Sarajevo, representing my country as a Young Writer. One of the best times of my life. Then, one day, I decided to write a Scifi novel I had been chewing on for some time: The Saga of Alex 9. I showed it to a publisher who’d just included a short story of mine in an anthology, and he loved it. I was a published novelist one year later, and soon was featured in a series alongside names like George R.R. Martin or Bernard Cornwell, hailed as an author to recon with in Portuguese Scifi. How about that? I wrote more novels and worked in movies, TV and plays. I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but overall, I’ve been writing professionally for 20 years.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

INSIGHT is a horror story that will come out in April 22. It’s about Matt Taylor, an American psychologist. Strange things begin to happen to him: his 9-year-old son seems to develop supernatural powers, apparitions of his dead wife become frequent, and he is being followed by a suspicious man. When his son is kidnapped, he dives into a spiral of unexplained events. He’ll have to do the unimaginable to save his family. It’s very intense and thought provoking, I think. I love how the characters came out and Matt’s character in particular is incredibly strong and admirable – and yet, still very human and relatable.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it?

I love stories since I can remember. And I was a storyteller from the start. But I grew up watching my father reading books. Every day before or after lunch or dinner he would sit in his chair and read a novel. A crime novel, as it happens. Or a spy novel. He hated SciFi («Those are things that don’t happen and will never happen.» – i.e. «old ladies solve murders all the time.»), and Fantasy was obviously (obviously!) for kids. Still, some of the first novels he gave me to read were from Edgar Rice Burroughs or Jules Verne. And that was besides all the comic books I read – the pride of my collection was a 50cm-long special edition of ‘Flash Gordon’. At 16 I read Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ for the first time, and loved it. Its intimist style still stays with me after all this time. As well as authors as Boris Vian, or Virginia Woolf

But then, movies. I love movies. Much of my writing skills, my plotting skills, my ‘lay-down-the-scene’ skills, came from movies. I’d stay here a long time talking about it, so I’d better shut up. Seriously, when I was a kid, I would narrate every single scene from a movie I enjoyed to some poor family member I was able to trap. I was nasty! So don’t get me started!

What writing plans do you have for the future?

I have another couple of books still to publish this year. Probably a box-set for THE DARK SEA WAR CHRONICLES with a couple of surprises in it as well. Then, later in the year, I’m planning to start publishing the English version of my first SciFi trilogy: THE ALEX 9 SAGA. Meanwhile, I’m writing the sequel to THE DARK SEA WAR CHRONICLES, called THE OUTER SEA WAR CHRONICLES. If the DSWC was a kind of WW2’s Battle of the Atlantic in Space, OSWC is a kind of WW2’s Battle of the Pacific in Space. It’s the continuation of Byl Iddo’s saga.

What do you like to read?

Love Hemingway, Woolf and G.R.R.Martin. But also Bernard Cornwell or Alexander Kent/Douglas Reeman. Love to read historical fiction, but also some realistic one and scifi/fantasy.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure?

It’s easy to get infatuated with incredible stories in our heads just to find out that when we start putting them in the blank page there is something missing. Writing is a bit more difficult than it seems. Many aspiring writers get the sense that they are not any good after the first few tries. But that’s a trap. Writing is a craft with a set of skills you need to learn. You can learn them by yourself, reading books and watching movies, or you can have lessons or mentors, or use other learning resources. Still, it takes time. There’s no substitute to writing and writing and writing. You won’t be good enough unless you practice.

Another trap is being discouraged by rejection. Becoming a writer means you’re entering the rejection business. If you’re doing enough writing you’ll probably be rejected 95% of the time. That’s the nature of the thing. Don’t get discouraged. Accept it. It is normal for someone in this kind of business, just like in acting or modelling, or sales, to be rejected most of the time. Get used to it.

 

Author bio and book synopsis

Bruno Martins Soares writes fiction since he was 12 years old, and his first book, ‘O Massacre’ (The Massacre), a collection of short stories, came out in Portugal in 1998.

It was followed by several contributions to newspapers, magazines, and other collective books.

In 1996, he won the National Young Creators Award for Writing, representing Portugal at the 1997 Torino Young Creators of Europe and the Mediterranean Fair, where his short-story ‘Mindsweeper’ was translated and published in Italian.

His first novel ‘A Saga de Alex 9’ (The Alex 9 Saga) was published in Portugal in 2012, by publisher Saída de Emergência, within a series that features authors like George R.R.Martin or Bernard Cornwell. The Portuguese version of ‘The Dark Sea War Chronicles’ (A Batalha da Escuridão) was published by Editorial Divergência.

He worked in Project Development for Television and was a journalist and a communications, HR and management consultant before settling as a writer. He was also an international correspondent in Portugal for Jane’s Defense Weekly and a researcher for The Washington Post. He wrote several plays and short and full-length pictures’ screenplays, and he wrote and produced English-spoken Castaway Entertainment’s full-length feature film ‘Regret’, distributed in the USA and Canada in 2015. He lives and works in Lisbon.

 

INSIGHT

Strange things begin to happen to Matt, a recent widower: his 9-year-old son seems to develop supernatural powers, apparitions of his dead wife become frequent, and he is being followed by a suspicious man. When his son is kidnapped, he dives into a spiral of unexplained events. He’ll have to do the unimaginable to save his family.

In this new novel, award-winning author Bruno Martins Soares dives into the psychological thriller/horror genre to give us a riveting tale of suspense, surprising twists and impossible choices.

Links/Social media

 

https://brunomartinssoares.com/

https://amzn.to/3cayo5q

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759799.Bruno_Martins_Soares

https://www.facebook.com/BMartinsSoares

https://www.instagram.com/b.martinssoares

Author Interview E. G. Creel #Fantasy #MeetanAuthor

Name: E. G. Creel

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): Vocationally, I’m a photographer and the mother of two Hobbits. Currently, I’m blooming near Augusta, Georgia.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short) The Immortal subtitle Life or death. The choice is hers. Contemporary/dark fantasy. A midlife crisis, island paradise, mass murder, and immortal Vikings.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? The Immortal is my debut book. I stumbled into writing in 2021 after having a bad dream. I thought I’d write a paragraph to get the idea out of my head and ended up completing my first draft six weeks later.

What writing plans do you have for the future? Next up is the audiobook. I’m also writing ongoing episodes on Kindle Vella.

What do you like to read? Netflix subtitles.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure? Writing a book is the fun part. Selling it is the hard part.

 

 Book synopsis

Emma just turned forty and has finally decided to begin living her best life. She books a vacation at a resort on a French Polynesian island only to find herself on the dinner menu of an immortal Viking. If she keeps her wits, and with a little luck, maybe she’ll make it off the island alive.

Spoiler alert: Don’t fall in love because the ending will rip your heart out.

https://amzn.to/3rMrMUZ – The Immortal in Kindle

https://amzn.to/3BitErB – The Immortal in Hardcover

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 E. G. Creel is currently blooming with her family near Augusta, Georgia. The Immortal is her debut novel. Thanks for supporting an indie author.

 

Links/Social media

https://www.facebook.com/EG-Creel-103874478633203/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21925578.E_G_Creel

https://linktr.ee/E.G.Creel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swift Six Author Interview – J A Duxbury #Scifi

Name: J A Duxbury

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): J A Duxbury has been writing since primary school as a kid and has ventured outside science fiction to create a refreshing take on a popular genre.

She is interested in a wide variety of music, having studied the piano at an early age and paints land and sea scapes and is planning to expand to city scapes soon.

Julie shares 2 cats with Stu and their plan is to take the cats on a very long road trip around Australia.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short) I have 2:

Dark Dimensions – a clan of vampires and humans is lost in dimensions due to a scientific experiment going wrong.

Heart of Deception – a world-class thief is blackmailed into participating in a clandestine operation for a Crown Prince and then is blackmailed into stealing from the Crown. He must race race home with the prize before everything falls apart.

When did you start your writing adventure? What was the inspiration for it? I began around 10 years old and my inspiration came from other authors and TV shows.

What writing plans do you have for the future? Keep writing and getting as many books out there as possible.

What do you like to read? I choose science fiction and fantasy but have been known to read mysteries and crime.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you’d started your writing adventure? Keep writing. never stop.

 

Author bio and book synopsis

I have been writing since I was ten but had a hiatus for about 20 years before writing a spate of fan fiction and finally getting back into writing. My chosen genre is science fiction, but I do write from my dreams so my genre can be anything.

Dark Dimensions

The dimensions are full of danger and Troy and his family must deal with those dangers when they come across them. They include power-hungry Clan Leaders, battles between other clans and a mad scientist. eventually coming to control their mad dash through the dimensions.

Heart of Deception

Marek can get into just about any locked compartment, building, room. But when he answers a dare to steal from the Royal Family, he must decide whether it’s a trap or not. Marek’s world is turned upside down when he agrees to work with the Royal Family, not realising that failure means an end to a small island country.

Links/Social media

Clans in Conflict

Dark Dimensions

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Dimensions-Clans-Conflict-Book-ebook/dp/B08P6N5C22

http://www.amazon.com.au/Dark-Dimensions-Clans-Conflict-Book-ebook/dp/B08P6N5C22

Dark Reign (to be published)

Consequences

Heart of Deception

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Deception-Consequences-Book-1-ebook/dp/B098PMXY76

http://www.amazon.com.au/Heart-Deception-Consequences-Book-1-ebook/dp/B098PMXY76

Legacy of Risks – for Pre-order – releasing on 22 February 2022

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PKM87ZZ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PKM87ZZ

Social media

Facebook Author page: http://www.facebook.com/jaduxbury1

Facebook Group: J A Duxbury’s Weird Words: http://www.facebook.com/groups/3357069671029525

LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-duxbury-0462153b/

Twitter: @JADuxbury1

Website: www. jaduxbury.com/

julz author 1

 

 

 

 

Author Interview – Rita Lee Chapman #Crime #Mystery

 

Welcome to Crime author, Rita Lee Chapman.

Please tell us about your publications/work.

There are four books in the Anna Davies Mystery Series: Missing in Egypt, Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France.

I have also written two crime mysteries – Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree.  I have also written a book for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards, Winston – A Horse’s Tale. 

I decided the beautiful Poinciana tree would make a great cover for a book, so I started with the cover and then built a story around it.

Most of my books also come in large print editions.

Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom?                 

I believe learning to read and write empowers everyone and should be a basic human right. 

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

I was actually given this advice by a wise, local bookshop owner.  “Don’t expect to become rich from your writing.”  Perhaps I should have taken more notice!

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

I think I would choose Kate Moreton, a local Australian author, who writes so beautifully.  I would like to have oysters natural for entrée, followed by roast pork with crackling and real apple sauce accompanied by roast vegetables, finishing with a decadent chocolate dessert.  There would, of course, be French champagne to drink.

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

For some of my books, the research has already been done, i.e. I set the book in a country I have visited.  Other books require quite a lot of research.  For The Poinciana Tree I researched in formation on, and read books based in, the Sudan.  The wildest research I have done was on rohypnol, the rape drug, for Missing at Sea.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Write more books!

What is your writing space like?

Quiet!  I’m lucky to have a study, lined with book shelves.

Tell us about your latest piece?

Missing in France is Book #4 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series.  Like the others, it is a stand-alone book, although I have recently combined the four books into the Anna Davies Mystery Series e-book.  Here is the blurb:

When Mike accepts a two-year contract in France, Anna is delighted at the prospect of spending time in Paris and Marseille.  She doesn’t anticipate being drawn into yet another mystery, one which puts her own life in danger. 

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?

I don’t offer books for free.  I believe your time and energy deserve at least a small payment.  I also think a lot of free books are downloaded and never read, because that reader has downloaded so many free books, with the best of intentions but lack of time to read them.

Sort these into order of importance:

Good plot

Great characters

Technically perfect

Awesome world-building

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling?

I think there is room for both indie authors and traditionally published authors.  It is the writing that counts, not the form of publishing.

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

I think online shopping has affected all shops, especially during Covid.  There is no doubt that bookshops have declined in number and many are much smaller in size, which mean they are limited in the number of books they can display.  I am confident, however, that there will always be a call for bookshops.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

I wanted to be a show jumper, but as I lived in London, this was never likely to happen.  I was fortunate to go riding at a local riding school once a week and when I moved to Australia I rode all week-end for many years.  The show jumping bit never happened though.

Links to book

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WZ4KCN3/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X69SNJZ

Large Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X63F2BN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X63F2BN/

Bio

Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties.  It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel, Missing in Egypt, the first in the Anna Davies Mystery series.  This was followed by Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France. All can be enjoyed as stand-alone books.

Winston – A Horse’s Tale was written for horse lovers like herself.  “It was the book I had to write.”

Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree are crime mysteries. 

When she’s not writing or reading, Rita enjoys playing tennis, walking and entertaining.

Website: www.ritaleechapman.com

 

 

 

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Author Interview – Danielle Williams – Fantasy/horror/Scifi

 

Author name: Danielle Williams

*Please tell us about your publications, specifically the story in this bundle:

I write wonder (sci-fi/fantasy), horror, and humor. The Witching License came out of a self-imposed challenge I did back in February 2019—I wanted to write one short story a week for a month, using a different prompt each week. From that challenge, I got The Witching License, plus an upbeat goat-intensive fantasy adventure called The Capramancer Next Door, and the sole short story to actually come out of the exercise: the dark fantasy Hello, Wizard.

The prompt that produced The Witching License was “regret.” But even though it’s a bittersweet story, I don’t think it’s too dark–I was playing Just Dance for exercise around this time, so the song Land of 1,000 Dances worked its way into the story, along with my (admittedly faded) memories of Venice.

What first prompted you to publish your work?

It was November 2016. I’d finally finished my ginormous science fantasy epic Steel City, Veiled Kingdom.

So I’m sitting there with this manuscript that’s just as long as The Lord of the Rings or The Name of the Wind, and realizing I now have to try and sell it to an agent, who will probably make me chop it up into little pieces and rewrite it to be more “marketable”, even though I’m happy with it as-is, and know it’s meant to be one big book.

And all this would probably take years.

I didn’t want to do that, but I didn’t know what else to do with it! I went a little ways into the traditional publishing process—I even wrote a chapter-by-chapter synopsis and a query letter, intending to submit them to agents.

Then I discovered the posts on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing and  Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing. They completely changed my life!

Reading those, I realized I didn’t need a publisher to get Steel City out to readers. I came to the table with years of experience in HTML, CSS, illustration, and graphic design–a perfectly solid talent stack for going into indie publishing with a $0 budget.

Fast-forward to 2021: the Steel City, Veiled Kingdom ebook has been out for over a year now. The print volumes are being released this year. And while it was in production, I’ve had a whale of a time writing and publishing three other novels, plus other shorter stories!

If writing is a thing you want to do, don’t let anyone stop you!!

How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it?

I discovered the practice of book bundling through Chuck Heintzelman’s ebook The Author’s Guide to Ebook Bundling. I think bundles are a huge win-win for both authors and readers!

Bundling is like…anthologizing for the digital age: a bundle curator gathers stories from various authors and sells the collection online. Readers who buy the bundle get to sample a variety of authors who are already writing stories about things they like—and at a discount, to boot.

Meanwhile, authors split the profits from the bundle and gain exposure to new readers. And since bundling is relatively easy for authors on the back end, they can spend more time writing new stuff for their readers! Like I said, win-win.

What other bundles are you involved with?

I have stories in Cat Tales Issue #2, Cat Tales Issue #3, Cat Tales Issue #4, Thirteen Stakes, (all curated by Steve Vernon) and now Here Be More Magic. Hooray!

If you had to pick 5 books to take to a desert island which 5 would it be?

My scriptures

Harry Potter (all 7 books count as one unit don’t @ me)

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

…and a blank book to write and draw in.

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

This is not very literary at all…but I think it’d be fascinating to have dinner with Artemis Fowl’s bodyguard, Butler (from the Artemis Fowl series). Being a military man, I’m sure he’d have a ton of entertaining stories on tap (even just training stories, man!), PLUS all the Butlers are trained chefs so whatever he fixed, you can bet it’d be delicious!

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

I tend to randomly come across interesting things, and then those interesting things make it into my work…If I don’t know a fact, I Ducky it (use Duck Duck Go search engine).

The wildest subject I’ve researched so far was on body decomposition times for my noir love story Out Where the Sun Always Shines. But one of the most interesting things I’ve researched into is the effect of lightning strikes on living creatures for a scene in Steel City, Veiled Kingdom.

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Sometimes storytelling reflects culture, but storytelling also shapes culture, there’s no doubt in my mind! It’s been the primary way to transmit information, social mores, histories, etc. throughout time. And storytelling can be so deep!

Look at “The Good Samaritan”–on the one hand, there’s the surface level of the parable, about helping a man on a road, but there’s also deeper meanings and emotions and instructions there that can reach differing people based on their own knowledge and life experiences.

I also subscribe to acting teacher Ed Hooks’ notion that artists are shamans; at our highest level, we tell stories our tribe needs to hear. Or, as he puts it:

“To the artist: Your genealogical roots are in shamanism. It is your job to talk to the tribe, to help them get to survive a tough winter and to celebrate victories. Animation is not only a fun thing to do — It is an honorable way to spend your life.” (From https://magazine.artstation.com/2020/01/acting-for-animators-with-ed-hooks/ )

 

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

Dragon, hands-down. Flying + flaming + I could be tall. It would be epic.

Tell us about your latest piece?

The last novel I published was The Capramancer Next Door. In it, a down-to-earth mage and her magical goats protect their new neighbor when he crosses an angry fairy. The lead goat’s name is Elvis, which should give you an idea of the book’s tone.

Also, GoatsLive.com called it “a wonderful read!”, and if that endorsement doesn’t convince you that I have written the Great American Fantasy Goat Novel, nothing ever will.

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m currently finishing The Guests of Crooked Neck, a direct follow-up to Steel City, Veiled Kingdom…but they’re almost reversals of each other. Where Steel City had a single hero’s viewpoint and spanned four worlds of adventure, Crooked Neck’s events are seen through the eyes of multiple characters in a single small town.

What is the last book you’ve read?

The last book I completed was A Horse and His Boy, by CS Lewis. I would’ve reread the rest of the Narnia series, except I want to read them in paperback and I only own two or three. Sometimes reading on a screen is the last thing I want to do!

I’m currently reading The Heist, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, because a friend lent the hardcover to me. I’m enjoying it, even if I hear everything Nick says in the voice of Lupin the Third!

 

Links

www.PixelvaniaPublishing.com

Bio

Danielle Williams is the author of (so far) four novels and nearly a dozen other tales of wonder, horror and humor, including science-fantasy epic Steel City, Veiled Kingdom, creepy apartment caper The Girlfriend Who Wasn’t from Delaware, and the beloved children’s Christmas novel A Gingersnap Cat Christmas.