A Day in the Life of… Lynda McKinney Lambert #Uniqueauthors #Visualartist #Wordsarepower

Meet Author and Visual Artist:

Lynda McKinney Lambert lives and works in the Village of Wurtemburg, in rural western Pennsylvania.

Lynda Lambert

  1. Please give us a brief outline of who you are. 

I wear a variety of different hats. I use this word, hats, to describe an actual object, as well as a metaphor that portrays myself.  It is a little thing – but important.

Today, I am working on P.R.  for my latest poetry book, Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, just published on July 15.

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems showcases my professional career as a poet from the mid-80s and takes readers to the latest poems, written just before the book was published.

I  give readers 54 poems in this collection.

2. You’re a writer and artist – how is this reflected in your typical day?

Now that I am retired from my international teaching career, my days are more flexible, even, unpredictable. I love it because I embrace randomness and chance in my life.

In my Writing Life:

 I am often writing during the nights because I’ve never been one who sleeps much. I sleep in short periods of a couple of hours at a time. Typically, I am up working in my office between 2 and 5 am. 

My days begin early because I have 2 dogs to take out – they like to be out by 6 or 7 am.  It gets me moving, so that’s a good thing.

I do very little work after 5 pm. Evenings are my downtimes when I might watch some TV, or just listen to a book or relax. I like to sit and think – thinking takes a lot of time. You have to intend to think, and then set the time aside so you can actually do it.

 In my Artist Life:

I make art only during the daytime.  Because I have profound sight loss, I use an Acrobat CCTV – which is an electronic device that greatly enlarges my working area – it is a closed-circuit TV. My eyes are only able to work at this intensity in the mornings or afternoons.  After that, they are too tired to work any longer. So, you won’t find me making art in the evening or night.

On the days I am making art, I like to focus only on that.  I go to a place of “timelessness” in my studio and I am always unaware of the passing of the day while I am working.

Either way, my writing or art day begins after I’ve taken care of the dogs and cats. Bob will get up around 10 am, and he can take care of his own breakfast or whatever else he wants to do.   We often begin to work outside in the summer months, or inside the house in cooler weather.  In summertime, I tend my flower gardens.  My husband takes care of the yard work.

Like everyone else, we have appointments and essential trips to different places for groceries or exercise or social communications. Typically, we go to the gym 3 mornings a week for weight resistance training or cardio workouts.

My THEMES:

Nature is a predominant theme in my writing and my mixed-media fiber art.

I observe the day, the season, and watch for changes. I listen to the sounds of life, changing weather, and all the little details and nuances that we experience at any given day or night. I am so conscious of changing seasons, the quick turning from one to the other almost like magic.

In my writing, I describe the natural elements in my world, and in my art, I use the natural elements such as water-worn river stones; gemstones & crystals from different locations in the entire world; fabrics, and found objects.  I use the objects in the art, and in my writing, I also use them as metaphors or subject matter.

Other themes in my work:

*The passing of time

*Memory as in collective memory or place

*History – searching out the historical context of ideas

*Passage or Journey; a sacred Pilgrimage from one place to another

*No separation between sacred and secular

 

3. Do you work at another job?

My job is to be at work when the Muse arrives.

My responsibility is to arrive at work on time each day.

When I was working as a professor of fine arts and humanities, I had to fit my writing and art-making in-between my responsibilities at the college.  I wrote my first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, from my journal jottings, drawings, and research that I did each summer. I taught a month-long course, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.”   Whatever the students were working on that day, I was working right alongside them in the classroom or in the field.  We met each morning at 8 am to begin our day. By 9 am we were often on a bus on our way to a location for that morning’s creative work.  Our class ended at noon (Monday through Thursday), so this gave me afternoons and weekends that were free for me to pursue my personal work.  I usually travelled to a different country each weekend, where I wrote in my journals and did photography and drawings.

As a professor, I had to squeeze my personal work in-between my heavy workload during the semesters.  Not only was I working on my own art and writing projects, I was also actively exhibiting my art in galleries and museums all over the world. It took a great deal of discipline to be able to do this intensive work.  So, I’ve always been a person who is focused and willing to put in the hours that it takes to be successful in what I am doing.  Retirement just opened up the door wider for me to create even more work because it eliminated the rigid teaching schedule I lived with for many years.

 

4. How did you fit in a family or ‘real life’?

I married my husband Bob, when I was seventeen years old. He was twenty.

We celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary this year.

We have 5 children and my life was completely occupied with cooking meals, doing laundry daily; managing our home and the children’s activities and needs.  We were active in their school and church life. My children were the center of my life and it was important that I was there to take care of our home, and all of them.  My first commitment was to my family.

My heart’s desire, was that I wanted to go to college, and I wanted to be a teacher.  That part of my life would not begin until I was forty-two years old, and the children were all in high school.

My academic career began at age forty-two, and I had a single focus. I intended to “go all the way” with education.  I intended to earn not only a BFA in Painting, but I would pursue the terminal degree in fine art, which is an MFA. I intended to be a college professor. I actually earned the MA in English along the way, too.  I had a passion for writing and making art – so this seemed like a good idea for me. From the beginning, I worked across disciplines.  And, this eventually led me to my teaching position at Geneva College, a Reformed Presbyterian college in western Pennsylvania. Because of my dual degrees in fine art and English, I was hired to use my expertise in the Humanities at the college. This work is both challenging and educational as a life-long learner. I loved doing research in my fields.

I advised students:

“Don’t give yourself permission to do less than what you have a passion for doing.

 Follow your passion and your abilities – you want to do work that makes you happy to get up each morning.

You want to do what you dreamed of doing.

Never make a plan for your life out of fear. Go for your highest purpose and you will get there.”

 I also believe in excellence. This does not mean I think that perfectionism is to be admired. It is not an admirable trait but perfectionism is a liability.  By the word, “Excellence,” I mean to be your best.   Perform at the highest level you can, and do the best job you can possibly do. That is not perfectionism.  It is holding on to your highest potential and working hard to make your dream, Plan A, your reality.

In 1976, I took my first class in painting.  Soon, painting was at the heart of my creative life. It was pure magic.

With 5 children and a husband to take care of.  I realized from the beginning that I had to be time conscious in order to live a creative life that was separate from family obligations. We have to have our personal identity, something that is ours alone to pursue.  Our “do” is not our “who,”  and I’ve always believed in my purpose in life – to create beauty and to keep memories alive for others.

5. Are you very organized?

This is a tricky question to answer.

At first, I thought, yes, I am very organized.

Then upon further reflection, I thought about how we live surrounded by chaos.  It is our normal condition of being a human creation.  We are finite creatures; we are flawed.

How we think about chaos matters –

I think it is better if we begin to think of mastering the chaos.

 

A plaque in my office reads:

“Nur kleine Geister  brauchen Ordnung,

ein Genie  beherrscht

Das Chaos.”

 

Translation:

“Only little spirits need order,

a genius mastered

The chaos.”

Links/samples/etc.

An Introduction to Lynda McKinney Lambert:  https://www.lyndalambert.com/

My Books:  https://llambert363.blog/lyndaslinks/

Lynda’s Media Kit:  https://www.lyndalambert.com/media-kit/

“My Books” on my blog:  https://www.lyndalambert.com/lyndas-books/

Listen to my poem, “To the Curator of Small Things,” in the Summer 2016 issue of Wordgathering. read by Melissa Cotter:

http://www.wordgathering.com/past_issues/issue43/poetry/lambert.html

LINK_ to my poem and voice recording of “Star Signs: in the December 2016 issue of Wordgathering – Read by Melissa Cotter:

http://www.wordgathering.com/past_issues/issue40/poetry/lambert.html

Lynda’s Authors Page- Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/author/lyndalambert

Lynda’s Official Authors Page: http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/

 Smashwords – get my ebook:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lyndalambert

Link to Lynda’s author Site at DLD Books:

http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/

 

My Blogs:

Website & Blog:  Lynda McKinney Lambert  – Official Author’s Website

Scan-A-Blog – A quiet Place of Inspiration, Art, Nature, Literature

Below – Photo: “Lynda with Tamukeyama,” by Bob Lambert

Lynda Lambert

Photo of Lynda – wearing one of her original hand-knit jackets in ombre shades of blues and aqua.

She is also wearing a one-of-a-kind necklace of Swarovski crystals and gem stones. She designs knit clothing, talismans, jewelry, and wall works.

Lynda is seated in front of her Tamukeyama Tree in her Zen Mediation Garden. Photo by Bob Lambert.

 

 

 

 

Author Interview Number Ninety-Six – Nikki Andrews – Mystery

Welcome to Nikki Andrews

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005VW8J28

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in New Jersey a long time ago, but since then I’ve mostly lived inside my head.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My latest book, Framed, is a cozy mystery set in a New Hampshire art gallery. More books in that setting are in the works. I also dabble in sci-fi and just started a romantic thriller.

Where do you find inspiration? The world is so full of a number of things…Normal everyday life, with a twist.

Are your characters based on real people? Yes and no. I’ve used real people as a baseline for characters, but I blend in traits, habits, or idiosyncrasies from other people. So far, no real people have recognized themselves in my books.  

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Oh yeah! (rubs hands together) That’s part of the fun.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? For Framed, I drew on my nine years as a picture framer, and did research into police procedures and messenger services. Like many writers, I’m a bit introverted, but I’m better at finding a person to talk to than I am at book/Google searches. And as I get older, I’ve gotten bolder at walking up to people who snag my interest. Once you get someone talking about their passion, it’s almost impossible to shut them up.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Books that beat you over the head with a “message” bore and annoy me. Story first, always. There is a–let’s call it a theme–that runs through my books, but I’d rather let readers discover it for themselves, if they are so inclined.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Framed is available as an ebook or print. Large print and audio would be lovely, and in my spare time I’m looking into it.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I also work as an editor, and I’ve learned that no one can adequately self-edit. Every writer needs someone else to insist “this beloved passage adds nothing” or “you really need to expand that thought.” Even before I started thinking about becoming an editor, I used to mark up books where I thought changes would improve them. So yes, I think all books should be professionally edited.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book is far more interactive than movies or games. Books allow, even demand, the reader’s participation in imagining the world and the characters described. Just as a for-instance, I had a very different image of Gollum than what Peter Jackson gave the world. Every time I open a book, I become a co-creator with the author. And that is far more exciting than watching a movie or playing a game.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Read widely, write daily, learn deeply.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Just finished Ann Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find she did an excellent job with her father’s characters, and I loved getting a feminine perspective on them. I’m curious to see what will happen if she goes on to create her own new characters and mysteries.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? No, I couldn’t possibly name them. There are too many of each!

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?  I won’t name the company where I worked as an admin assistant, but that job from hell did provide a deliciously evil character that I managed to kill off three times in one book. Bwaa-ha-ha!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I have been known to stand in front of the local planning board and make train noises at them.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Website: http://www.nikkiandrewsbooks.com

Blog: www.scrivenersriver.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NAedits

Email: Nikki@nikkiandrewsbooks.com

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

Print link: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5515
                           

Editor Interview Number Ten – Mia Darien

Hi, welcome to the Library of Erana and thank you for talking to us today.

Please introduce yourself. I’m Mia Darien. I’m a self-published author, as well as an editor, cover artist and book formatter. I also work for a book blog tour company. Outside of the literary world, I’m a New England Yankee living in Alabama, a wife and a mother, a geek, and general lunatic.

How did you get into this line of work? As I got into the publishing world, I became interested in helping other authors. I’ve experience in areas that helped me edit, so I edited. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t give away all this time for free, and it became a profession.

Are there genres you refuse, if so why is that? Do you have any you love? I don’t accept or refuse based on genre, but non-fiction is rare. I always love fantasy, though.

Are you also a writer?  If so do you self-edit or do you use the services of another editor? I’m also a writer. Presently, I self-edit, but I apply the same standards, which means I go over every book twice.

What are your opinions of self-edited work by authors? Honestly, if you can avoid it, you should. I don’t have a lot of choice presently, but most authors don’t have the editorial background to be able to edit their own work. So I would always recommend finding an editor if you can.

Have you ever refused a manuscript? No. The closest was one book where I did my first “pass” on it (I always do two), but there were elements that disturbed me and I cut my fee in half and didn’t do the second pass. That’s very rare, however. In fact, it’s only happened once.

Have you ever had an author refuse your suggestions/changes? If so how did you deal with it? Typically, I return the edited manuscript and then let them do as they will. I’m sure that most authors don’t take all my changes. I’m fine with that. My edits are suggestions, not laws. The author is the end word on any story.

Editors often receive a bad press in the writing community, what are your thoughts on this? Honestly, I can’t say I’ve heard much press about editors one way or the other. Every group gets bad press at some time or another. Just have to keep working and keep doing the best job you can.

Please could you tell us about the process involved with editing for, say, a 100k word Manuscript. I don’t do full content editing, but I do offer notes about any large problems I see or inconsistencies. Otherwise, I edit. Every book is read over twice to make sure I catch as much as possible. I don’t always catch everything, but I get most of it. (No one can catch 100%, really.)

What is the difference between proof-reading and editing? To me, proof-reading is the very basics: punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Editing, which is what I do, will fix awkward passages and word choices, make sure that the reading flow of the story is the best it can be.

Do you have part of the process you really enjoy? Is there a part you don’t? It’s very tedious work, if I’m being honest. But I love to work with other authors, be able to delve into their worlds for a while and help make them shine.

Outside of your work as an editor do you read for pleasure? What genre do you enjoy the most? Oh, of course. I love all kinds of genres, but epic fantasy always has a strong place in my heart.

If so do you find yourself editing the work as you go or are you able to “switch off?” There is no switching off once you’ve done it for long enough. I can step away from a given project for a time, but the brain is always in Edit Mode. I find myself editing everything. Family’s facebook posts, closed captioning, traditionally published novels, my own text messages…

What advice would you give to someone starting out as an editor? Be thorough, be cautious, and be kind. You’re handling someone’s hard work, so even if there are lots of problems, don’t be nasty. Be thorough and cautious. Educate yourself about the process.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-edit? Educate yourself. Try to put time between the writing and the editing. If you edit immediately, you’ll be too familiar with the words and won’t catch things. Go slow.

 …otherwise, don’t do it unless you have to.

Tell us a silly fact about yourself. I still like “Sailor Moon” and even made up my own Sailor Scout for Halloween once when I was a teenager.

 

Please add any links to your blog/website etc.

http://www.miadarien.com

Author Interview Forty-Five – Yawatta Hosby

Welcome to Yawatta Hosby

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.

I enjoy writing books in different genres. I’m better at creating novellas and short stories more than novels. Probably because I love reading fast-paced stories.

My short story, Room For Two, was published in an online literary magazine. My debut novel, One By One, was published as a mystery thriller. Some readers have considered it as a horror read. The story is about a killer stalking a group of friends in an isolated cabin.

My second book, Something’s Amiss, was recently released as women’s fiction with romance. Two exes reunite at a close friend’s funeral. I’m currently working on a story called Trapped: A Novella. An obsessive man will do anything to get the family he deserves. I’m also working on a rough draft involving a love triangle between three celebrities.

Are your characters based on real people?

I’ll never tell…hee hee. I plead the fifth, so I don’t get sued.

In all honesty, I take bits and pieces of acquaintances, strangers, family, and friends, putting different aspects into my characters. There’s even a bit of me in all of my characters, villains included.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?

I tend to usually create self-deprecating main characters who have to learn to love themselves. I love showing inner-conflicts and personal dilemmas, hopefully resolving the drama by the end of the book.

Mariah Carey’s “Butterfly” is my favorite song, so I always have a situation involving a character pushing someone away. The other person stays free or fights for their friendship, family bond, or romantic relationship.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? 

My books are available as E-books and paperbacks. As E-books: EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.

I haven’t done large print, but I’m not against it. I would have to do more research on the topic first. Audio books sound cool, but I don’t know if that’s in my budget right now. I’d have to pay for a narrator because I’m sure people wouldn’t want to hear my country accent from start to finish hee hee.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews?

I think it’s okay for an author to say thank you if a book reviewer followed through or if a reader surprisingly writes a review that the author stumbled across.

But absolutely, positively never respond to negative reviews. Reading is subjective, so the readers’ opinions should be valued no matter what. If an author says thank you, it could be taken as sarcasm or an intimidating factor. So just vent to friends or family members if need be. Do not write a blog post. Do not comment in online forums. Do not harass the reader’s social media sites. Just leave it be and appreciate that someone was passionate enough to say anything about your book.

I think reviews are very important. They show that readers are actually finding your book and that it’s good enough (or bad enough) to comment on. If you get a certain number of reviews, then you can start submitting your book for advertising on popular reading sites. Some require a minimum number of reviews and at least a 4 star ranking.

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

  • Self-publishing is a marathon, not a race. There’s no guarantee that your books will find an audience unless you learn to market yourself. And even then, it may not amount to anything. Don’t give up. The beauty of self-publishing is that your books are available online forever unless you choose to take them down. Build your platform. Get a following. You may not get noticed until your 4th or 5th book.
  • Just because you start publishing one way doesn’t mean that will be your entire writing career path. For example, if you self-publish, you can try the trade route. If you trade published, you can try self-publishing in genres your agent doesn’t want to work with. Research whatever you decide. Weigh the pros and cons. Then take it from there.
  • Protect your writing time. Non-writers don’t understand the importance of when you’re jotting down things in your notebook or when your eyes are glued on the computer screen. They don’t think that’s working, but it is. You’re creating stories. Or editing. It gets old really fast when someone keeps interrupting you or keeps making plans during your writing schedule, forcing you to choose between them or your writing. Let your friends and family know your writing schedule, so they know when to respect your time. Trust me, they’ll test you. Just stay firm.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? What book(s) have you just finished?

My favorite author is Agatha Christie. I love mysteries because I enjoy using my brain to collect clues in figuring out things before the big reveal. I love thrillers and horror because they make me tap into my emotions. I love scaring myself, especially in October to celebrate Halloween. I also love tear jerkers.

Don’t bore me, and we’re good. I love tension between characters, usually enjoying the villains more than the heroes. I love a solid plot with fast-paced sentences. I hate when a book drags and drags. A book that’s 80,000 words with a lot of info dump and backstory, when it could have been reduced to 50,000 words or less.

I’m a book reviewer, so I’m constantly reading new books. I just finished James Raven’s Malicious and Michelle Grey’s Unspoken Bonds.

Do you have a favourite movie?

Stand By Me with River Phoenix, Kiefer Sutherland, and Corey Feldman. It was fascinating that a group of young men embarked on a journey to find a missing dead body. I loved their bonding moments.

Do you have any pets?

No, I’ve never had any. As a little girl, I’d ask my parents for a pet. They always told me no, so one day I went outside and found a pet rock. Can’t remember its name though hee hee.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?

If I’m scared, I’m doing everything in my power to make you scared too. When there’s fear involved, your senses heighten. Don’t get me started on ghost stories because I’ll never stop…

Book links, website/blog and author links:

 

 

 

 

Writer’s Blog Author Page on Facebook Twitter

The Great Free Book Debate – Part 2 – the Authors

These posts grew from an argument on the KDP forums about authors offering their books for free as a marketing strategy. It is a contentious issue, to say the least and many authors feel it devalues indies and their books. The previous guest post on Mythic Scribes covered the point of view of the readers, this particular post covers the authors’ points of view.

So does it work as a strategy? I think it is safe to say the jury is out on that one… It can work, but not for everyone and not with just one book. Perhaps with other marketing ploys it can benefit but unless a reader states he or she got the book free it is hard to tell. There are certainly some folks who like to fill up their Kindles with freebies which won’t get read. And there are certainly some books which are trash, paid for or otherwise. But there are readers who will download a free book and then purchase a full-priced book by that author, and there are authors who have seen good results with KDP Select and other free promotions.

Smashwords give the ability to create coupons and these can be given to individual readers as gifts, prizes or for review copies. In my opinion these are easier to control and thus work better than a blanket freebie day.  Another thing to consider – KDP Select limits the author to publishing their e-book on Amazon only – in return for entry into Amazon Prime, the freebie promotional tool, and now Kindle Countdown (which allows an author to discount their books for a limited time. I haven’t used this one but from what I’ve seen from other authors this too has mixed results.

So what do the authors think of KDP and the free promotions? Well as it would be rude to simply post the guest post here, you will have to see for yourself…

http://mythicscribes.com/marketing/great-free-book-debate-authors/

And here is the link to the reader one https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/the-great-free-book-debate-part-1/

http://mythicscribes.com/marketing/the-great-free-book-debate-the-readers/

Author Interview Number Twenty-Six – Matt Langford

cartel watchman coverWelcome to Matt Langford

Please tell us a little about yourself.  I’m 39 years old and growing older on an almost annual basis.  I work as an ICU nurse in the UK and employ a wife and two children to shout at me rather a lot.  I’ve just returned from a mountain bike weekend where I cycled to the top of a mountain (definitely a mountain … we checked) and then back down again.  I also play the guitar, despite what other people say.  I’ve been writing for about ten years and have started to release my work on Kindle.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My styles are very eclectic.  I seem to be best at writing first person, literary fiction novels.  I’ve had some astonishing reviews for my first novel, The Watchman.   But I also enjoy writing dark comedy, sci fi (more akin to extraordinary moments occurring in the real world) and horror.  I have a collection of short stories called the Burning Man Prophecies which cover all of these genres.  I like to really get into the guts of my characters and get them to behave appallingly.  I’m currently writing the final draft of the first of a series of novels that take place in the fictional town of Minus, a place somewhere in the UK where all sorts of unusual rules and occurrences govern the lives of its inhabitants.  A trip to Jupiter, for instance, is not considered out of the ordinary.  People are able to travel back to moments in their lives and learn lessons from their mistakes.  It rarely helps them, however…

Where can readers find your book? The Watchman can be found http://amzn.to/13fLzsZ  (US amazon) and The Burning Man Prophecies can be found here http://amzn.to/18ISUTQ(also US amazon).  UK readers need to simply click on the UK link at the side of the page.

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? My first story was written 25 years ago during a history lesson.  My teacher was very cross.  I think the genres have chosen me.  As I say, I enjoy the comedy/sci fi stuff, but seem to have more flair for the literary stuff.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Douglas Adams is my ultimate inspiration.  His ability to create a fully functional yet hilariously flawed world and then dismantle it with one devastating line was unparalleled.

Can you name both a positive and negative experience from your writing? The most positive experience I have gained from writing is being able to spend a bit of time on my own and allow my imagination to run away and wild.  The most negative experience from writing is being isolated from my family and the weird places I visit in my head.  Writing is a strange pass time…

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? Yes I would like to publish printed books.  It is a vital medium.  The printed word is part of our history as a species and gave rise to the spread of our intelligence.  There is something special about picking up a book or a newspaper and having that tangible link to the mind that wrote those words.  Although ebooks and ereaders are extraordinary items and every bit as revolutionary to human evolution as the printing press was hundreds of years ago, there exists a different magic.  Both should live side by side – I’d hate to see one push the other into extinction.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I listen to music.  Well, I press play on a CD and then realise 2 hours later that the music finished playing some time before.  Always a good sign I’m writing well..

Books are important, why is this the case? Our minds are like a series of doors that need to be unlocked over and over again.  Only books can open those doors and leave a wedge.  They teach us not only about the subject in hand but also about ourselves – by studying our own reactions to what we read on a page we can learn and become enriched.  No other medium can do this.

What can a book provide that say a video game cannot? Everything.  Video games close those ‘mind’ doors, turn the key in the lock, snap the key off and move a heavy piece of furniture over the doorway…

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I am the ‘eye double’ for Harrison Ford in all the Indiana Jones films.  Also, I once saved a penalty from Peter Osgood in a five a side match.  A penalty is a free shot at goal in football (soccer).  Peter Osgood was one of the great football (soccer) players from the 1970s.

Author Interview Number Twenty-Three – Mia Darien

Today I would like to welcome a lady who has become familiar on my blog, Mia Darien. She has been kind enough to be interviewed as a reader, reviewer and now an author.

Please tell us a little about yourself.  Well, let’s see… I’m a former but unreformed and unrepentant New England Yankee, now living in Northern Alabama. I’ve been reading since I was three, reading adult fantasy since I was eleven, and writing since I was fourteen. I’m a stay-at-home mom to a maniacal three year old, and when he allows me, I do the writing thing.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.  I write what I’ve come to understand is “speculative fiction,” but I’ve also heard referred to as “genre fiction.” That is to say, non-literary fiction. I write it all, from fantasy to science fiction, paranormal to romance to erotic romance to horror… If it falls under the “genre” umbrella, I write it. I’m best known, by the maybe six readers who follow me, for the paranormal suspense Adelheid series.

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? Well, as I said above, I’ve been “seriously” writing since I was fourteen, and I write in a lot of genres. As paranormal is my primary, I’ll talk about that one. I was drawn to it as a teenager when I started reading Laurell K. Hamilton and P. N. Elrod. I loved the style (First Person Sarcastic, as I call it) and I loved the vampires and werewolves and all that fun stuff.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? It’s hard to say, because I really am influenced by all things and inspired by all things. Aside from the many, many authors I’ve read and the specific ones listed above, it’s hard to point to anything specific.

Can you name both a positive  and negative experience from your writing?There’s been a lot of both, as I’m sure there has been for all authors. The easiest to point to are the reviews: the first five star had me dancing on the ceiling, and the first one star rating (rarely get reviews written with those) had me pouting all day!

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? The importance of the medium is determined by each reader. I like print books still, as much as I like digital ones. I do release my longer works in print, but mainly so I can have my own print copy and for giveaways, etc.,

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I usually have the television going. I know a lot of writers prefer music, but I like to be able to hear stories, and dialog, and plots while I write.

Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot? Well, I have a few favorite video games, so I’ll never go to say that one is necessarily “better” than the other, but they engage very different mental centers. A book naturally requires more imagination. It immerses you in the world because you create it in your own mental eye as you go. Books take more time and effort than a video game, so it’s a delayed pay-off, but it’s important to keep those places in our mind engaged, so books remain important.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Hmm… I still like watching that girly anime “Sailor Moon” sometimes. I have the unedited, subtitled complete series on DVD.

Where can readers find your books? All of my stories–and there’s a few now–are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Sony, Kobo…

Mia’s author page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mia-Darien/e/B006VVHJVA

http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Forever-Died-Adelheid-Series-ebook/dp/B00773IPQE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Camerons-Law-Adelheid-Series-Unabridged/dp/B00ATWU2ZC

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sub-Rosa-Turnabout-Tales-Darien-ebook/dp/B0093HE2FU/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/365419?ref=ALB123

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/298196?ref=ALB123

Halloween Giveaway

Halloween is fast approaching and so for a bit of fun I decided to run a giveaway from the 24th October to the 1st November via rafflecopter. Entry is via the links below and a question has to be answered correctly, plus year of birth for you to be considered a winner. Winners will be contacted by email no information will be shared with third parties unless it relates directly to receiving a prize, such as allowing an author to send the prize.

http://bit.ly/1fiLvjV or visit my author page on facebook and click the giveaway link when the competition opens. https://www.facebook.com/DarkFantasyBeyondTheStorm

All the authors below have donated their books free of charge for this competition. If you are a winner please remember to leave a review to thank the author. I will update this as it goes on.

Read a little about each author in the comments below:

Laurel A Rockefeller – the Peers of Benien series. Please view an excerpt for Ghosts of the Past here: http://www.peersofbeinan.com/Ghosts-Excerpt-2.html

A. L Butcher – The Shining Citadel. Please visit my book page here for more details. https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles/

Lucy Pireel – Red Gone Bad. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260239

Red Gone Bad

A collection of twisted fairy tales – Little Red Riding Hood finally takes her life into a direction which suits her, but not so much her friends, nor the wolf. The miller’s daughter tries to strike a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, but forgets one detail. Snow White is as black as night. And Cinderella cleans house in a most definite way. If you like to read stories in which the twists keep you on the edge of your seat and heroines get what they deserve, you might just like this anthology.

Diana L Wicker – The Dreamweaver’s Journey. YA fantasy.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/351598

Kyra Halland – Urdaisunia – Fantasy  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/285821

Kyra Halland – Chosen of Azara  Fantasy https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328639

Walter Rhein – Beyond Birkie Fever – fiction – Kindle version http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Birkie-Fever-ebook/dp/B00FEPQ212

See below for info about Walter and his book.

Nicole Storey – Blind Sight – Paranormal fiction – any e-book version http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blind-Sight-Celadon-Circle-ebook/dp/B00E04FKUM

Eva Caye – Dignity – e-book format. See below for details.

Living Again – L.L.Collins (in form of a Kindle Gift)

Tracee Ford – The Fine Line –  http://www.amazon.com/The-Fine-Line-ebook/dp/B00C6AA4GM . See below.

Thaddeus White – Bane of Souls  – e-book – fantasy. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bane-Souls-Thaddeus-White-ebook/dp/B008C2KV48

Janet Morris – The Sacred Band – Kindle Edition  – heroic fantasy. http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Sacred-Band-Janet-Morris-ebook/dp/B00AMLKJAI

Book I of the Tyler’s Trouble Trilogy – Travis Casey – either signed print copy or e-book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oceans-Trouble-Tylers-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00CLIAL1W

Author Interview Number Nineteen – Ryan J Alls

Book Cover (1)

Please tell us a little about yourself. Well my name is Ryan, and I am the author of The Bloodline Revelations novel, Imminent Danger. I was born and raised in sunny southern California, and recently graduated from college a couple of years ago—obtaining a Bachelors of Art degree in Electronic Media Management.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My novel, Imminent Danger, is a young adult action/fantasy novel. It is book one, or mission one as I like to call it, of The Bloodline Revelations series. The story follows a young man by the name of Eli Brassie. Eli is heir to the Weapons Master bloodline and dreams of becoming an Agent of his city’s armed forces. With this bloodline, Eli is capable of summoning any weapon he has ever touched at will, and master it almost instantly. The story begins with Eli joining the training Academy, along with his best friend Jude, who is heir to the Combat Specialist bloodline. Imminent Danger is the beginning of the perfect storm so to speak.

What made you choose the genre in which you write? I have always been a huge fan of intense action and great fantasy. Whether it’s movies, television shows or video games, I love heart-racing action scenes and captivating fantasy worlds filled with magic and creativity.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? I would have to say my inspiration, in terms of writing, comes from young adults. I believe when we are younger we are exposed to so many exterior factors that help to mold us into who we become. I have known many people who have endured many life experiences, good and bad; and I believe those experiences are what made them who they are today.

Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? The most positive experience that has come from my writing is the feedback from the fans of the series. I have received comments, reviews and emails from many people who enjoyed reading Imminent Danger. It’s nice to hear their feedback about their favorite character, favorite scene and what they expect or want from the next installment of The Bloodline Revelations series.

I would have to say the only negative that has come from writing is me sacrificing sleep. Now I love my sleep! However, sometimes when I’m writing, I will be so immersed in an action scene or crazy moment that I lose track of time. When I was writing one of the action scenes towards the end of the book, I believe I started around nine in the evening; and when I finished, the clock said five in the morning. I looked like a deer in headlights when I looked at that clock because I had work in like three hours. I’m shaking my head just thinking about it. But now writing always comes before sleep.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? Yes, with the unfortunate rise of e-books, I definitely still publish in print. I don’t believe I would have released Imminent Danger to the public if print was not an option. This medium is important because it gives the author the ability to show the reader the story how they envisioned it. I believe e-books can hinder a story, especially when it comes to the overall look of the book. I always recommend my readers to pick up a hard copy because then they can see the covers and structure of the book the way I planned for them to see it.

Do you listen to music or watch TV while you write? Yes, I like to listen to the instrumental soundtracks of movies, television shows and video games while I’m writing. It’s funny because even though instrumentals are not something I listen to outside of writing, it is the only kind of music I will listen to while I am writing.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? I think a book can provide time while a movie or video game cannot. A book gives you time to get to know the characters and develop relationships with them. Video games and movies are under a time restraint to cram everything they want the viewer or gamer to see before the end of the story, so they tend to rush. I believe time gives you the opportunity to fall in love with the story and the characters.”

What advice would you give new writers? I would say above all write your story how you want to write it, when it comes to the creative. I know authors and writers who have pitched their novels to traditional publishers who have told them they would only accept the manuscript if the main character was rewritten to a different gender, or to remove or add a character death. It’s your story—write it how you see it.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? I enjoy reading fiction above all—specifically adventure, action and fantasy novels. I absolutely loved Eragon and the entire Inheritance series. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have a soft spot for some paranormal romance novels as well. Should I be ashamed? I know paranormal romance is mostly targeted towards the young female demographic, but there are certain books such as Hush, Hush and Fallen, that have mysteriously found their way into my book case.

Where can readers find your book? You can find Imminent Danger on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Android and even Smashwords. It’s available in both paperback and e-book. My team is beginning the process of releasing a hardcover as well.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Hmm, that’s a tough one. Well in many of my dreams I have some kind of super powers or abilities. What’s weird about the dreams is, I won’t be in some heated battle. I will be at the bank, grocery store or at a restaurant, and suddenly I’ll find myself wreaking havoc around me—it’s very strange.”

Where to buy Imminent Danger

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Imminent-Danger-Bloodline-Revelations-Book/dp/0989345416/ref=la_B00DETLZIK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380661488&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/imminent-danger-ryan-j-alls/1115835461?ean=9780989345415

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/imminent-danger/id661512278?mt=11

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320993?ref=ALB123

Fan Pages

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7132632.Ryan_J_Alls

Facebook Author Page: Facebook.com/RyanJosephAlls

Imminent Danger (The Bloodline Revelations) Facebook Page: Facebook.com/TheBloodlineRevelations

Twitter (The Bloodline Revelations): Twitter.com/TheBloodlineRev

Indie Block Party

Just over 30  authors are participating in this ‘indie block party’ get together.  It is a mixed bag of goodies so please support the other blogs and pay a visit.

http://felwetzig.com/indie-block-party/  contains the complete list of blogs.

#IndieBP for liking and sharing:)

19-24th August:  Indie block party smallAuthors will introduce themselves for newcomers, information about books and Works in Progress, character interviews and guest interviews from neighbours.

25-30th August: Bloggers chat about they books they are currently reading, their top 5 recommended books, writing tips and social networking tips.

It is a great way to meet new folk, find new books and blogs and perhaps pick up some tips.

So here I go….

Introduce yourself….

  • Why did you start writing? Both reading and writing are a good form of escapism, and a great way to discover new worlds, new people and new outlooks. I love creating new worlds and new lives… maybe it is a craving for power…
  • How long have you been writing? As I said I have always loved to read so I suppose I have been making up stories and poems for almost as long. I can’t remember not having something creative on the go. At school I was often asked to write a short story or poem for the class display. Always an imaginative child I had my fair share of imaginary friends…now they live in my books.
  • What is your favourite genre? My reading tastes are quite varied. I love fantasy, some sci-fi, historical fiction (which I am currently reading), erotica, true crime, mystery and history. I read romance too but I prefer historical or fantasy romance to contemporary.  I enjoy the classics and many of these have had a profound effect on me, and my writing.
  • What is your blog about? My blog is about reading, writing and “all things wordy”.  I am running a series of interviews with other authors, and with readers and reviewers. The reader interviews are fascinating; I know what I enjoy in a book but what about the next person. If reviews are anything to go by an author cannot please everyone. Some readers seem to think world-building is important, others prefer strong characters, some hate info dumps, some love them. Reviews play a lesser role on how readers find their books than you would think but there seems to be no hard and fast rule on what works. As a writer this is useful information, as a reader…I am nosy. Please feel free to check out the interviews.
  • The blog also features a series of articles and interviews with readers and authors who have some form of restricted vision. I decided to blog about this as my father’s sight is now very limited due to a combination of age and a long standing injury. I remember him struggling to get large print books from the library and struggling through non-large print books, even though he enjoys reading.  He is not technical and a tablet or kindle is not an option. A good friend is also of low vision and she too finds the choices rather limited.
  • My books are also mentioned on the blog, of course. https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles/
  • Plus there are photos and shared articles which interest me.
  • What do you do when you’re not writing? I read a lot. I watch TV and movies, especially fantasy, sci-fi and films in which stuff blows up and the heroes do very improbable things.
  • I used to play a lot of RPGs but since the group had to stop playing I haven’t really got back into it.  I am considering writing an RPG for my world or resurrecting the system I wrote a while ago.
  • I also play PC games if my back problems allow it. Yes I am a geek;)

http://lindsey-gray.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/indie-block-party-interview-with.html (my author interview)