2017 – A Writer’s Year

Every year I set myself a task list of what I plan to do over the year. Do I do all those things? Of course not! But I do achieve some, and also other accomplishments I hadn’t planned for.

I work full time, have various health issues which get in the way and life has a habit of throwing a spanner in. Excuses over – let’s see what I have done…

Books:

Tears and Crimson Velvet – A Legacy of the Mask Tale

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Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake – A Tales of Erana novella (also in audio version)

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The Watcher: A Jack the Ripper Story – A short horror tale featuring history’s most infamous and mysterious killer.

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The Shining Citadel produced in audio

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Outside the Walls  Won a Reader’s Award

Outside the Walls by Diana L Wicker

Bundles:

Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I featured in Heroic Tales Bundle

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Curator and Author – Shining Citadel and The Kitchen Imps featured in More than Human

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Curator and author – Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends featured in Mythic Tales

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Curator for Winter Warmer

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As Alexa Lynsey – Tales of the Golden Mask – an erotica fantasy/romance novella – which won a Book of the Year award for Erotic Romance

I also completed A Udemy Course on Kindle Formatting

A Diploma in Mindfulness and Meditation

A Certificate in Creative Writing

 

I had planned to write every day and honestly I didn’t.  I have started several other short stories/novellas and worked on book IV of the Chronicles.

2018 plans

There will be several Bundles appearing in 2018 including Remembering Warriors, Immortals, Spring Surprise, Frisky February, Summer Shimmer, Here Be Monsters, Here Be Dragons.

I am also planning to learn how to use Photoshop, look for short story and poetry, finish the other Tales of Erana novella, proceed with book IV.

There will be new features on the blog – including Writer Wednesday and Weird Wednesdays, plus more reviews, my reading goals for 2018 and various other features.

Look out for these!

Happy New year to you and yours. Happy writing, happy reading!

 

 

 

Dirty Dozen Interview – Ron Vitale – Fantasy/Mythic/Paranormal

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Author name: Ron Vitale

*Please tell us about your publications.

What first prompted you to publish your work? My two kids and I were goofing off in a swimming pool, playing a game. I was pretending to chase after them, and instead of being a werewolf, I pretended to be a werewhale. My daughter laughed as I chased her and she made this funny whale sound and we all had a great time that day in the pool. With Sharknado being popular at the time, I thought: What if I created a werewhale creature and then answered the question: What happened after Herman Melville’s Moby Dick? Once I had that idea, then it was an easy jump telling the story of Captain Ahab’s daughter.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process? When I was younger, I always thought that the writing would be the most challenging part of publishing a book. I was wrong. The hardest part for me is marketing the book. I’ve had to learn email marketing, Facebook advertising, Amazon ads, content marketing, create production and editorial calendars–basically I’ve had to devise, and then implement, a strategy that will provide a positive ROI. That’s both freeing and frightening at the same time. On one hand, I need to learn new skills and then experiment with what I’ve learned. Marketing isn’t as simple as buying a Facebook ad and a few promotional ads. Instead, I’ve needed to do A/B testing on Facebook ads. Once I refine the lookalike audience for the Facebook ad, I need to test different copy to see what actually performs, learn from that and keep refining over time. I enjoy both the creative aspects of writing and interacting with my readers, but I also really enjoy learning why the marketing is or isn’t converting. It’s fascinating to see the numbers come in and be surprised on what you thought would get a lot of clicks turns out to be a not so great. The only issue with all of this is time. There are only so many hours in the day. Between working full-time, raising a family, writing and marketing my books, well, things get a bit hectic at times. I guess that’s why I decided to write a book about what I learned. I really wanted to give back to my fellow authors because I’ve been helped so much along the way.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I used to be a 100% pantser. But when I was writing book 3 of my Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries series, I had to throw out a third of the book because it just didn’t work. I wasted a lot of time writing that and then having to redo that whole section. Over time, I’ve slowly moved over to the plotter side. I wouldn’t say that I’m all the way there, but I’m about 70%. I now have a Google sheet that tracks what happened (in one sentence and which characters are in that scene) by scene and I try to forecast out the future. I’m not going to lie–sometimes I plan ahead, other times I don’t. But I do see the value in having the overall story arc planned out in my head. Once I know what the main conflict is, where the characters start, where they’re headed and what I want to have happen, then I can fill in the rest as I write.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Keep writing. I wrote my first novel at 16 back in the ‘80s and rewrote and rewrote it. I tried to get that book traditionally published and failed more times than I can remember. I then started to write short stories, but I didn’t write my second novel (a sequel to the first) until the late ‘90s. It wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to write the Cinderella Secret Witch Diaries series and start something new. I didn’t know that I had more than one series in me. Back when I first started, I put all my eggs in that one novel. I thought it was the best thing and copies would fly off the shelves. What I didn’t know how to come to terms with was to keep writing and to nurture the creative part of me. I had created a fantasy world in that first book and I didn’t know what to do with another book. I wanted to create a whole series but if I couldn’t get book one published, why would I start book two? The more I write, the better I become at my craft. I’ve written novels that I love, but over time, I’ve realized that I’ve become a stronger writer by getting my hands dirty and learning my craft. I may not be a blacksmith and have a sword to show that I’ve forged, but I have words in a book. My journey as a writer started when I was 9 years old and will continue until I can no longer write. The most important thing is to keep writing. Dream, take those dreams and forge them into a story or novel, and then do the hard work of learning the craft. For me, that means writing and reading. Never give up!

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat. Although most of my books are fantasy, I also love science fiction. If I could have dinner with any literary character (and this might be a bit of a cheat), it would be with the Doctor from Doctor Who. Since I read a lot of the Doctor Who novels back in the early ‘80s, I would love to sit down and talk about history and time with him (well, now her). The fact that the Doctor has regenerated more than a dozen times into different people in the 50+ history of the BBC TV show gives me an enormous amount of topics to talk about. Now that the latest incarnation of the doctor will be a woman, I’d be curious to talk with her about how the world now sees her that she’s switched genders. It’s not every day that you could talk with someone who’s lived so long, as different sexes and been all through time and space.

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 learned a lot when I published Lost (book 1 in my Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries series). I have given more than 10,000 ebook copies of that book away since 2011. Do I regret it? Partly. What I didn’t understand is that I need to have a marketing strategy tied to giving my book away. In the early days when the KDP free days still meant something, I was so happy that people were downloading my book, but I did not stop and think about why I was doing that and what it meant. For example, I didn’t have an email list and autoresponders setup, but now I do. I learned a lot over the last six years and now I only use a freebie if it’s part of my marketing strategy. I will say this though: Getting thousands of people on your mailing list might be great, but several of those readers reached out to me by responding to my autoresponders and let me know that they couldn’t read my book and leave a review because they had hundreds of free books in front of mine yet to read. Thousands of authors are all giving their books away and there’s only so many that people can read. I now use Instafreebie for much more targeted reasons.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? I don’t do it. I’ve had reviews saying that my book was the greatest and another that said something like “this book is the worst I ever read.” The reader went on to say that she only read a few paragraphs, but looking at reviews can be a time suck (and a big block to one’s ego). What I now do is set up an autoresponder email and over time new people on my mailing list are asked to leave a review. Once in a blue moon, I happen to notice that the reviews went up. I’d rather spend my time writing and marketing than looking at my reviews.

How do you deal with bad reviews? Mostly I ignore them. If there’s something legitimate in the review, I’ll take the constructive feedback, but I often find that people get a free copy of the book, don’t like what they read and then complain about it–without having read the entire book. I’ve found that that’s part of the balance in giving your ebook away for free. It’s a crapshoot. I would much rather target readers through a lookalike Facebook ad and drive them to my mailing list to get the free book and then through an autoresponder ask them to leave a review. I learned the hard way: A few years ago a friend passed on to me a mom’s book club and I gave them all my book. What I didn’t know is that they were not the demographic at all for a fantasy book. They hated the book and a few of them left reviews on Amazon. You live and you learn!

Sort these into order of importance:

  1. Great characters
  2. Good plot
  3. Awesome world-building
  4. Technically perfect

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? It all depends on the book. I’ve had to research Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in the winter and how disastrous the weather was with tens of thousands of his soldiers dying. In another book, I had to figure out how a space elevator worked for a science fiction book I was writing and in my most recent book, Ahab’s Daughter, I had to research Kanaloa, Dark Squid God from Polynesian mythology. I find the research fun, but I also need to make certain that I don’t do too much because I need to get to writing.

How influential is storytelling to our culture? I remember in my undergraduate English classes our professor taught us about the village scop–a man who would tell the oral history of the town. Now our storytelling has taken a dramatic turn. We’re telling stories in video games and through snaps on Snapchat. Storytelling is still immensely important, but the mediums that we use have evolved with augmented reality and the internet.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Dean Wesley Smith wrote a book on Heinlein’s Five Rules that really helped me overcome my fear of rejection and perfectionism. They’re simple, easy to follow but somewhat controversial:

Robert Heinlein’s five rules are:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you start.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
  4. You must put it on the market.
  5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

I find rule #3 to be really hard.

What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? I think the worst piece of advice is that I needed an agent. I spend a lot of wasted time trying to get an agent and had some brushes with the traditional publishing world back in the ‘90s but that left me feeling powerless. My book went into a black hole and I had no idea what the agent was really doing for me. Now with being an indie author, I make decisions on my business and I like having that freedom.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Well, I would have to say an elf. When I used to play Dungeons & Dragons (yes, I’m very geeky) as a kid, I always wanted to be an elf. But to be specific, I like Tolkien’s high elves. A close second would be Gandalf, but I thought being an elf with living so long and having excellent dexterity and intelligence would be fun. Reading, being able to do magic and learning how to be a warrior would all be rolled into one. I rather like that!

Which authors have influenced you the most? Tolkien and Isaac Asimov are the two authors that I have such great respect for. Tolkien’s world building inspired me and allowed me to escape to Middle Earth at a time that my mom was going through a difficult divorce. Asimov amazed me because he could write in any genre. I read his books and realized that I did not have to be limited to just one thing. I could write whatever I wanted just like him.

What is your writing space like? I have an office with a laptop and a monitor set up with all these books around me, but… I don’t write in my office. Instead, I go downstairs in the back family room, sit cross-legged on the sofa with a pillow on my lap and my laptop on top of that and then I write. It’s comfortable but it’s not the typical writer’s space that many readers would think of to imagine where an author writes.

Tell us about your latest piece? Ahab’s Daughter: The Werewhale Saga is an action adventure book that has just enough spin-tingling horror thrown into it to keep you on the edge of your seat. I wanted to explore the premise: What happened after Herman Melville’s Moby Dick? But instead of telling a man’s story, my novels have women as the main protagonist. Not only do I get to explore what would Ahab’s daughter role be after he died at sea, but I pushed past normal social expectations to challenge what would happen if his daughter ran off to sea trying to find her younger brother who had delusions of finding the island of nightmares that their father used to tell them about as kids. I had a lot of fun writing this book and take it as a major sign of success when my 14-year old son came to me and told me that not only did he really enjoy it, but that some scenes were really creepy. He’s normally not that effusive and I had to laugh at his feedback.

Ahab

What’s your next writing adventure? I have the first draft of book 4 of the Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries written. I just need to get back to reading it with fresh eyes and then rewriting it (see, the #3 Heinlein rule is really hard to keep!).

What was the last book you’ve read? I recently finished Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky and I loved the book. It’s one the Nebula award and I just fell in love with it. There aren’t many times when I read a book and just get lost in how different and unique the book is and I hope that more people read it with an open mind.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? I wouldn’t say that bookstores will fade away entirely. Amazon is now opening their own physical brick and mortar bookstores and I think that’s good for the industry. Not everyone wants to read ebooks. I read both physical and ebooks. I prefer ebooks for my daily commute to my full-time job because I don’t have to carry the physical book. I expect that ebooks will become more popular but speciality physical books will be around to give as gifts or even normal books so people can bring them on vacation. The form factor is hard to beat: Physical books are small and have a great tactile feel (and smell)–that’s something you can’t get from an ebook.

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? No. I commute to work on several different forms of public transportation and have been doing this for 22 years. Back in the ‘90s people carried the big Harry Potter hard backs with them on the train–then things shifted to Kindles, and now smartphones. I’m seeing an interesting change in reader behavior. More and more commuters are using their smartphones not only to play games but to watch Netflix. Honestly, that shocked me. We authors are now competing with screen time on the train. That’s not something I could have imagined back in the late ‘80s when I first started writing.

In order for us to adapt, I believe authors need to diversify our work. Yes, I write short stories, blog posts and novels, but I’ve also created podcasts and see a need for story arcs for augmented reality, TV shows, movies, virtual reality and things we haven’t even thought of yet. At my core, I’m a storyteller. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m telling a story with my voice, words or through some other means. I’m trying to be open with what the future will bring though due to lack of time my primary creative outlets are the written word with a few of my novels being available on Audible. I’m open to creating new worlds and storylines for augmented reality, video games and the like, but haven’t gone down that path yet. But I see the need there: People want stories–just not necessarily in the written form as I had once thought.

Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I believe indie authors are still viewed with scepticism. Part of that is due to our limited resources. It’s difficult to not only write but find great covers (for what we can afford) and to have a well-edited book. With indie publishing so easy, anyone can write whatever they want (without any editing) and just put the book up live. Readers are now needing to go through a slush pile and they don’t have time to do that. I’ve worked hard over the last six years to provide the highest quality book that I can.

Is there a message in your books? Yes, everything I write aligns to my personal mission: I believe that, no matter how difficult our childhood, we can use imaginative stories to heal ourselves and lead lives filled with love and hope.

How important is writing to you? It’s part of who I am. I write because I love it. Sometimes it’s like the beauty of touching freshly fallen snow as a kid and building an amazing snowman. Other times it’s not so easy. But through it all, I love telling stories about the human condition and hope.

 

Links:

http://www.ronvitale.com/ahabs-daughter-the-werewhale-saga

Ahab’s Daughter – Amazon

Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries

Ron Vitale - Secret Witch Diary

Bio: http://www.ronvitale.com/about/

 

Author Interview 123 – Linda Acaster

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Welcome to Linda Acaster

Where are you from and where do you live now? My formative years were in Kingston-upon-Hull – 2017 City of Culture, no less – and I now live 20 miles away on the Yorkshire coast, a gentle five minute stroll from a quiet promenade and views over Bridlington Bay to the white chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head. Aah, breathe in the salt air and re-laaax.

Please tell us a little about your writing. I’m a multi-genre writer, always have been. I started my career writing short fiction for any magazine that would have my work, from the national women’s magazines that paid me money to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Crime outlets that paid in printed copies. Although I now write mostly longer works, the multi-genre aspect has carried through, first to mainstream published historical novels and then to my indie-published trilogy and novellas. I like the scope.

Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere. Since childhood I’ve been interested in the day-to-day lives of the Native North Americans of the upper plains, and for several years was part of a living-history group. Beneath The Shining Mountains came from that experience, that and around 400 research books. The Paintings came from a single line in an email exchange with an artist friend.

Are your characters based on real people? Never. Mostly they are based on aspects of myself, which to a reader will sound highly egotistical, but that isn’t how it works. I write very close in to my story via the viewpoint character’s senses. I become them via an emotional bridge – and lots of pre-planning of character motivation and fears.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?I’ve met a person I didn’t like – maybe because overtly and very loudly she ridiculed my accent. Oooh, I can be nasty in print. Not that I hold grudges, you understand. Who, me?

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? I need masses, and of different types for different books. Research for The Paintings was 17 open tabs on my internet browser as I wrote. The Torc of Moonlight trilogy meant poring over history books and Ordnance Survey maps, then visiting the chosen locales to get a physical feel for them, knitting the place + history into the fictional premise, and then writing. The books are accurate enough to be used as walking guides to the modern locales, with the history hovering overhead. And no, I do not intend to take on such a complicated project again!

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Most of my fiction has a theme, but I believe that every novel, and most short fiction, should convey some sort of information that often the reader isn’t aware of, alongside a pacy story. No one wants to be preached to. It’s one of those things that should rise quietly to the surface but stay once the reading is over. If it doesn’t I’ve failed to connect.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)

Joint 1st: great characters & world-building – one simply can’t exist without the other or the entire edifice is out of balance and cracks will appear.

Joint 2nd: solid plot & technically ‘perfect’ because it is a symbiotic relationship, even if perfection is in the eye of the beholder. A plot can be as solid as granite, but if it is conveyed with the finesse of shovelling pig-muck, no amount of world-building or fully-formed characters are going to render the story readable.

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? All my titles are available as ebooks via the major online retailers, and e-readers take care of large print. Beneath The Shining Mountains, my writers’ guide Reading A Writers’ Mind – Exploring Short Fiction, and the first two books in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy are also available in print. I’m still working on the third, but it won’t be long in following. Audio is a whole new world I still have to get to grips with.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do self-edit, but I’ve been a reader for a London literary agency so feel I have some background experience. I continuously edit throughout the writing process (there is no quick & dirty draft), and again as a whole when it’s completed. Then the text goes through the automated Pro-Writing Aid which lists how many times x word has been used, queries sentence structure, punctuation, etc. Most of the items it flags I’ve specified for a purpose, but it does catch me out and I’m grateful for that. Then it goes to beta readers who are other writers, who look at the typescript with a critical human eye. I believe there is no such thing as a novel that falls direct from mind to page as publishable with any degree of integrity. A genius need not apply.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Most readers, and just about all digital readers, don’t care. I read lots of indie published fiction and have only wasted my time twice in the last year, which is about the same percentage as with mainstream published paperbacks. Readers expect a “good read” in a format in which they can immerse themselves. I don’t touch fiction using spaced block paragraphing. White space is important to the ebb and flow of a work’s rhythm. Having it inserted wrecks the pacing.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Reviews are very important, and I always check on a handful when contemplating purchasing a book by an author I haven’t previously read. Then I ‘Read Inside’, and I make my decision. It isn’t usually the cost in money that is being weighed, but the cost in time. Who wants to get halfway through a novel and find the story has turned into limp lettuce? I’ve had my Native American novel lambasted because it was a novel and not a non-fiction book. Er, pardon? It annoys me that the particular review pulled down my ratings, but I’d never comment as I consider such troll-bait.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? Oh for goodness sake, it’s been done since books were bound. Amazon got itself into a pickle over this, but how can an author avoid it? Never review? Should hairdressers not review hair products? That’s ridiculous. I read, full-stop. Most authors are prolific readers, that’s why they’re writers.

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

* Learn your craft.

* Pay for editing of a polished work at least once, and learn from it.

* Don’t indie publish everything you write, and never throw anything away. It will come in useful, even if for inspiration, further along your career.

Thanks for asking me along, I’ve enjoyed the challenge. If anyone wants to ask questions I’ll be lurking around the Comments list. See you there!

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Book links, website/blog and author links:

Amazon (worldwide): http://Author.to/LindaAcaster

Nook:  http://bit.ly/BN-LAcaster

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Kobo-LAcaster

iBooks:  http://bit.ly/iBkst-LAcaster

Website:  http://www.lindaacaster.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaAcaster   @Linda Acaster

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_Ra2dqyf-xlsqK4nJjF4fw

 

Interview with AL Butcher

My latest author interview:) #Fantasy #Lightbeyondthestorm

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Today. I’m pleased to welcome AL Butcher to the blog. Alexandra is the author of several fantasy novels as well as being a poet.

1)     To start with, could you introduce yourself and tell us about your current project?

Hi, I’m Alexandra (A.L Butcher), British fantasy author and poet. My current project? Which one…. Let me see – I have a couple of Tales of Erana novellas I’m working on, a horror anthology, another poetry collection, and the next novel in my series.

2)     Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote?

chronicles-banner24Shivering, Dii pulled her old wool cloak around her and looked at the sky, the stars now fading into the grey dawn. Mages could sense the weather, so Dii knew that more rain would follow this day; even now she could sense the pressure in the air. Hunger made her belly grumble, and as…

View original post 1,878 more words

Blog Tour – Kyra Halland – Chosen of Azura – #Fantasy

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Title: Chosen of Azara

Author: Kyra Halland

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

 

Are you a full time author or do you have another job as well and if so how do either of these fit in with writing time?

After being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker for twenty-seven years, I now consider writing to be my full-time job, even though I don’t work full time hours or make a living yet.

 Do you write on your novel daily or do you try to have days off?

I work every day except Sunday, which is a day for rest, family, spiritual renewal, and scrapbooking.

What do you think is the most effective marketing is for your books?

I’ve been having a good deal of success lately in cross-promotions with other fantasy/science fiction authors. When we all pool our resources, we can reach so many more readers and help everyone do better.

 If you have a ‘baddy’ in your book, can you tell us a little about this character?

My villains usually have what they think are perfectly good reasons for doing what they do. Mostly, they think they know what is best for everyone and try to impose that through whatever means necessary, for the greater good of course, without regard for the rights of the people being imposed on or what they really want.

 Is there any romance in your story and if so can you tell us a little about this?

My novels always have romance in them! In fact, that’s why I started writing, because I couldn’t find fantasy novels that handled romance in a way I found satisfactory. I like stories where the developing relationship has an influence on the fantasy plot, and where the couple have to work together to solve the story problem. The romance in Chosen of Azara is between Sevry, who has been searching for a very long time for the woman who holds the magic that can bring his destroyed homeland of Savaru back to life, and Lucie, who inherited a magical secret from her great-grandmother but she doesn’t know what it means. It seems like a hopeless romance, between Sevry’s duty and Lucie’s family obligations, but somehow things work out 🙂

 Do you ever write sad scenes and do you feel the sadness as you write it?

I always like to have a happy ending, but there can be plenty of sad scenes on the way to that happy ending. I have made myself get all teary at times.

 Did you write as a child or did you come into your talent as an adult?

I’ve always loved reading and stories, and I wrote a little bit as a child, but I took a long detour into music. My degrees are in music education and music history. After I finished my Master’s degree, I immediately became a stay-at-home mom with my first child. Looking for a new intellectual challenge, I decided to try writing the kinds of fantasy novels I wanted to read but had trouble finding.

 Can you give us a little insight into any fantasy characters in Chosen of Azara?

Chosen of Azara is a tale of several generations of a family and the sacrifices they make to try to prevent a war from destroying their homeland Savaru and then to restore it after it’s destroyed. Juzeva only wants to serve at the magical Source she’s sworn to, but she has to enter into a treaty marriage with the enemy. She doesn’t want to, but she does her duty gracefully. Sevry, Juzeva’s nephew, has lost everything, and only his pure heart and dedication to restoring his lost homeland keep him going through his long, difficult quest. Lucie, Juzeva’s great-granddaughter, doesn’t want to leave behind the comfortable life she knows to help Sevry restore Savaru, but her heart tells her what she knows she has to do. With each of these characters, love gives them the strength to do the difficult things that have to be done.

 Is your the world in your book like earth or is it a fantasy world?

Estelend, the world of Chosen of Azara, is a fantasy world. I based it on the idea of magic coming from Sources, or natural features in the earth, like caves, springs, trees, mountains, and so on.

 What is the time period setting of your latest book?

The time period of Chosen of Azara ranges from roughly equivalent to the middle ages to the early 19th century. But these times from our world really don’t have much to do with the world of Estelend.

 Do you prefer to write as a series or standalone books?

For a long time, I only wrote standalones. Then I wrote a fantasy set in an Old West-style world, just as an experiment, and it turned into a 6-book series! At the same time, I’ve written other novels set in Estelend; they don’t have any characters in common with each other or Chosen of Azara, but since they’re in the same world I consider them a loosely-connected series. So I sort of accidentally turned into a series writer!

 Chosen of Azara is actually one of my older books; my upcoming novels Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris return to that world. I also have some story collections related to Chosen of Azara, The Warrior and the Holy Man, about a couple of historical figures briefly mentioned in Chosen, and The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara, which contains backstories, character sketches, and alternate points of view for Chosen of Azara.

 Do you like to use lots of subplots or do you think just confuses?

I stay pretty focused on the one or two main story questions of the plot. Usually, beating the bad guys and getting the hero and heroine together. Sometimes there might be a few minor story threads going on, but mostly I stick to the main plot and the romance plot.

 Can you tell us a little about one of your sub plots in Chosen of Azara?

Probably the main subplot is about Lucie finding the strength to stand up for what she wants and get out of a destructive relationship with the man she’s supposed to marry.

 Can you tell us a little about your protagonist and your antagonist and how they relate to each other?

Sajur Golu, high priest of the Madrinan Empire that conquered Savaru, and Sevry are pretty much the opposite of each other. Sajur Golu is ambitious, wanting glory for himself, his family name, and the Madrinan Empire; Sevry is quite literally willing to die to save his people. Sajur Golu has thoroughly corrupted himself in the pursuit of his ambitions; Sevry remains pure of heart no matter the burdens he has to carry. Sajur Golu pursues Sevry to stop Sevry from stealing Sajur’s final victory from him, and when they finally confront each other, with Lucie as the catalyst, it’s a battle between Sevry’s purity and Sajur’s corruption.

 What is your latest project?

My latest project is actually a multi-author boxed set that I’m very excited to be part of. It’s called Light in the Darkness: A Noblebright Fantasy Boxed Set. Basically, as C.J. Brightley, the coordinator of this boxed set, says, “Noblebright fantasy has at least one important character with noble, idealistic motives who does the right thing out of principle. The character is flawed, but his or her actions are generally defined by honesty, integrity, sacrifice, love, and kindness. The story upholds the goodness of the character; the character’s good qualities are not held up as naiveté, cluelessness, or stupidity, but rather shown to be worthwhile. Good characters can make a difference. Noblebright characters can learn and grow. They can deliberately choose to be kind when tempted to be unkind, they can choose generosity when it hurts, and they can influence their world and other characters for the better.” My book Beneath the Canyons is part of this set along with 11 other full-length novels and a handful of short stories, a great value for the price of $1.99. It releases on Tuesday Oct. 18, at these stores:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K3534QI

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-in-the-darkness-cj-brightley/1124360518?ean=2940153673578

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/light-in-the-darkness-a-noblebright-fantasy-boxed-set

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/light-in-darkness-noblebright/id1143589450?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/657111

 Do you think all readers should do reviews to help the writers improve? When you receive reviews do you find yourself influenced to make changes?

I honestly believe that reviews are for readers, not for writers, to help other readers decide what books the want to read. It’s not the reader’s job to help me become a better writer. It’s interesting to see what readers like and don’t like, but usually some readers like things that other readers don’t, and you can’t please everyone, so it doesn’t do any good to change your books according to what reviews say. Of course, writers should still be working to improve their skills by reading good books in all genres and books about writing, doing writing exercises, taking workshops from professional writers, etc. But they should also trust their own creative vision and not be changing their books all the time according to what one reviewer or another says.

Blurb:

Juzeva, a princess of Savaru, vowed to the service of the magical Source Azara, sacrifices everything to try to stop a war, only to be caught in a web of evil and deceit.

Sevry, the last king of the war-ravaged land of Savaru, is tasked by Source Azara with finding the secret that disappeared with Juzeva, the secret that can heal Savaru and its Sources.

Lucie, a sheltered young noblewoman, is unaware of her true heritage and the power she bears, until a stranger claiming to be the legendary king of a long-dead land takes refuge in her father’s house.

Torn between her familiar world and the truths her heart can’t deny, Lucie must find the courage to join Sevry on his quest to restore Savaru and its magical Sources to life, a quest that will sweep her away to adventure, danger, and a love that could change her life – and the lost land of Savaru – forever.

Epic romantic fantasy for adults and older teens.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31456955-chosen-of-azara

 

 31456955

Buy Links:

 Amazon.com ~ https://goo.gl/SaUy2t

Amazon.co.uk ~ https://goo.gl/NpXqlo

Barnes &Noble~ https://goo.gl/oudviU

Kobo ~ https://goo.gl/A6XmUH

 Author Bio:

Kyra Halland has always loved fantasy. She has also always loved a good love story. Years ago, as a new stay-at-home mom, she decided to combine those two loves – like chocolate and peanut butter! – by writing the kinds of romantic fantasy novels she wanted to read.
Complicated, honorable heroes; strong, smart, feminine heroines; magic, romance, and adventure; deep emotion mixed with a dash of offbeat humor – all of these make up Kyra Halland’s worlds. She loves sharing those worlds with readers and hopes they will enjoy her stories and characters as much as she does.

Kyra Halland lives in southern Arizona. She has a very patient husband, two less-patient cats, two young adult sons, a lovely daughter-in-law, and two adorable granddaughters. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking and anime, and she wants to be a crazy cat lady when she grows up.

 

Visit her at:

 

Website: http://www.kyrahalland.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KyraHalland

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kyra-Halland/e/B00BG2R6XK

 

Newsletter! Adventures in Marketing

Hi!

I’ve been contemplating this for a while – I’m planning to start an author newsletter to compliment the blog.

Ideas

Prizes and giveaways unique to the newsletter

Author news – forthcoming releases, events etc

Erana tidbits not available elsewhere

Short interviews and features

Articles

Reviews

Is there anything else you’d like to see? Please comment.

I’m planning to start this over the next month, so if you’d like to receive this please complete the form below. It will be quarterly, at least to begin with, so don’t fear you will be spammed.

 

The full set! Now on Smashwords and affiliate stores!

I’m delighted to announce that all my novels and short stories – except those published via Perseid Press, or the Indie Collaboration are all available on Smashwords and its associate stores.

Formatting is not my strong suit, and I admit for a few I gave up and paid for the formatting for SW. The ‘meatgrinder’ is, frankly, a pain in the arse to work with. Even following the guidelines carefully left we with formatting errors not in the original document unless embedded in the code and invisible to mortals like myself, who don’t speak computer. Anyway ’tis done. So now the following are available on Amazon, Smashwords, I-books, Kobo (Except Books I and II), and Barnes and Noble.

Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book I

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book II

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales

Outside the Walls

To save swarming the page with links I’ve simply put the links to the relevant author pages for the stores.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22A.%20L.%20Butcher%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

I-tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/a.-l.-butcher/id1111700407?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=A.%20L.%20Butcher&fcsearchfield=Author

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ALB123

If you would like be be kept appraised of forthcoming or recent publications please contact me here, or use the mailing list sign up.

 

Smashwords Sale – Victoria Zigler

Victoria Zigler’s many wonderful kids books are on offer in the Smashwords Summer sale.

Here’s her profile and list of books:

Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

 

The Ocean’s Lullaby And Other Poems

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/641375?ref=ALB123

Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off

 

Zeena And The Dryad

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/543250?ref=ALB123

 

Zeena And The Gryphon

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575822?ref=ALB123

 

Zeena And The Mermaid

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611061?ref=ALB123

 

Zeena And The Phoenix

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637030?ref=ALB123

 

Rhubarb The Red-Nosed Rabbit

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611255?ref=ALB123

 

Degu’s Day Out

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589067?ref=ALB123

 

Phew that’s about a third of them! I’ll post some more over the next few days.

She’s a busy lady is Tori Zigler!

Author Interview Number 112 -Laurie Boris

Welcome  back to Laurie Boris: Thank you for having me back!

 

Where are you from and where do you live now? I grew up in a small town about a hundred miles north of New York City. After leaving home for college and then five years in Boston, I decided to return to the Hudson Valley, and now I live right between the river and the Catskill Mountains. It’s a lovely piece of the world.

 

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write fiction in a mix of genres ranging from comedy to women’s fiction to literary to romance. Every time I start writing a new novel, my father asks me what it’s about. Sometimes I don’t know in the beginning. I might say “magic,” or “baseball,” or “art,” and he’ll just smile at me and say, “I know you. It’s really going to be about relationships.” So, I guess I do have a few common themes after all.

 

Do you have a favourite character? If so why?Charlie Trager for the win! He’s been my favorite ever since I met him in Don’t Tell Anyone. There, he’s a secondary character dancing around his attraction to a very unavailable man. Charlie is sharp, witty, loyal to his friends, with many lovable flaws and a fondness for basketball, good scotch, and lost causes. I’m crazy about him and hope we have a few more stories together.

 

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?Ha! Oh, how I longed to. Reynaldo the Magnificent (the magician from A Sudden Gust of Gravity) was at first based on someone I met a long time ago. An evil part of me wanted to bring him in so I could kill him off. But then, as he developed and deepened and became his own person, I just couldn’t do it. That would have been me getting in the way of the story, and I don’t like doing that to my characters. Or my stories.

 

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? It’s too easy for me to fall down the research rabbit hole when I find something interesting, and that leads me astray from the actual writing. So, I try not to do too much researching until I hit the second or third draft. Wikipedia and Google Earth are my main go-to sources. The book I’m currently writing depends a great deal on getting the details right, but I’m trying not to distract myself too much with research.

 

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great characters are at the root of everything for me. I nurture them, talk to them, invite them to hang out with me and ply them with their favorite treats to get their secrets. The plot and the world-building all flows from what the characters tell me. Technically perfect (or as perfect as I can get it) comes last.

 

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?  Even though I’m an editor, I revise and self-edit to the extent that I can (after I get input from my critique group and beta-readers) and then call in the professionals for the final look. It’s so hard to edit your own work. Some authors are blessed with that ability, but I’m not one of them.

 

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? It depends who is doing the viewing. I’m finding lately that readers care less about the distinction. A good story is a good story is a good story. Other authors and publishing professionals are the ones who seem to care about this more. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few traditionally published authors, and for the most part, they were open-minded about self-publishing. Some were clearly not on board with what I was doing—one even said I was committing “literary suicide.” Who knows? One day they might be coming to me for advice on how to get started.

 

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews?  It makes me cringe a little when authors complain on public forums about a review or a reviewer. When I publish a book, I’ve made a choice to offer it up for public opinion, and I don’t get to intrude. But I do believe that reviews are important. They can help potential readers decide if a book is worth the investment of their time and money, because study after study points to “average reader” reviews being more trustworthy than paid reviews. And having a good number of reviews mean that I’m more likely to get good promotional opportunities, which can help me sell more books.

 

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? Authors are usually voracious readers, so why are our opinions any less valid or desirable? I don’t buy the argument some try to make that authors shouldn’t post reviews of what they read, even if it’s in their own genres. As long as the review is based solely on the work and not on any other agenda.

 

Do you have a favourite movie? I’m a sucker for romantic comedies with sparky dialogue, ever since I saw The Philadelphia Story when I was a teenager. My all-time favorite at the moment is When Harry Met Sally. Brilliant writing, great casting, great comic timing.

 

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?  I don’t think any experience is wasted, if you’re a writer. My career has mainly been in the creative departments of marketing, advertising, and publishing companies, and employees there don’t tend to stay in one place for too long. I’ve weathered the layoffs, buyouts, and occasional stints as a freelancer or temp worker. All these different opportunities have fed my writing in ways I never would have imagined. I covered a lot of zoning board meetings for the local newspaper, and I got to use that in a novel. I was a magician’s assistant, and I used that, too. I spent a few months working for a temp agency that hired roadies for rock bands. That was a lot of fun, and I haven’t found a place for that yet in my writing, but I’m sure I will at some point.

 

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Wendy Pini, co-creator of Elfquest, once sat in during a critique group session where I was reading a bit from my first novel, a story about a comic book writer. She offered me a job. Silly me, I turned her down, because I didn’t think I had enough experience. I often wonder why I did that.

 

Book links, website/blog and author links:

 

Website:  http://laurieboris.com
Mailing List:  http://laurieboris.com/contact_laurie
Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Boris/e/B005I551QA
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LaurieBoris
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/laurie.boris.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LaurieBoris
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4824645.Laurie_Boris

Author Interview 104 – Oliver Chase

Welcome to Oliver Chase

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m not from any one place in particular, and instead grew up on military bases throughout the country. Like all boys, we played good guys and bad, although usually I favored the good. Coaxing me into an afternoon of baseball or hiking the Southern California hills didn’t take much unless a book grabbed me first.

With my fourth novel scheduled for publication in the winter of 2016, I spend a lot of time on the family’s tiny farm along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. My job is farm hand, dung digger, and companion to the farmer, my lovely wife. We have family in north Florida, so I spend time there, too. The beaches are terrific and the fishing great, although my finny friends have little to fear from me.

I’ve got a corner of the old farm house that waits for me in the early mornings with all my forgotten and remembered friends and enemies, and my research. Every few months, I head out to bookstores and malls to sign my work, always with the intention of meeting new friends. Everyone has a story, and I love to listen. If we have the chance to meet one day, don’t be too surprised if you find your way into my pages.

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

I’ve written five novels for publication to date:

Marsh Island, mystery thriller 2013 AEC Stellar, Inc New Orleans

Blind Marsh, mystery thriller 2014 (second in series) AEC Stellar, Inc New Orleans

Levant Mirage, military/science thriller 2015 Pearl River Publishing

Joshua Tree, political thriller 2016 Pearl River Publishing (release date March 15, 2016) PRPG

Bequeathed, adventure thriller projected 2016 PRGP

Where do you find inspiration? I like to write what I know. Hence, many of my characters are investigators, cops, soldiers, pilots, divers, drivers and unwitting observers to human shortcomings. I avoid autobiographical insertions and instead choose to believe many of my extraordinary acquaintances, both good guys and bad, worthy of my pages. I’ve known and respected strong women and opinionated men, the two traits not necessarily ascribed to either sex who’ve found their way into my pages. I find watching aggentively, meeting, and testing people to an internal yet intriguing exercise. In my devious brain, they slip into a new set of virtues and sins. No one knows I do this, so please keep it between us.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? My current favorites are Scott and Angela McHale, the dynamic son and lovely daughter of California field workers. Winning election after election, the kingmaker proclaims the time is now and the sky is the limit. Cast in the image of John Kennedy’s bygone Camelot come hints of America’s first Latino presidency. Just when life seems its most promising, his beautiful senatorial aide goes missing. Rumors abound. Storm clouds darken the horizon. Three thousand miles away, an unwitting fisherman stumbles upon her pregnant corpse. Speculation and accusation become the media’s daily fare. At the height of the investigation, the senator plans a weekend retreat only to have his private airplane disappear into the night. Daily revelations drive delighted conjecture and reform public opinion until suddenly, the country’s electrical grid comes under hacker attack. Words of the senator’s warning prove prophetical as the nation plunges into a chaos that threatens a second, and far uglier American Civil War.

Have you ever thought about the secret you? The one that no one ever gets to see, not even the one person on earth we trust the most? Well, Scott thought that guy was under control. When he fought and climbed into the national limelight, he found fidelity and integrity often stand at odds with desires and dreams. Joshua Tree is more than a redemptive novel and begs to ask if history makes a person, or does an influential person make our history. Intriguing. I also note you address this concept in your later questions.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? I don’t dislike Walter LoPresti as much as I fear him. For all the thousands of years of social evolvement, Walter is a man bypassed by humanity’s better traits. His heroes are dark villains and nasty legends, his brilliance unmatched, and his wanton desires legion. If at some time you were to fall within his crosshairs, don’t run, because as the saying goes, you’ll only die tired.

Are your characters based on real people? I like to think that all my characters have doppelgangers in real life. The only difference is one character is many people that I’ve known through the years. Therefore, no one character is reflected by a similar live person. My research sets the stage and renders my setting believable and possible. My memory and the interpretation of my own emotion drives the characters.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?Funny question, but no, I’ve never committed murder either literally or … literally. Some have not survived the story, but it wasn’t me that pulled the trigger. One of those dang protagonists killed him.

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? Research is the best part of filling out the reality in a novel; organization makes it worthwhile and believable. My studies are broken into two general camps. The first allows me to build a world, even if it happens to be in downtown Miami on Calle Ocho. I like real places with a real feel. If a book is cooking inside my brain, I like to go there. Most of the time, I’ve already been there because frankly, Google maps just won’t do it. The exception might be a back alley in Fairbanks, Alaska or Reykjavík Iceland. I’ve been in plenty of alleys and recall the smells and feel, so no, I won’t go camp out in New Orleans and pretend it’s cold.

The second research I try to minimize is using Bing or Google while I’m getting the first draft down. Afterwards, maybe, but stopping to plan out the size of a doomsday asteroid breaks my concentration and may end me up with start-stop disjointed writing. That usually turns into an additional draft, etc.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Absolutely. Theme is equally as important as creating a world, characters, and plot. A theme is my shot at influencing and affecting my reader’s outlook. I’m not egotistical enough to believe I’m always right, but I do have an opinion, and I like to share it. The theme in a novel is more than an opinion and often borders on strong belief. Harry Potter had a theme, and if you missed it, you missed out on Ms. Rowling’s message, muggle.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) In the historical context, great and strong personalities, possessing charisma, leadership, and other virtues are often consigned to local, less memorable events. This might be the respected dogcatcher, who with his superior wit and feel for animals saves a village from rampaging wolves. Because, the wolves are local, the dogcatcher never rises to the epic proportions of say, an Adolf Hitler. Here’s another character of wit and feel who stepped into history books largely because of the Weimar Republics’ abject failure in the 1920s. Could someone else have done what Hitler did? So goes the argument. My position? Historical circumstance allows the famous and infamous to be known, not the other way around. (Here comes all the philosophical opposites about to argue the other side of this well-worn coin. Go for it!)

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? Currently I only do print (Ingram Spark, Lulu, and CreateSpace-Amazon), and Ebooks (Smashwords, Kindle, Lulu, and PDF all via my website http://oliverchase.net). At this time, we’re considering an audio version of Levant Mirage. Joshua Tree will follow if LM is a commercial success. I love, trust, and believe in my work, but this stuff is really expensive. I haven’t done any hard covers or large print because I agree with setting financial priorities. Pearl River Publishing is a small, boutique publisher representing a limited number of authors with the stated goal of launching only a single writer at time. This enable that person’s full and unfettered use of all company resources. I had my shot, and now its Greg Lamb’s turn. He’s another terrific writer that PRPG will soon launch.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? That’s best answered by revealing my process:

1) I write a first draft…and a third draft, and each in between.

2) I then self edit in accordance with the Browne and King Self Editing manual.

3) The book then resides in a drawer (or desktop folder) for at least sixty days.

4)  I again read, and edit, and fault search-not error search-in accordance with the Canadian fiction self editing guide. I’m not a Canadian, but it’s a heck of a good guide.

5) I then grab coffee, schedule a day without interruption and read for “continuity, cleverness, and consistency.” Red ink marks only.

6) I grind the novel into an MS find and correct using my own unpublished guide.

6) My novel is then ready for an editor. I hire one and send it off.

7) Following two drafts reviews, I read a last time (and boy am I sick of re-reading), and then…

8) I then send to my beta reader and give them a couple months.

9) And then, you guessed it. I re-read, correct and send off for one last edit, but not by me. By another’s set of eyes.

10) Then, I release the book to the world. Watch out.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Absolutely. Today’s market has amazing self-pub authors (SPA). Some of the work I read, especially local colour literature easily reaches and exceed work I’ve read by traditionally published authors (TPA). For discussion purposes, a TPA is a product of one of the top houses or their off-shoot imprints. I’m somewhat a product of both and have my roots as a SPA, so when I say there’s a lot of less-than-professional work out there, I’m being critical of myself as well as others. We tend to rush our work to market, thinking readers will treat us like our mothers. Doesn’t work that way. A single mistake may put off a reader, and they’ll proceed no further. How many “free” novels have been offered? There’s no free novels in publishing! Those things drip in blood for god’s sake. Give them free to your parents, but sell them to a reader. How can they respect us, if we cheapen our work and ask for nothing except a promise in the future?

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes. All the time. Too often I’m forced to quit early due to overwhelming errors. Often enough, I’m engrossed and lose sleep with great stories.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? If you mean, me commenting on my reviewers, some things must be done in private. I’ve been slammed before. If you haven’t, you will, because it’s only a matter of time. Keep your opinion of the reviewer to yourself.

One of the greatest compliments ever paid to me was a reviewer who took another reviewer to task. I stayed above the fray and didn’t comment publically. Nor did I cry in my beer. There’s no crying in writing…did I already use that one? Life’s too short to take on a knucklehead, even if they deserve it. I’ve read enough to know a good novelist will just use a denigrating reviewer’s portrait in some future  work. I can’t wait to read it.

Reviews are huge and wildly important…to future readers. I like reviewers face to face. In a recent presentation to a library writer’s group, an audience member took me to task and pointed out a grammatical error. I appreciated that effort, because obviously she read the book. Afterwards, I scribbled a note to myself and added her critique to my self-edit checklist.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Not as much as some. Generally, I know the authors, like the authors, understand that not everyone will be on their game every time. I also know that what I like, may not be liked by someone else.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? It’s okay, and done often. Honest reviewers are key. Writing is like any other game in life. Integrity means we all get our fair shot. Cheating is for cheaters, and they can play their own game without me.

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

1) Read as often as you can. Always carry a book  in some form with you and hope someone will strike up a conversation. If they do, cover up the title of the book, and have fun telling them about your book. Oops…integrity right?

2) Set a schedule and write. Get up early or stay up late, but write every day. Make it a habit.

3) Keep your life in balance. Treat writing, family, obligations, duties, and responsibilities with equal importance. Keep any one, from dominating the other as you set priorities.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Eric Larsen’s Dead Wake. Absolutely chilling and suspenseful non-fiction.

 

Book links, website/blog and author links:

http://interestingauthors.com

http://oliverchase.net

http://oliverchase.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/oliverfchase

Here’s a trailer you might enjoy:

Levant Mirage 2015