Tag: New adult
Mob Ratbag – Spotlight and Blog Tour #NewAdult #Romance #Suspense
Dirty Dozen Author Interview – L. J. Kerry – Dystopian/New Adult
Author name: L.J. Kerry
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I’m definitely a ‘pantser’
What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Don’t give up, self-publishing is an option if no literary agents want you.
What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? To each their own to be honest. I don’t think it demeans an author’s work, I find this can entice somebody to actually purchase a book and some do see it as a marketing magnet.
How do you deal with bad reviews? It depends on the review’s content. If it is a critical review that can help me grow as a writer, I will take those comments on board and implement them into future work. However, if it doesn’t help me as an author I ignore it.
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I do a lot of research for my books, it takes a huge majority of my time. The wildest subject I’ve looked at is how much weight a bird’s nest can hold before it breaks, turns out not that much.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Just write. Ignore it if it’s bad you’ll clean it up later.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Don’t pay for an editor.
Tell us about your latest piece? My debut novel LISTED is a New Adult Dystopian novel about Judas Wells defying his country’s ruthless regime to rescue Nadine Ellis from her execution. This leads them both into a desperate situation and a fight for their survival.
What’s your next writing adventure? My next writing adventure is LISTED’s sequel REBOUND. Following on from the events of book one, my main characters are finding the past repeating itself but with a much more sinister twist.
With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? Definitely, especially with the recent loss of publishing houses making competition in the traditional world even more difficult. Hopefully in the future we can see more indie authors in bookstores.
Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? Yes self/published authors are viewed with a lot of skepticism and I think that is because of the stereotype that we publish poor-quality books that are either cheesy, and riddled with errors. I know there is a large majority of the poor-quality work in the self-publishing world but there are some self-published works which challenge traditional publishing.
Is there a message in your books? There is light in a dark time
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram – @ljkerrybooks
L.J. Kerry was born and raised in Sheffield, England. She has always loved to read and write from a young age, some of her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy and Dystopia.
Now living in Derbyshire, England. L.J. Kerry likes to spend her free time (aside from reading or writing) playing video games, travelling and learning new languages/cultures.
Blog Tour – Daughter of the Sun
Character Interview Number Twenty-Five – Dotty
Tell Us About Yourself
Name (s) Dotty
I’m a mishpoche, a bit of this and that. Mama’s from New York, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi. She was an accountant sent to help find a cooperative cattleman for a source of kosher beef to series of butcher shops Grampa owns. When my parents met they both had a love for violin music, and soon they were making music of their own. Mama wanted to marry Dad but Grampa wouldn’t have it, so instead Mama worked around by opting for common-law marriage, which Texas allows. That infuriated Grampa but he admired her cleverness in finding a way to marry without a ceremony he’d have to disown her for. My birth softened him up too, considerably, which is good as I love the old man dearly. So Mama taught me the traditions and Hebrew at home, and when I got old enough Dad let me play cowgirl. I found I loved the violin and got privately tutored in that from a young age, along with all my school subjects by tutors also. I just got my GED this year. Grampa and I love to debate matters whenever he visits.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Hashem gave me my looks. They’re definitely a mixed blessing.
Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I’m a Modern Orthodox, I believe my thoughts and feelings share a close connection with Hashem, and do I all I can in any given situation to keep the connection going.
Would you kill for those you love? In a heartbeat, but only if I absolutely must. The Sages say killing a person is just as bad as killing a whole world. In fact, I’ve had to surprise at least a dozen people one at a time with my shotgun during a recent crisis. I can still see the face of every person whose brains or heart I blew out. I never ever want to be placed in that position again. I see green blood all the way to my elbows that will never come off.
Would you die for those you love? Hell, yes. I drew a short straw where I had to stay on board a flagship we had to blow up. We found a fighter jet which our indigenous co-prisoner could fly, but had room for only one passenger. We picked Rick since he was the least qualified of us to storm the engine room, and gave him a remote detonator. We ordered him to blow up the flagship if it got close enough to slaughter millions, and not to wait for us to escape. Rick knew I was ready to die for the greater good, so he proposed to me just before he boarded. I knew I was ready to die too, but I accepted to show him how much I loved him.
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? As much as I follow Mama’s Jewish ideals of ethics and compassion toward every human being, I also follow everything my Daddy taught me about being a Texan, namely to stand tall, and everything which standing tall implies.
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? Rick. My dearest, wonderful, darling, gentle, dedicated, determined, considerate and brave young man who I married day before yesterday. Despite being sixteen he has compassion, patience, understanding and education far beyond his years.
He has only one serious fault, and that he tries so hard to please others he considers himself worthless. I think that’s the reason he finally was about to suicide at the subway. That same moment I was mugged and I fell onto the tracks, spraining my ankle. He put my needs over his and jumped onto the tracks, deciding to risk suicidal odds to save me, rather than settling for certain suicide on his own.
I had some problems with him being a hero by coincidence. I accused him of being a kamikaze seeking glory in death, rather than reverence for life being his motive. Once I understood more about him I had a change of heart.
People have tried to match me with high-status men of my heritage, but I want a man who is as pleasing to me as he is pleasing to Hashem. Rick qualifies several times over.
Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? Caring, feeding, and cleaning after animals while growing up on ranch was part of my daily life. I had a horse I was partial to, my favorite for various range chores. Rick and I don’t believe our local environment can support Terran livestock or pets, so we don’t have any.
Do you have a family? Tell us about them. I pretty much told you already. Mama relocated to Amarillo to live with Daddy and raise me. Daddy has more relatives than I can easily count, and has annual family reunions. Mama is an only child, and Grampa sadly enough is alone. Most of his relatives died in the Holocaust, and the others, including Grandma, had simply passed on from old age. I’m my parents’ only child. There were high hopes all around for me to choose a man soon and have his children to continue the lineage.
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? My childhood was wonderful. I remember was when I took my turns to light and bless the Sabbath candles. The flames twinkled like stars and my house was filled with warmth and love. I had fun out on the ranch and I took pride in myself doing a man’s work. I learned to accept the traditions of my people as Hashem’s recipe for joyful living. I don’t seek like the more devout to isolate myself from the world. For me to engage in tikkun olam, my duty to help repair the world, I want to be right out there where the action is.
Do you have any phobias? I hate rattlesnakes. I’m not afraid of them, but I won’t hesitate to kill them any time I get the chance. They’re a constant danger to livestock and people out on the range.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I was curious to taste and try forbidden things when I was younger. Each time the experience was nothing special and I felt instantly ashamed of doing it.
Tell Us About Your World
My husband would be only too glad to give you exhaustive detail regarding this world we have moved to as settlers. I’ll just provide you with my own personal impressions.
My first impression is of the people. Aside from having a biochemistry where potassium takes the place of sodium, they’re as human as we are. Because of said biochemical differences one of us can’t make a baby with one of them.
Some people might consider this an advantage. In fact, Rick turned down flat an offer from a chambermaid while he was bathing. Loss of virginity with no fear of any consequences whatever, in terms of purely physical risks. I even would have forgiven Rick if he had indulged… eventually. However, Rick doesn’t think that way. He grew up on Japanese space opera, adopting portions of bushido as his Torah and Talmud. He also absolutely adores me, and I absolutely adore him.
Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. I don’t believe my observation would surprise anyone, but it seems to me the discovery of any form of ethical monotheism is a huge step of any civilization towards maturity.
Both Terra and this world have a diverse collection of religious belief and practice, but on both planets there seemed only one person each who made the intellectual and emotional leap.
Each of those people formed their own nation living by ideals of compassion and mercy far in advance of their neighbors. We’re kindred spirits, their people and mine, and to some extent we’ve fallen in love with each other. We have a lot we can teach each other, but Rick and I follow our own traditions, and they, theirs.
I believe the bond we formed during our adventures is now the common ground for creating a military alliance and trade relationship between Terra and this world.
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Our arrival there was pure accident, Rick can explain more in detail. The continent we sought refuge on has their own answer to our interstate system. Their highways are perfect. They don’t use fossil fuels, so their cars are all electric.
Name and describe a food from your world. Whitefruit. Delicious in it’s own right, safe to eat but very fattening, and they press it for cooking oil. Terran women should never eat it while on a birth control shot. Our dear friends found this out the hard way. They got pregnant a month before we returned to Earth.
Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? They don’t even have a term for magic, but when confronted with the unknown, like us, they tend to blink. I had to empty an entire palace quickly by threatening non-existent Terran magic upon them.
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) Until Rick imposed otherwise, feudalism was the only form of government in all the nations of this world. Rick took over rule of the entire world by asking the local saint for help, using that power performed a Moses gambit which among other things abolished monarchy everywhere, called for elections in one Terran year, then stepped down immediately. Could you imagine an ordinary sixteen year old Terran boy doing that? Rick is a man in all the ways that count, a true mensch.
Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? There’s only the one single people. The monotheists broke away from the main empire, but the main empire wants them back. They had been in constant cold war till we came along. Events triggered by our arrival began a full scale war.
Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. I know a little about the founding of this country. The first queen here confiscated the crown of her old country and forbade anyone from touching it aside from her. When she died the people revered her as a saint, and it was found the crown would kill anyone who tried to take it for the absolute power it represents. Rick explained it’s a Siege Perilous myth. He concluded he was the Galahad. He turned out to be absolutely right, but not before he gave me the scare of my life. He was clinically dead for thirty seconds the moment he touched the crown on the lady’s grave site.
What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Early modern with spot brilliances. We need to import our food, what’s edible here doesn’t provide all our nutritional needs.
Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some.
Aside from the founding queen, no. She personally had attained the powers of a saint after death and was posted to watch over this world. When Rick took over, he released her to the afterlife to join her husband and son. His act moved me to tears.
Within your civilisation what do you think is the most important discovery/invention?
The most important discovery this world has ever made is in finding the one God who created the universe and wants only good for the peoples He created even on worlds we have yet to encounter. The people of our adopted land don’t worship Hashem directly like we do, they invoke Him as a neutral and abstract principle, like an axiom of mathematics or physics.
Name three persons of influence/renown within your society and tell why they are influential (Could be someone like Christ/Mandela/Queen Elizabeth or a renowned figure from a non-human/fantasy world.)
The Crown Princess, after first hearing how I retook my ship from it’s captor, asked if I could be her sister. Her father adopted me into a cadet branch of his house so that I could. We’re two of a kind, her and I, and we will forever treat each other as such. Now I am really am a Jewish-American princess.
It turns out the pilot who flew Rick out of the enemy flagship was the Crown Prince. He made certain Rick was cared for and made comfortable while waiting for the rest of us to make it to safety. I’m forever grateful to him.
His father, the Emperor, is a kind and gentle old man who can be quite merciless and ruthless in the defence of his kingdom.
Because the flagship we destroyed was on a mission to lay waste to his land using nuclear weaponry, he immediately ordered as a reprisal the launch of all his submarine based missiles. The enemy detected the launch and countered with their own land-based missiles.
Only a few hours remained until this entire world would be devastated. Only then, did Rick decide to intervene…
Synopsis (aka blurb):
Four teenagers’ lives connect irrevocably.
A lonely young sculptor first tries to escape his abusive parents through his talent, and when that avenue is closed chooses to throw himself before a subway train. His moment is interrupted by a desperate cry for help from near the lethally electrified third rail…
A college freshman from a very wealthy family has a knack for building whatever he wants and staying centered in a confusing world. His best friend is about to yank his life far off center completely by surprise…
A musical superstar holds God close, walking through life with one foot each in two very different deserts. She will find then lose her one and only true love. Regaining him will stain her pure hands with many peoples’ blood.
A girl who should still be in high school is already well on her way to a master’s degree in mathematics. Her mind holds the key to the stars… but that same mind holds unknown to her a truly terrifying other personality.
Her academic advisor and personal mentor is a professor in astrophysics. He can’t tell her he’s now received orders from the blackest agency to exist in their country’s government: her discovery must never see the light of day…
Their struggles against themselves and each other, plus uncanny coincidences, cruel choices, breathtaking valor, and agonizing sacrifices for love’s sake, will test everyone’s limits during their journey across the Milky Way and back.
Book(s) in which this character appears plus links
Andrew Jonathan Fine
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.
Author Interview Number Twenty-Four Sarah Daltry
Welcome to Sarah Daltry
Please tell us a little about yourself. This is a little like being on a job interview and you never know what to say. I’m sort of a boring person. I tend to share more of myself through my work than I do in real life, but mostly because I don’t think people in real life care much about my story! I’m fairly uninteresting. I went to college, then grad school. I floundered a while trying to find a career (not a job – had those, but they didn’t really click) first in accounting, then in counselling, and eventually in teaching. I liked parts of each, but still felt unfinished. Although I suppose that isn’t true about counselling; I left that to pursue teaching since I had an English degree. I think that’s where I most want to go back – counselling.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write erotica and romance, although sort of a strange mix of romance. The erotica is really basic erotica, and right now, it’s caught in this mess with Amazon. I don’t write and I definitely don’t condone illegal activity, but the process has been random, it seems.
My romance novels include Bitter Fruits, which was self-published for a couple weeks before being picked up by Escape/Harlequin. It will be back out in December (preorders starting soon). Bitter Fruits is a New Adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy tied to Biblical and vampire mythology. This is the first in a planned trilogy called Eden’s Fall. It will definitely be three books, because three is a symbolic number in religious mythology and plays a big role in the series as well.
I have also chosen to self-publish my second series, Flowering, which includes Forget Me Not and Lily of the Valley. They are technically New Adult romance/coming of age, but they’re a little mashup of several things more than traditional romance. I really like YA and I write YA under my real name. I always saw NA as an extension of YA, but with the freedom of adding more erotic elements. College is a time of experimentation, especially sexually. So I think they are kind of smutty YA for actual young adults – people 17 -23 going through these life changes – or for people who still relate to that period in their lives. Forget Me Not is Lily’s story of finding Jack, and also about growing up and figuring out who she is, outside of her parents, her high school boyfriend, etc. Lily of the Valley is Jack’s story, and how he learns to let the past go and open up to someone. The series will continue after these two.
Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Hemingway and Salinger. They both wrote the way I wish I wrote. I try, but I will never compare to either of them. I like the simplicity in their styles, the way they find the true nature of humanity and expose it. Neither was interested in marketability and, in fact, both ended up getting dragged through the press for doing something different, but without them, modern literature would not be what it is. I also prefer first person writing, although I am not the kind of person to NOT read something in third. It’s just a preference. They both do it exceptionally well. The Sun Also Rises and The Catcher in the Rye are my favourite novels of all time. In fact, another author and teacher told me Jack reminded her a little of Holden. Some people may hate that, but it meant the world to me. If only I could write a character that well!
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? I did a lot more for Bitter Fruits, mostly to confirm some myths I had read previously. It’s more work because the myth is part based on other myths and part a fictionalized story. But I wanted to make sure I got certain stuff correct. I majored in English and studied mythology extensively. In addition, I grew up intrigued by theology and I’ve read the Bible several times. All of it. So most was already something I knew. I just needed clarification. In writing contemporary romance, I didn’t stray much from what I know either personally or through people I know.
When I was in my writing seminars in college and grad school, the mantra “write what you know” was always the primary focus. I think people sometimes confuse this with writing your own life. My characters are not me, or any one person in particular. They are, however, pieces of me, pieces of people I know, pieces of other influences. But I spent a lot of my life in school so I write college, because it’s what I know. I write places I know (all my titles so far are based in New England). I think it’s important to keep some truth in your writing. I’ve never been to Australia, so it would be silly to write about it. Sure I could research it and look at pictures, ask questions, but really? My soul would be missing from it, because it wasn’t true to me. And going back to Hemingway, I feel like truth is the basis of storytelling. You start with truth and thus comes fiction.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? (if applicable). Flowering is available in ebook and paperback. Bitter Fruits will be in ebook only with a very, very limited personal print run I’m using for giveaways and signings. I have no plans to do audio, although Harlequin owns the print rights for Bitter Fruits if print is a worthy investment on their part. However, for now, it will be digital only.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? Well, I’m biased since I’m also an editor. So, yes, you should have someone edit your book – like me! 😉 But really, I do think another set of eyes helps. Even though I have plenty of background in writing and am more than qualified to edit my own work, I don’t only self-edit. I revise and edit obviously, but I then send it to an editor and a few other people for comments. Often it’s a matter of missing something that another person notices or, if I’m lucky, a typo that usually, inevitably, doesn’t get caught no matter how many people look at it.
I think a lot of people confuse editing with proofreading. That’s a huge part of it and I’m shocked by how many books are published without even basic proofreading. I’m not talking a few typos; I mean, serious glaring POV switches, tense shifts, misuse of your/you’re, etc. And not just once. Typos happen even in the biggest publishing houses. But it shouldn’t be endless. However, editing is more than that, too. Your character is 20 on page 8 and 23 on page 75. But time hasn’t passed. When you’re writing, you are thinking about the big picture and often miss these things. Someone else not used to seeing it for months on end picks up on it right away.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? I do it sometimes, but only on good ones. I’ve thanked reviewers, told them when the next book comes out, and even clarified. I’ve had five star reviews where I just wanted to clarify something. The person obviously liked the book and I didn’t do it to be a jerk. I think dialogue is nice, as a reader. I love when my favourite writers talk to me. I love knowing they read my comments and reviews – and that they appreciate them.
As far as comments on bad reviews, just don’t. No one benefits. The person will not change their mind and you look silly. It’s hard because sometimes people are just so far off target. You want to tell them they missed the point, that that’s not even what the book was about, but really? They don’t care. They either didn’t read it, skimmed it, feel like being a miserable troll, are genuinely dumb, or just don’t like your book. There is nothing you can do to fix that. They’re not going to read it if they didn’t. If they’re a horrible person who likes to be a jerk, they’re going to use it as fodder to be more awful. If they’re stupid, well, you can’t fix stupid! J And if they don’t like your book, they don’t like your book. I don’t like every book. Personally, I tend to focus on what I do like and I don’t leave negative reviews, because there is too much good to focus on, but to each his own.
Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I hate noise when I’m writing EXCEPT music. Music does inspire and motivate me and if I remember or if it’s not too late or I can find my headphones, I listen to music.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? As someone who loves movies and video games, I think it’s simply a matter of delivery. However, a novel like The Catcher in the Rye only works as a book. It’s personal, intimate, a private conversation between Holden and the reader. I’m not one to say you can’t be emotionally moved by movies or games; I have been. I majored in English and taught English. I love books. I love the classics. But I think it’s a different medium. That’s all. Each does something well. Books tend to be, like I said, more intimate, and maybe that’s why I prefer first person. A movie can’t be that personal. You can watch a movie, but you’re like an omniscient narrator – detached. In a first person novel, you are right there, while your new friend tells you the story. A video game is often that way, but games are bigger and usually involve action. A book takes nothing of you; it only gives.
What advice would you give new writers? Publishing and marketing are horrible. They will make you hate writing. Before you start out, make a note of why you like your stories. What it is about books and writing that inspire you. Because a year down the road, you will need it.
I grew up with books. They were my best friends, sometimes my only friends. I always counted on books when I was sad, lonely, sick, etc. to be my place to escape. I don’t read only happy books and I can escape into a sad story just as well, but I discovered through books that other people thought like I did. Even living in a small town where I felt like everyone around me was different than me, that I was some kind of weirdo, I knew because of books that other people were thinking the same things.
Now, after doing this for a while, I’ve started to hate books. I see the industry as nothing more than a random marketing campaign. The writing doesn’t matter. The story doesn’t matter. If you market yourself well and get the press and publicity you want (easier if you have lots of money), you will do well. There are great novels out there right, both indie and traditional, that no one is reading. But those writers didn’t market themselves to the right people. And it depresses me. When I get down about it, though, I reread “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” and think of all the “mute, inglorious Miltons.” How many hundreds of years ago was that written? But nothing has changed.
What are your best marketing/networking tips? Clearly, I do not have any! There is no one I will not talk to or help out, though, so I suppose that’s my tip. Be available and be nice.
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? I mostly read classics and YA. I don’t like a lot of romance, I have to admit, because it’s too easy. I like a story that breaks me in places, even if it heals me up again. I want to see life in the story. I want to relate. I don’t read to escape in the same way others do. I don’t read a lot of fantasy, either, unless it’s tied to reality. My favorite contemporary writer is Courtney Summers, because she refuses to play fair to her characters. Life isn’t fair. Life hurts and sometimes, things don’t work out. I like some hope in a book, although it isn’t necessary. I just want to put a book down and feel like I was emotionally affected. The classics do that the most, and realistic YA. And realistic. Not just angsty with drama that is over the top and beyond most people’s experiences. Tell me the truth about life.
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I love math and I’m OCD. When I get really stressed out, I do equations to relax.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
- Sign Up – Release Day Blitz – Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry (NA Paranormal Romance) (tonyaloveslife.wordpress.com)
- Bitter Fruits ~Book Spotlight~ & Stranded In Paradise ~Teaser~ (loveromancebooks.wordpress.com)
- Sarah Daltry Promo Blitz!!! (booksbooksbooksblog.wordpress.com)
- Star of Bethlehem by Sarah Saltry @SarahDaltry #cover (readingrenee.com)