Returning Author Thaddeus White

I’d like to welcome back author Thaddeus White

Please recap briefly about your books:

Most recently, my fantasy-comedy The Adventures of Sir Edric has been published. It’s a rollicking, fast-paced story, crammed with silly and cynical humour. I’ve also self-published two ‘serious’ fantasy books (Bane of Souls and Journey to Altmortis), and another in the same world (Kingdom Asunder) is close to completion.

What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!

The Adventures of Sir Edric came out, which is my first traditionally published book. As I write this, there’s a couple of days to go, so I have no idea how well/badly it’s doing, but I do know your readers should give it a look. After all, laughter’s good for you.

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, solid plot, great world-building, technically perfect.

Personally, I’m relaxed about typos and grammar errors when I read (I do go mad when I find any in my own work, though). Characters are what sell me something. I’d rather read about a fascinating fellow or clever lass doing something tedious than read about a boring man doing something that should be exciting.

Plot is very important too. Little twists can help invest a reader in a book, and if the plot seems shallow or non-sensical then it can be hard to take seriously or even to care about. Having a great world is good, but the world is the backdrop to the story. The foreground is the characters and plot, and if those are wrong, having a great world can’t rescue a book.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? 

Er… yes and no. I try to as much as possible (although The Adventures of Sir Edric has also been professionally edited). Especially with my self-published stuff, I do as much as I can myself. Leaving aside the Yorkshire instinct to save money, I also think it’s just better that way. It’s my name on the cover, so I should do as much as I can and get the credit/blame. Worth noting my editor has picked up a few (small) points for potential change.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? 

Yes. If you go into business for yourself as a carpenter (or even musician) people applaud your self-reliance. Do it as a writer and people assume you failed to get an agent/publisher. Now, sometimes that’s true, but often it isn’t. The issue is market saturation of authors, and that some who self-publish rush to do it and have poorer quality because of that.

If you get something traditionally published then others, whose jobs depend on books succeeding, think it’s worth the green light. So, traditional publishing still has more kudos than self-publishing (although with the latter you have more control and get a higher percentage per sale, so it’s not all one-way traffic).

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

Reviews are vital. An author saying “Buy my book, it’s good” may be truthful (or not) but they have a clear vested interest. A third party reviewing and confirming a book is indeed good (or not) is helpful for both readers and writers. Generally, authors shouldn’t comment on reviews. If there’s a factual inaccuracy, that may be an exception.

When buying a book do you read the reviews?

Reviews are often the second thing (after the blurb) I’ll check. I’ll read a few of the top positive and a few of the top negative before buying, or choosing not to.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors?

If they’re being neutral, I think it’s fair enough. It can be a bit awkward when reviews are swapped (that’s one of the reasons I don’t do reviews for fantasy any more). But the idea Mark Lawrence or Joe Abercrombie should be forbidden from recommending other good fantasy books is mad as a mongoose wearing a fez.

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

Thickness of skin is crucial. Too thin, and you’ll be upset at criticism (and criticism is your friend, it teaches you the ways you can improve). Too thick, and you’ll not take any notice of what other people say.

I’d also say, be stubborn. The middle third of a book is tricky. Initial excitement has worn off and the end is months away. Just keep buggering on. Lastly, engage with the community of your book’s genre. Whether that’s just one forum or a few (don’t stretch yourself too thin), you’ll get good advice on dos and don’ts.

How have you progressed as a writer since you started?

I’ve been doing it for long enough to have found the way that works best for me (a fairly light outline, solid word counts every day, redrafting in a certain way etc). There’s no magic X factor, it’s just a case of learning through experience. Listening to advice is useful but people do write in different ways and you shouldn’t force yourself to stick to someone else’s approach if it doesn’t work for you.

What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?

Proofreading. It makes my eyes go fuzzy, I get annoyed when I find mistakes and annoyed when I don’t. The only upside to proofreading is when it ends.

What are your views on authors offering free books?

I think it can make sense at the start of a series, but only for one or two books. More than that, and people will think that the zero price tag reflects the value of your work.

What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book?  Tell us about it.

I can’t give a precise date for the next book. It’s likely to be Kingdom Asunder, the first part of a trilogy I’m writing (currently on the second book, Traitor’s Prize). Unsurprisingly, it’s about a kingdom that’s being split in two by civil war. As well as the battle between King and Usurper, there are rivalries within both camps, and lashings of betrayal, murder and blood.

 

 

Links etc.

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MorrisF1

Parody twitter – https://twitter.com/HeroOfHornska

Blog – http://thaddeusthesixth.blogspot.co.uk

Website – http://thaddeuswhite.weebly.com

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thaddeus-White/e/B008C6RU98/

Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/Thaddeus-White/e/B008C6RU98/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – New Release

Kitchen Imps 1.2.jpg

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Talessix short tales of mayhem and mischief.

Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DPJ5TQC

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Other-Tales-Fire-Side-Collection-ebook/dp/B01DPJ5TQC/

I’m delighted to announce the release of my latest short story collection. The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales is the first in the Fire-Side Tales Collection of short fantasy for all the family. These fairytale-esque short fiction pieces bring us the Kitchen Imps – a naughty race of beings who inhabit the house, causing mischief where ever they go. Ever wondered where socks go when you wash them? Well the Joy of Socks will answer that age-old mystery.

Some of these tales have appeared in anthologies with the Indie Collaboration or Wyrd Worlds but have been revised and expanded for this collection.

Currently only available on Amazon the Kitchen Imps will appear on the Smashwords associated stores shortly and hopefully as an audio book.

There will be more tales from my favourite little rascals so please watch this space.

Cover image Fluenta@Fotolia.com

 

 

Returning Author Terry W Ervin II

I’d like to welcome back Terry W. Ervin II, author of the First Civilization’s Legacy Series and the Crax War Chronicles.

Please recap briefly about your books: First, thank you for having me back.

Flank Hawk, Blood Sword, and Soul Forge are post-apocalyptic fantasy action adventure novels that make up the First Civilization’s Legacy Series. They follow the adventures of Mercenary Flank Hawk. While his skills with sword and spear are far from legendary, he makes up for it with tenacity, dedication and loyalty.

Relic Tech and Relic Hunted are the first two installments in my science fiction series, The Crax War Chronicles. Security Specialist 4th Class Krakista Keesay is a Relic, meaning he relies on late 20th Century technology. Specialist Keesay does his utmost, both aboard ship and on distant colonies, fending off the invading Crax and their traitorous human allies.

Maybe a quote will give a good feel for the series:

The tech level premise is fascinating, but what really makes the novel special is the spirit of Krakista Keesay. Kra is a hero to root for—often underestimated, adept with brass knuckles, bayonet, shotgun, and all sorts of old style weaponry. He proves that, while technology matters, so do courage, intelligence, and daring.”
—Tony Daniel, Hugo-finalist, author of Metaplanetary and Guardian of Night

 Beyond that, I’ve written a number of short stories that range from SF and horror to mystery and inspirational. When the rights reverted to me from their original publications, Gryphonwood press released them as a collection, Genre Shotgun.

 

What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!

Since my interview in January of 2014 ( https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/author-interview-number-thirty-seven-terry-w-ervin-fantasysci-fi/ ) my publisher, Gryphonwood Press, has released Soul Forge (June

2014) and Relic Hunted (January 2016)

 

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?

While some authors and reviewers view self-published authors differently from traditionally published authors, I think readers are less focused on such divisions. Readers are interested in good books, ones that catch their imagination while providing an engaging read.

I will say that self-published authors that produce quality stories, coupled with good editing, formatting and everything else that goes with a professional product, have a substantial opportunity to find readers, especially ebook readers. Those that don’t will struggle to find and build readership of their works.

 

Do you read work by self-published authors?

Yes. Currently I am reading (and listening to—I enjoy audiobooks) Stephen Campbell’s Hard Luck Hank Series, as well as Robert Bevan’s Critical Failure Series.

I’ll add that of traditionally published authors, I am very much enjoying Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.

 

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

  1. Finish projects. Get that first draft done. Then go back and revise and edit and repeat until you’ve produced the very best book you can.
  2. While you’re submitting the completed manuscript to agents/publishers or working to self-publish it, write something else. Don’t wait to see what happens (either way).
  3. The best ‘how to’ books for writing are successful novels. Yes, there are many ‘how to write’ books out there, but they can only give a writer the basics. Read, and reread, and study writers you enjoy. See how they do it…tell the stories, create dialogue and interesting characters, pace the storyline, incorporate foreshadowing, irony, characterization and more. If you get stuck on a problem, refer to those novels/authors. See how they did it, then apply what you learned, incorporating it into your own storyline and writing style.

 

What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?

Completing that first draft. I don’t mind planning/plotting and I actually enjoy editing. I’m an English teacher, so I guess that makes sense. I don’t know why I dislike completing the first draft the most. Maybe because it takes the longest.

 

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?

Masters of the Air: Americas Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller. Yes, I enjoyed it. I read a lot of books related to World War II. Beyond the enjoyment, reading and studying history provides ideas for plots and stories and characters.

 

Do you have a favourite movie?

I would say Serenity is my favorite movie. It offers a mixture of action and adventure and humor and sort of wraps up what was started in the short-lived SF television series, Firefly.

 

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?

 I’ve held a lot of jobs in my life, from library assistant and dishwasher to landscape assistant and quality control at a potato chip factory. Currently I am an English teacher, an e-course instructor, a village councilman, and an author. My wife teases that any Ervin working fewer than two jobs is a slacker—that, and she says if I’m not busy I get grumpy.

But as to my worst job (or least favorite)? A golf caddie when I was in high school. I didn’t mind the hard work, but I found that the more money the golfer had, the more poorly they tipped and less respect they had for the hard work their caddie did. Maybe my high school experience was out of the mainstream, but it left me with utterly no desire to ever play golf.

How is that experience used in my writing? An experience of life learned about human nature and the human condition.

 

What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book? Tell us about it.

 My plans for the future are to keep writing. I have several Flank Hawk (First Civilization’s Legacy) novels planned, at two Relic Tech (Crax War Chronicles) novels and possibly one novella in mind, along with a YA based that leans heavily on Norse mythology tentatively titled Icebox to Asgard, a middle school novel, tentatively titled Go Home Gnome, and a novel where gamers get caught up in their RPG world. That last one isn’t a unique plot idea, but I have some interesting twists which I think could lead to a series.

But, beyond my recent release, Relic Hunted, I am now working on an alien invasion novel whose working title is Jack’s Tale, but I am leaning towards Thunder Wells. That last one, I hope to have out before the end of summer 2016. It’s about a loner trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where aliens have seeded the Earth with nasty critters that feed on humans—after using EMPs to wipe out the world’s electrical grids and high tech devices, bombarding key targets and cities from orbit, and inflicting mass damage and death through creation of tsunamis. Jack gets shanghaied into joining a team transporting one of the few remaining functional nuclear warheads in a desperate bid to destroy the alien colony ship before it deposits its cargo, dooming what remains of humanity.

To contact Terry or find out more about his books and writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com or his blog, Up Around the Corner at uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com

 

#ThiefPromo Dragon Thief Promo and Tour

Promo Info
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Title: Dragon Thief
Author: Marc Secchia
Publication Date: December 12, 2015
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis

From Marc Secchia, bestselling author of five rip-roaring dragon fantasy adventures, comes a tale of dragons and treasure, and a pilfering rascal who has his eye set on rewriting history – only, the treasure has other ideas. And fate? That will sweep him away to a destiny far more precious than he ever dreamed.

Kal was not a thief. He certainly did not intend to steal any dragon’s treasure.

He was an adventurer. Avid art collector. Incurable wealth adjuster and risk-taker. Kal had legendary expertise in the security arrangements of palaces and noble houses the world over. He hankered for remote, craggy mountaintops and the dragon hoards he might find hidden beneath them. Besides, what harm was there in looking? Dragon gold was so very … shiny.

Most especially, he was not planning for any treasure to steal him.

That was a little awkward, to say the least.

Returning Author Andrea Downing and her New Release

I’d like to welcome back author Andrea Downing.                                      Thanks so much, Alex, for having me back; I’m delighted to be here once again.

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1)  Please recap briefly about your books:   My first three books were all historical western romances—Loveland and the two novellas, Lawless Love and Dearest Darling.  Now, on February 4th, I have a contemporary women’s fiction, albeit with strong elements of romance, coming out:  Dances of the Heart.  Quite a departure for me.  It does take place predominantly in Texas so I haven’t left the west, but it’s very different from anything I’ve written before, especially as it also has military themes.

2)  What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!  Well, both Loveland and Lawless Love were finalists in the RONE Contest so that was quite exciting; it’s a bit early for Dearest Darling to have garnered anything as that only came out Oct. 10, 2014, but I remain hopeful!  Lawless Love also placed in the International Digital Awards.  Dances took quite a long time to get to publication for various reasons, and I even had to postpone the publication date once, so I’m very excited it’s finally making an appearance.  I guess moving away very slightly from traditional romance is the biggest change; the book I’m working on at the moment is also not an historical western though, have no fear, there are plots in the back of my mind so I will return to that genre.

3)  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…)  I’m reviewing in my mind some books I’ve read recently and think I’m for solid plot, great characters, great world-building and technically perfect.  First of all, I’ve read some books where the characters were believable but there was no real plot, no complexity or sub-plot or conflict and so, for me, the book just died.  So that is my Numero Uno.  But pretty much hand-in-hand goes great characters; if your characters are flat or one-dimensional, the book will die.  They must have inner conflicts to keep the plot moving along.  The importance of world-building, to me, depends on the plot and the genre.  Even with a contemporary it can be very important if you’re creating a situation dependent on the world—say, a child goes missing at a summer camp in the Adirondacks.  But the importance, I think, varies with the book.  And technically perfect I put last because if it’s a great story and you love it, you’ll probably overlook just about anything technical I believe.  That’s not to say it doesn’t have to be perfect technically, just that it’s the easiest thing in my humble opinion to overlook.

4)  Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?  I don’t self-edit, unless you include rewriting and so on, but those are the normal things an author does.  I do believe you need a professional editor because as good as an editor as you may be yourself, nothing compares to having that set of professional eyes scan over the project.  If you’ve created something and it’s your baby, it’s difficult to let go even when you know you should be changing, deleting or whatever.  Your editor is the voice in the back of your mind that you MUST  listen to.

5)  Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?  I think some years ago that was the case but I do believe it’s totally changed now and they’re considered the same as any author.  When self-publishing first came out, it was viewed as a type of vanity publishing, which had a very bad reputation:  if you had enough money, you could get yourself published.  Now we know that, while there is a lot of dross out there, there is also a load of excellent stuff.  Many authors just feel that the rewards are great enough to compensate for the hassles of self-publishing.  For me, I need the validation that being published by someone else brings—if they liked my work enough to publish it, readers might like it too.

6) Do you read work by self-published authors?  A few years ago I bought a book on Amazon without noticing it was self-published. It was terrible; it was so bad, in fact, I was going to use it as a text for a creative-writing course in what not to do.  It was literally the worst book I’d ever read, and I bought it because the storyline seemed interesting to me, an historical novel.  I swore then I would always check to see if a book was self-published and not buy it if it was.  Well, times have changed.  I’ve read some really excellent self-published books and I now believe that it is as much a toss-up as to whether you enjoy a book whether it is self-published or published by the Big Six.  There are no guarantees…

7)  When buying a book do you read the reviews? Yes, I do read some of the reviews but that doesn’t necessarily mean they sway me one way or the other.   If it’s for an author I’ve previously read and I like the storyline, I’ll probably read the book whatever the reviews say.  For instance, I recently finished Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch; I’ve read her previous two books and loved them, so, although the readers’ reviews were mixed, nothing was going to stop me from taking on this behemoth work. If it’s for an author I’ve never read, then the reviews hold far more sway no matter what the plot line is.  I feel, why waste my time?  And if it’s for an author I’m slightly iffy about, then I consider the reviews and weigh it against how much the blurb appeals to me.

8)  How have you progressed as a writer since you started?  Gracious, I certainly hope I’ve progressed!  I’d love to re-write my first book, Loveland, although a lot of people told me they loved that book but I do think I could do better with it now.  I’m actually afraid to say much more because Dances of the Heart, which is just coming out, was written before Dearest Darling and it’s contemporary, which I am tackling for the first time, so who knows what readers will think.  But to ask me specifically “how” I think I’ve progressed is difficult to answer; I guess I’d just say my writing has matured!

9)  Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?  I’m just finishing up Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China by Pearl S. Buck.  I guess just about everyone has read Buck’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Good Earth; I certainly did, in school. So when this came up as a deal on Amazon, I decided to give it a try, but I have to say it isn’t exactly a page-turner, though, as an historical novel, it’s quite interesting.  I’m looking forward to balancing this by reading a load of romance next.

10)  Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author?  It’s difficult to name my favourite traditionally published author, there are so many of them in so many different genres.  For literary fiction, I’d count in Isabel Allende, Donna Tartt, and British author Maggie O’Farrell.  For historical novels, I loved the Poldark novels of Winston Graham and the Sharpe novels of Bernard Cornwell.  And, finally, for romance I love Nora Roberts, of course, and Julie Garwood, but Maggie Osborne wins the prize.  My favourite self-published author is Karen Casey Fitzjerrell; she writes literary books that take place in Texas and has won several awards for her work.  I recommend them highly.

11)  What are your views on authors offering free books?  I just wrote to someone in an email about this.  My editor-in-chief is, apparently, against this and I begin to see why.  I’ve given away a number of free books and I don’t think a single one has resulted in a review.  The purpose of the giveaway is to try to get a larger audience by giving away a book that may then be recommended to others.  Well, in my view, the best way to recommend a book is to review it, but even fellow authors who have won my books have not reviewed them.  I understand we are all terribly busy and have very little time, but a couple of sentences is all it takes to put a review on Amazon.  Even those who have promised to review have not done so; maybe they don’t like them and don’t want to review them for that reason, but if they then return to the next giveaway, it doesn’t seem so.  So, to answer your question and stop griping, I don’t think giveaways do very much more than bring in more comments to blog posts—everyone wants something for free.

12)  Give us a bit of information about your primary character(s).    Dances of the Heart is a four-hander; that is, there are basically 2 couples in this story, the parents and their twenty-something offspring.  Carrie Bennett is a highly successful romance writer; think Nora Roberts but more on the social scene of NYC and the Hamptons.  She’s a workaholic who doesn’t face up to the fact she’s been unable to have a lasting relationship with a man since her divorce many years ago.  On top of that, she has a daughter Paige who tragically lost her fiancé to leukaemia while they were at law school and now can’t seem to get herself back on track.  While on a research trip down in Texas, these two come across the Ryders.  Ray, the father, is a heavy drinker who finds it difficult to deal with the loss of his older son in Afghanistan, though his sense of humour eases him over the rough spots with the help of booze. His younger son, Jake, returns to the family ranch from his stint in Iraq knowing several secrets about his older brother.  So that’s the basic background to the primary characters, Alex, and I’ll leave it at that with my sincere thanks for having me here today.  It’s been a great interview for me; many thanks again!

***

AuthorAndrea Downing

Genre:  contemporary women’s fiction/romance

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:  Successful, workaholic author Carrie Bennett lives through her writing, but can’t succeed at writing a man into her life. Furthermore, her equally successful but cynical daughter, Paige, proves inconsolable after the death of her fiancé.

Hard-drinking rancher Ray Ryder can find humor in just about anything—except the loss of his oldest son. His younger son, Jake, recently returned from Iraq, now keeps a secret that could shatter his deceased brother’s good name.

On one sultry night in Texas, relationships blossom when the four meet, starting a series of events that move from the dancehalls of Hill Country to the beach parties of East Hampton, and from the penthouses of New York to the backstreets of a Mexican border town. But the hurts of the past are hard to leave behind, especially when old adversaries threaten the fragile ties that bind family to family…and lover to lover.

 

Excerpt: “You know how to Texas Two-Step?” he asked.

“No,” she said, laughter just below the surface.

“Well, sweetheart, you have come to the right place. Or at least got yourself the right man. By the time I finish with you, you’ll be the best dang stepper on the floor.”

Carrie looked around. “There isn’t anyone else on the floor at the moment, Ray.”

“Well, heck, I know that. That’s perfect for learning.”

As soon as his hand closed around hers, the leather of his palm a strange glove over her own fingers, a sudden frisson of connection ran through her she hadn’t known in a very long while. He moved her to face him squarely on, a small smile tipping the edges of his mouth, the dark, impenetrable eyes shining with his captured prize.

“Just follow me,” he said as his right hand went to her back. A cover of a Vince Gill ballad started, the mournful tune setting a moderate tempo. “Perfect.” He held her right hand high and applied slight pressure to move her backwards. “Fast fast slow slow, fast fast slow slow.”

Carrie felt a light bulb go on. She got it. It was good. It was fun. And she relaxed in his embrace. He was an excellent teacher, a fabulous leader on the dance floor. Would wonders never cease?

“You’re doing well. You’re doing fine,” he assured her. “We’re gonna try a little promenade now, and then a twirl, so get ready.”

Carrie couldn’t stop herself from smiling, anticipation bubbling for just a second. And then out of the corner of her eye she caught Ty watching them, beer half-raised in salute and a smirk plastered on his face. A moment’s hesitation and she missed the step.

“What happened there?” asked Ray, oblivious to the effect the on-looker had on her.

Other couples were finally joining them on the dance floor, but despite the company, Carrie’s discomfort increased. “That boy, that Ty,” she told him. “He was watching us. It made me feel…uneasy.”

Ray scanned the sidelines, but Ty had gone, nowhere to be seen. “Oh, don’t pay him any mind. He’s harmless enough.”

 

Bio:  Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born, instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards and placed in the 2014 International Digital Awards Historical Short contest.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and came out Oct. 8th, 2014, and Dances of the Heart, her first contemporary novel, comes out in February, 2015.

 

Links to Social Media:  WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

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

Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446229.Andrea_Downing

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Buy Links:  Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dances-Heart-Andrea-Downing-ebook/dp/B00S46BGY6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421510959&sr=8-2&keywords=Dances+of+the+Heart

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6060

Reviews:  This book has not been released as yet and there are therefore no reviews

Tags:  Andrea Downing, Texas, New York City, East Hampton, Hill Country, writers, ranchers, military, loss

 

New Release and Cover Reveal – Paradise Rot – Satirical Fiction

Paradise Rot by Larry Weiner – cover reveal and re-release. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway.

Paradise Rot by Larry Weiner Cover Reveal

“Kyle Brightman–late of the advertising industry and soon-to-be-late of the 5th floor psych ward–has a job offer he can’t refuse. A new resort in the Caribbean is looking for an art director. Kyle soon finds himself on the Isle of St. Agrippina working alongside a beautiful copywriter with an icy handshake.

Questions arise: Why does the resort management team sport spray-on tans in the Bahamas? How can the resort offer such cheap vacation packages? What does one do with vats of Astroglide?

To get the answers, Kyle must first navigate a series of wildly unpredictable events with a cast of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including a seductress jungle assassin, her partially paralyzed talking Chihuahua, an Ivy League Rastafarian seaplane captain, Kyle’s ex-psych ward roommate, a former Haliburton mercenary, and a French tavern owner with a fondness for goats, all set to the greatest hits of the 70’s. Pablo Cruise never felt so right.”

 

GIVEAWAY

Here’s a rafflecopter link for giveaways: 10 ebook copies to 10 lucky winners plus a grandprize Amazon gift card, ebook copy of Paradise Rot, Exodus 2022, & The Guide.

Paradise Rot, Island Trilogy, Book 1 by Larry Weiner

Author Bio: Larry Weiner is the author of PARADISE ROT (BOOK ONE) and ONCE AGAIN, WITH BLOOD (BOOK TWO). Larry earned a degree in film from California State University, Los Angeles and was an award-winning art director. And then he got the heck out of Dodge (advertising) and decided he was better at fiction for the greater good (entertainment/deep thoughts) than fiction to make people buy stuff they don’t need (advertising/shallow consumerism). He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, two kids and a gaggle of animals.

Praise for ISLAND TRILOGY:

PARADISE ROT (BOOK ONE) “Weiner writes with a smart, fun, electric style in the vein of Dave Eggers or Chuck Palahniuk.” –Kenneth G. Bennett, author of EXODUS 2022

(Coming Spring 2015) ONCE AGAIN, WITH BLOOD (BOOK TWO) It’s a maniacal thrill ride of a literary experience, with trenchant observations, wicked one-liners, screwball characters and twisted takes on pop culture smacking you in the face with impunity. It’s gonzo, and galling, and glorious, and once you take that first hit, you’ll only want more.”    —Craig Lancaster, best-selling author of 600 Hours of Edward, Edward Adrift and The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter

 

Connect with Larry Weiner:

http://www.larrynweiner.com/

Twitter @LarryNWeiner

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

larrywnr2@gmail.com

 

 

 

Character Interview Number Twenty-One Shyamal – Fantasy/YA

Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Tell Us About Yourself

*Author’s note: Shyamal is mute.  He usually communicates via written word or projection of visions.  He must touch someone to project his thoughts.  Thus far only one person can hear his voice within a vision, and that is his friend, Arwyn of Heron.

Name: Shyamal, guardian-child of Lady Kali, recorded in the Book of Ages as member of clan Tyrel.

Age: timeless – Guardians and their kin do not age in the way the Faie or Nimisa do.

 

  • Please tell us a little about yourself. I am Shyamal.  I emerged from the sacred pool within my mother’s realm when the Dreamweaver visited.  I have only recently joined the Faie as a member of clan Tyrel, but from my arrival they have known me as a puppy with a touch of magic.  Some of the magics I have access too are shapeshifting, calling visions, and pushing time.

 

  • Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, thin, skin of ashen grey, hair of silken black.

(ten words is so confining)

 

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? A moral code?  I am a guardian-child.  We are charged with helping to guide the clans, although I’m not certain that’s the sort of answer you are looking for.

 

  • Would you kill for those you love? Only if it was unavoidable.  I do not approve of death or killing, and there are beings from realms that are drawn to violent death which are best left alone.

 

  • Would you die for those you love? Gladly.  Without hesitation.

 

  • What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? My magics.  I have access to well many more magics than any individual or clan of Faie.  I am not certain, but I do not think I have discovered the full extent of my abilities.  I have, however, pushed myself beyond the endurance of my energies on more than one occasion while assisting my friends.  I know Mother sees that as a weakness, and I am working on correcting that.

 

  • Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? *His face flushes as he rubs his hand back and forth over the paper for a moment before writing a single word.*

Arwyn

 

  • Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My mother is Lady Kali, the Keeper of Time.  The clan I chose for myself when I left her sacred pool was Heron, for it was the Dreamweaver who reached out to me when I was still but a serpent swimming in the waters.  The clan Mother has chosen for me to join because their magic is the closest match to mine is Tyrel.

I have pledged myself to Lord Grypos and the scholars so that I may study in the great archives and learn the history of magic.  I suppose, as I left my brothers and sisters behind in the pool, that the scholars are my family now as I do not expect to ever live with the Tyrel clan.

 

  • Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? Childhood?  I have had no childhood such as you know it.  We simply waited in our chosen pool from the time of beginnings until the time was right to emerge.  I have watched the true gateway and waited.

 

  • Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I am the only guardian-child so far known to take on Faie form.

Tell Us About Your World

 

  • Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I have traveled a good many places during our adventures.  First I left my home in the Stoney Deep to visit the clans of Faie on the Fertile Plain.  I traveled with Arwyn to the archives in the Expanding Desert.  Together we set out on a quest for Lord Grypos across the Great Expanse and through the Obsidian Wall to the Beyond.  On our most recent adventure we traveled through the very Mists of Time themselves to a World Beyond.

 

  • Name and describe a food from your world. I have had so many wonderful foods since joining the Faie, but the one that lingers in my mind is the first food I ever had in the beginning days.  It was small and pink and velvety soft.  It was sweet and fragrant and you only had to eat a few to feel full.  Sadly, it does not exist outside of the River of Life.
  • What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) I know not this word “politics”.  I shall have to research it in the archives.

 

  • Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. Myths and legends?  Do you not believe that the old tales of times past actually occurred?

 

  • What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Technology – the strange glowing things that do work for you on some Worlds Beyond?  We have no such things in Feyron.

What item can I not live without?  Considering the ages spent with no items at all, I can think of no item that I am bound to.

 

  • Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. Mystical, as in, of the mists?  We are all of the mists, every living thing.  All contain sparks of life that return to the mists when their time has passed. I do not understand this word “supernatural”.  Everything is natural to the realm it is from.  They only appear unnatural when found in an unusual location.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

The Dreamweaver’s Journey

https://talesfromfeyron.squarespace.com/the-dreamweavers-journey/

The Guardian Child Returns

https://talesfromfeyron.squarespace.com/the-guardian-childs-return/

Legacy of Mist and Shadow

https://talesfromfeyron.squarespace.com/legacy-of-mist-and-shadow/

Author name: Diana L. Wicker

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Author’s website:  https://talesfromfeyron.squarespace.com/welcome

Facebook fan page where updates are periodically posted for the series:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tales-from-Feyron/421079171274185

Twitter: @FeyronTales

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Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – Fantasy Short Story New Release!

In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved a half-elf, a troll woman and an on-the-run human attempt to make their fortune searching for treasure among the abandoned ruins or Erana. Erana is a world of secrets, lies and deception and the past was not much different. The three adventurers unleash more than they bargained for, and more than they can understand when a story long in the mists of a time gone by is revealed.  Witches, dark magic, greedy adventurers and tragic heroes all feature in this exciting tale.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse is a short tale of fantasy, heroes, greed and magic.

Warriors Curse Final - ebook

Although set in the world of The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles this particular tale doesn’t feature any of the main characters; these are the tales of the past, the tales of simple people, and the tales of heroes and monsters.  These tales are a companion series to the Chronicles but can be read without prior knowledge. One might say they are a peek into a world of magic and myth.

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

Currently available on Amazon other versions will follow shortly, including, hopefully, an audio edition.

So what else will come in the new year? There will be more Tales to follow, and of course for those who love short tales of myth and magic there is Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JCHQWJK

http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-Audiobook/B00LB8WH0G/

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-Myths-Legends/dp/B00LCEUJ5E

 

Author Interview Seventy-Six – Deb Borys – Suspense

Welcome to Deb Borys

Where are you from and where do you live now? – I’m from small town Midwest U.S. and after about fifteen years of living in the big cities of Chicago and Seattle, I’ve come back to my roots and my hometown.

Please tell us a little about your writing – My current focus is my Street Stories suspense novel series. The first book, Painted Black, was released in 2012, then Bend Me, Shape Me in 2013, and the third, Box of Rain just became pre-orderable on Amazon.  The ebook will be released December 15 but the print version won’t be out until the spring of 2015. You can basically say I’ve been able to get a book a year out now.  I’m hoping I keep up that pace.

Each book in the series tells the story of a kid living on the streets of Chicago who finds him or herself in a jam that no one but my protagonist seems to care about.  I take the real life drama that homeless people have to deal with every day and twist fictional, quirky suspense plots into it.  Like a mortuary freeze-drying corpses like special order pizzas and psychiatrists trying to brainwash an army of terrorists, or finding a decapitated body in a back alley dumpster.

Where do you find inspiration? – I found my inspiration on the streets of Chicago where I  volunteered with homeless youth and adults and discovered heartbreaking but uplifting tales of people doing the best they can under the circumstances.  My eyes were opened to the fact that they are no different than the people I meet in my everyday life, not deep down, where it counts.  I want to somehow make everyone aware of that.

Are your characters based on real people? – My primary characters are completely fictional, but their ideas, goals and opinions reflect real people I knew when volunteering on the streets of Chicago. Throughout all the books I have sprinkled versions of people and situations that I actually experienced myself, or heard about from other service workers.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? – There are stories worth listening to in everyone’s life, even that homeless man standing on the corner with his hand out for a quarter. How can you judge someone’s actions or attitude or situation if you don’t know anything about the person you are condemning?  My hope is that after reading one of my books, you might take a second look, or even stop and listen.  I don’t think all books need to have an underlying agenda or should try to speak deep thoughts about life or the world.  Sometimes books should just be about escape and enjoyment, because we all need that once in a while, too.  My Street Stories series, I hope, does both.  At least that’s what I intend them to do.

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…) – I think you pretty much have the correct order there. If you don’t start with great characters, why should the reader care about the journey or how the story ends? World building may seem less important than all the others, but that’s only because it is intended to be almost invisible.  You need to know it well yourself but only give out the tiniest but most important details in such a way that it is recognizable and understandable without calling attention to itself.  The reader should never be pulled away from the story in order to admire or wonder about the world in which the story takes place. The path down which the plot steps should flow naturally out of who the character is and what world he or she is living in.  A warrior in Roman times will make different choices when confronted with conflict than a teenager from the slums who has been abused all his life. Correct grammar and typographical errors, etc. do need to be kept to a minimum, or else they are too distracting, but if you do the first three things to perfection, your readers will give you a lot more leeway on technicalities than they would otherwise.

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? – Painted Black and Bend Me, Shape Me are available in both ebook (mobi and epub) and trade paperback.  Box of Rain will be released as an ebook Dec. 15 and will be out in trade paperback sometimes next spring.

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 so does my publisher.  I never send the first draft off to them. I polish as much as I possibly can before letting them or anyone see it. For Box of Rain, I also had several people beta read for me to give me advice on the big picture, rather than line editing. I really do think everyone needs to let someone else edit or at least make suggestions for edits.  And by that I mean someone with knowledge or expertise, not just your mom or boyfriend.  You are too close to your work to view the finished work objectively.  In the beginning, you are often so in love with it you think it is all diamonds and gloss over the lumps of coal among the glitter.  If you’ve been over and over the book many times, you are often so sick of your own words you can’t tell which are gold and which floss.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? – The more reviews a book has, the better, I think, even if some of them are negative.  Reviews show people are reading the book, at least.  I think it’s a fine idea to thank someone for their review in a comment.  It’s even okay to make some remark about the content of the review, as long as it isn’t arguing or disagreeing or trying to explain yourself.  If anything, say something like, “That’s an interesting take on the subject.  I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?” Vindictive, extremely negative reviews are best left ignored.  There is no need to stoop to their level.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? – When I see a book with absolutely no reviews, unless it is very recently released, I tend to suspect it must have been pretty boring.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? – A book makes us work at our entertainment.  Instead of being a passive mushroom watching the story, we are forced to partake in it, interpret it. Since we don’t have the visual or the sound, we have to burrow deep in our minds to envision and experience the world.  Because there are narrative passages, we can know and explore the inner thoughts of characters, instead of simply trying to interpret them from their faces or voices.  The amount of detail, and the time it takes to read, interpret and experience all the words on the pages immerses you more fully in the story than a one dimensional viewing on a screen. You’ve probably noticed it yourself. Have you ever read a book about a blind person, for instance, and when you finished it, it felt strange to be able to walk around and see again?

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Painted Black

http://www.amazon.com/Painted-Black-Debra-R-Borys/dp/1614690065

Bend Me, Shape Me

http://www.amazon.com/Bend-Shape-Street-Stories-ebook/dp/B00BUR63P8

Box of Rain

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTZL3FS

www.Debra-R-Borys.com

www.StreetStoriesSuspenseNovels.com

Bend Me NEW-243p-330p boxofraincover-smallcover final-245px335p

Nine Heroes – Heroic Fantasy Anthology

Nine Heroes 2 6 14

Stencil Press is proud to release its first Heroic Fantasy short story anthology: “Nine Heroes.”  “Nine Heroes” is a collection of short stories from some of the most exciting fantasy authors working today.  Proceeds from the work will go towards promoting the Heroic Fantasy Facebook group.  The hope is that this book will generate sufficient funds to allow the members of Heroic Fantasy to promote the work of new and upcoming writers.

Stories include:

Black Sword by Janet Morris and Chris Morris

The Act of Sleepless Nights by Walter Rhein

To Kill a Myth by Jesse Duckworth

No Life Too Small by Douglas R. Brown

To Live by Tom Barczak

Dozen by Shane Porteous

Just One Mistake by A.L. Butcher

Witness to Death by Teel James Glenn

Through the Sting of Fairy Smoke by R.A. McCandless

“Nine Heroes” is currently available on the Createspace Bookstore and available through Amazon here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nine-Heroes-Tales-heroic-Fantasy/dp/1495420388

Please visit the create space “Nine Heroes” page and help us out by clicking the blue Facebook “like” button available there.

Review copies of “Nine Heroes” are currently available.  To request a review copy, please send an email to walterrhein@gmail.com.  Please include a link to a recent review.  Reviews should be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and your personal blog (if applicable).

Also please check out the other works by the authors of “Nine Heroes” which are currently available.

The Sacred Band by Janet and Chris Morris

To learn more about Janet and Chris Morris, please visit their web page at:

ThePerseidPress.com

 The Reader of Acheron by Walter Rhein

To learn more about Walter Rhein, please visit his web pages at:

StencilPress.com

StreetsOfLima.com

HeroicFantasyWriters.com

 A Song of Betrayal by Jesse Duckworth

To learn more about Jesse Duckworth, please visit his web page at:

HarrenPress.com

The Rise of Cridon by Douglas R. Brown

To learn more about Douglas R. Brown, please visit his web page at:

Epertase.com

 Veil of the Dragon by Tom Barczak

To learn more about Tom Barczak, please visit his web page at:

TomBarczak.com

How Gods Bleed by Shane Porteous

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles by A.L. Butcher

To learn more about A.L. Butcher, please visit her web page at:

LibraryOfErana.Wordpress.com

Songs of a Warrior Priest by Teel James Glenn

To learn more about Teel James Glenn, please visit his web page at:

TheUrbanSwashbuckler.com

Tears of Heaven by R.A. McCandless

To learn more about R.A. McCandless, please visit his web page at:

HighlandRogue.blogspot.com