Author Interview Number Thirty-Nine – Matt Pike – Young Adult

KotW-Cover-gold-SW

Welcome to Matt J Pike

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an Aussie, father of three, who loves to write. I have an unhealthy obsession with sci-fi, video games, fantasy football and good comedy. In my other life I’m a multimedia designer working for a media company.

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

I love writing Young Adult stories that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. There’s something about the how much a person changes during that period of their life and how much it shapes their future that I find appealing. I also need to weave humour (humor) through my work – my writing just doesn’t feel ‘right’ without it.

Kings of the World recently won the Gold Medal for Teenage Literature Fiction at the 2013 Global Ebook Awards

You say your book is partly to support a charity – can you tell us more about that? 

That’s right. My youngest daughter, Abby, has Rett Syndrome. For those not familiar, it’s a neurological condition that affects mostly girls. Typically, they develop ‘normally’ for 12-24 months before regressing and losing the ability to walk, talk and use their hands in a meaningful way. They require constant care for the most basic of tasks and raising a child with Rett Syndrome is a team effort.

Abby is a great girl, with an engaging smile and devilish laugh – honestly, she will laugh when the adults are making a sneaky little in-joke the other kids miss. I wish she could talk so I could find out what goes on in that mind of hers because it seems like a pretty interesting place J

In recent years scientists have reversed Rett Syndrome symptoms in mice and there have been some exciting developments on a number of fronts in terms of treating Rett Syndrome in humans.

Raising funds to find a cure is a big personal goal with this book and all future books I write. I have made a commitment to donate to Rett Syndrome Australia but will also be looking to contribute to other Rett Syndrome programs around the globe.

http://www.aussierett.org.au/

Who or what are your inspirations/influences?

From a writing perspective my influences are Douglas Adams, Grant Naylor and Ben Elton. I also like to draw influence from other areas like stand-up comedy, video games, TV, music and movies. I’m a bit of a pop-culture geek. I love to reference the things that have meaning to me within my writing and like nothing better than a pop-culture reference to dip my lid at something that has inspired me in some way.

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?

World building is such an important ingredient in creating a well-rounded story. It’s the difference between everything feeling a paper-thin as a Hollywood movie set or as deep as the reader can reach. The story topic, in many ways, dictates the research. For example, Kings of the World, was very much my own playground and the majority of the world-building revolves around the alien cultures in the story. Consistency (and a massive spreadsheet) were my biggest friends here. The book I’m currently writing, a post-comet strike apocalyptic novel, has required some serious research to be authentic as possible – from research papers, documentaries, web articles etc.

I’m also a bit of a geek for all sorts of books, articles and TV documentaries that deal with all manner of interesting topics from asteroid strikes, UFOs, the history of the planet, the solar system – I call all of that watching ‘book research’ to get the OK from my long-suffering partner J

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

At this stage E-book is the only available format for Kings of the World. I’m currently looking at print options for both KotW and my future novels and would love to put together audio books down the track.

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

I enjoying editing, I love the challenge of hacking and slashing copy to make my novels as tight as possible. I usually complete 3-4 edits myself – but will always have my work professionally edited before it goes to market – I think every book should be.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews?

Like anything in life, I don’t think there are hard and fast rules. It’s not something I’ve done to date, but wouldn’t rule it out either. If it’s done in the name of reaching out to readers/fans in a positive way, then it can be a good thing.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write?

Either… or both. I like to write in a busy space. I’m not sure why that’s the case, maybe it’s the modern, multi-tasking mind at work. Editing is the same, although I’m far more likely just have music on in the background as the process requires more focus.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?

As a gamer, movie-goer and a reader I value all entertainment mediums. All three are vastly different in terms of how you engage with the material but all provide a portal to another world – joyous escapism. Books allow for greater imagination and interpretation – a good book should be painting broad brush strokes that allow the readers fill in the detail. The experience of a book is not solely what the author writes but the relationship between the words and the reader’s interpretation. I love that.

What advice would you give new writers?

Work out what works best for you. Especially early on in your writing, you need to find the right environment, time of day etc that is gives you the best inspiration to write. Once you have that you’ve got to get yourself ‘match-fit’ to write – and you can only do that by putting words on page every day. Get yourself obsessed – read books about writing (Stephen King’s On Writing was good for me). I also used a writing app that made sure I wrote x amount of words every day.

What are your best marketing/networking tips?

You’ve got to put in the time to get the results. You are in charge of your writing ‘brand’ and no one is going to magically discover you if you don’t get the word out there.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy?

I enjoy a variety. My favourite books are sci-fi and humour based but I like to mix things up as much as I can. You often get inspiration from unlikely places. Currently reading and enjoying Game of Thrones.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?

In my first job I have to dress up in a kangaroo costume and perform song and dance routines for kids at an Adelaide amusement park. I miss King Kang J

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Kings of the World is available in all digital formats on:

SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308207

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kings-of-the-World-ebook/dp/B00CMHG2FG

AMAZON: US: http://www.amazon.com/Kings-of-the-World-ebook/dp/B00CMHG2FG

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kings-of-the-world-matt-pike/1115214651?ean=2940044485174

WEBSITE: http://mattpike.co/

TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nbx3us9q3YY

Author Interview and Blog Stop Adrienne Woods – Firebolt Tour

Welcome to Adrienne Woods who stops by on her Firebolt tour.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I live in South Africa with husband and two beautiful little girls where I write full time. I used to work in the hospitality industry for eighteen years so I’m quite good with body language signs. I’m a Christian and I try to add God into all my novels. Even if it’s just a riddle about him or a thought but He is always present in my writing as I wouldn’t be able to have done this without him.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I like to write all sorts of genres from YA, fantasy, paranormal, woman’s fiction and mythology. I’m sure my list will grow as the stories do. I do have different pen names, so you would find that Adrienne Woods is the name I use for my YA novels. Isabella White is for my woman’s fiction/erotica and Melony Ping is for my paranormal/mythology NA novels. There is in all of them a bit erotica but not so much as in my woman’s fiction, which I’m using the pen name Isabella White. This novel is the first in The Dragonian Series. It’s called Firebolt and it’s about 16yr old Elena Watkins, dragons, abilities etc, and she has to ride one.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Everything. I mostly get my stories from music lyrics. One line can inspire me and I can built an entire novel just around that one sentence. When I started with The Dragonian series it was only one novel, in one month it changed into four, I have three additional stories that I got as I started writing The Dragonian series to go with this series.

Another inspiration I get from T.V shows. I will see something I like and I will always built around that one thing. A lot of story ideas come from other stories. The most important thing is to make it you own and not to copy and paste from that author.

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 love everything about creating my novels. I do a lot of research, especially if it’s about something I don’t know. Like with my first woman’s fiction, the guy is studying for a doctor, so I had to do a lot of research on medical terms and how everything works. It was so much fun. I’m a google freak. You can find almost anything you want on google. I couldn’t have done any of my novels for google. For the dragons, I found sites and I used a lot of the history around them. That I really enjoyed, learning about them and day dreaming about them

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these?  I have them available in e-books. All format. I would love to get audio and hardcover. At the moment Firebolt is only in paperback. But I do see the other two in the future for all my novels.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? A book does suffer if you don’t get an editor. But I also know that an editor won’t be able to capture all the mistakes. They are human and you will always found one or two mistakes if not more in your novel. Some readers really don’t concentrate on grammar, small mistakes but if you have a lot, then it does get distracting. So yes, I do my own editing till a certain length but I do get an editor afterwards to try and perfect it.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? It depends. I always say thank you, but I never comment when the review lean toward a negative side. It’s hard to read those reviews as an author and yes it is upsetting to us, but it’s the readers opinion and not everyone will agree. I respect all opinions and learn from most of my negative reviews. So there are no bad or good review, they are all there to help you grow as an author. I’ve seen wars on goodreads between authors and reviewers. It’s something you don’t want to get involved in as an author. It reflects badly on you and I do believe it harms your sales, so No Comment on bad reviews.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? Neither. I like the quiet and my imagination to flow while I’m writing. But I do have songs that reminds me of my novels, when they play on the radio.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Depth, emotions, thoughts. That is what I love about books.

What advice would you give new writers? Never give up, even if negative reviews make you want to stop writing. Change your attitude toward reviews. Believe me the negative ones help you grow into a better writer, story teller, etc. The good reviews made you feel all fussy and warm inside.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? Facebook, create a book page or author page and post everything about your novels on there. Goodreads, giveaways, twitter, and virtual book tours. There are plenty to choose from and they do help a lot.

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? Anything with a good story line. I do suffer a bit with sci-fi. It never was one of my favourite genres to read and historical fiction. I like present, don’t know why.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I make up silly songs for my little girls, especially when it comes to things they need to do, like potty training or cleaning up they room. So in my house we have a loo song, a cleaning up song, and a song that teaches them about their body parts. It’s quite funny.

I sometimes laugh at myself and then my husband just looks at me as if I’m crazy.

Book links, website/blog and author links: Blog

Facebook Book Series Page

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https://twitter.com/erichb3

http://thedragonianseries.blogspot.com

Links to purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Firebolt-Adrienne-Woods/dp/1491244658

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Blurb/Synopsis:

Back blurb:

Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.

Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.

Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena’s heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena’s going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.

Teenage girls don’t believe in fairy tales. Now it’s time for Elena to believe in…herself.

Synopsis:

For the love of blueberries, Elena Watkins was destined for greatness, even though she didn’t know it. Forced to travel from home to home every three months Elena’s life was a never ending blur of new towns and new faces, that is, until the night her father was killed by a creature she thought only existed in fairy tales – a dragon. With her father’s death leaving her orphaned, Elena is whisked away to her true birthplace, Paegeia.

Arriving at Dragonia Academy, the premier school for young Dragonians, she begins to feel a sense of belonging in this strange world; a school she was never meant to attend because her father was a dragon. Elena is soon swept up in the rigor of her new life and the new set of skills she now needs to survive: Latin, Art of War, and Enchantments.

Entranced by her new reality Elena learns about the dragons and humans who inhabit her new home. There are two classes of dragons that soar through Paegeia distinguished by their instinctual pretense for either good or darkness. The distinction between these two very different species is vital to Elena’s success in her new world because she has been marked as a Dragonian, a human preordained to ride and tame a dragon of her very own.

With the help of her new friends, Elena is able to navigate the complexities of her new home. Her new roommates Becky and Sammy are even more amazing then she could have ever imaged and to top it all off, Sammy was a dragon. Sammy’s is also the devoted sister of Blake, the most attractive boy at school and the Rubicon; the only dragon of his kind with the abilities of all the dragon species with a pretense for evil. Elena soon finds the love she always wanted with Lucian, the Prince of Tith, who actively pursues Elena throughout her time at Dragonia Academy, winning her heart with his absolute adoration and unshaken dedication.

Unbeknownst to Elena danger is lurking behind the enchanted vines concealing the once thriving capital of Paegeia – Etan. Goran, the darkest sorcerer to ever practice his evil arts in the realm, has lain dormant for over a century behind the crumbling city. The first step in his menacing plan is to destroy the only weapon that can kill him – the King of Lion Sword.

When the sword is stolen Elena doesn’t think twice about seeking it; knowing deep down that it is her destiny to save her new home. She travels to the Sacred Cavern, and discovers the nefarious actions of an unknown man lead to the swords destruction as she follows the trail revealed in the prophetic waters of the cavern.

Elena and her friends engage the mysterious man revealing their existence to Goran and fighting for their very lives.

Author Info

I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.

In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.

My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series.

I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Watercress series. There are about ten novels in that one.

So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.

I hope you are going to embrace the Dragonian Series as much as I loved writing them.

Kind Wishes,

Adrienne Woods

Author Links

Blog

Facebook Book Series Page

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpt #1

A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.

The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad’s figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.

My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fibre of my being wanted to explode.

Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.

For the last two weeks, I’d been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.

For the love of blue berries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!

I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans.  I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I’d broken something.

Dad darted back into my room. “Are you okay?” He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.

Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.

“Don’t give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”

“Dad…”

He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn’t the right place, bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”

His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull. “Trust you, Dad?”

“Elena, we don’t have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later.” He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his footsteps stomped loudly as he made his way into the hall.

Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time.’ “Trust me” and “I’ll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. ‘Guess time with him will never be right.’

It was no use arguing with him anyway. The last time, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.

So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn’t know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn’t much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life felt less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.

Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.

The pickup’s horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I’ll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.

The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes were soaking wet.

Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin.  As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil chased us.  My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur as I plugged in my earpieces. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.

A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart as I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and the convenient store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said goodbye, and my breath on the glass created a foggy condensation. Reaching out my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn’t handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter, and that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.

The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. As a little girl, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons he was fleeing from, or who might be following us. Now, I didn’t look at him or care much for what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.

The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.

My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I would never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.

Suddenly, a dark and huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crushed into the side of the passenger’s door. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earpieces as I tried to process what had just happened.

“What was that?” I looked at Dad.

He stared straight ahead with huge eyes. Beads of sweat rolled from his hairline down to the side of his temple. He looked terrified, something that conflicted with his personality. I’d never seen Dad look that scared in my entire life.

“Dad!”

“Did you see where it went?” he asked, attempting to inject calm into his voice, but I could hear the fear lacing each syllable.

“See where what went? Dad what was that!”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“For once in your life, just tell me!” I screamed. Sixteen years of frustration exploded from my lungs. I couldn’t take the unknown anymore.

“Fine.” He mumbled something else that I didn’t catch. “Do you remember the stories I used to tell you?”

“Stories? What stories?”

“The ones about Paegeia, Elena.” He looked in his rearview mirror again with huge, unblinking eyes.

Vaguely, but I didn’t tell him that. “What does that have to do with this?”

“They’re real.”

I froze and I stared at him.

“All of it, it’s real. The dragons, the magic, the wall, everything is real.”

Author Interview Number Thirty-Two – David Wardale – YA Thriller

PsiCo kindle cover PsiCo-back-feedaread2 (1)

Welcome to David Wardale.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a 40-something journalist, ghostwriter and author from England with three children, one wife and a dog.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My first published book is called PsiCo, a YA thriller with paranormal leanings and more than a hint of genocide about it. It’s primarily aimed at boys, but I’m pleased to say that the teenage girls who’ve read it have been very positive – despite universally disliking the paperback cover (also designed with boys in mind). The Kindle cover has been rather more positively received mainly because it’s so much better.

Where can readers find your book? The usual places – Amazon, Waterstone’s, Barnes & Noble. Here’s a link (to the UK Amazon Kindle version): http://www.amazon.co.uk/PsiCo-David-Wardale-ebook/dp/B00EYDKMBQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1363444412&sr=8-1

It’s published by FeedaRead – an Arts Council-backed UK website – and if you buy it there, I get double the royalties. Money, however, is not the issue for me. I crave sales to raise my profile and would, if allowed, sell the book for a lot less than the publisher is demanding. They do, however, have to make a living…

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? I have been writing so long it hurts. I knocked out a twee little children’s book as a 21-year-old, stopped for a while and then started taking the whole thing rather more seriously in my thirties. Writing a book is a long game which, as a journalist, has proved particularly frustrating as I’ve always been used to writing a story and seeing it in print within the hour. If only fiction writing was so prompt…

I write across various genres, mainly influenced by my children, who are always my target market. My eldest likes thrillers, hence PsiCo was born.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Again, my children. Authors? Iain Banks, Ira Levin, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, the list is long and ever growing.

Can you name both a positive and negative experience from your writing? Both PsiCo and another book, Get Santa, won Book of the Year awards on the peer review website You Write On (also Arts Council-funded). These ‘victories’ convinced me that I wasn’t a charlatan and I wasn’t fooling myself that I could actually write. They gave me the confidence and belief to realise that I might really have some talent, however well hidden. This was backed up by a glowing review of PsiCo from an Orion editor.

Negative experiences? Writing a book is a wildly up and down affair. One day you think you’re Shakespeare, the next you’re the worst thing since gastroenteritis. Publishing and promoting a book is, in many ways, even worse. Why doesn’t everybody immediately love it and tell everyone about it? Why has my Amazon sales rank disappeared up its own backside? Why am I so bloody impatient?

It is, as I said, a long game.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? PsiCo is available in Kindle format, but started out purely as a paperback. The medium will always be important until everyone, everywhere, buys their books digitally and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. And there’s still something magical and intimate about a book that, I believe, cannot be replicated on screen.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I might occasionally listen to music if it fits with the mood of a scene I’m trying to create but, generally, I write in a silence only punctuated by the dog barking and me groaning and swearing. I have never written while watching TV. Is it even possible? Writing fiction, as far as I’m concerned anyway, requires that you drift into a semi-conscious state where you live a life through someone else’s eyes. To do this, I need peace and quiet. I guess it’s a lot like meditating – impossible if there are distractions to, well, distract you.

Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot? Books are implicit, video games (which I love) explicit. Video games, like films, grab you by the hand and haul you through the route, even if you often have choices about the route you wish to take. Books allow you to wander freely and observe and feel what’s written on your own terms and in your own time. They’re far more personal, far more intimate.

I deliberately leave most character descriptions to a bare minimum to allow the reader to fill in the blanks and imagine a person’s look and feel. You can’t do that with a video game. It’s all – ‘bang, here’s your hero, now accept it and move on’. The most vivid and memorable feelings often lurk at the edge of your vision or consciousness – books can take you to that edge where you then have the freedom to explore as far as you’re willing to go.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I am the founder and captain of one of the worst cricket teams ever created. We’re called The Old Contemptibles and we are both old and contemptible – especially the latter. And we are not to be confused with the Scottish club of the same name who seem to be actually rather good. We play for fun and for the love of a game that, based on our woeful results, clearly does not love us.

Wyrd Worlds anthology author interview – Stan Morris

Welcome to Stan Morris

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m Stan Morris.  I was born in Linwood, California, and was raised in Norwalk and Concord, California. In 1972, I moved to New Mexico. I met a girl at college in 1975, set out to score, succeeded, and have been married to her since 1977. We lived in Texas for five years and then moved to Maui. We have two grown boys, both gainfully employed, thank goodness. My wife had the career and I had the job, so I worked at a variety of those before developing a computer business in the late 1980’s. Now I’m retired and living on a farm. I garden, watch sports, listen to music, read, and write. I like science fiction (Heinlein, Asimov, Weber, Flint), romance (Krentz, Roberts, Morisi, Chesney), mystery (JD Robb, MC Beaton), historical fiction (Lindsey, Stewart), and history books (Shelby Foote, David McCullough, William J. Bernstein.)

Can you tell us a little about your anthology story?   I get wild ideas from time to time, and this was one of them.  When I read about the anthology, I had just finished writing The Qrim Chieftain.  I don’t usually write fantasies, but I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire, so that may have been the inspiration.  You have to understand that at my age, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast, so it’s difficult to remember what inspired what.

Why did you decide to become involved with this project? After finishing my book Surviving the Fog-Kathy’s Recollections in February and editing it for three months, I was tired.  Still, I like to write, so I’ve been concentrating on short stories that I write just for fun and in genres other than science fiction.  When I saw the post about a possible anthology, it seemed like a perfect fit.

Do you think Smashwords is a good site on which to self-publish? Is so why? Did you have any problems? Smashwords was one of the first sites at which I published.  This was before Amazon created Kindle Digital Publishing.  It was easier to publish at Smashwords in the early days.  It’s gotten harder.  Still, if you read the styleguide, you can do it, and I would encourage every writer to do so.  It is very good practice.  The important points to remember are, keep your font size below 18 point, always use title and headings in Word, and make sure you’ve checked ‘no trailing space between paragraphs.’  Doing these will solve almost all problems you have with the meatgrinder.

Do you also publish elsewhere? Nowadays I publish my ‘for sale’ books at Smashwords and KDP.  I publish my ‘free’ books all over the net, at any place that will take them.

How long have you been writing and what made you choose the genre in which you write?

I wrote my first two books in 1965.  Mercifully (except in my wife’s opinion) they have been lost to posterity.  I write mostly in the YA/NA science fiction genre, but all of my books are also romances.  Science fiction allows me to use my imagination in ways that other genres don’t.  The problem I have with fantasy is the lack of rules.  Mysteries are too hard for me.  Straight romances are hard to do in YA without ignoring the reality of teenagers and sex.  Historical fictions are hard to do without traveling to the places you are writing about.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences?

I am a product of the 1960’s.  I grew up in a conservative religious household, and even though I am not religious, those influences remain.  I discovered conservative atheism in high school, and that continues to be a strong influence.  The Vietnam War continues to be a major influence, but the greatest influence is the Civil Rights movement.  The struggle against conservative and liberal racism continues to haunt me.  The alarming drift toward a Nanny State abetted by both Democrats and Republicans worries me.  I have been inspired by George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert A. Heinlein, Susan B. Anthony, John Locke, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx.

Can you name both a positive experience from your writing and a negative one?

Writing forces me to research different subjects, and that has been a very positive experience.  I’ve been forced to learn so many things (but not all of them positive.) The most negative experiences are reviews from young women who object to the relationships in Surviving the Fog between teenagers and adults.  I understand their concern, but it suggests a lack of knowledge about the history of relationships.  Until the early 1960’s relationships between young teens and adults were common, and it worries me that young women don’t know that.  I believe that the rights of women still hang by a historical thread, and not to be aware of that is dangerous for women.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well?

I’ve never published in print.  Everything I see happening in the world of printed media suggests that it is not necessary.  The recent sale of The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos reinforces that opinion.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?

The most important experience is an in-depth look at that particular world.  There is no comparison between the books of JRR Tolkien and the movies.  It is very rare that a movie captures the true spirit of a great book.

What advice would you give new writers?

First, purchase a copy of Self Editing for Fiction Writers or something similar.  Doing so will put you two steps ahead of those who don’t.  Second, start more than one project.  You cannot be in the mood to write the same thing every day, but you should try writing almost every day.  Having more than one project going will give you more reasons to do so.  Finally, don’t try to put in much description while writing your material, but when you are finished, wait a couple of weeks then go back, read the book or story and imagine the surroundings.  What do the characters look like?  What are they wearing?  If they are outside, what is the weather like?  Are there plants around, trees?  What kind?  If the scene is inside, what kind of building are they in?  What colors are the walls, the carpets, and what is hanging on the walls?

Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy?

I have a variety of tastes.  I always have several books going, and that is even truer now that I have an ereader.  I’ve recently finished two scifi anthologies edited by David Weber of Honor Harrington fame, a paranormal romance by Jayne Ann Krentz, a futuristic romance by Nora Roberts, a non-fiction book about the early evolution of humans, and I’m working on a book about the building of Hoover Dam.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?

Although when my children were very young, I told them that I was a leprechaun, the real truth is that I am an interplanetary, interdimensional, time traveler.   The problem is that my memory has gotten so bad, that I forget which dimensions I am allowed to reveal that fact and in which dimensions revealing that fact will get me in a lot of trouble.  So, I’ve written the numbers of the forbidden dimensions on my arm in invisible ink.  Since in this dimension I can mention… wait… Obviously I’m just kidding about what I just said.  Ignore that.

Where can your books be found?

Book Buy Links

Surviving the Fog http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-the-Fog-ebook/dp/B001V9KG4E

Surviving the Fog: Kathy’s recollections http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/314034?ref=ALB123

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Surviving-the-Fog-Kathys-Recollections-ebook/dp/B00CSY4FSY/

For more of Stan’s books please see the links below.

Author pages:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Stan-Morris/e/B004KB2HG0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/stan-morris

 Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morriss003

 iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/stan-morris/id366779015?mt=11

http://www.smashwords.com/interview/morriss003

My website:  https://sites.google.com/site/stanandrene/home

Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2884264.Stan_Morris

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/other-works/wyrd-worlds-a-fantasy-and-science-fiction-anthology/

Author Interview Number Ten- Nicole Storey

Blind Sight Final Front

Hi and welcome to the Library of Erana, a place of words and of their magic. Words are power, they are knowledge and they are freedom.

Welcome to Nicole Storey

Please tell us a little about yourself. Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband, two amazing kids, and a plethora of pets. When I am not travelling to magical realms with potty-mouthed pixies or fighting demons, I enjoy gardening, reading and reviewing books on my blog, cooking, and celebrating my favorite holiday all year long – Halloween! LOL!

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write in two different genres, juvenile fantasy and YA paranormal. My juvenile fantasy series is titled Grimsley Hollow and there are three books so far – The Chosen One, Eve of the Beginning, and The Search for Siren.

In my YA paranormal series, The Celadon Circle, the first book will be released on July 18th. It is titled, Blind Sight.

Where can readers find your book? My books are available on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Sony, and Barnes and Noble websites.

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write?

I’ve been writing off an on since I was twelve, but I only became serious about it in 2009 when I started Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One. I write in the genres I do because that is where my interests have always been. I love anything that can’t be explained. I love spooky old houses and horrific creatures. I love the thought of making up worlds, magic, and mystery.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? My children are big influences when it comes to my writing. The Grimsley Hollow series came to be because of my autistic son and my daughter. The main character in this series is autistic and is really my son. My daughter plays his sister in the books. Indie authors also influence me with their talents, drive, and friendship.

Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? The most positive experiences that have come from my writing are when I was signed with my publisher, Inknbeans Press, and all the fantastic authors and fans I have met. Anything negative I try to chalk up to learning the ropes. LOL!

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? Yes I do and I consider it very important. Paperback and hardback books are the roots of literature. They are how we were first introduced to all of the wondrous places and characters who have stood the test of time. I love the feeling I get when flipping the fresh pages of a new book and the smell that brings back so many childhood memories when a new book was a luxury. E-books are convenient, but they cannot hold a candle to the real thing and never will for me. Books are more than paper and glue – to me, they are the first friends I ever had.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? It depends on what is on TV as to whether I can watch while writing. I like spooky stuff to inspire me while writing my paranormal books, so if there is a show on about ghosts or monsters, I will watch. As for music, I love listening to instrumental or I will play the sound of rain on a loop or a thunderstorm on a cd.

Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot? With a video game, the graphics, rules, characters, etc. are all laid out for kids. They leave nothing to the imagination! With a book, kids can put themselves as characters, make the worlds look like what they want them too, and use their imaginations to dream up more adventures long after the story is finished. Books give kids the keys to so many different avenues. They inspire, educate, and entertain.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I could probably give many! I think the safest to divulge is that I am addicted to coffee and I constantly dream up stories in my head – no matter the situation. It doesn’t matter if I am doing chores, shopping for groceries, tending to flowers…there is always a movie playing in my head.

In closing, I would like to let your readers know that I am planning a book launch for Blind Sight on my Facebook author page and blog on July 18 beginning at 12:00pm Est. time. There will be contests, games, many prizes and free books. I hope to see you all there!

https://www.facebook.com/nicolestoreyfans

BLINDSIGHT is now available on the following links –

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/338156?ref=ALB123

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Blind-Sight-Celadon-Circle-ebook/dp/B00E04FKUM