Sinners of Magic – Lynette Creswell Reviews 2019 #Fantasy

Sinners of Magic by Lynette Creswell is a fantasy tale following the adventures of young adults Crystal and Matt. Crystal is a strange girl, haunted by visions, and odd occurrences and has no answers for her skills. After she saves her friend from drowning a strange bird arrives on her windowsill. Then answers start coming and a splendid adventure really starts. The world is interesting – with elves, sorcerers, monsters and orc-like beings. The rules of the world are strict, and inevitably get broken and this leads to more problems. There is death, there is wicked magic, there is love, courage and intrigue.

It took me a while to get into the book and to connect with the characters (it may be an age thing as they are young adults – and I haven’t been that for 25 years…). That said once the adventure gets going the story is exciting, well-written and the world well crafted. The two protagonists are out of their depth, taken to a strange realm they never believed existed, and faced with life-threatening revelations and situations but the bond of friendship doesn’t wane. I found myself really wanting Crystal to find the answers, the evil lord to be defeated and the good guys to win out. Did they? Read and find out.

I shall definitely pick up the other two books in this trilogy.

4 stars.


Swift Six Author Interview – Melody Klink

Name: Melody Klink

What attracts you to the genre in which you write? Young Adult has a magic about it that always brings me back; the stories and characters aren’t desperately childish and naïve, yet they haven’t been hardened by years and a world of experience. Outlandish things are still possible, and magic still lurks in the small things.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures? Don’t try to make every word perfect in the first go! First draft like crazy, then go back and shine it up. And then do it again. And probably a third time… but any which way, don’t expect perfection in the first go ’round.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose? Wow, this is a tough one! Hmm. I think I’d have dinner with Carl Sagan; he was such a poetic and insightful scientist, and his words are just as pertinent today as ever. He made my already-vast love of the stars take on new meaning, and majorly inspired my poetry writing!

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work? Joseph Campbell, by far. His works on mythology and the archetypes of story are invaluable, both in writing and the real world. By knowing the intricacies of a hero’s journey, you have a deeper understanding of what your characters must do within their own worlds to succeed, or how to turn them into villains. (Deepest apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien, who comes in at 1½ on the influence scale.)

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print? This is a conflict for me. The realist in me says, it’s a definite possibility; the convenience and price differences are already great boons in the e-book industry. The artist in me hopes that the printed word never goes anywhere, because I desperately cling to my books. That’s not to say I don’t do e-books, I just prefer holding a book, smelling its pages, feeling its weight, marking all through it or keeping it clean and sacred.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why? Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen. This book is like coming home for me; it’s my “anxiety read,” as it calms me and helps me refocus on things that really matter. Allen describes things in such a magical way, her writing is lyrical and intoxicating.

Stardust – Neil Gaiman. It’s no secret that Gaiman is adept at whisking us away from our current time and place- why focus on being on a desert island, when you can be… okay, a muddy field isn’t much better, but the magic is there.

The Norse Myths- Kevin Crossley-Holland. Everyone needs a hero’s tale to read on a deserted island!

Author bio and book synopsis Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

While pretending to be a human, Melody Klink likes to write down words. Lots and lots of them. All to gain the admiration and trust of the human masses.

Wait. I mean… Melody Klink is a lovable little scamp with a sweet tooth for all things coffee. Spending her entire life nose-deep in books and writing, she always manages to have one more adventure to tell the world. When she’s not scrubbing stray words out of the squishy bits of her brain, Melody can usually be found spending copious amounts of time on Xbox Live, fangirling over comics, studying various sciences, and yes! Even reading. She may or may not be addicted to memes, Futurama, and crafting things poorly. While her first foray into publishing was Bad Mood Boogaloo, a book for toddlers, she also enjoys writing novels, and has several titles in the works. She currently resides in the Mid-South with her husband, daughters, and one annoying cat.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short) Godeater: The Second World – Young Adult Fantasy, mythology-based. Gods are reincarnated into kids from North Dakota to battle an immortal-killing ancient creature.

Diamond Marked: The Tales of El’Anret – Young Adult Fantasy, Faerie story with lots of fabled creatures. A mortal girl is marked as the queen of the El’Anret, the Faerie world, and must battle mythical foes to keep her rightful place. Includes three novellas from the mortal and Faerie worlds: Queen of Diamonds, Jack of Diamonds, and King of Diamonds.



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Diamond Marked Melody Klink

Book Spotlight – Diamond Marked: The Tale of El’Anret – YA/Fantasy


Title: Diamond Marked: The Tale of El’Anret

Author: Melody Klink

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Main character description (short). This book cycles around a mortal named Hazel Leigh Mac Tíre, a Faerie prince named Gideon, and their son, Jack. Leigh is marked to be the Queen of the Faerie world, in which she must usurp a renegade queen– who happens to be Gideon’s sister. Their son, Jack, deals with the fallout and uprising that follows.

Synopsis: Inside a mortal girl lies the heart of the Queen of Diamonds, true ruler over El’Anret, the world of Faerie.

Inside a Half-Human, Half-Fae boy lives the soul of a Stag King, mysterious and powerful creature of legend, capable of transforming worlds… or destroying them.

And neither of them belong.

In a world of myths and monsters, it will take them both to usurp a renegade queen— one who stole the crown and made the whole of El’Anret bend to her will.

The Faerie world will never be the same.

DIAMOND MARKED: The Tale of El’Anret combines the stories of the Faerie and Mortal worlds into a single collection. Queen of Diamonds, Jack of Diamonds, and King of Diamonds are included in their Author Preferred text editions.

Brief Excerpt 250 words: With a flourish, Gideon crossed a ringed finger over his heart, where the X lingered in the air before evaporating. “I swear to you, Queen of Diamonds, that I did not take torch to your land. However, I did warn you that she would come, and she would fight.”

Her grip on his shirt relaxed. “Lex is already—”

“Fighting? Of course. You haven’t had the displeasure of knowing her very well. She’s… tenacious, to say the least.”

“Why didn’t you stop her?”

“With what? Me and my army? Your Majesty, she has power beyond me. She has… things at her disposal which make her incredibly dangerous.”

Gideon paused, pursing his lips as he looked away. Leigh followed his gaze, looking towards the sun that hazed along the horizon.

“You need to go home. Twilight is coming.”

“Twilight always comes, Gideon, and I have yet to be scared of it.”

As he turned back to her, there was a softness to his eyes—a fear that made them shine, even in the encroaching darkness. “You have never known Twilight as you will before long.”

With a nod, he was gone.

The sounds of nighttime swelled all about Leigh, crickets and creaks and all the little noises that keep you awake at night. She turned back toward the farm, cradling her arms as she walked. The diamonds that shimmered under her fingertips felt like fire—like the same fire that started to rise in her belly.

The fire that would scorch an empire, or be doused by the tides of war.

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? It’s a heart-wrenching tale about love, loss, and the desperate desire to do what’s right, even in the face of grave adversity, and even if you don’t belong. Faeries, monsters, shapeshifters and other worlds adorn every page- Diamond Marked is a fabled journey beyond the barrier of our own world.

Diamond Marked Melody Klink


Links etc.


Author Interview 120 – Janet McLaughlin – YA

Welcome to Janet McLaughlin

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m originally from a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA. I spent my early adult years moving around to different states with my family as my husband got promotions and transfers. Yes, I was a stay-at-home mom and I loved it. In 1990, we moved to Sarasota, FL where we started a small business publishing magazines. I found myself not only editing copy, but also writing it. That experience gave me the courage to tackle writing novels. And what better place to be writing than in sunny Florida!

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

I write fiction for ‘Tweens/Young Adults. The novel that has just been released by Absolute Love Publishing is titled HAUNTED ECHO, Book 1 of the Soul Sight Mysteries. I think the publisher’s description says it best:

Sun, fun, and her toes in the sand. That’s what Zoey Christopher expects when she joins her best friend and fellow cheerleader Becca on an exotic Caribbean vacation. What she finds instead is a wannabe boyfriend, a voodoo doll, and Tempy – a tormented young ghost whose past is linked to the island grounds.

Where do you find inspiration?

Life experience is my favorite source for stories. And, no, I’m not psychic. But as a publisher of a small magazine, I had the opportunity to interview several gifted people. Their life stories provided the authenticity for my protagonist’s ability in HAUNTED ECHO. The novel takes place on an island in a private, exclusive, wealthy community. I had the opportunity to spend a week in the home described in the book by invitation from its owner. The experience of living the life of luxury with a maid, and cook and private beach was too good not to use. The location is a character in itself. The ghost is made up!

Are your characters based on real people?

Yes—and no. I think most writers use traits of people they know to round out their characters. Certainly there are parts of myself in many them as well. The novel I’m currently working on is based on the experience of a relative of mine who has the neurological disorder, Tourette Syndrome. Though the story is fiction, the challenges are real. I couldn’t write that book without having intimate knowledge of what the protagonist experiences on a daily basis.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book?

Yes, but I like to keep my message subtle. It’s just as important to entertain as it is to get a message across. In HAUNTED ECHO, we see Zoey, the protagonist, unwilling to let anyone know (with the exception of her best friend, Becca) about her psychic abilities. She wants to be accepted as a normal kid. But what is normal? In the end, Zoey discovers that she isn’t the only one with a secret, and that sharing that secret brings peace and acceptance to all involved. I’m hoping that kids who read my books will realize that just because they’re different, doesn’t mean they’re weird or can’t fit in. That they’ll come to realize that in one way or another, everyone is—different.

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

Yes, I self edit. I also belong to a wonderful critique group who help me with the original draft. After I’ve rewritten the work an innumerable amount of times and reached a point where I know I’ve exhausted my skills, I send it to a professional editor. Then, I start the rewrite process again. Only then do I start to query. But that’s my process. Everybody has their own way of writing a book. I do think a professional edit helps a lot. I also think you can waste a lot of money if you send your MS to a professional in its early stages.

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

Yes, I do, but I also think that attitude is changing. Traditional publishing has been the “gorilla in the market” forever. Indie/self-publishing is the newbie. It’s a normal process for new ideas to take time to be recognized as legitimate and become established. Right now, being traditionally published has an aura of acceptance surrounding it. Also, the big publishing companies have more connections and influence—if they choose to use it to an author’s benefit, it can help tremendously in book sales. But an aggressive Indi-publisher or self-published author can have good success if they know what they’re doing and work at it.

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

First, I have to say that I love going to the movies. I especially love seeing a novel come to life on the big screen while I’m surrounded by people and their reactions. But, while a movie can evoke feelings, it rarely conveys the nuances of thought, emotions, and details that a novel does. I think readers get more invested in a story than viewers do. At least, I do. Plus, books offer hours of pleasure over an extended period of time rather than 2 hours for one day. And books are tactile. You can hold them in your hands, feel the paper between your fingers (unless you’re reading from an electronic device which is a lot less pleasurable but perhaps more convenient for some). And they’re more personal. An author can sign his/her book. You can lend or borrow a book, read it while waiting for an appointment or while eating solo at a restaurant. A book is a companion. I LOVE books, can you tell?

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

1) Read all you can in the genre you want to write in. It helps to know what’s out there, what publishers are looking for, how other writers handle the genre. When you read you can absorb so much about the craft of writing, often without realizing that’s what you’re doing. Plus, it’s fun.

2) Join a writers organization (e.g. SCBWI for writers of children’s books) where you can attend conferences, learn more about your craft, meet other writers that you can bond with, and find a critique group in your area and genre.

3) Sit your fanny in front of the computer and start typing. Keep at it even if you feel what you’re writing isn’t good. And finish that first draft. It you don’t write it, it most certainly will never get published.

Do you have a favourite movie?

I love the Harry Potter movies. I’ve read all the books and I’ve seen all the movies multiple times. Imagine being 12 years old and attending a school run by witches and wizards and learning magic! Imagine having a wand that does magical things. Imagine being a kid and facing all kinds of evil creatures and adults and beating them at their own game. Wow! I was with Harry all the way, living in that wonderful, exciting, imaginary, magical world. My only regret is that I didn’t think of that story line first. Kudos to J. K. Rowling.

Book links, website/blog and author links:





Author Interview 119 – Steve Schatz

Welcome to Steve Schatz, Author of “Adima Rising”

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’ve lived lots of places. I grew up in New Mexico, spent some years in Texas, hitchhiked around the country and ended up in San Francisco. Now I live in a tiny town in rural Western Massachusetts.

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

Over the past years, I’ve written children’s, tween, adult (fiction and nonfiction). The Adima Chronicles has been my main focus for the past several years. The first book, Adima Rising, came out in March of 2015 and the second book, Adima Returning, is in the hands of my publisher, Absolute Love Publishing. It is marketed as Young Adult, but I’ve heard from readers who have been touched by it who are as young as fifteen as well as people in their eighties. It’s speculative fiction – not high fantasy, but explores a world of energy and light that exists intertwined with the “normal” world.

Are your characters based on real people?

Not specifically. I use pieces from everywhere to grow the characters. I listen to a lot of comics (Louie C.K., Sarah Silverman, Eddie Izzard, Margaret Cho, and others). I remember particularly pithy remarks. I steal character traits from people I like and don’t like. That’s how I start. Then, as the characters takes form, they develop their own voice.

In the first novel of a series, that’s one of the most difficult, but wonderful process. It requires very close scrutiny during rewrites. What I found is that I often go into detailed subplots that grow the character. It’s crucial for my understanding. However, many of these subplots, while important for me to understand a character, do not move the story forward, so they have to go. It often really hurts. Faulkner said, “Kill your darlings.” Stephen King added to this in his book on writing, when he wrote, “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

I keep the subplots for future reference, but don’t keep them in the book. As a reader, I like to create a vision of a character as I read. As an author, I need to respect the reader enough to offer a rich character which allows them to develop their own view of who that character is, without forcing them to share my view exactly.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book?

I have several specific messages in the Adima series. The most important is to take aware, creative action and take responsibility to making your decisions. If you action works, great. If it not, learn and share what you’ve learned. In Adima Rising, a major message is also the importance of creating one’s own connection to the sacred, not mindlessly turning such an important, personal decision over to someone else. In the new book, added to those is the idea that small groups connecting (versus we all must form one big group) is essential to face large challenges.

That being said, it is very hard to write a book with a message. If an author gives in to writing a message book, it is very difficult to be subtle. Folks don’t want/need to read Schatz’s rules for how to live. The book needs to be entertaining and stimulate both thinking and pleasure. It’s hard to write a message without getting stuck in a proclaiming what is right and wrong mode. When I start preaching, I can hear the sound of a thousand books slamming shut. Instead, I try to offer an optional view of the world. It’s part of the world building. Readers can ignore the message and still enjoy the adventure.

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

  1. Write. It’s amazing to me how difficult it is to turn what’s in my head into something on the page. There’s a big difference between thinking about writing and writing. I use Mr. Steve’s 15 minute rule. I promise myself that will write 15 minutes a day, no matter what. If I do that, I’m good. Many times, once I get going, I will write longer. However, I only commit to 15 minutes.

  2. Let your characters grow. I write a lot of background info of my characters, knowing it will never make it into the final book. I do it so the characters come to life. At that magic moment, I get out of the way. The characters tell me what they would do and how they would say something.

  3. Write what you want. The chances of becoming a million selling author are probably in the same neighbourhood of winning the lottery. Don’t do it for the money. Write what you want, so the book pleases you. I don’t mean to say don’t write. Even with the lottery, if you don’t play, you are certain not to win. I prefer writing, because even if I don’t “win”, I know I’ve put something into the world that is good. That is my motivation. I would hate to write garbage because I thought it would sell and go through so much effort and still not have the book sell.

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

I edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite – rinse and repeat until I’m pleased with the result. Then I send it to my publisher. Their editor, Sarah Hackley and the publisher, Caroline Shearer, both work on the book. Their work brings out the best parts. There are some changes I fight, but overall, I know my books are better because of them. I think the problem for authors is that we get too close. We fall in love with sub plots that don’t drive the story. Then we don’t explain things that should be explained, because having lived with the story and the characters, it is obvious. However, to a casual reader, it isn’t. A friend of mine said you need a reader with some ironic distance. I agree.

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

Great characters is the most essential. If I don’t care about the characters, I don’t care if they are threatened, face delights or upsets, or if they live or die. The richness of the characters and a deep understanding of them (detailed for me, but shown through actions to the reader) allow all else to follow. I often close my eyes and ask what a character would do in a situation and they tell me. I can see it. The voice of each character becomes more unique the more I write about them. I love McDonald’s Fletch. He’s a great character and I don’t really care what he’s doing. I enjoy how he handles situations. Christie knew this when she used different characters for different books. Sherlock Holmes is such a rich character that many people have written continuing cases. If we didn’t care about Frodo or Bilbo, no one would stagger through three books or would slog through seven books if we weren’t taken with Rowling’s characters.

Technical perfection. Here, I’m thinking about mistakes in spelling, grammar and fact. The importance of this is often overlooked. However, if the author and/or publisher allow mistakes to go into print, it shows to me that they don’t care. They don’t care about the product and they don’t care about the reader.

I’ve stopped reading books after a few mistakes because it got me looking for others and it became a job of editing, rather than the enjoyment of reading. Technical perfection should not be noticed, it is expected.

World Building. For me, this is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing. There are two challenges in world building. The first is similar to developing characters. I go into deep explanations of how the world works, how to see the web of light, how to travel, what is Adima, what is Sodrol. Then, I must go back and cut about 90% of it out. I keep that background work, so I can look things up. I need to remember that people start digging into a world only after they enjoy their experience with the world. If Quest for Glory sucked, this blog would be about another world.

In addition, I find that once I have a solid set of characters, they help create the world. I was lucky with the Adima Chronicles. I had the connection to a group of devas, so when I would get stuck with a “how do they…” question, I’d close my eyes, call in the team and ask them. The answer usually came right away. This also helped a great deal in keep track of how things worked in the world. There have been many times in edits and rewrites when I have a flash question – did what I wrote in chapter 35 match the rules I set down in chapter 15? Every time, I would find “I” had written it correctly. If I didn’t have that unknown guidance, I would have had to make several very detailed maps to keep track.

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

Yes, they are. Sometimes this is deservedly so. There are a lot of awful books out there that are self-published; books that the author/publisher hasn’t taken the time to really revise and edit (grammar, spelling). That being said, there are a lot of awful books from publishers with the same problem and there are a lot of great books that are self-published.

Frankly, the three main reasons I took the time to find a publisher instead of self-publishing are: 1) editing (as I said above), 2) distribution and 3) help with promotion.

I love opportunities like this to talk about my work. I love to do readings and discussions of my work, both online and in person, but I spend a lot of time writing and if I have a choice between writing and distribution, I would rather be writing. I had envisioned Adima Rising to be a single book, but my publisher suggested a series, which has opened up a whole new realm. If I had self-published (as I have before), I’d probably have a box of books sitting in my office with a few sold.

Do you read work by self-published authors?

Certainly. I am more likely to read self-published or small press authors than large publishers. The big ones tend to go for mass. I have obscure tastes and rarely like trendy or formulaic books. I don’t find much else from mainstream publishers.

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

Oh, how I’d love to, but I don’t, won’t and shouldn’t. Arguing over a review is a waste of time. I know that my books will touch some people, change some people and bore some people. I believe that if you need it, you will read it. The Adima Chronicles needed to be in the world to offer a different perspective on life. It isn’t my business to tell them what to think. If I have time to do that, I’m avoiding writing or promoting.

What are your views on authors offering free books?

I like giving books away at the beginning and end of my career. The beginning, to build an audience. There are so many books now, it is very difficult to find an audience. I don’t make much on each book sold, so I would rather give them away and build a readership. As that readership grows and the numbers of books sold grows, it is possible to earn a living writing. I plan to always give books away, but I will let them pay me to write more. Toward the end of my writing, I will give more books away. I live a pretty simple lifestyle and beyond a point, there is no need for me to collect more stacks of money. I got into writing because I like the challenge. While I enjoy reading my books, one of the reasons I work so hard at it is to share ideas with others. If I spent the time I spend on writing doing nearly anything, I’d make more. I have a decent reputation in my first field (I’ve got a PhD in instructional and human systems design with a minor in organizational communications) and use that to support my writing habit. For authors, dreams and aspirations of making big money is fine as a fantasy. However, no one who keeps at it does it for the money. They spend all those nights reading and rereading and studying their craft because they love/hate it, but don’t want to stop.

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?

Absolute Love Publishing has published the Adima Chronicles in both e and print versions. I have recorded an audio version and have it available when asked (on my site At this point, there have been no requests for large print.

I prefer reading from a real page. I spend most of my day in front of the computer, so to relax and read, I don’t want to stare at a screen. However, I know many people prefer e-books, so it would be stupid not to offer those. Mostly I trust the guidance of my publisher.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

My Sites: and

My publisher:


Book Spotlight and New Release- Dragon Moon – Fantasy

Dragon Moon Release!! JULIE NICHOLLS


Hey peeps!! I’m happy to announce that my latest Young Adult Fantasy, Dragon Moon is available for pre order at the fabulously low price of 99c! This is a huge saving, and from Thursday 13th October, the price will be $3.45 so get it while it’s on offer!

Save the dragons, unite the races, no sweat.


I’m nineteen and wish I had a clue about my future. Instead of my own bed, this morning I woke in the strange land of Lur Neval. My name is Scarlett, but the Nevalese call me Dragon Mage. Seems it’s my job to preserve the all-important dragons and oh, while I’m here, bring peace to the warring clans. Piece of cake if I can outwit Madoc, the manipulative, evil seer who wants every dragon destroyed. Whatever it takes, I’m here to fulfill my destiny under the light of the Dragon Moon.


Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon USA






Don’t forget it’s available at the ridiculous price of 99c until release day which is 13th October, 2016

Go get it!

Smashwords Summer Sale – Diana L Wicker

Young Adult/Fantasy Author Diana L Wicker has her books in the Smashwords Sale.

It’s a great fantasy series for young adults and those young at heart. You’ll love Feyron and it’s denizens.

The Dreamweaver’s Journey

Use the code SSW25 at checkout for 25% off


The Guardian Child’s Return 

Use the code SSW50 at checkout for 50% off


The Legacy of Mist and Shadow

Use the code SSW75 at checkout to get this book for free




Author Interview 108 – Mary Ellen Quire

Welcome to Mary Ellen Quire

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m from Kentucky and have lived there all of my life.


Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I have been plucking away at writing for quite some time.  Sheldon’s Diary is my most recent book.  I guess you could put in the young adult genre, although it does pretty well in Women’s Fiction.  The stories are a mixture of action, adventure, light-hearted comedy and suspense.  The entire book can be summed up by the burning question many animal lovers have had running through their mind, “What do they really do while you’re away?”


Are your characters based on real people? All of the humans in Sheldon’s Diary are based on real people and I would say that probably fifty percent of all the critters in the book are real.  The other fifty percent come from a wild and woolly imagination.


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, without them you have nothing but an empty map.

Solid plot, readers need this as motivation to keep reading and as a reward for having travelled the journey with you.  Writer’s need it because it’s probably the only bit of order that can be found in a mind swimming with possibilities.

Great world-building, it’s third because it can make for an awesome story, but for me as a writer I don’t believe it is absolutely essential.  Many great books have been written with the background tucked nicely away in the background.

Technically perfect, is there such a thing?


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? Sheldon’s Diary is available in paperback and in the Kindle version.  I would love to see it in Nook, but that will be later.  Audio may also come in time.


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, not because I’m an English whiz or anything, but because professional editing is very costly to me right now.  Occasionally, I’ll have a friend do a once over for a manuscript to catch things I have missed.  Do I believe a book suffers without professional editing?  Sometimes, but I’ve read many books that have hit the shelves over the years, professionally edited, that still have mistakes.


Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Unfortunately, I do think there is a stigma place on indie/self-published authors.  It’s one that seems to say, “Hey, you just weren’t good enough to publish with a real publisher, but you were definitely vain enough to pay for it.”  What people do not realize is that books are rejected by traditional publishers for a number of reasons, not just because the story was inferior.  For example, the publisher may have all of that type/genre of book they can handle at the time or they might not be able to make it sell.  Publishing is a business after all, so you have to hit the right one with the right thing at the right time.  It’s a crap shoot.


Do you read work by self-published authors? I’ve found several really good books/series through self-published authors.  It just goes to show you that just because it trickles away from the traditional doesn’t mean it sucks.


What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?  Mostly I believe the book is always better then the movie/video game because you are allowed to really delve down deep into the character(s).  You’re in their brains, mulling around in their thoughts and feelings, and you get a better sense of who they really are.  You cannot do that in any other type of media.


What are your views on authors offering free books? I love the idea.  I think it’s an awesome way get readers take a chance on your book and see if they not only enjoy that particular one, but the author’s style of telling a story.


Do you have any pets? Right now, I have four.  Two of them are cats, Sir Sheldon and Sir Cheddar.  One rat, Templeton.  And then there’s my 15 year old Ball python, The Wheezer.


Book links, website/blog and author links:

Sheldon's Diary Cover Pic

Author Interview Number Ninety-Four – Christopher Bryant – Fantasy/YA

Welcome to Christopher Bryant             

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky.  I have been trying to escape ever since.  There’s nothing wrong with the state, its beautiful horse country, but it’s not where I see myself calling home.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.I write fantasy adventure books for young adults.  I am also in the process of creating children’s books.  My first published book is The Sword of Hope Destiny Awaits, the first in a series I’m writing.  The second book, Dark Origins is complete and looking to be published.  The third is in the works.  For the children’s books, I am basing them off my mom’s and my grandmother’s dogs.  Each book will have its own theme, but told from the dog’s perspectives.  I’ll call the series The Adventures of J. Bird and Space Monkey (the dogs’ nicknames).

Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration everywhere and in everything.  One of my favorite things to do when I get writer’s block or need some new inspiration is I go driving.  It could be something small, like a cross made of two stick tied together with a small yellow ribbon on the side of the road or maybe a house that’s built into the side of a hill covered in dead trees.  There’s always something out there that can make a story really pop.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Yes, my favorite character is Tiberius.  Aside from the fact that the name is awesome, he’s a kid who wants to prove he can do more than everyone thinks he can. In my series, that plays a big role in his personality.  Proving to himself and everyone else that he can do more.  He’s not just the help.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? There is only one character so far I don’t like, but at the same time he’s kind of awesome.  His name is Chingon AKA the black knight.  He was a good guy turned evil and he stands just under 5 feet tall.  His armor is made of charred remains of his body, harder than any man made steel and a helmet of great evil to match.  I like him for that and the wicked blade he carries.  What I don’t like about him is he shows up everywhere taunting the boys and causing problems.  If there’s something going down, he’s usually behind it.

Are your characters based on real people? In a way, yes.  A lot of the character aspects are based on me and my little brother and the turmoil we face in each other’s company.   Also, for book 3, the people who have been helping me along the way are getting their own characters in their own town that contributes to the series as a whole as thank you.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? I have yet to use a person I don’t/didn’t like and kill them off in the book, but I did have to kill off a character, which surprisingly was hard to do.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Research is super important, if not for an actual geographic example to write from, for the little things like the way the wind blows, the feeling you get when the sun is in your eyes, a cross on the side of the road, etc.  Research is very important.  Same thing goes with books that are nonfiction or are fiction based on an actual location.  How can a person write about it if they know nothing about it?

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Yes, there is a very important message conveyed within my writing.  Not only does each book contain its own message, the series as a whole does too.  The first and third in the series are told from the good guys perspective and the second and fourth are from the bad guys view.  Aside from the story itself being a growing up tale for the main two characters, each learning to become the person they were meant to be or knew they could be, the series is written from both sides to show the differences between good and evil.  How difficult, but rewarding, it is to be the hero.  Having to follow the rules and not do bad.  It also shows how chaotic and freeing it is to be the bad guy, having no rules, doing what they want and possibly the consequences of their actions.

I do feel it’s important to have messages like that in a book just because if we don’t put them there, how will a child ever learn the differences, the meanings, to follow their dreams, to never give up, etc.

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…) Solid plot, great world-building, great characters, technically perfect.  I chose this order because without a plot, there is no story.  Once you have a plot, the next thing to do is create your world.  You can’t have characters without a world for them to live in.  Although, it can be done either way, characters first or world first.  Once your characters are right, your world is complete and everything fits well with your plot, its technically perfect.

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? My book is available in ebook and also paperback.  We are currently working on creating a graphic novel based on the series as well as an audio book for all books in the series.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I self-edit and I also get my books professionally edited.  I do believe a book suffers without professional editing.  No one is perfect.  What harm can come from having someone else look over what you’ve looked over and make suggestions?

 What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book, compared to a movie or video game can provide a much richer experience.  Sure, you get actual faces and see the locations on a game or movie, but you can’t get that detailed view of an area or a person or even their personality without a book.  An author paints a picture with words in a way that a movie or a game can’t.  Books also contain much more than a movie or game shows, a backstory, scenes or chapters that weren’t added, etc.

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

Never give up.

If someone tells you no, don’t let it discourage you.  Keep fighting for what you believe in.

Stay positive.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’m a red head and red heads have no souls. lol

Book links, website/blog and author links: (amazon)

Reader Interview Number Nineteen – Jessica Jackson

Where are you from? (Country)
On average how many books do you read in a month?
-I tend to read a book a day, so, at most, 31.
Where is your favourite place to read?
-Just at home, in bed, with my music blaring out of my laptop.
What genres do you prefer and why? Do you have any genres you avoid?
-Anything Young Adult. I will basically read anything in YA.
What medium do you prefer – e-books, audiobooks or paper books? Would you care to expand on this?
 -Paper! I love to have the actual book in my hands, and yes, I love the smell. I do like ebooks, though, as ebooks are generally very cheap and  it makes it easy for review copies, but nothing can beat Paper books. I do listen to audiobooks, but it generally takes too long and I only do it for multitasking.
How do you usually find the books you read? For example: recommendations from friends, promotion on social networks, your local library, following authors you already know?
-Goodreads and Blogs mostly. Goodreads is my favorite website and I follow numerous blogs that introduce me to new books.
When choosing a book what makes you stop and give it a second look?  What makes you turn away?
-I hate saying this, but the cover. The cover initially attracts me, then if the blurb features any unique ideas I’ve never seen before, I’ll want to read it. Especially if it includes parallel worlds.
-Things that are overdone, hints at love triangles, or forbidden romance. I’ll still read them, sometimes, but I’ve either seen them too many times or I’m just no longer a fan of the trope.
Do you read reviews by others and if so do they influence your choice?
-YES. I follow so many blogs, that I definitely read a lot of reviews. I try not to let them influence my choices, but if I see a lot of positive/negative reviews for a certain book, it will affect my reading.