writing

For Your Reading Pleasure…Nathan Singer

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With us today is Nathan Singer. As you will see below, Nathan has many gifts and is able to incorporate them together to give his fans a total experience.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page.

I am a novelist, playwright, composer, musician, and experimental performing artist. My first novel A Prayer for Dawn (2004) was part of the required reading at Andover Academy for a while, but I don’t think it is anymore. My second novel Chasing the Wolf is also required reading somewhere. I think Milwaukee. Additionally, both Dawn and Wolf have been published in French, which is great. Sadly, I don’t speak a lick of French. My third novel, In The Light of You, published in spring of 2008, has done pretty well. My fourth novel, Transorbital, will be published in April of 2015 by Post Mortem Press, and Aurore Press will be publishing a collection of my one-act plays (mostly collaborations I wrote with my friend and fellow playwright Brian Griffin) around the same time. My fifth novel, Blackchurch Furnace, which is kind of a sequel to A Prayer for Dawn, has been in limbo for six years, but hopefully it will come out someday.
Nathansinger.net
Whiskeyshambles.com
These two sites should take you everywhere you need to go.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

A lot of it is based on phonetics. A character’s personality will lead me toward a certain tonal quality that I think fits best.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

Only if I’m asked about them in that way, but usually no. I do horrible things to my characters, so although I want them to feel real to the reader, I don’t particularly want to think of the circumstances I put them through for the purpose of the narrative to be visited upon actual people.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

CONSTANTLY. My music and my fiction are so inextricably linked there is very little separating the two. Each of my novels corresponds to a different musical genre: A Prayer for Dawn is a thrash novel, In The Light of You is a punk novel, Chasing the Wolf is a blues novel etc. As such I often write — and occasionally record — my own soundtracks for my books to get a sense of tone first and foremost. For instance, this is the soundtrack I wrote and recorded for Chasing the Wolf: http://nathansinger.bandcamp.com/

5. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing, in some form or another, since as long as I can remember. Preschool probably? Forever.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

Well, I hadn’t intended to be a novelist per se. I thought I was only going to be a professional musician. When I was very young I made a pact with myself that I would sign my first record contract before I turned thirty. The summer after I turned 27 I was nowhere close to a record deal, but I got offered my first book contract and I said, CLOSE ENOUGH! And I’ve been a writer ever since. I suppose that’s not very romantic, but that’s how it happened.

7. Do you have a muse?

Hmmm . . . I suppose music is my narrative muse and storytelling is my musical muse. It’s all terribly messy.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

I perform a lot and I do plenty of conferences and all that, but truthfully I improve as a writer but writing constantly. It’s like any other kind of exercise, as far as I’m concerned. The more you exercise your muscles the stronger they get.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I’m sure there are some who would say that my writing is nothing but quirks. As for superstitions, nah.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

It’s a YA book about a teenage siren/mermaid who comes to land and joins a heavy metal band. Not joking.

11. What book are you reading now?

Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault. It’s required for a class I’m taking.

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?

Each of my books is in a different genre, but “dark literary fiction” works for me. I’m often called a “crime writer,” but truthfully Transorbital is the only actual crime novel I’ve ever written and it’s not even out yet. My books constantly jump back and forth from different POV

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13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

Nope. Nope. Nope. Characters show up, they create chaos, I observe the chaos, it somehow becomes a story. That’s my process.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Most of the time, but sometimes the end will reveal itself in the exploration and discovery. I really dig when that happens.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I try to avoid being overly didactic, but yes my books definitely have social themes. I deal a lot with class issues, racial issues, issues of gender and sexuality. I don’t know if I’d use the word “entertaining,” but I find those issues intriguing and compelling, and essential to exploring the human condition.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

Jack Daniels.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I don’t really have any “other” passions, because they’re all of a piece to me. Theater, fiction, poetry, music, performance, activism, it’s all the same passion.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Hmmm . . . well . . . I just put out a new album with my band The Whiskey Shambles, and my other band Starshaker is putting out a new album in Spring. I’m eight months out from getting my PhD (fingers crossed). I don’t know if any of that is interesting.

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

Here’s the opening paragraph from Chasing the Wolf:
When I’m upset, blood leaks from my head. That’s the truth – I’m not trying to bullshit you. I don’t know if you folks even use “bullshit” as a verb. Oh well. When I’m over the edge, my gums bust open and my nose bleeds and the whites of my eyes get little red polka dots on them. I only mention that because my eyes really hurt right now. They probably look like crimson marbles with black holes in the middle. It’s been a stressful couple of days. I’ve been hiding out in these woods since I got here. My name is Eli Cooper. I’m a twenty-seven year old “neo post-impressionist” or so I’m told. If Edvard Munch and Jackson Pollock had a child and so on. Anyway, I am – was, the toast of the Village back home. I had the freshest agent, the dopest shows in the choice-est galleries, the flyest reviews . . . I could clean my brushes on an old T-shirt and The Voice would call it “The boldest statement in art since Piss Christ.” I had the smartest friends. I had the prettiest . . . wife . . . So you’re probably wondering what NYC’s flashiest flash-in-the-pan of the new millennium is doing stranded in the backwoods of Mississippi in 1938. So am I. So am I. So am I. There goes my nose again.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Strap in, kids. It’s ‘bout to get wild.

Thanks Nathan, for your insight. Good luck to you and your band. 🙂
E&M

The Waiting: Book 1 – Prologue Fun Facts

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Prologue
Arianne Douglas stood over her son. Her dead son. Murder weapon in hand. Blood and tears running down her face. Helpless. Powerless. Paralyzed. Recalling his first steps, first words. There would be no more firsts. Her child was dead. Startled by the buzzing of her cell phone next to his body, she answered but did not speak.
“Ari?” her best friend said, “you called but didn’t leave a message. Andrew texted me about the fight between Reece and Nash. I’m on my way to you now.”
Silence.
“Arianne?”
“Lesley, I need you.” Arianne sobbed into the phone. “He’s dead, he’s dead… my
baby… my son… Les, he’s dead… God, please no… I’m so sorry, baby…” Her voice broke with every word.
“Arianne, I’m on my way. Are you still at the house?” Lesley Huff remembered her recurring dream, pangs of regret pelting her heart. A storm was coming.
“Yes.”
“Have you called the police?” she asked, certain Arianne had not.
“No, only you,” she cried. “My… my son…”
“Dammit Ari, call the police. Now.”
Ending the call, Lesley pressed the accelerator, speeding down West Esplanade Avenue. Arianne hadn’t said which son she had found. Thinking of her own two little girls, she choked back tears for her dearest friend.
South Lake Drive was quiet except for Lake Pontchartrain’s choppy waters lapping over the levee rocks. Lesley wrapped one arm around her chest, her breathing stifled by the heavy Gulf wind. Sirens screeched in the distance and the night sky was filled with the blue and red glow of emergency vehicles. She was glad they were close. Parking next to Arianne’s Jeep, Lesley offered a silent prayer of thanks that Arianne’s thirteen-year-old son, Pike, was with his father and nowhere near this house tonight. So was it Nash? Or Reece. Both of their trucks were parked underneath the awning. Fearful, she opened the back door leading to a dark kitchen, and a bloody Arianne cradling the lifeless body of her son.

“Holy Mary
Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death.”

So I thought as a little bonus, I’d post a few chapters and add little known facts about The Waiting Series and its characters.

-The Prologue is nearly identical to a dream I had in August of 2012. The only real difference is that in my dream, they were in a glass high rise in the sky.

-Several of the main characters came fully formed in that dream. Arianne was the first and most memorable one. Her best friend, Lesley was next.

-Since setting the book in a high rise in the sky wasn’t an option, Marie and I didn’t brainstorm for very long until she said, ‘why not New Orleans?’ It was the perfect choice, because not only do we have the lush history of one of the most beautiful and mysterious cities in the world, but we also have its surrounding areas. As native Louisianians, learning about places such as Slidell, Darrow, Des Allemands, and Mandeville has been equally as interesting as familiarizing ourselves with The Crescent City.

-Having Lake Pontchartrain in these books was paramount. You know how some people are drawn to places? I’m drawn to this lake. I can remember as a little girl seeing this massive ocean to my left as we’d drive into New Orleans… the sun’s sparkle dancing over the brackish water. And when we’d drive across the Pontchartrain Causeway… it felt like I was on a bridge to nowhere. In our past few trips down south – I still feel the same wonder and amazement each time I see the beautiful lake.

-I wrote the entire first drafts of book one and two on my iPhone, and I didn’t write on my laptop until a temporary phone problem forced me to either write on it or not write at all. I must admit, I felt a little like Samson getting his hair chopped off, but now, I love the laptop. I feel sure I wasn’t our editor’s favorite person while she was working on our manuscript because of alllllll the straight quotes. 🙂

That’s all for today!!! I’ll post Chapter One and a few fun facts about it soon.
❤ Elizabeth

For Your Reading Pleasure…Kristine Kibbee

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Today, Kristine Kibbee is with us. Last week, she released her newest book “Whole in the Clouds.” Let’s get some insight into her creative process.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

I’m a Pacific Northwest native with a love of language, nature and animals. My passion for creative writing began in my early youth and led me to the doors of Washington State University, where I wrote for the Vancougar while earning a degree in Humanities, with a focus in Professional Writing. I’ve has since had works published in S/tick Literary Review and The Salal Review Literary Review and I’m a featured columnist for the nationally syndicated magazine, Just Frenchies.
My novella The Mischievous Misadventures of Dewey the Daring is available on Amazon.com and I anticipate following the release of my fantasy novel Whole in the Clouds with the comedic collection of dog stories, Frenchie ‘Tails’—which are short, cheeky and ripe with mischief!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Kristine%20Kibbee&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wholeintheclouds
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7797928.Kristine_Kibbee?from_search=true
Twitter: @K_Kibbee

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Truth told, I think the characters themselves choose! I’ll feel them out for a bit . . . let them find their feet and then before I know it –poof! A name reveals itself!

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

(Head bowed) I do! But now I’m feeling a bit less crazy about it since you wouldn’t have asked if it was a rarity among writers!

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Eeek–never! Music is far too distracting. I literally must have complete and total silence while I write or edit. Noise is maddening!

5. How long have you been writing?

At what point can a child hold a writing utensil? Perhaps three? If so, then put me down for three.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

My memory is shoddy at best so I’m sure I can’t recall the exact instant. It’s just always been in my blood. From a very young age I gravitated towards writing. While my friends were playing with Barbies I was clipping photos from magazines and making up stories about the people in the pictures. I’ve always loved the fantastic, the embellished, the enchanting and I’ve always wanted to share that with others.

7. Do you have a muse?

At times, yes. I would say that my wee dog has been a muse to me on the occasion that I’m writing comedic animal shorts.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

As uncomfortable as it’s been to receive, critique (from other competent writers) is what typically helps me to improve as a writer. It’s a delicate dance, ensuring that the critique doesn’t overwhelm me and shut me down but just the right smidge of critique paired with a sprinkle of encouragement can go a long way.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Hmm . . . like baseball players wearing the same hat every day until it becomes so yellowed from sweat and grime that it threatens to grow feet and leap from their head? Can’t say I have any such peculiarities. Don’t get me wrong . . . I have plenty of oddities . . . but none of the superstitious sort.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m presently working on a couple of projects–a collection of comedic dog shorts and a YA fantasy series but since the dog shorts (‘Frenchie Tails’) have already been handed off to my editor, the focus has narrowed on my ‘Forests of the Fae’ series. The first book in the set, ‘Devlin’s Door,’ centers on an abandoned Victorian ghost town whose inhabitants mysteriously disappeared in the early 1920’s. So spooked by the legends surrounding the town, no one has ventured there in nearly a century and as I imagine the rows of crumbling relics, shrouded in curtains of ivy, it inspires me while I write about the brave young girl who ventures there and unearths a secret that no one could have imagined.

11. What book are you reading now?

My own! I’m a tireless editor and every time I pick ‘Devlin’s Door’ up I find myself trying to perfect it. Every paragraph, every sentence, every word has passed my eyes at least a dozen times!

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

I typically write fantasy but dabble in comedy as well. Typically I write from a first person omn

iscient viewpoint.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I’ve tried the gamut when it comes to writing approaches–free-ballin’ it, pre-outlining every detail down to each character’s clothing and sleeping preferences, and just a rough outline. I’ve found the latter works best for me. Working off of a fluid, rough outline allows the story to remain malleable yet gives it a sense of direction and purpose so that I know how to get my characters from A to B.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Typically, yes. I find it’s easier to input the clues and weave a more intricate and tight story when you know its ultimate destination. Of course in honoring the story as the living, breathing entity that it is, it helps to be flexible with that ending and let it arrive in the fashion that it likes.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

It depends upon the book! I feel as if my first (hard-bound) published work, ‘Whole in the Clouds’ does attempt to parlay some meaningful messages about conservation, friendship, inner-beauty and the like but I’ve written plenty a piece just for the kicks!

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I refrain! As engrossed as I become in my writing, I’d eat the entire contents of my pantry if I were just mindlessly plunking along while feeding my face!

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I’m quite passionate about animals; animal rescue. I’ve been involved with rescuing death-row dogs at numerous points throughout not only my adulthood but my childhood as well. I believe that animals (and dogs in particular) can give us the type of unconditional devotion and love that even another human could never match. I’m also passionate about the environment and working to decrease our species’ carbon footprint. There is so much that is precious in this world that we are losing on a daily basis as our population continues to dominate the planet.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

In general I think I’m a fairly unique person. But as far as a quick, interesting one-liner type tidbit goes–I’ve never in my life consumed a drop of alcohol!

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

From the pages of ‘Devlin’s Door’:
“They moved as a unit, clustered in packs of twos and threes. Anne watched amazement bloom on several faces as they gaped at the Victorian relics that passed on either side while they walked. Heavy clouds had settled over the valley and the homes seemed to materialize out of the mist like ghost ships, their mast chimneys cutting through the grey.”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Only that I hope to enchant and delight them with every word!

Awesome, Kristine!! We’re glad you featured with us.
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Kevin Thijssen

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Kevin Thijssen featured with us today. Right now he hasn’t published, but we’ll certainly be watching for his upcoming release… hopefully soon. 🙂

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

https://www.facebook.com/kevin.thijssen.fantasy

I’m a 28 year old Master in Biology. Born and living in Belgium although I do see myself move away from here in the future.
I love reading and photography, although lately I feel I have been doing both of these too little. At the moment I’m also doing a course in psychology as I have always found it interesting.
I love to travel and meet new people, experience new things and get new ideas for my writing.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Either I use an online tool for name choosing or create a name in my head and say it out loud, changing it until I find it fitting of the character and easy to the tongue.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

I can see the character in my head, have a good idea of what they look like and how they are as a ‘person’. Some of my characters are based on people I know in real life, others are completely made up. So for a part I see them as real persons and feel myself travelling amongst them.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

I have never tried this before, although I do know a few writers that do. I do feel that I need some sort of distraction to be able to write more. This can be the TV on in the background or even chatting with someone in between paragraphs.

5. How long have you been writing?

Not for very long, and yet for over 5 years. I have plenty of ideas in my head but working them out in my mind is one thing, writing it all down is something else.
My first book I started 5 years ago. For a very long time it just counted a few chapters. Thanks to a very good friend of mine I managed to write the rest of the manuscript in a very short time (oh what the mountain air can do ….).
I recently received the manuscript back from an editor that I hired and I am trying to lift my story up to a higher level, listening both to his advice and trying to keep my vision of it alive as well.
I have not been published yet, but I hope to be soon.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

Hard to say if I really am meant to be a writer, but I do my best. Maybe in the future, when I have a few books out there and have learnt more about what it means to be a writer, I can come back and answer this question better.

7. Do you have a muse?

There is this nagging little voice sometimes that tells me an idea and then works it out further, maybe I ignore her too much.
It all started when I was little and made up stories to fall asleep, mostly involving the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. From that it evolved to fantasy stories, some ideas stuck and grew, others just disappeared as nothing more than basic thoughts.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

Talking to other writers, taking note of what my editor says (meanwhile thinking of writing him into a story and having him die in a horrible way…) and of course reading. I am thinking of following some writing courses in the future.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I prefer writing in English over my native language (Dutch) as I find the English language much richer. I am also used to talking, writing and reading in English so this wasn’t a hard decision to make.

I tend to write more when I am abroad or when I have just come back. Does that mean I should just travel more? I need to look into that thought, I like the sound of it.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

As stated above I’m currently working on my first novel. It will be the first in a series of 3. The cover is finished but the editing will take some more time. It is an epic fantasy story.
The world I am writing about has enough material to inspire almost 20 books (I really should write more). I have incorporated little bits and pieces into my book that could become novels themselves in the future.

11. What book are you reading now?

At the moment I have started reading Dragonqueen written by a young fantasy author in Belgium. The next book in the series Dragonelves is also high on my list.

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

Currently I’m writing epic fantasy, but I also have ideas for novels in science fiction and the paranormal. For the latter I will most likely work together with a very good friend of mine who has more experience with it.
Third person seems to suit me best.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I think my editor will agree that I need to put more care into the planning.
The novel I am finishing was completely in my mind before I wrote it. I know how my characters are as a ‘person’ but it isn’t as easy to put their personalities into words as it is to put them into thoughts.
The plot is also worked out in my mind. I do find it interesting that sometimes the story demands other actions than I had originally planned. New ideas and views can arise just by writing and following what your heart says. A long walk can make me want a character to follow a completely different path.
Some stories do ask for a lot of research. I have an idea around Norse mythology and another using parts of the ancient astronaut theory that both will require a lot of reading to get some facts straight.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I have a pretty good idea how my stories will end. I like to avoid a happily ever after as life is never that simple. Although the end of the story is mostly set firm in my mind, the way to get there can sometimes change. Characters sometimes make different choices than I want them to make, they really sometimes have a will of their own.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

They are purely for entertainment although you could find some messages as ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, not that I can think off.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I love to travel and I enjoy photography. It is good that I can combine both and use it in my writing as well. I also like to read, cook and go for long walks.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Always a hard question to answer.
I write some small personal things down in my stories, sometimes to help deal with things, sometimes just to share a little bit of myself.

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

After they had vanished from sight, Erling Zivon entered the woods and headed to a small opening near a creek where beautiful yellow and purple irises grew. It was a short hike, but it took him a while because of his leg. When he got there, he listened to the water purling over the cobblestones, the wind ruffling through the trees, smelling the faint, creamy odor of the flowers and the moist grass. He loved the quiet here, the sounds and the smells, so did his son. It was the most beautiful spot of the woods and it was all theirs. As he started to dig a hole to hide the powerful dark ring, he hadn’t noticed a large bird veering down from great height. When it was almost on top of him it flapped its wings to be able to slow down and turn, to use its sharp claws. The sound startled him and he looked up quickly, falling to one side. It was too late. The talons dug deep into his flesh as the creature cocked its head. His last screams were in vain, lost to the woods.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

When you are interested in finding out more about me and my stories feel free to add my author page on facebook, I would love to interact with you.
I hope you will like my stories and motivate me to write more for both our enjoyments.

Thanks Kevin!! Good luck with your work in progress.
E&M

Housekeeping…

Hey y’all… here’s what’s up.

1. Marie is doing a GIVEAWAY on our Facebook page. All you have to do is “like” and “share” The Waiting Series for a chance to win copies of The Waiting and our newest novella, The Funeral. Here’s the link to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Waiting-Series/786961264661560?ref=hl

2. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo 2014, and so far, it’s not going the best in the world. I’m only 2900 words in for the month, but hey, that’s better than nothing. I’m working on The Fire: Book 2.5, and let me tell you… absolute craziness. I didn’t think it was possible for my bad people to be any worse than they are, but… it is. Bob and company come up with something especially heinous to further their plot for revenge, and omg… it’s awful.

3. I’m toying with the idea of putting a sort of family tree on here… or maybe character profiles of the main characters from Book 1.  I know the amount of characters are overwhelming at times, especially for readers who are accustomed to 5 characters or less in their novels, but please, STICK WITH IT. You won’t be sorry that you did. Everyone is important and everyone is intertwined. One of our awesome reviewers likened it to Dallas or Dynasty, and honestly, I couldn’t be more pleased. My earliest (and happiest) memories involve my beloved mamaw sitting with me on her couch, eating apples and peanut butter, and watching one of those infamous nighttime soaps – Falcon Crest, Knots Landing, Dynasty, The Colbys. That was “our” thing. My grandmother was a lifelong “Days of our Lives” fan, and taped her “stories” everyday. We watched until the day before she died. So that’s my inspiration… those awesome 80’s shows – sagas that you could get lost in. Families with money, power, prestige who are hell-bent on revenge against anyone standing in their way.

Y’all have a great day and remember to check out Marie’s Giveaway!!!!!!!!!

For Your Reading Pleasure…Juliette Douglas

Juliette Douglas is with us today. She writes Western adventures with a touch of romance. Side note: this is what Juliette says about the author picture she sent us: My author photo is taken with my neighbor Arctic Bright View who played Silver in the 2013 remake of ‘The Lone Ranger.’

How cool is that?? Enjoy!!!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

In my real life I wash, wax and detail boats for a living.
Links: http://www.facebook.com/author.juliette.douglass
Website http://www.juliettedouglas.com
http://www.amazon.com/Juliette-Douglas/e/B00HBUAMA0
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/JulietteDouglas
http://www.authorsden.com/juliettedouglas

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Since I write western historical fiction, I feel names should depict the time period you are writing about as close as possible. I might find a first name on an old gravestone, or in very old obits, mixing and mingling first and last names, til I have one I like.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

Afraid so…

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Bluegrass or Malt Shoppe Oldies

5. How long have you been writing?

7 years

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

Seven years ago I woke up with a story in my head, couldn’t get rid of it. Didn’t even own a computer or have internet back then. Finished the first rough draft and sent snail mail to a retired publisher friend. Lo and behold, he loved it, and now have two books published and working on the third in the Freckled Venom Series.

7. Do you have a muse?

God, he is in charge, showing me a talent I never knew I had.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

It is so rural where I live I don’t get the chance to go to workshops and conferences. So I read blog posts and other tid-bits I find on the internet. I also re-read my work and look at it from a readers point of view to try to improve what I write.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

No

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

Freckled Venom Skeletons is the third book in the Freckled Venom Series and takes place seven years later introducing more vivid crazy characters to the town of White River, Wyoming. I will also be finishing Perfume Powder & Lead * Holy Sisters this winter. Another western adventure series.

11. What book are you reading now?

Louis L’Amour Flint

12. What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

I write western adventure with a tad of romance thrown in. I prefer 3rd person POV.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I guess I am really an oddball about this, Nothing is ever written down, no drafts, outlines, etc. That is why I call it a God thing. It is always in my head and I just sit down and begin writing. Sometimes though my characters take over and tell the story the way they want it told. I guess you can tell I don’t follow a formula

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Most of the time. Of course my characters may decide to change them.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

Purely for entertainment.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

Pepsi and water I forget to eat sometimes

17. Tell us about your other passions.

Reading and crafts, HS and College Basketball.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Nothing really, I’m just an old fart who washes boats for a living and in the winter I hole up and spin tall tales.

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

Freckled Venom Copperhead:

Flinging open the metal door, Rawley shoved the copperhead in, making her tumble to the floor. Lacy bounced up, but not quick enough, the door slammed into her face with a heavy clank. Thrusting the key in the lock, Rawley turned it, tumblers clinked into place, sliding the bolt home. Cold, hard, blue steel zeroed in on the spitfire standing behind the bars giving him, her own wicked look.
Hands balled into fists, nails digging into her palms, Lacy didn’t back down from his stare, instead, she moved forward and spit.
As he wiped the spittle off his face, Rawley’s tone dropped even deeper and softer in his anger, “Sunshine, you’ve got one hell of a bad temper. You’ll stay in there till you simmer down or hell freezes over.”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Just have fun reading the books by Juliette Douglas and enjoy the ride!

Thanks Juliette!! What a great feature.
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…J.L. Imhoff

jl imhoff

Today, we have J.L. Imhoff with us. Her book, Poseidia, is world-building at it’s best. Authentic, fleshed-out characters with a beautiful backdrop. Enjoy!!!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

Hi! I’m J.L. Imhoff, the author of Poseidia, my debut novel. It’s a sea fantasy adventure with a heavy dose of romance.
Find me on:
Twitter : @JLImhoff

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JLIMHOFF

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I don’t have a method, other than I try to keep them simple and less than three syllables. Nothing annoys me more as a reader than to come across a name I can’t pronounce. In my head it becomes “blah, blah, blah” and I have trouble connecting to that character. For me, 99% of the time the characters tell me their name. However, I need help naming a baby–I am open to suggestions, nothing I’ve come up with seems to “fit.” Feel free to post on my page or tweet me your suggestions!

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

All the time!

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Nope. But a playlist is a good idea.

5. How long have you been writing?

I have journals full of poetry from childhood (I am so not gonna say how old I am, lol) but I started writing Poseidia about 3 years ago.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

Years ago, someone near and dear to my heart told me I should write. He is a semi-famous musician and I shared some of my writing with him and he said “Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of writing over the years, you need to write.”

But it wasn’t until years later in grad school for counseling when this guy in class says “I’m almost done writing my first novel” and my whole body and soul reacted, and I was like “whoa, where’s this coming from?” When I have such a strong reaction to something I take some time to figure out why. I quit grad school then, realizing I disliked counseling and started writing this story (Poseidia)that had been burning in my mind for years.

7. Do you have a muse?

I draw from life experiences.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

Reading. Reading. More reading. Allowing myself to suck, and then being open-minded when I get feedback from editors and readers. It’s an uncomfortable process at first, but then you see how much your writing improves and you learn to take it pretty well, knowing your writing will get that much better. It’s exciting!

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Maybe I need a few! What works for everyone else?

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m revising book 2 which takes place a few months after book 1 leaves off. Without giving away spoilers, we meet a very powerful character who will turn Anna’s world upside down.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m reading about 4 right now. One is called “The Scars of Evolution ” by Elaine Morgan. It’s about the aquatic ape hypothesis (I love anything that talks about the psychology of evolution). Another is “Twitter for Writers” by Rayne Hall. The other two are fiction. Most recently I finished The Waiting by Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes!

12. What genre do you write in? Fantasy/romance. What about PoV?

First person.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

For profiles I outline the character traits, but the process is more about a psychological profile. I want to make sure if I’m writing about a narcissist I get all the little behaviors woven in. As for book outline, I tend to do a basic one and then my characters shred it by changing the plot. So by the end of the revisions and editing I have to do a new one. But generally I write with out a formal outline.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Not really. I thought I did and then it completely changes as I write. I’m always saying to myself, “Where the heck did that come from?” Although I have an idea of how the series arc will end, my characters are likely to change it. But I do know how my characters will grow.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

Always a theme. And then a theme beneath a theme. Everything is symbolic. It started out being about overcoming battered wife syndrome–the self-transformation that can take place when you leave an abusive relationship. The book took on its own life and evolved into something more. But it’s still basically about self-empowerment, freedom, personal growth, and finding happiness outside of perceived dreams/perfectionism. And, of course, forgiving yourself for mistakes.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, actually I tend to not eat or drink if I get really deep in the zone.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

My son, the love of my life. Photography. Gardening.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I’m completely addicted to The Walking Dead

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

“Is it… telepathy?” I quizzed. That would explain why all the people walking around the room never said a word to each other. They glanced at us and nodded their heads when they passed our table, but said nothing. In shock, I looked around at all the people with a new understanding of their silence. Wait—Roman. Does that mean he could hear all my thoughts in the cave? Oh my god, I’m mortified. I fantasied about him making love to me. I hope he is an exception, or I’ll never be able to face him again.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I hope you enjoy reading Poseidia as much as I loved writing it.

Thanks J.L.! Good luck with Book 2 of the Poseidia Series. I can’t wait.
Elizabeth

For Your Reading Pleasure…Rachel Medhurst

Rachel Medhurt

Rachel Medhurst is sharing with us today. Her first book “Avoidables” is free on her website (http://www.rachelmedhurst.com/#!avoidables/cslk) and on Amazon where I got my copy) I love the premise of this book… so fitting for today’s society… though we may look a certain way, we are more than our external appearance. Enjoy!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

My name is Rachel and I grew up and live in England, near London. I’m a fan of history and actually live up the road from Anne Bolyn’s childhood castle. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and dream of myself as a bestselling author living in a lovely country home surrounded by fields and animals. Maybe one day I can buy Hever castle?

Website: http://www.rachelmedhurst.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerrachelmedhurst
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rachelmedhurst
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8137512.Rachel_Medhurst Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Medhurst/e/B00K52FWXS

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I like to ask my readers if they have any ideas, but in general I tend to just have names pop into my head, which is random, but fun!
3.Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? – Yes, absolutely. I would class myself as an Avoidable (someone who isn’t perfect looking or acting) rather than a Perfect and always wish some of my characters could speak back to me.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

No, I don’t listen to music. I like complete silence. I sometimes wish I could concentrate with music on because it would be nice to have some background noise other than my dog barking at the television.

5. How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young. My nan even has a short tale I wrote when I was about six. When I was about ten, a friend and I would read a lot of American teen books and so we decided to write one between us. The funny thing was, we are British and it didn’t sound quite right. Was good fun though.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

When I was nineteen, I sat down after a heart break and just started writing this story. It grew and grew and I got so lost in the story, it was almost like therapy. I loved it so much that I found I couldn’t stop. And here I am, ten years later with four books out.

7. Do you have a muse?

Not really. I may be my own muse, but I’m not sure if that’s possible/allowed?
8.How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) – I read almost every single day. I also write almost every single day. I research the publishing world and speak to others writers. I love this whole world and I know that I will always improve.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I have to write 1,000 words every time I sit to write. So when I get up in the morning, I sit and write 1,000 words, and I’m not allowed to come away or stop until I do it.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m on book four of Avoidables, which is a fantasy romance dystopian novella series. Perfects are people that are gorgeous and they live in Upper Side. Avoidables are ugly, deformed, half breeds or have powers and they live in Lower Side. Hope is an Avoidable with one arm. Each novella is from a different characters point of view, and in book four, I’m in the mind of a female Perfect.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m on book five of Diana Gabaldons Outlander series and I’m loving it!

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?

I’m a little varied. My Deadliners series is paranormal/supernatural and it’s in third person POV. Avoidables is dystopian fantasy romance and is in first POV, but as mentioned in a previous answer, I am in different characters POV in each book. I’m a little strange and varied, but that’s how I work.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I don’t prep at all. I’m the type of writer that sits in front of a blank page and just writes. As the story unfolds I get as excited as reader would. I love how things happen, although it can be distracting when I have to stop to cry! 🙂

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I might have an inkling sometimes, but not often.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

When I was a young reader, I always loved books that gave me hope. All my books have an underlying message of hope. Avoidables is about discrimination and how people shouldn’t be judged because of how they look.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I drink water when I write and I would eat chocolate all day if I allowed myself to, but I’m very disciplined so I don’t actually snack when writing.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I love to paint and draw. I don’t give myself enough time to do it and I miss it. I once painted pictures of Disney characters faces copying the images on the sides of the video cases (this was before I owned a computer. Now I feel old!!) and making them bigger. I still have those paintings now!

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I have four tattoos. 🙂

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

‘She’s only got one arm,’ the man cried and backed away, bumping fast into the dancing crowd.

Everything had been going so well. I was lost in the music, swaying and thumping my good hand in the air. The man had looked over at me as I’d glanced up from the floor. He was handsome. As our gazes clashed, a grin spread over his clean shaven face. I let the corners of my lips sink into my cheeks as I circled my hips in a mating dance. He swayed over to me, but as I turned in a circle, his eyes locked onto my shoulder and that’s when he’d started shouting.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Thank you! I’m so grateful and humble. I love to hear from anyone that has read my books.

Thanks Rachel! We’re glad for your insight. Good luck with Book 4.
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…J.F. Silver

Along for the Ride V2 (1)
Our feature today is from J.F. Silver. Several things are impressive about J.F., but for me, what stood out the most is his belief that age is simply a number. I enjoyed getting to know him, (and his wife… as she’s a huge inspiration) and I know y’all will too.

Name: J. F. Silver
1.  Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page.

I’m the author of an erotic series titled, “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe.” It tells the story of an older couple discovering new pleasures late in life. This is somewhat appropriate since I didn’t begin writing until I was fifty and published seven years later. What began as one story for my wife on her birthday grew into a full blown series over the next few years, though only for the two of us to share. One day, I was sitting in a waiting room and read an article about the exploding popularity of erotic fiction in the wake of “Fifty Shades,” and especially, e-books. I took this as a sign and decided to pursue my passion and try to get published. It was a fun journey and took nearly a year but I got there, signing my first contract with Stiff Rain Press last fall. I now have three books released, the latest just this month.
About me personally: Just an average guy, I’ve been lucky enough to be married to my soul mate for thirty-seven years. (See question 7 for more on this) We live just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we raised two beautiful daughters and now have three grandchildren. Life is good enjoying this new adventure as an author. Here’s more info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jf.silver.98
Twitter: @jf_silver
Website: http://mrandmrsaveragejoe.blogspot.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/J.F.-Silver/e/B00JFGFPBY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1413760514&sr=1-2-ent

2.  How do you choose names for your characters?

When I wrote that first story for my wife, the idea was just a fantasy for the two of us so I used our real names. She loved the story but suggested using our middle names instead. I agreed and the characters became Joe and Elaine. She also came up with the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” title. Last names are seldom used in my stories and I try to keep things fairly simple.

3.  Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

Is this a trick question? (LOL) Um, well, due to the personal nature of their beginnings, I definitely talk about them as real people. And though the stories are fictional, as a writer, it helps to imagine myself in those situations.

4.  Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Yes, definitely. We always have music playing in our house. I’ve been an avid record collector as long as I can remember and we watch very little television. I’m also a musician though some may argue if a drummer/percussionist qualifies as such. We have a slogan written on our wall that says, “Music is the Voice of the Soul,” and it manages to find its way into all of my books as well. We have an extensive collection and listen to all types of music. While writing, it may be jazz, New Age, or acoustic but having grown up with classic rock, we dabble in that, too. But honestly, like finding a good new book or author, I probably get the most pleasure discovering new artists.

5.  How long have you been writing?

I had always wanted to write and started a few things over the years but it wasn’t until 2007 that I really got going. I had just turned fifty and if my wife hadn’t liked that first story, may have ended then, too.

6.  Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

For me, it was receiving news that my book was deemed worthy of a publishing contract. It had started as a hobby but I put a lot of time and effort into it. Now, when I get a nice review or a reader tells me that they loved my books, it’s a great feeling and one I hope every author gets to experience.

7. Do you have a muse?

I certainly do, an actual muse in the true sense of the word. After that first story, my wife not only encouraged me to write more, she also suggested the plot line on which the entire series is based. As a male author, I realize that most readers of my genre are women and we read through everything together. She really helps me keep the stories “women-friendly” and continues to offer ideas. I’m very grateful for my muse.

8.  How do you improve as a writer?

I think my writing has improved with each of my books. With that first contract, I was extremely fortunate to work with a great editor named, Kris Jacen. She liked my book but was very honest about all the flaws in my writing. Being new at this, I listened and took her advice and now try to avoid those problems going forward. Each book has been easier to edit as we’ve gone along. For me, working with an experienced editor was invaluable.

9.  Writing quirks or superstitions?

I always have music playing and do all of my writing on a desktop computer sitting at a desk. We own a laptop but I’m much more comfortable typing on an actual full-sized keyboard. Although, “typing” is a relative term is my case. It’s more like my own advanced style of “hunt and peck.” My wife and daughters laugh at me but I get it done.

10. Tell us about your current work in progress.

I’m currently working on “Life’s Too Short,” the fourth book in the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” series. It continues the tale of Joe and Elaine, an adventurous couple in their fifties, and their very close friends. All of the books are about having fun and discovering new pleasures as we get older. They never get too deep or serious but do deal with real life and the problems that come with it. This book is about embracing life before it’s too late. The biggest challenge I have now with an established series and characters, is keeping it from getting stale. So, we’re going to see some new characters and scenarios to hopefully, keep our readers engaged and wanting more. Needless to say, this one will feature even more fun situations.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading two. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I’m taking my time with this one and yes, it’s the first time I’ve read it. Shame, I know. The second my muse and I are enjoying together: “Swinger Secrets” by an excellent Canadian author named Mia Moore. This one finds itself in a similar genre to mine.

12. What genre do you write in? PoV?

My books are contemporary erotica with multiple partners/swingers, interracial, bisexual, light BDSM, exhibitionism/voyeurism, toys, etc. Yeah, a little of everything. My editor may have described it best: “a M/F/F/M romance with well-seasoned characters.” Perfect.
I made the decision by default early on to tell the story from Joe’s point of view. This was my biggest challenge editing the first book and many sections needed to be rewritten. Many of the upcoming stories already exist in some form and will need similar treatment.

13. Tell us about writer preparation. Character profiles? Outlines?

Since my stories and characters have existed for quite some time, I don’t do much. The upcoming storylines are pretty clear though always evolving. Some may happen earlier or later than previously planned but the ideas are there. Since we don’t have many characters, it is fun to create and introduce new ones to the mix.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Each of my three books has ended with a hook and teaser for the next. In reviews, at least so far, readers seem to like the second book more than the first. I’m hoping this trend continues with the third, and so on. We’re trying to hook more readers with each book who would like to go back and discover the series.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I certainly try to make them fun and entertaining. But they also began as a personal fantasy. When my muse offered that first suggestion, they evolved into shared fantasies, which they still are. So if we have a message, it’s about communicating with your partner. When asked to sign copies of my books, I always write, “Share Your Fantasies,” because that’s how we turned ours into a series of books. I also love when reviewers write something like, “I hope it’s that hot for me when I’m fifty!” It can be. These are the ideas I try to get across while hopefully keeping readers entertained. The books are really fun.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, not really. I do most of my writing in the late afternoon/early evening and we may just have a glass of wine around four o’clock each day. Of course, as a writer, coffee is the key ingredient to any decent morning.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

In addition to my writing and music, I’m a big baseball fan. I grew up listening to games on the radio and have always found it a good metaphor for everyday life. I also love trivia games and for some reason, have a knack for storing otherwise useless information. A real passion for me though, is playing the drums with my grandchildren. That’s a joy beyond words.

18. What’s something interesting about you.

I don’t know how interesting this is. Most of my previous professional life has been spent in the cleaning business, managing large crews in mostly gigantic buildings. I can explain how to clean a shopping mall, office tower, factory, even a baseball stadium. Too many scenarios to mention but, believe me, I’d rather be a writer.

19. Share a sample (limit to one paragraph) of your writing.

This is from “Along for the Ride: Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe 3,” which was released October 15th. Just in time for Halloween, the title characters are nervously about to attend their first masked Swinger’s Ball dressed as a sexy Mr. and Mrs. Zorro:

Downstairs, a few couples were waiting in line at the entrance to the ballroom. Not everyone was masked. We had a sexy Elvis with Madonna from the cone bra era and the first Batman of the night, this one accompanied by a very curvy Catwoman. We exchanged hellos though nobody said much while we waited. But, these women, including Elaine, were hard not to notice and the atmosphere was already flirtatious as eyes, masked or not, checked them out. Hell, I was guilty. Catwoman’s suit was really tight.
“Remember our plan,” Elaine whispered to me. “You and me in that Jacuzzi later.”
I gave her a kiss and replied, “I don’t think I can wait that long.” She smelled so nice and looked ridiculously hot in her low cut black top. We held hands while I gave the tickets to a witch sitting at a small table. Each ticket was unique and she checked her list. Smiling, she asked if this was our first time. When we answered, she went over the rules, the most important being no nudity or sexual activity outside the ballroom. Next, we walked down a dimly lit hallway that ended at a large black curtain. A tiny opening was all that separated us from whatever waited on the other side.
“No matter what,” Elaine told me, “No names and our masks stay on.”
“I agree. Are you ready, Mrs. Z.?”
“Yeah, let’s do it.” Holding hands, she went through first.

20.  Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I’d like to thank everyone who has purchased and read my books. I am so grateful! And especially to those who have taken the time to write reviews, I can’t thank you enough. I think many of you have been inspired! My stories are all about communicating, keeping an open mind, trying new things and above all, having fun. Life’s too short. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for being featured, J.F. Good luck to you and the “Average Joes.” 🙂

For Your Reading Pleasure…Sarah M. Cradit

sarah

Here today is Sarah M. Cradit. By happenstance, I met Sarah after an internet search about family trees for characters led me to The House of Crimson and Clover. She’s always been so kind to offer advice above the ins and outs of indie publishing, which as most of you know, is invaluable information. Yesterday, Sarah released Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Book 3.5 in her series. We’re glad to have her insight.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page) My name is Sarah M. Cradit, and I’m the author of the Southern Gothic Paranormal saga/series, The House of Crimson & Clover. You can find me here:

Official Website: http://www.sarahmcradit.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/houseofcrimsonandclover
Google +: google.com/+SarahMCradit
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-M.-Cradit/e/B005SY05BM
Twitter: @thewritersarah

2. How do you choose names for your characters? Interesting question. Names are a very visceral thing for me, and as soon as I have a character outlined, I know them well enough to pick a name that fits. I utilize a lot of baby name sites, as well as searching out the meanings of names. For my Empyrean race, for example, I looked up a lot of Old Norse names. Sometimes I will take the name “as is,” and other times I will create my own. Quillan, for example (Oz’s cousin who has a brief cameo in Eventide, and has his own book coming up next year), was a spin off the name Quinlan. I think the most important thing to me is that every name is carefully chosen, whether it be a main character or simply someone who appears once or twice.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? Wait… they’re not real?? I suppose they’re about as real to me as anything in my life that has weight and importance. While I’m careful not to ever model a character after me, each of them is given a small piece of me, which helps bring them to reality. So yes, I suppose I do talk about them as if they were real 🙂

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind? I’m a fickle writer, and my desired writing environment changes both by mood and project. I’ve had projects where I need complete silence… others where I couldn’t write without the music in the background. I often “fixate” on a certain kind of music for each project. For example, while writing Bound I listened almost exclusively to Band of Horses and Iron & Wine. For Midnight Dynasty, it was a lot of Bastille. For Asunder, Mumford & Sons. And as I am working through Empire of Shadows, I have switched gears towards a lot of trance and house techno.

5. How long have you been writing? Since I was 7. I always had a colorful imagination, but once I learned to connect that imagination to the page, it was all over.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer. I think I’ve always known I was meant to be a writer, but I never saw it as a feasible reality. Growing up, it was only the select elite who could write for a living, and I was realistic enough to plan for a different career while writing on the side. Flash forward to now, and I am happily balancing two careers I’ve worked hard at.

7. Do you have a muse? Not one specifically, but I have a small group of close friends who get to hear my ideas before anyone else… and as I talk to them about these ideas, it inspires me to write.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) For me, it is simply writing. Writing always and often. There are other influences that help (reading, of course), but nothing works as well as continuing to write and hone my craft.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions? I’m very obsessive about the order and way I edit. It’s a sickness.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress. I’m working on Book 4 in the series, Empire of Shadows. It’s looking to be a lengthy, ambitious work, but I’ve never been more excited to work on a project. For non-series readers almost anything I say will be spoilery so I will say this: it involves mythologies both new and old, and a story that spans from New Orleans to Ireland to Norway.

11. What book are you reading now? I’m working through the second book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy.

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? I write Southern Gothic Paranormal, and every single one of my books is told from multiple PoVs.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines? I have a monstrous database on Evernote (that is backed up both to my local laptop and my backup server) of characters, bios, mythologies, stories, abilities, and so forth. I use this to document anything and everything that might be relevant for the series. I didn’t use to like outlines (my creative process can be erratic and somewhat unfocused in the beginning), but as my series has progressed in length and complexity, outlines become more necessary. So I try to fill in what I *do* know, and then as I write, more ideas come to me, and the outline blossoms.

14. Do you know how your stories will end? Sometimes. Other times I only figure it out as the story moves forward.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment? All of my books attempt to speak to the human condition. Nothing, or no one, in this world is entirely black or white. Our thoughts, feelings, and motivations are never that neat.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing? I don’t snack a lot while writing, but depending on the time of day I will often either have coffee or wine 😉

17. Tell us about your other passions. Travel and culture would be at the very top of that list. I also, of course, love to read.

18. What’s something interesting about you? I speak some Elvish 😉

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published. This is from Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Tristan’s PoV:

Tristan didn’t notice his elbow knock the old man’s drink off the bar because he’d been too busy pouring out the sordid details of his life history. He did not stop to think—not after the first drink, nor the tenth—that the man might not be interested in the drunken, incoherent, slurry of words and sentences Tristan haphazardly slung together in one long, sloppy narrative. “Cursed,” he spat, again, repeating himself with conviction. “Did I mention we’re all cursed?”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers? Thank you for allowing me to share my world with you!

Thanks you, Sarah for being featured here with us today. Good luck with Asunder.