Uncategorized

How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman Blog Tour – Author Interview

About the Book

Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

Interview

What authors/books inspired your writing?

Judy Blume, first and foremost. I’ve been reading (and loving!) her books since I was around eight. Also, The Baby-Sitters Club books, and the Sweet Valley High books; I devoured those series growing up. And, now, many of the current contemporary YA greats: Gayle Forman, Jessi Kirby, Miranda Kenneally, Stephanie Perkins, Jandy Nelson, Jenny Han, Sara Zarr, Lisa Schroeder, Katie Cotugno, Robin Benway, Emery Lord, Sarah Dessen, and Morgan Matson.

What is your ideal writing setting (outside, at a desk, etc.)?

I have a lovely desk that I never use. I like coffee shops okay for chatting with friends, but they’re too distracting for writing. Our local library is too cold. I wish I could write outside, but the sun creates a glare on my laptop’s screen – ha! I’m such a homebody. Ideally, I like to write on my couch or in my bed. I like it to be very quiet. I like to be warm, wearing cozy clothes. I like to have a candle burning, and a hot beverage nearby. Under those conditions, I do my best work. 

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

When I’m drafting, I always start by reading and editing what I wrote the day before. That lets me reacclimate to the story, while limiting the time I spend going backward instead of forward. I’m also a die-hard Scrivener user. It has so many amazing outlining, drafting, and organizational features; I can’t imagine going back to Word.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

When I have writer’s block, it’s almost always because I’ve made a misstep somewhere earlier in the process. When the words just won’t come, I give myself a break. I take a walk or pull weeds or play with my girls, all the while letting the story stew in the back of my mind. Some distance, not forcing it, usually allows me the space to see where I’ve gone wrong. Once I’ve identified the problem I backtrack and fix it, and then I’m free to move forward.

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

I have a connection with all of my main characters (Jillian from Kissing Max Holden, Elise from The Impossibility of Us, and Callie from How the Light Gets In). To write from their first-person perspective, I’ve had to learn them inside and out. I’ve given them each one of my own character traits: I share Jillian’s fierce sense of loyalty, Elise’s desire to find the best in everyone, and Callie’s empathic nature. All three are rather stubborn, so we have that in common, too. I’ve also found that sharing a common interest with my protagonists—Jillian loves to bake, Elise loves photography, and Callie loves to swim—helps me connect with them all the more.

What does literary success mean to you?

For me, literary success comes in two parts. First, I hope to find joy in the project I’m drafting/editing/promoting. Not all the time—there are always frustrating and disenchanting moments in writing and publishing—but most of the time. Second, I hope my books will make readers feel. I hope they’ll become so invested in my stories that their emotions mirror my characters’ emotions. I think that’s the most exciting part of reading.

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

It’s kind of a mystery at the moment. I have a couple of projects brewing, both contemporary YA romances that have me inspired and excited. I can’t imagine writing anything other than contemporary YA romance, so I hope to be able to publish more books that are similar to Kissing Max Holden, The Impossibility of Us, and How the Light Gets In. Also, one of my favorite writer friends and I are in the earliest stages of planning something collaborative, which has been so much fun so far!

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Read as much as you can, both in the category/genre you write, and widely. Pay attention to your strong reactions, both positive and negative. Identify what the author did to invoke that reaction in you. Was it a fantastic twist? A super satisfying character arch? A line of beautiful dialogue? Studying and absorbing the practiced, polished writing in published books will do wonders for your own writing. 

About the Author – Katy Upperman

KatyKaty Upperman is a wife, mama, author, reader, baker, and wanderer. She writes novels for teens and teens at heart. She’s a Washington State University alum (go Cougs!), a country music fanatic, and a makeup stockpiler. She loves the ocean, pedicures, sunshine, Instagram, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride, Jelly Bellies, true crime documentaries, and Friday Night Lights.

Pinterest | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Author Website | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Buy the Book

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Uncategorized

Just My Luck by Jennifer Honeybourn Blog Tour – Author Interview

About the Book

Marty has terrible luck and she knows exactly why. While working as a housekeeper at the ritzy Grand Palms hotel in Maui, Marty made it a habit to steal small items from the guests. What better way to stick it to the rich snobs they have to clean up after? Marty knows how to turn her luck around — she just has to return all of the items she stole.

When Marty meets Will, a new guest who is staying for the summer, she does the one thing she always promised herself she’d never do — fall for an out-of-towner. But Will’s special, different from the other guests at the hotel. Maybe Marty’s luck is finally turning around.

After a string of misunderstandings and accidents threaten Will and Marty’s relationship, Marty has to find a way to fix her luck for good — or say goodbye to Will forever.

Interview

What authors/books inspired your writing?

So many authors have inspired me — and continue to inspire me: Susin Nielson, Stephanie Perkins, Sandy Hall, Becky Albertalli, Emma Mills, Jenn Bennett, Lily Anderson, Rebecca Stead…just to name a few.

Did you always know you wanted to write Young Adult? Do you see yourself writing New Adult or Adult sometime?

I’ve always loved young adult books, so it felt like a natural fit for me when I started writing seriously about ten years ago. Over the past year, I’ve branched into middle grade and I’m really having a lot of fun writing those stories and hope to see them on the shelves one day. I do have an adult book that’s been kicking around in my head for ages that I plan to tackle someday.

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

Writing is now my job, so I’m at my desk around nine in the morning on weekdays and I work until about three, unless I’m on a deadline, then I’ll sometimes work evenings and weekends, too.  I used to write in coffee shops before I had a home office.  

How do you deal with writer’s block?

If I’m feeling blocked, it usually means that I’m going in the wrong direction with a scene. I’ll take a short break and let my mind work out the problem, then I’ll take on the scene from a different angle. That usually works. I’ve also used the pomodoro method — just writing whatever for 25 minutes, see what comes out — and that has helped, too.

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

I love all my characters, but I have to say Wesley from WESLEY JAMES RUINED MY LIFE holds a special place in my heart. I love his optimism and sense of humor. I also love writing Shelby, my main character in WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU DEMONS.

What is your ideal spot for a summer vacation?

I love to travel and I love to go to different places. This year, we’re heading down the east coast, so I’m looking forward to exploring Washington, DC and Charleston, South Carolina. But in terms of destinations I’ve already been to, I’d have to pick Maui. I love Hawaii, it’s one of my favorite places in the world, which is why I set JUST MY LUCK there.     

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

I’ve written a few middle grade novels that I’m pretty excited about, so hopefully those will be published someday soon.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Keep writing! WESLEY JAMES RUINED MY LIFE, my debut novel, wasn’t published until I was forty. I truly believe talent is only part of it — the rest is hard work and perseverance, learning as much as you can about your craft, reading as much as you can in all genres, and a little bit of luck.

About the Author – Jennifer Honeybourn

JenniferJennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books. Wesley James Ruined My Life is her first novel.

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Author Website

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Buy the Book

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Book Depository | Indigo

Uncategorized

Within Ash and Stardust by Chani Lynn Feener Blog Tour – Author Interview

About the Book

Having gone from kidnapped faux princess to the legitimate heir to an intergalactic throne, an impulsive, sarcastic teen must take charge of her own destiny in this epic YA novel.

On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.

But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.

Torn between two planets, two fates, and two loves, Delaney is finally ready to choose her own destiny in Within Ash and Stardust, the stunning conclusion to Chani Lynn Feener’s Xenith Trilogy.



Praise for the Xenith Trilogy:
“A thoughtful, sexy adventure with winning characters just begging for a bedtime read.” —VOYA on Amid Stars and Darkness

“Feener’s world-building is excellent, and readers will feel engulfed in the culture, politics, and technology. The romance between Delaney and Ruckus develops slowly and satisfyingly. Give to fans of Melissa Landers’s Alienated and Ally Condie’s Matched.” —School Library Journal on Amid Stars and Darkness

“This debut makes for fun, fluffy reading.” —Booklist on Amid Stars and Darkness

“[A] pulse-pounding adventure.” —Booklist on Between Frost and Fury

Interview

What authors and/or books inspired your writing?

There are a lot of authors who inspire me, and keep me interested in writing. Whenever I read a good book I feel excited about the whole process and immediately want to go write something, so really I’d say most authors make that list. A few of my favorites, that are always instant buys for me, are Maggie Stiefvater and Marissa Marr.

What is your ideal writing setting (at a desk, outside, with tea/coffee, etc)?

I like to work at my desk with coffee. Always coffee. My desk is set up so that everything I might need last minute is in reaching distance—highlighters, extra pens, notebooks filled with notes on past projects, etc.—and I collaged the walls with pictures and stuff that I like and inspires me, so it’s the best place for me to work. When I’m surrounded by things I enjoy, it’s easier for me to focus. I also get easily distracted elsewhere; like if I tried working in the school library or the local coffee shop, I’d get so distracted by all of the people and people watching.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I have two methods. The first is to take a break and let my mind wander to something else. A lot of the time this helps. Getting burned out happens to everyone, so it’s good to give yourself a break and try not to overthink it for a time. Typically I’ll watch a movie or a TV show, or maybe draw or listen to music. If it’s really bad, I’ll plan a trip to the bookstore or the aquarium to refresh and hopefully gain new inspiration. If this doesn’t work, I’ll switch to method two, which is attempting to power through it. Sometimes forcing myself to just sit and write despite not feeling inspired eventually leads to good material. I’ll almost always need to delete and rewrite the first few pages I get out, but eventually those bad pages lead to better writing and before I realize I’ve got my flow back.

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

Weirdly, I think I have a special connection with Gibus. I just…really love him? He’s always come off a bit “mad scientist” in my mind, quirky and over the top, and sometimes really annoying to have conversations with (I imagine). He’s also really loyal, and overly curious, and I’ve always loved how he lives in that gray area. I mean, he is part of the reason Delaney was in this mess in the first place—what kind of inventor doesn’t keep track of his super dangerous inventions?!—and that was after he’d already been told to scrap the project entirely. I’d love to just write a book about Gibus being Gibus. I feel like that would be a ton of fun.

How did you feel when AMID STARS AND DARKNESS was picked up by Swoon Reads?

I’m not sure elated is a strong enough word, but that’s what comes to mind first. I remember getting the email to set up the phone meeting, and not wanting to get my hopes up for what that might mean. After the conversation I literally jumped around my room like a child—it would have been super embarrassing if anyone else was home at the time. It’s a big deal, when someone comes to you and says “Hey, you know that dream you’ve had for most your life? It’s about to come true”. It was both surreal and exciting all at once.

Which book of the trilogy was the most difficult to write?

Probably the final book. There were just so many things I wanted to fit into it and wrap up, and it was difficult to do that and still keep a balance with everything. There were also a lot of major plot changes that took place between the first and final drafts, so the book was constantly morphing into something else as we worked through it—which isn’t a bad thing, it just took a lot of time. I enjoyed writing it a lot, and really like how it all ended up, but it definitely was the most difficult out of the entire trilogy.

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

So far, I have another trilogy releasing in October, this one about Unseelie Faeries. I’m still writing a lot and trying to put other projects out there, so hopefully in the years to come you’ll be seeing more of me!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

To stick with it and write. It’s really easy to put off writing because life gets busy and you’re not sure if it’ll go anywhere anyway, but don’t focus on that. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Even if the final project isn’t what you hoped for, writing a book is a big accomplishment, and if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you should.

 

About the Author – Chani Lynn Feener

ChaniChani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is also the author of teen paranormal series, the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Buy the Book

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks | Indigo

Comment

Who would you take with you to travel the stars? 

Uncategorized

Author Interview – King Everett Medlin

42937184._SY475_About the Book

If you like Star Wars, Battlefield Earth, and Forever War, you’ll love Rijel 12: The Rise of New Australia!

The remote Intergalactic Penal Colony on the planet Rijel 12 is a very profitable enterprise. Its desolate surface is an uninhabitable wasteland relentlessly scorched by its sun, but inside the planet is a vast treasure trove of the most precious resources in the galaxy.

Prisoners sentenced to Rijel 12 know it’s a one-way ticket. It used to be a convict would serve their time and come home. That stopped a while ago. Inmates are forced to work the mines in wretched conditions and the death rate is staggering. Luckily for the warden, new inmates arrive monthly to replenish the labor pool. Business has never been better.

From the darkness of their miserable existence, one prisoner decides to take a stand and begins to organize a resistance. Inmates rally to the cause and prepare for rebellion. Can the rag-tag rebels of ‘New Australia’ succeed in their quest for freedom or will the warden and the overpowering might of the Interplanetary Authority extinguish their only hope?

From new author, King Everett Medlin, comes an action-packed epic of hope, rebellion, and the quest for redemption.

Interview

What made you want to write sci-fi?
 
I grew up watching Star Trek, and loved how Roddenberry often crafted episodes to provide social commentary.  Sometimes it was part of ongoing character development, and sometimes the episode itself conveyed an important message regarding the realities of human nature.  Doing that in a futuristic setting, depicting alien characters and their interactions with humans, has proven to be the most enjoyable aspect of my writing experience – second only to researching the latest technologies and theories for interstellar travel.
 
Did you come across anything particularly interesting in your research for Rijel 12: The Rise of New Australia?
 
Oh yes!  For Rise, I studied up on volcanology in order to devise a way the Nausties could set off an explosion big enough to stop invaders from Earth.  The fun part was studying history in order to identify a precedent for this.  Good that I did, in that when I finished, it occurred to me this might lead to global climatic change.  It helped in developing a premise for the book’s sequel which I’m finishing this month.   
 
What is your ideal writing setting (i.e. outside, drinking coffee, late at night, etc)?
 
Truck stop diner or a seedy dive bar with people talking loudly (competing to be heard over the music).  Add in an electrical outlet where I can plug in my laptop; a decanter of decaf, and some low-life’s milling around in the background.  Do that and I can write for hours.  It helps in writing dialogs which replicate the way people talk in social situations.  The give-and-take I hear between bar patrons or even waitresses/customers is genuine and immediately usable.  For example, one time I heard two drunks discussing a TV commercial they saw on the bar television set.  It was an ad for the latest sci-fi horror movie and in it the announcer made a reference to Mars.  One of the drunks shook his head and muttered, “Hmmmph.  I don’t know, man.”  In response the other drunk asked, “Why … you think something’s out there?”  The first drunk then replied defiantly, “Oh, I don’t think there is – I know there is.”
 
How do you deal with writer’s block?
 
I do a “Hemingway”.  By that I mean I write down something true.  Anything.  Even if it’s got nothing to do with the book, I write it down.  Maybe a whole paragraph – regardless of the topic.  That was a tip Ernest Hemingway gave back in 1936 during an interview with Esquire magazine.  It works every time.
 
What is your go-to book to read that never lets you down?
 
The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli.  He’s so blunt; plus what he’s saying makes perfect sense once I shove aside naivety and coldly process the information.  Because he gets right to the point and what he suggests is so brutally honest, if not totally spot-on, it immediately affects my characterizations and scenario-building.  
 
What are some of your favorite writing tropes that most people usually hate?
 
Great question!  I use simile quite a lot, and I have to say I’ve gotten into the habit from reading articles and interviews with scientists explaining how something exists or functions in the universe.  It gets particularly amusing whenever I ask my wife Caroline to review one I’m especially proud of.  She’ll often get snarky and imply that it was unnecessary.  She’ll say, “Yeah, uh … I got it, thanks,” as if to indicate I should remove it from the paragraph.  I rarely do.    
 
What can we hope to see from you in the future?
 
The sequel to Rise is almost finished.  It’s called Rijel 12:  Return of Anarchy and will be out this fall.  Fans will remember how one of the pirate ships in Rise never comes back from the raid on Star Fantasy.  That ship is called the Anarchy and it is captained by Admiral Slout.  In the sequel, New Australia has changed drastically since the war with Earth.  Due to planet-wide volcanic eruptions there is now a vastly different climate up on the surface.  But that’s not all that’s changed.  Anarchy’s crew arrive home after seventeen years only to find their pirate paradise has transformed into an agrarian utopia.  Unfortunately they’ve also picked up a deadly unknown passenger during their journey through the galaxy.
 
Any advice for aspiring authors?
 
Plenty!  Organize your writing project.  Develop a process for creating the book from start to finish.  For example, when I start a new novel I first write a premise, then I develop a two to three page synopsis which includes the book’s ending.  By that I mean I write the ending for the book before beginning even the first chapter.  After that I write out synopses for each chapter through to the closing scene.  Only then do I tackle the opening.  By doing this, I already know the full story as well as the conclusion I’m working toward.  I also have a guide for each chapter to follow as I move through the book.  The next tip is work regimen.  For me that means a chapter a week, or basically 5,000 words.

About the Author – King Everett Medlin

81Y6GCynH5L._US230_King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013, when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full length novel. King lives in Denver, Colorado with his lovely wife Caroline and has two grown children. He’s a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby; and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.

Goodreads | Twitter 

Buy the Book

Add it on Goodreads | Amazon | Chandra Press

Uncategorized

Author Interview – Joseph Tamone

Fusion+World+rebootAbout the Book

CAN A SMALL TEAM OF UNTESTED SPECIALISTS SAVE THE WORLD?

20 years after a crushing defeat in the Universal War, Vyndral is a cold desolate wasteland. The remnants of the mighty Vyndral military scavenge the post-apocalyptic remains of the once great planet trying to stay alive.

When a way to reopen the portal to Rafia is discovered, Cein Colvak, the ruthless Vyndral leader, launches a devastating invasion. Rafia is caught by surprise and the capital of Vyloli falls. With thousands of hostages in the city, the Rafian military has its hands tied. 

When Vyndral starts to construct a diabolical weapon that can reduce Rafia to dust, a small untested team is assembled to stop Cein and save their homeworld. Pulling it off requires extraordinary skill, courage, and ultimately, sacrifice. Racing against the clock and facing incredible odds, do they have what it takes?

The first in a series from a fresh new voice in science fiction, Joseph Lewis Tamone, will take you on a thrilling adventure with twists, turns, and riveting action. 

Interview

What made you want to write sci-fi?

You can do a lot with science fiction.  You can create worlds that don’t exist, or technology that doesn’t exist yet.  You can incorporate fantasy elements into it and it’ll still be considered science fiction.  One of my favorite things to do is to incorporate existing mythology into science fiction, and I do that with Philanthropy.  Not so much with Fusion World, but with every proceeding book, I incorporate a bit of Greek mythology into the stories and making it based more in science rather than in religion. 

Science fiction is essentially a creative outlet to write pretty much any story that you want, and to be as imaginative as you want to be. 

Do you see sci-fi as a window to our future or, as it is titled, simply works of fiction?

A little bit of both.  I try not to go too overboard with the science in science fiction, just because you can only describe advanced technology so much.  I also try to base a lot of the technology on tech that already exists. 

I also try to get a sense of realism with advancements in technology.  For example, in Fusion World, the Rafian military are no longer using metal rounds in their guns, they’re using biodegradable polymer rounds.  The world is becoming more renewable and green and less reliant on non-degradable sources.  I feel like that’s the future, so that’s the direction I’m taking Rafia’s tech in. 

What kind of research did you have to do?

I did a bit of research on nuclear fallout and residual radiation.  It helped me to understand the plight of a people coming from a world devastated by nuclear war. 

I had to do a lot of research on helicopters and airplanes, because of the scene where a character sits down in a helicopter and remembers how to fly.  He knew how to fly, but I don’t, so I had to read up on it. 

One of my main characters is a doctor, but I’m not and I don’t have a background in anything medical related, so I did a bit of research on that part, and then passed it over to my wife for approval.  She’s an LVT, so she does have that medical background. 

Most of the stuff I wrote is straight from my imagination.   

What authors and/or books inspired your writing?

The greatest book series ever written is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.  That absolutely was a huge inspiration for my writing.  I got the idea for travel between dimensions from those books.  Sajaelar’s ability to shoot and never miss came from Roland Deschain’s ability to shoot and never miss.  The decision to have overly snarky and sarcastic characters like Vai and Sajaelar is a tribute to the best character from The Dark Tower, the overly snarky and sarcastic Eddie Dean. 

Much earlier on, I read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which introduces a device for slicing spacetime and creating portals to parallel worlds in the second book.  The Subtle Knife operates similarly to a Dark Orb, it’s just more mechanical than magical, and you don’t have to lose a couple fingers to use it. 

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

I’ve been told that Vai Kogan and Sajaelar Molaes are just amplified versions of me.  Leward Peltron is perpetually exhausted, and I wrote that into his character when I had really bad insomnia.  Edam Lavinski only drinks his coffee black.  I wrote that in because I only drink my coffee black.  So there’s little bits and pieces of my own personality traits, likes and dislikes peppered throughout the book. 

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

If I’m sitting down to write for an extended period of time, I’ll need a large hot cup of black coffee.  It helps me focus.  If I’m working on constructing dialogue, you’ll find me pacing around my living room talking to myself like a madman.  I also write out cliff notes for chapters in advance just so that I don’t lose focus in my writing.  I also need to see how the story ends before I can work on the beginning.  The story for Philanthropy spans another seven or so books, so that’s quite a bit of information and story development to consider when writing.  Every moment or bit of dialogue is leading to future moments or dialogue, there’s a lot of foreshadowing for future events, and certain elements from the first book are already setting up for things that don’t happen until book 4 and 5.   

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

I have a few projects I’m working on.  The follow up to Fusion World, called In The Shadow of the Demon is in production.  I’m already getting Philanthropy III and IV ready.  Gray Skies & Glass Lands and Leather Wings & The Seven Kings.  There’s about four more in the Philanthropy series, not including short stories and spin-offs that I have notes for. 

I have a fantasy trilogy I’m writing.  The first one is called The Hunter, The Killer, The Coward, And The Doofus, and the special thing about this story is that the characters are all based on the personalities of my pets, and other people’s pets that I know.

I had a Stephen King moment and dreamt up a story called Antherah, about a woman named Antherah.  I have a space adventure in the works called Omega the Corruptor, where we’ll meet an alien species called Badickerdacks.  And I’m also writing Harvey The Wyvern, the story about Harvey, the first wyvern to be employed by the United States Postal Service. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Take risks.  Nothing you do will ever get done if you don’t just go for it.  I second guess myself all the time when it comes to what I write, and you’re going to do that as an artist.  You’ll fixate on all your faults and your limitations.  I know I do, and I ended up sitting on Fusion World for seven years.  I finished the book, didn’t let anybody read it, and moved on to the next one.  Then I would go back and edit it, and I edited it about once a year, without actually doing anything with it.  And as soon as I worked to get it published and took that risk, it was picked up by Chandra Press.  And yeah, your writing probably isn’t going to be perfect, and that’s what editors are for, but you’re better than you think you are.

If you like what you wrote and put your heart and soul into it, your readers will see it.   

About the Author – Joseph Tamone

Joseph Lewis TamoneJoseph Lewis Tamone lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Despite getting a degree in Environmental Engineering, Joseph has always found an escape in his quirky imagination that lent its way to his passion for writing. Joseph is an avid animal lover and history buff. When he is not writing, he enjoys escaping into the world of video games, nature, and most importantly, reading and researching. He lives in Delaware with his lovely wife, Erica, and their house full of animals.

Goodreads | Twitter 

Buy the Book

Amazon | Chandra Press

blog tour · interview

Blog Tour – Author Interview – Danielle Roux

About the Book

Katherine Garnet is a writer who has never cared much about much, making it awfully difficult to create new content. Despite the fact she has the “edge” of being trans (according to her cis male editor) she is not looking to capitalize on her own personal story. Garnet tries to sneak a peek at her rival, August Prather’s, latest fantasy manuscript about a quest for the elixir of life. While reading, Garnet gets accidentally dragged into a bizarre cross-country road trip that may or may not have a purpose and begins to see parallels in the story of the manuscript and the reality of their journey. Along the way, they encounter a parade of equally troubled individuals, including ghost-hunting priests, a robot magician, a discarded piece of furniture, a runaway teenager, and a Japanese rock star. As Garnet confronts her past, she begins to understand why someone might want to live forever.

Interview

What authors/books inspired your writing?

I’m inspired by so many authors and books, I try to read a lot of different genres both fiction and nonfiction. I was influenced to start writing fantasy by the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman that I read when I was in middle school which was so beautifully written and original. I love anything by Neil Gaiman, his use of mythology and fantasy elements in a contemporary setting and his sense of humor are unparalleled. Recently I’ve been inspired by so many of the other authors at The Parliament House Press, they are creative and supportive.    

What is your ideal writing setting (outside, at a desk, etc.)?

I like writing on my couch with pillows and a blanket, with coffee in some form depending on the season. I have a difficult time writing at a desk for some reason. I also prefer to draft with music or a TV show playing rather than silence.

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

I like to write at night when everyone is asleep so I can get into a scene without getting interrupted. Before writing a novel, I outline some of the plot and then develop the characters with a profile. Sometimes things happen and the characters drive the story in another direction plot-wise.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Usually I take a shower, take a drive, watch or read something completely different from what I’m writing. Once I take my mind off the scene, it’s easier to write.

What does literary success mean to you?

Literary success is having my work inspire other writers to tell their stories. Also, getting a Netflix series made out of one of my books would be amazing.

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

I have a book coming out later this year from The Parliament House Press that is the first book in a YA urban fantasy series called This Will Kill That. Set in a ruined city where rival Color factions fight for power and an ex-assassin girl falls for the daughter of her rival Color. Psychic powers, ghosts, secrets, and witty banter.

I am also working on a queer Rosemary’s Baby inspired novel about a nerdy introvert who finds out she’s been chosen to give birth to the Anti-Christ. It’s a dark comedy, with witches, demons, and warrior nuns. There’s a demon who looks like a corgi with wings, and a witch named Dave. Once I finish, I will be querying that one, so stay tuned.  

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write what you want to read. Try not to get bogged down by advice and just write your story, if something doesn’t work, it can always be changed in edits. Try not to get too worked up in whether or not your story is the most original or the most creative, if it’s your voice telling the story, then it’s new and it’s different.

About the Author – Danielle K. Roux

DKRoux_Headshot-1Danielle K. Roux is a writer, teacher, and historian. Her first novel August Prather is Not Dead Yet is currently available in e-book and paperback through Parliament House Press (and soon will be available in hardcover and audio book). Danielle has always loved reading and telling stories – especially stories with adventure, mystery, humor, romance and at least a little bit of spookiness. Not Dead Yet has all this covered, with a story-within-a-story structure and a quest for immortality in the early twentieth century paired with a present-day road trip. There’s a lot of existential crisis and a male/male romance that is sweet and steamy.

Danielle has been writing fiction since she was nine, after getting tired of reading from the perspective of white, straight male characters in fantasy novels. Her first written story involved a group of middle school girls who find necklaces used by a dead witch that give them supernatural powers. It was written in notebooks in purple and green gel pens that are currently housed in a box in her linen closet. She is inspired by travelling to new places and reading about the stories tied to landscapes. She has at least three novels building in her brain (or wherever novels come from) and wishes she was writing them all right now.

Danielle lives with her wife and two orange cats in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has added a lot of young adult fantasy fiction to her bookshelves recently, and regrets nothing. Her dream library would be accessed through a secret door and look something like the library in the animated Disney Beauty and the Beast, although it would also have a cute barista or sentient coffee machine that once was said barista.

When she isn’t writing or thinking about writing, Danielle is building houses in the Sims, listening to podcasts, or taking Buzzfeed quizzes to find out what kind of tree she is based on her hair color. She has recently been watching lots of old BBC period pieces, and some of them are good. She has begun to drink Diet Coke and is worried this might be a real problem. Coffee and tea are still her primary beverages of choice.

Author Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Buy the Book

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo  

Comment:

Where would you like to roadtrip? Who would you take with you?

Uncategorized

Author Interview – L.E. DeLano

27242803
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it…This Jessa is going to live.

Check out my review for TRAVELER here!

Interview

What authors and/or books inspired your writing?   
I love love love Cassandra Clare and the way she weaves her storylines (and her amazing, richly detailed characters). So often in her stories, she makes you revisit scenes and look at them from another perspective. I can’t get enough of her, J.K. Rowling, or Sarah J. Maas.
What is your ideal writing setting (outside, at a desk, etc.)?
I always kind of laugh at this question. I have no “writer’s nook”, no “writing rituals”- none of that sacred writing space sort of stuff. I’m a single mom with a full time day job and two kids – one of whom is special-needs. I write whenever and wherever I get a chance, with a laptop on my lap, my kitchen table, or a café table, if I’m lucky enough to get away. I can write with the TV and dishwasher on, while one kid is singing and the other is yelling at him to shut up. I think it’s made me a better writer.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
The trick with writer’s block is to just write. Badly, if you have to, but keep writing. One thing that’s been a tremendous help to me is using Google Voice Typing ( In the Tools menu on Google Docs – you need a headset with a microphone). I write a scene by talking it through, and the great thing here is all voice typing programs suck in various ways. They don’t put in quotation marks, they randomly capitalize words, they sometimes mis-hear you. So you know that whatever you get down will be flawed. You accept that. And it frees you up so much to just keep going no matter what–no second guessing, no going back and fixing it once each line is down (thereby stopping your train of thought). You plan to go back and fix it all once the scene is finished, and it works. For me it really works.
In TRAVELER, do you have a special connection to any of your characters?
That would be Danny, and to a lesser degree, Jessa. I am an autism parent – my son is on the spectrum – and his relationship with his sister features heavily in some of Danny and Jessa’s scenes. Danny is every inch my son on paper. I wanted very much to show not just a person with autism in a positive way, but also to shine a light on what it’s like to be a sibling of a special needs person. Jessa has had to grow up very differently than some people because of that – and not in a bad way.
What are some of your favorite writing tropes that most people usually hate (I.e. love triangles, etc.)?
I absolutely LOVE a good love triangle! So much great tension and heartache, when it’s done right (but soooo annoying when it’s not).
TRAVELER is about taking portals into other universes. Are there any ideas for universes that didn’t make it into the books? Will we ever get to see them?
I had a whole list of alternate realities–and a few historical realities (in the original draft of the story, Jessa also time traveled). I had a reality where everything was bubbles! People living in bubbles, driving floating bubble cars, dancing on bubble clouds. I had a great reality that Jessa and Finn traveled to, only to discover that he had a boyfriend in that reality. And Jessa was going to visit the Aztecs and nearly get her heart ripped out. I’d love to write ten more books in the series, but I guess we just have to hope it gets picked up by Netflix Originals.
What can we hope to see from you in the future?
I have a few different irons in the fire right now. One is a YA fantasy based on Irish mythology, another is a YA Sci-fi thriller, and the third is a contemporary YA. We’ll have to see which one gets to the bookshelf first!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
First, finish your book. You will never be a published author without a finished book. Second, as you’re shopping for agents and publishers, remember how subjective the process is. You can have a great book that still gets rejected (See: Harry Potter). Perseverance is a grueling waiting game, so keep writing while you wait for your book to find its home. Most of all, believe that it will.
L.E. DeLano is a novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the YA fantasy novel “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.

Uncategorized

Blog Tour – Author Interview – M.D. Neu

ContactA little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It’s home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice. Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.

On the cusp of the greatest announcement humankind has ever witnessed, Todd’s personal world is thrown into turmoil when his estranged brother shows up on his front porch with news of ships heading for Earth’s orbit. The ships are holding the Nentraee, a humanoid race who have come to Earth in need of help after fleeing the destruction of their homeworld. How will one man bridge the gap for both the Humans and Nentraee, amongst mistrust, terrorist attacks and personal loss? Will this be the start of a new age of man or will bigotry and miscommunication bring this small world to its knees and final end?

Interview

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

This is a tough one, because I don’t think I do. However, I tend to read a lot of my fellow authors works. I will read genres that are not my own to help broaden my horizons and to teach me other ways of telling a story. Also, I do a lot of social media at work, which helps me to develop getting a point across in short bursts. Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes it isn’t. Where I find that it’s helpful is for when I’m putting together my first draft, because once I have the bones of the story laid out I can go in a flesh out the rest of the story from there.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

If I get stuck, I will work on story research or read, that usually inspires me to get back to my writing.

What authors/books inspired your writing?

Oh gosh, there are so many. I read many Star Trek books (which tend to have different authors), contemporary literature, Stephen King, Kim Stanley Robinson, Anne Rice, and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting.

Do you have a special connection to any of your characters?

All my characters are a part of me, and I enjoy writing each of them. The first one that jumps out at me is Kati, I love her, because she says and does things that are so outrageous, but she’s a good person and I like that. We, people in general, get too hung up in what and how we speak. It’s gotten to the point where we don’t see what’s behind it. A person can say crass things and still be a good person who you would want to be around and who you love and adore and I think that sums up Kati to a tea, if you are easily offended then Kati will definitely say things that will make your eyes bleed.

What is your go-to book that never lets you down?

I don’t really have a go to book. Typically, I don’t re-read books. I’ll read them once and I’m done. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them, because I do.

What can we hope to see from you in the future?

In the immediate future, I have two more books coming out; A New World-Conviction, and T.A.D-The Angle of Death. After that, I’ve finished writing A New World-Conspiracy and that is with the Editor and I’m wrapping up the first draft of the sequel to my vampire series The Calling, which is tentatively titled The Called. From there I have more stories simmering but nothing fleshed out yet.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Keep writing and don’t give up. Write what you love to read and people will find you. Also, learn what you can about marketing and PR, because you’re going to need it. Writing the story is hard, but getting the story into people’s hands is even harder.

M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric his husband of eighteen plus years.

Giveaway

Uncategorized

Blog Tour – Author Interview – Aileen Erin + Giveaway

Off Planet
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin

Maite Martinez has always yearned for more than waitressing in a greasy diner on the polluted ruins of planet Earth. Hiding her special abilities is a full-time job on its own, even with the government distracted by the mysterious alien race – the Aunare.

When a SpaceTech officer gets handsy with her, she reacts without thinking. Breaking his nose might not have been her smartest move. Now she’s faced with a choice: serious jail time working in a chain gang on a volcano planet or join the corporate army to fight against the impending war with the Aunare. It’s really no choice at all.

As with everything in her life, Maite quickly realizes that the war with the Aurnare isn’t what it seems. And Lorne, the Aunare prince, keeps popping up everywhere she goes. Being seen with him could get her in even deeper trouble with her commanders, but he’s the first person who sees through the wall she’s built around herself and she can’t bring herself to send him away.

When the situation between SpaceTech and the Aunare escalates, Maite has a way to end the war before it even begins. There’s only one question: Can she stop the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

Interview

What is your ideal writing setting (outside, at a desk, etc.)?
I love to write in a comfy, quiet spot. Usually, that’s in my office. I have a writing chair and a couch that I use. Although if I’m really having trouble getting focused, I’ve been known to write in bed. The more comfortable I am, the easier it is to sink into the story and into my characters’ heads. I also need music. I can’t write without my Bose noise-cancelling headphones. They’re the best. When I’m listening to music and in a comfortable spot, the real world melts away, and I can get totally immersed in my imagination.
Off Planet is a sci-fi novel, what inspired you to write sci-fi and not another genre? What gave you your inspiration?
I wrote Becoming Alpha, the first book in the Alpha Girls series, when I was working on my MFA, but I finished it early and still had another writing term to complete. So, I needed another idea. I was living in Albuquerque, NM at the time while my husband was producing the first Avengers movie, and learned about Spaceport America, “the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.” I blew my mind that something like that already existed in New Mexico. I started to imagine a world where Albuquerque became the center for space travel and where corporations took over the government. I dreamed about an alien race and what might happen if tensions arose between them and the human Earthers. I had so much fun working on the world-building. I didn’t necessarily set out to write a sci-fi, but that’s where the muse lead me.
Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

I love to do morning pages as described in The Artist’s Way—you free write for 15-20min in a journal. Not working on a book, just stream of consciousness. In The Artist’s Way, Julie Cameron says to do them when you first wake up, but I don’t necessarily need them to be done in the morning. But before I write, they’re extremely helpful. I find that doing them clears my head of any little things—my to do list or worries and stresses—so that I can focus on writing.
I also don’t end my day’s writing at the end of a chapter or scene. Even if I’m at the end, I’ll write just a few sentences more into the next chapter or scene. That way, I’m stopping in the middle of whatever I’m working on, and when I start writing the next day, I can just continue the thought. I’m never really left staring at a blank page.
How do you deal with writer’s block?

For me, not stopping my day’s work at the end of a chapter or scene really helps prevent writer’s block. Also, the morning pages help. But sometimes, even with those two things, it happens. I’ve learned that when I have writer’s block, it means that I’ve gone a direction with the story that isn’t working. So, I usually take a day or two off, and then go back and re-read what I have and then plot to make sure that I’m still heading in the right direction. 
What does literary success mean to you?
Literary success is more than a financial thing to me. It means that my stories are resonating with readers on some level, and that is the whole reason why I write. 
What are some of your favorite writing tropes that people usually hate?

I really love the romance trope where the heroine meets the hero pretty quickly in the book. I really love knowing who should get together, and I love seeing the journey of how the two characters get there. I don’t know if people hate that, but I know that some might fight against the way that romance can be a little formulaic. I personally love it. I love knowing what I’m getting into right away, and love seeing the Happily Ever After.
What can we hope to see from you in the future?
The Aunare Chronicles will either be 3 or 4 books before it’s completed. So, I’ll be working on that. I’m also working on the Alpha Girls series, and then a spin-off series based on Samantha, a girl that the Alpha Girls gang ran into during Being Alpha. It’s a little darker than the Alpha Girls series, and a little more horror than paranormal. I’ve been wanting to write that one for a long time, and I was so excited that I got to introduce Samantha in Being Alpha.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Write every day. The only way to learn to write is to write all the time until you finish your book. Don’t worry about if it’s perfect. Give yourself the space to write a shitty first draft.
Then, find someone you trust to read your book and give you feedback. So much of writing is rewriting and revising and rewriting until it shines. You have to be able to take feedback and learn to edit your writing. So many aspiring authors either don’t finish their book or don’t listen to and apply feedback. Both are crucial in becoming an author.
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Giveaway

Uncategorized

Author Interview – Joshua David Bellin

What kind of research goes into developing a sci-fi world?

It varies depending on the project. For example, for the Ecosystem Trilogy, I had to learn a lot about (big surprise) ecosystems so I could create my own, sci-fi version of one. But for Freefall, which is set on an exoplanet, I had to research space exploration and colonization. I don’t write “hard” sci-fi, so I always end up taking liberties with the facts, but at the same time, I want the world I’ve created to be plausible enough that readers can lose themselves in it and not say, “hey, wait a minute!” on every other page.

Do you draw on other fantasy worlds to help develop your own?

Oh, for sure! The Ecosystem books have little parts of Dune, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the Thomas Covenant series, and other stories I’ve loved over the years. I don’t think it’s possible to avoid being influenced in that way, and I don’t think it would be a good thing even if you could avoid it. Each imagined world gains depth and complexity from its points of contact with other imagined worlds, so as long as you’re not outright plagiarizing—setting your novel in a magical school called Warthogs with a wizard main character named Perry Hotter—I think you’re enriching your story-world by paying tribute to others.

What authors/books inspired your writing? Do you read the same genre that you write?

I’ve been a voracious reader my whole life, starting with books that would have been called YA if the category existed when I was a kid—such as the novels of Judy Blume and S. E. Hinton—then graduating to “adult” fantasy and sci-fi, along with the “classic” literature I read in college and grad school (and still read today). To give you an idea of how wide-ranging my reading is, this past month I read the historical novel Giants in the Earth, the contemporary YA thriller Following, and the nonfiction book on baseball analytics, Moneyball. Next up is Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, which I’m re-reading for a class I teach. Everything I read is inspirational, because everything I read goes into my brain and comes out in odd and unexpected forms. That’s why writers have to be readers: not because any particular book or genre teaches you “how to write,” but because every story you read adds to your ability to tell your own.

What is your ideal writing setting (outside, at a desk, etc.)?

Sadly, I find myself desk-bound most of the time when I’m writing. I wish I could venture into the great outdoors, or take my laptop to some cool, funky bookstore and type away while soaking up the book-vibes, but the truth is, I can’t write unless I cut out every possible distraction. That means no music, no social media, no food or drink or other people while I’m writing. The only problem is that I write at home, so occasionally I do have to interact with my wife and kids!

Do you have any writing exercises or habits?

I’m not much of a planner, because I find that I make my best discoveries as a writer when I don’t know what’s coming next. Setting is very important to each of my stories, so I do like to draw a rough map of my imagined world before I start. I also jot down brief chapter summaries, but usually only after I’m midway through a manuscript and want to make sure I tie up all the loose ends. What this approach means is that I tend to produce really messy drafts, which is okay since I’m a good reviser. I think every writer has to find the habits that work for them, with the only requirement being that if you want to be a writer, you have to write.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

The best advice I can give—and I learned this the hard way—is to focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Look, there is ultimately nothing you can do to assure yourself of commercial success as a writer: you can write the best book you’re capable of, and you can market it all you want (or all you can afford), but there’s still no guarantee it’ll hit the bestseller lists. The publishers have a formula, which involves pouring most of their promotional dollars into a few “big” books each year (usually the ones written by the already established authors who least need the support), but even that formula doesn’t always pan out, while occasionally, a book no one expected to hit it big goes viral. The one and only thing you can control as a writer is your writing. So write, and dream, and have fun, and maybe you’ll make a splash. But even if you don’t, you’ll still have written. And dreamed. And had fun. Which is what the whole thing should be about.

Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). A college teacher by day, he has published numerous works of fantasy and science fiction, including the two-part Survival Colony series (Survival Colony 9 and Scavenger of Souls), the deep-space adventure Freefall, and the short story collection Ten Tales of Terror and Terra. The Ecosystem series—Ecosystem, The Devouring Land, and House of Earth, House of Stone—is his latest work of speculative fiction. In his free time, Josh likes to read, watch movies, and take long nature hikes with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.

You can find him on his websiteblogTwitter, and Facebook.