Author Interview: Jordan Elizabeth

Here’s another great author interview with interesting answers. Check out Jordan Elizabeth’s new book KISTISHI ISLAND!

Serena has always been plagued by imaginary friends… But what happens is they aren’t imaginary?

Serena Cole can kick serious butt thanks to young women only she can see. School bullies aren’t a problem, but Serena’s mental health might be. To shield Serena from a dark secret, her family tries to convince her that her friends are imaginary.  Fleeing her distrustful aunt, Serena joins her mother on an archeological dig at Kistishi Island. There, Serena discovers an ancient scroll and realizes her invisible friends are goddesses native to the island, and they are in danger of enslavement for their abilities. Only Serena can save her friends if she can discover the past her family has hidden her entire life – the reason why only she can see the goddesses.

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What inspired you to write this book? I wrote this book during college. I was studying childhood education, and one textbook discussed how healthy it is for kids to have imaginary friends. I started to think about what it would be like if you were a teenager and still had those imaginary friends.

That sounds really cool! How long have you been writing? Forever! When I was an infant, my grandmother wrote my stories for me. Eventually I started writing my own in notebooks, but my handwriting is atrocious. My stories really took off when I got my first computer.

Are you an outliner or pantser? Definitely a pantser! I never know how the book is going to end until I reach the final page.

Although I love outlining, I completely understand how your stories will take you on a roller coaster ride. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I take a walk. Even just a walk around the block inspires me to continue the story, or sometimes to start a new one.

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I love to make jewelry and paint.

We have so much in common! I love to paint and make jewelry. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? A haunted castle in Europe. I can just imagine all the stories it would inspire.

If you were just given an Island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you? Kistishi Island! Serena’s imaginary friends would live there with me…and it would be awesome.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I have no idea! I love food. I guess tofu? People think that’s very odd (but it is one of my favorite foods).

Tofu is the staple of every vegan and vegetarian. There’s so much you can do with it! If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Clark Treasure from TREASURE DARKLY. Is it bad to have a book-crush on your own character?

img_7391Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t take rejection personally. Everyone likes something different. It can feel crushing, but you have to find the perfect place for your writing.

Jordan Elizabeth writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. Follow her on Facebook!

You can purchase here and read the first chapter of Kistishi Island below:

Chapter One

“How are your imaginary friends?” Serena read aloud from the black marker scrawled on her locker. Her dry lips stuck together with each word as the sarcasm stung her mind. The janitor might scrub the permanent marker, but it would always remain a faint reminder of how much people ridiculed her. The washed out marks from last week, “Schizo,” “Fake,” and “Your imaginary friends hate you,” still showed up against the brown metal.

“Aw, someone cares about my day.” Krieg hovered behind, picking fuzz off her dress. “You should answer them. Write ‘Krieg says hi’ underneath.”

The last thing she needed was people knowing how much she still communicated with Krieg. Serena glanced down the hallway, but the students strolling by didn’t look her way. Who could have written the graffiti? Roxanne? Her hand trembling, Serena spun the combination on her lock and jerked open the dented locker door. The hinges rattled.

Did it hurt them if she had an invisible friend? As she exchanged a textbook for her social studies notes, someone bumped her butt. She lost her balance, flinging out her hand to grab the locker.

“Whoops,” a boy said and snickered.

Serena’s cheeks burned as she stuffed her supplies into her messenger bag. One more hour of high school and she could go home. Tomorrow she would bring another marker to scribble out the words that branded her.

Krieg leaned in close enough for Serena to smell her peppermint bubble gum, and said, “Bludgeon them. It’s the only way to get them to shut up.”

“No one’s talking about me right now.” Serena’s sneakers squeaked against the tile floor as she ducked into the classroom. Afternoon sunlight reflected off faded Holocaust posters on the off-white walls.

“It’s annoying when you allow the little rodents to torment you.” Krieg stuck her tongue out at the few students settling into their seats. “Where are the beheadings and crocodile pits? How about some maiming? I want to hear screaming and bones crunching.”

“This is the suburbs in the twenty-first century. People don’t do that stuff here.” Serena took her favorite seat in the back near the globe and opened her messenger bag to remove her notebook. Glancing around the room at the few students, she smiled. Since the teacher hadn’t arrived yet, she could grab a few minutes to work on her novel. Hopefully, the story would be done by her mother’s next visit. Look what I did, Mom!

“Whatcha doing?” Krieg leaned her hip against the desk and rearranged the pleated folds of her silk stola. Beneath the sleeveless dress, she wore a turquoise tunic. A thin silver belt fastened beneath her breasts, and another clasped around her narrow waist.

“I’ve got an idea for chapter seven of my Jennifer Erik story.” Serena pressed her pen to a clean page. “Jennifer’s going to be caught by a gargoyle.”

Roxanne stalked from two rows over and blinked her glittered eyelids at Serena. “Did you just call me a gargoyle?”

Serena tightened her fist around her pen. “No.” Her throat constricted. Why does Roxanne always have to single me out?

Roxanne yanked Serena’s black notebook from the desk; the metal spirals scraped against the hard surface. Serena’s pen slipped from her hand and struck the tile floor, the sound eerily loud.

Fail. She hadn’t made it through that last hour of the school day. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Who were you talking to? Your imaginary friends?” Roxanne bent the notebook, her biceps flexing beneath the short sleeves of her skull-and-crossbones T-shirt.

Serena cringed. Even though she would still be able to read the words, her stomach twisted into a knot. It wouldn’t be the same as having the pages crisp, new.

“I told you to bludgeon everyone before they could start on you.” Krieg rubbed her knuckles together.

“Forget to do your homework again?” Roxanne asked.

“It’s not my homework—”

“Maybe they should put you in Special Ed.”

Blood drained from Serena’s head, her heartbeat ringing in her ears. Classmates stopped getting out supplies from their backpacks to stare. Of course Roxanne would have to bring that up.

Serena toyed with her nose ring to calm her nerves. I will not fight back.

Krieg flounced across the room to push Roxanne’s baseball cap off her desk and jumped aside when a boy almost walked into her. He stopped to pick up the hat, and Krieg pointed at his bottom as he bent. She lifted her foot in a mock kick. “You know you want to.”

Serena drew a deep breath, dragging her gaze away from Krieg and back to Roxanne. “Please give my notebook back.”

One, two, three… uno, dos, tres… Her last psychiatrist promised counting in foreign languages would help her calm down faster because it took more conscious thinking to do it.

Her pulse still pounded.

Serena wouldn’t react. She knew better. It was just a spiral notebook.

Roxanne, standing over Serena’s desk, thumbed through the pages, tearing the college-ruled paper with her thick fingers. “Your handwriting sucks.” Needles scraped across Serena’s skin with each rip.

“Do something.” Krieg punched her fist into her palm.

Four, five, six… no, Serena would not talk back. Seven, eight, nine… she wouldn’t say anything this time. Ten, eleven, twelve… maybe she could still make it through the final hour.

“What is this crap?” Roxanne ripped out a page. Smirking, she crumpled the paper and tossed it at the garbage can in the back of the room.

“Don’t let her ruin your story.” Disgust coated Krieg’s words; she spat them out as if they were spoiled milk. Eyes narrowed, Krieg brushed her hand across Serena’s shoulder. Electricity shot through her body, arching her back.

“Give it back!” Serena launched to her feet. No, not again. She grabbed the notebook with two hands while she jammed her shoulder into Roxanne’s sternum. The force knocked Roxanne backward, but she clung to the notebook, dragging Serena with her as she hit the floor. Roxanne rolled until her muscled frame pressed against Serena’s ribs, forcing the breath from her lungs. Serena squirmed to get away, bumping her leg against a desk. She wouldn’t fight, didn’t want to, couldn’t, not here, not again…

Krieg’s voice echoed in her mind. Squelch her. Tie her to the rack.

“Cool. A fight.” A girl sitting across the aisle from Serena laughed.

I don’t want to fight. Krieg’s electricity still burned Serena’s veins, muting her urge for peace. Even if Serena didn’t win, she wouldn’t let Roxanne walk away without a few bruises. Maybe Roxanne would finally quit bullying her. Then Serena would never have to fight again, no matter how much the urge overtook her.

“You think you’re better than the rest of us?” Roxanne bared her teeth. “All alone back here, just because your mom was in National Geographic?”

She wrapped her legs around Serena’s, and they rolled. Serena’s back hit another desk leg. Pain flared along her nerves. A few quick twists of her hands on Roxanne’s head, and Serena could have broken her neck the way Krieg had taught her, but she stilled. Perspiration broke out across her forehead as she forced herself not to move.

“Fry her.” Bloodlust tainted Krieg’s voice. Her unbound hair hid her face, purple eyes peeking out.

“You gotta see this,” a girl said from the other side of the classroom into her cell phone. “Roxanne took on Serena!”

 

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New Release: A Fence Around Her

Author Brigid Amos has a new release to celebrate!

Can a girl break free from her mother’s past?

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Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?

You can purchase this book on Amazon   iTunes   Kobo   Smashwords.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’m almost hesitant to admit this, but a TV show was my initial inspiration for A Fence Around Her. Let me explain. Having just finished writing a novel about the California Gold Rush of 1849, I was desperately seeking an idea for my next book. Enter Huell Howser, host of “California’s Gold,” a program that highlighted the lesser known places of interest around the state. One evening, Mr. Howser visited the ghost town of Bodie, California. Bodie was a gold mining district that boomed in the early 1880s, declined rapidly, and was then devastated by fire in the 1930s. The minute those images appeared on my television screen, images of scattered ramshackle buildings abandoned in lonely, treeless hills, I was hooked on the place. In early June, I packed up my dog and camping equipment and headed for Bodie. A volunteer dressed in period costume and claiming to be the head machinist gave a fascinating tour of the Standard Stamp Mill, where ore was crushed into dust in the first step in extracting gold and silver. As I hung on his every word, the ghost of an idea began to take form in the back of my mind. That tour guide playing the role of head machinist became the basis for Mike Conoboy, the father of Ruthie Conoboy, my protagonist in A Fence Around Her. After my first visit, I read everything I could find on Bodie, and the rest of the story and characters arose from reading and visits to Bodie.

How long have you been writing?

A very, very long time. That isn’t helpful, is it? Ok, I got serious about writing twenty two years ago, but as my husband likes to say, “life intervened.” I got deadly serious about writing five years ago. Now, there’s no going back.

Are you an outliner or pantser?

Very much a panster, but I like to think there is always an outline hiding somewhere in my subconscious.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

At the risk of being cheeky, just sit down in front of a piece of paper with a pen in your hand, put pen to paper, and go. But seriously, I don’t believe in writer’s block per se. I only believe that sometimes you’re hot and sometimes you’re not. A lot of people stop writing when they don’t feel inspired. Write when you’re uninspired. That may be when inspiration sneaks in the back door.

What are your hobbies aside from writing?

I love to ski. Skiing combines so many of my loves: mountains, trees, snow, speed, and adventure. And I ski with the love of my life, my husband Bob. Oh yes, I have many other interests, hardly worth mentioning after SKIING! By the way, I sneaked a ski scene into A Fence Around Her. Just couldn’t help myself.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Virginia City, Nevada. I actually worked Virginia City into the backstory of Lilly Conoboy, the mother of my main character Ruthie Conoboy. But I’ve never been there and would like to go someday.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you?

I would have an internet contest and let people submit names and then vote on them. It would be fun to see what kind of crazy names people might come up with, like Floaty McIsland, Shelley Long Island, or perhaps Dez Ertisland. Of course my husband would live there with me. And other people who are easy to get along with, because it’s hard to avoid people on an island.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.

I’m torn among goat, octopus, and frogs legs. Which one do you think is the weirdest? (By the way, I’m not advocating for any of them, and won’t eat them again!)

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?

In A Fence Around Her, I gave my main character a best friend by the name of Susanna Hunnewill. Susanna is kind, loyal, caring, wise, dependable, and even-tempered. In other words, she is the perfect best friend. I would totally bring her to life and keep her close by. Everyone needs a Susanna Hunnewill in their life!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t fret over the first draft. No one else has to read it. In the first draft you can write anything you want, make all kinds of mistakes, and relax into the writing. Later you can edit it. So don’t labor over every word and sentence in a first draft. Have fun with it. Writing should be fun!

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Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Storyteller, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the board of the Angels Theatre Company. She is also an active member of Women Writing the West and the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

Can you share an excerpt of your book with us?

                   When I left the house that day to go to the Sawdust Corner Saloon to fetch my father, the day we met Tobias Mortlock, my mother was still lying in bed moaning as if from a mortal wound and threatening to do herself harm. While I was gone, she had gotten up and tried to console herself by working on her latest landscape. But something had gone wrong, for when we came through the front door into the parlor, we found my mother slumped on the floor. Her silk dressing gown lay in folds around her and her blond curls stuck to her head in a multicolored array. Little pots of oil paint were scattered across the floor dribbling the last of sky blue, forest green, and yellow ochre onto the Persian rug.

“Lilly, what have you done?” My father reached down and lifted her to her feet, then walked over to where the easel lay collapsed on the floor and righted it also. He peeled the wet canvas from the rug and set it on the easel, then stepped back to have a look at it.

Somewhat distracted by the bits of red fuzz from the carpet embedded in the wet paint, I fixed my eyes on the canvas, trying to sort out the swirls of color into a cohesive image. My mother waited silently for our verdict. She seemed, in that moment, as fragile as a sparrow. I was relieved when my father broke the silence with his jovial critique.

“Why Lilly, it is the spitting image of Mono Lake. Yes, here are the islands in the center, and here the mountains rising up in the background. It is quite an impressive site, just as we saw it that day.” Two summers before, my father had taken us on a trip to the lake on the narrow gauge railroad that brought us firewood from the lumber mill on its southern shore. I remember how much my mother enjoyed that rare outing, saying over and over that the lake reminded her of the San Francisco Bay.

“It’s a fine painting, Mother,” I said. She moaned.

“What was that, Lilly?”

“No, Father, she didn’t say anything. She only made a sound.”

“Not good enough!” Mother wailed. Her sticky, colorful curls quivered like bunting in a light breeze.

“That’s not true, dear,” my father said. “You are a fine artist. It’s these fools in this town who don’t appreciate it. Look around at all the beauty in this parlor! Every day, I come home and think, who else has so many beautiful works of art on their walls? Maybe just Leland Stanford, Randal Hearst, and me.” He reached out to brush back her sticky hair. She slapped his arm away, smearing paint on the cuff of his sleeve.

“I’m not talking about the stupid painting,” she said. “It’s me. I’ll never be good enough, not in Bodie.”

“Of course you are. I married you, didn’t I?”

At this she let out a wild scream and shook her head as if fending off a swarm of bees. Oil droplets sprayed in all directions, and I looked out the window to see if anyone could have heard. Mortlock had long moved on, and the street was deserted.

My mother stopped shaking and screaming, but she was still furious. “I am so sick of hearing about how you did me this grand favor by marrying me. If you’d wanted to do something for me, you would have taken me away from this awful place. You would have taken me somewhere people didn’t know me, where I could have been a regular woman.”

My father looked at the paint-spattered rug. “Ruthie, why don’t you go in the kitchen and start boiling water. I think your mother needs a bath.”

As I lit the stove and poured water into pots, I could hear their voices in the parlor, still going back and forth as they always did. Hers was like a mournful violin, his like a jolly French horn hopelessly out of step with the violin. Together they made a dissonant sound like musicians trying to play a duet, but each playing a different piece of music. And it never mattered what they were playing since it was always a variation on the same theme.

Connecting with Brigid:

Join Brigid’s mailing list: http://www.brigidamos.com/mailing-list-signup.html

Like Brigid on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigidamoswriter/?fref=ts

Follow Brigid on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brigid_Amos

Visit Brigid’s website:       http://www.brigidamos.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure

Happy day-after release day for Emily Steward!! She has an amazing book and interview to share with us.

When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.emily

Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.

What inspired you to write this book? I wish I had some kind of revelation to share on what got me inspired, but the truth is, I just decided to quit waiting for inspiration to strike, and start writing. The story looks a lot different now than that early draft, but it was effective because it got me out of my head and actually writing.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing stories pretty much since I can remember. I created a whole series when I was about seven or eight about a monster family. The mother was always yelling for the kids to come to dinner, the kids were always jumping on the bed, and the main character was prone to bonking his head on everything. Apparently when you are seven, bonking you head on things is the peak of hilarity.

Are you an outliner or pantser? Oh I am such a pantser. Probably to the point of detriment. I started writing this book with nothing in mind except that I wanted something magical to happen to this young boy named Bobby Brown. Well I managed to write nearly a third of my novel before I decided it might need some sort of loose outline. It took me several years and a lot of revisions including changing Bobby Brown to a girl named Penelope Gilbert (RIP poor Bobby) and switching my audience from young adult to middle grade.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Just don’t get too caught up in getting things perfect the first time. It’s better to get down a bunch of silly ideas and words until you push past your writer’s block, then to look at a blank screen for days. Computers are very forgiving. You can change, you can delete, and you can revise. Just get something written!

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I love kayaking but I don’t get to do that nearly as often as I’d like. I also enjoy tennis, board games, frisbee golf, and playing guitar. But after becoming a mom, I would sadd Netflix is the hobby I generally have time for. Oh yes, I have gotten very skilled at the Netflixing.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? SO many places. Underwater in a submarine, a real tropical deserted island, ancient ruins, a huge old castle, Lake Loch Ness at night in a row boat, just to name a few. Oh wait, I just read the question again. You said one place. So I’ll say, back in time to see a dinosaur.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? Something majestic like Azure, or majesty… or Debbie.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.I once tried some Pup-Peroni. I smelled so good. Smell can be very deceiving.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Probably Haldor. He’s quirky and kind, plus he can bend metal with his mind. Do you know how handy that would be for home repairs?

Do you have any advice for other writers? Listen and learn from other’s feedback on your work, but ultimately trust your gut. Don’t get discouraged when you run up against harsh criticism. Use that criticism to fuel your fire. Edit like crazy and show them you do have a story worth sharing that only you can tell. And those rejections you have piling up in your inbox… they really are subjective. Somewhere, someone is looking for your book, it just needs to fall into the right hands at the right time.

Can you share an excerpt of your book with us?

 “Come on!” she yelled to Haldor who was wriggling out from under the spider corpse. She ran to the spot where she saw the creature enter as Haldor hurried to catch up. She scrambled through the brush until she came to a stream. There she saw the spider. He was across the water under a large tree.

Above him were several objects swinging in the breeze. It took her a moment to realize that they were rotting bodies strung up by their necks. Their unseeing eyes stared eerily into the darkness. Upon closer inspection, she saw that there were at least thirty of them. She wretched silently as she tried to think of a way for Crane to not become one of them. The spider was already trying to wrap a strand of webbing around his neck.

A thought occurred to her. An outrageous, outlandish thought. I can do this, she assured herself. She tried to picture every last detail of her slain foe—every creepy crawling, hairy, shiny detail. Penny could feel the energy pulsing through her. Her hands were no longer her own. Her teeth had become fangs, and her eyes were the eyes of a killer.

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I absolutely love this cover! If you wish to purchase this book, you can do so on Amazon. Congrats Emily!!

Secrets with A.B. Penner

A.B. Penner is writer, dreamer, and lover of all music and nature. She currently resides in abpennerCanada with her husband, and two spirited daughters. Prior to fulfilling the role of a domestic goddess, she worked in the mental health field. She can always be found reading or writing, finding enjoyment in her passion for running and yoga, and spending time with her family.

I’m so happy to have been given the chance to interview A.B. Penner! She is charming with a unique voice and a creative imagination. I’m honored to have her as a friend!

A. B., can you tell us about your upcoming book? Rising from Ashes is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance.

Charlie Ray hasn’t always had an easy life. Born to a mother of addiction and abandoned by her father, Charlie continuously faces a life of self-preservation amidst the physical and emotional abuse she endures daily.

 When Emerson Knight, a boy determined to protect her, enters her life, her whole world shifts for the better. Charlie struggles to ignore her growing feelings for Emerson, who has become a constant in her life, eventually giving in to a love she has always wished for. But all good things must come to an end, and when Charlie is presented with a life-altering decision, she pushes Emerson away, toward a future without her.

Certain she would never see him again, fate intervenes, crossing their paths six years later. Thrown into a whirlwind of second chances and self-reflection, Charlie fights to let go of her past, heal old wounds, and finally grow into a promising future with the man she’s always loved, who has no intention of leaving her behind this time.

That sounds like it’s going to be a great book! What inspired you to write your first book?  About 3-4 years ago I read a book that I was rather unimpressed with, and quite shocked that the author landed a publishing contract. This is huge considering I’m a fairly easy going person, and read for enjoyment. So, to have read a novel that elicited such feelings came as a surprise to me. Nonetheless, I did what anyone else would do after reading a poorly written book(In my eyes anyways)- I called up my best friend and told her that I bet I could write a book better and land a publishing contract, because “if this author can do it, than so can I.”

Wow! Looks like you set your mind to something and you did it! How do you find or make time to write?  This is definitely tricky, I think for any writer. For myself, I get up as early as 5am every morning in order to squeeze in quality writing time before the rest of the household wakes up. While the early mornings can be tough, it is the only time of day where I experience little to no interruptions. I also find that I am more refreshed in the early morning hours than late at night after I’ve put the children to bed, therefore, the ideas and creative juices flow freely.

Tell me, are you an outliner or pantser?  I’m definitely more of a pantser. When I wrote Rising from Ashes, I knew where I wanted the story to go, but allowed the characters to pull me through it from one scene to the next. If I do any outlining, it is to write down major plot points, but what happens in-between those major events is entirely up to the characters.

Total opposite from me, but everyone is different. How long on average does it take you to write a book?  Great question, and truthfully, I’m not sure how long it takes me on average to write a book. From start to finish, it probably took me about 9-10 months to write Rising from Ashes, with majority of the content written in the last two months. As for my romance-suspense novel that I’m currently rewriting now, I started that 3 years ago. I find I work better with a deadline. Once I had a deadline set for Rising from Ashes, I hunkered down and committed to writing every single day, no matter what the word count was at the end of the day. I have just recently set a deadline for my rewrite, because without it, I fear this poor novel will never receive the ending it deserves.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?  Oh, we’ve all been here haven’t we? It’s terrible when you sit at the computer or notebook and stare at a blank page for hours waiting for inspiration to come hit you with the “stick of incredible idea’s.”  I find that going for a run or bike ride helps to clear my head and work through plot holes. Some of my best idea’s have come to me whilst in the shower, and listening to music is such a great inspirational support for me, I’m not sure I could write without it. I know most writer’s aren’t too happy when people give the advice of taking a step back from your work to give your mind a break, and then come back to it later, but the truth is, it works. If you’re frustrated and struggling, go do something else. Occupy your brain with something else, and I bet those idea’s, or the solution to that plot hole will come to you when you aren’t thinking about it constantly.

I’ll have to keep that in mind. writer’s block is a terrible thing to have when you really want to write. What are some of your hobbies?  I have too many! haha. I love to run, but recently that has been replaced with Yoga, and Pilates. I love to bike, and hike and in general, just spend as much time in nature outdoors. I love to scrapbook(Yes, I will finish my youngest daughter’s baby book…one day…), and bake and decorate cakes. I enjoy gardening, despite my tendencies to kill the plants I love most, and reading and writing. Dancing is something else I enjoy, as well as knitting, and making my own homemade lotions.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?  I would love to visit Machu Piccu in Peru, and visit Wales, Norway, Denmark, and almost every tropical country that is home to beautiful beaches surrounded by the expanse of the ocean.

Tea or coffee?  Both. Some mornings require copious amounts of coffee to be consumed, but tea is always on hand, especially Earl grey.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there withIsland you?  Oh, I am not good with naming anything, let alone islands, but if I had to name an island, it would be Happy Island. Rather simple, right? Well, the way I see it, is life it too short to be unhappy, and that feeling of being content and loved and grateful is wonderful. So, why not have an island that made you feel all of the happiness it had to offer. On such an island, I would want to share it with my family and friends.

How about the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?  Ooo. Um… I don’t think I’ve eaten anything too crazy. I’ve eaten octopus, escargot, and liver to name a few off the top of my head. When presented with the opportunity to try snake, frog’s legs, and crocodile, I passed.

Are you a morning or night person?  Morning, despite it taking a little while for me to come around and fully wake up.

Important question! Do you have any pets?  I do. I have a 7 year old English Bulldog named Tucker.

Oh, I love English bulldogs! If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?  All of them? Haha. Seriously, to pick one is tough. I like to think that I’m creating wonderful book boyfriends, and strong female leads that hopefully readers will fall in love with. But, if I have to choose one from Rising from Ashes, I would probably be Emerson. He has the ability to call Charlie out on her crap, love fiercely, and fight for what he wants. He pushes Charlie, and yet he is patient and understanding. He is her constant in life, and I think anyone, for the most part, anyone would love to have someone like him in their life.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  Write. Do not give up. Write for yourself and not for others. Be open to constructive criticism, and don’t allow yourself to become consumed by the negativity of others who give you nothing but negative absolutes. You deserve just as much space in the creative world as the next person, so use your talent and enjoy it.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  I am currently working on my rewrite of my romance-suspense novel that I started 3 years ago. It follows the lives of Aria, an art graduate who has moved across the country to escape a past that haunts her daily, and Jake, the resident Search and Rescue Technician who is battling with demons of his own. The two of them find themselves caught in a whirlwind of intense love, and passion, but when their future becomes threatened by the events Aria wishes she could forget, she realizes there is no escape, and sometimes facing your worst nightmare is the only way to find peace and move on.

That sounds awesome! If you are interested in following A.B. Penner and keeping tabs on what she’s doing with her writing career, please follow her below:

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Blog  Goodreads

Thank you so much, A.B. Penner for talking tropical islands, writer’s block, and the weirdest things you’ve eaten. It was a pleasure getting to see what goes on inside your head!

Sunshine Blogger Awards

Victoria Greenwell tagged me in the Sunshine Blogger Awards along with 10 other lovely bloggers.  Thank you so much for tagging me! So, what do I have to do?

Here are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers, making sure to let each one know that they are nominated.
• Ask the nominees 11 questions.

Below are the questions I received:

  1. If you dress up for Halloween, cosplay, or other less commonly accepted occasions, describe your last two costumes. Okay, last Halloween I was half a vampire. Yes, I mean half. I painted my face, wore fake teeth, and wore a cape. But underneath that cape, I was a normal human, jeans and a sweatshirt. Then last June, I went to a ren faire and fully dressed up as a forest princess.danaren
  2. What movie or tv show would you consider a guilty pleasure? I love any variation of Cinderella!
  3. If you could live in any fictional world (whether it’s yours or someone else’s creation), where would you live and why? I kind of want to live in Shadowland. It’s a world, total opposite of ours that my sister and I made up. It rains upside down and the drops are black. And trash grows into brick buildings and disappears. Cool? I think so. I’d want to just see the world I’d created.
  4. You’ve been imprisoned for high treason and have been sentenced to death and there is no chance that the governor is going to call. Describe in detail your last meal. I think I would just want a pineapple upside down cake.
  5. Answer one of these or both: Name your favorite Doctor on Doctor Who. Name your favorite James Bond. Daniel Craig. Hands down.
  6. If you could choose any piece of music or song to be your theme song, what would it be? My Day by Danielle Bradberry.
  7. Concerning sleep, do you consider it a wondrous thing that you just can’t get enough of, or are you one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people? I love sleep but I am also one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people.
  8. Has any character that you’ve created ever done anything that took you by surprise? Yes! Cami from Bleeding Hearts is one character I couldn’t control! She tends to make some decisions that I wouldn’t necessarily make.
  9. Describe something from a movie, book or tv where you would have written it better. I actually don’t think about writing things better. Authors and screenwriters have their own way of doing things and I don’t feel like I could do better than them. 🙂
  10. Are you a shipper? If so, name some of the ships that you love. (For example, if you watch the Flash and you think Barry and Caitlyn should get together, that means you are shipper for SnowBarry.) I have a wonderful Ship name for two of my characters in my book Bleeding Hearts. Issami! Read to find out who they are!!
  11. Sentence fragments. Love them or hate them? I actually like them. I feel like they serve a purpose but don’t over use them!

So, there are my 11 questions answered. Now, here are the questions I’d like answered:

  1. What is your middle name?
  2. When did you first learn how to ride a bike?
  3. Are you the kind of person that likes to plan things or go out on a whim?
  4. What is your favorite thing to wear?
  5. Name a country then explain why you named it?
  6. What is your occupation?
  7. If you could own only one animal, what would it be?
  8. Which element do you relate to the most? Why? Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Spirit.
  9. Are you planning any vacations this year? If so, where?
  10. Name your favorite book?
  11. Lastly, do you believe that there are aliens in space?

 

Okay, the people I tag are:

Alyssa Filly – https://dreamsandreads.wordpress.com/

L.K. Kuhl – http://kuhlreads.blogspot.com/

Kim Kasch – http://kimbrakasch.com/

Skye Hegyes –  https://skyehegyes.com/

Angelique Anderson – https://authorangeliqueanderson.wordpress.com/

Wendy May Andrews – http://www.wendymayandrews.com

Ginger Solomon –  www.gingersolomon.com

J.L. Salter  – http://taketwoonromance.weebly.com/jls-blog.html

Nicole Zoltack – http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com

Lora Palmer – http://lorarpfictionblog.blogspot.com

Wendy Knight – http://wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com/

Meet Bill Blume

Everyone has heard of vampires. Everyone knows that there are vampire hunters. But what you don’t know is that Gidion is one kick-butt vampire hunter. Here’s what Gidion has to deal with in his first book

Hunting vampires is a Keep family tradition. Dad quit the business over a decade ago when Mom was killed, so Grandpa has been teaching Gidion in secret to take up the hunt. As Gidion closes in on the local coven, he discovers their plans to kill one of his teachers and a girl from another school. One of his best friends might be the key to finding the vampires’ lair… if he can be trusted.

Bill-Blume-Canal-Walk-Headshot-01As a Richmond-bound author, Bill Blume is a member of James River Writers and hosts a local writing group at the Urban Farmhouse in Midlothian every Thursday from 6-8 pm. I’m happy to say I am part of that group and have met some amazing people there.

Bill, what inspired you to write your first book?  I was about 40,000 words into another manuscript, and everything was working for me. One (BIG) problem: my relationship with that story was toxic. It tapped into a lot of bad things in my life at that time. I even smashed a wooden sword against a tree in my anger at one point. My wife helped me through that time with one question: “What is it you really want to write?” I’d always known the answer.  I wanted to write the best damn vampire hunter novel anyone had ever read. That book was Gidion’s Huntbill blume Gidions-Hunt-cover

It sounds like you already knew what you wanted. How long have you been writing?  I got the urge to write back in high school, so that makes it a lot longer than I probably should admit (it’s more than a quarter century). My biggest struggle as a writer in those early days was born from trying to write a novel before I’d really done much reading. Except for comic books, I was a terrible reader until my senior year in high school.

Are you an outliner or pantser? I’m more pantser than outliner, but I’m more of a hybrid. I usually know a few key moments I’m writing to in the book, but I let my characters lead me there naturally. If the characters make it clear they need to go a different plot point than I originally intended, I’m willing to change it. For my second book, Gidion’s Blood, I was forced to outline the first half of the book, though. It’s only told from Gidion’s point of view, so I needed to create a timeline of what would be happening so Gidion would also be reacting to the actions of the vampires hunting him instead of the vampires simply responding to what Gidion was doing. That added a lot more tension to the story.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?  It varies a lot for me, but both of the first two books in the Gidion Keep, Vampire Hunter series were written over the course of a little more than a year. That’s somewhat deceptive, though. A lot of that time included periods where I wasn’t able to write at all. For the second book, I even lost a month, because I’d broken one of the fingers in my left hand.

It varies for me too. Sometimes you get a story that just won’t leave you alone and you can write on it for hours on end, then there are the others. Lol. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?  Writer’s Block can come from different places. Sometimes it’s a scene where you’re pushing your characters into doing something that’s wrong for them. When that happens, try to look back and figure out what other paths your characters might take. Odds favor you’ve recently taken a wrong turn in your manuscript. I actually wrote a goofy set of blog posts about that. Just don’t panic. Sometimes the answer is much simpler than you might think. (Blog Posts: https://billblume.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/that-manuscript-is-wrong-for-you/, https://billblume.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/dont-be-a-taylor-swift-writer/ )

What are your hobbies aside from writing?  I’m addicted to fantasy football, so much so that it’s tough to write during football season. A co-worker got me hooked on it back in 2009. I now run several leagues, and my favorite is a league with comic book themed teams. There are two divisions, one for Marvel Comics and the other for DC Comics. My son has even owned a team in that league for several years; he takes great pride in beating me when he does. I only play for pride, though. Playing or money would be too stressful.

pariscataWhere is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?  I want to visit Paris. While the food would be fun, my real reason is to visit the Paris Catacombs. There’s a whole culture down there, and I’m determined to take Gidion Keep there in one of his future adventures, but that’s a long ways off.

I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. France is so mesmerizing. So, if I randomly gave you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?  I would name the island Iridia. The name comes from a kingdom my wife and I created for a fantasy novel that we wrote together (I’m hoping it will eventually get published). My wife loves beaches, so naturally, I want her there. Our kids would get to visit. The list of friends I’d let come there would be too long to write here.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.  The weirdest thing? I might be blocking the memory of something, but the first thing that comes to mind is pork cheeks. They are SOOOOOO good! One of my favorite restaurants in Richmond made them, and they were tender and delicious, like little balls of beef stew without the veggies. Some people might consider octopus weirder (I love octopus!), but I think it’s a toss-up.

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try those. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?  Just one?! GAH! I don’t think I can answer that. That’s like trying to pick a favorite child. No way. I suspect the answer would be Gidion Keep, but that feels a bit like a copout. Besides, I already have two teenage children to deal with. A third would be too much.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  The most important thing is to get your butt in the chair and get it done. It’s too easy to prioritize your writing as something less than important in your life, but sometimes your time to write needs to get the top spot. I’ve neglected my wife and kids, taken time off from work to write instead of going on vacation. I’m blessed with a family that understands why I do it, and they even encourage me to get out and write sometimes. If I don’t get to write, I can turn surly. They’d rather I go write and come back more pleasant.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  I’m in the middle of two projects. I’m waiting to hear back from my beta readers on a non-Gidion Keep, young adult novel that is an epic fantasy reimagining of Red Badge of Courage. While I loved that book in high school, so many others hate it. That divisiveness makes it perfect for a reimagining. While I await my beta readers’ responses, I’m doing research for another young adult urban fantasy that will be set here in Richmond, but this won’t be a Gidion Keep novel. All I’ll say about that bill blume Gidions-Blood-front-coverfor now is that my research is focusing on schizophrenia.

Thanks for chatting with me, Bill. If you are interested in purchasing Gidion’s Hunt, please do so on Amazon or get an autographed copy at Fountain Bookstore.

For the purchase of Gidion’s Blood, you can go to Amazon or for an autographed copy, go to Fountain Bookstore.

Keep in touch with Bill Blume on social media: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

AUTHOR CARYN MCGILL

What’s so special about today? It feels like another plain Friday, but it’s not. Someone’s celebrating their birthday, people are buying new homes, starting new jobs, publishing their first book. Someone out there is having the best day of their life! 

June 10th is a great day to read, to write, and to learn about another great, talented author. Today I’m introducing Caryn McGill, my new friend! 

Caryn McGill has immersed herself in a lifelong study of religion, astrology, reincarnation, and past-life regressions. This otherworldly journey coupled with her decades spent teaching science has produced her debut novel, The Wives of Lucifer. Born on New York’s Long Island, Caryn McGill resided on its bucolic East End until a recent move to Richmond, Virginia, where she’s currently finishing her second novel.

Let’s get to know more about her!carynbookcover

The WIVES OF LUCIFER is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Olivia loves her new immortal life, her friends and especially Drew; she never thought she’d fall in love on the other side of death. But when Olivia learns she bears the mark of Lucifer and has powers that tie her to the Underworld, she worries that perhaps she’s done terrible things in her past lives and dark secrets are being kept from her. And those damn wives, what do they want from her? Olivia endures unspeakable tragedy in The Wives of Lucifer and when she discovers what fate has in store for her…she suddenly understands that being immortal doesn’t guarantee you’ll live forever.

Caryn, what inspired you to write your first book? I had a curiosity about death at an early age after my little brother died. My imagination has always toyed with what happens after we die. I finally had to write it.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for eight years. I never intended to be a writer but I unexpectedly found myself possessed by this character. It felt like I channeled her. I know…weird.

Are you an outliner or pantser? I’m definitely a pantser. I write scenes without much regard for the overall plot. I eventually put them in order and weave in details and background to make the story flow.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book? I usually finish a first draft in about three months. I then rewrite for six to eight months before I’ll let anyone read it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? I first considered myself a writer when I went to a pitch conference in New York City and editors/agents were interested in my manuscript. Until that point I thought I was chasing an unrealistic fantasy.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I don’t really suffer from writer’s block I suffer from “editing block”. Writing the story is fun, but editing can be torture. I find putting the story away for a few weeks helps. When it starts to niggle at me again, like an old friend I miss, I get excited about rewriting.

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I’m a glass fusion artist. I make plates and other decorative wares for the home.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? I’d love to visit Alaska. I love the cold weather and find the flora and fauna of the northern latitudes fascinating. I incorporated this biome in my debut novel by making hell a frigid tundra.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you? I’d name it Peace Island. Only pacifists would be allowed. No intolerance would be tolerated! (I know, kind of an oxymoron.)

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten. I went to a Chinese New Year celebration once. We had jellyfish and sea urchin. Not a fan of either…

carynart3If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? One of my antagonists, Ravana. Although she’s scary, she cracks me up with her wit and sarcasm. I’d love to take her to a party.

Do you have any advice for other writers? My motto is “Never Stop Dreaming”, because if you dream it, it can come true. I never thought I’d sell a book to a traditional publisher.

That’s great advice! If you want to stay updated on Caryn and her books you can follow her on FacebookTwitterWebsiteWriteonsisters Blog.

You can also purchase The Wives of Lucifer on Amazon or Wild Rose Press.

Thank you so much for talking and answering all my questions. I can’t wait to read your book!!

If anyone else has a suggestion for an interview, please let me know!

Artemis Grey and her book Catskin

This author is published through Clean Reads and has an amazing new book! Catskin is a contemporary YA set in Alaska. It follows Ansel, an albino Athabascan boy, who happens to find a runaway girl hiding on his property. The ensuing story will hopefully make readers reevaluate what it means to be family, and realize that normal is what you make it.

Artemis, can you tell me what inspired you to write your book?  Um, I don’t think I was ever “inspired” to write. It’s simply always been an ingrained drive inside me, a need to get ink onto paper.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?  This varies widely. When I was working on the farm (a six hundred acre estate) I had the ability to write on lunch break, and even add a sentence here and there throughout the day. Mentally and emotionally I was completely content, and even when I was working, I had the ability to think constantly about whatever story I was working on. Now that I’m at a job where I can’t daydream while there, can’t stop to jot notes or plot points and don’t get a lunch break (I work at a Tavern open for midday fare, so no lunch break) it’s a lot more difficult to get words down. Even when I finally get home, there’s a decompression process, so my writing time is severely curbed. At the farm, I could get a first draft for a 80k-100k story in a month or two. Now, it’s more like 5-6 months.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?   I’ve never actually gotten writer’s block. I have a huge backlog of story ideas, and partial starts, and since I’m someone who can work on multiple WIPs at a time, if I get stalled on one project, I just move to another one.

Sounds great! What are some of your hobbies aside from writing the next best seller?  Riding horses, herding cats, doing yard work. I also paint, and usually the results are either given as gifts, or donating to the Wildlife Center Of Virginia for their yearly fundraising auction.

Very cool! What is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been?  ICELANDartemis

Tea or coffee? Mostly coffee, black. But I do love tea as well. And my favorite today is hot water with lime, honey, a piece of ginger root, and a dram of moonshine.

If I randomly gave you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?  First of, my island is going to be off the coast of Alaska, Nova Scotia, or Iceland. I would name it Niflheim and the spirits of the dead would live there with me, because I think they would tell amazing stories. (I know you thought I would list living people, but I like to Crazy Ivan unexpectedly)

LOL, dead people can be fun too! Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’m game to try most anything, but in this modern world of “foodies” I’d have to say that the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten is probably Kiss The Devil wine, which is a specialty wine from Peaks of Otter vineyard in Virginia. It’s made from 30 different types of peppers, including the ghost pepper. No, I didn’t drink an entire glass, but I did take a full shot glass.

That sounds like something to try since I’m also right here in central Virginia. So tell me, are you a morning or night person? Both. I love mornings, and the night. If I was not required to “keep a schedule” I’d probably be up early, nap during the day, up all evening into the small hours and then nap in the night until morning. Much like the old way of cycles, where people would go to bed early, then wake in the middle of the night and do things in their homes (like letter writing and correspondence) and then go back to sleep until morning.

Three more questions: Do you have any pets? Uuuuummm… We have a herd of cats (literally) along with two horses, and one very teensy miniature donkey. And once in a while, an abandoned baby bird, which is raised until they’re fledged out, and then released.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Just ONE? Dang, that’s hard… I think I’ll go with Herian Hunter, who is a character no one else has met yet, from one of my WIPs, BLOODED.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Write. Just write. And read. Read whatever genre and age group you write. Also, it’s good to at least have an idea of WHY you write. For me, it’s a compulsion. I describe myself as a “scripturient” because I’m literally not happy mentally or emotionally if I’m not writing on a regular basis. So while I desperately wanted to get published, even if I’d known from the very beginning that I would never be published, I would still be writing exactly as I am now.

Thank you so much for reading all about Artemis Grey! Here is the blurb to Catskin which is now available.

catskinSometimes the only way to find yourself is to go missing…

Shy, eighteen-year-old albino, Ansel, thought that letting the runaway girl with the injured ankle sleep in his parents’ shed was a good idea. That was before she passed out in his shower, woke up in a panic and accidentally attacked him. Any average guy would have called the cops but average isn’t Ansel’s style.

When she refuses to tell him her real name, Ansel nicknames the girl Catskin, after one of his favorite fairytale characters, and begins the dubious task of earning her trust. It’s not an easy thing to do, but a few awkward conversations later, one thing is clear: Catskin doesn’t want to be the way she is, she just doesn’t think she can change. Ansel knows from his own experiences that seeing the world around you differently doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, something he intends to teach Catskin.

While the details of her past remain elusive, Catskin creates a new place for herself with Ansel and his family, and develops her own brand of normalcy. Then a terrible accident leaves her hovering near death, and Ansel is forced to contact her estranged parents. But there are secrets hidden in the life Catskin left behind. Dark secrets that chased her all the way to Healy, Alaska and Ansel’s actions unknowingly provoke a shocking confrontation between the wealthy world Catskin was born into, and the starkly average one she now shares with Ansel.

Refusing to give up the imperfect girl who fits perfectly inside his heart, Ansel prepares to go to war with Catskin’s father. But in the end, Catskin might be the only one who can save herself.

If you are as interested as me in purchasing this book, please do so at the sites listed below. Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Kobo

Please feel free to get to know Artemis a bit more and follow her on social Media!   Grey Places Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Amazon   Goodreads

Thanks again for stopping by. If you have any questions for the author or myself, leave a comment. If you have someone you would like me to interview, just leave me a comment!

 

A Look Inside Author L.E. Fred’s Head!

Recently, I’ve made so many new friends including several authors from one of my publishers, Clean Reads. It’s great to get to know new people and check out what they are working on. Today I’d like to introduce L.E. Fred! LE Fred

L. E. Fred is a YA author so wrapped up in her own worlds, that she had to write them all down. Beginning her journey with Devon’s world, L. E. Fred writes books to inspire young adults to find their hidden potential and become the hero they wish to be. With stories ranging from fantasy, to sci-fi, to even a splash of romance, L. E. Fred writes for the young adults she admires and wishes to inspire. Her stories are heavily influenced by her love for travel, and every new experience inspires another story to tell.
L. E. Fred currently lives in New Orleans (not for long!) with her family and red, fluffy dog.
lefredL.E. can you tell us about your upcoming book?   My recent release is Reverie, the sequel in my Lucid series. Reverie continues the adventures of Devon, Kyle, and Mitch as they face the perils of the Dream World to save both the real world and the people of the Dream World.
Can you tell us a little bit about the series?   Lucid is a YA fantasy series about a 15 year-old boy Devon who’s been tasked with saving the world. One night, he dreams about being on a spaceship. He sees other people on the spaceship, but he thinks nothing of it. The next day, he sees on the news that people are being put into inexplicable comas all over the world. He recognizes some of the coma victims from his dream and knows he must figure out what’s going on. What starts as teenage curiosity becomes a fast-paced adventure in a fantastical dream world.
Wow! That sounds awesome! What inspired you to write your first book? Lucid was inspired by my own personal struggles with sleep paralysis. That’s when you wake up mid-dream unable to move. It’s usually accompanied by some pretty freaky hallucinations which can lead to some scary moments. I always wondered what would happen if I was unable to wake up, which led to my fabrication of a separate Dream World.
Very interesting! So, how long have you been writing?   I’ve been writing since I was in 6th grade. I still remember being assigned my first creative writing assignment. What was supposed to be a 2-page story turned into a 14-page novella. I still have plans on turning that story into a novel!
L.E. are you a full-time or part-time writer?  And how do you find or make time to write?   Well, I’m no J.K. Rowling…yet. So writing isn’t my day-job. I have many passions, though, so I don’t mind sharing my writing time. I treat writing like a workout and discipline myself to do it every day. Some days are better than others, but if I’m writing, I’m happy.
Okay, one more question before we get to the fun ones. How do you get through the dreaded writer’s block?  Writers block is just a fancy word for being LAZY! No, seriously, it is an obstacle I’m suffering with as of late. I find experiencing new things like traveling to a new city or even visiting a new coffee shop jolts me back into a writing mode. I love experiencing new things, and getting out of my comfort zone usually sparks some new material.
dog
That sounds like excellent advice. Now, the most important question of the day: Do you have any pets? (You know us writers like to keep furry friends.)   I have a fluffy red dog named Ragu. He’s my partner-in-crime 🙂
Aw! He sounds so fun!  Tea or coffee?    Wine 😉
Fair enough. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?   I’ve always wanted to go to Dublin. I studied abroad in the UK, but I never got the time to visit Ireland. Since half my family comes from the Emerald Isles, I know I gotta get over there!
Oh, I’d love to go there! If I told you that I was buying you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?   I’d name my island Fabrica, and I’d invite all of my friends and family to have a massive beach party for forever and ever!
Party on L.E.’s island! And lastly, what do you do for fun outside of writing books?  Aside from writing, my big hobbies are singing and playing guitar. I’m a professional singer, and I play guitar at a local bar. I also cosplay and make my own costumes of my favorite video game and anime characters. It’s so much fun to be a character for the day!
I’m a big fan of Renaissance fairs. I know how fun that can be!  What are you currently working on so we have an idea for the future?   My current WIP is an urban fantasy that takes place in my hometown, New Orleans. It deals with a mixture of mythology tied in with the changes taking place in the Big Easy. I love playing a tourist in my own hometown to do research!
lucid
Your life sounds so fun! If you want to keep in touch with L.E. Fred you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
To get your hands on the Lucid series, you can find them here: AmazonB&N,  Smashwords, Kobo, and iTunes.
To purchase Reverie, find them here: Amazon and Smashwords.
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Please contact me if you would like to see a certain author or creative person interviewed. Next week I will be talking with Artemis Grey!

New Release: Second Choice

Ever wonder what goes on inside the head of the talented and fun Ginger Solomon? Well, I’ve got the answers for you!

Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer—in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, sheGinger picture writes or reads romance of any genre. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 

Second Choice is book two in my Belikarian Weddings Series. While book one, One Choice, featured Prince Josiah, this book is about his sister, Princess Anaya. Here’s the blurb:

Set to be married in less than a month, Princess Anaya Vallis’s intended disappears, leaving only a cryptic note behind. Her father insists the wedding go forth as planned with a new groom. She has days to make a second choice.

Titus Vasco is like a ship without a rudder, floating through life without purpose. Until she calls. He accepts her proposal without hesitation.

But wedded bliss does not come easily. Two virtual strangers brought together by unforeseen circumstances must learn to trust each other and God’s plan for their lives, in order to achieve the happily-ever-after they both long for.

Tell us a little bit about the series.  

The Belikarian Weddings Series takes place in a small fictional country in the Aegean Sea. ~Book one is about Crown Prince Josiah and the Bridal March, which takes place because tradition demands he take a wife of his own choosing by his twenty-fifth birthday. If he has not, then fifty women are gathered, and he is given six months to choose one of them to be his bride.

~Book two is about his sister, Princess Anaya.

~Book three, tentatively titled Love’s Choice, is about a guard that has been in the palace since his birth, and after the death of his parents, the king takes full responsibility for him, treating him like a son.

The first two books are marriage of convenience type books, but the third is not. They are all contemporary romance.

Are you an outliner or pantser?    I lean more toward being a pantser, but I do some leg work before writing. I like to know what my characters look like, how old they are, and I set up a calendar to help me keep up with events as they happen. I wouldn’t want a snow storm to show up in the middle of June.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?    I do one of two things if I’m stuck in a story. One, I back up a scene or two. If I don’t know where to go, it usually means I’ve written myself into a corner and need to rethink my story a little. Two, I have a “play” story that I mess around with. It’s a fantasy, so there are no restrictions on what I can do in it. I don’t expect it to ever get published—though my daughter likes it the best of all my stories.

What are some of your hobbies?    Outside of writing, I like to do all manner of crafts. I can sew, cross-stitch, knit, crochet, and a few other things. I’d love to learn to paint, but time—yeah, well. I also spend a great deal of time reading.

Let’s get to the important question. Do you have any pets?    I, personally, have a dog—a

gingersdog
Zorro

Miniature Australian Shepherd named Zorro. We also have a cat, Peeta, but he belongs to my son.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?    Scotland and Ireland. I know that’s two places, but I think they are so close that I couldn’t go see one without seeing the other as well.

Tea or coffee?   TEA!

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?    Wow. Hmm. I think the king in my Belikarian books. He is very wise.

Do you have any advice for other writers?    If you write because you can’t NOT write, then never give up. Keep learning the craft. Keep writing.

Can you share a little of your book with us?    Here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter, after Anaya has informed her father, the king, that her groom has left.

“Maybe it’s better this way.” The king rested his hand on Princess Anaya’s shoulder. “God may have someone better in mind for you.” 

“Perhaps.” She twisted away, wishing her mother were here and not at the spa. “I’m sorry, Baba.” 

“Come here, my benim kizim.” He pulled her into his arms. 

She stiffened at the unexpected show of affection. He held tight, and she relaxed against his chest. He couldn’t have known how much she needed the hug. Her tears wet the front of his linen shirt. He didn’t seem to notice. 

“God loves you. He has the perfect husband for you. Trust Him.” He kissed the top of her head and then set her away from him. “Now, go pray and make your choice. Listen to God’s voice. He will show you whom you should choose.”

If you’re like me, then you’re wondering where you can buy this book. Second Choice isSecondChoice-GINGER available for purchase on Amazon today.

Purchase Second Choice Here!

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