• Category Archives Author Interviews
  • Watch my guest appearance on The Mystery Hour #urbanfantasy #author #interview

    So this happened. Last month, I was a guest on our local late-night televised talk show The Mystery Hour. It was their Valentine’s episode so we talked about paranormal romance and urban fantasy and writing. It was a hoot. You can watch the entire show here or skip ahead to 11:10 to see my segment.

    Feel free to make your comments here or on YouTube.

    Apparently, I giggle a lot.

    Who knew?


  • Interview with Shirley McCann, author of The Scarry Inn

    551013_4106926478751_1468852437_nGood morning. Let’s start with a short bio so we can get to know more about you.

    I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother who likes to kill people on paper. I’ve had numerous short stories published over the years in various publications. I currently work part time in a brainless job, which sometimes allows me time to write.

     

    1   What kinds of things, if any, scare you? I know this is a strange fear, but I cringe when I hear an airplane fly overheard. It’s a real phobia, though. I’m also afraid of spiders and snakes. And MICE. I hate mice!

    1. What’s your fav smell? Fresh Brewed Tea. Nothing better.
    1. Ebook or Print? I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather read an ebook than print anymore. For one thing, it’s SO easy to see. Is it me, or is the printing in print books getting smaller?
    1. In your book, The Scarry Inn, a couple of the characters are Inn Owners. Have you ever held a position like that in your career?  If so, did anything weird happen?  Well, not an inn owner, but I did work at an apartment complex. Once when I was showing an apartment to a prospective tenant, I got some bad vibes from him. Instead of going inside and pointing out the amenities, I remained by the door and let him look around by himself. Just had a creepy feeling about him.
    1. Do you like to munch while you write? If so, what’s your favorite writing munchies?  Definitely popcorn. And any kind of chocolate.

    Give us a blurb about your book and tell us where we can find it: 

    Scarry Inn pic

    Convinced they are the victims of a sick practical joke, Heidi Bowman and her three friends are resigned to spending the night at The Scarry Inn, even though the atmosphere is anything but welcoming. Surely the owners, Dick and Thelma are simply trying to drum up business for their new motel by terrifying their guests.

    But when Kara is found brutally murdered, they realize the danger is real and they must find their way to safety before the secrets of the inn claim another victim. Making things even more difficult is the lack of cellphone service in the small town of Frighton, Arizona. With no clue as to who they can trust, the remaining threesome are now caught up in a fight for their lives.

     

    Amazon.com |B&N| Smashwords |KOBO |ARe |BOB | Scribd


  • Interview with Author Victoria Richards: The Banshee’s Embrace Trilogy

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Victoria Richards! You’ve just released (The Banshee’s Embrace Trilogy).  Tell us a little bit about your story.  

    banshee's embrace

    Our heroine, Jacqueline, has no idea what has been happening to her, but it started the night she was attacked by men with strange powers. Mortally wounded in the attack, Jacqueline knows she would have died if her husband hadn’t thrown himself into the line of fire, sacrificing his life to save her.

    Ever since that night, Jacqueline has been strangely drawn to death for reasons she doesn’t understand. When death is nearby, she can see when it is coming for someone. However, it’s her urge to sing when she gets close to dying people that she finds most disturbing.

    Toby is a wizard and a member of an ancient order of powerful wizards charged to keep an eye on Jacqueline. As owner of a local bar and a place Jacqueline frequents, it seems an easy enough assignment for Toby.

    When a sinister wizard attempts to kidnap her, Jacqueline learns a frightening truth about her heritage- and her powers. Will she be able to use her powers to save Toby, the man she is falling in love with, or will her powers consumer her, causing her to lose everything she holds dear?

     

    Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    A little bit of both. There’s the paranormal romance aspect that is the underlying theme of the story, but there are some fantasy characters as well. I love reading everything, romance especially, but have always been drawn to paranormal romance stories. The more fantasy, the better. In this series I wanted to create a new kind of character. Our heroine, Jacqueline, is a half banshee, capable of reaping any soul at will. But unlike a full banshee who lives in the plane between life and death and whose task it is to guide the dying to the other side, Jacqueline is still very much alive, but with banshee powers. Something she must come to grips with.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    No Godzilla like monsters, haha, but there are wizards, banshees, a shape shifter, the specter of Death, and a god and goddess who appear in Book 3. My favorite character… I have a couple. The shape shifter is a hoot; a cranky, old colorful alcoholic who is very endearing. The other would be Toby’s son, Gabe. Young, impetuous, and a powerful wizard just coming into his own. Because of the circumstances of his upbringing he has a lot of hatred and resentment in his heart. But extremely powerful. A dangerous combination.

     

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    It’s a series of 3 books. As of now the trilogy is complete, but I have been asked by some readers to continue the story. Gabe, who I just mentioned, and his love interest would be a great new series to pursue. Also, near the end of Book 3 is an appearance by Merlin. Yes, that Merlin, adding a good, unexpected twist to the ending of the series. Because of his appearance here I started a new series, Young Merlin. Book 1 is out. No release date on Book 2 yet.

    What else are you working on?

    Currently plotting the Young Merlin series. I’ll be introducing some new and unique supernatural creatures in this series. The first book has a goddess and two young, powerful, if not foolish incubuses. Add a dragon, magic and Excalibur and it makes for a fun, quick fantasy read.

     Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    Jacqueline’s best friend, Angela is one of those fun, flirty girls that is just fun to hang out with, and have a drink with. Despite appearing shallow she is a fiercely loyal friend. If I had to pick an actress to play her it might be Emma Stone or Scarlett Johansson.

    Now if you’re talking sexy men, then the hero, Toby would be hot. There are a couple steamy sex scenes where he uses magic in his lovemaking with Jacqueline.  Casting an actor to play him would be tough. Might try for Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans or Ben Afflec.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I start out with the story in my head, where it can dance around for days or weeks. I pencil idea snippets out as I go along on real paper, before finally putting the plot down in Word. I review the plot several times, bounce it around with some trusted friends and fellow writers before finally starting actually writing the book.  The actual writing part is mostly a punster, where I sit locked in my dungeon banging away until the story takes form.

     

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    Best case scenario 1-2 months. Reality more like 3-4. Round one would be intense focus and just write and let things flow. This takes about a month to really get the story out. After that I’ll re-read and retool the story as needed. This can go through two or three iterations before I call it done. After it’s “done”, I’ll still reread it again to spot any typo/grammar issues. Then off to the editor for further typo/grammar/continuity checks. During the edit phase I’ll have my cover designer come up with a cover. Both of these should take another 1-2 weeks. After that it’s time to publish.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Yes, write every day. Come rain or shine, write. Initially, don’t worry if it’s good or bad, just write. Everyone gets better with practice. Other than write, read. Read everything, especially in the genre you would like to write in.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Website | Twitter | Facebook

     

    AUTHOR BIO:

    Victoria Richards is a native southern Californian. She is a married and a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful daughters. She holds two degrees, one in Liberal Arts and the other in History. Victoria has been writing since she was old enough to pick up a pencil, but it wasn’t until her college years that she really developed a love for writing creatively. At the suggestion of her creative writing professor she decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer, something that she enjoys and gives her immense satisfaction.

    Her passion for reading is all encompassing, with her writing focused in the paranormal romance genre. With a hyperactive and romantic imagination, a degree in history and a love for the arts she finds it easy to blend these many disperse elements together to create paranormal romance stories that can range from the beautiful to the bizarre.

     

    The Banshee’s Embrace is currently free and can be download here, http://bit.ly/BansheesEmbrace.

     

     

     


  • Interview With Author Dorothy Dreyer: My Tethered Soul (Reaper’s Rite Series)

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Dorothy Dreyer!  You’ve just released My Tethered Soul (Reaper’s Rite book two).  Tell us a little bit about your story.

    MTScover

    My Tethered Soul follows Zadie in the second installment of the Reaper’s Rite series. In the first book, Zadie’s sister was haunted by a Reaper, and Zadie’s job was figuring out how to help save her. In this book, Zadie has become the Reaper’s victim, and she must try to break free of his hold on her.

    Do you consider your books urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    Paranormal / Urban Fantasy/ Slightly Horror. I’ve always been interested in stories with magical elements. It’s a genre where I can let my imagination run wild, and what writer doesn’t love that?

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it.

    Reapers are the main bad guys in my books. Soul sucking corpse-like entities that hide in the shadows and lurk in dark corners. They prey upon their victims, either claiming their lives or driving them insane in the process.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    This is a series, and one should really read My Sister’s Reaper (Reaper’s Rite book 1) before reading My Tethered Soul, as there are some important bits of knowledge you’ll need to really grasp the second book. I’m writing the third installment as we speak, but there is no publication date as of yet.

    What else are you working on?

    I’ve got some older manuscripts I’ve been itching to revamp, as well as a super secret project that’s not ready to be revealed yet.

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    Lilura—Zadie’s mentor—is a cranky old lady who’s always got something to say. She’s a hoot. It would be great to sit down with her and chat it up a bit. I’m sure she’d have me spitting out my tea (her specialty) just about every other second with her words of wisdom. I can imagine Kathy Bates playing her—though she’d need a lot of makeup to make her look older.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m a plotter. Once an idea sparks for a book, I think on it a while until I figure out where the story would lead. I need to know how the story would end before I start. That said, once the basic plot is figured out, the pantser in me usually makes an appearance and adds, subtracts, and flips the details.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    Best case scenario, about nine months. But my WIP has taken me much longer due to promoting book one and putting writing on hold when I revised book two. Revising doesn’t usually take me terribly long. I’ve been blessed with awesome editors who know what they’re doing, and they make it easier for me. Before it even gets to my editor, it gets a thorough read through from my crit partner, and she whips it into pretty good shape.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Read, read, read! This advice isn’t just for new authors, by the way. Writers have to know their genre and know what’s out there. Then they have to think about how to make their  story unique and authentic and something that readers will have a hard time putting down.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    My Tethered Soul Book Blurb

    It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

    When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.

    Exerpt

    My body shook, knocking my teeth together. Why was the bed rocking?

    “Zadie, wake up.”

    My eyes were slits as I pushed Mara away. I was entirely too tired to get up yet. “Five more minutes.”

    “Zadie, come on.”

    “What do you want?”

    “There’s mud all over the floor. Footprints.”

    I scrunched my forehead up, my eyes still not all the way open. “What? What are you talking about?”

    “There were muddy footprints all over the floor. I wiped the ones up in the hall so Dad wouldn’t see, but there are more here in your room.”

    My eyes widened. I sat up and focused on my bedroom floor. Sure enough, a trail of mud led up to my bed. Panic jump-started my heart as I realized someone could have been in my room while I slept. But the footprints only led up to my bed, not away from it.

    I grabbed my sheet and ripped it off of my body. “Oh my God.” 

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    MTScover

     

    MyTetheredSoul (Reaper’s Rite 2)

    Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook 

    Book Depository | Goodreads  

     

     

     

     

    MSRnewcover

     

    My Sister’s Reaper (Reaper’s Rite 1)

    Amazon | Kindle | B&N

    Book Depository | Goodreads 

     

     

     

    Author Links: Author Website |Twitter | Facebook Fanpage 

    DoryMedium14Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. Born in Angeles City, Philippines, to a Filipino mother and American Father, Dorothy grew up a military brat, living in Massachusetts, South Dakota, Guam, New Jersey, and New York. She now lives in Frankfurt, Germany, with her husband, two teens, and two Siberian huskies. Dorothy not only writes books with some element of magic in them, but has a fondness for reading those kinds of books as well. She also enjoys movies, chocolate, take-out, and spending time with family and friends. She’s known to make a pretty sweet cupcake when she has the time. She also tends to sing sometimes, so keep her away from your Karaoke bars.

    BONUS MATERIAL:

    I’m holding a giveaway on Goodreads. Those who enter can win one of three copies of My Tethered Soul. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/99860-mytetheredsoul

     

     

     


  • Laura Kaye Talks About the Hard Ink Series & Hard To Hold On To

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Author Laura Kaye! You’ve just released Hard to Hold On To.  Tell us a little bit about your story.  

    HardToHoldOnTo hires

    Hard to Hold On To is a contemporary love story between a troubled Army veteran and the woman he recently saved. It is the third book in the Hard Ink series, which features the survivors of an Army Special Forces unit trying to recover their stolen honor after being unjustly discharged from the military. I am donating all of the proceeds of the first two weeks’ sales of the book to the Wounded Warrior Project.

    You also write books about vampires and Greek gods. Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy,  paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    EoE_500 newIn general, I consider the Vampire Warrior Kings and Hearts of the Anemoi series to be paranormal romance. The Hearts of the Anemoi is the series that focuses on Greek gods, and it’s sometimes deemed fantasy romance because gods and goddesses often represent a lighter form of paranormal, but the series gets quite dark as it progresses to the end in East of Ecstasy, which just released in the spring.

    I’ve been interested in the supernatural since I was a kid. My family totally believed in this stuff and there was a lot of supernatural lure in my family history. So it was natural that I’d start writing where I did most of my reading – in the paranormal realm. My vampire romance Forever Freed was the first piece of fiction I wrote and sold.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels. If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    My favorite all-time paranormal creature is the vampire. Immortal, powerful, animalistic, fangs! What’s not to love!

    Is Hard to Hold On To part of a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    Yes! Hard to Hold On To is the third story in the Hard Ink series. The series will ultimately have at least four full-length novels and three novellas. The next release, Hard to Come By, comes out on November 25.

    What else are you working on?

    I’m currently writing the last book in the Hard Ink series (currently untitled) and preparing to re-release a backlist title (Just Gotta Say). I also just submitted proposals for two new series to my agent!

    Of all the characters in your fictional world, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together?

    I really love all the characters in my Hard Ink world. I’d just really love to be able to hang out in the Hard Ink building with the whole big crew! *♥* The series really started with and around Nick Rixey and his brother Jeremy, and it would be a blast to have the pair of them give me some new ink! Ahem.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m a total pantser. Now, I’ll confess that writing romantic suspense has required more plotting from me. But, in general, I plot as little as possible and usually only a few chapters ahead of where I am. The steps I take before diving into a new book? Um, I open Word? LOL

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    I’m a fast writer, to a certain extent because my current deadline commitments require me to be. Under normal circumstances, I am for 3,000 words a day at least 5 days a week. If I hit that, I’ll produce 15,000 words a week, which means it should take me about 2-3 weeks to write a novella or about 6-8 weeks to write a full-length novel. However, I’ve written 100,000-word novels in 4-6 weeks on more than one occasion. I revise as I write. So, each day when I sit down, I re-read the previous 10-20 pages and revise it, and that gets me back into the flow of the story. When I reach the end, I’m done.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    1) BICHOK – Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. You can’t revise what you haven’t written and you can’t sell what you haven’t written. So write EVERY DAY. Yes, every day. Even if you only commit to an hour a day or even 100 words a day, you need to get in the habit of making forward progress. And never underestimate the amazing power of getting to write “The End” and proving to yourself you can finish a whole book.

    2) Read, read, read. One of the best ways to learn how to WRITE is to READ extensively in your genre. Find books you think do a great job at characters or worldbuilding or suspense or pacing and study them (just be sure that your application of those techniques in your own work is in your original words!).

    3) Treat it like a profession, by which I mean join the professional organizations, do the work consistently, study and hone your craft, and always present yourself professionally (on social media, on your website, and in only submitting or publishing your work when it’s in the absolute best shape it can be).

    4) Find a critique partner, preferably someone else who is professionally pursuing publication and not just a friend who will tell you it’s great! Because it may be great, but everyone benefits from having other writers who know the craft and the genre give you feedback on your work. You can find critique partners through local and online writers groups.

    5) Don’t give up! At the beginning of your writing career, you will get a lot more nos and rejections than yeses and acceptances! Persevere and don’t give up! Every big name author you know experienced rejection at some point in their career.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.

    Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

    As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.

    Excerpt:

    Jenna awoke with the immediate realization that she was wrapped so tightly around Easy that she might as well have been lying on him. But she couldn’t bring herself to feel bad or guilty or embarrassed about it in the least. Because his heat and his touch and his clean scent in her nose had allowed her to sleep without nightmares. And because she refused to regret something she wanted and might not get to have again.

    After all, he’d said he liked her, but she had no idea exactly how he liked her. Maybe he meant like a kid sister. Or maybe he meant as a friend.

    Except … his hips shifted under her leg, and she did not think she was imagining what she was feeling. He was hard. He was holding her, and he was hard.

    Jenna’s heart tripped into a sprint. Not out of fear but out of curiosity, amazement, interest. Because Easy made her feel safer than she’d ever felt in her life.

    He was hard. She was more than a little intrigued.

    Easy was patient and kind, and he made her feel special and cared for. And from his handsome face to his incredible muscles to the ink on his chest, he was totally, freaking gorgeous.

    And he’d saved her life.

    Couldn’t forget that.

    The simple act of thinking about the man in these terms made Jenna’s belly flip.

    And while she half expected to freak out at the idea of sex after she’d been pawed by Bruno’s assholes, when she looked at Easy, she didn’t see any of that, she didn’t feel it, she didn’t think about it.

    What she thought about instead was that, if those assholes had killed her, she would’ve died without ever knowing what it felt like to love a man. And be loved in return.

    She could’ve died.

    The realization made her feel like she’d never really been living. But now she could. Now she had a second chance.

    Jenna shifted herself closer, her body reacting to her thoughts and her closeness to his.

    A hand clamped down on her thigh.

    And Jenna’s heart turned into a hammer inside her chest.

    “Jenna,” Easy said, voice full of gravel and warning.

    She tilted her face upward, bringing her lips against his throat. And before she’d even thought about it, she kissed him. A long, soft press of her lips against the suddenly jumping pulse in his throat.

    He groaned, and it was a sound as sexy as it was tortured. Beneath her thigh, he hardened further.

    She kissed him again, dizziness threatening as her body slingshotted from sleepy to utterly, eagerly awake. And aroused.

    “Jenna,” he said again, though this time it came out as more of a plea. His hand slid up her thigh. His fingers pressed into her back, pulling her tighter against him.

    She slipped her fingers from his and gently cupped the other side of his neck as her lips found his skin again and again…

    Where can we find Hard to Hold On To online?

    Buy at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

    Hard to Hold On To on Goodreads

    Other Books in the Hard Ink Series:

    Hard As It Gets

    Hard As You Can

    Hard to Come By (11/25/14)

    Laura Kaye croppedLaura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

     

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

     

     

     

     


  • Interview With Angie Fox – New York Times Bestselling Author of Beverly Hills Demon Slayer

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Angie Fox! You’ve just released Beverly Hills Demon Slayer. Tell us a little bit about your story.  

    Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00030]

    Beverly Hills Demon Slayer is about a preschool teacher turned demon slayer who has run off with her Grandmother’s gang of biker witches. Happens all the time, right? I’m having so much fun with this series and this book is just the latest. All of the books are stand-alones and can be read in any order. In Beverly Hills Demon Slayer, an ancient cult becomes the “in” thing in Beverly Hills and Lizzie the demon slayer quickly realizes there’s more to it than youth potions, parties, and priceless Egyptian artifacts. So she goes in undercover with the biker witches and things don’t quite go according to plan.

    Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    My books are usually shelved in paranormal romance because I have a full romantic story in every book, and of course – a happy ending. I don’t do cliffhangers. Each book is a complete story on its own.

    I love the genre because it’s an exciting, romantic, fun way to escape into another world.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    Yes. Lots of beasties. My favorite has to be Lizzie’s pet dog, Pirate. It’s funny because I never planned to write him. But in the second chapter of The Accidental Demon Slayer (which is free right now on Amazon by the way), when Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer and all hell is after her, she takes comfort in her dog. As I was writing, I thought, “This is a sweet moment. Now how do I throw her off?” Simple. I made the dog say something to her. Nothing big. After all, he’s only after the fettuccine from last week. And he knows exactly where my heroine can find it (back of the fridge, to the left of the lettuce crisper, behind the mustard).

    It amused me, so I did it. Thanks to her unholy powers, my heroine can now understand her smart-mouthed Jack Russell Terrier. A lot of readers tell me Pirate is their favorite character.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    This is a series and I have at least three more books planned. Book 7, Night of the Living Demon Slayer, comes out early 2015.

    What else are you working on?

    I have a trilogy that just released called the Monster MASH series, about a paranormal MASH unit in the middle of a great immortal war. Two of the books in that series have been nominated for RITA awards (in 2013 and in 2014). I’m also working on a series about a ghost hunter. Spooky!

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    The Accidental Demon SlayerI’d most like to hang out with the biker witches from the Accidental Demon Slayer books. They are some of the most fun characters to write because I never know what they’re going to do.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m a plantser. I like to know where the plot is headed and, of course, why the characters do what they do. But I also like to leave it open for my characters to surprise me and tell their own stories. I go with what excites me, because if I’m entertained and can’t wait to get back to the keyboard every day, I know I’m writing a story my readers will get wrapped up in as well.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    Demon Slayer WeddingIt depends on the book. The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers took me the longest, probably because The Accidental Demon Slayer hit the mass market paperback New York Times bestseller list while I was writing and that freaked me out. Suddenly, I thought I had to write a New York Times bestseller-worthy book (whatever that means) and it totally locked me up.

    The least amount of time I took to write a book was three months for My Big Fat Demon Slayer Wedding. I’d been dying to write it and it just poured out onto the page. Editing usually takes a week or so. I write very tight first drafts. I don’t even start a new chapter until the chapter before is polished to the hilt.

    So I’ll write a draft, put it away for a month in order to get some distance, then I’ll read it over and edit before goes to my editor. After the editor finished, by that point I’ve had some distance and I’ll play with the manuscript for another week or two before sending it out for copyediting. The short answer is that I’d rather have it right than fast.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Yes. Read a lot. That part is also a lot of fun.  J

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    A New York Times bestselling series!

    All that glitters is not gold…
    Demon slayer Lizzie Brown isn’t exactly a diamonds and champagne type of girl. But when an ancient cult becomes the “in” thing in Beverly Hills, she realizes there’s more to it than youth potions, parties, and priceless Egyptian artifacts. There’s a demon involved…and Lizzie’s not on the guest list.

    She goes in undercover, along with her sexy Greek shape-shifter husband, her biker witch buddies, and a dog that is way too fond of free appetizers and the red carpet lifestyle. Between dodging detection and uncovering ancient secrets, Lizzie has her hands full. And when the demon manages to hook his claws into Lizzie’s eternal soul, she’s afraid she may be stepping out for her final event.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Facebook | Twitter

    AAngie Fox dining rm shotngie Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of several books about vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night. Her characters are fun and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, going up stairs when it’s dark behind her, and don’t even get her started on those scary puppets from 60’s-era holiday specials.

    She writes Accidental Demon Slayer series, are about a preschool teacher turned demon slayer who has to run off with her grandmother’s gang of biker witches. Happens all the time, right? She also writes a darker, sexier series about a paranormal M*A*S*H unit stuck in the middle of an immortal war. The first book in that trilogy, Immorally Yours, was a RITA finalist in 2013. The third book in that trilogy, Immortally Ever After, was a RITA finalist in 2014.

    Angie earned a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. During that time, she also skipped class for an entire week so she could read Anne Rice’s vampire series from cover to cover.

    Angie makes her home in St. Louis, Missouri with a college football-addicted husband, two kids, and a dog named Moxie.


  • Interview with Chris Cannon, YA Author of Going Down In Flames

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Chris Cannon Here! You’ve just released Going Down In Flames.  Tell us a little bit about your story.

    GoingDownInFlames_full (533x800)

    Bryn discovers she’s a shape-shifting dragon when flames shoot out of her mouth for the first time. (Not the present she’d hoped for on her sixteenth birthday.)

    Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre? Going Down In Flames takes place in modern times, but there is magic and paranormal elements. Of course there’s also romance. How about paranormal, urban fantasy romance?

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    Going Down In Flames is the first book in my shape-shifting dragon series. Book two is schedule to come out early Winter 2015. I’m about halfway through book 3.

    What else are you working on?

    I have a New Adult novel which I’m pitching as The Matrix meets La Femme Nikita. In the future, Psychics are recruited a.k.a kidnapped and forced to work as spies.

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    I’d like to hang out with Valmont, Bryn’s knight. He’s snarky and smooth with a side of sexy.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?  I’m a panster. I start with characters and put them in a situation, which will cause conflict. I know the major plot points of the book but how I get from point A to point B is a mystery until it pours out onto the page.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Read, read, read.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

    Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

    Zavien is tired of the Directorate’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

    At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

    Excerpt:

    Bryn’s heart beat fast as she flew through the night sky. Up above the clouds, there wasn’t much to see. Everything was gray and damp, which fit her mood perfectly.

    The wind buffeted her wings, making it difficult to fly in a straight line. Her short practice flight hadn’t prepared her for this type of exertion. What if she couldn’t make it? A cold blast of wind knocked her off course and sent her veering toward Zavien.

    He moved out of the way with ease. “Hello, I was flying there.”

    Like she needed crap from him right now. A growl rumbled from her throat, and smoke shot from her nostrils.

    He must’ve realized how close he was to being barbecued, because the next word out of his mouth was, “Sorry.”

    Twenty minutes later, Garret and Zavien began a spiraling descent. Thank God. She landed next to them on the ground and stumbled sideways. Using her wings, she steadied herself. Why were landings so hard? Tired and embarrassed, she shifted to human form. Her legs felt like they were made of cement.

    A tall, black, wrought iron fence stood between them and the buildings beyond. A security guard with red hair and a muscular build like her father’s stood by the gate. He didn’t appear happy to see them. “What are you doing out here? Curfew is in ten minutes.”

    Zavien produced a letter from his shirt pocket. “Believe it or not, I’m on official duty for the Directorate.”

    The security guard scanned the paper. “There’s a first time for everything.” He pressed a code into the numbered pad on the side of the gate. It swung open on silent hinges. “Best get inside. It’s late.”

    Bryn stepped onto the school grounds and examined the campus that would be her new home. Something about this place was off. Old-fashioned streetlamps lined the walkways, casting a haze of light. Imposing buildings, complete with statues of gargoyles, loomed against the night sky. Dark figures could be seen on stone balconies. Some stood on two legs, while others had wings.

    Half a dozen buildings surrounded the large park they walked through. The landscaping was too perfect. It reminded her of the time she’d gone to Disneyland, where the bushes had been trimmed to resemble giraffes and lions. There wasn’t a stray leaf or weed anywhere. But this definitely wasn’t the happiest place on earth.

    “This way.” Garret led them toward a building on the right. When they reached their destination, he held the door open for her. “Welcome to our dorm.”

    As she stepped across the threshold, a sea of curious, hazel eyes met her gaze. She did a double take. Every single person had the same coloring as Garret. Same dark skin. Same brown hair.

    And she was gawking. Clamping down on the anxiety attack she felt certain was coming on, she gave a tight smile. Her audience pointed and whispered. Not the friendliest greeting she’d ever received. At least they weren’t pelting her with textbooks.

    flamedragonsclean

     Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

    Buy links:

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo 

    0765 72chriscannonpubphotoChris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures.

    UPCOMING EVENTS:

    I’ll be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in October.

     

     

     

     


  • Interview with Paranormal Investigator & Author David E. Harkins: Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    This weeks brings us someone special. David Harkins is the real deal: a paranormal investigator and author.

    Welcome, Dave Harkins! You’ve just released “Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks.” 

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    What inspired Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks? What attracted you to the genre?

    I have always had a fascination with graveyards and cemeteries; more notably some of the older ones that I have had the pleasure of visiting. I find them very alluring historically and aesthetically. I moved to Missouri back in 1985 from California state and had the opportunity to visit many smaller unknown family plots as well as some of the more known cemeteries and Civil War Battlefields here in the Ozarks. During my visits to some of these burial grounds I had the opportunity to speak with many local folks who after finding out my involvement in the paranormal started to tell me of strange happenings that were allegedly occurring at some of these locations. Being thoroughly enthralled with these stories I started researching some of the persons, history and lore associated with these places. After doing so I found that many of the events that occurred surrounding these graveyards could be triggers for paranormal activity.

    Is paranormal research a hobby for you, research or an occupation?

    I am the founder and Director for the Ozarks Paranormal Society. (T.O.P.S) I have been actively researching and investigating the paranormal for over 30 years. At this point the paranormal has become a full time venture for me.

     Are you a first generation paranormal researcher?

    No. My Grandmother who was of Cherokee decent was also very involved in the aspects of paranormal, spiritual and supernatural realms. I grew up around it and have had a strong fascination with it since childhood. I suppose it all really kicked into gear when some friends and I started up an Occult Bookstore back in 1980 in Fresno California. We would have different folks come into the shop looking for books or any information on hauntings and other paranormal activity. Most of them were just looking for some sort of help and had nowhere else to turn. Having always been fascinated by all things metaphysical and having many paranormal experiences myself, I found it natural to investigate their claims. This is where my journey into paranormal investigation began.

    Tell us about a few of the local and more exotic locations you’ve visited in your paranormal research.

    That’s a very hard one to answer. I have investigated all over the planet. On a local level I would say that our team was granted permission by the Department of the Interior to do an overnight investigation of the Battlefield at Wilson’s Creek near Republic, Missouri back in 2011. We were the first team ever granted such permission and to this date still are. A month later we returned to the battlefield for a second investigation which was filmed for the Travel Channel special Legends of the Ozarks.

    I have also done two amazing evening investigations of Stonehenge in England back in the 1990’s.

    Have you written other books on the subject? Any fiction in the works? What else are you working on? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    I’m working on two more books that should be released sometime next year.  I can’t really disclose what they’re about exactly, but they do involve events that have occurred in Missouri and more notably the Ozarks.

    What’s one personal paranormal experience stands out in your mind and why?

    Wow! That’s a really hard question to answer. There have been so many that none truly stands out as being any more significant than the others. As long as there are folk out there that are in need of some sort of assistance in dealing with a situation that could be paranormal in nature I will be there to assist in any way possible. It has been a great journey thus far and I’m always fascinated at the twists and turns that this path presents to me. I have no clue where this road will lead me to next so I’ll just keep my head up and continue looking for the next adventure.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m more of a planner. I start with an outline of the history that I feel I need to cover.  After I have assembled enough history, legend and local lore I like to investigate the claims made by others to give my spin on what may or may not be happening at a location.

    Do you have any advice to a newbie interested in learning more about the paranormal aspects in our everyday lives?

    Do not venture out on your own! Not all paranormal investigation is like what you see on the television shows. It’s not all fun and can at times be very dangerous. To get started in the field of paranormal investigation all you really need are a few basic tools of the trade such as a digital recorder to perform EVP Sessions, a camera for visual evidence and some sort and an emf meter to check for natural or unexplainable sources of varying Electromagnetic fields. Once again I stress never investigate alone and always seek permission from property owners before investigating any site. If you for any reason feel that you are in a very uncomfortable or hostile situation, have the sense to leave the area. Step back and assess what just occurred. If you are not the type to venture out on your own, get on the internet and look for a local paranormal group that is experienced and reputable and see if they have any entry level positions open that you may apply for and also check to see if they conduct any sort of training classes for the public.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect?

    From the neatly tended urban necropolis to the long-forgotten family plot at the end of a winding gravel road, these “quiet cities” of the Ozarks have the power to send chills up and down the spine of the most hardened skeptic. Be it the restless Civil War soldiers of Greenbrier, the mass murderer who stalks Peace Church or the red eyes that persecute visitors to Robinson, tales of ghostly activity abound in every burial ground carved out of the ancient Ozark hills.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Website | TOPS (The Ozarks Paranormal Society | Facebook

    You can find my book at:

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Walmart

     

    daveh1

    Originally from Fresno California David Harkins now resides in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. In 1980 David helped launch an Occult Bookstore in Fresno which is still in operation today. During the early years at the bookstore folks would come into the shop and share stories of their homes being haunted by things they believed to be of a paranormal nature. With a fascination with all things Occult and Paranormal David began investigating these claims of supposed paranormal activity and soon got hooked on the fact some of these claims may actually be happening. At this point his journey into the paranormal world began. Soon after moving to the Ozark Mountains of Missouri in 1985 David began investigating different locations in the Ozarks and eventually encountered others with the same interest in the paranormal.

    In 2006 after meeting more folks in the area with a strong lure to the paranormal, David founded The Ozarks Paranormal Society (T.O.P.S). Since forming T.O.P.S David has been featured on Radio, Print and television. Most notably, he and his team were featured on the Travel Channel program “Legends of the Ozarks” investigating the activity at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, Missouri. In 2013 the Ozarks Paranormal Society became official family members the world renowned paranormal team The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS). Over the years David has investigated many places in the United States, as well as Europe and India and continues his journey thru the paranormal world to this day.

    UPCOMING EVENTS: 

    I will be a Guest Speaker at the 3rd annual Delta Paranormal Project happening in Vicksburg, Mississippi October 3rd thru 5th. You can check out their website for more information at: http://www.deltaparanormalproject.com/

     

     

     


  • Interview with Australian Author Renay Allen. Read Breath of Sirius – Online Serial Urban Fantasy

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

    Welcome, Renay Allen! You’ve just released another instalment of your online serial Breath of Sirius.  Tell us a little bit about your story.

    Swallow 6 Thumbnail

    Ophelia Wynn (or Fia as she prefers) is a woman completely out of her depth. She inherits a bookshoppe from Cecelia Wynn –a great-grandmother she never knew– and on impulse moves halfway across the world to take on the shop’s management. She’s not sure what she was thinking. What does a part-time librarian/ part-time tutor know about running a business?

    Unexpectedly Fia makes new friends; those in her adopted town treat her like royalty come home after a long exile. It’s enough to make a girl edgy. What’s more, something is at work in the Bookshoppe. Or rather … someone else. Fia might dream of one-day love, and seek to focus on work, but what she discovers is a perplexing litany of clues and a fight which will test whether she has the strength to take on the other role Cecelia has planned for her.

    Breath of Sirius is an online serial in three parts – Empath, Priestess and Maakheru. Right now, we’re onto Part 2 – Priestess.  I post each week with an instalment of approximately 1200 words.

    Do you consider Breath of Sirius urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    I think of Breath of Sirius as urban fantasy romance. The thing I love about urban fantasy is the vague edges. When I ask people to define urban fantasy, I receive answers like, ‘it’s set in a city, and has some magic stuff going on’. Even now I hear the question mark at the end of their sentence. I love that other genres can slip into UF through those blurred borders. The unexpected appears on the page before you know it.

    Technically I guess BOS could be called – ‘Small-walled-market-town-somewhere-in-Kent fantasy romance’. Now there’s a sub-genre title. Mmm? Maybe not.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    Well, that would be telling. The clues are there. You’ll just have to read future instalments.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    I’ve really been enjoying writing an online serial. It’s very different to writing a novel. Think micro-novel every week. Online serials come with a unique set of challenges I didn’t think much about when I started. (Aren’t those the famous last words of any DIY project?) For instance, writing Ebenos Moon (a YA novel I’m currently subbing) was fun, but if I didn’t like the direction a character or storyline took, or a decision I made, I made changes during the editing process. There was no rush. No exposure. Not so online fiction. BOS is all about pantsing. I have some vague ideas regarding direction, but I write the week’s draft, and then go over it the night before posting. The process is turbulent, like standing in front of an aircraft engine gearing up! Saying that, the challenges have also been much of the fun. The characters are in control – for better or for worse!

    As to whether there will be a second serial? Ideas are flitting about in my peripheral vision like shadows. I guess we’ll see.  I will say all the shadows are shaped like scorpions…

    What else are you working on?

    There’s a list. There’s always a list.

    There’s my YA ‘Ebenos Moon’, which, as I mentioned, is complete and being subbed. This is the first in a trilogy, so please cross all your digits someone likes it. 😀 Especially as the protagonist DehLia Rossa continues to gab in my ear day and night – mostly at night. As a result, I’m writing the follow up to EM – Brightwood.

    And because I can never just have one project on the go, I’m doing my Masters degree and writing first drafts for two other WIPs:

    • Charybdis (working title) – [fantasy]
    • Hope before hope (working title) – [contemporary adult romance]

    Fitting multiple WIPs around work and home is part of what I love about writing, however I am seriously considering insomnia as a viable time management tool. 😉

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    I love DehLia and Carr (Ebenos Moon), but I’m also really enjoying getting to know Calley (Charybdis) and Kile (Calley’s resident beastie). Calley is nothing like I thought she’d be when the story started kicking around in my head. Her moral pivot-point is more ambiguous than I first imagined.  Were I to hang out with them, I think I’d want to watch Calley draw in the sand. I’m interested in learning more about how her mind works. I’m a bit odd that way.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    Although Breath of Sirius is all about pantsing, I’ve actually become a hybrid over the years. I document character drivers, chapter outlines, and background info. I know where my characters have been, where they’re going and why. The route (how they’ll get where they’re going) is usually vagued up some. Planned, but not screwed down to the blow-by-blow.

    100% pansting can be fun. Those three parts I mentioned –Empath, Priestess and Maakheru– was all the planning done for BOS. It keeps things fresh and can be terribly exciting, but whenever I leave my notes unwritten, pull on the pantaloons and slip in behind the wheel without consulting my author GPS, it does leave me with the impression that I may be moonlighting as a crash test dummy.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    The first novel I wrote took one week. Let me say, that work will NEVER see the light of day. I wrote Ebenos Moon in four months. Revisions and editing took longer.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Get stuck in. Read. Learn. Be resilient. That is all.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

    Breath of Sirius Blurb:

    Fia Wynn inherits her great grandmother’s estate. Having opened the door to her new life, she doesn’t realise she’s also awakened Lucius Kennerley, a man – if he is a man – who will challenge her to come to terms with her own past, uncover the secret of her magical lineage, and embrace the mysterious source of her power.

    Breath of Sirius Excerpt:

    Here’s an extract from Instalment 38 – Aftermath (published 16 July 2014). This particular one is written from Lucius Kennerley’s perspective.

    Lucius heard the tinkle of the charms at her wrist, but couldn’t tear his eyes from the splatters of dark, dried crimson, which stood out in sharp contrast to the bergere chair’s neutral linen tones, the white cupboards and oak floor boards. He imagined her fright, heard in his mind her cry out; saw again her head hit the table at the base of the stairs. His gaze dragged across to the furniture, to the black stone of the kitchen island. Blood and glass littered the surface.

    He might not have been able to kill Thomas before, but Lucius swore silently he would find a way to punish the boy for his crime. He cursed himself for ever giving Sophia that diamond, her father for creating the chain to hold three daughter’s charms and for Sophia’s vain obsessions. At least Christian Thomas would be hurting. For now, he would have to content himself with that small comfort. The rest could be taken care of at a more convenient time when Ophelia was less vulnerable. “Come.” Lucius swung her slight form into his arms once more and stalked the final steps to the first-floor landing, depositing her in the bathroom.

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

    Read Breath of Sirius at:  renayallen.com/serials

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    Renay has always loved a good book. Somewhere along the way reading became writing and an obsession was born. Renay is the author of online Urban fantasy serial Breath of Sirius, and is now trying her hand at YA. She lives in south-east Queensland with her husband and son.

    Renay can be found at renayallen.com, on twitter @renayallencom (come chat!) or on fb at Facebook.com/womanvsmuse 

    Passion. Writing. Resilience. What more can a girl ask for?

     

    Comments for Breath of Sirius.

    “more please tomorrow?”

    “I like the thickening plot; when’s the next installment? Don’t keep us waiting too long. CONGRATS!”

    “Wondered what was coming! Wonderful ending. Very evocative and the imagery was vivid.”

     

     

     

     

     


  • Author Interview with D.A. Roberts – Missouri Zombies Take the City

    This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

    Think on THAT a while…

     

    Welcome, DA Roberts! You’ve just released Ragnarok Rising: The Crossing.  Tell us a little bit about your story. 

    ragnarok rising

    Well, that might take a bit of set-up. Ragnarok Rising: The Crossing is actually the third book of my Ragnarok Rising Saga. My series is a Zombie Apocalypse tale, set in the Mid-west city of Springfield, Mo. Although the farther along you get in the series, the farther they branch out of the area. The saga really focuses on a core group of people who are doing their best not only to survive the apocalypse, but trying to save as many people as they can along the way. It shows the best and worst in us all against the backdrop of the living dead. A reviewer on Amazon once called it a Roller Coaster ride through the Zombie Apocalypse. I think that’s a great way to sum it up. Fast paced and dangerous, you get to follow these men and women through hell and beyond. The concept of Ragnarok is from Viking times. Ragnarok is literally the end of the world. A Viking Armageddon, if you will. With a Norse twist on the genre, the Ragnarok Rising Saga is unique in that it approaches the Zombie Apocalypse in a different way. Grab your ticket and get on the roller coaster, and then buckle up. I think you will enjoy the ride.

    Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

    I consider my series to be Paranormal / Apocalyptic fiction. Although it is a zombie story, there’s more going on there than you normally see in the zombie genre. As the series progresses, you will find more twists to the genre. I like to think of my books as being horror, but they may be something more…or at least different…by the end.

    Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels? If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

    Well…there are zombies. I mean a lot of zombies. Initially in book one, I broke them down into five basic categories but as the series progressed there were more. Book three introduced a new type of zombie that I am particularly fond of. I call them Stalkers. Without spoiling too much, they are something new. Not only have the characters never encountered anything like it, but I think the readers will see something new here too. As one of my Beta Readers put it when she called me in the middle of the night, “I loved your first two books, but book three is going to give me nightmares.” I really knew I was onto something when she told me that. I hope you all feel the same way.

    Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

    The Ragnarok Rising Saga is definitely a series. The Crossing is book three and I plan to have book four finished and released by end of summer. If everything goes as planned, that is. I plan to do six books in the series before I move on to my next project.

    What else are you working on?

    I have several projects in the works. I’m not sure where to start. I have a Werewolf series in the works as well as a fantasy novel that could become a series of it’s own.  I have other projects that I’m not quite ready to announce. Needless to say, I have a full plate at the moment.

    Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

    I think I would like to spend some time with the two main characters, Wylie Grant and Cassie “Spec-4” Wilder. I’d like to have a few drinks and talk about where they feel the story has taken them. I’d also like to see if they are upset with some of the things I’ve put them through. Wylie, in particular, might want to have a few words about just that. I’ve put them through the ringer, more than once. If they were to make a movie out of my series, I think I’d like to see Karl Urban play Wylie. I love Urban. I think he’d bring so much depth to Wylie. As for Spec-4, I think I’d like to see someone like Scarlett Johansson take that role. She has a wonderful depth as an actress and can really be convincing on the action sequences. I’d love to see the ideas my readers have, as well. Heck, come on over to my facebook page or website and tell me your fantasy casting choices. I’d love to hear it.

    Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

    I’m a plotter, definitely. I plan out the direction of the story, but I leave enough room that things can change as I write it. Sometimes even I’m surprised how far things have changed from my original plan. I know well in advance where I want the story to go, but sometimes the characters have other plans. Sometimes they write the story and I’m just recording it all in print. To me, that’s half the fun. I have always loved writing and I dreamed of one day being an author. It’s such an amazing feeling to see that dream come true. The first things I usually do is research the elements I need for the story, then I bring up as much information as I can to keep it in tabs to fall back on as I write. I even like to us Google Maps as I write to keep me focused on the actual locations that I am describing. That will work for my horror stories, but I’ll have to take a different approach for my fantasy writing. I’ll have to play that by ear, I suppose.

    How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

    I don’t write short books. I average about 500 pages, when it seems the average download on the market is only 200 or less. I think that the story is just getting started at 200 pages. Still, I can do the 500 pages in about six months, if everything goes well. Sometimes less, if the muse really flows. Editing can take anywhere from one to two months, depending on re-writes and fixes. That’s almost daily work on the editing. I like to work directly with my editors, as much as possible, so all the changes, fixes and edits can be done quickly. So, start to finish, I think I can do two books a year. If my writing ever takes me to a place where I no longer need my “day job”, then who knows. If I could be a full-time writer, the sky might be the limit.

    Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

    Absolutely. I love to help other writers, any way I can. I’ve never felt that writing was a competition. There’s room on our bookshelves for multiple authors and books. I don’t know anyone who only owns books by one author. I’m more than happy to encourage and help writers become authors. It’s only good for us all to encourage more stories to be told and people to read them.

    I think that the best advice I can give an aspiring author is to do your research. Getting the details wrong can kill your story. Know your facts and it will show through in your work. Readers will tear you to pieces if you get it wrong. Do your research, no matter what the topic. The more you know, the more depth you can bring to the story.

    I’m always happy to exchange ideas and advice with other writers. Check out my blog. I have posts that deal specifically with author tips. Send me an e-mail or a message on facebook, too. I’ll be more than happy to give you any help that I can. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we help not only the aspiring authors…we help ourselves too. I’ve learned new things simply by researching an answer to a question from another writer.

    Can you give us a taste of what to expect?

    Excerpt from book three of the series, Ragnarok Rising: The Crossing

    Slipping into gear, I started slowly towards the edge of the water. Just as I reached it, I stopped completely. I thought I had seen movement out of the corner of my eye.

    “Wilder,” I said, “hand me the binoculars.”

    “What did you see?” she asked, handing them over.

    “I’m not sure,” I replied. “I just caught a glimpse of something moving.”

    I took the binoculars and started sweeping the area where I had seen it. It was right near the restrooms, so I focused in and swept slowly from left to right and then back again. I still didn’t see anything, but the knot in my stomach had doubled in size. It was still and quiet, with no sign of movement whatsoever. Not even so much as a squirrel.

    Handing the binoculars back to Spec-4, I turned back to the water ahead of me. It looked no more inviting than it had before, but now I was looking for anything at all that might be out of place. Nothing seemed wrong and nothing was moving. With a heavy sigh, I took my foot off the brake and started into the water.

    I felt my way in, slowly. Water was coming steadily up the sides of the Humvee and starting to splash up onto the hood. I knew we would be fine so long as I didn’t let off of the gas. The raised air intake on the Humvee would keep us running as long as I didn’t let the engine flood out.

    We made it across without incident, and I was glad to see that I had been high on my estimate of the depth. Although we were in over the wheels, it never made it over the doors. It was less than three feet deep across the concrete bridge. As we safely pulled out of the other side, I reached for the radio mic.

    “All clear, Chuck,” I said, keying up. “Take it slow and steady. Stick to the right.”

    “Copy that,” he said, and began his run.

    Less than two minutes later, we parked side by side in the parking area next to the bathrooms. I decided that I wanted a closer look at the bullet holes along the walls, just to see for myself. When I climbed out of my Humvee, Spec-4 followed me and readied her weapon. Becca stayed inside the vehicle, but watched us intently. Southard and Elliott climbed out of their vehicle, weapons in hand.

    “What’s next, dad?” asked Elliott.

    “I want to take a closer look at the bullet holes on the wall,” I said, pointing. “Something about it just doesn’t seem right.”

    The four of us headed around to the side of the building, away from the entrances to the bathrooms. Behind us, I heard the door of a Humvee open and close. I turned around to see Jensen standing beside the vehicles, adjusting his weapon.

    “Don’t wander off,” I said.

    “I won’t,” he replied. “I just wanted to stretch my legs.”

    We headed around the corner and I could see the numerous bullet holes that pockmarked the wall. There was also quite a bit of blood on the wall and the ground beneath it. In the grass, I could see expended brass. Kneeling down, I picked up a piece and examined it. It was 5.56mm NATO. That meant it came from either an AR style weapon or the military. I selected a number of other rounds to check, just to be certain.

    “Multiple shooters,” I said, looking at Southard. “Firing squad deployment. Military, I think.”

    I was about to say more when I heard the scream. It came from around the corner in front of the buildings. We all spun and sprinted around the corner. Jensen was on the ground right in front of the men’s room entrance, his legs still inside the door. He was lying on his stomach, clawing at the ground trying to drag himself out of the bathroom. Before we could reach him, something dragged him back inside and the screaming began, again.

    Read more in the Ragnarok Rising Saga!

    Where can we find you and your books online? 

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    da roberts bio pic

    Author’s Bio:  D.A. Roberts

    D.A. Roberts was born in the small town of Lebanon, Missouri. Growing up on the farm gave him plenty of opportunities to cultivate a fertile imagination. Encouraged by his mother, he dreamed of one day becoming a famous writer. An avid reader, D.A. enjoys reading more than watching television.

    A diverse career path has given him a unique view of the world. From soldier to factory worker, from bouncer to lab technician, and from Security Officer to Corrections Officer.  Having worn many different hats evolves a very different perspective. He draws on all of these experiences to bring his writing to life on a very human level.

    He married Annette in the summer of 1993 and has been happily married, ever since. Three teenage sons keep them both busy. Nathan, Nic and Noah are his pride and joy. They have an English Mastiff named Xander, who is a big part of their lives.

    D.A. loves to camp, hunt, fish, hike and Geocache. He also enjoys old-school pen and paper role-playing games. When not writing or on duty as a Corrections Officer, he enjoys spending time with his family. A good cup of coffee, a warm fire and a good book are his guilty pleasures.