J.D. Evergreen has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Hello I’m J.D. Evergreen and you can find me on my website https://jd-evergreen.com or my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/J.D.Evergreen.Author/

Feel free to visit me, I always welcome new readers.

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

In addition to writing I am a causal teacher, who lives in a semi-rural town in Victoria, Australia. I live with my partner and our two cats. In my spare time, I like to be out in the garden working in the vegie patch attempting to keep the birds away from the blueberries. When I am not writing or gardening, you can find me studying as I love learning new thing. So far, I have earned a Bachelor of Primary School Teaching, Diploma of Tertiary Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Ancient History.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I have been writing all my life but for the last five years I have decided to take it more seriously and turned writing into my career. I have dabbled in a few short stories one is a comical sci-fi tale about two siblings that travel through time, I have also created a children’s picture book called Martha the magpie about a spunky young magpie with a love for things that sparkle. My first novel was Shadowsoul which is a fantasy fiction novel about a young woman who escapes slavery and discovers she has magical powers which is a prequel to my latest novel ‘Celestia’ which is due to be released on Amazon as of the 1st of February 2018.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

I’ve always loved to read and at times it has been my only my escape from the real world and writing has been a great sense of freedom for me. I have always made up stories to escape the reality of the world we live in, now I am also writing for others to read and to leave my mark on the world.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

Currently, I am working on publishing the book ‘Celestia’ which you can find on Amazon through this link.

Celestia is a fantasy novel that takes place on the world Katera, in this story:

Celestia has just lost its king to a suspicious illness. The king’s death has thrown the realm into chaos and a dark mage uses their power to influence the citizens, brainwashing them to do his bidding. A war is started, and it is left to Taliah and her friends to restore the rightful heir to the throne and stop the dark powers that fight against them.

But to win Taliah will have to risk everything…

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

When I start writing, usually I have a vague idea of where the story is going and jump in head first and just roll with it. The story comes to me in waves and as it goes on, often I’m as surprised as the reader.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

My greatest strength in writing is definitely my imagination, at times it just runs free. I often find I’m day dreaming about other worlds and heroes fighting monsters when I’m supposed to be doing other things like studying for an exam or writing an assignment. My weakness would definitely be spelling, I am a shocking speller and that makes the task of editing so much harder, but in the end its all worth it.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

This is my first time marketing a novel, but the steps I took were to create a website with WordPress and buy a domain name. I have also spent countless hours building an author platform on Facebook, which is not as easy as I first anticipated. Then I began the process of seeking reviewers, which I found to be an extremely daunting task, asking people I had never met before to read through my work and leave a comment was one of the most daunting experiences of my life, but it was worth it, every step of the way.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

If writing is what you love then do it, ignore the people who tell you to get a ‘real job’, because to someone who loves writing it is a job regardless of the pay.

 

Advertisements

My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2017

Long ago in 2017 I surpassed my Goodreads reading challenge of 60 books, and made it all the way to 63. I know, I’m amazing. However, I wanted to look back and list the top 5 books that I read last year. Now I am skipping over books I’ve read before, and only listing those that I read for the first time in 2017.

  1. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

This book is as sweet as it sounds. I’ve come to love several of Allen’s books, and I actually read 2 other of her books this past year. This I think was my favorite of hers simply because I can relate to the sugary sweet cravings that Josey is subject too. But like most of her books, there’s this hint of magic in the air, where even in a world that’s created to be as realistic and relatable as our own, there’s still that chance that anything is possible.

  1. An American Werewolf in Hoboken by Dakota Cassidy

If you ever read a book by Cassidy you know how much good humor there is in them. This one by far is the most hilarious. I practically had to smother myself to keep from laughing out loud at work. It was so much fun to read, and an interesting set of issues for werewolves to have to deal with that I’ve never once seen brought up in other books. Which in a way made it more realistic, and of course more interesting.

  1. A Girl in Black and White by Danielle Lori

This is actually the 2nd book in the Alyria series. While the first was rather good, this took Calamity to a whole new level. It’s always nice to read a series that gets better with each book, and this one was a fascinating story to begin with. Definitely one that keeps you wanting more.

  1. The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz

I love fairy tale retellings, and I love the old detective stories of a world weary gumshoe just trying to do the right thing. In this I got both. It’s funny and exciting, and it’s another series that each book takes you on a new twisty turn of old tales.

  1. T&A: Revelations of a Romance Novel Heroine by Jill Monroe

If you love romance novels, but are also the sort to wonder why the heroine always makes such silly mistakes, or does crazy things, then this is definitely a book you should pick up. After all Annalise actually knows she’s in a romance novel and is just trying to figure out exactly where the script is taking her.

There were plenty of other good books I read, some within the series of the ones I listed, and some that I chose to read over and over again. But when scrolling through my list these were the main ones that jumped out for me, and I definitely won’t be forgetting them any time soon.

Steven Drake has been INTERVIEWED!!!

  1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook? 

My name is Steven Drake. I have a free blog, aspiesteve.wordpress.com where I post short articles on whatever catches my interest. I don’t post as much as I used to since I spend most of my time on my book series, but I enjoy a change of pace now and then. I do not have a Facebook Page but my book series has one. It’s not very popular yet, but I hope that changes eventually. www.facebook.com/TheDemonsBlade. No twitter. With my writing style, there’s not much worthwhile I can say in fewer than 140 characters.

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing. 

I work for a small business that sells remanufactured printer cartridges, essential oils, microroast coffee, and a few other wildly unrelated things. My employers have several business ventures and I run their computers, help with spreadsheets, make deliveries, basically whatever needs doing. They tolerate my eccentric nature and have inspired me with their entrepreneurial spirit.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published. 

I actually started with my blog, which started as mostly something for my friends and family to read. I wrote a couple of short stories which I got a lot of positive feedback on and decided to try writing a fantasy novel. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I’ve now written the first four installments, so I’m still early in my writing career. I’m always eager for any feedback that will help me improve as a writer.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc. 

J.R.R. Tolkien is easily the single greatest influence on my writing. That’s a pretty standard answer among fantasy authors I imagine. I must have read those a half dozen times as a teen.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I’m working on Book 5 of the Demon’s Blade saga. Hope to release that sometime in 2018. I’ve always got a couple possible blog entries bouncing around in my head. When those will ripen, I couldn’t say. Beyond the Demon’s Blade saga, I have the concept idea for a YA series, but that one will be a while away.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I do some outlining, but it’s all in my head. I don’t write it down or anything. I know more or less how I want the story to go

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I think the strongest aspect of my writing is my characters. I really take a lot of care as I write to put myself in the mind of each character. When I’m going through doing revisions, I’m constantly asking myself whether the characters thoughts, words, and actions are the best reflection of the person I consider them to be. In my mind, they’re all real people, and I care about them. I also have watched a lot of movies, television, video games, and anime that are centered on combat, whether it’s in space with lasers and giant mechs or in some medieval fantasy setting with demons, monsters, swords, and magic. I’ve seen so many different kinds of fights between characters with so many different abilities, I’m usually able to make my battles and action scenes more interesting than clanging swords and throwing fireballs.

My greatest weakness is probably my inexperience and lack of formal education in the arts. I’m sure anyone who’s an experienced professional writer could point out some amateurish mistakes I’m making. I hope eventually some of them will leave reviews or contact me so I can improve my style. I’m sure my grammar isn’t always perfect and my sentence structure could improve a lot. Hopefully that will come with time and practice.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share? 

I’m woefully awful at marketing. I suffer from a few disorders, most notably Asperger’s, that make socialization tiring and difficult. I don’t do it very much or very well. I’m terrible at any form of social networking and largely clueless when it comes to forming relationships with actual flesh and blood human beings. So marketing is a challenge, and usually comes down to budget. There’s very little I’m comfortable or skilled enough to do on my own, so I pay for advertising when I can. I hired a publicity firm for the release of Fallen Star, and it’s produced some good marketing opportunities. If I can afford it in the future, I’ll do more.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Ha, I feel like I should be the one asking. Really, I don’t have enough experience myself to give any advice. I’ve still got a long way to go.

 

Lily Luchesi has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Hi, I’m Lily Luchesi, and I’m the bestselling and award winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series and other stories. You can find me via the following:
http://lilyluchesibooks.wix.com/lilyluchesi

http://amazon.com/author/lilyluchesi

http://facebook.com/lilyluchesi

http://twitter.com/LilyLuchesi

http://instagram.com/lilyluchesi

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7369101.Lily_Luchesi

 

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

When I’m not writing, I’m mostly a homebody. I love to cook, read, watch TV, and listen to music. I’m also an avid fandom merch collector, especially Funko Pop dolls.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I’ve been writing professionally for two and a half years, and just released my eighth solo book, Never Again, which is a supernatural war thriller set between Israel in the 1500s and modern day, starring an immortal male siren as he fights against the demons the Nazis set upon the Jews.
I have written horror (paranormal and erotica). I love monsters, the creepier the better. But I make sure all my stories have a silver lining, usually a romantic subplot to give the reader hope amidst a lot of bloodshed. My Paranormal Detectives Series could also be considered a mystery series, as it follows a mortal detective and a vampire special agent as they search for various paranormal criminals.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

A prolonged exposure to the unnatural as a child. Growing up Catholic, I was immersed in spirituality from a young age. I was also exposed to ghosts and vampires and such as a toddler, and thanks to my mom leaving those old cartoons and black and white shows on, I found my love of the macabre and honed that in my writing.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I just finished and published Never Again, as I previously mentioned. I am now in the editing stages of my March 7th release, The Coven Princess. It’s my first dive into YA, but it’s still paranormal/horror, featuring a young witch who was born with mixed Dark and Light blood, entering adulthood while a Dark magic war is brewing. It’s my longest book yet at 100k words, and I am so excited!

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I just get ideas and jump right in. I find plotting ruins my creativity. I will work on two to three projects at a time, but mostly focus on one at a time so I can complete them sooner.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

Good question. I think my strength is building realistic characters. All my women are independent, tough, intelligent in their own way. My men sometimes suffer from stubbornness, but they don’t succumb to toxic masculinity. That’s a big deal for me.
My weakness…I think too fast for my fingers to write or type. I often have to go back in the second draft and add detail.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

Every author has something different that works. I am lucky to have a great publisher behind me (Vamptasy/CHBB Publishing) and they help me immensely. Having a core street team with ARC readers is a big help, too.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Don’t get discouraged. There will always be rejections, bad reviews, authors who are more successful. Be your best, write the books you want to read, and your career will build itself.

 

Elizabeth Corrigan has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.      What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

I’m Elizabeth Corrigan! The best place to find me is on Facebook.

Twitter: @ERCorrigan

Website: www.elizabethrcorrigan.com

2.      Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

Well, I’m just coming out of NaNoWriMo, so I’m a little like, “What is life outside of writing?” 😉

By day I am an Army contractor. I’m a QA data analyst for a part of the Army that works on monitoring and preventing suicides and other behavioral health issues. By night, when I’m not writing, I’m usually playing games. I’m a huge fan of cooperative board games and tabletop role-playing games.

3.       How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I wrote my first novel in high school. My friends all liked it, but in actuality, it was terrible. It was an over-dramatic contemporary young adult novel. My published novels are all fantasy novels—the first three books in the Earthbound Angels series and my mystery/fantasy Catching a Man. Last week I finished the first draft of my first science fiction novel, which I hope to publish next fall.

4.      What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

My writing has so many influences, it’s hard to pick any as the “greatest.” Probably the thing that has sparked the most plots for me is my dreams. I can’t count how many times I’ve woken up from a vivid dream and thought, “That would be a great novel!” Sometimes it pans out and sometimes it does not.

My Earthbound Angels series is most influenced by the television show Supernatural and the Nightside books by Simon R. Green. Probably the biggest fiction influence on Catching a Man was the novel Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. She wrote about a military dictatorship who were the good guys, and I wanted to do something just as different.

As for my writing structure, that has been influenced a lot by Red Adept Publishing/Editing. They’ve really helped me clean up my style.

5.      Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I just finished the first draft of a science fiction novel called Arachne’s Web. It’s a space opera about a group of characters who are suddenly having memories of past lives. One of its working titles is “Space Trains” because the primary method of traveling between moons is trains in space. And yes, one of the first scenes features two of the characters robbing the train.

Up next after that is the sequel to Catching a Man, because I’ve been putting that off for way too long.

6.      How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I spent a lot of time planning books in my head before I write anything down. It’s something for my mind to do when I’m bored on a long car drive or I’m trying to fall asleep. At this point in time, I’m on-and-off working on about 6 series in my head. I generally do a brief outline, just a one-liner of what’s going to be in each chapter, before I start writing, and I find that my outlines change a lot as I write the novel.

7.      What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I always say my strength is punchy dialogue. I like writing conversations between characters. People also tell me I’m good at having distinct voices for my characters. My weakness is descriptions. I don’t pay attention to them when I read, so I don’t bother putting them in my first drafts. I have whole scenes that have no real setting. So when I edit, I need to pay extra close attention to putting in that kind of detail.

8.      After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

Can I go back and make marketing my weakness on the above question? I’m definitely not great at it. I’m trying out some new things, though, that will hopefully work out. BookRazor is a great service that will help you find reviewers.

9.      What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

If someone asks you to pay for their publishing service, they are not a real publisher! Read the Query Shark archives to learn how to query (and write book descriptions). Don’t believe people when they say you have to write for you—you can write for any reason you want. But you’ll probably be happiest if you’re writing for yourself.

Jon Lee Grafton has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
Jon Lee Grafton, you can find me at
 www.twitter.com/jonleegrafton.  

2. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
I dwell in Kansas City on the Kansas side, two blocks from the Missouri line at the moment.  As a human who prefers to smoke his cocktails instead of drinking them, my life outside of writing involves living with a constant, subtle paranoia that I’m doing something wrong.  Accordingly, I spend a lot of time thinking about equality and civil rights as they apply to American citizens who make alternative, health-conscious, recreational drug choices.  I’m also a fine art & architectural photographer, which is my “day job.”  I drink copious amounts of green tea, smoke hand-rolled American Spirit cigarettes, wear sunglasses too much and read as much indie science fiction as I possibly can on my phone.  I also spend time with my elderly mother helping her remember the joy of yesterday, and in the evenings hang out with my girlfriend, Tiana and our cat, Lebowski, “the dude.”  Tiana’s making me watch The Office on Netflix right now, nope had never seen it until 2 months ago – and that show makes me cry laughing.       

3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I started writing poetry and nonfiction short stories in college, that was circa 1993 – 1998.  I published a few poems and stories back in the 90’s with literary magazines… but I stopped around 1999 and became seduced by the evils of photography for about 12 years.  I didn’t write anything new until I began working on The 18th Shadow, my current sci-fi series, in 2013.  

4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
#1, the epiphanies and understandings made possible by psychedelic drug use throughout my life.  On a less existential plane; I found my father dead in bed from a drug overdose when I was 16 years old.  I am now 45.  But I realize that moment, for me, was and always will be the moment.  It’s when my life changed in indescribably profound ways – and it was the tragedy, balance and understanding of this experience that pushed me to spend my life being an artist instead of a stock broker.  A stock broker can mingle with the wealthy and is loved by their clients.  An artist can mingle with anyone and is loved by everyone, thus in truly vain human fashion, I spend my days pursuing love, freedom and attention in all forms.  I ain’t gonna lie.  Other authors…?  Nonfiction; Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver will always be my greatest inspirations.  As for fiction, I’m a certified geek, so I always read sci-fi these days – and those authors who have inspired me range from Hugh Howey to George RR Martin to Allen Steele, Dan Simmons, Phillip K Dick and Neal Stephenson.  I recently read a great trilogy called The Breakers Series by an author I hadn’t heard of before named Edward R Robertson.  

5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
Asking me to make something up is dangerous.  Truth be told, being as predictable as possible, I am currently writing Escape from Hypatia 5, the fourth installment of The 18th Shadow Series.  There will be 6 books in all and this will be my primary project for the foreseeable.

6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
I story board on Post-It notes that adorn the sides of my computer monitor and a framed black and white poster of Clint Eastwood as The Outlaw Josey Wales that hangs on the wall beside my desk.  I rarely actually look at the Post-It’s once they’re up, but having them there for the current project somehow helps push the ideas into my brain via osmosis or magic or daydream implantation.  From there, I just dive in and start writing for the first 4-5 hours of the day.  And I definitely just work on a single project at a time.  

7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
My strength as a writer is my ability to create vivid visual descriptions of scenes, settings, landscapes and the characters who occupy them.  Almost every person who reads my novels has told me they feel like they’re reading a movie.  I like my writing to move fast, to match today’s contemporary media attention span, so this is a blessing.  My greatest weakness as a writer is my OCD desire to read and edit every single new sentence I compose to immediately make sure it’s perfect.  This is inefficient, and impedes my productivity, and is my greatest personal challenge – just getting the story down first, and worrying about the text being “perfect” in post-edits.  I truly struggle with this.  

8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
I spent a lot of time on Facebook, and most recently Twitter.  I follow other successful authors in my genre, see what they’re doing and saying, take the ideas I like and apply them to my own brand.  And I do look at my series as a brand, a product, that has its own unique interpretations of pop culture – which is these days it seems – all culture.

9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Get off your phone, get off social media, put the cat in the other room and get to work.  Also, if it’s your first book, don’t spend a lot of time telling your friends and family, “Hey, I’m writing a book and here’s what it’s about… what do you think?”  This, like aimless interaction with Facebook or Instagram, will only serve to distract you from the good ideas already in your head.  It will also consume the time you should be spending doing one thing – writing.  If you believe in yourself and your vision 110%, then translate that belief to your project and complete it down to the final period.  Then edit it.  Then start talking about it.  And only then.

Gar LaSalle has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.    What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Gar LaSalle, you can connect with me on FacebookTwitteror GarLaSalle.com.

2.      Other than writing, what is your favorite hobby or thing you enjoy for fun?

I have many interests that I enjoy.  I teach the business of medicine at Cornell, Columbia and the University of Washington to Emergency Medicine Residents and faculty.  In my spare time, I am a sculptor (bronze, wood, stone).  I also enjoy long distance target shooting and bow and rifle hunting.

3.       How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

During my career as a physician, I have written many non-fiction articles about leadership, disaster management, clinical Emergency Medicine patient safety, “bedside manner” and clinical risk prevention.  In fiction writing, I authored several screenplays over several years.  I structured Widow Walk, the first book in the saga, as a treatment for yet another screenplay.  However, a producer friend, Nick Kazan, liked the story and suggested I turn it into a novel instead.

4.      What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

Influences — well, during my post-grad M.F.A. studies at CalArts, I also moonlighted as an Emergency Physician in Los Angeles.  I recorded stories from the E.R..  The tragic-comedic drama of that setting, the pathos and pathology was always moving and helped me lend realism and plausibility to the fiction writing as I learned my craft.
I love the work of Larry McMurtry, Tom Clancy, Stephen Ambrose, Cormac McCarthy, Saki (H.H. Munro), Richard Selzer M.D., Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Hemmingway and Stegner.  I am also influenced by great filmmakers like Scorsese, Fellini, De Sica, Ozu, Ridley Scott, Wadja, Attenborough and Spielburg.

5.      Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it?

The Fairness of Beasts,  book III in the Widow Walk Saga, is scheduled for publication along with new editions of Widow Walk and Isthmus, in October.  I have structured book IV of the series (working title: A Little Gang of Five) and am researching the background for it in the Kansas City Museum of Orphan Trains, the haunted fields of Gettysburg, and the bypassed small towns of the Mid West.  Book V (no working title yet) will entail the epic events of the latter half of the nineteenth century Pacific Northwest, including the impact of the Chinese Exclusion (Expulsion) Act and Women’s Suffrage.  Am also working as an exec producer for a documentary about the challenge of palliative care in a film, Never Say Die – Dying in America, being shot in Detroit.

6.      How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I “postcard” my writing on a large white board in my office, starting with two scenes: “Fade In” and “Fade Out” then I work from both ends to the middle “obligatory scenes.”  The white board has sections for plot lines, conflicts, character “arcs” and themes.  I find that characters get invented along the way because they act as foils for the main protagonists and antagonists.  What is really fun for me is creating the backstories for those characters, because they allow me to expand the breadth of the world in which my main characters live.  The book and on-line research I do is to find facts that corroborate the historical context of the plot, little known facts about well known historical events.  I also always try to visit the places in which I place my characters — to get a sense of the feel of the terrain and the weather, humidity and general atmosphere of the air above it all.  It was very important for me to traipse the Dariéne Jungle on what remains of the Camino Real, go by bungo boat on the Chagres River, walk the cemetery and home site on Whidbey, stand on the parapet where Pickett stood down the Brits on San Juan during the “Pig War”, and walk the streets to Richmond to find Chimburazo Hospital stood and know where the old whore houses were in during the Civil War.

7.      What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

My historical situations are historically plausible and accurate. Readers describe my work as intelligent,  “compelling” driven and visually evocative.  Different readers have called the work “Dickensonian.” Some have compared the labyrinthine twists in the books to Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”   To drive plot and move the story along in an engaging manner, I try keep my style “lean.”   But I am fascinated by the panoply of characters I get to introduce in the story and I sometimes absolutely must exlpore.  The diversions I take, in exploring some character’s backstories, does risk diverting the plot-driven reader from the main tension lines of the story.

Although I love poetry and know I can write lyrical work, the leanness of my narratives do not allow me to dally much on poetic metaphors.  I have gifted colleagues who write lyrical work, which many people love, but the stories seem thin to me so I don’t do that.  I try to put lyricism in my prologues and epilogues so there is at least a bit more music in the work.

8.      After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

I work with a great team.  Scott James and Archana Murthy are wonderful for the design of the “platform” and attention to the manyt details of the publishing process.  Randy Mott (MottGraphics.com) and Neil Gonzalez (Greenleaf Book Group) are extremely talented cover and interior artists.  Alex Head (theDraftLab.com) does precise work with the interior design.  And Andrea Thatcher and others on Sandy Smith’s team at SmithPR are terrific for the outreach process.  To the would-be-writer or those colleagues who have ventured into it already, be aware that the marketing is more than half of the effort.  Considering how long it takes to research and write in the first place, that is potentially daunting.  My advice is that in the marketing effort, one must not expect to receive the immediate gratification found in putting pen to paper, or reading one’s work aloud to oneself or to others.  Be aware that even if you have the luck to get a “big” publisher to carry your work, the time/effort and expense given by the publisher is discouragingly brief and meager.  If there is no return on investment, there will be no further investment.

9.      What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

I always tell myself the same things: Have Passion, Patience, Practice, Persistence — and forget “Perfection.”  If any of those four first things are missing, you cannot succeed.

Ksenia Anske has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Ksenia Anske. I live in my writing cave and hardly ever climb out.

But I do blog right here: https://www.kseniaanske.com/blog/,

and I do terrify writers into writing and readers int reading on Twitter https://twitter.com/kseniaanske

and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ksenia.anske daily.

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

There is life outside of writing? KIDDING. Writing is my life. And reading. And, of course, chasing my readers with a chainsaw to convince them (gently) to buy and read and review my books. It actually keeps me in great shape. Or coffee. Coffee is my life as well. Practically 18 hours out of my day I divide into 2 parts: first half of the day goes to my art (writing), second half of the day goes to my business (selling what I wrote).

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

It’s been 5 years already. Wow, yes. 5 years. Seems a long time, but often it feels like I’m only starting. I’ve written fantasy, dark fantasy, YA, and am going to be writing my first thriller and romance next. Though my readers tell me my books touch on magical realism and horror, and they know better.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

Oh, Russian fairy tales, mostly. I grew up on dark stories, and I write dark stories. Of course, the big names like Chekhov and Kharms and Akhmatova and Nabokov. Most recently Tolstaya and Petrushevskaya. And in my 20s I’ve discovered Stephen King and decided I wanted to try writing scary stories too. Little did I know I’d really be doing it, and in English to boot—not my first language (I’m from Moscow, Russia).

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I’m revising the final draft of TUBE, a dark fantasy novel about a woman who goes back into her violent past to win over her abuser by visiting compartments on the train (creepy, cold, and drafty). I started it as part of my 2015 Amtrak Residency Program, and 3 years later the book is almost done. It’s launching on March 17th, 2018. Be scared.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I used to just sit down and write. Not anymore. Now I don’t write down a single word until I plot my novel to death. Have gone into too many dead ends with TUBE, so learned my lesson. Plus, I love plotting. I get such a thrill. It’s like solving a puzzle and then sprinkling in clues for the reader to discover. Nothing could be more exciting.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

Discipline is my strength. I won’t quit until I’m done, no matter what. And discipline is my weakness, as well. Sometimes I won’t be able to bend and adapt because I’m so dead-set on finishing a project. It’s a balance. My readers tell me they love my sentence rhythm and how I make them feel. I do hope my books give them delicious nightmares. That is certainly my goal.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

I jump on every rooftop and shout about my books until I lose my voice, then do crazy dances for my readers’ entertainment. Well, actually, I market my books from the very start, before I even start writing them, as soon as I have an idea. It’s the only way. I’d type up a whole essay here if I were to give advice. Email me with detailed questions. But here is one thing I’ll tell you: share your process. Share everything with your readers, and if you do that, you’ll also market your book, so by the time it’s done, your readers will want to buy it and read it if only to see the result of your very hard work.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Never quit—NEVER EVER QUIT NO MATTER WHAT—and write and read every day. If you do this, if you write for only 1 hour daily, by the end of the year you’ll have a book written. Build discipline, hole up and write. Don’t listen to anyone. It’s your art. You’re the only one who knows how to make it. I believe in you. You can do it. Get on it!

 

Danielle Lori has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

Danielle Lori.

Website: www.authordaniellelori.com

Twitter: @DanielleLori2

Facebook: @authordaniellelori

Instagram: @authordaniellelori

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

Aside from writing, I beta read and edit for other writers. My hobbies include reading, reading some more, and my dogs. I do Schutzhund training with my German Shepherd which lets me see the light of day since writing and editing keep me in the house most of the time.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I honestly only started writing a couple of years ago. I was the girl who wrote her English paper on the wall five minutes before class. I had no desire to write, but it always seemed to come easy to me. After reading for years, it became harder to find what I wanted to read. And so, I naturally thought, ‘Well, I’ll just write it then.’ And from there I went. A Girl Named Calamity was my first novel, and took me two weeks to write. I enjoy a lot of different genres as long as there is romance of some kind. But I write fantasy/romance and have a contemporary romance in the works.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

My biggest influence is reading. I never would have picked up a pen if I hadn’t loved reading so much that I wanted to recreate it. It’s my motivator, my inspiration, and my greatest teaching tool.

There are a few authors I love who have inspired my writing. Mostly old school romance authors such as Johanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught, and Lisa Kleypas.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

Yes, I’m working on my third book in the Alyria series, Calamity’s final story. I also have a contemporary romance in the works, but it’s in the roughest of stages.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I jump in head first. Because of this, I probably have a lot of pitfalls along the way, but a story comes best to me as I’m writing. I know very little when I begin; usually only the most basic idea of the characters and their dynamic. I don’t do basic rough drafts. I have a slight case of OCD, and so it’s hard for me to go on when the beginning is in a rough state. I do something I like to call layering, where I go back and develop the first chapters. Continue writing, and then go back and develop those. I’m only on my third novel, and I’m sure that I will learn a better procedure as I go on, but this is what I’ve learned works well for me.

I usually focus on one project at a time, but occasionally when I’m in a certain mood or if I feel like I have to get something down, I will move onto another one and then return shortly.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I think my strengths are probably descriptions and making it feel as if the reader’s submerged in the world I create. I also have a love for dialogue, and think I do well with making it witty and entertaining. Motivation would be my weakness. It’s hard for me to get the motivation to start a novel, but after I begin and finish the first 10k words, it’s usually smooth sailing.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

Ah, yikes. The dreaded marketing. I’m not a professional in this department, and am still learning quite a bit. But I’ve contacted bloggers and reviewers, sent out emails to Amazon reviewers with a free copy of my novel in exchange for a review. This works pretty well. If I would have known how difficult marketing was before I published, I would have started way beforehand.

Contact as many bloggers as you can who review in your genre. This is very time-consuming, but it’s a free way to market as a self-published writer.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

WRITE. It’s as simple as that. There are so many distractions, so many doubts, but you can never succeed if you don’t sit down and write. As for authors who are publishing for the first time, I offer the same advice. Don’t let criticism stop you from writing. People will always find something they don’t like, but you can only grow from it. Don’t give up if it’s truly your passion.

G.C. Julien has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

I like to go by my pen name—G.C. Julien. I had a blog, but if I gave you the link, you’d be disappointed because I don’t maintain it. I can be found on twitter (@gcjulien), or on facebook (www.facebook.com/gcjulien). The best place to find me, however, would be on my website (www.gcjulien.com).

  1. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

Well, I currently work for the federal government as a Senior Communications Advisor in the world of SAP.

When I’m not at work, and when I’m not in my home office writing, editing, or marketing (attempting to), I can usually be found at the gym, visiting family, watching Netflix, playing PS4 (with the new VR system, which is fantastic by the way), walking my dog, or doing groceries. I have a pretty quiet life at home with my wife and 8 pets; yes, 8. Let me explain before you think we’re nuts…

We have a dog and three cats. Recently, my wife rescued a little field mouse and after reading an article stating that releasing it would only lead to its death, she decided to keep it. As luck would have it, he got out of his little house that looks like an alien station. After living in our closet for a week, my wife became heartbroken as she missed her little mouse. So, we went to the pet store and came out with 3 rats.

Oh, and we caught the mouse a few days after that, so now we have four rodent pets.

  1. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I used to love writing in my essay book in elementary school (not sure if that counts). In high school, I would zone out in class and write scripts that I thought would make awesome video games.

Book-wise, however, I wrote my first book in the horror genre around the age of eighteen, or nineteen. It was a story about high school kids playing with the Ouija board, only to get find themselves surrounded by dark forces that refused to leave. It was a terrible book that was rejected time and time again by multiple literary agents, but after seeing a similar story be created into a film, I figured, hey, if they can make a movie about it, I can release a book about it. I haven’t yet announced it publicly, until now, but I’m revising my original book and releasing it end of 2017 / early 2018.

After that, I went on to write a young adult romance novel (Bow To me), and then its sequel (As I Fall), which touches more on domestic violence and substance abuse.

After that, I started The Feral Sentence, which is a young adult dystopian thriller, and I’m having a blast with that one.

I’m working on something else, too, but that’s a secret. Let’s just say it’s also dystopian.

  1. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

I think the greatest influence to my writings has been my personal life / experiences. I wasn’t much of a reader growing up, and I still have a hard time finishing books, so I can’t say that I have an author who’s inspired me overall, aside from J.K. Rowling, but that’s only because I loved Harry Potter.

Every book I’ve written, aside from Bow To Me, which was an impulsive decision I made after reading Lauren Weisberger’s Everyone Worth Knowing) has been inspired by a combination of conversations with friends and family, articles, or TV shows / movies.

My most recent work (the secret one), was actually brought to me by my wife. The story’s her idea entirely, and I’m working with her to bring it to life.

I’m working hard at reading as much as possible now that I have a kindle reader, because it does fuel inspiration and it does improve overall writing. Maybe in a few years, after reading many books, I’ll have a better answer to this question.

  1. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

I’m working on the new dystopian book I mentioned earlier while also working on the Feral Sentence series. To top it off, I’m also in the middle of revising my paranormal thriller about the spirit board.

  1. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I tend to jump right in and see where the story takes me. I used to focus on one book at a time, but I’m working on 3 projects simultaneously at the moment.

  1. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

I suppose my strength would be the weird / crazy ideas that pop into my head, because they can be used to create original works. My weakness would probably be that I tend to rush when I write. I like things to be fast-paced and full of action, rather than descriptive and slow. The goal is to find that perfect balance, because description is so important.

  1. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

I wouldn’t be the best person to talk to for tips on this one, because I’m still learning the whole marketing game. Mind you, if I had to give one piece of advice to anyone, including myself, it would be to keep researching marketing strategies. You can’t learn unless you research what works, and what doesn’t. I’ve tried and failed many times, but I’m going to keep trying different approaches until I get it right.

  1. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Be open minded and receptive of criticism, because you will receive it. I’ve received criticism for certain aspects of my work, and at first, it hurts. You put yourself out there, and you expect everyone to love your work as much as you do. The thing is, you can’t please everyone. There are books that I’ve tried reading and I couldn’t stand them, when other people rated them 5 stars. We’re all different, and we all prefer different styles.

So when someone criticizes your work, don’t be insulted. Be objective and determine how you can use their comments to improve your work. Then, do it.

My wife used to read my drafts and say, “There isn’t enough detail, I just can’t picture it.”

At first, I’d get upset and remind her of all the description I did put in.

After calming myself down, I started writing with more detail, and I came to realize that what I was writing before really wasn’t all that great.

Always aim to better yourself, not prove yourself.