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.

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Fire in His Embrace

BOOK 1: Fire in His Blood  by  Ruby Dixon

BOOK 2: Fire in His Kiss

Fire in His Embrace   description:

There’s only one way to tame a dragon.

Emma Arroyo knows this. She also knows that the big golden dragon captured by her brother’s biker gang is in trouble, and it’s all her fault. He followed her scent, and now his life is in danger.

She has to fix this, somehow. If she could talk to the dragon, they could form a plan to escape, both of them. But the dragon’s mind is wild and full of uncontrollable, killing rage. There’s no reasoning with him. There’s certainly no freeing him, not when he’s like this. But Emma can’t leave without him.

There’s only one way to solve this problem – a mating. When Emma approaches Zohr to claim him as hers, she realizes just what it means to be a dragon’s mate, and how much she’s in over her head…
And she learns how fiercely possessive a drakoni male can be.

BOOK 3: Fire in His Embrace  4 STARS

This overlaps with the last book, so we see more of how Emma ended up with that gang, and what all she was going through before and after Sasha was kidnapped. I think what I liked most about this story was that Zohr needed Emma’s help as much as she needed him. No getting kidnapped, and no helpless girl unsure what to do. Although, Claudia and Sasha weren’t exactly wussy, Emma just felt like she was a bit more gung-ho. She’s a real post-apocalyptic girl who’s prepared for everything, and fights back no matter what life throws her way. Through Zohr we do get more of an image and understanding of the world the dragons came from, and what sort of evil Azar is capable of. Because Azar is evil. Dixon definitely doesn’t pull any punches with this series, and I’m loving it. It has a great love story to it, but we also have this intense plot and villain to contend with that really keep you tearing through the book, and wanting the next one as quickly as possible. The only thing to complain about is that it really needed better editing. It had its share of typos, but also things like the mind-link conversations not being italicized when they should be to let you know they’re actually talking to each other. And it switching tenses at the wrong times. I know Dixon gets these books out quick, and I love not having to wait too long, but she might need to slow down and do a few more read throughs before publishing.

The Vrai Domicile

BOOK 1: The Sixth Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

The Vrai Domicile  description:

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre…
Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

BOOK 2: The Vrai Domicile  2 STARS

Honestly I think Ruggles should consider just writing erotica. She puts more effort into the love story and sex scenes than any other part of this story. The problem with that is that you’re left with this revolution you came here to read about that’s barely developed, and a “hero” that just comes across as an idiot. I understand wanting your characters to be human. Wanting them to make mistakes and not have all the answers. I don’t understand how Q doesn’t realize that B isn’t  talking master plans or shouting DOWN WITH THE DOMICILE with every breath because they’re in a place where they’re being watched and it’ll just get them killed. You know considering that’s why she’s going along with the Elder’s plan after witnessing them beat her grandmother. She has no clue, no plans, and apparently an inability to pick up on hints, but she’s supposed to be the savior. B could be the hero, but Q just makes me want to punch her in the face for being so dumb. And overall the plot was ludicrous.

The Sixth Domicile

The Sixth Domicile  by  Courtney Ruggles  description:

In a future ravaged by greed and war, The Domicile has emerged. A new civilization governed by clandestine Elders where citizens are united by white masks and uniform identities. To remove one’s mask, to go outside the Domicile, to show defiance, means being sent to the Meurtre, a horrifying death sentence.

Q437B doesn’t follow the rules. She craves sunlight, dares to love her childhood friend B116A, and–the most forbidden of all–has seen the true face of her beloved beneath his mask. But when Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform.

Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance. Rumblings of discontent stir as others begin to follow the path toward their freedom. The Revolution has begun, and Q is the spark that ignited the flames.

sixth-domicileBOOK 1: The Sixth Domicile   3 STARS

This book is like if Logan’s Run and the book The Cure by Sonia Levitin had a baby. It had a good pace and kept me reading, and I definitely can’t wait to see what happens next. I like how it wasn’t necessarily some planned execution that really starts the rumblings, but instead someone like Q just trying to stand up for what’s right, and recognizing they should be able to choose their love and not be stuck with an abusive husband, is what makes other people really take notice. I both liked and was frustrated by Q. I liked that she was all about sticking it to the man, and I even liked that sometimes she hated the fact that she couldn’t be like everyone else and just step in line, that she hated how she seemed to cause trouble not just for herself because she couldn’t be the good submissive wife in a patriarchal society. My frustration came when she couldn’t understand why others might do the same things she was in trying to keep her from getting hurt, and how she was so all over the place in being angry or in love when it came to B. I was also rather surprised by how erotic it got at times, books like this might have those moments but it’s more emotional description than very explicit action. Now, I’m no puritan but it was a bit unusual for this type of story, and for the revolutionist to be going out of their way to make sure that B and Q get their happy time seemed a bit implausible, when it might would’ve been better for them to make some actual sort of plans on how to bring down the Domicile. But mostly this book needed better editing. Ruggles often uses A instead of B or vice versa several times, which is important considering the naming system and determining if it’s a woman or man talking. Also it could be repetitive during certain actions, almost like she didn’t realize she already said they’d done that. It wasn’t horrible, but it could’ve easily been fixed with a bit more scrutiny. However, like I said, I’ll definitely check out the next book.

The Sauvage Domicile COVER REVEAL!!!

the-sauvage-domicile-ebook

The Sauvage Domicile  by  Courtney Ruggles

Coming December 7th, 2016

The Revolution just entered the wild.

Q’s escape from the Vrai Domicile was supposed to be the final spark to ignite the people. But that spark was doused by a sacrifice that threatens to destroy her.

Now Q must forge a new path. Led deep into the woods to find the elusive Transients, she must not only protect those who escaped the Sixth Domicile with her, but also align with Transients who have their own plans of warfare. And their war calls for more death and destruction than Q ever thought possible.

As Q unites both Transient and Domicilian, she quickly realizes that even in the wilderness, no one is free. They must take the fight back to the Domicile. But this war brings with it more secrets, heartbreaking betrayals, and even worse sacrifices, as Q fights to protect her people from Elders who always seem to be one step ahead.

The face of the Revolution has changed. Q has entered the sauvage – a place she isn’t sure she can survive.

Book 3 in the Readers’ Favorite Domicile Series by Courtney Ruggles.

Preorder on Amazon

The Vrai Domicile COVER REVEAL!!!

Vrai Domicile book 2 ebook

The Vrai Domicile  by  Courtney Ruggles

Coming August 24th, 2016

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre

Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

Book 2 in The Sixth Domicile Series by Courtney Ruggles!

Pre-order now!

 

The Vrai Domicile Teaser 1

L. J. Fleming has been INTERVIEWED!!!

LJFleming1.What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

L.J. Fleming
My blog: ljflemingdotcom.wordpress.com
Twitter @AuthorLJFleming
Facebook LJ Fleming

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

I love to create movie costume recreations. I’ve been obsessed with making them since I saw the prequels of Star Wars. Some of those costumes take hours and hours of work and I find figuring out how they were made to be very rewarding. It’s all about problem solving.

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

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager, many moons ago. I’ve written six novels and novellas and countless short stories.

4.What genres do you like writing the most? And why? Is this genre the same as the one you prefer to read?

I love to write romance and I also love to write young adult dystopian novels. I think that is where your mind can really create some great scenarios. I love to read anything, but have really been reading young adult novels for awhile now.

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

I am currently working on the third installment of The Seer Trilogy. It’s more about the second generation and we get to see what kind of person these two strong characters from the original books, raise and create together. I’m really excited to introduce everyone to their daughter Therrin in this final installment.

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?

When I begin, I get an idea and then I let it sit with me for several days and weeks. I know I’m on to something good when it’s the only thing I can think about, even though I have a full time job and three kids to keep me busy. I don’t outline. I’m not that good at outlining. I jump right in and start writing. I let these characters really speak to me and I get a good idea of where I’m going. I always know the end when I start writing and then I find my way there.

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

Naming places and characters has always been something I’ve really been good at doing. Other writer friends of mine often give me a call when they need a name. My weakness is really staying on task. I sometimes let my characters wander around and I have to be careful to keep them on track to where they are going. (Thank God for good editors.)

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?

Well this is the first time around I’m marketing, but you have to sell yourself. Writing is basically selling you as a brand. I find it can be difficult to be such a shameless promoter, but someone has to do it and why not you? I’ll let you know how that works out!

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

I would say sit down and write it. It doesn’t have to be great and it doesn’t have to be a shining jewel right at the beginning. Do the draft and get the idea down. If I didn’t write my first novel, I wouldn’t have the second and third to show for it and the experience of writing. You can’t be afraid to fail and you can’t be afraid to make the first draft.

The Cure… Different, Deviant, Dangerous…

The Cure  by  Sonia Levitin   description:

“You are a criminal, Gemm 16884–aggressive, hostile, nonconforming. We have noted tendencies toward diversity in your gait, in your dreams, and most especially in your repeated persistence in”–the Elder cleared his throat–“making music.”

Branded a deviant–and therefore a threat–to the utopian society of Conformity, Harmony, and Tranquility that exists in the year 2407, Gemm 16884 is given the choice between being recycled or undergoing a painful and mysterious cure. Gemm chooses the cure, and suddenly finds himself living the life of Johannes, a 16-year-old Jewish musician in starsbourg, Germany, in 1348, at the onset of the Black Death. As the pestilence spreads, the townspeople begin to accuse the Jews of causing the disease. Surrounded by hatred and horror, Johannes struggles to hold on to his family and faith as well as his belief in the basic goodness of human beings. But can he return to the future and become Gemm again after having known such emotions as pain. . .and love?

cureThe Cure  3 STARS

My problem with this book is that I was interested in the futuristic dystopian society, but not so much with the historical flashback. The story begins in the future and shows this world where everyone is supposed to be the same, and so they wear masks and are basically born with their mates already picked for them and raised together which is a little weird. But everyone does seem happy, unless you somehow deviate from their norm. There was so much put into that world it was a little upsetting to suddenly get thrown into the past right before the Black Death really starts to spread in Europe, and here it goes into a historical account of the persecution of the Jews. Gemm is seeing all of this through the eyes of a Jewish boy who is having to live this life, and after that you only get brief mentions of the future world from what the boy sees in his connection with Gemm in a sort of dream like fashion. While it was all told rather well and the story moves right along it just wasn’t what I was expecting and the differences in the plots and the settings just made it a very odd book. It wasn’t bad it just wasn’t something I felt real happy about when I finally finished.

Divergent Book vs Movie

divergent MI reviewed the book Divergent by Veronica Roth a while back and gave it 5 STARS… which always makes me worry about the movie… because the more I love the book the more they seem to screw it up on the big screen… but they did a wonderful job… they picked a great cast that brought the characters to life in a wonderful and startling ways… yes there are some things left out which is to be expected… but nothing you’d really miss… though it did minimize some of the cruelty that some of the Dauntless initiates displayed… you still knew who was all bad and it in no way altered the story or the impact of it… the only real deviation from the book was at the end in how some of the characters reacted but it was such a minute detail that it could easily be overlooked and honestly I found it a bit more appealing in how they showed it… but once again it wasn’t a big enough detail to really change the tale… Ultimately it’s probably one of the best movies based on a book that they’ve come out with in a while… at least that I’ve seen… I was pleasantly surprised and can’t wait to see how they do with the rest of the series…

Catching Fire Book vs. Movie

BOOK VS MOVIE 1: Hunger Games  by  Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire   description:

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

catchingBOOK 2: Catching Fire   3 STARS

This book isn’t bad but it doesn’t have the same vibe as the first book… the first book had you on the edge of your seat with the action and hoping they’d survive while this book is more about Katniss trying to come to terms with her life… wondering if she should be with Gale or Peeta… wondering if she should try and calm the districts as the Capitol wants or lead a revolution… and ultimately trying to figure out who she can trust… there’s still action and a lot to keep you wanting to know what happens next but it just never quite achieves that same intensity as the Hunger Games did..

The movie on the other hand did both better and worse at the same time… just like the first movie it was nice to see what was going on elsewhere… when in the book you only knew what Katniss knew… It was interesting that they gave Snow a granddaughter, because it didn’t help show his humanity or make him more relatable… it instead showed another angle of why he hated Katniss so much and how he was seeing her influence everywhere… my main problem with the movie was that some of the clues in the book that help make sense of the ending wasn’t there… things they may not have made sense until later but I still thought were rather important in explaining who her allies were and what not… I guess in many ways since the book wasn’t necessarily my favorite it’s no surprise this movie wasn’t either… but they still did a good job with it and I can’t wait to see the next one…