Michael B. Koep has been INTERVIEWED!!! on the Creation of the Newirth Mythology Trilogy

The Final Installment in The Newirth Trilogy is now out in The Shape of Rain.

Question: The fantasy genre is a crowded market, can you tell us what sets The Newirth Mythology apart?

Michael B. Koep: The Newirth Mythology invites the reader to accept the story as a reality. From the very start I wanted to play with the idea of myth and truth to see if I could figure out how the power of a story can change one’s nature, perception and behavior. Myth and fantastic stories have captivated, entertained and sculpted entire cultures throughout history—gods, heroes, wars, magic and the like— The Newirth Mythology contains elements of classic fantasy, but so, too, it is filled with a modern perspective—modern characters that must come to terms with the reality of myth in all of its manifestations. For me, I’ve not encountered a story like it before. 

Question: Which elements of the books are your favorite, and are they the same elements readers most connect with?

Koep: I love that the centerpiece to the entire story is a story itself. The words of a Poet that can alter existence—change history— a sought after book—a journal with a frightening supernatural element that characters are willing to risk their lives to obtain. Like a kind of Holy Grail, words are the quest and the curse. The settings align themselves within this theme as well. Battles are fought within medieval libraries—discussions of art and writing transpire over writing desks and ancient tomes—characters travel to the the exotic locations of myth: the Pyramids of Giza, the canals of Venice, the Aegean Sea. Lastly, the reader is invited to enter into the story and attempt to balance between what is real and what is fiction. The Newirth Mythology is a story about story.

Question: Was it important to you to have a compelling female character join Loche as a major protagonist, or did it just happen?

Koep: When I was on a national book tour in 2015 for Part Two, Leaves of Fire, I was scheduled to sign at bookstores during late afternoons in the heat of the summer for several months all across the country. As you can imagine, bookstores at that time of day in that time of year are not especially busy. However, the majority of bookstore visitors, I noticed, were thoughtful, intelligent and witty women ranging in ages between 29 and 60. Some stops on a book tour can be tedious and extremely lonely—but from one signing to the next, these same types of women (book lovers) always took the time to talk with me, share some of their favorite books (while we chatted they often carried an armload to take to the register) and stories about their families and their kids while taking a sincere interest in my work. Their presence made the sometimes alienating book tour not so lonely. When the time came to begin work on Part Three, The Shape of Rain, I found myself wanting to craft a character that these women would love. A thoughtful, bookish type with a dash of sardonic wit, a bit of loneliness and a thirst to learn more about the world and the people in it. Professor of Mythology, Astrid Finnley became an amalgam of these bookstore dwelling women.

Question: Tell readers a little bit about your process. A fantasy epic of this scale involves a lot more than just honing your craft as a writer. What was it like to do so much world building?

Koep: The world of the Newirth Mythology is both modern psychology and medieval epic. It is hard rock music and soliloquies delivered with a nod to Hamlet. It is a new myth told by a modern prophet. An ancient language and a pop song all in one.That seems like a lot—but for me, the process was much like throwing my favorite things and interests at the wall and keeping the things that stuck. Strangely enough, most everything stuck. I believe I managed to weave these relatively disparate elements together because I am involved with each in one way or another. Since I was very young I have harbored a love for myth and fantasy. At twelve I began working on what would later become the language of Elliqui (an ancient tongue of a forgotten immortal race). With that came the necessary step of creating the mythology that would be the foundation of this race’s belief system. Meanwhile, twenty years ago, I cofounded a fencing consortium to appease that weird place in me that has always wanted to learn the sword. The experience has not only fed my love for duels and things medieval, but it has also provided for me the rare occasion to raise a glass of ale or scotch at a tournament and deliver a Shakespearian speech or a poem or drunken toast with big words and pithy sentiment (with a sword dangling at my side, of course). In college I loved psychology, philosophy and literature. Most of all, Poetry. To this day I am a touring rock drummer and lyricist. Music has taken me all over the world. It has also taught me the importance of a well crafted pop lyric or a hooky melody. It has taught me to connect art to an audience. In a lot of ways, the world of the Newirth Mythology wasn’t really world building—it was rather me attempting to capture the world in which I live.

 

Michael B. Koep has been a college educator, an international touring musician and a dynamite

waiter. He is still an author, a swordsman, an avid world traveler, a visual artist, and a professional

rock drummer. Koep has climbed the pyramids of Giza, fenced an Italian master, and done battle with

the infamous North Korean propaganda loudspeakers by aiming a massive PA across the DMZ and

taking a drum solo. Winner of a Costello Poetry Prize, he lives in North Idaho with his son in a house filled with books, vinyl records, paint brushes, maps and musical instruments.

Connect with Michael B. Koep at MichaelBKoep.com, Twitter.com/MBKoep and

Facebook.com/AuthorMichaelBKoep.

The Newirth Mythology Trilogy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold.

Publisher Will Dreamly Arts, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is committed to producing

works that possess an artistic standard defined by originality, integrity and excellence in

the craft of fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

Connect with Will Dreamly Arts at WillDreamlyArts.com, Twitter.com/WillDreamlyArts

and Facebook.com/WillDreamlyArts.

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Uninvited Quests

Uninvited Quests  by  Lex Wilson  description:

She’s a half-human paladin on an apology tour for a (formerly?) evil god. He’s supposed to be someone else’s squire.

It’s up to them to save the kingdom. But first…

Another sidequest?

Lucan and Manrel have a mission to slay the Dragonqueen and prevent worldwide doom. But when the hero-less squire and his oddball companion hear rumors of a legendary sword, they decide they can handle two missions. It doesn’t take long for them to realize the dungeon holding the weapon is teeming with goblins, ooze monsters, and other terrifying creatures…

Just when everything seems lost, Lucan and Manrel stumble upon not a blade–but a powerful paladin. Sure, she’s sworn fealty to an evil god, but she may be their only hope to survive their quests. Can Lucan and Manrel convince the unstable warrior to join their side and save the world?

Uninvited Quests  3 STARS

This was a humorous and completely nonsensical book. I’d almost say young readers but there are a few things that might would be questionable for such. The best part is the play on words, from the meanings to the spellings, it’s all well done. The actual plot itself though is a bit meandering, and rather slow moving in its way. The long internal monologues were fun but they did slow things down. However each of the characters are unique, and bring their own twist to the story. The way Brae talks about Skurok, the god she’s supposed to be a follower for and trying to spread the news that he isn’t quite as evil anymore, is the best part. In the end though it was a bit hard to get through. I enjoyed it when I was reading it, but it wasn’t the sort of book that I was jumping to see what happens next.

Sarah Ashwood has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.      What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
 
Hi, my name is Sarah Ashwood, and I write a blend of fairy tale/portal/epic fantasy. I don’t blog, but you can find me on my website, Twitter, and Facebook.
2.      Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
 
           Well, I’m a homeschooling mom of three boys. I’m also a runner. I’m planning to do the Tulsa Run 15k this fall. I’ve done 15ks before, but not this particular one. I’m married to an asphalt plant operator and I literally never know from one day to the next what time he’ll be home, because there are no set hours in a job like his. Especially this time of year, in the summer. I’m a writer, of course. So far my published works include a fantasy novella, Amana, my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, several short stories in various anthologies, and now my brand new Beyond the Sunset Lands series.
 
3.       How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
 
I’ve been writing for around fifteen years. Mainly I write fantasy, and that’s what I’m published in. I’ve also written two historical fiction novels, and they’re with an agent right now. Crossing my fingers on that!
 
4.      What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
 
I would say reading, music, movies, and watching people in the world around me. Fairy tales and Disney movies, as well. As for authors, C. Greenwood is a favorite.
5.      Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up.
 
                I’m working on a fun YA Fantasy/Fairy tale novel, Knight’s Rebirth, which is set to debut before Christmas 2018. It’s the story of a famous knight, Sir Buckhunter Dornley, who is content to live alone until he meets the charming and outrageous Princess Mercy. When he discovers Mercy is threatened by a deadly curse, how far will he go to break it?
 
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 am very much a pantser. Usually I have an idea, a vague plot in my head, and I run with it, letting it unfold as I write. In the past I would work on more than one project at once, but now I find I do better focusing on only one book at a time.
 
7.      What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
 
Hmmm. I’ve gotten compliments on my descriptive skills and world building. As for weaknesses, being repetitive. Also overuse of colons.
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?
 
Ugh, this is such a huge learning curve! I started out buying promos from promotional sites. Then I switched more toward newsletter and newsletter swaps. Right now, I’m trying a combination of those things. If I find the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I’ll let you know!
 
9.      What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
 
I’d tell them the best advice I’ve ever seen, and that is to write. Just write. You can polish it later, but you can’t polish what isn’t written.

Joel Galloway has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.       What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
 Joel Galloway – www.crusaderbook.com

 

2.       Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
I currently live in Northern Virginia where I work for the Office of Biometrics Management in the Department of Homeland Security. I’m a voracious reader, avid outdoorsman and wrestling (folkstyle, freestyle, Greco-Roman) enthusiast. I’ve lived on the Mexican border for close to 10 years and have been following the so-called Mexican drug wars with fascination and extreme concern.

 

3.        How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
CRUSADER is my first novel (crime/thriller/action) and it took over seven years to complete. I’ve also written quite a few technical papers throughout my career – not as exciting 😊.

 

4.       What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc
Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Cormac McCarthy are some of the authors who have influenced my writing. I love thrillers with dramatic action and good plots. CRUSADER is the culmination of real-life events, life lessons learned, personal philosophy, and my romantic aspirations to serve justice and be a positive influence in the world.

 

5.       Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
I’m currently working on a prequel to CRUSADER centering around the Templar Knights which takes place in the early 14th century.

 

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?
Research. Read, come up with ideas, and then read some more. Any time I come up with an idea I jot it down on paper and later flush it out into the text. I work with an initial idea and then constantly scope it down throughout the course of writing.

 

7.       What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
Probably writing action scenes. I also believe I’ve a good storyteller. I struggle a bit with character development and dialogue.

 

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 am learning this stuff as I go 😊 I’ve just created a book trailer which I feel is pretty good and which you can find on the website. Hopefully that will spur interest.

 

9.       What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
One great book is worth a million good ones. Take your time and create a masterpiece.

The Girl Who Ruled the Stars COVER REVEAL!!!

The Girl Who Ruled the Stars by Heather Hildebrand

Coming September 5th, 2018

I know exactly what I am. A weapon.
Tharos and his army of Shadows have infiltrated every corner of the galaxy—including my new home. They don’t want war; they want our total annihilation. And if I’m not ready, the ones I love most will be the first to fall.
My people think the light inside me will be enough to save us. They don’t understand how big it is. How uncontrollable it feels when I let go.
But my enemies have left me no choice. I’ll unleash my power and burn down every star in the sky to kill the Shadows.
The only question is: will my people still be standing in the ash of my aftermath?

E.J. Simon has been INTERVIEWED!!!

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

I’m author E.J. Simon and you can find me at

www.ejsimon.com,

and on social media at @jimejsimon,

Facebook.com/jimejsimon, and Instagram.com/e.j.simon.

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

I have a full-time job as a recruiter for Coldwell Banker HPW in North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area), I love it and it keeps me connected with the real world and in touch with some fascinating people. My wife and I live in Cary, NC, and I have a terrific daughter who lives in Manhattan – and is about to be married. I’m an art collector, love baseball, read a lot of history and enjoy traveling to Europe with my wife.

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

I’ve been writing for over seven years. My first publication was a short story in a literary journal, The Forge, titled, The Secret Apple. All of my published books so far have been thrillers. I have completed the first draft, however, of a crime novel based upon a true story, Dirty Priest.

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

I write primarily to entertain. I don’t write literary fiction in fact, if I could, I wish I could write to attract the biggest audience in the world: people who don’t read books. I haven’t quite found a way yet to get to all of them – but I have gotten to some!  My favorite novel authors are Dan Brown and Stuart Woods but I read mostly non-fiction. My stories come out of my own imagination, incidents that have occurred to me and, maybe, fears.

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

Death Logs Out is my third novel. I’m nearly done with the next – and fourth – one in this series (although they each stand alone), Death in the Cloud. I love the title. Agatha Christie has a story called Death in the Clouds. I happen to love her books.

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 begin with ideas in my head. If I were psychotic I’d call them voices, but they aren’t and I’m not. Seriously, I begin with a very rough idea of a story. From there I write and flesh out an outline, usually quite detailed anywhere from 7-15 pages, which I follow for at least the first few chapters. Then, as they say, life intervenes. Characters surprise, unexpected events occur, and the story takes on a life of its own, just as our lives, although meticulously planned at times, goes off in different directions. Often, in real life, that can be as simple as meeting a certain person, whether it’s the love of your life or a mugger in the street, both of whom can change everything in a second.

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

I think the plots and story lines are unique and my dialogue is real, often because the characters are ones I have known. My weakness is the development of the character whom I’ve modeled after myself. I don’t always understand him.

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 have a publicity company to supplement my publisher’s marketing efforts. It’s a challenge to get attention and to get noticed in this crowded publishing and social media world.

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

Take writing courses for the genre in which you’re writing. There is a certain craft to this that you need to know and then can ignore. Ignore your critics except when, after days or weeks of reflection, you realize they have a point. Finally, keep writing, every day. As in most things, perseverance is at least as important as talent.

Midsummer’s Bottom

Midsummer’s Bottom by Darren Dash  description:

The Midsummer Players stage an outdoor version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream every year on Midsummer’s Eve, in a glade in a forest. The actors have a wonderful time, even though they’re dreadful. Audience members appreciate the effort they put in and applaud politely, but almost never attend more than once. Except for…

…the fey folk!

All of the fairies named in the play are obliged to attend every performance, due to a deal that they struck back in the day with a mischievous Master Shakespeare. In an attempt to disband the irksome Midsummer Players on the eve of their twentieth anniversary, Oberon and Puck hire a human agent of chaos to infiltrate the actors’ ranks and set them against one another by focusing on secret attractions and grudges that have been lying dormant up to now. Sparks will fly, and everyone will come to blows, but it’s all executed with a wink and a grin, and there will be more smiles than tears by the end. At least, that’s the plan…

Inspired by the Bard’s immortal play (which it also weaves into its plot), this light-hearted Comedy is a novel in the spirit of the movies Smiles Of A Summer Night and A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, and the musical A Little Night Music. For lovers of Shakespeare, chaos and fairies everywhere.

Midsummer’s Bottom  4 STARS

I don’t even know how to begin to review this. It was not at all the book I was expecting it to be, though I mean that in a good way. Every moment was a surprise where anything was possible and the ending was anybody’s guess. It turned out a lot more erotic that I would’ve guessed, though the final line of the book description should’ve given that away, but not too absurd when you consider the plot involves real life fairy dust and a man that considers himself an agent of chaos. But within all the absurdity, and the fact that real fairies appear from the Feyland, and Puck is indeed out making mischief, the characters were a varied and interesting bunch that brought real issues to the story. People in marriages where the spark has long since died, those unhappy with their lot in life, and more that are just trying to figure out their place in this world. All of which is sucked into a horrible rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is being challenged by the very fairies that inspired it. While I wouldn’t consider it a retelling per se, it definitely holds to the magical idea of the original play, more so by how lyrical Dash’s writing is. Not just counting the scenes in Feyland which are wonderfully written in the form of Shakespeare’s plays, but even just the main parts of the story between the events of the people were very well put together. It made for a story that I couldn’t stop reading for having to know how it would all come to an end.

The King’s Spinster Bride

The King’s Spinster Bride  by  Ruby Dixon  description:

Sixteen years ago, Princess Halla of Yshrem saved the life of an eight-year-old barbarian boy and watched her kingdom fall to ruin, all on the same day. Now, she is a forgotten spinster in a quiet temple, living her days out in solitude. The last of her line, she exists in the hope that she has been forgotten, for to be remembered by the enemy is to be certain death.

One person has not forgotten her. Mathior, now twenty-four, is the fierce warrior king of the Cyclopae. Yshrem is in turmoil and his advisors have a suggestion – kill the last remaining member of the royal line, and there will be no rivals for the throne.

Mathior has a different idea. He’s loved Halla for sixteen long years, and it’s time he claimed her as his wife. But a barbarian’s wedding customs are unlike any other…

The King’s Spinster Bride  5 STARS

While I know this book was written in conjunction with other authors writing in the same “series” of sorts, I really hope Dixon chooses to write more in this world. As usual she creates such a detailed and interesting place that I want to be able to return again and again. It’s a fairly short story, but there’s a lot within and moves along at a good pace. Halla is a very regal woman, and definitely not some weeping wailing princess that needs some prince to save her. While she isn’t a warrior, she’s very dignified and meets life head on and whatever it has to throw at her. But as Halla is exactly from the sort of kingdom you’d imagine with castles and crowns, Mathior is from a barbaric tribe with customs they unwaveringly hold to and ultimately ends up bringing the two together. It was definitely an interesting wedding that had me blushing the whole time, and I’m not sure if she did write more how much it could vary due to their customs, but I’d love to see what Dixon could come up with.

Projesh Banerjea has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.  What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
Projesh Banerjea
I am on Facebook and Instagram both as an individual and via the Inkarnare accounts

2.  Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
I live in Abu Dhabi and work as an investment professional at a sovereign wealth fund. I recently completed an executive MBA program at the University of Oxford and am just getting used to having some free time again. I try and travel, train and explore new restaurants and cuisines in my spare time and am also a fan of live music and theatre.  

3.  How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
It’s taken me ten years to write this book. I used to blog but my last post was in 2010. The God Gene Chronicles: The Secret of the Gods is my first attempt at fiction.

4.  What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
I grew up reading a broad range of authors and I suppose some of it has stuck. My favorites include PG Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Tagore, Julian Barnes, Jeffrey Archer, Michael Lewis, Ruskin Bond, Satyajit Ray etc. Living in four countries (India, USA, UK, UAE) has also helped broaden my horizons and provided helpful perspective and exposure that probably filters into my writing.

5.  Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…
I’m writing the second book in the series and hope to have it finished in another 12 months.

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 start with an outline and map out both the key themes I want to touch upon as well as the broader plot structure and character profiles. I try and visualise the story and then break up the outline into chapters based on the cadence and tone of the narrative.

7.  What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
Strengths: Coming up with plot structures and the overall outline of the book
Weakness: Descriptive text. Character profiles for younger characters

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?
My only experience with marketing a book has been The God Gene Chronicles. I have focused primarily on Social Media and found Facebook to be an effective and fairly low-cost way to reach out to potential fans. I think the marketing strategy depends on the genre of the book but book trailers and comic strips have worked quite well for The God Gene Chronicles so far, which is perhaps unsurprising given the superhero theme. I think a non-fiction or academic book would probably need to follow a very different approach. I don’t have specific tips per se but recommend signing up for a number of book marketing blogs to create a strategy that best matches the ultimate goal.

9.  What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
It’s a long journey with plenty of twists and turns – don’t lose hope. Enlist the help of friends and family and stay invested in your manuscript. You will be proud of the outcome.  

The Girl Who Called the Stars COVER REVEAL!!!

The Girl Who Called the Stars by Heather Hildenbrand

Coming July 18th, 2018

Be very afraid of the Shadows.

I know what I’m not. Human.

I can’t remember my life before Earth, but I’ve grown up hearing the stories of a planet ravaged by war and a people in need of a leader who will bring them out of the darkness. I’m supposed to be their light.

My future terrifies me.

But I’m done waiting to have a real life. If I ever want a chance to live free of the Shadows, I’ll need to fight for it because freedom is never free. No matter what galaxy you call home.

Pre-order Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DMNCSSC