Hey y’all!!! I know I’m new here (and for good reason). My first short story is about to be published. It has been a life long dream of mine and it’s finally happening!!! I am very honored to be included in this awesome book with 3 veteran authors, Catrina Taylor, Y.K. Greene, and RaeAnne Hadley. These women are very well published authors and their works are amazing (in my opinion anyways). I’ve posted the link. It is on pre-order right now through Amazon. So go check it out, leave a review and tell all your friends!!!!
#vengeanceUnleashed is the debut novel by Tony Wade. Its part one of a trilogy. Sisters Jessica and Sybil were raised by a friend after the untimely death of both parents. Soon they are recruited by the NCU and before long it becomes obvious that they are the agencies most deadly weapons.
Sibling rivalry runs strong through Jessica and she’s always trying to out do her big sister. But when she talked a contract overseas and it leads to her death, Sybil can’t handle it. She retreats and walks away everything and everyone. Turning to the night and protecting from the shadows she’s found a new solace.
When agents begin to drop like flies on missions they send in a blast from her past to remind her that she’s never been out from under their watchful eye. They attempt to lure her back by revealing secrets about her sisters death. What they do instead is unleash a fury in her no one is prepared for.
Will there be anyone left standing when the dust finally settles?
I am an introvert, through and through. I think that’s one reason I’m a writer. I’d rather communicate via email, letter, poem, story, or novel over actual personal interaction about 99% of the time. Because, well, PEOPLE. People wear me out. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a shy bone in my body. I am, however, very, very introverted.
What I’m noticing is that I’ve now reached the part of publishing a book where I have to go out and greet people. And talk about the book. And smile. And, oh lordy, these sillies want me to SIGN MY BOOK!. Me! That’s practically an autograph! It’s too much attention. I very much dislike being the center of attention, and it’s uncomfortable for me. I’d as soon the earth open up and just swallow me whole.
I had a lovely little author event last evening at my own personal public library, the West Wyandotte branch of the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library. I did some of the writing and researching for the book in that library, so when I thought about an author event, that’s where I wanted to go first. They loved the idea, and the YA librarians went out of their way to make it a good event. I had anticipated a schedule that involved a little talk on my part, a reading, and some Q&A, but folks seemed to be trickling in whenever they could make it, rather than showing up right at the start time.
I was okay with this because it meant I could be more the host of an open house event, and it would be more informal. I could spend more face-to-face time with those who had showed up. It was going great with the old friends who had dropped by. We were chatting, about life, about the book, about lots of things. And then it happened. Someone suggested that I do a read-aloud from the book. Even though I had initially been prepped mentally for it, I had already let it go and decided it was all going a different direction. I have no doubt that I had my best deer-in-the-headlights look on for a while. Then I sat down and read a bit.
It was fine, of course, but there was still that part of me that wanted to turn the spotlight OFF. How about I sit in an another room and read into a microphone? Or maybe phone it in? Anything just to get you to STOP LOOKING AT ME. And these were my friends there!
The thing is, a big part of indie and self-publishing is the promotion. Authors have to get out there and publicize themselves because there isn’t a high-powered, well-financed PR department doing it for them. I can get all that without relishing it particularly. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do it without being embarrassed, though.
There are a couple of things that I don’t talk about much when I discuss my upcoming book Cat Moon, Book One of The Were-Children series. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to trot out my lack of success as an author. Maybe I don’t really want to admit that I turned 55 years old this past month. I’m not sure. So here I go. True confessions.
The first is that I wrote it ten years ago. Ten years. An entire decade. My daughters were 11 and 17, just children, and now they are grown women living their own successful adult lives.I was teaching at a different school in a different district. The students who were sitting in my classroom then are grown and having their own children, some of whom are approaching school age themselves. I probably owe them an apology for having assigned so much Silent Sustained Reading so I could scribble furiously on a yellow legal pad by longhand. They know me better, though, than to think I will ever apologize for giving them time to read. But if they ever wondered what I was doing while they were reading, this was it. I was writing this book. It was a long, long time ago.
The second is, I think, connected to the first. Author Stephen King once said he got “dozens” of rejection slips for his first published novel Carrie. I don’t know how many that actually is, but I do know that Mr. King has nothing on me. I have kept all of those rejection slips in a folder, even printing out the many that came via email. Some are from agents; others are from the few publishers who consider un-agented work. I’m pretty sure I could wallpaper my bathroom with them. That, of course, doesn’t count the ones for which I got no response whatsoever. Any author who has queried a novel will tell you that it is absolutely soul-crushing. Oh, most them are so sweetly polite they set your teeth on edge, and they tell you that your work is probably quite good. It’s just not right for them. They let you down easy like that, but inside, you know. You know they thought your manuscript was stinking up their office and that you better not be quitting your day job. You know.
Then came the magical moment when I got a phone call from a reader at a publisher I will not name. (I will, however, tell you that this same publisher’s predecessor company was the original publisher of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, a fact which absolutely delighted me.) The reader loved it and was passing it on to an editor. A few months later, she called back and said that editor was going to pass it on to another editor she thought better suited for it. A few more months passed, and yes, I got another rejection slip. She said it had some good points, but she just didn’t have the time for the work it would take to make it publication-ready. In other words, my manuscript was stinking up her office. I did not quit my day job.
You know what, though? A few more years went by, and the industry started changing. I toyed with the idea of self-publishing, but it was so overwhelming to consider, I just never did much that direction. Technology also changed, and that I felt I had a better handle on. So at the end of 2014, I participated in one of the literary pitch events on Twitter. Distinguished Press “starred” my short pitch, requesting that I query. I queried, fully expecting another rejection slip. This time, though, that didn’t happen. They accepted the manuscript. They love the story. They believe in me as a writer.
Here we are, just a few days after release. Shortly after release, my book–MY book–was in the Amazon Top 100 for three separate categories. For a brief, shining moment, I had higher book sales than the legendary C. S. Lewis. Unprecedented! Many, many thanks to Catrina for taking a chance on my work, to Karyn for the edits, to Vanessa for the gorgeous cover of my dreams, and to Kristina for getting the word out to folks that the book is there to be read. Now I just need to get cracking on the rewrites for the second book!
Emma has big problems. She has no family and no home. She wanders the streets of The Warren, scavenging for her next meal and trying to keep warm. Haunted by the memory of a mother she barely recalls, Emma dreams of being a part of a real family. She is helped in her search for belonging by an assortment of eccentric characters: a friendly shopkeeper and his cranky uncle, the nice woman who runs the local mission, a ditzy cat lady, and a good-natured prostitute with a drinking problem.
Her biggest obstacle, however, is that every full moon, she turns into a feral cat! Emma is one of the Were. She and those like her are ruthlessly hunted by the captain of the Were-Guard, whose religious zealotry makes him especially dangerous. When the sinister Bram Fitzwilliam enters the picture to assist the Guard, Emma is in more danger than ever. Before she finds what she’s looking for, Emma must find a strength and courage she never knew she had. Her journey will teach her that dreams don’t always come true the way you want them to, that people aren’t always what they seem, and that real families can be chosen. #DPPub
I’ve had a fair amount of experience with book covers. Two different companies and a bunch of artists/cover designers. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings and I don’t believe in spreading negativity, so for that reasons some names will be left out. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case I think the covers can speak for themselves.
Here’s the cover for the first book (published in 2012 by Penumbra Publishing). There are parts of it I’m happy with (the blood red sunset, the water, Cassandra and the obvious vampire traits.) I’m not much pleased with Joseph or what he’s wearing. Newfoundland is an island so the water is fine (and some important scenes do take place on a rocky beach). After hearing lots of comments on it (and people who said it was terrible) I came to see that it gives an impression. It often makes people think of a romance novel (and a cheesy one) and all the things that go along with it. While there is romance present in the story, I don’t like people to get the wrong idea and not take my work seriously. Let’s move on to the cover for book 2.
This time I took a much different approach, I paid a guy to make a cover for me (and I don’t mind saying it cost almost $300). He did many versions of this (at least 30) until the cover had to be sent it or the publishing would have been delayed. This came out in September of 2013, also by Penumbra Publishing. I’ll just call the designer Alex, he was agreeable and made many changes as I asked him to and tried lots of different things. He thought I should pick out a scene from the book that was important and created a creepy atmosphere (I picked an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans). I found some real pictures of it from a website (there was no one I could ask permission from) and he incorporated them to my satisfaction. What didn’t occur to me at the time was that the title “Killer on the Road” has nothing do with the cover. I also never thought about how much is going on, looking back I can see it looks jumbled. I do like the eyes above and I thought Cassandra looked even better than book 1 (these are both real people after all). I thought he did her fangs and the blood well, I liked Joseph face hidden almost completely in shadow. I also thought the splashes of blood were cool. The moon above was a nice touch a subtle nod to time passing (as book 1 was a sunset). Still though I wanted something different, which brings us to an attempt I made getting a cover done for book 3.
Here’s the rough draft I got for what could have been the cover to book 3 (tentatively called) “The Gathering Dark.” This time I wanted to try hiring an artist to do something with no stock images and nothing computerized (aside from scanning and minor alterations of course). I’ve been told this looks terrible and while I think it needs work, it has potential. He incorporated what I wanted, each character ready to fight at an airport (St. John’s in particular) in the background, the moon large in the sky (and it would have been blood red), and different characters reflected in each sword. Casandra’s hair is different and their looks are meant to convey that events have taken a dark turn in the story. The artist was a nice guy but ultimately he just said he was too busy to go any further (he never asked for any money in advance.) At this point I decided to leave Penumbra Publishing so this brings us full circle for a look at the new cover for book 1.
Vanessa (Armada West) has been working diligently on a new cover for me now that I’m with Distinguished Press (and I love it here by the way, everyone is great!) What you see here is just a rough mock-up but I like the direction it’s going. Once again I wanted a red sunset and this time I choose a university building (it was a dorm in the book) as the backdrop (several important scenes happen on campus). Cassandra looks great (no vampire traits here) and Joseph is fine but I’m looking for a better model to choose from. This is a return to photo stock images but it’s not costing me $300 and Vanessa has been very accommodating. I’ll be sure to share a more finished version of the cover when it is ready. I still may one day pay an artist for something really different but not for the re-issue of book 1 or 2. Oh I should say book 1 will be out April24th and book 2 will be July 24th (of 2015) and of course from the fine folks at Distinguished Press.
Here’s another version of the cover for book 1, this time I choose a different male model, I like him better as he looks more like me (and a regular guy). You’ll notice Cassandra also has fangs and some blood about her lips. It’s an ongoing process but I’m excited for the final version.
So what do you all think? They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I think most people do. You can’t help it, a cover is your best form of advertising for anyone browsing in a store or on a website (or app). Talk to you all next month!
I hope everyone had a great Xmas and holiday season. Mine was nice, quiet with a small family but that’s fine with me. Like most people I ate and drank too much and now cutting back but enough about such boring trivia. Today I thought I’d briefly get into my journey as a writer and how I got here.
I’ve always loved stories, when I was young that made me an avid reader of Archie comics, then all the superheros (and some anime) and then novels of primarily the sci-fi/horror/fantasy genres (and yes I still read comics today, just not as many monthly titles). When I was around 13 I started doing short-stories, I don’t have any of them now but I’m sure they were all terrible but none the less the seed was planted.
In high school I wrote poetry from the school newspaper (again probably lousy stuff but it felt good to do it at the time). I also kept a journal for many years (that I wish I still had but sadly it’s lost to the ravages of time). I was not at happy teenager and my poems were pretty sad. I hope geeky kids have an easier time in school now as I know I sure didn’t.
Time moved on and I found myself writing music and movie reviews for the Memorial University student paper The Muse. I have always loved music (and movies) and the chance to get to see/hear them for free was fun (though most of my reviews never got published). I liked the fact how movie reviews for the paper meant I got to take someone with me to a movie (though the only time I took someone the movie was terrible. If you never saw “Vampire in Brooklyn” count yourself as lucky!).
I finished at Memorial and writing took a back seat, sort of. I always had the need to express myself in a creative manner. Fortunately for me I had Dungeons and Dragons. Role-playing is a wonderful way to exercise your imagination and for me being the Dungeon Master (basically you create a world and control how the story goes, to a point) was enough writing for a long time. My wife (who is not into D&D) said if you’re of the female persuasion (or just want a good laugh) you should watch this video.
Like lots of people who enjoy literature (I did a BA in English at Memorial) I tried to write several times. I attempted a Star Trek book, then a Star Wars, the a vampire one. All three (ok technically two) never amount to more than a few chapters. A book just seemed to big, too daunting.
I started my vampire tale back in 2002 but it got put aside. Then some 8 years later I found myself at a very boring job, my mind wandered all the time and I began to think of that book I started. I had kept the file and going back to it I found that I still liked the idea of a vampire based on myself. It was a chance to explore fantasies I knew would never come true and it was a way to imagine how my life could have turned out differently if I had made other choices (and if vampires were real). After 4 months I had a rough draft and then began the process of submitting it. I learned some hard lessons (like the first 3-4 drafts are always terrible) but after about 9 months of editing and submitting my perseverance paid off, I had found a publisher (Penumbra Publishing).
Things went well there for a while. My first book did okay (was released in April 2012) and I soon completed book II “Killer on the Road” and it came on in September of 2013. About a year later is when things took a wrong turn. My sales were shabby and no matter what I did I couldn’t improve them (I spend a lot on promotion, getting a website, getting a cover done and other things) and my profit was very small. I eventually became dissatisfied with my Penumbra, I won’t get into all the details as I don’t like to say negative things about a person. My old editor was honest with me and had taught me a a lot about writing, editing and being an author but I knew by October of 2014 that it was time to move on. It was slightly ironic that the day I told Pat I was done with Penumbra my first short story “Robots” was published by them. I am proud of that story and I hope to see it re-released as part of a collection someday. I’ve written some other short stories the past few years and I’d love to have them published someday too.
So this bring me to my new home Distinguished Press. Through Twitter I got to know the friendly, helpful (and talented) Karyn Pearson. She mentioned my work to Jen Leigh and in early November of last year I signed a contract with DP (there is some truth in the saying it’s not what you know but who you know). I am thrilled to be with DP, everyone has been really friendly. There are lots of interaction with authors (it’s one big happy family!), lots of promotional activities we help each other out on and Catrina has lots of great ideas for the future.
I was happy to go back and look at the first book in “The Newfoundland Vampire“. Jen pointed out some things that I hadn’t considered and that will make it a better book (and I’m sure she has other notes for me as well). As writers can attest your characters become your friends and going back to visit them is always great, it’s like re-watching a movie you love or a TV show, just on a much more personal level. Book I will be re-issued on March 27th and book II “Killer on the Road” sometime later this year. That leaves book III (tentatively titled “The Gathering Dark) and hopefully book IV (need to started writing it!) for 2016.
Well this turned into a lengthy post. I’ll leave you with a question, what has been your writing journey? Inquiring minds want to know! 😉
“May the rivers run crimson with their blood.” ~ Kagen Silivasi.
Kagen Silivasi is a powerful, ancient vampire with a unique gift for healing – he is also a son, a brother, and a loner who has survived unspeakable tragedy and loss: Beneath his handsome, well-mannered exterior lies an alter ego consumed by rage and an overwhelming impulse to “kill them all…”
Arielle Nightsong is a brave human, a rebel spirit, and an accomplished healer in her own right. Born into a harsh world of violence, cruelty, and danger, she was enslaved at the age of ten and given as a gift to the most depraved being in Mhier – the infamous king of the lycans. If not for her enduring friendship with a captive vampire, she might not have survived to escape the slave encampment…or to discover her mysterious role in an ancient Blood Curse.
When Kagen and his brothers voyage into Mhier in search of their long lost father, it will take more than stealth and cunning to get out alive: Secrets will be revealed; loyalties will be tested; and an indomitable spirit will fracture beneath the weight of an impossible choice.
This story has been excitedly anticipated by many readers. Today, it was released to a flurry of excitement! The first story in Karyn Pearson’s Hellfire Trilogy is Spark. This story unravels the strings of chaos wound tightly around a young demon huntress on a mission to rescue her mother. Just when she thinks she’s able to calm down and move forward with a peaceful life, Hell interferes again.
After defeating the Saligia, Ardentia thought that her journey had come to a close. With her mother’s curse broken, she had hoped for peace at last. Hell had other plans.
Demons have grown bolder; they strike at all hours of the day, laying siege to the borders of the sanctuary towns, and possess humans to get around the wards meant to keep them out. To make matters worse, there is an even greater threat looming on the horizon. A new power has risen in the north, Belial, the first of four Crown Princes of Hell.
The Crown Prince is ruthless—far more powerful than the likes of any demon Ardentia or Noxius haveever faced. He seeks to travel to the four corners of the Earth and free his brothers, Asmodeus, Leviathan, and Ba’al. Should Belial’s plan succeed, Lucifer will rise and the final battle for mankind’s survival will begin.
No one is safe; not even the defenses of the great city of Salvatio can keep the powers of Hell at bay. Belial’s reach is vast, extending deep into the holy city itself. A traitor walks within the walls, tearing Salvatio down from the inside out.
Now, it is a race against the clock, and Ardentia must stop Belial before all is lost. The dangers she must face are greater than they have ever been. She knows the journey alone might kill her, provided the demon does not get around to it first. But even the threat of certain death will not stop her.
Ardentia has but one choice—to brave the hellfire and face Belial, or watch her world be lost to the coming inferno.
Excerpt from Inferno:
Ira Finem was in sight.The huntress looked ahead, spying countless numbers of bat-like creatures swooping over the town like vultures circling their prey before going in for the kill. Smoke rose from buildings and broken down parts of the old wall,smaller fires burned here and there. As she got closer, she could make out the faint sounds of fighting in the distance, but they eventually fell silent, the demons shrieking in victory.
“Damn it,” Noxius cursed. “At this rate, we’ll be lucky if the town is still standing by the time we reach it!”
“How bad is it?”Ardentia asked. “What do you see?”
“Humans under demon control, at least twenty of them.”
The huntress gave an aggravated sigh. “Great,” she paused, taking a moment to breathe. “And how many demons?”
“At least three times as many possedi, perhaps more, and some of them are upper level demons, but most are the usual lower level weaklings.”
“So not even enough for a warm up.”
Noxius laughed. “You sound disappointed.”
“I am…a little.”
They sped forward, the wall approaching fast. The sound of the motorcycle engine caught the soaring demons’ attention, six of them breaking off from their predatory ring above the town and diving toward them. Ardentia’s eyes flashed upward at the incoming swarm and then to Noxius. He gave a nod, flying up to meet them. A moment later fiery bodies rained from the sky and Noxius returned to the huntress’ side in time for another wave of attacking demons.
The huntress ground her teeth together in irritation and reached for one of the pistols holstered at her hips. She drew the gun, steadying the motorcycle with one hand, still driving forward, and took aim, firing off a few rounds. The holy bullets found their marks in the demons’ wings, legs, and chests, the burning purifying power causing them to scream in agony.Some of them tumbled out of the sky, landing incrumpled heaps of burning, broken limbs on the plain.
Ardentia smirked,whipping her head back to glance at the felled demons, satisfied to see that none of them were able to give chase, and then looked ahead again, spying a couple hunters on the wall trying to fend off four possedi. She would have to help them later. Drawing her eyes away,her gaze focused to just below the top of the wall, realizing the gate was closed. At the rate of speed she was traveling, she would crash into the doors. She sighed and holstered her pistol, pressing her fingers to her lips in a shrill whistle.
The hunters on the gate glanced her way, still trying to fight off their attackers. One nodded at the other and he took off running for the lever that would raise the gate. He sprinted to the center of the wall, not daring to look back to see if therewere any demons or possedipursuinghim. With a leap, he reached the lever and slammed it down. Slowly, the gate creaked to life, an iron chain winding up as it rose.
“Ardentia,” Noxius started anxiously, “We’re still moving too fast.”
“I know,” she answered him.
“We’re going to crash.”
You can purchase Spark and Inferno for .99 cents each until February 3rd!
Karyn Pearson is the author of Spark (Hellfire Trilogy #1) and Inferno (Hellfire Trilogy #2) and full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. Karyn enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters when she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.” Her current projects include Embers (Hellfire Trilogy #3) and the first novel of the upcoming vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door.
Today, we’re showcasing Skye Knizley in celebration of her Halloween release of STORMRISE. We’ll learn a little about who she is, what she’s about, and then I’m throwing her into the Hypothetical Hotspot™ where the real fun begins. ::wink::
Skye Knizley currently lives in Connecticut, USA, a small state of confusion where she spends most of her time writing urban fantasy and role-playing game adventures. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment Skye can be found hiking with her Siberian Husky Piper and her spirit guide Sheba, camping in a variety of state parks, motorcycling, ghost hunting or practicing and studying the healing arts of Wicca. Which doesn’t mean she dances naked under a full moon… as far as you know. Besides, you need a stone circle for that and they knocked the last one down to build a six-lane bypass.
Tell me something you want people to know about you: This is important and not something everyone gets; if I tease you, I like you and consider you to be, at a minimum, a close acquaintance. On the other hand of my teasing becomes snarky, mean and doesn’t include a smile, you have managed to annoy me and should back off. In some ways I am still a thirteen year old girl…
Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you: I am certain this will be fascinating… My alarm usually goes off at 6:00am. I let my psychotic Psyberian (yeah I spelled that my way) Husky out and then the first thing I do as an iPhone junky is check my texts and Facebook messages. An hour later I put my hair in a tail, throw on some light makeup and go to the gym for two hours. I do an hour and a half of cardio and a half hour of circuit training. I swing by DnD for a coffee afterwards and head home. By ten I am working on a novel or promoting my current work. I go outside to eat some lunch a few hours later; have to rest my eyes and get some sunlight. Too many of us look like the vampires we write about.
After lunch I work for another couple hours, then I shut everything down and sing, practicing first scales then I do songs ranging from Heart to Queen. Afterwards is a cool down period where I play with my Husky and check the mail. This time of year I burn most of it in my firepit.
Dinner comes around 5:00pm and is usually cooked outside. It tastes better and costs less. If the weather is nice it is eaten outside, too. Once clean-up is done it is back to writing and promoting, with the exceptions of watching my addictions: Castle and Once Upon a Time.
The only days that are really different are certain Wiccan observances and alternating Thursdays and Fridays/ occasional Saturdays. On alternating Thursdays and Fridays I play Dungeons and Dragons or Halo (or the shooter of the month). Yep, I am officially a gamer girl and proud.
On the Fridays I am not playing a game and occasional Saturdays I sing and sometimes play drums for a local bar band. We may not be Halestorm but we’re loud. I’m proud of that, too.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job: While I make a little cashy money singing, I am a full time novelist.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? If there is a message, I am not aware it exists. Growing up I always hated that we were taught to analyze books and “find the meaning.” I read for fun and my novels are written to entertain. There are no Orwellian messages hidden in them. But if you read one backwards it will undo the universe. Be careful of that.
How much of the book is based off personal experiences? I am not aware of ever encountering a vampire, though I do have unanswered questions about my first grade teacher. That said actually quite a bit of my stories is based on my real life experiences in a variety of ways. When it comes to forensic science, shooting and so on, that is all based on my education. I have a degree in Forensic Science and I try to be vaguely accurate with that in my novels. I also own the firearms my protagonists use and I know how to use them. I have a pet peeve about books that use weapons (or anything else) and the author clearly had no experience with the item, so I go out of my way to learn. If I tell you I can drift a 1966 Mustang around a tight corner, it is cause I know personally it can be done. I just sold it, in fact.
What are your current projects? I have a novel titled Stormrise from Vamptasy Publishing that comes out on Halloween. I am working on the first sequel tentatively titled Stormrage, and have also started a new series about a witch named Aspen. I’m trying to title those based on Credence songs.
Stormrise by Skye Knizley
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Yes. The first thing I ever wrote was a very long character background for a character named Rissa for a Dungeons and Dragons game. I spent ages on it using my dad’s beaten up urethane-spattered laptop and made him print copy after copy at his office until I had it just right. I detailed where she was from, who her parents were, her brothers and sisters, why she became a wizard and who her mentor was, everything. I knew her better than I knew myself by the time I was done. And then the game master decided not to run the game after all. He survived my rant afterwards but only barely. I enjoyed creating that character so much, I never stopped writing.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it? I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe you can get to a point where you are not sure how to join part A to part C. So I do one of three things: I write part C, with the hope that while I am writing that, part B will come to me, I work on another project and let my subconscious deal with the problem, or if I am really stuck I present part A to my gaming friends and see what they would do if it were a game.
What project are you working on now? I am working on two: Stormrage and Midnight Special.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? I don’t know if it is advice, but I am always happy to share what I have experienced. First, don’t listen to most of the stuff spouted by “experts.” You can read and buy their books, but remember there is no magic bullet to getting published and an expert’s advice is no guarantee you will get that manuscript in front of anyone. Second, edit. And I don’t mean you or your cousin or your mom. Find a good editor whose only interest is being paid to do a good job, pay them and LISTEN TO THEM. A good editor has more experience doing their job than you do and it is their job to make your manuscript the best it can be. If you disagree with a comment, discuss it with them but for Gaia’s sake listen! Lastly, never give up, never stop writing. No one ever got published by surrendering.
The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens? Kill’em all? My friends have said many, many times they are coming to my house when it happens. I have weapons and ammunition, including Hornady Z-Max. I have cases of MRE’s and I have water. I also have no problem executing someone to save others. That may sound scary, and it puts some people off, but once someone is infected and there is no hope? They’re dead already. Say your goodbyes, say a prayer to Gaia and put a bullet in their brainpan before they have to suffer becoming a soulless monster.
So… from there the plan is to sit out the first few days. I and my companions will sit quietly on watch while people panic and are quickly consumed. Again, harsh, I know. But I can’t save everyone. Neither could you. If it is a matter of survival or trying to save someone running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the chicken gets eaten.
Once things have quieted down, we pack everything into trucks and move towards safer territory far away from cities. Cities are where the zombies are…
What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice? You get scared half to death twice. Look, you got scared half to death. Then you got over it. Then you got scared half to death again. This isn’t a mathematical equation and the effects are not cumulative. If you’re lucky, whatever scared you the first time won’t ever scare you again, so you got tougher in the process. Woot! Go you!
When is the world going to end? October 13, 2037 at 6:33am. And fifty-nine seconds. So some clocks may stop at 6:34am. They aren’t as accurate as I am.
Are the good things that come to people who wait, the leftovers of people who went before them? Eww, I have a leftover phobia and that’s just gross. Besides, good things don’t come to people who wait. It is like standing in line for a video game you didn’t preorder. You’re going to be out of luck, bub. Good things come to those who get off their butts and hunt them down.
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality comes from morons? Morons, as we know, orbit neons, the smallest part of a fracktard. As we are taught in high school, a moron is the tiniest but most powerful element of stupidity, so I find it very unlikely that they could create morality. They are far more likely to bond and form a government.
Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer, but then teach them all about wars that solved America’s problems? I’ve been toying with this question. I could say something funny about stupid people, or refer to fraktards and neons, but I am going to take a leap and be honest and hope no one sets fire to my house.
I was not aware we taught kids that violence is not the answer. It wasn’t what I was taught, nor my friends, their parents, or their grandparents. I will take a wild stab that goes back pretty far. If a parent is teaching their child that violence is never the answer that parent needs a Gibbs slap upside the head. I’m not a sociologist, I am just an opinionated novelist, but that teaching could be part of the bullying problem. Are parents basically teaching children not to defend themselves? That leaves them open to the bullies, who are going to be violent no matter what you do (trust me, I’ve been a victim and I’ve seen it in my career) and limits their options… possibly resulting in the increase in child suicide as a result of bullying. What are they supposed to do when that bully comes after them with an aluminum bat? Use harsh language? “No means no” is all well and good but it’s not nearly as effective as a solid kick to the groin and an elbow to the temple. I know if I was taught not to fight back, I wouldn’t be here answering, writing, and doing what I do.
What we should be teaching is what I, and generations before me, were taught: Appropriate response. That is what our wars were about: The appropriate response at the appropriate time. Violence is rarely the appropriate response. But sometimes it is.
Can we spell creativity however we want? It depends entirely on how you are referring to creativity. If you are trying to use the word “creativity” in a sentence you can hardly spell it “spatula” and get your meaning across.
If, however, you are referring to the act of being creative, absolutely we can spell it however we want. You might think a bunch of car parts welded together in an abstract pattern is just a pile of rusting junk. To someone else, it is creative, mind-blowing art. Go forth and be creative. Just don’t paint your children blue and put white hats on them. That’s creepy.
Why don’t you ever see ads for advertising companies? They’re like ninjas. That’s how good they are. You never even notice those monstrous billboards that say “ADVERTISE HERE.” I have sneaky author perceptions and can see things that are really there.
Releases October 31st from Vamptasy Publishing
Life isn’t easy for Detective Raven Storm. Her best friend was recently killed and dismembered, her latest case ended with her partner in intensive care, and her mother, the vampiric Mistress of the City is playing matchmaker… again. The last thing she wants is another bizarre murder case with a partner she doesn’t know. But that is exactly what she gets when she is handed the enigmatic case of Nathan King, who was found in his car with a gaping hole where his stomach should be.
Soon Raven is unraveling a mystery that leads her deep into the city’s preternatural underworld, and into the arms of a sexy vampire she barely knows, but whose heart she seeks in the darkness…
“Thanks, Ryan,” Raven said. “Did you find anything else of interest in the car?” Finkel shook his head and turned to look back at the vehicle. “Not really. We lifted a couple partials from the door handle, but they probably belong to the victim. Lots of high-speed blood spatter inside, no sign of gunshot residue…it is like he pulled into the garage and his stomach tore open.” Levac nodded, still staring at the contents of the gris-gris bag. “You know, Storm,” he said after a moment, “they’re right.” Raven looked puzzled. “Who’s right? About what?” “The rest of the squad,” he replied. “They were telling me you get all the weird ones. They’re absolutely right.”
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