Author David Brush – Interview & Spotlight

k2133774David Brush is a chemist living in Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2014 and has published peer-reviewed research on proton exchange membranes in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Macromolecules. While he currently works in the chemical industry, he hasn’t ruled out returning to school to continue his study of biochemistry.

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Induction, a state-mandated eugenics program, once held the promise of carrying mankind into its golden age. Now, only broken hope and ash remain. While the country of Coren continues to burn, Dr. Johnathan Nightrick, the man behind Induction and the de facto ruler of the nation, clings to power, desperate to end the nine year insurgency against his regime that has threatened to tear his empire apart. In the midst of the struggle, a young scientific prodigy, James Mercer, is inadvertently thrust into the rebellion against Induction on the precipice of his eighteenth birthday. With his girlfriend and fellow chemist, Haley Hall, James must confront the true cost of freedom and help set the course of the brutal and earth-shattering conflict that will decide the future of his people.

I’m very happy to have the opportunity to interview David today, and to show you his work !

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Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is David Brush, and I’m a biochemist and the author of the novel Induction. I started writing about three years ago, and I’ve been going strong ever since. Working on my book has been a great outlet for me over the years. There’s nothing more therapeutic than creating a world where you can set the course of things. I’m hoping to finish my next novel, tentatively titled The Ark, within a year.

How did you come up with the title of “Induction”?

Induction is a reference to the eugenics procedure that’s at the heart of the story being told. The word itself has a couple of meanings that fit well with the narrative, for instance induction is a term used in the military to describe enlistment. Foremost though, the title refers to the bringing about of love, or the induction of it.

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What is your favorite character of “Induction”?
I’d have to say that it’s a tie between Dr. Jonathan Nightrick, the main antagonist for most of the story, and Haley Hall, one of the two central protagonists. The reason I like Nightrick so much is because he’s not really a power hungry dictator in the traditional dystopian sense. He’s more of a zealot than anything. He truly believes that his actions are for the greater good, and he’s sincere in his desire to bring mankind into a golden age. He’s brutal and ruthless, but he’s not without reason or conscience either.
Haley, one of the central rebels in the story, is also one of my favorite characters, for a couple of reasons. She’s really the only person that doesn’t allow herself to be radically realigned by the events taking place around her. She also acclimates better to insurgency than her boyfriend James does, largely because she’s more naturally coordinated than he is. James might be a bit brighter, but he can’t shoot half as well.

 

What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?

I prefer science fiction. I think it’s honestly the perfect medium for exploring not just the future, but the present as well. In my opinion, it’s easier to examine things like politics, history, and even ethics when you have the wider possibilities presented to you through writing about some far off future, where anything is possible. That having been said, I am working on a couple of nonfiction chemistry books, but the time investment is a lot heavier because they require more careful research and citation.

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How would you describe your writing style?

Honestly, I would say in development. There’ll definitely be some stylistic differences between Induction, and its sequel, The Ark. It just comes from growing as a writer. I think in a general sense, my style is a bit distant and character driven, without ever letting the reader get too close. I’d also have to say that my writing might seem pretty bleak at first glance, but I think there’s always an underlying thread of hope that runs through the narratives.

What authors inspire your writing?

There are a couple who’ve really impacted me. I would say foremost maybe is George R. R. Martin. Though my stories aren’t similar to his in any technical or narrative way, I always really respected how fearlessly he would kill his characters off if it would advance the plot. There’s a sort of tension when you read his books, because you honestly don’t know when the next head is going to roll, or if it’ll be your favorite character’s. I think that had a huge impact on Induction. I realized that even if I really loved a character, I had to be willing to let them go if their death would be meaningful to the story.
I’d say another set of authors who’ve really impacted me are Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelley. Mary’s story Frankenstein and Percy’s poem Ozymandias have been a huge influence while I’ve been writing The Ark. Honestly, you could almost look at Induction as a spiritual prequel to both of those works. I really try and explore the themes of empty power, the facade of divinity among dictators, and how in the end, it’s the monsters we create that invariably destroy us.

 

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?

Well I’m an industrial chemist at the moment. I write a lot, but it’s hard to make a living off of it, especially when you only have one novel to your name. I’ve honestly been considering heading back to school to work on a PhD in either neuroscience or astrochemistry. I really enjoyed working on academic research in the past, and I could definitely see myself getting back into it.
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What are you working on now?
Well like I’ve mentioned a bit, at the moment I’m working on the sequel to Induction, The Ark. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to complete it within a year, but I know that every time I thought I was nearly done with Induction, the finish line got moved back another six months. It’s just the nature of the beast I guess, but there’s a lot of unpredictability in trying to set deadlines for a novel. I’m really excited for the next one though. I feel like it kind of defies the expectation people might have when they finish reading Induction.
I’m also working on a lot of short stories that take place around the two books, and I’m considering compiling them into an anthology eventually. We’ll have to see about that though. So far I only have about half of the content I’d need.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I think the most important advice I can give is to be patient. There are going to be so many times when you think that you’re nearly there, or you can see the finish line, and you’ll want to hurry up and get the book out. Before you do, ask yourself if doing so will hurt the quality of the product. It takes a lot of time to write a novel, and you don’t want to diminish the value of your work because you got impatient in the last stretch. Put in the time, put in the effort, and put in the money (don’t skimp on editing or cover design) and you’ll release something that you can really be proud of.
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Thank you David for stopping by to tell us a bit about yourself and your work!
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Guest Post: Judging a Book by its Cover

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Judging a Book by its Cover

by Alex Martin

As in every industry, when we look at the yearly information about self-publishing, there is always good news and bad news.

In several surveys applied across Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, the Smashwords online store, Oyster, Scribd, and Kobo, a few common trends are evident.

Bad news first?

Many authors quit after their first book. The why was not included, but an educated guess would lead to think that low sales and results that are below expectations would play a large role in making writers abandon their dreams, or at the least put them on an indefinite hold.

On the bright side, there is much good news to consider.

As of 2015 onwards, self-published books are representing more than 30% of e-book sales and authors are earning nearly 40% of total earnings. This is a clear indication that the market is still solid and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. This is all in spite of the data that also indicates that authors in general are earning less, but many are making a very healthy yearly profit. As an example, if you look up Mark Dawson, you will see that he is earning around $450.000 yearly as a self-published author.

Now, for a few points to consider, as we haven’t touched the topic related to the title of this article yet.

As a self-published author, you have several tools at your disposal to capture a reader’s attention. You can do a small test first, placing yourself in the position of a potential buyer. Let’s say you go to Amazon and type in a book genre, for example “romance”. As the list of related books appear, what is the first thing that you see?

That’s right, the book’s cover. And then if it captures your attention, the book’s title and only then will you probably click on it to read what it’s about.

With the romance genre example above, as you browse down the list, you will also probably notice how many of these covers have a man’s muscular torso on it, with the title written in some fancy cursive font. Now ask yourself, if you have a self-published romance book and you want customers to buy it, what makes it stand out from all the other covers with muscular torsos?

On the other hand, if the cover is not attractive, readers will also think that they will find the same quality inside the book, thus reducing drastically your chances of them buying your book.

This said, even if you are on a low budget, which you perhaps prefer to spend more on marketing your book, there are many very low cost options for good semi-professional book covers:

  • Canva

Canva is a free design tool that you can use both online or download as an app with which you can create great cover designs. It includes all the tools for text formatting, as well as a few free images that you can use. There are also paid images available at $1 each.

  • Public domain photos

If you do an internet search on public domain photos, you will find several sites that have a large database of photos and other types of images that are free to use. Just make sure that it specifies that it is free for commercial use. After choosing, all you need to do is perhaps add some photoshop filter and place the book’s title and author name, which you can do yourself with some basic design skills, or hire someone for as low as $5 to do it for you.

  • Low Cost Royalty Free Photos

There are also several sites offering royalty free images (no license attached), starting at $1 upwards.

  • Low Cost Designer

If you want to avoid all the hassle, you can go straight to a designer to have a cover made for you. Make sure, however, that you have a specific idea of what you want for your cover first, as any changes you may want to make once you receive the finished design may imply further costs.

With all these options, there are many ways of making your cover stand out among the rest. So, each time you take a break from writing, think of what type of cover you want for your book. A cover that would make you buy it without hesitation if you saw it.

 

ABOUT THE(1)

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Born 16275 days ago, books, music and film have always been an inspiration and an escape, fueling a desire to be a part of such noble professions. This is the beginning of the journey.

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Interview with Author A.J. Raven

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 25 year old writer named Farid-ul-Haq and I write under the penname is A.J. Raven. I did my B.Sc honors in Biotechnology, with Psychology as my second major. I also recently completed my M.Phil degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. Along with being a published author I’m a content writer for the website called TheGeekiary where I review various TV shows, comic books, games, manga, anime, and more. I’ve also started a YouTube channel called Aj Raven where I put up vlogs and various videos that include laboratory protocols for different experimental techniques, parodies of music videos, etc. Other than that I like to draw and sketch, keep myself healthy, and always try to do things that make me happy.

How did you come up with the title of “Arousing the Legacy”?

It was my publisher who came up with it. ‘Arousing the Legacy’ is actually four books-in-one that are part of my YA/Paranormal/Mystery series called the Colville Mysteries. I finished writing book one ‘Colville-The Secret’ when I was fourteen years old and over the years I wrote the other three books in the series. Readers have noticed my writing style change for the better as I continued growing older and writing the series. When the time came to publish my work, my publisher suggested the title and releasing four books as a collection. The title fits with the story as the premise of the story revolves around the main teenage characters experiencing paranormal occurrences in their small town. What they don’t know yet is that some of them are part of a legacy that will change their lives and the world!

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What is your favorite character of “Arousing the Legacy”?

That’s a tough one. I like all my characters as they have something to add to the story I want to share with my readers. They all have flaws, even the good guys, and that’s what makes them relateable o readers. However, if I were to choose I would have to say Anya, the teenage female lead in Arousing the Legacy. She starts off as high school girl who would get a crush on any handsome boy, and is very emotional. But she grows throughout the four books in the series and understands what’s really important in life. I hope to grow her more as a character in future installments.

Friendship is very important to her. She doesn’t hesitate to face danger on her own if it means her friends will stay safe. Even though she’s the main lead of the story, she’s also a teenager and thus, she makes mistakes. She has flaws and acts selfishly at times but when push comes to shove she will do whatever she can help protect the people around her.

What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?

I just enjoy writing mysteries. I like taking my readers for a ride full of twists and turns, and then offering an enjoyable and surprising end. I just like to keep my readers guessing and anticipating what will come next as they read the pages of my work.

How would you describe your writing style?

I would describe my writing style as very easy to read. I don’t like using big or complicated words. Why make readers confused and force them to open a dictionary when telling a story? If it can be conveyed in easy to understand words then why not use them? I also like ending every chapter at a cliffhanger or a big reveal whenever I can. However, I always finish my story with a proper conclusion. I don’t like leaving major plot points unresolved as I feel that readers deserve a proper ending to a story rather than be left hanging for mere shock value when they reach the last line of a book.

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What authors inspire your writing?

I grew up reading books by R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Enid Blyton, Emily Rodda, Jane Austen, and J.K. Rowling. I also greatly enjoyed The Lord of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, and one day being capable of writing a novel of such caliber is a dream of mine!

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?

I think I’m already some of the things I wanted to be along with being a writer. Even if I take being an author out of the equation I’m still a scientist, psychologist, painter, and YouTuber. Other than that I would like to be someone with the power to control the weather like Storm from X-Men, or the ability to do magic like Raven from Teen Titans! Also being a loving father to a whole bunch of kids would be nice.

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What are you working on now?

My latest book “The Escaped Murderer of Somerville” got released on 16th December, 2015. It is book three in the YA/Mystery series called ‘Somerville Mysteries’, which follows a teenage boy named Jerry Matthews and his friends as they uncover mysteries around town. This series doesn’t have a paranormal element like the Colville Mysteries, yet, but there are connections between the two, and I envision doing a huge crossover in the future.

Currently, I’m working on book four in the Somerville Mysteries as well as book five in the Colville Mysteries series. I don’t know which one I’ll complete first but I hope to publish one if not both sometime this year.

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Do you have any advice for new authors?

Never give up. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t able to get your work published as soon as you write it.

Don’t let rejection letters bring you down. Getting your work published takes time. The good thing is that you can choose from a variety of options.  You can self-publish, get your work traditionally published by a famous publishing house, or get it released through a small publisher.

Another thing I would like to say that, if you are able to, get yourself a good editor, especially if you wish to self-publish. A lot of times a great story is bogged down by mistakes that could’ve been rectified through a bit of editing. If you can’t afford an editor, then ask your friends to beta read your story. Try your best to be open to constructive criticism because what you think is awesome doesn’t guarantee the readers thinking the same. There’s always room for improvement! Even the best of authors have the best of editors!

What’s important is that you keep believing in yourself and keep on writing. Surely, even if slowly at first, you will no doubt gain the audience you deserve.

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The Lives We Fear by Dan Otsuki Blog Tour and Giveaway

Original Title: The Lives We Fear
Author: Dan Otsuki
Publisher: Mbedzi Publishing
Release Date: April 2, 2015
Genre: Horror, Short Stories
Buy @ Amazon

Fear.  From childhood it is instilled in all to fear monsters, ghosts, and other terrors within the realm of the unknown. As adults, we easily forget about the boogeyman who lurked under our bed or in the shadows of a dark corner. Our grown-up fears take on an even more disturbing twist that frequently mingles with reality.

What happens when the things we really fear—the things we can’t bare to lose—invade our lives? The truest form of the human condition is exposed. Whether rational, or irrational, survival—at any cost—becomes paramount, morals be damned. The Lives We Fear is a compilation of short stories that examines these chilling and very plausible scenarios: what does one do when the people one loves are endangered? When life spirals from beyond one’s control? Or, even when one’s humanity is in jeopardy?

From lost loves, to lost friends, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and even getting caught amidst seemingly innocent mistakes, these stories examine just what keeps us up at night and what preoccupies our nightmares when we finally sleep, because it’s not always our own demise that forces us to shiver.

EXCERPT

It felt like a movie: the extras standing in the background, overacting their sense of excitement, or sorrow, or terror; the sound seeming to distort, as though the editors wanted the shot to drown out the world, make the audience focus on what just happened, to give them the sense of how important and terrible what they just saw was. There was blood, too, and not the cheap stuff they get for bad indie films, but the kind that looks real as it spreads through the victim’s clothing like a cancer, then falls with the body. The victim, bless his role, should get an award for his performance—bags dropped to the ground, chest and shoulders shuddering from the impact as he fell with a gasp and nothing more. The shooter should at least be nominated for something, his face cold enough to cut himself from the scene, as though he could see it all unfold as a bystander. Maybe he’s the director. If so, he knows exactly what he’s doing—no ad-libbing. The victim falls, and the boys in the editing room know exactly how to work slow-motion, milk it. They really want the audience to see him fall, his head smacking the pavement, and the red wine in one of his bags falling out and cracking open and mixing with the blood around his head and that spilling from his chest (they’ll call it a symbol for a halo). The audience will cringe, maybe shriek, but after the climax, the falling resolution will leave them feeling satisfied, like that was bound to happen. Peaceful. Because a movie isn’t real. Even those “based on real events” aren’t really real. It’s just a bunch of actors, sets, props, directions—but none of it’s real.

Daniel swayed back and forth, gun trembling in his hands. He wished it was a movie. In the movies, it always works out for the good guy. Right? Wasn’t he the good guy? Wasn’t he? It sure wasn’t Jackson. Jackson’s dead.

Dead.

Really dead. Not like the movies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born on October 14, 1993, Dan Otsuki grew up an only child. As his early life found him a good thirty minutes or more away from kindergarten and preschool friends, Dan found solace in action figures and Legos, making up his own narrative of their lives and adventures. Starting in high school, and inspired by authors like Stephen King and media like The Twilight Zone, the Mass Effect video game series, and a plethora of horror films, Dan began to pursue his passion for writing. Since attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington—where Dan currently lives as he works on his undergraduate degree—Dan has found a passion for religious studies in addition to English and creative writing. He currently works at Diversions Cafe on the Puget Sound campus, and spends much of his free time engrossed with all kinds of movies with his close friends.

Exclusive Interview with Vanessa Kings’ Books

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I feel I’m a pretty average college student. I attend the University of Puget Sound, double major in English and religion, minor in business, and work as a floor lead and barista at a café. Apart from writing, I like movies, playing videogames (Super Smash Bros) with friends, and reading. I was inspired to seriously write when I was a sophomore in high school after reading Stephen King’s The Gunslinger. I don’t have a long life story to spin, unfortunately, as I’m merely 21.

How did you come up with the title of “The Lives We Fear”?

It’s a line from one of the stories—Those of Us Left. I always think it’s fun to fantasize about living in a post-apocalyptic universe or through something horror-movie-esque (a lot of my dreams actually are like pseudo-slasher movies in which I and my friends typically die in classic 80s horror film fashion), but if one were to literally live through them…that leads to some serious emotional scars.

What is your favorite character of “The Lives We Fear”?

Daniel Sawyer in Mister Jackson Monroe as I believe, in the end, he’s one of the most selfless people one could meet. It’s unfortunate he has to go through everything he does in order to become selfless, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. I’m also a huge fan of Lara from Those of Us Left as she’s both incredibly loyal as a friend while being very internalized. I feel I relate to her a lot as I’m not one who necessarily expresses what’s on my mind a whole lot, even to those I’m close to.

What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?

Thriller/Twilight-Zone-Esque stuff. I love having readers on the edge of their proverbial seats, worrying about what’s going to happen. A good twist ending, one that makes complete sense yet readers really never saw coming…I love that sort of thing, and I only hope I can provide that as consistently as I try to. Not everything I write is like that, but I try to always create some anxiety for the reader.

How would you describe your writing style?

This is such a hard question to answer. I think how I view my personal style versus how those who read my work view it are likely radically different. I also find that declaring what my style is feels overly presumptuous. I’ll leave it at this: I like to think my style is dark, thrilling, profane, surreal, and humorous at times. General, vague, but true. I’d be far more interested in knowing what others think about it!

What authors inspire your writing?

Stephen King. Flannery O’Connor. Bram Stoker. Cormac McCarthy. Brandon Sanderson.

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?

What I am now. Although I love writing, I’m quite a ways off from this being my sole source of income. Not only am I still in college working on my undergrad, but I also work as a floor lead and barista in a café. If the whole writing thing doesn’t work out, I’ll probably put my efforts into getting a PhD so I can teach.

What are you working on now?

Two things. One is a group of four novellas all within a post-apocalyptic setting. The second is a horror-esque piece set in a fictional town in central Washington State. I’m not overly far in either, probably about 20k words in the former, 35k in the latter, but when I have more time this summer, I’m hoping to settle on which idea I want to focus my efforts and crank most if not all of one of them out. I can really write quickly when I have the time and get into a rhythm.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Take criticism and ask for it as often as you can. Nothing you write is ever going to be perfect or infallible. Stick up for your work when you need to, but never refuse to change something if multiple people suggest it. Your work will never appeal to everyone, but sacrifices must be made for the greater good of your work. Often times, critiques and ideas people give you end up making your piece stronger as well.


GIVEAWAY
The author is giving away e-copies of THE
LIVES WE FEAR for 4 winners of the Rafflecopter.
 

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Interview with H.M. Lynn

Our guest this week is H.M. Lynn. Her debut book, Amendments was released last month and it looks like a very promising story! Let’s read a little bit more about this amazing new author:

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, I spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. I am married and had my first little girl in January this year.

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How did you come up with the title of “Amendments”?
The novel is based on the concept that everyone may make two amendments to their past life in an attempt to erase their mistakes, without knowing the impact this will have on their future. So I guess the novel’s name kind of took care of itself.

What is your favorite character of “Amendments”?
Without a doubt Finola. I’ve actually had people email me to say how much they dislike her, which surprises me as I see her as quite a sympathetic character who is just very flawed and struggling to make the right decisions.

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What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I like to write with elements of speculative or science fiction. I think it’s something to do with the ability to say, ‘What if?’ What if time travel were possible? What if people behaved in this way? I like the challenge that comes with skewing a new world and yet managing to keep it all believable and convincing.

How would you describe your writing style?
Generally I guess I’d say it is fairly descriptive, and I like to think that I build up my stories slowly adding layers throughout. I tend to leave space for the readers to add their own interpretations to the story and I very rarely spell things straight out, which often leads to great debates over what may or may not have happened. I also always try to create characters that are relatable, and for that, I feel their flaws must be explored alongside their more positive attributes.

What authors inspire your writing? Do you have a mentor?
Attwood and Murakami have always very inspirational to me, both for their fantastic writing, but also for their commitment to more diverse and abstract stories, that often seem to push against what seems commercially viable. Amiee Bender is another author who has the ability to suspend a reader’s disbelief to such an extraordinary level.
Although not specifically mentors I have been lucky enough to be part of some fantastic writing groups over the years, that have provided me with endless encouragement as well as very honest feed back.

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
Well before I decided to commit full-time to writing I was a physics teacher, a career I found thoroughly rewarding, so that is one option. But really I would love to own a little sweet shop, which I’d call ‘Just One More’.

What are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on a follow up to Amendments. It is not a direct sequel exactly, but it is set in the same world. While Amendments is about coping with lose and dealing with consequences, this story is about making choices and responsibility that come with them.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write. Everyday sit down and write your target amount of words. It doesn’t matter if they are not great, just get them written. And once you’ve the written, edit, edit, edit.
Stephen King’s book, A Memoir of the Craft, is a fantastic guide to the practical elements of writing.

If you have to choose only one book to keep, knowing the others would be destroyed, which one would you save?
Destroy books? No never!
If it were non-fiction I would have to keep The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. It is an inspirational story that shows just how powerful the human will is, and how anything is achievable if you are truly determined. If it had to be fictional that would be trickier, perhaps the Maddaddam Trilogy, or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. But now I have a daughter and there are so many books I want her to read growing up – The Faraway Tree, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowel. No sorry, I can’t decide!

Thank you very much H.M. Lynn for stopping by to answer our questions!

Buy H.M. Lynn books following the links below

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Interview with Jessica Werner

Our guest this week is Jessica Werner, she is the author of Kaleidoscope of my mind and  Sra’kalor (Ashwood Falls Part 1).

Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is and has always been Jessica, and I was born almost 36 years ago in a coal miner city in Germany. Though the only effect of that industry I have ever seen were the breathtaking purple skies in the morning. For about 13 years now I am living in Berlin with the love of my life and am enjoying all kinds of creative outlets, Movies, TV shows of all kind of genres and computer games.

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How did you come up with the title of “Sra’kalor”?
For my Ashwood Falls Series I had a concept in my mind when it comes to my book titles. While every book of the Trilogy will play around the same couple, each has a new ‘baddie’ to put obstacles into their way. The book titles are something that is connected to the opponent in the respective book. So Sra’kalor has a connection to the character of Dracon, but what kind of connection that is, you’ll have to find out yourself.

What is your favorite character of “Sra’kalor”?
That is hard, but if I had to decide it would be Alana. Despite the obstacles and the completely foreign life she finds herself in, she finds strength and does not give up. She also is that kind of innocent that I sometimes which to go back to, not knowing about the dangers and evil things in the world.

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What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
Romance and children’s stories. I just love writing them, and it is really hard to describe why. I just feel fully emerged when I can write romance stories. I am a helpless romantic, always have been. When it comes to children stories, I imagine telling my future kids these stories one day, which gives them the extra spark.

How would you describe your writing style?
Chaotic creative. I have so many ideas all the time. I just write them down and hope to get to it. When it comes to a story I am writing on, I have a million notes written down, and am trying to sort them, so I can integrate them more easily. Though when it comes to actual writing I am the kind that begins and then goes in chronological order. I know that some people write a beginning, then an end and then the parts in between in no particular order, but I would confuse myself with that. I prefer following the story timeline but let it flow and see where it goes.

What authors inspire your writing?
There are quite some. I am reading so much and when I like their writing they inspire me with it. It would be impossible to list them all. Linda Howard, Nalini Singh, John R. Cameron, Lynsay Sands, Shannon K. Butcher, Katie MacAlister, to just name a few.

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
I have never thought about that, to be honest, since I always knew that I want to write. But I would possibly do something with kids.

What are you working on now?
I am working on the second part of the Ashwood Falls Trilogy, which will continue the story of Alana and Leandrus/Tyler. I also am working on a story, that will add a little twist to a well known Fairy Tale. I won’t reveal much about that yet, as that is still in the fledgling stages.

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Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write what you love, write as often as you can, do your ‘homework’ and don’t give up. There are times when it seems impossible, but those fade away once you see your name on that finished book.

Thank you very much Jessica for stopping by to answer our questions!

Buy Jessica’s books by following the links below
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Interview with J.D.R. Hawkins

Our guest this week is J.D.R. Hawkins she is the author of  A Beautiful, Glittering Lie  among other books.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your latest book.
I am an award winning author who has had several titles published. My latest book is A Beautiful Glittering Lie. It is the first book in the Renegade Series.

How did you come up with the title of “A Beautiful Glittering Lie”?
The title is based off a quote from a Confederate soldier who fought in the Civil War. He referred to battle as a “glittering lie.” I loved that reference, so I expanded on it.

What is your favorite character of “A Beautiful Glittering Lie”?
My favorite character is David Summers, the son of a Confederate infantryman. Although he is obligated to stay at home, his longing for adventure leads him into trouble.

What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
Primarily, I write historical fiction. It is fascinating to research history and see what ghosts, secrets, and little known facts I can discover.

How would you describe your writing style?
I think my books are fast paced, easy, exciting reads.

What authors inspire your writing? Do you have a mentor?
Other authors who have inspired me include Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Margaret Mitchell, J.K. Rowling and Charles Frazier. I don’t have a mentor.

What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
A musician and/or an artist. (I have music available on iTunes as Julie Hawkins)

What are you working on now?
My nonfiction book about the Civil War, Horses in Gray, will be published in a few months. I also have the third book in the Renegade Series coming out later this year.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never give up! Write every chance you get. Take classes, go to conferences and join a writing group. The more you immerse yourself in the craft, the better you will become.

If you have to choose only one book to keep, knowing the others would be destroyed, which one would you save?
The Holy Bible.

Thank you very much J.D.R. Hawkins for stopping by to answer our questions!

Buy J.D.R. Hawkins books using the following links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
eBay

Visit J.D.R. Hawkins website

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