Q & A — Robert K. Swisher Jr.

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Please welcome Robert to my blog this Friday!!

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rksSo, what have you written?
I have written over thirty novels of which fourteen have been published by small presses and five I have indied.  Four I threw away.  Three of my traditional novels have also been released as e books.  When I started writing in 1967 I wrote poetry and placed many with literary presses. I then wrote short stories and also placed many with small presses.  I turned to novels.  My novels range from historical fiction, contemporary, young adult, mysteries and humor.  I have also written for newspapers and several magazines.  Many of my novels have been reviewed by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and many others.  I should mention I did not go to college.
Where can you buy or see them?
The small press books are on all the book sights.  My indie novels I did through KDP and are on Amazon and other sites that stole them.  I think a new writer should go with KDP, it’s free, has the biggest market share, and a great learning process.  You can see all my books on my Author Page which links to Amazon.  Side note – I have had good luck with free days, sales after, and countdown and only spent 35 dollars for promo.
What are you working on this minute?
I have three completed novels that are being edited. One, HOPE, is the story of the residents of an old folks home that learn how to fly. Two, THE LONELY COWBOY, the story of a man’s life that he tells to his horse as he is riding around a ranch.  Three, HOW BRIDGE MCCOY LEARNED HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU, is the story of a writer that walks two steps forward and one back, cannot stand change, and when he tries to tell the lady he has fallen in love with he loves her all he can say is I, I, I, Lo, Lo, Lo, and he starts to choke.  It is a funny snide look at modern life filled with unique character.  One of my favorites is a man that walks around town wearing a billboard that states -THERE IS ONLY SIX BILLIONS YEARS LEFT FOR THE WORLD – which give or tale a billion years or so is true but it makes all the people in town paranoid.  And, I am half way through a novel titled VENT, reading the book the reader has to fill in blanks and answer questions,
When did you decide to become a writer?
After I got out of the army there was nothing else I wanted to do.  I have had more odd jobs than I can remember.  I also embrace poverty.
Where do your ideas come from?
My early novels were based on man’s interaction with the land around him.  My latest ideas come from little green men that live on the far side of the moon.  I normally have a dozen ideas swimming around in my head and when I think I can finish one off I go.
Do you work from and outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?
I story board my books as I go.  I put sketch paper on the wall and draw out the novel as it progresses.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Six months to a year.  Then a year or more to keep working on them.  Some novels it has taken three or four years.  There is no norm.  I normally work on two books at a time.
If some of your books are part of a series tells us about it.
I wrote the Bob Roosevelt Mystery Series for fun and put it out on KDP.  All of my earlier work is serious.  I had an idea in my head about a funny mystery series and decided to do it.  Roosevelt is trying to find is center and a soul mate but all he ever finds is murder.  To top it off he is saddled by a not so nice guardian angel named Pea Brain that thinks Roosevelt is boring. The books, in order are titled, A BUCKET FULL OF LIES, TROUT FISHING FOR BODIES, DOUBLE BOGEY MURDER, and, FROGS DON’T CROAK IN THE WINTER.  They have received good reviews.  For new indie writers I think a series is easier to promote.  If you can get some good reviews on the first one you can get sales on the others.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers.
Don’t give up.  Write what you want.  Don’t listen to others about your ideas.  My first novel, THE LAND, was rejected 400 times before being picked up by a small press, it was then reviewed by all the big boys, optioned, and is still in print and released as an e book – it led to the publication of seven more books.
What are your thoughts on good and bad reviews.
You will get them both – don’t fret.  There is an old saying – any review is a good review – some people will read a book after reading a bad review merely to see if they agree or disagree.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writers block.
Beer always helped me…don’t worry…it will pass…try writing anything, if you don’t like it toss it, the good ideas will return, sometimes they need a vacation.
Why do you think that other well written books don’t sell?
Having been in this writing game for 45 years I have seen good books sell, bad books sell, and on and on.  I do not believe in destiny.  I think it boils down to hard work and luck.  If you keep hammering at the door your chances get better.  Write a book, promote it for awhile and then move on and write another book.  The indie game has opened up a whole new world for writers
but both traditional and indie takes promotion.  Use the free sites unless you are rich.  Keep at it, don’t quit – life all ends up the same anyway. The best to all of you – good luck with your writing.
*****
You can follow Robert on any one of these fine places on the internet!

Q & A — Regan Claire

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Please welcome Regan Claire to the blog today ahead of the release of her debut novel Gathering water. As always stay tuned to the blog for all the info!

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GatheringWater4aWhat were you like at school?

I wasn’t the best student. Honestly, I was lazy. I was smart, in all Honors and whatnot, so my teachers were always especially disappointed in me, you know, because of all the wasted potential. I never did homework, and my mom would literally ground me from books since I read instead of doing my school work!

Were you good at English?

No. I was good at reading. I’m terrible at English. Me no talk good. I like to say that I’m a storyteller learning to write. I’ve got story up the wazoo, but my grammar leaves something to be desired.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Um, to sell millions of copies worldwide, and eventually sell movie rights and become a bajillionaire? Haha, not really. I’m just hoping to provide an enjoyable pastime to girls like I was. I want to write something that strikes a chord with it’s readers. To write worthwhile role-models with realistic, healthy,  relationships. And to change the world…

Give us an insight into your main character.

What does he/she do that is so special? Della has shielded herself her entire life. She’s been through some pretty traumatic stuff, so it’s understandable. But what makes her special is her refusal to let her past define her. She’s not a victim. Yes, she has a few issues, but she doesn’t let her issues control her. Also, she’s got some pretty stellar elemental abilities that she has only recently discovered, and she’s pretty bad*ss with them.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Haha. I decided to write in sixth grade. My teacher at the time pulled me after class one day and told me that I should consider that for my career one day. The word, I dunno, resonated and ever since then ‘writing’ has been my #1 life goal. Thanks Mrs. Keckley!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I have two daughters, 5 and 1yr old. I can’t expect them to go out and follow their dreams if I’m too afraid to follow my own. As their mother, it’s my job to be their role model. I need them to see that I’ve put myself out there, that I’m doing something that I love, and that even though it’s hard that it’s worth it. If they don’t see me pursue my own personal happiness and fulfillment, how will they know to do the same?

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I don’t currently have the kind of schedule that lets me write everyday, so I set word count goals for the week. Sometimes I can knock it all out in one day, sometimes I have to plug away a little here and a little there to meet it. I make sure my goal is something achievable, and try to take scheduling issues into consideration when making it.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? 

The series is all about Della. It’s the story of her journey to self discovery. She grew up not even knowing her real name, and suddenly she finds herself surrounded by an incredible family she’s only just learned about. Gathering Water, the first book, is about her discovering her place in her mothers family. The second will be about her father’s family and where she fits in there, and the third will be about her meshing the two worlds together and truly finding herself. Oh and saving the world… or destroying it.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I have about a million someones to help with editing! I have a great writers group that offered a lot of suggestions, then family and friends that are far more capable than I will ever be with grammar and punctuation. I love punctuation, and use it way too frequently. Especially the semi-colon. My first draft probably had about a thousand of them, and that is NOT an exaggeration.

Who designed your book cover/s?

A family friend, Bruce Gore. The man is a designing genius!

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I think covers play an enormous role in the buying process. I am/was an avid reader, so I have that ‘consumer’ view point still. I look at the cover, then the title, then the synopsis (or the title, cover, synopsis if I’m in a real brick and mortar bookstore)… if I like all three I buy. If I don’t, then I move on. The old adage is ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but I think humans are very visual, so the visual aspects of our book need to be spot on!

How are you publishing this book and why?
I agonized over this. Seriously. Sleepless nights tossing and turning, wondering if I was making the right decision. When it comes down to it, I want to write. I’m an artist. I think that deadlines, contracts, and all the stuff that goes with traditional publishing might impede my ability AS an artist, so I’m skipping it.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Beg, plead, and do book reviews for others…. That’s how it works, right? Haha, I’m still incredibly new to this, so right now I’m really doing that. The begging and pleading.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

So far, so good. I’m in contact with a few wonderful bloggers that have been incredibly helpful!

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

Absolutely. I only have one book, and it’s not even released yet. But I still have the ‘consumer’ mindset right now, and I know for a fact that freebies have encouraged me to be an author-stalker, buying and reading all works by a new author like some literary piranha. Nom nom nom.

New Releases: The Fireplace by Deb Peters

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*****

How does a boy of thirteen feel just coming home to find his life turned upside down?
I’ll tell you, I’m glad the airport sent me TSA Agent Eric Lawrence.
Why would he risk his job for a stranger?
He had told me that he knew what I was about to go through.
I just hoped we would find a clue to set things right before we both might get thrown into the fire.

On Sale Now! 

New Releases: 3 Sides by Deb Peters

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*****

For years they heard stories of people getting lost. When all hope of solving the mystery was failed time after time, then came the idea. Just when you think you have heard it all, well here’s another crack at changing the outcome. No matter how daunting the task maybe, they want to come up with some kind of rescue mission. Mary, Jesse, and Amanda will attempt to show the rumors are true. Will they become one of the lost or one of the found?

*****

On Sale Now! 

Q & A — Tabitha Baumander

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Please give a warm welcome to Tabitha!

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IMG_5232What are your ambitions for your writing career? 

Make a living.

Which writers inspire you?

My style is a bit of a mix between a guy who wrote in the 1920s calls Thorn Smith and Rod Serling (the tv show twilight zone)

So, what have you written?

I have five novels on Amazon and I’m in two anthology’s.

CASTLE DOOM and my novella  THE POND are published by JEA press. The pond is also in an anthology of novella’s (you need to get the cover and title from Catt they put it on line at a time when I was really busy at work and I haven’t gotten around to posting it on my web page etc) All work published by JEA is available in paper and electronically.

I have two books published with another press ELSEWHERE and THE POWER AND THE BLOOD also available in paper and electronically.

BLUE BLOOD and WHEEL WITHIN A WHEEL are self published. Paper only.Elsewhere_Tabatha_v3

Where can we buy or see them?

Amazon only.

What are you working on at the minute?

At this point I am writing the novelization of a screen play I wrote last spring. It’s a zombie story. It will end up being a YA length book.

What genre are your books?

wheelMy books run the gamut label wise. Let’s just say if it has a splash of unreality in it I’ve either got some example of it or I’ll get to it.

What draws you to this genre?

I don’t have a lot of interest or respect for reality but then Reality has never had much respect for me.

How much research do you do?

I seldom do deliberate research. I try and maintain an interest in the world around me. If the information sticks in my head sooner or later it gets used. I don’t do fact and detail heavy fiction.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Writing picked me. I simply have a brain that takes in information and spits out plot. If I didn’t write I’d be a female version of thepowerandtheblood cover“Walter Mitty” day dreaming my life away. I have written since grade school and probably always will.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I have a day job so you could call it part time but really it’s a life choice more than an occupation.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I try and write every day but sometimes life does interfere and there have been times when I just needed to rest a bit. When my batteries recharged I came back to it and started something new.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Castle doom 2Do people even own typewriters anymore? I write on computer. The way I spell it’s the only way anyone would ever be able to read the stuff.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I tend to have a general idea of where a story needs to go and where it ends. Middles can be challenging but that’s where you do that thing called WORK.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Selling the stuff.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Writing it.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The time has shrunk through the years. Also I tend to rewrite ad nausium so its hard to say strictly speaking. For a full length adultblueBlood book of 80 thousand words if you added it all up about a year.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

(CUE THE SOAP BOX)

Stop editing yourself before you even put the words down. Also recognise when the real world is getting in the way of your writing. Sometimes other crap bleeds into the part of your mind that deals with writing and you get stuck. Go deal with it then come back. Also recognise that it will NOT be perfect when you first put it down stop expecting it to be. That one thing stresses people out so much that they freeze. A great exercise is to go take some acting improv classes.  Improv teaches you to take away the barriers between your mouth and your brain and just go with it. And incidentally acting classes on the whole will teach you the difference between speakable dialogue, the way people really talk and the crap a lot of writers think is realistic.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 

It’s vital. You have to catch the reader’s eye and that is what the cover does.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?

I’ve made a couple but they’re pretty primitive.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Don’t wait for INSPIRATION to write. Writing is work. Learn the mechanics, work at it and the inspiration will come.

*****

Keep track of Tabitha on any one of these fine places on the web!

Website: http://tabithabaumander.yolasite.com/
Blog: n/a not really that opinionated
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TabithaBaumanderCanadianWriter
Twitter: @tovha
Lnkedin:
Pinterest:
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Tabitha-Baumander/e/B00F6GJCZ2
Smashwords:
Book Links: ? doesn’t the amazon page cover this
Goodreads
: I’m on there but don’t really understand how it’s supposed to work.

Q & A — Jane Dougherty

q & aPlease welcome Jane to the blog today ahead of her new release and sequel to the Dark Citadel! As always stay tuned to the blog for more on that!

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IMGP4852 4What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I hadn’t really thought of it as a career. Like a lot of writers I had a job and a family long before I considered sitting down and writing. When you have responsibilities it’s harder to just do your own thing. The children and a rare medical condition stopped my career in the wine trade, and writing became a legitimate way of spending my enforced time at home. Writing at first was getting down that story we all have inside us. Now though, I write all the time, skipping from one form to another, novel, short story, and poetry, depending on my mood and what as ideas come to me. I just hope I live long enough to publish all of the stories germinating in my head. It’s a slow process.

So, what have you written?

I have written the three volumes of The Green Woman series, two volumes of a follow-on series, plus a volume of in-world stories connected to The Green Woman. There’s a two part sf/fantasy story and the first part of a historical fantasy ready to query and/or start editing. There are also two short volumes of stories based on Norse and Irish mythology that I need to get on with editing.

The Dark Citadel is currently a finalist in the MARSocial Author of the Year contest. There are plans to make a film of the winning entry. We have all been tweeting and promoting all the entries like crazy to create a big media buzz. You never know, we might onedarkcitadel day get to see Deborah, my heroine, in the flesh.

Where can we buy or see them?

Only the first volume of The Green Woman series, The Dark Citadel has been published so far. The second volume, The Subtle Fiend is in the final stages of editing and I hope to publish it very soon. The collection of in-world stories, In the Beginning I self-published last November. Some of my poetry has appeared in Poetry Nook magazine, and The Bamboo Hut, an on-line poetry revue.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

The story of The Green Woman is quite complex and has several distinct strands that don’t come together until the final volume. The central character though is Deborah, a girl approaching the end of her schooling, or what passes for schooling in Providence, and on the point of taking up the rest of her life as wife of the executioner’s disturbed son. Deborah has had a tough, loveless life, taken away from her disgraced High Caste parents and brought up by a couple who dislike her intensely. But she is not typical of the average Providence schoolgirl and she refuses her destiny.

Deborah isn’t a particularly likeable girl to begin with, but she is courageous. I forgive her the rather arrogant, selfish side of her nature because she grows in maturity and tries to overcome it. Although her outbursts are often motivated by self-interest, she does protest about injustices even though she knows the penalty will be unpleasant. I hope she comes over as human, with failings and strengths. A flawed hero is much more interesting in my opinion than a perfect specimen.

What are you working on at the minute?

In the beginning coverAt the minute I’m wrapping up The Subtle Fiend. Ideally I would like to release it on February 1st, the feast of Imbolc. As many people will know, Imbolc is one of the big fire festivals in the Celtic calendar and it’s rather appropriate for this book. Then it’s on to editing volume three of The Green Woman. I’d also like to get some of my stories into shape for release as they contain some of the writing I’m most pleased with.

What genre are your books?

My books are all fantasy. Even the more gritty, post-apocalyptic story is essentially a fantasy. I have difficulty keeping fairy stories and myths out of my stories. Satan in particular has a habit of cropping up in one form or another.

What draws you to this genre?

Fantasy is probably what I enjoy reading most these days. I read to escape into a different world as I am growing increasingly depressed by this one. My childhood favourites are all fantasy stories, and I have never lost the taste for the magical. I wanted to write books I would actually like to read myself. I almost gave up on my first draught of The Green Woman because I wasn’t convinced I would like it enough to read it.

Where do the your ideas come from?

That is a very good question. Most of the time I see a scene and know who the characters are and what they’re doing. I don’t know what they’re going to do next, but it’s a start. Once that first scene is fleshed out, the characters let me know where they’re going. They need taking in hand once the story gets going because they don’t always know what’s best for the plot.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

When I first began to write it was about the things I knew intimately. Then I wrote a story about a bog man in a museum and realised I’d enjoyed writing that story more than any of the semi-autobiographical stuff that preceded it. The first step forwardTheSubtleFiendcover2 was the jump from introspection to exploration of the imagination. That has led me to taking established stories and retelling them, which strangely enough doesn’t come over as a simple rip off. The old legends were once considered historically accurate, and the characters real people. Taking their stories seriously has been an exercise I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Who designed your book cover/s?

The first cover was designed by Kelly Shorten at Musa Publishing. She had to work within set parameters but was very good about letting me choose the images, colours, and type face, out of what was available. I have created the covers for my self-published books; it’s something I enjoy doing. They all have covers before I even start the editing. I know nothing at all about computer graphics and don’t have photoshop, but since the best covers have to be simple and clear, that isn’t too much of an obstacle.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I’m sure it does. It’s the first contact the eye has with your book, before even scanning the blurb. I personally wouldn’t even bother reading the blurb of a book with a seriously ugly cover. I know it isn’t fair, that not everyone who is good with words is also good with graphics, but that’s the way it is. I can’t help thinking that anyone who can tolerate showcasing their work with a hideous cover has no aesthetic sense at all.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

More books are being published than ever before. There are more and more aspiring authors, and small publishers are springing up to cater to that market. Now, with self-publishing, anybody can be a published author, and self-pubbing carries less of a stigma as we are getting used to the idea that the traditional publishers don’t necessarily pick the best books. So why go with a small publisher? If your book is accepted by a good small press where it will get professional editing, professional cover art, and marketing, you have three good reasons. Unfortunately many small publishers don’t edit, produce nasty covers from stock images, and do no marketing whatsoever. In that case, there is nothing at all to be gained from giving them your book.

*****

Please be sure to follow Jane and her work in any one of these fine places on the internet!

 

Website:http://wildgeesebooks.com/

Blog:http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JaneDoughertyWriter

Twitter: @MJDougherty33

Lnkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=211627030&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/janedougherty33/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Dougherty/e/B00FMR7Y0U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364196

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dark-Citadel-Green-Woman-ebook/dp/B00FMGDU04

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dark-Citadel-Green-Woman-ebook/dp/B00FMGDU04

http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Beginning-Jane-Dougherty-ebook/dp/B00GIYLCOK

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Jane-Dougherty-ebook/dp/B00GIYLCOK/ref=la_B00FMR7Y0U_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385976525&sr=1-2
Goodreads
:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6953978.Jane_Dougherty

NEW RELEASES — The Bazzar by Jennifer Ponce

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BazaarKDPCoverforAmazon“You are human. Yet not human.” She studied me as if pulling me apart at the seams to see the stuffing inside. “You used Skriven magic yet no being can use it but the Skriven.” She reached out a hand and I cringed into the wall. I didn’t want her to touch me, but touch me she did and her finger burned like a brand on my collarbone. “I shall speak with Tytan. Until then, you can give me a piece in return.”

Pain lanced through my body. My back arched with the fury of it and I thrashed in agony. I’d like to say it was over as fast as it happened but even after she took her finger away, the spot on my collarbone burned white hot.

“I think I like you,” she said, and then the acrid smell returned, the shadows enveloped her and she vanished.

*****

On Sale Now! 

Q & A — Amanda Lyons

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Please welcome Amanda Lyons to my blog for another Friday Q & A session!

*****

In_Your_Eyes_by_nightshade44637So, what have you written?

Eyes Like Blue Fire which is a gothic horror novel about a vampire facing up to her past so that she can move on. It’s more complicated than that but that’s the base of it. There are ghosts, ghouls and vampires in it and all of them play a part in her journey toward a future that is hopefully more positive than her past.  Right now it’s being looked over for a possible rewrite.

I’m also the author of Wendy Won’t Go a horror novelette about a family being haunted by a terrible apparition that attacks them. It’s a years long haunting and has some serious affects of their lives, there’s also quite a lot going on with it that we don’t figure out until the end. It’s more of a tale of loss and grief than it is about being scared, but I like to think that it can be chilling as well. I’ve had some good reviews that seem to indicate I’ve done well with that.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

I think I’ll cover Wendy Won’t Go here. Our main character is Billy he’s a middle aged man, a writer struggling to make do for himself and his daughter. He never expected to be a single dad but he’s making it work, his little girl is growing strong and healthy. In fact the only trouble really is the ghost, she attacks the girl the most and Billy is torn by this feeling of guilt because he can’t protect her from it. The haunting works on both of them on some many levels, making their lives not only complicated but limited. He’s this strong and loving dad who has to reconcile himself with the idea there’s no way he can fully protect his child.

Where can we buy or see them?

http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Amanda-M-Lyons/e/B00C8H0V2A/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m working on a short horror collection with my brother Robert Lyons II called Apocrypha. There’s quite a few really great stories in it, “Love Like Blood” being one of my favorites from the ones I contributed. It’s about a mother who makes a terribleEyes Complete Cover bargain in order to save the last thing that’s important to her. In many ways it’s a sister to Wendy Won’t Go. Wendy Won’t Go was actually originally intended for the collection, but it ran a little long and I decided to offer it on its own. This will be Robert’s debut as an author and I’m looking forward to what people will think of his work. I tell him he’s a great writer, really visual and visceral but he’s waiting for what readers think before he accepts that sort of compliment.  Robert is still working on his stories and I have a couple I might add to it as well. I’m hoping to see it out within the next 6 months.

What’s it about?

All of those stories you hear about that aren’t quite to be believed. You hear a headline like ‘Woman pushes Garbage Bin of Body Parts Through Neighborhood” or some story of the paranormal on a site or blog about Black Eyed Children or awful ghosts, strange events of some sort all the time. We always dismiss these things or make a point of forgetting them because they’re just too strange to be real. Well, what if they were real? What if something came into your kids’ room at night and you didn’t know it? What if there really was something wrong with your baby? We have worries every day about things that seem silly when we think about them, but what if things went just a little differently and they really could happen? These stories are the what ifs and the secret stories of everyday people.

What genre are your books?

Mostly horror

What draws you to this genre?

Believe it or not being the chicken who’s afraid of a lot of things. It’s about trying to understand what scares us and why. I always had a very vivid imagination and it fueled all kinds of nightmares and daydreams when I was a kid, a lot of it was really scary stuff and it would overwhelm me. To this day a lot of nightmares end up sticking with me, writing them out is part of what helps get them out of my head.

Which writers inspire you?

Gary Braunbeck for the human and emotional part of horror, Stephen King for the narrative storyteller’s voice, Clive Barker for the surreal and strange, Joe Lansdale for the dark and so much advice that really helps. I have a ton of writers that inspire me really but these are the ones I can think of at the moment. Also Robert Edward Lyons II who inspires me to work hard at creating something as strong and inventive as his work. He’s also good at catching the things that don’t work. I used to torture him with the awful stuff I wrote in Junior High and I guess he learned to catch my flaws that way.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Wendy Won't Go 1st coverI’ve always had great ideas to work to work with but my ability to really get them across took a long time to develop. I actually studied a lot of writers’ work when I was younger so that I could try and build on my skills. Between reading, doing exercises and writing and then rewriting I learned a lot. I don’t think you ever stop learning ways to make things better.

Who designed your book cover/s?

Eyes Like Blue Fire was made with Createspace, it was my first book and I was more invested in getting it out there. Wendy Won’t Go got a great cover from Susan Simone who’s also the executive editor for my publisher J Ellington Ashton Press. She’s very creative and between her and Catt (one of our CEOs) I got a really great sort of retro cover.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Definitely!  There are tons of really great writers out there that don’t get noticed because their cover either doesn’t match their story or doesn’t catch the attention of their potential readers. It’s probably one of the top five things you should concern yourself with in terms of promotion and quality.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Never underestimate the power of self-promotion! Before your book is out go around and see what there is you could be doing to get the word out before it comes out when it’s out and after. Author interviews, promotion pages, guest blogs, your own blog, Goodreads the list goes on whether you’re with a publisher or an indie.

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You can follow Amanda on any one of these fine places on the internet!

Website: http://amandamlyons.weebly.com/

Blog: http://amandamlyons.weebly.com/blog.html
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/AmandaMLyons
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/AmandaMLyons
Lnkedin: 
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=257653375&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
Amazon Author Page:
 http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Amanda-M-Lyons/e/B00C8H0V2A/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Book Links:

Eyes Like Blue Fire: http://www.amazon.com/Eyes-Like-Blue-Broken-Edges-ebook/dp/B00C8BL9FY/ref=la_B00C8H0V2A_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388455875&sr=1-1

Wendy Won’t Go: http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Wont-Go-Amanda-Lyons-ebook/dp/B00HCYBKYC/ref=la_B00C8H0V2A_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388455875&sr=1-2

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7035440.Amanda_M_Lyons

New Releases: Illusions Begin by N.L. Green

new-releases-books

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Katherine Rebecca has always done exactly what was expected of her.  Her prim and proper upbringing taught her the importance of family, sacrifice, and social stature.  She has followed in her parent’s footsteps, being trained and groomed daily almost from birth, to take over the family law firm.  It was never a question of IF she wanted to but WHEN she would take the reins of the company.  She worked rigorously toward that predetermined goal her entire life.  She gave up friends, boyfriends, and an exciting social life in order to propel herself through school and college.  Katherine Rebecca strives to please her parents.  More than anything, she basked in their praise and approval.  But now, at 21 years old, she finds herself leading a life that is nothing like the life she imagined for herself.

Becky has always possessed a deep love of magic.  Ever since she was a small child she has been fascinated with magicians, illusions, mystery, and the vague hope that there was some sort of real magic in the world. But this is a secret no one knows, or at least that’s what she thought.  Until one day Becky finds a mysterious business card in her pocket that leads her to an equally mysterious man.  He opens up a whole new world of possibilities to her, one with a tantalizing proposition that she never thought imaginable.

Could magic actually be real?

On Sale Now! 

Q & A — Jennifer Ponce

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Please welcome Jennifer Ponce to the blog ahead of her new release The Bazzar coming out one week from today! Check back on the blog for more details!

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Jen small head shotWhat were you like at school?

My best friends and I all liked to write so that’s what we did in school. Kathy and I wrote mysteries, sci fi/fantasy, and hard boiled detective stories. (How hard boiled can teenagers be, I ask you.) Becky and I read those 80s bodice rippers nonstop and that’s what we wrote. We had to guard our notebooks very carefully because our classmates wanted to steal them and read “the good parts.”

Which writers inspire you?

Even though I wrote throughout high school and college, I wasn’t really writing. I was playing and it was fun. It wasn’t until I read Stephen King’s On Writing that I started writing with an eye for publication. Current authors who inspire me are Lilith Saintcrow, Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, and Jennifer Estep.

I’m also inspired every day by all the amazing, talented, and friendly indie authors I’ve become friends with through a fantasy writer’s group on Facebook. I’m proud to have such great writers to talk with and learn from.

So, what have you written?

My first published book is The Bazaar and it’s available exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and ebook form. I’ve been posting short stories on my blog that are free for anyone to read.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that’s so special?

The idea for The Bazaar started as a dream. It was full of action, an imperiled witch, an assassin spider, and another world accessible from our own through places called Hooks. Unfortunately I didn’t have any anchor for the story, no compelling character who would experience these things. I knew I wanted a character that was firmly grounded in our reality, who had her own mundane troubles to deal with. I liked the idea of having a character who had kids be a main character as well because most of the kickass characters in the books I’ve read are single women.

My main character, Devany Miller, is a wife and a mother. She has a job and all the stress that goes along with that. She’s special because she does the right thing even when it’s the hard thing. I put her into a lot of scary and dangerous situations that don’t always work out to her favor, but she keeps fighting.

What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?

I’m working on another book inspired by a dream. (Yay, dreams!) This one came to me in a three act structure and I thought it would be easy peasy to write the thing, but the characters have demanded a bigger book and an earlier start to their story than I’d planned. I’m enjoying writing about the main character Taye Pocrejac because she’s not a conventional hero. She has a lot of faults—perhaps more than some readers will like—but her story is all about people looked down upon for one reason or another being heroic despite the scorn.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Right now I’m working within the urban fantasy genre. It has so many of the elements I love in books that I feel like it’s a great fit for me as a writer. I adore strong female leads, strong supernatural elements, and antiheroes, as well as villains I might—in anotherBazaarKDPCoverforAmazon context—root for.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The hardest part about writing The Bazaar was putting Devany’s kids in jeopardy. I know, I know, they are only fictional characters, but I kept thinking about my kids being in danger and it made writing those scenes agonizing.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

This book is a series. I have written the second already, have started the third, and just realized where I want to go for the fourth. I don’t outline because it kills my creative mojo every time I try it, so my ideas for the third and fourth might deviate from what I’m thinking right now. I do have the overarching theme of the series in mind when I’m writing and I am following my overall vision for Devany and her opposition.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series.

I personally love series. When I fall in love with a character, it’s both soothing and exciting to know that more books will be written about the character/s I love. Hell Wrecker, the book with Taye Pocrejac as a main character (and Lucifer as a very important secondary) is a stand alone. I don’t see those characters carrying more books, even a sequel. Well, maybe Lucifer. He is a rather showy guy.

Who designed your book cover?

I did! I know it’s against the conventional wisdom for self-publishers to do their own but part of the joy of being an indie author is making my decisions about my work, for good or ill. I recently found GIMP (like Adobe Photoshop, only free!) and went a little crazy making covers—even for books I haven’t written yet!

Two cool things about my cover: one, I’m the shadowy figure at the front of the book and two, the creepy head started out as my youngest son’s head (for scale) and I ‘sculpted’ the finished head from there. (The head is Nex, a fleshcrawler from the swamps of Midia. He’s actually a pretty cool guy…er, head…)

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You can find Jennifer in any one of theses awesome places on the internet! 

Website: www.JenniferPonce.com

Blog: www.JenniferPonce.com/skunkblog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenponceauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jenponceauthor

Linkedin:  linkd.in/1asrPnl

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jenponceauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/JteGUi

Book Links: http://amzn.to/1cOIrpV

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1l5VPNI