Q & A — Amanda Lyons

q & a

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.

*****

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

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

*****

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

q & a

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!

*****

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…)

*****

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

Q & A — Deborah Peters

q & a

Please give a warm welcome to my second guest of the year Deborah Peters! She has some hot new releases coming out over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to stop by for more details!

*****

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

It depends on whether I need to do quite a bit of research or not for it. My picture books for kids seem to take no time at all. There have been sometimes that I have written as many as 72 manuscripts in under a month. Once I get my information together for a young adult story, then they take no time at all. On a good day, I usually smash my goals that I had set for myself.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I have quite a few book series ideas in different genres. I fell in love with reading books that was in series form. There have been a few of my stories that I felt couldn’t end, so became a series.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

I would be lying if I said I devoted 100% of my time to writing. Since I make my own bookmarks, book trailers, and post daily on my fan page; I would say I devote 80% of my days through the week to writing, typing, and marketing.

Which Social Network works best for you?

552666_314842115303328_1176533685_n

FaceBook. I had a website and I have Twitter. I have author spotlights, but noticed with FaceBook, a friend can refer it to a friend whom can refer it to a friend.

Do you have a trailer? Do you intend to create one of your own?

I did try the route of paying someone to make a trailer for me. After two attempts, I figured out how to make my own. I have one for each book I have published. I also created a Behind The Making Of The Book Videos-Where I actually talk about things that might have happened during the making of the book.

Did You make any marketing mistakes?

Yes. When I won contest money to publish-instead of marketing the first book, I published another one.

What’s your favorite positive saying?

When someone would critique my story, I would have to remember that I am an award winning author and that means I have talent. I thought about my passion and imagination. When my health was bad and how I found ways around doing things. I used my persistence to keep going. I also look back at my quote: “With Passion and Imagination, I Will Never Stop Writing.”

1381296_444972728956932_1010792870_nWhat Advice would you give to your younger self?

With persistence, you can do anything you put your mind to and don’t let anyone tell you different-not even yourself.

What Advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you have an idea, but are afraid to try it-try entering contests. It’s okay to let family proof read, but please have a professional editor edit your manuscript for you. Finish your manuscript and know the genre and publishers that take that genre. If you need to make money, write for magazines or newspapers until you get started as an author.

Did you get interviewed by local newspapers/radio stations?

In Ohio:The Pataskala Post and Pataskala Standard, Heath News, Newark Advocate and Town Crier. Columbus Dispatch and I have been on Lancaster Talk Radio a few times. I have also been interviewed on an web cast on-line interview. I was also interviewed for an article in two magazines: Distinctive Women-online and Leading Women Across America-online and print.

Do you stew-leave it for a month and come back to edit it?

There are a few ideas that I started and hadn’t picked up for years, not months. Upon editing, I wanted to go a different route in the beginning. I work on three ideas a day to prevent from Writer’s Block, but I edit them as I go. I send to one of my three editors and they get it back to me in two weeks.

Can you tell us an amusing story?

I have more than one that has to do with my books.

In a Grocery store when I had just started out: I saw a women I went to school with and we started talking. She remembered fireplace coverhearing about the fact that I was an author. Her son was there to pick up the newest Harry Potter book. He over heard us talking about me being an author. He asked me if I had any books in his school. I had donated a few copies of one of my books to local schools, so I had said yes. He asked me the title and he said no. He asked me if I had anymore and I said yes and named them. He said he had read both in school and he loved them. The part I would never forget was what he said next. He asked his mother if he could get my book instead, if he put Harry Potter back. He had read the book he wanted signed by me. He hadn’t read the Harry Potter.

I sent a copy of my first YA Adventure book to Oprah Winfrey. I forgot all about it, until one day when quite a few friends messaged me. They were members of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. They proceeded to inform me that book was on her must read list. SUCKER

I referred someone to their local library in Ohio. The library proceeded to inform her that they could not be checked out. When she asked, they informed her that too many of my books were stolen from their library. To protect the only copies they had, they placed them in the reference section of the library

*****

You can keep up with Deb at any one of these fine places on the internet!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourjourneyawaits

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Debsawriter

Q & A — N.L. Greene

q & a

 

Please welcome N.L.Greene to the blog today ahead of her release of Illusions Begin next week! Stay tuned for more details!

*****

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]What were you like at school? 

I was an average student I think.  I got by with B’s and C’s but could have done better if I tried.  I didn’t really care for school and still don’t!

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I love what I do and will always do it not matter what, but I would love to be a Best Selling Author.

Which writers inspire you? 

Actually there are a lot.  Every single one of the authors that I communicate with via Facebook and especially our UtopYA group, inspire me daily.  The writing community is absolutely amazing!

So, what have you written? 

I wrote a NA Contemporary book TWISTED.  It’s about an unhealthy relationship between two girl BFF’s in Middle school and high school.  My next book to be released is ILLUSIONS BEGIN (Jan 16th) and it’s a NA PNR about magic.  It’s actually the first in a 3 book series that I’m currently working on!  I also co-wrote a YA Fantasy series about Faeries.  They were actually picked up recently by a publishing company (YAY!) and the first book in the series, POPPY, will be re-released in January under our penname Riana Lucas.

How much research do you do?

Ummm, none?  I pretty much make it all up!

When did you decide to become a writer? 

I absolutely LOVE to read and one day I realized that I had a lot of really good ideas so I started writing them down.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I am a full time writer!!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

There is absolutely no structure to my day other than taking my kids to school and picking them up. The rest just sort of falls into place depending on what I need to do and if I’m feeling inspired or not J

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

I usually write at least something every single day.

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

I usually set a daily word count, but I try not to stress about it if I don’t reach it.  I know that there will be another day that I exceed it so as long as I reach my completion goal, I’m good!

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

Computer!!  My hands kill me as it is, I would never get anything done if I had to write it out longhand.  And I can’t dictate.  I feel weird 😉

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

I have a really basic idea of what I want to write and then I start.  As the story progresses it’s like it tells me what should happen.  I usually just got with the flow and end up loving it

What is the hardest thing about writing? 

The blurb, hands down!  It is almost impossible for me to summarize the entire book I just wrote into a paragraph or two.

*****

You can follow N. L. Greene in any one of these fine places on the internet! 

Blog:www.nlgreene.blogspot.com

 

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/NL-Greene/401424803313800

Twitter: @AuthorNLGreene

Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00FAR0T3G

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NLGreene

Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-N-L-Greene-ebook/dp/B00EP1ZUW8/ref=la_B00FAR0T3G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389143281&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twisted-nl-greene/1116762464?ean=9781492385660

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/illusions-begin-nl-greene/1117704290?ean=2940045498470

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7232704.N_L_Greene

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!

special-announcement

McKenna’s Honor coming to the BIG Screen?!

*****

*****

mh

Dark times have fallen upon Scotland.
King David II is a prisoner of England. Angus McKenna, revered chief of Clan MacDougall, and his son-in-law Duncan McEwan sit in a dungeon in Edinburgh, accused of crimes against their king and country. Their wives are missing.

Can devotion, honor and fealty light a candle in the darkness?

Invoking the Bond of the Seven Clans, Nial McKee, son-in-law to Angus McKenna sets out to discover the truth behind the charges. While he enlists the help of his good friends Caelen McDunnah and Rowan Graham, his lovely wife Bree appeals to friends of her own for a much different kind of assistance.

But time is running out for Angus and Duncan. Friendship and love of family alone might not be enough to save McKenna’s Honor.

*****

About Suzan Tisdale

suzSuzan lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband and the last of their four children: a 15 year old, 6’3″, built-like-a-line-backer son. They currently accept monetary donations to offset the cost of feeding him and keeping him in shoes. She also has three perfect grandchildren. Suzan has no pets, save for the aforementioned son and husband. Living where they do, she figures the domesticated deer who believe her gardens are planted strictly for their enjoyment is plenty. Though, if she lived on ten or more wooded acres she would have a Redbone Coonhound that she would name Rufus. She’d also like to be a size 12 again, but doesn’t foresee either of those things happening at anytime in the near future. “Some say my writing is an obsession. I prefer to think of it as a passion.”

*****

Important Links

Suzan Tisdale’s Author Facebook Page

Amazon for McKenna’s Honor

Goodreads

Q & A — L. S. Murphy

q & a

Welcome to L.S. Murphy as my first guest this year on the blog!!

*****

???????????????????????????????What were you like at school?

Actually, I was a band geek, an athlete, and a nerd. I rolled in all the circles.

Were you good at English?

Yes. And history.

Which writers inspire you?

Kurt Vonnegut, Rob Thomas, Laurie Halse Anderson, Libba Bray, Holly Black

So, what have you written?

Reaper is my debut novel. It was released by J. Taylor Publishing in January 2013.

I have two romance novellas, A Reason to Stay (Calliope ~ Musa Publishing) and Neighbors (Flirt ~ Entangled Publishing) areasontostay-510available now.

My short stories have appeared in several anthologies: UnCONventional (Spencer Hill Press), One More Day (J. Taylor Publishing), and Detritus (Omnium Gatherum Media).

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m finishing a New Adult novel about a college baseball player.

What genre are your books?

Young adult, new adult, romance, sometimes I dip my toes into horror for the fun of it. J

How much research do you do?

It depends on if the story needs research. I recently turned in a novel to my agent that was sparked from a vacation I took to Branson, MO. I researched a little more about the city as I wrote. Having said that, I’m heavy into researching a future project now.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Not yet.  🙂

OneMoreDay_Cover_blog

When did you decide to become a writer?

I always wanted to be a writer, but it took the birth of my daughter to really make a go of it. I realized that I couldn’t encourage her to follow her dream if I wasn’t brave enough to follow my own.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Part-time. I have a full-time day job.

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

I shoot for 1,000 words a day when I’m working on a project.

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

I have to have an outline. If not, then I lose the story. That doesn’t mean I always stick to the outline though.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finishing. It’s easy to start a novel or story. It’s hard to finish it.

Neighbors Cover2

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Finishing it. 🙂 I started it over a year ago. Since then, I’ve completed two other novels.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The initial idea.

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

Depends on the book. Reaper, from conception to publication, took around 6 years. Yes, you read that right.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I don’t believe in it. If something isn’t working, I start something else. I can go back to the first project later and fix it. Time heals all wounds. 🙂

Reaper-Cover-Final-800pxFor your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

All of them. I love my kindle since it’s easy to transport and it fits in my bag, but nothing beats holding a brand new book or seeing it take a coveted spot on the bookshelf.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I tend to let the first draft stew for a month. Then I read through it and make notes for revisions. After that, I work on editing.

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

Yes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKLyEFd-DuE

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Don’t give up.

*****

You can keep up with L.S. Murphy and her work in any one of these fine places!

Website:  LSMurphy.com
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor
Twitter: @LSMurphy
Lnkedin: 
www.linkedin.com/pub/l-s-murphy/12/218/140/

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/lsmurphyauthor/
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy