Q&A with Amanda Kool

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Please welcome another from Down Under! The lovely Amanda Kool!


AmandaKoolAuthorPhotoWere you good at English?

Reel gud! I was much better at English than any other subject. Especially maths. I love the idea of maths and the complexity of equations and I really admire people who excel in it and understand the universe with it. I’m rubbish at it.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I just want to write stories I enjoy. A terrific bonus would be if these stories resonate with others and they enjoy them too. My ambition is not to be ambitious. My publisher (Satalyte Publishing) will probably hate me saying that, but ambition and career are different goals from writing stories. If I can sit down and actually complete a story, that’s as good an outcome as I can hope for.

Which writers inspire you?

Michael Shaara, Shelby Foote, Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Umberto Eco, JRR Tolkien, James Ellroy… Honestly, there’s too many to list. All writers inspire me – even ones whose work I don’t enjoy or *gasp* didn’t finish. I’ve sat in the chair and wrestled to complete a story. I’ve doubted and cried and laughed and poured celebratory whiskey, so in my book (pun intended), anyone who’s written a story I’ve enjoyed, or has frustrated me, or gut-punched me (I’m looking at you, Kim Stanley Robinson), inspires me. Here’s some more: JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Ben H. Winters (holy crap, he wrote a magnificent trilogy), and Blake Crouch. I’ll think of more as I go. I’ve probably forgotten my most influential authors and mentioned some of the most trivial; welcome to my brain.

So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.) * 1000 Mettle Folds: Published by Arcane Wisdom (May 24, 2011). Period horror piece (co-authored with Steve Gerlach, Australian Horror writer).

* The Murderer’s Cloth: Forthcoming Satalyte Publishing book. Period crime story set in 1880s, London. * Tallwood: Science Fiction published by Satalyte Publishing. * The Paper Fox: An interactive story for IOS devices, won critical acclaim for its artwork and design, and garnered the 2014 iKids award for best eBook. Published by Bento Box Interactive, LLC. Trailer here.

* Wires: Forthcoming Satalyte Publishing book. A weird tale of another world that can only be reached if you are killed by a certain gun.

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

My main characters in Wires are special because they are NOT special. They are each thrust into a situation they must escape or resolve and each is drawn to the other because of one, horrific event. I’m a big fan of writing characters that are ordinary people who must rapidly evolve or adapt to changing circumstances. Or die trying. And dying happens a lot in my stories.

My main characters in Tallwood are ordinary for the world they inhabit. But that’s a future, god-blasted world full of inhuman predators and human fiends. In contrast to my usual “normal” characters, this cast was born needing to survive at a young age. They were born prey; no longer at the top of the food chain. To avoid making any giveaway sounds, they use sign-language to communicate, crossbows to defend themselves, and have learned much about the natural world that is bent on destroying them. But to them, that is normal. I do like my ordinary folk.

What are you working on at the minute?TallWood_comp

Two stories at present. Working titles: “Mother” and “Sadie”. One set after a civil war, and the other set in a decaying city and a hotel that doesn’t want to let go.

What draws you to this genre?

Science Fiction or Weird fiction has so much scope for going completely crazy with ideas. I’ve written one story that’s set in the real world and has ZERO supernatural or magical elements in it. One. And even that story is set in 1889, London. So it’s not technically ‘of the now’:)

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I cast all my characters. I have picture files for them that I refer to constantly. Or, I just make a desktop image with all of them so it’s always there for me to refer to. This is mainly because my memory is terrible and I like to ensure my descriptions are consistent and my brown-eyed protagonist suddenly doesn’t change to a blue-eyed wonder half-way through the book. That hasn’t actually answered the questions, but I write ensembles so… we’d be here a while.

How much research do you do?

A lot. That doesn’t mean it’s all perfect in the end product or I haven’t mucked something up in the translation, but I do a lot of research on anything that’s in a book (crossbows, guns, foods, language, religion, farming, drugs…).

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

I grab what chances I can – on the train on the way to work, in the evenings, if I’m not exhausted from work, on the weekends when chores allow. Snippets of time here and there where the muse is talking and the red wine is in easy reach:)

My days as are structured as the outlines for my novels. That is to say; not. I’m a panster through and through.

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

I start with a character or two and they take me where they need to go. I can mostly see where I’m aiming so I steer them in that direction. I’m constantly surprised by where my imaginary friends take me (and how many of them are willing to jump in front of a bullet!)

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Everything! Look, when it flows and you’re in the zone and your characters are talking to you, it’s like bliss.

Every other part is hard. The sentence structure, the music choices (I like to listen to soundtracks when I write), the narrative connections, the words (omg the wurds!), the plot, the crux of your book; is it original/good/interesting? The doubt monsters that sit behind you while you’re trying to wrangle another 99 monkeys to the other 99 typewriters; “This is shit. You’re so derivative. This is the most unoriginal idea you’ve come up with yet!”

Sometimes you wonder if you could ever conjugate a verb in the first place.

And then…bliss. It’s all worth it.

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

No. It took me a year. And I agonised a lot. In the end, I just had to start from a fresh mindset. Don’t think about what other people will think. Write what excites you. Write what you want to write and what you’re interested in.

And try not to think too much. I started grinding my teeth. Not cool.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I try to read as much as I can, but don’t have many hours in the day. I read 1 hour a day on the way home on the train. I have “comfort” authors, that I go back to again and again. King, Barker, Ellroy, Stephenson and Banks (both M and sans M).

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about. Who designed your book cover/s?

My brother, Jeremy Kool, is a graphic and 3D artist. We worked together at Krome Studios and he did the artwork for The Paper Fox that ended up winning quite a few awards for the art. He’s extremely talented and, thankfully, is a terrific collaborator for my covers. I am very grateful for his skill and patience.

For Tallwood, he read the book and made notes. He then asked me to highlight the most important themes/scenes of the books. After a while, he produced a series of thumbnail designs. We picked three to work up and from those three, selected one to do a full concept.

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

Absolutely. Even for me as a reader. There are some cover styles I can’t stand and I literally won’t even pick up the book. That’s harsh, but…human.


Thanks so much for joining us Amanda! Be sure to follow her and check out some of her work!

Author Page at Satalyte Publishing:

Amanda Kool


https://www.facebook.com/amanda.kool.3 Tallwood:     http://satalyte.com.au/product/tallwood-by-amanda-kool/

Amazon Link:


Q&A with LynC

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Please welcome another from our friends Down Under at Satalyte Press… the wonderful LynC!


ARN_7891_R head shotSo, what have you written? 

Short answer is lots. Published, not so many.

4 short stories – one of which “Nematalien” was shortlisted for a Chronos award in 2013.

My first short story – “Through the Red Mask” – originally published on wwww.narratorium.com in 2012 – is available for free on my web site http://www.lyncwriter.com.au

“Manga Dude – where d’ya get your inspro man?” can be found in the anthology This Mutant Life which is available from Amazon or the publisher (www.kalamitypress.com) Nil By Mouth was published in 2014 (http://satalyte.com.au/product/nil-by-mouth-by-lync or Amazon) and shortlisted for two jury awards in 2015 (The Norma K Hemming Award and The Aurealis Award – SF category)

What are you working on at the minute?

I have lots of WIPs – Works in Progress!

Satalyte Publishing have agreed to accept ‘Traynor’, an SF novel about two alien ships which crash land on Earth 40,000 years ago and choose diametrically opposed methods of coping with their isolation. This will have a sequel.

I am putting the finishing touches on a Space Opera – ‘Gin Joints’ – but do not yet have a publisher for it. This will also have at least one sequel, possibly two.

I almost always have a couple of short stories doing the rounds. Today is no exception.

And I keep writing.

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

I am a Speculative Fiction Writer. This means I write mainly in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy. Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, etc with touches of Romance. But it is not always a boy who gets a girl. J

My mother introduced me to Fantasy when I was very little – reading me things such as ‘The Wind in the Willows’. From there I read every book I was allowed to get my hands on in the local school libraries and Municipal libraries. I just found that Speculative Fiction with its variety, challenge solving, and lack of formula was what drew me most. You couldn’t always tell quite what was going to happen next. Sometimes you couldn’t even work out what was happening now!

So when I started writing for myself, it was just natural that the area I found most fascinating is what I would start producing.

 When did you decide to become a writer? & Why do you write? & What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I have been a writer since I was capable of holding a pencil, even before I could spell. Some people are just driven by their need to create. Unfortunately I have that curse, and my chosen medium is the written word. J

Do you write full-time or part-time?book

I would have to say that I put finger to keyboard on a part-time basis. This does not mean I am not creating a story full-time, just that it has to stay in my head till I have the leisure to sit at a keyboard and start putting it down.

 Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? & Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I try to find a 2 hour block every day, but it could be any time. It just depends on what else HAD to happen before I could take time off and indulge.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding time!

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I used to work as a technical programmer (a Database Administrator) for 40 years, so it was a relief to get on the train at night and get away from the dancing pixels with a fixed print paper book. Technology has moved on and this is not the issue it used to be, but because of my work I had taught myself to gloss over humungous reports and manuals and just find the salient points. It is now an unconscious habit. With paper I take time and notice more and savour what is in front of me.

What book/s are you reading at present?

Last year I read 92 books, the year before (I was still working) I read 74. This year I have accepted the Goodreads challenge and am attempting 100 books. They vary from brand new books to the comfortable and familiar, but almost all are speculative fiction.

Recent reading has included Sulari Gentill, Eli Glasman, Garth Nix, Paul Collins, Sean Williams and Keri Arthur. And those are just the Australians on the list.

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

If not me, who? I can’t afford to pay someone else. It is too expensive.

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


When a book is first created, you are too close to it to see the flaws. It takes time and usually a new book or some time on another WIP to get the necessary distance.

Most of my ‘flaws’ tend to be that I do not fully explain a situation. When creating the work, I can see it so clearly in my head, feel what the character is feeling, see what they see, that what ends up on the page is a sort of memory jog rather than something which conveys all that to the reader. I need time for the memory to diminish enough that I can see that I haven’t explained it clearly enough.

 hat advice would you give to aspiring writers?

The same advice that kick started me after I gafiated* by having children, getting a job, etc. Writing is a craft and like all crafts you need to learn the skills and techniques, and you need to practice. But essentially –

If you want to be a writer – JUST DO IT!

*‘GAFIATE’ is a very old SF fannish word meaning to Get Away From It All. It is usually used to indicate someone who has walked away from SF Fandom. In my case I am using it to mean someone who left the writing scene.


Thanks LynC for joining us this week! Also be sure to follow her and check out her work!!


Q&A with A.L. Butcher

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Please give a cold dead welcome to an author from across the pond (Also known as the UK if you’re from Canada!) The lovely A.L. Butcher!


A L ButcherWhat were you like at school?

Rebellious. I never did anything too terrible but I did have issues dealing with pointless rules – still do if I’m honest. I get bored easily and that didn’t help. I worked hard at subjects I liked – English, science, music and drama and not at ones I didn’t – like maths. I did OK but I could have done better.

At college I was vice-president of the Student Union – let’s just say there were a few issues with the management of the college at that time – big stuff – and there was a teeny weeny sit it which I might have helped organise…. And the press might have turned up….

As it happened it turned out there was a lot of dodgy stuff going on and it brought it to the fore. It nearly cost me my A-levels but we were trying to stand up for what was right at the time, and defend the student body from the corruption. Anyway I was quite political in those days – not so much now as I don’t have the energy these days. A degree in politics teaching one that often not much changes – even with good intentions – or if it does not for long. This doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing – there are issues which have changed for the better as a result of ordinary people speaking out. It’s politicians who are usually the problem.

So, what have you written? 

To date I have three fantasy novels, several short stories in anthologies and my own companion short story collection. I also write poetry, maintain a blog and admin for a couple of facebook fantasy pages.


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

I’ll talk about two – Dii’Athella is the main female character in two of my three novels and features in the third. She’s an elven sorceress in a world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved. When we first meet her she is fleeing for her life into a dangerous world she knows little about, and where her very existence is forbidden. As the stories progress she really comes into her own, discovering how powerful she truly is and a little of her own history. Despite her terrible life she is still kind, intelligent and eager to help others and she does. She is special for many reasons. Dii loves life, as she nearly loses it several times she is grateful for every day she has and every day she learns more about herself and the world.

The second is Rufus Redblade, the hero in my Heroika: Dragon Eaters story. He’s a Griffin Rider – now a mercenary – from a land ravaged by war and political intrigue. Once he would have been the royal guard but now the Riders are small bands of sellswords, rather mythical and feared. Currently there is peace but it’s barely holding and he knows war will come if the heir to the throne dies, which is likely. Rufus is a man who takes no crap, he does not appreciate fools. He’s brave – he risks his life for a child and her mother and he knows that the chances are he or one of his crew won’t return from their adventure. Rufus is a man who knows right from wrong, but as it pertains to his own moral code. What is special about him – ne doesn’t give up. Ever. If he wants something he goes after it, come what may, and this includes the heart of a dragon.

How much research do you do?

I’ve researched herb-lore, medieval weaponry, food, flora and fauna, geology and more for the novels. My strangest topic has probably been can a salamander be eaten. Yes it can – but you probably wouldn’t want to.

I usually spend a bit of time researching for the novels if it’s needed, I have several books on medieval history, mythology, and weaponry and I use the internet a lot. The world wide web is really useful! It’s hard not to get distracted though and I usually end up doing too much. At the moment I’m researching mythical creatures for a series of blog posts and I used a variation of keres in my latest novel, not to mention the dragon of course for Dragon Eaters. My latest blog post was about cyclopes and I touch on the origins of the stories and the real accounts of cyclopean babies and animals and the possible causes.

It’s really interesting – if you look into ancient stories there is often a base of fact, if misunderstood at the time. It might be buried deep but it’s there. Dragons for example – pretty much every culture has a dragon myth of some sort – based on perhaps, huge dinosaur bones, crocodiles or other living large fearsome beasts and the cultural desire for monsters and heroes. Dragons are symbolic.

Book 2 EbookHave you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Novels no, short stories yes. I’ve worked with my friend Diana L Wicker – who has her own YA fantasy series – on a short historical style fantasy called Outside the Walls. We wrote it originally for a charity anthology called Bellator, but expanded it recently as a short story in its own right and it’s just be produced as a short audio book through Audible. The story follows Lady Eleanor – who returns to her castle during wartime to find refugees at the gates of the town starving and sick. The council ignore them and only Eleanor takes pity on them and offers food, medicine and support. Among the dying and desperate she finds someone very familiar….

Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?

Diana and I had written stuff together before – we used to play an online RPG and wrote for that so we knew we could do it. Outside the Walls was actually adapted, loosely, from something we wrote for that and never used. Sales wise – She manages the paperback and I manage the e-book and audio. Every so often we exchange numbers – assuming there have been any sales and if needs be transfer the money over. As it’s a recent project it’s not really been a problem for tax as yet. I have that fun to come for the next tax return! As we both promote the story we get double exposure and really it’s more her audience than mine as my novels are a lot more….adult.

Writing a book with another author is a whole different challenge to writing alone. You have to know how the other person writes, their style and their strengths and weaknesses. You have to agree – sometimes there would be a scene I thought was great and Di didn’t agree so compromise is your friend. There’s less freedom – but that may not be bad. It’s easy to get carried away and sometimes the pet scene isn’t actually as wonderful as the particular writer thinks and it’s helpful to have another set of eyes. Of course there is the challenge of time – we both work and Diana has a family to raise, not to mention she is in the US and I’m in the UK so at best we only get a couple of hours a day when we are both online and able to write together. Google drive worked well for this as co-operative writing is possible there and the notes facility is bloody useful!

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read as much as I’d like to. That said I usually have a true crime book on the go and often a novel. At present I’m trying to read true crime/dark history from every part of Britain. Fortunately there is a series of county-based true crime/historical crime books by Nicola Sly and John Van Der Kiste. I’ve read some of Mr Van Der Kiste’s historical non fiction and I enjoy his work. I’m trying to re-read all the Terry Pratchett books as well. Generally I read fantasy, sci-fi, classics, mythology, history, gothic horror and true crime.

Favourite authors:the stolen tower new big text

Gaston Leroux

Mary Shelley

Alexandre Dumas

Janet Morris

Terry Pratchett

John Van Der Kiste

Colin Wilson

Philippa Gregory


Ellis Peters

HG Wells

Jules Verne

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

Usually yes. I’m often working on more than one project so I’ll go to something else for a while and then come back to the original book re-read and revise.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Reviews happen – or they don’t more often than not. Many readers don’t review for any number of reasons. Bad reviews happen too. No book suits everyone; there will be too much/not enough sex, violence, monsters, world building etc; there will be a character a reader doesn’t like or can’t get into. Some readers overlook minor typos, some pick up on everything and sometimes people simply don’t like it. I’ve read books, including popular ones, I simply didn’t enjoy. It happens. Deal with it.

Honestly if you don’t want bad reviews then don’t read the reviews or don’t publish. No book will please everyone. Look at any book on Amazon and I bet it has a mix of reviews. Good reviews are great but reviews are for readers, not authors. Whilst it’s nice to get them don’t obsess over it.

If someone does give a bad review don’t respond, don’t argue and don’t bitch. At least not publicly – it’s not worth it. The internet is great but it makes the world small and what has been said often can’t be

unsaid. Being snarky to reviewers is likely to do far more harm than a bad review itself. Give readers some credit, many don’t even read reviews and those that do often ignore ones which are blatantly nasty or don’t fit the reader’s own ideas. Let a reader make his or her own opinion.

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

It can but doesn’t always. Like any marketing strategy it needs to be used in conjunction with other strategies. I’ve used free book promotions, with mixed results but I have noticed boosts on other books after the event. I suppose it depends on one’s definition of success and what one wants from the promotion. Free rarely garners reviews, as many readers download free books and don’t read them and there is a view that free = low quality (which isn’t true in my experience). I’ve downloaded free books and then gone on to buy the author’s other works. Having more than one book is of course beneficial. If there is just one title then why buy it when the reader can just wait for it to be free – but to offer a free book as a taster for other books can and does work. A while ago I ran a debate for Mythic Scribes on free books – where I interviewed authors and readers on their view on free books. http://mythicscribes.com/marketing/great-free-book-debate-authors/ http://mythicscribes.com/marketing/the-great-free-book-debate-the-readers/

Tales of Erana PB Cover IWhat is your favourite quote?

I have several – I used to have folders full of quotes.

“If you can’t be a good example you’ll have to be a terrible warning.” – I used to have that on my office door.

Terry Pratchett came up with several –

“Where life can live it will, where it can’t it takes a little longer.”

“It’s not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewere, would much rather you weren’t doing.

“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”

“Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.”

“I’d rather be a rising ape than a falling angel.”

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Again I have several – Professor Stephen Hawkin – because he’s a genius. Leonardo Da Vinci – for obvious reasons. Gaston Leroux, Terry Pratchett and Ellis Peters to thank them for their books. Marie Curie to thank her for her work. Charles Darwin, Homer, William Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Admiral Nelson, Nelson Mandela, Dame Judy Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Ronnie Barker, Michael Palin, David Attenborough.


Thanks so much for being on the blog this week A.L.! Please be sure to follow A.L. Butcher and check out her work!

Website: http://www.libraryoferana.wordpress.com

Blog: http://www.libraryoferana.wordpress.com

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

Twitter: @libraryoferana

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ALB123

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher


Q&A with Sabine Wilder

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Please give a cold dead welcome to this weeks guest on the blog…the lovely Sabine Wilder!


sabine-author-photoSo, what have you written?

Currently, I only have my novel “Runaway” published, but I’m working on expanding it into a series and I’m considering releasing a short story tied to it.

Where can we buy or see them?

You can get the ebook through

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/runaway-57

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A4P5W5I

The print book through

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5980424 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Runaway-Sabine-Wilder/dp/0994969910

And the audiobook is also being produced and you can listen to it for FREE via

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWNF36_4Wak&list=PLRY1aX3oQErdAFiMg0x220uBZuqLWjyqY itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/runaway/id1073310489

What genre are your books?

I write for the young adult paranormal genre, but with a horror and thriller bent to it. While there’s a little romance mixed in to my writing, it’s not my primary genre. Essentially I like to write about werewolves, vampires and other monsters.

What draws you to this genre?

I love the metaphors werewolves and other monsters evoke, especially dealing with the beast within and wrestling with humanity. Werewolves and vampires have also long been used as tales to express female sexuality, from Little Red Riding Hood to Carmilla to modern writing. I think writing about monsters has vast potential to plumb the depths of the human experience and I love tapping into that.

How much research do you do?

A lot. I have tonnes of books on werwolves, everything from short stories and novels to non-fiction, and I love going through them. I also collect books on monsters and folklore, especially if they have illustrations. I’m a very visual person and I love getting lost in those images and seeing what they inspire. I’m also a huge fan of werewolf movies. They can get pretty campy sometimes, but maybe that’s part of the charm of the genre.

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

Honestly, what made me decide to sit down and write a werewolf novel was that I was really disappointed with the modern werewolf books I was picking up and reading. I felt like they were missing out on so many great opportunities to delve into questions they brought up in their narratives. It was frustrating, so I decided to put

my money where my mouth was and write the book I wanted to see. What I wanted to see was females represented equally alongside males in the genre and to explore more than just romantic relationships, because I think there’s a lot more to life than just romance. Ultimately my writing turned out to be about the connections we have with other people, in all their gory variety. That sounds a bit vague I know, but I don’t want to give away too much.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series.

I love the idea. I think it gives authors so much more room to explore and develop things that they may not have time to develop over the course of one book. I’ve made various hints in “Runaway” with things I’d like to explore in the future, but there simply wasn’t room in the narrative of the first book to explore those things. I think it works well for readers too. Readers like to sink their teeth into rich characters and worlds and you get more bang for your buck, so to speak, with a series.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I love the look and feel of a paper book. Who doesn’t? But the fact is that some books I wanted to read were hard to find in print, or the bigger problem, I don’t have space on my shelves anymore! I have too many books! I finally took the leap to digital and I like the convenience of it to be honest. I can carry any number of books around with me on my tablet and I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to put those 21 Cadfael books I want to read but am probably only going to read once. It’s a balancing act. I’m sure my favourites will stay on the shelves in print, but I’m glad for the convenience and reach of the digital revolution.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?6x9-cover-small

I think this is necessary. At some point you’ve read over your work so many times that you are not even reading it anymore and your brain is just filling in the blanks. You have to give yourself and the work a break. A month is probably good, but longer isn’t a bad thing. The longer things sit, the more objective I find myself when I come back to it. I think the end work is ultimately better for it.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

I designed and created my own cover (since I have a background as a graphic designer), and to be honest, I took a big risk with this one. Going with only type as the image gives very little information what the book is about and there’s a good chance people might pass the book by because they think it doesn’t fit the genre. That said, I wanted something different. I didn’t want another cover with a wolf on it. While a cliché cover might have worked better, I find them ugly and boring. They all look the same. I wanted the cover to convey a sense of intrigue and horror because that’s the kind of feeling my writing has. The characters don’t necessarily understand or know what’s happening and I wanted to convey that feeling to the reader more than what genre the book fits into. I admit it’s a risk and I might eventually design another cover for the sake of marketing. I’m open to ideas and feedback on the subject.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I am publishing my book myself because I got tired of waiting for the industry. Yes, I’ve been trying the old tried and true method of queries and submissions, but the industry is getting more picky if anything, and despite the positive feedback I was getting, no one was willing to take me on. So I decided to do it myself. Coming in to this with a graphic design background, I actually had a great skill set in regards to putting together everything I needed to launch the book myself and what I didn’t know how to do I had contacts to go to for help. I’m glad I did it because for about a year while I was querying I felt so stagnant, like I wasn’t going anywhere, and now I feel like I’m moving forward again. That’s been the most important thing to me. I don’t like sitting around for months on end waiting to hear from people, waiting for acknowledgment. Self-publishing means I can do that for myself. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes in the future.

Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?

In my quest to find reviewers I’ve run into a lot of people who’ve actually stopped looking at indie books because of bad experiences with self-published authors. Once bitten twice shy. People are tired of sifting through the junk to find the gems because it’s not worth it if the experience turns negative. The problem with everyone and their dog being able to publish a book is that not everyone conducts themselves as a professional and I think that’s turning a lot of people off. I think well written books are out there, but how does the reader find them? That’s the problem and I think we’re still trying to find a model that works for sifting out the gems.


Thanks so much for joining us this week on the blog Sabine! Please be sure to follow Sabine and check out her work!

Website: sabinewilder.com

Facebook: facebook.com/sabinewilderauthor/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01AGQUDH2?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14793634.Sabine_Wilder

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcIuUhUKH1b-5ryxw9-2NuQ

Q&A with Gail Traux

q & a

Please give a warm welcome to a different breed of author this week on the blog… a childrens author! Please welcome Gail Traux!!


AuthorImagefor AmazonWhich writers inspire you?

The book that had the most influence on me was Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Louisa Mae Alcott’s Little Women, Jo’s Boys, and Little Men were my first serial books. Agatha Christie, Max Lucado, J.R.R. Tolkien, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Amy Lowell, William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and Edgar Allan Poe were favorites, also. Edward Lear’s nonsense rhyme The Owl and the Pussycat is one of the few poems I remember from childhood. I still remember the pictures in the music book. This poem and the color plates in Louisa Alcott’s Little Women had a great influence on me regarding the illustrations in the Greymalkin books.

So, what have you written?

I write children’s books. The stories are about Greymalkin, a British Blue courtier-cat who is the beloved companion to his princess. Ginger-Kitty is a playful, fun-loving, mischievous cat who is the companion to the younger princess.

What are you working on at the minute?

The current WIP is the compilation of the many Greymalkin stories that have accumulated over the last seven years. While the stories were not told chronologically, for this book the stories will be in order.

What draws you to this genre?

The versatility the three of us (myself and two granddaughters) have to make the stories our own. We interact with each other, we interact with the story. Greymalkin and Ginger-Kitty each have their own strengths. The girls act out those strengths and the stories are tailored to them. For example, in the third book, which will be coming out in 2016, they are lost in the forest. Greymalkin climbs a tree to look for the castle flags while Ginger-Kitty uses her strong sense of smell to ensure they are staying on the right path. The fun part is that the girls had watched a nature show on television and assigned their “strength” according to what they knew was a cat trait and what they envisioned their character doing. The girls each wanted to do something unique to them.

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

My husband told me that when he was little his grandfather would tell him and his siblings stories, which none of them could remember today. “If you don’t write the stories down, the girls will forget them,” he said. My response was, “But, they tell me the stories now.” Later, while visiting with my in-laws, I asked them about the stories their grandfather told them and NONE of them remembered more than just the bare bones of the stories. That is what motivated me to write the stories down. My plan was to write only one story, but changed my mind when family and friends asked for more stories.

Where do your ideas come from?GM Birthday Surprise Front

I have always told stories; I think of myself as a story teller more than a story writer. Ideas pop up at some of the strangest times and for no apparent reason. A phrase will pass through my mind, and the next thing I know it is an event in a story. The girls and I both simply go with whatever comes into our minds on that particular day. These stories are then converted to written form. When I was young, my nephew and I would take the ViewMaster into the attic and play “movies.” We were both too young to read, so we made stories up from the pictures. The nice thing about that was the freedom we had to change the story as we often as we wanted. This is the same way the girls and I tell stories today. It’s pretty much a “where ever the story goes” style. Now that the girls are older, I barely get the story started before they take over the telling. Sometimes the “bones” of the story are left intact and the girls add their ideas and twists; sometimes the only content that is remotely similar to the original story are the names of the cats.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I have discovered several new authors in the last six months that I really enjoy. Each one has his own distinctive writing style: Michael Williams and his “The Trouble with Wyrms” series, Bill Noel’s “Folly Beach” series, and Steve Harrison’s “Time Storm.” I read a lot, but these three come immediately to mind. I have all of these on my Kindle, but prefer traditional paper/hard back books.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer traditional paper/hard back books. However, I love my Kindle and the fact that I can carry around hundreds of books and they weigh less than a pound. My husband appreciates that since the vacation we took and carried around a suitcase full of books.

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

The first two books were edited by myself, friends, and family members. The third book, I found an editor, Lisa Binion, in one of the writing groups to which I belong. I cannot say often enough how much her hard work is appreciated. Editing. I could edit a book for forever. With the last one I hired an editor, to get me out of the “edit ‘til I drop” loop.

Greymalkin cover 1How are you publishing this book and why?

I self-publish through Create Space. With the first book, I did not plan to do another book and so did not even consider traditional publishing. Now, I am beginning to rethink that decision. I like being involved in every step of the book, bringing to life the stories the girls and I have told. The biggest disadvantage to self-publishing is that you also need to be able to self-market….a strength in which I am sadly lacking.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I actually have one! My very talented niece put together a trailer for Greymalkin and the Birthday Surprise.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHxDIq-TtbU

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Life is a learning experience and you don’t learn if you never make a mistake.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid of what other people might or might not think of your work. Write for yourself; you will be a better person for it.


Thanks so much for joining us Gail! Please be sure to follow her and check out her work!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Greymalkin.the.Queens.Cat/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gail-truax-b5364b7

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/noratruax/greymalkin-the-queens-cat/

BOOKS n BOOZE! Episode 9

Books n Booze Episode 9
Subs, Doms & Rock ‘n Roll
With Gina Whitney

Instagram-BnB-Gina-ep9Books n Booze – Episode 9; Subs, Doms & Rock n Roll with Gina Whitney. Gina and Tiffany Fox join HBIC Deena Rae and discuss the Rocker series, BDSM, and the psychology of submission and domination in Gina’s hardcore books. Abel Gunner, of Gina’s Rocker series, is dissected and discussed as well as the psychology of domination.

Available on

YouTube | Blog | Stitcher | iTunes | TalkShoe-Download | TalkShoe-Steaming

Get personal with Gina like this little snippet:

To Watch the podcast

Find out more about Gina Whitney’s Books

Gina Whitney

Badass Books n Booze is a podcast dedicated to Badass Authors and their books. Find Out More About Badass Book Society


Q&A with Gerald Johnson

q & a

Please welcome the handsome Gerald Johnson… and his alter ego Damien Drake to the blog this week!



IMG_20140820_224705What were you like at school?

In school I wasn’t nearly as outgoing or as verbal as I am now. In truth, I was pretty much that loner kid that you see off to the side just watching the world behind a pair of sunglasses and talking to the few people who took a chance to stand around talking to me. I did a lot, and I do mean a LOT, of reading and because I was a loner I was always writing something. I used my stories to make up the friends that I didn’t always have. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I starting gaining my “confidence” and it was with the constant pushing on my English teachers that I began to really get into my writing. I was on the journalism team and my stories always got rave reviews and this really began to set me off

into the realm of wanting to really become an Author. At the age of 16, I wrote my very first full novel, but I never did anything with it because once I was finished I watch the movie Conan the Barbarian and realized that our stories were just too close. After that I became the biggest fan of Mr. Robert Howard, the author of the big Cimmerian.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

My ambitions… well I currently have not quite a dozen completed manuscripts right now(no my publisher hasn’t killed me yet, but she has made the threats). What I am looking forward to happening is becoming one of those authors who top the New York Bestsellers List … I am also preparing to teach myself Final Draft so that I can began doing screenplays of the books that I have… I am hoping to one day see some of these books on the big screen for the world to see. AND, one thing that I’d love to do is sit down with some of my favorite authors and just have lunch and discuss books and writing and seeing it all come together.

So, what have you written?

WOW!!!! Let’s start with what I’ve actually had published because that’s a shorter list LOL… Currently I have had 4 books published. My first was a book of poems that I wrote in the mindset of my alter ego, Damien Darke, and it was titled Pitch Darke: the Poetic Chronicles of Damien Darke. This was a series of poems all pretty much centering around a darker period of my life.

The next book was a series of erotic poems and short stories titled Liquid Eroticism. This was a steamy collection of stories and poems that I’d written most of them at the behest of friends. I wanted to see this collection together and Liquid Eroticism just seemed like the perfect name for them.

The next books published are a part of my very first set of novels. The Tainted series came along after complaining to my publisher about some of the urban/street literature stories I’d been reading while I was in the hospital dealing with my leukemia fight. I wanted to read something that didn’t sound like something else that I’d already read and my publisher’s words to me was,tainted_front1

“Gerald, if you’re not reading something that you like… then you need to write it.” That’s exactly what I did, and thus Tainted: the Book of Revelation and Tainted: the Book of Retribution was born. This series follows the life of a young lady who is given control of her husband’s multi-million dollar business after he discovers that his business partner and best friend has been poisoning him. Now she must deal with a group of men who are out to kill her and anyone trying to help her in order to take back the company they feel should own.

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

In my Tainted series my main character’s name is Courtney Roulette. She was born in Missouri but she’s lived in Tampa, FL since college with her best friend Nina Carleton. I would consider her pretty naïve to begin, you find out quick that she’s been on the run with her drug dealing boyfriend because he’s being hunted by men who think he’s double crossed them. She winds up in California with him before they’re trapped in a hotel and he’s finally captured by the police. Once she gets back to Florida she works on getting her life back in order and she falls in love with businessman Sydney Roulette. It’s on the night of their honeymoon that she finds out the truth of her husband’s business dealings, and that his best friend has been poisoning him to take control of their company… he offers to train her so that she can take over the business. Courtney must come to terms with the fact that she’s now dealing with men who have no problems killing as a bull’s eye has been put on her back… she must now grow up in ways that she’d never dreamed up, she must become just as ruthless as the men she’s dealing with. Her growth is gradual but distinctive… it’s believable and doesn’t just happen over the course of One book. She has to learn to trust the people around her helping her through this process, as she fends for her life against the sharks that are out to kill her. She becomes my tribute to Urban Drama, and I love the response I’ve gotten about her and her growth.

What are you working on at the minute?

At this minute, I’m working on a one of three novels I began during the NaNoWriMo in November. The title is Driven Obsessions, and I am, I hope, about 2 to 3 chapters from being complete. The book is already around 60000 words.

What’s it about? 

This book centers around a national bestselling author named Ladarrious Cross and the women in his life. He quickly finds out that his ex-wife is stalking him and right the beginning she almost has him arrested because of a beating she’s taken and initially she blames him. As the story unfolds, Ladarrious finds out that women he’s been involved with since he’s separated from his wife are now being killed. There’s a series of twists and turns and the book has a lot of erotic scenes(definitely not for those under 18), it’s wrapping up to be a beautiful piece of work.


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

I am currently in the process of writing a book with a fellow author. I love her work and she wants to branch out from Romantic Erotica. Ms. E. G. Weeks and I are working on an Erotic Thriller. The book is about a deadly lovers’ triangle that I believe once we get it all put together people are going to be amazed that two people wrote this book.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t think I ever decided to become a writer, I honestly believe that I was always meant to be a writer. I’ve been doing this for so long that I cannot say when I actually started, and until I can’t do this any longer I know I’ll always be writing something.


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

The overall attempt is to get something done every day. It may not be on any of the books, it may be a few poems, but I want to write something daily to keep the ideas running and flowing. My time with my ex-wife was the only time when I wasn’t able to write as I wanted to, and since I left that situation I’ve made it my BUSINESS to get my writing in on a daily basis.

tainted2_cover1Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

It can really depend on where my mind is that day on the words I’ll try to get in. Now, if I am working on my books I do have a word count that I aim for per chapter because I feel that it makes for a more complete chapter and that’s anywhere between 2500-3000 words. I try not to go any less than the 2500 words, but I have been known to blow that 3000 words with ease.

Where do the your ideas come from?

The ideas can come from where. I have a flash fiction piece I’ve been working on called A New Hulk and it’s based on a female hulk that’s more like the original Hulk in origins, and I got this idea after seeing this young lady walking down the side walk downtown wearing a hoodie over her head and a carrying a backpack. I immediately heard the old t.v. theme song for the Hulk playing in my head, and so I came home and there it was. The stories just happen, the voices begin talking and the words just flow. I have I don’t know how many notebooks on my laptop and tablet filled with story ideas that I’ll eventually get to.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I must say that I love my evolution as a writer. I got my start from comic books and story books in school. I love Edgar Allan Poe and I’ve written stories similar in style, and my first full novel was based on my character and adventures in playing Dungeons & Dragons in high school. Over the years I’ve learned and developed my own voice as a writer, two voices if you consider that my alter ego has his own style of word play. And, I think that we’re just at the summit of the mountain with so much more to learn and grow.


Thanks for joining us this week Damien… I mean Gerald! Please be sure to follow him (them?) and check our his (their) work!

Website: http://grjwritesandmore.wix.com/grjj

Blog: http://darkeschemesinwriting.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gerald.r.johnsonjr2069

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GRJWrites_More

Instagram: http://instagram.com/grjohnsonjr2069

Lnkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grjohnsonjr2069/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrdamiendarke/

wordpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/GeraldJohnsonJr

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrDamienDarke

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B1JM70U

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8845563-gerald

Book Links:

Tainted: the Book of Revelations


http://www.amazon.com/Tainted-Book-Revelations-Gerald-Johnson-ebook/dp/B00HGTRB5A/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 p



Tainted: the Book of Retribution: