Author Spotlight 7-25- Meet Marielena Zuniga!

In this week’s spotlight it’s my pleasure to introduce author, Marielena Zuniga!

Marielena Zuniga headshot (2)   Loreen on the Lam book cover [BookBaby]

1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Marielena Zuniga, a difficult name to pronounce, but I like it because it’s lyrical and reminds me of my roots. I was born in South Texas. My father is Mexican-American and my mother is Scotch-Irish, from Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, the town featured in my novel, “Loreen on the Lam: A Tennessee Mystery.” I’ve been a professional journalist and writer for more than 35 years and earned many prestigious writing awards along the way. After years of writing for others, I’m now focusing on my creative writing and novels. And I feel fortunate to be living in Bucks County, PA, home of James Michener and Pearl Buck.
2.) Where can we find you on the internet?
I’m working on revising my website, so for now, folks can find me at: http://www.amazon.com/Marielena-Zuniga/e/B00IZOCAUG or on Facebook and Twitter.
3.) Why did you choose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?
“Loreen on the Lam” is a mystery and I chose this genre because I believe everyone loves a good mystery. Whether it’s a traditional “whodunnit” or a novel that leaves the reader asking “What’s going to happen in this relationship?” or “What’s motivating this character?” — it’s always about mystery. But I also focus those mysteries on women’s issues with some spirituality thrown into the mix. My writing style varies and I surprised myself when I wrote “Loreen on the Lam,” a humorous tale. I’m usually prone to the serious and introspective.
4.) Tell us about your latest book.
“Loreen on the Lam: A Tennessee Mystery” is the story of Loreen Thigpen who has to find a way to get home to her dying mama in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. There’s only one problem. Loreen is in a prison in Houston, Texas. She not only wants to mend fences with her mama before she passes, but her mama hints of some news about her grandpa, who mysteriously disappeared 25 years ago. Working in the offsite auto mechanics program, Loreen steals the tour bus of Josh Montgomery, a famous country music star, and along the way picks up three passengers: an abused woman; a deaf-mute Bible salesman; and a Catholic nun. One of them is a murderer. The book is two mysteries in one and alternates between two timelines — when her grandfather went missing and the present. The book is also funny and a Southern romp!
5.) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?
What a great question! And a tough one. I’d have to say “Jane Eyre” — not because Jane had such a difficult life, but because she was a woman of great courage and overcame great odds not only to survive, but to find belonging and the love of her life in Mr. Rochester.
6.) What was your favorite book growing up?
Jane Eyre. My mother gave it to me to read when I was 13 and I devoured it. But prior to that, I couldn’t read enough of the early Nancy Drew mysteries.
7.) The infamous question — what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?
Nothing I say here hasn’t been said before, but I’ll say it anyway. Writing is a discipline. Yes, it can be fun and at times IS fun as you create your own world. But it takes work. Also, find a good critique group for honest feedback about your writing and most of all (easier said than done), don’t give up! Discouragement is the bedfellow of all writers, and we’ve all been there when rejections start to pile up. If you love writing, you’ll keep writing.
8.) What are your preferred methods to use while writing and environment?
There’s a word in meditation practices that applies to writing: STAY. I simply stay in the chair, in front of my computer, and write. Some days the words flow; some days they don’t. But I stay. I also prefer quiet. No distractions. And for inspiration I’m fortunate to look out my window at woods and a winding creek.
9.) What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even Monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?
I’m not much of a game person but as a wordsmith, I love Scrabble! My other hobbies are reading, long walks in nature, listening to good music and going to see community theatre, when I can.
10.) What can we look forward from you in the future?
As Monty Python used to say, “And now for something completely different” I’m writing something completely different. The book has a working title of “The Last Year of Birdsong” and has strong spiritual and metaphysical overtones. It needs a good bit of work and I’m revamping much of the meat of the book, so I guess it’s time to stop this interview and start writing. Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers!
It’s my pleasure Marielena, thank you for answering my questions!
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Author Spotlight 7/11- Meet Devon Taratino

It’s my pleasure this week to introduce author, Devon Taratino!

authorpic              ForeverCoverPAID copy

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Devon Tarantino. I speak French, love traveling and have a metal spine. (Scoliosis was not my friend growing up.) I live in Utah as a non-Mormon, which has been quite the experience. I really enjoy where I live, but it definitely has a unique character that took me a while to adjust to. I’m originally from Indiana, but have also lived in Texas, Florida, and France (for three months working as an au pair, which was godawful.) I crave stories, wherever I can find them, so I love reading, television, music… anything that can captivate me. I’ve always had a passion for writing, so it’s amazing to have finally written a full-length novel!

2) Where can we find you on the internet?

Facebook.com/authorgirldevon

http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Devon-Tarantino-ebook/dp/B00IGMQZEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399428991&sr=8-1&keywords=devon+tarantino

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I didn’t really chose the genre. The story just kind of came to me and I started writing it. However, I love romances and I hate when there are gaping holes in the logic of a fantasy world, so I’ve found that I tend to stick more to modern-styled New Adult fiction when I write. My writing style is realistic, funny and fast-paced. I definitely try to be true to life. 

4) Tell us about your latest book.

My book, Forever, is about a girl and a boy who meet in a karate class when they’re nine years old and become best friends. It covers the span of their friendship, including the various hardships they encounter such as money, geography, divorce, sex, death, and general thick-headedness. Throughout the book you see them grow, not only within their relationship, but individually as well. 

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

That’s a difficult question. If I could only pick one, I would go with the Harry Potter universe (book form, of course, and only if I was NOT a muggle or squib. Haha.) I like that there is magic, but I also like that it ties to modern society. I definitely would not want to live in any time period other than my own, because I like the technological advances we have, such as central air and hair defrizzers. I’m also a fan of wearing pants and driving and voting… stuff like that. I love the world Rowling created, and always daydreamed about living there when I was growing up. And besides, who wouldn’t want to be able to use magic??

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

That depends on the age. When I was young, it was the general Sweet Valley High series. In my teens, Harry Potter. Currently… I have three authors that I’m in love with– SG Redling, Tammara Webber and Madeline Sheehan. Anything by those ladies is something I’m going to love. Passionately.

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Look into doing NaNoWriMo course (http://nanowrimo.org). It really got me over the hurdle of writing. I started with about a 30 page story and ended up with a nearly finished book in one month. I am a procrastinator, so this kind of thing was amazing for me. I did it again in April and plan on continuing every single month they hold it in the foreseeable future. 

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

I have to write alone, so I typically write in my room or in my bath. (I live in Utah– it’s cold here.) I am a MUCH faster typist than hand-writer, so I have to write on a computer, and I type on a Mac (best money I ever spent.) I also like a little background noise, but nothing with words I can latch onto, so I go to Pandora and listen to the Piano Guys station, which creeps my sister out, but works for me. Haha.

9)What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

I am ridiculously competitive, and there is a dark side that comes out of me when I play board games, so for the most part I avoid them. However, I like games where you can win using logic, so I like Rummikub and I am addicted to Sudoku. I have a group of friends that do RPGs (role-playing-games), which technically, yes, includes Dungeons and Dragons, but is much more story driven than most people might think. It’s basically six or so people who get together once a week and create a character-driven story over the course of several weeks/months. It’s incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun! And no one dresses up.  

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

Right now I’m more than 100 pages into my second novel, which is going to be called Savages. The story follows two main characters, Jared and Emmeline, and takes place around the turn of the 19th century. 

Jared is English and Emmeline is American. Jared is the son of a whore who meets his half brother, on his dad’s side, when he’s 13. They two look startlingly similar, save for their eyes, and become good friends, despite the illegitimacy of Jared’s birth. During the Napoleonic Wars they two work as privateers, a legal and incredible lucrative form of pirating. Once the war is over, however, the crew decides to find less legal way to keep the money rolling in. They plan to kidnap a group of high society girls from the most prestigious Academy in America and ransom them back to their families. 

Emmeline was born the only daughter of a wealthy, widowed doctor who raised her in the wilds of America as he administered medicine to any people whom he might’ve been able to help. When he dies helping a Lakota tribe of Native Americans, Emmeline, sixteen at the time, marries into the tribe. Everything is happy and peaceful until one day when they are attacked and her husband is killed. She eventually ends up with her uncle living in Boston, and he enrolls her in the best school he can, which turns out to be the one Jared is using as his target. 

Jared’s plan is perfect, but he hadn’t counted on Emmeline, a total wild card in more ways than one, or how he would react to her. 

Basically, it’s a historical romance, even though I hate that phrase. It implies a whole lot more sex than is in it and… like heaving corsets, which were out of fashion during that time anyway. But, they do fall in love, so there you go. 🙂  

Thanks again Devon to taking the time to answer my questions.

7-4 Author Spotlight- Meet Sandra Carey Cody

It’s my pleasure to introduce author, Sandra Carey Cody.

109300048111121CDP                    Lethal Journal - print

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Sandra Carey Cody (Sandy to anyone who’s known me for more than five minutes). I grew up in Missouri, surrounded by a family who loved telling stories. My husband’s job transfers have taken me to various cities in different parts of the country and I can honestly say I’ve loved them all. Now I live in Pennsylvania in a small town so pretty you’d think it was designed by Walt Disney. My Jennie Connors/Riverview Manor series (Left at Oz, Put Out the Light, Consider the Lilly, By Whose Hand and the recently-released Lethal Journal) is set in a retirement community and features Activities Director Jennie Connors, a single mom who is learning to balance her newfound independence with her responsibility to her two young sons and Riverview’s lively residents – all while solving the occasional murder.  Love and Not Destroy is set in a museum of antique tools and folk art; it was intended to be a standalone, but is crying to be part of a series.

2) Where can we find you on the internet?

Website:  http://www.sandracareycody.com 

I blog at: http://www.birthofanovel.wordpress.com

3) Why did you choose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I write traditional mysteries. Why? I love stories where good triumphs over evil, where the bad guy gets what’s coming to him and the good guy emerges victorious, maybe a little banged up, but wiser for his/her efforts. And the world is a better place. That, in essence, is what a mystery is. When I need a break, I write short stories – not mysteries unless you consider (as I do) the bump and jostle of day-to-day life a mysterious thing. My writing style?  That’s a tough one – a little like being asked to describe how you look. I’d say I write light, but not laugh-out-loud funny, though I’m usually smiling as I record the lives of the people I’ve created, and some of my scenes make me laugh. My books are pretty soft-edged; you might even say G-rated. Violence takes place off the page. I believe in happy endings or at the very least justice.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

The title is Lethal Journal. Riverview’s newest resident Jake Appleton has Jennie stumped. He refuses to mingle with the other residents, just sits alone and stares out the window, mumbling that the world is full of crooks. Has he witnessed wrongdoing in the construction project going on outside? Or is he looking back over his own life? Jake’s not telling; he shares his thoughts only in his journal. Then he is murdered and the journal disappears. Could the secrets hidden in its pages have caused the murder of this lonely old man? Jennie is determined to find the journal and restore peace of mind to the residents she loves.

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

I’d love to live in Camelot. Having said that, let me specify – I want to be a queen or at least a lady, not a serving wench. But I don’t want to sit around and do needlework. I’d like some adventure, complete with a handsome knight on a white horse. Is it too much to ask for my own seat at the Round Table? And my very own white horse too, please.

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

An old book from my father’s childhood: King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table, with illustrations by N. C. Wyeth.

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Never, never, never give up. I was a grandmother before I was a published writer and I’m having the time of my life! Secondly, don’t let anyone else tell you what to write. Write what you love to read. Write for the joy of telling a story. Kindred souls will find it and, if they don’t, you’ll still have the joy.

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

I’m easily distracted, so I like it best when it’s just me and my computer. No company for chitchat. No music. Sometimes a cat in my lap – not my choice, but you know cats. A cup of tea, a handful of chocolate kisses for when I get stuck, a pile of books on the floor beside me. I’m not a great speller, so a dictionary is a must. There’s a window by my desk and I’m on the second floor, so when I pause, I look into a giant maple tree, usually filled with squirrels chasing each other along its branches

9) What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

I don’t really have the patience for games. If I’m not writing, I like to be outside, gardening or walking around the neighborhood, stopping to chat with other walkers. I’m also a quilter, but don’t have much time for that these days. Of course, reading.

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

I’m working on a sequel to Love and Not Destroy. (Remember the standalone crying to be part of a series?) The title is The Cruelest Lie, based on a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” It’s too soon to say what the book is about. More than anything I’ve ever written, these characters are taking over and telling me what they’re going to do. I had a destination when I started writing the book, but the characters are leading me down a new path. As a writer, that’s about as exciting as it gets.

Thanks again Sandra for answering my questions.

Author Spotlight: Meet Elizabeth Los!

In this week’s spotlight, it’s my extreme pleasure to introduce the author, Elizabeth Los!

ELosBnW      SotR cover

Feel free to include an author photo (appropriate!) as well as a photo of your latest book cover.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a cancer registrar by day and a writer by night, plus a wife and mother full time.

2) Where can we find you on the internet?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SantaFlash
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/santaflash
My blog: http://www.elizabethlos.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorELos
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624486.Elizabeth_Los

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?
A friend challenged me to write a story where the villain was actually the hero. For me, it just made sense to keep him in the world of fantasy.

4) Tell us about your latest book.
Second on the Right is the story of a man who has everything taken from him. Hell bent on revenge, the reader will see him change from the man he once was to a man whose name strikes fear (or delight) into the hearts of all who hear it: Captain Hook.
5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?
I couldn’t pick just one. I see fun in a lot of worlds, such as Middle-earth, Doctor Who universe, Victorian period with Sherlock HolmesI could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.
6) What was your favorite book growing up?
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though I’ve enjoyed all of the Sherlock Holmes stories. More recently, it’s been Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. If you enjoy a good monster movie, you probably would enjoy Relic.
7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?
Before putting your name and work out there, make absolutely sure it is of the highest quality possible. Don’t just rely on family and friends to help. Seek out professional editors. Try not to be in a rush to publish.
8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?
I’ve written in all types of settings: local coffee shop, doctor’s office waiting room, lobby at the auto shop, while camping, sitting on the beach and at home. I use music to help focus on the story.
9)What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?
I used to play City of Heroes before it was cancelled. That was a fun game. I’ve been known to play board games (Monopoly) and card games (Munchkin!). I’ve enjoyed playing Disney’s Infinity, but only when using Davy Jones or Hector Barbossa. 😉
10) What can we look forward from you in the future?
I’m working on a series of paranormal mysteries novels that I hope to release in the next few years.

Thanks again Elizabeth for taking the time to answer my questions!
Second on the Right is available on:
Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4427270 (available on May 9th)
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/406005
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18459893-second-on-the-right
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Second-Right-Elizabeth-Los-ebook/dp/B00K7I9YXE/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/second-on-the-right/id816649885?mt=11
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-on-the-right-elizabeth-los/1114086375?ean=2940045682244

Author Spotlight 5/16 – Meet Thelonious Legend!

It’s my pleasure this week to introduce scifi/fantasy author, Thelonious Legend!

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I guess you can say it’s hard to pigeon hole me.  I enjoy rock climbing, boxing, fishing, chess, MMA and of course reading.  I am a certified personal trainer but my day job is managing a software team(I use to be developer).  Most of my off-hours are devoted to taking my daughters to band practice, orchestra practice, tennis, track, and basketball.  When I do get some free time I love movies especially independent art house film.

2) Where can we find you on the internet?

I’m all over the Internet!  Below are my links…

https://www.facebook.com/TheloniousLegend?ref=hl

http://theloniouslegend.blogspot.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Thelonious-Legend/e/B00II6GJZS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1395672908&sr=1-2-ent

 

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi and as luck would have it so are my daughters. But unfortunately there not a lot of heroes/protagonist that look like my daughters so I thought it would be fun write a book where the hero resembles my girls.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

Well to summarize I guess you can call it a girl empowerment novel for tweens and teens, and adults. It follows the antics of three sisters in what I hope is a humorous way as they attempt to fix what ails them.

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

Not sure.  I guess it might be Harry Potter’s world.  JK Rowling did such a great job of world building it’s hard not to envision yourself skipping classes at Hogwarts.  And I think I would absolutely kill it at quidditch!

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

I have to say the Wizard of Earth Sea.  And I still love that book

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Don’t wait!

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

Silence!

9)What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

I don’t play video games. I got in trouble while in college and have been cold turkey ever since.  I guess my three favorite board games are chess, risk, and monopoly.

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

More zany adventures of the Parker Sisters!

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions Theonious!

 

Author Spotlight 5-9 John Reinhard Dizon

This week it’s my pleasure to introduce author, John Rienhard Dizon!

1)     Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Here’s my bio: John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, and was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70’s. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80’s, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler before pursuing a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90’s. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been studying and writing about American and European society and culture for over twenty-five years

2) Where can we find you on the internet?  https://www.facebook.com/johnreinharddizonUSA

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I specialize in historical fiction, action/adventure fits my personality, and women’s fiction because I believe books should have redeeming social value.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

The Test is a Christian-theme Tribulation novel about Katia, a teen living in a commune after a mini-nuke attack on Truth or Consequences NM. Teens are leaving home and moving to rural camps protected by biker gangs to ease the financial burden on their bankrupt families. She meets four apostles at an abandoned church and is inspired to bring her friends into the ministry. The conflict comes as the bikers are drawn into demon worship and end up in a battle for their very souls.

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

I think I’d like to live in Streamtown from my novel of the same name. They are rebuilding in a post-apocalyptic world and revert to steam power to avoid the catastrophic mistakes made by a fossil-fueled society. Kinda like going back to the dawn of man.

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

I’d have to say Goldfinger. It turned me onto the James Bond anthology by Ian Fleming, inspired my writing style and my first novella, Enemy Ace (when I was in sixth grade). My action/adventure novel The Standard was inspired by Fleming’s concept and is a tribute to the spy classic.

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Write, write, write, and throw nothing away. Today’s trash may well become tomorrow’s treasure. Half the stuff I’ve published lately has been on the back burner for two decades.

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

I work in my man-cave with my wide-screen TV and my cat Jigsaw. Can’t do without them.

9) What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

I’m always good for a game of chess, and will always recommend Civilization III as the greatest PC game of all time.

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

Hezbollah (2nd Edition) is probably going to be released next week. Part One is about Tina Rivera, a world-renowned percussionist dying of muscular dystrophy. She is trying to break the news to her ex-bandmates amidst rumors of a reunion concert in Palestine where they participated in a legendary event two decades ago. Part Two features Isabel Carmona, the wife of the lead singer whose son is dying of AIDS. This has been acclaimed as a work of women’s fiction though there is a compelling action/adventure conflict between the Israelis and the real Hizbullah in Palestine as well as an authentic hardcore punk element.

Thanks again John for taking the time to talk with us!

Author Spotlight 5-2, Meet Justin Bienvenue!

I can’t believe we’re already at the first author spotlight for May. It is my extreme pleasure to introduce author, Justin Bienvenue!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I am 26 soon to be 27 this summer. I live in Massachusetts where I am dying to get outside more but lately the snow and cold weather prevents this. I enjoy sports(mainly football and baseball), history and I would say writing although it’s become my job rather then something I do in my spare time. I am friendly, outgoing, shy at times and have a wild and creative imagination that goes back to my childhood. 

Where can we find you on the internet? 
I would say Google Justin Bienvenue and my website, Goodreads account and other interviews I have taken a part of will come up. However that seems a bit forward so you can mainly find me on my website, Facebook and Twitter. 

Website- http://jbienvenue.webs.com/ 
Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/ThePlasmaticWriter 
Twitter- @JustinBienvenue 

 Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style? 
So far I have written in poetry, horror and the western genre. I chose poetry because it’s a genre and style of writing I have come to enjoy writing in for quite some time. It was one of my first true enjoyments of writing. I chose Horror because everyone seems to enjoy it these days at their preferred level of course. Given that, I find that you can really relate to horror lovers whether it’s writers or readers, a popular genre of today for sure. 

Tell us about your latest book. 
My latest book is a Western Horror called, “A Bloody Bloody Mess In The Wild Wild West” it is a story about a southern western town in turmoil five years after the Civil War. Things only get worse when a Mexican outlaw makes his way into town and tries to take over and run it into the ground. Along with undead Civil War soldiers and his gritty crew along with new found abilities he takes on the town in an intense and ruthless bloody war. 

 If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why? 
I recently just watched the original version of “Total Recall” with Arnold Schwartzenegger so I’m going to go with that world, without the whole identity issue of course. Being able to go to and from Mars as one pleases sounds really interesting and the whole virtual world a person can live also seems like a cool idea. 

What was your favorite book growing up? 
I wasn’t much of a reader growing up but I do remember a few children’s books to which I was quite fond of. “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina and “Corduroy” by Don Freeman. Aside from the educational value I always enjoyed them and found them fun to read or have read to me. 

The infamous question- what advice would you give to an aspiring and new authors out there? 

Believe in your writing and write for yourself and what you enjoy. You don’t want to write about something you yourself would never read and you can’t possibly know what others will like or who will like your writing so stick to what you yourself enjoy. Also don’t give up, if you have an idea in mind, stick to it and keep pursuing it. 

What are your favorite games(tabletop and/or video)? If your not too much into gaming(even monopoly counts!) What are your other hobbies? 
When it comes to video games I enjoy sports games such as Madden and any baseball game. Also a fan of the Hitman series, I own all them. Also have a few western games called Gun and Red Dead Revolver I enjoy playing. My favorite board games to play are Apples to Apples and Trivial Pursuit. 

What can we look forward to from you in the future? 
I have a new book of poetry coming out in April. It is just poetry with no other one specific genre as the poems in the book are all different and unique. I also will have a few more short stories coming out soon as well. 

Thanks again Justin for filling out my questions!

Author Spotlight for 4-25-14, Meet Julia Legian

A bit late this week on posting, but without further ado it is my pleasure to introduce author, Julia Legian!

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Julia Legian. I was born in 1972 in South Vietnam, though truth be told nobody in my family really knows my real date of birth. During the war time I suppose people had other priorities than birth registries. My childhood was pretty tough, and that is the subject of my memoir The Ugly Daughter. In the early 80s my family managed to escape Vietnam as “boat people” and after a few years in a refugee camp, we immigrated to Australia, where I live till this day. I’m happily married to my husband, Simion and I have a wonderful son, Jeremy.

2) Where can we find you on the internet?

http://www.theuglydaughter.com/ would be a good start and also on https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7827024.Julia_Legian and on facebook.

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I’m not a professional writer. I am just an ordinary person with an extraordinary story I’d like to share with the world in the hope of inspiring others. My writing style is brutally honest, simple and sincere and it’s written from my heart.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

The Ugly Daughter is my memoir. It covers the early years of my life from a young age till the time we escaped Vietnam and headed to Australia. I had what many would consider a horrific upbringing and despite all that, I managed to survive and become a successful person in my own right. I wrote the book to demonstrate that anything is possible as long as you have firm faith and believe in yourself. I also hope I can inspire and encourage others to persevere and better their lives.

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

I’d love to live in that beautifully house by the river in the movie called The Notebook. The property was set in an idyllic and serene country town. I love water and peace.

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

The Little Mermaid and other Vietnamese fairytales

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Do what you love. Work hard and never give up on your dream.

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

I write at home in bed. The moment I wake up in the morning. I lie in bed and try to recall as many memories as I could. I have a notebook next to me and as soon as a new memory resurfaces I start to write it down. Later on during the day I go through my notes, sort them chronologically and refine the words until I am satisfied with the result. I have my favourite Buddha chill-out meditation music playing in the background to keep me calm and focused.

9)What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

Cash Flow 101 and 202

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

The Ugly Daughter Part 2.

Thanks again Julia for taking the time to answer my questions!

Experiments Continued

Okay so its been pretty quiet, but for good reason. I’ve been busy typing away at Darkness which I’m hopefully going to finish another chapter of tonight. I did have this awesome news when I checked on Kakri’s rank today. If you saw the previous post a few days ago this experiment of mine has been going good.

rank

 

The problem now is to decide if I should perma free it or not since its set as a stand alone as much as a sequel to Vengeance it is a good place to jump into my writing. Right now I’m torn but going am to see how the weekend and Monday go for me to fully decide. Regardless of how things go with Kakri- Vengeance’s fate is sealed- it is only available for $0.99 cents until evening Monday before it jumps back up to its regular price.

My mind so far I will say is blown by the experiment, I haven’t done any large promos on it at all – medium ones at best and alerting some of the blogs (Thanks to all those who have shared it for me) but still have had a good amount of success. Thanks all for your continued support! ❤

Author Spotlight 4-11-14- Introducing Bret Alexander Sweet!

It’s time for another author spotlight, it is my pleasure to introduce Urban Science Fiction and Fantasy Author, Bret Alexander Sweet!

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Bret Alexander Sweet. I am an entrepreneur, educator and author hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. I started my career as a media entrepreneur, creating my own record label in high school and was the first person to ever sell digital music online. I took the lessons learned from that experience to work in under developed communities and teach those populations how to create their own jobs. Currently I teach at the college level and assist creative types in launching or growing their businesses. I really hate talking about myself, it seems so….”hey look at me!!”

(Link to bio if you want to pull anything from it is below:)

http://www.paperthrones.com/#author

2) Where can we find you on the internet?

Anyone looking to find me on the internet can go to www.paperthrones.com

That is the site for the book but it includes my bio, my blog, connectivity for my social media and my random thoughts.

3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?

I’ve grown up in large cities my whole life so that is what I know: urban landscapes. However I grew up reading fiction that was the intersection between fantasy and science fiction. In addition, I am a musicologist and really love hip hop as well as music that helped craft it such as soul, reggae and psychdelic rock. The first book I ever read on my own was The Hobbit at age four. I got a few years older and my mother told me “you ready for the real stuff now?” She handed me Nine Princes Of Amber by Roger Zealzny. I was hooked and have re-read that series once a year since. I will probably require my children, when I have them, to read that series.

The genre I currently write in is what I would call Urban Science Fiction & Fantasy. I had to craft my own genre because it was the only way to bring together all these elements that I love. I wrote the series first and then tried to discover where it positioned in terms of genre. When none of the pre-existing boxes fit, I made my own. However that’s what entrepreneurs do: if the rules don’t work, we re-write them.

My writing style is like Tai Chi. From a distance it is flowing, meditative, descriptive and puts the mind at ease. Up close and deeply analyzed, there are very complex layers and they are powerful. Most people think Tai Chi is for old people. Let one of those old people punch you in the mouth and then tell me what you think. Tai Chi translates to supreme ultimate. I am a perfectionist and I am competitive. When I write, I aim to leave a mark on the world and I don’t want a single doubt about my abilities. I will put my style next to any of the greats and say “I belong here”. The only place I have an ego is about my writing; I am the harshest critic I know so I work very hard to make sure my own writing impresses me.

My publisher told me my writing is like “a mix of James Joyce and Harold Bloom for millenials”. Not sure it’s that incredible but I appreciate the compliment.

4) Tell us about your latest book.

Among The Veils is modern mythology using the more obscure pantheons and tales set in the inner city environments of the San Francisco Bay Area. It tells tells the tale of a psychiatrist named Clay Durward who works with young adults who is brought to a murder scene where the only survivor is a five year old boy. By counseling the child, the doctor becomes the child’s guardian and finds that the child is the epicenter of a war between two opposing armies of pre-dynastic Egyptian gods fighting in the modern day. Clay is torn between protecting the child and protecting himself by staying uninvolved.  Among The Veils is the first book in a five part series titled The Paper Thrones Series.

http://www.paperthrones.com/#books

http://www.amazon.com/Among-Veils-Paper-Thrones-Series/dp/0984493859/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/among-the-veils-bret-alexander-sweet/1116608615?ean=9780984493852

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18310321-among-the-veils

Readers have described the story as “Harry Potter meets the Wire” or “the hip hop Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. Huge compliments as far as I am concerned. Big shoes to fill as well.

In addition to the story, the book comes with a soundtrack, character art, plot art and a glossary:

Soundtrack:

http://www.mixcloud.com/PaperThrones/

Character Art & Plot Art:

http://www.pinterest.com/paperthrones/

Glossary:

http://paper-thrones.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

The idea is to make the story as interactive as possible so readers feel they are part of the story and can shape its direction.

5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?

Wow what a great question. As writers, especially in science fiction, you run the risk of already living in the world that is being written. I see alot of parallels between Blade Runner and Neuromancer with the way the economy is and how tech companies dictate public policy. I think we have to go through this period for a while before we can get to some period where life is more like the Federation.

Personally, I would have loved to be an Amberite. My mother jokes that she is so maybe I am already. I think the ability to shift shadows is incredible.

6) What was your favorite book growing up?

I mentioned The Hobbit and the Amber series previously so I should probably give some light to other books that really made an impact. I loved Invisible Man and Song of Solomon. Dune shaped alot of my perspective. Journey to Ixtlan is another great one. The Patternmaster Series by Octavia Butler was incredible. The Burke Series by Andrew Vacchss.

7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?

Write because you need to not because you have to. Meaning, write the story or text that keeps you going. Write it because if you don’t tell it there won’t be enough space in your head to do other things. Do not write a story because you think it will pay your rent. Have the integrity to ask “maybe this has already been done, maybe I can do it better, but do I need to?”

Know who you are writing for. You are not your customer. Maybe that’s the marketer in me talking. Try to get out of your own head and picture the folks who will really enjoy your book. Are you using their language, symbols and culture? Challenge them but also give them what they want, not what you think they need.

Finally, do not fear revision. Iterations is where the magic is. Yes, you wrote it. That’s great. Just because you finished it does not mean its “finished”. Assemble a team who will give you critical feedback and push the envelope,

8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?

I am an entrepreneur affected by many processes used in Silicon Valley. My first technique comes from my martial arts training and from studying tons of Nikola Tesla. I write in my head first. I used to write songs in my head. When I got tired of the music industry, I turned that skill toward designing products and services. I create the first 99% in my head and perfect it there.

My next step is to transcribe from my head to the written page. I buy Moleskines by the bulk. Among The Veils ended up being nine moleskines of my handwriting. The edits and revisions ended up being three more.

My step after that is to type up the manuscript into a word processing document and send it off to the editor. This ALL accomplished with really good coffee and a selection of music that goes with the theme. In fact, the soundtrack is the collection of songs that were used to write Among The Veils.

9 )What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?

I love Monopoly but ever since I graduated from business school, NOBODY, not even my wife will play with me lol. I have to play on my iPad with the computer.

I have been kicked out of Seen It games. I think I know movies too well. I find Taboo can be great when there is alot of alcohol available. Leads to incredible laughs.

Video games wise. Console, I have my holy trinity: Dynasty Warriors, UFC and Assassin’s Creed. Anyone who knows those titles will automatically understand me.

PC games wise: I have owned and played every version of Civilization. I love that game. Hands down incredible. I even taught a class on it once. I also really dig Sim City.

In my youth, I have played every role playing game known to man. You name the game and I have played it. Might even have played tested it or ghost wrote some of the rules lol. My favorite is still…….guess what…..Amber Diceless Role Playing. It’s impossible to meta game or power game that system. I have close friends I would trust my car for a week but won’t turn my back in a crowded room because of that game. You really get into character with those rules.

I also love discovering new music and collecting 12″ vinyl records. There is something about the warmth of vinyl that sounds unlike anything else.

I still practice and train martial arts but not as hard core as my youth. I am an avid UFC fan and seldom miss a fight card.

I am also working on a family business that has a very cool take on rental properties. Can’t say more than that, I don’t like talking about unfinished products.

10) What can we look forward from you in the future?

More of the same with alot more impact. I am going to release the second edition of Among The Veils some time this year. In addition, I am finishing up the audio book which is sounding incredible. We also have been in talks to get some clothing out to go with the book. There are rumors of a game as well. We will see how it goes.

I spend a weekend a month going around the country speaking and signing books. I also do alot of media appearances ranging from radio shows to podcasts to magazine articles. Follow us through social media at the Paper Thrones site and find out where I am appearing next; I love signing books for people who have finished the book and hearing their thoughts. Our next step is to get these readers to connect with their fellow readers and raise the profile of the Paper Thrones community. Ultimately, thats what I like doing, building tribes.

Finally,. I expect to put the next installment in the series out over the next two years. I want to get the readers involved in that process but everything is a step at a time.

 

Thanks again Bret for taking the time answering my questions!