Serenity Valle-author, supporting fellow authors, game creators and more...one blog post at a time!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview: Author Ronel Van Tonder

Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I’m a new indie author. I like long walks on the beach, except I live nowhere near the beach, so that’s not going to happen.
My passion for writing was recently re-kindled when I was thought-mugged by the idea for my latest book. Before then I was just getting by, watching too many movies and playing way too many computer games than can be considered healthy.
I live in South Africa, which has always been my home, so I’m not really planning on going anywhere. Except maybe closer to the beach.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, Compile:Quest? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: It came as a scene, which most of my stories do. I then have to try and work out the ‘who/why/where/how long’ of the scene in my mind, which eventually leads to a story. Usually, that first scene is completely abandoned once the story evolves.
This scene was a massive dome built on the African savanna. That already prompted a few questions, but the ghastly mutated creatures attacking the sides of the dome in an attempt to penetrate the structure had my brain overheating. This scene never actually appears in the book, but it’s what led to the tangle of lives and intrigue that the novel turned into.
The name was one of those ‘lying-in-bed-at-two-in-the-morning-not-sleeping-because-you-haven’t-thought-of-a-proper-title-yet’ moments. I was randomly thinking of every geeky term I could think of (because the book is steeped in Geekism, and I wanted it to be a silent alert to any geek out there that might glimpse the title).
Then it finally came. Compile (geekism) /Quest (what happens). In restrospect, it’s probably a bit lame, but it is what it is. The rest of the series continue this theme (which was another aspect that made the choice so difficult), and are named respectively: “Debug:Heroes” and “Execute:Destiny”.
It’s better if you kind of read them all together. And if you’re a geek. And if you don’t mind a dash of lameness with your novel.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Uh… *whispers* pink?
Gosh, it felt good to get that out there. I am a girl, after all. Not that all girls should just like pink. But I’m one of those that do.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: Eesh. So many of. I was going a bit overboard at one stage. You see, our house is basically just two floors, open plan all the way. So I don’t have a “writer’s nook”.
So I ended up creating this little nest for myself where I could plug in my earphones and try and ignore our dogs as they ran past barking and yapping at each other. This seclusion/nest-building just intensified until it became something along the lines of:
  • Get home from work
  • Walk dogs
  • Feed dogs
  • Give dogs chewy treat
  • Have tea made for me by awesome husband
  • Have packet/slab/bag of (jelly babies, jelly beans, caramels, ├ęclairs, chocolate) at hand
  • Clean laptop screen with microfiber cloth
  • Clean reading glasses with same cloth, making sure to remove every micron of dust
  • Wipe screen again because some dust just zapped back on there (some days a full computer clean was done before I could even begin)
  • Find headphones
  • Find appropriate deep house track to listen to
  • Re-read previous day’s work
  • Move the dogs around until they’re comfortable
  • Restart deep house track.
  • Start writing! *
* Some days may vary.
Ultimately, once I’d gotten into the daily writing ritual, I found breaking the other habits a little easier.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing Compile:Quest?
A: The actual writing. As in, “Peppermint danced.” I would run out of time/energy/the ability to focus my eyes before I could stop writing every day.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: Everything leading up to that point. Sheer torture.
In the initial planning/plotting/research stages it was a daily struggle not to just start writing. As it is, I started writing before I had every microscopic detail of the plot nailed down, and then had to rewrite 50% of the first book because SOMEONE decided to create a more convoluted back story for themselves than I’d originally planned. Not mentioning any names. *coughs: GERARD *

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: Yes. But not in a ‘bacon-flavoured ice-cream’ kind of way. Just in a regular, bacon and eggs for breakfast kind of way. We are talking about that kind of bacon, right? Because innuendos usually fly a kilometer over my head. Jus’ saying.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: I’ve been writing ever since primary school (uh… I think that’s age 10…11…?) Sorry, my memory is pretty messed up. Too little brain capacity, too many random characters and plots floating around in there.
I don’t remember my first story ever, but the first one I can remember was about a girl and a boy who were abducted. By aliens. In a space ship. Once you’re done laughing, I’d like to state, in my defense, this was when X-Files first came out. I suppose it was my first (and last) fan-fiction piece ever.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: Yup. Jinx and Jasper. I’ve decided it’s purely coincidental that both their names start with a “J”. The letter “J” has no significance in my life. At least, not that I’m aware of.
Jasper I like because of the ‘ain’t no mountain high enough’ kind of love that he has for his wife. It’s so profound that I get emotional when I write his chapters. *sigh*
Jinx… I feel sorry for her. Not in a pitying kind of a way. But more like when you’re watching a really clumsy person in one of those narrow, crowded antique stores. She’s big. She’s tough. But damn she can just put her foot in it. Like all the time.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: Anything else? Anything else? Are you kidding me?
I have to try and do a hard reset on my brain every night just to avoid getting additional stories piling into my mind. I’m at the stage where I’m like “No, don’t you dare play that Lulu Rouge track”, because I just know a few seconds listening to any music can chuck another story into the maelstrom of my mind.
But yes, I do have (a few) stories in the queue. First are the follow ups to this first book in the series. Then, another sci-fi. Then either another sci-fi or a horror, whichever is clamouring the loudest to be written. Sometimes I let them have a go at arm wrestling and let that settle their order in the queue.
Then I have another horror, a weird general fiction (it’s about a talking dog, I have no clue what genre that falls into), and a paranormal series just to get it out of my system.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?
A: I just want to thank Serenity Valle for allowing me to prattle on and fill her webspace with my ramblings. For a new indie author, there is no such thing as too much exposure, so thank you!
Also, for anyone wanting to find out more about the book, upcoming works, or just to say hi, you can get hold of me on my website. All my social profiles are on there, so stalk away! Ha ha ha. Okay, not serious stalking – I have really big dogs that will eat you alive.
Also, I’m always looking for beta-readers, and have a few freebies if you’re so inclined, so just pop in and see what’s happening.
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Ronel provided me with a synopsis to include, enjoy!
In the year 2036, solar storms batter Earth crippling electrical infrastructures across the globe. Night falls and the ensuing pandemonium claims millions of lives, catapulting the world into chaos.

In the midst of this global turmoil a hero emerges. The altruistic SUN Council intercedes, constructing enormous domes on each continent to protect the world’s population from the radioactive CME’s of the incessant solar storms.

But not everyone makes it to the domes. In an attempt to survive the deadly radiation, hundreds of thousands of people dig into the earth, living in squalor under an oppressive military dictatorship.

Now centuries later, the final stage of the SUN Council’s plan to decimate the world’s population approaches. But as victory glimmers on the horizon, two women from discordant halves of this new world start to unravel the conspiracy.


***

Ronel is a brand-spanking new indie author. She loves creating fantastical worlds set in the future, the mythical, and the horrific. Translate: She writes science-fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

Her life story is not particularly fascinating, but her love of technology, PC games and writing is. Beside writing, she spends her time slaying rendered baddies in the form of robots, gangsters and aliens - with any weapon that happens to be at hand.

Ronel has published her first science-fiction book, Compile:Quest. She's currently hard at work creating the second book in the Corrupted SUN Script trilogy. When she's not writing, she's gaming, and when she's not gaming she's either sleeping or eating, as these are prerequisites for a continued life on planet Earth.

http://ronelvantonder.co.za
http://www.twitter.com/RonelVanTonder
http://www.facebook.com/Ronel.Van.Tonder.Author
http://za.linkedin.com/in/ronelvantonder/
http://www.wattpad.com/user/ronelvantonderza
https://www.google.com/+RonelvantonderCoZa
http://www.pinterest.com/ronel1014/
https://www.goodreads.com/ronelvantonder




...You Can't Take the Books from Me...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Interview: Author Nathaniel Danes

 
Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I’m a pretty average guy. I love my beer, football, and scifi. My wife, isn’t such a fan of all three of those. I live in the Washington, DC area.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Last Hero? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: My mind is always turning. I often slip into my own imaginary worlds. It's kind of a defense mechanism. I'm going blind from a genetic disorder and its an escape to dream universes I don't have any limitations.
The Last Hero was really born with the birth of my only child, my daughter. When she came into my life she added emotional depth that changed the way I thought. I began to think of what it would be like to be separated form her. Naturally, I spun that into a SciFi story.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Colour, I’m not sure what that is? But, my favorite color is 49er red.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: I’m not sure if it counts as a ritual, but I’ve mastered the ability to write with any Disney movie in the background.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing The Last Hero?
A: The emotional connection between the main character and his daughter. All I had to do was think about my own family.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: Frankly, just writing. Between my visual impairment and dyslexia, writing takes a lot out of me. With that say, I am how saying a prayer to thank my poor editor.

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: That’s like asking if I like breathing or water. It’s an essential element of life. I LOVE BACON!

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: Always wanted to write. Just took me a while for my ability to catch up with my imagination. But, after college, grad school, and my day job, it finally came around.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: Anna, cause she is based on my little girl.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: The Last Hero is the first in a trilogy. I am currently editing book two. Also, I’ve written drafts for the first two book in another series I’ll get going once The Last Hero series is collect.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?
A: Yes, I want to encourage everyone to visit my website where they can read the first three chapters of The Last Hero for free, www.NathanielDanes.com

Here, have some extra goodies from Nathaniel!


Book Release Oct. 14: The Last Hero, Book one of trilogy

Excerpt:
Trent knelt down where Anna could throw her arms around his neck. She pulled against him tight and started crying again. Tears rolled down his face as he whispered, “I love you more than you can understand. I’m sorry.”
Her cries downed out his soft words.
After a minute, Trent summoned all of his strength to break free of her hold. Standing, he shared a look with Madison. She wrapped him in a loving, warm hug.
This time she did the whispering, “Remember what I told you. Make them pay.”
He pulled away, nodding as he placed his hand on Anna’s sobbing head.
“I’ll see you both again someday. I promise.” The words bound him to a promise he wasn’t sure he could keep.

Blurb:
Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

Bio:
Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an over active imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links:

Book Links:





...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview: Author Kim Cormack


 

Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: Well, I’m a single mom. I live on Vancouver Island. My daughter is in College. My son is in grade four. I started out writing songs and singing. After fifteen years of being a Mom and working in Early Childhood Education. I wrote a few children’s books. It all happened rather randomly. I started writing again, right before I was diagnosed with M.S.



Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book or books? How did you come up with the name of it/them?

A: One night, I had a really brutally violent nightmare. I remember waking up, just sobbing. I wrote down everything that happened in the dream. That’s how I started writing, Sweet Sleep. It was a far cry from the fluffy chicks and rainbows, I’d been writing about. This book is the first book in, The Children of Ankh series. It gets a little dark and twisty. Warning, I have an extremely messed up sense of humor. The first book, Sweet Sleep was published August 5th of this year. The name Sweet Sleep, came from a children's lullaby. I heard it right before I woke up, during the nightmare. The death scene, with the song at the end. That was the end of the dream. The second book, Enlightenment is coming soon. I have a plan for six books in this series. I also have a really cool side series about Lexy. (The Dragon of Ankh) Book one in the Lexy series will be released in the six months between Book two and three in the main series.



Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)

A: Tis not butter Yellow, but urine yellow. ;)



Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.

A: I have a Zombie pen holder. A plaque that says, Do one thing every day that scares you. I have pictures of my kids and an enormous hunk of rose quartz. A broken hula dancer statue and a necklace with an Ankh symbol, Trinity symbol and a bunch of healing stones on it.  I kept adding things to it. It became too heavy to wear.



Q: What was the easiest part about writing your books?

A: I just disappear into my head. Writing is the wonderful part. Editing is the time consuming, tedious part. I honestly just drop Cameron off at school, set my alarm for 2:20 and disappear into my head.



Q: What was the hardest part?

A: My left arm has a loss of fine motor skills / Multiple Sclerosis. It can be excruciating. On some days I finish writing and everything is underlined in red. My left hand didn’t keep up with my right. Then I get to play a fun little game called, What did I mean to write? I’m on a good treatment now. I just can’t overdo it.



Q: Do you like bacon?

A: I frigging adore bacon.



Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?

A: I used to write messed up stories in school for shock value. I once tried to convince one of my teachers my main goal in life was to own a taco stand. I was a weird kid.



Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?

A: Kayn and Lexy are my favorites right now. I’ve been spending a lot of time inside of their imaginary heads.



Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

A: Book two in the series, Enlightenment. I should have news on the release date soon. Well, I mentioned the side series about Lexy. That should be out not too long after Enlightenment. I’ve also been writing, The Repopulation Project. It’s a Middle Grade, Science Fiction. It was a contest entry from a few years back. I’m adding word count. My son’s teacher asked me if I had anything age appropriate to read to the class. I started working on it again. I’m trying to fit it in.



Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?

A: Oh, there’s a lot. Here are a few of the links to series info.








...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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Interview: Author Val Tobin


Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I’m addicted to reading and have always had a compulsion to write. I especially wanted to publish my fiction, but denied that urge for a long time. I was a software/web developer for ten years, I got my Reiki Master/Teacher certifications, I studied the paranormal—I’ve always had a love of anything strange and otherwordly. That has crept into my writing.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Parapsychic Science and am currently working on a masters in parapsychology. I’m also working on the sequel to The Experiencers, which should be available in November 2014.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Experiencers? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: The idea came to me while I was out walking—something I do almost every day. I was thinking about sky watches I’d attended with the UFO group to which we belong. Sky watches are just what the name implies: you sit outside and watch the sky for unusual activity. Typically, you have a video camera recording it, just in case.
I started asking “what if” questions. What if a UFO group having a sky watch actually has an encounter with an alien craft and manages to get evidence of ET visitation? What if a conspiracy really exists and the covert agency colluding with the aliens knows this group has discovered the truth?
Images of some scenes popped into my head: a group of people sitting outside, chatting, when a spacecraft appears; a woman’s body lying in an alley; a man dropping dead on a loading dock; a woman in her bedroom confronting an intruder who wants to kidnap her; during the struggle, the woman’s daughter walks in the door, forcing the woman to bargain with the kidnapper for the safety of her child.
I’ve used most of those scenes in the novel, though they’re not exactly as I saw them.
The name of the novel took a while to figure out. I originally had a working title of Unidentified, which I didn’t like. It was just something to name the file. After batting around some other possibilities, I settled on The Experiencers, which is a term that some people use to refer to those who’ve had encounters with extraterrestrials. I believe the one to have originally used the term is Dr. John Mack.
There is some controversy associated with the term, though. Some who have had abduction experiences argue that they don’t want to tone down the impact this kind of experience has on them. They want to use the term “abductee,” because they feel it describes what’s happening to them more accurately. They see the term “experiencers” as a euphemism.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Yellow

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: I have a pendulum close by, which I consult sometimes while I write.
For food, I have my Isagenix snack foods close at hand, and for drinks, my bottle of water and my box of t+ Chai from Isagenix. I drink herbal teas when I’m writing.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing The Experiencers?
A: Once I knew what I wanted a scene to be about, the writing flowed. It felt sometimes like it was being channeled. I knew the whole story arc before I started writing.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: The hardest part was all the stuff that isn’t part of the writing process, like putting the manuscript into e-book format and getting an EIN from the IRS and all those other things that drag me away from doing what I love most, which is writing.

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: Yes, but I don’t eat it often.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: I’ve been writing since I was six, but kept my fiction hidden and unfinished. I wrote technical articles for Community MX when Macromedia still existed and then wrote some stuff for Suite 101. I also contributed a story (non-fiction) to Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue’s book Angel Words.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: I guess my favourite character is Michael Valiant, because he’s not your typical hero. He starts off as more of an anti-hero. He’s a killer. I am fascinated by the idea that someone might do horrible things, but still have a good heart. I explored this in the novel.


Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: I’m working on the sequel to The Experiencers. The working title is In the Valley of the Headless Men, but I know that will change. It follows Carolyn to the Agency, and takes Michael to Nahanni and back.
Nahanni is in the Northwest Territories, and legends refer to it as “The Valley of the Headless Men.”
Legends say that a tribe of Aboriginals disappeared from that valley, which is actually called Deadmen Valley. Prospectors’ bodies with the heads missing were found there, and that’s when people started calling it The Valley of the Headless Men. I thought it would be the perfect location for an alien base, so I incorporated it into the novel.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview? (This is a great place to put your links!)
A: The Experiencers can be found on Smashwords and Amazon. A paperback edition is also available.

...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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Cover Reveal: The Stars Are Infinite- Amber Skye Forbes


TSAI cover
It is the sequel to When Stars Die. There will be a third book that I plan to call All Stars Align, which will be the final one in The Stars Trilogy. Here is the blurb for this novel:
Alice Sheraton is slated to be executed as a witch; however, her father spares her. He sends her to Finight Hill, a safe house for witches. Here a Shadowman begins to pursue her, and from this Shadowman she learns she has been bound with a terrible fate since birth: either be a martyr to free witches from their misery, or choose to live knowing her existence will bring on more chaos.

This novel has a December release , and you will know more information later, especially when you sign up for the newsletter.

Now here is an interview with Alice Sheraton so that way you get to know a little bit about her before you begin to read this sequel. There are no spoilers. However, make sure you read the first book before buying this one, or else you will get confused:

Hello, Alice. It must be strange being in an interview for you, especially because you’ve spent much of your life never having any attention drawn to you.
Alice: It’s true. Much of my life has been spent preparing me to find a suitable husband. I did go to a finishing school before coming to Finight, so I do have a great deal of education. At the same time, when I was in the other school, I was taught to never draw any attention to myself. So I am nervous about this. What will my mother think? I used to love painting, until my mother took that away from me. I am well-read, and I had my own collection of books in my room. I loved being with Sara, who liked to get into all sorts of trouble I never agreed with, but did so anyway. These things are memorable, but if my mother ever found out about them, she would beat me with a wooden board.

What are your parents like?
Alice: My father has been nothing but supportive, and I’d like to think that if I had said something about wanting to own my own life, he would have been supportive. My mother, on the other hand, is an alcoholic, which is why I was born as a witch. The Seven Deadly Sins give birth to witches, and I suppose my mother’s continual sin is gluttony.

How has being a witch impacted your life?
Alice: Dreadful. I don’t even want to think or talk about what led up to my discovery. I was imprisoned in a small, dirty room in Governor Branch’s home. He is a horrid, perverted man married to my best friend Sara, who is around my age: I am fifteen. I was slated to be executed, but my father saved me by paying a handsome sum of gold to Governor Branch. He couldn’t refuse the money, so he and Father decided to send me off to a safe house called Finight Hill. It looks like any other finishing school, and it is in a secluded area.

What were your reactions to Finight Hill?
Alice: I was paranoid at first. It’s lovely on the exterior, but it’s rather bland on the inside. My other finishing school was richly furnished, with original paintings, marble sculptures, fresh flowers. It was, I suppose, like the inside of a rich man’s home. Finight had no such decorations. So I was scared. I thought I was sent there to be executed, that my father truly had no idea where he was sending me. Governor Branch wanted me dead, but when I met Pastor Brandon and a boy named Nathaniel, their presence and kindness swept away any paranoia I had.

Tell us about Pastor Brandon and Nathaniel.
Alice: Pastor Brandon is nice but strange. He falls into these fits where he cries out, “Curse is everyone who hangs on a tree!” This is a sentence commonly used right before witch executions. He also coughs up some substance from time to time. I don’t know what it is, but it’s black. Even so, he has made me feel welcomed.
Nathaniel, on the other hand, is beautiful, and I saw that right from the start, though I couldn’t admit it to myself. He’s also troubled. He smokes a lot, he scratches himself, and he’s reckless, but he has made me feel welcomed at Finight, and I accepted his friendship. Master Akilah isn’t too fond of him because of his reckless behavior.

How do you feel about Master Akilah?
Alice: I can’t stand him. Neither can Pastor Brandon nor Nathaniel. He was rude to me my first day there when he introduced me, complaining that I was late, not even welcoming me. He is the one who created the unnecessarily strict rules rules for Finight, where we are watched at all times, as though we are in an asylum. We do have certain activities that we have to do throughout the day, like studying. We can go outside once a week–under strict supervision. Nathaniel is smart enough to evade some of these rules, but it eventually becomes our downfall. After a certain event takes place, the rules become worse. At that point, we can’t even have doors to our rooms.

You hear voices?
Alice: I’m unsure if the voice is real or not. It sounds real. She at first told me Pastor Brandon killed her. Then she told me I should kill him. She said he knew who I was, and I couldn’t make any sense of that. He apparently knows the future. When I fainted and woke up in my room, her final words to me were, “You will be mine.” We all thought it was stress and nerves. I thought I was insane, but I was so certain the voice was real. And it is. It truly is.

Can you tell us who the voice belongs to?
Alice: Her name is Annarelius, a Shadowman, a dead witch. She wants me because I can set the world free from sin, allowing everyone, even witches, into Paradise.

Tell us about this Shadowman.
Alice: I would rather not.

Are there any final words?
Alice: My story…it is mine and mine alone, rife with the darkness that is innate in the life of a witch. It was a very hard story to tell. If witches are not freed, at least my account will make them feel less alone, if my account will even be allowed to exist. Witches are insignificant. We are nothing. Those who used to love us betray us and automatically hate us when they find out we are witches. This was the case with my best friend, Sara. The Vulgate, our bible, indoctrinates people into hating us, which is why they can hate so easily. I am not sure if this hatred will ever be erased. I have never known any allies to stop the hatred. I have never known any witches to start a rebellion. But our world is filled with nothing but cruelty. The ugliness of our world surpasses its beauty. Love is the only beauty that exists, but there isn’t enough of it.

Those are some very harrowing words, Alice, but I know you will be the one to make that change. Thank you for letting me interview you.
Alice: …

I hope you enjoyed Alice’s interview and will pick up the already available When Stars Die and the not-yet-released The Stars Are Infinite when you are able to pre-order it or buy it on its release day. Remember it will have a December release date and will be mentioned in a future newsletter.
when stars die
Amazon (America, Canada, UK, Australia)
Kobo
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Rafflecopter giveaway
author pic
About the Author
Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.
Thanks for stopping by Amber!

...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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Interview: Author Josh de Lioncourt

Josh_de_Lioncourt
Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A: I was born and raised in California, but these days I call Pennsylvania home, as it’s where my other half, Molly, hails from.
At age six, I became very ill and lost my vision. Up until that time, I could see perfectly well, so I have plenty of memories of what things look like, colors, and so forth—not to mention Masters of the Universe, a comic, cartoon, and action figure sword and sorcery property for which I still harbor a, possibly unhealthy, passion. :)
Throughout my life, I’ve explored a variety of creative endeavors. I write and perform music, develop software, host a few podcasts, and do a bit of blogging as well. I’ve always loved pulling things out of my imagination and bringing them to life. I drew a great deal before losing my vision, and afterward, my creativity branched out in a number of different directions.
I love music, especially artists from the UK, and am an avid reader. Oh, and I enjoy way too much hockey. Go Kings go!

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, Haven Lost? How did you come up with the name of it?
A: Haven Lost is the first volume in a series called The Dragon’s Brood Cycle. The story arc for the entire series has been sloshing around in my brain for over twenty years. Over that time, while I was writing other stories or working on other projects, flashes of new details, specifics, characters, locations, what have you, would come to me for Dragon’s Brood. Every couple of years or so I’d set other projects aside and start out on a fresh attempt at the story, but it never entirely worked out to my satisfaction.
The story’s primary protagonist, Emily Haven, came to me completely disconnected from the Dragon’s Brood concept in the summer of 2007. I wrote a few short pieces about her, and gradually came to realize that she was really the character that the Dragon’s Brood Cycle was intended to circle around.
Last fall, while taking in some heartbreaking losses of the Penn State Women’s Hockey team, I realized the time was right to tell Emily’s story, and the story of the Dragon’s Brood. (Emily plays on the girls’ hockey team at her high school). Once I started this time, there was no stopping it. I found the entry point for the story, which was far earlier than where the older drafts had begun. There’s a full ten chapters now before the point where I had been starting the story previously, and it worked so much better that way.
Everything seemed to just fall into place at last, and I loved every minute of finally creating the strange world I’d been daydreaming about for two decades.
As for the title, it went through several changes during the writing of the first draft. For a long time the working title was Haven 21, which was Emily’s surname and the number on her jersey. In the end, I went with Haven Lost, because it had multiple layers of meaning in the story, and I’m a sucker for layers in my stories.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A: Oh, how I love Monty Python … oh, wait, wait! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!
Red has always been a favorite of mine, though black and silver hang around in my top three as well.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A: I drink a ton of tea and coffee. Molly, my other half, made gallons of both for me during the writing of Haven Lost. I love spearmint tea in particular, and my coffee comes from an AeroPress. You haven’t had coffee until you’ve had it made with an AeroPress. It’s true. Try it.
I don’t have any troll dolls, but my Masters of the Universe action figures oversaw most, if not all, of the writing of Haven Lost.
Haven-Lost-Cover-Web
Q: What was the easiest part about writing Haven Lost?
A: The story itself was probably the easiest part of writing Haven Lost. It had been, in the most basic sense at least, clattering around inside my skull for so long that it was easy to keep the story moving forward. When I did hit a snag, the characters, strange as it may sound, were always there to tell me just what the hell was going on. Probably that sounds crazy to most people, but perfectly rational to anyone who has ever written a piece of fiction.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A: Without a doubt, editing was the most difficult part of the process. Going through the first and second drafts is an absolute joy, but when it comes down to the hack-and-slash of preparing your book for publication, its a maddening ordeal. In some ways, I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I agonized over a lot of the details.

Q: Do you like bacon?
A: I do, but mostly just on breakfast burritos or hamburgers.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A: I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember. I recall putting together an Inspector Clouzot comic book of my own at around age four or five. In the fourth grade, I wrote a science-fiction story that won a writing competition at the school district level. Writing has always been something I’ve done in one form or another.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A: It has to be Emily, the heroine of Haven Lost. She’s a strong, if flawed, female character, and, in both my own writing or when reading, I’ve always been drawn to compelling female characters. Celine, the first friend Emily makes on her adventure, is also a favorite of mine, partly because she’s such a contrast to Emily in a lot of ways, despite the fact that they both come from very troubled backgrounds.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A: I’m currently well underway on the second volume of the Dragon’s Brood Cycle.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview?
A: I love Twitter, and I tweet about all kinds of things from the latest Stephen King book to Apple tech or the LA Kings. I have a wide range of interests.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lioncourt
Blog: http://lioncourt.com
The Dragon’s Brood Cycle: http://dragonsbrood.net
Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk to you and your readers.

Thank YOU, Josh! It was shiny!

...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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Video Interview: Lawrence Burgess and Joshua Drew of Dracula, the Audio Drama


http://youtu.be/FEW3S5KjsdQ
If you have trouble viewing it here, you can find it on my YouTube channel, just follow the link!
A very good friend of mine, Lawrence Burgess, directed it and I wanted to help him spread the word, so I invited him and Joshua (the voice of Dr. Seward) to my home for a video interview!
I was *almost* in this production but… next time!
There was goofing off (I’m not actually telling Josh to hurry, and yes, I’m signing ASL at him part of the time) and we giggled a LOT (which of course was cut for brevity lol).

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...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
Facebook   Google +   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest

Interview: Author Ryan Attard

fejfbegaQ: So, tell the readers a bit about you.
A. People of this planet know me as Ryan Attard. I hail from Malta, a tiny island in the middle of an ocean far, far away and I come to you with stories from deepest recesses of my mind.
I am the author of Firstborn, Big Wolf on Campus and Dread Night (a novel and 2 short stories) – all belonging to the Legacy Series. Big Wolf was featured in 2013: A Stellar Collection, Dread Night is a ‘Halloween Special’ and Firstborn is due to hit the shelves (and your e-reader devices) on December 13th. All published by AEC Stellar Publishing Inc.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the Legacy Series? How did you come up with the name of it?
A. I was introduced to writing when I joined a group or friends who shared a similar interest in all things geeky. I wrote some fanfics, some short stories and some poetry – all excruciatingly painful to read. After a while I decided that I was too insane to be part of the real world so I became a writer, where I could manipulate and create things to suit my fancy.
The Legacy Series shares a lot with the Dresden Files and the Devil May Cry franchise, both of which I used as influence as well as music from the artist Celldweller. I recently read a beta review of Firstborn which described the novel as Sabrina the Teenage Witch on steroids, and that it’s a good idea. I like that. The Series contains all that inspires me, from cheesy one-liners, sarcastic talking cats, things blowing up, thinly veiled phallic humor and epic sword fights.
I stole Firstborn from one of Celldweller’s songs which was the first one I heard and it inspired the entire series with its dark tones and action beats. I love the mystery and the dark melody as well as the underlying message. Also I first heard it in a music video on youtube with a Devil May Cry 4 play-through and now I associate the two.
Legacy has maybe 10 different meanings to the characters in the series. The story revolves heavily on the characters bearing the weight of their ancestors’ sins as well as the legacy left to the earth in times long gone. I love double meanings and every title I come up with has at least 3 or 4 different meanings to the story.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent a-la Monty Python)
A. Read this as Jeremy Irons:
My favorite color is the kaleidoscope – the myriad of colors ever shifting. From the red of the passionate hero, to the intellectual blue, the serene yellow, the earthly green, the enigmatic purple, the pure white and the Dark Side black.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Troll doll on the desk/Etc.
A. I offer 13 kittens to Bephomet as I chant a ritual from the Malleus Maleficarum. Just kidding.
It’s 13 babies.
OK seriously now – I don’t have any particular rituals. It takes a while from me to get into the zone but when I go it, I go in deep (no pun intended – maybe a little bit). I tend to write with pen and paper first unless I’m really inspired in which case I just type. I’ve done both and honestly it’s just a whim. Depending on the mood sometimes I have a music track looping, but often the silence is the gateway to the voices in my head – which make for great stories and awkward stares.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing the Legacy Series?
A. Honestly, I never found any hard parts. I mean, sure, you get stuck on some chapters, but so long as you keep trying, it’s no problem.
I suppose this series is so close to my heart, so intimate to me, that it comes as natural as breathing. Often I would act out the scenes and try different one-liners, much to the annoyance of my friends. Often I would smile as I write an action scene and raise my fist in the air as I write it down and read it as if for the first time.
I don’t mean to sound condescending or superior in any way. I always have fun doing it, even if I’m working 12 hours a day. Even if I’m working weekends or holidays. I’m completely addicted to it.

Q: What was the hardest part?
A. Recently I discovered that the writing of a novel is the easy part. The hard part is marketing it – that is so not my cup of tea. But in retrospect, even that is not such a bad thing. I get to discuss writing and my work which makes me so happy. I get to look at my inspirations and reaffirm them.
I mean, what an awesome ‘problem’ to have when compared the some of the really crappy jobs out there.

Q: Do you like bacon?
A. Bacon is nice when used properly. Myself, I shape it into the shape of a swan. I find the swan bacon is very nice with sauces and other foods, rather than in strips. Unless it’s an English breakfast and I decide that my arteries need some punishment. Then those pigs better watch out.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?
A. I never liked the idea of being a writer until I found myself in a situation where due to peer pressure I began writing myself. Then I loved it. It gave a high better than any drug. This was at the age of 16 or 17.
I began writing professionally (or as professional as I can be) at the age of 19. I signed my first contract with AEC Stellar on May 6th 2013 at the age of 22.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book/books? If so, who and why?
A. There are 2 main characters in the novels (these ones out so far).
Erik Ashendale is the everyman. He often goes on in rants and stream of consciousness. I write in first person and often those rants are my rants. I love rants. I tend to seep my opinions into his but there are times where he has to say certain things for the sake of the story. I’m not writing a biography here. But we are both grouchy, sarcastic and honest to a fault. Emphasis on fault.
The second character is everyone’s favorite – the demonic talking cat Amaymon. This guy in that inner voice that tells you it’s OK to jump off a high building because you can fly. He’s the whisper that justifies you eating all the cake in the house and leaving none for your family. He’s the voice that says it’s OK to take all the furniture that your mom covers in plastic and set on fire in the middle of the road and dance around the burning effigy in a symbolic revolution of your right to plant your ass wherever you want.
See what I mean about rants?

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
A. Well, Book 2 of the Legacy Series is just about ready to be handed in to the pros.
I’m also working on a separate Sci-Fi series of which I’m still writing the first book.
I have the first few chapters of a serialized fiction series I want to get out there.
And a couple other projects which are mostly in my head but will one day be on paper.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview? (This is a great place to put your links!)
A. If you have read Big Wolf on Campus and Dread Night, I thank you. If you have left a review, and I know some of you have, I double thank you.
firstborn front image
I would also like to thank the reviewers and betas of Firstborn. Great feedback you guys.
Also, try not to take me so seriously. I tend to joke a lot and other walk on blurred lines.
Check out these links:
http://ryanattard.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RyanAuthor
and
http://www.amazon.com/Ryan-Attard/e/B009UW82V8
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the interview and thank you for reading it.
Peace and love,
Ryan

...You Can't Take the Books from Me...
~Serenity Valle~Author
Acquittal. The Revenant Series: Book One
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: A collection of short stories...
The Fantastical Life of Serenity: Epilogue
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