Archive for the ‘Indie Author Interviews’ Category

Indie Author Interview — Emily Guido — Bonus Link to a Free eBook!

Feb 27th, 2013

6 Comments


Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to prolific author Emily Guido who’s not only agreed to run my gauntlet of atypical interview questions but also has a link for a free eBook download for you after the interview. (Isn’t she a peach?)

Emily writes the paranormal romance Light-Bearer series, full of Angels, Vampires, and the friction between the two in a universe with refreshingly little prejudice. Please welcome her to the blog and download her free sample. :)

* * * *

1) What type of stories do you write?

Romance, acceptance of people no matter their gender, sexual preference, color, race… “The Light-Bearer Series” is not preachy, but it comes from the premise that we all start in Heaven… and in Heaven, there is no prejudice just Good and Evil.  It’s kind of a weird concept because people think it’s religious but they really aren’t.  However, you can’t write about Angels and Vampires without a little religious undertone. 

I love the concept of good and evil without other outside bias–It doesn’t sound preachy at all to me. I’ll be taking a look at your first book once I get past my next release. ;)

* * * *

Charmeine

2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

That’s funny because I work full time and go to MBA School full time and I write and do self-promos on the side… so, when I want to chill I mostly read to review other Novelists that have asked for reviews.  Then if I am really lazy, I watch Jane Austen movies, Supernatural Series, or The Big Bang Theory Series.  I don’t watch commercial television only when it’s DVR’d.  I hate commercials!!!

What you describe is not unusual for many of the indie writers I’ve come to know. Busy with many projects and very focused. :)

* * * *

3) What’s your favorite wine?

Oh I’m such a class act… White Zinfandel on ice!  Too Funny!

Watch out–White Zin is a total gateway wine! Next thing you know you’ll be drinking sweet Rieslings, Moscatos, and the occasional Pinot Grigio. You know you want to. ;)

* * * *

4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

I love, love, love Mullet Rock right now… but I’m a big Classical freak and Love Songs freak, especially 80’s.

I’ll check them out. And who doesn’t love 80′s music? I was out dancing and grooving to that a couple of weeks ago. It’s required education, IMHO!

* * * *

5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

Huh, wow good question!  I would make people treat other people with respect.  I know that sound’s cliché but you can’t help a girl for trying to make the world a better place.

I’d vote for you. ;)

* * * *

6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

I don’t’ know if this is the answer you wanted???  Democracy but don’t get me wrong, I think that there are too many fat cats and the poor people need a voice.  If you are talking about a Supernatural Police force, I would say Vampires in a New York minute. 

See, I let folks run wild, and I get awesome responses. I like the idea of Vamp police…but what would we do during the day? ;)

* * * *

7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation? 

Yes, I have been part of a campaign against people stealing author’s books.  Not because I’m an author but because it’s wrong to steal.  You wouldn’t go to a BMW dealership and steal a car or go to Macy’s and steal mattress, right?  So just because authors don’t charge a lot of money for books, why do people think it is okay to steal their intellectual property?  However, I was harassed and people I thought were friends turned against me.  Oh well, I stood up for what I believe is right.

Good for you! Welcome to the official instigator’s club. Please have a cookie. And no, not everyone will thank you for your efforts, but many will.

* * * *

8) If had to pick any other career, at any period in history with no limits, what would it be?

I would love to be an actress.  I have acted since I was a kid in musicals and plays.  I loved it!

* * * *

9) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

Jane Austen and I love her subtlety, wit, superb color and contrast in her writing.  It is fluid and moving.  Now, I am the World’s Most Hopeless Romantic, so that speaks volumes on the subject.  But why does Elizabeth Bennet turn the corner in her love for Darcy when she sees Pemberley??  Burning question for the ages… I think Jane was romantic but practical after all?

I love how you capitalized ‘World’s Most Hopeless Romantic’ up above, and Austen is a fitting match for your title.

* * * *

10) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

Truly, and I think you will not understand it but Wollstonecraft.  She wrote such twisted and unadulterated story (s).  I would love to sit and chat up with her about logic, framing, idea, and progression.  She would be fascinating.

I’ll have to check her out. :)

* * * *

11) Tell me about the inspiration for your current project.

I am writing the sixth novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” which is called “Conundrum,” and it will be freaking awesome!   A lot of people don’t know how I can top “Ransom” but “The Light-Bearer Series” is just beginning to kick up some Angel/Vampire dust!

* * * *

12) Is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

Haha, and it’s a favorite of a lot of people… coffee… why?  I mean I can’t get into coffee iced either.  I guess it’s because my Mom was raised by Greeks and I drank coffee as a little girl… always warm or hot.

See, I’m one of those people that love coffee ice cream. *hides*

* * * *

13) Additionally, what do you consider to be the stupidest fashion trend ever?

Board Straight Hair!!!  I mean really?  Nothing like being frustrated to the max with a hair straightener, so I just gave up.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Emily, if you’d like to try out her work, go to http://emilyguido.com/share-the-love-the-light-bearer-series-by-emily-guido/ and fill out the form and get a FREE eBOOK emailed to you!  However, keep in mind you will be subject to standard copyright laws. :)  

Conumdrum

About the Author:

Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. She was inspired to start writing “Charmeine” because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. Not ever dreaming a week later she would have over a 100,000 words written. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.  The novels “Mactus,” “Accendo,” “Seditious,” and “Ransom,” are the continuation of the wonderful adventures of the inhabitants of The Castle Charmeine!

Emily is currently writing “Conundrum” the Sixth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” She is currently working at a College full-time, and pursuing her Master of Business Administration.

 

Where to find/follow Emily:

Website: http://authoremilyguido.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764521.Emily_Guido

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Emily__Guido

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelightbearernovelist

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Indie Author Interview and Giveaway for Jen Kirchner’s Book Release: The Fourth Channel!

Dec 9th, 2012

17 Comments


Author Jen Kirchner passed me some tantalizing interview responses just as her new book, The Fourth Channel, hit the presses! Now I, the lucky (and conniving) duck I am, have already read The Fourth Channel, and I can assure you it’s fantastic urban fantasy reading you haven’t seen anywhere before. A necromancer with funny, talking, sacrificial knives? Oh, have I mentioned Kari, said necromancer, doesn’t *kill* anyone? They get better!

Here’s the lovely cover to The Fourth Channel. Ohh and ahh appropriately! Then, check out Jen’s interview and enter the drawing below. In case you don’t win you may want to consider adding it to your shelf on goodreads so you don’t forget about it. (Not that I’m calling you senile, but I know how you get…) Enjoy!

* * * *

The Fourth Channel Cover

The Fourth Channel

1. What type of stories do you write? 

The main goal of my stories is to make myself, and a few friends, laugh. I have written some very serious material, but I typically aim for slapstick Indiana Jones in an urban fantasy setting. The way I achieve that is by employing the idea of opposites—giving an important character a very negative impediment, as well as an opposing personality trait to combat it. For example, my main character in THE FOURTH CHANNEL is a necromancer. She gains insane magic power through sacrificing people, but she’s a pacifist. It makes defending herself incredibly difficult (and sometimes really funny).

Main characters who have to overcome challenges isn’t just funny, it makes them wonderfully real and three-dimensional. But yeah, your story is pretty darned hilarious. ;)

* * * *

2. How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

I’m sure everyone expects this answer: I love to read! It’s true, though. I do. I also play a lot of video games. Yeah, I’m one of those girls. Gaming is a big passion for me.

Anyone who reads your blog will discover this, as you do some awesome reviews on games. (Hint to the gamer nerds out there, BTW.)

* * * *

3. What’s your favorite wine?

I love reds, especially a great Shiraz.

* * * *

4. I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

Since the winter holiday is upon us and I’m in the middle of planning my big cookie bake, I’m listening to Christmas music. Coincidentally, my absolute favorite holiday song is playing: Marshmallow World by Johnny Mathis. Don’t let anyone fool you with that Dean Martin version. It doesn’t hold a candle.

LOL, noted…

* * * *

5. What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation?

I’m not an overt rabble rouser. If anything, I prefer the subtle, behind-the-scenes approach. In fact, you should think of me as a rabble-rousing muse. If something I do or say inspires someone to break out of their box and do something new and brave, my work is done…or has it just begun?

Rabble-rousing muse… I’m loving it! Oh wait, you just planted an #earworm! Look at you go! Grr!

* * * *

Here’s the official blurb for The Fourth Channel

For years, Kari Hunter’s fooled the world into thinking she’s just an everyday girl. Sure, she’s the lead singer of world-renowned band Vis Viva, but outside of that, she recycles religiously, is an avid supporter of the environment, and a certifiable coffee addict. But Kari has a secret she keeps from her family, friends, and her fans.

Kari Hunter is a necromancer.

The rarest and most powerful of all magic-born, necromancers are notorious for leaving a trail of sacrifices in their wake. But Kari isn’t interested in hurting anyone. She works hard at being as un-necromancer-like as possible: everyone she stabs gets a bandage and a lollipop, and whenever her sacrificial knives get too excited at the prospect of violence, she puts them in time-out… in her lingerie drawer.

But when an agent of voodoo master Ruairi O’Bryne catches Kari using her powers, her secret’s out. And if Ruairi finds out who Kari is, he’ll stop at nothing to make her his next sacrifice.

Go ahead and enter the rafflecopter giveaway below, add it to your goodreads to-read list, or just go ahead and buy it from Amazon today!

Links to Jen Kirchner on the Web

Blog: http://jenkirchner.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenLKirchner

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jen-Kirchner/496072270406446

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16069007-the-fourth-channel

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fourth-Channel-ebook/dp/B00AHRWCK2

If the Rafflecopter below won’t load, stop the page from loading and it’ll appear. Cheers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Indie Author Interview – Keri Lake – Bonus Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Dec 5th, 2012

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For today’s indie author interview we have a special treat. Not only is my friend Keri Lake, who writes edgy, dark, violent, paranormal romance series here today (can you guess why the two of us get along?), but she’s also doing a COVER REVEAL and an eBook GIVEAWAY!

The Cover Reveal is for SOUL AVENGED (Sons of Wrath, #1), and it’s at the bottom of this interview. Also, if you want to be entered for the FREE eBook copy of Soul Avenged 2 weeks before its released in either MOBI or ePub format, simply comment on this post and the all-powerful ME shall pick you at random to win! Bwahaha!

Yup, that’s how we’re gonna roll. So, without further ado, I give you: Keri Lake. :)

* * * *

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

I actually weave vengeance into a lot of my stories.  It’s the common thread throughout my newest series.  And love, of course.

Keri Lake, Pro-Supe Flygirl Handler

* * * *

2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

I’m in love with the ocean.  I’ve been vacationing to the beaches of North Carolina since I was young and I still look forward to these getaways.  It’s where I do my best thinking (and plotting), staring off at fishing boats all day long.

However, if I can’t get away like that, music usually helps me unwind at home.  I like sitting out on the deck in the evenings (uh, when it’s warm), listening to music while I write. 

Water is wonderfully calming! I know a number of writers tune into music to get into the groove. I often wonder how authors, before the age of recorded music, how did they surround themselves with music for inspiration? Perhaps they didn’t.

* * * *

3) What’s your favorite wine?

Hmmmm.  I don’t really have a favorite wine.  **dodges swing**  er, that is, until I get out to Colorado… 

My favorite drink would have to be a margarita – I suspect this goes back to my college days.  **coughs**

LOL, fair enough!

* * * *

4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

I just finished writing an anthology and needed some mellow (more than usual) music to go with it, so I’ve been listening to Birdy the past couple of weeks.  Otherwise, my staples are NIN, Deftones, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, Flyleaf, Muse, Blood Red Shoes, The Black Keys and The XX.

Wow, our musical tastes are so similar. I don’t think I’ve even met anyone else who’s even heard of Flyleaf. ;) I’ll check out Birdy, because that one’s new to me.

* * * *

5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

Oooh.  I could really use a minion army.  And they’d all look like Gerard Butler.  Like…the King Leonidas version of him.  Le purr…  I’m pretty sure world domination would be a piece of cake.

I can see you’re working up to big plans here… I’ll expect to hear more in the future. :P

* * * *

6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

Laid.  Back.  Although I’d have a few directives in place.  Things like, you MUST wear casual clothes to work everyday – bonus points for jeans.  Anyone caught NOT vacationing four months out of the year will be incarcerated on some remote tropical paradise somewhere.  HBO must include Quinn in the upcoming season of True Blood (honestly, aside from Alcide, he’s the only reason I bothered to get hooked on the show – WTF HBO?).  Households must spend more time reading than watching TV.  Things like that.

Yeah, the problem with book to tv/movie adaptations is they toss out and invent characters at will. Irritates me too, especially when they’re fun folks like Quinn. Meh!

I’m completely behind TV monitoring. People need to discover something besides Honey Boo Boo. I mean, What The Hell is that noise? It’s people forgetting they can spend time with other humans, have meaningful projects of their own, and well, do something other than let their brains seep out through their ears, that’s what. Ugh.

* * * *

7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation?

Ha!  It’s actually the quiet ones you have to watch out for…muahahahahaha!

Point taken. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on you from here on out.

* * * *

8) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

You know, this question really depends on my mood.  If you saw my bookshelf, you’d probably tip your head and begin the psychoanalysis.  Sometimes it’s sexy and erotic, sometimes romantic, sometimes dark, sometimes dystopian.  I guess if I had to narrow it down to ONE author though, it’d be Anne Rice.  She’s kind of my ‘comfort’ read.  Her words are so eloquent.  Every time I crack one of her books for a ‘peek’, I end up getting sucked into her world.

* * * *

9) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

I’d say Trent Reznor, but I’d probably be so damn nervous that I’d end up looking like an ass and remain mute the entire day.  I’d need someone to break me out of my shyness. I think Kresley Cole or Larissa Ione would be cool to hang out with.  We could whip up some margaritas and chat about sexy demon alphas!  Tim Burton would be another one – would love to meet him.

On Reznor’s final tour the hubs and I got backstage passes. I grinned like a fan girl fool for my picture with him. He’s short, yet incredibly intimidating.  I didn’t say much, which is completely unlike me, and I felt like a dolt afterwards. Oh well…now if you get the opportunity, you won’t feel so bad! (BTW, I’ll join you for margi’s with those gals anytime! ;) )

* * * *

10) Tell me about the inspiration for your upcoming/current project.

My current project, Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath, #1) is an entirely new series that sort of swept me away to the Land of Shiny.  This one is set in Detroit – gothic Detroit.  It’s dark, a bit more violent than my usual and has slightly steamier sex scenes.  There are a whole lot of supes in this series – demons, lycans, ghouls, nephilim.  I’m not sure what gave rise to it.  Just sort of smacked me upside the head.  I’ve always wanted to write about Detroit and as the plot progressed, it just seemed like the perfect setting.  I mentioned before, the theme is vengeance and my main character, Ayden, is a very strong but broken female.  It’s up on GoodReads right now for anyone who’d like to add it!

The best projects are the ones that knock you upside the head and demand to be written, IMHO. :) I’m looking forward to reading it.

* * * *

11) Finally, is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

Neapolitan.  If you’re going to mix three flavors, at LEAST make them some variety of chocolate!  Sheesh!

Psst: I was never a fan either. #highfive

* * * *

And now, the cover reveal for SOUL AVENGED (Sons of Wrath, #1)! This officially releases February 6th on Amazon, but go ahead and add it to your goodreads to-read list today! Remember, to be eligible to win the free eBook you must comment on this post. EBooks will be distributed January 23rd by the author but I’ll announce the winner December 8th. Good luck!

Soul Avenged Cover 

Soul Avenged - A Sons of Wrath Novel

 The Official Book Blurb:

Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans.

The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life.

Now, one motive burns in her soul:

KILL THEM ALL.

 The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds.

Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill.

 Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest.  To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.

Time is running out.

 In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most.  She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice.  As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat.

 Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth.

 Sons of Wrath

Never gamble with vengeance …

  Website:  http://www.kerilake.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keri-Lake/179797882071933
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KeriLake
GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5335601.Keri_Lake

 

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Indie Author Interview – R. Brennan

Nov 21st, 2012

2 Comments


I ran into R. Brennan when we both became involved in Tiffany Reisz’s Felt Tips project – a Charity Anthology of Office-Supply-Related Erotica, due out 12/12/12, see more on goodreads here. All proceeds go towards buying kids school supplies and down-on-their-luck parents will get work clothes they couldn’t otherwise afford. Nifty, yes? 

R. Brennan has a quick wit and a snarky sense of humor, so you can imagine we get along quite well. When I heard she had a an indie release, Blood and Fire, coming out in December 2012, I needed to pin her down with some questions. She happily obliged, because she’s fairly agreeable — at least with me. Read on, her answers might surprise you. :)

* * * *

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

I tend toward the darker side of things with my stories, or at least what some might consider dark. My stories seem to center around BDSM and the D/s lifestyle. Sometimes, they even contain aspects of fantasy or horror, and on occasional romance. I’m a mixed bag sorta girl… probably because I have a short attention span.

I’ll keep this in mind, although your attention span did pretty well, I mean you made it through my list of questions. ;)

Saucy Pirate Author R. Brennan

* * * *

2 ) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

It really depends on the time of year. In the summer, I spend as many weekends as possible at our camp I’ve dubbed Tortuga. It’s just a camper on a seasonal site about an hour from home, but I just love the peace and quiet — not to mention the people. In the winter, it gets harder, since I hate the cold. Winter is for writing, reading and restocking the iPod with new music.

Darn it, and here I thought you were actually going to ‘Tortuga’ all of those times. *sadface* However, I’m completely with you on getting away and the camping, it’s the ultimate in unplugging.
 
* * * *
 
3) What’s your favorite wine?

I’ve tried a few different wines, and there aren’t too many I’ve liked, frankly. I did enjoy a Wildhurst Reserve Merlot I tried recently, but I’m a RUM girl. Love anything with rum in it, especially Malibu. I’m sure that is just the pirate in me trying to get out. :)

I can have only one proper response: Argh! #sorry
 
* * * *
 
4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

I have a pretty eclectic playlist, Eminem, Pink, Tori Amos, Kelly Clarkson, some classical, Top 40 – but at the moment I’m a bit obsessed with a new song my bo-hunk introduced me to: Madness by Muse — Good stuff.

I haven’t been as into the newer Muse, but I’ll check out that track. ;)
 
* * * *
 
5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

If I had a minion army I would never paint my own toenails again, wouldn’t touch laundry, and my annoying, ever-growing lawn would always look like a golf course. Yes, I have lawn OCD. Wanna make something of it?

You know if you spell it CDO the letters are in alphabetical order? Nice use of minions, btw. :)
 
* * * *
 
6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

Oh geesh…I’m a submissive by nature, darling. I have absolutely no interest in ruling the world. However, if you know an ambitious, world ruling Dominant with great shoulders, a sense of humor, and a Daddy Dom fetish, I’m all ears.

You know what, I don’t! What’s up with that? They must be hiding from pirate subs.
 
* * * *
 
7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation?

I’m not even sure I know what that is…I’m a sarcastic wench, so I tend to cause some rabble that way on occasion. Oh, and I enjoy stalking people I admire on Twitter. Does that count at all?

Yes, stalking borders on instigating a rabble. I’ve watched you poke the bear a few times, too. ;) It’s cute.
 
* * * *
 
8) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

This is going to sound weird coming from a writer of erotica, but my all time favorite author is C.S. Lewis. I grew up on the Chronicles of Narnia and I can’t tell you how many times I checked my closet growing up to make sure there wasn’t a world buried in the back of it. When I got older, I read to my kids from his books. Great times and even better memories.

No, that doesn’t sound weird at all, I reread that series countless times myself. Also, ask Tiffany Reisz about the Prince Caspian slash fic she says she’s writing. It’s made an impression upon so many.
 
* * * *
 
9) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

You know, these are tough questions… Hrmm… I would love to spend a day with Randy Ortin (WWE fame). Why? Because I could happily stare at that man for 24 hours and not only never get bored, but would be on cloud nine. If he spoke to me…. well… *melts*

Aww, you’re so cute.
 
* * * *
 
10) Finally, is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

I’m not sure what the real name of it is, but my oldest daughter LOVES it. It’s that Ben and Jerry’s flavor that has like potato chips, chocolate and pretzels in it. Besides have way too much “stuff” and not enough ice cream in it, I just don’t “get” how any of that put together can taste good.

Ugh. Bah. I’m on board, they’ve gone too far with that one. Just, yuck!
 
* * * *

Thanks, R. Brennan, for answering all of my questions! You can read her book Blood and Fire in December but for now please consider adding it to your to-read list on goodreads.

And don’t forget about the charity anthology, Felt Tips. It’s out on 12/12/12, so you’ll want to pick it up, as both R. Brennan and I both have short stories featured included.

  R. Brennan
Erotica Writer/Book Reviewer
 

 

  My Website: http://rbrennan.weebly.com

  Connect with me on Twitter: @bexbrennan
Blog:
http://bexbooknook.wordpress.com

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Indie Author Interview – Alan Edwards

Oct 31st, 2012

6 Comments


Today I’ve got author Alan Edwards under my microscope, and happily the normally shy fellow candidly responds to my grueling questions. I was lucky enough to meet Alan through twitter, where I caught his hilarious blog postings (Walking Dead recaps, anyone?) which in turn piqued my curiosity to read his first book, The Curse of Troius. But I wasn’t sure it was my sort of book — zombies in a fantasy milieu? I was skeptical at best.

It took me ten pages to be sold. Perhaps less. Afterwards I almost bought myself a shovel for future zombie-fighting adventures. Yeah, you gotta read it to understand. Have I mentioned I’m a pacifist?

Before we begin, you should know his newest book, The Storm of Northreach, releases today, and it’s amazing. It’s the second book in the Northreach Saga, so if you haven’t read The Curse of Troius, you’ll want to give that a go first.

Anyway, on to the interview! Grab a tasty beverage, this is a long one!

 

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

A Peckish Alan Edwards

That’s a really cool question. It’s self-examination time! I seem to be drawn to protagonists who are fairly grey in nature, rather than heroic, anti-heroic, or downright villainous. They seem to exist in that moral grey area for the most part. Also, I’m drawn to the idea of the Man with No Name, the Clint Eastwood archetype, and in my fantasy stuff I tend to add a dash of his High Plains Drifter aspect, where there seems something supernatural to the character that is relatively undefined. I’ve written/writing 3 novels, and in each case the “main” protagonist either never identifies his name or uses a false one. “Daevan” in the Northreach novels, for example, is referred to by name only by one character in dialogue, and different character via internal perception. He’s a Stranger, and that seems to be a theme I gravitate towards. Nobody really knows what’s going on in the mind of another, and I have fun blending perspectives and perceptions to make things a little off-kilter and ambiguous.


Another theme I seem to like is injecting realism into fantastic situations. Like with Waiting on the Dead, my in-progress modern zombie story, I wanted to examine the apocalypse through the eyes of a sarcastic, slacker nobody, rather than a heroic soldier or doctor or anything else. I don’t want some sniper head-shotting zombies, because I don’t find that to be fun. Likewise with the Northreach series – it’s a fantasy world, but most of the people you meet aren’t knights or wizards or powerful at all. They’re normal folks caught in an awful situation. Sometimes they do good things, sometimes they do bad things. They’re people, not stock Heroes and Villains. Mostly.

Oh, and one other thing I seem to like is the Hopeless Situation. It’s very unlikely that at the end of my stories, the magical hero on his prophesied journey on his uber-pony will use his birthright and Gift from the Deus Ex Machina to save the day and restore everything to exactly the way it was before the story started. The waiter from WotD isn’t curing the zombie infection. Ooops, spoiler.

Your mysterious Stranger and real people themes remind me of the Cowboys vs. Aliens movie. I don’t know if you liked or hated it, but it’s got a lot of that same appeal. Also, in your stories people die, because it’s what would really happen. There’s not some magic fix at the last minute. They either survive because they aren’t idiots or they don’t. Respect.

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2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?
Bacardi and Diet Coke.

Well, also with an amazing wife, great friends, great books, my XBox (Mass Effect 3 is still an addiction for me), weekend LARPs (live action roleplayin’, don’tcha know), my awesome pack of mutts, clove cigarettes, and Diet Mountain Dew. My favorite time and place is an evening on my deck, drink in hand, friends all around, just sitting around BSing and having a good time. I live for those days.

Mostly, though, Bacardi and Diet Coke. And JK’s cider. And Haterade. And sweet tea vodka. Also, beer.
Your dogs are too cute. Your wife is also super awesome. *waves at Lisa*

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3) What’s your favorite wine?
I like wine a lot, but I recognize I am a heathen who cannot appreciate the delicate floral play on the tongue or the oakey smokiness or whatever terms get thrown around. I like wine because the high sugar content means you get a buzz faster. I’m all class.

That said, my favorite wine is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio.

And just for fun:

Beer – Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde
Soda – Diet Mountain Dew
Tea – Earl Grey
Liquor – Rum
Shot – Fireball
Cider – JK’s Solstice
Those are all classy choices. Pinot Grigio is one of my favorites as well. (Although, to be honest, I don’t hate many wines.) Have you tried Angry Orchard Ciders? Or Glider Cider? Just throwing it out there, derailing this otherwise fine interview. Let’s continue.

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4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?
I’ve been on a real Skrillex kick for a while. Bangarang, Ruffneck, Breakin’ a Sweat – his stuff makes me hyper and juiced. There’s a documentary that shows him making Breakin’ a Sweat with the surviving members of the Doors, and it’s just awesome to watch.

I also listen to a lot of Deadmau5, Lana Del Ray, Of Monsters and Men, and Delerium lately. But it’s defintiely been a Skrillex week. Yo, I’m eatin’ FunDip right now, not givin’ a fffff……

I’m going to check all of this out, because I pretty much have no clue what you just said. ;)

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5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

Very subtly. I would have them get jobs and give me most of their income so I didn’t have to work anymore. I would also lease them out to other supervillains for additional income, so I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Any leftover minions would be tasked with building me a castle. I would also use that army to coerce people to buy my books. Then, I’d invade and conquer Switzerland. The way I figure it, they stay neutral all the time, so they can’t really have that many friends.

You’re going to be richer than J.K. Rowling with this plan. Can I come and vacation in your castles in Switzerland?

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6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

Lackadaisical Benign Neglect.

Again, the subtle approach. Nice theme you’ve got going. :D

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7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation? (Conversely, if you haven’t started a rabble, what’s holding you back?)

My personal peak seems to be Friday or Saturday. I rouse some rabbles on the weekends.

That said, my “college” years were my peak. I was supposedly in college but took no classes and partied six days a week (by the time Friday rolled around I was usually too exhausted to do anything but sleep for 22 hours). Needless to say, it took me 15 years to get a degree. The worst rabble I roused was one night at a bar. There were a great deal of my friends’ fraternity brothers around, and I noticed some guy giving me the stinkeye for no good reason. So I told my most volatile friend that this guy was badmouthing him, and he told his most volatile frat brother, and so on, and so one, until they chased him out of the bar and down the street. Nobody was hurt and no felonies were committed.

I could tell more, like the time I nearly got into a fight at a bar and instead got to watch 6 bouncers beat the crap out of the guy and end up breaking his arm as I stood on a table and cheered, but I’m going to start sounding like an alcoholic troublemaker.

No, not at all. Why would I think that? I’m just thinking we need to hang out at a bar together sometime. No real reason, other than we both like cider. Yeah…

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8 ) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

Right now I’d say it’s Steven Erikson. His Malazan series is a fantasy series, but the characters he uses are very realistic, from motivation to capabilities, and can still blend magic and realism into a very cohesive and amazing world. The depth of the world he created is rivaled only by Tolkien in my eyes, and he is also adept at blending humor and horror and drama and conflict into any story. If I could demonstrate 10% of his ability in my own writing, I’d be ecstatic.

Has anyone out there guessed that the only reason I’m doing these interviews is to update my play list and to-be-read list? No? Good. ;)

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9) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

If I could choose a dead person, it’d be Christopher Hitchens, and I would spend that time drinking and listening to one of the most eloquent critical thinkers of my lifetime. If it had to be someone currently alive it would Penn Jillette, and I’d just listen to him say whatever came into his mind. Or Milla Jojovich, and I would spend the time staring dreamily.

Alternatively, we could go to a Puscifer concert and watch her sing with Maynard from Tool. *even cooler and hotter*

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10) Tell me about the inspiration for your upcoming/current project.

Waiting for the Dead was inspired by the current Zombie Diary trend. It’s always some ex-soldier or cop or somebody who is equipped and trained to survive. Most of the time they read like gun porn. So after I found my voice on my blog – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, and infuriated by things of no consequence – I decided that I wanted to hear what some slacker with that attitude and outlook would perceive and comment about when the apocalypse comes. I also really wanted to blend humor and horror into one story. Basically, it’s the guy who reviews the Walking Dead Season 2 on my blog inserted into a classic zombie tale.

I cannot *wait* for this book. Like what I did there? No? Too bad. :P

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11) Is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

Chocolate. Blasphemy, the world cries. Sorry. Plain chocolate ice cream is nasty. My mother used to buy Neapolitan ice cream all the time when I was a kid, and just getting a smear of chocolate mixed with the vanilla or strawberry was enough to make me weep in agony. I still can’t understand how people can eat chocolate ice cream. Mix it with coffee or caramel or, I dunno, stuff that tastes good, and it’s all right, but chocolate ice cream is the worst.

I don’t even remember the last time I had plain chocolate ice cream… I don’t know if it’s the *worst* for me too, but yeah, I’ll agree it’s boring.

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12) What do you consider to be the stupidest fashion trend ever?

I am a child of the 1980′s. There can only be one answer. Parachute pants. Someone really needs to step forward and take the blame for that. Pure awful.

Wikipedia associates parachute pants with breakdancing, but not any one person, per se, FYI. You could, uh, write that into your books. Just saying. ;)

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Here’s the special edition cover for The Storm of Northreach. Grab yourself a copy today at Amazon!
 

How to keep track of Alan and his Zombies:

Blog: Me and My Shovel – aravan.wordpress.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alan__Edwards

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265415.Alan_Edwards

 

 

 

 

 

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Indie Author Interview – Kiersten Fay

Oct 18th, 2012

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I have to admit, I found Kiersten on twitter after I’d read Demon Possession. Yup, I fan-cyber-stalked her. She had books about demons, and I was writing about my book about daemons — and we bonded, mostly over our shared sense of humor. She used to work as a graphic designer which I found out when I asked her who created her amazing book covers. She did them herself, the multi-talented gal! (Which didn’t help me find my cover artist, but it led to some fun conversations.)

Kiersten’s stories are action-packed sci-fi romance filled with sassy characters, which you don’t see every day. She was kind enough to take a break from working on Demon Untamed (Book 4 in the Shadow Quest Series to answer some questions for us. Enjoy!

 

Demon-Taming Kiersten Fay

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

I love throwing my characters into unfamiliar situations where they are completely out of their element and therefore must change or adapt if they hope to survive. In other words, dropping them in uncharted territory with a “sink or swim, baby” attitude. Sometimes I feel like a kid with a magnifying glass hovering over an ant hill. Muwahaha!

…ahem, excuse me… I also write romance. ;)

So like most writers, you coddle and pamper your characters…hahah. Yeah no.

2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

When I finish a manuscript, I HAVE to take a little time out from writing. Usually, I’ll find a new romance series to addict myself to, hit up a few movies, or try to find a new way to cook chicken. The latter generally results in a sad, sad half burned chunk of meat that once resembled a chicken leg. I’ll figure that oven out one day.

I also enjoy PC and video games on occasion. The kind where you build up a city and then wreak havoc by bombarding it with natural disasters… hmm, me thinks a pattern is emerging. Suppressing evil laugh.

Not everyone can be awesome at everything! Give yourself a total pass on cooking. It’s cool you’re a gamer geek! I did not know this, and I only respect you more now. ;)

3) What’s your favorite wine?

I’m a sucker for sweet wines. I mean literally…I suck them down like crazy. Moscato, white zin, white Merlot. If it’s sweet or fruity, I’ve likely had a bottle of it stashed in my fridge at some point. Got any suggestions?

If you like those other wines in your flavor profile include Vin Santo, Icewines, Tawny Ports, Late Harvest Gewurztraminers, Olorosa, Bual, Verdehlo, Malmsey, Barsac, and of course, a Sauterne. I mean, just throwing some ideas around, as your #winewhore. ;)

4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

I’m a music lover too, and not all that picky…well, not as picky as most people. As I look at my Pandora line-up I see there is Tiesto, ATB, Silversun Pickups, Tangerine Dream, Death Cab for Cutie, Muse, and Flyleaf. Those are more on the chill side. I was recently turned on to Within Temptation. They provide me with intense music while I’m writing a dramatic scene.

Oh, I adore Flyleaf! I’ll check out the others. ;)

5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

Well, I would have an army of vampire bunnies. Vampires: because they are strong and live forever (or at least until some Van Helsing jerkoff shows up). Bunnies: because their numbers could be replenished swiftly. And I would use them to smother my enemies with their incomprehensible cuteness.

Me to bunnies: “Attack!”

You: “Oh, how cute, Ahhhh!”

LOL, you said ‘jerkoff.’ Love the combo of cute + evil. No one will see it coming.

6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

As your supreme overlord, I expect complete and utter devotion…to tacos. My word will be law and, as such, certain types of seafood will be banned because it offends my nose. Songs will be written in my honor (Afterward, the word crazy will be redefined to mean remarkable). Police forces will be comprised of catholic nuns, because those chicks are harsh! And we would all dress in Halloween costumes year-round because it’s fun…  I would be fair and altruistic…

I dig your style.

7) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

Dr. Seuss… No, really. With only a few short words, he created morally deep and thought provoking material for countless children: Don’t invite trouble-making cats wearing ridiculous hats into your home. Don’t be afraid to try new things, green eggs and ham just might be delightful. Don’t step on that speck! You’ll destroy an entire civilization in seconds!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
—Dr. Seuss

8) Tell me about the inspiration for your upcoming/current project.

I have two projects currently in the works. One is an (as of yet) unnamed spin off of my Shadow Quest series which will delve into the many dragon clans. The other is Demon Untamed, book 4 of my Shadow Quest series, which is a space adventure with demons, dragons, and fairies, oh my. Or should I say Faieara, as I call them.

As far as inspiration? I can’t really say what that might be. Only that I love paranormal romance and I love sci-fi, and I really wanted to mesh the two together. There’s so little sci-fi romance out there, don’t you think?

9) Finally, is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

I’m a plane old vanilla and chocolate kinda gal—rarely ever stray—but I’ve heard tell of a bacon flavored ice cream which makes me both gag and salivate at the same time. Two opposing reactions that would drive any overlord bonkers…

…All bacon flavored confections are hereby prohibited!

Very sound reasoning, Kiersten! ;)

 

Here’s the cover for Demon Untamed, Book Four in the Shadow Quest Series, due out in 2013.

Get in touch with her through the following sources:

 Twitter: @kierstenfay

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

Sign up for her newsletter at www.KierstenFay.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/KierstenFay

 

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Indie Author Interview – Steven Montano

Oct 11th, 2012

2 Comments


I met Steven Montano on twitter over a year ago and was impressed by his genuine personality. Unlike many author’s I’d met online, his life wasn’t perfect every second of the day. He shared his frustrations, breakthroughs, quirky humor, and noted each and every cup of coffee consumed online. In other words: he’s a real person. In a world of bots, he’s refreshingly real.

Steven also champions indie authors and the indie publishing experience. If you’re an indie author (or want to be), check out his blog and prepare to soak in loads of useful information.

Plus, he writes gripping dark fantasy filled with guns, vampires, mages, and zombies. It’s pretty cool. :)

But for now, check out his interview with my Rabble-Rousing self. Enjoy!

 

1) What are the underlying themes of stories you write?

I write the stories I like to read: dark, gritty, characters facing impossible odds but never giving up even though everything seems to go against them.  Such is my life: such are my books. 

I like fantasy, sci-fi, action, and dark stories with strong imagery, and my writing reflects those preferences.  My stories are terribly self-indulgent. ;D

This is what I like about your writing! And yeah, it’s something we have in common, that dark, edgy, tone. Keep it coming!

The Always Serious Mr. Montano

2) How do you kick back, relax, and recharge your batteries?

My wife Liberty and I sit down every night with a glass of wine and either shoot the breeze or keep up with our shows.  I also read comic books, plays RPGs, and exercise.

3) Speaking of wine, which one’s your favorite?

I like a good Shiraz.  Or Merlot.  Just nothing white. 

You like fruit-forward, intense reds. Good to know. ;)

4) I’m always searching out music for my playlist. What are you grooving to this week?

I just made a 70+ song club mix. I like Gothic/Industrial music, especially stuff that crosses the Industrial/Synthpop/Rock categories.  I think this week my favorites are System Syn, Assemblage 23, Rotersand and Birthday Massacre.

5) If you had a minion army, how would you use them?

They would enforce my will, keep the wine flowing, and entertain my children.

Simple, yet sage wisdom.

6) When you rule the world, what style of dominion will you employ?

Absolute rule.  No provinces or governors or any such crap – those morons always get jealous and just want to rebel.  Mine would be a one-man party system.  ;D

I like your style. It feels solid.

7) What’s your personal peak of rabble rousing instigation?

It’s been a while since I rabble roused.  There were a few late-night downtown incidents involving Trick-Or-Treaters…but that was a long time ago.  These days, I’m more domesticated.  

You know, if you’re going to rule the world, you’ve got to keep sharp. Just something to keep in mind. ;)

8) Who’s your favorite author? What about their work speaks to you?

China Mieville.  His prose and pure inventiveness just overwhelm me.  I also appreciate how he’s always willing to try new things.  Oddly, I’m not always a fan of his writing, but I have huge appreciation for him as an author, if that makes any sense.

My husband’s always raving about him too. Now I need to add him to my to-read’s list. Fabs!

9) If you could hang out with someone famous for a day, how would you spend the allotted time?

I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Joss Whedon or Erik Larsen (the guy who writes and draws my favorite comic book, “The Savage Dragon”), just to get a glimpse at how their creative process works.  I’d probably need to hang out with them more in a telepathic sense to really make that work, I suppose.

I need to know more about your telepathic hang-out methods. ;)

10) Tell me about the inspiration for your upcoming/current project.

Books 5 and 6 of the BLOOD SKIES series have taken a turn for the epic.  Where the first three books were more fast-paced and action-oriented, I feel like, starting with Book 4, I’ve slowed things down a bit, since the storyline has characters roaming from one end of the map to the next.  George R.R. Martin and J.V. Jones both had a hand in my deciding to shape the second half of the series like this. ;D

11) Finally, is there a flavor of ice cream you just don’t understand? One that, by all rights, simply should not exist?

I can’t stand mint.  Anything with mint in it should be banned.  (And, once I’m supreme overlord, that’s precisely what will happen.)

I completely back you up on the mint. It’s vile. My minion army will join yours, and together, they will destroy all mint ice cream! Bwahaha!

Right, yeah. Anywho!

Check out Steven’s most recent book, Crown of Ash, in the Blood Skies saga.

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

 

 

 

 

You can also find Steven on the web:

Visit his Blood Skies Website Site

Visit him on Twitter

Check out his Facebook Page

Add his books on Goodreads

Look him up on Amazon

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