|Posted by Matt Posner on May 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM||comments (2)|
I recently met Rayne Hall on Twitter and I have been very impressed by her thoroughness as we have worked together to construct this interview. She's a great retweeter, too! Here's to you, Rayne -- this interview rocks!
U.S. readers please note: Rayne Hall uses British spelling.
You have quite a few books under your belt and need no introduction to readers. But tell us where you are living these days and how you like it there.
I live in East Sussex on the south coast of England, not far from the sea. I love the historical monuments dotting the landscape, such as ancient stone circles and mediaeval castles, and I enjoy going for long walks along the sea front. I wish the weather was better, though - it tends to be windy and wet.
FANTASY WRITING QUESTIONS
You bring quite an impressive body of knowledge to your fantasy writing. Tell us a little about your research and learning process.
My passion for ancient history and mythology provides many ideas. I've travelled extensively, lived in several countries, and done all sorts of interesting things in my life (from performing bellydance for Women's Institutes and excavating an ancient Roman cowshed to escaping from a crazed millionaire in communist China and reading the tarot at village fayres), and these personal experiences are useful fiction fodder, of course in much-changed form.
I used to read tarot also -- but I bet you are better than I was! But please go on.
As well as drawing on my store of experience and knowledge, I constantly learn new things when I write. My characters often have skills I know nothing about, so I need to do some research to avoid committing embarrassing blunders.
Sometimes this means practical research. I visit places to take notes and absorb the atmosphere. For example, I once spent a night in a cemetery in order to research a ghost story. I also have a go at things I wouldn't try otherwise, such as snake handling and mixed-gender wrestling.
On other occasions, it's easier - and safer - to talk to an expert. When I need to write a scene about horse riding, I talk to horse lovers; when I describe injuries I ask a paramedic; when I write a scene set in a burning house, I ask a fire fighter. People love talking about their jobs and hobbies, especially to clueless writers who listen eagerly and take note of every word.
If I need to know what it feels like to get mauled by a wild dog, to be stuck in a narrow tunnel, to be dragged on the ground behind a galloping horse, or to almost die of starvation, I'll ask someone who's been there, done that, and survived.
One of the best places for that is Rayne's Writers Research Club. It's a Yahoo Group where writers can ask questions for background research. I've asked what noises one might hear in a fabric shop, how a disused railway tunnel smells, how a thirteen-year old girl reacts to probing questions from her mum, how a caged canary reacts to the presence of a cat, and exactly how it looks like when brains spill from a bashed-in human skull. There's usually someone who knows the answer. We're all writers, so we understand what kind of detail other writers need, and we don't get alarmed if you ask for advice on how to poison a rich relative, how to assassinate a politician or how to sabotage a nuclear power station.
Matt: Here's the link again.
Membership is free, but you must be a writer and willing to help other writers with your store of knowledge.
I hope I can join some day.
Why do you believe fantasy books are so meaningful to so many readers?
Fantasy fiction offers exciting escapism from our daily lives, and it stimulates our imagination. Meaningful messages, which in other genres might come across as preachy and patronising, are presented in exciting, entertaining ways.
How would one approach filming Storm Dancer? For example, whom would you cast, who should direct, where would be great locations for its exterior shots?
Although Storm Dancer contains some scenes which would make great visuals - the burning town, the storm, the belly dancing - the hero's fight against the evil inside him wouldn't translate well into a movie.
The novel is set in a fantasy world loosely based on the Bronze Age and the landscapes of the Middle East, and Oman would be a wonderful location for that. Since Oman is probably not geared up for movie making, I suggest Tunisia in North Africa.
Several fans have told me that they imagine the actor Joe Manganiello in the role of the the dark hero Dahoud.
He certainly matches the image on the cover. My wife and I have seen Mangianello in True Blood.
I am particularly interested to talk about your Writing Craft series.
There are a lot of people entering the marketplace as self-published authors these days, with a wide range of backgrounds. You are coming from traditional publishing; I am coming from an academic fiction background; many new authors are coming from professions that have given them particularly interesting experiences in life. But Writing Craft is useful to almost everyone. How do you see your books fitting into this "new author" marketplace?
The best investment a writer can make in their career is to learn the writing craft to the highest possible standard. The more skilled you are at your craft, the better your books will be, and the more likely you are to achieve success.
My eBooks help writers take their craft skills to the next level. They are a practical, flexible, low-cost way to learn. You can choose which aspect of the craft you want to focus on, get the book, and study at your own pace in the privacy of your home.
Your books in this series are about scary scenes, fight scenes, villains, editing ("the word-loss diet") and, most recently, magic. It was a good decision to focus on particular elements rather than trying to write a large genre textbook. Why did you decide to present your expertise in this format?
I decided to focus on specialised aspects of the writing craft because there are already many excellent books teaching all-round basic fiction writing skills.
I enjoy working with intermediate and advanced writers who have already mastered their craft to a high level, and want to learn a specialised skill. For example, a professional romance writer may be at a loss how to write an exciting fight scene for the climax of her new book.
You may not know it, but I've written successful how-to books for writers under a different pen name, and years ago I was acquisitions editor for a series of writing craft books. This was in the days of print books, where books had to achieve large sales in order to be viable, so we could not publish highly specialised books. With eBooks, it's better to have a small number of keen potential buyers than a large number of indifferent ones, so specialist books are the winners.
For scary scenes, I am inclined to say, following Stephen King, that fright is intensified by a contrast with the ordinary, or a contrast with the humorous. You wrote a book called Writing About Scary Scenes. What is your view?
Absolutely. Scary things are much scarier if they happen in normal surroundings and situations, and humour can enhance the horror.
I'd like to add that fear is a personal thing, and different readers will respond differently. What sends only a mild shiver across one reader's skin will scare another reader into a sleepless night.
Some reader's respond to individual triggers - a fear of heights perhaps, or a phobia of spiders - while others don't get frightened unless there's gory violence and brutal death.
While some readers like psychological horror that disturbs and unsettles, others like creepy, spooky tales, and yet others crave fictional massacres and mounds of gore.
There are many kinds of effective villains in fiction. As the author of Writing About Villains, what is a type that you find comes natural to you as a writer, and why?
As a reader and a writer, I'm drawn to intelligent villains who are worthy adversaries for my heroes.
You are an expert in fight scenes. I can see two components to mastery of this sort of material -- knowing how to control pacing with sentence variety, and knowing how the weapons themselves work. Learning the former is a matter of practice and careful editing, but how does one go about learning the latter?
There are many more components, but let's stick to those two for the moment, because they represent the two main aspects: knowing how to fight, and knowing how to write about a fight.
Knowing how to fight is useful; knowing how to write about a fight is essential.
If you don't know how to fight, you can bluff your way by doing some research and by asking experts - but if you don't know how to write about a fight, then the scene will be poor.
My book Writing Fight Scenes teaches techniques for writing fight scenes, everything from scene structure, pacing, setting and sabre-sharp dialogue to word choice and euphonics, in great depth and detail.
It also teaches about weapons, self-defence methods, fighting techniques, strategy, psychology and so on, with just enough information that a writer can bluff their way and avoid blunders. It's a book about writing, not about fighting.
Of course, it's always worth doing more research, especially if you plan to write many fight scenes. You can learn a martial art or join a historical reenactment society to gain practical experience. A quicker way is to enlist the help of an expert. If your story contains a karate fight, find a martial artist who practices karate. If you write historical fiction set in the ancient Roman period, contact a Roman reenactment group. If you want to know what a particular type of gun can and can't do in what situation, ask a gun enthusiast. Most experts are keen to show off their knowledge, especially to writers.
I also find youtube videos useful, because they allow us to find a scenario similar to the one we want to write, with similar weapons and outcomes, and we can watch, rewind and stop the videos as often as we like. However, you need to be critical, because not everyone who makes youtube videos is as knowledgeable as they pretend to be, and some eye-catching self-defence manoeuvres would not work in reality.
William Faulkner is usually credited with saying "Murder all your darlings," meaning "cut out all the bits you are fond of because that material is probably too self-indulgent." What do you think of his advice?
Don't cut the good bits! The parts you're fond of may be the best parts of your writing, the bits that make up your unique author voice. It would be a shame to lose that.
If you're still unsure about your author voice, and experimenting with different stylistic elements to see what works, you may get carried away sometimes and write overly clever or purple prose. But that's not a problem; simply ask your critique partners for feedback, or put your story aside for a few weeks, reread it with fresh eyes and see if you still like it.
Instead of cutting the good bits that characterise your author voice, I recommend cutting the empty words that add no content. Words like could, really, completely, suddenly, started to, began to, are often superfluous. Deleting them sharpens your writing style.
My book The Word-Loss Diet shows how to strip away the word-fat and reveal the muscle of your unique author voice.
I read and write about magic a lot, so I know how many ways there are to approach it. Internal consistency is the element I worry most about, meaning, of course, that the magic system must work on its own terms and not contradict itself. What element do you most worry about when designing the magic for a piece of fiction?
Fictional magic needs to be plausible, so the readers can suspend their disbelief. Writers who say 'Magic isn't real, therefore it doesn't need to be believable' make a big mistake.
For example, where does the magical power come from? Magic doesn't happen by the pointing of a wand or the shouting of a pseudo-Latin phrase. The magician needs to raise the energy needed for the magic - how?
In my book Writing About Magic I share tips on how to make magic believable and exciting.
Besides WRITING CRAFT, what else are you working on these days? What will your next few titles be?
I'm writing short stories, mostly historical and horror. Some of these will be published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies, and I will also include them in my next collections, Six Historical Tales Vol. 2 and Six Scary Tales Vol. 5.
A sequel to my dark fantasy novel Storm Dancer is in progress. The working title is Flame Bearer.
As the editor of the Ten Tales books (themed fantasy and horror anthologies with ten stories by ten authors) I'm currently finalising Seer: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance. Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk comes next.
In the Writing Craft series, the next book will be Writing Dark Stories.
What would you like to say to readers to close this interview?
Download the free sample pages to see if it's your kind of book. With the Writing Craft books, the sample pages will show you if my instructions are helpful for your kind of writing. With the short story collections, you can see if my writing style and storytelling please you.
My dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer is too dark for some people's tastes, and not dark enough for others. There's war, rape, torture, human sacrifice and demonic possession. Some readers find these issues so disturbing that they can't read on, others are disappointed that there isn't enough graphic detail. The sample pages will show you if it's at a level you can enjoy.
That's the good thing with eBooks, you can try before you buy. If, after downloading the sample, you decide that my books aren't right for you, I'm delighted that you've been spared the disappointment. Of course, I hope that some people will like and buy my books.
Thanks, Rayne! See below for sales links.
AMAZON: ON KOBO:
|Posted by Matt Posner on May 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
I'm happy to welcome to this site a YA writer with a growing following, Becca Campbell.
Who are you, where do you live, how do you like it there?
My name is Becca Campbell and I live in Oklahoma City. It’s a great place to live. We have gorgeous sunsets and the regular tornadoes provide plenty of excitement.
That's my mother's home territory -- Oklahoma City and Tulsa. I haven't had a chance to visit myself.
Talk about your books and your new series.
I have two novels out so far. Both lean toward science fiction with a strong romantic plot as well.
I'm with you on that. I always include a romantic plot of some kind even in adventure stories. Tell us more.
Foreign Identity is about two strangers, a man and a woman, who awake in a strange prison of sorts with no memories of who they are or how/why they were imprisoned. They must work together to escape a series of bizarre puzzles and uncover the mystery of their identities. It’s been compared to Lost, Cube, and The Twilight Zone.
Gateway to Reality is about a guy who discovers that the world as he knows it isn’t real, and that reality actually lies in his dreams—which are pretty crazy and don’t follow any of the laws of nature he’s used to. It’s similar to The Matrix and Inception, but with more of a love story.
Sub-Normal is my Science Fiction short story series set in a world with genetic engineering—it’s a world where super powers are normal and if you lack an ability, you’re considered handicapped.
Empath, the first book in my Flawed series about individuals with super human weaknesses, comes out this August. You can read more about Empath and my other works on my blog.
Why write about a super-powered world? Are you a comics fan? (I am.) Is it a metaphor?
I never read comics, but I enjoy shows and movies derived from them. I love X-Men, Smallville, the Avengers, and other related super power shows like Heros and Alphas. There’s something fascinating about the idea of having supernatural abilities.
SyFy cancelled Alphas. Sooo disappointed here in this household. But please go on.
I don’t use powers as a metaphor so much as an illustration of truth as I see it. The Sub-Normal series explores dystopian themes such as what happens when government takes too much control and what are the repercussions of certain social trends, though it’s all wrapped tightly in an action-packed story and you don’t have to “get” any of these deeper ideas to enjoy it.
The Flawed series was inspired by the Biblical idea that our greatest weaknesses can become our biggest strengths. The characters in that series struggle with abnormal issues, yet find a deeper meaning beneath their flaws.
The Powerless series by Jason Letts, about a world full of supers, has lots and lots of silliness and illogic caused by problems with physics. What is your strategy to avoid this sort of problem?
I’m not familiar with that series, (Don't bother -- Matt) but that’s a good question. I think when you’re creating abilities that can’t physically happen it’s okay to break some rules once in a while. There’s definitely a point when things go too far, but I don’t think it’s a well-defined line. For me it’s an I-know-it-when-I-see-it kind of thing.
On that note, if you’re walking the line with somewhat far-fetched powers, I think the key is to go all in with it. Go big and go deep. What I mean by that is, if you have dimensional characters that are honest and real, they can sell the storyline. If the reader feels one with the protagonists struggle, it makes it more believable.
We have been discussing New Adult fiction, a category you work in that I had not heard of before. These are books about people just getting started in their adult lives, perhaps in their early twenties and learning how to function in their new roles in life. What made you decide to write this sort of book? Do you think your readers are new adults themselves, or are they older teenagers?
I didn’t set out to write New Adult fiction, it just happened. By its very nature, New Adult provides a wide range of story possibilities as the characters struggle with discovering who they are, if they have a destiny, and what directions they want their lives to take. Though I’m in my thirties, I easily identify with the NA age group, and I enjoy coming up with those types of stories. I think many of my readers are in their twenties, but there’s another large part who are older—possibly mid-thirties to mid-forties.
The content of my stories is appropriate for any age, teens on up, and you definitely don’t have to be in your twenties to enjoy them.
What other genres appeal to you for future writing?
Post-apocalyptic would be fun to try. I may tackle that one someday.
While my books are technically science fiction or urban fantasy, they also lean toward romance. Relationships and emotional depth plays a big part in my novels.
In a hypothetical situation, you are hired to write new books in a series begun by another writer. Which series, and why?
I don’t know if I could continue a series written by someone else, since I enjoy coming up with my own ideas. However, I’m a big fan of Hugh Howey, author of Wool, and I think it might be fun to play around in his universe a little. There are already several other people writing (and selling) Wool fan fiction, and I think it’s a fascinating idea.
Other than that, if I had to write using someone else’s ideas, my top pick would be Ted Dekker. He’s excellent at thrillers and fantasy and I love his thought-provoking deep themes.
Tell an interesting story from your writing life.
An interesting story…that would probably be the birth of Foreign Identity, my first book.
The idea for the story began with a ten-word prompt on a writing blog. After using the words in the initial post, I continued the story on the comments section of the blog, adding to it twice a week. I included the latest writing prompt for each scene, forcing myself to fit the words in. Sometimes they directed the story and other times I molded them to the ideas in my head. More than half of the novel was written in serial form, one 1000-word (approximately) scene at a time. I wrote to a pretty big cliffhanger and then wrote the rest of the story in private, saving the final reveal for when I would publish the book.
When I wrote that first post I had no idea of the plot or where the story would lead. That made it fun and exciting to work on. I love mysteries and puzzles. So as a creative experiment, instead of starting with an outline, I started with a problem and worked to find the solution.
Once I’d decided to start with a problem, I needed to figure out what that problem would be. What situation could I throw a couple of characters into that would be complex and seem impossible? My answer was this: chain them up in a nondescript chamber and strip them of all their memories. And to top that off, leave them devoid of interaction with their captor and without any clue if they even had a captor.
Perfect. (Insert evil writer laugh.)
After that, it was just figuring out how to solve my poor characters’ dilemma. How would they escape? Once they did, what would be waiting for them? At that point I came up with a full back story and an elaborate scheme for why they might be in such a situation. But instead of ending the mystery then, I used clues that raised more questions than they answered. The television show Lost was a great example of how to write a properly suspenseful story without completely frustrating the viewers.
Tell an interesting story from your non-writing life.
This would probably fall into the embarrassing category had there been many people to witness it happen. Being as that wasn’t the case, this falls more into the why-Becca-is-not-so-smart category.
I was on a summer vacation staying at a Condo in Vail with my husband, kids, parents, and siblings. It was a quiet afternoon with most of us lounging around watching TV or napping. My sister and I were out front with our bikes when we spotted an innocent-looking bike ramp.
The thing was almost pathetic, it was so small. Plastic, and maybe ten inches high at most. Granted, neither of us had ever attempted any jumps or had any experience with bike stunts. But we looked at each other, shrugged and decided to give it a whirl. (Okay, it was probably my idea. Something like “If you’ll do it, I’ll do it.)
My sister was the brave soul who went first. She got up some speed and went up that ramp landing the jump perfectly. It looked so easy. Next it was my turn.
I pedaled up to the ramp full of confidence, thinking how great it was going to feel to soar through the air (if only a foot off the ground). I went up, and my sister snapped a photo of me in the air—it was perfect: me just coming off the tip of the ramp, suspended in mid-air, looking ultra-cool.
And then I went splat. I landed on my front tire and rolled forward. I skidded along the pavement with my bike on top of me. I bruised my pelvis and cut my elbow, greasing up my jeans and ripping my shirt sleeve in the process. I was hurting and I was laughing at the same time, but only because I knew how dumb the whole thing had been. That stupid, pathetic ramp had beaten me! And the picture I have of me looking cool? It lies, I tell you.
The sad thing is, that wasn’t the only time something like this has happened. I have a history doing dumb stunts and getting wounded. I won’t mention the time I broke my arm trying to win a speed skating race. Or that it was the first time I’d taken my son roller skating. No, that’s a story for another day.
That is one of the best stories I've hosted from a fellow indie, so I am now appointing you to an official position as School of the Ages Instructor of Anecdotal Evidence.
What would you like to add to close your interview?
On Goodreads, there’s currently a giveaway for an autographed paperback of Gateway to Reality, so head on over for a chance to win.
(The giveaway ends on May 22, 2013.)
Thanks, Becca. Great to have you visit here, and I look forward to hosting you again.
|Posted by Matt Posner on May 12, 2013 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
For Mother's Day, a selection from the upcoming School of the Ages 4.
Simon talks to Mrs. Tinker, Goldberry's mother. Born in England, she was formerly a professional fortune-teller.
“Mrs. Tinker, do you know who Goldberry and I are going to marry? Did you use divination to find out?"
"No, dear. Divination is rarely so precise on matters of love. The universe likes to surprise us."
She might or might not be telling me the truth. "I don't…" The next thing was hard to say. "I don't know if I should be marrying anyone. I think I might be going to Hell."
"Hell? Oh, don't be ridiculous. We're magicians, not Catholics. There's no such thing as Hell, other than that place in the school, or perhaps Yasser Arafat's underwear drawer."
"Okay, okay. Forget I said Hell. I think I might be going to a bad place after I die."
"Ah." She didn't seem convinced. "And just why do you suppose that?"
"Because I've killed people."
"One who deserved it, and one who didn't."
"You know," she said, leaning forward in her chair, "we all have unpleasant duties in life. Most fortune tellers are false, and I certainly would not claim I haven't faked divinatory messages from time to time. I can never get an accurate result during one week of the month, for example, at least as I get older. However, I have given some people some bad news that they didn't like, and sometimes, after that, they have died one way or another. I still think of a woman I met when I was fourteen, and just starting out reading crystal balls, who I could tell readily enough, from the bruises on her face, was being beaten by someone. I told her she had ought to leave whomever had done that to her, and leave as soon as ever she could, and she believed me, and when she left the man, he found her and beat her to death. It's easy to give simple answers when you're young, and certainly I would now be able to give a smarter piece of advice than simply to run, and so I sometimes find myself wondering if my immaturity and naïveté at that age caused me to give advice that got the poor woman killed. Perhaps I did. Perhaps I should go to Hell, do you think?"
"It's not the same," I said.
"Isn't it? Guilt is a tricky thing, Simon. Suppose I told a man to go on a railway journey and his train wrecked and killed him. Or suppose I told him not to go, but I failed to convince him and he died. Are those deaths to my account as well?
"It's not the same."
"And what if I gave someone bad advice on purpose, knowing better, because it was someone I disliked? We fortune-tellers do that, you know. Sometimes we do it just to get a different reaction from a self-important bore or a pompous git or an over-nervous nutter. Bad advice can have consequences. So am I going to Hell?"
"It's not the same!"
"Don't shout, Simon, dear. It's time for Cook to have her afternoon nap, and besides, you might strain a muscle in your buttock."
Interested? Start with book one, The Ghost in the Crystal.
|Posted by Matt Posner on May 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM||comments (1)|
Who loves teachers? I love teachers! Who loves writers? I love writers! What happens when I meet someone who is both? Why she gets interviewed at School of the Ages. Meet award-winner Kimberly Dana.
Where are you from, where do you live, and how do you like it there?
I was born in Montgomery, Alabama and have lived in Rochester, New York; Lincoln, Nebraska; Valparaiso, Indiana; Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. After ten years in L.A., my husband and I recently relocated to Nashville and I have to say, it's a good fit for this Midwesterner at heart.
Introduce your books and tell us a little about each.
Pretty Dolls is a children’s picture book about Gracie, who teaches the “glamour dolls” in little Tasha’s bedroom that beauty is how you treat others.
Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School is a middle school manual written by two besties whose friendship barely survives the seventh grade.
Matt says: When you know Lucy and CeCee, who needs Diary of a Wimpy Kid?
Cheerage Fearage is my young adult comi-horror about a haunted cheerleader camp with chills and thrills to spare.
All of my books are multi-award-winners and can be found on Amazon.
Talk about your path to publication.
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. Even when I was very young, I would invent characters and scenarios in my head and write about them. My path to publication took a different trajectory when I started entering writing contests and winning a few. Winning awards for my manuscripts caught the eye of agents and publishers who eventually took a chance on my writing. As a traditionally and self-published writer, I espouse both avenues. If your books are of quality, your readers will find you!!
Did you do the illustrations for Pretty Dolls? What was your experience being your own illustrator/working with an illustrator?
The incredibly talented Kurt Jones created the illustrations for Pretty Dolls. It was my first experience with working with an illustrator, and I have nothing but positive reviews. Kurt and I talked concept. He showed me some samples of what Gracie, Tasha, and the other characters would look like, and the rest is history. All my readers and critics agree Kurt’s candy-colored illustrations enhance the book and then some.
You write for children in different age groups. How do you approach each age group differently?
Children and teens are the emotional truth tellers of the world. They can smell “fake” a mile away. So, if your characters speak with honesty and authenticity, you will capture the heart of your reader regardless of age. That said, writing picture books for children is actually harder than young adults because your canvas is condensed and EVERY WORD COUNTS!!!
What writing is coming up for you? Are you considering writing for adults some day?
With three books published in the span of ten months, I took a year off of writing to promote. I am now itching to get back in the saddle, so I have a lot of ideas percolating. As far as writing for adults some day…never say never!
What elements of your education and experience best suited you to write fiction?
I have always been a lover of books, and although I read the occasional biography, I gravitate towards fiction. In college I was an English major and then went on to become an English teacher. I simply love sharing my passion for the written word.
What is experimental cooking? How did you become interested in it? Any stories to share?
My husband and I are foodies and love to try different things. Although he is much more successful in the kitchen, I’m the daring one - but I’ll spare you the gory details!
What kind of teaching are you doing these days? What are the unique challenges you face as a teacher in these difficult times?
Yes, these are challenging times but at the end of the day, we all just want love and validation. What better way to learn about life than to read books and share thoughts and ideas? Kids are very wise and perceptive in their analytical abilities, so they never cease to amaze or teach me about life’s ontological themes as well. I’ve probably read Steinbeck’s The Pearl fifty times. Yet when I discuss it with my students, I’ll see the profundity of its message or the characters’ journey in a way I never have.
As a novelist, I find it very challenging to carve out time and energy for writing after a full day at school. How do you manage to balance the teaching career against your writing and promotional tasks?
I wish I knew the secret! The most honest answer is VERY LITTLE SLEEP, but that’s not conducive to either profession. So I will just say balance is key. Even if you only write one hour a day, it’s better than nothing.
Any words to readers to close this interview?
Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” So true.
I hereby appoint you, Kimberly Dana, to the School of the Ages faculty as Instructor of Experimental Cooking. I should warn you, there's no electricity, so you'll have to be creative...
Bio: Featured on NBC’s More at Midday as a middle school tween expert, Kimberly Dana is a multi-award-winning author and teacher. She is published by the National Council of Teachers of English, Parenthood, About Families, Your Teen, and the recipient of several writing honors from Writers Digest, Reader Views, the Pacific Northwest Writes Association, and various international book festivals. Other affiliations include the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, where she serves as a judge for the annual eBook competition. Kimberly’s most recent books include Cheerage Fearage, Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School, and Pretty Dolls, awarded Best Children’s Book of the Year by Reader Views and Character Building Counts. A lover of photography and experimental cooking, Kimberly lives in Nashville with her husband and spoiled shih tzu. Kimberly invites readers to visit her at http://kimberlydana.com.
|Posted by Matt Posner on May 1, 2013 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
Who are you, where do you live, how do you like it there?
So far as who I am, I am first and foremost a writer. As a college student at Georgetown University, I became friends with William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, who was shooting the film there. Through some creative maneuvering, I got Blatty to read the manuscript for a novel I'd written, The Indian Point Conspiracy, which he helped me get published soon after graduation.
Upon graduating, during terrible economic times and $40,000 in debt from college loans, I became a Deputy Sheriff in Washington, DC to pay bills. During that time, I transported hit men, terrorists, con men, and drug lords using those experiences to write articles for True Detective magazine and three novels for the Nick Carter series. Other "Nick Carter" authors at the time included Ken Follett and Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park.
Again, struggling to make ends meet financially, I left police work and became a sales rep for an industrial chemical company working my way up to CEO. During those years, I published numerous books, mostly non-fiction including Searchers, A True Story of Alien Abduction for St. Martin's Press; Il Dottore, The Double Life of a Mafia Doctor (a story I was put onto by former mafia chieftain Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno), and The Hunt for Khun Sa, Drug Lord of the Golden Triangle (I researched the book on site in Burma with DEA agents).
In 1985, I went back to school to earn an MA in English from Loyola-Chicago, and a Doctorate in Arts and Letters from Drew University. My wife, Laurie, and I have three children, one at home, a girl, and two boys, one a photographer living in Brooklyn, the other a video game designer working in Atlanta.
One of the really great things about working as cop transporting federal criminals, working and traveling to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and seeing how large corporations operate from the inside, is that it gives me a unique background to write a novel as real and exciting as A Man of Indeterminate Value, my new novel and easily my best.
Tell us about your current project, A Man of Indeterminate Value.
Trapped in a hate-filled marriage, a job he despises working as a Wall Street "take-over" artist gutting American-owned companies and spinning them to the highest bidder while barely surviving atop the mountain of debt his wife has racked up, the main character, Jack "Mad Dog" Madson, has crafted a plan to escape. He'll fake his own death simultaneously winning a $4 million insurance payout for his family while paving the way for his getaway to Mexico. There, he'll create a new life with the $2.5 million he's been amassing from illegally selling intellectual property to criminal interests in China. But, as you might guess, Madson's plan goes dangerously wrong taking the reader on a rip-roaring roller coaster ride into the underbelly of corporate America and, perhaps, America itself as Madson struggles to stay one step ahead of the laser-focused insurance claims investigator who is determined to prove that his "accidental death" is anything but accidental.
The reviews for A Man of Indeterminate Value have been sensational but what pleases me most is that in addition to being a super cool read, I've been able to build into the story a level of commentary on American society and what it means for a man to make a conscious decision to--like Jesse James, John Dillinger and the rest--become a modern day outlaw.
Who is the audience for this book? Anyone who loves a fast-paced, gutsy read that grabs you by the lapels with its opening paragraph. I'm proud of the fact that it's not just a thriller. There is real and, I believe, important social commentary that make this novel more ambitious and therefore more fascinating than most, along with the fact that it explores territory previously uncharted in crime fiction. It breaks new ground.
Your work has been compared to a lot of great authors both classic and contemporary. Talk about what some authors have meant to you as a reader and writer?
In terms of influences on my writing, I could certainly point to Norman Mailer and Cormac McCarthy, but A Man of Indeterminate Value is really a modern noir novel in the tradition of Raymond Chandler and James Cain with a more current vibe, say, from the John Grisham or Michael Connelly school. What I like about the old timers is that like Hemingway they don't waste a lot of words and get the reader right into the story. What I'd say about Grisham and Connelly is that they do their research. A good friend of mine, Bill Bonanno, the mafia boss turned writer, once told me "write about what you know." Well, that's exactly what I'm doing these days and, thank God--whether I liked it back then or not--growing up in the inner city, boxing semi-professionally, and being a cop in Washington, DC give a writer plenty of material to draw from!
As CEO of a company, with law enforcement experience as well, how does your background impact your writing?
A Man of Indeterminate Value is a special and exciting genre of crime fiction that you could call a "business thriller." Much of the novel's background regarding business represents my views on the state of American corporations and their blase attitude toward dismantling the US manufacturing base, something I believe is vital to the country's future.
Of course, all of this, especially my experiences as CEO play heavy into the themes of corruption at high levels, technology theft by the Chinese as well as computer hacking and espionage, and--perhaps more important--the choices individuals make when it comes to personal depravity or salvation. Truly, I've always been intrigued by the notion of individuals leading "double lives" much like Madson in A Man of Indeterminate Value and Elliot Litner in Il Dottore, The Double Life of a Mafia Doctor. This, I think is what so captivated the producers of Fox's TV series The Mob Doctor based on my non-fiction book. Still, the freedom fiction, as opposed to non-fiction writing, gives an author is the ability to delve deep down into the character himself, his background, his current situation and his innermost thoughts. To me, that's the magic of the novel. It really allows a reader to participate in the life of the characters a writer imagines, or perhaps has known at some level, along with that character in real time---talk about innovation and technology? What could be cooler than that?
How real is corporate spying?
Very real. It is the untold story of our generation. In my career, I've twice been involved in thwarting thefts that brought in the FBI, and that was here in the United States. The degree of technology theft West-to-East over the past ten years has literally changed the balance of power in the world.
Do you have a special routing when writing?
Discipline. I write during long plane flights to the West Coast, Europe, and Asia. I often wake up at 4 am to work on weekends when it's quiet and my forced isolation doesn't annoy anyone. Remember, I have a family!
Can you tell us about your plans for further books in the Jack Madson series?
Funny, but the last question you've asked is about the second book in the Jack Madson series which I just tonight sent off to my publisher, Barricade Books. It's called The Kafka Society and involves Jack up to his eyebrows in a secret society who run a global heroin/human trafficking industry headquartered in the abandoned underground tunnels of New York City. I don't want to give away too much but suffice it to say that like A Man of Indeterminate Value there will be plenty of action, sex, and a cast of characters readers won't soon forget!
Thank you for visiting here, Ron! My review of A Man of Indeterminate Value should be posted by the end of the month. I can't wait to read it.
|Posted by Matt Posner on April 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Introducing a promising new author for young teens who is bound to find a great audience: T.D. Rizor!
Who are you, where do you live, how do you like it there?
My name is Tim (pen name T.D. Rizor), I live close to the beach, and I LOVE IT. Seriously, the ocean is that way (I'm pointing to the right).
I used to live in Miami Beach, so I totally get it. A few blocks' walk!
I approached you for an interview after discovering the great reviews for your two books at amazon. So tell us about them and about the next one that is coming soon.
My latest book is Freaky Deaky High: Killer Ride.
Freaky Deaky High is a supernatural / paranormal YA series, and each book is about a different student at Franklin Delano High School. Strange things happen there, unexplainable things, and the school initials FDH have taken on the pet name Freaky Deaky High.
The first book, Killer Ride, is about Adam. He finds a Corvette in the woods on his sixteenth birthday, and decides to take it. Bad move. The car is possessed and it almost destroys him.
The second book is Student Body. It's about a kid named Bryce who wakes up in his uncle's basement with all these weird scars on his body, and he can't remember anything. He slowly discovers the truth behind his scars, and the ending will absolutely make your skin crawl.
Freaky Deaky High: Student Body comes out June 8.
And for younger readers, my first book was Attic Juice, a scary story for kids (9 to 12). It's like a roller coaster with lots of thrills and chills. Brandon is the main character. He's 12, and he travels to an undrground cave beneath his house to rescue his sister from a giant troll. And "attic juice" refers to this disgusting brown goo Brandon finds everywhere. Turns out it's troll spit!
(All links are mine, not selected by Mr. Rizor.)
What is your approach to writing for kids? How is it different than writing for an adult audience?
It's more fun. I prefer reading YA books to grownup ones, which is probably why I write them, too. Truthfully, I consider myself just a grownup teenager.
I read a high percentage of YA fiction also, although I prefer the type that is smart enough for everyone (like Philip Pullman). What authors or other artists meant a lot to you growing up?
But I still feel like I'm growing up, so I'll tell you who I dig right now: Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games. Are you kidding me? How awesome are those three books!
You are writing "clean" books for young people. What is your view of the trend toward darkness or mature subjects in young adult fiction?
Honestly, I'm not worried about it. I write "clean" because I'm wired that way. It's not a calculated decision or anything. Besides, "clean" is a relative term. What's clean? No sex? Five swear words or less? Beats me.
I will say this, though -- as long as moms are making 50 Shades of Grey a bestseller, it's no wonder their daughters are curious about racy books, too.
You used to work for R.L. Stine, one of the most successful children's book authors of all time. What is some wisdom you gained from him about writing for kids that you can share with readers here?
The biggest lesson Mr. Stine taught me was that writers write. I worked for him three days a week, and every time I got to his place I could hear him in his office clacking away on his keyboard. He was always writing. And he's not just a great storyteller, he's a great guy. Let me brag about him for a minute. If you've never read any Goosebumps books, you have to read Night of the Living Dummy. It's awesome.
Tell an interesting story from your writing life.
I once wrote a screenplay about a kid who gets in trouble for lying (making up stories to freak people out), and his mom grounds him for it. No TV, no Xbox, no nothing. Bored out of his mind, he starts spying on his neighbors and realizes that one of them is a serial killer. He tries telling people, but no one believes him. The screenplay is called GROUNDED, and I knew it was a great idea.
Here's the funny part.
I wrote that in 2005, and two years later a movie called DISTURBIA hit theaters. It's totally my idea! I can't feel bad about it though because it's a really good movie. If you haven't seen it, check it out.
Tell an interesting story from your non-writing life.
I went for a walk in my neighborhood last week and found a twenty dollar bill on the side of the road. Seriously!
I found two twenties in the hotel parking lot the morning after New Year's Eve! Even better.... What would you like to add to close the interview?
Just one more thing...
I want to give anyone reading this interview my latest eBook, Freaky Deaky High: Killer Ride for FREE. Visit my blog click the CONTACT tab or the FREE EBOOK tab, check which format you want, and I'll email you a copy, no strings attached. If you're a freak like me, I know you'll like it!
Thank you for interviewing with me today, Tim. It's been a pleasure to get to know you. Come visit again when Student Body comes out!
|Posted by Matt Posner on April 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
Pleased to introduce romance reviewer/blogger and new author Petronela Ungureanu. Here is Petronela's Blog.
Introduce yourself and talk about where you come from and how you like it there.
I am a 35 year old dreamer living in a poetic side of Romania. Countryside agrees with me very much, although I was brought up a city girl. I could never live in a city again, I need to step barefoot on the dewy grass every morning, it is a must :). There is a lot of magic in this country and everyone who has the chance, should come to discover it. We have wild mountains, a medieval city and incredible castles, and they say the women are breathtakingly beautiful.
Tell us about your family?
I am not a mother yet, although I plan to become one in the near future, however terrifying that sounds to me at the moment.
Describe your book.
I wrote Lost in the Seven Worlds in a sad moment of my life, after my longtime companion had been diagnosed with a chronical illness. The story offered me the opportunity to escape the harsh reality and fabricate the mystical seven worlds, where people would live forever.
Tell us about a book you love by another author.
I am a constant admirer of Jane Austen’s work. She is an astonishing creator of unique characters. Mr. Darcy is unforgettable.
You write in English while living in Romania. What is your first language? If it's Romanian, then what sort of training, practice and experience helped you to get ready to work in English? Do you write fiction in Romanian language also?
I am a Romanian anglophile ever since the seventh grade. I have learned this language mostly on my own, although school had a significant role. Ideas keep popping out in my head in English and there is nothing I can do about that. I never wrote fiction in Romanian, just journalistic articles in various newspapers. I also speak French.
Reviewers have said your style reminds them of Jane Austen. Do you agree? Why do you think this comparison is made so often?
I have decided I should take it as a compliment, because I know I have my own voice. A huge compliment.
What authors have influenced you most as you have learned your craft?
I should mention at first Jane Austen, obviously, the Bronte sisters and of course Margaret Mitchell. I have been a most fervent admirer of Scarlett’s determination ever since I discovered her.
I'm with you on Austen and the Brontes. Margaret Mitchell's one book Gone with the Wind was a monster bestseller in the United States, and the movie version is also considered a great classic. That said, the time period and issues covered make the book controversial. What is the nicest place you have ever visited?
Scotland touched my heart in an extraordinary way. There is so much poetry about that place.
Tell us about your blog. where did you get the idea for it?
I started my blog because I had some interesting things to share, my countryside life and some glimpses of my own bitter-sweet experiences , so it was the impulse of a journalist who NEEDS to share information. After a few months I got to 15000 visits a month, which was very [impressive] to me and of course it motivated me to go on. After I wrote my story, I became interested to meet other fantasy authors to exchange opinions and hopefully to learn some things about publishing. I am still looking for fantasy freaks like myself to talk about unicorns, faes and such, preferably in Elvish :).
What kind of food might we find on the table when you are having a fine dinner out?
I love experimenting in the kitchen, from bread making to baking chocolate cakes and Pavlovas. I adore cooking so we dine out but very rarely. When we do, I prefer the traditional sour soup and my boyfriend is a schnitzel devourer.
Speaking of food from your part of the world, Petronela, around this time last year, in Wien on vacation, Julie and I had some fine Austrian food, like that Wiener schnitzel your boyfriend likes! I also really liked the goulash in Budapest.
Tell us an interesting story from your non-writing life.
An intriguing story would be, how me and my boyfriend met 13 years ago. I was crossing the street and I got hit by a car that projected me 10 meters away. As I was lying there bleeding, he was the very first one to come and offer his assistance, he even carried me to his car and took me to the hospital, but then he mysteriously vanished. I had to use all my journalistic skills to find him.
Share a youtube video of a song that inspires you to write.
I find Chopin’s Nocture No.2 disturbingly beautiful and Yundi Li plays it …divinely.
|Posted by Matt Posner on April 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM||comments (0)|
CAN YOU MATCH THE NAME TO THE NEW SUPPORTING CHARACTER?
1. Bholenath Bakshi
2. Vijay Dass
3. Nestor Nudelman
4. Baba Yorshka
5. Aaron of the Four
6. Mystical Elena!
7. Sarminder Singh
a. annoying thirteen-year-old younger brother of Balaram
b. annoying computer-based magician from San Francisco
c. gigantic warrior who wields a deadly martial arts weapon
d. a Russian witch with the evil eye
e. Indian magician who is little more than a swindler
f. important teacher at San Francisco Hospitallers magic school
g. evil adult version of a member of the core cast
Post your answers in a comment here or on my Facebook fan page.
|Posted by Matt Posner on April 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
Courtesy of my author/editor buddy Laurie LaLiberte, I get to meet cool new authors. Here's one whose book I devoured -- ultraviolent superhero novelist Alexander Maisey.
Who are you, where do you live, how do you like it?
Hey! I’m Alexander Maisey. Right now I live about 40 minutes north of New York City with my fiancée and our Jack Russell terrier. I’ve lived in New York for most of my life, so I am fairly content here. I’d like to get a real house in the near future, and having to hear the laundry machines running at all hours of the night.
What do you write and why do you write it?
My most recent self-published work is The Machinist Book One: Malevolence (http://tinyurl.com/afetn6a ). It’s the story of a recently paroled supervillain who is forced back into the world of super-crime and framed in a plot to take over the world. He doesn’t like being the fall guy, and sets out to get his revenge.
I’m going to take a second to publically announce something about Malevolence: Calling it “Book One” rather than “Part One” was a major mistake on my part, which will be rectified at the end of April 2013. A number of people have commented that it is short (60 to 100 pages depending on your e-reader) and feels incomplete. Sorry, guys: It is incomplete. I was new to this when I first put it out there and didn’t know how to express that I’m releasing it piecemeal in a semi-serialized format. I’m going to update the listing information, pricing, et al, in short order to reflect that it’s one act of a bigger story. To make it up to people I’ve paused working on the second book to start working on a collection of short stories set in the Machinist world, which will be available for free.
I am very interested to read that short story collection. I like your characters and would like to see some of them featured. Why is your series described as "ultraviolent" and what led you to go in that direction?
Haha, the “why” of it is simply because I didn’t want kids to read it. I don’t believe kids should be sheltered, but I am one of those people who thinks 11 year olds shouldn’t be playing Call of Duty. That said, there are some pretty brutal scenes in Malevolence that made me cringe as I plotted them. I also don’t appreciate the trope in superhero comics where dead characters eventually return to life—I feel it cheapens the impact a death has.
How can a novel about superheroes use language to compensate for the absence of the compelling visuals that established the genre?
There’s a couple of ways to go about it. I’ve read some very embellished pieces of fiction where the attention to detail really works, and some where it meanders too far off to the point where it becomes a distraction. I write in accordance to a third-person pulp narrative style, which is heavy on the dialogue and action, but light on the descriptions. I prefer to share key words and basic descriptions with my readers, and let their imaginations take over. I’ll take the bait and toot my own horn momentarily: Apparently the descriptions I give are pretty good because three different artists have drawn The Machinist for my covers, and his look doesn’t deviate too much.
I agree with you -- key words and basic description, and the reader fills in the rest. That's what I do too.
Rank these in the order of their importance for your current writing: plotting, dialogue, description, characterization, style. Why did you rank them that way?
I can’t really rank them, because I actually group some of them together as part of a whole.
I grew up on comic books, movies, and television so dialogue is a major part of my writing. To be frank, comic books and American television are not known for their subtlety, meaning every important plot point is going to be spelled out by a character. There are exceptions to that, as with everything. Characterization and dialogue go hand in hand—but writers should remember that sometimes the most telling characterization comes from someone saying one thing, but doing another instead.
As for style, I endeavor to write bare, pulp stories. The plot can have its twists, but twists shouldn’t be the plot—I’m looking at you, Shyamalan. I do like to have a general map of where I’m going when I write, so that I can pace myself properly. But I don’t go into incredible detail with these outlines. It’s more like ivy growing on scaffolding built for that purpose than just overtaking a garden and its walls.
I feel that description is something that should involve less hand-holding unless the information is vital. I’ve read a few books where the plot got bogged down by the details of Joe Protagonist’s bedroom or whatever. Fantasy novels are the worst when it comes to that—“Frodo stabbed at his three-chicken pie with his silver fork, which glittered in the flicking candlelight. This fork was forged by the dwarves of Kumbaya during the Second Age of the Shadow Tree and was once used by the Great High King Budweiser XVII, son of Kickapoo XI. It was thought lost during the Dark Times that lastet 6,533 years until the…” who cares? Now I’ve forgotten the question, sorry.
[I gave Alexander a list of comics industry stars to comment upon. He selected three, and here are his responses.]
Here are some haikus:
Sandman was super,
And teeth-eyes guy was way cool.
Thanks Neil Gaiman.
Wild hairy man
Alan Moore really dislikes
Movies of his work.
Peaked in the eighties,
Frank Miller is a nutjob.
The Goddamn Batman.
Imagine you have been hired by a major comics company to take over writing any series or character you like. Which one, and why?
Well, that’s a tough question. Like anyone else who wants to pen comics writing Batman, or maybe Spider-Man, would be the dream gig. But to be fair I think my style would be a good match for Marvel’s Punisher or DC’s Deathstroke. I think I’d prefer Slade over Frank, though. I’m not saying the Punisher is one-dimensional or anything, but he’s a better plot device than central character these days. DC has been kind of wishy-washy about whether or not Slade is a bad guy lately, so I’d make sure he was put back in his rightful place as a master manipulator and dark mirror to Batman.
Maybe when DC inevitably reboots their continuity again in 5 to 10 years, I’ll have gained enough of a reputation to get their attention. Your question got me thinking and I’ve already come up with a few solid ideas of what I’d do with Deathstroke to excise the crap from his backstory and give him back his teeth.
DC continuity has become too chaotic for me even to contemplate dealing with it. As for Marvel, the Punisher has killed so many people that in my view he is morally irredeemable. I wouldn't want to write that character. I'm inclined to Thor or Luke Cage, myself.
Tell an interesting story from your writing life.
When I was much younger, I organized a small collective of writer-friends into a club that met weekly. At the end of meetings, I’d come up with a topic or plot premise for everyone to work on individually. We’d partner up and send our partners what we’d made a day or two before the next meet-up, and give genuine criticism and suggestions to each other on the day of. Then we posted our final drafts online. At some point, a Brazilian language ‘zine found us, and “hired” us to write stories based around photos the guy sent over, and then they’d publish the best story that went with each photo. This was an amazing thing to happen to us, so we agreed! So we busily worked on finely-crafted stories and broke our backs to make the deadline, and sent ‘em over. The ‘zine took our stories, published ‘em, and didn’t give us any credit or cash. There’s a strong possibility the guy owns the stories now. This is more than a decade passed so I’m not even bitter about it, but let this be a lesson to aspiring writers: Get an ironclad contract for everything you sell.
Tell an interesting story from your non-writing life.
This is less “interesting” than “silly,” but: My Twitter handle is @maiseywastaken. I’ve been on Twitter for around a year now. My fiancée recently joined and added a few friends, then asked me for my handle. I told her, “Yep, it’s @maiseywastaken.” And she goes, “Why did you pick that username?” I just stared at her in shock for a while before stammering, “Because… Maisey… was… taken?”
Matt, thanks for letting me get some of my craziness out here. I welcome anyone to follow me on Twitter (@maiseywastaken) for more random silliness, check out my oft-neglected blog (http://yesiammaisey.wordpress.com ), and certainly feel free to pick up a copy of the first part of The Machinist series, Malevolence (http://tinyurl.com/afetn6a ).
|Posted by Matt Posner on March 31, 2013 at 5:20 PM||comments (0)|
I'm happy to welcome to my site the author of the cool YA Ruby Blue series, Julie Cassar.
What is your name, where are you from, how do you like it there?
Hi! I’m Julie Cassar. I live just outside of Detroit, Michigan and I love it! We’ve got four seasons, tons of land surrounded by water and shorelines of beaches that make you feel like you’re at the Ocean and a great history in the automotive and music industries. Since we border Canada, it’s also kind of cool to be able to hop over to another country for day!
What is your job when you're not writing?
Argh…what isn’t my job? Haa. I’m married and I have three kids, and work part time as a legal assistant. I also do freelance painting and art work. I’ve always got my hands in something!
What kinds of books do you write? Why do you write in this genre?
I write Young Adult Fantasy and New Adult Fantasy. I like to write in this genre because I write the stories that I like to read. I love that I can intertwine a fantasy world into everyday reality. I love that I can make people believe in magic.
Describe your series.
An age-old myth, a rare astrological occurrence, enchanted gardens, magic spells and first love…
See what legends come to life in the Ruby Blue Series! Folk lore and myths, a sprinkle of magic and a touch of fairy tale combined with good fun and sweet romance makes for a great little "fairy" tale that I hope will enchant you (Young Adult Fiction - Fantasy/Romance)
I enjoyed Ruby Blue which has an appealing heroine, a good supporting cast, and does a good job of creating a contrast between a carefree summer vacation and an otherworldly menace. There is a real sense of innocence to it which I like very much as well, even though that is absent from my work... You are very modest above. Perhaps it falls to others to point out a few more good points. Ruby's best friend is a young gay man who is believable, intelligent, brave, funny, and totally accepted by everyone for what he is. I haven't seen this done in any other YA book I've read, and I really want to compliment you for it.
Describe an interesting experience from your writing life.
You know… everything about my writing life has been interesting. I started writing in 2010, and since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride. Every book I’ve written has surprised me. After I completed the rough draft of “Ruby Blue,” and I was working on the final revisions, I had a very clear idea for the beginning of the next book, which I immediately started writing. By the time “Ruby Blue” was ready to be published, I had finished the rough draft of “Deja Blue” (book 2). The same thing happened with book 3. As I was completing the final revisions to Deja, the idea came to me, and I had to begin writing. Although that story took a bit longer to get out, I feel it’s my best work to date. It’s amazing to me how this story has evolved. Every experience I’ve had, whether it’s with writing, networking with other authors, interacting with fans… has made me grow as a writer. It renewed a passion in me that I thought was lost forever.
Perhaps the funniest thing that ever happened to me was when I was out listening to a local band, and another musician from another local band happened to be in the audience. He saw me from across the room and said, “Hey! Julie! You’re the author!” I was shocked. That was a pretty cool almost-celebrity moment for me.
My Website: http/juliecassar.weebly.com/
My Amazon Author Page (links to my books) http/www.amazon.com/Julie-Cassar/e/B00AM0VXOU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1