Sunday, December 30, 2012

Writing Resolutions

I'm battling either the flu or a really bad cold, so this is going to be a short post this time. I'm in the middle of revisions on the first of my planned releases for 2013, but I've taken a break the last couple of weeks for the holidays. With preparing for the holidays and shopping and family visiting and then getting sick, writing has been pushed aside for now. But once I recover, I'll be ready to go back to work.

I don't really make New Year's resolutions anymore, but the new year does make me think about resolutions for my writing. My career has changed over the past year and a half and now is a great time to look back and see where I've been and where I want to be. So here are a few writing resolutions for me for the coming year:


  • Release at least three novels/novellas. This should be doable. I have the last two books in my series to release, and then I have a standalone book already written that I also hope to release next year.
  • Write some more short stories. I've never really written many short stories, but I've had fun writing some this past year so I'd like to do some more and release them.
  • Plan a giveaway, maybe around my birthday.
  • Write something different to exercise my creativity. Play around with genres.
  • Write at least three new novels/novellas in 2013. The three I plan to release don't count because the first drafts are all already written. This should be doable. I wrote two novels and two novellas in 2012!
  • Look into blog tours.
Do you have any writing or reading resolutions for 2013?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Being Creative

Being Creative

When I was in the first grade I had this interesting art teacher whose name I forget. I think it started with an O or something. Though I don’t remember his name, I can picture him perfectly: dark hair, balding at the top of his scalp, a slight buck to his teeth, and always liked to wear a combination of black and white, never any other color.

The way he was interesting was that he was a bit wacky and he had a powerful obsession with Spiderman. I remember when they first released the teaser for the Toby Maguire Spiderman movie and he was so excited he showed us the clip in class. A lot of the students didn’t understand the point of why he showed us the trailer, and there had been a rumor that he got yelled at by the principal for doing so, but I didn’t care. When he showed us the trailer I nearly fell out of my seat. It was the very first time I had seen anything interesting other than Dragonball Z, which I’m not even going to start with because I had been so obsessed I could go on forever about it.

I think that’s when I started looking into the whole superhero genre; the comics, the movies, the video games. That man started a life-long interest in pretty much anything abnormal. I never found anything ordinary interesting, even when I was a small child. My mom even once told me when I was a baby I’d cry whenever anything other than Nickelodeon was on TV. Before my obsession with werewolves started, I was all over the cartoons, and even after the werewolf trend started with me I still was watching the Spiderman cartoon, the Digimon series, and of course DBZ.

The reason I am bringing up this art teacher and how I personally blame him for bringing this stuff into my life is because I was recently reminded of him when I started playing the new Spiderman video game. All those memories came flooding back to me when I started playing that game, and I came to a realization.

Would you like to hear this realization? I’m sure you would.

Something I bet I didn’t mention in my description of my first grade art teacher was that I hated him. Not because I didn’t like the wackiness, or that it bothered me he was so obsessed with comic books and liked to talk about it to the class, but because he could be very mean; specifically to me. At the time I cursed the injustice of it all, thinking that he was just being mean to me for no reason, but later on I realized I wasn’t exactly the saint child in the class and at times he had a reason to be stern with me. An example of how I used to be was that I openly said how the teacher was stupid when he started bashing the animation style of Ed, Edd n’ Eddy. I was a bit of an unruly student, I know.

But there was an even bigger reason why I disliked this teacher. I remember this clearly, because it hurt my feelings quite a bit. I was a bit dramatic when I was little, so sue me.

I remember it clearly. He said to me, “I don’t think you’re a very creative person, Michael.” Now the reason he said this was because I couldn’t come up with anything to draw during free time, so I just sat there writing my name over and over again. When he saw it he said that to me, and it hurt my feelings. Of course eventually I got over it, but since I was reminded of it I’m sharing it with everyone.

Here’s my realization: I proved him wrong. I proved him wrong on nearly every level. Not only did I turn out to be a creative person, I turned out to be just creative enough to have a book published. I wish I could show it to him, not to get back at him or anything, but to be able to impress and prove that even though you may not be a creative child you can certainly grow up to be a creative adult.

That…and to shove it in his face. But that’s just male pride, not any deep-seated passive aggressive anger I have within me. Nooooo, of course not!

-Michael Loring.
http://michaelloring.com/

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Giveaway!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wow...another year, another Christmas Day! Time seems to be going faster and faster, doesn't it? Before we know it, 2013 will be upon us. Did Santa treat you well this year?

If you're like me, you received plenty of books to get prepped for another year of reading. I'll be stocking my Kindle with even more books before the day is done. If you're looking for some great 99-cent deals, check out the Supa Christmas Sale with Indie-licious. Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy #1) is one of the featured books, and there are 50 more!

In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to offer a giveaway to you fine readers. My book Elder (Firstborn Trilogy #3) launches on the 27th, so I'm going to include it as an optional prize in the giveaway. One lucky commenter will win a choice of one of my books (signed) and some swag items!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me your favorite (or worst) Christmas gift of all time. I'll select a random commenter next week after Elder's launch. If you're curious about the book, check out the trailer below!

You can catch up on the trilogy by reading Defy (Firstborn Trilogy #1) and Shift (Firstborn Trilogy #2) before the Elder launch. The links take you to Amazon, but they're up on Barnes and Noble and other e-reader retailers, too!



Now, let us know about your all-time favorite or worst Christmas gift. Make us laugh or awww, and hopefully you'll win a gift to top off your holiday!

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year



   

Hi Everyone,

     I'm changing the subject of this post to go along with the merriment of the season at hand. At first, I was going to follow up on my December 5th post with a tidbit about the results of my character tour for Dark Seraphine. I've decided to take a different route instead. I want to thank a few of the people who have been most influential in my life because sometimes recognition and success isn't about the Bookscan numbers, but rather it's about the heart of the venture. 

     I'm a self-published author who has successfully published books under my own small press's imprint. To admit to your self-pubbed adventures is no longer a reason to find the nearest rock and insert both head and body underneath it. Indie authors are now the rock stars of the literary world. The Tomb Raiders of all things undiscovered. And the pioneers of the new publishing format that is now taking the world by storm. The one critical thing we discovered that propels our success, in my humble opinion, is that our readers are the key. Reaching out to them and allowing them to do the same for us carries a power that even the most expensive ad campaign can't touch. Why is that? How are so many of these indie authors dominating the top 100? 

   Well, as I said, the key to an indie author's popularity isn't a huge secret anymore. We write from the heart and speak to our readers. No, I don't mean only through our literary ventures. I mean, we get online and offline and get their opinions on our work. We name characters after them. Open a blog dedicated solely to making sure the reader knows that at the end of the day, an author is no different from the rest of the book obsessed world. After all, that's what rock stars have done since the beginning of time. They communicated with their fans and spent time getting to know them on a personal level. A song is written from the heart first. The commercial campaign and marketing stuff comes second. 

    When an author uses this model as his/her guide, this putting the reader and fan ahead of "the ideal formula", then a remarkable thing happens. A book takes off and does well. You find headlines on reviews like this one: "WOW WOW WOW!" Smile. And so I end my post on a note to thank all of the indie authors who encouraged me to trudge along this path. A few of them are members of this group. I want to thank my sons for being so patient while I pumped out  five books in one year. The gorgeous people of Romania who have worked up enough buzz in their country to create my very first foreign fan club. The bloggers who embraced my debut novel with the intriguing romance and funny words. And of course the faithful readers who keep spreading the word every day. I heart you all dearly.

   I wish all of you the merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year Ever! 

Yours in Prose,
KaSonndra Leigh
www.kasonndraleigh.com

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Memories of an Austrian Christmas
by Victoria Simcox

When I was six years old I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a Christmas with my relatives in Austria—my Oma and Opa (grandmother and grandfather) on my mother’s side of the family, and my uncle Christian, (my mother’s younger brother). 

Unlike the American celebration of Christmas on the twenty fifth of December, the Austrian celebration is on the twenty fourth-Christmas Eve. There is a long tradition the Austrians hold to that says that the Christkindl (The Christ Child) comes to Earth on the twenty fourth of December, and that is the reason they celebrate on that Eve. Saint Nicholas or as they call him in Austria, Niklaus, actually comes before Christmas, either on the fifth or the sixth of December with his opponent the devil, known as Krampus. Together they come to the villager’s doors and ask the children whether they have been good or bad during the year. If the child says they were good, Niklaus may reward them with a small token such as an apple, orange, cookie, or some nuts. If the child says that they were bad, Krampus will try to catch and spank the child. This may sound politically incorrect, but to the Austrians its all in good fun, and Niklaus will send the child running before Krampus has a chance to get them. Unfortunately, I missed this holiday event because I didn’t arrive in Austria until the week before Christmas. Even so, my mother has filled me in on how fun this tradition was for her as a child.

Waking up Christmas Eve morn, I can still faintly remember the sounds and the smells in the air. Oma and my mother clanking around in the small kitchen downstairs while preparing the food for the day, and the smell of marzipan mingled together with ginger, allspice, and cinnamon filling my senses. 

Full of joyful wonder I got out of bed and headed down the old squeaky staircase of my grandparent’s small Vienna flat. Half way down I could see the living room, and with great bewilderment, I looked for the Christmas tree, but it was nowhere to be found. Even a few days earlier I had wondered why there wasn’t one up.

I went into the kitchen and asked my mother why there was no Christmas tree? My mother conversed with my Oma in German, and than in English said to me, “Go now and get dressed. We could use your help.” I decided not to pursue asking about the tree, seeing how busy they were making marzipan and ginger cookies and a brandy soaked, ladyfinger and whip cream cake.

Later on that day I was glad that I hadn't brought up the tree, because after coming home in the evening from doing some last minute shopping with my uncle, Christian, my sister and I were pleasantly surprised to see, standing in the small, dark living-room, a beautiful Christmas tree set aglow with real candles on its branches and under it, toys for my sister and I.

I never questioned my mother about why the tree was put up so late in the holiday until I was an adult and that is when I found out that it is tradition for the Austrians to put the tree up without the children knowing as late as possible on Christmas Eve. The children are sent out to play or do errands and then when they return in the evening they are surprised with a tree and unwrapped presents under it.

Today, my Oma and Opa are no longer with us, but I will never forget that extra-special Christmas I was able to spend with them. As a matter of fact, I still have a gift, a stuffed, little, yellow lion with a red and white ribbon (the Austrian flag colors) tied in a bow around its neck; a present that my Oma had handmade for me that Christmas Eve more then thirty something years ago.

 Check out Victoria's blog @ www.victoriasimcox.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Aine P Massie Book Tour!


Geas Publishing is proud to present the House Millar series Scavenger Hunt & Book Tour. Some of my favourite blogs have come together to hunt to all the items on the scavenger hunt list. At the end of the hunt you will have 25 items to enter into the Rafflecopter.

Hello everyone! First, let me say thank you to everyone stopping by. We’re in the middle of my virtual book tour for both Blood’s Voice (House Millar #1) and Blood Bound (House Millar #2). Both books are paranormal romance featuring the strange and eclectic House Millar.

The House Millar is a unique vampire House within the setting of the books. 99% of all vampires are your more traditional blood sucking, think nothing of killing humans, fiends. They have both House structure and a Council that help to guide their existence, keep them hidden from the human world, and attempt to avoid/stop blood wars that could spill over and cause issues both with humans and with other non-humans in their world.

What makes Mistress Anya and her House so unique is that they are a House of aberrations - vampires that do not kill to feed. I can’t say none of them do or will feed on humans but they do not kill or torture humans. Well, and the House is let by a slightly touched child.

Never make the mistake of thinking that the vampires, traditional or aberration, are fluffy or weak. They are all lethal and will destroy any they feel need to ‘go.’ Even the human loving vampires are quite lethal when need be. Anya alone has a higher kill count (of vampires) than most Guardians – natural born vampire hunters / humans – ever manage to make, and in greater numbers at a time than should be possible.

One thing to learn about the fanged ones, especially those that still have a heart, is that when enraged or in pain they often slip into a blood rage and any abilities they have often become unchecked. Needless to say, never piss off an aberration; they are even more deadly than the traditional, kill for food, kind of vamp.

There is one other thing that makes them a touch different in their world; the House Millar is the only vampire House to consider the non-vampiric members to be actual members, not just pets or servants. Of course, the only true servant in the House is a vampire…but he wouldn’t have it any other way, lol.

Blessings of the season,

Áine




How to Play:

This is how it works… all the blogs below will post a bit about one of the books along with a guest post, interview, character interview, spotlight, etc. along with their token on their scheduled date. You are looking for the special image included somewhere within the post that you will need to then enter into the Rafflecopter at the end. Make sure to enter your answer into the right slot on the Rafflecopter ;)

We are giving away a nice set of prizes – including free eBooks from the series; gift cards to Amazon, B&N, or ARe; swag; and more…

So, enjoy, hunt along with the various posts, and have fun. Best wishes to all!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, December 13, 2012

To Write of Not to Write...

I've been writing for over a year and a half now. I have 6 novels done and working on my seventh- that said I am in no way a Patricia Briggs, Stephen King, James Patterson or any other author who has dozens upon dozens of novels out there. However, I have been asked quite a lot lately if I have any advice for someone who is aspiring to be an author. My initial reaction is yes, my advice would be not to ask me. I don't feel like I have any real advice to offer because some days I sit down and I feel like I'm writing for the first time. I can't figure out what I want to say or how I want to say it. I ask myself if I'm finishing too many quotes with "she asked" or "he said". I wonder if the story is even making any sense, and if a particular thought is really as funny as I think it is or is it simply lack of sleep.

I would like to say that I had it all figured out and that I know the secret to a great novel, but the truth is I haven't the slightest clue. I guess the first thing would be, do you love to write? And when I ask that what I'm saying is do you really love it? Are you constantly thinking up ideas, or plotting out your next scene? Do you get an itch if it's been too many days since you've been able to sit down and hammer out a few thousand words? Is it something you would do even if no one read your work and you made no money at it? I think to be a good story teller you have to love telling stories. If you can say truly, yes, I love to write then you have taken your first step. After that you are on your own...okay just kidding.

There are tons of Indie authors out there who will support you and give you advice. I always tell the people asking me that I'm not an expert and it won't hurt my feelings if they tell me I'm full of it and to take a hike. But let's say you've admitted that you love to write, next would be what do you love to write? Do you like facts? Do you thrive on real, true information? Or perhaps you love fiction, you love to make up fanciful worlds that only exist inside your head until they are on a word document on your lap top. Do you love mysteries, romances, paranormal or dysptoian fiction?  These are things that I think are important to sort of nail down so that you don't sit down and get frustrated because you don't feel like you have a starting place.

You've decided you love to write, you've picked the type of writing you want to do and the genre you feel passionate about, what now? That is a good question my friend. At this point I think it becomes a very personal journey. Some authors make out a very detailed outline and work the story out step by step others sit down and simply begin...Once upon a time, and let the story build itself as they write. It's something that you will have to figure out and see what works best for you. It will always be a learning process and you will always be changing up the way you do things.

I've said this before and I think it's worth saying it again. As you write, novel after novel, remember as you sit down to begin each one that no matter how many you write, no matter how successful your books may be, you have not arrived. You have not reached the point of the worlds best novelist. Am I saying that to be a jerk- no, I'm saying that because I feel that if we ever come to a place where we think we have it all figured out then we can no longer learn and improve. We will no longer listen to the readers and really hear what they are saying. We will no longer ask advice from other authors or seek out new, better stories. We can never arrive, not if we want to be truly great authors.

If you love to write, then do it. Tell your story, whatever it may be. Maybe it's about a werewolf, maybe it's about a girl who struggles with depression, maybe your story is something that will touch one persons life and change the course they are on for the better. Who knows? But you won't know unless you try. So click off this page, bring up your word document and put down that first sentence.

Once upon a time there was a girl and she had a dream that one day people would read her words and laugh, cry, rejoice, rave, and endure with each of the characters she created. She sat down at her computer and she picked out a name, Jacquelyn Pierce and wrote the first sentence of her first novel:

"Jacque Pierce sat in the window seat in her bedroom looking across the street at her neighbors house...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guten Tag!

Apologies to my German readers, but my knowledge of the German language is pretty much zip. However, I have a lot of love for readers in Germany who have purchased the English version of The Boyfriend Thief in ebook format. I hope to reach a lot more readers there because I'm celebrating the release of the German print edition, Der Schluss-mach-Pakt, this week! It officially went on sale yesterday.


When I released the ebook version of this book, I never imagined that I would sell print translation rights. Germany is just one of three countries that has decided to translate and publish The Boyfriend Thief in print (the Czech Republic and China are the other two). Translation rights are a writer's best friend. You basically get money for no extra work if you sell the rights to a foreign publisher. If you want more control, you can hire someone to do the translation for you and publish it yourself, but you need to be sure to work out a contract with the translator about whether they'll be paid only a one-time flat rate or a portion of all future earnings for that translation.

I decided to sign the rights to publishers who would handle everything for me because, let's face it, being an indie writer is tough and takes up a lot of time between writing, formatting, marketing, keeping up with the industry, etc. Personally, I was happy to let someone else worry about the translations for me, but I can completely understand why another indie writer would want to keep control over their translations. It's a decision every writer has to make for herself (or himself!), but don't ignore the value of your translation rights. Germany, in particular, is a big book market, and if you have a book that is already selling in the English version on Amazon.de, why not research German publishers or translators to get that version out there too?

(Selling translation rights to a publisher is also a lot of fun because you don't know what the publisher plans to do with the cover when you first sell it. In this case, cbj decided to use the original cover I had designed, just updated with the German title and their logo. But the Czech version uses a completely different cover, so it was really exciting to see that. I haven't seen the Chinese cover yet.)

So happy release week to Der Schluss-mach-Pakt! I'm very excited that the German edition is out, and I'm hoping to reach readers that I haven't before now.

If you're already a fan of The Boyfriend Thief, I released a short story for Christmas about Avery and Zac, which I'm offering free on Smashwords until December 31, 2012. Go here to learn more about it!

Also, I'm taking part in the Winter Escapes promo with several other YA fantasy authors. You can get my ebook Surfacing for just $0.99 until December 14. Many other books in the group are also $0.99 or even FREE. Go check us out and also enter to win a $100 gift card or one of many other prizes!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Obsessions

Obsessions
 
If you follow me on Facebook (my personal one, not the one for Dehumanized) then you can tell I have a bit of a bad issue with becoming obsessed with things. If you don’t follow me, then let me explain.

When there’s something new that I like, whether it be a new song or movie or TV show, I post about it a few dozen times before stopping. Not all at once, mind you, just over the span of a few days. For example: I freaking LOVE Being Human, both the US and UK versions, and I’ve posted probably a hundred videos pertaining to the show on my Facebook. Something else I’ve done is spam people’s newsfeeds with music videos. I’m still wondering why I even have any friends at all haha!

When I get obsessed with something nothing can stop me, and one of my biggest obsessions was writing Dehumanized. I’m not sure what it was, but I just had this need to write this novel. If I wasn’t writing for it, I was thinking about it. If I had writer’s block, I’d think about what I had already written and try to think of ways to improve it. There were times I was afraid this book wouldn’t make it, but even then I was thinking about the day it was published. I may have had a lot of doubts, but I still imagined the day it was done.

I had written short stories before, and I had attempted at writing other novels, but none of them stuck to me like Dehumanized did. It was like this novel and I just clicked, like how strangers do just before becoming best friends. I just couldn’t help but be so fond of this idea I had in my head, and I poured my heart and soul into this book. I’ve tried to write a few new projects since completing Dehumanized, and so far nothing has clicked like it did. It’s like reading a really good book and trying to read something else afterwards and the second book just doesn’t compare to the first.

I even had dreams about Dehumanized, if you’d believe it! I’d dream about being a subject in the camp alongside the other werewolves and witnessing what would come to be scenes in my book. One of the scenes I had dreamt of was the scene where Ryan (the main character) throws up in the bathroom and Jack (one of the baddies) comes in to taunt Ryan. Weird dream, I know, but I pride myself on not being a normal person. I’m polite, but I’m still weird.

When I finished Dehumanized I was having some serious writing withdrawals. I was so eager to finish this novel and when I finally did I wished I could go back in time to write it all over again, just to experience the thrill. It was a sad/happy day when I finished Dehumanized, and I guess it didn’t really hit me until the day after. Even now when I think about it I wish I could go back to write Dehumanized again, not to change anything, but just to experience the ups and downs of writing this novel that came straight from my heart. But, really, at the same time I’m glad it’s now out there. I’m happy people are now able to read the product of one of my biggest obsessions to date, and are enjoying it.

Makes me feel like being an overly obsessed person isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Of course I could still ease up on the Facebook links…

-Michael Loring.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Michelle Horst Interview

Give a warm welcome to our amazing 
guest author of the day 
Michelle Horst!

What would you like for readers to take away from your novel/novels?

I wrote Vaalbara Visions and Shadows for various reasons and as the book unfolded beneath my fingers it became quite clear that the main reason were to show that no matter what one went through in life, you should always have hope.

The main character, Alchera, grows throughout the book and shows that even though you battle the darkest of shadows, your humanity should always remain a part of you.

People have lost that and we are destroying the most precious treasure we have – our Earth. That saddens me daily. I wrote Vaalbara to show what can happen and one girl’s struggle to not lose herself through it all.
Maybe Alchera has a little of us all in her.

What part of your first novel did you find hardest to write?

The Beginning!!! Oh, I must’ve written it a hundred times. The first chapter I wrote originally actually no longer appears in Vaalbara at all and truth be told – I’m still not happy with the first three chapters lol.

Was there ever a moment when you wouldn’t trade what you do as an author for the world? What was that moment for you? 

When I published Vaalbara I happened upon a group of readers. Dana, Eva, Conny, Nataly, Sandra, Robyn and Jarlyn. These girls and their support made me realize how writing is more than just putting a story on paper; it is sharing a piece of your heart with others. They have helped me grow in so many ways and it is because of them we are actually celebrating a new cover.

And – a big and, through my writing I have met another group of four people, Shelly, Daniel, AT and Wolf. The five of us have had the privilege to start our own publishing company now.
Being an Author has opened a door to a world of fantasy I never knew existed and I will never be able to close that door… Twisted Core Press, Vaalbara and my Ian Somerhalder Foundation girls – they have all become too much a part of my daily life.

What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book?

When I start the book and the word ‘Oh’ forms on my lips. Hours later I’ll still be in the same position when I close the book. It’s rare when it happens. Conundrum by Amy Lignor (to be released soon), Willow by Julia Hoban, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Stand by Stephen King to mention a few.

Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?

I can name a few books but only one person. If it wasn’t for Amy Lignor, Vaalbara Visions and Shadows wouldn’t be. She has been my rock and pillar since the very beginning. Having her as an Editor is like having an angel and muse at the same time. Everything I know about writing I owe to Amy.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you!

Secrets time! As I’ve mentioned I am privileged to be a part of an awesome team of five talented members who have just started up Twisted Core Press. Vaalbara will be released with a new look through them this coming winter. Keep a close eye out, because Vaalbara won’t be the only title release. Our site can be visited at http://www.twistedcorepress.com/index.html

Thank you for the Q&A Emma!

Thank you for stopping by The Writers Voice! 
It has been an absolute pleasure to have you!

FaceBook: Michelle Horst
Twitter: Alchera4ever
GoodReads: Michelle Horst

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interview with Samantha Young



Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Samantha Young!
Hello Samantha and welcome to The Writers Voice!

Who do you feel is your most relatable character to readers?

Despite the mythological context of her bigger plight, I really feel Ari from my upcoming series, Fire Spirits, is the most relatable of all my characters. In Smokeless Fire she is just turning eighteen and she has all of these life-changing decisions in front of her – what college to go to, what career path to concentrate on. She’s confused about what she wants out of life and feels alone because of it. But I think a lot of teens feel overwhelmed by these huge decisions that are expected of them at what really is a young and inexperienced age. Not only that, Ari has trouble letting go of certain elements of her teen life and again I think a lot of teens go through this emotional transition.

Are the traits of anyone close to you apparent in your characters?

My whole family is extremely sarcastic… if you didn’t learn from birth to arm yourself with quick wit and wicked sense of irony you were going down, lol. I think this comes out in almost all of my books - that kind of banter and teasing between characters, just because it’s what I’m used to with not only family but with my friends.

Who do you feel is your most unique character?

My most unique character is definitely Ari from Smokeless Fire. I don’t think I’ve come across anyone like her in any of the YA books before. She’s part of a mythology and religion that hasn’t been touched on (as far as I’m aware) and I’m really looking forward to my readers’ response to her.

What are your favorite song lyrics?

My favorite lyrics as a teen (I was a slightly brooding teen and loved anything that was of the ‘beautiful dark’) are lyrics from Silverchair’s song ‘After All These Years’ – “Every father’s pain casts a shadow over a broken son”. Very dark and melancholy, but I know them to be heartbreakingly true and those lyrics have always sat with me. On a funnier note I love the lyrics from the Kaiser Chiefs’ song ‘Ruby’ – “Due to lack of interest, tomorrow has been cancelled.’ Hehe, love it.

Do you have a playlist for each of your novels? If not, can you think of a few relevant songs?

I do have playlists for most of my novels. For The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy, the ‘theme’ song has been Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine since the album release in 2009. I cannot hear that song without thinking about Caia and Lucien. On the Fire Spirits soundtrack, Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ is the ‘theme’ song and again… can’t hear it without thinking about Ari. It was such an inspiration when I was writing Smokeless Fire.

If you could have any extraordinary gift or super power what would it be and why?

I think I’d be a shapeshifter. You could see the world from every point of view that way.

To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sneak Peek: INTERRED by Marilyn Almodóvar

Today I'm very excited to mention an upcoming YA release: Interred (Chronicles of the Interred #1) by Marilyn Almodóvar. The cover won't be revealed until 12/12/12 at 12:00 a.m. EST--this is a story about a Time Bender, after all--but I'm happy to provide a sneak peek to, ahem, pique your interest. Here we go:


Isn't that awesome? Just wait until you see the full image. Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design did such an amazing job! Since you can't see the entire cover to get the gist of the story, here's the blurb to tell you more:  

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life.

Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender. 

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and the ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

~ - ~

Doesn't it sound terrific? I've had the pleasure of working closely with Lyn on this project, and I know how excited she is that her first book will be published by Iambe Books on 1/22/13.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited for her! It's been like going through that "first book rush" all over again through her eyes, which is a nerve-rattling delight. All of you authors surely know what I mean. I hope you'll join me in congratulating Lyn on this great achievement!

You can add Interred to your Goodreads To-Read list, and you can follow Lyn here:

Blog 

Please help me welcome Lyn to the role of published author!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let Your Character's Do the Talking


Hi Everyone,

Today I’d like to talk about a new strategy I’m using to motivate readers. This method is a way to help them get to know and better understand the characters in my story. My latest release, Dark Seraphine, is told from a male’s POV; but it’s a YA Paranormal Romance. I knew that I was going to have to find a unique way to help readers understand and connect with Caleb Wood. I also knew that I was going to have to use a different approach from the methods I used in my novels with female leads. 

Basically, I set up the promotion for this one based on what I felt was its best asset, the characters. Instead of going about a grueling blog tour where I did the usual: author interview, excerpt, yada yada, I gave the readers something different. I made up a tour for the characters. Yep! I got a chance to stay in the background for a change while my characters did ALL of the talking. It felt good and refreshing and people loved the concept. I’ll be doing this with all of my novels from now on. Let’s face it, the characters are what make the author, right? I definitely feel like mine are tons more interesting than me. Seriously. :D

In my next post later this month, I’ll come back and let you know how it all turned out. But for now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the ride while Caleb, Gia, Raze, Erica and the cast of Dark Seraphine take control.  

Yours in Prose,
KaSonndra Leigh

Monday, December 3, 2012

Scott Prussing interview

Scott Prussing 
Author of The Breathless Series


Today, I'm interviewing Scott Prussing, the young adult author of the Breathless vampire series.  


What inspired you to write your first book, Scott?
I’m going to give a somewhat complicated answer to what seems a reasonably simple question, because I have two “first books.” One (Unturned Stones) is actually the first one I wrote, but nothing ever happened with it (yet!). The second (Breathless) has been moderately successful and has led to 4 sequels, so far.
In the mid to late eighties, I wrote Unturned Stones, a mystery/suspense novel which I recently updated and put out as an ebook. It’s still my favorite of all my books. I think it’s totally original, well-written, with lots of clever twists. I managed to acquire a New York agent, but he was unable to get it published.
Flash forward 15 years. A friend of mine’s husband, who is an avid reader, read Unturned Stones and loved it. He knows how hard it is to get anything published and uttered this now famous “throwaway” line: “You should write something with vampires in it. Anything with vampires sells.” I thought: I can do that. So I did. And thus was Breathless born.
I decided to make it a “Twilight type” book that was not really like Twilight, if that makes any sense. So I just started thinking about what I could do differently, but still appeal to that huge audience. I made vampires the catalyst for much of the action, but not the lead characters. I also made them a bit more traditional. I invented supernatural vampire hunters I call volkaanes and created one-fanged vampires, who are crippled versions of the real thing. I gave my heroine some definite strengths and weaknesses, and made sure I had an engrossing storyline with several subplots. I think I succeeded pretty well, because there are now 4 sequels to Breathless, with plans for a fifth.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember exactly when and how it originated. Shortly after college, I read an article in the local newspaper about a fourteen-year-old boy who was writing a Lord of the Rings type novel. LOTR is my all-time favorite book, and I thought “I could do that.” So I started writing—in ball point pen on a legal pad. I ended up with an eight hundred page Lord of the Rings rip-off. The story wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t very well-written, to say the least. It’s what got me started, though. Thankfully, that manuscript no longer exists.

How does your take on vampires differ to what is already on the market?
My vampires are closer to the traditional than to the sparkly, high school attending vampires with special powers in Twilight. The sun hurts their skin, but does not kill them, so they prefer the night or cloudy days, but they can still venture out on sunny days (with a hoodie and long sleeves, and staying in the shade as much as possible.) They live communally in underground caverns, following certain rules (limiting how often they hunt humans, for example) to keep from drawing too much attention to themselves. They can pass as human when necessary, and some of them mingle with people now and then. I also invented one-fanged vampires, who I call grafhym. They are crippled versions of the real thing, far less powerful, and they are shunned by other vampires. Grafhym play a critical role in book one, Breathless. Indeed, one of the catchphrases for the Blue Fire Saga is “It all started with a one-fanged vampire.”

What makes your stories different?
I think my paranormal romance novels have more mystery and suspense than many books in the genre—an offshoot, I think, of having started my writing career with a couple of mystery/suspense novels. I also try to create a few new things in my books, such as the one-fanged vampires and supernatural vampire hunters called volkaanes I invented for my Blue Fire Saga. In Heartless, book 5 in the series, I added another new invention—xenorians. They are members of an ancient sect that believes all magic will eventually turn evil and so must be destroyed.
I also like to do some “cross-pollinating” in my books when I can. For instance, in Mine: A Love Story, I have the lead character reading one of my Blue Fire Saga books and thinking wistfully about what a great relationship the lead characters have. I even have a poster of Breathless on the wall on the cover of Mine: A Love Story. Sometimes I’ll steal a whole scene from one of my other books. As I told a reviewer, “If you can’t plagiarize yourself, who can you plagiarize?”

You have VERY creative worlds, yet the emphasis of your books seem to be more weighted to the story. What are your feelings on world building vs. character building vs. storyline and how do you manage and balance it all during the process?
 I think all three are important. If readers don’t like your characters, they’ll have a hard time enjoying the story, regardless of how good it is. I’ve always been more of a “story guy” than anything else, so that come easiest to me. I think that’s one reason people way beyond my core audience love Breathless (even men), because in addition to the difficult, supernatural romance, there is a definite plot with several mysteries and some suspense.
My books have been set in locations I know, so there is little “world building” needed for that. Since I invent and use some different kinds of supernatural characters, I do have to build a way to fit them into the everyday world and to make it logical and real. It’s kind of like world building with the real world. The last thing I want is for a reader to come to some part in the story and say “that doesn’t make sense.”
Description doesn’t come as naturally to me as the story, so I have to remind myself every time the location changes to spend at least a few sentences describing the new place (sights, sounds, smells, etc.) I don’t enjoy reading books that go on and on and on with descriptions, so I try to be very descriptive without using too many words, if that makes sense. It’s actually been a surprise to me when readers and reviewers call my books things like “wonderfully descriptive.”

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of writing?
My favorite thing is when I write a section that I KNOW is really good in some way… clever, funny, inventive, creative, flowing, etc. It could be a scene, a piece of dialogue, a description or even a character. My least favorite part is when I get stuck, where I know what I want to say but can’t figure out how to say it in a way that is smooth, flowing and clear. Sometimes it takes longer to write 3 sentences than it does to write an entire page.

What do you do to help you write? Do you down the energy drinks? Eat junk food? Blast the tunes? Do tell.
I’m kind of boring here, I’m afraid. I just sit down at my computer and start writing. I hate to admit it, but writing is usually (but not always!) pretty easy for me. Sometimes I have the radio playing music, sometimes I don’t even remember to turn it on. I don’t eat or drink anything while I’m at my desk. If I get stuck, I’ll sometimes stretch out on my bed with my eyes closed to think (my computer is in my bedroom). For some reason, if I’m really stuck, a shower helps. Like I said, all in all, pretty boring.

Okay, let’s get a little more “personal.” What are 2 things that always make you smile and 2 things that never fail to piss you off?
Two things that make me smile are getting amazing positive comments about my book from readers, and seeing the dolphins swim by the end of the pier near my apartment. I’m pretty even keeled, so the “piss me off” part is more difficult. Intolerant, arrogant people do it for sure. I’ve also noticed that more often than not, when someone pisses me off they are on their cell phone (driving too slow on the on ramp of the freeway, chattering away in a restaurant, forcing me to listen to their problems because I happen to be near them in a line, etc.)

Tell us ten interesting or unusual things about you, please.
1. I have never owned a cell phone (or a lap top computer, for that matter).
2. I eat the same breakfast every day (bran flakes with raisins, non-fat milk).
3. I have never taken anything to the dry cleaners.
4. I’ve driven across the country eight different times, taking four different routes.
5. I LOVE Cheez-its (and cheesecake, though the two bear no relation).
6. I can see palm trees out my window from where I’m sitting right now, at my computer.
7. I have never driven through the Drive-Thru lane at a fast food restaurant.
8. In high school, I was both a National Merit Scholar and Honorable Mention All-County in        football—a smart jock or an athletic egghead, I’m not sure which.
9. I have never taken a writing class. In college, I took only one semester of required             freshman English, and I actually avoided any classes where I would have had to write    papers, like history, sociology or political science.
10. My all-time favorite books are Lord of the Rings and The Fountainhead, but I don’t             really like anything else that Tolkien or Ayn Rand wrote.

Breathless is the first book in the Blue Fire Saga, a paranormal romance series set at a small college in present day Connecticut. There are currently four books in the series. Weston College freshman Leesa Nyland has been fascinated by vampires since she was three years old. That's when her mom started acting weird, insisting sunlight hurt her skin because she'd been bitten by a one-fanged vampire. 
But fascinated doesn't mean Leesa believes. Any more than she believes in blue fire, people who live for centuries, and kisses that can kill. But when her beloved older brother suddenly disappears, she is forced to consider all these and more. She also has to figure out what to do about her mysterious new boyfriend. She knows Rave likes her a lot--so why won't he kiss her? 
As Leesa draws closer to finding her brother, she faces some gut-wrenching decisions. Should she risk her mom's life trying to "cure" her? Should she continue seeing Rave, after he reveals his dangerous secret? And most terrifying of all, should she make the ultimate sacrifice-give up her humanity-to save her brother?



Readers can stalk Scott Prussing at:
Website:
Amazon Author Page:
Facebook:
Twitter:



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Interviewv with Victoria Simcox


What gave you the idea for a fantasy book like The Magic Warble and The Black Shard?

I remember I was sitting in the movie theater watching the first Harry Potter movie when I envisioned my main character Kristina walking down a snowy sidewalk. At the time that was all of story I had. I went home that night and wrote my first page not knowing where the story would go.

 
If/When you have writers block what do you do?

 
I used to get writer's block, but then I realized it came to me when I got too stressed out and felt like I was pressured to write. I had to remind myself why I started writing to begin with—because I enjoyed it, not because I had to; then I relaxed. If you are an aspiring author and going through writer's block and feeling like there's nothing you can come up with to write about, or your imagination has run dry, then take a day off—go see a flick, or do something you enjoy to relax. You'll be surprised how ideas come to you when you're in a happy relaxed state of mind.

 
Are some characters harder to write than others?

 
No, I have a vivid picture of my characters in my head which makes it not to difficult for me to form their personalities. I think I draw a lot from people in my life. But I create a character from different character traits of more than 1 person.

 
If you could meet any person dead or alive...who would it be?

 
C.S Lewis: His Chronicles of Narnia have been such an inspiration to me. It would be so cool, say for instance to have lunch with him and pick his brain on how he came up with his beloved stories.

 
What do you prefer coffee, tea, soda, water...

 
I prefer coffee to tea and I admit I'm pretty religious about having my coffee each morning and afternoon. I try not to drink soda other than when I go out to eat or to a movie, then I always have a diet coke. Eight glasses of water is my daily goal though I rarely meet that goal it's more like 4 if that.

 

 
Check out Victoria's personal blog @ www.victoriasimcox.blogspot.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bloods Voice Book Blitz!



Title: Blood’s Voice
Author: Áine P Massie
Publisher: Geas Publishing
Series: House Millar, #1
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Length: Novel

Anya Millar had no memory of her life or an instruction manual on how to navigate the insane world of humans, biting, and reality. Instead, Anya has had to learn to navigate the world of love, life, and sanity while avoiding those that would see her dead or enslaved.
Anya must come to terms with who she is and her missing past, Nicholas must win back the object of his eternal love while dealing with new cravings in his silent heart, and Declán must learn to destroy the very creatures that he has unequivocally given his heart and blood.
This is the ongoing journey of Anya and Nicholas, human loving vampires and the human they love, Declán. What makes it all more complicated is that they are abominations in their own world and Declán is a natural born vampire hunter called a Guardian.

Buy Link:
Purchase eBook: Geas Publishing | Amazon | ARe | Barnes & Noble | iStore
Purchase Print: Geas Publishing | Amazon
Signatures: Authorgraph or Bookplate

Giveaway:
Áine will be giving away one eBook of BLOOD BOUND plus a $5 Gift Card from Amazon or ARe to one luck winner! In order to win you need to fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Rafflecopter link:

Excerpt:
Just then, he seemed to have registered Declán unconscious in my arms. “You bound him? I thought you said you weren’t ready for that. Wait. Why isn’t he moving?” “Nicholas, stop. Yes, I did the binding, but he is moving a bit. He’s still breathing.” He visibly relaxed some.
“But why is he unconscious? Are you sure it’s that and not the daze like I was in at first?”
“He moved afterwards. He spoke to me for a minute, and he even was able to touch me. I fear this all became too much. He collapsed. What do I do now?” The last part was more rhetorical, really. “Will he be okay?”
“Anya love, if that’s what you did then he will be fine. He just needs time. He is only human after all. His mind and body needs time to adjust and accept what all just happened. For now, he needs sleep.”
“Fine, but when he’s safely in his bed, you have to tell me why you came when you did, and why you were so wild. Agreed?” I wasn’t going to delay Declán’s rest, but Nicholas was going to talk.

To follow along on the tour check out these links!:
Before: Harlie William - http://harliewilliams.com/
After: Romance Book Craze - http://romancebookcraze.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful


I started on this journey in the not too recent past,
I didn't know how long this endeavor might last,
I wrote a book, took a chance, gave it all I knew.
And before I realized, all my dreams were coming true.

To get to write the stories that live inside my head,
To bring to life, build the tale, the pages that were read
to get to share the characters I have grown to care for,
and that others love them too, I couldn't ask for more.

Every day is a new adventure of romance, trials and strife,
and everyday I cherish more that God has given me this life.
I've met amazing people who in books find the same joy,
like a child on Christmas morning unwrapping their new toy.

I am so thankful you see, to each and every one,
 The encouragement and support, they all mean a ton.
I can not imagine life without this task given to me,
And if I did not have to pay the bills I would write for free.

I can not say it enough, all the thanks I give to you,
Each and every reader who took a chance on someone new.
From the very depths of my heart I say in a humble voice,
Thank you so very much for making my books your reading choice.


In thanks to all those wonderful readers out there,
Happy Thanksgiving,

Quinn






Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interview with Samantha Young



Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Samantha Young!
Hello Samantha and welcome to The Writers Voice!

Do you outline? If so how closely do you follow it?

I do outline. I do plot outlines and then chapter summary outlines. I stick pretty close to the outline but usually I end up changing or adding things along the way. The only outline I stuck pretty true to was my outline for Slumber.

Has being a novelist changed the way you read and appreciate novels?

Definitely. I know now how much hard work goes into the smallest things and how difficult it is to come up with something truly refreshing. It’s also made me really appreciate those writers who have clearly researched and put effort into their work.

How much do you draw from your own life when constructing your main character?

Sometimes I draw from things that have happened in my life or my family or friends to give the character a background I can easily build their character upon. Plus I’ve always been pretty independent and have gone ‘my own way’, even as a teen, as did most of my friends, so these traits can usually be found in my mcs. I think it’s good for teens to have strong heroines to look up to.

How do you get to know your characters? Do you write out a bio, they just come to you or do you have certain facts you always decide on first?

I always write out a background history for my characters before I start writing. That way I can get to know them and see how they would logically have been affected by what has happened to them in the past and in the present. From there I build little character quirks into their personality.

Do you tend to reach the word count you want exactly, overshoot or undershoot? How does it effect your editing?

I don’t go into a novel with a word count in my head. I tend to write novels that are about 80,000 to 100,000 words long so I expect to always hit around that. I wouldn’t edit anything out or in just to hit a word count target. I edit until the story itself feels right

To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Rhiannon Paille and Emma Michaels chat on all things writing



Emma Michaels: The number one comment readers have about surrender is the uniquely original story line, what would you say inspired the more unique aspects of Surrender?

Rhiannon Paille: Mythology. I'm very driven by age old stories, and I fashioned SURRENDER after those old stories. The entire basis of The Ferryman + The Flame is the idea that this is a lost myth, something that our ancestors or elders tried to have erased. Anything that was banned, erased, burned, purged from the universe itself, has to be good right?

When you asked me to review Owlet, you made a valid point about asthma and flawed teenagers. What made you choose asthma specifically?


Emma Michaels: I have lifelong asthma and throughout school and the slow crawl towards adulthood it became a serious impediment, not as much because of the limits on me physically but because of the lack of understanding from those around me. P.E. teachers wouldn't understand and would force me to run or threaten my grade and I knew what was going to happen but had to risk it anyways, So I would run and within 20 minutes be in the ER with the teacher apologizing for not having believed me because she saw me try my very hardest and the outcome. Then of course, new teacher the next year, same welcome to the class. It hurts having the limitations, but it hurts more feeling so alone and so unique in a way that feels more wrong than right so much of the time.

The Great Oak in Surrender has captivated readers, they want to know more about the great oaks tie in to the story and ability to choose a person's life path. Will it affect future novels? Is there any fun behind the story info you might be willing to share?

Rhiannon Paille: The Great Oak is akin to mythology's Tree of Life, which is rumored to exist in Avalon, which is what inspired me to create Avristar. In later books I mention how human culture has changed and I draw all the lines together between the first book and the last three books. Without going into a lot of spoilery details, the first three books exist around 7000BCE and the last three books exist around 2010CE. So, While the Great Oak plays a part in the first, fourth, and fifth books, it's more of an archetype. For the first three books Kaliel and Krishani feel cursed by the tree, but the Great Oak is one of those impartial omnipotent creatures. Hahaha I'm sure Kaliel in the later books would compare the Great Oak to a Magic 8 Ball. 

 Iris can't remember her life, but everyone around her seems to know who she is. Was the amnesia part of your original plan for Iris's story?
Emma Michaels: Yes and no. I wrote the entire Society of Feathers series, then went back and decided to rewrite it including what I had learned. The amnesia was added when I went back and realized that certain things that happened in Iris past are not things any young girl's mind would be able to properly cope with. It really came down to be it being more realistic for her to have chosen to have forgotten because of events revealed in book two, than for her to have been able to live with what happened without finding a way to face the truth.

There are so many stories and versions of what elves could be. Have elves always interested you? If not what sparked that interest?

Rhiannon Paille: I can see how Iris wouldn't be able to accept some of the things that happened to her when she was a kid and then magically go back and be reintroduced to it without having amnesia. It was a good add to the revisions! Actually there are two types of elves. The ones you just mentioned at the short ones, that were mistaken for dwarves in some stories, and midgets in other stories. It gets really sticky when you begin to pull apart the myths out there. The Elvens (which are NOT elves btw) are often mistaken for the Frost Giants or the Fir Bolgs who were trying to take over Ireland before the Tuatha De Danann descended from the sky and drove them out of Ireland. My interest comes from culture, my own personal roots being that my ancestors were all from those regions. My ancestors were all Viking Warlords, Kings of Norway, Dublin, Kvenland, Sweden, etc. etc. They then migrated to Iceland, and later to Canada. Mythology from that region has always fascinated me, as it fascinated Tolkien. Me and him use the same Elvens. But I also added feorns (half wolf, half man, but not werewolves), centaurs (half man, half horse) shee (12inch faeries), fae (human sized faeries), gargoyles (stone during the day, bat-like at night), and humans.

We're gonna write books here Emma with this interview! What originally sparked your interest for a Society of Bird-People?



Emma Michaels: It is a bit difficult to describe. I tend to look at everything around me and see something a different from what everyone else sees (or so I am told) so the smallest thing can change me entire perspective. In this case, I have always been fascinated by ornithology, especially since an illustrator of a text book was kind enough to give me a free signed copy knowing I liked it but couldn't afford it. From that day on the book has always meant a great deal to me. When I was about 16 or 17 I had a dream about a girl flying and a part of an owl becoming a part of her. I have always had dreams about flying whenever the strong Santa Ana winds would come through my hometown Los Angeles. It really just grew from there, I started to see traits of birds in those around me.

Rhiannon Paille: It's stuff like that that makes people think us writers are all insane you know ;)


Emma Michaels: I know. But in the words of Lewis Carrol, "We're all mad here." :P We really are going to write books here in this interview :P Surrender has been called "vibrant", "epic", "beautifully written fantasy", "full of magic" and "extraordinary" how did it feel when you got your first review? How did your readers reactions to your novels effect your future choices when writing?

Rhiannon Paille: Hahaha AND she asks me loaded questions! Honestly? I was really happy with my first review because it was from a fellow indie author whose book I loved, and she called my book a Classic! And then I began getting other reviews from other bloggers and not all of them were as positive. Some of them didn't like my book, some of them didn't think I knew how to write (okay that might have been true) but the one thing I did want to avoid was having readers influence my future books. I've seen others do it, SM Reine is doing it right now with her Seasons of the Moon series, where she polls people on facebook about what should happen in the next installment. Cool idea, but it's not for me. I had a full story arc for The Ferryman + The Flame in my head before I began and actually before SURRENDER originally dropped in 2011, I had the first drafts of JUSTICE and VULTURE already finished. I like being ahead of the game. It helps me let go of the people who tell me that despite doing six years of work, my book is crap. (you know who you are anonymous reviewer.)

I really liked Falcon, but everyone complains about insta-love between characters (I'm a guilty member of the insta-love club) What do you have to say for yourself?



Emma Michaels: Lol, very good question. You have no idea what you stumbled upon but I have been waiting for someone to ask this one! I am not a fan of following fads, the interesting thing that is going to happen throughout the series is that as you see their past unfurling you realize it wasn't insta-love at all. In fact, it was quiet the opposite. The thing is. Iris is the person that taught Falcon what love was and his not forgetting that was what was able to reforge that connection. Iris trusts him but it was trust it took him years and years to earn, she just doesn't know it yet and once she finds out we will see where the story goes from there. :P

Fate seems to have a huge part in your novels. Do you personally believe in fate or having a path that is already chosen?

Rhiannon Paille: Yes and no . . . I believe in Destiny, not Fate. Destiny is a destination where as fate is a detour. The Great Oak is more like a personality test, like those fantastic career tests we all had to do on the antiquated computers at high school. The ones that spit out job matches based on our answers. There are a lot of other factors that make up what Kaliel and Krishani's destiny is, and frankly I haven't even revealed their destiny paths in the first book. I'm also going to add that humans have free will, while Elvens aren't known for that. Elvens are known for their dedication to duty and responsibility, they are less likely to fall off a prescribed path. But then you have to look past Kaliel and Krishani being physically Elven and understand that Kaliel's soul is a Flame and Krishani's soul is a Ferryman. That trumps. It's like Iris being a human but having a bird soul.

You have other creative influences, like video editing and sketching. How has that shaped you as a writer? Do you sometimes sketch out your ideas before writing them? (I can't draw so I'm fascinated by people who can.)



Emma Michaels: Great answer! And yes, I tend to lean towards just about every and any creative outlet that has to do with visual stimuli. I actually drew Iris (previously named Serenity), Falcon (previously named Darien when I drew him) and then Jarem and Roger. It actually does really effect my writing when I draw a character or work on a digital design piece. The main reason being that I have a pretty terrible memory span and have a lot of reasons I need a creative outlet. When I do a piece of art or write about something I know for sure it is something I am emotionally invested and even if I don't remember exact details of what I felt while making the piece I always remember the emotion when I look back at the image. It is like each line is a piece of the memory I can't seem to reach and seeing the images brings it back together again.

What do you hope readers will take away from your novels? What is it you want to inspire them to feel?

Rhiannon Paille: *cue the evil laughter* Writing The Ferryman + The Flame was a bit like therapy. The nightmare lived inside my head for a long time before I managed to get it out onto paper. I wrote it in third person limited for the sheer fact that I don't think I could have written it in first person (a bit too personal that way) so I did it to separate myself from the characters a bit, but I still wanted my readers to live inside the nightmare with me. Sure, this book begins in a utopian paradise, but all paradises have some fatal flaw, not to mention, my paradise is populated by one Flame (who could cause the apocalypse) and one Ferryman (whose job is to follow death) The Ferryman + The Flame is a disaster waiting to happen. I invite everyone to come experience the nightmare for themselves.

And my last question for you Emma (even though I can think of a million more) What do you like most about being a writer?



Emma Michaels: There is one thing that has drawn me to writing me entire life, even if I never thought of it as a career until recently, it is the feeling of writing, that pull towards it that takes you over and all you want to do is create. Every time I see a blank notebook it fills me with this send of impending creativity, like it is a book waiting anxiously for someone to allow its words to appear to it can finally be shared with the world. It is like a force I couldn't hold back if I wanted to and when I let it take me over, it feels like complete freedom. As someone with such a confusing personal history and so many limitations in my life, there is a LOT I would give up for those moments of freedom. I want to get to keep having that feeling for the rest of my life when I sit down to write. :)


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