The Turning, on sale

From the 25th to the 1st September, The Turning will be on sale for 99p (99c). Grab a copy if you like darkness and vampires.

http://smarturl.it/TheTurningBook2

 

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Author interview, Lela Grayce

Hi Guys

It’s been a while since I did an author interview. I have been super busy, both in my day life, and in book world. But I’m back, from outer space……

Today I have had the pleasure to interview upcoming author Lela Grayce. She writes YA/fantasy, and has many things on the horizon.

Hi Lela.

When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I was in my early to mid-twenties when I decided to write down my imaginings. I’m a very vivid dreamer so I would dream about people in a specific situation and then in waking I would build, in my imagination, a backstory for them on how that got to this situation with these people. It’s fun coming up with the back stuff.

  • What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Well I would like to do the whole writing author thing full time so that is the ultimate goal, but for now it is a hobby, something that I enjoy doing. I have a very vivid imagination so I will always have a story to tell.

  • Which writers inspire you?

There are so many out there that are an inspiration to me and the list is quite extensive but the most influential ones would be Leia Stone, Jaymin Eve, Steven Smithen, Aaron L Speer, Raye Wagner, B. Kirsten McMichael, John Conroe, Frost Kay…. and the list goes on and on.

  • So, what have you written?

In comparison I haven’t written much. I am about 70K words into my debut novel Areion and plan to write a bit more in this book and then begins the edits and rewrites.

  • What are you working on at the minute?

I have also started a novella set in the same world are Areion called Learning to Fly. I hope to release the novella shortly after Areion releases at years end.

  • Why do you write?

I write because I have a story to tell. The characters are in my head and they want their voices to be heard… well read.

  • Where do your ideas come from?

From my dreams mostly. I have very vivid dreams and will usually dream about a character, known or unknown, in a specific situation. It never makes sense so then I have to use my very vivid imagination to come up with the back story. That is by far the most fun, coming up with the back stuff.

  • Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

When I first started writing I was definitely a pantser but after writing for some time now I have come to realize that I need an outline or timeline. My characters like to go off on rabbit trails that have nothing to do with the overall story. The more I write the more I learn about myself and my writing style. An author friend of mine always reminds me that writing is not a sprint it is a marathon, you learn as you go, you find what works and what doesn’t.

  • How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve gone back over my earlier writings and I have notice improvement. When I first started I would have lots of detail, instead of letting the reader make their own mental picture I was trying to do that for them. That isn’t the type of writer I want to be so it has taken time to learn to not explain things to an exhausting degree.

  • What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

One of the hardest things for me was overcoming the fear that what I have in my head has already been said, and for a lot of newbie authors like me that is a real intimidating fear, but an author lady once told me “Of course it’s already been said but YOU haven’t said it yet.” I’ll never forget that. We are the product of our experiences be it through life, specific circumstances, or situations everyone is different and unique in their thought processes and their reactions. The easiest thing is most definitely the dreaming and imagining part, it’s my favorite part by far.

  • Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read. A lot. Well not as much as I once did but I do try to find time to read. I will read anything by D.K. Holmberg, B. Kirsten McMichael, Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone, Jane Washington, Aaron L Speer, Steven Smithen, Frost Kay, A.C. Wilson, Annette Marie… I could go on and on.

  • What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Well I haven’t published anything as of yet but I do know that self-publishing is difficult, but any dream is hard to obtain in the beginning so I will keep at it.

  • Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

To keep writing! Always keep writing. On this journey to publishing there is a ton of hoops and it might all seem daunting when you first look at it but one of the things I love about self-publishing is that I can take my time. There are no rules or deadlines. I do what works best for me. Sometimes it’s writing over a thousand words in one sitting, sometimes it’s walking away from the story because you have nothing more to say. It’s find your writing normal. No one else’s writing process is going to be the same as yours it takes time and you keep learning.

  • How do you relax?

With a good book, and snack, my puppy to snuggle, and a hot drink.

  • What is your favorite book and why?

I have a very extensive list of my favorite books, but the one that sticks out the most is a book that I read back in high school. It is an adaptation of the Shakespearean play MacBeth called “A Tale of Three Witches.” Back then I had heard about the play but had never actually read it so when I picked the book I wasn’t expecting that I would be so engrossed into the story. I devoured the book and it had such an impact on the way that I view books and stories that I have never forgotten it.

  • Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

This is a hard question. I love so many characters. If I had to choose one I would choose to be Piper Griffiths. She is the main character in the Steel and Stone series by Annette Marie. She is strong in character, hard headed, stubborn, and has an intense desire to help those she cares about.

Thank you for your time today Lela. It’s been great chatting with you. Best of luck with the writing.

Please check out Lela’s link below:

Twitter: @LelaGrayce

Instagram: lela_grayce

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

Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/101516387016901

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35082827-areion

The Aurora Stone, by Alana Grieg

An Elvish girl with changeable eyes will lose her family through the void. Three companions she will travel with. They will be identified by their gems. To get back what was lost, the Aurora stone must return to its home. In no more than a year and four days must this quest be completed, or the realms will be pulled into the void and lost.” 
An ancient prophecy, a special gift and an epic adventure awaited Evangeline of Hermoria. On her 18th birthday Eve’s whole world is turned upside down. Learning of her long-lost twin brother and the prophecy, she alone must fulfil. Eve sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Battles are fought and friendships made, as Eve journeys through the realms of Orea.
All the while a great evil is on her tail. It’s aim? To stop the prophecy coming to pass at any cost!
Will Eve fulfil the prophecy and save all of Orea from the void?
Will she ever find her twin brother?
One thing Eve knows for sure, she will fight to the death and beyond to save her friends, and all that she holds dear.
After all darkness cannot survive where there is light.

My review:

☆☆☆☆☆

I read this book after being drawn in by the cover. It tells the story of a young elf, who must fulfil a prophecy, starting on her 18th birthday. What follows is a quest of darkness against light.

The author does so well, painting a wonderful picture of fantastic realms, intricately detailed. The supporting characters are not just there to make up the numbers. There is depth to them, which the author does well to embellish. Caleb is particularly good. Flawed, yet worthy.

This book would really appeal to the YA market. But not just that. It will appeal to many other readers, who want to become lost in a tale of evil versus good. There is darkness and plenty of action, some of it bloody. However, the story is told with a real gentleness. The author draws you into her world, and worlds beyond.

A great debut, from an author who hopefully has more stories to come.


Author Interview, Zizi Cole

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing my good friend, Zizi Cole

Her debut novel, Sweet Nightmares was released at the weekend. I’m currently reading it, captivating me from page one.

Hi Zizi. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Phil! I’m really excited to be here. I am a mother of two wonderful little boys. I live in a small town in Missouri, USA. Before I started writing, I was a preschool teacher for a few years, then I went back to college and received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.

  •  When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

It was actually a recent development. I mean, I have always loved writing and everything to do with books. When I was a teenager I started a book, but I got stuck and put it away.

  • What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would love to be a bestseller. My biggest dream though is to be able to quit my muggle job and be a full-time writer.

Join the club mate!  

  •  Which writers inspire you?

Oh goodness, there are so many. I would have to say that Laken Cane is one that I look up to the most. She is a great writer, and a fantastic person.

  • So, what have you written?

When I was younger I used to write poetry that I had published on poetry.com. I wrote my first full-length novel, Sweet Nightmares. Sweet Nightmares is the first book of the DAMNED series.

  • What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently working on the second book of the DAMNED series, Sweet Visions. I also am developing an idea and doing research on another book that is a dystopian type book. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it yet.

  • Why do you write?

I need to. I have noticed that writing tends to calm my soul. It settles my mind, unless the characters are running rampant. When I was a kid, my cousins and I would sit around and tell stories for days on it. We would keep the story line the same and did character building and setting scenes. The stories would get pretty intense.

  • Where do your ideas come from?

They just come to me. I can be doing anything an idea will hit me. I was in the shower when I got an idea for a vital part of Sweet Nightmares, which was obviously inconvenient. I try to keep a minimum of one notebook with me at all times in case an idea pops up. I tend to get most of my ideas while I am at my muggle job.

  • Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I am definitely a see where an idea takes me type of writer. I have problems plotting or making outlines. Occasionally I will write down points that need to happen or will happen, but I rarely follow it exactly.

  • How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I am getting really creative in ways that I need to start to torture and maim people. *Disclosure- Any torture or maiming that is do is strictly fictional. No one was hurt in the process.*

Lol. That’s funny. I can’t wait to get to the gory stuff….

  •  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

The hardest thing is definitely coming up with the blurb. You aren’t supposed to give too much information, but keep it exciting and readable. I also tend to have troubles, well forget more or less, that the reader can’t see my characters the way I do and I have to describe them a little better. The easiest is writing the story.

  • Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I always read when I have time. I actually am currently reading Unknown by Phil Price. I have several favorite authors. Laken Cane, Joanna Morris, Elda Lore, Jeaniene Frost, Karen Robards, Laurell K. Hamiltons (her earlier stuff), Shannon Mayer, Wendy Knight, Suzanne Collins, Pippa DaCosta, and so many others. I know I’m forgetting some. I love reading, especially new authors. They are full of so much potential.

I hear that Phil Price guy is pretty good….. I’ll have to interview him soon…

  • What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

One of the main advantages of being self-published is that you set your own deadlines and can work at your own pace. You also have complete control of the book. The disadvantage of being self-published is that you have to do everything on your own, and you have to pay for everything that a publisher provides. I feel very fortunate that I was able get signed on with a publisher. I feel that it will help my books get more exposure and they are getting the best treatment.

  • Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

What I tend to tell people is to just start writing. Don’t force it, don’t stress. Just write what is on your mind and before long, you will be writing stories. It’s a lot of work and can be discouraging, but it is worth it.

  • How do you relax?

I read, listen to music or watch a comedy on television. I also like to play with my kids. They are always entertaining.

  • What is your favourite book and why?

That is probably the hardest question you have asked so far, haha! My favorite series is the Rune Alexander series by Laken Cane. It is a kick-ass series that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I love it. It gives you the full experience of emotions.

  • Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

I would have to say Rune Alexander because honestly, she’s a bad-ass. I love the fact that she is self-sufficient yet has her flaws as well.

Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I’ve enjoyed talking to you.

Many thanks Zizi. It’s been a pleasure to delve into your world. Best of luck with Sweet Nightmares and all future projects.

Zizi’s links can be found below. Check back soon for more…….

https://twitter.com/zizicole

https://www.facebook.com/authorzizicole/

https://www.amazon.com/Zizi-Cole/e/B06Y682JNW

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16600193.Zizi_Cole

Author Interview, A.J Griffiths-Jones

 

Welcome all. Thanks for dropping by again.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing A.J Griffiths-Jones

Hi A.J. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

  1.  When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

From a very early age. I used to write plays for my cousins & I to act out at family gatherings and, in my teens, I used to fill exercise books with stories that I’d made up.

    2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I am interested in writing across a wide spectrum of genres from Victorian crime to cookery books. I love challenges and writing out of my comfort zone enables me to push myself to new heights. Ultimately though I would like my work to be adapted for film or a T.V. series.

    3.   Which writers inspire you?

I love the characters created by Alexander McCall Smith, the imaginative stories told by Kazuo Ishiguro & the timeless genius of Charles Dickens. I never tire of reading anything by these authors.

    4.   So, what have you written? My first book (published in May 2015) was ‘Prisoner 4374’, the autobiographical tale of convicted poisoner & Jack the Ripper suspect, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream. I am immensely proud to say that it won the ‘Jack the Ripper Book of the Year Award 2016.’ I have also written four cosy mysteries, ‘The Villagers’, ‘The Seasiders’, ‘The Congregation’ and ‘The Circus’ (due to be published next month). I am also a regular feature writer for ‘The Dagger’ a true crime magazine.

   5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently researching a second Victorian crime book and from May, I will be writing the final book in my mystery series. I generally work on two books at once.

   6.   Why do you write?

Writing is my passion. In 2014 I suffered a stroke and was unable to work. Writing has given me my life back and inspired me to explore new avenues which I might never have dared to do had I not become a published author. It’s taught me not to take anything for granted.

   7.   Where do your ideas come from?

Anywhere & everywhere. I am always jotting down ideas for new books, sometimes I simply wake up in the middle of the night with a thought or storyline, and of course I’m also inspired by historical crime and mysteries. If there’s a story, I’ll find it!

   8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I always run through the plot in my mind like a screenplay before I commence writing. This process usually takes about a month. This ensures that when I actually come to put the work together, I can see my characters clearly, hear them speaking, know how they interact with each other and how they live in the environment around them. If I’m working on a period setting, I always research the era thoroughly too.

   9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’m learning to listen to my readers. Reviews show that my work is becoming more and more popular as my most recent books come out & I’m becoming more confident in my work as time goes on.

  10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

The hardest thing for me is actually switching off. I’m a terrible insomniac & sleep very few hours. Sometimes I have to listen to my body and take a break. The easiest thing is creating my characters. Once the scene is set, they just seem to fall into place, which I’m very grateful for.

  11.  Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read at least one book a week, sometimes more. I’ve recently discovered Scandinavian crime writer Camilla Lackberg and I’ve been enjoying her thrillers immensely. I’m also a big fan of Paulo Coelho, the morals & lessons beneath his stories are quite moving.

  12.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I don’t have experience of being self-published, as I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered contracts by two very good publishers. I would imagine that the down-side of self-publishing is the amount of time that one would have to dedicate to marketing.

  13.  Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

I believe that there is a reader for everyone. Don’t be disheartened by negative reviews or comments about your work, just strive to improve. Get yourself out there and somebody somewhere will love your work.

  14.  How do you relax?

I love cooking, experimenting with new recipe ideas and hosting dinner parties. I also grow all my own vegetables which is great fun. I swim two to three times a week and I also love travelling. As soon as we return from one holiday, the map comes out and we plan our next trip.

  15.  What is your favourite book and why?

I have a few firm favourites, but I’d say the one that I love the most is ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova. It has just the right mix of historical and supernatural fiction to sweep you away to another realm.

  16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

Precious Ramotswe from ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith. She’s hilarious, always getting up to mischief & using her skills of detection to find out people’s secrets. She’s also a kind, bubbly woman, the kind you’d want fighting your corner, something that I always strive to be.

Thank you A.J for a lovely chat. Quite inspirational I may add. I wish you the best of for the new release.

Stay tuned for more author chats.

Here are A.Js links:

https://www.facebook.com/AJGriffiths-Jones-Author-Page-400960520088267/

https://twitter.com/authoraj66

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13931915.A_J_Griffiths_Jones

 

Author interview, Chloe Hammond

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chloe Hammond

Hi Chloe. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

1.   When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

My primary school teacher read us a poem when I was seven, about dragonflies, and I was enthralled by how the words painted such a clear picture. Reading and writing don’t come easily to me, but after that I was addicted, and playing with words became my favourite pastime, after reading.

2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have a dream that I can afford to support myself and my husband and pets from my writing, and we live in a lovely little home by the coast in France or Spain- I love the sun. I write a book a year or so, which while whisking my readers away on an adventure, also opens doors in their minds to new possibilities. I have a little separate annex where I offer writers retreats, offering peace and support for fellow writers. I have views over fields of sunflowers and vines, over a pretty town, and in the distance, the sea.

3.   Which writers inspire you?

Barbara Kingsolver brings huge social history issues to the fore, by telling stories about the minutiae of ordinary people’s lives; Terry Pratchett told so many truths about this world and real people in his stories about made up worlds and peoples. He took the ancient route of retelling old stories, which access the lessons in them that we’ve forgotten. Finally, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who explores ancient folk and fairy stories, tracing their oldest roots, before Grimm and Disney prettied them up, and explores the essential truths they contain that we women, especially, benefit from learning.

4.   So, what have you written? I have only been writing properly for about three years, since I developed anxiety and depression, and it has to fit around a full time job, house renovation, husband, etc, so I haven’t written as much as I would like. I self-published my first novel, Darkly Dreaming, Book 1 of The Darkly Vampire Trilogy about 18months ago. I’ve also had two poems accepted in two Cake and Quill charity anthologies.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am working on Darkly Dancing, Book 2 of The Vampire Trilogy, and really hope to be able to publish it for Halloween this year. I am also polishing a short zombie story for Stirling Roberts Publishing’s competition, and really hope it will win a place in their anthology.

6.   Why do you write?

I love words. I love the way I can have a day dream or nightmare, and imagine an exciting story, then with carefully placed symbols I can encourage you to experience those same, or at least very similar, feelings. I studied creative writing as part of my degree twenty odd years ago, but after graduation it was always something I was going to do tomorrow, when the timing was perfect, so I could sit down and plan it all, and write the perfect literary masterpiece. By setting up such grand plans I didn’t write at all, apart from the occasional poem to make sense of my own feelings. When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I recognised I had to allow my creative side to breathe again, so I just started writing. I didn’t worry about it being perfect, I just wrote what I enjoyed writing, honed that to the best it could be, and hoped other people would enjoy reading it.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

Symptoms of the anxiety and depression included lots of terrifying nightmares, largely about vampires. I started writing these scenes, and then created the story around it. Once I did, my characters introduced themselves to me, and quickly developed lives of their own, and very demanding personalities!

8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

No, it was planning to do all the plotting and outlining which became a big hurdle for me. I start each writing session with an approximate idea where I want the story to go, but Rae and Layla will come along and totally take over so the story gets a whole other slant I wasn’t expecting.

9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively

I can see the difference in my own writing between when I first started, and my more current writing. It flows more easily and is richer, even too me as the writer. Like any skill set it develops and strengthens with use.

10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

I hate marketing and self-promotion. It does not come naturally to me at all. One day I will earn enough to hire someone to do that side of things for me. However, I do love chatting with readers and other writers, either face to face or online, if that was all that I had to do, I’d be delighted.

11.  Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I am utterly addicted to reading, I read every day. When I lived in France for 6 months in the 90’s I couldn’t find any books in English initially, so I ended up reading the sports pages in a week old Broadsheet newspaper, and I hate sports. Eventually I found a shop that sold the classics for 99p, so I ended up reading a lot more classic literature than IO would have otherwise. I love Deborah Harkness, she’s my favourite fantasy author, Pratchett and Kingsolver as I said above, and some of the old American classic authors, like Zora Neale Hurston who writes like she’s in the room talking to you. The books I like best are the ones that offer more than just a story.

12.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist; I wanted my cover art, website, etc, to be exactly how I wanted them. I hate it when people don’t quite have the same vision as me, and they insist on doing things there way, not mine. Self- publishing allows me to do things exactly how I want them, so everything reflects the inner vision I have for my ‘brand’, even if it does take longer. It’s a huge amount of work, and a steep learning curve; I’ve spent a lot of money getting a good website designed, but I’m learning new skills every day, and one day I hope to pass them on to others with my writers retreat. I may even open my own cooperative publishing house if I ever feel confident enough. I have been offered a couple of deals with small publishers, but turned them down in my determination to do it myself and learn all the lessons for myself. It may be slower this way, but it’s thorough!

13.  Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

Just write. Don’t worry about getting it perfect; just get some words onto the page. You will slash and burn pages and pages later, and add and expand, and cut and paste, and change tenses and names, but first of all you need to tell yourself the story. If you worry about getting the first draft perfect, you’ll overwhelm yourself. Think of it like baking- the pummeling and kneading are essential parts of the baking process, as is resting, but you need the dough, mixed, in the bowl first.

14.  How do you relax?

Reading, cooking, and cuddling with my husband, rescue dogs, and fat senile cat while we binge on box sets like Game of Thrones, Catastrophe, and Broadchurch.

15.  What is your favourite book and why?

One? You can’t ask me to choose one! One of my favourites is the Book Thief because the delicacy of the language describing brutality and love is exquisite.

16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

Pratchett’s Esme Weatherwax, she is one of society’s odd balls, like me, but she doesn’t give two hoots. She has her best friend, and her pets and she’s happy. I would love to be able to not care what people think in that way, it makes you much happier. I’m far too sensitive, and have to constantly monitor myself so I don’t tie myself in knots trying to please other people. I also love the idea of being able to out poker hardened sailors simply by scratching my ear.

Thanks Chloe. I love your writers retreat plan. Definitely going to steal that idea. I wish you the very best of luck.

Check back soon for more interviews. Here are Chloe’s links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkly-Dreaming-Book-Vampire-Trilogy/dp/1518834388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456321659&sr=8-1&keywords=darkly+dreaming

Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017EY1OKY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&tag=readers02-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B017EY1OKY

Small independent online bookstore Mineeye for non-Kindle users:

http://www.mineeye.co.uk/shop/fiction/darkly-dreaming/

Website: http://www.chloehammondauthor.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chloehammond111

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22449499-darkly-dreaming

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

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Darkly-Dreaming/750124258345038

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/chloehammondauthor

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/chloe-hammond/91/8b6/b50

Google plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102826869219440784952