What Sparks Your Creativity and How Do You Harness It..?


creativity

Our creativity is inspired from the smallest sentence, an intriguing picture, dreams, overheard conversation, or a global or local news article. Writers have the ability to create a story from what most people would term as mundane into something wonderful. There are ‘links’ within our minds that expand the smallest titbit into a narrative. When asked, “Where do your stories come from?” – We struggle to explain the internal processes of our muse. Some authors have a particular genre they enjoy writing and this can assist with the answer. However, if you delve into more than one genre, it is harder to explain.

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What obscure stimulus has sparked an idea for you? 

No matter what system we use, an idea can grow exponentially once it takes hold. This is wonderful, of course, the only downfall being if we already have a bucketful of ideas waiting in the wings. Each clambers for our attention until we are forced to choose one over another. How this decision is made can be as intriguing and mystical as where the story came from. Some ideas are ‘stronger’ in our minds and are usually the ones we proceed with.

Have you experienced a story unwilling to stay quiet?

How do you approach new ideas? The writing of frantic notes, creating a plot arc or writing out character descriptions.

As a free flow author, I allow my narrative to grow naturally and allow any twists and turns in the characterization and plot to form without trying to make it conform to any preconceived idea. For the past year or so I have been working on two major novels, Willow Tree Tears (a western romance) and The Giving Thief (a suspense thriller). Obviously, having two vastly different genres has enabled me to swap from one to the other without melding them into some weird new genre! Progress has been good and feedback from critique partners has helped a great deal in the revision and editing process.

All was well until I awoke one morning a month or so ago, remembering a new children’s story from a dream. The basis of which I quickly jotted down, as we all know ideas are wisps in the wind more often than not. Now I have another project hankering for my attention. Luckily, with a few descriptions and thoughts noted, it was filed away and remains quiet for now, along with a Steampunk novel idea, which was created from a short piece created at a writers retreat as part of an exercise.

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How do you cope with multiple narrative ideas?

Blog Tour – Scarecrow…


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SCARECROW

Hay-men, mommets, tattie bogles, kakashi, tao-tao—whether formed of straw or other materials, the tradition of scarecrows is pervasive in farming cultures around the world. The scarecrow serves as decoy, proxy, and effigy—human but not human. We create them in our image and ask them to protect our crops and by extension our very survival, but we refrain from giving them the things a creation might crave—souls, brains, free-will, love. In Scarecrow, fifteen authors of speculative fiction explore what such creatures might do to gain the things they need or, more dangerously, think they want.

Within these pages, ancient enemies join together to destroy a mad mommet, a scarecrow who is a crow protects solar fields and stores long-lost family secrets, a woman falls in love with a scarecrow, and another becomes one. Encounter scarecrows made of straw, imagination, memory, and robotics while being spirited to Oz, mythological Japan, other planets, and a neighbor’s back garden. After experiencing this book, you’ll never look at a hay-man the same.
Featuring all new work by Jane Yolen, Andrew Bud Adams, Laura Blackwood, Amanda Block, Scott Burtness, Virginia Carraway Stark, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.

 Contents:

 “Introduction” by Rhonda Parrish

“Scarecrow Hangs” by Jane Yolen

“Kakashi & Crow” by Megan Fennell

“The Roofnight” by Amanda C. Davis

“Skin Map” by Kim Goldberg

“A Fist Full of Straw” by Kristina Wojtaszek

“Judge & Jury” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

“Waking from His Master’s Dream” by Katherine Marzinsky

“The Straw Samurai” by Andrew Bud Adams

“Black Birds” by Laura Blackwood

“Edith and I” by Virginia Carraway Stark

“Scarecrow Progressions (Rubber Duck Remix)” by Sara Puls

“Truth About Crows” by Craig Pay

“Two Steps Forward” by Holly Schofield

“Only the Land Remembers” by Amanda Block

“If I Only Had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix” by Scott Burtness

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 RELEASE DATE: August 4, 2015

SERIES: Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries

Official URL:
https://www.worldweaverpress.com/scarecrow.html

Direct library or bulk purchase available through World Weaver Press (contact publisher@worldweaverpress.com for rates).

BIOS

ANTHOLOGIST BIO: 

Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for nearly eight years now (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including Fae, Corvidae, Scarecrow, and B is for Broken. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in dozens of publications like Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.

CONTRIBUTOR BIOS:

Andrew Bud Adams was raised by spider-men and turtle ninjas and ronin rabbits, who are now helping raise his own children. “The Straw Samurai,” inspired by them and the Japanese folk tale “The Tengu’s Magic Cloak,” is one of his first published retellings. When not wandering between fantasy villages or teaching college writing, he can be found on Twitter @andrewbudadams.

Whenever grownups asked young Laura Blackwood what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said “Published!” That dream finally came true—Black Birds is her first story to see print. Laura currently lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta, and tinkers with many more writing projects than is considered wise or healthy.

Amanda Block is a writer and ghostwriter based in Edinburgh, UK. A graduate of the Creative Writing Masters at the University of Edinburgh, she is often inspired by myths and fairy tales, frequently using them as a starting point to tell other stories. Amanda’s work has been featured in anthologies such as Modern Grimmoire, Stories for Homes, and World Weaver Press’ Fae. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Chapter One Promotions Short Story Competition. Amanda is currently working on her first novel. She can be found online at amandawritersblock.blogspot.co.uk.

Scott Burtness lives in Minnesota with his wife, Liz and their English Staffordshire-Boxer, Frank. He has it on good authority that he possesses all of the requisite parts to be considered human, and sincerely believes he’s taller when measured with the metric system. Scott’s debut novel, WISCONSIN VAMP, is available on Amazon.com. When not writing horror-comedy romps or sci-fi adventures, Scott enjoys bowling, karaoke, craft brews and afternoon naps. Follow him on Twitter (@SWBauthor). Don’t follow him down dark alleys.

Amanda C. Davis has an engineering degree and a fondness for baking, gardening, and low-budget horror films. Her work has appeared in Crossed Genres, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and others. She tweets enthusiastically as @davisac1. You can find out more about her and read more of her work at amandacdavis.com. Her collection of retold fairy tales with Megan Engelhardt, Wolves and Witches, is available from World Weaver Press.

Megan Fennell is a court clerk, cat owner, and writer of strange tales, currently living and working in Lethbridge, Alberta. Although loving magpies to the point of having two of them tattooed on her, it was the Danish myth of the Valravn that held her corvid-like attention span for this anthology. Her stories can also be found in Wrestling with Gods: Tesseracts 18, Tesseracts 17, OnSpec Magazine, and the charity anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Healing.

Kim Goldberg is an award-winning writer and author of six books. She is a winner of the Rannu Fund Poetry Prize for Speculative Literature and other distinctions. Her speculative tales and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Tesseracts 11, Zahir Tales, On Spec, Urban Green Man, Dark Mountain, Imaginarium, Here Be Monsters, Switched On Gutenberg and elsewhere. Her seventh book, Refugium, about people living with electrosensitivity, will be released in 2015. She lives in Nanaimo, BC, and online at PigSquashPress.com.

Katherine Marzinsky is a writer and student currently residing in New Jersey. She attends Kean University, where she is working toward an undergraduate degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. Her previous work has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, A Cappella Zoo, Cease, Cows, and The Inanimates I story anthology.

Craig Pay is a short story author and novelist. He writes speculative fiction (usually). His short stories have appeared with a number of different magazines and anthologies. He is represented by John Jarrold. Craig runs the successful Manchester Speculative Fiction writers’ group. He enjoys Chinese martial arts and many other hobbies. You can visit him at craigpay.com.

Sara Puls spends most of her time lawyering, researching, writing, and editing. Her dreams frequently involve strange mash-ups of typography, fairy creatures, courtrooms, and blood. Sara’s stories have been published in Daily Science Fiction, The Future Fire, GigaNotoSaurus, Penumbra, World Weaver Press’s Fae anthology, and elsewhere. She also co-edits Scigentasy, a gender- and identity-focused spec fic zine. On Twitter, she is @sarapuls.

Holly Schofield’s work has appeared in many publications including Lightspeed, Crossed Genres, and Tesseracts. For more of her work, see hollyschofield.wordpress.com.

Virginia Carraway Stark started her writing career with three successful screenplays and went on to write speculative fiction as well as writing plays and for various blogs. She has written for several anthologies and three novels as well. Her novel, Dalton’s Daughter is available now through Amazon and Starklight Press. Detachment’s Daughter and Carnival Fun are coming later this year. You can find her on Twitter @tweetsbyvc, on Facebook Facebook.com/virginiacarrawaystark.

Laura VanArendonk Baugh was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a dark chocolate addict, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated author with a following for her folklore-based stories and speculative fiction. Find her at LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com.

Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. Now a mother of two little tricksters and their menagerie of small beasts, she continues to conjure bits of fantasy during the rare spell of silence. Her fairy tales, ghost stories, poems and YA fiction have been published by World Weaver Press (Opal, Fae, and Specter Spectacular), Far Off Places and Sucker Literary Magazine. Follow her @KristinaWojtasz or on her blog, Twice Upon a Time.

Mr. Yegpie the magpie, tweets as @YegMagpie on Twitter

Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America”(Newsweek) is the author of well over 350 books, including OWL MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, and HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT. Her books and stories have won an assortment of awards—two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among many others. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is also the winner (for body of work) of the World Fantasy Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association Grand Master Award, Catholic Library’s Regina Medal, Kerlan Medal from the University of Minnesota, the du Grummond Medal from Un. of Southern Missisippi, the Smith College Alumnae Medal, and New England Pubic Radio Arts and Humanities Award . Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. Her website is: http://www.janeyolen.com.

CORVIDAE BLOG TOUR – Adria Laycraft…


Adria Laycraft

Adria Laycraft has stories in IGMS, the Third Flatiron Anthology Abbreviated Epics, FAE, OnSpec Magazine, Tesseracts Sixteen, James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Neo-opsis Magazine, and Hypersonic Tales, among others. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writers Workshop and a member of the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association (IFWA). Adria is also an award-nominated editor. For more details visit adrialaycraft.com.

Abbreviated

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

Thankfully, no. These people are creations based on my research into abusive relationships.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

My fave is Dreya from ‘A Place to Be’ (On Spec, Winter 2013) because she has optimism and the guts to believe in a better world.

Is this your first time writing about corvids and/or scarecrows?

No, I have a magpie character in a novella called ‘Circlewood’ where a magical forest becomes a prison for those who wield magic.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

You mean I’m supposed to enjoy it? All kidding aside, I love getting lost in a story, mine or another’s.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

No subject is safe, ever. Nothing is set in stone if you are fearless. A good friend told me that once when I was afraid of what I was writing about. Another author, Holly Lisle, says, “Dare to say the things that scare you…those are the things worth saying.”

Fae

What book are you reading now? 

I am re-reading out of my home library to remember why they are worthy of being part of my collection. Some will be donated and I will purchase an ebook copy if I ever want to read them again. I have a plan to live a vagabond life in my fifties, so having an extensive paper library won’t work. That said, there are books in my collection that will be safely and carefully stored away, including all the signed stuff and my friends’ works, so I can rebuild a proper library when I settle in one place again.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

One that comes to mind is Maggie Stiefvater. I loved ‘Raven Boys’ and ‘The Dream Thieves’, and next to read is ‘Blue Lily, Lily Blue’.

Do you see writing as a career? 

Because I am also a freelance editor and copywriter, yes.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

No, but I do drink a lot of tea.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

My whole life is an odd habit!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Living on the road, going where I want, when I want, and seeing all the beautiful places…but most importantly, listening to all the stories that those places have to tell.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Yeah, the writing. This time I’m serious.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

Time in nature.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

My WIP is Urban Fantasy that is a total nod to Charles de Lint, but goes in very different directions and explains both why the Fae have disappeared and why we love our fur babies so much.

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Corvidea Blog Tour – Jane Yolen –


jane yolen

Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America”(Newsweek) is the author of well over 350 books, including OWL MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, and HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT. Her books and stories have won an assortment of awards—two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among many others. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is also the winner (for body of work) of the World Fantasy Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association Grand Master Award, Catholic Library’s Regina Medal, Kerlan Medal from the University of Minnesota, the du Grummond Medal from Un. of Southern Missisippi, the Smith College Alumnae Medal, and New England Pubic Radio Arts and Humanities Award . Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. Her website is: http://www.janeyolen.com.

As I have two poems in Corvidae and one in Scarecrows, my answers will be different from those who had characters to write about, though we are all trying to get at the truth—“but tell it slant” as Emily Dickinson so famously wrote.

Is this your first time writing about corvids and/or scarecrows?

No—I have a children’s picture book—THE SCARECROW’S DANCE, and lots and lots of bird poems as I am the matriarch of a family of birdwatchers. My husband was a bird recordist (among his many other interests) and taught the children and grandchildren all about birds and birdsong. Probably my most famous book about a bird is not about a corvid but about an owl—OWL MOON.

Owl Moon

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Three things:1.  It’s a job I can do at home in my jammies.   2. I can talk aloud to myself and no one thinks I’m crazy (or at least not certifiable) and 3. I do no harm to the universe.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

About 5 years old. Encouraged by my parents who were both writers.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write? 

Poetry, fantasy, children’s picture books.

What book are you reading now? 

A book of short stories by the Edwardian author Walter de la Mare. And a mystery novel by Ruth Rendell.

devils-arithmetic

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

Handfuls of a nut-dried fruit mixture I make myself, and a cup of tea.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Possibly alive but no guarantees. (I am 76!)’

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

Historical novel called HOUSE OF CANDY about the Holocaust, for young adults based on Hansel and Gretel that begins in the Lodz Ghetto, treks through chapters with the Polish partisans in the woods, finally ends in a concentration camp where a young doctor (invented character)  who worked under Mengele doing the twin experiment tries to better his mentor and is dispatched by the twins and thrown into one of the camp’s ovens. Or at least I believe that’s how it’s going to end. One never knows with novels.

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Michael S. Pack – Corvidae Blog Tour…


Michael S Pack

Michael S. Pack was born in the Deep Southern U.S., but he fled to Canada after an encounter with a particularly fierce mosquito swarm. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies, most recently Missing Monarchs (Fox Spirit 2014) and Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse (Exile Editions 2014). He is currently working on an epic fantasy novel. He sometimes posts on twitter @Michael_Pack and on Facebook at facebook.com/M.Pack.Author.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

From late 2011 through to 2013, my son spent a lot of time in the hospital including several extended ICU stays. My wife had a lot of nerve-wracking days similar to those experienced by Lorraine, though without the raven. While my son’s doing better than ever now, I did draw on those months for inspiration when writing “Visiting Hours”. Anyone who has ever tried to use the elevators at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC will recognize my description of their operation.

Is this your first time writing about corvids and/or scarecrows?

I’ve written a number of stories that have birds, including two published featuring ravens. So much mythology involves ravens that they work well in a number of places to convey meaning.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I don’t remember. When going through old papers at my Mom’s once, I found a story I’d written in second grade. So, a long time.

Fractured

What is your favourite theme/genre to write? 

I gravitate to stories with speculative elements, and I have a preference for fantasy. I love magic and mysticism and the strange. New worlds to explore old ideas. Almost all of my stories have some element of the weird or unusual.  I tend to prefer darker themes.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

If there is, I haven’t discovered it yet, and I can’t imagine what it might be. If someone suggested such a topic, I’d take it as a challenge to write about it.

What book are you reading now? 

The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin

What genre is your next project? What is it about?
I’m currently putting the final polish on the manuscript for an epic fantasy novel.  It’s the story of a young man caught up in a war he doesn’t understand, fighting to defend his home and family against an overwhelming enemy. I hope to begin querying agents with it soon.

Michael S. Pack was born in the Deep Southern US, but he fled to Canada after an encounter with a particularly fierce mosquito swarm. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies, most recently Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse (Exile Editions 2014) and Corvidae (World Weaver Press 2014). He sometimes posts on twitter @Michael_Pack and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/M.Pack.Author

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New Release by Jenna Moreci – Eve the Awakening…


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Synopsis:

Eve is an outcast. A chimera.

After years of abuse and rejection, 19-year-old Evelyn Kingston is ready for a fresh start in a new city, where no one knows her name. The esteemed Billington University in sunny Southern California seems like the perfect place to reinvent herself—to live the life of an ordinary human.

But things at Billington aren’t as they seem. In a school filled with prodigies, socialites, and the leaders of tomorrow, Eve finds that the complex social hierarchy makes passing as a human much harder than she had anticipated. Even worse, Billington is harboring a secret of its own: Interlopers have infiltrated the university, and their sinister plans are targeted at chimeras—like Eve.

Instantly, Eve’s new life takes a drastic turn. In a time filled with chaos, is the world focusing on the wrong enemy? And when the situation at Billington shifts from hostile to dangerous, will Eve remain in the shadows, or rise up and fight?

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Buy Links: 

Amazon – http://bitly.com/EVETheAwakening
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1DtinEI
Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/1P8BTaJ

Goodreads:
http://bit.ly/1K5mZ0r
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Author Bio:

Jenna Moreci is a new adult author, vlogger extraordinaire, nerd-incognito, & alleged cyborg. She specializes in writing adorable, romantic goodness punctuated by moments of extreme violence and bloodshed. Her sanity is questionable.

Some of Jenna’s other talents include prolific cursing, spilling/dropping things, accidentally making people cry, and drawing.
Author Links:

Website: http://jennamoreci.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1KToQLx

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/jennamoreci

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jennamoreci/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennamoreci

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjennamoreci?_rdr=p
Excerpt:

Read the first three chapters of EVE: The Awakening at http://jennamoreci.com/

Corvidae Blog Tour – Laura VanArendonk …


 Elemental-Laura

Is “Sanctuary” based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Sort of. My day job is animal training, and I was at a major behavior & training conference where a colleague (the fantastic Ken Ramirez) shared his progress in exploring counting in dogs. He had some pretty cool work going (and it’s gotten even more amazing since).

That night at dinner I sat next to Ken, and I told him he’d given me a short story idea. We laughed over it, and ultimately that wasn’t the direction the story went, but that’s where it started.

Is this your first time writing about corvids and/or scarecrows?

Yes, this is my first time with a corvid as a real character, though her role is supporting at best. Not the first time with an animal character, though. As I said, my day job is animal behavior, so I get pretty picky about animal characters and they need to be done right!

kitsune-tsuki

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I… I don’t even know how to answer this. Like, what do you enjoy most about eating, the fact that it’s necessary to nourish your body or that it can taste so amazingly good or that we often make it a social bonding experience or that we can do it in so many different and wonderful ways? Yeah, that’s like enjoying writing. It’s almost too big a question.

I really like telling stories. And while a story might have a theme or even, occasionally, a message, the story is the point. No message will be carried well by a lame story. But a good story is self-sufficient and can, if it needs to, convey a message.

What worries you about writing?

Sometimes I worry that people read into stories and make judgments which might not be valid.

Obviously if a character says something racist or sexist, that’s the character’s view, and not the author’s view. That’s an easier concept to defend, especially if it’s a villain talking. But sometimes literary critiquing gets overambitious and generalizes. Someone might point out that I have a villainous activist in this story, for example, and that means I am opposed to animal welfare. But animals are both my profession and my hobby, I love them and I want them to be happy and healthy! You can’t connect a line from a single point. But the internet is good at reacting.

mochi

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I know I had a collection of hand-written tales by eight or nine, but I can’t be certain when I actually started writing. I wrote a lot during class in middle and high school; it was more interesting than algebra. Though I recall those stories now and laugh at how dreadful they are even just in memory. I’m scared to rummage through and see if I still have those notebooks – they’re probably even worse in reality!

Where do you get your ideas?

The better question for writers might be, how do you avoid being overwhelmed by the onslaught of ideas? I don’t think I’ve ever known a serious writer who complained for lack of ideas.

Story germs are everywhere. As I said, the inspiration for “Sanctuary” came from a work conference. A single photograph I took at a ruined Roman bath added about 150,000 words to my epic fantasy series in progress. An interesting factoid about the disgrace and ruin of a 15th century Islamic general, picked up fifteen years ago as I was researching something else, popped up in my head last year as a historical fantasy short.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Wow. Um, never is a really big word, so I really can’t think of one.

So-To-Honor-Him

What book are you reading now?

I’ve actually just started a non-fiction book my sister gave me for my birthday, an overview of influential and/or maligned women in history called Bad Girls. I pull a lot of starting ideas from history, so I really like nerdy stuff. Plus, I like women who accomplish things.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I’m self-employed as an animal trainer, so it’s an easy leap to be self-employed in writing, too. Though I have to say, since self-employment is typically described as “twice the hours for half the wages,” doing it double is not necessarily smart!

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

Oh gosh yes. Dark chocolate is my writing vice of choice. If I’m pretending to be healthy, it’s dark chocolate covered almonds, though I will happily accept other options.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Probably regretting my unrestrained indulgence in dark chocolate…..

What is your best marketing tip?

On social media, be yourself and be interesting. (No, those aren’t incompatible, because you’re a writer. If your writing is interesting, your talk about it and yourself should be interesting.) If your Twitter feed is nothing but book-spam, I’m quitting you so hard. But if you are an interesting person, I’ll probably be interested in what you write.

When you do talk about your book, tell me what makes it interesting. Dark lord, artefact, star-crossed lovers, I see a dozen of those at a glance. Even if your book has one or several of those – nothing is wholly original! — tell me why I should read yours over the others.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

I have too many “next projects”! It’s a very bad personal weakness.

I have an epic fantasy series I’ve been writing for over a decade which hasn’t been published yet. I hope to get it into the light of day in the next year.

I have a fantasy serial for which I likewise haven’t started release yet, because I knew my schedule would be unreliable. I’m having a lot of fun with it, though; it’s alternately funny and gritty and traditional high fantasy and your favorite anime.

And then I have a couple of short stories which I’ll be sending out soon, including my first science fantasy. Fingers crossed.

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BIO:

Laura VanArendonk Baugh was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she’d become a behavior analyst, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and a fiction and non-fiction writer.

LINKS:

www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com

www.twtter.com/Laura_VAB

www.facebook.com/LauraVBaugh

CORVIDEA BLOG TOUR – Scott Burtness…


Scott Burtness

Is this your first time writing about corvids and/or scarecrows?

“If I Only had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix” was my first time writing about a scarecrow. It was also my first foray into science fiction. Prior to this story, I’d only written horror-comedy. So I guess it just kinda figures that my sci-fi story would have a little humor and horror rolled in…

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I’m a nibbler, and my favorite snack is a gigantic Rice Krispie treat. From a practical standpoint, it tends to be a bit of a hassle. I have a touch-screen laptop. Coating my fingers with melty, gooey marshmallow makes for a helluva messy screen. Even so, it’s totally worth it.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

When I was seven or eight years old, the older neighborhood boys Kevin and Brad convinced me that Brad was a hypnotist. He’d ‘hypnotize’ me by having me hang my head down and press on the sides of my neck really hard.

I’d pass out. When I’d come to, they’d tell me I’d been hypnotized and did crazy fun things.

So that summer was happily spent repeatedly depriving my brain of oxygen. Ah, youth…

What is your best marketing tip?

Quality over quantity, especially with social media. A few “social media influencers” are worth more than a bunch of followers. Cultivate relationships with a few key people that have a lot of influence. If they become an advocate for your work, you’ll see more success than if you have 10,000 unengaged followers.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

I’m working on the third book of my Monsters in the Midwest series. It’s a horror-comedy series that centers on a group of friends in a small, northern Wisconsin town. One becomes a vampire (book one), the next becomes a werewolf (book 2), and the third becomes a zombie (book 3). In the third book, Stanley decides that the only hope he has to be cured of his zombieness is to find the aliens that abducted him in high school. He’s helped along the way by his vampire and werewolf pals. I don’t want to share any spoilers, but there will be plenty of laughs, a few scares, at least one shoot-out with an ancient order of monsters hunters and ‘special ops’ commandos, a love story or two, more supernatural characters, and aliens. 

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Scott Burtness lives in the Midwest with his wonderful wife, Liz, and their boxer-pitt mix, Frank. He enjoys beer, bowling, karaoke, horror,  and rooting for the underdog. After not nearly enough consideration, he decided to write about the things he enjoys. You’re welcome.

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Scott-Burtness/e/B00HZO7REG

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWBauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SWBauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/SWBauthor

Wisconsin Vamp (Monsters in the Midwest, Book 1): http://www.amazon.com/Wisconsin-Monsters-Midwest-Scott-Burtness-ebook/dp/B00HXO0WQI

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Northwoods Wolfman (Monsters in the Midwest Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/Northwoods-Wolfman-Monsters-Midwest-Book-ebook/dp/B00X2VB5E4

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Corvidae Blog Tour – Kristina Wojtasz…


Kristina

What books are you reading now?

Are you ready for this? There are 49 books on my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads. Hello, my name is Kristina, and I have a book addiction. Actually it’s more like reading ADD. It isn’t that a great story doesn’t hold my attention, it’s that I’m the mother of two little boys—whose attention won’t be held by anything, and who tear me away from even the best page turners with a cry or a crash every hour of a given day. And then there is my own writer’s mind, hungrily staring through the pool of various genres, wanting a taste of this and that, needing to do a bit of research here and there depending upon what I’m currently writing. At the moment, at the top of the jumbled pile on my night stand, dog-earred and cover-creased, are the following: Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death by Bernd Heinrich; Landed: New Poetry by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg; Thinking in Pictures: My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin; Raised to Rule: Educating Royalty at the Court of the Spanish Habsburgs, 1601-1634 by Martha K. Hoffman; She Who Remembers by Linda Lay Shuler (an old favorite I’ve begun re-reading), and on top of them all, Tales of Hans Christian Andersen translated by Naomi Lewis and illustrated by Joel Stewart, which I am reading nightly to my own little ducklings. The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau also sits long neglected in my Kindle for PC, only because one of my dear little imps actually broke my laptop before I’d gotten more than a few pages in. Yes, well. Such are the perils for parents who read on the job.

What is a favorite theme in your writing?

I love to write about animals, nature and fairy tales. I studied biology in college and graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. Now days I only manage wildlife in my writing (unless you count my two sons as wildlife, which you really should). I love imagining what the world looks like to a bird, or wondering what a tree might think about if it could, and I, myself, am happiest when surrounded by nature. Nature plays a big role in fairy tales, even in Aesop’s fables, where animals sometimes have more common sense than people—there are even some written from the point of view of a tree. I love that kind of stuff! I wrote a short story called Bone Tree that retells Little Red Riding Hood through the voice of an old oak, and in my novella, Opal, Snow White’s seven companions are wild animals instead of dwarves. This was inspired by the mention of various types of birds that came to mourn the death of Snow White in the Grimm version, which I thought was just a really cool detail. And for all the dog lovers out there, I wrote Cinder, a short story with a yellow lab for a heroine in Specter Spectacular: 13 Ghostly Tales. And yeah, that’s short for Cinderella ;)

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Can you share a childhood story?

My dad often worked long hours and came home late when I was little, so I started staying up at night to wait for him and test out the latest squeezable flashlight he’d given me. I’d sit there in the dark of my room and imagine a dragon, scales made of roof tiles, looming up from the church tower out my window, or wonder where the girl in my mirror went at night, and whether she had quite another life in a world I couldn’t see. I’d be certain that the few cars that crawled our streets in the wee morning hours were driven by vampires, and that a few of my favorite stuffed animals were whispering and waiting for me to fall asleep so that they could have their own adventures. Ever since, I have written my best at night, when the world throws shadows over common sense, and the void is expansive enough to hold my imagination.

Are any of your characters based on someone you know?

I try not to include much of my own life in my fiction, but a few experiences, and yes, acquaintances, do spill over on occasion. The best example is my story Solomon’s Friend. I was working on an atypical fairy idea for the anthology Fae while also going through some struggles as a parent. One of my boys is a smart, big-hearted little Aspie, and I was interrupted so often during the drafting of my story by thoughts of him and his unique outlook on life, that I couldn’t help myself. The little boy in the story isn’t necessarily based on my son, but he definitely shares a few traits with him, and I thought that, if there really was anything magical in this world like a fairy, it certainly wouldn’t be revealed to the average Joe among us. No, it would take quite a special mind to see what the rest of us are missing.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

I am currently working on the third book in a trilogy that begins with my novella, Opal. Opal is a retwisting of Snow White in which a race of powerful shape-shifters called Fae are struggling to live alongside mistrusting humans, and the daughter of an owl must discover her heritage before finding their future. The second book, currently in the editorial process, finds the plight of Fae interwoven with the yarns of Hansel and Gretel and The Seven Ravens, while a new set of characters must travel through time to face ancient threats and the dark past of the young queen Opal. I can’t say much about the third and final book, which is still in the early stages, except that King Midas’s Touch has been a mite influential.

Beyond Opal, I am also working on a contemporary new adult novel and a work of science fiction that delves into medical mysteries. I guess I have a hard time sticking to just one genre. I write whatever sings to me, so the song doesn’t remain stuck in my head.

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Bio:

Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. Now a mother of two little tricksters and their menagerie of small beasts, she continues to conjure bits of fantasy during the rare spell of silence. Her fairy tales, ghost stories, poems and YA fiction have been published by World Weaver Press, Far Off Places and Sucker Literary Magazine.

Links:

My website: https://authorkw.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @KristinaWojtasz

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

Opal: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/store/p22/Opal.html

Solomon’s Friend in Fae: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/store/p2/Fae.html

Bone Tree in Vol. I Issue I at Far Off Places: http://www.faroffplaces.org/

Cinder in Specter Spectacular: http://www.worldweaverpress.com/store/p24/Specter_Spectacular%3A_13_Ghostly_Tales.html