Tag Archives: romance

Author Interview – Shawn Bird


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1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Generally, it’s an energizer while I’m writing; however, when plot problems or new ideas keep me up all night when I need to be teaching in my high school class room bright and early, it can lead to exhaustion! When I can write all night, during summer and holidays I’m in a constant state of creative euphoria

2. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Yes. I think if I decide to do something with that Romance manuscript in my drawer I would publish under a pseudonym to establish a separate audience for that genre.

3. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

From regular attendance at Surrey International Writing Conference (SiWC), I have developed a wide social network of writers. I probably interact the most with Carol Mason, Eileen Cook, CC Humphreys, Tyner Gillies, Sylvia Taylor, and Diana Gabaldon. From workshops, blue pencils, social time at events, and then continued social media or email contact through the years, I’ve benefitted from the experiences they share and the feedback they give. Diana in particular, has helped with a historical novel I’ve been working on and been very encouraging of other projects, including providing a cover blurb for Murdering Mr Edwards. When someone who’s sold millions of books is willing to put her name behind your project, it’s a profound gift.

I’m presently doing a mentorship with Giller nominated , local author Gail Anderson-Dargatz on a literary novel project.   There is so much to learn, and it’s wonderful to know people who are willing to share their knowledge.

When you become a regular at a conference, you have a built in support network. I love presenting at conferences, too, which is great way to give back. I’ve enjoyed meeting beginning writers and helping then bring their projects to life. At SiWC I also met Leena Niemela who’s an awesome Finnish Canadian poet. I’ve stayed at her place on Vancouver Island to play in poetry together. It’s wonderful to have friends who understand about the voices in your head.

Dreams

4. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I seem to be writing many distinct things at this point. I have published poetry books; Grace Awakening is an urban fantasy YA novel (modern romance and Greek mythology), and the most recent project, Murdering Mr. Edwards, is a series of a short stories that became a ‘noir-vella’. I’ve got drafts of two more books in the Grace Awakening series, but lots of other projects, too. I suppose if something really took off, I’d turn my focus to that genre, but at the moment I just write what I’m in the mood to write at the time. I read a lot of different genres, so it’s not a surprise I write several, too. That said, I love Charles de Lint’s books that are set in Newford, with assorted characters that wander into each other’s stories. That’d be fun to do someday. I could send some of the teachers in Grace Awakening to teach at Canterbury High, perhaps they’ll want to murder Mr. Edwards, too…

Dreams & Power

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The money I spend each year to attend writing conferences is an annual expenditure of around $4000, but I think it’s well worth it. I’ve been signed by an agent and two publishers as a result of pitches at conferences. I learned how to pitch at conferences. I network with others at conferences. They are worth the investment. You get the tools, the tips, and the encouragement at conferences. You get out of the slush pile and meet the people you need to impress face to face. I try each year to attend Word on the Lake Writers’ Conference in Salmon Arm, BC; When Word’s Collide in Calgary, AB; and SiWC in Surrey, BC. Usually I manage at least two of the three. Last summer I attended a fantastically inspiring poetry retreat with Patrick Lane on Vancouver Island. There is so much to learn from these masters.

6. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I remember the laughter of the grade 3 class audience when I read stories or put on puppet shows I’d written for Show and Tell. I guess that means I can blame all of this on Mrs. Thompson.

Power

7. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I’m a chickadee.  

8. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Hmm. Half a dozen or so novels done or in progress, three completed novellas, and a dozen or more completed short stories. Hundreds of poems are published on the blog, but there are more in the computer, I don’t know which are which any more.

2011

9. What does literary success look like to you?

People laughing in an audience when I read my work. People writing or stopping me in the street or in the grocery line to tell me they’d read and enjoyed my books. I love it when that happens. I’m so honored that strangers will take the time to comment.

10. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Depends on the project, of course. Usually I just write, and if there’s something I need to check, I look it up later, rather than interrupting the flow. Chris Humphreys and Diana Gabaldon have both cautioned about the research rabbit holes. It’s so easy to get lost in fascinating stuff, and forget there’s a story to be telling. I do some general reading on the topic, perhaps, but then I dive right in. There’s an exception to that. I have a historical piece that is on hiatus. I own translations of 600 year old texts and 300 year old volumes. I am not quite ready to pull it all together. I want to go to France where the events took place and immerse myself. I visited a few years ago, but that was only enough to tell me that exploring the museum and chatting with the curator was not enough…

11. How many hours a day/week do you write?

On various projects (including editing and promotional tasks, educational and curriculum writing, blog, poetry, and whatever novel project has my attention at the time), somewhere around twenty to twenty-five hours a week. More in the summer. When I don’t have to be in my class room at 9 a.m., I write all night and go to bed at 4 or 5 a.m.

12. How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes baby name books, sometimes I use the name of students (with their permission, of course), sometimes they just introduce themselves with names in place, and I have no idea where they’ve come from.

13. What was your hardest scene to write?

I did a lot of weeping when I was writing a scene on a logging road about Josh and a Sasquatch in Grace Awakening Power. But apparently readers do a lot of weeping there, too, so that was a good emotional investment.

14. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I don’t think about it. I’m writing what I’m writing when I’m writing. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do with my projects, so I just do what speaks to me at any given time. Of course, Coffin Hop has been a priority this fall. If they’ve sent edits or whatever, everything else stopped while I dealt with Murdering Mr. Edwards. That’s been a fun, and completely unexpected project.

For me the harder balance might have been sorting out teaching life and writing life. I’ve decided to blur the boundaries a bit by sharing my work and experiences with my students. Lots of them would like to be writers, all of them need to know how to write something. Lots of advice applies to both situations: “You can’t edit a blank page.” “First drafts don’t have to be good, they just have to be written.” I show them manuscripts covered with editor marks so they know it’s normal to have to re-write, edit, and polish repeatedly! So many scribble something on the page and think it’s perfect. None of us is perfect the first time!

15. How long have you been writing?

I won my first writing prize at age 9, and received my first rejection letter at age 10. Both for poetry. I paid for my husband’s wedding ring with short story prize money. Then I was busy with university and only did non-fiction writing for about twenty years while I raised kids. The month after the kids moved out, Grace awakened.

16. What inspires you?  

Almost everything. There are stories EVERYWHERE.

17. How do you find or make time to write?

I sit in the chair and I write. I write in the evening after dinner. I write while watching TV (if I’m not knitting). At this precise moment, I’m sitting in the tub, typing this on a waterproof keyboard. (I think about a quarter of Grace was written in the bathtub). Like Nike, I just do it.

mr-ed-ebook-d

18. What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m promoting Murdering Mr. Edwards. It’s a noir-vella that’s a collection of 12 tales. The same annoying English teacher is murdered in each story. The literary novel I’m mentoring with Gail Anderson-Dargatz explores the relationship of a couple dealing with his mental illness. I’ve got some short stories brewing for contest season. I am trying to get back to daily poetry on my blog. I’m compiling a curriculum guide for teaching poetry. I compiling a collection of non-sectarian invocations for Rotary Clubs. I keep lots of stuff on the go all the time; that’s one of Diana’s recommendations for avoiding writers’ block. It works for me.

19. What do your plans for future projects include?

Finishing a few unfinished projects, editing a few completed projects, touring around telling people about Murdering Mr Edwards

20. Share a link to your author website.

www.shawnbird.com   Twitter and Instagram @ShawnLBird (I share a lot of shoes on Instagram. My shoe collection is infamous).

Bio:

Shawn Bird is a high school English teacher, an author, and a poet in the beautiful Shuswap region of British Columbia.  After 2 years as a graduate student in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus Shawn can no longer say she’s a  “jack of all trades master of none” ’cause she’s wielding a certificate that proclaims she’s a Master of Education! 🙂

 

Author Interview. Mandy Eve-Barnett


Link: https://charliesangel0069.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/6316/

#ASI:
Mandy Eve-Barnett

Hi, Mandy, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I am originally from England but moved to Canada ten years ago. This is the third continent; I have lived on, as I was born in South Africa. The sharp contrasts in culture, weather, landscape and experience have left traces in my soul that I draw upon for my writing. My lifelong interest in the natural world and fairy folklore, influence my writing style and some of the subjects I cover. Although, I have been creative my whole life, delving into paint, clay, textiles, and everything in between, it was not until I moved to Canada that I ‘found’ writing. It seems bizarre that I never tried writing as a creative outlet before, but I am now making up for lost time. My first book was published in 2011 and to date, I have four others published with two more launching in 2018!

Discuss your newest book. My novel, The Twesome Loop, starts its journey in the late 1990’s English countryside, where several characters make seemingly unrelated choices to travel to Italy. Melissa is fleeing a loveless marriage, Gerald wants to find his soul mate, Brett is motivated by greed and Nancy’s insatiable lust drives her. They are drawn not only by the beauty and life of Italy, but by an unexplained inner longing. Each is unaware that a pact made generations before, links their souls to each other and the beautiful villa they will stay in. A parallel story takes the reader to 1874, where a young woman’s happiness is sacrificed for her father’s ambition. Unable to resist she suffers at her older husbands hands until his brother offers a way to escape.

The story came about because I have been fascinated with reincarnation for decades and it was a way to incorporate it into a narrative. I also love England and Italy and enjoyed featuring both places. Sounds amazing!

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Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I came to Canada I promised myself a creative outlet. My children were older and did not need constant attention so I wanted to find something for me, not just for my creativity but also to meet new people in our new country. During our first library trip, a regular Saturday occurrence, I browsed the many leaflets displayed for local clubs and picked up a handful. As we left I saw a notice board promoting a writing group the following Tuesday. I sorted out the leaflet read the information and decided to attend. The first meeting was nerve racking – new people, new place, and new craft. I listened and stayed quiet for a couple of meetings then braved reading a brief story. The surprise ending had everyone gasp and that’s the moment I was hooked.

What are your current projects? Oh wow! This is going to be a list.

  1. YA novella, Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria – publishing spring 2018 – chapter header illustrations to decide upon & complete.
  2. Adult speculative fiction, Life in Slake Patch – final editing & revisions -publishing fall 2018
  3. Adult western romance, Willow Tree Tears – final editing & revisions 2019
  4. Adult suspense/thriller, The Giving Thief – final editing & revisions 2019
  5. Sequel to adult romance novella, The Rython Kingdom – writing narrative 2019
  6. Finding a steam-punk anthology for my short story, The Toymaker
  7. Freelance work – ghost writing a business book

A lot to look forward to in the next year. Good luck. 🙂 

What books have most influenced your life most? I would have to say, I have been a compulsive reader my whole life and there are far too many books to mention. I loved magical themes, stories of the natural world and a broad spectrum of genres. However, I am a huge Stephen King fan, his skillful story telling is masterful and awe inspiring. King is such an inspiration to many, myself included. He is a great mentor, even if he is not aware of it.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was a children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare, so not a complicated or long narrative! It came about when I wrote a story prompted by a word prompt on my writing group’s website. The theme was Halloween but I didn’t want to write the usual ‘someone gets scared by something’ so wrote from the point of view of a young monster on his first scare. My friend and fellow writing group member, Linda persuaded me to publish it. And that was the start.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? This is a difficult question in the case of The Twesome Loop as there are four main characters whose lives are impacted by the discovery of their past lives. (see above question). The novel, Life in Slake Patch is set in an alternative future under matriarchal law. The sexes live in separate compounds and only have weekly visits. My main POV character is Evan – a young man living the life unchanged for generations. He becomes the vehicle for change, while fighting a band of dissents, holding a secret book and becoming married.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? In The Twesome Loop, I want my readers to see love can be a powerful thing across time but also that love can overcome religion, traditions and oppression. This is a good message, especially with Valentine’s day just a few days passed.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? For The Twesome Loop, I see Liam Hemsworth and Camilla Belle as the love torn lovers.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Once I began writing short responses to word prompts, it soon became a flood of ideas crowding my mind. The more I wrote the longer the narratives and the more I became obsessed.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Unfortunately only part-time – I have a full time job as well as a freelance writing business. I also have roles as secretary for the local writer’s foundation and president of the local arts & culture council.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? To actually finish it, I wrote the first draft during a NaNoWriMo in 2010. It was revised and edited, put away and the process repeated seven times. I loved the story but the complication of two time periods and multiple characters back and forth across time took some careful plotting and continuity. NaNoWriMo is a daunting task within itself, but the complexities of your work make it twice as. That also means twice as rewarding. 

What is the easiest thing about writing? Sitting down and typing while the story unfolds on the page – I am a free flow writer, so do not plot prior to writing. I let the narrative and characters carry me on a journey.

What book are you reading now? I have just finished Sleeping Beauties and started 11/22/63 – yes I know both Stephen King and I don’t usually read them back to back but they were Christmas gifts. I will have to check out Sleeping Beauties, it’s one I haven’t heard of.

What is one random thing about you? I used to sit in graveyards cleaning the gravestones as a youth. I find graveyards so peaceful and think it is a respectable job, cleaning gravestones.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Most of my writing is on my laptop although I do jot down short stories in notebooks when an idea hits me.

What does your writing process look like? An idea will come to me, whether from a news story, an overheard dialogue, or even a photo and it sparks a character or setting in my mind. As I have said before, I let the story flow through me and even when it diverts in a direction I was not expecting I just go with it. I can sit and write, when left alone, for hours. Sometimes I listen to classical music but mostly in silence. It is my happy place.

How important are names to you in your books? I try to make sure the names reflect the character’s traits, time period and their place in the narrative.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I am spasmodic in my promotion and need to be more organized in avenues of advertising and target marketing.

What is your favorite book and why? You will find this interesting as it is not a Stephen King book. I love and re-read on a regular basis a book called Ferney by James Long. It centers on a young woman and an old man who are the reincarnations of past lives. It is a fabulously written book and the story totally mesmerizing.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Find a writing group who supports and encourages you and where you can receive constructive critique. Like the Authors Helping Authors Beyond Marketing (New budding group on Facebook).

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Apart from the day job – freelance projects, event planning for both non-profit organizations, traveling to book events and attending local author readings.

From where do you gain your inspiration? It is a common answer from writers – everywhere and everything but I have found unusual news stories, fairy folklore and the natural world to be my main sources of inspiration. I’ve been waiting to plug this in because I found it to be my favorite cover of one of your books!

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What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? As I am published through a small publishing company, I cannot comment on self-publishing. I will say that a smaller publisher enables me to have more control over the process, the design and look of the books and it is a far more personal service.

How do you market your books? I am prolific on social media, I have a blog where my books are featured, and my publisher’s website has all my titles. I regularly attend author readings and local and provincial literary events. My books are in the local libraries and independent book stores.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? Funny you should ask I have just had discussions with a PR company this week. It is a new venture for me.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Start local and build from there – try not to conquer the world in one go. Gauge how much you want to market and where and focus on that, spreading yourself too thin only exhausts you and leaves no time to write.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I would say writing is 60% and marketing 40% – it is the writing I enjoy and if people read my stories now or in the future that is my reward.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

I do not openly request book reviews apart from the occasional meme share on social media. When people buy my books I do request a review. I am keen to see what this PR company can do on this subject. Watch this space.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? When I was promoting The Twesome Loop I did entice readers by mentioning that it contained ‘spicy bits’ – several purchasers remarked on this strategy saying it was the reason they wanted to read it.

Which social network worked best for you? I find Facebook, twitter and Goodreads all have on par success for me. My blog seems to be the place readers and writers visit a great deal.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Without a doubt I would love to spend time with my literary hero, Stephen King. He is a skillful writer but also a fascinating personality, to sit down with him would be a dream come true. I would like to find out what makes the man tick.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I would be honored to have written Ferney. It is the ultimate reincarnation story.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Don’t be afraid to try new styles, don’t restrict yourself to one genre explore them all. Let the story flow and do not edit as you go but later on once the narrative is finished.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? I am all over social media:

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

Twitter: @mandyevebarnett

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477059.Mandy_Eve_Barnett

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/mandyevebarnett

Author Page: http://dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/mandy-eve-barnett

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandy-eve-barnett-58235250/

Author Interview – Lina Rehal


 

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Lina

1.Does writing energize or exhaust you?

A little bit of both. When I’m really into a chapter and it’s practically writing itself, I get pumped and full of energy. When I’m having trouble with a chapter or scene that isn’t coming easily to me, I end up at the computer working on it for hours. That is exhausting.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Sometimes a little too much narrative. I can go overboard with detailed descriptions. I end up taking a lot out when I edit.

  1. What are your writing strengths?

I’m a good storyteller and I’m good with dialogue. Dialogue can make or break a story. It moves the story along and shows how the characters relate to one another.

Kisses

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

No. I’d get too confused.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’ve been in a few writing groups and have formed friendships with several authors. I was the founder and facilitator of a group of women writers for 9 years. I currently belong to a group of men and women writers at a local library. We all help each other. I have a writing buddy who also writes romance books. We critique each other’s work on a regular basis. This is a great motivator. I highly recommend it to other writers, especially aspiring ones.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I write my books to stand alone. I am working on a series called Tucker’s Landing. LOVING DANIEL and LASTING IMPRESSIONS have many of the same characters and they both take place mainly in Tucker’s Landing, but each book can stand alone.

Daniel

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Probably when I started writing for newspapers. I did travel and feature stories for a while. It always amazed me when people came up to me and asked questions about a story of mine they’d read and wanted to know more about what I thought.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

At least two half-finished and a couple more only in the early idea stages.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

My favorite authors: Nora Roberts, Anita Shreve, Barbara Delinksy, Debbie Macomber. That’s success. To me personally, it’s getting my stories and books out there and having them read. If I can do that, I’ve achieved success.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I rarely do much research before beginning a book. I do my research as I’m writing it. Certain things that I need to know come up in the process. That’s when I look things up. Research is not a part of writing I like doing, but it has to be done. You have to be accurate.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

It varies, depending on what else is going on in my life. I try to do a couple of hours a day. When I’m deep into a chapter, I can spend several hours on it.

New York

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I often drive myself crazy trying to come up with the “perfect” name for a character. In LOVING DANIEL, I wanted to use my grandmother’s family name of McRae. I researched names to go with it and used Aidan because I liked it. When I was looking for a name for my hero in LASTING IMPRESSIONS, I told my ten-year-old granddaughter I needed a name for a male character. (She likes to write.) She thought about it for only a minute or two and said, “Dylan.” Just like that. Kids don’t hesitate. Dylan Granger was born.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

My first love scene. I wanted it to be hot, but not too hot and I didn’t want it to be explicit. I brought it to my writing group for critiquing and was too embarrassed to read it out loud myself. I had to have someone else read it.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I liked writing essays and personal stories and found I had a knack for writing nostalgia. I loved doing that, but always wanted to write fiction. Now that I have more time, I’m into the fiction writing and loving it. I balance them by writing whatever I’m in the mood for or whatever my muse tells me.

  1. How long have you been writing?

For as long as I can remember, which is a long time. I used to make up stories when I was a child. I wrote a short piece with a couple of other kids in the fifth grade that was published in a yearbook. I think that was my first published piece. I still have the yearbook.

  1. What inspires you? 

A lot of things. I never know where it’s going to come from. Even the smallest of every day events and happenings can create a spark for a story or a scene. Observing people often inspires a character. Listening to conversations in restaurants, at the hairdresser or in line at the supermarket.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

It’s much easier to find time for writing now that I’m retired. I do a lot of my writing in the morning. If a chapter is working for me and I’m on a roll, I just ignore everything else and write for hours.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

Book Two of my Tucker’s Landing Series, Lasting Impressions. I’m hoping to have it out in late February or early March of 2018.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

Definitely another romance novel. Most likely, book three of the Tucker’s Landing Series, Worth Waiting For. It was supposed to be book two, but it wasn’t working for me at the time so I made Lasting Impressions the next one. I’d like to write another Carousel Kisses book of nostalgia. It’s one of the half-finished books I mentioned. Maybe putting together a book of short stories. I’m also working on a presentation on self-publishing that I’d like to do at local bookstores or libraries or writing groups.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

www.thefuzzypinkmuse.com

Amazon Author Pagehttps://www.amazon.com/Lina-Rehal/e/B008L5FNPS/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

Facebook Author Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/thefuzzypinkmuse/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/CarouselKisses

Bio:

Lina Rehal is a self-published author who writes nostalgia, memoirs, slice of life stories and contemporary romance. Her first book, Carousel Kisses, is a collection of nostalgic stories, personal essays and poems about growing up in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.

She combines her passion for fiction and love of storytelling in her contemporary romance novels. Her two seasoned romance books, October In New York and Loving Daniel, Book One of her Tucker’s Landing Series, are available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats.

Lina is currently working on Lasting Impressions, Book Two of the series and plans to write a second Carousel Kisses book in 2018. Email her at rehalcute@aol.com or visit her website http://www.thefuzzypinkmuse.com

I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Lina as much as I did.

Author Interview – A.L. Butcher


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Please be aware some of Alex’s novels are 18+ rated.

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! I have fibromyalgia so some days I don’t have the energy to do much of any use. I try and write everyday (and don’t always succeed), but some days, if I feel OK I get a total buzz from the writing. It’s satisfying to create something, and the feel-good is worth a lot. On the other hand the non-writing days make me feel a bit rubbish. It does depend on what else I have done that day. I work full time, so writing is usually limited to the evenings, weekends and holidays. I enjoy it though. When it becomes a burden I will stop.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Gaming and the internet. I am easily distracted. I’ll just go online for half an hour before I write… just 30 minutes…. Who am I kidding?

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I have and I do. I have an erotic romance written under the name Alexa Lynsey (which incidentally just won an award from Princess of the Light blog for best Erotic Romance in 2017).  The downside is the promotional aspect. It takes ages to build a following and to start over is hard. That said it has benefits as well – especially for the ‘adult’ genres.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Tori Zigler, Barbara Tarn, Joe Bonadonna, Janet Morris, Nickie Storey-Bailey, Diana L Wicker and several others. The indie author scene tends to be supportive. We share networking ideas, we offer advice on books, and promotion. We grumble to each other, and enjoy one anothers successes.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series is just that – a series – but each book can be read alone to a degree. It helps to know the world and the past events but the books are still enjoyable as stand alones. The Tales of Erana series are set in the same world but stand alone – there are two novellas and a short story collection. These are the myths and legends, the old tales and the ‘side’ tales.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Banner

The Kitchen Imps – short stories in one collection so that can be read alone.

The two Legacy of the Mask novellas share a link but can be read alone and in any order.

The Watcher- A Jack the Ripper Story is a standalone.

Outside the Walls is a standalone

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Editing! Various courses to hone the craft.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

That’s hard! I think it was probably the first time I can remember going to the theatre. It was a production of Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis. I was spellbound. That inspired a love of theatre, fantasy and storytelling. The tale and its production were amazing and I came out feeling elated. Narnia was a whole new world, in the back of a wardrobe, with the great aspects of appealing characters, a brilliant story and worldbuilding.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I’d say either I, the Sun or The Reader of Acheron.

9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A monkey, or a squirrel. I love both animals. Both are crafty, intelligent, and twist themselves in circles.

10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Lots! Currently six or seven works in progress and a few other things that may one day be adapted into stories.

11. What does literary success look like to you?

Readers telling me they like the books, asking when the next book is, and making people happy with the stories.

12. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

That depends. I have researched such things as whether a salamander is edible (it is but you probably wouldn’t want to eat it); swamp terrain; poisons; field surgery; the airspeed velocity of a dragon, and what could make it fly. It really depends on what is needed for the work in questions. I do think research is important. Readers aren’t stupid – they will notice if something doesn’t work or is awry. There’s nothing like a screaming great plot or research hole to drop a reader right out of a book. That said it can’t be assumed that readers have the same knowledge of the world (especially a made up world) the author does.

13. How many hours a day/week do you write?

Well… I would like to say I write every single day but it’s not true. I work full time and I have a few health issues which means some days I can’t think straight, let alone string a coherent sentence together. I write several times a week, be it story, review, blog post, interview or poetry. My New Year’s resolution is to write for at least an hour a day – after all I can always delete it.

14. How do you select the names of your characters?

Baby names book, names I like the sound of or fit the characters and misspelled human names.

15. What was your hardest scene to write?

Pretty much any battle scene! Although there were some scenes in book III where a character dies and I blubbed a bit. Oddly sex scenes are much easier. I guess as usually battles contain more people doing complicated things…

16. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

Mostly I write fantasy, both short stories and novels, but I also write poetry and in fact have done for far longer than I’ve been writing fiction. I also dabble with horror, and erotica (although not usually at the same time!) I write what appeals to me at any given time, what I am in the mood to write. Obviously a novel takes longer than a short story, and there are different audiences, and different skills involved with both. Each have their merits.

17. How long have you been writing?

I assume you mean how long have I been writing to publish? Book I was published in 2012. If you’re asking how long have I been writing stories ans poems I was probably about 7 when I started….

18. What inspires you?  

Everything.

19. How do you find or make time to write?

Hiding from the internet😉. I don’t go out much, I don’t have kids and so I have free time. In between gaming, reading, spending time with my partner and my doggy, and gardening, writing is what I do.

20. What projects are you working on at the present?

Book IV, a couple of short stories, a novella, a fantasy recipe book and a few other bits and pieces.

21. What do your plans for future projects include?

Possibly a roleplay game based on the world of Erana, a fantasy recipe book, at least two more novels, a Roman fantasy book and more anthologies.

Author Bio:

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a  A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavor in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Outside the Walls by Diana L Wicker

Her short novella Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana :L Wicker received a Chill With a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/abmonkey/

Books

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series – an adult fantasy/fantasy romance series, with a touch of erotica.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.

(18 rated.)

Audio editions narrated by Rob Goll

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2bPpspP

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2iBgmQV

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2i2KJfE

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2iXfIdc

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2iB9PWl

I-books http://apple.co/2j0pYW2

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bGqZvO

Audible http://adbl.co/2hHT8El

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/members/ebook/overview/XDOAydON

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

(18 rated)

Now in audio narrated by Shakespearean actor Rob Goll.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

https://bundlerabbit.com/members/ebook/overview/1wz3Jw2N

The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

What stalks the land cannot be, but is.

Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from for, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2ivJjeL

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2hKF4Ns

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hKOZTv

I-books http://apple.co/2iBiA2E

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/stolen-tower

Tales of Erana series

Erana

In a world where magic is illegal, and elves enslaved dare you hear the tales of old? Five tales of myth, magic, and monsters from the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

Audio editions narrated by Michael Legate

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j0yyEh

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2hKoUoZ

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2hKOKHP

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2j0DJnK

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2iBbmM8

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bxgVrw

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2i31N56

I -books http://apple.co/2hKO19z

Kobo http://bit.ly/2i2W0MR

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse.

The Warrior

He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.

Audio editions narrated by Rob Goll

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2hHZKm9

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2hKOk4v

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2buD5qk

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2j0EZXP

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2i2Woev

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bGSoi4

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2iBu6er

I-books http://apple.co/2j0GNQz

Kobo http://bit.ly/2ivU4gV

Print

https://www.createspace.com/6358394

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1534782052/

Tales of Erana Just one Mistake

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2pQADCj

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2orn0s9

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/696686

Kobo http://bit.ly/2oMTwdh

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2puZ4WL

Print Editions

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1546421726/

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1546421726/

Audio

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2sp7Hqk

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2tikBCW

Audible.co.uk http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-Audiobook/B071WXK5D3/

The Fire-Side Tales Collection

KitchenImps cover

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – six short tales of mayhem and mischief.

Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2l8t7Qq

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2lSvsn3

Kobo http://bit.ly/2qiJ4tH

Audible.co.uk http://adbl.co/2b8oxRZ

Amazon.com – audio http://amzn.to/2lE6EfM

I-Books http://apple.co/2lihgjs

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2brX3D0

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2mfQPPA

I-tunes http://apple.co/2l8Fg7H

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/kitchen-imps-other-dark-tales

Outside the Walls

Outside the Walls by Diana L Wicker

Co-authored with Diana L. Wicker

(Expanded edition)

When the tide of war flows who will be caught in its wake? A short fantasy tale of a woman’s determination in time of war.

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2lU4vyN

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2msdchv

Print edition http://amzn.to/2lUbTKG

Kobo http://bit.ly/2btdiiJ

Smashwords http://bit.ly/2lJwb7p

I books http://apple.co/2lStWRQ

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/outside-walls

Audio – Narrated by Melanie Fraser

Amazon.co.uk audio http://amzn.to/2mtHX53

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2kUP1vi

Audible.co.uk http://adbl.co/2brX3D0

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2lSzqfn

Of Blood and Scales – in Heroika: Dragon Eaters

The fate of the Kingdom of Ilmar rests on a dying child. Only the truly courageous dare to face the ultimate foe and save the realm.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2lRDLPf

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2lHCrN4

Amazon print UK http://amzn.to/2mpBNnn

Paperback US http://amzn.to/2mwZbhY

Audio – narrated by Rob Goll

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bnbGu1

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2kXAQp2

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2mpH6mC

 Shattered Mirror1

Shattered Mirror: A Poetry Collection

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2mivxAU

Smashwords http://bit.ly/2mpNkmH

https://www.createspace.com/6444126

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/shattered-mirror

Audio

Amazon UK audio  http://amzn.to/2mjUUm1

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2lU6C5u

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2cyCQgQ

Legacy of the Mask Tales

Echoes of a Song

mask in hand.halloween concept

A dozen tumultuous years after the dramatic events at the Paris Opera House Raoul, Comte de Chagny is still haunted by the mysterious Opera Ghost – the creature of legend who held staff at the Opera House under his thrall, kidnapped Raoul’s lover and murdered his brother. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1P25XF

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M1P25XF

Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.

tears-of-crimson-velvet

A Legacy of the Mask Tale.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TMFF9M

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073TMFF9M

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story

watcher-cover-1

The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.

18 rated for scenes of violence.

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2xdkprc

Amazon.com  http://amzn.to/2v6EUsb

Smashwords  http://bit.ly/2xtps6k

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2v6xDZs

Kobo http://bit.ly/2v6zoG6

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-watcher-a-jack-the-ripper-story/id1273647143?mt=11

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/the-watcher

For anthology pieces please check the author profiles

Writing as Alexa Lynsey

Tales of the Golden Mask – An Initiate’s Tale

Golden Mask

Sultry and sensual adventures to warm your cold winter nights or steam up your long summer days. Set in a fantasy world where nothing is quite what it appears, an old book and a strange golden mask bring power and pleasure.

The first installment in the Tales of the Golden Mask

Adult rated. 18+

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2jTx530

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2oKfMRx

Smashwords http://bit.ly/2pwYGti

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2kSCtAK

Kobo http://bit.ly/2oJ0pdG

Print edition – Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2okGYFt

Print edition – Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2pexUGn

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/tales-golden-mask

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33977537-tales-of-the-golden-mask?from_search=true

Alexa Lynsey walks the paths of fantasy regularly; she enjoys writing sultry fiction and ‘sex and sorcery’ stories and reading a wide variety of fiction and fact. A passionate historian and nature lover she sees beauty and knowledge everywhere. When not writing saucy tales her other self is a poet, fantasy writer and blogger.

Contact email GoldenmaskALBD@gmail.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Alexalynseyauthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoldenMask17

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Alex. As you can see she is a prolific author and she has lots of stories to share now and in the future.

 

 

 

Author Interview – Lane McFarland


Author-Interview-Button

LaneMcFarland (2)

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both! LOL! Writing is my escape. It can be very invigorating and exhausting.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Research. I can get lost exploring medieval times. Hours later, I’m amazed at how much time has gone by with my head in what was going on in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. LOL!

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Seven years ago, I dipped my toe in the writing world with Romance Writers of America. Through that membership, I joined romance writers’ organizations Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart. I served as Treasurer of Hearts Through History for a couple years and became actively involved in the chapter. It was during that time when I joined the critique group. I met some amazing authors who have become good friends. They have helped me tremendously! I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for their wonderful support and encouragement.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Each book in my series can be read stand alone, but they are written in chronological order. You’ll find my books follow different series. I love to read stories that continue through secondary characters. As a matter of fact, the books I’m currently plotting branch off from my first series, The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall. Throughout Cameron, Heather, Lindsey, and Elsbeth, you will meet colorful individuals whose stories beg to be told. After I complete Elsbeth, the legacy will continue throughout generations to come.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I ever spent as a writer was in joining the Romance Writers Association of America which gave me access to several online affiliated chapters. The authors in those chapters have helped me in so many ways. I’m truly blessed to be part of the groups.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have published four books in my Daughters of Alastair MacDougall series, two in the Turnberry Legacy, and several half-finished books.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

I write for the sheer pleasure and love of storytelling. To have someone send me a message letting me know they enjoyed my books is the most gratifying success. That is what keeps me writing.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

I try to write very day for at least one hour, but my job often gets in the way.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

After I’ve developed the storyline, I search internet sites for names used during my story’s time period. As I go down the list, certain names will jump out at me that seem to fit my characters.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

In my latest book, A King’s Enemies, there are a couple of interrogation scenes. During medieval times, those questioning methods were brutal. Those scenes were the most difficult to write.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I like most any kind of romance novel, but my heart has always been drawn to the medieval period, particularly in Scotland, Ireland, and England. That said, I plan to write stories spanning the early Middle Ages through the American Civil War. While my books are fiction, each one is based on historical facts, and you will often see known figures such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, or The Red Comyn make guest appearances. All my stories revolve around human struggles, sacrifices survivors are forced to make, and their resilience to live and thrive.

  1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all my life, but I started seriously writing in 2011.

  1. What inspires you?  

For some strange reason, my muse pings off the charts when I am hiking with my husband. My imagination runs wild with what it would have been like walking through the woods during the medieval times, or when the enemy might be lurking in the trees.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I enjoy writing at most any time, but my daytime job often gets in the way. So, I write a good bit before I go to bed and then edit what I wrote early in the morning. I also write after work, on weekends and any time I can find a few minutes.

A King's Enemies

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

Now that I finished A King’s Enemies, I’m writing the third book in the series, A King’s Allies. I hope to release that story late fall of this year. I’m also working on a new book about an imperfect rogue that will be released late this summer.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I have four more books outlined up for my Turnberry Legacy series. As soon as I finish the two stories I’m working on now, I’ll jump into writing the rest of the books.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

I love to hear from readers! Here is my email address: mcfarland.lane@gmail.com

Website:  http://lanemcfarland.com

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/LaneMcFarlandAuthor

Twitter:  @LaneMcFarland

Where can readers find your books? Here is my author page. You’ll find my books listed here.

http://www.amazon.com/Lane-McFarland/e/B00G7UQZNI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

The Turnberry Legacy Series

ToSupportAKing

At the turn of the fourteenth century, danger abounds with Scotland’s leadership in flux. Amidst rumors of King Edward reinstating John Balliol to the throne, Robert the Bruce commands his most trusted men to resurrect The Turnberry Bond, a pact specifying loyal Scots and Irish nobles band together in resistance against all adversaries. Follow the rebel warriors fighting for the rightful king of Scotland and their struggle with honor and love as their lives become intertwined with the brave women who challenge them.

A King’s Enemies ~ Book Two

Tormented by King Edward’s brutality against Scottish sympathizers, Drake Fletcher vows revenge, but only a madman single-handedly attacks the Crown. Instead, he enters the royal court as a spy to aid Robert the Bruce’s rise to power and place a formidable leader on Scotland’s throne.

Scottish lass Katherine Mackenzie Armstrong targets three of King Edward’s officers who brutally raped and murdered her mother. Disguised as one of Queen Margaret’s attendants, she sets a course to destroy the men.

The acts of treason both Drake and Katherine commit are punishable by death in The Tower of London but their determination pushes dangerous limits. Considered enemies, they use each other to gain vital information. Neither expect their overwhelming attraction to one another, the staggering emotions stirred. But the closer they become, the more they jeopardize their pledges of vengeance.

Will the weight of retaliation crush them, see them beheaded? Or will Katherine and Drake form an alliance and learn to live and love again

 Thank you for having me!

Author Bio:

Starting out as an accountant in line with the rest of the corporate echelons struggling up the proverbial ladder, I soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. So, I decided to hit the road selling financial software. Jumping from one high-pressured frying pan into the other, the stress of the road- warrior life and constant deadlines took its toll. I needed a release and found that with my face buried in historical romance books, I could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, I am fortunate to have found my true passion in writing of spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them.

I am a southern girl living on top of a mountain in North Georgia, and I’m most happy when surrounded by family and friends. If I am not writing, you can find me hiking with my husband, or fiddling around in my flower and vegetable gardens, feeding the birds and watching black bears and deer. I am blessed to have a wonderful son—my pride and joy, my buddy who, along with my husband, have made my life complete.

It was such a pleasure to get to know Lane and her historical romances.