Tag Archives: YA fantasy

Author Interview – Jenna Greene


Author-Interview-Button

Jenna

Does writing energize or exhaust you? Usually it energizes me. I get excited when I read something I’ve written that is well done, or when a character takes me on a journey I wasn’t expecting.

What is your writing Kryptonite? My busy life. I’m a middle school teacher, coach, volunteer, and mother of a one year old.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? I thought about it before I became married. Butrenchuk isn’t a great pen name. Once I got married and changed my name to Greene, I thought “That’s a good one!”

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? I’ve become acquainted with several Lethbridge and Calgary writers.  G.W. Renshaw has given me tips on book signings and introduced me to my publicist, Mickey Mikkelson. While I don’t know Adam Dreece as well, but have spoken to him and find him very nice, he’s my motivation to become successful as an indie author.

Imagine

Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? I have a YA fantasy series, which will eventually have a companion picture book. Each book has a distinct connection to the previous and forthcoming. However, I also have a YA contemporary that is a stand-alone. (It may have a companion book someday though…)

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? On a publicist. Creative Edge has opened a lot of doors for me. Also, ordering business cards, booklets, and banners through Vistaprint. They have great products that don’t cost writers and arm and a leg and a thigh.

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

Every time I stood up to a bully with just my tone and the word “No.”

Listening to stories on my mom’s lap, or my grandma’s, or my sister’s.

Watching She-Ra in a big, brown chair, shouting “For the honor of Greyskull!” and transforming into a powerful woman.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? Most of the indie authors I’ve met. As for a favorite book, I think my favorites are appreciated. However, THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE, by Avi, should be read more often, and it deserves its own movie.

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

I want to say NYX, the Greek goddess of the night, but I don’t think anyone would believe me. Let’s go with chipmunk. They’re small, cute, but have a bit of spunk.

Reality

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

Plenty.  A few picture books that I’m seeking publishers and/or illustrators for. One YA novel that I’m looking for the right market for. Half-finished books aren’t too common for me, but barely-started projects are.

What does literary success look like to you? When someone laughs, cries, or screams from reading one of my books. Oh, and a million dollars in sales.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? I don’t do a lot of research, except in my head. The joy of fantasy is that I get to make a lot of stuff up. But I have to formulate it in my mind, write it down to keep continuity, and brainstorm ideas with my best friend, Rachel, to make sure things are clear.

How many hours a day/week do you write? It varies. During the school year, only 1-2. During summer vacation (teaching rules!) it quadruples.

How do you select the names of your characters? Sometimes it is based off people I know. Other times the names are from literature.

Heroine

What was your hardest scene to write?Any time a character dies or loses someone they love.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them? I think the style of YA chose me, more than I chose it. I like YA literature, and feel there are fewer boundaries with what you can do.

How long have you been writing? Since grade 1.

What inspires you?  Adventures.

How do you find or make time to write? I write in short doses. Maybe thirty minutes at a time.

jennas-heetiage_orig

What projects are you working on at the present? I am editing the third book in my YA fantasy series. (Imagine, Reality, Heritage). I’m also working on a short story – not my forte, but I’m experimenting – for an anthology.

What do your plans for future projects include? Dabble with picture book manuscripts. Perhaps a humorous autobiography about teaching.

Share a link to your author website.  www.jennagreene.ca

Bio:

Jenna Greene is a middle school teacher, dragon boat coach and paddler, and semi-professional napper. She lives with her husband Scott, daughter Olivia, and their dog Thor: Dog of Thunder. 

 

 

 

Author Interview – Sandra Hurst


Author-Interview-Button

Sandra Hurst

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

That definitely depends on what I’m writing. Some scenes flow so easily onto the paper with very little effort. My imagination sees the pictures, hears the voices, and obeys. Other times it can be emotionally harrowing. It can take me days to get over the death of a beloved character, even though I made the decision to kill her off.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Handling my own nature is the hard part for me. I tend to be very distractible and moderately obsessive. There is always that one more piece of research, a new book to read, and, Oh Look! I got a facebook mention. My mind will bounce to anything new and shiny and sometimes when it lands on a topic I find it hard to let go and get back to the writing. There is a definite benefit to this type of mind though, once I start writing and the scenes are flying, I will keep going until someone pulls me out.

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I actually do write under a synonym. I work in the legal profession and was advised that it might be better not to use my real name for security purposes.

yketa4

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

I have been so lucky! Two of the first people I met when I started to write were Rebekah Raymond and J.J. Reichenbach, they, along with several others convinced me that my ‘baboon crap’ was worth the effort and helped me get started learning the craft of writing.

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

My original plan was three standalone books in the same world. But the story doesn’t seem to be working out that way.  It looks like being a three-book series.

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

In the beginning I’d say joining the Alexandra Writers Centre Society, a local writers group that runs classes on everything from writing technique, to plotting, to poetry. Once my book was underway, I hired a good editor whose knowledge of her craft and determination to present my work at its best is the reason Y’keta is a polished, professional read.

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

When I was little, we had a burgundy set of children’s encyclopaedia’s and I would put on performances in the living room and insist that my family listen to the stories and legends that I read. I grew up on the stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, and the Fae. What else could I ever be?

I love the authors who can make words dance and sentences MEAN things. This has led me to authors like Guy Gavriel Kay, and Don Dellilo. I would give my left ovary (not so dramatic a thing since at 55 those parts are hardly crucial) to sit down with either of these gentlemen, or even better their writing notes, for an afternoon!

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

That’s a hard question, there are so many good novels that go just under the popular radar. For me M.K. Wren’s Sword of the Lamb is a definite favourite. How will a government that has spanned centuries react when faced with political and social unrest? How does this affect the people born to a world that has never changed? If you enjoyed Asimov’s foundation series, you will probably like this one.

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

Oh fun! I think I would take a raven as my spirit animal. They are known for being wise birds but also for having a sense of fun and mischief.

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

Eeep. Do I have to admit it? At least eight, there is just not enough time!

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

For me its all about the reader’s reaction. Yes, the sales are great (PLEASE – buy the books), but if one person says to me that my words opened their eyes to a bigger world, or that I showed them the power of words and the beauty that they can bring, then I’m a success.

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

I originally didn’t think that I was researching to write a book when I started out to write Y’keta. About five years ago, my husband found out that he was part Cree. At that time, I went back to the indigenous legends I’d learned growing up in Northern Alberta as a way to teach my son the history and culture that my husband never learned.  For more than four years I studied the language and history of several different indigenous cultures.

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

When the words are flowing I write two to three hours a day. When things aren’t so easy and I’m struggling with a scene or a plot point it’s harder, but I try to keep to writing something every day. Whether poetry, or as part of my ongoing books.

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

I try to find names that will work within the cultures of the story taking into consideration the ‘hardness’ or ‘softness’ of certain sounds and whether they match the character. In Y’keta, I borrowed the name of a traveller that my friend met in Ontario (Y’keta) and adjusted the name of my cousin, Sian.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

In my work-in-progress, D’vhan, there is a scene where a young child dies. Writing it was emotionally crippling and took me to some very dark areas of my past. It was a necessary part of the story, but very very hard.

  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 write fantasy because the words are my way of exploring a world I can’t see. I’m a mythmaker, there is nothing that gives me more creative juice than asking a question and then building a world to find the answer. Myths and fantasy give us the opportunity to look at ourselves in new and often unusual ways, to play a huge game of ‘what if’ and see where the answers will fall. I find the basic understanding is the same when I’m working on romance books, except that you are now playing what if with relationships and feelings.

  1. How long have you been writing?

According to my mum I have always written stories and poems. I wrote my first ‘official’ poem in Grade four and had my first work published in a school magazine in 1977.

  1. What inspires you?  

There are so many people that inspire me, whether they are historical figures or literary ones. I think the common thread in all of them is that they had the opportunity to quit, every reason to say I’m too old, too tired, it’s just easier to let it be someone else’s problem. This kind of hero, unwilling, often flawed, yet willing to step up, gets me every time.

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

Finding time to write is an ongoing issue for me. I have started to take myself on writing dates, the people at the local Starbucks know my name and how I want my coffee, they don’t ask anymore.  I also have a great group of writer friends that hold sleepovers now and then. Much laughter, much wine, and many words have come from these weekends.

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

I’ve got three projects on the go at the moment, with a never empty folder of ideas on the backburner.

The next book in the Sky Road Trilogy, D’vhan, is in the ‘necklace’ stage of drafting. I’ve got several pearls but I’m missing the chain of story movement that will tie them together.

I am working on a romance that will be part of an upcoming series of novellas with my contribution, Peace Out, slated for May 2018.

There is also a chapbook of poetry in the works, although at the moment the prose has centre stage.

Romance novella, Peace Out releases on May 4th.  Video.  

Peace Out video link. 

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I am plotting a YA Fantasy based on a world where the center of the earth is molten magic and drilling is creating imbalance and magic quakes – Geomages! I’ve also got poetry,plans for a darker themed adult fantasy about a dying world that even the gods have abandoned, two other romance novels and a space opera. So much to do! It’s going to be fun.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

Website:       http://www.delusionsof literacy.com

Twitter           _SandraHurst
Facebook:    SandraHurst.Author

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

So my excitement got the better of me and I forgot to write this post – so sorry for my tardiness. I have been busy tying up loose ends, revising freelance projects and ensuring I can leave for my writing retreat tomorrow with a clear desk. On the retreat I will only focus on my writing, which will enable me to ‘complete’ two manuscripts and add to another. These are my retreat goals.

  1. Final read of Life in Slake Patch
  2. Complete revisions and read through of The Twesome Loop
  3. Continue to write my newest story, Bubble the Gruggle.
  4. Enjoy no TV, no cell service and no WiFi.
  5. Converse, share and enjoy my retreat companions company.
  6. Indulge in the most fantastic meals.
  7. Enjoy reading curled up in a cozy corner.

Books:

Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger – I will most certainly finished this book this week. Just love the characters.

Symmentry

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn – chances are as this is more novella than novel that I will finish this book over my writing retreat as well.

2507213

Then onto new stories!

Writing Tips:

Learn from the masters:

Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.
Read works by the canonical authors so you understand what constitutes a respectable literary achievement.

Creek 2016 7Strawberry Creek

My TV interview on Arts Talk…


Talking about my newest YA book, Clickety Click but also my other books too.

So now I’ve actually watched myself on this TV interview (cringe but I don’t think I was too awful!!!) I can share it – go to 11.04 on the time line. I wanted to thank my gracious hosts for inviting me onto the show. It was a lot of fun.

 

Kelly Samarah Interview …


Exculpate – definition : to free from blame : vindicate

Please welcome Kelly Samarah, who chose the word she wanted for her interview. Try and find the reason!

Kelly

Where do you call home?

Molalla, Oregon, a little logging town nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Range and just a hop away from the Mt. Hood National Forest. I grew up here, moved to Salem, Oregon for ten years, and just came back a little over a year ago. It’s still small and close-knit.

Your preferred genre to write:

Hhhmmm, I always hate this question. I write. I lean toward the horrific side of the spectrum, but not always. I have several ideas and story lines brewing from all over the board.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I always have been a writer. Reading and writing go hand in hand. I am a lover of books. No, let me rephrase that. I am in love with books. In kindergarten I was reading chapter books and getting in trouble for skipping ahead in our reader books. In second grade my teacher made me read all of my short stories aloud in class. Same thing in fourth grade. In junior high I tried my hand at poetry, and discovered I am not a poet. Fast forward to a couple years ago: Life had chewed me up and spit me out. I found myself a single mom, very little money and no future. Writing had been on the back burner for a long time. I decided to go back to school-for Criminal Justice of all things-and took a writing class as an elective. My teacher told me I was cheating myself if I didn’t focus on my love for the craft. I took his words to heart.

How do you explain the feeling when you have finally come back to what you were meant to do? Complete? Not a strong enough word, I think. Maybe it’s unexplainable.

Stories and/or book you have released right now?

 Thorns of Glass

Thorn cover

My novel and a short story. Both are on the horror side, although Thorns of Glass is a little more complex than that. It deals with domestic abuse, murder, child abuse…it’s a sad read more than scary.

The Edge

Edge

  The Edge is a straight up psychological thriller. It will also be included in my anthology. Both are available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Tell us about your most current work:

bloodmooncov

 Right now I am getting ready to release a short story collection. It will be up on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords on August 25th. The stories are quick, scary reads, more psychological than anything else.

I am also doing what I call Blog-A-Book Friday on my blog. Each week I am posting the roughest of the rough draft chapters to a YA fantasy novel I have been playing around with. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m hoping at some point I take it seriously and it turns into a book.

Do you like to read?

 I LOVE to read. Anything, but I prefer horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The only thing I will not indulge in is romance or erotica. Not my thing.

Who are the authors who have inspired you?

 Stephen King, Anne Rice, Lois Lowry, Dean Koontz, Madeleine L’Engle, and lately, John Hart and Neal Shusterman. There are so may more, but let’s leave it here, at the risk of me going on and on.

Where do you get your ideas?

 I have so many ideas I carry a small notebook around with me. I want to get a voice recorder, but the thought of listening to myself talk to me is unnerving. I would much rather write it down.

I love to give people goose bumps. I blame the “what-if” conversations commonly held with my son and my brothers. The best story ideas come to me after one of those sessions.

Links:

Blog: http://kellysamarah.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kellySKnobf

Twitter: @kellysamarah

Links to buy:

  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/332184

http://www.amazon.com/Thorns-Glass-Kelly-Samarah/dp/1482622254/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376311404&sr=8-1&keywords=Thorns+of+Glass

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/291615

Excerpt from Kelly’s short story Chop:

“Now, would you like to try out your new toy?” Benny nodded his head. He left the kitchen, holding the knife at his side.

At the head of the hallway he stared at his mother’s door. He could hear her muffled, chainsaw snoring and the creak of her mattress springs as she rolled over in her sleep. He thought about the hard lines embedded in her thick, sweaty face and the way her eyebrows pulled together right before she threw out her fist.

He squeezed the knife handle. He could be his own hero.

“That’s right. Go on…” Chopping Tony urged him forward. He slowly turned her doorknob pushed the creaking door open.

Bio:

 Kelly Samarah grew up in a small town located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. When she isn’t busy working on a new story to share with her readers she enjoys cooking, music, painting and of course, reading. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, cat and two children.