Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘The Tenant’s Wrath’ by Gabriel Nombo

About the Book:

Tenancy is a stage that is exercised by almost everyone, especially when we are obliged to shift from one place to another. However, this aspect has several challenges as long as we realize the relationship between tenants and landlords. Now, some remarks on it. Please, allow the author to entertain you while explaining the challenges witnessed in some tenancies.

THE TENANT’S WRATH (previously published as Outrageous Humans on Exoplanet) is a novel that has been written according to the author’s experience in living as a tenant in local houses. At the time of publishing this book, he has an experience of fourteen tenancies in local houses. There are troublesome tenants and house owners in some tenancies. How this report is presented? Through appreciating efforts that are done in space technology and exoplanetology.

Technology has drastically developed nowadays and, keeps on advancing rapidly. This has not left behind exoplanetology and space technology(let’s appreciate how curiosity rover was positioned on mars). Presently, we are able to live outside our customized planet for several months. Due to it, we know the biological impact of lacking the earth’s gravitational force. For instance, cardiovascular behavior of the human body when it’s in a weightlessness environment.

The report on how landlords and tenants live together, is assumed to be written in 34th Century, one century after the first signal indicating aliens’ presence is detected. A fictional reporter from the earth, writes it after voyaging to aliens ‘exoplanet. This exoplanet has aliens who are very angry by nature.

The reporter does a thorough research on aliens’ culture including their science, daily life, food style, theology, landlord-tenant relationship, education system, and others. Then, he writes a report which he forwards it to his fellow earthlings. It takes only a month for the emailed report to reach planet earth.

Welcome to a strange and fascinating exoplanet!

 

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Purchase Links:

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Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

The challenges I faced when I was renting in several local houses have impressed me to write something to share with others. I started tenancy life soon after completing my high level education in March 2005. I tenanted in two local houses in Songea district, Ruvuma-Tanzania before shifting to Dar es salaam in November 2005. In Dar es salaam, I was lucky enough to live in the same building with four local landlords while studying at the institute of Finance management (IFM), taking information technology (IT).

I completed my college education in July 2008 and I got a job that moved me to Mwanza region (Tanzania) in October 2008. I tenanted in three local houses in this region while living in the same building with my landlords/landladies.   Thus, sharing items like a courtyard, bathroom, veranda, toilet, electricity, water utility, etc.

From my first tenancy in Songea up to my ninth tenancy in Mwanza, I realized that no tenancy was without a challenge. Hence, in January 2010, I started to construct my building and shifted into it in June 2010. My mind calmed in this hut and a distinguished guest arrived in my mind: an idea of documenting the challenges I faced.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I don’t have any specific time and place for writing. When I remember something, I might use my laptop or even my mobile phone to write what comes in my mind at that time. However, when I desire to put it in a paragraph, I usually write when my computer is connected to Internet.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

As far as ‘The Tenant’s Wrath’ is concerned, most of my ideas just came from events that I had already witnessed. I got a few events from other tenants after I published and printed part of this book in January 2012, which was in Kiswahili. With an exception of it’s setting (far away from the earth), I can say, I did not write this book. I just transferred it from brain storage to ‘written’ storage.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

There was no plan in writing The Tenant’s Wrath. The entire story already existed in my head before I started writing it.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

At the moment, I have only one completed book: The Tenant’s Wrath. Its genre is science fiction. I chose this genre so as to write it freely. As it involves a true part of my life, I wanted to make a reader know the life of characters in the book and not the life of author and his surroundings. Thus, until I expose a key, by reading only a novel, I think there is no direct relationship between the book and me. Example, Setifokasi (the protagonist) took accountancy at the college, but I took Information technology.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I am not so familiar with the names of other famous actors out of Tanzania, but Vincent Kigosi (Tanzanian) would be the best fit to play the role of Setifokasi.

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

I read much, especially in digital form, not only books but also articles. I like novels that make me have knowledge I didn’t have before. A knowledge that is also funny and makes me laugh when I get it. In that way, I have several favourite authors, not limited to Tanzanian authors: Shaaban Robert with his book ‘Kusadikika (To be believed)’ and Irene Ndauka. Irene Ndauka has written several books in Kiswahili concerning witchcraft. The way she explains how science in the darkness operates, motivated me to desire explaining the opposite: how science in the lightness works.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

At the moment, I am reading Alien Attraction by Cara Bristol and Sub-human by David Simpson.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is Kusadikika (To be believed) by Shaaban Robert as it takes me to a strange environment where I can do tourism of its kind.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

If that someone were in front of me now, I would say; if you have a story that you think it is interesting and people can get entertained or learn something from it, writing it should be inevitable. Without fearing how many people may read the resulted book. For, it is easy to document your interest but convincing other people to be interested in what you are interested in is so challenging.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/HarvestingAnger4Benefit

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarvestingB

About the Author:

Gabriel P. Nombo is an information technology (IT) professional. He is the author who engaged himself in part of what he has written. While struggling to dwell in local houses, the author had tenanted in more than eight houses in different regions of his country, starting from 2005 to 2010. During all this time, he kept on observing and admiring domestic relationship between tenants and landlords when they occupy and dwell in the same building. In January 2012, he published only part of his entire personal finding: ‘HASIRA ZA MPANGAJI (The Tenant’s Wrath)’. This work had only 112 pages and it included only 500 printed copies. He employed it to extract some more data from other houses that never lucked him tenancy. How?. He presented it to some academicians, mostly, higher learning institutions in several regions. Most of them got interested and took a copy of it.

In those regions, as he was also sighted marketing the novel tête-à-tête around the streets, he presented it to local people who became emotional to the title and exposed a lot of challenges they were facing. Numerous claims were either tenants’ maltreatment or landlord’s harsh behavior. This advantaged him to harvest more data and information on what the society faces when dwelling as tenants and landlords. By harnessing this experience, and, as much effort is now focused towards space exploration, extraterrestrial intelligence and space technology, the author was eager to share his thoughts on it. How? By building curiosity on how aliens might behave, when they grade themselves as tenants and landlords. This curiosity and many others, drove him insane. There was no way to cure it but, coming up with Outrageous Humans on Exoplanet.

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Author Interview: ‘Thief in the Castle’ by B. B. Morgan

About the Book:

The notorious Juniper Thimble is destined for execution. Caught stealing the king’s crown—in addition to her long list of crimes—she has only one way out. Juniper must survive the biggest, most deadly con of her life, commissioned by the king himself. Disguised as the crown prince’s lover, she is forced to protect him with her life…literally. Guarded by a surly squire, relentlessly attacked by demons, and surrounded by mysteriously disappearing servants, Juniper must dispatch the threat to the prince’s life before they find out who she really is.

Authors 4 Authors Content Rating
This title has been rated 17+, appropriate for older teens and adults, and contains:

  • Intense implied sex
  • Intense violence
  • Moderate language
  • Mild alcohol use
  • Child slavery

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m B. B. Morgan – fantasy author and casual nerd. I grew up in a small farming town in the American Midwest. I’ve always loved stories, and books offered a wider range of possibilities. Books didn’t have to worry about special effect budgets or bad acting. Anything could happen between the covers.

I started crafting what would become my first novel somewhere around my freshman year of high school. I didn’t know what I was doing until years later when I pushed myself to write that first draft. I self-published Devil’s Blood in 2016. (It wasn’t very good. I’m not being modest. It wasn’t ready to be published.) I learned a lot from the publishing process, and each consecutive book was better. (Each book was easier to write, too.)

I write to escape. Life sucks, but books make it better. I crave a sense of adventure – that sense of finding what’s over the next horizon. I crave a sense of wonder – the kind that comes from visiting fantastical places like Hogwarts or meeting Fae or dragons or elves. That’s why I write fantasy.

My latest book is Hard as Stone, a YA gaslight fantasy, the first in a trilogy. I am also the author of the Stars and Bones high fantasy series. The first book, Thief in the Castle, is out now. The second book, Mage in the Undercity, is hitting shelves this April. The third book, Dreams in the Snow, is slated for 2021. Both series are published with Authors 4 Authors Publishing.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I have two part-time day jobs that keep me busy. My writing time is narrow, but I find the morning the most beneficial – a fresh cup of coffee, sunshine, a whole day ahead of me. I have a desk in a corner where I do all my work. It’s cluttered, and my chair is too big for the space, but it’s my space. Sometimes my dog, Suz, will join me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I imagine that mythical place as a golf course. Fairies are playing golf a bit haphazardly, and every once in a while one of the balls goes way off and hits an author in the head. The golf ball is magic so it explodes into fairy dust on impact. If an author is lucky enough to inhale some of that dust, they get an idea for a new story.

Or, that’s what I think happens.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Through the process of writing those first few novels and starting about twenty that went nowhere, I learned that I write best when I have a clear endgame. When the idea for a story strikes, I write it down (Google doc or Word). I add to that idea over time – character notes, world notes, plot, etc. For Stars and Bones: Thief in the Castle, I had a Google Doc of around ten thousand words before I started the rough draft.

Before I start any draft, I need an outline. It might be a rough outline, but I need a clear endgame. I need to know where my story is going to end and where my characters are going to end up. That way I can steer the story toward that goal, making sure there is character development to back up the plot.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Fantasy. Hands down. I didn’t read a lot in grade school or high school, but the books I felt most drawn to were fantasy. Magic. Dragons. Wizards. Superheroes. The shows and moves I watched were mostly fantasy. Fantasy, to me, is the ultimate escape. I can go into an entirely different world where the problems of our world don’t exist. Sure, problems exist in this new world, but I know they’ll be resolved by the end.

The first books I remember reading on my own volition were the Harry Potter books, most notably the Chamber of Secrets. I didn’t know books that long could be that cool. I was aborded. I wanted to read. I wanted the next book. I craved to know more of the story.

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas had the same effect. I DEVOURED the first five books in the series within a week and a half, and that series gave me the kick I needed to finish my own high fantasy, Stars and Bones.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’m not up on who’s who in Hollywood. I know there are plenty of actors waiting and deserving of a big break. I’d love undiscovered actors to be cast.

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

I read constantly. I always have a book – sometimes three. I love Sarah J. Maas; I will read anything she writes. My favorite authors include Holly Black, V. E. Schwab, Stephanie Garber, Leigh Bardugo, and Rebecca Ross.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’m currently reading House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig; Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo; and The Heart Between Kingdoms by Mary Dublins.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

This is a hard question. I want to say Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because it’s the first book I stayed up to read, but I also want to say Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I also want to say Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Uh, I pick all three. Because I couldn’t put them down. They enthralled my imagination in a way that few books do. They inspired me. They kept me up at night because I would rather read than sleep.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Never give up. There is so much that goes into writing a book, publishing a book, and marketing a book. It is a commitment. I don’t want to scare aspiring writers away from their dream, but I don’t want them to have misconceptions and unrealistic expectations. Don’t compare yourself to the mega-bestsellers. Odds are, you won’t sell enough to quite your day job. Few authors do. It is easy to be discouraged, but you can’t give up.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m on Twitter more than I should be – @BBMorgan_W

I’m also begrudgingly on Facebook – www.facebook.com/BBMorganBooks

And I can be found on my website, www.bbmorgan.com

 

About the Author:

B. B. Morgan lives in southern Illinois. She loves the country, but she hates bugs. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s playing video games or D&D. Morgan is a hopeless romantic, steadfast optimist, casual nerd, and caffeine addict. She often plays her music (a mix of classic rock and pop) too loud and drives too slow. She is the author of the Devil’s Blood series and Caroline Eversole and the Gilded Gauntlet.

 

Also out now:

Purchase links:

Amazon – UK / US

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Author Interview: ‘Until All Curses Are Lifted’ by Tim Frankovich

About the Book:

The laws are enforced by magic.

If you break the law, you’re cursed.

But the rich and powerful twisted the laws to allow for… exceptions.

Marshal has been cursed since birth for his unknown father’s crimes. When he discovers he’s also heir to immense magical power, he must flee for his life. His half-brother wants the power for himself and has hired an assassin to pursue Marshal and his mother. No one has ever escaped from a curse, but it’s the only way for Marshal to be truly safe.

Seri wants to become the most powerful mage in history. But the magic that holds the world together is failing and no one knows why. While the ground itself shakes, someone begins murdering mages. In danger from all directions, Seri must learn how to use her unique abilities before everything falls apart.

Neither of them know they are being watched from another realm…

 

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Purchase Links:

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Excerpt:

Volraag snorted. “Well, I never thought I would be the one to give out such news, but congratulations. You’re the firstborn son of the all-powerful Lord Varion.” He paused. “You’re also a bastard, conceived by rape.” He shook his head. “To be honest, muteness seems like a relatively minor curse for the crime of rape, compared to others I’ve seen.”

Marshal found himself growing angrier as he considered this information. He wondered why Aelia had never told him, but the full weight of Lord Varion’s actions was almost unbelievable. Most people who bore a curse bore the consequences of their own actions. But the Lords of Antises had exempted themselves from the magical laws. Any curses of their actions fell on their children. Marshal had known that his father must be a noble, but Lord Varion himself?

And a “minor” curse? What did Volraag know of him? Muteness was only the beginning. As if in response to his thoughts, his right hand began to tremble.

“There it is!” Volraag whispered. He rose from the fallen tree and took a step toward Marshal. His eyes had widened, but not with surprise. Marshal had seen the same look on faces at the town’s annual thawing feast. He had seen it on Victor’s face a time or two when he looked at Careen and she wasn’t looking back. Volraag’s face held… desire?

Marshal took an involuntary step backward and grabbed his right hand with his left.

“Does it do that often?” Volraag asked, never taking his eyes off the trembling hand.

Marshal shrugged. That was the right gesture, wasn’t it?

“That is not a part of your curse, brother. That is something… much more.”

Marshal looked at him with narrowed eyes.

Volraag tore his eyes away from the shaking hand and looked Marshal in the face. “Do you at least know of the six Lords and their magical power?”

Marshal nodded. Who didn’t?

“Varion is one of the six Lords. That means he holds a vast portion of this world’s magic within him. He wields unbelievable power when he chooses to…” Volraag trailed off and looked away, as if thinking of something unpleasant. He shook his head and looked back.

“Despite the fact that the… circumstances of your birth led to you being cursed, your birth also entitles you to this inheritance. When Varion dies, or surrenders his power at the Passing, that power will move on to you.”

Marshal released his trembling hand and looked at it. Magic power? The power of a Lord? He had nothing like that. He had shaking, trembling. He was “Curse Boy,” not “Lord’s son.”

“Yes, you already possess a tiny fraction of the power within you.” Volraag took another step closer. “It’s like a lodestone calling out to metal. When Varion releases his power for the last time, it will be attracted to that. It will come to you, and there’s nothing anyone can do to prevent it.”

Marshal found himself breathing hard. He could feel the trembling spreading through him. It had done that before, but he hoped it didn’t happen now. He didn’t like the way Volraag looked at him, and he didn’t know how to think about these revelations.

Volraag started to turn away, then rotated back, a long, thin dagger in his hand. “Actually, there is one thing that can prevent it: your death.”

Marshal stumbled and looked around. The guards still kept everyone else in the town center.

Volraag looked down at the dagger. “I could kill you myself, right here and right now. Based on what I can guess of your life in this pathetic dungheap, I doubt anyone would be very upset, other than your mother.”

Volraag casually pushed the point of the dagger a full inch into the fallen tree trunk. Marshal’s eyes remained fixed on it.

“But since I’m not a Lord yet, if I were to do that, I would be cursed. And I won’t be a Lord until my father dies. At which point, you would already have the power.” He spread his arms wide. “You see my dilemma.”

Dilemma. Marshal’s existence was a dilemma to this man.

Volraag sighed and leaned back against the tree without actually sitting. “This is not going as I expected it to,” he admitted. “Out of all possible curses, I had not anticipated muteness. I was relying on my own persuasive ability here, but it’s impossible to tell if you’re sufficiently grasping what I’m saying.”

He studied Marshal again. “I’ve been searching for you for a few years now. Obviously, I knew Varion had a bastard child, but I didn’t know where. I’ve had spies out all over Varioch and even across the borders.” He paused and gestured toward the south. “That’s not easy when we might be going to war with Rasna any day now.

“A few days ago, I heard about a cursed, fatherless man in a secluded village, and I knew.” He tapped his own head. “I just knew that my search was over.”

He pushed away from the tree and stepped forward. Despite his own admission that he was the younger brother, Volraag stood a full span taller than Marshal and appeared far stronger. Marshal’s hand continued to shake, and he swallowed. If Volraag really did choose to kill him, he could do nothing about it. The only thing protecting him was Volraag’s fear of cursing himself.

“Let me put it this way,” Volraag said. “Lord Varion’s power will be mine one day, one way or another. In fact, it’s really just one of two ways.”

He held up two fingers and pointed to one. “The simplest solution for all of us is that you kill yourself. No one gets cursed, and I get what I want.” He looked into Marshal’s eyes. “If Varion’s power came to you, after all, your curse would prevent you from fully using it. Besides, who would miss you? Your mother is still young. She’ll get over it. And I would think, with the life you live here, it would actually be a… relief.”

He pointed to the second finger. “And she is the reason why you don’t want to wait for the second solution. Should you fail to kill yourself, I will have to arrange for your death in other ways. More specifically, I will send someone to kill you, someone who isn’t worried about curses.”

He leaned in so close Marshal could see the moisture in the corners of his eyes.

“And he will also kill your mother.”

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I started writing my own comic books when I was eight or nine. They weren’t very good. I worked on an epic fantasy novel off and on throughout high school and college. Eventually, I gave up and focused on “real life.” But a few years ago, I knew I had to start again. I began writing, writing, writing, researching more about good writing, and writing some more. And here I am now.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Not especially. I sit in front of a computer all day, anyway, so whenever I can write, I do it. I seem to work best in the evening.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Anywhere and everywhere. An observation from one of my kids while we’re driving, the fragments of a dream when I wake up, a stray thought in the middle of a bicycle ride – anything can inspire me. My Notes app is full of notes all titled “Story Idea.”

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Yes and yes. I usually have a broad outline and a specific ending that I’m looking toward. Along the way, the characters have a lot more control – at least if I’ve developed them enough. They can swing the story back and forth in directions I didn’t expect, but it all still heads toward that ending I have in mind.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write fantasy. I’ve been fascinated by it since my dad read the Narnia books to me when I was around five or six years old. Then I discovered The Lord of the Rings a few years later, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Let me think… Casting Marshal would be very difficult as you’d need someone who could communicate a lot with just his face, and that under scars! I think Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things might be able to do it. He has a brooding look that might work well.

As for Seri, my other protagonist… unfortunately, I don’t know any young Middle-Eastern actresses that would fit this role. All the ones that I can think of would be too old.

It’s easier to cast some of the supporting roles with big-name guest stars: Evangeline Lily as Aelia. F. Murray Abraham as Master Hain. And a cameo appearance by Shohreh Aghdashloo as Lady Lilitu.

Finding a Mayan-looking martial artist for Kishin might be very difficult…

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

I read as much as I can, when I can find the time. I’ve already mentioned Tolkien and Lewis as huge influences. For more modern authors, I love Stephen Lawhead, David Farland, and Brandon Sanderson.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

At the moment: The Light of All that Falls, by James Islington. It’s taking me a while, not because it’s long, but because his world-building is so DENSE. (That’s a compliment.)

9: What is your favourite book and why?

It will always be The Lord of the Rings. It was the first truly epic fantasy that I read, and nothing has ever surpassed it. Every time I re-read it (which is often), I marvel at Tolkien’s skill in world-building, and I’m moved by the awesome beauty of the scene at the gates of Minas Tirith. (Seriously, I could study those 2-3 pages for days. I’m still mad at Peter Jackson for not getting that one scene.)

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Read. Write. Study everything you can find about writing. Repeat.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My website: www.timfrankovich.com

Twitter: @timfrankovich

Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/timfrankovichauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14298182.Tim_Frankovich

 

About the Author:

Tim Frankovich has been exploring fantastic worlds since third grade, when he cut up a grocery sack and drew a Godzilla-meets-superheroes story. Since then, he’s gotten a little bit better at the writing part (not so much with the drawing). His goal as a writer is to transport readers to another world, make them care deeply about characters in dire situations, and guide them deeper into life itself. At the moment, he is probably suitably conscious somewhere in Texas with his beloved wife, awesome four kids, and a fool of a pup named Pippin.

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Release Blitz and Author Interview: ‘All or None’ by Aurora Lee Thornton

Title: All or None

Series: Star Stories Book 1

Author: Aurora Lee Thornton

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Release Date: 15th May 2020

 

 

About the Book:

In a world where everyone has a soulmate, uniquely powerful mage Royiora and reluctant assassin Kalo collide in the worst of ways.

Royiora Daralkaen, the only mage alive able to use all five kinds of magic, has a near idyllic childhood in the country of Porescalia – before war breaks out with their antagonistic neighbors, Kloria.

Kalo Porla, a naturally magic-proof individual known as a Null, is trained to be as an assassin by the authoritarian empire known as the Domain.

When Kalo and his partner assassin are sent to kill a mage and his apprentice, it starts a journey neither man was prepared to begin.

Content warnings: harm to children, physical and psychological abuse, implied (off-page) rape, violence, mature language, minors in implied sexual situations (teenaged romance), implied sexual situations, bigotry towards fictional races, and suggestive language.

 

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Universal Buy Link to multiple online platforms:

https://books2read.com/u/4EkoJz

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve honestly always been writing, even before I realized I wanted to be a writer, ha ha. I’m lucky that I had a really supportive family and educators that guided and encouraged me through contests and other writing opportunities.

I’m also lucky that after realizing I’m asexual, I found a group for aspec writers that’s equally welcoming and encouraging. I love being able to talk with other writers, not just about craft, but life stuff in general.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Usually at home on my desktop. Typically late at night. Especially if I should be sleeping, or doing something else.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

A lot of places, honestly. I very much related to the short story version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

This book, in particular, happened in part thanks to fanfiction. I had wanted to write an original story about soulmates, so I started one about a prince and a thief. While writing that book, I created a background wizard character mainly to help exposit about a third main character’s magical research.

I tried to think about an interesting soulmate for a wizard and came up with a magic-proof assassin, and after three lines, the pair had a clear relationship dynamic. And then about a month later I had a first draft, and the original soulmates book – which was meant to be a standalone – became the second book in a series. Oops.

(Funnily, this means that my mage, Royiora, was accidentally named after me – when I’m creating minor characters I don’t intend to appear much, I sometimes name them by rearranging and tweaking the syllables in my name. Double oops.)

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

For some stories, yes. Others I’ll just have a character or one particular scene, or even just an idea for a world in general that a build a story around.

All or None seemed to spring fully formed from the ether, and practically wrote itself. There were still surprises, of course – characters who took on bigger roles or had unexpected development arcs, things like that. But I knew where things were going in the big picture sense most of the time.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Adult fantasy, because it’s my favorite genre. Well, fantasy, in general, is something I’ve always been drawn to – I love magic and different worlds, and I especially love dragons (even though there aren’t any in this story).

I mainly write adult books because I’ve always had a sort of… macabre fascination with dark themes and characters with very dark pasts. A lot of that can translate to YA/MG, and as much as I enjoy books in those age ranges, it’s not how I want to explore those themes.

I still prefer happy endings and levity to an all-out grimfest, though!

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

So I have a few ideas, but I’ll say upfront I would actually prefer my books to be animated than a live-action feature, so my “dream cast” are the voice actors I would like to see in those roles. I’ll stick with just the main cast for each of the two MCs, to keep things brief:

(Honorable mentions: Mark Hamill as King Falopestrian, who prefers to be known as “Loppy”, and Jacob Tobia as Hoiroilu, a very minor but very fun nonbinary character.)

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

Not as much as I used to, or want to. I would say Diane Duane and Tamora Pierce had a big influence on my early writing, and Brandon Sanderson is a newer favorite.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

A friend bought me K.D. Edwards’s The Last Sun, and I hope to start it very soon!

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I don’t know, I think something about the careful balance between magic and reality – making it so close that the reader really does get to decide if they believe the events were magic or just fantastic circumstance – is incredibly intriguing. Animal characters that are character in their own right, character-driven storytelling that takes its time… there’s a lot of things I like about it.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Figure out the best way to write the way you want to write – experiment and have fun. A lot of advice from famous authors is really good… for writing like those famous writers. But honestly, it’s trial and error. Figure out what’s fun for you to write and then figure out how to keep doing it better. Don’t get bogged down in the idea of the “right” way to write something.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I’m pretty frequently on Twitter, and I put my books on Goodreads as well.

Website: www.auroraleethornton.com

Twitter: @Aurora_T_Books

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuroraLeeThorntonBooks

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16358225.Aurora_Lee_Thornton

 

 

Excerpt:

When he woke up a second time, he was aware of a particularly red hot, throbbing pain in his ankle and that something had been draped over him.

Roy sat up again, feeling even more drained than before – but in a strange, floating state of mind. The thing draped over him was his soulmate’s coat. He looked around and spied the horned man attempting to pull out a long, thin earring.

The assassin noticed him, and tensed.

The mage shook his head, pushing the coat aside to look at his ankle. He felt it out with healing magic – broken. He winced, then realized he wouldn’t be able to set it himself to heal it.

Biting his lip, Roy looked to his unfortunate soulmate. Hesitantly, he waved him over.

The man approached as cautiously as before, as if trying not to spook an animal.

That’s probably apt, the mage thought, and something about it struck him as terribly funny. He cleared his throat to stop an inappropriate giggle, and pointed to his ankle.

The assassin seemed to know what he was asking. The man explored the swollen joint with his hands, gently but methodically.

He’s been trained in medicine, Roy thought, hissing at the knowing touch, Must be a good idea for a killer.

His soulmate looked up at him.

The mage leaned down to put his hand over the break, and nodded.

With a quick jerk, the assassin set the bone.

Roy grit his teeth as he healed it in place, though it was still sore and would be for a while. He reached out to stop the other man from moving immediately.

His soulmate froze.

The mage sighed, taking hold of the earring. Tracking rune, he thought, destroying it, So he answers to someone.

The assassin pulled back then, moving to the opposite end of the cave. He gingerly tried to pull the rest of the earring out, and found it gave now.

Roy studied the man. On his now exposed upper arms were scars, the rest of his body covered. He had a tail ending with a large tuft of gray fur matching the color and texture of the hair on his head.

“Do you have a plan, here?” the mage asked, then laughed, “What am I saying? You can’t understand me anymore than I can understand you.”

And then he couldn’t stop laughing, doubling over with the force of it. When he noticed he was about to cry, he shot up, rubbing at his eyes.

No time for that, he thought, Survive now, grieve later.

About the Author:

Aurora is the author of the Wildflowers books, a series of queer fantasy novels. Allaha of the Mountain (book 1) follows a lady knight named Allaha and an unlikely group of allies on a quest to uncover a prophecy. Dandy (book 2) continues Allaha’s adventures but also follows an unlikely pair of bounty hunters.

Aurora likes books. (A lot.) She’s been reading and writing since kindergarten and hasn’t yet tired of them. From cyberpunk to high fantasy, she indiscriminately devours all forms of genre fiction: Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books sit next to Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series her shelf of favorite books. (Well, not exactly physically as she sorts her books by genre first, but you understand her meaning).

The one thing that has always captured her interest and stayed close to her heart, however, is dragons. If you have any dragon sightings you would like to share, she’d love to hear about them on the contact page.

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Author Interview: ‘Saving Jahan’ by Hans Joseph Fellmann

A Peace Corp Adventure Based on True Events

 

About the Book:

A Peace Corps volunteer in Central Asia finds purpose in helping a friend escape a life of servitude.

Johann Felmanstien is going nowhere in life. He has no money, no job, no girl, and a degree that would look better as a doormat than on his CV. He applies for the Peace Corps and is accepted. His country of service is the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, which is seventy percent desert and run by a totalitarian dictator with a cult of personality.

Johann is sent to teach English in a town to hell and gone. He contemplates leaving until he meets a local teacher with a strangely similar name called Jahan. Over time, she opens up about her dreams to live abroad and the struggle she faces in a country that sees women as little more than servants. Johann takes a passive stance at first. But as his work suffers because of his shenanigans and alcohol abuse, he realizes that helping Jahan escape Turkmenistan might be the only way to save himself.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I wrote my first short story when I was five. It was about a handgun that came to life, floated over to our local sewage treatment plant, and shot down a sign warning people of the “river of shit” outside, so that when all the kids who bullied me at school walked by, they didn’t see it, fell in, and drowned. I was very proud of my little story. I showed it to my mother and the look of horror on her face as she read made me smile. Not because I’d wanted to horrify her, per se. Rather, it was proof that I had the power to illicit a strong reaction from someone using only my words. This was big because I lived in a small town in Northern California where nothing ever happened. I knew then I could change that.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

My favorite place to write is my bedroom. This may sound silly and unromantic, but I don’t give a rat’s ass. My bedroom is quiet, isolated, and filled with books, maps, masks, paintings, and a million other things I’ve collected on my trips to inspire me. I’ve found that writers who prefer chic coffee shops or smoky bars usually pen garbage. This is because before they can get anything good out, they end up ranting with a friend about what a writer they are or falling down drunk.

My favorite time to write is at night. Not because I like to go out on breaks to look at the moon or take thoughtful walks in the dark, but because I like silence, and at night, in my neighborhood, you could hear an ant break wind.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

 That’s a tough question. Most of my material I harvest from the trips, people, madness, love, and tragedy that defines my life. But as far as “ideas,” and by that I assume you mean those thoughts that put me in the mode to do what I do, well shit, I’d have to say those come from that unknowable place in all of us where dreams churn and fires burn and the universe dips its wick.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

A bit of both. If we compare a story to a house, I usually start with a loose gathering of material that I nail into a framework, then as I walk through it, I put up walls and stairs and ceilings, knowing more or less what the next step is. This is true until I tile the roof. Just like that poor bastard who thought he’d do it all himself, I never know I’m on that final corner till I fall on my ass and look up from the grass and see that damn, I’m finished.

 5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I usually answer this question with some variation of the following:

“I write mostly about my travels and my travels are filled with action and adventure, so action/adventure is my genre.”

But this isn’t the whole picture. Yeah, all the crazy shit that happens on the road finds its way through my pen, but so do all of life’s dirty little details like the smell of a woman’s breath, or the sound of a toilet flushing, or the feel of a snail being crushed under my heel. Some people call this stuff “Dirty Realism.” I guess it fits. Anyways, I’m drawn to these things because they color each moment in a special way. And if I can put them on the page and make them look pretty, maybe others will take notice and do the same.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I don’t really have a dream cast. In fact, I can’t stand most of Hollywood. If someone were going to make a movie out of my latest book “Saving Jahan,” which is based on my Peace Corps service in the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, I would prefer they got actual Peace Corps volunteers and Turkmen nationals to play the parts.

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

Now that I’m finally editing and publishing my books, I’m not reading as much, but back in the day I used to read a ton. My favorite author is Charles Bukowski because he is the king of Dirty Realism, but I also enjoy John Fante, Bill Burroughs, Truman Capote, George Orwell, and Anne Sexton, to name a few.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I don’t know if “reading” is the right word as these books are riddled with dogears and have been collecting dust on my nightstand for months, but their titles are “Choke” by Chuck Palahniuk, “Trick Baby” by Iceberg Slim, “Race Matters” by Cornel West, and “Collected Poems,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I can’t say I have a favourite book. But the book that affected me the most was “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” by Dan Millman. My older cousin gave it to me when I was fourteen, which was a time in my life where I was just starting to realize who I was and what I wanted. This book showed me that it is possible for an average person to transcend mediocrity by slaying the fear that keeps them from doing great things. To this day, I practice what I learned from that book. I believe I always will.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

You don’t become a writer. You’re either a writer or you’re not. To be a writer, you must write. To write, you must organize your life so that writing comes first, always.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m not big on social media but I do have a Facebook page under the name “Hans Fellmann.”

My blog “Breaking the Seal” and my books “Chuck Life’s a Trip” and “Saving Jahan” can be accessed through my author page: hansjosephfellmann.com

Twitter: @Felmania47

 

About the Author:

Hans Joseph Fellmann is a writer and English teacher from Livermore, California. He has visited over eighty countries, and lived in Spain, Turkmenistan, and the Czech Republic. A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, his articles and short stories have appeared in the UCSD Guardian, the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Prague Revue. He recently published his first novel, Chuck Life’s a Trip, which is based on a life-changing journey he took around the world with his childhood buddies in 2006.

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