Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘Dark Water’ by Simon Thould

About the Book:

A girl goes missing – but has she been lost, or taken? Her frantic mother begs for help from the one man with the ruthless skills to track her down. Alex Rafter, former sniper, sees Madeleine Finch as a bad, erratic mother, and is reluctant to go back to a life he is trying to forget. But his own nightmares compel him to search, for the girl’s sake.

Rafter embarks on a murderous hunt, aided by Gabriel Montero, another former soldier, that leads through the wilds of the New Forest to the squalid back streets of Southampton. Rebecca Grant, local veterinary, drug addict and would-be lover, offers help, but her own agenda threatens to send Rafter astray. It becomes a race against time to find the girl before she is lost forever to the heartless world of people traffickers.

What people are saying:

“High intensity fight scenes… Thould’s writing style is to the point and sparse, emphasizing action over poetics.” Midwest Book Review

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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 have always written since I was a boy, poems to start, then little stories and articles before feeling as I got into my forties, that I had enough life experience to tackle full-length novels. I think I express myself best in words as I am quite an introvert and was raised in a household where discussing stuff never really happened.

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

My writing practice has developed now so I write 1,000 words to one chapter every morning, early-ish, taking as long as it takes to do that. Then I make notes for the next chapter, let that work in my brain overnight then do another 1,000 words the next morning and so on.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Ideas come from anything that strikes a chord – can be seeing someone or something, hearing something, and then usually a sentence or two will just pop into my mind and I write it down along the lines of, ‘what if?’ I usually have a theme that interests me, for Dark Water, it was the struggle our ex-military guys have re-integrating back into civvie street after a lifetime of battle service.

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?

I have to know my characters first. I scan and surf looking for pictures of people that fit the image I have in my head of the sort of personality I want for each character. Then I prepare extensive character charts and plan out the basic storyline on large accounting sheets that give me enough space to plot. Then, once I really know my characters as well as I do myself (sometimes even better!), I put the characters into situations and listen, watch and write down what they say and do. The story then just looks after itself using narration rather than too much ‘purple prose’. I plan on writing 80,000 words in 1,000 word chapters. I have a picture in my mind at all times, it’s a very visual process for me.

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

I would describe my books as an English version of the American hard-boiled, noir genre. I have always liked best writing that is character driven, in spare, direct language, just what really appeals to me. I get easily bored with too much descriptive stuff going on and will skip pages accordingly.

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

For Dark Water, the main character, Alex Rafter, is based on the physical appearance of the US actor Dylan McDermott. I found some pictures of him where he had exactly the look I wanted to represent the ‘lost soul’ Rafter had become after the army. I suspect that Rafter is in some way the alter ego I would like to have been! The only other famous face I have used is the Chinese actress Zhang Zlyl (Crouching Tiger…) as Gabriel’s partner, while for the next Rafter story, Dark Horizon, (first draft just finished) I have used Dylan’s real life partner, Maggie Q for the co-main character.

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

I read at least one book a week, usually of the thriller/crime genre and almost exclusively American authors. The only British writer I like is Mark Billingham. My all-time favourite is the late, great Elmore Leonard and I try to keep my writing along his ‘Rules for Writing’. I found a publisher, ‘Hard Case Crime’, that deals exclusively in the hard-boiled genre and I read Donald Westlake, James M. Cain, Lawrence Block, et al. I also enjoy Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly and Robert Crais a lot.

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

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s, ‘Mr. Mercedes’, bit of a departure from his usual horror books.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Hard to have one favourite but, if I had to pick, probably Elmore Leonard’s, ‘ Out of Sight’. It was a great movie also with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. It would be closlely followed by his, Raylan’.

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

If you are ‘thinking’ about becoming a writer, you probably shouldn’t try it. But, if you feel in your very soul that you have to write then go for it 100%. Read everything you can get your hands on, write as much as you can about anything until your own ‘natural’ style evolves. I write what I like to read, so there’s that too.

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

There’s my Facebook and Twitter pages and some stuff available on the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency website too. I am considering creating my own website sometime in the not too distant future.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Thould

Twitter: @simonthould

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency website: www.andrewlownie.co.uk/authors/simon-thould

 

About the Author:

 

Simon was born in Somerset, England, where he went to public school and played rugby and cricket with more enthusiasm than he studied. He later managed to qualify as a chartered surveyor and practised for over twenty years in both public and private sectors in London and the south of England. Simon completed two Creative Writing night school courses and a Writers’ Bureau correspondence course in his spare time. He also worked as a restaurant and bar manager in Hampshire before moving with his two black cats to a mountain farmhouse in Andalusia, southern Spain for a year and a half. There he wrote his first novel.

He moved back to the UK and worked as a resident housekeeper and groom in Kent and wrote a second novel.

Then he relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, USA for several years and worked in warehouse stock control, sold insurance and then artwork in a downtown gallery. Returning to the UK once more, he worked as a postman and in several retail positions and wrote a third unpublished novel.

Simon moved to the island of Gozo in 2014 and wrote, ‘DarkWater’, a thriller introducing Alex Rafter. After a lifetime of rejections from publishers and agents with only minor success with magazine articles, Simon made a final push to try and get published. He sent the synopsis and three chapters to more than fifty UK agents before being lucky enough to be taken on by David Haviland of the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency in London. ‘Dark Water’ is being published in August 2017.

Simon’s passions, other than writing, are reading hard-boiled, noir novels, watching classic movies, travel and following National Hunt horse racing. He has been married twice and has a daughter, Lucy.  He currently lives in Almunecar on the Andalusian coast and has just completed the first draft of a second, ‘Alex Rafter’ novel.

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Release Blitz and Author Interview: ‘Holy Crap! The World is Ending’ by Anna-Marie Abell

Title: Holy Crap! The World is Ending

How a Trip to the Bookstore led to Sex with an Alien and the Destruction of Earth

Author: Anna-Marie Abell

Genre: Paranormal / Romance / Ghosts / Humour

About the Book:

End times are here! Now you can eat whatever you want and not care if you gain weight.The president has announced that Earth is going to collide with a rogue moon, and in the process, our entire planet is going to be smashed to bits.

As one would expect, upon hearing this news, humans went ballistic. It was as if every sports team in the world lost their championship game at the same time. No car was left unrolled—but oddly enough, Taco Bell remained open and made unfathomable profits in the last days. Apparently, Doritos Locos® Tacos were a popular last meal.

Autumn (who for the purpose of this retelling asked to be portrayed as drool-inducing hot with kick-ass ninja skills) has just been handed the task of saving all of humanity. With the help of her unbelievably sexy alien boyfriend and her kleptomaniac friend with fire-retardant hair, Autumn takes a spaceship and races to save her fellow humans by using the Ark of the Covenant. Along the way, she discovers how sheltered people are from the truth of extraterrestrials and their power to either protect us or destroy us.

Stupid government.

Grab a bottle of wine, a shipload of snacks, and prepare to take a ride on this humorous chick lit romantic sci-fi paranormal adventure. If you’re into Ancient Aliens, conspiracy theories, UFOs, crave a little sexy time in your reading, are curious if we were genetically engineered (like the Sumerian cuneiform texts claim), and are dying to find out the meaning of life, then this book is for you.

 

What people are saying:

“An unexpected story that promises to be one of the most creative fictional discoveries of the year…a fun approach to the entire save-the-Earth-from-alien-invasion scenario which successfully turns traditional approaches upside down.”– D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“An awesome read! Warm, witty–and thought provoking–a beach read that stays with you throughout the year!”– Aionios Books

“A rollicking seat of your pants fun ride through the universe!”– Joan Silvestro, Booktrader of Hamilton

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK /US

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBook

 

If anyone wants to read a sneak peek at the first few chapters click here: 

http://writtenbyanna.com/wp-content/uploads/Holy_Crap9-The_World_is_Ending_Preview2.pdf

 

Book Trailer:

Author Interview:

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

Well, I am a UFO and ancient alien freak. I can be found attending monthly Mufon meetings (Mutual UFO Network) and UFO conferences. If it is paranormal in nature, I am so all over it. My obsession with ancient aliens got me studying the Sumerian culture about twenty years ago. The cuneiform tablets tell a very different tale of how the human race was created. I wanted to take all this knowledge and research I have done and put it into a book. There are plenty of hard sci-fi books about it, and I have a real hard time being serious, so I set out to change things up a bit, and write a cross-genre book incorporating it all into a humorous paranormal romance. ‘Cause you gotta have some hot alien sex, am I right?

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

Me and mornings do not get along—like at all—so I strictly write in the evenings. I work from home, so I need to get out and go somewhere else when I write. Usually, that is my local Starbucks or Panera. They are essentially my home away from home, and I know all the employees by name.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Real life. What happens in real life is always funnier than anything I can make up. I am always taking notes of crazy things that happen so I can include them in stories. I also dream a lot of ideas too. I have been having a recurring dream where everyone I run into is looking for someone named Amanda Flyporch. I have no idea who that is, but there may be a story there. At the very least, I gotta name a character after her.

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?

In my first book, Holy Crap! The World is Ending!, I had a very general idea of what was going to happen. I mean, I knew the world was ending. LOL. But in book two of the trilogy, I had no clue. I decided to write the draft for that during NaNoWriMo last year and pounded out a draft in a month. That was a challenge, but very fun. In that case, the story completely developed as I went.

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

The trilogy I am writing now is a contemporary humorous chick lit sci-fi paranormal romance. I love me some paranormal romance when I read, especially when it is humorous, and so that is the genre I write. I love escaping to different worlds where there is something beyond just us boring humans. Since I love the genre so much, it was a natural path for me to take in my writing.

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

I think Jennifer Lawrence for Autumn. She has the comic timing Autumn would need. However, even though Autumn is Caucasian in my book (simply because she was based on me), I would like to see an African American play her. Maybe Katerina Graham? My first choice for Rigel would be Paul Wesley from the Vampire Diaries, but alas, Rigel is really tall. So I am thinking Chris Hemsworth or Justin Hartley. For Emma, Kristin Kreuk. (Can you tell I like CW shows?) Ninurta is totally Alexander Skarsgard, Inanna is Charlize Theron, Clive Owen for Enlil, and Daniel Craig for Enki. Devon is the one I haven’t figured out yet, but I am kinda liking Diego Boneta.

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

I listen to audiobooks all the time. You rarely find me walking around without my earbuds. My favorite authors, in no particular order, are Janet Evanovich, Kresley Cole, Molly Harper, Jeanine Frost, Richelle Mead, David Sedaris, Douglass Adams, and of course, J.K. Rowling.

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

I just finished a book totally out of my wheelhouse that I really enjoyed. It is memoir called, A Few Minor Adjustments, by Cherie Kephart. It was about a woman who suffers from a mysterious illness and her struggle to survive. I am also listening to The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette. I think I like it, but I am not sure yet. It has some great humor and interesting characters, it just isn’t quite going anywhere plot wise yet. I am holding out hopes that something will happen soon.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Well, it is more of a series, but Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling didn’t just create a book, she created an entire world—and what an amazing world it is! I would probably sacrifice one of my limbs if it meant I could become part of that world. Maybe even two. Three if I could magically grow at least one of them back.

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

Become a plumber instead. LOL. I am totally kidding. It is a tough road, but so worth it! The thing is, a writer needs to be prepared to wear many hats if they want their work published. It isn’t all about sitting down and being creative. The real work comes when you are done and have to promote it (this is the case for both indie publishing or traditional publishing). It is non-stop work, and it becomes hard to find time to actually write again once you entered the rabbit hole of publication. So my advice would be to find a balance. You need to dedicate time to the business side of writing, as well as the creative side. If you are not willing to buckle down and market yourself, then doing it as a profession will be difficult.

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

Website: WrittenByAnna.com

Twitter: @writtenbyanna

Facebook: www.facebook.com/booksbyanna

Instagram: @booksbyanna

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16862523.Anna_Marie_Abell

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Anna-Marie-Abell/e/B071P2DSHP

 

About the Author:

Anna-Marie Abell grew up in a trailer park. Well, several actually. Her trailer was on wheels so she got to experience the Pacific Northwest’s vast array of mobile home parks as her parents moved her from one to the other. Somewhere along the way, she got totally into UFOs. Probably because she was hoping extraterrestrials would come and abduct her. But they never did. Luckily for her she was smart, because her only hope of escaping trailer life was college and a full scholarship. Moving to sunny California on her almost full ride to Chapman University, she was well on her way to her new life. Two bachelor degrees later (Film and Television Production and Media Performance), and several honors and awards for her accomplishments, she managed to start working in an almost completely unrelated industry from her majors: infomercials.

It was in college that she got bit by the “ancient alien” bug after listening to Zecharia Sitchin on Coast to Coast AM. In her pursuit to uncover the truth, she has spent the last twenty years researching the ancient Sumerian culture—in particular their “gods” called the Anunnaki—and their connection to the creation of the human race. What she found changed her life, her beliefs, and her understanding of the universe and everything beyond. Her humorous science fiction trilogy, The Anunnaki Chronicles, is a culmination of all her research, her borderline obsession for all things paranormal, and approximately 2,300 bottles of wine.

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Author Interview: ‘DarkSkull Hall’ by Lisa Cassidy

About the Book:

Dive into the first book of epic young adult fantasy series The Mage Chronicles…Decades ago, the mages went to war with each other in a destructive, decades-long battle that killed thousands and destroyed entire cities. Now, an uneasy peace lingers.

Born into the small, peaceful country of Rionn, Alyx Egalion knows little of mages or battles. Yet soon after her sixteenth birthday, the pampered daughter of nobility has her entire world shattered when she learns that she is the daughter of a mage and must travel to the distant country of Tregaya to learn her magic at DarkSkull Hall.

Stripped of everything familiar to her, and surrounded by strangers she cannot trust, Alyx finds herself in a world where courage, magic and wits are the only things that will keep her alive.

Outside DarkSkull Hall, the fragile peace is beginning to show cracks, and Alyx will soon learn that her wealth and status will not protect her from what is coming…

 

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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?

As far back as I can remember I was an avid reader – books were my favourite thing in the world and I consumed them voraciously. I’ve also always had a very vivid imagination. My parents used to tell me I should be a writer, but I always dismissed the idea. Then in year 10 of high school (when I was 15/16 years old) I had one of those transformative teachers who completely and utterly engaged me in the idea of writing. I started with short stories for class and didn’t look back!

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

I’ll write anywhere, but my favourite is sitting down in my study in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee. The sun shines through the window onto my bookcases full of all my favourite books, music plays – it’s my happy place.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Short answer – anywhere and everywhere. Often I’ll be watching a tv show or movie, or reading a book, and at a particular scene I’ll think to myself, ‘what if someone like that had to do something like this?’ Sometimes ideas come from observing real-life interactions between people, or an event happening in the world. A lot of the ideas come and go, more just idle day-dreaming, but some will stick with me and not let go – those are the ones that become the foundation of a story.

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?

I am most definitely a panster. I plot nothing before I start, I pretty much dive straight in. Usually it’s when an idea I’ve had doesn’t let go, and it kinda germinates in my head for a while and I see all these possibilities of where it could go as a story, so I start writing. It makes editing a MUCH tougher task, but if I already know all the answers when I start writing, it loses its thrill for me.

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

My current series, The Mage Chronicles, is you adult fantasy. I have a lot of other partially completed series written, and they’re also either young adult or high fantasy. I adore writing in this genre because you’ve basically got free reign to create whatever your imagination comes up with – you can build entire worlds and cities – but best of all you can incorporate fantastical things like magic and sorcery and people that fly!

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

Haha, this s a great question! I’m a highly visual person, so I’m always trying to picture the ideal people to play characters I’ve written. It’s tough though – real life people rarely match up to what you’ve dreamed up in your head. I’d love to see Liam Hemsworth play Dashan, one of the main characters in the Mage Chronicles, and I could really envision someone like Sir Ian McKellan as the main character’s godfather, Astor.

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

Like I wrote above, I LOVE to read. A lot of my reading is in the fantasy genre, but I also love a well-written, suspenseful and complex crime thriller. Having said that, I’ll basically read any good story, no matter the genre (except maybe horror – I scare easily J). My top authors include greats like Isobelle Carmody, Robin Hobb and Sara Douglass.

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

I just finished V.E.Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy, which I adored. It’s been a long time since I’ve loved a trilogy so much. Now I’ve just started Megan Whalen Turner’s ‘The Thief’ and so far I’m really enjoying it. The main character Gen is such a cocky smart-mouth – entertaining stuff!

9: What is your favourite book and why?

It’s pretty much impossible to pick an absolute favourite book, so I’m going to give you three series, and they’re written by the authors I outlined above. Not only did I love these stories, but they played a formative role in growing up as well as in my own writing.

Isobelle Carmody – The Obernewtyn Chronicles

Robin Hobb – The Farseer Trilogy

Sara Douglass – The Axis Trilogy

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

Write what you love, and do it because you love it. For me, it can’t be about making money or even the goal of getting published (self-pubbing or traditional). At the end of the day I write because I love writing, irrespective of whether another living soul ever reads what I write.

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

I’m on Twitter (@LCass_writes), Instagram and Facebook, and I also have a website – lcasswrites.com.

I also have my own publishing imprint – Tate House – so for updates on my books etc you can check us out on Twitter (@tatehousebooks) or tatehousebooks.com.

You can also get me directly via email on lisa@tatehousebooks.com.

 

About the Author:

Lisa was born in Melbourne, Australia, but now lives in the nation’s capital, Canberra!

She mostly sticks to novel-length fantasy but occasionally likes to break out with short stories on random things like unicorns and ninjas. When not writing, you’ll like catch her enthusiastically spectating a basketball game (#NewYorkKnickForLife), working for a living, or…well… writing!

Whenever you buy a copy of one of Lisa’s books, you will be helping to support One Girl. One Girl is committed to educating 1 million girls across Africa, and Lisa is excited to contribute to this vision. Together they’re changing the world, one girl at a time.

Feel free to follow Lisa on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram– she loves to discuss her work with readers!

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Author Interview: ‘Faithful and Devoted – Confessions of a Music Addict’ by Jenna Rose Robbins

About the Book:

Both an ode to the joy of music and a cautionary tale of obsession, Jenna Rose Robbins’ coming-of-age adventure offers a glimpse into a subculture where unchecked fanaticism can lead to both euphoric and devastating consequences. As a love letter to fellow music addicts, the memoir of her time following Depeche Mode on the 1993 Devotional tour brings readers face to face with the artists she idolized, while speaking directly to the heart of every music fan.

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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 currently what you call a digital nomad — I can work from anywhere that has Wi-Fi, so I’ve been bouncing around from country to country as I help clients (in the U.S. and elsewhere) with their books, author platforms, and content marketing, as well as working on my own projects. I originally came to Europe to help a French chef with a book and ended up moving to Berlin, which I’ve used as a home base for the past three years. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, so it’s hard for me to pinpoint one particular thing that got me into writing. It’s just always been what I knew I wanted to do.

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

I’m a night owl, so most of my writing takes place in the wee hours — usually 1-3AM. But I try to take advantage of any undistracted time, such as on planes or, better yet, trains. In terms of geographical location, the closer I am to water, the more the creative juices flow. I just spent a month in the Canaries where I enjoyed the ocean breezes while at my makeshift desk. I got a lot of work done there.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my ideas come from real-life experiences — a place I’ve visited, someone I’ve met, or even an article I’ve read. In one case, I came up with the idea for a story after touring an archaeological site at a church in Geneva. My traveling companion wondered why I’d become so quiet all of a sudden, and I had to shush her while I worked out some of the story’s basics in my head and then later jotted them down. As with most of my fiction pieces, I’m still ruminating on the finer points of the story, but I could go back to that church and point out the specific exhibit that inspired me.

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?

I try to have an ending in mind, otherwise the characters tend to get away from me. But sometimes, I just have to let them lead the way. As the characters develop, sometimes my original ending no longer makes sense, so I have to be open to the idea of completely changing the narrative at any point.

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

I’ve ghostwritten more than a dozen books in a wide variety of genres, mostly nonfiction, and as a kid, my writing tended to be of either the fantasy realm or traditional YA. The first published book of my own was memoir, and although it’s about a 19-year-old me, it has more of an adult angle, mostly because it’s written in retrospect. So although there isn’t one genre that draws me, I do feel that these days I prefer to have my stories rooted in reality rather than fantasy.

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

Since my book is a memoir, I’d be casting someone to play myself at 19, and I’m not very familiar with actors of that age. But if I could go back in time, I think I’d choose a pre-train-wreck Lindsay Lohan to play my character. Riverdale’s Camila Mendes could definitely pull off Marta.

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

I read about twenty books a year, a combination of fiction and nonfiction. Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain are my go-to classics, but I’ve also really enjoyed John Irving, Neal Stephenson, and, of course, J.K. Rowling. Since moving to Berlin, I’ve also become interested in the city’s history, so I’ve read all of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series — I read the first ten books in a two-month blitz. I couldn’t wait to get to the next one.

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

I’m doing some research on Depeche Mode, so I’m re-reading Jonathan Miller’s band biography Stripped. I’m also slogging away through Michael Ende’s Momo, but my German is so bad that even though it’s written for grade-schoolers, it’s been slow going.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It helps keep me young. I’m also considering writing my own take, from an updated, female perspective.

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

You don’t think about it, you just do it. I’ve known some really bad writers who have made a living simply because they stuck with it. On the other hand, I know some terrific writers who gave up because they just couldn’t take the continued rejection and low wages. It’s not an easy career, so if you don’t love it, you won’t last long.

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

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14109187.Jenna_Rose_Robbins
Twitter: @stjenna
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jennarrobbins
My blog: www.jennarobbins.com

About the Author:

Jenna Rose Robbins is a writer, editor, and ghostwriter who has extensive editing and writing experience, both online and off. She has ghostwritten more than 12 books, including two New York Times bestsellers, on a variety of subjects, and co-authored a bestselling Amazon e-book. While the majority of Jenna’s experience has been entertainment and travel related, the scope of her projects has ranged from politics and finance to sports and recreation. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Jenna went on to receive her Master’s of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. https://twitter.com/stjenna Blog: http://www.jennaroserobbins.com

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Author Interview: ‘Dawn: Freedom Takes Fight’ by Weston Westmoreland

About the Book:

On a planet forsaken by a pan-stellar Empire in times long forgotten, old stories tell of an infamous day when swarms of imperial starships clouded the sky and abducted all able men and women. Nothing was ever known of them thereafter. The planet, known as Arweg, was left stranded, inhabited only by orphaned children, the unlearned elderly, and the helpless. Years went by, the old died, and the children grew to become adults in an ignorant world surrounded by crumbling technology they were unable to understand and much less operate. After ages of darkness, civilization reemerged to a point where a small portion of the little technology preserved in time could be worked.Two young Arwegians unearth a metallic capsule and trigger a chain-reaction. The strange pod will relay a signal into deep space and summon an immense octopus-shaped starship known as Goddess. The Empire is back, and it wants to restore Arweg to its former status as a full member of the Confederacy. It is the Dawn of a new Era. Or is it?

A voice from the past will warn the Arwegians the real purpose of the Empire is to modernize the planet only to make it suitable for a renewed colonization and slavery. Some will believe it and some will not. The Revolution has begun.

Dawn follows a small group of characters from both sides who will be drastically changed—those who survive—through war, love, loss, courage, hate, compassion, and friendship as the years go by, extreme events take place, and hope is almost the only thing left…

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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 had always seen writing as a means to express myself across the distance. I kept handwritten correspondence with several friends for years and thoroughly enjoyed both the intimacy it offered and the way writing allowed me to put my thoughts and feelings into words, thus giving me a better way to explain and therefore understand myself. I soon found out that thinking about something and explaining it in written words were two different things, and that I enjoyed the process, the extra reflective effort to dissect ideas, thoughts, feelings, and to finely define them with words. I have never stopped ever since.

The way I got into fiction writing, however, was purely coincidental. I was sitting one Sunday evening with an old friend on my porch stairs, and he started a game: a shared story. I said the first paragraph, he added a second, I added a third… the following day I simply started writing. I had never written a single short story before. It had never occurred to me. Seems like I thought I had something to tell, because it caught. Story making lets you write about anything while playing God at the same time. The power you have over your characters and their world is both exhilarating and terrible. I am always glad when my characters are doing fine, and I always have a hard time when they suffer. Even after having finished, re-reading certain paragraphs always comes at a price. I didn’t expect that. And I like it.

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

I write at any time and normally on my PC, but that’s incidental. I could write anywhere, provided I have an urge to. I never push it. When I feel I have something to say, I write. When I don’t, I do not. And when I do, neither the time of day, the place, or the distractions are a factor. Everything vanishes, the text flows, and something concrete is distilled from a general idea. It’s pretty nice.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

From everywhere? From nowhere? I don’t know. I blog about things that matter to me and write about these same things in my fiction work too, albeit metaphorically. I normally write about feelings, although I often disguise the message. In the end, I think many of us writers are just trying to fix our own worlds. I didn’t want to write a sci-fi novel, I wanted to write about the irreversible, about how we face and cope with those life-changing experiences that cannot be turned back. The characters who carried my hopes and fears just happened to live on another planet.

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?

More than a plan, I have a concept, a line of ideas or of feelings I want to explore, and a rough context in which to place it. When I started Dawn, I wrote the first part in two months. Then I stopped for five years. I had known what I wanted to say first and I had written it. I knew what was expected to happen then but I didn’t know how or why. It is like I knew the question, that was the first part, but not the answer. Took me five years to figure it out. Once I did, I wrote the second part in another two months.

The details, the little intertwinings that make the plot fresher and more interesting are the “chance” result of thinking about the story over and over again. Most of these big-little things come from the subconscious and are like tiny gifts that explode in your mind without warning. I enjoy those events quite a lot.

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

My first and only novel is Science Fiction. I have a non-fiction book almost finished and have started a third work, a prehistorical fiction novel. The reason why I picked sci-fi is quite simple. I wanted to tell a story, but I didn’t want to burden myself with the documentation effort it would take to properly fit it in any given time-period. Sci-fi allowed me to start from scratch. Later on it turned out I extremely enjoyed adding to the sci-fi part of the story, but that is something I didn’t expect in advance, although I do read sci-fi with certain frequency.

My next novel is all about documentation. It’s a long term project, hopefully to be finished. It’s yet to be determined if I will be up to the task.

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

Ha ha ha that’s a nice question. I do not know. All my characters have faces of their own, of course, but they do not always come from real people. Brod is a guy I know, Mara takes after a marvel comic hero called Longshot, Arlet might look like Marvel’s classic Dr. Strange (comic, not movie). Dunali comes from several women, Arzo Barr could be Rob Reiner with black hair, General Suwen could be Lee Van Cleef, or a short haired Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball.

If you push me, Jared Leto/Jake Gyllenhaal could be Brod, Eddie Redmayne/Tom Holland could be Mara, Marion Cotillard could be Dunali, James Franco could be Arlet, and Emma Stone could be Rora. I’d love to have Clint Eastwood for General Trop or the Pilgrim.

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

I don’t read much but I read all the time. I do not have favorite authors, I have favorite books. My top 30 books are probably from 25 different writers. I could name Patrick O’Bryan as the author of my most loved historical novel saga, I read all Stephen King in my youth, but not anymore.

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

Right now I am reading Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown. Just finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and Two Westerns by Forrest Carter. I spent the winter and spring either aboard WW2 U-boats or in the Eastern Front, which I didn’t know much about.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

If I have to choose a novel, it would be Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey Maturin saga. There are so many reasons. I love the history period, absolutely love the main characters and how you accompany them as they get on in age along the 21 books. I find the way O’Brian depicts tall-ship warfare fascinating, and I love the kindness and the humor of the author’s tone. So much more than frigates shooting canon. It would be Frank Herbert for SF, Tolkien and Abercrombie for fantasy… I read a lot of non-fiction and the books and authors are simply unaccountable. You can learn more through my Goodreads page.

If you want an unfair list, apart from the mentioned ones, I could Add One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi, Flowers for Algernon, The Physician, Aztec, The Journeyer, Shogun, With the Old Breed, Russia’s War, Guns, Germs and Steel, Q, A higher Call, I am Legend, Gates of Fire, It, White Fang, The Hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy, Cryptonomicon, Hyperion, Armor, Band of Brothers, The Chosen Species… and comics…

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

That’s pretty simple. Stop thinking and start writing. Go one step at a time, get your idea, put it down black on white, and finish it (the hardest part). If you enjoyed the process, repeat freely as often as you want. If you are asking about becoming a selling author, now that is a totally different issue that has not much to do with writing.

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

I am not a very dedicated social media inhabitant. I tweet now and then and I blog, or used to (always depending on me having something to say). I also have a web-page, but it is a store for my work as a freelance photographer, not to my writing. My FB is next to nonexistent.

Website: www.WestonWestmoreland.com

Blog: www.InspiringThoughtsAndImages.com

Twitter: @WWstmoreland

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16893100.Weston_Westmoreland

 

 

 

About the Author:

Weston Westmoreland was born in the spring of 1972. He is married and father of two kids.

Weston earns a living working by himself as an engineer, teacher, and freelance photographer, but not from writing. In all honesty, even though he enjoys writing in different forums and used to blog every now and then, he does not see himself as a fiction writer. Dawn is his first work of this kind, which is the reason why he invested in it far more effort and love than it probably deserved.

Avid reader, lone traveler, slow trail-runner, passionate photographer, terrible guitarist and worse singer, amateur modeler, persistent sketcher, weekend trekker, occasional painter and sculptor, self-taught gardener, committed father and husband, and first of all, a curious man… you can learn more about the way Weston sees life through his old but still current blog.

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