Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘Path to Old Talbot’ by Jordan Elizabeth

About the Book:

Thirteen-year-old Charity can escape her unpleasant reality by stepping through the parlor closet of her mother’s new home, a mansion built in the 1800’s.

In her hometown of Talbot, New York, in the year 1880, she doesn’t have to worry about her depressed father skipping his medications or her mother flirting with her coworker. Instead, she gets to know the hatter’s son, who shows her a lifestyle of manners and pride. Few have ever accepted Charity’s old-fashioned ways…until now.

However, old Talbot can’t banish the present. Charity can stay in the mansion, with access to the hatter’s son in the past, and the prospect of a steady family unit with her mother and the new man in her mother’s life, or she can go back to her father, who has been given the option to straighten out his life and join them in their new home. Instead, his world unravels, and he spirals into violence and self-harm.

Torn between two worlds, Charity knows that if she doesn’t help him, she may lose him forever if he follows through on his threats of self-destruction.

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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 made up stories. When I was little, I would make up the story to go along with the picture in the book. I refused to read until 4th grade because I said my stories were better!

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

I used to love to write at night, but now I write whenever I have time. I used to only write in my bedroom, but now I write wherever I can find a space. I have become much more desperate.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Most of the times they come from dreams. The time travel idea for PATH TO OLD TALBOT came from a dream, although in it the family went out the back door into the past instead of using the parlor closet.

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 tried planning out a story once and I ended up hating it. Each chapter was a chore. Now I just go with the flow. I have an idea and see where it takes me.

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

They are all young adult fantasy. I have tried writing contemporary YA, but a bit of fantasy always sneaks in. I love the idea of magic being out in the world.

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

Me! I would love to have one of my books be made into a movie and have the chance to star in it. Okay, maybe not star. Can I at least have a cameo?

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

I read any chance I can get. My favorite author is Maria V. Snyder. Not only does she create amazing worlds, but she has a heart of gold. I’m pleased to call her my friend.

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

I am going through a G. Miki Hayden kick. She was kind enough to send me paperback copies. Right now I only have time to read while at work on my breaks.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

THE SEVENTH PRINCESS. Thinking about the story still makes me smile. It was the first chapter book I ever read.

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

Never give up. There are a lot of haters out there. Not everyone will like your work. Write for you and from your heart.

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

I am on Twitter and Facebook. I use Facebook more, but I’m pushing myself to be more Twitter-rific. You can find me on Facebook as “Jordan Elizabeth – Author.”

About the Author:

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel.

Jordan is a young adult fantasy author represented by the Belcastro Agency.

Connect with Jordan:

Website: www.jordanelizabethmierek.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-Elizabeth-Mierek

Twitter: @JayliaDarkness

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/joriemierek

 

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Author Interview: ‘The Ugly Teapot’ by Fred Holmes

About the Book:

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world. To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp that Hannah found most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special. Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do. She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

What people are saying:

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for writing this book. It is BRILLIANT!” –Writers Digest

“The plot twist at the end took the book from a fun enjoyable read to a timeless novel of family and loss.” –Sarah Curtis @ BooksBeforeBandaids

“This book made me laugh;then it made me cry. (And that takes TALENT because this is a middle grade book and I’m 22…) Really though, go read this book! It’s an easy 5 stars!” –Rachel @nevertoomanybooks.wordpress.com

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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’ve been writing since I could hold a pen. Way back in elementary school (and I do mean WAY back in elementary school when they used stone tablets) my parents bought me a DIY printer’s kit and I turned out my own neighborhood newspaper. Then, like everyone else, I wrote stories in school. However, when I left school I wasn’t interested in being a writer. I wanted to be a director of television and films. I started out in TV commercials and documentaries, travelling all over the world for a few years, then directed two feature films starring Lou Diamond Phillips, one for Miramax and one for Lionsgate; then I directed a Bollywood feature film shot on location in India that starred two huge Bollywood stars, one of whom had won the Indian version of an Academy Award.

During this time I also directed a lot—and I do mean a LOT! —of American television. Most of these shows were in the area of children’s television. According to IMDB, I’ve directed north of 250 episodes of TV, and along the way I’ve won quite a few awards, including three CINE Golden Eagles and two Emmys. But I was often disappointed with some of the scripts I was being asked to direct, so one day I decided to start writing my own scripts. Over time this led me into the more lucrative area of writing spec screenplays for feature films.

One of those spec scripts was called FIREFLIES and my agent shopped it all over Hollywood. It was very well received and several high profile producers optioned it, including my friend Jerry Molen. Jerry had won the Academy Award for producing SCHINDLER’S LIST and was known for producing big-budgeted blockbusters (HOOK, MINORITY REPORT, TWISTER, etc.). Unfortunately, FIREFLIES was a sweet, small-budgeted film, so he was never able to get it off the ground. Then a friend of mine at Disney read it, loved it, and suggested I turn it into a novel. I’d always been intrigued by the idea of writing a novel, but I never thought I could. Why? Well, the best analogy I can give you comes from some of my actor friends. A lot of them will tell you, “I’m only acting in television and films to make money. My goal is to be a star on Broadway where the real actors are.” And that, in a convoluted way, was my attitude about writing for television—the “real” writers were writing novels—and I was only writing screenplays and teleplays.

At the time, however, I was working in South Africa a lot and those seventeen hour plane rides to Cape Town gave me ample time to fuss around with the idea of writing a novel. I soon came to a discouraging conclusion: all of my work in television and film was irrelevant. It didn’t matter one bit. Okay, maybe it did matter one bit—writing so much television had taught me what a good story looked like, sounded like, tasted like (they taste like chicken and go really well with some fava beans and a nice Chianti), but I still had to learn how to translate that knowledge into writing prose. And there is a difference between writing prose and writing screenplays. Oh yeah, trust me on this. There’s a huge difference.

In order to educate myself, I began by reading a lot of books on the process, and I spoke with my friends who were novelists. I also read a lot of children’s fiction. I’ve always loved children’s literature, plus I’ve been fortunate to work on television shows that starred children. All of this helped. It also helped that screenplays and novels do share a common rule: “Show not tell”. Unfortunately, they’re also completely different in that novels are meant to be read and screenplays are meant to be filmed. Yeah, I know, duh…but what this means is that you only write down in a screenplay what the audience will see and/or hear. You do not dig into the characters’ psyche—that’s for the actors to portray, and the director to cover visually—and they both get really upset with you if you mess with their territory!

So in order to write THE UGLY TEAPOT, I had to learn how to write fiction. This was a challenge for someone who had never taken a writing course. What I did have, fortunately, was a lot of experience telling stories. So to make a long story only slightly shorter…I wrote copious drafts, ripped out more hair than I could afford to rip out, started over more times than I care to admit, but now, finally, have a story I’m very proud of.

A final postscript: There is a joke in Hollywood that if you ask an actor a question, he will give you his credits. This must also be true of writers.

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

If I had my druthers, I would write wearing a swimsuit and sandals in a bungalow on a beach somewhere…preferably Hawaii. Then again I probably wouldn’t get any work done. So I write in my office without any distractions, pretty much seven days a week, for about eight hours a day. I do take breaks now and then to go direct something, but even then I’m writing in hotel rooms and on planes.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The short answer is my imagination. The idea for THE UGLY TEAPOT came from real life. My brother died of cancer at a very young age and his death had a devastating impact on me. At the time, I decided to funnel my grief into a screenplay (FIREFLIES), but I didn’t want to write a sad, depressing ode to my brother. He wouldn’t have liked that. So I wrote an action/adventure film filled with magic and humor. When FIREFLIES metamorphosed into THE UGLY TEAPOT, I stayed true to my original story, but tried to make TEAPOT more “novel-like”. This required, for one thing, expanding my story. FIREFLIES was 110 pages long (normal for most screenplays, but too short for a middle-grade novel), so expanding it allowed me to flesh out my characters and situations. This was fun and intimidating at the same time, but I was helped along by the fact that I had kept most of my notes on character and plot from the original screenplay, and I had tons of material I’d been forced to cut from the screenplay in order to get it down to length.

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’m a plantser by nature—in other words I plan my stories somewhat, but still write by the seat of my pants. I love the spontaneity of this approach, but before I start I do know the beginning, middle, and end of my story, plus most of my plot points.

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

At the moment I’m writing middle grade to young adult fantasy. I love this genre because I’m really a kid at heart, plus I have had the privilege of working with a lot of kids in my target age range during my career. I do, however, have a couple of adult thrillers that I would like to get to one of these days.

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

Dream cast? I would love to see Natalie Portman in the lead role when she was fourteen. The father I would love to see Harrison Ford play, and the mother, Sandra Bullock, both when they were the appropriate age. You did say dream cast!

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

I read voraciously and eclectically. I have so many favorite authors it would be impossible to pick just one, but I will say that I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Ray Bradbury, George R. R. Martin, J K Rowling, Stephen King, Ken Follet, Orson Scott Card, Stephanie Meyer, and Terry Pratchett, along with a whole long list of others.

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

I just finished re-reading EQUAL RITES by Terry Pratchett. It is absolutely hilarious, brilliantly written, and a whole lot of fun to read. As a writer, it also teaches me a lot about the shorthand you can employ in good writing.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book of all time is Ray Bradbury’s DANDELION WINE. Why I connect with that book so viscerally, I have no idea. It is about a time in which I did not live and a place I’ve never been, and yet I absolutely adore it. A big reason why is Ray’s use of language. His writing is about as close to poetry as one can get. As a side note: Years ago, before Ray died, he was working with my friend, Jerry Molen, on the movie version of THE MARTIAN CHRONOCLES for Universal. When I told Jerry what a huge fan I was of DANDELION WINE, he got Ray to autograph a copy for me; and on the inside of the cover, Ray drew a picture of a dandelion and wrote, “Fred, this dandelion is for you!” It remains one of my most prized possessions.

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

First, write the absolute best book you can write. Next, make sure it is professionally edited, etc. Then finally, decide what release route is best for your novel. If it’s a children’s book, you might want to seriously consider getting an agent and a publisher. But whatever you decide to do, resolve to be in this business for the long haul. Do something every day toward meeting your goal of writing the best novel possible, and never, ever give up. The only people who fail are those who accept failure as an option. And know this: You have my very best wishes. Oh yes, if I had Aladdin’s Lamp, I would give you all three of my wishes. Why? Because you are attempting something good and noble and honorable. You are writing something that future generations will grow up reading. You are making the world a better place.

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

Fred Holmes Productions – www.flholmes.com

Amazon author page – www.amazon.com/author/fredholmes

Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/fredholmesproductions

Goodreads Author Page – www.goodreads.com/author/show/15140923.Fred_Holmes

Twitter – @FLouisHolmes

Google+ – plus.google.com/u/0/108412608382221209520

YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_BXJ0hdYWCCuLsdPBjO0Dg

About the Author:

THE UGLY TEAPOT is Fred Holmes’s first fiction novel, having previously ghost written a non-fiction book, LETTERS FROM DAD. He is known primarily as a writer and director of films and television, working primarily in family films and children’s television. His work can be seen on Mary Lou Retton’s FLIP FLOP SHOP, BARNEY & FRIENDS, WISHBONE, HORSELAND, IN SEARCH OF THE HEROES, and many other shows, for which he has won two Emmys and three CINE Golden Eagles, among numerous other awards. He has also directed three feature films, including DAKOTA, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, distributed by Miramax, and HEART LAND, a Bollywood feature film shot on location in India. He lives with his wife and son in the southwest United States, and can be found online at http://www.flholmes.com

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Author Interview: ‘Torn’ by Simon Williams

About the Book:

My father taught me that life wasn’t meant to be easy. I don’t think that he knew it was going to be as difficult for me as it was.

Only when we start to die, do we stop apologizing for who we are and what we go through.

After suffering an unimaginable heart break, a dejected man suffers through depression and frustration.

After four years of misery he considers ending it all.

What began as a suicide note then turns into a hilarious, disruptive and unapologetic book series.

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Torn by Simon John Williams

Torn

by Simon John Williams

Giveaway ends May 04, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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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 been a bit of a lost soul and have spent the last 20-odd years either running away from something or running to find something. I wasn’t sure till one day I found what I wanted and then I knew I had been searching. My writing is a classic chicken and the egg story. I have always loved to express myself with writing in some way, I have always known that I harbour feelings of frustration and depression. Whether I write because I am depressed, or I am depressed because I write, I don’t know. To finally sit down with the drive and nerve to write my first three books came about because of an overwhelming tragedy that was going on in my life that I needed to find a way to remove my feelings from.

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

During the stillness of the day is my favourite. Either early in the morning before the sun comes up or late, late at night. When everyone in my house is asleep and it is only myself, my thoughts and a hot cup of tea. Because of when I like to write, the downstairs kitchen table has become the default location. Trying to write in a room while my wife is sleeping is an absolute nonstarter and a danger to my health.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

For my first books, I went simple, start with the idea of the inanity of life. That is a universal subject and I know it well, as I have screwed up plenty. Plus, I have an insidious form of ADD. I can be doing something completely unrelated to writing and ideas flood into my head. Running on the treadmill – ideas about plot. Watering my vege garden – ideas about character. Scaling Mt. Everest – ideas about improving a punchline for a joke. I have exactly 30 seconds to write it down or it disappears and I cannot remember what it is. Where those thoughts come from? Buggered if I know. All my ideas at the end of the day come from either the piece of paper in my pocket, or in a WhatsApp message that I told my wife to send 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 don’t even know where I put my car keys when I get home from work. I think my story writing is like hot air ballooning. There is the designated starting point, but after that… good luck where I end up. I think things are more interesting that way, at least for me as the writer. Otherwise writing a book would be like repeating 5th grade geography for 10 years. I know what is going to be on the test already but I still must sit through the same class every day. Plus, it helps that I write in a stream of consciousness style like James Joyce. I think he also was an avid hot air balloonist.

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

My first three books are all humor, because they are about the most depressing experience someone can have in life. I didn’t get to choose, the genre picked me as I needed to write to cheer myself up. They are memoirish, but my life has been quite exotic so it appears to be fictional. I like writing about real things, real people, real experiences. Truth is stranger than fiction, therefore a great deal more interesting and relatable I think. Who honestly can relate to 50 Shades of Gray outside of a drunken fantasy that you tell your BFF in the bathroom of the nightclub?

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

Ha. Well I already have Keanu Reeves pegged for a minor role as a cricket umpire. Meryl Streep to play a prostitute in a Montevideo brothel I found myself in. Wesley Snipes can play himself, when he gets out of jail. David Schwimmer can play himself, Billy Campbell too, Angelina Jolie likewise. Other than those people, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can play the characters, as they are the ordinary people who see every day, going about their business and taking care of their shit.

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

I wish I could read a lot more. Sometimes in life you must prioritize what you have time for and I have had little time for anything else outside of work and writing for 6 months. I hope to soon get back to getting drunk on Friday nights and acknowledging to my wife and step kids that they are alive.

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

I am reading something titled, ‘You’ve spent 6 months writing a book, here are a list of chores you have neglected during that time.’ Actually no, that is a note from my wife.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Plum Rain Scroll. A Children’s book I read nearly 40 years ago. Have read it again maybe 50 times since and thought I would like to write children’s books as this book inspired me to imagine and dream. I rewrote it as a screenplay and pitched it to Hollywood, but have not gotten any interest. I love Bill Bryson and Clive Cussler as authors. This new book about chores that I haven’t done for 6 months has really caught my attention though. Don’t think I will be able to put it down, if I value my life.

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

Tell your family and friends you love them, then say good-bye. If married, get a good pre-nup in place first so your partner doesn’t take everything when they leave you. Stand in front of the mirror and say, ‘Your book sucks,’ a thousand times or until you stop being offended and demoralized by this. Understand that your book sucks. Understand that it doesn’t matter your book sucks. Understand that it only matters when you stop working night and day to improve your book so it doesn’t suck. (Refer back to getting that pre-nup signed)

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

I am not a big on social media outside of Amazon and Goodreads. The time I would need to dedicate to anything more would push my wife over the edge. Will that make it harder for me to get read and develop an audience? Probably, but it would be harder for me to walk to a book signing with two broken legs. I will rely on word of mouth and hope that Donald Trump gets pissed at me for some reason and abuses me on his Twitter. That would be good.

Other books in series:

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Purchase Links

Amazon: UK / US

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon: UK / US

About the Author:

If sarcasm was your acceptable daily allowance of protein, then author Simon Williams would be a juicy 12-ounce steak sandwiched between two pieces of red meat. In a recent Facebook posting of the 37 things people regret when they die, there was only one item he hadn’t done. Let go of a grudge, but he doesn’t regret it.

Born in Townsville, Queensland he now lives in Miami, Florida. He always wanted to move to Leningrad but is buggered if he can find where it is on a map. He has spent half his life having to tell Americans that he grew up near Sydney, as most of them have no idea that Australia has another city.

He started writing as a young man, first with a crayon, then a pencil, finally graduating to a ball point pen. His sense of humor was developed over 8 years of boarding school. As a way of both evading having the crap beaten out of him, while also dealing with being a smart boy who sat at the back of the class, but who couldn’t see the board because he refused to wear his glasses.

His favourite pastime is trolling his mates on Facebook and taking the piss out of them. He has only been unfriended twice, on both occasions by his wife.

Connect with Simon:

GoodreadsAmazon Author Page UK

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Author Interview: ‘The Missing Piece’ by Marie Lavender

About the Book:

The biggest mistake of Aly’s life could turn into the promise of new love…

When Alyssa wakes up on the lawn of a local fraternity, she can’t remember what happened the previous night. A new friend and frat guy, Justin, offers to help her out. As she makes discoveries that force her to accept a different reality, she finds herself drawn to Justin for a number of reasons.

Can the biggest mistake of Aly’s life turn into the promise of new love?

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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 am from the Midwestern U.S., and I live with my family and three cats. I guess you could say I’ve been fascinated with reading since childhood. My love of literature evolved into writing stories. It seemed there was always some tale in my head that I had to write down. I just knew I wanted to write for a living.

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

When I’m heavily focused on a book project, I can write at any time or anywhere really. But the muse tends to visit me at night before I go to sleep, and usually in bed or at the dining room table. Occasionally inspiration will strike when I’m curled up on the sofa with a feline at my side.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

They come from life, from observations I make, even people I meet. And sometimes my ideas just appear out of nowhere, most likely derived from the jumble of thoughts dancing around in my head.

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 a general idea, sure, but more often than not the characters lead me in the right direction. But I consider myself a hybrid. Though I do write an outline at some point, I’m also a pantster. Scenes often come to me randomly.

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

I term myself a multi-genre author because even though I like to dance in and out of different subgenres of romance (I just love “love”), I’ve also been known to cross genres or try non-romantic stories. I’ve published a children’s fantasy, written poetry and literary fiction, started dystopian and time travel tales, and even dabbled in mystery and horror.

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

Tough question. For the two main characters in The Missing Piece, I’d probably pick Annalise Basso for Aly and Tyler Posey to play Justin.

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

I read when I have free time, which is pretty rare with my schedule. LOL. But I do my best. Some of my favorites are Chloe Neill, Nora Roberts, J.R. Ward, Linda Lee Williams and Mika Jolie.

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

At present? I was just about to launch into something from Nora Roberts’ backlist, Winner Takes All, which is a collection of two novellas.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I really can’t choose as I have so many favorites, but I do have a real soft spot for J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.

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

I’d say if you need to “think” about it, you’re not quite there yet. Just do it. Start writing, and don’t let anyone tell you can’t write. From the moment you try and you allow the story to flow through you, you’re a writer.

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

Readers can follow me on Facebook through my personal profile or my official author page, on Twitter or Google+, and also subscribe to my blogs (Writing in the Modern Age, the MLB blog and the I Love Romance Blog). They can also check out my author website or subscribe to my author newsletter for updates.

About the Author:

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Other Author Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58 and www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter: @marielavender1

Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender

Authorsdb: authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

 

 

 

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Author Interview: ‘The Ialana Trilogy’ by Katlynn Brooke

About the Books:

In this roller-coaster fantasy adventure series, six diverse characters, three girls and three boys, between the ages of 15-21 embark on an epic quest to find a magical crystal lost 500 years in the past. What is their connection to this crystal? They must not only rediscover their past and survive a perilous journey over mountains infested with venomous mutant creatures, but they must also discover who the traitor is in their midst. In the second book of the series, they continue their healing mission but are thwarted by a Galonese Warlord, and hunted by a deadly foe. Shape-shifters, mutant creatures, and a power struggle between the rulers of Ialana all work together to make this one of their most difficult challenges yet. In the third book of the series, the Six and Anwyn, the daughter of two of the Six, must find and deactivate a weapon of mass destruction before Astrobal, the Demon-Lord of the Shadowlands finds it and uses it to destroy all life on Ialana. An old enemy in a new and even more deadly form arises, one who is able to match their enhanced abilities. In a nail-biting race to the end, the outcome is uncertain. Have the Six and Anwyn met their match this time?

…refreshingly original, complete with surprising plot twists and interesting, engaging characters.” – Hungry Monster Review

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Purchase Links:

Trilogy – Amazon US / UK

Book 1 – The Six and the Crystals of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Book 2 – The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Book 3 – The Six and Anwyn of Ialana – Amazon US / UK

Author Interview:

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

As a child, I grew up in the African bushveld. My father’s job was to build infrastructure in a country that had little in the way of roads, bridges, or towns outside the confines of major cities. This resulted in a gypsy lifestyle of camping, wherever his job led him, into places with no power grids for electricity, or potable water.

Our main entertainment was reading, and I became an avid bookworm from the age of six. I quickly bypassed Dick and Jane readers, and moved on to the classics in literature by the time I was nine.

I also loved to write, and since our family entertainment did not include television or movies, we wrote plays and produced them on my mother’s 8-track recorder. We also made movies with her 8mm camera, so my exposure to the joys of writing began at an early age.

I did not seriously pursue writing as a career, though, until I realized rather late in life, that it was something I really wanted to do. With age came a desire to share a hodge-podge of life experiences in a way that could be both entertaining and enlightening to younger readers. I thought that epic fantasy adventure would be the best way I could convey my philosopy and feelings about life, so in 2014 I wrote the first book in the Ialana Series. Three months later, I wrote the next, and am now on my fourth book in the series.

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

I am most comfortable writing in my own home. I have everything I need at my fingertips, and I can multi-task, do other things when I get tired of writing.

Mornings are my favorite time. My brain is fresher, and I have the afternoons to take care of life’s many other responsibilities.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Since I was a child, I’ve had epic dreams that would rival any fantasy movie. For example, the island of Mu’A in Book One of the Ialana Series (The Six and the Crystals of Ialana), is based on a real dream I once had. Some of my characters are based on dream characters. Some, I believe, may even be past life memories. I feel I have lived in other times and places, and if that does not prepare me to write fantasy, then nothing else will!

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 a “pantster”, as we’re known in writer parlance. I do not sit down and sketch out an outline, not even a short one on a napkin. I write by the seat of my pants. I just sit down and begin to write. There is a lot of thought that goes with this along the way, juggling of plot threads, characters, etc., but in the beginning it’s a fluid situation without bones or structure.

I know very few writers who do write this way, and I would not recommend it, either. Somehow, though, my plots do come together, my characters all begin to make sense, and I see a structure forming.

It’s weird, I know, but it works for me.

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

I write young adult epic fantasy. I wanted to learn how to world-build as well as Tolkien, and fantasy allows for almost any situation to occur. One does not have to adhere to the rigidity of an existing world created by others. To explore the worlds that exist in our imaginations, dreams, and turn them into a story that others can access, is the magic of fantasy.

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

I would not mind who played my characters, as long as they understood the character. Having famous actors play the parts would be awesome, but I would be just as pleased to see an unknown actor, one who understands the character well, in any movie or television production of my books.

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

I read approximately one book a week. My tastes are eclectic, and I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction. My book purchases — my secret vice — range from self-help to true crime, biographical, fantasy, adventure, and suspense. My favorite authors are Tolkien, R.A. Salvatore, and Terry Brooks (fantasy), M. William Phelps, (true crime), and John Grisham (suspense).

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

Hostile Witness, by William Lashner; The Plot to Hack America, William Nance; and Denali’s Howl, by Andy Hall.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien. Reading the books as a trilogy transports me into a world unparalleled in fantasy fiction. Tolkien was a master at world building and characterization. His work has become the gold standard for many fantasy authors, and I find myself going back to these books, reading them over and over, just to get a sense of the feeling the story and words convey.

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

Read. A lot.

If you don’t love it, don’t do it. It’s not an easy way to make money. You can do better with a conventional job, but if you must be a writer, then never give up. Hone your craft, but know that there will always still be room for improvement.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to publish your first book. Get a professional opinion about its readiness for publication before submitting, whether you are thinking of self-publishing or going the traditional route.

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

www.katlynnbrooke.com

www.facebook.com/katlynnbrookeauthor

Books in the Trilogy:

Book 1 – The Six and the Crystals of Ialana

Mutant creatures, a Reptilian Dragon King, and a mysterious shape shifter… The first book in the Ialana Series.
The quest to find and restore the lost crystals of Ialana, unites six people who, along with a seventh, were all born with a secret buried deep within.Guided by a shared dream, they leave the only homes they have ever known and set out on a life-altering quest through a maze of mountain caves and tunnels where they encounter insidious creatures, and dangers from within their group.Mentored by Irusan the transcendental shape-shifter, they develop impenetrable relationships and learn to rely upon one another. They battle their way towards the lost crystal, but will they find it in time, or will their enemy succeed in his mission to control the powerful crystals of Ialana?

Book 2 – The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana

In a seamless continuation of the first book in the series, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, the six healers have escaped the destruction of the Citadel in Rhiannon. But now they find themselves caught in the midst of a power struggle between the competing rulers of Ialana.

Unable to complete their healing mission, to heal mutants who were genetically altered by crystal manipulation, they flee the Galonese War-Lord, Ortzi, and attempt a dangerous journey back to their homes in northern Ialana.

Trapped by malevolent creatures, hunted by a monster who seeks them for reasons of its own, and on the run from a king and a conniving shape-shifter, there seems to be no place of safety for them.

Will they find the mysterious abode of the Gardeners? Who are the Gardeners, and what is their purpose for the Six? Will The Six be able to find Queen Catrin, who sets off on a quest of her own, or will Catrin run afoul of her husband, King Brenin, before she can find The Six?

In The Gardeners of Ialana, the Six explore the mysteries of healing, elemental command, and through many more trials, learn their true purpose in life.

Book 3 – The Six and Anwyn of Ialana

In the third book of the Ialana Series, an ancient weapon of planetary destruction has been uncovered. Astrobal, the demon-lord of Iochodran, will stop at nothing to gain possession and control of the deadly weapon. When Astrobal discovers that the key to the control of this weapon is Anwyn, the daughter of Jarah and Tegan, he must use all the resources he can muster to hunt her and her family down. He sends Glahivar, an old and powerful enemy of the Six, to Three Rivers, where they and Anwyn are under the protection of the Queen. But Queen Catrin and her husband, Ambros, have problems of their own. A threat from the south is brewing: Moran, the war-lord of Yor Swamps has designs on Catrin’s kingdom. In a race to the end, Anwyn and the Six must not only gain possession of the weapon, but deactivate it too, before Astrobal can use it to destroy the planet.

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