Tag Archives: Fantasy

Author Interview: ‘Emma’s Fury’ by Linda Rainier

About the Book:

After a brutal and unnatural death, Emma is reborn as a Fury, a descendant of the mythological deities who were tasked with the judgment of man. They are tasked with protecting the delicate balance between humans and the paranormal world.

In the world of the Fury there is no room for the frivolity of human nature; no room for compassion or a need for love. To fall victim to such volatile emotions leads only to ruin and suffering.

In the shadows, darkness rises, endangering the tightly controlled world of the Fury. Emma must survive an intricate web of deceit and betrayal as the questions mount.

With the aid of her guardian, David, they must find a way to beat back the evil that threatens to devour them. 

Will her hope of finding her place in this world be dashed by the insurmountable odds?
Can she control the overwhelming emotions threatening to tear down her carefully constructed walls?

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Barnes and Noble

Author Interview:

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

An independent author from New Hampshire. I guess I’ve always described myself as a little kooky, with a rather dark sense of humor. For about 90% of the time, I’m probably pretty boring and shear chaos for the remaining 10%.

Like most authors, I grew up with a great love for story-telling. My dad would travel a lot for work and my mom would gather all the kids around, telling us stories or read to us at night. I think that had a significant impact on my life.

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

At night is when I find I am most efficient at writing. Throughout the day, I’ll be thinking about the story and what I need to get done. So when I sit down at night, I can quickly get to work.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I suffered from terrible insomnia as a child. My mind would never really slow down enough to fall asleep. I found listening to music helped, and it allowed my mind to wonder in a less active way. I’d imagine scenes that went along with the music. My current series was actually several years in the making. I had all the scenes I wanted to add and a reasonable order for them, but I just needed to find the last piece to tie it all together. The Furies were a perfect choice for my main character. I’ll also ask a lot of questions. By examining the issues, you can come up with some creative solutions. It’s like playing both sides of a chessboard.

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 flexible plotter. I know how the story will end and all the major plot points that need to be there, but I allow for new ideas to pop up. Sometimes I’ll need to split a chapter in half because it’s too long. Other times I’ll realize that the plot or subplot needs more. I have a clear idea of the story but can adjust as needed.

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

Mythological urban fantasy. I learned about Greek mythology in high school and really fell in love with the subject. It really lends itself well to the fantasy genre and the fact that most of my pleasure reading it is typically fantasy that helps as well. The first story to really grab my attention was The Hobbit. Anything is possible with fantasy, whether it is dragons or robot, you can build whatever world you want.

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

Hmm. There are so many amazing actors, it is hard to say. I think the main character, Emma, would be the hardest to cast in mind. Perhaps Scarlett Johansson or Charlize Theron. The closest actor I can think of for David would be Jason Momoa and Mei li would be either Lucy Liu or Zhang Ziyi. Bastian, I think Gerard Butler and Thanatos would be Colin Farrell.

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

I read as much as life will allow. I definitely don’t get to dedicate as much time as I want, but if I’m really getting stressed, I attempt to read more because it relaxes me.

Wow. Favorite author? I have a fairly broad interest in books. I loved Dean Koontz, Shakespeare and George Martin. A good romance is always good as well, so I devoured a lot of Lindsay’s books.

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

I just finished reading “Letters from Italy” by Mario Dell’Olio, highly recommend. Right now, I’m reading “Nasty little cuts” by Tina Baker 

9: What is your favourite book and why?

“The Monk” by Matthew Gregory Lewis. It’s so well written examining human nature and all of its flaws. It’s dark and visceral and beautiful.

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

First, understand what success looks like to you. For me, having people read and enjoy the work is my primary goal.

Second, if you are looking to sell the book it’s going to cost some money, so budget early. Believe me, editors are costly. Even if you are going the traditional publishing route, you still want to send out a pretty clean manuscript. Indie publishing has even more costs associated with it. You owe it to yourself and your reader to put out the best book that you can.

Finally, two qualities are having a thick skin and patience. Some people will love your work, some may hate it. Learn to distinguish between hate and a constructive critique. We are always learning, always improving. So use all input to your advantage. 

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

Twitter: @ln_rainier

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lrainier

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lnrainierauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18712934.Linda_Rainier

About the Author:

Growing up in a small New Hampshire town Linda graduated from New Hampshire College with a degree in English Literature. From an early age she fell in love with the art of story-telling, especially the mythology. When the power would go out, which is a common occurrence in the winter, there would be many nights where they would sit and read or tells stories as a family. 

Each of our family mythos and tales of folk lore are significant in that it allows us, as a society, to connect with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. By studying these oral and written legends it gives us a window into the core of human nature.

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Author Interview: ‘The Last Keeper’ by J.V. Hilliard

About the Book:

A young boy’s prophetic visions.

Blind at birth, Daemus Alaric is blessed with the gift of prophetic Sight. Now, as a Keeper of the Forbidden, he must use his powers of the Sight to foil the plans of a fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad.

An elven Princess with a horrifying secret.

Princess Addilyn Elspeth travels from Eldwal, the magically hidden home of the Vermilion elves, to begin her life as a diplomat to the human capital of Castleshire. During her journey, she stumbles upon a mystical creature foretelling ill tidings.

A terrifying force of evil.

Daemus’ recurring nightmare vision threatens to catapult him into a terrifying struggle that will leave the fate of the Keepers—and the realm—hanging in the balance. Daemus and Princess Addilyn must set out to face the menace that threatens their very existence.

Will the entire realm fall to its knees?

The Last Keeper is the first book in The Warminster Series. With gripping, epic action and heart-pounding adventure, you’ll love this new adventure series.

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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?

My name is J.V. Hilliard, and I am an epic fantasy novelist and author of the Warminster series and book one of the saga, The Last Keeper.

I started writing creatively at a young age, around the fourth grade to be succinct. My uncle was paralyzed in the Vietnam War and when he returned home, my mother was his nurse. I grew up by his side and he was a 2nd father to me. Of course, the type of activities he could engage in were limited because of his condition—but creative writing was something he could do. Thus, I began to watch him write short stories and serials, learning from him.

Eventually I found myself taking writing classes in high school and then again in college, but my focus was on government, so I ended up writing every day for a living. But writing legislation or grants is much different than crafting fiction. I had to go back to the days of those classes and recapture the style, pacing and dialogue skills I had abandoned for too many years.

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

I almost always write at night. I feel I have more creative connectivity with my characters nocturnally, so I usually get two to three hours of writing done when everyone else is asleep, including the dogs. Though in truth, they are never very far away.

I enjoy writing in my den, but there is a bookstore nearby that has a small café that I will retreat into every now and then, but I find comfort writing alone in my house with a map of the realm on the wall behind me and characters and plotlines scrawled out on the whiteboard in front of me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Many come from past campaigns of table-top role-playing games, particularly Dungeons & Dragons. Of course, the Realm of Warminster is unique and features one-of-a-kind monsters and my version of spells and magic, but I take much inspiration from nearly two decades of gaming.

As a dungeon master, you see the stories come together and, in some cases, fall apart, depending on how the players react. But you always know when a story line is working and when players are having a good time. Those are the ideas I have adopted into my novels.

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! Always. I am a planner/plotter to my very core (for better or worse). And I know this likely will read strangely, but I write my stories backward. I start at the end and work my way back through my own process of “reverse engineering” to ensure I haven’t missed any aspects of the plot.

I’ve tried doing the “pantser” thing, but I feel like I am just not built that way. Sad, but true.

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

My genre is a mix of epic fantasy and dark fantasy, landing in a place with plenty of “sword and sorcery” for the average fantasy adventure enthusiast. My love for the genre started when I was young and read the Hobbit, saw the movie Conan the Barbarian and then started playing Dungeons and Dragons. At that point, I was hooked.

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

Great question! If I had to choose, I would have Daemus Alaric played by Jaeden Martell of “It” fame.

As Princess Addilyn Elspeth, I can see Poppy Drayton (since she did an excellent job as an elf in the Shannara series) or Ashley Greene, who played Alice in the Twilight series.

For Sir Ritter of Valkeneer, I can see Liam Hemsworth making a great Longmarcher captain, or perhaps Taron Egerton, as he is practiced at playing characters with a longbow. Perhaps he can reprise his Robin Hood role from a few years back… just with pointy elven ears.

And of course, for Graytorris the Mad, I see Joaquin Phoenix. His role as “Joker” would make him perfect for the role.

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

I am a big fan of Margaret Weis of Dragonlance fame, R.A. Salvatore of the Dark Elf Trilogy and of Terry Brooks of the Shannara series. But the granddaddy of them all is Tolkien, for his Lord of the Rings work.

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

I am currently beta reading for a friend of mine that has a book being released later in the year. Beth Green’s Seeds of Power.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I would have to say Homeland, by R.A. Salvatore, as it is the “origin story” of my favorite fantasy character, the dark elf ranger, Drizzt.

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

Keep writing. Writing is habitual and it becomes its own muscle memory. Even if you aren’t in the “zone,” keep doing a few paragraphs a day or even start to outline the next project. I think that kicks the creative juices into gear and saves momentum for your work-in-progress. The worst idea is a stale one.

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

My website is www.jvhilliard.com and my social media channels are:

Twitter: @JVHilliardBooks

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@jvhilliardbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jvhilliardbooks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JVHilliardBooks

Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/jvhilliard

About the Author:

Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm’s wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. HIs uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day.

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Book Blitz: ‘The Land of the Young’ by Will Robinson

Title: The Land of the Young

Author: Will Robinson

Genre: Fantasy

About the Book:

Two Irish cottiers, Bridget and Tommy, battle a pernicious enemy of old for the lives of their friends and families against the backdrop of the Irish famine. The ancient gods want Ireland back under their control through the power of an Iron Age revenant and a cauldron with the converse abilities of life and destruction. But they learn that the true enemies are the landlords and their agents who want to replace their culture with profitable sheep and biddable collies. The Land of the Young is a sweeping fantasy and adventure set in the Celtic age of mythology and the 1840s.​

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

When not drowning in coffee and writing his 500th best-selling query letter, Will likes to hike, fish, and ulcerate. He also enjoys trying to remember how to art and reads a lot of sci-fi, Amazon author bios, literary fiction, historical fiction, anthropology, science, history, Ikea instructions, and cereal boxes.

His two works, Pathology Report and Kadru- The Imperial Forest are out now! Both are prequels to his full-length novel Luska which should be out in October 2017.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.willrobinsonauthor.com

Twitter: @willgacus

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Book Blitz: ‘Black Stone of Vallanir’ by R.D. Villam

Title: Black Stone of Vallanir

Northmen Saga – Book 1

Author: R.D. Villam

Genre: Fantasy

About the Book:

“I can judge friends. Or foes. I know which one is a big wolf, which one is a small dog, and which one is a small dog who only pretends to be a big wolf. You, big wolf.”

William, a young blacksmith, has promised his mother not to go to the northern lands and find out about his father’s killer. But after he kills several bandits by the river, he has no choice but to flee north and break his promise. He joins a small army of fishermen who will fight the Northmen who want to raid the southern villages. He meets his toughest opponent, a beautiful but fierce girl named Vida. A warrior princess who wants to unite her people.

Whose destiny will win?

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

R.D. Villam is an Indonesian author/writer. He has published several fantasy books in his country and now bringing his stories to the world to fulfill his dream. 

He also founded Indonesian Kindle Authors, a small group to assist fellow Indonesian writers in publishing their books on Amazon Kindle Book Store.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.rdvillam.mailchimpsites.com

Twitter: @rdvillam

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rdvillam

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rdvillam20

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Author Interview: ‘Chambers of the Heart’ by B. Morris Allen

About the Book:

A heart that’s a building, a dog that’s a program, a woman who’s sinking irretrievably – stories about love, loss, and movement. A collection of speculative stories from author and editor B. Morris Allen.

  • Chambers of the Heart – when someone else’s heart is your home
  • Building on Sand – your own child or the child that needs you now?
  • Blush – when everyone else wears a mask, what’s it like to bare your face?
  • Minstrel Boy Howling at the Moon – magic, music, and … buffalo?
  • Fetch – she may be a simulation, but out on the edge, she’s one man’s best friend
  • The Humblebract Expedition – a play date for a dying child can only end in tragedy, right?
  • When Dooryards First in the Lilac Bloomed – a doorway to opportunity and change, if only they can understand it
  • Some Sun and Delilah – a sunny island, an abandoned temple, and … truth?
  • Crying in the Salt House – the house is built from tears, or so they say
  • Full of Stars – jar half empty, jar half full
  • Memory and Faded Ink – the aliens are perfectly human … and just as flawed
  • Fountainhead – arranged pairings never work, especially with different species
  • Adaptations to Coastal Erosion – what do you do when your spouse just sinks away, literally?
  • Outburst – Earth is dead, and the one remaining orbital can’t be saved, can it?
  • The Irrigation Ditch – they came to hide, but didn’t realize it was from each other
  • Dragons I Have Slain – take hope where you find it

Cover art by Bonnie Leeman.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

“Chambers of the Heart” excerpt.

Despair and Ecstasy are the simplest. Ecstasy is the small and cozy room of a cottage that looks out on a broad meadow in the forest. In the spring, elk come to posture and to mate, and the wildflowers bloom on every side. In the fall, mist dances in silver swirls framed by gold and bronze and copper trees. It is always spring or fall.

Despair is a vast, dark hall of low ceilings and small windows. In winter, snowdrifts sometimes cover the windows so that they are only squares of gray against black stone. In the summer, shafts of hot, bright light do nothing to warm the room, and only blind us to the room’s darkness, so that we must carry candles to the Master’s hard throne. It is always winter or summer.

Ecstasy and Despair are the simplest chambers, and the worst, and they are where the Master spends his time.

Author Interview:

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

I started writing a long time ago, when I was about 6 (so about 50 years ago). One of my very earliest pieces was preserved by my (probably mystified) parents, and can be found here: “The Orange Donkey” (https://www.bmorrisallen.com/oddities/the-orange-donkey/). I’m not sure it was my greatest writing accomplishment, but it is an early one.

Our house was full of all sorts of books, and I became a voracious reader from an early age, but I didn’t really try to write until college, but I didn’t have much tenacity — lots of starts, very few completed stories. One of those did become my first published story much later, but I didn’t take writing seriously until I finally decided to treat it like a job. I was, for the first time in decades, between jobs, so when my spouse left for work, I sat down to write all day. Much to my surprise, it mostly worked.

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

Ideally, I write when inspiration strikes, but I found after decades of trying that that’s a really terrible approach for me — inspiration and opportunity rarely coincide. Instead, an ideal time would be on a non-workday, after breakfast, with my spouse out gardening, the music on, and me covered with animals. It’s really a question of mindset; once I get going (which can take an hour), it usually flows reasonably well. Of course, there are some days when nothing works, and everything I write is terrible. On those days I just give up and do something else.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere. I get ideas constantly and forget half of them. But I have a file with hundreds of others. Sometimes the file notes are cryptic — there’s at least one that I know was a great idea, but I just can’t decipher what it was. I get a fair number of ideas from misheard lyrics. Or, much more rarely, from correctly heard lyrics that really struck me. That’s the case with at least two stories in my latest collection: “Minstrel Boy Howling at the Moon” is a straight steal from the title of a Jimmy La Fave song. “Dragons I Have Slain” is similarly a lyric from a Jon Lord song that bothered me, since I wouldn’t kill a dragon; the story was my way of working it out.

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?

Both. I’m definitely a discovery writer — I find out about most of the story as I write it. But I almost always have a sense of the mood that I want to leave the reader with at the end, and I will often have a broad sense of the arc — where the story starts and where it ends. Sometimes I have a clever line, or an image, or a concept. I don’t usually start with characters — they emerge from the piece as I go.

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

I almost entirely write science fiction and fantasy. I have a number of mainstream novels in mind and have written a number of mainstream stories, but there’s just limited time to write, and the SFF ones are the ones that are most fun.

My interest in SFF very definitely came from a childhood Christmas present — the complete set of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom books (recently made into the terrible movie, John Carter of Mars. I’d read some SFF before then — Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, a few others — but when I found Barsoom, I immediately turned away from most of the ‘serious’ literature I was reading and turned mainly to science fiction and fantasy.

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

My latest book is a short story collection, Chambers of the Heart, so I’ll answer instead with my first novel, Susurrus. It’s essentially the story of how an evil sorceress came to be one, tracing a sweet, desperately poor orphan as she finds a foster father and learns a little magic. In this world, each country has its own magic, and she’s uniquely able to learn more than one type, and to carry them across borders. Only, the more magic she learns, the worse her life gets, until she turns bitter and cruel. It’s a dark story (but there’s a happy ending), and it’s focused on this one woman, so I’d want a strong, talented actor to play her — Viola Davis would be perfect for the role. 

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

I read whenever I can. Sadly, between a full-time day job and running an SFF magazine (Metaphorosis), that’s not as often as I’d like. My favorite authors are probably Patricia A. McKillip, Roger Zelazny, Orson Scott Card (politics aside), James Thurber, Richard Adams, Richard Llewellyn, Dava Sobel, M.J. Engh, M.K. Wren. I could go on for ages. And of course I’m a fan of the authors I publish in my magazine and anthologies — newer voices like Vanessa Fogg, Molly Etta, L. Chan, Jason Baltazar, L’Erin Ogle, Laurel Beckley… Again, I could go on and on.

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

I’m re-reading M.K. Wren’s fantastic SF romance, Phoenix Legacy trilogy; Gate Thief, the second book in Orson Scott Card’s Mither Mages trilogy; Gardner Dozois’ The Best of the Best collected from his Year’s Best Science Fiction; and I think one or two others.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

That is a remarkably difficult question. If I really had to choose one, it might be Songmaster by Orson Scott Card. But I’d try to sneak in The Owl Service by Alan Garner; How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn; The Prince in Waiting by John Christopher; and After the Festival by George R.R. Martin.

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

Read. In my view, the key to becoming a writer is to read — a lot. Read constantly and read widely. I said that I read mostly SFF, and that’s true, but I’ve read a lot of other things as well. You don’t even, frankly, have to think analytically about what you read — just read a lot and you’ll absorb a sense of what works, as well as a rich vocabulary. Equally important, a sense of what you like and why.

Write. This sounds obvious, but many writers will tell you the same. You’re not a writer until you actually write something down, and ideally tell a complete story, and this latter part is much harder than it sounds. Don’t do what I did and waste decades assuming inspiration and opportunity will coincide. They won’t. Take writing seriously and work hard at it. Eventually, someday, what seemed daunting and impossible will turn easy and fun.

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

I’m middle-aged, so social media is not my natural milieu, but I’m on Twitter pretty often @BMorrisAllen and @Metaphorosis. I’m very occasionally on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bmorrisallen.

About the Author:

B. Morris Allen is a biochemist turned activist turned lawyer turned foreign aid consultant, and frequently wonders whether it’s time for a new career. He’s been traveling since birth, and has lived on five of seven continents. When he can, he makes his home on the Oregon coast. In between journeys, he edits Metaphorosis magazine, and works on his own speculative stories of love and disaster. His dark fantasy novel Susurrus came out in 2017.

Find out more at www.BMorrisAllen.com

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