Interview with Author Damian Serbu

Happy Wednesday Scribblers it’s not very often I get to chat with another author of vampire books, so this week I’m thrilled to have fellow Ninestar Press author Damian Serbu here on my Scribbles’ Page for a nice sit down and chat. So grab a glass of redand sink your teeth into this interview.

Welcome Damian, before we get started why don’t you tell us something about yourself. Something not in your standard bio.

I fell in love with vampires in high school! I had no idea at the time, but it seems pretty clear in retrospect that their double nature and secretive lives appealed to my closeted self.  When I was introduced to Anne Rice a few years later, I became even more enthralled with vampires than ever before. The Louis/Lestat relationship mesmerized me. What else to tell you? I love to travel! Paul (my husband) and I go all over the place. This summer, we’re heading to England for a week, and next year to Paris for a week to celebrate our 25thwedding anniversary. Almost all the places where I’ve been end up in my writing at some point or another. It’s a fun way to relive a favorite destination and share it with other people. Plus, having been there helps make it come alive when I write about it.

Yes, I would totally agree. I do that as well.  I pull in places I’ve traveled too, it makes the story all the more real. After reviewing your works and reading your bio and all that good stuff. I see that you are a fellow writer of vampire tales, what is it that has drawn you to not only writing about vampires, but also what has drawn you to writing in general?

I was drawn to writing because stories filled my head that demanded to get out. Honestly, I resisted it for a long time. I am a historian by training, which is so opposite fiction it’s like night and day. But I always read fiction for fun – to rest my mind from the scrutinizing of primary documents and facts, of what the past teaches us. In the midst of that relaxation, I started to imagine stories and eventually felt compelled to dabble in writing novels. Which led to publishing, and away I went! As for vampires – I just find them sexy! I enjoy all sorts of horror, but to charge it with a different kind of physical allure fascinates me. Plus, you can delve into something deeper with vampires by altering their fear of mortality, as opposed to humans. And finally, I know they play into a fantasy of mine that strips away fear. Growing up and coming out came with a fear to it; of rejection, of physical assault, of uncertain futures. Vampires overpower people and seldom experience that fear, so it’s fun to jump into their lives.

I agree. Let’s talk vampires, what mythology did you use? Did you create your own from start to finish or did you pull from various sources enhancing where you needed to?

I think I would say all of the above! I basically threw out the old stereotypes and fears, stuff about crosses and mirrors and such, moving toward the more contemporary vision of vampires as similar to humans, in terms of good and bad vampires, vampires with tons of emotion. Anne Rice influenced me in terms of how powerfully her vampires feel. But I also wanted a world of my own making, and so made stuff up as I went along.

Anne Rice is definitely the God Mother of vampires and I think we all pull a little something from her writing. Now, something else that caught my eye is your take on Santa that is definitely a much darker telling of Santa, so what is the story behind that series? It almost seems a bit tongue and cheek, is that what you were going for, or am I miss reading it?

Lol – it is totally tongue-in-cheek! (Side note – it is also completely unrelated to my other vampires, with its own legends, stand alone nonsense, etc.) Nothing in those books should be taken seriously, and readers should be warned that the humor is extremely juvenile. Though I also wanted some darkness, some pretty intense horror to scare people. I used to joke around about my theory that Santa was really a vampire, to amuse and annoy people during the holidays. Then I got to thinking that we horror fans need more books to enjoy during the holidays, when everyone else wants to read ‘happily ever after’ stories. Into my head popped Simon, the elf who tells the tale, and away I went. So yes, it’s supposed to be funny and scary and ridiculous.

I figured it had to be something like that.  I’m sure that series will make a fun, dark, holiday read. Also, you have several out of print novels right now, are you looking at editing them and bringing them back? Or have you moved on from them and they are lost to history?

I am definitely working to get the vampires back out there! NineStar has re-published two of them, and I am working on a couple others with the hopes it will publish them, and therefore complete my vampire series. The Vampires Angeland The Vampire’s Questare books I and II of my vampire series (reprints), while The Vampire’s Protégéis book IV (original to NineStar). So, you see, I really want to get book III out there! As for my other stand alone novels that are out of print, I’m not sure what their future holds.

I see that you are a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), how has this affected your writing career?

It’s been fun to engage with other horror writers, for one. And actually, I joined them a long time ago and participated in their mentor program. My mentor helped with my first novel and my writing so much! HWA also provides a publicity platform and information about the publishing world that really helps me. It’s a fun organization that connects readers and writers, too.

Sounds like an organization that all horror writers need to check out. Moving from writing to personal, when you’re not writing what do you and your husband enjoy doing? 

I already mentioned that we travel, so there’s that. We watch movies and hang out with friends a lot, as well as spend as much time as possible with family. We’re wine enthusiasts – he’s especially a wine snob, but because he is I get to drink good wine, too. We’re avid Cleveland sports fans, so watch a lot of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. And hang at home with the dogs. Plus we both like to read.

Speaking of dogs, you have two, one named Chewbacca and the other named Akasha, and you say they control your life how so? Also, I have to ask, Chewbacca, does this mean you are also a Star Wars Fan? If so is Chewbacca one of your favorite characters?

They control life because EVERYTHING revolves around them! They demand attention, for us to maintain their routines, and we comply. Akasha especially needs lots of attention, and expects that we stop everything to adore her whenever she wants. The idea is really about how much we love them and make life about them all the time. And yes – I am a HUGE Star Wars fan! I have loved Chewbacca since episode IV first came out in theaters! He was my very first action figure. Obviously I associated him as being Han Solo’s dog, so I liked him best.

That’s awesome. So, what are you currently working on? What will be seeing from you in the future?

I have two projects getting most of my attention these days. First, speaking of out-of-print books, I am working on a major overhaul and redo of Secrets in the Attic, because the main character becomes a main character in Book III of my vampire books. And I am writing away on my fifth vampire book in the series, tentatively titled The Vampire’s War

Sounds great. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I want to express my appreciation for your having me stop by today! It’s been fun to chat with a fellow vampire enthusiast and hang out for a while, as well as a fellow NineStar author!

You are welcome anytime.

I want to thank Damian for taking the time to stop by and chat. It was great leaning more about you and your writing. Remembers Scribblers if you love Dark Fantasy or Vampire Stories check out Damian’s books and don’t forget to share this post with family and friends who may enjoy his works as well. If you have questions for Damian leave them below and I’ll ensure he swings by to answer, or you can find him on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


About The Vampire’s Angel and The Vampire’s Quest:

In The Vampire’s Angel, as Paris devolves into chaos amidst the French Revolution, three lives intertwine that will either throw each person into complete chaos or save their very soul from the turmoil swirling around and within them. Xavier, a devout priest, struggles to hold onto his trust in humanity only to find his own faith threatened with the longing he finds for a mysterious American visitor. Thomas fights against the Catholic Church to win Xavier’s heart, but hiding his undead nature will threaten the love he longs to find with this abbe.  Xavier’s sister, Catherine, works with Thomas to bring them together while protecting the family fortune but falls prey herself to evil forces. The death, peril, and catastrophes of a revolution collide with a world of magic, vampires, and personal demons as Xavier, Thomas, and Catherine fight to find peace and love amidst the destruction.

The Vampire’s Questbrings back the beloved gay vampires, Xavier and Thomas, in the anticipated sequel to The Vampire’s Angel. In 1822, the Archangel St. Michel orders Xavier to go on a quest to America, a quest that violates the Vampire Council’s laws to the point of a possible death sentence. Worse, Xavier must abandon his lover, Thomas. Xavier runs to his aging sister and pleads for Catherine’s help as Thomas races after them. With Thomas and the Vampire Council vying for Xavier’s soul, Xavier and Catherine struggle to obey the former priest’s divine calling before their inevitable capture.

Where to Buy Damian Serbu’s books:

For Vampire’s Angel click here.

For Vampire’s Quest click here.

For Vampire’s Protégé click here.

 For Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon click here.

 For Santa is a Vampire click here.


B-W Headstone 1.jpg

About Damian Serbu:

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He has published The Vampire’s AngelThe Vampire’s Quest, andThe Vampire’s Protégé, as well as Santa’s Kinky Elf, SimonandSanta Is a Vampirewith NineStar Press. Keep up to date with him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.DamianSerbu.com.

Where to find Damian Serbu: 

For Twitter click here.

Find him on Facebook here.

Guest Blog by Author Sarah Elkins

This week I’m pleased to have Sarah Elkins here my Scribbles Page as she shares with us her journey in the writing world and gives us insight into her new novel The Facility. So without further ado, Sarah Elkins.

I have always daydreamed. A lot. As a kid I'd be going about my school day while at the same time, in my head, I was having adventures with characters from books or T.V. shows that I liked. I don't remember exactly when it was that I realized the shows and books I enjoyed had all started as stories inside someone else's head. When that thought occurred to me, however, my mind was blown. I could share the weird stuff I imagined with other people, if I could just figure out how to translate the pictures in my head into words.

In middle school I wanted to be a film writer. I wrote down one of the adventure stories I had going on in my skull as a script. It was over three hundred pages of pink jelly pen scrawlings detailing the exploits of characters loosely based on myself and friends. There was even a talking car and the main character was a were-dinosaur of sorts. I'd ask friends if they wanted a character in the story and what super powers they wanted. Anything went. It was a blast. I even made some storyboards for the script to better visualize what was happening in it. In high school I still wanted to be a writer and researched what it would take to work in film. It was before indy films were big so I researched the screen writer's guild for a project. I was absolutely heartbroken to learn how much it cost to be in it. I was from a lower middle class family. I wasn't sure how I'd get to go to college much less how I could afford to move to California and pay to be a writer.

I started to think of other ways I could tell stories and it dawned on me. I could just work on my own and write them. I could draw them as comics or write them as novels or do both. I hadn't taken an art class since middle school and had a bad experience already in high school regarding the art class there. The short version is the art students were in charge of selling valentine's candy. I knew no one would buy me one so I bought one myself so I wouldn't look like a loser when they delivered them. My candy didn't arrive. I insisted I knew I was supposed to get one because I bought it and had to go to the art room and show them where I signed up. Needless to say I felt miserable and didn't want to register for art class my last two years of high school even though I had free periods. I wound up just hanging out in the nearby park by myself. Is it any wonder I spent a lot of time in my head daydreaming growing up?

I decided to learn how to draw comics on my own and started posting a very poorly thought out fancomic on the outside of my locker in the school Band Hall. (It was the only place my school even had lockers.) I learned a lot from that little comic. When it came to writing prose I worked on a fantasy horror book at night using an old lap top my family had gotten at a pawn shop. I put each chapter in its own file. Part way through writing the book I asked my English teacher if I would get extra credit for writing a novel. She said yes and I was so excited I finished the book well before the end of the year. I wanted to turn it in early enough that she'd have time to read it. Only she didn't. I didn't get the extra credit and to my knowledge she didn't even look at the files.

I was heartbroken.

For years after that I thought I had no business writing prose. I focused on learning how to make comics. How to write them. How to draw them. I dated another artist I knew from online. Things didn't work out with the relationship but I learned a lot from them. Mainly, I learned that their opinions of the ideas I wanted to execute in my writing were contradictory to what they wanted to do. I'd mention a webcomic idea and they'd shoot it down insisting I do a pitch to a company. I knew I didn't have the experience to finish a comic for a company. I didn't even finish the pitch. I tried that several times. They didn't seem to like my ideas regarding prose either but I experimented with that anyway. Eventually I posted a few chapters of a story online and showed them to a friend who had just sold his first book to a publisher. That friend said I should stick with prose and not give up. I was super excited and filled with a bit more confidence. But I knew I had a lot more to learn.

Still I focused on comics. I worked as a professional flatter (comic coloring assistant) for eight years until my right arm hurt too much to hold a pen. I couldn't even feed myself with it. It was constant pain any time I tried to move it. I had to quit work. The remains of the relationship with the artist I had dated (who I had tried to remain friends) with evaporated. It was more than half a year or so before I was able to see an orthopedic surgeon who knew what was wrong with my arm and how to treat it. During that time I dusted off my little netbook computer and wrote on a story to deal with the pain and stress of suddenly having no future.

I wrote draft one of The Facility with my left hand.

I can't remember if I finished the rough draft before or after I started to recover use of my right hand. My memories are a bit fuzzy due to the pain and lack of sleep. I know at one point I didn't sleep for a week, then broke a toe and didn't realize it because the pain of my arm was so severe I just couldn't feel anything else. I don't think I was able to use my right hand until I was already hammering away on the second book, now titled The Hunt, which will hopefully be out later this year from Ninestar Press. Looking at the timestamps on the earliest drafts of The Facility I finished it while smack in the middle of my arm problems. I queried it to literary agents and publishers. Sending out queries was one of the jobs I gave myself so I had a purpose. When queries didn't come out well I worked to rewrite the book. After being diagnosed and learning how to deal with my ever ossifying elbow tendons I wrote a different book and serialized it on Patreon.

The Facility is a story in which I recycled some characters from those early pink jelly pen adventure scripts I wrote as a kid. I replaced the concept of the main character being a were-dinosaur with her being a were-Tesla. I tossed in ideas from the failed comics I had attempted over the years. I poured my stress and anxiety and pain into it to give myself a future in a time when I thought I had none.

It's a book I felt I needed to tell myself to distract myself from the pain and fear of the future so I'd survive and also a book I wanted to share with others. The Facility is rough. It's no perfect first book. The characters, particularly Neila the protagonist, are messy and anxious. The plot builds slow and then things happy quickly. In that way it echoes the damage done to my arm. There were signs something was wrong for years. Signs I ignored. Until everything came to a head and it felt as if I had been stabbed. My muscles were red and swollen. It hurt to make a fist. It hurt to sleep without it on a pillow. It hurt to sleep with it on a pillow. I didn't sleep much.

The things that got me excited to be a writer as a kid, the idea that I can share my constant daydreams with strangers, and the things that got me excited to be a writer as an adult, that I could help someone else escape whatever they were going through when they read my work, are very different. Both are ever present in my mind. Psychic Underground: The Facility was born of both those reasons for writing. I am proud I finished the book and prouder still that it's found a place in print and in the hearts of readers. They may be few but they are dear to my heart. Thank you if you've read the book, and thank you if you choose check it out. No matter what I go through, I will not stop writing because it means I can continue to create worlds and have adventures even when my body betrays me.

Sarah, thank you for sharing your personal journey with us. I’m so glad you persevered and continued writing, it’s an inspiration to everyone who has a dream. Never give up your dreams and they won’t give up on you. Well Scribblers, I hope you enjoyed this week’s author spotlight. Remember to like and share below, especially if you know people who may enjoy The Facility. Until next time have a great week.

About The Facility:

Being psychic is just another aspect of life for Neila Roddenberry. So are dreams of a past life as Nikola Tesla. She's sure the last part is the result of reading the wrong mind at the wrong time without realizing it. neither are things she talks about much. Her friends know she's psychic, but no one knows about the dreams. She's twenty-three, asexual, and unemployed with ambitions to become a freelance artist and writer.

On the way home from visiting friends, Neila gets caught up in a terrorist attack, then wakes up in an underground psychic testing facility. Raised by a doomsday-prepper father, Neila is unusually prepared for the possibility of being whisked away to a secret lab somewhere. When she is faced with the choice of working for the scientists studying psychics at the facility, she takes the job as both an agent and a test subject.

But not everyone in the facility wants to be there.


Where to Buy The Facility:

Get it on Amazon here.

Get your copy at NineStar Press here.

Get it on Barnes and Noble here.

About Sarah:

20190323_153957.jpg

Sarah Elkins is a freelance comic artist and writer who nearly had to give up art entirely due to a form of ossifying tennis elbow that forced her to be unable to use her dominate hand for nearly a year. She spent much of that time writing novels with her left hand as a means to deal with the pain and stress of possibly never drawing again. Thanks to a treatment regime she is able to draw again albeit not as easily or quickly as she once did.

Sarah enjoys reading science fiction, horror, fantasy, weird stories, comics of every sort, as well as any biographical material about Nikola Tesla she can get her hands on (that doesn't suggest he was from Venus." She has worked in the comics industry since 2008 as a faltter (colorist assistant,) penciler, inker, and colorist. She contributed a comic to the massive anthology project Womanthology. Currently she (slowly) produces a webcomic called Magic Remains while writing as much as her body will allow.


Where to find Sarah:

Find Sarah on Twitter here.

Check out her website here.

Find her on Facebook here.

Top Ten List with Abigail de Niverville

Happy Wednesday Scribblers this week I’m pleased to have fellow NineStar Author Abigail de Niverville on my Scribbles Page to do a Top Ten List for her debut novel, I Knew Him. Without further ado let’s get to the question.

What are ten things about Julian that make him unique and an interesting character that readers will be excited about?

  1. Julian lives in a small town called Riverview, which still exhibits a lot of backwards notions. It makes it difficult for him to decide if he wants to come out.

  2. He doesn’t like being the centre of attention, mainly because that gives more opportunity for people to speculate things about him.

  3. His star sign is Aquarius, and he definitely embodies certain traits. He runs from his emotions, he finds it difficult deciphering those of others. But he’s also very adaptable in different situations and with different people.

  4. He has a lot of constellations memorized.

  5. His parents are divorced and he’s having trouble unpacking his feelings surrounding his father’s absence in his life.

  6. He’s not very talkative and prefers the company of people who give him space to speak instead of demanding information out of him.

  7. He bought his car off someone’s front lawn.

  8. Though there were other signs he found in retrospect, Julian first began wondering about his sexuality when a boy kissed him at a party a couple years before the beginning of I Knew Him.

  9. He loves action movies and sci-fi, though he might not be willing to admit that to everyone.

  10. He throws a lot of his energy into school instead of dealing with his problems.

Blurb:

In his senior year of high school, Julian has one goal: be invisible. All he wants is to study hard, play basketball, and pretend he’s straight for one more year. Then, he can run away to university and finally tell the world he’s bisexual. And by “the world,” he means everyone but his mom and best friend. That’s two conversations he never wants to have.

When he’s talked into auditioning for the school’s production of Hamlet, Julian fears that veering off course will lead to assumptions he’s not ready to face. Despite that, he can’t help but feel a connection to this play. His absent father haunts him like a ghost, his ex is being difficult, and he’s overthinking everything. It’s driving him crazy.

The decision to audition leads Julian on an entirely different path. He’s cast as Hamlet, and the boy playing Horatio is unlike anyone Julian has met before. Mysterious and flirtatious, Sky draws Julian in, even though he fears his feelings at the same time. As the two grow closer, Julian begins to let out the secrets he’s never told—the ones that have paralyzed him for years. But what will he do if Sky feels the same way?


Buy Links:

Universal Link click here

For Amazon click here

For Barnes and Noble click here

For NineStar Press click here

Author Bio:

DSC_8555_B&W.jpg

Abigail de Niverville is an author and composer based in Toronto, Canada. Born on the East Coast of Canada, Abigail draws inspiration from her experiences growing up there. When she’s not writing frantically, she also composes music and holds an M.Mus from the University of Toronto.

Find Abigail here:

Website: adeniverville.com

Twitter: @adeniverville

Blog Take Over by Matt Doyle

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. This week we are shaking things up. I’ve invited fellow NineStar Press Author Matt Doyle to drop by and take over my blog for the week. Matt’s going to share about himself, his writing, and his amazing series The Cassie Tam Files. I’ve had the pleasure of starting the series and I can’t wait to see what Matt has to share with us.


Untitled-2.jpg

Hey everybody. Before we dive into my main post, I wanted to give you all a short introduction to myself and my work. Don’t worry though, I’ll keep it brief. So, my name is Matt Doyle. I was born to an Irish family in England, and that dual nationality status is something that I’ve always liked to embrace. I identify as pansexual and genderfluid, and believe me, it took a long time for me to find the right terms to fit my circumstances.

I’ve done a lot of different things over the years, including performing a duet with my brother at a charity concert and spending ten years working in pretty much every side of the pro wrestling business. I also run a pop culture website, and design T-shirts. Oh, and I created my video game at age fifteen, and intend to eventually get around to working on a new one when time allows.

I’m a published author. While I started out with a four-part self-published series, I also have three books with NineStar Press and (a fourth on the way), and have appeared in multiple anthologies ranging from Queer Sci-Fi’s annual flash fiction collections to Bad Dog Books’ furry series, ROAR.

I’m a lifelong sci-fi fan and so, while I tend to write stories that span multiple genres, there’s almost always a grounding in science fiction. I also tend to write LGBTQ+ characters in almost every story. Growing up, I was less interested in coming out stories, and really wanted to see stories about people like me who’d found their place in the world. So, my characters usually (but not always) are already comfortable in themselves and their orientation just happens to be part of them rather than a focal point of the tale.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. Today though, I want to talk a little about my current series, The Cassie Tam Files. It’s a lesfic mystery series with a sci-fi setting, and is published by the LGBTQ+ publishing house NineStar Press.

The Cassie Tam Files – An Introduction To The Themes And Characters

The World of Cassie Tam And New Hopeland City

The books are, in many ways, reminiscent of the old novels of the noir era, and have had comparisons to the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Marele Day before now. At the same time though, that science fiction influence is still there. The story is set in the near future, and New Hopeland itself was built to be a very technology focused place. What this means is that, through the setting, you get to see some examples of potential places we could be heading with technology. Everything you see in that regard is a natural progression from where we’re at. From VR being used by businesses to tech enhanced theaters, and futuristic fursuits to theoretically plausible vampire gear, everything exists to a degree now. This just ramps it up.

So, expect hardboiled inner monologues and forays into a dingy criminal underworld, all playing alongside cyberpunk-ish science fiction elements and a slow-burn shy FF romance that spans the whole series.

Cassie Tam

Our protagonist is a PI working in the fictional city of New Hopeland, Utah. She’s a snarky, hardboiled detective that solves cases with a mixture of smarts and toughness, all the while sticking stubbornly to her rigid moral code. It’s that stubbornness that is, in some ways, both her best tool and biggest downfall in the job. Once she decides that a particular outcome is the correct one, she pursues it doggedly, no matter the consequences, which does seem effective, but also lands her in a lot of difficult situations.

Cassie is a lover of horror films. She doesn’t strictly have a preference for style; practical effects or CG, creeping dread or gore, it’s all much the same for her. Despite this love of the genre, they almost always give her nightmares though. This is something that confuses her as she’s encountered plenty of real-life life or death situations and can’t quite figure out why fiction hits her that hard. When not scaring herself silly, she’s a big coffee drinker. I’m not entirely certain that her blood isn’t ninety per cent caffeine at this point.

Despite her confidence in her abilities, and the tough persona she adopts when on a job, Cassie is not the most confident when it comes to social situations, especially romantically. She tends to keep most people at arm’s length until she knows them well, and is prone to bouts of embarrassment with prospective romantic partners. Her previous relationship ended despite neither her nor her then-partner Charlotte doing anything specific wrong, so when she starts to find herself attracted to her client in Addict, she isn’t entirely certain how far to push it. After all, if you can seemingly do everything right and still have things fall apart, that’s got to be a risk going forward too, right?

When it comes to technology, Cassie makes use of what she needs, but has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the various new things that get released. She has a particular issue with Tech Shifters as one of her first major collaborations with the police in New Hopeland was during a spate of brutal murders carried out by people in Tech Shift gear.

Lori Redwood

Cassie’s client in Addict is a Tech Shifter. This means that she uses a metal suit to roleplay as an animal in her free time, in this case a panther called Ink. The process involves an operation to insert rubber tipped plugs running from the Shifter’s head down to the base of their spine, so it’s not something that people enter lightly. It also means that Lori keeps her head shaved at all times so as to avoid hair getting tangled in the plugs.

For Lori, Tech Shifting is a form of non-sexual kitty-play that she uses to destress from the week, though there are many reasons people do it. She’s well respected in the local Tech Shift community and actually runs a regular meet for those looking to meet like-minded people. Lori works as a photographer for a local news company, and is often called upon to cover some difficult cases. For Lori, that causes some issues because she often feels like she’s not able to do enough to help people. This is something that spills over into other parts of her life too, as she has a tendency to blame herself for things that she can’t control.

In Addict, she hires Cassie to investigate her brother Eddie’s death. He was a virtual reality junkie, and the police put his death down to an accidental overdose on experience enhancing drugs. Lori doesn’t believe this because, to her knowledge, he never used drugs, and was working towards getting a career in a VR focused company. Though initially going through a whole host of emotions in response to her situation, she grows an attraction to Cassie.

Unlike Cassie, Lori is quite naturally flirty and approaches most social situations with a smile and the occasional joke. She particularly enjoys teasing Cassie when she gets flustered, but never acts in malice. She is willing though to point out when Cassie is doing something silly, like overanalyzing a situation that simply doesn’t require it, and so tends to try to keep Cassie on track rather than encourage some of her potentially negative traits. Lori tends to fall hard and fast in relationships, and is making a conscious effort not to push this too hard with Cassie as she fears scaring her off. 

Bert

Perhaps the most popular character in the series, Bert is an AI gargoyle that lives with Cassie. Familiar Units were built to act as replacements for flesh and blood pets in New Hopeland. Their durability meant that they wouldn’t get hurt when playing with heavy handed children, but would also be very good in security roles. Most units are built to take on one of these two roles exclusively, known as Family or Protector classes. Bert differs in this regard because he has a hybrid programming of the two.

The reason for this is due to Cassie’s job. She reasoned that Protector class programming would be useful for tough cases but that, as she lived and worked in a small apartment, she couldn’t have a miniature tank running about the place. The result of this hybrid programming is that Bert has a few character quirks. He’s certainly loyal to Cassie, and will rush in to save her if her life is in danger, often in a brutal manner. At the same time though, he enjoys playing and gets bored easily. This often results in him causing mild issues, such as deciding that the bag of sugar on the kitchen worktop may be an intruder that needs to be taken down. Cassie describes him as being akin to a particularly sarcastic house cat that happens to be loyal enough to protect its owner.

Bert can only say, “Caw.” Despite this, he is perfectly capable of showing a range of emotions, often including exasperation. 

Devin Carmichael

A regularly appearing and popular side character, Devin is a bit of an enigma in the city. He’s known to be an assassin for hire, but the police won’t touch him. The reason for this is that, when they can’t themselves deal with a criminal that’s committed an atrocious crime, Devin is often called in to clean up. As such, he has become strangely ingrained with the fabric of the city, working with not only law enforcement but the criminal underworld.

Like Cassie, Devin has his own rigid moral code. He understands his job and what it entails, but will not take every job that comes his way. He likes to understand not only his client and target, but the reasons for the hit, and won’t kill someone that he views as relatively innocent.

Though their roles should put them at odds, he and Cassie get along well, with Devin describing her as the closest he gets to a friend in his job. Though she’s never hired him to kill anyone, Cassie has worked with him in a number of different capacities, such as paying for information and for additional protection when Bert isn’t an appropriate option. He seems to know more than most about what’s going on in the city, at least most of the time. 

Where Are We Right Now?

The series is set to run to five books in total. Right now, the first three are already available. The details for these are as follows:

Addict – Cassie is hired to investigate the death of a local VR junkie. Though she expects it to be an open and shut case, she soon finds herself drawn into a potential murder investigation that threatens not only her life, but that of her client’s.

The Fox, The Dog, And The King –Cassie finds herself hired to find a missing dog. The case sees her not only hunting for the pooch, but also getting embroiled in a conspiracy that could shake the New Hopeland criminal underworld to its core.

LV48 – When walking home from a night out with Lori, Cassie is attacked, and wakes up at the police station. She expects help, but instead finds herself forced to act as bait to draw out an attacker with a fascination for blood. She wouldn’t mind so much if doing so didn’t mean facing down a tech-suited wannabe vampire.

An untitled fourth book has been signed by NineStar Press and is currently going through the editing process. This book collects two novellas into one. The first is told from Lori’s POV and sees her helping Cassie on a case relating to workplace harassment. The second is back with Cassie as she’s hired to deal with a stalker.

The fifth, final book will bring the previous four together and see Cassie delving into the deep secrets of new Hopeland City. I’m currently busy road mapping the book before I start writing. 

And Finally…

Well, that’s about it from me! So, here’s a big thank you to M.D. Neu for hosting me today, and another to everyone who reads my ramblings. Please do feel free to check the books out. You can find them on Goodreads, and all the purchase links are on my site.

There’s plenty more to come from me too. My current plan for what to do after I finish with Cassie is for something that I can only describe as James Bond meets Alien with a genderfluid protagonist. In the meantime, I cover a ton of different things on my site, ranging from diverse books and comics to video games and anime. I also have a webstore, so feel free to check that out too. Thanks again everyone, have a good one!


Thank you Matt for taking the reins today and sharing The Cassie Tam Files with us. I hope everyone rushes out to pick up their copy of book one and diving in on this amazing series. Now, don’t forget if you know someone who might enjoy these novels or anything else you’ve read on my Scribbles Page you can share this post by clicking the ‘share’ button below. Until next time have a great week.

Interview with Author Glenn Quigley

Happy Wednesday everyone. This week I want to say a big hello to fellow NineStar Press Author Glenn Quigley. Glenn has two amazing novels out The Lion Lies Waiting and The Moth and Moon and he is coming to us from beautiful Northern Ireland.


Before we jump in, I just want to say welcome to my Scribbles Page.

Thanks very much for inviting me along!

Let’s start off with you telling us something about yourself that we won’t see in your bio.

Hmm, let’s see. I’m a huge fan of Transformers, and have been since 1984. I trained with a paranormal investigation group and have been on ghost hunts in people’s homes, a jail, and the Belfast Opera House. Oh, and I used to make teddy bears from socks. New socks, mind you!

No way! That is so cool.  Okay, I need to focus.

I know you’re also a graphic designer and I’ve seen some of your amazing art that you’ve posted on Social Media, you are very talented, clearly being creative most be a passion of yours so what came first the writing or the art?

Oh, thank you very much! I’d say the art came first, I was always a doodler as a child, but I also read a lot. Books and comics. I was never any good at schoolwork (I hated school), except for essays in English class, which I really enjoyed. Once I left school, I kept working at my art and taught myself Photoshop and other art programs. The writing took a back seat for many years, but I would often note down story ideas and write little passages that usually never really went anywhere.              

It’s amazing how that works. I sort of did the same thing. I had all these ideas, but nothing ever came of them. Of course, the extent of my drawing is creating an amazing stick figure. So, what inspired you to start writing?

From secondary school onwards, my mother urged me to keep writing. It was always her dream to one day have a book with my name on the cover and she would regularly ask me if I was still working on my writing.

I went back to college as a mature student in 2014 to study photography and graphic design, and while the first year went really well, the second year was in a different college and it was a horrible experience. It was like being back in school. I dropped out of the course and thought I’d better have something to show for that year, so I decided to try writing a short story. When I managed that, I thought I’d try expanding it into a full novel, and it became The Moth and Moon.

Speaking of The Moth and Moon, let’s talk about your books, you have two out right now, The Lion Lies Waiting and The Moth and Moon why don’t you tell us about them.

Click on the image to buy the books.

Click on the image to buy the books.

The Moth and Moon is set in the 18thcentury and is about a burly gay fisherman named Robin Shipp who lives on a tiny island off the coast of Cornwall. One day a storm blows in and turns his life upside down. 

The Lion Lies Waiting is set four months later, and sees Robin embroiled in political intrigue, family drama and a possible revolution on sinister Blackrabbit Island.

The books are set in a world without religion, so nobody suffers any kind of prejudice for their sexual orientation or gender. I knew when I started writing the story that I wanted it to be historical fiction but I didn’t want it to all happen behind closed doors, or have characters face any hardship for their orientation. Frankly, the real world has enough of that, and I wanted an escape. I reasoned that religion was the excuse many people used to persecute LGBT+ people so if I removed that, I removed a huge stumbling block for equality.

I needed the world of 1780 (the year the books are set in) to be recognizable, but believably different. The answer I came up with was to still have the Romans invade Britain, which gave me the history, cultural impact, names, language, etc. needed to make the world recognizable, but then when their empire falls, the church goes with it. Word spread throughout the world of what life could be like if people just believed in themselves and in each other, and gradually all religion is left by the wayside. So by the time the books are set, a thousand years later, society has embraced all genders and orientations. Oh, and there’s a clockwork technology in there too, just to serve as a little reminder that this is meant to be *a* past, not *the* past.

The main characters are a mix of gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight. 

That is an interesting concept. I have heard people say work could be called historical fiction, but considering the changes your made is that a correct assertion? Why did you pick this genre to write in? 

I think given the massive liberties I’ve taken with history a more accurate label would be Historical Fantasy. I love history documentaries; I find them a great source of inspiration. I chose the late 18thcentury because I think there’s something about being on the cusp of the industrial revolution that’s romantic, in a funny way. It’s like the last few years before the birth of the modern world.

Tell us about the characters we are going to meet in these novels, are they based on real people or are they completely made up? 

They are completely made up, although Robin, my main character, has a lot of my clumsiness in him. I think, as I was writing, some mannerisms from friends and family creeped in to characters here and there, but there are no direct similarities. I based characters appearances on real people just so I could keep them consistent, but I think a lot of writers do that.

Robin Shipp is 50, extremely tall, broad, heavy, and not that bright. He’s a fisherman who lives in the little village of Blashy Cove. When we first meet him, he’s living a quiet life, ostracized by the wider community as they believe his father murdered a local artist forty years ago. He has no family, and lives alone in a tall, thin house. He has friends named Edwin, a handsome baker, and Morwenna Whitewater, an elderly neighbor who took pity on him after his father died. We also meet Robin’s ex-lover, Duncan. A short, stocky man who works as a toymaker. He and Robin have a very frosty relationship and can’t bear to be around one another. Over the course of the first book we meet the grumpy innkeeper, Mr. Reed, the married aristocrats Ladies Eva and Iris Wolfe-Chase, Edwin’s mother Sylvia (who loves to stir up trouble) and a whole host of other characters.

That sounds like a fun cast. Now, living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, I would love to hear about your home, what are five must does if I were to ever make it over there?  

Lisburn is a small city, but it’s good for shopping as it’s so compact. It’s close to Belfast, which has lots of great bars, restaurants, and shops. Also nearby Hillsborough village is picturesque, with a lovely forest.

That sounds amazing. Ireland is on my list of places to visit so I hope to get there. Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I design geeky tshirts for Moodybear, so head over to www.themoodybear.comand have a look!

I have a fun little series of Five Questions with Ninestar Press authors on my website, www.glennquigley.comand I’m always happy to chat on Twitter, so anyone can contact me on there. I’d also like to say thanks again for having me on your blog!

I want to thank fellow author Glenn Quigley for stopping by today and chatting with you us about his two books. If you have questions for Glenn leave them in the comments below and I’ll have him swing by and answer them. Remember to like and share this post with your family and friends. You can share by clicking the share tab below. Until next time have a great week.

book promo photos final 20TH Feb 2019 ~01.jpg

About Glenn Quigley:

Glenn Quigley is a graphic designer originally from Dublin and now living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He creates bear designs for www.themoodybear.com. He has been interested in writing since he was a child, as essay writing was the one and only thing he was ever any good at in school. When not writing or designing, he enjoys photography and watercolour painting.

Where to contact Glenn Quigley:

Click here for his website.

Find him on Facebook here.

Find him on Twitter here.


Conversation and New Book Announcement with K.S. Trenten

Here we are, another Wednesday and we are at the beginning of spring, can you believe how quickly the year is going? This week I welcome back fellow NineStar Press Author and friend K.S Trenten to tell us what she’s been up since the last we talked and of course to tell us all about her newly released novella A Symposium in Space. If you didn’t catch her prior interview check it out here.


Before we jump in, I just want to say welcome back to my Scribbles Page.

Thank you for having me! And may I say from the bottom of my heart as someone who’s been called the Scribbler by her characters, I’m delighted to see you have a Scribbles Page. :)

Instead of sharing your bio with us, why don’t you tell us something about yourself that we won’t see in your bio.

Psst! I write fanfic. :) You can find a lot of mine at Archive of Our Own written under the name of rhodrymavelyne. This March when I wasn’t preparing A Symposium in Space for publication, to Blog From AZ, or for Camp NaNoWriMo, I was working on an ongoing fanfic which I’ve had some lovely readers show real appreciation for. I love the people who’ve given me positive feedback at Archive of Our Own. If it hadn’t been for them, I would never have had the guts to submit my work to a publisher.

It's wonderful when readers connect with your work. Congratulations. Now what have you been up to since the last time you were here?

Getting ready for the BloggingFromAZAprilProject and Camp NaNoWriMo. Both are April traditions for me. March and April are mad months. :) This April’s blogging theme is Character Conflicts. It’s a good time to pop by the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration and the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron (two of my blogs) and meet some of the various denizens in my imagination.

Camp NaNoWriMo will involve picking up my NaNoWriMo project and trying to finish a rough draft of it. My Tool, My Treasure is Damian Ashelocke’s story, a major character in my Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest series. Hungry shadows, memory ghosts, predatory matriarchs with eight arms (called arachnocrats) gods manifesting in their followers, and how one young man becomes this god’s ‘devil’ are a few of the ideas brewing for this particular story.

Tell us about A Symposium in Space.

ASymposiuminSpace-f500.jpeg

A mysterious and powerful citizen of the Intergalactic Democracy, Agathea, invites Phaedra (the main character) and her lover, Pausania to her ‘symposium’. Tensions between the couple manifest when Phaedra finds she really wants to go, but Pausania doesn’t. Phaedra decides to find her own way…and ends up falling in love. With a spaceship. She crosses the path of Sokrat, wandering philosopher who also wishes to go to the symposium, while avoiding a formidable space pirate who’s pursuing her. This pirate, Alcibiadea almost catches up them, but Phaedra and Sokrat eventually reach the symposium, only to find they’ve got quite the unusual dining experience waiting for them.

What inspired you to write this Novella?

I fell in love with Plato’s Symposium when I first read it at age 19. I was blown away by the speeches about love (yet at times extremely insulted by the casual misogyny mixed in with them). Alcibiades’s confession of love to Socrates remains one of the romantic things I’d ever read. It was so new, reading something like that back in 1990. Plus it was a younger man admitting he’d completely fallen for an older man, fallen for the beauty of his character. It took my breath away. Years later, there was a submission call for a science fiction anthology called Theory of Love. The title made me think of The Symposium. I imagined a scene like something out of Mystery Science Theatre, with Socrates and his pupils in philosophy being pursued throughout space by Alcibiades. I mentioned the idea to another writer, A. Catherine Noon. She said, “Write it!” I started writing, but I found myself writing about futuristic versions of the characters, which were female…and I ended up with a completely different story. :)

Tell us about the characters we are going to meet in this novella. Do you have a favorite?

Oh, it’s hard to choose. I love Sokrat, because she is my tribute to Plato’s Paragon, the Socrates which survived over the centuries through his writing. I do feel it’s one of the most enduring love tributes to a man Plato idealized as the embodiment of wisdom, who gets to the truth through questions. Sokrat does the same thing, carrying on the same ‘quest’ you might say that he does. At the same time, I also love Phaedra, because she ended up voicing a lot of my insecurities about technology, society, and never quite understanding whatever the latest trend or fashion is. All the characters surprised me, taking me in directions I didn’t expect, which was a lot of fun. I ended up getting attached to all of them, even Diotym, who didn’t go the symposium, yet snagged a spot at the Cauldron (my blog).

Changing topics a bit, I know from getting to know you, that you take a lot of amazing pictures, is there any chance we are going to see more of your photography, maybe in a book? Are you considering sharing more of your photos in another medium?

Wow, thank you! One of the problems is I’m seriously techno-phobic…Phaedra and I share that quality. Computers and the technology I use to create any photo art have a way of breaking down or not cooperating with me. I appreciate the vote of confidence! Hmm, maybe I should think about this…

You and I are both Bay Area Locals, so I want to ask, what are five of your favorite places here in the Bay Area, if you want to keep it to the San Jose area that is fine too?

Books, Inc is one. I love the Books, Inc in Mountain View and in Campbell. I also love the Mountain View public library…it’s a wonderful place to read and study. Frascati’s is a little Italian coffee house around the corner from Il Fornaio and the Convention Center. It’s an easy hop from the light rail to get there. The Il Fornaio on that street is beautiful with an old-fashioned feel to it. Easterly is right across from the Piatti I met you at. It has very good Chinese food, although it can be *really* spicy.

This is more of a me questions, but I want to ask it anyway, where is your favorite Dim Sum place here in San Jose? I’m always looking for some great Dim Sum.

Alas, our favorite dim sum place in San Jose, the Joy Luck Palace closed. The Joy Luck Cafe is still open, but it only has a fraction of what the Joy Luck Palace had. My husband and I are looking for a new local dim sum restaurant. There’s a place in Little Saigon we want to try out…yes, it’s Chinese, not Vietnamese, despite the location. We used to really like Koi Palace, but it hasn’t been as good lately. Too much is premade and brought to the restaurant rather than cooked on the site. Our current favorite dim sum place is in Emeryville, the Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. It’s very expensive, but the food is excellent. We can’t afford to go there too often, alas.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Please come and visit my Cauldrons at wordpress and blogspot this April! It’s a chance to meet a lot of my characters from different Works in Progress. And thank you for stopping by to see me! I hope you’ll all enjoy A Symposium in Space!

And thank you for having me stop by, M.D. Neu! It was an honor to return to the Scribbles Page!

I want to thank fellow author K.S. Trenten for stopping by today and telling us about her newest novella A Symposium in Space and for sharing some of her personal picks. If you have questions for K.S. leave them in the comments below and I’ll have her swing by and answer them. Remember to like and share this post with your family and friends. You can share by clicking the share tab below. Until next time have a great week.


About A Symposium in Space:

Phaedra and her lover, Pausania are invited to a dinner party. Only this won’t be like any party Phaedra has ever been to. Nor does Pausania want her to go. Phaedra is determined, even if she has to find her own way to this symposium in space. A fateful encounter with the spaceship of her dreams and the wandering philosopher, Sokrat, lead Phaedra to a unique gathering of individuals where thoughts of love are offered up…and consumed.

About K.S. Trenten:

K.S. Trenten lives in the Silicon Valley of California with her husband, two cats, and a host of characters in her head, all wanting attention.

Where to contact K.S. Trenten:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhodrymavelyne/?ref=bookmarks#

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhodrymavelyne

tumblr: https://rhodrymavelyne.tumblr.com/

Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/users/rhodrymavelyne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876500.K_S_Trenten?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten

Nine Star Press Author Page: https://ninestarpress.com/authors/k-s-trenten/

Blogs, Otherwise Known as the Cauldrons of Eternal Inspiration:

inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com

inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com

cauldronkeeper.livejournal.com

rhodrymavelyne.dreamwidth.org

A New World-Conviction Book Launch

Wow! Wow! Wow! Hey Scribblers. Conviction is here, this is book two of my epic Sci Fi series A New World has arrived. I’m excited for you all to get your hands on the newest installment. Check out the blurb and an exclusive expert from the novel.

Here is the blurb for Conviction:

Conviction Composite.png

A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It's home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice.

Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.

After the attack on San Jose, Todd is appointed to Special Envoy for Terran Affairs by the nentraee, a position many world leaders question. Undeterred Todd wants to build bridges between both people. However, this new position brings with it a new set of problems that not only he, but his new allies Mi’ko and Mirtoff must overcome. Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?

Here is a short excerpt from the book:

Excerpt:

This is a fun moment where Todd finally meets Faa, Mirtoff’s companion animal. It’s a moment I’ve been wanted to share with people since they first met Faa way back in book one:

“Hello, Todd,” Mi’ko said, speaking English.

“Good afternoon, Mister Vice Speaker. You wanted to see me?” Todd turned to Mirtoff. “Oh, Madam Speaker, hello.” He bowed.

Todd hadn’t spent a lot of time with the speaker general. However, during his interactions with her, she seemed remarkably intelligent and professional. Unlike those times, today, she didn’t have a cup of tuma. As always, her auburn hair was braided up into a bun with a few wisps running along the side of her face. Her brilliant dark brown eyes, which Todd had learned were rare for the Nentraee, always seemed to sparkle, giving her a kind appearance.

“Todd, a pleasure,” Mirtoff said.

Faa trotted over next to her and sat down as she spoke.

“I should go.” Todd adjusted the cuffs of his shirt. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”

“No sense, Todd.” Mi’ko waved him over. “We are finishing up, and I requested your presence, so there is nothing for you to interrupt.”

“It is I who should go.” Mirtoff dusted off her pants. “I need to get Faa back for his lunch.”

“A cádo.” Todd knelt to look at Faa. “I didn’t know you had one, Madam Speaker.”

Todd hadn’t seen one this close. From what he understood about them, they were akin to dogs or, maybe, cats. Bigger than Bianca for sure, Faa seemed to be about the size of a cocker spaniel, if not a little bigger.

“Oh, he’s beautiful. I love his eyes,” Todd said. “Hello, little guy.” He stuck his hand out for Faa to sniff. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”

“Provider, this human Todd?” Faa asked, tilting his head toward Mirtoff.

“Jesus H. Christ!” Todd shouted and dropped on his butt.

Both Mi’ko and Mirtoff shared confused expressions as Faa jumped on the chair behind Mirtoff. A small whimper came from his mouth.

“It talks. I didn’t know it could talk. How in the holy hell does it talk?” Todd picked himself up off the floor and knelt. “I’m…I’m sorry. He startled me. I didn’t mean to scare him.” He gestured to Faa. “You never said they talked.”

“You have animals that speak on your planet, don’t you?” Mi’ko questioned.

The cádo shook and his eyes were double their normal size.

“Well…” Todd tried to calm his voice. “Parrots or some other birds, but that—not like that. I thought he would mimic words like them, but he’s smart. He knows what he’s saying, doesn’t he?”

Mirtoff’s hand gently rubbed Faa’s back and his head.

“Human scared Faa.”

The Nentraee words came out slow and deliberate so Todd could understand.

Mirtoff sat. Faa climbed onto her lap and nuzzled her arm.

“It’s all right, little one. He won’t hurt you.”

Todd recognized the words. “I’m sorry.”

“Faa, this is Todd Landon,” Mirtoff said. “Todd, this is the cádo who selected me, Faa.”

“Hello,” Todd said and waved.

Faa turned to Mirtoff and then to Todd. His muzzle shifted around, and then he finally said, “Todd.” He swished his tail.

“How?” Todd asked.

“They communicate at a lower level than we do, but they have intelligence. However, they are totally dependent on us.”

“But the language? The intelligence?” Todd asked.

Faa murmured as Mirtoff rubbed his head. He had stopped trembling.

“The best comparison is they are similar to small children,” Mi’ko said. “We assumed since humans have animals that talked and are smart it wouldn’t be so shocking. You said yourself you talk to your cat all the time.”

“But Bianca doesn’t talk back.” Todd paused. Well, she did, in a way, and they understood each other, but not like this. “I just…that is an animal trait that we’ll need to let people know.”

Faa sniffed the air and got up. He jumped off Mirtoff and sauntered to Todd. He sniffed the air again. “Todd Landon.” He seemed to struggle to pronounce the words.

“Just let him come to you,” Mirtoff said.

The three watched Faa move closer, each step cautious. Todd remained kneeling on the floor.

“They don’t eat meat, right?” Todd asked.

“Correct.” Mirtoff kept her eyes on Faa.

Faa sniffed and moved closer, his tail swishing. With a nimble movement, he jumped and landed on Todd’s lap. Faa pushed his front paws into Todd’s chest and stared at him. “Todd Landon.”

Todd’s heart skipped a beat as Faa looked him in the eyes.

Faa was gray and had a short muzzle, dwarfed by his large green eyes and his floppy ears.

“Faa.” Mirtoff snapped her fingers and pointed to the floor, addressing Faa in Nentraee words that Todd didn’t recognize.

Faa mentioned Todd’s name twice, along with other words, but Todd couldn’t focus, his heart starting to pound. He wasn’t fearful of animals, but he had never run across an animal that looked him in the eyes as if sizing him up for a meal.

Relax. It’s fine. He’s just like a big dog. He’s not going to hurt you. Look at those big, beautiful eyes. I’m sure he’s more scared of you than you are of him.

Faa continued speaking and used Todd’s name again.

Todd turned to Mirtoff and Mi’ko for some hint of what the creature said. He couldn’t read their expressions.

“He likes you and wants to be friends,” Mi’ko said.

Faa nudged against Todd’s legs and started to murmur happily.

“Okay, by far this is the oddest thing I’ve experienced since I started.” Todd paused and sat so Faa could sit more on his lap instead of knocking him over. “He’s adorable and beautiful. Don’t get me wrong.” His voice cracked as he forced a small chuckle. He wasn’t sure what to do with the cádo resting happily on his lap.

Faa is a heavy little beast.

Mirtoff called to Faa in Nentraee and clicked her fingers.

Faa’s muzzle shifted.

“I’m sorry, Todd,” Mirtoff said. “I didn’t expect him to act that way. He’s normally not that curious. It’s good information so we can address this with our population. I should have had you and Faa meet sooner.”

Faa jumped off and walked to Mirtoff’s side.

Todd’s shoulders and neck relaxed now that Faa was off him.

Faa nudged the back of Mirtoff’s leg and addressed her in Nentraee.

“He hopes to see you again, and he wants to be your friend,” Mirtoff said.

Mirtoff and Faa moved to the door. She knelt next to Faa and whispered in his big floppy ear.

Faa giggled and then padded over to Todd, glancing up with his big doe eyes. “Bye Bye, Todd,” he said in English, then padded back to the door, and Mirtoff and he walked out.

“Bye, Faa.” Todd waved.

Amazing. That was incredible.


Want to check out the reviews of Conviction before you buy it, click here.

Here is where you can buy Conviction:
     Click here for NineStar Press.
     Click here for iTunes.
     Click here for Amazon.
     Click here for Barnes & Noble.
     Click here for Kobo.

Alternatively, ask for it at your local bookstore or you can find it at the San Jose Public Library (click here).





For the launch I have a giveaway going on so don’t forget to sign up below. That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to share this post with family and friends who love epic Sci Fi stories by clicking the ‘share’ button below, and since you’re down there today don’t forget to like this post as well. Until next time have a great week.

Book Announcement and Interview for J.S. Strange

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I’m welcoming J.S. Strange to share details about his newest book Murder on Rocks and to share details about himself. I’m so happy to J.S. a great friend of this Blog introduced me to J.S. and even though I haven’t read his book yet, I’ve got a tone of questions and have added the novel to my must read list.


Welcome to my Scribbles Page J.S. I promise this won’t be too painful of a process.

Before we jump the interview proper, why don’t you tell us something about yourself that’s not in your bio?

Well, I’m a massive Britney fan. I’m a self confessed Britney enthusiast. I suppose it’s because I grew up with her music, but also I really admired her for getting through the bad times and coming back better than ever. I could go on all day about how successful she is, how hard she works, and what she means to me, but I know a lot of people would just roll their eyes and think I’m being weird.

It’s not weird at all, we all have people we admire.

You are from Wales and after reading about you and Murder on the Rocks you very much want to spot light your home in this novel, it is something I can relate to as I do the same thing in my books. So, I want to ask you a question I get asked a lot, why Cardiff? Why Wales? What makes these places so interesting that you want to write about them?

I wanted to write a novel that had some realism to it. To do that, I wrote about places I knew about, or had been to. Some parts of the novel feature where I live, or where I work. Others are memories, or from when I’ve passed through the area. Welsh crime fiction needs to be taken seriously. I’ve read before that publishers won’t take it because ‘nobody wants to read Welsh crime fiction’, which I think isn’t true, because they’re out there. Yet compare Welsh fiction to the likes of Scottish fiction, or London fiction, and it barely compares. I wanted a city, and knew the importance of a location featuring as another character in your story, and Cardiff is a place of beauty, creativity, development – and yet it has another side, too. A darker side. I wanted to explore both, and write about both. Cardiff was a natural choice, because it’s up there with crime fiction settings such as Edinburgh. Wales, because I was born there and live there, and I think I wanted to help put it on the map, in whatever way I could!

I totally agree with that. I love books that don’t use the ‘traditional’ locations.

I also find it fantastic that you want to bring LGBT characters to the mystery genre. I especially love the point you bring up about Jordan being gay, “There is no tragic coming out story, and no internal sexuality struggle. His sexuality is not a plot device – it is his character. It is him.” I think it’s important in writing to go beyond the ‘gay’, you’re gay. GREAT! Now what else are you? What’s next? It sounds like this is your thought as well. Am I right? Care to expand on that?

Yes, that’s exactly right. I know sexuality is a big part of people’s lives. Living with the knowledge that you’re gay, and having to come out for the first time is scary. You have to constantly come out every time you meet someone new, or you start somewhere new. It’s not just a one time thing. Being gay, or being part of the LGBTQ community is not without it’s torments and struggles. But there are lots of stories about that, and it isn’t everybody’s experience. Lots of people come out and they live happy lives, even happier because they’re being their true selves. Also, I don’t think it defines who you are. You might be gay, but you offer a lot more. It’s not solely what you’re about or who you are. So Jordan Jenner is that type of man. He’s gay, but so what? He does the same job as straight male detectives, or straight female detectives, or even gay female detectives. He lives the same life, albeit he dates men. The story is simply there to say that gay men exist, that they do the same jobs as everybody else. He’s also there to serve a purpose of being in the crime and mystery genre, and hopefully holding his own with the likes of straight male manly leads, like Strike and Rebus. It’s important for me to write a gay character, to explore that side of him as the series progresses, but never detract from what the series is mainly about: a murder, and Jordan has to solve it.

Nicely said. I couldn’t agree more.

Something else that caught my eye as I read your information is that you wrote this after you hit a wall on your last story, a series you say you may not go back too. Why is that?

I was writing a zombie series. The first novel was my debut, and it didn’t do too badly, but could have done better. The second novel completely flopped. I had it all planned out, but one bad review came through and I was incredibly disappointed, with myself and with the story. I think second book syndrome existed, and I didn’t know how to move past this, even though the idea was there. I was going back and forth trying to write and third, and it wasn’t happening. But I still wanted to write. I read crime and thriller and mystery often, so I wanted to try it myself. I was terrified of that. I’d always told myself I couldn’t write a mystery, that you had to be clever to do so, but I gave it a go. I’m glad I did, because it brought me something new, something exciting.

I’m glad you found working on something new exciting. Bad reviews are never easy, I hope you’ll be able to go to your first series and finish it up.

As a follow up, what is it about Murder on the Rocks that excites you so much?

The possibility of writing this new series excites me. I really like Jordan Jenner as a character. I think he’s a great lead, and there is a lot more to explore with him. He strikes me as quite a complex character. I’m thinking of new ideas, and new stories to tell, and at the moment it all feels fresh and new. I think more people are interested in the series as well, which is exciting, and I think the idea of growing that series will be a great thing to do.

Okay we’ve danced around the topic a little so let’s dig in, tell us about Murder on the Rocks. What can you share without giving too much away?

Murder on the Rocks begins with Jordan Jenner at the crime scene. He has just returned to work following the seemingly natural death of his mother. His first case back involves the murder of a writer in a prestigious writing group. As Jordan investigates, he learns that his mother’s death may be involved with the murder of the writer. A sub-plot in the novel is Jordan’s developing attraction to Lloyd, a colleague (Buy the book here).

Sounds fun. I will be sure to add it to my TBR list.

Now, if you don’t mind, let’s chat a little about you. You mention that you enjoy travel. Where have you been and where are your top five dream locations to visit?

I love travel. I’d actually love to travel more, and depending on what happens with my job next year, I might look at taking a little break and going away to different places for a bit, but that’s easier said than done! I’ve been to America – California, Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona, New York and Flordia, and would love to go back. I’ve been to Turkey too many times, Spain, Paris and Amsterdam. I’m going to Edinburgh soon, and then Ireland. I’d love to go to Venice, Sweden, Austria and other parts of America when I can. Recently I’ve liked the idea of going to somewhere like Bulgaria, or Cyprus.

Sounds like you have quite a few places to go. Several of the locations you mention are places I want to go to as well, especially Ireland and Paris.

Staying on the subject of travel, what are your top five must dos in Wales?

There is plenty to do in Wales. I’d say you have to go and visit St Fagans, a Welsh life museum. It’s like a right of passage for Welsh people, and it’s a good day out. Other places would probably include The Skirrid Inn, the oldest pub in Wales. You should definitely visit places like Cardiff Castle, and other castles that are around the area. Wales has a lot of history. I’ve never done Snowdonia or Pen-Y-Fan, but lots of people see that as a great tradition.

Don’t mind me while I take notes here. I may need to hit you up for travel tips, because, yes Wales in on my list of places to see as is London.

When you’re not writing or traveling what do you like to do?

I work in television, so when I’m not writing or travelling, I’m normally in work, editing for the Welsh news. I edit news items that get broadcast. It can be a stressful and scary job, especially when you’re editing minutes before air. Other than that, I like to relax with a new book, and I love discovering new authors.

At one point, I worked on our agency TV Show and was heavily involved in the editing process. It’s crazy how much more goes into it, so you have my complete respect on that. You’ll have to check out Recommendation section on my website I have a tone of great authors I enjoy, you may even recognize one.

We are to our last question, is there anything else that you would like to share with you us today?

Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. I have just finished writing the second, and now I need to edit it and redraft, but I’m hoping to have it published later this year, with Panther Publishing.

Wow! That is great news, I know how people don’t like to wait long for sequels so good luck.

I want to thank J.S. Strange for stopping by today and chatting with us. If you enjoy mystery novels and are looking for one that isn’t your typical run of the mill book check out Murder on the Rocks. Remember to share this post with friends and family who love mystery books. If you have any questions for J.S. Strange leave them below and we’ll have him pop back over and answer them. Until next time have a great week.


About J.S. Strange:

Author Photo.jpg

J.S. Strange is a Welsh author, living and writing in Wales. His new novel, Murder on the Rocks, published with Panther Publishing. When he’s not writing, Strange works for a leading broadcast television channel as an editor. He lives with his two cats, Miley and Dolly.

To buy Murder on the Rocks click here.

Contact J.S. Strange:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JackSamStrange

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackSamuelStrange

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jsstrange

Website: www.jacksamstrange.com

Q&A with Author CJ Bedell

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I’m welcoming Chris Bedell to my Scribbles Page for a Q&A about their upcoming Young Adult LGBTQ thriller I Know Where the Bodies are Buried, which comes out latter this year.

Welcome to my Scribbles Page.

Before we jump into the Q&A why don’t you tell me and my Scribblers something about yourself and your writing that they won’t find in your bio?

One thing that fascinates me about writing is ambiguity. As humans, we like things to be in simple terms. However, that often isn’t the case—sometimes the truth can be somewhere in the middle. And when that theme manifests itself in writing, it is quite interesting.

Let’s talk about your upcoming Young Adult thriller I Know where the Bodies are Buried. When does it hit the stores?

The release date is still set fir 2019. However, I’ll post on my twitter (@ChrisBedell) when I know something more specific.

What can you tell us about the cast of characters? Do you have a favorite character?

The story is about teenagers. Carson, and his friends Chelsea, Freddie, and Amanda attend a New England boarding school. Carson’s “boyfriend,” Billy, allegedly died of suicide but Carson doesn’t believe it. So, Carson dates another student—Dean—who was close to Billy under the guise of trying to prove Billy was murdered. Except Carson doesn’t count on falling for Dean in addition to uncovering unpleasant things about Billy. Finally, the book rotates between the present (NOW) and the past (THEN) with the Billy mystery unraveling in the present and the past providing insight into Billy/Billy’s relationship with Carson.

That sounds intriguing. So, what makes this book different than what is already on the market, what is going to excite readers of young adult books?

My book is a twist on the Gone Girl narrative that inspired a lot of Adult Mysteries/Thrillers. I thought it’d be interesting to bring that to a Young Adult book. Particularly if the villain is male. Although overlooked, men can be as cunning and manipulative as Amy in Gone Gril.

What inspired you to write this story?

I’ve always wanted to write a Young Adult book about hazing, but didn’t just want it to be a “morality play.” Hazing is only a minor component of this book, but the implications from a hazing event reveal something major about one of the characters in I Know where the Bodies are Buried. Also, as I previously mentioned, I love Gone Girl and wanted to write a twisted Young Adult Thriller. Adam Silvera’s History is all you Left Me is also a comp title for the book—it inspired my book’s dual timeline.

We’ve talked a little about your upcoming book, would you like to share anything about your current books?

Sure. Just recently, I signed a contract for a Young Adult Paranormal novel—Deathly Desires—which is coming out September 19th of this year. The pitch for Deathly Desires is Tara Sim’s Timekeeper meets Pretty Little Liars when 17-year-old Cody enters a relationship of convenience with a grim reaper to get over a past unrequited crush. Plus, a I Know What you did Last Summer situation, which guarantees death if not solved. Also, my Young Adult Fantasy novel In the Name of Magic is currently out now and can be bought here:

Buy it on Amazon here.

Buy it from NineStar Press here.

Buy it on Barnes and Noble here.

Buy it on Smashed Words here.

Buy is from Indiebound here.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

That nothing is as it seems in my Young Adult LGBTQ Thriller I Know where the Bodies are Buried, in addition I hope readers enjoy the twists and turns. Furthermore, I Know where the Bodies are Buried has series potential, and I’ll release more information on my Twitter as it becomes available.

Excellent. Thank you for stopping by today.

I want to thank Chris for hanging out and sharing all about their upcoming book as they mentioned it will be released sometime this year, but Chris will announce the actual date on Twitter as soon as more information is learned. So keep your eyes and ears opened for more about this new young adult thriller. In the mean time if you know anyone who loves young adult books share this blog post and help get the word out. Have a great week and we’ll see you next time.

About I Know Where the Bodies are Buried:

History is all you Left Me meets Gone Girl: 17-year-old Carson befriends, and dates a classmate (Dean) to prove his ex-boyfriend's (Billy's) death was murder; not suicide. Except sleuthing unravels Billy's secret depravity and Carson actually falls for Dean. The novel rotates between the present (NOW) and the past (THEN). Here is the more detailed blurb:

NOW: 17-year-old Carson believes his former “boyfriend” Billy didn’t commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, and into the ocean. Billy’s sweater and suicide note might’ve been found, yet a body was never discovered. So, Carson befriends, and “dates” his classmate, Dean, on the possibility that Dean knows something about Billy’s death. Dean and Billy both belonged to the same community service club—where Billy devoted a lot of time to. Clues unravel like: an eyewitness seeing members of Charity Now in the woods near the cliff before Billy’s suicide, a diary entry, proving Billy lied about his father being homophobic, and a hazing incident involving a student’s death—that Billy might or might not have been responsible for. Carson doesn’t only have to grapple with Billy’s duplicity, though. Genuine romantic feelings for Dean emerge. Except Carson will have to finish his sleuthing if he wants closure about Billy’s death. Even if that means finding out facts about Billy that he wished he never knew or choosing between stringing Dean along or being honest.

THEN: Billy makes Carson feel special when he flirts with him at a party in addition to helping Carson deal with a past trauma. However, Billy refuses to go public with their relationship, and Carson must decide whether he can handle a secret relationship or if they should breakup.

About CJ Bedell:

Chris’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Entropy Magazine among others. Additionally, his debut Young Adult Fantasy novel In the Name of Magic was published by NineStar Press (a small press) in 2018. Furthermore, his 2019 publishing credits include: his Young Adult Thriller novel I Know where the Bodies are Buried by Magnolia Press, and his Young Adult Paranormal Romance novel Deathly Desires from Deep Desires Press.

Contact CJ Bedell:

Twitter is the best way to get in touch with me.

My Twitter handle is: @ChrisBedell

Interview with Fellow NineStar Author Riina Y.T.

This week I’m thrilled to have fellow NineStar Author Riina Y.T. here on my Scribbles Page to have a sit down about her new novella Paradise Lodge.

Before we jump into that, I want to remind you all that I’m participating in an event on Facebook called 12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event. It’s a great way for you to learn about new authors and new books. It’s like having a Personal Book Shopper. You go onto the event page. Post what kind of books you like and how much you want to pay and authors pitch you their books. It’s easy and there is no pressure to buy anything. It’s a great way to find new books you may have never heard of or found otherwise. So check it out here.


Before we jump into learning more about your new novella, tell us a little about yourself, something not in the bio:

If this would be a real life interview, you would have gotten to meet Yuuko, my seven-year-old toy poodle. We’re together 24/7.

Ah, I love dogs. I miss having them in my life.

She’s the best part of my life. I’m a management assistant for an electronic engineering company. Snacks are only real snacks if they’re sweet. I’m not a fan of pasta but I wish I could have authentic Ramen (karai yasai!) with Gyouza or Kitsune Udon every day!

I see you live in Germany. I had the pleasure of living there as an Exchange Student and I’ve gotten to return on business. How did you end up living there?

Student exchanges are such a fantastic way to get to know a different country and grow as a person! I was actually born and raised in Germany. When I turned twenty-one I spent one year in the US, one in London, England and then nearly two years in Tokyo, Japan. I’m back home in Germany with my family now.

I have to ask, how, and to whom, did you lose your heart in Tokyo? (It so happens to be one of my favorite cities as well so I’m curious).

Isn’t Tokyo just breathtaking?

It really is and the people are amazing. I can’t wait to go back.

I’ve been fascinated by Japan since I did a presentation about it in high school. I’ve been listening to J-pop/rock and V-kei since my teenage years as well. In 2010 I moved to Tokyo for nearly two years and they were the most incredible months of my life! There is a guy, too, of course there is, ha! He’s unreachable and I could only admire from afar but deep down I know there’ll never be anyone like him for me. That’s the dreamer in me talking, but hey, it’s been ten years since my first trip to Tokyo and I’ve yet to meet someone more amazing.

That is so cool. Now moving on, what got you into the writing world?

Back in 2009 my closest internet friend and I started writing (MM) fan fiction. Over the course of three years we've collected nearly three hundred drabbles and short stories as well as a few novellas, most of them starring our favorite Japanese pop band. When I discovered the fantastic MM romance community, and all the original fiction focusing on LGBTQ+, I was in awe. It was like finding a piece of your life you didn’t know was missing. I took a break from writing but eventually went back to it, only this time I'm creating my own characters.

That is amazing. I also see you offer book reviews as well, so I have to ask, which do you find easier; writing or reviewing?

Writing, because I can do whatever I want with my guys. I like the freedom it gives me. Reviewing feels a lot like schoolwork. There is a lot of pressure behind it for me.

I agree writing is a lot more fun. I don’t mind doing reviews, but it’s difficult.

Jumping over to your new novella Paradise Lodge where did the idea come from? What excited you about writing this story?

Ky has been on my mind for a couple years now, I've wanted to give him a story for so long. I listen to a lot of British pop, especially boy bands. It puts me in a good mood. When I was brainstorming possible scenarios for a New Years Eve gone wrong, I wondered what would happen if the party Ky and his bandmates had planned didn't go as expected. It felt like the right time to spend some time with him!

I was excited to write both, Ky and Azariah. I have a soft spot for musicians and exploring the possibilities when bandmates develop feelings for each other, which is pretty much what got me into writing all those years ago. Knowing their story would be something sweet, a feel-good romance, I had a lot of fun with it from the start.

That is great. Okay, so what can you tell us about Azariah and Ky?

We learn Ky’s zodiac sign is Leo, which I also happen to be, so I feel like there is a special bond between us. I have some experience with Scorpios (Azariah’s zodiac sign, which we actually don’t learn in the book!) and it made the way they interacted with each other come more naturally.

Azariah is usually quite serious and shy, patient, honest, hard-working, orderly. His judgment is good and he evaluates and weighs things up endlessly, often to the point of indecisiveness. But he also lacks forethought, acts impulsively and sometimes imprudently, which can cause problems. Like so many Scorpios I know…

Hey now, be careful. I’m a Scorpio.

(Chuckles) He’s a bit of a mystery, you never know what they’re thinking! He can be a little unpredictable but has his heart in the right place.

Okay, I can go with that.

I hope people will forgive him his moments of stupidness.

Oh I’m sure they will. They sound like amazing characters. So the story should be a lot of fun to read. What else do you have planned? What’s up next for you?

Having so many characters on my mind makes it difficult for me to decide whose story is the most 'interesting', so I'm working on a handful of projects at the same time. I have a couple of Young Adult ideas and another sweet, friends/lovers reuniting story I'm working on. Then there is one college themed and another with paranormal touches. I also want to tackle something that will ask for a lot of research! Perhaps one day I'll write that 'vampire assassin' story I can't get out of my head.

Oh, vampires. Love that. I say go for it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’m grateful I was able to bring some of my characters to life and share it with people. I want to thank everyone who decided to give my boys a chance – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Nicely said.

Well, Scribblers that it for this week. Can you believe we are already approaching the holidays? Crazy right. I want to thank Riina for being here today. Don’t forget to check out the 12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event over on Facebook (click here). Remember to like and share by clicking on the links below. If you have a question for Riina leave them in the comments and I’ll make sure she swings back by to answer them. Until next week have a great week.


Book Info:

PL_Cover.png

Azariah Bell is a nervous wreck. He isn’t prepared to spend the final week of the year with his best friend, Ky O’Sullivan, lead vocalist for their pop rock band, Moving Insignia—especially after the fight he caused before they parted ways two weeks ago.

Afraid of not being taken seriously by Ky, Azariah was concerned about what confessing his feelings would do to their friendship, or the band. He tried to keep his emotions in check, but instead, he exploded in anger over some petty issue, and now he’s potentially lost Ky forever.

Ky is looking forward to the band’s annual writing retreat for a week of songwriting and recording at a secluded mountain resort. Spending Christmas with his family gave Ky time to reflect on how he’d handled Azariah’s epic meltdown. It wasn’t good, and Ky is determined to uncover the true nature of Azariah’s unusual behavior. They didn’t keep secrets from each other, or so he believed.

Expecting to see the rest of the band when they arrive by helicopter, Ky and Azariah are shocked to learn they are alone at a deserted lodge. When they discover they’ve been set up by their bandmates so they can “sort it out,” their choices are few. But it’s critical for them to resolve their problems if they have any hope of enjoying the new year together, let alone make that new album happen.

Buy Links:

Find it on Amazon here

Find it on Kobo here

Find it on Smashword here


Author Info:

riinaytprofilephoto-200x355.jpg

Author of Spring, Bax & Butterflies, Missing Piece & Blame the Fireworks.

Riina currently resides in Germany. She spent countless exciting days in the UK and US and lost her heart in Tokyo.

She would be thrilled if one day her stories could brighten someone’s day in the way those beautiful romances always lighten up her dull everyday life. Riina is looking forward to sharing many more stories with the world.

When she doesn’t daydream about boys in love, and isn’t glued to her Kindle, Riina loves to travel the world and explore the unknown.

Contact:

Check out here web page here

Find her on NineStar Press here

Find her on Facebook here

Find here on Twitter here

Find her on Instagram here

Find her on Goodreads here

Announcements

announcement-clipart-cliparti1_announcement-clipart_09.jpg

Today I wanted to share some exciting announcements. First, I want to let you know (and you’re the first to hear the news) that NineStar Press will publish my Science Fiction novel A New World–Contact.  To keep the purchase price of the book reasonable they will release A New World–Contact in two parts. The book is hovering around 170,000 words (about 652 pages).  We are aiming to release Part One around the end of the year with Part Two coming out a few months later.  There won’t be a long delay between release dates.  Both parts of the book will be available in eBook format and paperback. So, keep an eye open for more news as we get closer to the launch date. If you want to learn more about A New World–Contact check it out here.

Second, on March 8th I’ll be interviewed on Outlook Video. Outlook Video is a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender monthly public access cable program and is associated with the Billy DeFrank Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Once I know when the show is to air, I’ll share it.

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Third, on the writing front. This week I submitted a new manuscript to NineStar Press for evaluation.  The working title is T.A.D and the story is about an angel and drag queen.  It's a lot of fun. My hope is NineStar Press will pick it up.  So keep your fingers crossed.

One more writing update, this Thursday March 1st. I’ll have a featured Blog Post on NineStar Press.  You’ll be able to check out the post here however, I’ll be sharing the links on my social media pages.

You can see a lot is happening.

Before I sign off for the week, I want to mention how thrilled I am that The Calling is doing so well.  It’s gotten several 5–star reviews on Amazon and as of this writing the book has a 4.4 overall star rating.  Not to forget A Dragon for Christmas or The Reunion they are at a 4.5–star rating and a 4.7–star rating respectively.

booksigning-tv.jpg

Why am I mentioning this? Because ratings and reviews are very important for books and writers (especially lesser known authors like me). In almost every article written about helping your favorite author, ratings and reviews, are always in the top five, along with buying the book and recommending the book. Don’t take my word for it, here is an article by the Huffington Post with 10 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author. Click here. Here’s another article from Mill City Press that also offers some amazing ideas. Click here. If you want to try any of these out, I’ll happily be your test subject.

Are you ready to help me reach that goal? Have you read all or some of my books? Do you have an Amazon account? Do you want to be a part of my book’s success?

Yes.

GREAT!

You don’t have write a full review, simply click on the 1–5 stars is a great help.

Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Why is this important to me as a new author? Because once I hit twenty-five reviews the book will be eligible to be turned into an audio book.  In addition, another benefit is that once the magic number is reached Amazon will start marketing the book in the ‘if you like this book, than you might also enjoy this book’.

As my thank you, for your review, I will share it on my Facebook Fan Page and my Twitter feed to show the world how awesome you are.

On that note. I hope you all have a great week.  I love hearing from folks so feel free to leave me questions and comments below.

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

I wanted to take this moment to wish you a very merry Christmas and thank you for being so supportive of me and my writing.  If you’ve been following along this whole year, you understand it’s been filled with amazing highs (three books picked up by my publisher, NineStar Press) and painful lows (Illness and deaths of several close family members). Still, I’m so blessed to share not only my thoughts with you all here, on my Scribbles page, but also, I’m able to share three wonderful stories with you. Click here for Amazon and here for NineStar Press where you can buy my books.

This year Eric and I are hosting a holiday party.  We haven’t done one of these in quite a few years, so I’m sure there will be pictures which I’ll share either here or on my FB page.  Also, during this holiday season I plan to finish reading, Diary of a Quarterback–Part 1: King of Imperfections, by S.A. Collins.  I, also hope to get more writing done. Even though I get just over a week off, I’m gonna be busy.

Feel free to share what you are doing for the holiday.  I love to hear from you.  So drop me a note and let me know.

Have a great holiday everyone.

Writer’s Newsletter vs. Writer’s Blog

newsletter-vs-blog2.jpg

Over the last several month’s I’ve heard that all authors must have a Newsletter. Something for the writer to send out to their readers and fans that gives them insider information on the writer and the author’s works. I thought that was the purpose of my Scribbles Page (my blog).  Plus, with the blog we get to interact with one another.  You can ask me questions and I can respond.  Which I like.  So, really, ask me questions and leave me comments I want to chat with you and hear what you have to say.

Anyway, I did a little digging around on the subject, and I found tons of information on how to write an interesting Newsletter and I found tons of information on how to write and interesting Blog.  What I didn’t find was a difference between them and if one is better than the other.  They are both about getting more information into the hands of your readers/fans and to tell them what is happening with your works and with you.  All of which is great.

While doing my research on this topic, I came across this great blog post about the pros and cons of a newsletter and blog. Check it out here. What I like about the post is that it doesn’t say one is better than the other. It does mentions why you would use one over the other and how to use each. There is a clear slant to using a Blog, but I like what Anne has to say about Newsletters especially when it comes to controversial content:

“Some content is safer to put in an email than out there on the Web. People who write about size acceptance or feminist topics are subject to horrific trolling and bullying and often prefer to use a newsletter. Ditto some medical and political content and erotica.”

All excellent points and considering how sensitive some readers can be, I can see why content providers would want to keep it to a Newsletter. Instead of the blogger putting that kind of information on their blogs.

What I appreciate is that she addresses having both, and how that may cause both fatigue on the writer’s part, but also on the subscriber’s part. Information overload is what I call it.  Some call it spamming. Either way it could be a bad thing for everyone.

The second article I found (a little older it came out in 2015) talks more about the benefits of a Newsletter over a Blog. However, what this article mentions is that some writers are taking their blog posts and turning them into a newsletter. This seems like a good idea if you provide a lot of content or have some amazing information about your upcoming book that would be better suited for a newsletter.

One thought from the article I appreciated was, “One place everyone still frequents multiple times a day is their email box, so savvy writers are beginning to take advantage of the captive audience that email provides. But far from creating the hated spam that fills our daily email, writers are creating email newsletters that replace or augment weekly or monthly blog posts and keep readers interested in their books and personalities.”

You can check out the article here

Now, I’m not sure I agree with the ‘spam’ part. I worry that more than one email a week is spamming someone especially if they are nice enough to share their email address with you.

There are clear benefits to each. If you’re an author let me know what your thoughts on Blog vs. Newsletter are.  If you’re a fan/reader, tell me what kind of communications you enjoy. I’m curious, as well, to what your thoughts are on how many emails per week from one source is too much?

email-newsletter-vs-blogging-300x225.png

When it comes to Newsletter vs. Blog, for me, I’m more about the blogging than the newsletters. A newsletter feels outdated (I did newsletters for a couple of start-ups I worked for back in the late nineties early two-thousands. We stopped because the click through rates continued to decline and people were unsubscribing more than subscribing). I figure, at present, I’ll keep going with what I enjoy and can manage.

I’m curious at were you all weigh in on the subject.  I’m not saying it’ll change my mind, but who knows.  Maybe, I could throw together a quarterly newsletter or something of the sort. If there is enough interest.

This week I have three fun updates for you:

  1. Last weekend, Live N in the Mix, interviewed me for a local cable access TV Show. Stay tuned for more details.  I’m not sure when it will air, but I’ll let you all know when it does.  I may even post the interview here on my website.
  2. On November 20, 2017, I’ll be part of the NineStar Press Author Take Over day.  It will be an all-day Facebook event.  I’ll be on from 8-9pm (PST).  I’ll be giving away three $10-NineStar Gift Cards and two autographed copies of, The Calling once it’s released in January 2018.  You must stop by on November 20th to see how to win. Check out the details about the event here.
  3. Lastly, this week I have a guest Blog on NineStar Press Blog. I talk about Why I Write and How the Stories Come to Me. You can check it out here.

See you all next week.

A Dragon for Christmas Cover Reveal and other Exciting News

So much has been happening these last few weeks it’s hard to keep it all straight. First, the launch of my first short story, The Reunion. Coming up, I will take part in a launch party with other NineStar Press Authors. Then, I will welcome my first guest blogger. After that I will be planning my own January 2018 book launch of, The Calling. Finally, not to be forgotten is the release of my second short story, A Dragon for Christmas coming out on December 18. So, today first and foremost here is the beautiful cover art for my new holiday eBook, A Dragon for Christmas. Click here for more information on the story.

Holiday-WinterSeason-ADragonfor-f.jpg

As I mentioned there are several other things happening. On November 20, 2017 I will take part in an online launch party with other NineStar Authors. This will be an all-day event, where you get to chat with Authors, learn about their works, play games, ask questions and maybe win prizes. The event starts at 9am (EST) and ends at 1am (EST). I’ll be on-line at 8pm (PST) 11pm (EST) right after my buddy J.P. Jackson. For more info on the event and what authors will be on-line and when click here. Oh, and not to fear, I’ll be giving away goodies.  So, stop on by and say, “hello”.

Next, on November 29, 2017 I plan on welcoming Morticia Knight as a special guest blogger. Morticia is a best-selling author of M/M erotic romance who spends most of her nights writing. She’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists, along with three titles receiving recognition from the Rainbow Book Awards. To learn more about Morticia check her out here.

I can’t wait to welcome her to my blog as she writes in a completely different genre than I do, and I’m sure she’ll have some wonderful information to share with us.

As you all know, The Reunion just came out a few weeks ago (it still amazes me to say that) and its doing exceptionally well.  As of today is has 4.6-stars on Amazon and 4.18-stars on Goodreads.  It’s also been reviewed on Amazon UK hovering at 4-stars and on NineStar Press with a 5-star rating. I hope you have time to check it out and enjoy it before my next eBook comes out. The two works are completely different so it’ll be fun to hear what everyone has to say.

Speaking of NineStar Press, on November 14, 2017 I will be a guest blogger on their Blog.  The title of my blog post is, Why I Write and How the Stories Come to me. I hope you’ll check it out.  I’m flattered to be on their Blog and I hope to do it again.

Some amazing news I want to tease here is that in January 2018, not only will my first full length novel, The Calling come out (thank you NineStar Press), but with the help of some wonderful friends we are planning a Book Launch Party.  Not just any old book launch party but this will be a huge event. I can’t share details here yet, but trust me when I tell you it’s a big deal. I’m very excited and as soon as I can share more information with you I will.

This event will do Juliet proud… oh wait, you haven’t met Juliet yet. Well, on January 1, 2018 when, The Calling is released you will. I can assure you, this event is something Juliet would be thrilled with.

Who Loves You

Finally, over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to read, Who Loves You by Emily Alter. It was a great read and you can check out my review and the book here. If you love character driven stories, you should read this novel.

Well, these are all the updates I have for you today.  As always I encourage you to ask questions and leave comments. I love hearing from you.  Also, please remember to like and share, because it makes a difference.  Until next week.

Writing & Personal Update

mixed-bag-logo.jpg

It’s time for another Writing Update and given all that has happened over the last several weeks there is no better time than now.  Things for me have been a mixed bag full of blessing and sadness. It’s never easy talking about the not-so-happy events going on in our lives, well not for me, but I figured I would share as talking it through is supposed to help.

Recently, my husband and I had to go to Utah to take care of my husband’s father. He has terminal cancer and dementia.  It’s not been easy, and my husband is an only child, so there is a lot for him to deal with. All I can do is support him and the decisions he makes. Luckily we’ve had some wonderful support from his aunt and uncle so we weren’t totally alone in dealing with all of this. 

A few weeks back we all spent a week in Utah taking care of his father’s house (getting it ready to sell). We also spent time seeing his dad and making sure he is settled in the care facility, which is amazing. The staff are wonderful and so is his father’s hospice worker.  As I’m sure you can imagine it was a stressful week, but we got everything we needed accomplished. By the end of the week we were all exhausted but we still had out humor. Eric’s uncle summed up the week like this, “It’s amazing we’re all still talking to each other.” We all got a good chuckle out of that.

Amidst that, my short story, The Reunion was being finalized and getting ready for its launch. The launch was October 23rd and went off swimmingly.  I’m so thrilled that I had the support of great friends, family, and the wonderful folks at NineStar Press (check them out here).  They really helped and made the process seem less.

Unfortunately, because this has been a mixed bag of emotions. Last week I got news that one of my only living great-aunts passed away (she was 99 years old).  This sad news brought up the memories of my grandmother (my aunt’s older sister) and the realization that that generation has all moved on. We have a close family so that has made it all the more difficult.

Also, on October 23rd it was the fifth anniversary of Eric’s mother’s passing in a tragic accident.  So, the day my debut short story launched there was an air of both joy and sorrow. Eric and I agreed that his mother would’ve been proud and excited and we’re sure that the launch date was no coincidence.

I’m a firm believer that our family never leaves our side and that they are always there with us. The launch day was one way for her and my mom (also passed away) to show their collective support.

There you have it an emotional roller-coaster.

I don’t want to end this on a sad note because as I said at the start these last few weeks have been a mixed bag of both good and bad. To that point, I still have two more books coming out over the next few months, A Dragon for Christmas (December 18th) and The Calling (Jan 1st) I’ve also, been writing/editing three different stories so there is much more to come. And lastly, I want to share some quotes from a few of the reviews I’ve received for, The Reunion (buy it here):

NSP-Halloween2017-TheReunion500.jpg

“…cleverly written and I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know what had happened in this town!” – Lulu Forth (Alpha Book Club) full review here.

“I thought I knew where the author was going with the story and time after time, they proved me wrong.  And that ending….” – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (full review here).

“A fantastic story full of good times and bad, The Reunion is one of those tales that you're going to want to read over and over again.” – Amazon Review by Wordsmith full review here.

Until next week, have a great week gang.  Remember I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment and don’t forget to like and share.
 

Self-Promoting when you’re a Writer

promotion-clipart-canstock17025706.jpg

Over the last few days/weeks I’ve been pondering self-promotion and the best ways to go about it.  Even though I have a publisher behind me and my upcoming books (NineStar Press check them out here) I’m going to have to do a lot of work myself (and I’m okay with that). Still, there is a line between promoting your work and basically being that annoying person who shouts, “buy my book” or whatever all the time.  For me, the key is having a good mix of promotion, content and finding what works then ditching what doesn’t.  That way you don’t feel like you’re out selling your soul to everyone who walks by.

The internet is a great resource at finding ideas and suggestion.  Here are just a few I came across and liked (I won’t be doing everything but I plan on mixing it up):

50 Ways to Promote your book

15 Do it Yourself Tools to Promote your Book

How to Promote a Book

ego.jpg

Not everything is going to work out and sure I’ll be banging my own drum to get people to notice me, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as I don’t become an annoying crow about it (please let me know if I do).

For me, my current plan is to focus on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  Also, I’ve talked to friends and families who are going to help spread the word.  I’ve joined various genre groups.  A press release is in the works as are Facebook ads.  I’m working on engaging people and getting folks excited about my upcoming book releases. There are three scheduled over the next few months (two short stories, The Reunion and A Dragon for Christmas, and one novel, The Calling).  Additionally, several people have been contacted and asked to read my ARC for, The Reunion, and provide reviews for the release day.  One, thing I’m doing and I’m finding surprisingly helpful are author interviews on various blogs. I’ve picked up some great new fans and I’ve been continuing to engage them.

How will all this effect book sales and my efforts at self-promotions? I’m not sure yet, but it can’t hurt. I guess what it all boils down to is getting out there (whatever that means) and being seen.  As I move closer to my book release days, I will let you know how things go.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are.  If you’re a writer please share, if you’re a reader please tell me what you like and don’t like about self-promotion.  As always have a great week.

Writing Update

I have so many updates to provide, but first with all the current devastation with the hurricanes in Texas and Florida and the major earthquake in Mexico I want to share some ways for you to help.

th-3.jpeg

Catholic Charities USA–Long term recovery and support click here

Red Cross–Immediate support click here

Caritas (Caritas International)–International relief outside the US click here

These agencies do amazing work and already have people in the areas helping.  There are many other non-profits who help as well.  These just happen to be the ones I tend to support when disasters hit.


When it comes to my world of writing a lot has been happening since my last writing update. 

th-2.jpeg

Firstly, I now have three books (two short stories and one novel) being published by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and I can now share release dates with you (so mark your calendars):

 

So, as you can imagine things are crazy busy with editing and working with the publisher on cover art and all that good stuff.  I can’t wait to share the cover art with you all.

Secondly, I’m still one of the judges over at the Rainbow Awards.  There have been so many wonderful entries and I’m excited to still be part of the process.  The awards will be announced in December 8, 2017 click here for the Facebook page with more information.

th.jpeg

On the writing front (yep, I’m still writing new stuff) I recently finished my novella T.A.D and it’s started to make its way around my writing group, so this is exciting. The feedback and suggestions I’ve been getting are wonderful and are really helping the story.  Also, I’ve been editing ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ there is still writing to do, so this project hasn’t been getting the love it deserves these days.  I hope to change that over the next few weeks.

I have a few personal things I want to share with you all.  On August 21, 2017, I became a Granduncle, my nephew and his wife had a bouncing baby boy.  Eric and I have gotten to meet the newest member of the family, so that has been really quite exciting, I’m very happy for my nephew and his wife. Also, I know some of you still ask and yep, Eric and I are still doing our weekly meals.  It really has been wonderful and super easy.  We love it.  On a bit of a sadder note, both Eric and I have family members who aren’t doing well health wise. It’s not easy, of course, when you live in separate states so you can’t be there for them. However, with the help of technology we get to talk and check in so that is something.

th-1.jpeg

If you haven’t noticed I’ve made a few changes to my website, nothing major but there have been some additions and modifications.  We’ll see what more needs to be done, but for now we’re making tweaks here and there.

Lastly, some of you have been asking about the headshots, well the short answer: it’s a process.  The long answer; we’ve taken two rounds of photos and we still want to take a third.  We’re trying to get various looks and moods, so it’s taking a bit of time.  I would like to have the headshots all done by the end of this month.  That is my goal, however, the photographer, and the others involved on the project may have other plans.  Either way, the photos are moving along and what I’ve seen I like, so that’s good.

That is about all I have this week.  Next week I have an amazing author interview coming out, so that is exciting.  Have a wonderful week everyone and if you’re in an area of the country or world affected by the hurricanes or earthquake, please be safe and take care.

Writing Update

I didn’t realize until today the last time I provided a writing update was in April.  So, let’s get you all up to speed on what is happening in my wonderful world of writing.

To start, I’m happy to announce, ‘The Calling’ will be published in January 2018 by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and honestly a little scary. It’s cool to dream this will happen then when it does, it kind of freaks you out.  There is a lot to do to get the story ready for publication as you can imagine.  If you have some time to check out NineStar Press here, they are a ton of wonderful books by some amazing authors and they are a good group of people to work with.

Next up, this year I have the honor of being a judge for the 2017 Rainbow Awards.  It’s exciting to be part of such an activity and I can’t wait for the award winners to be announced.  If you want to learn more about the Rainbow Awards check them out here.

Third, I’ve written a short story ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ its a cute short story and one I’m hoping to get published (fingers crossed).  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, you can read the blurb for ‘A Dragon for Christmas’ here.

On a more personal note, I’ve been busy working in the background on some new headshots and working with a few really good friends on how to not only market my novels but also myself.  It’s an interesting process one I didn’t think would be as difficult as it is.  It’s like this whole new world is sitting there and I need to figure out the best way to navigate it all.  So, as we move forward, you may see not only my photos change (may all that is fuzzy and warm take mercy on you when those come out), but also my website. There may be updates/changes to my Facebook Page and all of my social media as well.

Also, you’ll be happy to learn we are still doing our weekly meal in a box.  Its great and we still love it.  If you want to see pictures, let me know in the comments below, also, if you want an update on how we’re doing I’ll happily share.  There are some new developments.

Now more on the writing front, I’m still working on Book 2 of ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ and I’m working on a novella called ‘T.A.D.’. I’m about two-thirds of the way through ‘Conspiracy’ and ‘T.A.D.’ has its first draft finished and I’ve started the editing process so the writing is moving forward.  There are a few more stories that are floating around, but nothing nearly as far a long as these.

With respect to my blog, I’m changing my posting day to Mondays in hopes to get more traffic. I have to think about and pay attention to these things now.

Well that’s about it for this week.  Next week I have an exciting Author Interview coming up.  So, stay tuned.  I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment, drop me a line and remember to like, share and subscribe.  Until next week keep cool and #HappyPride2017

Interview with Author JP Jackson

This week I’m very excited to welcome my buddy JP Jackson, to my Scribbles page and introduce you all to him and his amazing writing.  I was lucky to have him for an extended interview so I hope you enjoy.  Don't forget to like, share and leave a comment below.  There was a lot to cover in a short time so let’s boogie on down the road.

JP has his first book premiering next month (July 2017).  Congratulations JP and welcome.

Boogie?  Really?

My interview my silliness.

All right well thanks for the invite, I think.

To kick things off tell me about your writing, how did you get started?  

I’ve always been creative in some way. Whether it was drawing, painting, and even acting, I generally find that I have to be doing something, or have a project somewhere that allows me to unleash that creative energy.  

But, I’ve always had ‘write a book and get it published’ on my bucket list.

About three years ago, I finally said to myself – let’s do this. So I hauled out the laptop and started. It really was that simple. I just sat down and put words on the screen. Now, I didn’t say they were good words, but it was a start.

I’ve read some of your writing and I can tell everyone, they are in fact ‘good’ words.

Hey, thanks.

Of course, so you started writing three years ago, was getting the book finished what drove you?  What drives you what drives you to sit at the keyboard and put word to paper?

Once I start something I generally have to see it through. I say generally because my husband will tell you that I have so many projects all going on at once it’s impossible to believe that they all get completed.

Do they?

They don’t.

But, if something catches me…you know that feeling? It’s where your mind continually drifts back to thoughts about (in this case) the storyline, a plot problem, the way a character is dressed, and what he says…If my brain starts doing that, then I become obsessed and I will absolutely finish the project. And right now, that obsession for me is writing. I also am finding the writing process to be a ridiculous amount of fun. All of it – from writing my way through a plot problem – to creating new creatures and characters – to receiving edits and making the story even better. And let me just say, thank all the gods for editors.

Yes, editors are our friends.  

They really are, they see things we miss and would never see otherwise.

Very true, now changing gears a bit, which writers inspire you?

There’s quite a few. Stephen King, but his earlier works like Carrie, Christine, The Shining. Anne Rice – all of them, oh my goodness. Yes. I’ve also recently stumbled upon Patricia Briggs and I’ve read several of the Mercy Thompson books and quite enjoyed them. J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series, Charlaine Harris and the Sookie Stackhouse books, and many, many years ago Piers Anthony with the Xanth books and the Incarnations of Immortality. Who could forget the never ending Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan? Truly, the list is endless. I’m a voracious reader and have always been. I think my favorite horror story of all time was The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. I don’t think I slept the rest of that year.

(Chuckles) That is an impressive list.

I have read a little bit of everything, but if the book has horns, tails, wings, or magic, chances are I’m going to love it. If I’m a little scared while reading it, that’s a good thing too.

I’m currently looking though for that kind of an author who write LGBTQA+ stories. I’ve read so many excellent books lately by authors who identify in the queer spectrum, but I haven’t yet stumbled upon that one author that I know – regardless of what book or work I pick up of theirs, I’m just absolutely going to love it. So, I keep looking…

You have any suggestions?

Hey now, who’s interviewing who? Anyway a book my boss recommended that I recently read was ‘The Swarm’ by Frank Schatzing it’s freaky and well crafted.  And if you like Zombies (I’m personally mixed about them) but ‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks is excellent.  Otherwise, you and I have a similar list of books.

(Laughter).

Okay, this isn’t a book club. So, give us some insight into your Main Character.  Who are they?  What is their life about?

Dati Amon is my leading man. He’s totally dreamy.  Oh wait…yeah okay so, he’s also a demon from hell. What can I tell you about Dati? He’s pretty old – although he doesn’t look it, that’s because of his great genetic makeup. And when I say old, I mean like three hundred and forty-six years old.

So, about my dating age?  Kidding.

Um… sure. Dati only looks like maybe late thirties, early forties.

Dati is a specific kind of demon. He belongs to the D’Alae species – meaning he has wings, and a tail, but he has ways of hiding these things when he’s out and about. I think that’s what makes my demons a tad more interesting – they look just like any other human – but then, when the guise comes off, or they reveal their true selves, it’s terrifying.

Creepy, but I like the idea. Please continue.

Dati is also enslaved – all of the D’Alae are, and his master is particularly violent and one hell of a masochist. Dati’s job is to find human children who are the result of a demon-human mating, and then ensure that they are ‘turned’.  He hates his job. 

Dati’s master keeps him on a short leash. Because of that, he’s sometimes naïve, but Dati has been around a long time, and so he’s developed a certain amount of elegance and maturity. He’s smart, careful, thoughtful, yet has the propensity for incredible brutality.

And he loves to watch humans. In fact, he really has grown quite soft and kind. He likes humans. He’s quite jealous of them, and their freedom.

When Dati meets Alyx, he is instantly attracted to him (and honestly, Alyx is a redhead, who wouldn’t be instantly turned on by that?) and for the first time ever, Dati has feelings for a human. 

Now that sounds like a set up for a romance story, right? Yeah…I know, but Dati’s story is unfortunately filled with setbacks and turmoil, and as much as he’d like to get to know Alyx, he can’t, and despite a promise Dati has made to keep Alyx out of his hellish world, the exact opposite happens.

In fact, Dati’s actions of trying to keep Alyx out of his life end up setting off a chain of events that leads to the end of the world.

This is no romance novel. This is a story about the end of times.

That sounds really heavy.  It must be one hell (sorry I had to) of a ride?

I hope so.

Wow, so what drew you to write in this genre?

I see magic in everything. There are fairies in my garden, there is a monster in my closet and the boogeyman lives in the basement – and the bastard takes great delight in scaring the shit out of me on a regular basis.  I hate him.

But really, I’m drawn to the fantastical. I thrive best in worlds where magic is possible, but also potentially deadly. I need creatures with wings and horns, beasts that will help you, cuddle with you, or maybe even eat you.

Oddly enough, I want to be enchanted and then scared at the same time. It’s funny though, I can’t watch a horror movie. I keep trying, but then I don’t sleep for days.

Do you mind if we keep going?  Normally I wrap up about now, but this is good stuff.  So, I’d like to keep going.

Sure, I don’t mind.

Great. Where do your ideas come from?

My head. The shadows are long and very deep in there. It’s a creepy place, but beautiful too. There’s something fun about flirting with the darkness, straddling that line between light and dark. I’m quite comfortable there.

I find that music, certain TV shows, movies and pictures will spur my creative juices and make me want to write about mystical beings and terrible curses. I love mythology too. I think we’ve lost a lot of wonder and magic in our lives. Everything is cold and technical and can be explained by modern medicine and science.

To that I say – Bah Humbug.  Let there be a Santa Claus, a tooth fairy, dragons and trolls. I love them all.

I agree.  By the way I love dragons, so you know.  There ya go. Anyway, now for a serious question, what was the hardest thing about writing your book?

A couple of things.

The voice of each character and ensuring I stayed true to them when they were speaking. 

Stories are rich and detailed and they shift in their perception depending on which character’s eyes you’re watching the world unfold through. And so, in Daimonion, the majority of the story is seen through the eyes of Dati.  As I said above, he’s sophisticated, in his own way, and yet, somewhat naive. But part of the story is also told from Jenae’s perspective – she’s a soulless witch, she’s young, broken and a little off. She’s also a teenager. And part of the story is told through Alyx. Alyx is a young man, confident and sexy, mischievous and yet, always optimistic and positive. While writing the book and ensuring as each chapter came to life, the person who was telling the story kept true to their character – that was hard.

I also struggled with keeping all the ties and strings laced together in such a way that the story came to life in a realistic way. I wanted to make sure that events that happened, occurred naturally. I wanted relationships to be developed and be realistic.

It’s one thing to see a person and be instantly attracted to someone. I don’t believe that people look at someone and fall instantly in love. I think love blossoms after you get to know a person. You have to be able to resonate to who someone is, what they believe in before you invest in such an expensive emotion as ‘love’. Same thing for friendship, or trust. Does that make sense?

I think it does and you’re right ‘love’ is a very expensive emotion and I don’t think people are always willing to pay that cost.  Please, though, back to the story.

This story is fantastical, but even though there are demon, beasts, and magic, I wanted it to feel like it all could be real.

Excellent.  I want to shift gears again and talk about something a little lighter. So tell me JP, which famous person (living or dead) would you like to sit down with and lunch?  Why?

Hugh Jackman, because Wolverine. Straight up – he’s my total boy crush. But I’ve also always wanted to have lunch with Whoopi Goldberg. I think we’d laugh ourselves stupid, but she’d also have amazing words of wisdom to impart as well. But regardless of who I have lunch with, if anyone orders beets of any kind, served up in any way, I’m out.

Beets?

I hate beets. Always have. Like from the time I was a baby. Beets went in, and were immediately spit back out.

Note to self, no beets, got it.

It’s silly, and I know this. I’ve tried many times as an adult to eat them. I just can’t.

My belief is that in a former past life I was a victim in a beet famine. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

(Laughs)

Okay, so no beets.  Are there any other specific challenges you’ve come across when writing?  What did you do differently the next time?

This was my first book. I learned so many things. The way we write differs greatly from communications at work, to a technical manual, a love letter or a literary work. You can’t write in the same way for all of these. They have differences, and they have rules. I’m still learning the rules. 

You can’t describe your own eyes unless you’re looking in a mirror. Period. So stop doing it, and yet, I continue to do so. 

Sigh.

I repeat words often. Editing saves me every time from that mistake.

I have a thing for Tautology – saying the same thing but in a different way. That’s hard to stop, I even speak like that.  You know the expression…”Beat a dead horse?” Yeah. I’m like that.

Commas. I hate commas.

Editors are akin to gods and should be treated as such.

What would I do differently next time? Oh boy. Try and learn from my mistakes? I’m a slow learner though.

I think we all share some similar problems.  I know I’m guilty of a lot what you mention.  One last question and it should be easy.  How would you sum up your book in five words?

The Beginning of The End

What a way to end the interview.  JP, thank you so much for being here and indulging in all my questions and some of my silliness.

It was a lot of fun.


More about JP Jackson:

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

You can find JP here and on Twitter here.  He also has a Goodreads Page here.


More about Book One of the Apocalypse Daimonion (Pre Order here): 

Dati Amon wants to be free from his satyr master and he hates his job—hunting human children who display demon balefire. Every hunt has been successful, except one. A thwarted attempt ended up as a promise to spare the child of a white witch, an indiscretion Dati hopes Master never discovers.

But Master has devilish machinations of his own. He needs human-demon hybrids, the Daimonion, to raise the Dark Lord to the earthly realm. If Master succeeds, he will be immortal and far more powerful.

The child who was spared is now a man, and for the first time in three hundred years, Dati has a reason to escape Master’s chains. To do that, Dati makes some unlikely alliances with an untrained soulless witch, a self-destructive shape shifter, and a deceitful clairvoyant. However, deals with demons rarely go as planned, and the cost is always higher than the original bargain.