Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Shadows at the Door - Author Interview With M. Regan

M. Regan


Hello, folks. Thank you for joining me for another author interview. Today I am joined by Shadows at the Door author M. Regan.

When did you first fall in love with the horror genre?

I think it was more of a “gradual descent” than a “fall.” I actually hated horror as a child! But as I got older and began to prefer stories with more substance— with meat and bones, shall we say— I realized that my favorite parts in fantasies and romances were when things took a turn for the morbid. It took a while for me to understand that “horror” could mean more than gratuitous gore and jump scares, but after I had that epiphany, I became far more intrigued by the genre.

Which subgenre/s of horror would you say your work falls into?

I would say my writing is more along the lines of “dark fiction.” I have a weakness for the gothic, the paranormal, and the supernatural, and have a hard time saying “no” to Faustian contracts.

What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you as a reader and as a writer?

In high school, a friend of mine lent me a copy of Jhonen Vasquez’s cult classic, “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.” It was a surprisingly deep read, but one of the things I remember most vividly about the comic was its forward. In it, the argument was made that everyone has a little monster inside of them, one that survives on our most depraved thoughts and our strangest fantasies. That little monster is an important part of who we are, and it needs to be fed. It is when we ignore or repress our monsters that they escape into reality, and do those terrible things that we hear about real life monsters doing. It’s a roundabout answer, but to me, I think that’s one of the main draws of horror: The idea of keeping our monsters satiated. There is safety in our ability to explore the worst of ourselves and the world around us on the printed page; imagine how much nicer things would be if we could keep everyone’s monsters contained.

What are some of your favorite horror stories?

I tend to get my horror fix from manga and anime. Some of my recent favorites are “Madoka Magica,” “Black Butler,” “Neuro,” and “Mononoke.” I loved how dark “InuYasha” could get, too, and the implications of series like “Hell Girl.” I also recommend the indie film “Lo,” and have enjoyed more mainstream shows like “Hannibal.”

Do you remember being scared by a particular story growing up?

I was scared of so many stories! An old TV special left me terrified of ventriloquist dummies; I was convinced I might find one hiding in my closet. I couldn’t drink lime Kool-Aid after seeing a Goosebumps cover that involved slime. And I was so frightened by a story my friend told me about a killer doll that my mother had to give away the porcelain dolls my grandmother left me. She wasn’t too thrilled about that.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve loved telling stories since I was old enough to string two words together, but I first began to seriously consider being a writer after getting into fanfiction. Nothing made me happier than receiving a review from someone telling me how much fun they’d had reading my work. Really, I just enjoy entertaining people.

Are there any writers who have particularly influenced you?

Like most writers of my generation, J.K. Rowling was a huge influence. So was Johnathan Stroud and Philp Pullman. J. I. Radke is a new author whose stories has inspired me in more recent years. Though I think I learned the most about my own aesthetics and favored themes through the work of Yana Toboso and Daisuke Moriyama.

Tell us a bit about your previous writing work.

The grand majority of my writing experience has thus far been through fanfiction, though I have also been employed as a localization professional for Crunchyroll.com, and have worked for the nationally syndicated high school newspaper, “Student Paths.” 2015 saw my work featured in two other fiction anthologies, as well: Flame Tree Press’ “Chilling Ghost Short Stories,” and Lethe Press’ “The Myriad Carnival.”

How do you feel about being part of the Shadows at the Door anthology?

I am very, very excited! So many talented people have come together to create this anthology; to have been offered a chance to work with them is both thrilling and humbling.

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

I am always working on something! But no one likes spoilers.

Click to pre-order the Shadows at The Door anthology!


Follow M. Regan

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Kickstarter


Monday, 21 March 2016

Author Interview With K. A Lentz

K. A. Lentz
K. A. Lentz


Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, but only a little. History fascinates me on an epic scale. Kings and Queens interest me well enough, however, it’s the ordinary people I seek to know as their tale is nearly always more interesting. I’m an avid daydreamer with a mind that asks lots of questions. My love for potato started young and is well nourished to this day, literally, I’ll be munching some down in an hour. I try not to take myself too seriously; I'm well aware that I’m a clumsy goofball. On that note, I love to dance, freestyle of course.


What genre do you write in?

Currently, I write in the epic high-fantasy genre, blended with a bit of history, folklore, and mythology.


Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book, The Reaper Realm: Threads of Compassion, is based in an alternate realm of existence from our own. The reaper realm is a constructed reality where powerful supernatural beings siphon energy from planet earth, and its inhabiting souls, to create a world in which they rule with unquestioned dominion. Beings from eight, natural realms of existence must fight these evil abominations or be lost to the reaper's growing, nightmarish reality.

Two souls, unwillingly caught in the struggle, learn that together they are the key to turning the tide of war, and possibly saving reality. While both, main characters are human, they differ greatly in their origins; Thistle is a human spirited away from the Earth we know, while Miach’s ancient soul is trapped in an elven body, forever to serve his Reaper overlord. Soon, they form a tentative relationship, born from necessity, and eventually become close confidants. It would seem Miach’s master, Lesdaeonna, attracted the attention of her peers by spiriting Thistle to the realm, and now they too want the reaper’s prize. Barely a day passes before Miach learns he must not only defend Thistle from his master, but all Reapers.

As with all good heroes and heroines, Miach and Thistle need help from others to help win the day. Four, additional characters play central roles in the battle for reality. Their stories explore the ravaged lives of Reaper realm inhabitants, each soul forever touched by tragedy and war.

This book is also a bit of a creature feature. There are many creatures in mythology worth exploring, top that massive list with all the fantastical birds, beasts, and bugs from Earth’s past, the options are boundless.


When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, as I sat down to write this book I finally realized, since I was young, stories were a part of me and writing them down was how I wanted to share them with the world. Before that, I never thought I could do it; a silly, daydreaming past time that really amounted to nothing. How wrong of an assumption to make, especially looking back on the fact that I did do it!


Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?

Dr. Seuss deserves due credit for orienting my mind in a wanderly, ponderly direction at a very young age. Following a long pause in pleasure reading, lasting from third to tenth grade, I picked up Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. That book, along with the first in the series, got me reading for enjoyment again. From there, Anne Rice became a big influence through her Vampire Chronicles. As well as Terry Pratchett, whose whimsy in all things gave me confidence. For non-fiction, I'd have to list Graham Hancock, another writer who focuses on his topic with a wide-view angle lens.


What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?

Overcoming my perceived failings to accomplish something that, for a long time, I never thought possible. Following the fourth and final edit, I felt confident in myself and my abilities, and that feeling felt fantastic!


Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?

Oh yes, definitely! I’ve begun work on a children’s series, as well as a historical thriller. The latter is a style and topic I’ve no wish to delve into at the moment, so that tale is simply in the research and outline phase of development. The one writing project I’ve ever had the urge to outline.


If you answered yes to the above would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?

Hmm, that’s a good question. Possibly. I think a pen name adds whimsy, however, I've never felt tricked in the past when picking up a different genre by a favored author and decided not to read it.


Why did you decide to be an independent author?

When I heard that was an option for authors, I was immediately on board. While self-publishing certainly comes with its headaches and challenges, I like the freedom and control; I have the last say on all decisions.


If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are or try to do both?

I’d stay the course I’m on. I don’t like the idea of pressure from corporate to produce a product they want, I prefer the encouragements of people waiting for the next book as my incentive to keep me on track.


What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?

As with all indie authors--I'd imagine--my biggest challenge is buyer confidence. The general public lacks confidence that indie authors are capable of writing books worth reading. This outlook will change as trends shift more toward the internet.


What are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently working on book two in The Reaper Realm series and a short-story project, wherein I'm exploring ideas and characters unlikely to make it into the books.


Where to Buy

The Reaper Realm:Threads of Compassion


Website

http://www.thereaperrealm.com


N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.




Sunday, 20 March 2016

Shadows at the Door - Kickstarter Launch

Shadows at the Door
Kickstarter


Well, the day is finally here, folks. Regular readers may know that I am (just) one of the writers involved in the Shadows at the Door anthology project. The Kickstarter for the anthology is now live and we need your help.

This anthology is devoted to promoting ghost stories and horror in the classic tradition; M. R. James fans should like this book. We are offering tales of creeping unease in hardback, eBook and audio formats.

Please, if you can, help us get this project that means so much to all of us off the ground. If you are able to make a pledge that would be amazing, but even if you can't you can still help by spreading the word. Share our posts, tweets and blogs; help us get the word out. Any and all help is appreciated.

Check out the campaign video below or o the Kickstarter page for more information. If you'd like to know more about the writers involved there are interviews with some of them right here on the blog.

Thank you all :)


Back Our Kickstarter!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Author Interview With Sandra M. Reed

http://www.amazon.com/Buckwheats-Journey-Sandra-Reed-ebook/dp/B00VETS3OQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1455720114&sr=1-1&keywords=buckwheat%27s+journey

Tell us a little about yourself

I was born in New Roads, Louisiana and have seven siblings. I received my B.A. in English and Drama Education from Dillard University. I am a veteran teacher of the Chicago Public Schools. One of my greatest challenges was serving two terms as an elected official and became one of the voices in government on the local, state and federal level. Heeding the voices of children and parents, I established the Myria Reed Foundation for Children with Special Needs.

As a member of Actor's Equity Union, I have performed in dance companies, plays and musicals throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. I am a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), Chicago Screenwriters Network, Chicago Women in Publishing, ARRAY Now (Artists and Advocates for Independent Film Distribution and Resource), and Sundance Institute member.

What genre do you write in?

Multicultural/Ethic fiction

Tell us about your latest book

Buckwheat’s Journey… is an ethic fiction novel that invites reading on all multi-levels or age groups. It is a light-hearted yet evocative perspective of stereotype and bullying. Set in Chicago, Buckwheat re- enters the 21st century as a doll and clashes with black classy female dolls because of social and cultural differences. When Buckwheat says, “Otay, whateva yuh say,” realization sets in. As the readers take this historical and geographical journey with Buckwheat they will have a better understanding how stereotypes impact African-Americans today. Although contentious issues are present, this narrative has several humorous scenes. Along the way, Buckwheat is transformed, yet becomes a hero. The reader will be inspired as well as gain knowledge that it is not what is on the outside but the inside that counts.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ___ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When did you first know you wanted to be writer?

In college, I studied theater and was surrounded by prolific writers and that experience was the beginning of my journey in writing.

Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?

Several authors influenced my writings: Douglas Turner Ward, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Henrik Ibsen, August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Claude McKay, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ayn Rand, Maya Angelou, Lewis Carroll, Ed Bullins, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plato, Aristotle and authors of the Bible.

What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?

The proudest moment as a writer was being able to let my voice be heard.

Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?


I will continue to work on my screenplays.

If you answered yes to the above would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?

I will always write under my name.

Why did you decide to be an independent author?

I decided to become an independent writer after receiving feedback from publishers such as: “Thanks very much for your thoughtful query, but the project you describe doesn't sound quite right for me. I wish you the best of luck finding representation for your book.”

In addition, I realized the lack of diversity in novels, film etc., and people of color have to create their own pathway to let their voices be heard.

If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are or try to do both?

I may try to do both but only under certain conditions; I will not let them change or take away my voice.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?

The biggest challenge is exploring and learning ways to promote my work, but I love it.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a screenplay (biopic).

Where can people buy your books or learn more about you?

Buy Sandra's book

Amazon

Connect With Sandra

Website

Twitter

Facebook


N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Author Interview With P. D. Workman



http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Between-Cracks-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01AOU7VDY/re
Michelle
Between the Cracks #3
by
P. D. Workman

Tell us a little about yourself

I am in Calgary, Alberta and I have been writing novels since I was twelve. I started publishing just a couple of years ago, and am greatly enjoying this new journey.

What genre do you write in?

I write riveting young adult/suspense fiction about mental illness, addiction, and abuse

Tell us about your latest book

My most recently published book is Michelle, book #3 of the Between the Cracks series.

When Michelle asked to be taken away from her abusive mother, she never expected to lose everyone she loved in the process. They said they would keep her and Kenny together. Her daddy said he would be back. And she never even got to say good-bye to Marcie.

All too soon, they were trying to reunite her with her mother, and Michelle is forced to take to the streets, seeking safety in the gang life.

—Something about [P.D. Workman’s] writing just blows my mind... I hate when I get too tired to read anymore and I have to wait until the next day.

—It's a heart-breaking story.

—The Between the Cracks books have been absolutely AMAZING… as soon as I started to read "Ruby", I just had to keep going.

When did you first know you wanted to be writer?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Before I could even read or form letters, I used to scribble little books made of stapled together construction paper. I made several attempts at writing a novel before I finished my first one, and since then… I haven’t stopped.

Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?

My two biggest influencers in YA fiction are probably S.E. Hinton and Jay Bennett. I watched The Outsiders movie before I read the book, and it was gut-wrenching and reached right down inside of me.

What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?

A year ago, Ruby Between the Cracks won the Top Ten Best Books for Teens, a literary award put out by the In the Margins Book Award and Selection Committee under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody. It was such a great feeling to have that recognition, and to know that my books were being read by the kids I was writing about.

Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?

I’ve dabbled in other genres, but haven’t published anything but YA and adult suspense at this point—other than in school, when I published poetry in some school anthologies. I haven’t discounted writing in other genres.

I have also edited and annotated classics with special study material for homeschoolers and self-directed learners, and I plan to add more books to this venture in the future.

I may also publish some non-fiction in the next year or two; I have a few ideas on the back-burner at the moment.

If you answered yes to the above would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?

I would probably continue to use the name P.D. Workman for all fiction.

I have used the names Workman Classic Schoolbooks and Workman Family Classics for my work on publishing classics, and would probably use another form of my name for non-fiction. I think that each of these areas will have a different readership, and want to make it easy for readers to find similar books and not get buried in disparate books, especially considering the number of works this will eventually encompass. (I have out sixteen fiction books and eight classics thus far and that’s just the beginning.)

Why did you decide to be an independent author?

I never had any interest in sending out query letters and pursuing publishing contracts. When I started to consider publishing, I only ever really considered independent publishing.

If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are or try to do both?

Hybrid writers tend to do quite well. It would have to be a good contract, and I would want to retain a certain amount of control over my rights. I certainly wouldn’t be jumping into it without due consideration.

What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?

I love most of independent publishing. Promotion is challenging, and what I like least is probably business accounting!

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on books 2 and 3 of a new series. They are young adult suspense, but different from anything else that I have out yet. I intend to release all three later in the year, in quick succession.

Where can people buy your books or learn more about you?

Buy P. D. Workman's books

Amazon

Smashwords

Google Play Books

iBooks

Barnes and Noble

Scribd

Connect with P. D. Workman

Website

Goodreads


Twitter

N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.