Interview with Cindy Lynch, author of “Bye For Now”

bye-for-nowWhat is your book about?

My first novel entitled Bye For Now is the first installment in a young adult series. The story begins with Callie, the book’s main character, a woman, presently in her midyears. She is our narrator. During a quiet moment of mundane daily activity, as Callie is partially attuned to TV, a real life American tragedy begins to play out on the screen. It’s a traumatic—a horrific—event with unspeakable impacts on the human psyche. To escape the horror on the TV, Callie’s subconscious triggers the narrative and the book’s story commences to unfold, in detail.

Callie’s escape into her subconscious takes her back to her high school years. She’s on summer vacation at her grandparent’s lakeside cottage in northern Vermont, within spitting distance of the Canadian frontier. Life is slow. Life is rich. Pastoral Vermont scenes are carefully crafted with vivid imagery straight out of Callie’s memories of her youth. There’s the first hot flush of young love. There are soul nourishing family scenes of meals and recreational events. Each character is carefully painted in true-to-life brush strokes.

The character descriptions validate the youth Callie has experienced. There is special emphasis on the power of family connection to influence our future life in positive, uplifting ways. Later on, as Callie matures and the tale flows into her college years, troubling events are resolved in ways that hark back to the power and influence of her early family life. As the story proceeds, the pace picks up and the emotions conveyed take a tighter grip on the reader’s attention. Intensity grows as awkward social situations are recalled and irreconcilable adult enigmas are replayed.

How much of you is hidden in the characters in this book?

Much of this book is loosely based on my life growing up and visiting my grandparents in Vermont each summer. The lines blurred with fiction to grow this tail of love and loss.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I have always wanted to write a book about youth and young love. My friend and fellow author, Sharisse Coulter, helped push me in the right direction to get this book started. When the Newtown Massacre took place on that fateful day December 14, 2012 I knew I had to incorparate that into my story. This town was my hometown and it struck a chord deep inside me releasing this tragic tale.

Who is the most unusual character or likeable character?

Aunt Marilyn is the quirkiest in this story. She tends to talk to inanimate objects throughout the tale giving the reader the willies while Maddie gives the reader the laughs. Maddie with her colorful language and Italian phrases will have you laughing out loud.

What challenges did you face writing this book?

I have three very active boys at home ages 17, 14, and 11. Between getting them to their practices, games and music lessons at home it was difficult at time to carve out writing time.

Why would people relate to your characters?

I believe everyone has a story to tell of love and loss. The world was impacted by Sandy Hooks tragic event and I feel everyone can connect on a certain level with these characters that are involved.

What are you working on right now?

Currently I am finishing up some interior design of my second book, Even Willows Weep, the second book in this trilogy. It should be published by the end of May, 2016

How long did it take you to write your book?

This is an unusual answer to this question. Two weeks. Yes, you read that right. My friend, Sharisse, challenged me with writing a book in 14 days. This required writing 5,000 words a day to have a finished product in two weeks with 75,000 words. I had no idea what that entailed until I agreed to do it. What an undertaking, however the words just flowed. I enjoyed every second of it because I was prepared having had this story in my head since I was 14.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I would say just sit down and get started. Just write and let the words flow not worrying about sentence structure or grammar. Then when you edit make sure you find an editor that gets you. I mean really gets you. My editor, Keltin Barney, has been a god-send. He truly understands what I’m saying and where I’m going with my characters and plot.

Who did your designed cover?

I found Ivan Terzic from Czechoslovakia, on a website called 99designs. He was a great find and has produced the cover of my second book as well. I plan to continue working with him on future covers as I have one last book to write in the trilogy. I also have a non fiction book in the works.

Interview with Billie Tekel Elias, author of “PEARL’s Party…and you’re invited.”

41oilLxtYRL._UY250_What is your book about?

“PEARL’s Party…and you’re invited” is about my mother’s uplifting journey through life, her unusual businesses, her funny escapades, and her unique perspectives on living (and dying).

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

It took me some time to grapple with the loss of my mother, my sidekick and confidant. Her home was 100 miles from mine, so clearing it out in preparation for its sale was drawn out over an entire year. With each visit, I unearthed interesting bits of ephemera that gave me ideas for my book.

How long did it take you to write your book?

It took me a year to organize the physical materials and construct a timeline of what I planned to write about. As I sifted through canceled checks, matchbook covers, little black books and more, I wrote the stories woven through the objects. Another six months were involved in formatting it, laying it out, and figuring out the technology to self-publish.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

Yes, I actually did quite a bit of research. Usually I was googling places where Pearl had gone, products she had used or obituaries of people she knew.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I used an excel spreadsheet to lay out a timeline of Pearl’s life, including dates I had pulled off primary source documents such as leases, airplane tickets or letters. The story is largely chronological, so this kept me grounded.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I want my readers to come away entertained, feeling nostalgic about “the good ol’ days,” and thinking, gheez, if Pearl could overcome those obstacles and stay in party-mode, so can I!

What are you working on right now?

I have a couple of balls in the air. Since I wrote a book about my mother, I felt it only fair to do the same for my late father, a Renaissance man. I had already begun yet another book before either of my parents died, about my grandfather and his relatives who lived in the Far East over a hundred years ago. There will be two versions: a picture book for kids and another with the adult stories.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Definitely not. In fact, in high school I was so disinterested that I shunned away from choosing a liberal arts college and instead went to engineering school where I wouldn’t have to do much writing at all.

Does writing come easy for you?

In a way, yes, because I’m telling the story as if I were talking to you in person. I can hear my voice inside my head as I tap on the keyboard. Besides, my training as an engineer equipped me to be a good investigative researcher. My research often broadens the story.

How have you marketed and promoted your work?

This is the hardest part for me. You think once your book is written and you can actually hold a printed copy in your hands that you’ve accomplished something great. The truth is, the work has only just begun. I had business cards printed before my book was released with an image of the cover and a link to my blog. I blogged for awhile about songs that my mother enjoyed, with links to youtube videos. I comment regularly on Facebook and sometimes on Twitter, plus I set up a Pinterest page with some of Pearl’s trinkets and photos pictured. And I seek out kind, generous interviewers like you!

Do you have a saying or motto for your life and/or as a writer?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Pearl would be played by Nathan Lane (in drag) and her gay friends would be played by Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Jason Alexander and Alan Cumming. Her ex-husband would be played by Brad Pitt.

Where can people learn more about your books?

I blog at pearlsparty.wordpress.com and the book blurb for “PEARL’s Party” is at http://www.createspace.com/5765382 (where you can also purchase the book!). My photo and a cover of the book can be seen at http://www.amazon.com/Billie-Tekel-Elias/e/B0190OWZZO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Interview With Joleene Naylor, Author of “Masque of the Vampire”

What is your book about?

Masque of the Vampire is the eighth in the Amaranthine series. Though is it a series, I try to write them so that anyone can pick up any book and understand what’s going on. This time Katelina and Jorick, who is one of the vampire “police”, are assigned to provide security for a party. A mysterious stalker, a serial killer, and a crashing chandelier later, they’re embroiled in a net of intrigue that has a surprising conclusion. You can purchase it from all major retailers. (http://www.joleenenaylor.com/books/mov.php)

What genre are your books?

Paranormal. Paranormal WHAT is up for debate. Is it Urban Fantasy? Maybe, though they spend more time in the country than an urban setting. Paranormal Fantasy? Maybe. The Heart of the Raven arch does have the pacing of a fantasy trilogy, including the evil “sorcerer” and the army of misfits. Paranormal Romance? Eh, not really. There is romance, but there’s no hero’s POV where his knees are weak and his blood is burning for her touch. Paranormal YA? Definitely not. Horror? I think so, but the female protagonist and the above mentioned romance make that an iffy label. In the end, my books kind of fall between the cracks of genres.

How have you marketed and promoted your work?

I’ve done a lot of things over the years. A blog. A website. Blog hops. Guest blogs. Paid listings. Free listings. Sales. Lots and lots of freebies. Blog tours. A facebook party. A facebook page where I post daily comics with my charaters. A newsletter. And I’ve recently started a Facebook Street Team group.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

There are probably little pieces of myself scattered all over, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to channel them. I’m not sure which one I have the most in common with, though, as even I and Katelina aren’t completely alike. Her reactions sometimes make me go, “What? Why?”

Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?

I think Verchiel is probably everyone’s favorite. He’s a redheaded mischief maker who pops into Katelina and Jorick’s lives seemingly by chance, and then just keeps popping up. He and Katelina have a love/hate relationship while Jorick just despises him from the start.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character in your story because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you, his or her creator?

Yes. The aforementioned Verchiel is one of those. I designed him to pop into one scene and get killed. That was it. “Hello. I’m bad. Goodbye. Splat. Dead.” But he was so interesting I let him live. He’s one of the really organic characters that completely write themselves.

Another was Torina, the sister of Jorick’s fledgling. In the original draft of book 4, Ashes of Deceit, she was killed in the attack on the citadel. But it created too many complications, so I gave her a reprieve.

How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

For the most part they develop and differentiate themselves. It’s kind of like they drop from heaven fully formed and as I go I have to dig backwards to find out how and why they are the way they are.

Where do you get the names for your characters?

A lot of them I made up (like Jorick, Katelina, Oren, Torina) but sometimes I use the internet to find names that would be authentic to the culture or time period someone is from. Eileifr – one of the vampire’s High Council is an example of that. I have no idea how to pronounce his name, but it’s supposedly authentic Norse. Samael, Lilith, Ishkur, Inanna, and Utu, of course, come from mythology as they’re supposed to be the figure the mythology is based on.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

Yes! Starting in the fifth book, my characters go overseas so I had to look up everything, from temperatures, to sunset times, to what kind of animals they might be able to feed on, not to mention ways to get them across country boarders – what’s required to fly in? Can they take a boat? How long will that take? And then weaving in the legend of Samael and Lilith was a nightmare of research. I’ve worked to try to tie together ancient Chinese mythology, Mesopotamian mythology, and even the book of Enoch together into one cohesive storyline. It took several word documents.

What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?

A great world. This includes good characters with interesting backgrounds that interconnect well. I’m currently reading the second in EG Manetti’s Apprentice series and she does that so well. Every aspect of the universe has been addressed so that even if I have an issue with an aspect of the story the world is so compelling, so complete, so REAL that I’m still thinking about it days later.

How do you deal with exposition give readers the background information they need?

With a long series this is something I struggle with from book to book. I start by skipping information that isn’t necessary to the story being told in that particular book, and then I try to alternate between four methods; having Katelina think about it (for instance when she sees someone she might think “Oh, that’s the guy who owned the vampire cat.”), by having the characters have a quick conversation about it, by inserting a short flashback accompanied by Katelina’s thoughts, or in some instances by the more direct but less exciting just telling. I know that telling is frowned on, but there comes a time when the run around alternatives just feel like run-arounds.

What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?

Anxiety. I just *know* that everyone is going to hate my books. I think the most terrifying words in the English language are “I got your book”.

Does your understanding of the story you are writing change during the course of the book?

Yes. Always. If it doesn’t then it means I haven’t developed it enough and I need to go back over it and figure out what the angle is.

What is a talent you have that nobody knows?

I can blow bubbles with my spit. Like pretty large bubbles. I learned to do it as a kid in the 80s who wasn’t allowed to have bubbles gum. I realize most people think this is gross, but it’s the only thing I could think if that I haven’t shared before.

Links:

author blog: http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks
twitter http://twitter.com/joleene_naylor
website- http://JoleeneNaylor.com
facebook profile – http://facebook.com/joleene.naylor

Interview with M. J. Heywood, Author of “The Web Across the Water”

What is your book about?

The Web across the Water is about two lonely souls, living on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Lily and Brad meet on an internet chat room; Lily is a prolific internet thief and fraudster, who has been using the internet to trap victims for years. However, she throws herself into danger when she meets Brad and travels across the water to get closer. Brad has sinister intentions of his own. Once the pair have met, they are thrown into a tangled battle of wits in which both are in the deepest peril.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I am greatly inspired, if that is the correct word, by True Crime. The abhorrent nature of the master thieves and serial killers of the UK and USA are very fascinating to me, as I find them so difficult to understand. For this project, I enjoyed getting inside the heads of the two characters and describing actions which I found to be so against my values.

Who is your most likeable character?

Brad’s friend Phil, who works as a janitor in the apartment block where Brad resides is probably the most likeable of the characters. He provides the comic relief in the story, and has a light hearted view of the world, despite him having a difficult life living away from his sick daughter in order to find work. He is slightly naïve, and is a fun and charming man.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

There is certainly a deep moral to the story. We live in a world which is now largely in the shadows after the beginning of the internet. Online we can be whoever we want to be, which can give us false confidence, and even if we have dark intentions ourselves, there is no telling who is looking through the other end of the wire. We give ourselves an access into worlds which would not have been accessible, but we can also be opening the door to people who we should not have any dealings with.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on my second thriller novel, and have so far written about 40,000 words. It is a similar style of story, also looking at the darkness within, and it features one of the lesser characters from the first novel in a more central role, despite not being a sequel.

Does writing come easy for you?

I can get stuck from time to time, but overall, it comes a lot easier than I thought it would when I started. The only problem is, I deviate from my plan every so often, when I see an opportunity for a different outcome or a new story arc. I then have to go back through everything that I have written, in order to avoid plot holes.

Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?

I have a notepad where I jot initial premises down. I also like to write a few chapters when the idea occurs, and I save them for a later date. In fact, before I started working on The Web… properly, I had the first chapter saved on my computer for a few months.

How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?

At the moment, just one more after this one; I started with three clear ideas, so once I reach the end of book three (which will be a direct follow-on) I will start to spend a little more time on letting the new ideas loose again.

What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?

Number one – characters with depth; they must have strengths as well as flaws and deep weaknesses. Number two – I believe everyone in a story should be disposable, and that no-one should be invincible. Invincibility makes a story weaker for me, as if you know that the main character(s) will survive, there is less tension. Number 3 0- A living, breathing place, described well enough to set the scene, but not too deep so that you restrict the imagination of the reader; I want to give them just enough so that they see what I need to see. For example, Eastport, Maine was the main focus of much of this story. I believe that it was a great choice for Brad’s hometown, as it was a pure and unspoilt location, relatable to many people who.

How do you deal with exposition give readers the background information they need?

In this story, it was a mix of flashbacks, time jumps and material such as newspaper articles and police interviews.

Describe your writing in three words.

Tense, fast, different.

Would it matter to you if you were never published? (In other words, would it matter if no one ever read your books?) Why or why not?

Yes. I write to entertain, and the thrill of writing is achieving the moments of suspense and tension, and the whole point is to know that it is having an effect on people. The reviews so far have shown that I was successful in my aims, so this was a rewarding feeling. I don’t mind how many read the story, but I wouldn’t be satisfied if nobody read it.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

When writing Lily, I had Rosamund Pike in my mind, but this was before seeing her as Amy in Gone Girl, and she was totally brilliant in that role. Since then, I could only see the Gillian Jacobs as Lily, as long as she can pull off a British accent, which I am sure she could. She has been captivating in Love and plays a role of emotions and traits so convincingly. For Brad, I think Zach Efron would be a good fit. I feel that he could play the lighter, charming side of Brad very well, and I think he has a talent for portraying aggression too.

Who designed your cover?

I designed my cover myself, using royalty free images and the fantastic Gnu Image Manipulation Software. I was thrilled with the result, and have continued to do this with book two. I feel that I can achieve a professional looking cover which fits my vision. It is also good fun to do.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about your book?

I am keen to connect with readers. My work can be found at the following link, and my wordpress is attached to this account. http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Web-across-Water-Heywood-ebook/dp/B015WTJVLM/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Interview with Erik Therme, author of “Mortom”

mortom-coverHow much of yourself is hidden in the characters in Mortom?

As many writers will admit, characters are often only ‘thinly disguised versions of themselves.’ This has never been truer than with Andy Crowl in my debut mystery, Mortom. Many times I would ask myself: What would I think or do in this situation? I’d love to say Andy’s an altruistic hero who saves the day . . . but the truth is that he’s stubborn, selfish, and often crass—all my worst attributes rolled into one. It’s always a risk to have a severely flawed protagonist (as you’re never sure if readers will connect with them), but I think it works for the story.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I believe Mortom will appeal to people who enjoy ‘non-traditional’ mysteries. There are no serial killers, no burnt-out cops, and/or retired FBI agents—only a normal, everyday guy, thrown into extraordinary circumstances. And who wouldn’t love to play a ‘real life’ game of follow-the-clues?

What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

I tend to be most prolific during late evenings and weekends. If I’m especially inspired, I might try to sneak in some pages during lunch. I absolutely need music when I write, and—depending on the project—it varies from metal to movie soundtracks. I personally don’t shoot for a word count; I only try and write something every day, whether it’s for five hours or five minutes.

What are you working on right now?

I have two teenage daughters, and I wanted to write something they’d enjoy. Resthaven (Spring 2016) is about a group of kids who decide to have a scavenger hunt inside an abandoned retirement home . . . only to discover they’re not the only ones inside, and sometimes there are things far worse to fear than ghosts or monsters.

What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?

I struggle with writing action. One of the golden rules for a writer is show—don’t tell, but every time I put action on the page it feels like forced description. It’s not uncommon for me to spend hours on a single paragraph, trying to get the words just right. At some point you simply have to say ‘enough is enough’ and move on. Otherwise it can drive you insane.

What writer influenced you the most?

I’ve always been drawn to Stephen King. He’s a brilliant storyteller and an incredible curator of characters. Whenever I feel stuck or uninspired, I grab some King from the bookshelf, leaf through a few pages, and I’m off and running again.

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

I don’t remember exactly where I heard it, but the best writing advice I’ve received is: “Raise the stakes and continue to build them.” If you don’t put your characters in peril, why should your readers care what happens to them?

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Never give up, and do whatever it takes to get your writing into the world. I would love to say that good writing is the majority of the battle, but it’s not. Timing, circumstance, and luck all play a huge factor. All you can do is believe in yourself and try to make as much luck as you can.

What do you think the most influential change in book publishing will come from?

Amazon publishing. With a few clicks you can sell your book with no upfront costs, and—like traditional publishing—you receive royalties. It’s incredibly empowering. The flip side is that the market is saturated with thousands of people doing the same thing, so the competition is huge. The most important thing is to write the best book possible. If you do that, rerik-therme-4-low-reseaders will find it.

Where can people learn more about your books?

I’m active on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and information on upcoming projects can be found at http://www.eriktherme.com. Mortom is available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold.

Interview with Sharon Bloch, author of “How to be Happy – Rexy The Garden of Thoughts: Learning Positive Thinking”

RexyjpgWho are you?

My name is Sharon Bloch and I am an author of children and parents books from Israel. In the last year I translated my books into English and hope they will be loved also outside of Israel. I was a kindergarden teacher for 25 years and I am a couch for children and youth.

Do you have a goal?

My goal is to teach young people and children about our inner being. I belive children should grow learning about the freedom we have as humans to choose what we think and this way affect our reality. I belive most people have a negative thinking automat that makes our life harder than it should be. My goal is to help children learn those lessons from a young age so the road will be easier than my ownJ

Do you have any special strengths?

My strength is my ability to explain complex issues in a easy and simple way so children can understand. I think another strength I have is my experience in life. Living in different countries and cultures .

Do you have money troubles?

I build my new me and that comes with financial struggle . I used to have a chain of kindergardens that I owned . But 2 years ago I had a very profound personal experience that made me stop and choose again who and what I wish to be. My writing career is the new me I chose.

I was a foster parent for a baby refugee from Africa and after 1.5 years together me and my daughter had to say goodbye to him because his grandmother came to take him back. This was heart breaking for us and it made me stop and reevaluate my life. My children books series was created after this happened.

How do you see yourself?

I see my self as a human woman, I see myself as a mother in all my being. I love being a mother and as a teacher I always felt like a second mother to the children in my class.

I love children I feel free among them, I am free to be myself with them.

I think children are the future and education is the key to make the world a better place. I truly believe teaching children about positive thinking will make a huge difference.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

As an Israeli who lives in conflict all my life I would definitely love to make peace between the Israeli nation and the Arab nations. I FEEL THAT FEAR IS ALWAYS A PART OF OUR LIFE HERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND IT MAKES ME SAD. My wish is that children from both sides will learn to love each other and be fear free!!!

What is your book about?

My book is about the choice we have as humans to choose what we think. Its about the understanding that our thoughts influence the way we feel and that we should not believe everything we think. We need to practice looking on our thoughts and choose positive thoughts.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

The story about Rexy was in my mind long before I wrote it. I used to tell my daughter when she was young about the “garden of thoughts” we have inside us. I told her many times in many different ways about our privilege to choose what we think. The image of the garden of thoughts was part of me for many years but the story about Rexy the dog came to me when I wanted to write a story about it that anyone can read.

How long did it take you to write your book?

The first version of my book was created while I was jogging one day. I record my self when I have ideas and one day I had the idea of a dog. Few days later I sat and wrote the whole story in one hour. Few month after that I started working on it with my editor and that made me think again about the massage the story bring to children.

What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

The challenges I had were in believing in myself , my massage and my books and it is still a challenge especially financially.

I wrote the first book but I knew from the beginning that it will be the first of few books that will teach the massage I wish to deliver. I did not have the money to make the books and it was an inner straggle.

What do you wear when you write?

This part of why I love writingJ I can wear my comfy home cloth . I can drink my coffee and take my notes to the beach and write.

Where can people learn more about your books?

In Israel I have my own site with all the information about me , my work , my books and my beliefs . In English I start my way now. My books are on Amazon and there is my author page in Amazon too.

How to be Happy-Rexy The Garden of Thoughts: Learning Positive Thinking http://amzn.to/1Om7FBk
OTHER BOOKS :
How to be in gratitude – Rexy the Trip: How to teach children to be in gratitude and develope positive attitude –
http://amzn.to/1Qs1MFP
How to choose positive being – Rexy and The House of Mirrors: How to teach children the effect of positive being- http://amzn.to/1ML0GiA
MY AUTHER PAGE ON AMAZON- http://amzn.to/1SSR60G

Interview with Tamara Lowery, author of HELL’S DODO

Hello Pat. Thank you for giving me this venue and opportunity to share a little bit about myself with fans and potential fans. I truly appreciate that you do things like this for fellow authors.

What is your book about?

Hell’s Dodo, book 5 in the Waves of Darkness series, recounts the adventures of the pirate Viktor Brandewyne aka Bloody Vik Brandee in his quest to find Auntie Clarissa, fifth of seven Sisters of Power. He must find the Sisters and perform seemingly impossible tasks or quests to gain their magical help towards breaking the curse that has made him a living vampire.

Clarissa sends him to find, among other things, a dragon’s egg and a dodo’s egg. His journey takes him from Colonial Savannah to Salem to the tip of South America as well as the Indian Ocean and Indonesia, with a side trip to New Orleans.

I do not have the cover from my publisher yet.

It is slated for a mid-November release by Gypsy Shadow Publishing (http://gypsyshadow.com)

Tell us about your main characters. Who is your favorite? Why?

Viktor, the main character, actually did an interview with you a few years ago (around the end of 2012 https://patbertram.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/viktor-brandewyne-main-character-of-the-waves-of-darkness-series-by-tamara-a-lowery/). He is a pirate-turned-vampire, and he is very good at what he does.

Belladonna is a man-eating siren (half-shark/half-human, but can take full human form). She accidentally bound herself to Viktor when she took a bite out of his shoulder. Her visions and weather magic aide Vik in finding the Sisters.

Hezekiah Grimm aka the Grimm Reaper is Vik’s first mate but has sailed as a pirate captain in his own right. He’s about six or seven years older than Vik and serves to balance out his captain’s intensity; however, he is just as ruthless as Viktor. He didn’t earn the moniker Reaper for nothing.

Lazarus most often appears as a large black tom cat and sometimes as a raven. He was once Vik’s erstwhile first mate, Jim Rigger. He was magically transformed shortly after he became Viktor’s second blood meal.

It is hard to pick a favorite; they’re all fun to write. Belladonna is probably the most interesting to write, however. She isn’t human; she’s ancient despite appearances (she frequently visited the library at Alexandria before the fire, to give you an idea of her age); she is a predator in the truest sense; these combine to make her a challenge to write. As a predatory creature, some human emotions can be a struggle for her.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Hell’s Dodo took me a little more than two years to write, nearly twice as long as it predecessors in the series. I made the mistake of juggling it with two other writing projects, both of which have been shelved for after the completion of this story arc in the series. (One is a stand-alone fantasy novel based on a dream I had. The other is a Steampunk serial adventure.)

What is your goal for this book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I want my readers to be entertained. I want them to feel they got their money’s worth in adventure and escapism. I want them hungry for the next book to find out what happens next (although I try to avoid cliff hanger endings). If any of my readers find some kind of “message,” “statement,” or political agenda in this series, it resides solely in their own minds, not mine. I loathe politics.

What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

In this, I am definitely atypical from what I’ve seen of other authors’ answer to this type of question. I do not have a words-per-day quota. The majority of my writing is done by hand during work breaks. I very rarely write at home or on the weekends because of my work schedule and practical demands on my time during my time off from work. Plus, there are too many distractions at home to make getting in any writing mind set easy.

What are you working on right now?

I just finished writing the first draft of book six, The Daedalus Enigma, in September. I’m currently writing the first draft of the seventh book, Maelstrom of fate. I also have a short story of Lovecraftian horror to polish up and submit for the horror anthology The Nameless for Ironclad Press (http://ironcladpress.com). The deadline on that is fast approaching.

When were you first published? How were you discovered?

My first book, Blood Curse, was published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing in 2011. I contracted with them after four years of collecting rejection slips from agents and publishers alike. I found Gypsy Shadow through Facebook. Beth Wylde (the pen name of a published friend of mine; she primarily writes lesbian erotica) had liked their page. I investigated their website and saw that my book would fit in nicely with their catalogue. They were a new indie press, but had recently signed famed sci-fi/fantasy author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough to re-release her backlog titles she’d regained the rights to as ebooks. I figured if someone who’d been in the industry as long as she had trusted them, I’d give them a try. It paid off.

Have you written any other books?

Yes. Hell’s Dodo will be my fifth published novel. The first four, in order, are Blood Curse, Demon Bayou, Silent Fathoms, and Black Venom. I also have an ebook-only dark fantasy short story, In the Dead of Winter, with Gypsy Shadow. I have several other writing projects patiently awaiting my attention and time.

What has been your greatest internal struggle to overcome in relation to your writing career?

Anxiety over confrontation, even in situations that are really non-confrontational. It is entirely irrational, but something I deal with frequently. In the past, I’ve allowed it to delay me in doing things to further my writing career. I suppose mild self-doubt is at the core of it; and I’m a notorious procrastinator.

What genre are your books?

They are adventure/horror, but my other projects range across several genres: horror, Steampunk, fantasy, and dystopian. I may even foray back into space opera, my first love in my teen years. (I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I saw Episode 4 at the drive-in back in ’77, and I grew up on Star Trek and Lost In Space. Yes, I AM that old. I’ve got scars older than half my coworkers.)

Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

Most definitely. They often reveal what they are going to do during the writing process; things that have no connection to ANY of my plot points or notes. They even defy me on what I want them to do, sometimes. For example, it wasn’t until the first chapter of book six that I learned WHY one of my antagonists made a pet out of a minor character rather than kill him in book 3. Her reasoning proved sound and will provide readers with some fan service regarding Viktor. So, I’ve learned to just roll with it when the characters take over. I can always edit it out later, if necessary.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Two of the original actors I wanted have aged out of the roles now. In all honesty, they were aged out when I first picked them. It could still work if the film(s) were done CGI/motion-capture like Beowulf was done.

Viktor Brandewyne: Liam Neeson (even though Vik is half Cherokee)

Hezekiah Grimm: Willem Dafoe (I think he’d make a great pirate)

Belladonna: Avril Lavigne (provided she can act; I know she can sing)

Uncle Zeke (the wizard of Hell’s Breath Island): Morgan Freeman (he will NEVER age out)

I really don’t have any particular actors in mind for any of the other characters.

Where can people learn more about your books?

My website (which seems to be in a constant state of construction lately, as I add to and tweak it) is Tamara Lowery’s Scribblings (http://talowery.wordpress.com). I have all my books listed there along with purchase links for Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million for each title. I have linked the various reviews they’ve received, as well. The site also hosts character profiles, a “Readers’ Refuge” for various excerpts and deleted scenes, and my weekly blog.

Gypsy Shadow Publishing has an author page for me. http://gypsyshadow.com/TamaraLowery.html#top

On Facebook, my page is http://facebook.com/Waves.of.Darkness and my discussion group, Waves of Darkness and Other Writings of Tamara Lowery is http://facebook.com/groups/1567756800150981

Thank you again for having me.

Thank you for letting me interview you!

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