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Author Interview Crystal and Flint

Author Interview

1) How do you plot novels? Do you outline?

I don’t do a lot of planning for the first draft. I’ll have a general idea of what the story is about and maybe a few key moments, but that’s it. I use the first draft to figure out the story. Then for every other draft I make a detailed scene list that go into depth on what happens in the scene, who’s involved, what’s the purpose of the scene and so on. I even go so far as to color code it each scene depending on how much work needs to be done anything from minor changes, to doing a complete rewrite, or even adding in missing scenes. So, by the time I’m done, I end up with this massive multi-tab spreadsheet that really lets me see how the story has evolved and changed with each draft.

2) Do you write in one genre, or multiple genres?

I’m finding that most of my story ideas fall nicely in the science fiction genre. Not to say that I won’t ever write in another genre, but for now I’m sticking with science fiction. Where I can see myself changing things up is changing from Adult to Young Adult depending on the story.

3) What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I actually really like editing. I really enjoy problem solving and the editing phase really lets me do that with my stories. I enjoy going through rough first draft and figuring out the scenes that are missing or where a character’s motivation isn’t right and figuring out what I change to fix it. It’s kind of like a big game for me when I get that point and I love finding a way to fit all the pieces together perfectly.

4) What is your dream as an author?

I would love to have someone write fanfiction based off of my books. To have someone so invested in the characters I’ve created that they want to write their own story with them, or to love the world I’ve created so much they want to write themselves in a character. That would be such an awesome feeling. I want to see all the crazy relationship mash ups, I want to see Crystal go bad and join Teria, or Ryan be redeemed. All the things that I can’t do because I know how the story needs to work. I want my readers to take it and make it their own. That’s when I’d know I’d made it.

5) What would you like your readers to take away from your story?

I want my readers to walk away feeling empowered to be who they are without hiding any part of themselves. Crystal and Desi are both strong females in what are traditionally male roles but no one even bats an eye at it. They are simply the most qualified person for their jobs. On the other side of things some of my most sensitive characters are the men but that doesn’t take away from their ability to fight when they need to. It’s really about embracing yourself regardless of what people think you should be.

6) What are your strong points when it comes to writing? What are your weak points?

My weakest point is descriptions. In fact, most of my first drafts skip over all descriptions completely and then I have to go back in the next draft and really make an effort to add all that in. I think to think my strongest point is my dialogue, at least that’s the part that comes the easiest to me.

7) Are you working on something at the moment?

I’m currently working on finishing up book 2 in The Journey Missions series, Family Binds so that I can get it to my editor and release it this summer. Once that’s done, I’ll jump right into editing book 3, Thicker Than Blood. I also have an unrelated project I’ve been working on off and on about eco terrorism called Cleansing Rain.

About the Book

Title: Crystal and Flint

Author: Holly Ash

Genre: Science Fiction

It’s been 300 years since humans arrived on Neophia and the planet’s intelligent species have yet to agree on how much influence humans and their advanced technology should have on the planet.  With the threat of war hanging in the air, Lieutenant Commander Crystal Wolf races to finish construction of the mega submarine, Journey, in order to calm political tensions on Neophia and cement her already stellar military career.

Lieutenant Desiree Flint never dreamed she would leave Earth to serve on Neophia, but with the end of her military career in sight she doesn’t see a way around it. Determined to rebuild her reputation on Neophia, no matter the cost, she sets her sights on dethroning Commander Wolf in order to prove her own superiority.

When Journey is attacked by someone from Crystal’s past, the two women must find a way to work together to save the ship, liberate an underwater colony from an oppressive government, and prevent a war.

 

 

Author Bio

Holly Ash is the author of the underwater science fiction series The Journey Missions. She has worked for the last ten years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.

Holly is also a member of The Cabin in the Woods Association of writers which works to help indie authors get their books seen.

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Twitter: @hollyash85

 

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Book Excerpt The Sanctity of Sloth

Book Excerpt

The person, if it was a person—it could have been a large dog, she hadnʹt gotten a good look—lay unmoving where theyʹd left it. Her heart thudded in her chest. What should she do?

     Abby couldnʹt leave her cell. Not without help. Her father had wanted to give her an escape hatch, but sheʹd said no. The experience had to be as realistic as possible.If she could come and go whenever she wanted, it would defeat the whole purpose. But sheʹd never imagined something like this would happen.

     Guilt and anxiety itched like a hair shirt. What on earth had possessed her to take six weeks off work to lock herself in these four walls? She hadn’t anticipated this feeling of helplessness. She’d only thought about the peace solitude can bring and her publishing goals, of course. She pushed herself off the stones, walked five steps to the other end of her enclosure, pivoted, and took five steps back. Repeat. Repeat.

 

About the Book

Title: The Sanctity of Sloth

Author: Greta Boris

Genre: Suspense, Mystery

Series: The Seven Deadly Sins

There’s one thing more dangerous than testifying to a crime—staying silent.
Locked in the ruins of a California Mission, Abby Travers watches helplessly as a girl dies outside her window. As she struggles between her moral obligation to come forward as a witness, and her commitment to a Medieval religious practice that requires her to retreat from the world, the situation spins out of control.
Abby’s hesitation starts a series of catastrophes. She finds herself at the center of a deadly cover up where every minute counts and indecision could be fatal. She questions all her beliefs and everyone she knows becomes suspect. To save herself and those she loves, she must break free from her self-imposed prisons of stone and fear.
The Sanctity of Sloth is a taut, psychological thriller that answers the question: What happens when a good woman does nothing? Fans of Paula Hawkins and A.J. Finn will enjoy this third book in Greta Boris’s Seven Deadly Sins Series.

 

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Author Bio

Greta Boris was raised in Greenwich Village, New York by an opera singing, piano playing, voice coach and a magazine publisher. Her original life plan was to be a famous Broadway actor, singer, and dancer, but when she moved to Laguna Beach, California, she changed her plans due to the commute. Today she writes to inspire, entertain, motivate, and so she can afford nice wine.

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Author Interview The Raygin War

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

 

I started to write my first book in 2013. Prior to that all my writing was work related and involved nuclear training and disaster scenarios.

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

 

As a young boy I read thousands of comic books. I always felt it would be fun to create characters and worlds to entertain others much like the authors were entertaining me. As an adult I love to tell stories to my friends and family. I mix just enough truth to the tale I am telling so the listener doesn’t know if what I said is real or made up. It’s fun. I wanted to bring a similar experience to the readers of today.

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

 

My latest book, The Raygin War, is a futuristic sci-fi about an alien invasion of human occupied space. I wrote the book as a stand alone, but its something I designed so I could easily turn into a series. A series is nice because each book usually ends the mini story. The big storyline can live on forever or at least until the author’s imagination runs dry.

 

How does your book stand out from others?

 

I served in the U.S. Navy for eight years and even during difficult times it seems like a sense of humor made the task at hand a little more bearable. I see The Raygin War as a mix of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Orson Scott Cards Formic War series with a sprinkling of humor added to the dialog.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

 

Yes, Mac, the main character has bits and pieces of real life people I met while serving in the Navy. While I was stationed on the USS Iwo Jima there was a Gunnery Sergeant that had the respect of about 800 marines. While working shore patrol in civilian clothes all I had to say to the marines starting to get themselves into trouble while on liberty was, “You don’t want me to give your name to the Gunney, do you?” That was all it took. He was a nice guy with a reputation. If you did right by him, he’d give his life for you, cross him and he’d put you in (excuse the language but it’s the way everyone talked) a world of shit.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 

Use beta readers and an editor for your book. If you can’t do that then read your book out loud to find problem areas – you will still miss things but it will help. Go to http://inkandquills.com/2015/11/27/clutter-words-to-cut-from-your-writing/ and read an article by Kaitlin Hillerich – it’s a tip given to me by a senior editor of a literary agency to remove clutter from my writing.

About the Book

Title: The Raygin War

Author: Larry Gerovac

Genre: Science-Fiction

The Raygin War is a futuristic sci-fi story about an alien race that evolved from Carrion beetles. 25 years after first contact the aliens return with a fleet to invade human space. To stop the invasion the military puts all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in. His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced into a leadership role he wanted nothing to do with. Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems. Read the Raygin War to see if the human race will survive and remain free.

 

Author Bio

Larry Gerovac was born in the shadows of the steel mills, oil refineries, and railroadyards of the Midwestern United States. He is a Navy Veteran and a first generation American. He writes in the genre of Science, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror.

 

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Book Excerpt The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature

Book Excerpt

Tallis should have been more attentive to watch for birds or deer, but she could not help but brood and be distracted by her own thoughts and worries. Thankfully, Donovan could not sleep, either.

Joining his cousin, he gently bumped her shoulder as a way of greeting.

Tallis glanced at him. “It’s not fair, cousin.”

Donovan nodded. “No, it’s not.”

“I thought that coming out here … I thought I’d finally have answers and figure out who I was. But now I don’t think I want to know. I don’t think I’m going to like what we find. I just want to go home and pretend like none of this happened. I’d even marry Henrik if it meant we could all just go back to the way it was.”

“Oh, come now, you’d be bored stiff if you married Henrik and stayed in Kincardine.”

“Maybe, but I didn’t want this.”

“I know, Tally. But the world is not obligated to care about what you or I want. I’m sorry it happened to you, but, well, if it helps, I think you’ll be able to handle it. Whatever it is.”

“But I don’t want to handle it. I just want to be normal.”

“Aye, but being normal is so dull.”

“So what? I’d rather be boring than hated and feared and treated as an outcast.”

“But this way, we’ll get to be a hero, Tallis. People would kill for the opportunity to save their country.”

“I don’t want to be their hero. I don’t want to be anyone’s hero. I just wanted the chance to be like everyone else. I wanted someone to protect me just this once. I don’t need someone to shelter me, but it’d be nice to be protected all the same. Don’t I deserve it? Strong or not, I want someone to hold me and tell me it will be all right.”

Donovan draped his arm around his cousin’s shoulder and gave her a gentle hug. “I know, Tally. And maybe one day you’ll find someone who will be able to hold you and make you feel safe and secure no matter what. But for now we have to keep going. We have to keep fighting.”

Tallis gritted her teeth. “Aye, you’re right. Thank you, Donovan. What would I do without you?”

Donovan chuckled. “Curl in a ball and try and hide, most likely.”

Tallis rolled her eyes. “Oh, right, I forgot all about running and hiding. Is that still an option?” They laughed together and passed the rest of the night in silence.

About the Book

Title: The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature

Author: C.E. Clayton

Genre: Fantasy

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends. But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

 

Author Bio

C.E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love—writing—and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

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The Monster of Selkirk Books series available now!

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Book Review Dearly Beloved

Title: Dearly Beloved

Author: Peggy Jaeger

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

This was an amazing book. Colleen has so much on her plate: recovering from a catastrophic relationship with her ex-fiancé, taking care of her sisters and her 93-year-old grandmother, and running a bridal business. But then she meets Slade Harrington, a man who doesn’t believe in marriages, but who might just have what it takes for Colleen to start believing in happily-ever-after again.

The chemistry between the characters is spot-on, and the romance is great. I loved this book, and would recommend it to everyone!

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Book Review Amelia, The Merballs And The Emerald Cannon

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Author: Evonne Blanchard

Genre: Children’s Books

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

 

Last week, I already interviewed Evonne Blanchard, the author of this fun picture book, so of course, after the interview, I was really looking forward to reading the book. My niece came over for an overnight stay this weekend, and I thought that was the perfect opportunity.

While I liked the book as an adult, my niece, who is seven years old, absolutely loved it. She loved the cute aliens, the main character Amelia, the colorful pages and the twisted adventures Amelia and her cohorts find themselves in. My niece told me she really wants to read the next book in the series and find out more about Amelia and Uglesnoo.

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Author Interview Amelia, The Merballs and The Emerald Cannon

Have you been writing for a long time? 

Yes, mainly for fun initially.  I wrote my first novel when I was eleven.  I’m not sure what happened to that book, it disappeared at some point!  Since then I’ve wrote a few other books, but as a hobby and not with any intention to publish them.  Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures has been my first adventure in the publishing world!

 

What inspired you to start a writing career? 

I just kept having ideas and eventually decided to start developing these ideas into books.  With Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, I really felt inspired to write an exciting series that would connect children to space in a fun and engaging way.  Uglesnoo¾the friendly alien from Pluto¾ just popped into my head one day.  From that start I added Amelia and the quest that takes him and Amelia on tremendous adventures throughout the whole solar system!

 

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, is the third book in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures; a series of ten books for children, set in outer space.  Although it’s the third book, it can be read as a stand-alone, as there is information in the first chapter with brief reminders of the quest and what has happened in the previous books.  Readers will learn from all the books that Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick. The only thing that can cure her is a repelling crystal from the planet Neptune. In order to get the crystal, Amelia and Uglesnoo need to obtain many items from various different planets, the Moon and even the boiling hot Sun!

 

How does your book stand out from others? 

Every book is set on a different planet, or moon and Sun.  I like to mix a few facts about the planet within the fantasy.  In Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, kids will learn a few facts about Mercury.  Then there is the challenge, which is different on each planet.  For example, on Mercury they have to get five pairs of flying shoes, which is not an easy task.  Every adventure has tests and lots of problem-solving for both Amelia and Uglesnoo.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people? 

Uglesnoo ¾my main alien character from Pluto ¾and most of the aliens are entirely imaginary.  But Amelia, the young heroine in my series was initially inspired by both of my daughters. She has my eldest daughter’s ability to think quickly and solve puzzles. Then I gave her my youngest daughter’s strong sense of adventure and curiosity about the universe. I also added other traits to Amelia. She has many fears which she needs to conquer in order for her and Uglesnoo to get the repelling crystal; the one thing that can save Uglesnoo’s sister and the reason behind the whole space adventures quest.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Write as much as you can.  Put your work away for a while.  Review and edit.  Do this multiple times.  I’d also really recommend having a professional editor review your work, before you decide to go down the publishing route.  It really highlights your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and shows you what you need to work on.  Persevere, be tenacious and open to constructive criticism.  But most of all enjoy the process, because you are putting something unique and creative out into the world! 

 

About the Book

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Author: Evonne Blanchard

Genre: Children’s Books

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

 

Author Bio

Evonne Blanchard was born and raised in England. She met her husband, an American whilst they were both volunteering at a children’s orphanage in Guatemala.  The writer lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters, Lydia and Gwendolyn.  Other additions to the household include a crazy puppy called Bailey, a lovely cat called Arthur, and lots of fish!

The author has been fascinated by space ever since she was a little girl, mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds, by H.G Wells became one of her favorite books and she adores the movie Mars Attacks.

When it came to creating her own aliens, the author decided on the warm and fuzzy type, rather than the war-like Martians. Uglesnoo, her main alien character is from Pluto. He’s very friendly and nice but a little crazy too! This was the beginning of Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, starring Amelia and her alien friend Uglesnoo, from Pluto in a series of ten exciting space adventures for children, ages 5-10.

Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  To obtain the crystal Amelia and Uglesnoo must travel to the Moon, Sun and all the planets in the solar system.

Evonne’s favorite planet -or to be more accurate dwarf planet- is Pluto, because it has a blue sky and glaciers just like Earth! She was not happy when Pluto was downgraded. Uglesnoo, her alien creation from Pluto is still mad at the decision.  “Pluto is the most important place in the solar system.  It’s where everyone goes for their vacation!” He agrees with Alan Stern, a leading NASA scientist, “This definition (of Pluto as a dwarf planet) stinks…!”

The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.  This book is set on the Sun.  How will Amelia and Uglesnoo manage to land on the boiling hot Sun, trade with the aliens, find the jars of Snapperjack honey and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?  Find out… in Amelia’s next amazing space adventure!

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Curious about the series? Click here to find out more:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-series

 

Links

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

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Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Buy on Amazon

 

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Buy on Amazon

 

Website: https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/

 

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