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Author Interview: Leslie Rush

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The danger isn’t walking into a dream. It’s escaping the nightmare.

Between working in her mom’s Tarot shop and trying to graduate before her nine-year-old genius brother beats her to it, Vivian Night Hawk has only one escape from her tiny New Mexico town: the ability to control her dreams, a gift she inherited from her Apache father. But lately that control is slipping, stranding her in a nightmare that seems to follow her even when she’s awake.

When she finds a jacket she suspects belonged to her dead father, Vivi steps beyond her usual lucid dreaming and discovers the electrifying secret of Dreamwalking—the power to control the dreams of others. But with it comes a deadly menace: a top-secret CIA plot that threatens her brother, Brian.

Sought out by fellow-dreamwalker Lucas, who is convinced their fathers are still alive, Vivi ventures deep into Dreamland to find a way to protect Brian. As the bond between Vivi and Lucas ignites, the conspiracy linking them together closes in, and Vivi must unlock the darkest power of all–a power that begins with her father’s quiet words: Walk with me.

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Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing

Author Interview:

How did you come up with the idea for Dreamwalkers?

Originally, I thought I wanted to write a romance where the lovers could only meet in their dreams. Conversations with Apache friends and some of my students from the Tigua and Dine (Navajo) nations about the significance of dreams in their cultures sent me in another direction. Some of those same Native students were from military families, and their resilience in the face of uncertainty and loss inspired me. I wanted to speak to that. Plus, as corny as it sounds, I started dreaming about it!

Who is your favorite and least favorite character from Dreamwallkers and why?

I love them all, even the bad guys! My favorite besides Vivi is probably Brian, her little brother. He was the easiest to write, because he’s so pure and open in his motives and feelings. Jackson Connor was hard to write, because he’s the opposite. I wanted him to have more depth than just the Charming Menace. He wasn’t always so cold blooded!

If you could put Dreamwalkers into three words, what would they be and why?

Love conquers all. The love of a parent, the love of a sibling, and the all-in chemistry of first love can transcend everything we know—time, consciousness, and even death.

What is your writing process like?

I like to imagine a scenario, a “what-if” situation, and then let the main character grow from that. I write a brief outline, which gets filled in more as we go. As soon as I hear that MC’s voice, it’s time to write. Vivi was so compelling to me, I was dreaming about her before I’d drafted the first chapter! I’m a slow drafter, because of the time constraints of teaching, but I’m a quick editor.

Do you prefer stand alones or series?

I like to read standalones, mostly. I do love a series where each book is connected but is its own story. I like writing that too, because I’ve already created a world that surely has more than one story in it! But I hate cliffhangers!

Name three books you could read over and over again.

When I had more time to read, I reread Jane Eyre and To Kill a Mockingbird every few years. I’ve reread Ann Rice’s The Witching Hour several times. The imagery and atmosphere of New Orleans through several generations is completely immersive. Even if it is the first in a series!

If you could take one character from any of your books and bring them to life, who would it be and why?

Lucas Wolfsong. The amount of anguish and loneliness I heaped on his strong shoulders broke my heart! I’d like to apologize and let him to know that the love he finds with Vivi will make up for most of it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I was pretty pantsy writing Dreamwalkers. I had about six plot points on a bullet list, and that was it! Pacing is my challenge, and I realized that refining the list into a flexible map in the beginning means a tighter draft and slightly easier edits. So I’m a bit more plotty writing book 2!

If your writing could be described as a color, what would it be?

Purple. The color of twilight skies and the entrance to Dreamland.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t do this all alone. Find a trusted partner or a writers’ group to trade words with and bounce ideas off of. Above all, don’t give up!

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Leslie Rush grew up near Philadelphia, spending much time at the Jersey Shore. She moved to El Paso and fell in love with the desert Southwest. Disguised as a history teacher, she spent years eavesdropping on her future readers. When she’s not in her classroom, Leslie can be found on the road with her husband, exploring the desert and the world of dreams.

Connect with Leslie:

Website

Email

Twitter

Facebook

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Author Interview: Faydra Stratton

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The devil has come to Devil Springs. Except he hasn’t. Not at all. But try and tell that to Mesa Crane’s grandmother, Mayor Avis Kneller. This is not the senior year Mesa had pictured for herself. She’s used to her grandmother’s restrictive dress code and no boys rule, but thanks to some skinny-dipping cheerleaders make some questionable social media posts, Avis is ratcheting up her expectations and decreeing spiritual warfare. Mesa is sick of being bullied into fake piety, but defying her grandmother will mean losing the small freedoms she does have, including her spot on the cross country team. Most unfortunate since she’s started training with the school’s best (and okay, admittedly hot) athlete, Cody Howard. But when Mesa won’t get baptized—as Grandma Avis mandates—her isolation begins. The actual devil may not have come to Devil Springs, but judgment sure has. Can Mesa endure until graduation? Or will she find the swell of faith she needs to stand up to her grandmother once and for all?

Purchase: Amazon

Published with Filles Vertes Publishing

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How did you come up with the idea for Devil Springs?

I read a very tiny news blurb about a small-town Florida mayor who banned the devil from her town, and I thought… What kind of person? What kind of town? But it is not based on a true story. I know as much as about the actual story as I just shared.

Who is your favorite and least favorite character from DS and why?

I love Mesa of course.  Her kindness, her bad-assery. Yancey makes me laugh.  I could absolutely hang out with Drew.
I don’t have a lot of patience with Kenzi (yes, I said Kenzi, not Morgan) and Avis is truly awful.

If you could put Devil Springs into three words, what would they be and why? 

Resist and persist 🙂

What is your writing process like?

Unfortunately at the moment with my kids home all day and needing to work full-time (I teach.) it leaves me with little energy for much else. I’m really look forward to the summer!  During non quarantine times, I write better if I leave my house and go to a coffee shop. When I’m engrossed in a first draft, I’m that person who will write and re-write the first few chapters before finally moving on with the story and then I’ll do some light plotting in a journal, know some major scenes I’m heading towards, but that’s about it.  I mostly learn the story as I go.

Do you prefer stand alones or series?

For writing, I’ve only written stand alones. For reading, I prefer stand alones too. It takes a lot for me to commit to reading a series. The amount of popular series I’ve abandoned after the first book is very high. 

Name three books you could read over and over again. 

The Harry Potter series, any Jane Austen novel, and the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. 

If you could take one character from any of your books and bring them to life, who would it be and why?

I have a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (not yet published) and I’d love to have Maggie, the main character, cook for me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

Light plotter, more of a pantser.

If your writing could be described as a color, what would it be? Laid back, beach vibes–it’ll happen when it happens (as long as I’m not under contract/deadline) so… teals and blues.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

It’s as much about work as it is about talent, but read widely to help improve your talent.

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Faydra Stratton is a writer, English teacher, wife, and mom to three boys. Her youngest son has Fragile X Syndrome, a spectrum disorder similar to autism but with a known genetic cause. Faydra attended the University of Florida (Go, Gators!) for undergrad and UNC Wilmington where she received an MFA in creative writing. Faydra was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL and now resides with her family a little farther up the coast in Port St Lucie. When not teaching, reading, or writing, she loves all things beach life: sunbathing, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and snorkeling. But not scuba diving. She just can’t clear her ears.

Connect with Faydra online:

Author Site: http://www.faydrastratton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/faydrastratton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFaydra/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faydrastratton

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Author Interview: Merry Jones

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The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, Nora Warren slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she truly is–a murderer. How far will she go to protect the life she has built for herself?
“Twisty and compelling…a powerfully told story in which nothing is as it seems.” Karen Dionne, #1 international bestselling author of The Marsh Kings Daughter.

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Author Interview: Audrey Grey

Author Interview with Audrey Grey:

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Tell us a little about your Kingdom of Runes series. What inspired you to write it?

The Kingdom of Runes saga first started as a gender swap Beauty and the Beast retelling with all the focus on the male Bell’s friend who saves him. From there it just grew until it became its own thing entirely.

Do you have a favorite book you’ve written and why?

That’s such a tough question! I think my favorite book would be Curse Breaker, book two in the Kingdom of Runes series. For me, that book was the most challenging to write because there were so many pieces I had to fit together to make the ending work. But I love the story arc, how the team gelled together despite their many differences to fight for what they believe in.

If you were stranded on an island, which character of yours would you take with you?

Um, I would absolutely, without a doubt take Stolas with me on an Island. Not only is he nice to look at, but his dark sarcasm makes me laugh. Plus he has wings so he could fly us to safety.

Can you tell us a little about Winter from your Evermore Academy? The cover is seriously so pretty!

I had so much fun writing book one of Evermore Academy! The story was in my head for a while but I wasn’t sure about writing an academy book since I hadn’t read many. When I talked about it to my PA, she laughed and said, “If you do an academy book, I want to see all the tropes thrown in.” She was kidding, but I definitely had a good time mixing tropes and making the book incredibly humorous, while keeping the dark elements my readers expect.

What made you decide to become a writer?

To be honest,  I’ve wanted to be an author since I was four or five. I did wait until after I received two degrees and had my first child before I started seriously pursuing publishing, but I regret not starting sooner.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser! Sometimes out of desperation I’ll jot down a page of plot points, but I work better letting the story flow naturally.

What’s your favorite color and why?

I’ve always loved green. The color soothes me, plus green reminds me of nature.

What is a favorite book that you’ve read this year?

My favorite book is probably Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, but Laura Thalassa’s Pestilence is a close second, along with Feather by Olivia Wildenstein.

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?

Probably the not knowing. Because I don’t plot, I have no idea how the book will turn out. That’s a bit terrifying. I’ve slowly learned to trust that I’ll make the story as epic as it is inside my head, but I still always somewhat doubt myself until my PA, who reads all my books first, tells me it’s good.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The most important thing I would tell other writers is to keep writing. I can’t tell you how many successful authors I know that almost quit before becoming successful. Being an author will always be hard; that’s the nature of the business. But I truly believe that, if you study the craft and the market and continue improving, you’ll find success doing what you love.

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Author Interview: Erica Lyn Burden

 

What inspired you to write The Bloodwood Board?

I spent a lot of time really sick and kept thinking when I got better, I was going to skateboard again. I was never good at it, can barely get both feet on the board, but I remember how it made everything better, aside from some broken bones. I wanted to make a world where that was one of the only ways to really get around. The giant spider thing happened because living where we live we have spiders big enough that they turn to look at you when you talk to them. They are really interesting creatures.

What’s your favorite thing about The Bloodwood Board?

Truthfully, it’s the character’s connection to each other. Each one has a strength and if they weren’t connected how they are, then nothing would be possible. That was fun to write.

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

I didn’t. It’s just the only thing I can say I’m pretty good at. I’ll probably always have a day job, but I’ll never stop writing because this is how I make sense of the world.

Who’s your favorite character you’ve ever written and why?

Haha, Jesper. Which, I’m currently working on for a story about reanimation with nanotech, and he’s this very dominant guy, but also a caretaker. He’s dynamic in a way that I haven’t written before, and he’s also the first plus-sized male I’ve written where his size and strength play a big role in the story and who he is.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Everything I do still has those undertones of horror, so I guess I need to stick with that. It’s just about how long you can stand to stare in the darkness and give it detail when the elements of your story turn that direction.

What’s your favorite book ever?

Dune.

Do you plot or pants your manuscripts?

I do an outline and then never look at it again. I’m like that person who writes down a grocery list and leaves it at home continuously. It helps to solidify the directions in my head on what the story needs, but in the end, it always changes. I don’t want to fight that.

What’s your favorite color?

Dark Blue. Maybe Black. One of those.

When you write, do you make a playlist or listen to something in particular?

I find that I end up listening to certain bands for writing certain books or short stories. For The Bloodwood Board it was Our Lady Peace that was most often on my playlist.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

I don’t really have any. I don’t know what I’m doing. But I think it’s good to remember that, hell yes, the world needs your voice and your story. Don’t put it down, keep going.

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Author Interview: Gwendolyn Kiste

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From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line. One third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary.

It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography—you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.

A tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens.

Original art work by Carrion House

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Author Interview with Gwendolyn Kiste:

Can you tell us a little bit about The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: The Invention of Ghosts is my forthcoming novelette due out in November. The story follows Everly and her best friend who have been inseparable for as long as they can remember. Now in college, however, they find themselves at a crossroads in their friendship, as Everly becomes increasingly entangled in the occult, intrigued with everything from Victorian mourning rituals and ectoplasm to spirit boards and other methods of divination. Soon both girls discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for, as their friendship and reality start to unravel around them. It’s a story not only about spirits and the supernatural but also about growing up and complicated friendships and learning how to become yourself and let go at the same time.

The Invention of Ghosts is part of the Charitable Chapbook Series from Nightscape Press, and a third of all the proceeds will go to the National Aviary, a bird sanctuary in Pittsburgh which is one of my very favorite places in the world. Creepy fiction for a good cause!

What inspired you to write The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: My work often explores complicated females relationships, and this story in particular really focuses on friendships and how they can go awry.

With this story, I also wanted to research and explore the occult a bit more than I had in my previous work. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal, ever since I was a kid, so finally having an opportunity to delve into all the background and history on it and incorporate that into a longer work of fiction was so much fun.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve written and why?

GK: That would probably be Phoebe from The Rust Maidens. That book really changed my career and my life in so many ways over the last year since its release, and I spent a lot of time crafting her character, so she’s definitely the one who’s my favorite. At least at this point anyhow! Perhaps another character will come down the line in the future and usurp her position as the favorite child.

What is your favorite horror book and movie?

GK: This is a tough one! My favorite horror book is probably We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It’s not a typical kind of horror, but it’s got that quiet dread permeating every scene, which is exactly the sort of vibe I love in horror.

As for my favorite horror movie, that changes often, but right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about Daughters of Darkness, so let’s go with that one. From 1971, it’s one of the strangest and most beautiful vampire films I’ve ever seen, and it’s so razor-focused on the female characters. There’s a bit of a Carmilla vibe to it, but it’s very much its own story as well. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

What genre do you prefer to write in and why?

GK: Definitely horror. It’s the genre I’ve always loved the most. I grew up with the books of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe, with Hammer and Universal Horror films on practically constant rotation in our house. My parents got married on Halloween, back in the 1980s when nobody was really doing that. As a result, horror has always felt like home to me. It’s the genre that runs through my blood and always will.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

GK: On some level, I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. As far back as I remember, I used to make up stories and have my stuffed animals and dolls act them out. Learning to read was one of the most wonderful experiences because I got to explore so many new worlds. That only enhanced my desire to create and tell more stories of my own. I wrote a lot of short stories growing up, and I did a decent bit of screenwriting as well over the years, but it wasn’t until my late twenties when I finally decided to go back to my first love of fiction and start working on becoming a published author. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I wanted to really give it a try. Flash forward a little over five years later, and I have dozens of short stories out, three books, and a couple more on the way soon, so despite some early trepidation, I’m definitely glad I came back to it.

What’s your favorite color?

GK: Green without a doubt. It’s been my favorite color since I was a kid. It reminds me of forests and spring and pumpkin stems and walking barefoot in grass. Almost every permutation of green delights me: sage, emerald, forest green, spring green, chartreuse. It’s such a versatile and lively color. It feels like being alive.

Do you plot or pants when writing?

GK: A little bit of both. Especially for longer fiction, I like to have at least a vague outline to help guide me along like sign posts on the road. My short fiction, however, is more likely to take a free form approach. It’s fun to just let a story take me as the author on a journey, figuring out those beats and all those turns as I go along. I probably prefer simply allowing a story to form as I write, but as I continue to work on more novels and novellas, I’ve definitely found it’s easier to have an idea of where I’m headed. Otherwise, I’m perpetually like a lost traveler in my own work.

What other new things are you working on?

GK: I’m finishing up my second novel right now and in the planning stages for my third. I’m also working on finishing up some new short fiction, and my longer term plan over the next year is to put together my second collection. I already have enough previously published stories for it, and it’s starting to take shape thematically. So if all goes well, readers will have several new books from me in the foreseeable future. Consider yourself warned!

If there was a zombie apocalypse, what three things would you want to have?

GK: A huge supply of fresh water, a bow and arrow, and my husband. The water is obviously an essential, and the bow and arrow is like a renewable zombie-fighting resource (note: I’m not particularly good at archery, but since this will be the apocalypse, I suppose I’ll just have to learn!). For anything else I might need, I have no doubt that between me and my husband, we could figure out some strange and creative solution, so that’s why he’s the third “thing” I’d have to have!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

GK: Find what works for you. Every writer has a different style, so figure out what makes you happiest. Some authors write every day, and some only write when inspiration strikes. Some have daily word counts, and some loathe word counts. Figure out what you like as a writer, and don’t let anyone else’s advice derail you and your process.

Also, above all else, keep going and keep writing the stories you want to tell. Don’t feel the need to shoehorn your style into what’s popular or what you think others want to read. So long as you’re authentic to your own voice and you keep working on your craft, you’ll continue growing as a storyteller, and you’ll figure out how to get your stories out to the world.

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Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; and the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Shimmer, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com

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Author Interview: C. Vonzale Lewis

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Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

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Author Interview with C. Vonzale Lewis:

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What was the inspiration for your upcoming book?

I use to work in a call center. I don’t recommend this job for ANYONE! Once in a blue moon, the major players would come to our center for a center wide meeting. I use to wonder what they did all day. Like what exactly was their job. So in answer to that question, I wrote my first book based on a woman getting a job in a call center and learning her employers were sacrificing people. Morbid, I know. But I did warn you NOT to work in a call center.

Do you have a favorite character in your book? Who and why?

Yes, while I do LOVE my main character, Nicole. I am in awe of my side character, Rachel. She is just the right mix of crazy and sane and it was fun writing about her.

Do you usually outline or just go with it?

I just go with it! But I do find that in the midst of writing, scenes come to me. I keep a notepad near me so I can jot these gems down. So, no, I don’t outline, but I do follow some bullet points.

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?

Sitting down and getting in the groove. If I spend my time thinking about writing and never take the step toward putting words on paper, then I will never do it. But once I do sit down, and take those first awkward steps, I can get into a real nice rhythm.

The best thing?

Creating characters! I love laughing with them, crying with them, and just going on adventures with them. I love digging into their stories and finding the roots of their existence.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When my mother bought me a typewriter when I was eight. I think I was amazed at how I could put words on paper. And, of course, I loved reading stories and having stories read to me. All those wonderful adventures in one book! I thought, I can do that!

What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year?

Circle of the Moon—by Faith Hunter. There is just something wonderful about her characters and the depth in which she writes them. And, of course, her plots are rich with history and lore. Mythology is my jam. I can get behind any fantasy story that has a really interesting backstory behind it. Kind of like your story, CLOUDED BY ENVY. I mean seriously, Candace, THAT WAS A VAMPIRE ORGIN STORY!!!

And what’s your favorite book ever?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first book that came to mind when I read this question. But seriously, I’d have to say I have MANY favorite books. And this interview would turn into a thesis statement if I listed them all. LOL!

What future books do you have planned next?

I have seven books to write in my Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles series and I want to finish three others that are right there ready to be polished. So, the answer is…A LOT!

I know you’re also an editor, does this affect how you read books?

Yes and no. If the book is a little slow or hard to get into, yes, then I find myself finding ways to improve it. And if it’s interesting and holding me captive, then I just breeze right through without my internal editor ever showing its head.

As an editor, what kind of books are you interested in working on?

Since I’m an eclectic reader, I’d say I enjoy a few genres. Definitely contemporary fantasy with a strong backstory/mythology. I love mysteries and thrillers. And all these books have to have some romantic elements in them. I just love reading about people falling in love.

What’s your favorite color?

Green

If you were trapped on an island with one person, one object, and one food, what would they be?

My husband, a bookshelf full of books, and tacos!

Do you have any advice for other writers out there?

Never listen to advice that tells you how and what to write! Sit down, tell your story, and then go through it. Make sure you read in your genre and others as well. You never know what ideas you might come up with. Writing is an evolving process. You will stumble but it’s when you do stumble that you learn the most. I have found that most writing advice is really just another person’s pet peeves dressed up to look like law. IGNORE IT ALL AND WRITE!

About C. Vonzale Lewis:

My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martini’s shaken…never stirred.

I was born in Georgia but please don’t mistake me for a Georgia peach. I’m more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked me recently if I remember my birth. And I have to say, yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!

Despite being born in the South, I grew up in the North. California to be exact. Every once in a great while we get to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat. You should see our electric bill in the summer! I like the beaches, but not the sand. I enjoy being outside, but the sun gets on my nerves. Does it really need to send its death ray to a single spot on my skin! (I told you I was a prickly pear) And don’t get me started on the traffic.

The first part of my life, I worked in customer service. This line of work led to the discovery of my favorite drink, or, rather, several favorite drinks. I could list the many concoction but that would go on forever!

Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy job. But I did enjoy talking with people. And when it came time to develop my characters, I drew on those experiences.

I have a degree in Fashion Design. Don’t ask. The only thing I gained from those wasted two years of my life, is being introduced to the love of my life, Bobby. He is truly my rock.

So…why do I write?

Well my first book, LINEAGE, answered the question, “What does the big boss actually do all day?” I might have gone a little dark with my answer, but it was fun answering the question. But mainly, I love writing because it gives me power to create. And it also gives me the power to fix this broken world.

Truthfully, I’ve always loved the written word and the way a good book could take you to another place and time. Instead of hanging out in the lunchroom, I would go to the library and create stories or bury my head in a really good book.

I started writing my first novel in 2014 and 30 days later I had a collection of scenes that needed some serious revision. And that was where the fun came in. Over the course of several years my novel went through final draft after final draft until I finally came to…you guessed it, the final draft.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince my husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.

And one day, I will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

Website: cvonzalelewis.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CVonzalelewis

Twitter: @cvonzalelewis

Instagram: www.instagram.com/carlavlewis

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What was your favorite thing about the interview?

Author Interview: Elle Beaumont

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Hunter’s Truce:

When Niklaus von Brandt’s mother is murdered by a poacher it moves him to make a change in the kingdom of Abendrot. Once a kingdom founded by werewolves, it is now ruled by humans who have one goal: eradicate the werewolves. In order to protect what is left of his family, he must make an important decision, one that leads him to become an assassin, and the shadow the kingdom murmurs about.

Too bad the royal family has a secret—a secret that Niklaus plans on using to his advantage, and in the meantime he has given King Ansgar three chances before he comes huffing and puffing.

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Royal’s Vow:

When The Big Bad Wolf came huffing and puffing at the royal gates Stasya knew change was on the wind. With the family secret exposed to the assassin turned ally, Stasya has to entrust her life to a werewolf she barely knows—Niklaus von Brandt—who has vowed to protect her, and in doing so has declared a lockdown.

Now a prisoner in her own castle, Stasya feels the tension growing between herself and Niklaus as she wonders if the alliance is the best thing for the kingdom and herself. But when they stumble into some trouble outside castle walls the Hawk swoops in and makes his presence known.

Stasya must survive the Hawk—but can she trust the Wolf?

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Game of Bezique:

At eighteen, Etienne Mercier shouldn’t have to worry about being hunted in the streets of Paris. To survive, he cons people with games of chance, hoping no one will discover the truth his grown-out hair hides—he is Fae. Baron Weaver knows, though, and when Etienne tries to con the man, he’s the one who gets surprised.

Etienne flees to escape the Baron, but soon realizes he’s not being chased for the reason he thinks. The Baron offers him and once-in-a-lifetime chance—the opportunity to work in Cirque de la Tempete as an aerialist.

Jumping at the chance to earn an honest living, Etienne never expects to find what he lacked all along—a purpose and a family—especially when he meets Lili. But Lili has plans of her own, and together, Etienne finds himself taking his biggest—and deadliest—risk yet.

Care for a game of chance? Step right up!

AVAILABLE IN CIRQUE DE VOL MYSTIQUE APRIL 23RD

AVAILABLE JULY 16TH BY ITSELF

The Hunter Series Links – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PDHKQ3B/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Cirque de vol Mystique – https://www.amazon.com/Cirque-vol-Mystique-K-M-Robinson-ebook/dp/B07PPJX7KY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=35LFW5IDAQNR0&keywords=cirque+de+vol+mystique&qid=1555863756&s=digital-text&sprefix=cirque+de+vol+myst%2Cdigital-text%2C135&sr=1-1-catcorr

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Elle was born and raised in Southeastern, Massachusetts in a little farm town by the harbor. She grew up fascinated with all things whimsical and a strong love for animals. As she grew so did her passion for reading and writing. Although she prefers devouring all genres she largely enjoys dark fantasy.

She is married to her best friend and has two lively sprites who inspire madness, love and a sense of humor in her. They also have a menagerie of animals, two dogs, three cats, and a horse. In her downtime, Elle enjoys creating candles, crocheting, horseback riding and running.

Author Interview:

Why did you decide to become a writer?

That’s kind of a tricky question, right? Why decide to be a firefighter or a doctor? It’s something I always thoroughly enjoyed. When I was in 4th grade, I wrote this short story about a pony I used to lease. Her name was Lady, and I illustrated the book and wrote it with my friend.

I couldn’t jump my pony because she had a bad rear, but somehow I came up with this elaborate story as to how she had bad hind legs, and how she came to live at this barn. It was so far-fetched, but I fell in love with story telling which then prompted me to get into tex-based RPG’s which led to forums, and I thought, hey—maybe one day. Fast forward, I met K.M. Robinson who showed me how ‘easy’ it was to publish. 😉 The rest they say is history!

What’s your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I’d say that Game of Bezique is actually my favorite. You can find that one in the Cirque de vol Mystique anthology, and it’ll be releasing in July by itself. It’s an original supernatural/steampunk circus story, and it follows an older teen fae, who is just trying to survive in Paris. He’s down on his luck, and he tries to con the wrong [or right,] man, and ends up joining the circus, finding friends, and falling in love.

Who is your favorite character you’ve written and why?

Oooh, that’s a tough one! I’m torn between Niklaus von Brandt from The Hunter series, and then Etienne Mercier from Game of Bezique. They’re so different, but Nik says it like it is, and is so unapologetically himself. Etienne is smart-mouthed, but has such a big heart and would do anything for those he cares for.

I have a thing for the guys I write, I suppose I should show some love to my girls?!

Zola from Veiled Allurement is great. She’s a tough cookie and would do anything for her friends, too. Liesel von Brandt from The Hunter series is Nik’s little sister, and she’s probably another favorite of mine. She keeps her brother in check.

What gave you the idea for The Hunter’s Truce?

Funny story, actually! I love the show Dexter, and kind of wanted to write a character like him, and I was part of this forum with my friends—she really wanted me to write a Wolf character [from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles,] and so I compromised with her. I came up with this Big Bad Wolf type, and we totally fell head over heels for what I created. Dexter meets Deadpool!

Are you an outliner or a pantser?

Totally depends, generally I pants it all the way, but sometimes I find outlines helpful. Sometimes they make me dizzy! Lol

What upcoming projects do you have planned?

I’ve got a few projects… Possibly continuing Bezique -waggles brows- working on a Sci-Fi project, too. Some mermaids, some more Hunter series.. I’m a busy gal!

You’re also a candlemaker, what got you into that?

Gosh, yes! I love the candles. I started making them for friends and family, then fundrasiers. I took it more seriously when I decided to stay home and raise my kiddos. It’s really boomed in the past year. You can peek around at www.willowridgecandles.com —I had the chance to make candles for Candace Robinson! 😀

What is your favorite color?

Yellow, it’s always been yellow. I had to have everything yellow when I was little, still do. I also love teal… check out my bookshelf 😉

What’s your favorite book ever?

That is so hard, but one that I always swoon over is Splintered by AG Howard. But honestly? I think Wuthering Heights and The Hobbit will always stand the test of time. 🙂

What advice do you have for other writers?

This sounds so cliche, but here is my sage advice.

Read what you want to write. Look at the structure, the pacing, and what draws YOU to that kind of story.

Continue to read as you write, sometimes it’s hard, but trust me, it’s a must.

Just write. Write gross words, write mess words, just write. Because 50 words is better than 0. 1000 words to edit is something to edit. You can always fix it up later!

Have friends that love and don’t love your genre read over your work.

Be able to take constructive criticism. Just because someone points out a way to improve doesn’t mean they hate it.

Make time to write. Set a timer—30 mins? 15 mins? I write, make candles, have a house to take care of and a family. I’m not actually Wonder Woman, I just have to schedule things in a crazy, sprinting fashion. I write for 20 mins at a time and then get up to work on something else.

Most importantly, don’t lose the joy. It’s hard to remain joyful sometimes, but if that’s the case… take a deep breath, surround yourself with people who understand, and know that you can do this.

Connect with Elle:

www.ellebeaumontbooks.com

facebook.com/ellebeaumontbooks

instagram.com/ellebeaumontbooks

twitter.com/ellebeaumont

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3pEeX3Y4XoTvUHH99_ssug

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elle-beaumont

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What was your favorite part about the interview?

Author Interview: M. Dalto

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Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

Continue reading

The Child Dreamer: Review + Author Interview

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This was a cool little prequel to the Dead Dreamer series, and it’s free! We learn about a boy named George and how he becomes maybe not the best of people. But even then, George was easy to relate to. Sometimes things drive a person in a certain direction, now that’s not to say that the things George does is good by any means, because it’s not, but I get it.

When I got to the last chapter which is from George’s wife’s perspective, that seriously owned the whole book. I felt for her, and I felt for George, and I wanted more of the freaking story!

I’m excited to see where the new story leads me!

Read The Child Dream for FREE here!

Also check out character profiles here!

https://www.instagram.com/slampkin.author/?hl=en

https://twitter.com/Lampkin_S

https://www.facebook.com/author.sarahlampkin/

 

Author Interview with Sarah Lampkin:

What inspired you to write To Dream is to Die (Dead Dreamer Series)?

When I first arrived at college, I didn’t really have any friends, so I had a habit of living through the books I read. After a while, my imagination would take me on wild journeys and eventually the idea hit me: What would happen if my spirit could leave my body? Like astral projection? It kind of went from there and spawned a life of its own.

Who is your favorite character in To Dream is to Die and why?

I like Damon. Brenna hates him and she’s not even sure as to why. But now she’s forced to interact with him all of the time because of her best friend. They eventually form a bond and it’s hilarious to watch.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

I love getting lost in my own world. When I write, I try to use a very specific playlist. The music takes me to a very dark place in my own mind. As long as I’m careful, I can always come out of it. But when I suddenly figure out a plot hole, I can’t even describe how amazing that feeling is.

What is your least favorite thing about writing?

Writing forces me to keep my mind on one project/task at a time. I have ADHD, so that is extremely difficult for me to do. It takes a lot of discipline for me to focus like that.

What made you decide to be a writer?

Pure chance. I started writing out of curiosity in regard to my imagination. Then it suddenly turned into something I just couldn’t stop.

Did you base any of the characters in To Dream is to Die on people in real life?

Only a few. But I can’t give away who they are 😉

What is your favorite book?

I love The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Every November, I’ll either read it or listen to the audiobook [depending on how busy the month is]. I look forward to it every year…and sometimes read it more than once a year.

If you could live in another time or fantasy world when or where would it be?

I’d prefer to live as we do now, but where supernatural magic was real, as well as some mythologies. Or in the world of Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age…whatever!

How many books will be in the Dead Dreamer Series?

4! For every year that Brenna is in college

What other books do you have planned?

I’m currently working on Tainted Wings as probably a stand-alone, but I’m undecided. I’ve also been planning on a sister series to the Dead Dreamer series. But that’s still on the drawing board.

What’s your favorite color?

Green!

What advice do you have for other writers?

Don’t let other people tell you your story ideas are bad or wrong. They’re your ideas. Do what you want with them and let them grow and mature with you. It will turn out amazing in the end.

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Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering Nephesburg College as a freshman and starting hoping to meet new
people, but she hides a dark secret: because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the
Fade whenever she falls asleep. It’s something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone
watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret’s out. With the demons and fairies that wander the Fade, Brenna has
enough to worry about. Now that she’s in college, it’s schoolwork, new friends, new enemies, and something under
the surface happening at Nephesburg College. Only time will tell if she will survive her first year…

Preorder on Amazon

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Do you remember your dreams?