Tuesday, July 29, 2014

An interview with Dan Wright, author of Final Ragnarok

I'm happy to be hosting the talented Dan Wright again on his blog tour for the final 3-part installment of his Draconica Series. I've really enjoyed the previous books and am now reading this one. You'll see my review in a couple weeks! For now, you can read my interview with him. Comments appreciated! 

She is Coming...

When Daniar Dragonkin heard those words, she had no idea of the full horror that would follow. Now, enemies converge to bring to life a monstrous plan that has been set in motion since long before the events of Trapped on Draconica. A plot to bring Her back from darkness.

With her family threatened, her old enemies back to torment her - and a civil war in Baalaria preventing any help from her sister, Daniar faces the darkness moment of her entire life. Her sanity will be pushed to the limit as she faces evil in it's purest form.
Heroes will die. Villains will rise. And She will return - bringing with it the end to all of Draconica.

She Returns is the first book in the Final Ragnarok saga - and the conclusion of a trap that has been building for years. Everything you'd read about Draconica so far has been leading up to this moment. This is where it all changes - and where Draconica's ultimate fate (and of it's people) will be decided.

Interview

Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?

I was originally born on the planet Asgard, to the Frost Giants. I was adopted by Odin of the Asgardians and lived in the shadow of my brother Thor for most of my life. Growing up I decided to overthrow my family using my magic and trickster ways…

Oh sorry… that’s my alter ego. But don’t tell anyone that, I’m trying to keep it low key.

Anyhoo. My name is Dan, I’m from the fairly famous town of Canterbury and, when not writing, I work in a call centre – but am hoping that one day I can earn a living from my books. I also play in a band called Rage of Silence, which is my other project. I also enjoy watching films, reading comics and manga, and I also have a fan parody series on Youtube called Totalitarian Warlord and Termination Squadron. Oh, and feeding my cat whenever she needs it.

How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?

Fantasy has always been my first love for fiction. Growing up I always loved the stories about knights and dragons and medieval stories in general, but also Greek and Egyptian mythology. This series is pretty much a mix of all the things I loved growing up. Dragons, cool looking weapons and armour, awesome magic – and sexy girls that kick ass! 

Actually the last one you have to thank 80’s cartoons for. I saw a lot them growing up and one of my favs were the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons. She-Ra in particular was my first instance of seeing a superheroine and she pretty much inspired the Dragonkin.

When I was looking for art for the novel, I met an artist that was very manga-inspired with her art and that pretty much changed my outlook in the characters and the way I told the story. It helped me craft my writing style into something a little more tongue in cheek, but knowing when to take itself seriously. I’d go so far to say that Manga and Anime were the largest influences on the way I write.

Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments?

Editing is by far my most hated process! Though to be fair, I think this is any author’s most hated moment. There’s nothing more embarrassing for me going through the drafts of my work and seeing all the mistakes, typos and moments when I read back a chapter and think “What the hell was I thinking with that?” XD. This is why I often let my Mum proofread my work. She’s an expert at picking out all the grammatical mistakes and plot holes.

My favourite moment, probably goes without saying, writing the book. I often plan out months in advance how the story will go before I sit down to write it and it’s a great moment when I can sit down and put my ideas down onto paper.

What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

I go away for a few days, watch some films (animated films are GREAT inspirations for me at the moment) and then go back to it. There’s also a song by my favourite band, Dream Theater, called “Wither” which is about Writer’s Block, so I like to listen to that now and then for inspiration. Also, there’s this friend I had on Facebook that listens to all my ideas and she offers me a lot of support when I need it. There’s been a few times where I’ve thought about giving up – but she’s been there for me in my darkest moments. If not for her I would have given up J

Can you please share an excerpt? (250 words or less)

Oh go on then! Since you asked so nicely. I’m gonna share one of my favourite scenes from my forthcoming novel Final Ragnarok: She Returns, which involves one of my favourite characters – the Man in Shadow. In this scene, he has captured Lydia (one of the heroes) and is about to torture her. This scene perfectly captures the darkly comedic side of the Man in Shadow. And he’s a little picture of MIS to go with it.

‘Is life so inconsequential to you?’ Lydia wept.

‘Life? What is Life if not a Fantasy? A dream? Life has no meaning, no purpose – so why should I?’ One of his spider limbs let go of Lydia’s thighs and moved around her chest. ‘I could rip your armour from you and violate you in every possible way I can. I could make you scream in both pain and pleasure at the same time and I would enjoy every single second of it. I could hurt you really, really badly, just to make you scream.’

He waited for a reaction from Lydia. She just gazed at him in disbelief.

‘Nothing? Ah well. I never was one for chat up lines.’



What’s your next/current writing project?

There will be a sequel for Final Ragnarok, which I’m hoping will be out December 2015. This will be the final book in the Draconica series – and I intend to give it an epic showdown to end it! The final few chapters along will be one big fight scene.

I also have a book coming out through Paper Crane Press called Amanda Moonstone. This is a new series I’m working on, inspired by Pixar/Disney films. It’s about a sorceress that tries to rescue a missing prince – but she becomes attached to him. Amanda I think is one of the best characters I’ve created – and I hope people come to love her. She’s the kinda like my version of Elsa from Frozen, she has a huge burden to bear and it’s tearing her apart.

In actual fact, one of scenes in this book was partially inspired by the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World. When I first heard that song, I was so moved by it, it inspired me to write a scene in this book. It also has a character in there that I consider my creepiest character yet. I won’t say too much, but his name is The Author. J

That should be out sometime next year. Like my other stuff it will have art to go along with the story. I’m actually looking forward to releasing it and it’s my first book through an indie publisher so that’s really exciting for me.

Here’s a totally random question for you:

What if the world of Draconica got sucked into the Twilight Zone and emerged as an episode of Star Trek (either the original or TNG). Which characters would play the captain, first mate, security, engineering, etc? And give us a one liner that could stick to each of them, like “Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a ___.”

Ah! Random questions work for me! I must confess – I never really watched Star Trek in great detail, so I apologise if I miss out any important characters. But here’s my choices for each role. I can never remember who did what, so I’ll go with the original characters and you can probably guess who does what.

Kirk– Daniar (of course).
Spock – Rana
Bones – Erowin
Chekov – Kalak
Sulu – Finn
Uhura – Zarracka (because why not?)
Scottie – Ben (from Trapped on Draconica)

Also, I’d had Jihadain play the Khan role, because I think Daniar screaming “JIHADAIN!” in the same why Kirk cried “KHAN!” would be pretty cool!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

No problem. Thanks for having me! And here’s a picture of Finn for your readers as a thank you for having me. You’re welcome! ;)

Finnnnnn!!!!!! I'm such a fangirl! He almost rivals my love for Legolas...almost :)














About Dan Wright:

Dan lives Canterbury, Kent, UK. A huge fan of both Fantasy and Manga, he has a style that combines both within his writing, which lets him tell stories that are both dramatic and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. He picked up a love of Fantasy stories after reading The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and numerous Roald Dahl novels.

Dan also runs his own website, blog and a wiki page dedicated to the world of Draconica. He has also been a reviewer for the website Read2Review and occassionally reviews books on his blog. He has also written a short comic book strip called Queller, which was published in an anthology for the comic Lighting Strike Presents... At the moment he is also currently working on a script for an independant video game - to be released in the future.

Authors who have inspired Dan are Douglas Adams, J.R.R Tolkien, Harlan Ellison, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon, H.P Lovecraft, George R.R Martin and Hiromu Arakawa.

Contact links:










Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quiet Please: There's a Novel in the House

*whispers* Hiya peeps! Just popping in to tell you I won't be around Unwritten much while I finish my current historical romance. Later this month, I'll be hosting author Dan Wright for a few stops of his blog tour for his upcoming release Final Ragnarok: She Returns.

Other than that, I'll be plugging away at my manuscript, tentatively titled A Time for Everything. I hope to have it ready for beta readers soon. No word yet on release dates, but hopefully it'll be in the very near future.


This novel is quite a departure from my fantasy series. There are no explicit love scenes, but it's far from tame. Set in 1866 Tennessee, the characters come up against the poverty, racism, violence, and drug abuse that existed during those challenging years of the South's Reconstruction.

Here's the tentative blurb to whet your appetite: 

After losing her husband and only child to the ravages of the Civil War, twenty-five-year-old Portia McAllister is drowning in grief. When she sees an ad for a live-in tutor in another town, she leaves everything behind in hopes of making a fresh start. But as a Confederate widow in a Union household, she is met with resentment from her new charge and her employer, war veteran Beau Stanford.

Despite their differences, she and Beau find common ground and the stirrings of a second chance at love until his late wife’s cousin, Lydia, arrives with her sights set on him. Burdened with a farm on the brink of bankruptcy, Beau is tempted by Lydia’s hefty dowry, though Portia has captured his heart.

In another time and another place, his choice would be easy. But love seems impossible amid the simmering chaos of Reconstruction that could boil over at any moment into an all-out battle for survival. Will Beau and Portia find their way into each other’s arms, or will they be swept away by raging forces beyond their control? 

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I hope you all will check it out when it's released. I'll keep you updated! ~Mysti

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Interview with Yolantha Harrison-Pace, author of Shout, Mammy, Shout!

It's my great pleasure to have Yolantha Harrison-Pace on Unwritten today. I met Yolantha a couple years ago. She is a super-talented performing poet and artist who puts all her heart and soul into her work. She uses her God-given talents to travel the world and spread a message of  love and peace. I am so happy to know her, and I hope you all will get to know her too. Read on and be sure to show her some love by leaving a comment.

Yolantha Harrison-Pace
Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?

My main home would probably be Texas.  

When I am not writing I am a teaching artist with the Kentucky Arts Council and Promise Neighborhood or a reading scholar for Prime Time Readers.  Or I am traveling and serving as a Good Will Ambassador for under served women and children populations in America and beyond.  In addition I am a textile folk artist and illustrator.


Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments?

Writing for me is a full birthing experience.  The idea is the seed that is planted and then fertilized by my life experiences.  The idea germinates producing arms and legs that turn into notes and doodles, sentences and paragraphs in my prayer journals.  Once the parts are formed the story, poem, play or ghetto-tale is birthed into the universe to be enjoyed by the world.  The least favorite part of this process is when I have extra arms and legs and eyes and hips waiting to be processed into a publishable form.  I don't want to take any of God's words with me to the grave.

What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

For me there is no such thing as "writers block".  If I cannot write then I have not lived that day.  So I describe what I did that day no matter how mundane or insignificant the day seemed.  I have even written about the mundane-ness of my day or about insignificance and when all else failed I wrote about my WRITERS BLOCK.

Find it HERE!
Can you please share an excerpt?

WRITING EXCERPT FROM "Shout, Mammy, Shout!!!" This is what I call a "ghetto-tale".  GHETTO-TALES are stories or poems told from my own unique African American perspective.
Snaaaaaaaaaaake
City slickers, city slickers,
And then humiliating laughter
All daylong
Chanted and laughed my
Country cousins
Everything my four brothers and I said
Was city dumb
And provoked country laughter
Grandfather walked by--“You kids need to be out there picking cotton”
My cousins scattered
My brothers took their cue from my cousins
I was left standing in their dust
Squinting from the country sun
Watching Grandfather with his dignified country walk
Go into the barn
I imitated his walk, as best I could
Following him into the barn
He climbed up into the loft
Grandfather knew I was there
Without even letting me know
That he knew I was thereI followed to the first level
He went up another level and
Tossed down a bale of hay
Hay,” Grandfather said
The smell of it itched my nose so badly I sneezed
Snake” said Grandfather
Without breaking the stride of his every day voice
And he threw it down
It floated down in slow motion like in a nightmare
I screamed and hopped and jumped and jerked
Like a city slicker
Snaaaaaaake, snaaaaaaake, snaaaaaaake
I didn’t care; I’d never seen a country snake
Let alone ever had any kind of snake
Country, city, continental, island or other wise
Float down to my feet
When I was semi calm
Grandfather picked up the airy snake
And educated me on
How a snake sheds its skin
My grandfather was full of thunderous knowledge 

What’s your next/current writing project?

Currently  I am developing a poetry series and have several children's books being published through Gibson-Ragle Publications.  I also have a book coming out this fall and another the early part of 2015 with TRUBU PUBLISHING COMPANY.

Here’s a totally random question for you:
 Come up with your own silly haiku, but you must include the word “noodle”.

UNRANDOM HAIKU
think hard women think
noodles of girlness are gone
ladies rule the world 


Thanks so much for stopping by! 

****

Yolantha (often branded as the  the new Maya Angelou, seasoned with Gwendolyn Brooks, bathed in Langston Hughes, peppered with Angela Davis, Sprinkled with Mother Teresa, lathered in William Shakespeare, rolled in Edgar allen Poe, embellished with Annes Sexton, skimmed from the African Motherland breakfast tables of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) Pace's mission statement is unity through the pursuit of cultural excellence.  As a Good Will Ambassador she is called to hug the unhuggable, touch the touchable and listen to those who are forever unheard.  One sees the essence of her heritage as a descendant of African slaves and the Cherokee and Arapaho nations in her textile artistry and book illustrations.  She has served in Haiti since the year 2000 and will be broadening her service base soon in India.

is my website
book orders on 
and through Amazon

(Get more of YOLANTHA. Order her books through www.amazon.com or www.trubupress.com. For speaking engagements and booksignings contact YOLANTHA THE POET, in person, through yolanthapace@gmail.com)
libraries
women's issues
environmental save the planet/celebrate earth
elementary schools
high schools
colleges and universities
churches and mission groups
book clubs
philanthropic groups

just ask...Yolantha will make a way

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Interview with Kate O'Leary, author of Twell

Hiya peeps! Melange Books took a chance on me about five years ago and opened the door to make my publishing dreams come true. They've given many authors that chance since then, so I wanted to give props to Melange this month by interviewing several of their authors. You'll find some great insights, tips, and new books to read along the way. Enjoy!

Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?

Kate O'Leary
I live in South Australia, and am, currently residing in the Adelaide Hills, which is a farming and winery area. Very green and rolling hills, with the famous Barossa Valley wine region not far away, stinking hot in summer, and freezing and misty in winter, good old extreme Aussie weather!

I grew up in a small town right at the bottom of Australia, where the caves are on the world heritage list, they are so extensive and so many bones of newly undiscovered extinct critters are continually found! They even made a dinosaur park where you can scare your kids with dinosaur size kangaroos. Creepy!

When I am not writing I usually push paper around for a living in boring office jobs, but in leisure time I enjoy cooking, singing and dancing to house cleaning, working out anywhere but in an actual gym (boring!)  drinking good wine (lucky there’s plenty of that around here!) and I also love to get outdoors to walk or even rock climb! (Although not in winter, as frozen hands make climbing a tad dangerous)

How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?

I studied a course in children’s literature after I finished high school. One of my short essays was about Twell, my MC, and she was having a tantrum at her guardian over having to be partnered to some boy she didn’t know. The essay was in storage for several years until one day the idea of it came back to me and I knew there was so much more Twell had to say and experience. I wanted to explore a world where society was different to the free will we enjoy in western society. I wanted to explore how loyal we should be to our Government, and how much of ourselves our leaders should know of us, or have a say over.

After the first book was complete, I knew Twell had even more to say, see and do, and another book managed to churn out of my brain, which Fire & Ice have also taken on for publishing later this year. Now I have the scary task of writing the last book, the hardest and most challenging of them all!

Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments?

When I wrote the first book, the whole thing came out in a couple of months. I would have dreams of the characters having a conversation, (arguments mostly) wake up, and stumble downstairs to quickly write it down before going back to bed. I’d be at work, and another pivotal conversation would spring on me. I’d write the story on random pieces of paper as it came to me and then type it out once I got home. The characters were alive and kicking and vocal! I was excited, and living and breathing the world of Como!

By the second book, I knew the characters better, (those who made it into the second book that is) and that book flowed out in a couple of months too. However I actually wrote these books a few years ago, and have been tinkering with them ever since as I have hones my writing skills with classes and in writing forums. The original manuscript has come a long way in terms of style and flow, as well as the plot being reworked many times. I have learned to be a better writer by taking on constructive criticism and observing what I like about the style of my favorite writers.

My favorite moments are when I surprise myself with what I write, and feel excited for others to read it. However the third book has not come so easily, maybe because I feel more pressure to make it as good as the others so it’s interrupting my flow, and what I would naturally write. I truly need to get back into the world of Como and just let the characters do their thing! 

So my least fave moment is now, when I have writers block and am also trying to focus on marketing the first book, and then the second! 

Also I parted with some scenes I really loved because I knew they didn’t advance the plot in any way. Chopping them out was painful, but it paid off, and once it came to the editing progress, the editor did not want to remove anything I could cry over!

What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

Wait for the characters to talk to you or for an idea to evolve. If not, just start writing and see what comes out, even if you can only manage a few sentences, it’s important to keep going, as you may be pleasantly surprised! If all else fails, have a cheeky glass of wine (or two), then your can write with less inhibition and over thinking and always go back and rework it later!

Find it HERE! 
Can you please share an excerpt? 

“Did it ever occur to you that some of us just want a chance know what it’s like to experience passion, Twell?” Jonaz asked, now stepping even closer to me. His voice became a low growl and my stomach lurched and fluttered alarmingly. 

I stiffened at how close he was, but resisted taking a step back.

 “Don’t you want the opportunity to feel these things, Twell? Maybe even feel what it’s like to be in love before the chance is taken away?” He continued more gently. His expression was honest, no trace of arrogance now. Instead, a flash of sadness crossed his features, and something else, something raw, something like need. 

With a shock, I sensed that somehow, this boy who seemed to have such a blessed life, might actually be missing something. Had I just caught a glimpse of actual pain or loss behind the arrogant fa├žade? It threw me, weakening by resolve, and I struggled to retain my anger as a twinge of guilt twisted inside me.

“I’d rather trust the Governing Body to handle that part of my life.” I stared at the ground abashed. This was getting emotional and I just couldn’t go there. Not with anyone and especially not with Jonaz Maven, of all people. His hand shot out, jerking my chin up, forcing me to look into his eyes. The way they saw straight through me and my lies made me feel as exposed and vulnerable as if I’d been standing there stark naked. I stopped breathing.

What’s your next/current writing project?

The final book in the Como Chronicles Trilogy, Eeek!

Here’s a totally random question for you:

I've been reading a lot of sci-fi lately, and I've always wondered what it might be like to be a sexy alien. Use this link to find your alien name and let us know what you come up withhttp://www.quizopolis.com/alien-name/name-generator/6451/

My alien name is Von, LOL

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thank you! Twell comes out on June 26th in print and e-book, hope you enjoy!

****

Kate O’Leary, has loved reading and writing ever since she was young enough to try and get through the back of her cupboard into Narnia, or through her mirror into Wonderland!  In high school she entertained her homeroom reading out chapters of her first novel ‘Miranda’ about a teenage girls adventures with her horse Rusty.

After school Kate studied Children's Literature, and her first drafts of Twell were awarded in writing competitions. Kate’s writing interest is firmly embedded in dystopian fantasy, being continually fascinated with future direction of our world and the concepts of free will and moral vs. lawful obligations. Twell’s adventures will continue to explore these ideas in the Como Chronicles Trilogy.

Kate lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of Australia, surrounded by rolling hills and wineries and horses, as well as some good rocks to climb when she feels like scaring herself!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: World-Building on the Sly by Will Hahn

World-Building on the Sly

by
Will Hahn

How I love world-building, Lord forgive me. But readers don’t, do they? I described it once this way. “Like a flu shot, your readers have to have it, but they complain whenever they detect the smallest pinch. We amuse them with a distracting joke, promise it won’t hurt, and try to get it over quickly. Your book is better for it- but don’t hold your breath waiting for appreciation.”

Map of the Lands of Hope
So what’s the solution? Don’t look at me! But in Judgement’s Tale, I have a novel advantage I’m trying out (that’s literary humor there, it’s a 200k monsterpiece!). In Part One we meet characters from across the Lands of Hope, in the PoV-per-chapter style that folks are getting accustomed to nowadays. But some of my characters are actually Sages. One of them, Cedrith, meets Solemn Judgement, the main character and an alien here. So there’s a familiar path to introducing Judgement- and the reader- to his new world.

Beyond that, though, Judgement is a studious and literate fellow, drawn to some of the oldest and most unnerving subjects in the restricted Dark Archives. Worse yet, he insists, though he’s a newcomer, that a young knight praying before the founder’s statue is in grave danger of murder, in a city where no law has been broken in 4,000 years. More study, to find the truth before ancient customs are shattered.

This gives the tale an air of mystery, and I swallowed hard when I saw how many scenes were taking place inside a library. But then I thought of The Name of the Rose and was comforted- plus this is epic fantasy have no doubt. A liche schemes to reawaken the curse of undeath and the clock is ticking while this guy just reads and reads.

I hope you enjoy Judgement’s Tale Part One, Games of Chance when it releases July 4th. Maybe you’ll see a world being built without realizing it!

Coming July 4! 
For twenty centuries the Lands of Hope prospered from their Heroes’ peace, but suffer now from their absence as a curse thickens over the central kingdom known as the Percentalion. An immortal omniscient conspirator schemes to escape the extra-worldly prison restraining his tide of undeath, using a demonic ally in a plot to bring back hell on earth. Solemn Judgement steps onto these Lands both a stranger and an orphan, driven to complete the lore his father died to give him.

In a world beset with increasing chaos, the bravest Children of Hope must take mortal risks. A young woodsman’s spear-cast, a desperate bid to save his comrades; the Healers Guildmistress’ cheery smile, hiding a grim secret and a heavy burden of guilt; the prince of Shilar’s speech in a foreign tongue, a gambit to avoid bloodshed or even war. As a new generation of heroes, scattered across the kingdoms, bets their lives and more, Solemn Judgement- soon to be known as The Man in Grey- must learn to play… Games of Chance: Part One of Judgement’s Tale.


Find the Tales of Hope at all major online retailers:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Scribd
And at iTunes search under “Wm. L. Hahn”

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Will Hahn has been in love with heroic tales since age four, when his father read him the Lays of Ancient Rome and the Tales of King Arthur. He taught Ancient-Medieval History for years, but the line between this world and others has always been thin; the far reaches of fantasy, like the distant past, still bring him face to face with people like us, who have choices to make.

Will didn't always make the right choices when he was young. Any stick or vaguely-sticklike object became a sword in his hands, to the great dismay of his five sisters. Everyone survived, in part by virtue of a rule forbidding him from handling umbrellas, ski poles, curtain rods and more.

Will has written about the Lands of Hope since his college days (which by now are also part of ancient history). With the publication of Judgement’s Tale Part One, Games of Chance, he begins at last to tell the tale of the Land’s most unique hero, The Man in Grey.


CONTACT LINKS
Will Hahn is the chronicler of the Lands of Hope tales.
The Plane of Dreams- See the trailer!
The Ring and the FlagTry the Audio Book at Scribl!
Fencing Reputation-

Will's Blog Thoughts- Including tales of a happy childhood (which continues), hopes for a writer's journey, and analysis of Classics You've Never Read


Rafflecopter of the Lands Contest
Enter to win free Tales of Hope here!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Interview with Victoria Bastedo, author of Roots Entwine

Hiya peeps! Melange Books took a chance on me about five years ago and opened the door to make my publishing dreams come true. They've given many authors that chance since then, so I wanted to give props to Melange this month by interviewing several of their authors. You'll find some great insights, tips, and new books to read along the way. Enjoy!

Victoria Bastedo
Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?

Hi everyone! My name is Victoria Bastedo and I live in a small city near Seattle. It’s so beautiful here, and the moist climate is gentle and varied. Outside my house a bend of the river turns a corner and travels towards our little mountain, Mt. Si. If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, you might recognize it. When I’m not writing
I’m very busy with my large family, and with my two grandbabies! (If I sound cheerful with a fluffy inside I can’t help it.)

How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?

I came up with the idea for Roots Entwine in two ways. One is that I have experience with kids who have challenges, as in depression or A.D.D. or other monikers. When you have six kids you’ve earned an honorary doctor’s badge by the time they’re grown. We’ve had Dyslexia, M.S., M.E.R.S.A, something which none of the teacher’s at school have ever seen, and substances. (But no broken bones, praise God!) I wanted my main character to have a mind that works different from everyone else’s. Because he’s different he has a unique perspective and understanding. This ability he has can seem like a curse to him as it causes him pain and makes him be left out of the course of other people’s lives. But it can also be a gift. I wanted to say that a young person’s differences, when used to help others, can be something beautiful.

… Ha, ha, I’d also just become aware of the full scope of certain dystopian books out there for young people that I thought were about as miserable as misery could be. I thought, ‘isn’t it possible that young people might like an adventure book, one that has danger and sacrifice but nobility and heroes as well?’

Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments?

 My writing process- well, I’m a linear writer, if that’s a term and I understand it correctly. Outlines. I hate them. I call them Inspiration Killers. My favorite part is finding the story as I go, letting it illuminate and fill out and create the world. All my stories have a happy ending, but despite being so fluffy I am willing to give my characters some hardship on the road to getting there! The worst part is when I feel that I’m not able to deliver the ending that the story deserves.

Coming in late July!
What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

 My cure for Writer’s Block- sheesh.  Good question. I’m in that place a bit right now, and it’s worrisome. The only way is to trust, to have confidence in yourself. One time my friend told me that I needed to weep, and she was right in that instance. The tears released (while I was driving, ha ha, I must’ve looked pathetic and a little off!) allowed me to unkink the nerves that had been holding me back. Also sometimes one needs to live for a while, and see some unusual things and reawaken the inner curiosity.

Can you please share an excerpt? 

Can I share a poem instead?

Writer’s Block

When you have block, your mind is so hopeful.
Quivering, it searches, longs to live again-
You remember the first time you conceived it as a child, your own adventure,
That dreamland that belongs to you alone.
It’s bigger than the other people’s stories, vast and personal and free.
While there, you are anyone, raging through the important moments. 
Your quest is rich, like mediaeval colors, tapestries of silky Cinderella dresses,
And swords, and leather man boots.

But all of that is a memory now, drawing you, calling like an old friend.
You have taken a sabbatical, you have left the area,
Like the way you outgrow your childhood friends,
Perhaps you need to change a little before you can return.
The questing road in your mind grows rocky and barren,
A bitter cold wind moves dust and snow flurries across the path.
Up in the sky creatures that you have never seen before hint of a new fantasy,
But fly off before you can catch them in story.

You search to create and find nothing but a feeling, unsatisfied, impatient,
And yet locked in waiting.
Until the day when the colors come back into your landscape,
When the quicksilver character passes by and winks at you.
Once more you feel the hard stone beneath your feet.
A glimmer… is it enough?
Poised, excited, you tell your loved ones,
“Get back and don’t interrupt me, don’t you get it? I’m writing!”

What’s your next/current writing project?

 My next project? Well I have several starts. One is a romance in which I’ve written a full page. The other is a Crossover that I wish I could get going. Yes. The next project is a Crossover!

Here’s a totally random question for you:

Come up with your own silly haiku, but you must include the word “beer”.

Ha ha- a Haiku. Is that seven, five, seven? No wait- it’s five, seven, five! (That Dyslexia I mentioned might be inherited.)

Ahem.

Beer never be drunk
It tastes like essence of skunk
I don’t like it much


Thanks so much for stopping by! 

 Thanks so much for inviting me!

****
Victoria Bastedo has written a romance called Dear Miklos, published by Black Lyon Publishers. Fire and Ice Ya publishers has made me very happy, and I'm excited that Roots Entwine, a Young Adult Fantasy Adventure, will be coming out soon. I've also been published in two anthologies, two journals, and a zine. I'm a member of the board of my local writing group, surrounded by friends who give good advice! I'm a mother of six children, which has made me by association; a doctor, a teacher, an advice columnist, and a shoulder getting ever more cushioned by time.

http://victoriabastedo.wordpress.com/
When you look at this blog, you have to read from the bottom up! ---
http://snovalleyhobbit.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interview with Jill Bisker, author of Finding the Way Back

Hiya peeps! Melange Books took a chance on me about five years ago and opened the door to make my publishing dreams come true. They've given many authors that chance since then, so I wanted to give props to Melange this month by interviewing several of their authors. You'll find some great insights, tips, and new books to read along the way. Enjoy!

Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not writing?
Jill Bisker

I live in the beautiful state of Minnesota where I enjoy biking, kayaking, gardening, reading, sewing, organizing, collecting anything vintage and taking photos.   My mind is always on another project whether it’s
decorating, writing or trying to stay active.

How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?

I’ve always loved ghost mysteries.  From Scooby Doo to the Ghost and Mrs. Muir to gothic novels, like those by Barbara Michaels, it’s just always been an interest of mine.  When I was growing up, my parents bought an old craftsman that they did refurbish and update, which sometimes really felt creepy if you were alone.  It started from those old memories and one day after watching The Ghost Hunters show the story just came to me. 

Tell us about the writing process—what were your favorite and least favorite moments? 

My favorite time is the creation process.  It’s so fun to imagine yourself in another world with a different life and then conjuring up scenes peopled by characters you have created.   From outlining through the first draft it is a great time.  Then comes the 2nd, 3rd and more drafts.  That’s when the real work begins.  Making sure you aren’t missing something and ensuring the flow of words seems smooth and seamless is the most challenging thing for me. 

What’s your favorite cure for writer’s block?

I outline in detail right from the start so I know the beginning, middle and end.  If a scene becomes difficult I go organize something, walk or drive in the country and it seems to make my brain work out the details.  It may end up as a scene that I have to rewrite later but it gets finished.  For me the challenge is not so much writer’s block as it is the rest of life getting in the way of my writing!

Grab Your Copy Here!
Can you please share an excerpt? 

Emmett walked over and pulled on the door. It was stuck.
“I just opened that yesterday, right after we moved all the boxes out of the way,” Connie said, going to the door also. “Let me try.” The door wouldn’t budge for her either. “Maybe something jammed in the opening or something,” she said, as she slid her hands around the edges of the door.
“Okay, my turn,” I challenged. Connie and Emmett moved over and I grasped the handle and pulled. Holding tight, I pulled with all my weight. The door gave way immediately, sending me flying backwards. Emmett jumped forward to catch me and we both crashed to the floor, our flashlights scattering. We lay in a crumpled heap, too dazed to move.
“Are you guys okay?” Connie’s forehead creased in concern as she leaned over us.
Slowly, I started to laugh. “I’m fine, except for my dignity and a few scrapes. Good thing I landed on Emmett.”
“I’m all right,” Emmett groaned from beneath me. “Got the wind knocked out of me but it was worth it.” I looked down at Emmett who was grinning at me from the floor. I blushed as I realized what he was saying. I hoped he couldn’t tell in the dark.
It was a new experience being around other men after so many years with just Simon. I hadn’t felt like this since I was in high school. Emmett’s breath was warm on my face and I felt an irresistible urge to kiss him.

What’s your next/current writing project?

I’m currently working on a fantasy novel about a young girl who was raised on earth but was born to a different world.  When she goes back to the alien world she finds everyone thinks she is a harbinger of change but for good or evil she has yet to discover.   

Here’s a totally random question for you:

Come up with your own silly haiku, but you must include the word “bologna”.

Light pink in color
Mystery ingredients
I love bologna!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

****

Jill Bisker lives in Stillwater, MN with her husband, son and a calico cat named Senora.  Her work includes paranormal mystery/romance, traditional high fantasy, and contemporary fantasy, as well as an everyday living blog. She believes in empowering women to be strong enough to protect themselves, while still soft enough to be loving and compassionate.   

AUTHOR Links:
twitter - @jillbisker