Friday, October 7, 2016

Interview with EL Roux!

I'm so excited to know you better! Thank you for being one of the amazing people in my world, and thank you for the interview. And thank you, also, for being a guest at my launch party!

I’m really excited myself! My first Facebook interview!

So tell me a bit about yourself?

I’ve been writing for years now, but nothing I really felt would be book worthy until last year when I started my Revival series about women from the past who save the future. As for everything else, I’m still in school (6 years now) trying to figure out how prosthetics and orthotics play into my future. I have a cat, a compulsion for coffee and chocolate, and try not to get too involved in possible futures with all the exciting technology being developed today.

What is it that you write?
My first published novel will be a Science Fiction Romance, but I have a few Paranormal Romances in the works as well.

What else do you like to do?
I taught fencing for a while and really hope to get back into that in the future, but for now I like to spend time with my family and close friends when I’m not writing, studying or reading!

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
For my Science Fiction Romance novel’s I tend to have a few ideas playing in my mind at the same time and like to think about the ways they’d interact. Usually the ideas come from science articles I read on line on new and exciting discoveries in space, technology and medicine.

As for brainstorming, I’m mostly a pantser (non-plotter), so I tend to have a general idea of how I want to story to play out and the world the characters will occupy but no real path or idea of conflicts along the way that might occur. The few times I’ve attempted to plot, I either push through what I had thought would be the whole novel only to find it’s only half of it or my storyline diverges entirely. I do tend to spend some time figuring out motivation for my characters, and how the world they live in works.

How do you create your characters?
That’s a very difficult question for me as a pantser. My characters tend to evolve over the course of writing that the hard part is going back to the beginning when editing and adding the information needed. Usually I have an idea of what type of job the person needs to fill and then work backwards from there. I try and be inclusive when writing and make a diverse group to pull from that don’t represent stereotypes. In Unexpected Revival, one of the hardest parts of my novel was creating characters that worked together and didn’t reflect only one race, ethnicity, sex, and orientation. With that strong base, the other novels characters were easier to develop.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
The Science Fiction Romance field used to be very small so getting beta readers or critique partners in the field was virtually impossible. Out of all the advice I’ve received so far, the best advice always makes me rethink why something is happening, or ask myself why I needed an event to happen. Anything that helps me improve my storytelling and character development is always a plus!

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
My first published book is Unexpected Revival and is due to be released in January 2017, and is about a woman who died in 1999 and finds herself revived over 1000 years later to help stop an alien invasion that would wipe out most of Earth’s population. There’s aliens, space ships, a changed Earth, space stations, fighting, genetic manipulation, and love of course. It’s pretty exciting

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
I have to say that the Revival series is my favorite project so far. I already have several of the books planned out, or started in the series. It’s great because of the revival (think a form of cryogenic freezing), I have characters from a diverse timeline that I can create and plunk into a story set even in their future. I’m enjoying the possibilities.

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
I’m hoping to have the second book in the series, Unwanted Revival or Unwelcome Revival depending on how the timeline plays out in Unexpected Revival out in June 2017. And the third book hopefully released by January 2018.

Why did you decide to write and publish?
I love creating stories and seeing how the character’s flush out. My first desire to write came about wondering my none of the historical romances I read had people going to the bathroom and wondering how that could play out. Then I read a book that had it in there and realized it could be TMI in most situations. But most of my writing is driven from the types of stories I would like to read and not really finding them, so I decided to create them myself. I wish to publish them for the same reason, to share my unique stories with the world so that others might enjoy them as well.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
For me, once I started it was really hard for me stop. My first attempt at a novel was through Nanowrimo and reaching the end of a story is like no other experience. Even now, after having written several novels, getting to the end of a story is a pure adrenalin rush. I get super excited and have now even learned to enjoy the editing process.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
I am a sucker for dark romances where the characters have had horrible pasts but find love in the end. It’s that hope and emotional connection that is my favorite type of book. Of the traditionally published authors Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward that really hits the spot for me. In the self-published arena the one that was such a rollercoaster of an emotional ride was The Last Hour of Gann by A. Lee Smith. This book is not for the faint of heart, and deals with several issues that were hard for me read that involve the heroine and her sister, but it is worth reading and is an amazing book.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know? 
Yes! All author’s love reviews! Even if their bad they let us know how we’re doing from a broader audience then we would hit through beta and ARC readers, plus it helps other readers see our work. So please, if you’ve just finished a book be sure to rate it and leave a brief review

And you can come meet me and other authors in the area at a Free Reader Event in Bellevue on Saturday, October 15th at the Bellevue Westin!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Climbing ladders

It's exhilarating to see life goals realized with your own eyes.

When I set out to make a career in writing stories, I did so with a clear plan of what I wanted to accomplish in the first 5 years. In the first 5 years, I wanted:
  • to publish 6 books.
  • I aimed to have a readership of at least 30 people who actively participated on my sites and read my books.
  • I wanted to host two Q&A sessions with my readers, and
  • I wanted to develop myself into a positive anchor in my community.
With life being the rollercoaster it is, I've had to cross many goals off in red, unfinished as their deadlines passed me by. But despite all that red ink, I can honestly say that I have progressed. Though not exactly as planned, I have hit many major milestones.

2016 is my fourth year in business, and I am beaming with pride to say that I have published my 6th book!

A Risky Gamble is more than just the continuation of a series (My first official sequel), it is a banner moment in reaching my goals. And you can help me reach the rest.

In two days I will be hosting an official launch party for A Risky Gamble, via Facebook. It's an online party, so you may participate from home. You can sign in for an hour here, or twenty minutes there. BUT: There will be 2 major opportunities to speak with me during Q & A interactive sessions! One of those sessions is a fbLive coffee date, where you will actually get to see my smiling face!

What I need from you:

- Log into the event and say you'll attend ( Click here to reach event)

- Tell your friends about me and my books, and share this party with them. I'm still short of my 30 reader goal, and I'd love to meet new people!

- Participate! Share a post about your favorite characters or moments. If you haven't read venture yet, ask me about it. Ask me about all my books!

- Stop by the Q&A or the fbLive session and say hello, ask a question, give me a thumbs up!

You all have given me the motivation to continue in this course, even when the going got tough, and you matter to me, beyond expression. Help me keep going! I'll have to make some new goals soon!

You can pick up a copy of A Risky Gamble on Amazon, Nook, and all other major retailers.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

CANNONBALL! Last big splash for summer!

Ladies and Gentleman, I've had a blast sharing all these great authors with you. They're such a fun, diverse group of storytellers, and it's been great to learn more about who they are (Not to mention, pick up some new books to read!)

Our last fantastic author is Leslie, and she's been waiting so long to introduce herself to you all. So without further to do, I pass the keyboard. Hi Leslie!

Tell me now; who are you?
I am Leslie Conzatti and I live in the Pacific Northwest!

What is it that you write?  
  Mostly fantasy, but I also enjoy writing cyberpunk.

So tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do?
  I love to read or watch TV shows online, and I love working as an elementary school staff assistant.

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?  
  Just about everything I've ever written started as a list of bullet points. I take the initial premise idea, and I add as many plot details as I can come up with; I give it a beginning and an end, thinking of story flow along the way. Then I start writing!

How do you create your characters?  
  Well, I start with my main character, and then I build a cast around that of people who would help or hinder him or her; ones with strength where they are weak, or weakness where they have strength. It usually just depends on what needs to happen in the story, and I have characters in place to get it done.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?  
  That one time when I wrote a Chronicles of Narnia fanfiction and somebody was convinced that Lewis himself wrote it!
Or another time, I posted a story excerpt on my blog, and almost immediately a total stranger shared the post and commented how much it compelled him to want to read more!

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?  
  My first published work will be a novella called "Princess of Undersea," a fairy tale based on The Little Mermaid.

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?  
   Oh man, it's so hard to decide! I always have little things I absolutely adore about each project I write: there's my newest project, "TheWater-Man," which I am having a lot of fun with because the characters are performing wonderfully, and I am dealing with a fantasy concept I developed myself.
  Then there is also my current rewriting project, "AWriter's Tale," which was my NaNo project from 2012; I am taking the serial story and expanding it into a series of novellas, and I love it because I basically strung all my favorite genres together into one continuous story, so it's always changing and yet it's pretty simple to write!
  In addition, I have two adaptations in the works, which I am pretty proud of: a contemporary romance adaptation of my favorite Jane Austen novel, "Persuasion", called "Merely Meredith,"and a whole series of books that are contemporary/historical fiction/future dystopian adaptations of well-known bible stories, for which the working title is "The ReBible Series." Those are fun because the basic plot is essentially already there, I'm just tweaking it to fit the updated context!

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
  Keep a lookout for more books from me! Based on this very positive experience I am having with publishing so far, I am very much inclined to see about publishing more. 
Of course there will be lots more blogging in the coming year, and more featured indie reviews!

Why did you decide to write and publish?
 I never really "decided" either one. I just looked at a picture in a book, way back when I was first learning to read, and the story just took shape in my mind! It has always been a habitual thing for me. As for publishing, to be honest I wasn't really pursuing it too much until this opportunity came along. It was a foiled attempt at putting together an anthology, but everyone else except me got too busy, so the publisher offered to produce my work as a solo, and I accepted!

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
 The biggest factor is that I keep reading and watching movies and TV shows, seeing how other writers do it. That keeps me inspired to continue looking for the story in everything, even when I am stumped in any particular project. My imagination keeps going, and so it's either write out the ideas, or burst from all the words inside me! It's going to be a long time before I reach the absolute end of all the half-projects I have started or developed, so until that happens, of course I must keep writing!

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
  Oh holidame, you had to ask THAT one?? Well, okay—one of my absolute favorites is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. She takes her inspiration from fairy tales, but chooses a cyberpunk dystopia as her setting. Sci-fi and fantasy blend perfectly, with nods and references to the original tales liberally sprinkled throughout. I love the characters and I really love the thrill of it. It made me laugh, squeal, gasp, and giggle!

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know? 
 I love hearing from readers, so if you ever do stop by my blog, read a snippet, and enjoy it or have a question, drop a comment and ask! I love interacting over literature. It's like my favorite thing in the world.

-Leslie Conzatti

Leslie Conzatti is an avid reader, a passionate writer, and a committed lover of all things fantasy. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she has been running the blog “The Upstream Writer” since the beginning of 2013, to promote her own writing and as a medium for interacting with readers. In addition, “The Upstream Writer” is an “indie book blog” as well, since Leslie willingly uses it as an excuse to get free books. (to review, of course!) Leslie’s “day job” is a staff assistant at a local elementary school. She is currently in the process of getting a novella published, and hopes to be ready for release by the fall!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 8! Splish Splashing along!

We're back again! Summer is winding down, but we still have a couple more interviews to go!
This week, please help show some love to D.R. Perry!

Tell me now; who are you?

What is it that you write?
I write speculative fiction with a healthy dose of humor. Right now, I'm writing and publishing a series that takes place at a supernatural school called Providence Paranormal College. That's a ten book series. Book 5 will be out at the end of the month. 

I just finished reading Bearly Awake! It was very fun; It reminded me of Christine Feehan's shifter series, but with much more comedy (and better dialogue, in my opinion).

Tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do? 
I fight internet dragons in MMOs, make up goofy lyrics to popular music, mix ingredients to make chemical reactions with tasty results. 

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
I head down to the Idea Corral and rope one of them. After that, I hop on to see how it runs and where it wants to go. Then, once it trusts me, I make it pretty and show it off. 

How do you create your characters? 
Mostly by writing about them. Sometimes, I get a name and something basic like their hair or height. After that, they don't reveal more until I put my fingers on the keys and go. 

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader? 
I always love hearing when someone tells me they want to read more. 

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
The first story published was called Subjective Value. That was published in an anthology in 2013. My first published poem is in The Longest Night Watch Anthology, which benefits the Alzheimer's Association. My first novel was PPC book 1, Bearly Awake

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
I love working on the charity anthologies. The other writers are so much fun to work with and it's great to see the book come together and help people. I also did Stardust, Always, which benefits Saint Jude's Research for cancer. 

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
All the PPC books will be out by December. I also have a sci-fi series in the works, and one about a superhero academy. There might be more PPC spinoffs, too. Those will either take place in the past of the series or be unrelated to the main storyline about the school saboteur. 

Why did you decide to write and publish?
It's what I do! But seriously, I'm 42. It was just time, especially after writing for most of my life. I had to see if I could make a career out of it.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
My family. I want to contribute to our lives in more ways than housekeeping. I also want to be able to read some of these books with my daughter someday. 

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
I read some great indie authors recently. I'm in the middle of Unforseen by Allison Barnard. It's a genetic sci-fi sort of dystopian book and very well done. 

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know?
Don't be a stranger! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and my website/blog. I have a mailing list you can get on from my website, too. Here are some links:

D.R. Perry

D.R., It's been a pleasure working with you and getting to know you better. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Readers, Make sure you go follow D.R. Perry on Goodreads to keep up with her shenanigans!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Just keep Swimming! Summer splash continues!

A day or two late, but still going strong! Only four week left on this beautiful fest. Are you finding grand new books for you library? (Of course you are, I know you!). Are you in new author overload yet??
This weeks guest is truly a wonderful person.
My darlings, may I introduce the mastermind behind this whole tour; the lovely, the fantastic, C. A. King!

Tell me now; who are you? 
Who am I?…Who am I?
Silence…chews pencil…
Who am I?…Who am I?
I am…
a daydreamer…a hopeless romantic…an optimistic pessimist…a psychic…a childish adult…an animal lover…an over-emotional wreck…an adventurer…an artistic fool…
I am…A Fiction Writer!
Nice to meet you!"

What is it that you write?
I write all things Fantasy. I also have a weekly column for Books & Quills Magazine and a writing related blog.

So tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do?
Blushes” I like cheesy romance novels (not explicit but love stories). I am a romantic at heart. My hat tips to all the romance authors out there.
TV – gasps “Ahhhhh” – I admit it I am a wrestling fan. Nine out of ten times my television is set to the WWE Network. The other time it’s on the weather network.
Movies. Horror is where it is at. I want a movie that makes me jump and laugh at the same time. That means traditional slasher films are the best. A good disaster film is always on my radar as well.

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
Daydreaming. My eyelids are like a screen for my imagination.

How do you create your characters?
I think of my characters like children. In the beginning of a series, they are in their “raw” form and that is deliberate on my part. I want the reader to be there and actually see what makes them who they are.
In my personal opinion there isn’t enough time in one book to experience the growing pains of life. In a series, however, you have a chance for not only the protagonist to learn, but, also really delve deep into expanding on the supporting characters as well.
It’s important to me, that if a person takes the time to read my books, they can fully invest their emotions into every aspect. When you meet a character, they have a purpose and aren’t just there for page filler. To me, there is nothing worse than having someone introduced into a story and never hearing about them again.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
To change some fonts and colours on my covers. I am working on that now.

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
August 20th and 21st - Arts Fest
August 26th - 28th Fan World Niagara
September 1st - 4th Fan Expo
September 11th - Hamilton PPD
September 17th - Ignite Your Soul Author Event
September 25th - Word on the Street Toronto

October 1st and 2nd - Hamilton Comic Con
Weekends in October - Bizarro's Factory of Fear

March 17th-19th 2017 - Toronto Comic Con

New Series - Merliance (A Portal Prophecies Spin off)
New Series - Tomoiya's Story (Vampire Alien race)

Why did you decide to write and publish?
After losing my mother, father and husband in a short time, I decided to take some time off work and do a bit of soul searching. I have always been a daydreamer with a vivid imagination. One day I started doodling and it turned into a story. I found writing eased the pain. So I kept writing. I knew the stories were good because they had kept me happily daydreaming for years.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
The readers. I truly believe if I can make one person happy through my reading, I am a successful author. 
If I have a bad day and close my eyes. I can travel to a world where things are just a little brighter and get lost there for a while. I want to share that with my readers. When they need to forget about the present even for a few minutes, I want them to be able to grab one of my books and smile again.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
Treasure Island.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know?
Authors survive on reviews. If you like a book, any book, please consider commenting your feelings on and You will make someone's day much brighter!

Carol Ann King

(I heartily affirm that last one. Reviews are treasure maps for other people to find us!)

Carol, thanks so much for orchestrating this tour. We've had a blast meeting everyone, and I'm so glad I jumped in with you!

My Dear Readers, make sure to check out C.A. At her website, as well as on Amazon.

Stay tuned for next week, when we catch up with D.R. Perry!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Meet our Summer Splash Mystery Guest...

Lovely Readers, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you our Summer Splash Mystery Guest: Courtney Seyl!

I met Courtney through our regional NaNoWriMo group, and we've talked a bit over the last few years. I'm excited to learn more about her and her work today, and share that with you.

So Courtney, tell me a bit about yourself; What do you like to do beyond your writing? My favorite thing to do right now is learn. I know that sounds weird, but I have found that taking the time to learn how to do certain things is important for me to continue writing. Right now I am trying to teach myself to create a new language for my novel, as well as writing the lore and history of the world.
Reading is something that I have always loved to do, but ever since I started college it has been harder for me to read for fun. I am slowly picking up more books and I started to realize again how much reading influences my own writing.
Outside of reading and writing I love to cook. I wrote a small cookbook last year and I have been inventing new recipes and finding fun ways to cook different types of meals. Anything from Vegan/ vegetarian to Mexican and Indian.
I would usually say videogames as well but I haven’t had much time to play many games lately because of work and trying to make myself write more everyday.

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
My favorite way to brainstorm is to just write out all of my ideas until something comes from it. If you look through any of my notebooks you will see pages of me explaining the concepts of stories rather than just writing them. I like to plan out my characters, the plots, the beginnings and ends. It’s the middle of the story that I usually have the most trouble with.
I was discussing recently in a forum how I get the ideas for my stories and I realized that most of the stories I have started as dreams. I have really vivid and lucid dreams when I sleep and when I wake up, I will usually write them down or at least write down the bits I remember. The story I just submitted to a writing contest a few weeks ago was something that had started as a dream I had and slowly became the story I wrote. It was weird and kind of funny when I tried to explain to my creative writing professor where most of my inspiration came from for my stories.
Other than that I will usually just write and see what happens. I read once that it takes writing for a couple pages to get the junk out of your head and then you will find the gold that you really want to write and it’s true. I will usually just free write until I feel that I have enough clarity to continue writing a story or start a new one.

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
My favorite project is probably my novel just because I have been working on it so long and it has evolved so much. I can say that this novel has taken a good eight years to reach the point it has now and being able to see myself mature throughout the years with my writing is just an amazing and strange thing to watch. Being able to finally finish a draft and see the light at the end of the tunnel is such a weird feeling. I know there is still a lot of work to do on it, but its nice to know that years of work haven’t been in vain.
The other part of this project that has been really fun has been the world building. I recently watched videos explaining the LOTR world and it really inspired me to explore the history and lore of my own fantasy world. I have already drawn a couple maps and started writing out what my world contains, how it reached the point its at in the story, the history of the world, and where the world might go as the story progresses. I also bought like five new notebooks just for this project but I doubt I will need them all. But hey, you can never have too many notebooks.

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
Right now I am currently working on a second draft of my novel. I finished the first draft just a few months ago and now comes the time when I get to polish it up, add more details, and really make it shine. Lately I’ve been really into world building and figuring out the history and lore of this fantasy world.
I’ve also been working on a play about the Egyptian Revolution. I interviewed an artist who lived in Egypt at the time and his story has inspired me to create my own script to showcase the brave men and women who lived through the riots and are still living there today.
For college I have a couple of theatre projects brewing that don’t necessarily involve writing but are other ways I can do more research. I am the 'dramaturg' for the spring production of “Mr. Burns”, which basically means I work with the director to do the research for the play, find inspiration for the direction of the play, analyze the characters, and all of the other fun things I like doing with my own work. I’m also a production manager for our two student run festivals and I will hopefully be directing or dramturging in the spring as well for my senior thesis.

Why did you decide to write and publish?
I’ve always considered myself a writer, even from a young age I can remember filling notebooks with weird little stories about my beanie babies or stuffed animals and Barbie’s, so it just has always felt natural to write stories. When I was in eighth grade I started to become more serious with my stories and knew that I someday wanted to publish a novel or series about elves, fairies and the like. I started planning (I still have the notebooks and drafts of those early chapters and it is painful to read) and it became a sort of obsession. I found myself dreaming about chapters, writing for hours on end, staying up all night, and even writing short paragraphs while in class.
Publishing has always seemed so distant. The desire to write the next “Harry Potter” or LOTR is still strong within me, but I have always learned to take time to write smaller pieces, which is part of the reason I compiled a bunch of my short stories into one novel. I called the novel “Finding a Way” mostly because it represents my journey of writing and learning to call myself an author. I’m slowly finding my way to the dream novel that I want to create and the shorter pieces are just stepping stones to the end of the beginning.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
Right now the thing that is keeping me writing is knowing that I do want to share my story with the world, and not just my novels or fiction, but my life story as well. I want to be able to go on book tours and talk to people and inspire others like the authors that inspired me. I have always wanted to be a writer and finishing my novel this year felt like a huge leap in that direction. Being able to share it with the world is the next step in this long and arduous journey that I have chosen.
Writing has given me the ability to go to different worlds and experience new things and it has opened a lot of doors for me creatively and I want to continue that trend in my life. I never want to be told to stop being creative just because it might not make me a lot of money or because it might not get me where I want it to. I have this need to prove something to the world that even the smallest of us can make it by doing what we love.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
Oh jeez. Well, the new Harry Potter just came out and I haven’t gotten to read it yet, but Harry Potter is definitely one of my favorite book series. Right now I am reading the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and they are such funny and awesome fantasy books, but they don’t always feel like fantasy books.
Overall, though, my favorite book would be the Wizard of Oz. It was one of the first books I read as a kid and the movie has always been one of my favorites as well. The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter were the three that really inspired me to start writing as a kid.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know?
Inspiration can really come from anywhere. I always carry a notebook and a plethora of pens with me because you never know when that itch to write will come. And writers block is all in your head. Even if you think you don’t have anything to say, just start writing and something important may come out of it.

Wow! I'm so excited to know you better! I will definitely be watching out for more of your work. You have such a dynamic writing base. I appreciate you sharing about it all with us!
Thank you for being one of the amazing people in my world, and thank you for the interview.

Lovelies, definitely go pick up Courtney's work (link below), and catch up with her yourselves at:

Finding A Way By Courtney Seyl

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Summer Splash Blog Tour Lives!

We have another return guest for Week 5 of the Summer Splash Blog Tour! You all remember Catherine Banks, our favorite Gamer Girl and author of The Pirate Princess.

Show her some love as she introduces herself and tells us about her projects!

Now, I know we've met, but I like to let people introduce themselves in their own words. So tell me now; who are you?
I’m Catherine. I am a mother, gamer, author, wife, and all around geek.

What is it that you write?
Fantasy, mostly Young Adult, but I do have some Adult fantasy as well.

Very nice! Fantasy is such fun. I think Young adult/new adult is a very underappreciated genre, despite the many readers who look for it.
Tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do?
I love reading, playing video games, and watching anime.

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
I am a pantser, so I don’t really brainstorm. I might think of a general idea for the story, but most times I just think of a character or situation and let the characters go where they will.

How do you create your characters?
It depends on if they’re human, sidhe, or other. I only write from the female perspective since that is what I understand.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
That my book is what got her out of a reading slump and made her want to read more.

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
My first published novel was Song of the Moon (Artemis Lupine #1). I published that in 2010 and now have a total of 10 published works.

That's fantastic, congratulations!
Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
My favorite project so far was Pirate Princess because it was so action packed and fun to write!

(Readers, if you're a fan of my own Captain Ithaca, or even Alanor from Return to Masonry, than you should really check out This book.)

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
I’m working on Pirate Princess #2 as well as Little Death Bringer Series #3.

Oooh, sequels! I'm excited to read more from your pirate princess!
Why did you decide to write and publish?
I’ve always been a writer and when I heard about self-publishing I decided it was a great option for me and I’ve not regretted it since!

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
I am always coming up with ideas and stories. As a kid I would daydream about the stories instead of writing them.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
I have so many! I’ll tell you about a favorite author instead, Ilona Andrews. The author duo is amazing! I love everything that they write and recommend anyone who wants to read adult fantasy/urban fantasy to check them out.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know?
I hope you give my books a chance and I really hope that you enjoy them!

I hope so too! I can think of a few of my readers who would love your books.
Well Catherine, Thanks for stopping in again. I look forward to reading more from you!

My Lovelies, make sure you check out Catherine at her Website, As well as on Facebook!

See you all next week for our special guest interview... Who could it be...?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 4! Introducing A.M. Nestler!

Welcome, Ashley, to my little Kingdom. I'm so please to introduce you to my darling readers.

Tell me now; who are you?
My name is Ashley Nestler, and I am a business owner as well a published author.

It's a pleasure to know you. What is it that you write?
I write in just about every genre, but currently I have books published in YA Dystopian, and Epic Fantasty/Historical Fiction with a Contemporary Literary Fiction due for release soon.

So tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do?
I am a huge crafter, so I love crocheting, sewing, and making just about anything with my hands. I also am working constantly on my book subscription business, Go Indie Now!

Yes, I've heard of Go Indie Now! I love the idea of bibliotherapy. I've found a lot of healing through both writing and reading myself. I'm excited to find someone who found a way to bring that to others as well!

In your own writing, what is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
Honestly, I let the stories come to me. I have never sat down and brainstormed for writing. I make it up as I go, and I find that that is the most effective way for me to work. This is why I am an active participant in NaNoWriMo because I am able to write as I go. All of my currently published works were originally finished during NaNoWriMo.

Ahh, so a very organic and natural method. More discovering the story than planning. I understand.
What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
The best feedback I have ever gotten from a reader, was how they loved how many metaphors and descriptors I use. They said that my writing reads like art, and I loved hearing that, because I do try to make my writing poetic. I try to change the perspective of the reader so that they can see what I see.

That is wonderful! Eloquence in writing can be quite rare. (I think we, as authors, over think it sometimes). Artistry in words is really a beautiful thing!
Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
My first ever published work was “Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality”. It was published when I was nineteen, and officially released during my last month of high school.

That's very impressive, congratulations. The premise of Beautiful Nightmare is very interesting; It's based on a future society that shuns emotion? I imagine that creates interesting turmoil and and circumstances for you characters to work through. I'll have to read more of it, but it sounds like a fascinating study.

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
My favorite project so far is my third novel that is to be released soon. I was able to play with many different perspectives with this novel, while also discussing a controversial topic. It will be my first published contemporary literary fiction, and will be anonymous due to the sensitive subject matter.

Intriguing... You have my curiosity now! I'll keep an eye out for that. With that in mind: What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
I have a lot coming up in the coming year. This August I will be releasing a special edition of “Beautiful Nightmare” with an updated story, fanart, character profiles, and other bonus content. My third novel, “Behind Broken Glass Walls”, is also set to release next spring, along with a special edition version of “Into The Fog”. The sequel to “Into The Fog” will also be coming out next summer.

How exciting! I have yet to do a special edition. Tell us about Into the fog; what's that one about?
Yes, it is a novel about 16th century England and surrounds a woman named Darielle who loses her fiance, Prince Tarum, to Murder. His murder changes her whole life, and forces her to fall in with a group of outsiders who turn out not to be humans at all. "Into The Fog" involves ghosts and other monsters, and challenges the concept of death. 
You write on such exceptional and deep themes. It makes me excited to read where they take you.

Why did you decide to write and publish?
I write because it is a part of my soul. I don’t write for anyone else, but for myself. I am published because I want to spread my vision to the rest of the world.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
What keeps me going with my writing is knowing that if I don’t write, I will be missing a huge part of my life. Writing is therapy for me, and I always feel better when I write and connect with my characters. My characters are like my children, and I could never abandon them.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
My favorite book is The Pact by Jodi Picoult. It is a beautifully haunting tale about a young girl who commits suicide. However, they think that her boyfriend killed her because she was pregnant and he was with her when she committed suicide. It is a must read! Picoult is a master of the human experience.

Fantastic! I'll have to look that one up. Well Ashley, thank you very much for visiting. I feel I've learned a lot about you! It's been a true pleasure.

Lovelies, You can find more about Ashley Nestler on Here on Amazon, as well as her own Blog and Book Review headquarters:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hello Kristan Cannon!

Week three of the Summer Splash Blog Tour!
This week, I'd like to welcome back Kristan Cannon. You may remember her from “Boldy Going Where...”, as the proprietor of the Lone Wolf Bookstore. Today, I've asked her some questions about her work as an author.

Tell me now; who are you?
I suddenly feel like I should be singing that opening to CSI:Miami.

Haha! I'll cue the theme music! In the meantime, why don't you tell us more about what you write?
I write mostly speculative fiction, which means I bounce around from post-apocalyptic to near-future sci-fi, and low-magic urban fantasy.  Worlds that are recognizably our own with minor changes.  I ask a whole lot of "What if?  What would be different in our lives?"

So tell me a bit about yourself; What else do you like to do?
Lots.  I have a weakness for chocolate and coffee, and I like to sail and spend time in the outdoors.  I paint and draw, sometimes mixing the two into mixed media... pictures that are not 100% drawn and paintings where the drawn part is easily seen.  I use watercolour, so much of the painting is used to highlight the pencil and ink work.

I've seen pictures of your sailboat! Completely gorgeous. I love mixed media art, you can achieve so many textures and details that would be lost otherwise.
What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
I start with building and creating my characters.  People who are living life like you or me, and perhaps, if the story calls for it, they may have magical abilities or something that only exists in the realm of hard sci fi right now.  Afterwards I ask what kind of world these characters live in.  Why are they the way they are.
And then I create drama for them to react to.

How do you create your characters?
I used to play a lot of the game Rifts, or even D&D, so I typically create a character using those rules.  It gives me a fair idea of their abilities and limitations.  Even when I create characters based on people I know, I still use the same template and method.  I just recreate them using Beyond the Supernatural (a Palladium game book) with a bit of the game Dead Reign mixed in so they are as realistic as possible, even if not perfectly a clone of their inspiration.  Actually, there are usually some key differences between the character and the inspiration behind that character.  Changes I twisted to match the environment or to hide key facts about them to protect their privacy from strangers.
Normally, though, the characters are more or less randomly created using the rules from BTS, with personalities using other generators.  This creates random people that breathe life into the books because they're not all clones of each other but instead are their own unique individual.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
That they believed the characters were real, even if they knew that a few of them were based on real people, the fact that even the bit characters were so different instead of cookie cutter.  When I manage to suspend belief over a character being real to someone or not, I've done my job as a writer.

That is absolutely fantastic. And not easy to achieve.
Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
I can't even remember that anymore.  It was a short story in a magazine I didn't expect to get published.  It might have even been Blue Star (a fan fiction piece I wrote before fan fiction was a thing) that got published in a fanzine.

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
So far, it's the Kingdom of Walden series.  The first book wasn't even supposed to get published--I had written it on a lark--but people liked it too much.  Soon, others liked it and wanted more, so I continued it with the intent of it being only a trilogy.  Now it's a series, with a fourth book already written and ready to for editing and plans for more.  It's my favourite, so far, because it's a book series that takes place where I live.  I live in a city that has played host to many a Hollywood star and movie, but never as the city itself.  We've always stood in for somewhere else.  This series actually showcases our city and the surrounding area... front and centre.

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
The third book of the Kingdom of Walden series is coming out at the end of August, and it's called Between Silence and Fire.  I know there's been a few readers eagerly waiting for it to hit shelves.  I might finish a painting, or perhaps even a sculpture, or two before the end of the year.  We'll see.

Why did you decide to write and publish?
I don't remember ever thinking I wouldn't.  It was just a matter of what was going to end up on shelves and when.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
I can't imagine doing anything else, so it would be what keeps me going when other things are too much.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
I have too many, but right now my favourite is Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon.  Horses, space travel, a space navy and two strong badass women leading.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know?
I will be opening a bookstore soon in Sudbury. (Lone Wolf Bookstore) Keep an eye out for that!  We welcome indie authors for signings and other events, even a NaNoWriMo event or two.  Bring us your write-ins and cafe crawls!  We're hoping to be open in time for NaNo 2016.

Kristan Cannon
Author of
The Kingdom of Walden Series
and upcoming 
Between Silence and Fire