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Posts Tagged ‘author’

Geroninanomomo

November 7, 2011 8 comments

I had a very interesting weekend. Not interesting as I went to an amusement park, won the lotto, or donated a kidney. Interesting as in I did something I haven’t done in in a while. I wrote my little (okay, mostly non existent) ass off.

You see I joined a writers guild a while back. They’re an amazing group of people called The Scriborium. Well, lo and behold they asked me if i wanted to partake in being part of a Christmas Horror Anthology called A Very Scary Christmas.  I was very excited! Immediately titles with the word SLAY used instead of Sleigh flashed through my head. I came up with a bajillion witty titles. I have this habit. Whenever I come up with a book title I google it to make sure I’m not being a piece of repeating crap. Google things like Slay Bells and Slay Ride. They’re all friggin taken. GRRRRRRRRR…

So then another title popped into my head. The Ghost of Christmas Last. 

Catchy isn’t it? I thought so. So that became the planned story.

Then something called life happened. I had three months to write the 10,ooo word novella. Shouldn’t be a problem right? Yeah. Uh huh. Suuuuuuuuure.

Throw in the weddings, birthdays, science fair projects for two kids. Spooky empire horror weekend, Spending time with my kids, working on other projects, editing, websites, marketing and WORK. I didn’t get it done and it fell to the back burner.

Then the Head of the Scriborium emailed me, “Hey, Jackass (she didn’t really call me that, but that’s what I felt like) Where’s your story?”

My response was, “Please, Ma’am, Can I have sum more time?”

“Have it to my by Saturday or I’ll boil you in your own Pudding!”

Okay, Saturday was three days away, I could do that! Right?

Wrong. Not as in I didn’t get it done. As in I didn’t have 3 days. Life happened again. So. I sat down to finally write my ten thousand words Friday evening. I stayed up and got a thousand words done. My eyes felt like I had rubbed them in the kitty litter box and I was misspelling more words than spelling. I went to bed.

Saturday morning came and I woke up, hopped on my laptop, and had the story COMPLETELY done by 7! My fingers flew across the keys of my laptop like a fat kid at a twinki. I was on FIRE! Know what else? It felt good. I love to write and I did. 10k. 😀

But my story doesn’t end there. Deceptions, book 2 of the Demonkin Series is done and due to come out VERY soon. I’ve been wanting to start on book 3 for a while know. Everybody’s been asking me, “Hey, how come you no nano this year?”

At first I thought they were speaking Swahili, but then I realized they meant nanowrimo, or National Novel Writing Month. Basically its a challenge to write a 50k novel in a month. Perfect time to get book 3 done right?

The problem was NANO started on the first and it was the evening of the fifth. I was already way behind, but that never stopped me before! To be on task, yesterday I should have been at 10,000 words. Ominously familiar isn’t it? Is it possible for a mere mortal to pen 20,000 words in one weekend? Could he do it? Could our here save not only the day but the fair haired maiden strapped to the railroad tracks with the northbound 72 bearing down on her like Oprah on a slice of Chocolate Death Cake?

YUP! 😀

I started nano and made it to the 10k mark last night, just as I lost consciousness and my head slammed down on my keyboard. I woke up this morning, plucked the “H” from my forehead (I need a new keyboard now) and went to work.

At a loss for words

August 14, 2011 23 comments

No, I don’t have writer’s block (or irritable vowel syndrome as I like to call it) and I doubt I ever will. You see I suffer from a highly overactive imagination as some of you well know. No that’s not the problem I’m dealing with. The problem I’m facing is the will to go on.

No, not with life. So you can put down the fingers and stop them from dialing 911. I’m not, was not, nor will I ever be tempted to take my own life. SO relax.

No the problem I’m facing is trying to become a successful author.

It’s not that I don’t have the time

It’s not that I don’t have the desire

It’s not that I don’t want to

It IS that I’ve hit that part of my career that I just don’t think I can do it. Have you ever noticed that the successful author stories always involve the word “LUCK”? It was pure luck that an agent finally read her manuscript. It was luck that a bigtime hollywood producer happened to pick up a copy of her book. It was pure luck that the big publisher she just signed a contract with found her manuscript in the slushpile. See, lately, my luck has been vershitten. Crap. Poor at best. Horrific even.

I wont go into details, but right now I even feel like my best friend has given up on me.*

Okay, a little clarification on the best friend statement above. THEY HAVEN’T given up on me. I’m a schmuck and wrote that without realizing the context. No, my best friend is my best friend. Their life is complicated just as mine is right now and I haven’t had them around as much as I WOULD like. I get cranky and stupid without them around. Carry on.

Let’s just say my life is complete shambles right now. I actually thought it was getting better for a while there… but we all know the old axioms about calms before storms, etc.

I really thought I had a shot at finding an agent this time for my latest book, My Soul to Keep. I wrote a kick ass ninja style query letter. It impressed one of my other friends so much he emailed me and helped me tone it down a little. So I did. I sent it off and still not one agent has requested full manuscripts. It had me down for a little bit, but I know how agents are (spawn of satan and all that). I figured I would give them til last Friday and then self publish it so I could retain my rights.

Then we come to the gist of this post. IS it WORTH my time to do it? Should I? I’ve even thought about sending it to my current publisher, but she’s so busy. Then I thought about sending it off to another small press…Again. Fail to see the purpose in doing so. I hate to whine and groan. But Damnit Jim, I’m a Doctor, not a writer. Okay I’m not a doctor either, but I stayed in  a Holiday Inn Express once…

Seriously. I do have a good career in fiberoptics. I’ll never be rich from it, but it pays the bills. Mostly. My question to the heavens right now is do I give up on the writing and concentrate on what I do know will keep my kids fed? A wise person once said, you can’t live if you don’t dream. What they forgot to tell me is that you can’t dream if you don’t live.

Stoopid bastards.

My Interview with Judy Douglas Knauer

January 21, 2011 2 comments

Have you ever met one of those people you instantly took a liking too? Ya, those people. If you’re lucky you get to spend your life surrounding yourself with people just like them. Intelligent, witty, fun, entertaining. Well I have good news for you. I’m going to save you some trouble and introduce you to one of them. She happens to be a VERY talented writer too! Please say hello to my friend Judy Douglas Knauer.

When was the exact moment you decided to write a book?

I was 18 years old, lounging on a sofa with pencil and paper and thought I’m going to write a romantic western novel.  So I did.  I’ve always loved the West so researching Indians and Texas territory was fun.  The book made it to typewriter and my filing cabinet where it sits today.

Did you have a specific inspiration for the story A Dirty Way to Die?

You bet I did!  Several in fact.  The two main male characters are based on six different men who were veterans of the Viet Nam war.  The story itself started as a romance novel about professional female mud wrestlers.  The Chicago Knockers did a show at the Fairbury, IL fair right after my first romance novel was published by Berkley/Jove and I decided to interview the ladies with the romance genre in mind.  The women gave me great material, but instincts told me not one New York editor would look at a romance based on mud wrestlers.  I ain’t no dummy.  So I began the book by killing one off in my hometown of Peoria at the Heart of Illinois Fair.  My inspiration for setting the private eye’s office in Peoria was a well-known female New York editor who I overheard saying in a phrase that used the f word: no book would ever sell set in Peoria.  Never say never, especially to me.

What is your favorite aspect of being a published writer? Is their anything that you don’t like?


Being a published writer is my favorite aspect!  I make up stories because I love doing that, but I write them hoping to have them read, to have readers taken to someplace outside themselves, where I am when I write them.  If my work just sits in a drawer or box, then the circle is incomplete and that I do not like.

If you had the opportunity to go back and change any portion of A Dirty Way to Die, what would it be?


I guess I would have Manny get beat up and shot more times, since that seems to be the popular way of today’s private eye novel.  I’ll see if I can make up for that in the next two Manny Shepherd novels in the works.

Do you write full time, or do you have another occupation as well? How do you find a balance between them?

If you mean 8 to 5 as full time, I retired from those hours and a good paycheck three years ago.  Besides a minimum four hours a day writing and at least another four contriving in my head, I’m semi-fanatic about a clean house and flower and vegetable gardens having no weeds.  I sew, knit and crochet for my grandchildren when I’m not on a writing deadline, which I’m on now.  Deadlines do  not allow for balance; the book is always in my head.

What’s next in the works for you? Do you have anything planned that you would like to share?

A second Manny Shepherd P.I. novel is two-thirds done with a third outlined, but on a backburner until I finish Mourning Preyers, my second thriller.  I’ve also begun a mystery with a female journalist protagonist with criminal investigation college courses to her credit, which is my background.  Editor Tom Colgan saw first pages years ago and told me that was the direction I should take.  Naturally, I’ve written two thrillers since then and almost completely ignored his wise advice.

Has any author or authors inspired you to write? Anybody in particular you would like to be compared to?

Every mystery author whose novel was on the shelves of my neighborhood library in Peoria since I was in third grade inspired me to make up stories, maybe in particular Mary Stewart.  I was so fortunate that the librarians allowed me to keep reading above my age level.  I once got a rejection letter from an editor who told me I should not write like Ross McDonald.  At that time, I did not know who Ross McDonald was, but now see him a lot in Dennis Lehane’s work!  A few years ago I’d have jumped with the answer Elmore Leonard as who I would like to be compared to.  No one does character or moves a story with character better than Leonard.  Then along came Stephen J. Cannell novels and Lehane.  I would love to be a writing mix of Leonard, Cannell, Lehane, Tom Wolfe and Carl Hiassen!  Perfect!
Along the road to getting published, what did you find the most rewarding and most difficult?

The most difficult task along the road to getting published is just that – getting published.  The most rewarding was that phone call from a Berkley editor telling me they wanted my book.

Tell us about the area you live in, did it play into the setting of your book in any way?


As I said A Dirty Way To Die is set in Peoria, my hometown, but my P.I. solves crimes everywhere but there!  In my first novel, a romance the publisher title Ecstasy Reclaimed (by Brandy LaRue my pen name) my setting was the farm and farmstead where I live–right down to the final love scene in the middle of a cornfield!

If you had once piece of advice to ive to aspiring writers, what would it be?


One piece of advice to aspiring writers – never give up and re-write.
You think you’ve got problems?

Doc Goold calls it cognizant premonition triggered by causal hypersensitivity, but Manny Shepherd and his Vietnam vet buddy Steve Mallinotti call it Shepherd’s Luck, that time-proven knack to sense bad shit lurks just around the corner.  Manny felt the premonition slump into his gut minutes before he witnesses Steve’s girlfriend Rita Hayward get slammed in the mud to her death by a well-stacked gal dubbing herself Screaming Eagle.

Mired in shock, guilt and a drunken haze, Steve coerces Manny, who has little on his Private Investigator’s plate, to figure out why Rita died like that with them and a SRO crowd watching and cheering at Peoria’s Heart of Illinois fair.  After all, back in earlier days at Neelys Landing, Missouri, Rita reigned as a star gymnast.  So how could a simple Judo throw have killed her?

No way will Manny jeopardize his tenuous yet sensual relationship with Tazewell County’s District Attorney, Lisa Shelton, to hang around half-naked, oiled-bodied beauties with names like Virgin Witch, Passion Queen, Midnight Fire, and Holy Terror, just to expose the obvious – Princess Lay-ya aka Rita Hayward just took a bad…okay, seriously bad header.

Steve’s heart-tugging story of Rita’s journey to professional mud wrestler fame, and haunted by Rita’s single staring dead eye watching him, Manny takes the leap onto the St. Louis Slingers on-tour bus.  Shepherd’s Luck bites hard amidst boobs and bullets as Manny is targeted while he hunts down a scheming, sadistic killer.

 

Purchase A Dirty Way To Die for only $2.99 at Amazon’s Kindle Book Store, B&N’s Nook, your PC, OR at

http://www.omnilit.com/product-adirtywaytodie-446495-243.html

Please visit:  www.suspenseiskillingme.net.
What others are saying about…

 

A Dirty Way To Die

 

Manny Shepherd is a breath of fresh air for the PI scene. A Dirty Way to Die rocks, and J. Douglas Knauer writes with just the right combination of grit and savoir-faire to give the book both style and realism.

—Michael A. Black, author of Hostile Takeovers and I Am Not a Psychic, with Richard Belzer.

 

Pulse-pounding action, a flawed hero with a code of ethics, and the inside story on women mud wrestlers combine for an exciting adventure in J. Douglas Knauer’s A DIRTY WAY TO DIE.

—Luisa Buehler, author of The InnKeeper: An Unregistered Death; Grace Marsden Mysteries ~ Think Monk in a skirt solving Cold Cases ~

 

Sexy and lusty mud-wrestlers and murder. Manny has his hands full. Looking for some entertainment? You’ll find it (in A Dirty Way To Die).

—Frank J. Scully, author of Resurrection Garden, release date January 1, 2011, MuseItUp Publishing

 

Judy Douglas Knauer got her first critical author review for a poem she wrote while in second grade.  One of the little girls in her Peoria, IL Brownie Troupe disapproved of the way Judy depicted her in the poem, even though it was true.  Multiple years later her first novel, Ecstasy Reclaimed by Brandy LaRue (a pen name) sold to Berkley Publishing without ever seeing a rejection.  Years later she was hired as chief editor, reporter and photographer for The Citizen, a weekly newspaper that covered Livingston County, IL.  During seven years in the newspaper business she won 14 journalism awards including eight from Illinois Press Association. She has sold non-fiction to Buckeye Farm News, Time/Warner, and Countryside magazines and a short mystery to Over My Dead Body.  One novel never being rejected notwithstanding, she admits to having a bulging folder of rejections compiled over many years for multiple novels yet unsold.  Her motto is “You never fail until you stop trying.”  She has three published novels with the latest, her first private eye novel, released in August 2010.

 

Judy is the proud mom to two daughters and two sons and Gramma to three boys and one girl.  She lives with her husband, Dennis, on four acres about 75 miles south of Chicago.  When she’s not working on her current thriller-in-progress, she enjoys gardening, fishing, reading, cooking, refinishing antique furniture, learning, walking and travel.

 

Please visit http://www.suspenseiskillingme.net to learn more about the author and her books.

Follow her on Twitter and FaceBook!

 

My Interview with The Rainbow Queen-Jen Wylie

December 7, 2010 14 comments

Happy Tuesday everyone.  I have the distinct honor of having the nicest person you’ll ever meet as my guest for an interview.  She lives in the frigid wastelands of Canada, hates snow, and writes some of the best stories you’ll ever read.  Her name is Jen Wylie.  Please feel free to stop by and ask a multitude of questions.  I’m sure she’d be happy to answer!

 

Rarely have I seen an author with the variety you seem to encompass with your works.  Where does your inspiration come from? Where will it take you next?

My inspiration comes from everything, everywhere. However I will admit music plays a huge roll. I get so many ideas when I listen to songs, a single phrase, or the emotions a song will invoke can jump start a whole new world in my mind. Mostly, I think I just have an overactive imagination. 🙂

I know you wrote Sweet Light years ago as well as its subsequent sequel.  Did you ever think you’d see the day when you found it published?
Back when I was writing it, no. I will admit I occasionally thought ‘It would be cool if I got this published.” However I was more interested in writing than looking into that. Eventually my parents gave me a bit a push and away I went. It wasn’t I didn’t think the story was good enough, I just knew it would be a lot a work finding someone to read it in the publishing world. I’d often read about my favorite authors and their journeys to get published, so knew it wasn’t something easy to do. I wasn’t wrong there. 🙂 I have a tendency not to give up once I have my mind set on something though. I did have some help from a friend to give my butt a kick now and then too. I certainly wouldn’t be here otherwise. 🙂
I am positively enamored with your Echo stories.  Where did you come up with the idea and what can we expect in the future from this line?

The original idea came from a line from a song and then just grew as I wrote it. The line was “I will always be here, for the rest of my life.” Which created in my mind the Echoes, who are bound to their Immortals forever. They can not leave. They can’t even die and pass on, only be utterly destroyed. Different Echoes handle this in different ways.

I’ve written two short stories in the Immortal Echoes world so far. I recently started a book as well. I have the general idea in my head, and the first chapter written. Now I just need to sort out a few more things as I write.

Stay home mom, is synonymous with superwoman.   Where do you find the time to balance your home life with being an author and editor?

I think a lot while I clean. Sweeping and doing dishes doesn’t require a lot of brainpower. Mostly I write in the evenings, since that is what I have gotten used to, even though this year both boys are now in school full time. Daytime I clean and putter at some writing and work on reading and editing jobs. I’ve learned to write in little spurts when I can, and also to just write whatever comes into my head. I might write chapter 5 before chapter 3. Whatever works. I usually have very little trouble connecting everything up eventually.

I often ask this question to the authors I interview.  From the time you started writing, to the time you became published, what was the most rewarding leg of your journey?  What was the most difficult?

The most rewarding was of course having someone actually READ my work. I spend over a year just sending out queries and collecting rejections. These didn’t bother me overly much, none of the the agents had read my work after all.

The most difficult part is the WAITING to hear back. It still is. I’m not a very patient person at the best of times. (All patience goes to dealing with the kids LOL) I am starting to get used to it though. Mostly. 🙂

Reader’s like to be tantalized with what’s coming next.  What is coming next from Jennifer Wylie?

I just finished my first young adult novel, Broken Aro. I’ll be submitting it soon. Right now I’m working on it’s sequel, the Echo book, and also editing the sequel to Sweet Light. I have a few short stories on the go too. I’m a bit of a multi-tasker. 🙂

Of all the stories and novels you’ve written. which is your favorite and why?

That’s a hard one. I love all the many (many) books I’ve written in the world of Sweet Light. I’ve been writing them for almost a decade, they have become a part of me. However I also love my new YA, maybe because it’s new? I’ve also learned SO much in the last six months on HOW to write, I think it turned out pretty darn awesome. 🙂 (Plus it has Fey and Elves in it, and I love them!)

You’re the acquisitions editor for Echelon Press’ Explorations line.  Do you enjoy your work?  What’s your favorite part?

I love it!!! It’s like a dream job. 🙂 It’s hard to say what my favorite part is. I love all the technical aspects of marketing and the keeping up the website etc. (yes I’m weird) but interacting, helping and encouraging the authors is such a wonderful experience. Sometimes I think I get more excited than they do when things are going well. Getting to read a lot of awesome books certainly doesn’t hurt either. 😀

Many people write just for the thrill of it.  Inspiration for being an author can come from anywhere.  What’s yours?  Why do you write?

Why? I have to write. I think I’d go crazy (crazier) if I didn’t. I can’t do anything without stories rambling around in my head. Most nights I lie awake with scenes playing before my eyes. I find if I get them typed out, they leave me alone. 🙂 I have huge files of story ideas and partials just because of that. I love writing, I love the stories my mind creates. I hope everyone else will as well. 🙂

Could you give us a brief outline of what books and short stories are coming out from you, when we can expect them?

Yes I can!

Jump (ebook short story) Released December 15 2010

If you were told to jump off of a bridge would you? Perhaps it would depend on who was doing the asking. Our heroine has spunk and a sense of humor, however suffers from an extreme case of inappropriate clothing. When things take a turn from dangerous to worse what will she do when fantasy becomes reality? Warning: May include hot leather clad men, singing and demons.

 

The Forgotten Echo (ebook short story) Released March 1 2011

Sometimes death is only the beginning…

After a bad day Cassy is surprised to find her self shot, an innocent bystander in a drive by shooting. Bleeding to death in an empty parking lot she knows she is going die. What she doesn’t expect is the arrival of a strange, yet gorgeous, man who tells her he can keep her from passing on in return for being his forever. In desperation she agrees but afterwards she is beyond dismayed to discover she has died. To make matters worse the stranger has disappeared. Her spirit wanders, afraid and alone until she meets another like her and she discovers she not a ghost at all but something much more.

Sweet Light (novel) Released May 2011

When fate conspires against you and gives you three loves to choose from, what do you do?  When you do decide, what if you made the wrong choice?

Shara is a Healer, raised and trained from childhood until her unique gift manifests itself. When she gains the rank Journeyman she is hired to serve as the court healer of the barbaric kingdom of Glendor.

Untrained for war she is thrust unmercifully into its bloody arms when the kingdom is invaded. Ordered by her king to the front lines to tend the wounded, she is forced to flee when their camp is attacked.  Happening upon a wounded soldier in the forest, every mile back to the capital is a struggle, and breaking the Healer’s code, she falls in love with her charge.

If Shara thought that to be the least of her troubles, the appearance of a fierce warrior captain who takes it upon himself to be her protector teaches her differently.  Trouble comes in threes at the appearance of her former love and fellow healer.  Faced with decisions of the heart and the sudden manifestation of her gift leave little room for anything else to go wrong.  Or at least that’s what Shara thought...


Author Bio

Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

Jennifer’s Website: www.jenniferwylie.ca

Jennifer’s Blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/

You can also follow her on Twitter!

You can also “Like” her on Facebook!

The Lost Daughter- Chapter One

November 22, 2010 2 comments

 

Click to Purchase

I have the HONOUR of hosting up and coming author ELLA GREY on her first stop of her blog tour.  Her book What a Way to Start the Day, Is now available for pre-sale on Omnilit.  For her blog tour she decided to put up select chapters of her new story, The Lost Daughter. Read Chapter One here today on my blog and then Chapter Two on my friend, Jen Wylie’s Blog!  If you want to keep reading, you’ll have to follow the story from blog to blog to blog!  Give it a read, and I’m sure you’ll see why Ella Grey was picked up by Echelon Press.  Enjoy my friends!

 

 

The Lost Daughter

Chapter One

Part One

I’ve always had nightmares.

If you had seen what I had seen you would have them too. The setup was always the same. I was in a room carved into the middle of a cave. Laid out there was enough room to see that I was the center of something that could have passed for a morbid clock face. Twelve slabs of rock, twelve bodies in various states of decay. I had seen Dad as I’d been dragged in.

From the look on his face he could have been sleeping. It was only by looking lower to the messy blood stained hole that you knew that he wouldn’t be waking up. Above each of their heads was the red mass of muscle that was the human heart. The urge to fight left me in a wave. These were the days before I knew that I was a witch. Five years ago, I was just like any other fifteen year old girl. It’s hard to believe that life was ever that simple.

I was half lead, half dragged to the slab in the center, number thirteen. It was only after Thomas rescued me and I’d been safety hidden away in a police station I’d become hysterical. They’d sedated me after I’d tried to claw out my eyes, the image of my Dad on that cold stone slab haunted me to this day..

That was the funny thing about dreams. They didn’t always play out events the way you remembered them. My nightmares always played out the, what if? What if Thomas had been late? What if he had never shown up at all?

A shadow fell over me. I looked up into a pair of dark inhuman eyes hidden behind a mask. Gripping my face with a gloved and he turned it from side to side, studying me. After that was done he left, eventually returning with a steel container. He opened it and I was hit by an unfamiliar smell, as he held my head still, he dipped in a finger and drew something on my forehead. The substance had been thick and it left clots of something that later I’d found out was made up of the blood of the earlier victims. The man had then moved to the side and had been joined by six others. All of them were dressed the same, red robes and black masks that covered the entire face. Their hands seemed to snake out, holding my legs, arms and head. At the time I had been terrified, where they planning on raping me first? The man that marked me now stood between my spread legs. I remembered being fully dressed the day they grabbed me but dreams were tricky things. Sometimes the situation would be warped by my mind and I would appear naked, even more vulnerable than I’d actually been. He climbed onto the stone slab with me and it was always at that moment I saw the ornamental knife that had been tucked between a rope belt and his robes.

It had been right about now that Thomas had came in, all guns a blazing with his team to rescue me. I remembered this and so did my dream self. What my dream self never seemed to remember was that in this version he never came. Instead the blade came down and I screamed. I felt every incision as they cut a hole, broke my ribs and still I screamed. Why wasn’t I dying? Why did I have to feel every second? I felt his hand travel into my chest and grab my heart.

“You bastards” I screamed as he tugged it free from its resting place. It was finally over.

 

Like the beginning to the story of Alice Young? Part 2 can be found tomorrow at http://jlwylie.wordpress.com.

My eshort, ‘What a way to start the day’ A Molly O’Brien Tale is being released on the 1st of December. http://www.omnilit.com/product-whatawaytostarttheday-484430-139.html

Waking up to realize you may be in the family way would make anyone worry. Especially if the would-be daddy has fangs and is the hunted son of the vampire mafia.
Molly O’Brien runs the small shop ‘Forbidden Charms’ and is the witch to go to if you want something. Operating on the outskirts of a supernatural world isn’t easy either, especially when trying to keep your secret from the human world. Who would have thought life could get any more complicated for the little fire witch?

 

My Interview with Norm Cowie

November 10, 2010 2 comments

Just want to say, “Dude you crack me up.”  With that out of the way I have to ask, could you imagine writing anything without an element of humor in it?

 

Yep, gotta crack people up.   I treat each reader like an egg I want to break.  If I can scramble some brains, poach some feelings or egg the reader on any other way, I’m going to do it.  As far as writing without humor, I have to admit it’s a challenge not to slide down the sophomoric slope of immaturity and humor.

 

 

To date, what work of yours brought you the most satisfaction in seeing it to completion?

 

I think my second book, THE NEXT ADVENTURES OF GUY.  Wring(s/b Writing)  this was satisfying because as a sequel, I could skip the boring stuff where I’m introducing characters and romp right on into the story.  This one actually starts with the characters running in a graveyard.

 

 

What possessed you, I mean inspired you, to write a book for young adults?

 

Well, there was this kid ghost who spoke to me during a séance and … well, okay, not really.  What really happened was a librarian came up to me at a writer’s conference and told me teens were reading my Adventures of Guy series.  When I heard that, a light bulb went on over my head, dropped on my noggin and broke, sending tiny shards of glass all over my shoulders. And I decided I had to give it a try.

 

 

On the same topic, I was introduced to Fang Face on your website and I’ve added that to my “MUST READ” list.  Was writing to a younger audience difficult?

 

Besides getting in touch with my inner child, there are certain challenges to writing Fang Face that I didn’t face with my adult books.  Mostly, how to walk the fine line where it’s realistic enough for the kids, while not crossing lines that I didn’t want to cross.  There’s no sex or cussing in Fang Face, and that’s just not true in a kid’s life. I mean, think about all of the cussing and orgies going on in today’s schools.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you agreed to this interview.  Now that I have you here, what would be the BEST advice you could give to aspiring writers?

 

Don’t.  Bore.  The.  Reader.    By that, I mean, don’t spend a long time setting up scenes so the reader can see something exactly the way you picture it.  Let their imagination fill in some of the blanks.  I can’t tell you how many times I stopped reading a book because the author spent too much time laboriously explaining scenes.

 

 

I see you’re working on a new book, WEREWOOF.  Would you care to share with everyone a little about what to expect?  Any idea when we might expect it on the shelves?

 

It’s done.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.  In the meantime, I’m working on my next one (see below).

 

 

Some authors are born into the craft, others are introduced, but I’ve never met an author who would give up writing because they love it so much.  How important is your craft to you?  If you could do anything else besides being an author what would it be?

 

Oh, without a doubt, I would want to be the guy who cleans up after parties at Chuckie Cheese.  Imagine all of the fun things you can find in the play section. Diapers, food, spilled drinks, barf.  How fun.

 

Being a father of two children myself, I plan to incorporate them at some point in my novels as characters, probably evil ones bent on the destruction of the earth and refusing to clean their lairs.  Have your children ever had roles in any of your work?

 

Yeah, kids are like that, aren’t they.  My younger daughter Lauren is my official ‘bounce-offer.’  I bounce ideas off her, and discuss possible plot turns and things.  She’s a freshman in college, and really in tune with what’s fun and popular. As far as characters, both of my daughters claim they were the inspiration for the sisters in Fang Face.  I tell them not. They tell me yes, I tell them no.  They disagree.  It’s an ongoing argument.

 

 

I ask this question of everyone I interview because I love to see the diversity of the answers presented.  Form the moment you started writing until the moment you held your completed first work in you r hand, what leg of the journey was the most difficult to overcome or get through?

 

My left leg, ever since I messed up my knee. But I’ve been icing it, taking anti-inflammatories and babying it, so  it’s getting better now.  It’ll be okay.

 

What’s next for Norm Cowie?  After you complete WEREWOOF, do you have another story rattling around in your head that you can’t wait to get down on paper?

 

I’m about two thirds done writing the third Adventures of Guy.  In this one, my college characters are angry about the price of oil, so they decide to take on Big Oil in its headquarters, which they find is in Hell. When they get there, they are shocked to find out that George Bush and Dick Cheney have taken over Hell, torturing Satan with an unending colonoscopy – meanwhile, the terrorists are wandering around going, ‘Where are the virgins? We were promised virgins.’  The guy from Verizon is down there, too, saying, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?”  Meanwhile, Sarah Palin can see them from her back yard.    Yep, more wackiness.

All of this can be seen on my website www.normcowie.com

My Amazon page

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=norm+cowie&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=1155441161&ref=pd_sl_7pl76ao3rl_b

My blog  http://fangplace.blogspot.com

My Twitter http://twitter.com/normcowie

My Interview with Sessha Bato

October 25, 2010 1 comment

How did you get into writing? Is this a new venture or have you always had the writing bug?

 

I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was four – Obediah the Panda. Needless to say it was NOT a literary masterpiece, but I guess I’ve always had the urge to write down the stories I’d like to read. I wrote poetry and angsty plays through my early twenties, but once I was out of university I stopped writing fiction. I did write treatments and scripts for educational, documentary and training films on occasion, but the bulk of my creative efforts were directed elsewhere. It was only after I lost my job three years ago that I started writing again. After a year of unemployment I was bored to tears and saw an article about NaNoWriMo and decided to give it a try. A month later I’d finished my first novel. It was barely 50,000 words, but I was hooked. Since then I’ve been writing full time (the blessing underneath the curse of unemployment).

 

Is there any particular reason you chose to write in the erotica genre?

 

I wanted to tell stories that laid my characters open and sex is one situation that gives characters vulnerability and lets you see who they are underneath their veneer of socialization. I write homosexual erotica because I love the parity a same sex relationship gives to both partners, roles and expectations are so much more fluid. And, of course, I enjoy reading homoerotic stories, I write the ones I’d like to read but no one has written.

 

Have you ever written in any other genre, or would you like to in the future?

 

I have attempted a few things in other genres, but I wasn’t happy with them. Rather than change genre, my goal is to write books that will, hopefully, open the genre up to a wider audience. My greatest joy is when get a review that says ‘I usually don’t read erotica, but . . .’ because I know I’ve opened up someone’s mind to something new.

 

Does being a Buddhist have any effect on your writing? Do you ever incorporate ideas or beliefs into your work?

 

I think being Buddhist has a huge impact on my writing. Many of my works are set in Asia, and even those set in other locations definitely have a different take on life, death, honor, duty and the lessons to be learned from our lives.

 

Do you have any troubles balancing home life with your writing?

 

I think all writers do. The temptation to keep writing instead of doing mundane tasks like laundry and dishes is very powerful, and tends to win out. Thankfully my husband and son are very supportive. Of course, I’m sure it helps that I’m much happier now than I was when I was working full time, and much more balanced, which makes me a lot easier to live with, I’m sure.

 

You practice battojutso, can you tell us more about this? Do you find having knowledge of sword work helpful in your writing?

 

I’ve practiced Tenshin Niten Ichi Ryu Battojutso for thirty-five years. The technical knowledge hasn’t helped me in my writing to date, however my next book is set in 16th century Japan so it should come in handy. That’s not to say I don’t find it helpful in my other writing. My morning practice focuses my mind before writing, my afternoon practice wipes away the stress and tension that accumulates while I write.

 

You write a lot of flash fiction, are these for fun and practice or part of marketing and getting your name out there?

 

The flash fiction is mainly my attempt to be less wordy. My last book finished up at almost a quarter of a million words and even after substantial editing still ended up being reshaped into a series. Since I tend to write the big picture I thought it would help me to learn to write short. It’s a LOT tougher than it looks, give me a novel project any day.

 

What are you currently working on now, a new short story or novel?

 

Right now I’m about halfway through a novella, In the Desert of the Porcupines, and gearing up to start a new novel, Onna Bugeisha, in November for NaNoWriMo.

 

How hard was it for you to find a publisher in your genre?

 

There are quite a few excellent publishers in my genre, so there’s an active market. That being said, my first book was published by a start up micro-publisher. I wasn’t even contemplating doing anything other than sticking the book in a drawer and moving on, as I had with my first. I saw their call for submissions though and took a chance. This was good and bad, as my work is much more hard core than anything else they’ve put out. At this point I’m contemplating pulling it, giving it a good re-edit and releasing it myself. What it did do was give me confidence to keep writing. The shorter pieces I have in anthologies are also through multi-faceted presses, so I have yet to actually seek publication with an erotica publisher. My latest book is in the hands of an agent at the moment, if she takes me on then I’ll follow her lead as to where to submit, of course.

 

What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of being a published author? What do you find the most difficult?

 

The most rewarding aspect is hearing from readers who liked your work. Positive reviews are always inspiring. I like the negative reviews as well, they tell me where I’m falling short and give me specific things to try and do differently next time. The most difficult is a toss up between the waiting (I hate to wait) and the writing time you lose to promotion.

Thank YOU so much for the great interview.  Keep on writing my friend!


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