Interview with Elizabeth Holloway

IMG_5113smallTell us about your publishing journey…
Like many writers, my first published work, Call Me Grim, is not the first one I wrote. In addition to the sequel, entitled Death Becomes Me (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344457-death-becomes-me), and another half-finished YA thriller, I have two other books gathering dust under my bed: one I’d like to revisit someday, and one that should visit a furnace.
I found my agent for Call Me Grim with the first batch of queries. That totally shocked me. I spent the better part of two years querying the previous novel with only a few nibbles. After lots of hard work, my agent found me a publisher, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What do you love about being an author?
I love to create worlds and people, and watch things get twisted around. There is nothing like writing a story and surprising myself with something a character does or says unexpectedly. Half of the fun of writing, for me, is telling myself the story. Maybe that makes me selfish, but I figure if I’m not surprised, my readers won’t be.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Not dinner, really, but I would eat chocolate cake with Four from Divergent, because chocolate cake and Four!
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Libbi Piper
Physical description: Petite but curvy, dark-brown wavy hair, bright green eyes, round face
Libbi’s a hard character to cast. Obviously, I need to think about her physical appearance, but she’s also smart, snarky, and not afraid to stand up for the people she loves, or something she believes in. That’s why I’d pick Emma Roberts to take the lead.
Aaron Shepherd
Physical description: Tall and lean, black hair that falls over his forehead, deep blue eyes, a little shadow of scruff on his cheeks and chin
I’m not gonna lie. I’ve had this actor pegged to play Aaron ever since I saw him in Warm Bodies. Granted, he doesn’t say a whole heck of a lot in that film, but I love his ability to express so much in the subtlest of gestures and grunts. Aaron is wordier than that, obviously, but he still holds a lot back. I think Nicholas Hoult would play him beautifully.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
Maybe it’s because I was a teen in the 90’s who pretty much fell in love with Brad Pitt’s character in Interview with the Vampire, but there’s something very intriguing about a reluctant vamp. It has to be a sucky existence, so I tend to find that kind of blood-sucker most intriguing.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
I don’t think I’d want to go back to any era, actually. I enjoy modern amenities way too much.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?Call Me Grim
 
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s a piece of advice I’m sure was given to me at one point, but I failed to understand and/or heed it.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Hmmm… I always wanted to be a mermaid. Does that count as supernatural? I think my intense curiosity of the deep ocean and the crazy, undiscovered creatures that live there, drives my desire. Plus, seashell bras! BONUS!
Where do you write best? 
 
At my local sandwich shop, when I can get there. I’ve been having issues with my laptop, leaving me tied to the house computer. Bleh!
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
 
I just finished Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland. It’s the story of a girl who dies and finds the afterlife is less castle in the clouds and more supernatural boarding school. Full of romance, and whimsy, with a little bit of Harry Potter thrown in for good measure, I highly recommend it!
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
 
As soon as I’m finished with the Call Me Grim series, I plan to delve back into a novel I was writing called Drive. It’s a YA thriller and I’m so stoked to get back to it!
Where can fans find you online?
 
Author Links:
 
Purchase/Book Links:

Book Spotlight: Evernight Candace Knoebel (Night Watchmen #2)

EvernightSynopsis:

The stunning sequel to the thrilling paranormal romance novel Everlasting!

One lie will change everything.

Faye Middleton has secured the Dagger of Retribution for the High Priesthood, but in doing so, she’s opened the door to more demands set by them. She now has to break the Holy Seal, and soon. Trapped in the alluring Ethryeal City, Faye is pushed to the breaking point trying to discover just what she is truly capable of, even if it means destroying herself in the process.

With the clock ticking down to the war between both Covens, and the truth about her parent’s mysterious disappearance within her reach, Faye is faced with tough choices that will forever change her. Will Faye be able to handle the demands from the Priesthood, and still be able to continue her search for her parents?

But more importantly, can she survive the truth she finds?

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21894440-evernight

About the Author:

Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames-book one in a young adult fantasy trilogy. She discovered in 2009 through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. And an outlet for all the voices residing in her head.

Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013. In January of 2014, the last book in the trilogy, From the Embers, was released, thusly completing the trilogy. She now works on the Night Watchmen Series, while guzzling Red Bulls and pretending to be a ninja on Heelys.

http://www.candaceknoebel.com

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Book Review: Needfire by Amy Braun

bigSynopsis:

A virus has spread across the country, infecting its victims and turning them into bloodthirsty monsters. Trained soldiers are dispatched to eliminate the threat, no matter how mild the infection seems.Sophia, Isaac, and Reyes live on the run, scavenging what they can and staying away from both sides of the conflict. But all of that changes when one of them becomes infected.As they struggle to find the rumored cure, the three friends begin to realize that the virus isn’t what it seems, and that finding it may cost them more than they could ever imagine…

Amazon.com          Kobo          Amazon.ca

About the Author:

Amy is an aspiring urban fantasy author addicted to monsters and mythology. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, or gaming.

http://www.goodreads.com/amybraunauthor

https://twitter.com/amybraunauthor

http://literarybraun.blogspot.ca/

My Review:

I always secretly read dystopia as a bit of prepper advice. What to do if the world turns to crazy poo and you need to survive? Needfire gives us a very believable storyline of what could happen. Friends who try to stick together through the worst of it, and those who take advantage of the situation for their own gains. Certainly not hard to imagine this ‘going down’.

From then very start of the book, we’re taken into the action, which I personally think is a must with these types of novels – I was very close to giving up on The Walking Dead when it seemed to descend into ‘a bit of action happening’ and then 40 minutes of all the characters discussing it, and oh yeah the number of zombies dwindling to those you can count on one hand per episode! Fortunately the producer/writer saved the series and now its better than ever! Rant over…. So Needfire doesn’t fall into that familiar plot trapping, which is hard work for the author, it’s easy to pad out a book with those kinds of scenes, harder to keep the tension and action up, so that was a really long winded way of saying – well done, Amy!

From a writer’s perspective, I was worried about reading an Indie book, I haven’t had the best experiences with them, but this one flows very well, mistakes are limited (and are no more than you’d see in a mass market paperback anyway) So to be honest, if I hadn’t have known it was self published, I wouldn’t have guessed.

The front cover does let it down though (Sorry Amy) with that image it could be any kind of book: thriller etc. So I think it could do with an ‘infected’ dystopian overhaul to compete with other titles in this crowded genre. It would be a massive shame if Needfire isn’t picked up because the cover isn’t as exciting as it could be.

Overall, I’d give Needfire 4 out 5 stars – a great read for those Autumn nights that are now knocking on our doors.

 

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

7402393Synopsis:

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

About the Author:

Andrea Cremer is the author of the internationally bestselling Nightshade series. She spent her childhood daydreaming and roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin.

Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. Before she wrote her first novel, Andrea was a history professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her books, she strives to bring together her two passions: history and fantasy. Andrea now lives in New York and writes full time.

To contact Andrea, please visit, andreacremer.com

My Review:

Nightshade proved to be an excellent start to a YA trilogy. I do prefer first person narrative, so for me, it made the storyline that much more emotive. And I loved the world building – the Guardians and Keepers and Seekers were interesting and ripe for plot twists and revolution.

From a writer’s perspective, there were a lot of characters introduced in the first 30% of the book (I read it oNightshadeUKn Kindle) which made it difficult to keep track at first. There was also the courtesy feat of giving each character a flash of the spotlight in the secens they were in, which did frustrate me a bit: For example, in one scene they are all round a table and it takes an age to get to the point of the scene as one character has to cross and uncross their legs while another drinks milk from a straw, and another stares too hard at something, etc. I’m being un-neccesarily pedantic here, but I’ve seen this a lot recently, Laurell K Hamilton’s new book had page after page of showcasing what all the characters in the scene were doing to the point I just wanted some of them to die quickly so I could read on and get to the plot! Nightshade doesn’t go that far, but it certainly could have been edited down whilst still character building.

The front cover of the book that I bought was not the one above, but a much more boring and sedate one (to the side) I’ve never been sure as to why publishers insist of different covers for different countries – surely consistency of branding is what is important, especially readers are even more international these days. Needless to say I much prefer the one I put up the top of this post, compared to the one below – what do you think?

Overall I’d give Nightshade 4 out of 5 stars, I have bought the others so hope the story continues to be original and interesting.

 

The Haunted Open House Giveaway Blog Hop

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 Happy Haunted Open House Blog Hop!

Okay, so I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about my time as an actor at a Halloween attraction in the UK. My older brother had been part of the crew for years and he was always asking me to join him – after all, I count horror as one of my genres and learning how to frighten people first hand could only be a useful tool for my writing. So I went along to the auditions and got the part of a scary little girl ghost.

Driving up to the attraction every night was surreal to say the least. Manic laughter, desperate screams and out of tune music was pushed out through speaker phones giving it an eerie atmosphere. With it being a typical British Autumn, the nights drew in quicker and there was a to-the-bone chill in the air. Even being part of the scary illusion was pretty damn frightening!

Upon arrival I would go into make-up the semi-normal author you see on this blog, and come out as a cursed ghost desperate to be freed from the demon that killed her and her family.

Deadsy the Bear

Deadsy the Bear

Night after night groups of people would flock to the attraction and, between you and me, the scares got a bit addictive. Although most of the scene I played out was scripted, me and my demon developed extra improvisations that made the screams louder, and the visitors paler.

This was the time that ‘Deadsy’ came into my life. He started out as an innocent enough teddy bear hunched over a shop’s shelf, but after he came home with me he began to evolve into something more heinous, hideous and downright horrible. Blood matted his fur, his eye pulled out to reveal a soulless hole. He was damp from spending so much time outside, and was always cold. He was perfect. Clutched in my pale arms as I desperately searched the visitors for my long lost family, he’d touch people in the dark, making them sequel and squirm.

So, what did my time there reveal to me? Horror takes many forms and is very subjective. Once you get that first scream from someone, the next ones are easier to illicit. Fear is contagious and large groups breed it better than small ones. Although fun to be a ghost, it can get kind of repetitive doing the same thing every night. And if you’re going to write horror, you really do need to experience it once in a while (in a safe and playful environment!)

*At the end of my time at the Halloween attraction, Deadsy decided to stay and is still frightening people to this day.

Giveaway: Trick Or Treat! 

I’m giving away one eBook copy of my YA Vampires VS Zombies novel, Bad Blood on this hop. To enter please fill out the contact form below and in the comment section simply copy and paste: Bad Blood Halloween Giveaway.

bad-blood2Don’t forget to keep on hopping…

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Big thank you to Nancy Gideon for setting this hop up! http://hauntedopenhouse.blogspot.co.uk/

Book Spotlight: Seductive Supernaturals Boxed Set

SeductiveSynopsis:

Bad boys, tortured alpha heroes, and kick-ass heroines all come together in 12 steamy full-length paranormal romance novels and novellas from NY Times, USA Today, and national bestselling authors! Whether you’re looking for tantalizing dark tales or the humorous side of the supernatural, you’ll get werewolves, vampires, fallen angels, monster hunters, and ghosts—every one of them a hot temptation you won’t be able to resist…

DIABLO SPRINGS by Erin Quinn: Gracie Beck vowed that she would never to return to Diablo Springs, but the haunted town lures her back—along with the man who betrayed her years ago. Reilly broke her heart with his lies. Now, he wants a second chance to win her, but can they survive the ghosts of Diablo Springs?

VAMPIRE REBORN by Caridad Pineiro: Would you be reborn for love? Ryder Latimer, sexy Southern vampire, will have to make one of the most difficult choices in his undead life: Become human again or protect his new wife and child.

SHADOW FALL by Erin Kellison: Just discovering her magic, ballerina Annabella Ames didn’t mean to summon a dark wolf from Twilight, nor the tempting fallen angel Custo Santovari, who has no place in Heaven. The cunning wolf stalks them relentlessly, and danger seduces as they fight for redemption and love.

NIGHT ANGEL by Lisa Kessler: When Colin Flynn returns home to Ireland, the immortal Night Walker’s flesh has healed, but the scars hide a broken spirit. Juliana Duffy plays piano in spite of her deafness, challenging him to redefine himself and find the strength to battle an ancient enemy.

SHADOWS TILL SUNRISE by Chris Marie Green: Two monster hunters fighting a star-crossed attraction and one bloodthirsty phantom leaving a trail of death… Can love survive till the sun rises?

A SHADOW AT TWILIGHT by Mary Leo: They say Hotel Colorado is haunted, but when Dillon Spencer appears in his hotel room to find Hilly Thompson, his assistant, soaking in the tub, he begins to question whether or not he’s alive, dead, or caught in another dimension.

MORE THAN FIENDS by Maureen Child: At 32, Cassidy Burke discovers she’s a legendary Demon Duster. But she’s got bigger problems than some pesky demons. Like, Logan Miller–first love, baby daddy to her genius daughter is back. Then there’s Devlin Cole, a walking orgasm with too many secrets. Cassidy’s life is out of control and about to get way too interesting.

IMMORTAL POSSESSION by Cassi Carver: When Dr. Evelyn Vale is paired with Immortal Bounty’s sexy commander to go undercover and infiltrate a supernatural body-trafficking ring, she’s eager to get to work. Until she learns the catch… To crack this case, he’ll need to possess her body.

FOREVER ROSE by Janet Wellington: Tarot cards predict a dangerous journey for Taylor Rose, but she doesn’t expect to travel back to 1888 San Diego. What the cards didn’t predict was falling for a man bent on revenge, a helpful ghost, and spooky séances. Is she there to prevent a murder or to find love?

WELCOME HOME, VAMPIRE by Theresa Meyers: Corporal Cole Wagner lost his humanity in war – literally. Turned into a vampire by the military’s Vector Force, he’s the ultimate weapon, but when he returns home to set the past right, will the enemy stop at nothing to get him, including threatening the life of the woman he loved, and lost, before?

VAMPIRE MAGIC (Blood Genie, books 1 and 2) by Sheri Whitefeather: Two tenderly romantic, wildly erotic stories featuring supernatural hybrids (vampires/genies) who grant wishes for the exchange of blood.

WILD NIGHTS WITH A LONE WOLF by Elisabeth Staab: A mandatory vacation lands Agent Sherri Walker in bed with a local werewolf. Asher Hughes walked away from his outlaw pack but couldn’t ditch the bad blood. Together they’ll have to pull off one hell of an act to get out of treacherous territory alive.

Purchase:

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Interview with Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel-0034Tell us about your publishing journey…

I’ve been writing for most of my life, but in 2011, I decided to seriously pursue publication for my work. I self-published my first novel in 2012, which was later acquired by Bloomsbury Spark and re-released in 2013, and my first YA novel came out in earlier this year from Month9Books. My career is absolutely hybrid; I’ve got works with small presses, digital first imprints, and large presses, and I plan to self-publish again in the future, too. It’s a great time to be a writer; there’ve never been more options, and that’s wonderful! 

What do you love about being an author?

It’s so incredibly cool to be able to tell stories. I love playing in my fictional worlds and getting to know my characters! Meeting readers is really awesome, too; I particularly love visiting middle and high schools and connecting with young writers. 

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’d love to sit down with Scarlet O’Hara, although we’d probably get into a fight; two strong, opinionated women in one space would either be amazing or disastrous! I’d like to eat whatever she would want to serve. Knowing her, it would be decadent and delicious! 

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

You know, I never know what to do with that question! I honestly haven’t cast any of my novels, but it would be amazing to see them brought to live on film or TV! 

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Classic monsters. DRACULA is one of my favorite books to re-read each fall!

 If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?Daughter of Chaos

 I’m a total history nerd, so it’s nearly impossible to pick just one era. I guess if I knew I could get home whenever I needed, I’d love to pop back to the days of the last Cleopatra and get a glimpse of the fall of Egypt. I’ve always been obsessed with ancient Egypt! 

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

 Just keep writing. Seriously, there’s very little stress in my life that won’t melt away if I keep writing and keep practicing yoga.  

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

 I’d love to be a witch, ala Practical Magic, because, come on! Who doesn’t want to be that cool? 

Where do you write best? 

I tend to fast draft, and lately I’ve been drafting on my laptop at my dining table. When I dig into edits, I work best on my desktop. Sadly, I’ve never been able to write in a coffee shop, although I do love a good Starbucks break whenever I get the chance! 

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I just finished STOKER’S MANUSCRIPT by Royce Prouty, and I loved it! It was a great gothic read, particularly for fans of the original DRACULA. 

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Since I write in a lot of genres, I don’t really know how to answer this question! I write YA paranormal, contemporary, and gothic, and I write NA contemporary, mystery, and paranormal. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to try my hand at Sci Fi, but I’m not an avid Sci Fi reader, so I wouldn’t even know where to start!

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.  Her fiction titles include DAUGHTER OF CHAOS (YA), THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY (NA), and the upcoming BEAUTIFUL CURSE (YA). http://www.jenmcconnel.com  to learn more.

 Connect With Jen:

 Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Facebook | Blog | Website |

 

Book Review: Enlightened by A.L. Waddington

19279000Book 1 Synopsis:

Jocelyn Timmons does not believe she is anything special — just an ordinary high school senior, living an ordinary life full of school-work, volleyball and friends. She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Jackson Chandler moved in to the house across the street. His dark wavy hair, green eyes and charismatic personality draws everyone to him. Everyone, but Jocelyn.

Whenever Jackson gets near Jocelyn she feels ill and dizzy. When he touches her, she blacks out and has visions of another life, in another time. As the odd hallucinations evolve and become clearer, she feels a strong pull towards the people she sees there. Frightened, she watches her once stable life begin to crumble around her and she begins to question her own sanity.

Could it be possible that these episodes are actually her own memories of a life she is living somehow, somewhere, some-when? Maybe this is time-travel or some other paranormal mysticism? Our minds often wander, but can our souls?

Book 2 Synopsis:

Continuing where Essence, Book 1, EVE series ended, the barrier between Jocelyn Timmons consciousness continues to dissolve as she better understands the two lives she lives and enormity of her newly discovered inherited gift of EVE (Essence Voyager Era) which allows her to fall asleep on one plane of existence and awaken on another as her soul travels nightly.

In Enlightened, Book 2, present-day Jocelyn uncovers the vast wonderment of the Victorian era but soon learns that life then was not as grand for women as she has read in the classics. Still, she finds comfort in the support of family and friends; a bolstering contrast to her overly hectic, career-oriented family in the twenty-first century. Her love for Jackson Chandler strengthens across time and becomes the light she so desperately needs as the world she has always known no longer makes sense. Yet, the closer she is drawn to Jackson by their mutual ability, the more strain develops amongst those she loves in 2009.

On the other side of Jocelyn’s consciousness in 1878, she remains ignorant of EVE. Her life is crumbling around her, yet she 20799156finds herself anxiously awaiting the images that invade her dreams. Jocelyn longs to be the woman she portrays in that world yet her jealousy is unbearable. Miscommunication, betrayal and hidden agendas make trust near impossible. The clearer the visions become the more she questions motives of her closest confidants and foregoes revealing the images that plague her perception. As her life seems to unravel, Jocelyn’s two worlds collide, and she is enlightened as the pieces start to fall into place. But is she strong enough to survive the truth? Is Jackson really her destiny? And can their love transcend time?

My Review of both books:

So, these books really do need to be read together – so no dipping into the 2nd till you’ve read the first!

This story is told in chapters that alternate between time periods. So there’s a little bit of historical fantasy in there too. By doing this the author can really build the tension of the stories, making the books really difficult to put down. Kind of like Agatha Christie ending a chapter on a cliff hanger so you have to read more.

From a writer’s perspective, the plot was slow to heat up, but if it had heated up too quickly then it would have boiled over leaving a fictional mess (too much of a cooking analogy – probably) So it does require a patience reader. There were some awkward sentences in there – but not from a technical point of view, but more from a personal POV – when you’re a writer yourself, you tend to have a certain way of doing things and when you read something that goes against that, it can be jarring, not say wrong generally, but wrong to me personally.

The front covers are beautiful and there is a strong marketing brand running through them, even though they are all very different. So two thumbs up to whoever designed them.

Overall I’d give both books 4 out of 5 stars – a lovely story that is both original and comforting at the same time – the perfect read for curling up by the fire (if you are in a cold country – if you are in a warm one, then not so much – exchange fire for beach!)

Interview with Michelle L Johnson

5764543Last time we spoke you’d just released Divinity, can you can give us an update as to what has happened to you since?
Since we last spoke, I’ve had the launch party for Divinity. It was held at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk, VA where I’d attended many workshops and made many critique partners. It was a great party! Other than that, mostly work…
Will there be any more books in this series?
Yes, I am currently working on the sequel, and beyond that there is one more book. So a trilogy all in all, but there will be an opening for a second trilogy, too.
Tough question…is there anything, looking back, that you would have changed in the book?
I think I didn’t tie up the stalker thread as much as I would have liked, and if I had it to do over again I would have firmed that up as a mystery for the angels to solve almost like a police procedural. It’s like that loosely, but I would have liked to make the story stronger around that point.
What are you working on at the moment?
The sequel to DIVINITY, which I have tentatively called TREACHERY.
What’s the one question, in interviews, that you dread being asked?
Wait a minute. If I tell you will you ask it?
How has being an author changed your life?
I think it’s mostly just given me an outlet for all those things I observe that a lot of people don’t. And it has really made my movie and TV viewing a lot different. I more closely follow character development than I ever did before, making careful note when something works well.
If you were to be trapped in a TV show, which would would it be?22117059
Supernatural. Because Dean. Of course, he needs a little more rescuing this year than most, but still.
Halloween is rearing it’s spooky head – will you be dressing up this year? And if so, as what?
I think that I will dress up as a writer. Or maybe as someone who works in their pajamas.
What is the most common reaction you get when you tell strangers that you are an author? 
Surprise. Almost 100% of the time, people say “Oh!” then the surprise changes to that one where you can tell they’re trying to figure out if they should know your name or not but are too embarrassed to ask.
Where online can we keep up to date with your books?
My website is http://www.michelleljohnson.us though I interact far more on my Facebook author page:https://www.facebook.com/MichelleL.Johnson

 

Interview with Randy McCharles

2143739

Tell us about your publishing journey…
My 1st publication was in 1997 when I came in 5th place in a writing contest. The top 5 entries were published in a book. I continued to place and win all the way to 2006, after which I was considered too published to continue entering. I then looked at market publications and “sold” my firststory to Tesseracts 11 in 2007. (Tesseracts is an annual anthology of the best of Canadian speculative fiction.) I sold a novella to the same anthology the following year and it went on to be reprinted in Tor’s Year’s Best Fantasy 9 and also won an Aurora Award for short fiction. I sold various short stories and novellas since then with the 2013 novella anthology The Puzzle Box hitting the bestsellers list in Calgary and Edmonton, receiving 3 Aurora Award nominations, and winning one. In 2013 I also entered and won the House of Anansi Digital’s 7-day ghost story contest. I had 2 publications in 2014. The Necromancer Candle from Edge Publications is a collection of 3 contemporary fantasy novellas. I also experimented with self-publishing and published through CreateSpace a soft SF novel — Capone’s Chicago — that I developed from a short fiction series whose rights had reverted back to me. In August 2015  I have a novel coming out from Tyche Press called Much Ado About Macbeth about a high school drama teacher who sees too much of Macbeth coming to life in his classroom.
What do you love about being an author?
The best part is simply storytelling. Coming up with a new story that entertains, moves, and sometimes educates. People reading it comes a close second. :)
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If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
This is a very difficult question. What to eat is the easy part. Chicken wings. Who to share my wings with? There are so many. Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t be a bad dinner date.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Another difficult question. I’m not a Hollywood star chaser and don’t even know the names of most actors. I think I would like to see talented unknowns cast in the parts. Actors who can bring the book to life and who don’t confuse the audience with their celebrity status.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
I think I’d go to the future. :) Just to see how things turn out. If I had to go back, it would probably be tothe late seventies /early eighties because that’s when the best rock bands were touring with new music that still hits the airwaves today. Of course, I’d have to take back a wad of old currency to buy the concert tickets.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
I think my biggest regret is believing what I was taught in high school, that the only way to succeed is to go to university and get a business degree. Knowing what I know now, I would have gone to trade school and gotten a solid 9-5 job and spent more time with the arts and writing.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I suspect I would be a shapeshifter. Preferably one that could pick when and what to shift into. There’s not much downside and lots of room for shenanigans.
Where do you write best? 
At a writers retreat, with no distractions and lots of peer pressure. It’s hard to forget about your to-do list when you are writing athome. A retreat lets you focus on a project for days and days.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I recently read Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrel. It is a brilliant historical thriller set in Victorian London. I pity the fool who doesn’t read this book.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I suspect I would write mystery thriller. My fiction has a strong mystery component already, but I opt for oddness rather than thrills with characters who are more like the reader than they are James Bond.
Where can fans find you online?
I have a small website that lists my publications and some of the things I am up to at www.randymccharles.com
I also haunt Facebook a fair bit. www.facebook.com/randymccharles

 

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