Happy New Year!


file7841341533535Happy New Year!

So, 2017 is here and let’s hope it’s going to be a good one. Although, it’s not all out of your hands. If you feel like you could have had a better 2016, achieved more, done more, been more, then, instead of feeling annoyed at yourself, turn that feeling around to making 2017 better.
I know, it’s easier said than done, right? Even I have felt like I’ve worked hard to achieve very little in 2016. It can be soul destroying and make you wonder why you bother at all, but you just need to remember that your life can turn around in just one event, one meeting or even one decision. You just need to keep trying till you get to that key moment.
As a writer, I know this more than anyone. It took me years to get published, and even now I still don’t feel like I’ve reached that goal to be a professional author yet. But I haven’t stopped trying, and I won’t. I’ll also continue to help other writers who want that same goal as me, guide them on their journeys (something I’ve done for over 6 years now) and give them the support that I wished I had had.

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So, the question that never really get answered in all those self-help books: How? How do you keep going even if you’re tired, depressed, feeling unappreciated or feeling like life is ignoring even your most basic needs? Unfortunately, I think that the answer is different for everyone. For me, I just need to push on regardless, do the whole British ‘stiff upper lip’ trick and hope that all my work will, someday, pay off. The one piece of advice that I can give you, right now, is just to get something done, to take that first step on whatever journey you need to take to get you to the destination if where you want to be. Write a ‘to do’ list and then start ticking those bad boys off. And just remember, a year from now, you’ll wish you had started that journey today.

Happy 2017 everyone – Remember to stop by here on my blog when you can and let me know how the year is treating you and how your journey is going. Nicx

Interview with Angela Dennis

head shot 1Tell us about your publishing journey…

I wrote the first book in the Shadow Born Series, Shadows of Fate, to keep my mind busy during a very stressful time in my life. I had no intention of submitting it to a publisher, until my close friend/critique partner read it and convinced me to go that route. I’m so glad I did.  I’d been writing contemporary romantic suspense up unto that point, which I still love, but paranormal romance/urban fantasy is definitely more suited to my voice.

 What do you love about being an author?

 There are so many things. J I love being able to create new worlds, tell stories, weave mysteries.  There’s nothing better.

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

 Honestly, I have no idea. It would be fun to meet Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake. We’d definitely go out for coffee.

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

  Jessica Chastain and Gerard Butler.

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

 Both.  I want it all!  The more the merrier.

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

 I’m a huge history buff, particularly ancient history.  I’ve always been fascinated by Pompeii, so I’d probably go see it BEFORE it was destroyed.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?FadingLight300

 I really wish someone could have taught me not to take everything so serious. I’m still working on that J

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

 Anything, as long as I could time travel, that would be awesome.

 Where do you write best? 

 At home, where I’m relaxed, have a giant cup of coffee, and good music.

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

 I just finished Kim Harrison’s last book in the Hollows series.  It was awesome, but also bittersweet. I’m so sad the series is over.

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

I love my genres (paranormal romance and urban fantasy), but I also love epic fantasy as well. One day I would love to write one. Primarily because I love world building, and with epic fantasy the sky is the limit J

Where can fans find you online?

https://twitter.com/AngelaDennis

https://www.facebook.com/angela.dennis.7798

http://www.pinterest.com/angeladennis779/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26267274-angela-dennis

www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com

www.angeladennisauthor.com

Buy Links for Fading Light

Samhain Publishing: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5161/fading-light

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fading-Light-Shadow-Angela-Dennis-ebook/dp/B00K7YXB5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406815978&sr=8-1&keywords=fading+light+by+angela+dennis

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fading-light-angela-dennis/1119471585?ean=9781619224568&itm=1&usri=9781619224568&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Fading-Light/book-c0MX-jcvfE-smR1ZZb2_tg/page1.html?s=4063R1XzGkqUGPi5jgMNqg&r=4

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fading-light/id876313263?mt=11

Interview with William Meikle

WilliamMeikleheadshotTell us about your publishing journey…

I write to escape.

I grew up on a West of Scotland council estate in a town where you were either unemployed or working in the steelworks, and sometimes both. Many of the townspeople led hard, miserable lifes of quiet, and sometimes not so quiet desperation. I was relatively lucky in that both my parents worked, but I spent a lot of time alone or at my grandparent’s house.

My Granddad was housebound, and a voracious reader. I got the habit from him, and through him I discovered the Pan Books of Horror and Lovecraft, but I also discovered westerns, science fiction, war novels and the likes of Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, Alistair MacLean, Dennis Wheatley, Nigel Tranter, Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov. When you mix all that together with DC Comics, Tarzan, Gerry Anderson and Dr Who then, later on, Hammer and Universal movies on the BBC, you can see how the pulp became embedded in my psyche.

When I was at school these books and my guitar were all that kept me sane in a town that was going downhill fast. The steelworks shut and employment got worse. I -could- have started writing about that, but why bother? All I had to do was walk outside and I’d get it slapped in my face. That horror was all too real.

So I took up my pen and wrote. At first it was song lyrics, designed (mostly unsuccessfully) to get me closer to girls.

I tried my hand at a few short stories but had no confidence in them and hid them away. And that was that for many years.

I didn’t get the urge again until I was past thirty and trapped in a very boring job. My home town had continued to stagnate and, unless I wanted to spend my whole life drinking (something I was actively considering at the time), returning there wasn’t an option.

My brain needed something, and writing gave it what was required. That point, back nearly twenty years ago, was like switching on an engine, one that has been running steadily ever since.

It’s been a slow and steady progression, from UK small press pay in copies markets for much of the nineties, to getting a novel published in the USA in 2001, then starting to hit the pro short story market, and finding a home for novels with the higher end small presses in the States. I’ve now got 20 novels, 4 collections and over 300 short stories in print.

As I said before, I write to escape.

I haven’t managed it yet, but I’m working on it.

What do you love about being an author?

I didn’t chose writing, it chose me. The urge to write is more of a need, a similar addiction to the one I used to have for cigarettes and still have for beer.

For me it’s mainly inspiration. I wouldn’t write at all if the ideas didn’t present themselves in my head. I find I get a lot of ideas clamouring for attention all at once. I write them down in a notebook that never leaves my side, and sometimes one of them gathers a bit more depth, and I get a clearer image. At this stage I find myself thinking about it almost constantly, until a plot, or an ending, clarifies itself.

Once I’ve written down where the story should be going it quietens down a bit. Then, if I find myself still thinking about it a couple of days later, I’ll probably start writing the actual story. At any given time I have about 20 ideas waiting for clarity, two or three of which might end up as finished works.

That’s the inspiration part. And that continues when I start putting the words on paper.
There is also a certain amount of perspiration, especially in writing a novel. But I find if it feels too much like work, I’m heading in the wrong direction and it usually ends up in the recycle bin.

And, yes, there’s a certain degree of desperation in that I want to get better, to make the big sale, to see my name in lights, all that happy stuff. But I try not to think about that too much. :) meiklesigil

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

William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki.resonated with me immediately on my first reading many years ago. Several of the stories have a Lovecraftian viewpoint, with cosmic entities that have no regard for the doings of mankind. The background Hodgson proposes fits with some of my own viewpoint on the ways the Universe might function, and the slightly formal Edwardian language seems to be a “voice” I fall into naturally.

Carnacki likes a drink and a smoke, and a hearty meal with his friends gathered round. This dovetails perfectly with my own idea of a good time. And although I no longer smoke, witing about characters who do allows me a small vicarious reminder of my own younger days. I wish I had Carnacki’s library, his toys, but most of all, I envy him his regular visits from his tight group of friends.

So that’s where I’d be, in Chelsea with Carnacki, more than willing to listen to his tales of adventure into the weird places of the world while drinking his Scotch, eating his roast beef and vicariously smoking his cigars.

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

I’ve got BERSERKER coming later this spring, and I’d love to see the movie of that.. Vikings vs Yeti in an Arctic mountain landscape on the side of a Russian sea loch… what’s not to like? A dream pairing would be Alexander Skarsgård as Tor, our hero, with his dad Stellan Skarsgård as the ship’s captain.

As a horror writer, what scares you?

Sickness in the family. Supernatural beasties are all very well, but real horror comes when you come face to face with pain and misery that are piled on to such an extent that death seems a welcome alternative. I’ve seen too many friends and family riddled with disease, cancer, madness or addiction. They’re all far scarier than any ghost could ever be.

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

I have a deep love of old places, in particular menhirs and stone circles, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time travelling the UK and Europe just to visit archaeological remains. I also love what is widely known as ‘weird shit’. I’ve spent far too much time surfing and reading Fortean, paranormal and cryptozoological websites. The cryptozoological stuff especially fascinates me, and provides a direct stimulus for a lot of my fiction.

But there’s just something about the misty landscapes and old places that speaks straight to my soul. Bloody Celts… we get all sentimental at the least wee thing.

So I’d go to Orkney, during the mound-building, menhir raising years. I’d love to see Maes Howe and the Ring of Brodgar going up and discover why they were built as they were.

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

Start early. I was too timid, too unsure of myself, and generally too drunk to get going before I was 33. I now feel like I’m 10 to 15 years behind the curve, and might not have enough time left in me as a writer to get everything done that I want to get done. If you’ve always wanted to do something, get to doing it now. You might never get the chance again.

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

meiklesamuraiIt would have to be something to do with the sea, as that’s where my heart has always been. The Creature From the Black Lagoon maybe, or maybe a silkie or a merman. Or Great Cthulhu, dreaming in Ryleh. It might be cool to wake up and terrorize the puny humans for a while.

Where do you write best?

These days everything is done on a sofa in a study overlooking a Newfoundland seashore, with a laptop on my lap. Prior to 2007, I did most of my writing on a Palm Pilot on ScotRail trains while commuting across Scotland.

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

The Concrete Grove by Gary McMahon. Gary impresses me greatly. He’s got the ability to put what he imagines on the page while still leaving a great deal to the reader’s own imagination. He’s also not afraid to let his feelings bleed out onto the page. Despite that, he has a smooth, readable style, and is growing in stature as a writer with every passing year. I believe he’s going to go on to be huge, and good luck to him.

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

It’s all about the struggle of the dark against the light. The time and place, and the way it plays out is in some ways secondary to that. And when you’re dealing with archetypes, there’s only so many to go around, and it’s not surprising that the same concepts of death and betrayal, love and loss, turn up wherever, and whenever, the story is placed. Genre is secondary to that, which is why my work already encompasses science fiction, fantasy, several varieties and horror, weird westerns and crime.

But if I was to write anything else, I think it would be a straight western. I was brought up with Gunsmoke, the Virginian and John Wayne movies. Westerns are deep in my soul.

Where can fans find you online?

My news is always broadcast on my website and associated newsletter at http://www.williammeikle.com, and I hang out mainly on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/williammeikle
Come and say Hi.

Interview with Sherilee Gray

7762587Tell us about your publishing journey…

It all started with my sister getting me hooked on romance novels after the birth of my first child. My first writing attempts were not great, and after entering a writing competition with my not so shiny new novel, I discovered I had a lot to learn about the craft of writing. Also, I’d always struggled at school. I’m a hands-on kind of girl. I learn from doing, and I need a lot of examples before something sinks in. So first I had to go back to basics, and I mean basics. It’s been a long road, from that first ms to getting Lone Wolf’s Captive accepted was close to five years. But in all that time I never gave up, I never stopped working towards my goal. When I received an email from Kate Cuthbert at Escape Publishing to say she wanted my story, I burst into tears. Nothing will ever beat that feeling.

What do you love about being an author?

That I can work from home doing what I love. I also love that I’m home for my kids. Writing is hard, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it still doesn’t feel like a real job. I mean, my job is to let my crazy imagination run wild. How cool is that?

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

Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. I looove him! He doesn’t really like to eat, but maybe I could get him drunk on Sprite and see if he’d shrink me (like he did his wife Tory) and take me on a tour of a miniaturized replica of Atlantis!

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

If I could combine Aiden Turner from the BBC version of Being Human and Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones, weird combo I know. I think you’d have my big, tortured alpha wolf, Fletcher Stone.

For Delaney? That’s a little harder. Maybe Zoe Deschanel, but with dark eyes!

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

Sexy leads every time.

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

As long as I could come back and forth, yanno, for dental care and chocolate. I like the idea of medieval Scotland. Who wouldn’t want a massive, claymore wielding, Scottish warrior to carry you off to his castle?

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

Ignore the negative Nancy’s and naysayers. I’m sure I was given this advice as a kid, but it takes age and wisdom before you realize that what other people think of you isn’t your problem. They’re gonna think what they want regardless. Spend your time and energy on those people that love and support you!

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

Today? I’d have to say a shifter! They live longer, they’re stronger than humans, and they can change forms…oh! And they’re all hot! In my mind they are anyway!

Where do you write best?

At the desk in the corner of my bedroom, or on the couch in the living room.

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

Reapers Property by Joanna Wylde. I love an emotional ride, and I love me an alpha male. This series is chock full of them. These guys are alpha to the extreme. I know not everyone likes that, but books like this are my current drug of choice.

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

Contemporary. I have a few ideas and a few half-finished stories that I will get back to one day. There’s a lot to love about the genre, and it’s what I mainly read when I’m not reading Paranormal.

Where can fans find you online?

Interview with Keith Deininger

Keith Leather SmilingTell us about your publishing journey…

The first story I remember writing was in 3rd grade, about a kid who wakes up to discover everyone is missing and he is totally alone.

Man, what does that say about the kind of kid I was?

When I was a senior in high school, I entered a story in a science fiction writing contest, won first place, and received my first $100 as a writer along with a vigorous handshake from Ray Bradbury himself. After that, my ego bloated, I entered college wanting to be a writer.

But, I soon became one of those “writers” who talks about writing at parties more than actually writing anything. It wasn’t until years later, after graduating college, working several shitty jobs, going through some struggles, and growing up a little, that I finally realized that if I were going to ever reach my goals, I’d have to start taking them seriously and write. Now I write every day and I’ve published short stories, novellas, even a couple of novels: THE NEW FLESH and GHOSTS OF EDEN (Nov. 2014).

What do you love about being an author?

Writing is a way to tangibly express a personal vision from the imagination. There’s nothing like it. To me, that’s amazing, and being an author means that other people actually read and hopefully enjoy my visions and come away inspired and affected. Writing is a way to provoke questions and profound thinking.

It’s great to have readers and I’m thankful to each and every one!

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

I’d like to have dinner with Eddie from King’s Dark Tower books. He’s sarcastic, has a wicked sense of humor, and I think we’d get along. We’d eat something weird, something neither of us has tried before.

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

Honestly, I’ve never considered what any of my books would be like as movies… I like the idea of someone like Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, or even Lars von Trier writing the script and directing, making a movie super creepy and filled with dark imagery, but I don’t know about actors.

As a horror writer, what scares you?

A lot of things, but it’s strange. I’ve never been scared of the traditional stuff: spiders, stalking monsters, things like that. I’m more concerned with the creepy and the uncanny. I’m still scared of the dark, or, at least, not knowing what’s in the dark. I’m scared of my life being controlled by others, either by force or through psychological manipulation. And I’m terrified that I will one day wake up and the people I love and care about will be different somehow, that they won’t be the same people, and then reality will start to bend and fray around me until I’m not certain what is real and what is not. That shit’s scary! That’s probably why I write what I write, to attempt to gain an understanding of and reconcile the inexplicable. Too bad it’ll never happen, and I’m forced to always live in fear. ;)

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

This may sound lame to some people, but I would go back to the American 60s and party and have a lot of sex. I wouldn’t want to go further back in time than that, because then I’d probably get sick and die shitting my brains out in the mud somewhere. Yeah, dropping LSD with Aldous Huxley would be pretty cool.

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

I wish someone had told me not to take failure and rejection personally. One of the largest epiphanies of my life was the realization that success is a matter of persistence and hard work and not some mystical, innate talent. Rejection is not an attack on one’s character, but just another step, hopefully in the direction you’d like to go. In my youth, it seemed so simple…

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

I think I’d have a lot of fun being some sort of Mephistopheles-like demon, playing little tricks on humans, setting up games to win their souls. I’d get to travel and I’d smile a lot. Either that, or a dragon. Dragons are cool.

Where do you write best?

I call myself an extroverted-introvert because I like to have people around, but I don’t like it when they bother me. Because of that, I write best at coffee shops where there is activity and human energy all around me. I can maintain my focus for only so long in a silent and confined office. Just don’t talk to me while I’m writing and we’re good.

656040What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Okay, this is good timing because I just finished reading China Mieville’s “Perdido Street Station” for the first time. I love the world-building, and the creativity, and the imagination in it; Mieville’s language is solid too. But as a writer who struggles with pacing and literary bloat in his own work, I can’t help but to look at “Perdido’s” length critically. The actual story arc in the novel doesn’t start until somewhere 200 to 300 pages in. There are several scenes in it that are interesting, but do not draw the story forward and could have been chopped out. Just saying.

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

Well, most of my work so far is classified as horror, but I’m really a fantasy writer. It’s just that my imagination tends to be dark, disturbing and disgusting, and that has led me to write some really fucked-up fiction. I definitely write horror, but I have a vast reservoir of fantasy ideas building up—that sometimes trickle into my horror—that will eventually overflow the dam and I’ll be forced to tackle my fantasy epic.

Where can fans find you online?

www.KeithDeininger.com

I also maintain a tumblr blog, am on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.

And I encourage anyone who’s interested in my work to sign up for my New Release Mailing List. I use it only to announce new releases, so don’t worry about spam. I also give away a free story to new subscribers for your Kindle (Hint: it’s fucked up). ;)

Also, my latest work, MARROW’S PIT, comes out March 11th, but you can pre-order from Amazon now.

Interview with Sabrina York

Sabrina_head_logoTell us about your publishing journey…

First of all, Nicky, thank you for having me! I appreciate the opportunity to share the word about my work!

I am fairly new on the scene. My first book, Adam’s Obsession was published in April of 2012. It was one of three finalists in a contest, the final editor for which was with Ellora’s Cave. They bought all three. Since then, I have released over 20 titles, contemporary & regency romance, and fantasy, ranging from short stories to novels. They are all steamy romance with one exception. Rising Green is pure erotic horror.

Most of my titles are with publishers like Ellora’s Cave and Decadent Publishing, but I also have a self published series about a group of friends getting into all kinds of sexy situations on (the fictional) Tryst Island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live.

Self publishing is a lot of fun but definitely more work. But the benefits to myself and readers have been worth it. I have been able to give away books, control prices and covers and explore story lines with absolute impunity!

My favorite part of being a writer is connecting with readers and I LOVE finding new readers. If you’d like to check out my work, you can download my free teaser book which will give you a taste of my books in blurbs, excerpts and comments from readers.

What do you love about being an author?

Creation. I was a rabid reader as a kid and quickly discovered how fun it could be to create my own worlds!

One thing I definitely love about writing erotic romance is that I can explore all sub genres. Most of my books are contemporary or historical erotic romance…but I have two books that veer from the mold. Lust Eternal is a Fantasy Romance and Rising Green is an erotic horror—not a romance at all. But I can write these outliers and still maintain my brand, because of the erotic element in them. This is exciting to me, because I enjoy exploring all genres.

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

I would probably want to dine with Mark Twain, because from what I’ve read, he’s clever and funny and I’m sure the conversation would be pithy There would definitely be bacon. Because bacon is a passion of mine. ;)

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

How funny. When you ask that question my mind goes immediately to ther heroes. I guess the heroines would be me. I don’t have particular actors in mind, but I suppose any of these guys would do: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/beautiful-bodies/ or any of these guys: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/faces/

I’m not too picky.

;)

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

I’ve never written a vampire story, but I imagine if I did, they would be a combination of the two. Honestly, a sexy hungry man? Would could resist that?

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

Another tough question. I’m a history buff so all historical periods are interesting to me. I’d probably do a sample of eras, everything from Ancient Rome to Regency England. The wild West is intriguing as well as some futurescape. Of course, I’d have to write a story about each place I visited, you know, so I could write it off on my taxes.

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

Just do it.

Oh, I’ve heard it all along. (I watch commercials, after all). But I do wish I had just done it sooner. It’s silly to be afraid of leaping in. The waters may be deep in publishing, but it’s a damn fine swim.

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

NOT a vampire, for sure, because from everything I’ve read, they don’t eat bacon. Maybe a werewolf? There’s a special place in my heart for canines.

risinggreen_msr (1)Where do you write best?

Believe it or not, at the dining room table. I don’t have an office (which makes for quite a mess, what with all the tiaras lying around) but I find having a broad open workspace and views to gaze at when I’m contemplating a passage, is wonderful. I like quiet—I know a lot of authors listen to music when they write, but that just distracts me, especially if the music has words. And there should probably be a plate of bacon nearby…

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

As an author, we are sometimes called upon to judge contests. So I recently read 8 books by other authors. Some were very good. So good, I found myself contemplating how I could do better as an author, which I found stimulating. We can always be better at our craft. Some books were not so good and from these I took reminders of why it is so important to invent emotion in every passage, to plot effectively and edit painfully. As a reader, nothing disappoints me more than an author who hasn’t done her job as fully as she a=ought to. I try very hard to make sure my work is the best it can be.

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

Oh. My. All of them. Well, most of them. And I actually do write in other genres, but haven’t published my Women’s Fiction, mainstream romance, YA or epic fantasies…simply because I am still learning the business and, frankly, my erotic romances are doing so well, I really need to focus on them. I have a touch of ADD and get bored easily, so I use these other books as palate cleansers, if you will.

Where can fans find you online?

I am everywhere! Here is a list of places you can find me:

Interview with Toby Tate

Author photoTell us about your publishing journey…

I’ve always loved to read. At the dinner table, mom would make me put my books away and I would end up reading all the labels on the condiment jars and ketchup bottles. By the time I was twelve, my cousin and I were publishing our own magazine, a knock-off of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

I really loved Ray Bradbury and this new guy named Stephen King, so I started writing short stories, none of which ever got published. As a musician, I was also writing my own song lyrics and doing a lot of recording. In fact, I still do that now!

I kept writing and refining my stories through high school, then stopped for a while when I joined the Navy. I picked it up a few years later and started writing articles for magazines and eventually internet websites. I got an article published in Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was a childhood dream of mine.

After I got married, I decided to go back to college. While I was there, I started writing a novel. It took about five years to finish it and get it polished to the point where I thought it was ready for submission. After getting rejected by about 85 agents and a dozen publishers, I finally received offers from two small presses. I eventually went with Nightbird Publishing, and DIABLERO was released in Oct. 2010.

For my next book, I wanted to go with a publisher that had a wider audience, and I eventually signed with DarkFuse for two books – LILITH and THE BLACK CHURCH. In between those two books, Crossroad Press published GOD PARTICLE, a young adult sci-fi thriller.

Recently, I was offered a three-book deal with Permuted Press, publishers of the book JOHN DIES AT THE END. They will be publishing the next two books in the LILITH trilogy, as well as a reissue of my first book, DIABLERO.

What do you love about being an author?

My favorite part is meeting fans, both on the internet and in person. I’ve met some fantastic people along the way. But I love the entire process, from the idea stage to the writing stage, to the publishing and marketing stages. It’s all great fun to me. I’ve never enjoyed a job so much in my life. I have my wonderful wife, who has encouraged my writing endeavors, to thank for much of my success to this point. It’s kind of funny, but even after five published books, I’m still considered a “newbie.”

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

I don’t know, Bilbo Baggins maybe? He certainly knows how to eat well. We’d probably have some homemade bread, cheese and really excellent wine.

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

The lead character in my book LILITH is a man named Hunter Singleton, and he has a mixed-race heritage of Native American and Caucasian. I don’t necessarily think the actor would have to be exactly like that, but it would be nice. I haven’t been able to imagine anyone for that role yet. But for my first book, DIABLERO, I always imagined Vin Diesel as a reanimated Blackbeard the Pirate. He’d be perfect for that part. They would just have to say Blackbeard shaved his hair off at some point, kind of like Vin did in CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.

As a horror writer you are looking to scare readers – what scares you?

I’ll tell you what really scares me – ghost stories. Stephen King’s THE SHINING gave me nightmares for weeks. But one of the scariest lines of any book, to me, are the beginning and ending paragraphs of Shirley Jackson’s THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, where it says, “Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more…and whatever walked there, walked alone.” To this day, I haven’t been able to finish that book.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?LILITH desktop

I always thought it would be cool to live in the late 1600s, early 1700s, about the time Blackbeard the Pirate was around. People were hardier and more self-reliant back then, mainly out of necessity. The average life span was only about 40, but it was a full life. Nowadays, people live twice as long, but we spend most of it in front of some kind of electronic gizmo.

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

“Be patient – everything doesn’t have to happen today!” Believe it or not, I didn’t really hear a lot of that growing up. I probably would do a lot of things differently, but I don’t think things could have turned out any better than they have, because I love my life!

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

Ever since I saw AN AMERICN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, I always thought it would be cool to be a werewolf, even though it’s considered a curse. I wouldn’t consider it that. I think it would be fun to run around in the woods and kill my food with my bare hands, then take a walk through the city streets and scare the bejeezus out of everyone.

Where do you write best?

As a full-time newspaper reporter, I wrote in a cubicle in the middle of a noisy newsroom, so I’ve learned I can write just about anywhere. But my two favorite places are probably at home in my man-cave, or at my local coffee house.

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

The last book I finished was actually a DarkFuse book called WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY by Brian Hodge. It was a kind of nerdy-science meets the Twilight Zone type thing, very creepy and H.P. Lovecraft-ish. He’s one of those writers that make me think, “Man, I need to step up my game.” He makes eloquence look effortless.

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

I would probably write military thrillers, kind of like Brad Thor. I love that stuff. In fact, my book LILITH is very much like that, but with a nasty monster added to the mix. Edgar Rice Burroughs was great at doing that action/adventure science fiction stuff, and he was a big influence. But my books tend to lean toward the supernatural, so that’s where the Stephen King influence comes in. That’s why I call myself an author of high-octane sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

Where can fans find you online?

 You can find me on my website at www.tobytatestories.com, which has links to my Facebook and Twitter pages. Feel free to sign up for my newsletter while you’re there.

Thanks for the awesome interview, Nicky – I love your blog!

THE BLACK CHURCH

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Church-Toby-Tate-ebook/dp/B00HCNXAGO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387232389&sr=1-1

LILITH http://www.amazon.com/Lilith-Toby-Tate-ebook/dp/B00AV8SXKA/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1

Interview with Lisa Von Biela

DSC_0250_cropped_smallerTell us about your publishing journey…

Well, I had a couple of false starts, where I wanted to write, but really had no concrete plan. Then in the late 90s, I decided I would start with short stories in the dark fiction vein, and try to sell them in the small press. I wrote a story (that, ironically, later developed into my debut novel, The Genesis Code) and hunted around the Internet for a potential place for it. I happened upon a small press magazine called THE EDGE, and sent it in. Greg F. Gifune, the editor, rejected it—and took the time to explain why. I put that story aside, wrote a new one, and several submission/rejection/revision cycles later, he published “Vacancy” in 2002. After that, I wrote more short stories that were published in various small press venues, some print and some online. Then I decided I was ready to try a novel-length work. I took the seed from that first short story and worked on it for 2 years, wrapping it up right before leaving my IT career to attend law school full time. I dropped off the planet during law school and my subsequent relocation/reestablishment time. Then, in fall of 2012, Greg, whom I’d kept in touch with over the years, posted on Facebook that DarkFuse was looking for novels. I submitted my manuscript, DarkFuse accepted it, and it came out in May 2013 as The Genesis Code. I got busy writing again, and The Janus Legacy just came out, Ash and Bone (a novella) is coming out in May, and Blockbuster will be out in January 2015—all from DarkFuse.

What do you love about being an author?

I love being able to create whatever world I darned well please. Whatever I can think of, I can take a reader there. Ash and Bone, for example, is very atmospheric, and I hope will make readers feel they are right there in Cromwell Bay, wondering what is behind the door to Room #8 of the Harbor Motel. In Blockbuster, the story is set 10 years in the future, so I had to come up with what cell phones, computers, and tablets will be like by then. It’s a blast to build worlds with words like that.

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

This is a tough question. A lot of the characters in books I read are too scary to want to dine with. I’d rather not dine with Hannibal Lecter, for example. Maybe Clarice Starling, then. And for dinner, something other than a “good friend and a plate of fava beans.”

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

Oh, maybe Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. Ideally, they’d be in their late 20s/early 30s (or look like it). I saw Christian Bale in a movie once (I forget the name) where he dieted to the point of looking near death to play the part. That would be perfect for parts of The Janus Legacy. He’d have the needed look about him and definitely has the acting chops for it.

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

No glitter for me. Monsters!

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

Maybe the 50s, a bit before I was born. I love the design of things then, those crazy 50s color schemes and such. I have to presume it was a little simpler time. Sometimes I wish for a quieter, simpler time—when there was time to handwrite letters in good penmanship. But on the other hand, I very much enjoy modern conveniences, and the Internet and all it offers. I’m not sure I could give that up!

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

I can’t think of a specific bit of advice I’d like to have been given sooner. I would have liked to have had all the accumulated life experience I have now—maybe twenty years ago. That would be cool. I often find it is this accumulated experience—not any one thing in particular—that really helps inform my writing. I just didn’t have all that twenty years ago. If I had, I might have about 30 novels under my belt by now.

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

I’d like to be able to magically change into whatever form I want to—including invisible. I could be a bird and fly. I could be a fish and swim without needing breathing apparatus. I could climb mountains like a goat. Yeah, that would be good. I don’t want to be able to predict the future—could be too scary. Don’t want to be able to read people’s minds. I thought about answering this by saying I’d like magical healing powers, but then thought that might be too heavy of a responsibility.

THE JANUS LEGACY cover smallerWhere do you write best?

I have a home office where I do most of my writing. I like writing at home, in the quiet. When I write, I envision the action and the characters, and quiet lets me do that best and most efficiently.

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

Mr. Midnight, by Allan Leverone. It was really pretty terrifying. The evil character was, well, very evil. The ending was absolutely chilling. I hope I never meet up with someone like that.

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

Hmmm…I already cross genres a fair amount, I think—horror/supernatural/sci-fi/thriller/dark fantasy. I don’t think I am capable of writing romance. I tried to read a romance novel once. Never again. You know, I could write humor. That would be it. Humor. I have a half-written parody sitting on my hard drive.

Where can fans find you online?

Oh, several places:
Website:  lisavonbiela.com
Twitter:  @lisavonbiela
ASH AND BONE_Cover

Interview with S.K. Anthony

IMAG3623-1-1 copyTell us about your publishing journey…

– Apart from the nerve wrecking aspect of it, and the nail biting? LOL Well, I chose the self-publishing route because I enjoy having creative control. We all have to follow our instincts when it comes to which direction to take. I researched all I could about the different options and loved the idea of self-publishing, so I went for it. I’m very serious about my work, so I used all of the professional services necessary to make it something I would be proud of.

What do you love about being an author?

– Oooh, making stuff up! I love being able to create new worlds, new people (without having to go through pregnancy again), and also connecting to authors and fans around the world. The whole writing community is just amazing!

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

– J.K. Rowling. I might make a complete fool of myself and drool or something, but I would love to meet her. I would get me a filet mignon since she’s paying…well, I hope she’s paying o_0

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?Kinetic-by SK Anthony hi-res

– I had so much fun finding my Hollywood look-a-likes when I was searching. They would be:

Annie Fox- Jessica Alba

Nick Logan- Chris Pine

Derek Lake- Justin Hartley

Kevin Pierce- Asher Book

Beth- Rihanna

Andrew- Joe Manganiello

Jenny- Dianna Agron

Lisa- Deborah Ann Woll

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

– I’m going with both. A sexy lead who is most definitely a blood hungry monster. Don’t make me choose between one and the other though, I just can’t pick. I love both sides of Vampire guys—they make for very different and interesting stories.

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

– Middle Earth…as an Elf. If that’s not possible then the 50’s so I can play dress up lol

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

– If the glass is half empty, pour more wine. Or you know, live more and worry less. I worry too much.

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

– I think a witch. It’s truer to human kind so I’m going with that.

Where do you write best?

– In my kitchen nook!

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

– Vampire Academy. I enjoyed it a lot and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

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

– Straight up Romance. I just love love.

Where can fans find you online?

– At www.skanthony.com ;)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/S-Katherine-Anthony/403554526400225

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SKathAnthony

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108410963044949736135/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/skanthony1/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7133166.S_K_Anthony

Interview with Eden Royce

Eden PictureTell us about your publishing journey…

The first story I ever had officially published was an erotica short with Oysters and Chocolate. I was terrified of even sending the email to them, but they were wonderful to work with. After that, I started focusing on horror/dark fantasy tales and submitting them to small presses. I currently have over a dozen in various anthologies. Last year I released my first self-published novella, “Containment”.

What do you love about being an author?

The creativity. The fact that I can say, “WTF” as I am writing and know that can be a good thing.

Do you prefer editing or writing?

I enjoy both. Editing when I’m feeling precise and writing when I’m in a more artsy mood.

What’s the hardest part of being an editor and working with other authors? ContainmentFinalFront

Keeping up with all the submissions. Spreadsheets rule!

What advice would you give to would-be writers looking to get published?

Research the publisher or agent before making contact. Find out the correct formatting for your manuscript, learn the craft of writing (sentence structure, pacing, etc…) and READ widely. In and out of the genre that you write. It helps you become a better writer.

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

This is a difficult question as I have several I’d like to choose. Hmm… I think Hannibal Lecter. As long as I wasn’t on the menu, I’d trust him to create a menu for us. I’m sure it would include an excellent wine.

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

I like the idea of a sexy Byronesque lead that can become a monster when the situation calls for it. Vampires should always be dark and dangerous and mysterious, without fairy-like qualities.

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

Stop worrying! (I may have been given it sooner, but I didn’t listen.)

Grotesquerie_72dpiIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d be a djinn. Shape-shifting, wish-granting, time-traveling immortals. What’s not to like? But I’d only grant certain wishes at my discretion.

Where do you write best?

Typically at home at my desk. Occasionally I’ll venture out to a coffee shop and make a lot of progress, but I mainly end up having too much espresso.

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

I read “Bronze Gods” by A.A. Aguirre. I loved that I had no idea until after I read it that it was written by two different authors, a husband and wife team. The story was seamless; a believable world paired with realistic characters that made me care about them. I won the book, but I’ll be buying the next in the series.

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

I’ve written in several genres: horror, erotica, dark fantasy, and steampunk. If I had to name another I want to tackle it would be mystery.

Where can fans find you online?

http://edenroyce.com/

http://darkgeisha.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/EdenRoyce

https://www.facebook.com/eden.royce

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eden-Royce-The-Dark-Geisha/175439055801467