IndieView with Scott Talbot Evans, author of Foxavier Loves Plinka

Do it for love, even if it means never earning a penny, because you won’t.

Scott Talbot Evans – 19 February 2018 Continue reading

IndieView with Beverley Scherberger, author of Savage Isle

I’m learning as I go and have found that I LOVE writing… Marketing, not so much. But I also know that a great book won’t get read if no one knows it exists.

Beverley Scherberger – 17 February 2018 Continue reading

IndieView with J.N. McGhee author of Little Girl Blues

But I do want to express that whatever one is going through, he or she is not alone. There are still a few good-hearted people who are openly willing to listen and not judge. We all want to be heard and understood. We all want to belong somewhere to someone.

J.N. McGhee – 15 February 2018 Continue reading

IndieView with J.W. Fagan, author of The Survival Job

 

My wife challenged me to develop one of my many outlines into a full story. She did the Marty McFly motivation trick, saying “What are you, chicken?” That was it, I had to get it done.

J.W. Fagan – 13 February 2018 Continue reading

IndieView with Katharine E. Wibell, author of Issaura’s Claws

This story was loosely inspired by a dream which involved a military camp; the recruits being trained were animals that could speak: I was a white tiger. Strange but true! 

Katharine E. Wibell – 11 February 2018

The Back Flap

“According to legend, when the world was young, the goddess Issaura appeared among men. Those who treated her with kindness received the gift of the gods—the ability to transform into an animal form. This was a great honor but one that separated this race from other humans. Before Issaura departed the mortal realm, she promised to return if her people were ever at the point of destruction.

“Now a threat is rising from a land across the mists of the ocean, a threat that will push this race to the brink of extinction. Responding to the call to war, seventeen-year-old Lluava heads off to find her destiny, one that will carve her name in history.”

About the book

What is the book about?

Issaura’s Claws is the first of a four-book series entitled the Incarn Saga. This young adult war fantasy takes place in the fictional kingdom of Elysia where there are two races of beings: the ruling humans and the Theriomorphs who can transform into an animal at will. Though the two races distrust each other, they must unite when invaders from across the ocean, known as Raiders, attack the Elysians. The protagonist, Lluava, is a seventeen-year-old Theriomorph who is drafted into the army. Through her eyes, you see how dire the situation really is and experience the many adventures she endures.

When did you start writing the book?

I came up with the concept for this book in 2007.

How long did it take you to write it?

The answer to this is a bit strange. Right before I headed to college, Issaura’s Claws began to manifest itself. Surprisingly, the plot was based on a dream. Although the book was on hold for a four-year hiatus, post-graduation I returned to write it in its entirety. After completion of the first draft, I realized that Issaura’s Claws was just one installment in a series.  So, conception to publication took about ten years. However, my subsequent books take 9 months on average to write and about another year to edit and publish.

Where did you get the idea from?

This story was loosely inspired by a dream which involved a military camp; the recruits being trained were animals that could speak: I was a white tiger. Strange but true! The rest of the story revealed itself to me as soon as I began typing. I drew upon my own knowledge as well as personal experiences for some of the minor details. You have probably heard this before, but write what you know. The details make fantasy seem real and believable.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

Although building and fleshing out the backstory is essential, I can get bored. If I don’t force myself to push through, I can stall for long periods of time until I return to a high-action scene.

What came easily?

I love action scenes especially when there are multiple occurrences happening at once. The mythology of the Theriomorphs (the shapeshifters) also seemed to come easily to me when writing.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Though none of my characters are based on real people, I do pull in personal experiences to interweave amongst them. As for their development, initially, the characters seemed to present themselves to me at once. Yet, as I began to write, others that I had not expected, breathed life into themselves and took the book down some strange and unexpected paths. In this series, the Theriomorphs were a lot of fun to write about as some of the physical characteristics and personality traits of the animals they can change into are replicated in their human form.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

My favorite genre is ancient epics including but not limited to the Odyssey, Ramayana and all of the Nordic Sagas. Many myths and legends derive from these old stories. This is the same for my mythology-based fantasy. More recently, I read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I appreciate how this author is able to encompass so many events and characters and is not afraid to kill off a seemingly valuable character.

Do you have a target reader?

My target readers are older teenagers and adults who enjoy battle-heavy fantasy books ranging from The Hunger Games to A Song of Ice and Fire.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

My process may be different than the majority of other authors. I was able to conceive the entire plotlines of my first two series almost instantaneously with very little change during actual writing. I develop a simple outline of the books and then a short description for each chapter. Since I split my work between art and writing, mornings are typically dedicated to writing new material with a few afternoons spent on editing and marketing. When the first draft is completed, three to four rounds of self-editing follow before the manuscript is sent to my professional editor. I must admit that lots of coffee and a square of chocolate always help start my writing off right.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

As I mentioned above, I write out a simple outline of the books and then a short description for each chapter before I tackle it.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I typically wait until my first draft is completed so I can work through the entirety in a fluid fashion.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Spelling is not my strong suit, so I did hire a professional editor.  Spelling and grammar checking programs are helpful, but often miss the mark. I am fortunate to use the same editor for my second book – and hopefully the other two as well – which means there is both familiarity and continuity with both the storyline and my writing style.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

I enjoy making playlists that are relevant to my current works but I only listen to them to get in the mood of writing and not while I am actually working. For that, I need complete silence. As I am drafting the first book of my second series, one of my favorite groups to listen to is Epic North. Imagine their music as a movie theme!

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I did mainly to fully understand this process better.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I loved this first series and felt that regardless of the means, this story deserved to be told. I already knew some Indie fantasy authors so “going Indie” was an easy decision though it came with a huge learning curve.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I had a clear vision for my first series of books and their covers. As a professional artist, I wanted the main focal point to be images that I painted. From there, I worked with a graphic designer to create the actual cover.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

This again speaks to the learning curve for self-publishing. I am continually discovering new and better ways to market by reading, watching, and talking to those who are far more knowledgeable than me in these areas. I know marketing is my weakest link, but I hope that will not be the case much longer.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Take the time to learn about all your options. Make connections with other Indie authors and see what information they are willing to share. The process can be frustrating, but the more prepared you are, the easier it will be.

About You

Where did you grow up?

You could call me a southern girl. I was born in Texas, grew up in Georgia, and live in New Orleans, LA. Most of my childhood was spent in the country where I was blessed with opportunities to work with a wide range of animals as well as encouraged to play “make-believe” with my sister and friends. I know my imaginary childhood adventures helped further my ability to become a fantasy writer. Moreover, my experience with animals greatly influenced my first book series, the Incarn Saga. I am also an artist and specialize in reverse-glass paintings with a New Orleans theme. My dog, Alli, appears in many of these artworks either making gumbo or trying on Mardi Gras masks.

What would you like readers to know about you?

I have always had an eclectic range of interests from competitive archery and wildlife rehabilitation to dog training and step dance competitions. I love trying new things!

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on publishing Ullr’s Fangs, book two of the Incarn Saga. Also, as the last two books in that series are already written, I am actively writing the first book of my second series.

End of Interview:

For more from Katharine, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or like her Facebook page.

Get your copy of Issaura’s Claws from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

BookView with Tay LaRoi, author of The Tale of a Faerie Knight

Putting a piece of myself into characters always makes me a little nervous, but it’s the easiest way I know how to tell my audience, “You’re not alone. Others are going though similar stuff and made it though. You’re going to be okay. I promise.” 

Tay LaRoi – 8 February 2018

The Back Flap

After the fall of Queen Mab, DJ Suzuki resolves herself to an aimless life of entertaining, drinking, and hooking up within the Faerie Realm. After twenty ageless years, she knows she can’t go back to her family, despite the fact that her brother still searches for her and the small voice telling her that her parents might have had a change of heart about her orientation.

When a young woman named Talia shows up at DJ’s workplace desperate for help, DJ sees a way to rid herself of the guilt of staying away: she’ll take Talia where she needs to go if Talia rids DJ’s family of all memory of her. Talia will be safe and DJ will be free to live in the Faerie Realm with a clear conscious. Everyone wins.

Except there’s more to Talia and her situation than she’s letting on. Her pursuers want more than just her. They want the Faerie Court, and Talia is the key to getting it. If DJ can’t get Talia to safety before they catch up, a guilty conscious will be the least of her worries. She just might have a faerie civil war on her hands.

About the book

What is the book about?

“Tale” is about an ex-faerie knight that is struggling to find where she belongs now that she’s on her own. She’s human, so she doesn’t completely fit in the Faerie Realm, but she’s been there so long that she doesn’t feel like she fits in among humans either. I grew up mixed (my mom is white, dad is black), so it’s a conflict that hits pretty close to home for me, except I didn’t grow up around magic.

On top of that, she went through some pretty dark stuff thanks to the queen she served (Queen Mab from the last book, Portraits of a Faerie Queen). So, as a bigger picture, I guess you could say it’s about finding one’s way in the world when the road map so far has been a mess. Here’s a spoiler: it helps when you have people who love you there to help untangle everything. 🙂

When did you start writing the book?

The summer of 2016. It started out as a Camp NaNoWriMo project.

 How long did it take you to write it?

About two months. I really wanted to push myself to see what I could accomplish in a short amount of time. Considering how much I had to edit afterwards (sorry, Jason), I still think I did a pretty solid job for the timeline I put myself on.

 Where did you get the idea from?

When I wrapped up Portraits of a Faerie Queen, I knew I wanted to find out what happened to the court after Jocelyn left and I knew Talia was going to be a key part–though I can’t tell you why–but I struggled for a long time with who would narrate the story. Zedd’s song “Daisy” came on Spotify one day when I was about to give up and try an entirely new angle, and, thus, Daisy Jane was born.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

DJ’s motivations were really had to pin down. I knew right away that she was the kind of person not to wear her heart on her sleeve, so her actions motivated by her rough exterior were easy to figure out, but the more nuanced, complicated things I knew she had to do were really hard to figure out.

What came easily?

DJ’s chemistry with the characters around her. For some reason, character interactions are always the easiest thing for me to write. When they are alone with themselves or dealing with the larger plot, things get more difficult.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

I try not to borrow too much from people, because I don’t think I could do their stories justice. There’s just so much of it I wouldn’t know. I borrow from my own life from time to time, though. DJ’s struggle with her family was inspired by things I was going through while I was writing her story, more so internal fears and questions rather than real events. Putting a piece of myself into characters always makes me a little nervous, but it’s the easiest way I know how to tell my audience, “You’re not alone. Others are going though similar stuff and made it though. You’re going to be okay. I promise.”

Do you have a target reader for this book?

Like Portraits of a Faerie Queen, “Tale” is YA with a special focus on queer teen girls. If teens of any other variety feel drawn to it, then by all means, give it a read! I’m always happy to give someone a story, but this story was definitely written with queer girls in mind since I didn’t have any stories like this when I was their age.

How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books?

The timeline flew by a lot faster. “Portraits” only took six months more from conception to release, but I didn’t take nearly as much writing time on “Tale.” Between writing and edits, I’d say I only took three months total. All that other time was due to other stuff.

What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication?

Writing wise, I learned that character motivation is everything. I took that for granted with Portraits of a Faerie Queen because Jocelyn’s motivation was clear from the get go. DJ’s definitely was not, but once I found it, everything fell into place.

As far as myself goes, I’ve learned that I’m actually kinda cool. Not to say I felt there was anything particularly wrong with myself before, but I tell people I’ve written books that are published and their eyes light up, even if my stuff isn’t in a genre they like. To get that reaction has sort of made me stop and examine how I see myself. That may or may not play a part in the theme of the next Faerie Court Chronicle. You’ll have to keep up with these crazy characters to find out!

End of Interview:

Get your copy of The Tale of a Faerie Knight from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

IndieView with Connie Shipley, author of MoonHuntress

Yes, I think if you want a good book on the market, you need to get a professional editor. 

Connie Shipley – 6 February 2018 Continue reading

Allirea’s Realm, Coffee and Conversation with Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle is a screenwriter and novelist based in Los Angeles with his large collection of books and his trusty DVR. A native of Phoenix AZ, Jonathan grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Psychology, but still can’t overcome his fear of freeway overpasses. When he’s not busy working on a new novel/poem/song/screenplay, he enjoys reading Virginia Woolf, lamenting a Lakers loss, or watching Siberian tiger videos online.

When I heard that Wild Thorn Publishing signed a new author, Jonathan Doyle, I jumped at the chance to interview him.  Over a cup of coffee/tea, we discussed anything that popped into my head (that was G-rated).  A very dangerous thing, but he didn’t seem to mind my questions.  To be fair, he was pre-warned.

The most important question of the interview, are you a coffee drinker?

No, I don’t like the way it tastes. I do drink tea though.

What is your beverage of choice?

Wine. I love red wine. I like a deep red, nothing sweet.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not read your book The Last Line of a Goat Song.  Give me a synopsis that will make me move your book to “next” on my Kindle.

It’s an interesting story about two people who should never have found each other, but they do by accident (I’ve met all of my best friends this way).  For their own reasons, they go on a journey from LA to Mexico, which takes them both out of their comfort zones, and forces them to face their demons.

Where did you come up with the Book Title?  I do have to say, it is a catchy title.

Goat Song is Greek for tragedy. And really, I just like the way it sounds. I read that term somewhere and just fell in love with it.

Is this your first book?

This is my ninth novel, but I’ve never released any of the other ones. Goat Song is the only one that I like.

Would you ever revisit any of your other novels?

No, when something sucks, it sucks.

When did you start writing?

When I was 8 years old. I was really concerned with Africa, and I wrote a story about this little girl and a tiger who sort of became friends. I know I got the tiger completely wrong, they don’t even live there.

Why did you decide to publish with an independent publisher rather than self-publish?

I believe that working with a team is better than going it alone. I love all of the Wild Thorn Publishing team to death.

What do you do for leisure or entertainment?

I love the Lakers. I watch every Lakers game. My favorite player of all time is Kobe Bryant. It’s been really hard since he’s been gone, but I’m a loyal guy.

Do you play?

Yeah, I’ve played my whole life, not lately because I’ve been writing books, but I played on all of my school teams.

How would your friends describe you, in one word?

Cold. I think people who write, we spend so much of our time in our heads, being distracted in our own inside worlds. I don’t have a mean bone in my body, but sometimes I’ll say things like “shut up”, which I know is wrong, but I’m so sorry, I’m actually just thinking of some new idea. So when my friends say I’m cold, I’m really not, I’m just working! It’s my job. One second later, I’m back.

Tell me the ONE character in your book that is the most like you.  You can only pick ONE, no cheating?

William, not only because I stutter, but since the minute I was born I’ve been called an old man. I was born old.

What were you like as a child?

When I was six or seven years old, I told my mom that I was going to be the President of the United States. So I’d say I was determined. And a dreamer.

What were your childhood dreams?

To make my dog live forever. I love dogs. My dog Sam was my everything. He was a black cocker spaniel. Sam saved me in so many ways.

Who is your real life hero?

Total cliché, but Jefferson.

Why?

He was flawed but he was a true genius. He wrote the best document of all time. He was so smart, and I think it’s really cool when somebody changes the world.

What would be your best achievement to date?

This book, The Last Line of a Goat Song.

Have you ever been banned from a public place?

Nope, never been banned.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Don’t ever touch the face! I don’t like anybody near my face.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?

A trip to New Orleans for my dear friend Em. I don’t want to go into it, only she knows why.

Ohhhhh, I am intrigued, maybe we will need to do a whole new interview to pursue this subject.

Ha-ha, and a bottle of red!

Are you a good dresser?

No! I’m the worst dresser of all time. White tee shirts and cargo shorts. I only wear shorts, I hate wearing pants. And I always wear the same cargo shorts. One of my friends always tells me, “You can’t wear cargo shorts!” But it’s always warm here in LA… so why not?

Do you hold grudges?

No, never. I think forgiveness is the core of humanity. No grudges. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, and if people didn’t forgive me, where would I be? It’s just life, we all make mistakes.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

I stutter, so there are too many to count! I remember when I was in fourth grade I decided to run for VP, and I had to read a speech. I wrote something eloquent, but as usual I stuttered my way through it. It was embarrassing, but I did win.

When can we expect your next book?  What will it be about?

My next book is about my childhood dog Sam, and will probably be done in about a year. I’m working on writing the TV stuff too, so yeah, hopefully about a year.

How long did it take you to write The Last Line of a Goat Song?

Not long. A year, I think.

What genre is your book?

Literary Fiction / Action-Adventure

What is your favorite United States city?  Why?

Chicago. I love Chicago. I’ve been many times. They have the best food, and I’m a big sports guy, and one of my favorite times in my life was when I visited my friend, Em, and we watched a Chicago Cubs game together. They have a community there I just fell in love with.

Hmmmmmmm….Em again, I think I might need to get her number to see if she would like to do an interview.

Have you ever met Imogen Rose?

 Not in person, but I would love to one day!

Thank you so much, Jonathan.  I really enjoyed chatting with you and best of luck with your writing career.

IndieView with Christopher Griffith, author of Rick with A (Bipolar) View

The five main characters, Rick, Jenny, Lucy, Jimmy and Paul seemed to be ready made to feed off one another – when character drives plot, that’s when it’s easy to write.

Christopher Griffith – 1 February 2018 Continue reading

IndieView with Jerry Knaak, author of The Dark Truth

The main character is essentially a female version of me – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, quick-witted (sometimes).

Jerry Knaak, 30 January 2018 Continue reading