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Interview With ….

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Hi Caridad. Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you as a person. 
I am a Type AAA personality which means I am always going, going, going.  If I am not at my day job or writing, I am helping my daughter with her surf and skate shop, mentoring other writers at Liberty States Fiction Writers, or just hanging out on the beach (Okay, I do have to stop sometime! LOL).  I’d love to be a full-time writer and maybe have a bed and breakfast where I could whip up amazing meals and help other writers improve their craft.

Caridad Pineiro

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
That is a tough one!  I think it would have to be Queen Elizabeth.  I got hooked watching The Crown and the Queen is someone who has lived through some fascinating times and has such a unique and seemingly archaic role in a very modern world.  I would love to know how her vision has changed from when she first ascended to the throne to now and how she’s dealt with being a woman in such a high position of power.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
ONE SUMMER NIGHT, first book in the At the Shore series, is a Romeo and Juliet meets a marriage of convenience tale.  Yes, it sounds complicated and it is because the hero, Owen Pierce, is trying to do everything he can to make the heroine, Maggie Sinclair, love him, but to do so he has to defy his father who is intent on holding a decades old grudge against the heroine’s father.  As you can imagine, lies build upon lies shakily until it all comes crashing down and Owen has to prove to Maggie that his love for her was true.  I loved writing the complex emotions in both of the characters as well as the supporting cast of Maggie’s best friends and Owen’s younger brother (the hero of #2 in the series).

One Summer Night

What is your writing process? 
I write a lot on the train during my commute to and from NYC for my day job.  On the weekends I put in a solid stretch of 3 or so hours.  During winters I do that indoors while watching the TV, but my favorite time is in the spring and summer when I can go out on my little balcony and write with the sound of the nearby ocean.

Tell us about your main character.
I had just finished writing a dark paranormal novel when this character popped into my head and just wouldn’t leave me alone.  She was spunky, determined and fun and I knew she needed special story that would inspire people not to give up on their dreams.  That heroine was Maggie and when she brought along her friends, I just knew I had to write her story.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I would love to have someone like Nina Dobrev or Victoria Justice.  I think they both look the way I imagined Maggie Sinclair. Cool and elegant.  Beautiful.

What are you working on next?
I am currently working on #3 in the At the Shore series.  #2 – WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER – will be out in late spring 2018 and #3 will be out in late summer 2018.  I am hoping to write more stories set in Sea Kiss with some of the men and women you meet in #3.  I also will be rel-releasing some of my earlier contemporary romances and working on new stories in The Calling is Reborn Vampire Novel Series.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Social media is about being social.  I think people get turned off by having a constant cycle of “buy me buy me” all the time.  You need to engage people, make them laugh, share yourself and not just the book.  Another thing to remember is, You’re the brand.  The book is just a product.  Your brand is what’s most important.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
That’s a tough one.  I’d have to say Lois Winston’s latest release – Scrapbook of Murder.  I love Lois’s dry humor and the way she mixes up crafts in her cozy mysteries.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wish that I could say that I did, but I don’t.  But I try try try to improve what talents I have, whether it’s writing, cooking or doing crafts.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I think the power of speed since I could rush from place-to-place to help people and do more things in less time.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Sip wine in Tuscany.
  • Stand on the Great Wall of China
  • Orbit the Earth in the Space Station
  • Sing Do-Re-Mi while skipping through the streets of Salzburg
  • Visit where my family lived in Cuba

Where can readers find you on the web?
Readers can connect with me at www.caridad.com. You can also find me on:

Twitter at https://twitter.com/caridadpineiro
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Caridad.Author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caridadpineiro
Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/caridadpineiro/
Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/Caridad_Pineiro

If you want to receive my newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways, please visit http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw to sign up.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you so so much for sharing my new release and taking the time to interview me!

YW 🙂 

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Interview With ….

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Isabelle, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you. 
If I were an animal, I would be a mountain goat – minus the goat. I love the outdoors, and mountains in particular and whenever I have a chance, I am on one: hiking, biking and/or skiing. Despite now calling myself a writer, my first love was math and quantitative models. I used to love just working with my computer. But my life now could not be more different. I hardly even build a spreadsheet, and spend my time talking and managing. It is interesting how life evolves when you are open to it.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Whenever I get asked a question of who is my favorite person, or role model, or who I’d like to hang out, I could easily tell you that there isn’t one person in particular, but that there are a ton of people that I admire and that, them, collective, would give me the inspiration and all skill sets. But to properly answer the question, I’d have to say one of the players in the Warriors basketball team. I know they just lost… but I would like to be with them to feel the energy of their team, witness the camaraderie they built together, and have that feeling that only winning a sports game can give you.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
As it is usual with those who have early starts that are difficult, it becomes easier to just put it in the past and never truly revisit it. That is what I did. I creative a narrative for my life that did not include my childhood. I did not want to be defined by it, nor ever be labeled a “victim.” But when my first son was born, I felt this strong desire to tell my story. I wanted him to know who I was, what I overcame, and that all we had in our life was a result of a lot of effort to bring us to the fortune we currently we enjoy. And that desire never let up. I just kept writing and writing. Years after, I took a writing class on a whim and for the first time I shared my story, with total strangers. Their reaction astounded me. They wanted to know more, felt inspired by it and asked me to tell the rest. That is when I realized that a story of a girl who grew up within a dysfunctional family in the jungles of Brazil was actually relatable to many people. I believe it was the first time I truly realized that there was a common humanity to us all.

What is your writing process? 
I don’t really have a set process. As I usually have my computer nearby, whenever I have a block of free time, I open it up and start writing. In fact, I am writing this interview under the canopy of a redwood tree while my son is getting ready for a baseball game. My process is simply finding – and capturing – time.

Tell us about your main character
Leaving Shangrila is a memoir, so naturally, I am the protagonist of the story. It is challenging to write about oneself in a way that does not feel self-serving, self-critical, or its flip side, self-aggrandizing. I took great care to write about me, and all others in my story in the context of the facts that occurred. I did not want to portray myself as a victim, which I could easily have done. Nor did I want to portray myself as a hero, as I suppose I could have given how I was able to overcome the adversity in my life. But neither of those would be true. I had plenty of flaws, and not all of those because of how I grew up. I believe I owned them in the book. I believe they made me who I was and informed the decisions I made.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I am not sure I am aware of the teenage actress within the age range for the story, but I would like it to be someone like Tora Birch (who is definitely an adult now and would not the person) when she played My Girl years ago. Mostly because she was so tenacious, and unafraid, even though she was still vulnerable and scared.
What are you working on next?

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start early. I heard this advice myself, that is, to start promoting the book a year before it gets out. I did not pay heed at the time… so when I finally started focused on marketing, I felt completely overwhelmed. There were so many avenues, at all kinds of different price points, and I also have to say, a lot of predatory people who offered their services for thousands of dollars, without much of a guarantee of what would be the outcome. It is challenging to sift through all the information and make informed decisions that are right for your book. I enlisted friends who have published books as advisors, but also I relied heavily on the Book Acquisitions Editor because I felt that he was someone I could trust. So besides the starting early (a must), do find someone you can trust – and who is willing to help you – to sort through the maze.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I suppose what seems to be everyone’s favorite: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I find the book extraordinary in how she developed the characters, told the story. It is the only book I can remember that made me cry. And I related to one of the sisters, Isabelle (not only because we share a name). She was so strong, so wanting to become bigger than everybody’s expectations of her. She wanted (and did) to make a difference. She took risks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
It depends how you define that. I could brag about speaking multiple languages, or some prowess intellectually or professionally. But I don’t think at the end, life is about that. I just simply and actively try to be the best person I can be. I love deeply, I choose honesty, I persevere through adversity, I nurture my friendships and I try to help others. Is that special? I would hope not, because I wish all people lived like that.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
If I could have a superpower than I could impose on others, it would be to erase all lying from the world.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Travel in Iceland for at least a month
  • Complete the 10 day (or is it 11 day) hike around Mount Blanc through France, Switzerland and Italy with my family.
  • See my children achieve happiness in life, however they choose to get there.
  • Achieve professionally something makes a meaningful impact in the world. My job is important, Leaving Shangrila hopefully will inspire countless people. But I mean something larger, some that can tangible make the world a better place. I don’t know what the metric it is for that yet.
  • Retire at 55 (by retiring, I mean not needing to work, but choosing to work if I want to).

Where can readers find you on the web?
My website is www.isabellegecilsauthor.com

Any final thoughts?
If you read Leaving Shangrila and wonder what it is you can do, do the following:
1) Choose honestly, always. The only people who benefit from lies are no one.
2) When something seems amiss with others, just ask whether all is right in the world. Do something. And something other than think “that is none of my business.” Imagine the people you could help!

Book Tour – The Journals of Bob Drifter

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About the Book

Title: The Journals of Bob Drifter
Author: M.L.S. Weech
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Bob Drifter is a substitute teacher with a secret. He seems like no more than a polite young man who loves to read and mentor students in his free time. Yet, on the side, Bob takes part in some rather strange extracurricular activities that soon attract the attention of local police. For some reason, people have a way of dying around him.

It’s not his fault. Maybe he just hangs around people who are already dying. Maybe he has bad timing. But Bob knows better. He has a secret mission that must be completed before he ends up in prison or raises the ire of the most frightening individual in the supernatural world. No pressure.

A terrifying new force has set foot into Bob’s life, and a string of ghastly mutilations follows this figure wherever he goes. Now, Bob has to keep his own secrets, protect his students, and fulfill his mentor’s wishes. Welcome to the world of those who watch over the dead.

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Author Bio

L. S. Weech was born in August 1979 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He fell in love with fantasy and science fiction at an early age. His love of writing quickly followed when he tried to write a sequel to his favorite movie. He didn’t know what copyright infringement was. He can’t remember a time he wasn’t working on some sort of project from that day on. He wrote for a junior high project. The only way his freshman english teacher could get him to settle down was to let him start writing a book. He completed what he calls his first manuscript when he was 17.

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He got a ton of feedback that was honest, helpful, and not much fun to listen to, but instead of quit, he simply wrote another, and then another.

He fell in love with reading in high school when he was introduced to Timothy Zahn and the Star Wars novels. Then he was handed Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, Brandon Sanderson and so many more. He went from reading to complete homework to reading more than three books a month.

He joined the U.S. Navy as a journalist in 2005. He served on aircraft carriers and destroyers. He served in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.   He finished his time in the Navy in 2015, and currently teaches future Navy Mass Communication Specialists at the Defense Information School.

When he wasn’t taking pictures or writing features or news stories, he was writing fiction. Photojournalism was a hobby he enjoyed getting paid for, but writing fiction has been and remains his true dream.

He’s completed six manuscripts and is already planning a seventh. He took his third project to Archway Publishing, who helped him turn his life-long dream into a reality.

Links

www.mlsweech.com

http://www.amazon.com/Journals-Bob-Drifter-M-Weech-ebook/dp/B00UI3XQ3C/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446593114&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Journals+of+Bob+Drifter

https://www.facebook.com/MLSWeech/

https://twitter.com/MLSWeech

Interview

Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you –
I recently ended a 10-year enlistment with the U.S. Navy. I served proudly, but it was time for me to follow a new dream. I still love it though, and that’s why it’s so great that my day-job is to teach journalism at the Defense Information School in Maryland, where I learned how to tell stories for the Navy and I currently help the next generation of mass communication specialists learn the skills they’ll need for their job.

I’m 35 years old. I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, but all I remember about that place was how cold it could get. I was raised in Yuma, Arizona, (where I’ll never forget how hot it gets), and I call that home.

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What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The hope that if I work fast enough I can get back in bed? Kidding. My primary motivation is my family. (Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews). From there it’s my students, my friends and my passion for writing. I usually have something I center my day around, that “something” is one of those things. Going back to Yuma to see the parents. A particular lesson plan that I feel good about. Just recently I got to take one of my nieces to see a movie. On days when I have life all to myself, I have a entirely different group of people I love just as much. Those people are the characters in my books. I’ve spent a bit of time away from writing here and there, but eventually, the characters are louder in my imagination than I can stand. Those are pretty much the reasons I look forward to each day.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’ve been to conventions, and even had an awesome chance to meet some people I look up to. If I could sit down and talk with anyone for a day, I think I’d choose Jim Butcher. I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet. I’ve heard nothing but great things. His storytelling ability is amazing. I like the idea of just sitting down and chatting with someone like that. There are many others I’d be honored to meet (or see again) from different walks of life:

  • Frank Gore
  • Carol Guzy
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Joss Whedon
  • Peter Dinklage
  • Matt Smith (could I just arrange the largest Doctor Who party in history?)

That list probably rotates at infinite speeds with another hundred names. There are a lot of cool people. But at this moment I’m looking at my library at a Jim Butcher book thinking, “Man! Wouldn’t it be cool to talk to him about writing, role playing or just anything in general.”

What’s the story behind your latest book?
A couple things happened. The first thing was I saw my dog playing with my dad. The dog was getting old, and I started thinking about what life would be without him, and didn’t really enjoy the mental trip. That got me thinking about death, which inspired a short story. The short story bounced around a few people, but never landed in any publications. I’d moved on to a few other ideas, but when I told my brother (and the artist for the chapter icons in the book) about how I’d always envisioned the main character of that short story running into a big, scary version of Death, he demanded I write the book.

It was the first book I ever finished writing that I felt was undeniably a good story. I fell in love with the characters, and I felt the twisting of stories was a pretty fresh idea. So when I realized I was going to put something out there, I chose this book.

Tell us your writing process.
I’m still growing as a professional. I’ve written six books, and I’m 25,000 words into the seventh. I had to try different things, and I make it a point to try something new with each book. I do that just to see how well I can refine my process. I feel confident my basic process works for me, but I think it’s important to note that people try new things because thats how they’ll grow. If I break it down into simple steps it is:

  1. Develop characters
  2. Worldbuild
  3. Refine characters based on worldbuildng
  4. Plot each character individually (at least the ones that have distinctive roles in the book)
  5. Weave plots together into a single outline. Here, if I come upon a scene I’m particularly in to, I go ahead and write it. I let anything that comes naturally happen. The editor in me can hack away whatever it wants, but this is where the dreamer in me has the most fun.
  6. From there I write what I call my discovery draft. I’m a discovery-writer at heart. I follow my outline, but I let things flow here. I only revisit my outline if I come up against a wall. This is usually what happens if I don’t spend enough time worldbuilding or developing characters.
  7. The discovery draft becomes either the worlds most ridiculously-large, detailed outline or the smallest, most-shallow draft. I re-read that about twice, annotating gaps I need to fill in. Then I begin the revision process. I usually type another two drafts for content, then a few editorial passes. I’ve never written a book less than four times, and I’ve written one book 27 times. I think the “right” number is somewhere in between those numbers. I still don’t think I have that part down.
  8. As a note, I also think I have a ways to go with world building. I tend to discovery write my world. I’m usually very familiar with my characters, but now and then I need to take a step back and think about things in terms of the world, environment and (what I’d say is my weakest area) description. If I make a draft for each of these issues, I usually feel like I’ve at least addressed them in some way.

Do you have any tips for other authors how they can get the word put about their book?
Unfortunately, I have a LOT of advise. I could spend 10,000 words talking about all the things I wish I knew, and all the things I still don’t know. I’ll keep this to the top 5.

  1. Market well before the book is out: You have to generate some sort of steam for your novel. the biggest hurdle I’m up against now is the fact that I’m just not known, and neither is my book. When people read it, they like it, but getting it out there has proven a challenge I wasn’t prepared for. I think I can recover, and the more success I find as an author, the more this book will spread. But life is much easier when you have people anticipating your book.
  2. If people call you, they only want your money: This is also true of some self-publishing companies. They offer you marketing packages. The simple truth is this is how they make their money, not from selling your book. I’ve invested nearly $15,000 in marketing. I can’t point to very many sales from any of it. I found the most success in live appearances and word-of-mouth. But a significant amount of that money I’ve lost started with a phone call where someone says: “If you just give us this amount of money, we’ll promote your book to all of these people.” It seems great. But what I’ve learned is people are either going to buy your book or not, and everything someone has done isn’t something I couldn’t have done myself.
  3. Find out what you don’t know: I don’t like marketing. It’s one thing to get out and meet people and talk about my book, but marketing is a skill I don’t have and don’t enjoy. Regardless, the bottom line is you have to research it. You have to learn how to reach the people you want to reach, and if you’re resisting that fact, you’re setting yourself up for some hard lessons.
  4. Try a lot of things: This seems contradictory of number 2, but it doesn’t negate the necessity. The balance is keeping the risk within an established budget. I saved up quite a lot to get this book out and market it. I’m not necessarily sad at the spending of money, I’m horrified at the lack of returns on my investments. So try a lot of things, but track how those things translate into sales. Try it, evaluate, try something else. Note what works, and do it again. If something doesn’t, I haven’t had any experience that’s shown me doing it again will yield different results.
  5. Social media is a friend: Oh that friend is more annoying than nails on a chalkboard in some ways, but you have to do it, and do so constantly. Network, put your product out there and be consistent. The more people see you, the more likely they are to acknowledge you. That last statement was horrifically vague, but I don’t know another way to say it. The point is, if you want to get out there, you have to get out there, and stay out there.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was 8 the first time I wrote something. I tell the story a lot. I was watching what turned out to be (and remains) my favorite movie. I cried as my favorite character died, and my biological father scoffed, telling me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So I tried to do just that. Fourteen hand-written pages later (front and back), I learned writing was hard. I never let it go though. I have some sort of project from every major phase of my life.
One that comes to mind at this moment was the first time I showed my first book to my brother (who was only my best friend at the time). He read it and made some comments. I took the book back, rewrote it (and have another 26 times since). His encouragement means a lot to me. He’s my number-one reader and number-one fan. He’s also incredibly patient with me. I’m honestly the most stubborn person I know, and he deals with that in ways that continue to amaze me. There are a lot of conversations where I gnash my teeth and bark, but I do always listen, and he keeps reading my work and offering me feedback. That first time was when I realized not just how much I enjoyed writing, but how much I wanted to do it well.

Tell us about your main character.
Bob is a man who’s caught in a world that doesn’t fit him. He wants to be average. He wants to live life. He’d be over the moon if he could just teach all day, read and drink hot chocolate. But he’s in this hyperbolically-important supernatural circle. He’s tried to counter that by simply doing what must be done without asking too many questions. This book is built around what happened when he tried to do more. He wasn’t trying to win employee of the year in the supernatural world, he just didn’t want people to fear what everyone knows is coming sooner or later. He’s just a guy stuck in a position where everything he tries is going to disappoint, piss off, or kill someone.

What are you working on next?
My next book is called Caught. It’s a paranormal horror about a group of people stuck in reoccurring nightmares. I plan for this to be out next year, and I’m almost done with another set of revisions.

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Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I jokingly refer to my radar. I have a knack for looking at a situation or group of people and accurately predicting how that scenario will work out. The joke continued to grow to the point where it’s eerie. No, I don’t in any way think I’m clairvoyant. What I think is I’m incredibly perceptive, and that leads to a fairly reliable ability to anticipate what’s going to happen.

I can also do a pushup without putting my feet on the ground. I saw someone do it in the 1994 olympics and wouldn’t stop trying to do it until I figured it out. It’s easily my most impressive physical ability.

Who are your favorite authors?
That list is fairly standard, but there are a few names out there on my radar too. But, as it stands:

All respect is due to Stephen King. His book, “On Writing” was my call to action. I work very hard to make his philosophy on the craft my own.

Anne McCaffrey
Leo Tolstoy
Robert Jordan
Brandon Sanderson

What do you like to do with your free time?
There’s no such thing. But, I sacrifice much needed sleep to play guitar and watch football. Other than my family, those are the two things that have the power to distract me from writing.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I’m growing as an author. I have too many ideas to count, but I have a clear idea on my next ten books. (These aren’t books I’ve written or plan to revise, but books I’m writing and plan to write. So they’re not books 1-10, but 7-17)
Perception of War: A Science Fiction fantasy series based around the crew of one particular ship. I’m currently writing the first book in that serial series. It’s about a young photographer who ends up on a special forces space vessel conducting operations in a war zone in which I blend WW II with the war or terror.
Chased and Betrayed (These are the working titles to the planned sequels to Caught)
The Sound of Freedom: This is a trilogy based on the idea that music (and the subsequent magic based on that music) is how God interacts with his children. So what what is the reaction to those born deaf? In my world, they’re excommunicated. They’re sent to this city of the forsaken until a former priest comes along trying to prove those people aren’t forsaken after all.
Those (and many more) are books I will write if life permits. Books I’ve already written and intend to publish are:
1,200: A book about a homeless veteran using his magic to help other homeless vets, only to come across a creature that eats anyone he uses that magic on.
The Nick of Time: A young-reader book about a little girl who’s trying to help her father discover why the world is ending.
New Utopia: This one book will actually become a set of two books. It centers around a post-apocalyptic planet (not Earth). Humanity lives on a city in the sky, but the city has a flaw that will doom them all if the main character can’t learn what that is. Giant creatures, magic, science fiction and political intrigue for everyone!

 

Any final thoughts?
I just want to thank you for offering to host me on this tour. I’m incredibly thankful to anyone who’s willing to give me the chance to talk about my book and help me live my dream. It means a lot to me. These words seem insufficient to me, but they’re all I have. Thank you!

Excerpt of “Viral” from Gristle & Bone

“You are looking into the Walker disappearance, is that correct?” Constable Nadeau dropped into the chair behind her desk with a squeak. She spoke with a heavy Quebecois accent, the English slightly stilted; th becoming t or d, depending; lone hs dropped; emphases in all the wrong places.
“Yes, that’s right,” Tara said. “Do you mind if I record this?”
Nadeau waved the question away.
“How long has she been missing?”
“Two week,” Nadeau said. “The Bamber girl reported she had not seen her the afternoon Daria made her video.”
“Nor her parents.”
Nadeau wore mysterious smile as she shook her head. “Oh no. MacKenzie was supposed to meet Daria to work on a video project for school. I suspect it was this video you see on the internet, which she had uploaded later that day.”
“You think these kids worked on it together. That it’s just special effects.”
“Oh, I have no doubt, Ms. Maxwell.” She folded her hands over the desk, leaning forward on her elbows, reminding Tara of Hal Waterman. “And you? Surely you don’t think it’s real?”
“Of course not.” Her indignation seemed forced even to herself. “Why did you smile when I asked about her parents? Did they—?”
“Greta and Anson Walker are… unique.”
“Unique? How so?”
Nadeau raised her sharp eyebrows. “Let us just say, it’s no wonder to me why Daria Walker disappeared,” the detective said, then frowned a little at the unintentional implication, and corrected herself: “Went missing. The girl’s father didn’t even remember what she was wearing that day, not that it would have helped one way or the other.”
De udder was how it sounded in Nadeau’s accent, and Tara couldn’t help but grin. “Why not?”
“The thing is, Daria left a pile of clothes in front of the computer before she slipped out of her bedroom window. The hoodie, her jogging pant, a pair of socks and underwear. All the things she wore in the video. There was even an earring and a little beaded bracelet—”
Tara seized on it: “A friendship bracelet?” Left her clothes. Left her bracelet, and her jewelry… everything she couldn’t take with her to the Great Beyond.
“Maybe.” Nadeau shrugged. “She’d just left it there on the carpet beside her desk chair. Like she want us to believe she literally disappeared…”

Book Tour – The Last War by Alex Davis

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Title: The Last War
Author: Alex Davis
Genre: Science-Fiction

Born from the genius of the Animex, the aliens of the Noukari seek to gain a foothold on a savage planet. But the greatest danger to their existence lies within them – a powerful gift of telepathy.

As the tension grows between idolatry and admiration of their creators, and the Noukari come to understand the latent powers within their own minds, a species created for peace are about to succumb to brutal violence.

In a galaxy torn by conflict, will the first battle between the Noukari also be their last war?

“The Last War is a remarkable study of reason and faith, morality and practicality, pragmatism and idealism. With sharp, unfussy prose, Alex Davis draws the reader into an endearing nascent civilisation, and then takes it apart before our eyes. Unpredictable, challenging and rewarding.” Gav Thorpe, New York Times Bestselling author of Angels of Darkness Deliverance Lost.

Author Bio

Alex Davis is an author, editor, publisher, creative writing tutor and events organiser based in Derby. His debut novel, THE LAST WAR, is out in July from Tickety Boo Press and is the first in a science-fiction trilogy following the aliens of the Noukari. He is co-ordinator for Derby’s annual Edge-Lit event – running this year on the 11th July – and also part of the management committee for this year’s Derby Book Festival. He also runs Boo Books, Derby’s independent press, aiming to promote regional talent along internationally known authors. Their latest release is The Electric, available in paperback for the first time. For more information, visit http://boobooks.net/

Links
Ebook: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YQICMHQ
Paperback: http://shop.ticketyboopress.co.uk/index.php

Book Excerpt
CHAPTER TWO EXCERPT

Outside the temple, whose two walls have grown to four, a proud and lyrical voice carries across the clearing. Beneath the spell of its powerful tones a loose congregation has gathered, without seats, without rows, without any location worthy of such worship.

No matter, the Re’Nuck thinks. All of that will come in time.

He does not allow this simple thought to interrupt the rhythm of his speech. He has become expert in such matters – the words of the Book seem to have ingrained themselves into his memories, written there as large as they are on the crinkled pages at his hut.

‘And the Noukari arrived, borne within the sacred vessels crafted by the gods themselves. But those simplest of lifeforms did not resemble us as we are today, yet by the powers and craftsmanship of the Animex, we were able to rise from the simplest of forms to something more. It was within sunups that we first came to walk, to think, to speak.’

Apius pauses, taking a look at the rapt faces before continuing.

‘We know all this to be fact. All of these things are burned into our common history, and live within our memories still. There is nothing I have said to be disputed. But the question that some still ask is what this truly means for our people. What interpretations can we offer for this event? In this respect we talk about the beginning of life, an act of creation beyond any we have encountered. We are their people, and Genem – and all of Noukaria – is every bit as much theirs as it as ours.’

The crowd nods thoughtfully. Apius has swiftly become used to these public appearances, and the necessary flourishes of the spiritual leader. The means to instil his belief, to communicate in the name of the gods.

‘No act of nature nor of building can do such a thing. It is clear that we were made by the hand of gods – gods called the Animex! There is no other conclusion, and in time all of those who have yet to accept will come to believe. Rest assured, those in denial shall soon worship with us. And they will share the word in a temple that surely even the gods cannot deny, a building so grand in scale that it would be worthy for a god to set foot within.’

Apius bows his head for a moment, allowing his newly-embroidered robe to billow around him. The new vestment has come with the title, and sets him apart from those who hang to his words.

‘That is all. Go with these words, and spread them in the streets and fields of Genem. Much has been done, but there is a longer road ahead.’

One by one the followers of Apius drift away, carrying eager conversations with them.

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INTERVIEW

Alex, thanks for being here today. Please tell us about you:
I’ve been involved in writing really actively over the last decade, some of which has of course been my own writing but also including event organisation, running my own small press, Boo Books, proofreading, copy-editing, mentoring and plenty more besides. It’s a pleasure to finally have my own book

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
In a practical sense, my daughter gets me out of bed every day. But beyond that I love being in the position I am and doing what I do – every single day it’s writers and writing, whether it’s gathering them together for an event, hopefully helping them along their way to publication or working on my own stuff.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
My two main interests beyond writing are really comedy and horror, so on those grounds it would either be Frankie Boyle, Patton Oswalt or Tom Six. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Tom at the UK premiere of Human Centipede 3 and he was a great guy.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Last War originally started life as a shared world novel written for an Australian publisher, who unfortunately went out of business between me writing the book and them publishing the book. So I was slightly left dangling with a project that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with, but having chatted with the editor he was happy for us to all try and get our work out as long as key names etc. were changed. So The Last War is now its own entity, and I’m delighted to be with Tickety Boo for this one – they’re a publisher really going places.

Tell us your writing process
I’m a great believer in simply cracking on, and I suppose an absolute non-believer in writers block. So for me it’s a matter of at least 1000 words per day, whether I feel vastly inspired or not. That way I can put together a first draft pretty quickly and leave me plenty of time to work on the editing process.

What advice can you share with other authors who want to get the word out about their book?
It’s a big job, so I suppose the first thing is to be prepared for as much work on promotion as there is writing, if not more! The other advice I’d give is just to give things a go – readings, workshops, panels, make yourself available for anything and everything. Even if you’re not talking directly about your book, they’re still really valuable opportunities.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Ever since I was tiny – in fact I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. My grandmother has stories from when I was four or five still kicking around.

Tell us about your main character:
There are a few in the book, but I suppose the real lead is Apius, who becomes the leader of a new religion and rather grows too much into the role of preacher. He’s a man of great belief, great conviction and great ambition. But he also has many opponents among his people, so the tension that grows from there is a key part of the story.

What are you working on next?
Book Two, what else? The Last Days is the second part of the Noukari Trilogy, and having had a couple of false starts I’m feeling on the right track with the latest plan and opening. I’ll be trying to keep the epic, formative feel of that first book but also adding in more from the universe more widely.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’ve always been a dab hand with word games and anagrams. I was on the UK quiz show Countdown back when I was 15, and then invited back again when I was 16. I got beat both times but still watch now!

Who are your favorite authors?
For me I’ve always been a big fan of SF which has a more character-driven/human angle. I’m a big fan of Kate Wilhelm and DG Compton, but my two faves would be JG Ballard and Ray Bradbury. Bradbury in particular has always been a massive inspiration – his Martian Chronicles definitely fed into the thought process for The Last War.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Like I said, I’m big into comedy and particularly like the animated stuff – Adult Swim has kept me entertained for many years. I’m also big into my horror films, and like some of the more extreme stuff out there – things that push boundaries has always been really interesting to me. Besides that, I’m very partial to my sport, mainly football and horse racing but also golf and tennis.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
The trilogy will be the main focus for a while yet, probably about the next year or so. Beyond that I have a couple of ideas for horror/thrillers that I’m excited to explore. I’ve also written a few short stories set in the world of the Noukari, so perhaps that’ll be something I can explore in the future.

Where can people find you on the web?
My website is at http://alexblogsabout.com, and if you fancy checking out the small press I run Boo Books is at http://boobooks.net/

Any final thoughts?
Thanks a lot for having me – I’m always happy to hear from people who’ve read the book, or anyone who enjoys this interview, so feel free to drop me a line at alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

Book Tour – Finding Destiny by Katrina Hart

Finding-Destiny.

Title: Finding Destiny
Author: Katrina Hart
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Format: Ebook

Blurb
When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colourful world inhabited by humans and robots. Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.

Links:
Publisher site: http://www.pilrigpress.co.uk/books.html
Amazon
Finding Destiny is also available on ITunes

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Book Excerpt

Chapter One..
Finding Destiny

“Destiny! Destiny!” I yelled, walking the dark forest alone.
Broken branches crunched beneath my feet. Black, shadowing trees loomed over me, following my every move. Owls hooted and flapped in every direction. I proceeded, calling the girlie-named pony.
I walked till my feet burned. It had been hours with no sign of Destiny, when the forest seemed to come alive before my eyes! Classical music hummed around a circle of purple gypsy tents, which surrounded a huge pink camp fire. I rubbed my tired eyes in disbelief. I opened them again and saw Destiny being cuddled lovingly by a pale girl with black hair flowing like a never-ending river. I walked over to the girl and Destiny.
“Hey miss, you found my sister’s pony.” I looked down at them both.
“Mister, she is my pony!” She held Destiny closer in a protective grip.
I was about to argue my point, but a cold hand pushed on my shoulder, stopping me.
“Grandma! He wants my pony.” The girl pointed in my direction.
“Faith, don’t point it’s rude!” The old woman scolded her like she was a child.
“Where the hell did you come from!” I shouted and jumped to look her in the face.
“My tent, just this way,” the grandma said as she walked inside her purple tent.
I followed, outraged. I just wanted my sister’s pony back.
“Enter,” the old woman croaked, coughing.
“Are you okay!” I whispered.
“Yes! Yes! Don’t worry yourself, now what can I do for you, sir?” She coughed again.
“I need my sister’s pony back. It’s her everything,” I pleaded.
“My Faith loves her too,” the old lady coughed again.
“I will do anything, I need that pony!” I tried again, staring into the old lady’s purple eyes.
Her wrinkled, transparent face and white long hair, tied in a bun tight above her head, made her look frail. She sat down behind a crystal ball. “Anything?”
I nodded.
“Let me see your future,” she coughed, rubbing her crystal ball and looking inside its clear dome.
The silence dragged on like an unspoken question in a crowded room. Sadness crossed her face.
“It’s done!” she shouted; her eyes seemed to turn black.
“Thank you.” I smiled, a little confused.
“My pleasure.” She coughed, handing me a blue drink in a clear glass. “Please drink, it will bring you good luck on your way home. It’s a tradition, you know,” she said.
I didn’t want to seem rude, so I drained the glass. My head spun and everything became unfocused.

I fought to see through the darkness. Crying, and the smell of hay surrounded me.
“Hello! Who’s there? Where am I?” I whispered, following the cries of what sounded like a girl being murdered.
“Hello!” I yelled over her cries. I feared for us both. A light danced on of its own accord. Straw was everywhere. Pink, blue and red horses wandered about, leaving their stalls empty. The barn looked steel, unlike anything I had seen before. A computer was flat-attached to the wall, but there was no keyboard to type on. Had I been drinking? Or dreaming? I wasn’t sure, but this barn looked far too advanced for my time.
The girl’s cries turned to screams. The sound was deafening; my heart thumped. I stood beside the screaming stable door, sliding it open with a loud squeak. Peering inside, her gaze met mine; her black flowing hair lay upon the straw, sticking to her sweat-covered forehead.
“Faith? Is that you? What are we doing here?” I rushed to her side.
“I’m screaming and you are late!” she said blowing out a breath.
“I don’t even know where we are, do you?” I retorted.
Faith screamed, grabbing my hand like a vice then relaxing once more. She placed an old folded piece of paper into my hand.
“Read it!” Her breath came out raggedly.
The note read …

Dear Alex, and Faith.
Destiny had many lovely years with your little sister, as promised Alex.
I saved your lives. You are in 2038 on the morning that bound your futures together. I saw it!
Don’t hate an old Gypsy for sending you on your way.
Good luck both of you!

The note fell from my hands, “We are in 2038, hell!”
“Isn’t it?” Faith screamed.
I tried to get Faith to let go of my hand. Then her body went stiff and I began to panic; she needed a doctor or midwife right now. But a cry split the air and a robot computer handed her a screaming baby.
On the computer screen, fireworks announced Faith had a baby girl
“We,” she whispered, as the robot computer walked away. I kissed Faith softly on the lips, and a weird deja vu came over me. Love flooded my heart, sending warm shivers coursing through my body.
“Shall we call her Destiny?” Faith asked, gazing into my eyes.
“That’s perfect,” I smiled.
This was the first moment of my new life.

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Author Bio

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My name is Katrina Hart but I was always called Katie. I live in the East of England with my hfamily and Holly, Smokey my two cats as well as Jessie our dog, they are a nutty bunch but I love them all the same. I have always had a passion for reading. I could easily spend a whole lifetime engrossed in a good book. In my twenties I joined an online writing class, where I fell in love with writing my own stories. Since I started writing I have discovered a new love for quotes, a quote that really inspired was from Toni Morrison. Toni said  “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I came across this quote whilst I was studying, this is one of the many things that inspired me to begin my first novel. I always welcome anyone to visit my blog at http://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com

Blogs and Social media links:
Blog: https://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @KatrinaHart2015
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katrina-Hart/1785712648319624?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13566519.Katrina_Hart

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Interview

Katie, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
I love to learn new things and read a lot. I live with my two cats Smokey and Holly and our dog Jessie in the East of England.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don’t sleep often so I’m normally out of bed before the day starts. However, each day is a great adventure when I know I’ll be setting aside a few hours to write or read.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Wow that’s a real hard one. If she was still alive I would have loved to have spent the day with Beatrix Potter because her books were the first stories that captured my imagination as a child. However of the living I would choose David Tennant because I liked him in Dr Who and I think he would be fun to spend a day with.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Although Finding Destiny is a fantasy novel. The underlining story is love, friendship and finding a future they belong to, as well as finding out what strengths each character has when they have to protect their friends and family from the half- breeds.

Tell us your writing process.
I’m very much a discovery writer and never really plan a story to the end. I like to just follow my characters through their story. Sometimes I will loop back and do a bit of editing. However, I often just write my novels from the first moment to the last. After the first draft is finished I’ll put it away for a short while before returning to edit and shape the story until it’s as good as I can get it.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
I’ve found having a blog a great way to connect with readers and it’s very enjoyable to write posts on my characters and share my writing experience. Also twitter is a great way to get the word out about books and posts although it does take some getting used to.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always had a strong imagination from a young age. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really decided to start writing novels and learning the process.

Tell us about your main character:
Alex is a teenager who cares about his Ma and sister and has some great friends. Until his sister’s pony goes missing and he goes looking for her. This changes his life very quickly and he finds himself surrounded by people who he doesn’t really know in a new world. He has to grow up very fast and workout what has happened.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on polishing my second novel ‘The lost Town of Man’s Crossing’ And writing some short stories at the moment. I’ve also got a third first draft hiding away in my bookcase.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m very creative person and have a really good memory which comes in very handy while writing. I’m also great at multitasking.

Who are your favourite authors?
I have many favourite authors like Ciara Gold, Jane Austin, Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton. Along with lots of new author such as Kendra Olson, Ruth F Hunt, Patricia Asedegbega and so, so many more I could be here all day.

What do you like to do with your free time?
In my free time I’m mostly writing or reading. Or playing chase the toy mouse with my two cats. Also I like learning new things like at the moment I’m learning some sign language and have a scrap-book on the go

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I hope to finish with shaping up ‘The lost Town of Man’s Crossing’ this year and then start a fourth novel while editing my third.

Any final thoughts?
Thank-you for having me on your blog.

Book Tour ~ Astrid V. Tallaksen

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About the Book
Title
: At Death’s Door
Author: Astrid V. Tallaksen
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

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The world is a pretty straightforward place. Even for medium Sara Stone things seem pretty simple, aside from the whole talking to spirits bit. But when the spirits get too hard to handle and Sara ends up admitted to a mental hospital, the world starts to seem a lot less straightforward. First her family disappears, including her four year old son. Then she gets the sneaking suspicion that not only are the staff at the mental hospital somehow connected, but they also have no intention of ever letting her leave the hospital.

Everything changes when Sara has her first visitor in three months. Daniel is handsome, friendly, and a complete stranger. When he promises to spring her from the hospital and swears that everything she’s experienced is completely real, Sara has no choice but to believe him. But once she reaches a run-down Victorian house in the tiny Alabama town her rescuer calls home, the last thing she expects to discover is that every memory she has is a lie.
Daniel reveals a world filled with angels, demons, and an impending war humans know nothing about. Sara wants to ignore her role in the whole mess – all that matters is solving the mystery of where her son has gone. But the forces of Heaven, Hell, and the Heart have other plans for her. Can she find her child before the world comes crashing down?

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Author Bio

Astrid V. Tallaksen grew up with a heart for stories of creatures and places outside of this world. Her love of reading quickly became a love of writing. She spent several years creating content and helping writers to improve their craft on the online world of Althanas, a creative writing workshop in the guise of a roleplaying forum. A self-avowed nerd, Astrid loves science fiction, comic books, and eighties fantasy movies in the vein of The Princess Bride and Labyrinth. Her geekiness extends to annual volunteer work at the massive sci-fi convention known as Dragon*con every year in Atlanta, Georgia. In the odd times that she’s not immersed in geekdom or writing, Astrid loves to sing karaoke, crochet, and spend time with her family and pets.

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Links

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Links to purchase At Death’s Door:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Apple iBooks
Scribd
Page Foundry

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INTERVIEW

Astrid, thanks for being my guest today. Tell our readers about you.
Where do I begin? I’m the mom of an awesome and frustrating 11 year old boy, and happily married to my husband. I have a house full of critters – 2 dogs and 2 cats (and the 11 year old boy lol). Currently I’m back in school (someday I’ll have a degree – maybe by the time I’m 40), with a major in English Literature and a minor in Gender and Multicultural Studies. I hope it will help me in my writing and editing. I love karaoke, crocheting, and swimming.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I guess it depends on the day really. Most days it’s my crazy kid. Some days it’s because I have an amazing idea in my head that HAS to get down on paper. If I’m really lucky it’s because I’m traveling somewhere with my husband or having a girl’s day out with my mom or a friend.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably Angelina Jolie (although Tom Hiddleston would be a close second). She’s just an inspiration to me. She’s a brilliant actress, but more importantly she’s a great person who does wonderful things in the world. She’s also a fantastic mom, with a huge heart.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Freefall Trilogy, which I’m working on the last book of, has a core theme of Free Will. Everything boils down to a person’s ability to make personal choices, whether good or bad, and face the consequences, whatever they are. It’s been an interesting journey as I navigated my own personal beliefs about it, and then compared them to some of the world’s major religions.

Tell us your writing process
I am kind of a freeform writer. I don’t do outlines or anything like that, because it just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I let the characters take charge, and write in a very chronological manner. I do keep a notebook where I take research notes, or write down quotes that inspire me or make me think of certain characters or relationships, or little pieces of plot ideas or dialogue I’ve had pop into my head.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
That’s definitely been a learning process, and honestly I’m still learning. Between Heaven & Hell just came out in March, and it’s only my second book, so I haven’t quite figured out the best way to navigate promoting yet. I try to make sure I keep up with my social media so people are seeing my name, which I feel is really important. Word of mouth is important as well, and I have no problem with wrangling my friends into putting the word out there. I’ve had a book signing, which was fun but I wish more people had come. I also have business cards and a website so that I can quickly get my information to people. I send out a lot of review requests, because I think reviews are a very important part of getting people interested in your book. And finally, blog tours like this are quite fun and helpful as well.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know if there was a realization. I’ve been telling stories forever. I wrote my first (very short) book in kindergarten, and just never stopped. I didn’t realize I wanted to do it, I guess in a way I was just born this way.

Tell us about your main character:
Sara. I love Sara. She’s bold and sassy, filled with snark, but she’s not fearless by any means. She’s strong but she knows she has to lean on people sometimes because she can’t do everything herself. She has a huge heart, which can be a bit of a weakness for her. In these books she starts out in a mental hospital because she sees ghosts.

What are you working on next?
Once I finish the Freefall Trilogy, I’ve got plans for a couple more projects. The most immediate one will focus on a character named Skyler, a girl who starts out rough and is trained as an assassin. Her adventures aren’t as world-changing as Sara’s, but she’s definitely going to have some pretty crazy things going on in her world, which will be full on fantasy.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents? 
I’m a decent photographer, and I’m also a pretty good singer. I used to be much better than I am now, at one point singing opera and classical pieces. Now it’s only karaoke now and then, which is kind of sad.

Who are your favorite authors?
My absolute favorite author is Madeleine L’Engle, who wrote A Wrinkle in Time among other books. I collect everything she writes, sometimes in multiple editions. She was almost like another family member for me and her words got me through some very tough times. My other favorites include Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), David Eddings (Belgariad), and Victoria Holt.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Sleep? It’s underrated if you ask me. Other things I like to do are karaoke, crochet, photography, and a bit of painting.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I will probably be doing a bit more straight up fantasy, like the assassin books that will be next, as well as some about a fallen valkyrie. Who knows what else I’ll come up with after that.

Any final thoughts?
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share my work and my thoughts and processes and loves. I suppose I could leave you with a quote from my favorite movie, Dream for an Insomniac: “Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.”

Interview With… Duncan Ralston

gristle-bone-by-duncan-ralston-194x300
Hi folks. Today I am joined by Duncan Ralston. Duncan was a guest a few days ago with the release of his ne book, Gristle & Bone.

Duncan, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you –
I’m 38. I grew up half in Toronto, and half in a small town. I currently live in Toronto with my girlfriend and our dog, where I’ve worked behind the scenes in television for the past ten years.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Gotta get working! Write, write, write. It doesn’t hurt that my dog is probably panting heavily to wake me up for his walk.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to pick Stephen King’s brain for a day. Could it be ‘80s King, though? Is time-travel an option?

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to write a collection of horror stories because I love writing characters. With short stories, I could write as many as were necessary and take them all to their breaking points. I suppose that makes me a bit of a sadist. I also wanted to give potential readers a good idea of my writing style, and with Gristle & Bone, I was able to write in multiple styles and voices within the same book. I’ve always felt the style should fit the story, and I hope Gristle & Bone reflects that.

Tell us your writing process.
I try to clear out the day’s business first. That includes: Facebooking, tweets, emails, etc. Then I’m free to lose myself in the writing for a bit. Usually I read over whatever I’ve worked on the previous day, then get right into it. I break here and there for snacks and messing around with the dog. I don’t worry about writing every day or word counts (they’re a distraction), but when I do sit down to write, I try to make a day of it.

Do you have any advice for other writers how they can get the word out about their book? 
I spend a fair amount of time promoting, sometimes too much. What I’ve noticed is that “Buy my book” tends to annoy people more than it sells books. Connect with people. Discuss shared interests. Avoid paying for Facebook Page “Like” ads, as the people who end up liking your page rarely if ever interact. They may mostly be bots.
Also, be courteous to bloggers/reviewers. Be respectful of their rules. Seriously. They may be your biggest allies in the industry.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since age 15 or so, but I didn’t think it might be a viable option until about 2010, when I won a pitch contest for a TV pilot I was working on, essentially a short story about the series. After that, I wrote a novel, some pilot and spec scripts, and then the stories collected in Gristle & Bone. People seemed to respond to them when I self-published it last year, so I started reaching out to reviewers and publishers. I was pretty ecstatic when Booktrope’s Forsaken horror imprint picked it up in the winter for republishing, and their input has been invaluable.

Tell us about your main character.
As there are many main characters in Gristle & Bone, I’ll stick with one: In “Viral,” Tara Maxwell is a music journalist who’d always wanted to be an investigative reporter. She’s tenacious, and has the chops for it, but for one reason or another she’s stuck in her current gig.
When she sees a viral video of a depressed teen girl who disappears on camera, it strikes a chord. She’s worried about disappearing into obscurity herself, metaphorically, of leaving nothing of her behind, so she decides to find out if it’s real or a very good hoax. If it is real, what happened to the girl? We discover she has very personal reasons for looking into the girl’s story the closer she gets to the truth.

What are you working on next?
My “first” novel, Salvage, is due out this fall. Here’s the official blurb:
When his sister drowns, Owen Saddler follows in her footsteps, determined to uncover the circumstances surrounding her death by diving into the murky waters of Chapel Lake.
30 years ago, the town of Peace Falls was flooded for a hydroelectric dam, and its ruins remain below. The disappearance of the church’s Pastor and parishioners still haunts the citizens of Chapel Lake, but does the church haunt the lake itself? Is Owen really seeing ghosts, or has he succumbed to the depths of madness?

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I can identify pretty much any song I’ve heard a couple of times within about two seconds.

Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Hike, travel, read, walk the dog, and when I get a chance, hang out with the family and friends.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Beyond Salvage, I’ve got several novels/novellas/short stories on the go, along with a screenplay or two. I’m very excited about the ideas I’ve got percolating. Unfortunately they’re top secret at the moment, but I’m itching to tell someone!

Where can people find you on the web?
You can find me at my website, The Fold (www.duncanralston.com).
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/duncanralstonfiction.
On Twitter @userbits.

Any final thoughts?
Thanks for having me. And Keep it Creepy!

EXCERPT

Excerpt of “Viral” from Gristle & Bone
“You are looking into the Walker disappearance, is that correct?” Constable Nadeau dropped into the chair behind her desk with a squeak. She spoke with a heavy Quebecois accent, the English slightly stilted; th becoming t or d, depending; lone hs dropped; emphases in all the wrong places.
“Yes, that’s right,” Tara said. “Do you mind if I record this?”
Nadeau waved the question away.
“How long has she been missing?”
“Two week,” Nadeau said. “The Bamber girl reported she had not seen her the afternoon Daria made her video.”
“Nor her parents.”
Nadeau wore mysterious smile as she shook her head. “Oh no. MacKenzie was supposed to meet Daria to work on a video project for school. I suspect it was this video you see on the internet, which she had uploaded later that day.”
“You think these kids worked on it together. That it’s just special effects.”
“Oh, I have no doubt, Ms. Maxwell.” She folded her hands over the desk, leaning forward on her elbows, reminding Tara of Hal Waterman. “And you? Surely you don’t think it’s real?”
“Of course not.” Her indignation seemed forced even to herself. “Why did you smile when I asked about her parents? Did they—?”
“Greta and Anson Walker are… unique.”
“Unique? How so?”
Nadeau raised her sharp eyebrows. “Let us just say, it’s no wonder to me why Daria Walker disappeared,” the detective said, then frowned a little at the unintentional implication, and corrected herself: “Went missing. The girl’s father didn’t even remember what she was wearing that day, not that it would have helped one way or the other.”
De udder was how it sounded in Nadeau’s accent, and Tara couldn’t help but grin. “Why not?”
“The thing is, Daria left a pile of clothes in front of the computer before she slipped out of her bedroom window. The hoodie, her jogging pant, a pair of socks and underwear. All the things she wore in the video. There was even an earring and a little beaded bracelet—”
Tara seized on it: “A friendship bracelet?” Left her clothes. Left her bracelet, and her jewelry… everything she couldn’t take with her to the Great Beyond.
“Maybe.” Nadeau shrugged. “She’d just left it there on the carpet beside her desk chair. Like she want us to believe she literally disappeared…”

Book Tour – Patricia Asedegbega

Cover - When I Grow Up

Biography

Author of I stand Corrected, Rewind, Balou Uncensored, Bienvenidos a gatos anónimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master´s degree.

She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.

Author Pic - Patricia Asedegbega

LINKS
https://twitter.com/Patricias_Place
https://www.facebook.com/PatriciasUniverse
www.patriciascorner.co.uk

BUY LINK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-grow-PATRICIA-ASEDEGBEGA-NIETO-ebook/dp/B010ZUPXWY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436218614&sr=8-2&keywords=patricia+asedegbega

Blurb
When I grow up…

“You need a plan B,” said Alicia’s mother when at five years old she told her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thirty odd years later, Alicia is on plan D: sharing a flat, no tangible savings, and working for hateful Julia, whose sole purpose in life is to make her existence utterly miserable. Good thing she has Oscar and the girls to make the long hours at work bearable. But when a series of events tears the close-knit group apart, putting friendships and motives under suspicion, will Alicia be able to restore balance and set things right? More importantly, will she ever be able to upgrade her life to at least plan C?

BOOK EXCERPT
CHAPTER ONE

I glance at the clock on top of my desk, willing the time to go faster. I have been painfully watching the seconds pass by all morning. In five more minutes Oscar and the girls will be at the kitchen for our accustomed tea break. He had sent a group message half an hour ago informing us when he was taking his break and asked if anyone else was free.
I look nervously at the door, hoping Julia, my boss, won´t choose that moment to open it for one more useless urgent request, when we both know it can also be done three hours from now or even tomorrow. She has a knack for being most inopportune, and if she gives me a task and I take my break late, I´ll have to sit on my own as the others will already have returned to their desks. We are only allowed ten minutes off outside our lunch hour—we always add one or two more, though, as we feel time spent in route to the kitchen should not be included— and we try to coordinate with one another so we can take our breaks together.
The seconds tick so slowly. I can hear Julia on the phone speaking in the voice she uses when she is talking to a client, the same voice that would mislead anyone who didn´t know her into actually thinking she is remotely human.
Just in time, I grab the handset and race to the staff kitchen where Oscar, Emma, Amparo, and Carmen are sitting around the wooden table staring hungrily at the cream-filled buns resting on a plate. We take turns in bringing something to accompany the pot of steaming coffee the first one to arrive makes, and I can´t wait to sink my teeth into what Carmen has brought for us today.
“Ah, there you are!” Emma exclaims as I rush to pour a cup of coffee. “We were only going to give you half a minute more before starting.” The rest start tucking in, while at the same time trying to fill each other in on their hectic days and how our bosses seem to have a goal of making our lives even more difficult than necessary, if possible.
We work for Fernández & Associates. It´s the kind of law firm where the lawyers bill their clients six figures just for answering the phone. We have some of the most prestigious and wealthy clientele, both in Spain and abroad. One of our departments deals with international law, so we cater to all the legal needs of a lot of Spanish businessmen who own companies in other countries, as well as foreigners who come to set up businesses here in Spain. It was started by Sergio Fernández Castellón , the father of our present senior partner, Alejandro. He wanted to provide very personal service to his clients, so our policy has always been to have just five lawyers, each heading a department. This enables them to have a very close and direct relationship with each client. Now that Alejandro has taken over, he is following the same philosophy and, as a result, we have clients that have been with the firm for over thirty years. We accept new clients strictly on recommendations and only on rare occasions.
The firm occupies three floors of a building located in Calle Serrano . The ground floor holds the reception area and conference rooms. The secretaries and junior lawyers have offices on the middle floor. And finally, on the top floor, where few venture except when summoned, the partners have what we like to call their dens.
The five of us are “corporate personal assistants”, which is an important sounding title that really means your job description is whatever the boss wants, no matter how ridiculous it is. We all speak various languages, have university degrees, and are known for our discretion—except during our breaks, of course. There, we have no secrets from each other. But really, apart from it being extremely interesting to know all that goes on with the other four bosses, confiding in each other has really helped us on more than one occasion to narrowly escape impending disasters that might otherwise have cost one or two jobs. So our undercover network is of utmost importance to us and probably to the firm as well.
I love a good gossip, but sometimes knowing what someone else´s boss has done is important for me. I can then feel that I am not the unluckiest person on Earth because I work for Julia.
Julia is a brilliant lawyer. She has two law degrees and a Masters degree, and she speaks perfect English, German and French. She is thirty-five years old—I saw both her passport and ID card, information that was quickly shared with my friends as soon as I discovered it—but she has the character of a cobra, always ready to spring and attack. For some reason, only those of us beneath her station have been “lucky” enough to see that side of her. Her colleagues respect her, and I admit she has earned that esteem by having practically no life outside of work. But that is where her charm ends, especially with me. I seem to always be at the receiving end of her attacks. Sometimes she is all smiles and extremely solicitous, but a second later succeeds in almost reducing me to tears.
After five years of working for her, I have finally developed the ability to look directly at her and not lower my head when she berates me. It all enters through one ear and goes out the other. That, and the fact that I have convinced myself, after some intense online searches, that she must have some sort of emotional disorder that she is probably unaware of.
“It has been a difficult morning,” I say. “Julia missed her dentist appointment and blamed me for it.”
“I know you didn´t forget to tell her,” Oscar replies. “Go on; shock us with what really happened this time.”
“Yesterday morning, I reminded her that it was at nine today. Good thing I also sent a text message to her mobile last night. She got there at ten and was surprised they weren´t able to squeeze her in. She seems to think everything should be dropped when she arrives somewhere. I tried to get her to look at the text message where she could have easily seen the time it was sent, but she refused to, claiming she didn´t receive it. I´m sure she has erased it. I have a good mind to go through her phone, but I´m not going to waste my time as I wouldn´t be able to use it as proof anyway. I know she knows that she isn´t right. It just annoys me how she always seems to blame me for everything that goes wrong without giving me a chance to defend myself. Honestly, this firm does not pay me enough for the mental stress she puts me through.”
“I know what you mean,” says a visibly upset Emma. “Gonzalo forgot his wife´s birthday again, which must be because when he isn´t working he is pursuing anything that closely resembles a female. I sent her flowers as usual, but he didn´t follow it up with a call or do anything special, and she came to the office looking extremely furious. There was a mighty row. I´m surprised it wasn´t heard in the surrounding buildings. Guess who was to blame for everything?”
Amparo says: “You guys are really paying for some past sins in a big way. I have to say that Alejandro, apart from being very easy on the eye, has never treated me in a demeaning manner and is quite considerate for a boss. He even knows when my birthday is and sends me flowers.”
We can´t help but nod in agreement with our mouths full. Even Oscar, who is about to marry his longtime girlfriend, has often said that Alejandro is one of those men that should not exist, as they make women compare what they have at home to them and probably wish they could trade. Every woman in the firm is secretly in love with him— except Julia who seems quite indifferent to his charm, but that just reinforces my belief that she isn´t quite human. He has the dreamiest blue eyes and abundant hair that he absentmindedly has to push away from his eyes occasionally as it is quite long. He looks as if he has just effortlessly stepped out of the cover of a magazine; not at all the image that comes to mind when one thinks of a lawyer. Alejandro heads the International Law Department, so he is not just a pretty face. He has succeeded in maintaining and even upgrading the high standards his late father left the firm with when he handed the reins over to him.
I don´t think he knows I exist, but, like every female worker here, I too have imagined walking down the aisle with him at one time or another. Pity that all his girlfriends have been models or rich heiresses and I, not being one or the other…
We cram all that we can into those short ten minutes, then hurry back to our desks and daily work routines. As soon as I sit down, I read a message from Julia asking me to go to her office, where she proceeds to dictate various letters that need to be sent out. I look up when she finishes the last one to see if she needs anything more from me and see that she is looking at her computer screen intently. I take this as an indication that my presence is no longer required.
“You need to reschedule my dentist appointment and apologize for the mix up,” she says as I reach for the door handle. I hesitate, about to argue, but then I wonder what use it would be. I have no desire to give her one more reason to humiliate me.
I walk away and call as she had asked me to. I say how sorry I am for the misunderstanding, but Esperanza, the receptionist, and I both know who really made the mistake. It´s not the first time it has happened, and it won´t be the last.
I print out the letters, put them into a folder, and take them back to her so she can sign them and so I can post them on my way home. Whilst I do this, I reflect on how difficult some women make it for their own kind sometimes. There is no love lost between us, but for the life of me, I have no idea what Julia has against me. In my case, it´s because of everything she has done to me throughout the years. She has killed any affection or respect I tried time and time again to develop for her. I wonder what she does when she isn´t working. I know there is no husband or children. She keeps her personal life under a closed lid. It seems to be women in general she has a problem with, as the only one of us lowly PAs I have ever seen her smile at is Oscar.
I go online, as I always do when I need a boost, and type the words that will lead me to the images that have always taken me to my happy place…

INTERVIEW

Patricia, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you:
I am a product of mixed raced parents and as a result have had the opportunity to live in both Africa and Europe; this has greatly enriched my life. I currently live in sunny Spain and even though I have a degree in Environmental Biology, writing is my passion. My favorite genre is mystery and I have started two series one in Spanish and another in English and I hope to be doing this for a very long time.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The first thought that came to mind when reading this question was “It´s something I do automatically” but once out of bed, I guess I´m inspired by practically everything around me and the people that are important to me. The things we are passionate about keep us going and hopefully bring out the best in us.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Of the living, I´d love to have an insight into the thoughts of any of my favourite writers. Elizabeth George, for example. But if it could be anyone, it would be Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I think she was a remarkable person and I´d have loved to have been able to chat with her.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Although a fiction work, my book “When I grow up…” has an underlining of reality. It will probably remind the reader of childhood dreams and lost opportunities that have taken them to the point in their lives they find themselves in but ultimately, it is a book of hope for the future.

Tell us your writing process:
I don´t really have an organized writing process. I normally have a main idea that I develop as I write, somehow things fall into place and in the end, I´m able to get a coherent story line from all the alternate scenarios running through my head. I write when I can, not really having a fixed schedule or number of hours I dedicate to writing. I do set time frames for the whole process that I do my best to achieve.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Being an author is a very competitive career as there are so many talented authors out there trying to leave their mark in the world. I´d advice new authors not to be discouraged and keep trying until they are able to create a small niche for themselves.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
In the past, I had made various failed attempts at being a writer but I didn´t start seriously until about four years ago. I haven´t stopped since then.

Tell us about your main character:
The main character in “When I grow up…” is Alicia. A young woman in her mid thirties, who like most of her peers, struggles to make ends meet. She is a strong, sensitive and determined person who tries to fight against her circumstances and rise above them. I believe she is someone the readers will find easy to identify with.

What are you working on next?
I´m about to continue working on the sequel of my suspense series “I stand corrected”, it will hopefully be out for December.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I think I´m very creative and this comes very handy when writing. I´m also very good at organizing events, especially charity events.

Who are your favorite authors?
My all time favorite author is Agatha Christie; I also enjoy reading Anne Perry, Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Marian Keyes…

What do you like to do with your free time?
I love reading, experimenting with recipes, watching TV series, listening to music…

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I´m having “When I grow up…” translated to Spanish and it will be out in October. For December, the next in The Rosario and Balou series will be released and I have plans for next year to bring out a fiction novel to aid a special needs kids school we help with in Nigeria.

Any final thoughts?
I feel really privileged to be able to do something I´m genuinely passionate about and nothing makes me happier than when someone tells me they had a great time reading one of my books. This is what keeps me going and I hope I´m able to do this for many more years.

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