Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Poaching the Immortal – Sample

This is a taste of the page turning goodness inside the front and back covers of Poaching the Immortal:

Donavon halted at the resonance of Ted’s challenge. Aaron ran into his backside and almost knocked them both to the ground.

“Will you watch where you’re going, jackass? You damn near knocked me down!” Donavon regained his footing and threw a dirty look back towards Aaron.

“Hey, I’m not the one who just stopped in the middle of the road here! Stupid fucker.”

Donavon ignored Aaron and said, “You heard that right? He’s changed. The werewolf is out of the bag now.”

“Of course I heard it. And it sounded fucking awesome. Can you see it? Because I can’t.” Aaron was bobbing his head back and forth and up and down while squinting his eyes.

“No, after he was hit and went down I saw dark fur and then just the bushes shaking. Maybe we killed him. They are supposed to be allergic to silver.” Donavon stared at the last spot he’d seen Ted.

Before either man could respond or raise their weapons Ted burst out from seemingly nowhere, catching them off guard. He caught Donavon first by bashing his full weight into him. Donavon fell to the ground with Ted’s snarling maw in his face. He could smell the hot animal breath and felt drops of saliva speckle him. He wasn’t prepared for the terror he was experiencing now. Nor was he prepared to be lying on the ground pinned beneath a ginormous monster.

Ted’s lips turned up a bit in a smile as he met eyes with Donavon. He was going to enjoy this. One ear swiveled backwards honing in on Aaron’s movements. His breathing was rapid and he was whimpering… it sounded like he was crawling away. He’d deal with him later. Ted turned his full attention back to Donavon and raised his right hand. He held his first finger up and waggled it back and forth before Donavon’s wide eyes.

Ted had his victim’s full attention now and lowered his clawed finger slowly to Donavon’s chest. Then he blinked his most innocent look at the man and balled his fist. Donavon didn’t have a chance to take his last breath. In a flash Ted jerked his hairy arm back and plunged his monstrous fist into his victim’s chest, shattering the breast bone and demolishing his heart.

Donavon gasped and his eyes darted wildly. His body was dead before his mind registered the trauma.

Ted continued to stare into Donavon’s eyes watching them dim while he raised his fist to his mouth and licked the gore from it. It tasted so good. He couldn’t believe he’d waited so long before feeding. His long tongue lapped at the final chunk of Donavon on his fist.

He looked down at Donavon’s corpse debating on whether to eat a bit or go after Aaron. Blood lust overruled the hunt. Ted used both clawed hands and tore the body cavity open. He buried his face in the warm flesh snapping at organs and lapping at blood. When the sweet viscera was gone, he rose to his feet and howled his joy at the sky.

I hoped you enjoyed the excerpt above. Want more?

Meet Author B. C. Mullins

Howdy darlins’! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author B. C. Mullins

B.C. Mullins is the widowed mother of two grown sons for whom, as children, she created many stories and characters. Some of these stories and characters are being shared in her “Tony Taylor” series, a series of children’s chapter books about an 8-year old boy and his grandparents’ farm where magical things can happen. An avid reader and writer, Ms. Mullins has a vivid imagination and a love for children and animals. She currently resides in Maryland with her sons and two rescue dogs, where she is hard at work on a Young Adult novel.

Book grabber: Book #1 in the Tony Taylor series, “Tony Taylor and Summer with Grandpa” is on sale now. In this charming children’s chapter book Tony Taylor leaves behind the bright lights of New York City to visit his grandparents on their farm in rural Maryland for the summer. Tony enjoys having plenty of room to run and play. He goes fishing and hiking, and spends time doing chores with his grandfather. And he is accompanied coverimagealmost everywhere he goes by his grandparent’s dog, Skippy, his faithful companion. Tony loves the farm and he loves his grandparents. But more than that, Tony knows that there are magical adventures to be had on the farm. On this visit he meets a mysterious girl who gives him an odd gift. Who is she and where did she come from? Join Tony for fun and adventure and find out today!

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? Book #2 in the Tony Taylor series, “Tony Taylor and Camping with Scouts” is in production now and will be out in time for the holidays. Tony’s adventures continue when he brings some scouts and their families to his grandfather’s farm where they will all learn a lesson about being nice!  Book #3 has been completed as well, but is not yet in production.

What is your next project?  I am writing a fictional story for young adults – a bit older audience than Tony Taylor’s followers. This book is also set in Maryland and involves the experiences of a “new kid in town”.

Where do you come up with your stories?  I have always had a very active imagination and everyone and everything inspires me to use it.  I can drop a piece of paper and as I reach down to pick it up, I imagine wind blowing it out of my reach and into some wild adventure. I suppose that is part of the reason I love children and writing for them. They have such wonderful imaginations and so thoroughly enjoy the adventures that books can take them on.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? No, I don’t. I become totally immersed in my stories when writing, so I wouldn’t hear anything anyway!

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I don’t use outlines. I have a general idea for a story, and I just sit down and start writing. Sometimes, I know where I want to take the reader to, but other times I am as excited as a reader when the story unfolds itself.  On occasion, the end is nothing I would have anticipated!

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? I have two adorable fur babies named Sugar and Leelah who may appear in future books. They are both rescues from a local shelter. Sugar is a Jack Russell terrier mix. She was a stray who was found in the wild with a litter of puppies. She sugar-and-leelahwas pretty pitiful when we first met, but is fat and happy and greatly loved today – she is my constant companion and does not like to leave my side. She occasionally gets to see one of her puppies who was adopted by a friend of mine. Leelah is a Corgi mix and was a puppy saved from a high kill shelter. My son chose her and she adores him. She is probably the happiest dog I have ever seen; probably because she has known nothing but love her entire life. We estimate that Sugar is about five years old. Leelah is two.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others?  I recently read a children’s book called “Ray’s Violet” by Sharon Walrond Harris. It’s absolutely charming and I highly recommend it. For adults, I think “Watchers” by Dean Koontz is my favorite book of all time. If you love dogs, you will thoroughly enjoy it. He also wrote a book called “Lightning” which was excellent.

Many thanks B.C. for chatting with us! For more about B.C. Mullins and her work, follow the links below:

Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Alan J. Field

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Alan J. Field

Alan practiced as a lawyer in New York for more than 20 years in the entertainment and high technology space. Three years ago, he knew it was time to step back and write what he liked reading: gripping international thrillers that focus on relevant geopolitical issues of the day. Over the years he published legal articles, but The Chemist  is his first crack at fiction and has enjoyed the experience immensely. He grew up in Moorestown, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, and graduated with a music degree from James Madison University in Virginia. He lives with his wife and four children in Demarest, New Jersey, a stone’s throw from the George Washington Bridge.

Book grabber: The Chemist; Espionage Thriller

Kate made for the downtown platform as Wiggy closed in. The rumble of the oncoming train shook the platform and it grew louder as all three were running alongside it, with only a few people standing in their way. Kate was running out of breath as the train halted and the doors opened. Then she stumbled and fell, then looked back at Wiggy, who had made an ill-advised decision to pull out his semiautomatic and point it at Kate, who instinctively took cover behind a green painted metal riveted column the-chemist-book-cover-designadjacent to another wooden bench. But Jen caught up to him and grabbed his arm, causing the gun to fire three rapid fire shots in Kate’s direction, one ricocheting off of the column as green paint chipped off, the second striking a wooden bench and the third just missing Kate’s left ear, deflecting off of the platform and landing harmlessly onto the opposite express track below.

Jen horse-collared him from behind and reached for his face with both sets of nails digging in, as they both started toppling back toward the moving train, still moving at a good clip. Jen lost her Taser and it clattered to the concrete—and her grip as they fell backward, but she fell to his left away from the oncoming train, while he fell toward the train, he lost his balance and fell in one of the gaps between two of the cars dragging him forward, ripping both arms out of their sockets, followed by moans, groans and screams by horrified onlookers.

Kate dropped her head down to the platform in horror to avoid the gruesome scene.

“F—. Me.” Jen said in a trance, before she got up and ran over to Kate helping her up.

“Are you shot? I thought…”

“Just go!” Kate shouted as Jen helped her up, then proceeded to run further down the platform to the second set of stairs as the train jolted to a stop. She ran right past Jasper, who was groaning in pain, both arms having grown about six inches.

“Later.” Jen yelled and sped back up the stairs from which they came, before anyone could ask any questions.

Kate glanced over the other platform to see Gunther charge for the adjacent set of stairs, he did the same on his side. Kate hit the concourse level first, but Gunther would catch up, fast. She confirmed his presence on the concourse with a quick backward glance. The only thing separating them being the hoard of people walking between them in all directions, but Gunther had no compunction about pushing them out of the way. She ran to the downtown 2 train platform as quickly as she could, gulping for air. I have to make it.

A downtown local train had just rolled alongside that platform, more crowded than the other one. The doors opened as straphangers poured out. As Gunther closed in, Kate resorted to weaving around exiting riders. Then she felt a burly hand grab her shoulder, but jerked it lose when more riders looking to board rudely pushed their way between them. Hoping Gunther was held up, she continued running up the platform as the robotic conductor warned the world to release the closing doors before the, familiar electronic high-low warning bells chimed.

With Gunther a full car length behind her, Kate scooted in just before the double doors started to close. She looked toward the rear of the car and saw no Gunther. She thought “I must have been locked out completely” as she caught her breath.

The train inched its way out of the station and reached full speed into the tunnel. Still winded, she glanced to the rear of the car again, but this time saw Gunther’s torso through the glass, trying to turn the handle of the door connecting the two cars.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I had–what I thought–was this compelling idea for a story percolating inside my head for more than a couple of years prior to ever putting pen to paper. The Song of Ice and Fire series showed me how to write from multiple POVs, which was the way I wanted to tell this story. However, it was my teen aged daughter who ultimately encouraged me to dive head first into it. It happened right after Christmas day in 2013, when I told her about my plot idea which she adored.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Write what you want to write about, not what you think will sell, and never, ever give up on your dream.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  I think Daniel Strong, who had to overcome heartbreak as well as personal demons, is someone who is fully capable of using violence to escape from life-threatening situations, but also deft enough to use alternative means to accomplish the same thing.

Where do your ideas come from?  I’m a big fan of nostalgic spy shows and movies from the 1960s, so I wanted to bring some elements of those into my story. One particular quote by Shalom Alechem lamented the fact that “all scientists do is sell their ideas to murderers”.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  For me, it is achieving an acceptable level of authenticity that I can only attain by extensive research.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  Hands down, it’s the chemist’s Goth drug dealer, Jen, who becomes her side kick for a time. I wrote in her character last, after I realized that this dark tale required some comic relief.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?  Ooh, I love this one. My tripartite band of evil would be led by Sharon Stone, aided by Sean Bean and Lucy Liu. Daniel’s CIA boss would be Halle Berry. My drug dealer would be Mila Kunis. As for Kate and Daniel, I did not have particular movie stars in mind while I wrote about them, but come to think of it, Emilia Clarke and Chris Pine would not be bad choices.

What is your next project?  I’m on to writing the second and third installments of the Daniel Strong trilogy. Meanwhile, I’m also drafting a screenplay for The Chemist. I also have an idea for another trilogy about an FBI agent in the future who has to deal with an international assassin as well as her own addiction of an unusual kind.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?  I consciously avoid reading too many booksphoto-for-website-and-facebook by any one author, for fear of starting to write like them.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  The Godfather by Mario Puzo: It provided us a memorable inside look into organized crime.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: This epic drama encapsulated the Russian mindset 200 years ago.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: There is no need to give a reason for this timeless classic. The depiction of the racial inequality African-Americans faced each and every day in the 1930s rings even more true today.

The Patient by Michael Palmer: This is a guilty pleasure I had read just before I began writing the novel. It involves a smart female protagonist thrown into an impossible situation by a ruthless terrorist.

Storm of Swords (book three of The Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R.R. Martin: There are too many reasons to state for this one. Most of all, I enjoyed how the multiple POVs and story lines expertly intertwine.

What book are you currently reading or just finished?  I just finished The Tomb, by F. Paul Wilson. Next, I’ll move on to The Assassination Complex by Jeremy Scahill. Then, I’ll read The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas. I always like to sprinkle in a classic or contemporary work that’s outside the thriller genre, like YA or middle grade stuff my kids are reading.

Many thanks Alan for sharing! For more about Alan and his work, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Grea Alexander

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Grea Alexander

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?  Because I’m an intensely private person.

Grea Alexander can belong to the world.  I only want to belong to myself.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I don’t actually remember an explicit moment of revelation or making the conscientious decision to become a writer.  I’ve simply always been one.

I’ve enjoyed writing fiction since I first learned how to string words together and create full sentences.  What I do now is simply a natural progression of what has always come innately to me.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  It really depends on my mood and book length.  It can be as little as 7 days if I work on it like 8-10 hours per day.  Fortunately, I’m a BIG procrastinator so I usually take WAY longer than that.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  No. I don’t like to manage my creativity.  When I feel compelled to write or there is far too much going on inside of my head (at any given time I have 2-3 stories writing themselves in my brain), I let it out.  Right now there are 3 that are spitting out bits and pieces at all hours of the day and night.  Great for my fans.  Not so great for my sleeping pattern.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  No.  Even if something is going in the background I have an extreme ability to completely block out everything but the words I’m putting to page.

What have you written?

Amarna Book I: Book of Ida

Amarna Book II: Book of Hawara

Amarna Book III: Book of Raia

Amarna: The Complete Series

Rebellion Book I: Book of Quay

Rebellion Book II: Book of Soung

Rebellion Book III: Book of Choi

Rebellion: The Complete Series

Cabello (Book 1)

The Pack: Addison (Book 1)

Miael: Family (Book 1)

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  Both.  I have a general plot or outline to begin with; however, I tend to let my stories and characters take me where ever they want to take me and modify accordingly.

My characters are complete people in my world with their own thoughts, feelings and motivations, who are simply reacting to the situations I put before them.

While my books have plenty of action, I am very much a character driven author.  I am very interested in actions, motivations, character growth and character evolution.

Any advice for aspiring authors?  Be true to yourself.  Don’t try to fit into someone else’s mold or write in someone else’s style.  Write what YOU know and what YOU feel in YOUR way.  All else will fall in line…..eventually….I hope…if you’re lucky…..and good at what you do.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Finding the time and choosing which book to write next.  I have ideas that I haven’t started developing yet, others that are marinating in my brain and others still that are actively expressing themselves at the mostnew-logo-squared-trimmed inconvenient of times.  Sometimes it’s really hard for me to choose between them.  It’s like picking which one of your pets or your children to lavish with attention and which to neglect – all the while hoping the neglected ones won’t turn into the Menéndez brothers.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?  I think they both have their pluses and minuses.

I personally self-publish because I want to have complete creative control over my work.  I want my vision to remain my raw, honest vision – not something Frankensteined into being in the name of increased commerciality/marketability.

I also hate the practice of padding and the thought that though I did the lion’s share of the work, others will get the lion’s share of the benefits from said work.  I’d rather do the work myself and donate portions of my profits to charity.  I’d rather build a brand that stands for what I actually stand for rather than enable one that stands for what some random group of executives stand for.

Even if I don’t become financially successful at it, I’d rather stay true to my art.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published?  Definitely. 100%.  Because it’s so easy to self-publish now and virtually risk free (if you utilize free platforms), everyone and their dog is doing it and thus flooding the market with some books that should never have even been conceived of let alone shown the light of day.   (To be fair, I’ve seen traditionally published books that are just as questionable.)  However, the self-published books of which I speak, in addition to being artistic abominations, have a lot of formatting and mechanical errors as well.  This tends to off-put readers who then tend to clunk all indies in that same chum bucket.

As I used to tell my students: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.  Everyone has things they are good at, but this honey, just isn’t one of yours.  And that’s perfectly ok.

That being said, I have personally have found a lot of indies in a lot of artistic forums that I have found to be tremendously talented and worthwhile.  Unfortunately, just as we have people who don’t seem to understand that you don’t have to vote Democrat or Republican or that third-party candidates do indeed exist, you have people that will only give credence to “brand names”.  In the writing world, these are authors and publishers that have certain reputations or a bazillion reviews (proof of concept/social validation).  They are unwilling to step outside of their comfort zones and give new-comers a chance unless they can get something for free or at a greatly reduced price.

However, I do believe that as more “brand name” authors, etc. step out on the indie/self-publication limb, it will gradually grow to become less stigmatized.  In essence, it will become “a real boy”.

Thanks so much Grea that was a blast! For more about Grea and her work, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / CreateSpace / Smashwords

Meet Author Anna Chastain

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Anna Chastain

Anna Chastain is a born and raised California girl. She currently resides in central California with her husband and two daughters. She is addicted to books, music, and Greek yogurt; “Morning Star” is her first published novel, “The Good Side of Crazy,” her second, and “My Kind of Crazy,” her third. On an average day, you’ll catch her hanging with her kindergarteners singing songs about ABC’s and pizza, her kindle and iPod not far out of reach.

Book grabber: The Good Side of Crazy, contemporary romance:

Shae Martin has been called up for duty, guardian duty. When her dad and stepmother are killed in a car accident, Shae is called up as guardian of her 15-year-old sister, Sadie. It wasn’t that long ago that Shae, herself, was a teenager; but you’d think, based on her current relations with Sadie, that it had been a millennia.  Shae struggles to balance cover-3being a “pseudo-mama” to a teenager, back to living in a small town, in her estranged father’s home, with dating and career and her sanity. Sadie’s assistant principal, Adam MacCallum, is entirely too delectable for Shae to pass up on, whether or not Sadie approves; and Sadie’s bad-boy, Cash, is the thorn in Shae’s side that just won’t go away. So the question is, can these women navigate the many facets of love in their lives, and resolve to settle their futures without killing/maiming/deleting, or becoming each other’s worst enemies in the process?

Why do you write? I write because I have to.  I write because, for years, I have written stories and developed characters in my head and finally, I had to get them out.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I always thought I’d be a writer.  I wrote tons in high school, I was an English major in college; words have always been a huge part of my life.  Deciding to write wasn’t hard, but actually doing it was.  It took me years of adulthood to just do it, to be brave and put the words down on paper.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  So far, since my first published book, I’ve published one a year.  Writing out the actual story is the easy part, funny enough.  It’s the editing, formatting, cover-creating, etc. that seem to take me the longest.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  Well, I turned 30 and realized I hadn’t done some of the things I thought I would have gotten to by then; at the top of the list was writing a book.  So, I started typing and seven years later, I haven’t stopped.  The first book I ever finished is still sitting unedited in a drawer at my house, in fact.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  My days are crazy!  I teach kindergarten and am the mom to two busy girls, so my time is stretched thin.  I usually reserve my Sundays for writing and have been known to sit at the table for eight straight hours typing away.  Also, when we have breaks during the school year, I try really hard to spend extra time writing.  I find that my most creative time of day is late at night, but I don’t function so well on minimal sleep, so I’ve had to make due with taking notes as I think of things and then trying to turn my brain off (which is not easy).

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I think the biggest evolution for me has been finding my voice in my writing and discovering how to create characters who are relatable and real.  Also, I’m not so afraid anymore.  There will always be a certain level of self-consciousness at putting my writing out there because it is a lot like giving pieces of yourself to people, but with each book I complete, I gain more confidence and pride in knowing at least I did it.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  TV, never.  I’d get way too distracted.  Music, often.  Sometimes, I need it quiet so I can focus on what’s happening inside my head, but music is a huge part of my life always, and songs can create stories all by themselves.

What have you written?  I have written three contemporary romance novels, all published on amazon and nook.  Morning Star was my first, followed by The Good Side of Crazy, and My Kind of Crazy is my most recent book.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, mostly.  I will usually have the majority of the book plotted out in my head, and will have scenes written out of order sometimes; then I sit down and work to put it all together.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? So far, I have designed my own book covers using stock photos.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?  Gah, no!  The marketing side of self-publishing is a struggle for me.  I enrolled my books in kindle unlimited on amazon, and that has helped with exposure, for sure, but as far as sales, I think it takes a blogger or bloggers to catch on and spread the word.  It’s hard, for sure.

Any advice for aspiring authors?  Just do it.  Write the book.  And also, read about other author’s experiences before publishing and decide what’s best for you, and reach out to the author community.  They’re an awesome bunch and super willing to help with questions!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  The main character in The Good Side of Crazy is Shae Martin.  She is awesome because she is smart, independent, strong, and caring.  She’s just cool and relatable and someone we’d all probably want to be friends with.

Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come from all over the place.  I can hear a song that spurs an idea, or see someone out in public and create a story from there.  I like to write stories based in real life, only with the power to make the character’s lives turn out however I’d like. 😉       

What is the hardest thing about writing?  For me, finding time is a challenge.  In a dream world, I’d write when inspiration struck or, at least during regular business hours.  So that’s a hard one, having to save my ideas and thoughts until I can spare a few minutes in front of the laptop.  Writing, itself, is extremely cathartic; I love getting lost in my character’s lives.  Also difficult is getting your work out there once it’s finished.  It can be discouraging because you pour yourself into this work and you love it, but then no one sees it.  So, yeah, it can be easy to feel bummed out and want to stop, but I can’t.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  With my last book, My Kind of Crazy, I got really stuck in the middle.  I had to stop for a couple of weeks and let the story marinate in my mind before I figured out what needed to happen.  That was a challenge.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  Hmm.  My favorite TV show was The Office until that ended. L  Now, I guess I’d have to say The Walking Dead and New Girl.  I don’t watch a whole lot of TV.  As for movies, it’s nearly impossible to pick one.  I love The Princess Bride, Garden State, The Goonies, Grease, and anything Marvel.

Which writers inspire you?  My most favorite of all time is Jane Austen; her female leads were so far ahead of their time.  As far as modern authors, I’d say Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Christina Lauren, and Penny Reid are all authors whose writing I find inspiring.

What is the current book you are promoting?  The Good Side of Crazy and My Kind of CrazyMy Kind of Crazy is my most recent release, but the characters originated in The Good Side of Crazy.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? 

From The Good Side of Crazy:  meet Adam and Shae

Hey, Mac, I’m a little freaked out over here…any chance you could offer a little distraction?

I lay back, my phone on my chest, and wait.  Thankfully, I don’t have to wait long before my phone vibrates back at me.

You know I’d like to invite you over, but you’re so hot I’m afraid you’ll skyrocket my air-conditioning bill…

Um…what?  I stare at my phone, confused.  Before I can respond, my phone buzzes again.

Baby, you’re so fine I could put you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit.

I bite my lip as a giggle escapes from between my lips.

I’m sorry, did I get the wrong number???  I respond.

Nope, it’s me, Mr. Right.  Just who you’re looking for.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  Hmm.  I do love Adam from The Good Side of Crazy, like, loads; but I think I’m going to have to stick with my girl, Shae.  She’s kind of the woman I hope to be.  Strong, smart, kind and caring, but doesn’t take any shiz, either, you know?

Who is your least favorite character and why? Oh, that’s a toughie…I love my characters.  I think in my first book, Morning Star, the character, Juliet, makes a lot of mistakes and choices I would never make, which was tough to write.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?  I was an English major in college, and that involved creative writing courses.  I still have some of my work from way back then!

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend?  Unfortunately, no.  I got great tips when I first started from Jamie McGuire’s website about self-publishing, also Colleen Hoover.

What is your next project? Well, I’ve started three different books (hello, scatterbrain) and am currently deciding which of those I will finish first.  I’m leaning towards a series of contemporary romance books based on teachers.  I’ve got the first book mostly mapped out in my brain already. 😉

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  Oh, that is so hard.  The first one that comes to mind is Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, my all-time favorite book.  She’s fierce and smart and stands up for herself, but is also able to admit when she’s wrong and ask for forgiveness.   

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? Sadly, I lost my fur baby just two months ago…L

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?  I love Christina Lauren’s books because I think their character interactions are perfection.  Beautiful Stranger is probably my favorite because Max Stella, sigh.  Also, Penny Reid’s Beauty and the Mustache, because if I were asked to create a perfect male specimen, it would be Drew Runous.  I love his and Ashley’s story.  God, that poetry, though.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? I read my books sooo many times over the course of writing them, but when img_4927I got my first paperback copy of my own book, it was so unreal.  Also, seeing my name on my kindle, gah!  It was definitely a surreal type of experience.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?  Oh, I love so many books, I just wonder if I’d feel the same about them if I wrote them…I would like to be a writer like Penny Reid, though.  She has such creative characters and they’re all so stinking smart!  I always think she must do so much research in so many areas, I’m kind of amazed.  Also, Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On. I loved it so, so much.  I love everything she writes.

Do have a favorite car or truck model?  Anyone who’s read The Good Side of Crazy could guess I love cars.  I love old cars, cars with engines that rattle your bones and go fast.  I, myself, drive a mom SUV but in the garage, have a souped up 1964 VW Bug that I have to share with my husband (not exactly a muscle car, but it goes fast!).

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  Every time I try to write a sex scene, I think Oh, God, my mom is going to read this, and then delete it.

Thanks much Anna for sharing! For more about Anna and her work follow the links below:

Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author P.J. Whittlesea

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author P. J. Whittlesea

P.J. Whittlesea never dreamed of being a writer, he dreamed of being a rock star.

For a short period of time he was. However, he found the Gothic music scene not to his tastes. He also found wearing nail polish and stage-makeup, as well as constantly attending to a Mohawk hairstyle, far too much work. He returned to his roots as a singer-songwriter and set to work writing a musical.

The musical never reached fruition, but the idea behind it remained with him. Once he had come to terms with writing something longer than a song lyric, he took on the daunting task of creating a full-length work of fiction. Within a short period of time the story behind the musical became his debut novel Loreless.

He is currently in the final stages of preparing his next novel for publishing, a book about a witch with a twist. It is scheduled for release in December this year.

Book grabber:  Loreless, an indigenous adventure. Aboriginal urbanite Billy doesn’t know much about his heritage and he’s quite content to let it stay that way. One late night out changes all that. When Billy finds himself marooned on an outback highway, with only the stars and mosquitoes for company, he begins to regret trusting his friends with his well being. Armed with a dogged desire to get home and under the watchful eye of the mysterious supernatural entity Pidgin, he discovers the lore he never thought he’d lost. Part quest, part ghost story and part contemporary fable, Loreless combines magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery. This is one adventure story which will keep you guessing.

When did you decide to become a writer? I never considered myself a writer, but I have always written. For years I wrote poetry and lyrics and developed them into songs. About five years ago I had an idea to write a kind of semi-fictional memoir about my experiences as a musician. This in turn led to several other ideas and finally to Loreless, the book I have recently published. I don’t think I ever consciously decided to be a writer, writing chose me.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write in the mornings after I’ve packed the kids off to school. I put in a minimum of one hour and over time that has stretched to three. Twice a week I also attend, and help run, two writing groups. They are both open for anyone to come along and we don’t appraise each other’s work, we only offer moral support. The only stipulation is that we write in silence for a set amount of time, usually three hours with a short break. Writing in a group in this way has proved incredible powerful and I think I have been more productive writing this way than when I’m alone.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  I have a great designer, Monique Wijbrands. She is very creative and patient, and we go through several stages of cover design until we have something we are both satisfied with. I think this is one advantage to being independent and not traditionally published. You have much more say in the cover design. Working with Monique I feel the cover truly becomes an extension of what is between the pages and creates a total package. Monique’s website: http://www.moniquewijbrands.nl

Any advice for aspiring authors?  Do the work. You have to develop a method that works for you but you won’t get anywhere unless you can set aside time to do it. What has helped me has been to develop a set time to sit down and write. By sticking to it, it has grown into a natural rhythm. So much so, that if I miss my writing session for the day I feel unfulfilled and actually get a bit cranky.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  In Loreless, Billy is lost. He feels that something is missing in his life but can’t work out what it is. It isn’t until he is forced to confront his roots that he finds a new direction. Even then, he is still fighting to escape and find his way back to what he thinks should be his home. It takes him on an extremely eventful journey through central Australia before he finally comes to a real life-changing decision.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  I struggled for a long time with the feeling that I didn’t have the right to write from an indigenous viewpoint. I am not an indigenous Australian but grew up in outback Australia and have spent a lot of time with tribal people. They were incredibly supportive and encouraged me to tell the story. Even so, something inside me still says that an indigenous person should have written the book. One of my hopes is that I will inspire more people to write their own stories.

What is the current book you are promoting? I am currently promoting Loreless. It is part road trip, part ghost story and part historical fiction. On the eve of his wedding, and through a bizarre set of circumstances, Billy, an Aboriginal urbanite, finds himself stranded in the remote Australian outback. In his efforts to get home he embarks on a journey, not only into himself, but also into his heritage. Loreless has only recently been published and as it is my first novel I am learning the ropes as I go, which has been quite a journey in itself.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  My next book is about a witch with a twist, so quite a bit different to Loreless. It traces the adventures of teenager trapped in the body of a five-year old, witches age slower than normal human beings, didn’t you know? I tried to flip the medieval witch world on its head and so there are no broomsticks and such. The witch, Anaïs Blue uses more modern methods to work her magic. She has the unfortunate job of solving  the problems of a deceased man, who also happens to be following her around. At the same time she is trying to cope with growing up and has an intense dislike for her name. She hates the colour blue and would rather be called Anaïs Purple. Her drive to change her name causes quite a bit of havoc. The book is due for release in early December and I am looking for beta-readers. If you want to read it before its official release visit http://pjwhittlesea.com/books/good-witch/

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  Never give up.

Is there anything else you would like to add?  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share something about my work. To all the writers out there: keep writing!! And to all the readers, thank you for giving us a reason to write.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?  Readers can visit my website and join my mailing list, I am always looking for feedback. I blog once a week about my writing and publishing adventures, and am very active on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank much P.J. for sharing with us! For more about P.J. and his work, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Linkedin / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Google / iBooks / Kobo

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