Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: action

Meet Author Shawn Barnard

Hallo, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Shawn Barnard

Shawn Barnard is a fiction author from St. Louis, MO. He lives in Imperial, MO with his amazing wife (who puts up with his insanity), and his two beautiful daughters.

Book Title: Reaper’s War (Book #1 Reaper’s War series)

Genre: Sci/fi action

Synopsis:  Hero or killer? This question has plagued Cole Ryan’s mind for years. A life of tragic events beginning when he was only fourteen, have put him in the middle of a war he never wanted to be a part of. It all started in a mental facility his parents dumped him in. That’s where he found out he wasn’t sick. That’s where he learned he’s telepathic, and that he can teleport.
From the mental facility, to a secret government training facility, Cole’s life would only become worse. Codenamed “Ares,” Cole would be torturously trained to become the deadliest assassin in the world. With no desire to be an obedient killing machine, Cole devised a plan to escape the grasp of his captors, and to do something they never expected.
He will not run. He will not hide. Cole will fight to the bitter end to stop the people that did this to him. Taking on the mantle of the vigilante that will come to be known as the Reaper, Cole will fight this war that has now been forced upon him. It’s his war now, Reaper’s War.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  I try to keep myself to a strict schedule. My goal is to have a first draft completed within three months. If I don’t move through quickly, I feel like I start to lose the story and the writing can become stale. Once the first draft is complete, I am also currently do my own editing. That process usually takes me around a month to two months. Once that process is complete, I have a few people that act as my beta readers. They look for any mistakes I may have missed. For them to read and get back to me, and for me to fix any final mistakes takes around another month. So, overall, writing a book for me takes right around six months.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  Music is necessary for me when I write. It helps me get in the right frame of mind for the scene at hand. From using harder rock or metal to write my action scenes, to slower more emotional music to help with the more intimate and emotional scenes. Music always seems to keep me in the frame of mind I need to keep the words flowing.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I’d say a little of both. Once I have the idea, the most important thing to me is the characters. That’s where my only outlining comes in. I write a short character bio for the main players in the story. This helps me get in the mindset for actions and dialogue for that character’s scenes. Other than that, I just let story take me where it wants to go.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  I think what makes Cole so unique is that he isn’t your typical hero. He’s not the guy you are going to bet on. He’s damaged and emotionally unstable. His life has been hell since he was five years old. Cole wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t always know how. His go to problem solving is to kill, and that can make him seem like a villain instead.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  I am currently working on the second installment of the Reaper’s War series. Without giving away too much from the first for potential readers, I can try to tease a little. The second book will begin with Cole in a much better place in life than he has ever known. With good of course, comes bad as well. Cole has come to rely heavily on Abraham’s inventions, and has begun to stray from Nakata’s teachings. A new adversary, more deadly than Cole has ever faced, is coming to destroy everything Cole has built. Left physically, and mentally broken from their first encounter. It will be up to the team to put Cole back together, and a new character to take him back to the basics.

What is your next project? Once the second installment is complete and published. I plan to take a step back from the series for a moment. I have a lot of project ideas written in my notebook. It will be tough to decide which one gets to come up to bat next, but I feel this early in my career it’s a must that I show I can do more than just one series.

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 can say that the first time I held my copy of Reaper’s War in my hand, it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was really a holy shit moment for me. I wrote this, and I’m holding it as an actual book in my hands. I have not read it though, simply because I’ve read the story around a dozen times during the editing process. Once you’ve done that whole process, it kind of kills the desire to read that book, at least for me.

What do your readers mean to you?  Everything, every author desires to have their work appreciated. I’m a new author, Reaper’s War is my first book, and I don’t have a large following to speak of. I believe around fifty people in total have read the book. It’s humbling to discover just how hard it is to find readers. I didn’t come into this thinking that everyone in the world was going to just flock immediately to my writing. It’s a long and hard to become a popular author. I feel I have what it takes to take the hits along the way, and I look forward to gaining more readers no matter how long it takes.

Is there anything else you would like to add?  Yes, thank you for the opportunity of doing this interview. I always enjoy connecting with new people within the business. I again would like to sincerely thank anyone that has taken the time to read my work, and thank you in advance to anyone that decides to give reaper’s War a chance from reading this interview.

Many thanks for sharing Shawn! For more about Shawn and to get your own copy of his works, follow the links below:

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Angel M.B. Chadwick

Hola lovelies! Welcome back to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Angel M.B. Chadwick

Angel M.B. Chadwick is currently writing the sequel to the “Weeping Well” series, titled “Weeping Well: Shards to the Grave.” She’s also writing a twelve book cozy mysteries series, numerous plays, novels, short stories, among her other literary works, business ideas and inventions all while raising her ten year old son.

She currently lives in Mississippi, in a quaint little house on the corner, in a quiet neighborhood in the city, where she is constantly and relentlessly plagued by inspiration.

Enjoy this sample: Weeping Well (Vol. 1)

The story is set in 1989-2007 and starts with an Irish immigrant family, who are destroyed by tragedy.

Why do you write?  It’s what I’m good at.

When did you decide to become a writer?  When I was 13 and my English teacher encourage me to continue writing after I wrote a short story assignment.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  2-5 years

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I always have something to say and the way I can say it without caring about who I offend or disappoint is when I write.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  No. I write when I feel like it.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I’ve become a little more comfortable with share my stories with the world.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  Yes. But I tend to block those things out when I’m writing.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I strategize ideas, storylines and characters. So I don’t follow the plot and outline format that other authors do. Strategizing works for me.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  My character Eva thrives in the darkness. So do I.

Where do your ideas come from?  My own life experiences.   

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Not being able to finish writing the book when I want to.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Nothing was hard about writing it. Not being able to finish it when I wanted to was the hardest.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  Grimm, Underground, Greenleaf, The Flash, Mercy Street, Arrow, DC Legends of Tomorrow, Teen Wolf to name a few.

Which writers inspire you?  Edgar Allan Poe, Bret Harte, Tennessee Williams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck to name a few.

What is the current book you are promoting?  Weeping Well (Vol. 1)

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  I don’t have a favorite. I like all my characters.

There ya have it! For more about Angel and her work, follow the links below:

Amazon / Goodreads / Blog / Facebook

Meet Author Kellie Doherty

Hola lovelies! Welcome back to Interview FoxSeat with author Kellie Doherty

Kellie Doherty has a masters in Book Publishing from Portland State University and a bachelors in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. To put it simply, books are in her blood. She’s been writing since she was little, first in the world of others via fanfiction, then in the worlds she created herself. Her first book Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press in April 2016. During the day, she’s a publishing professional still searching for a job, and by night she’s editing Finding Hekate’s sequel, Losing Hold, and working on her next series, a five-book fantasy. She’s been featured in 49 Writers Alaska Shorts, Pathos Literary Magazine, the Chugiak Eagle River Star, F Magazine, and Alaska Women Speak, and upcoming in Queer Scifi/Mischief Corner Books Flight anthology and Back of Beyond Press short story zines.

Book blurb: Finding Hekate (Desert Palm Press, 2016) is a science fiction action novel featuring two lesbian characters. Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew finding-hekate-cover-web-view-72dpifrom the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.

Why do you write? I write as my own form of escapism. Writing allows me to explore new characters with personalities, experiences, and problems quite unlike my own. Writing allows me to harness my imagination to create new worlds, races, and cultures. It sharpens my skills and allows me to be a part of a wide nerdy world of fellow creatives. And, of course, I write because it’s fun!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I would love to say that I have a structure or special time to write. But I can’t. My special time is to write whenever I can, and my daily structure is varied (mainly because I’m still looking for a full-time job and my freelance projects are all over the place). Plus, I just haven’t found that “sweet spot” time of day that’s best for my writing and works with my schedule. Sometimes I write in the morning. Sometimes I write in the evening. Sometimes late at night. Super helpful, right? One day I hope to have a schedule for writing. One day…

What have you written? I’ve written myriad fanfics under the name Serenity Quill (which you can find on or Archive of Our Own); a bunch of short stories, flash fiction pieces, and novels in the science fiction and fantasy genres; and a smattering of poetry. I’ve always loved the fantasy and science fiction genres so nearly everything is in that, with the exception of some poetry and fanfics.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? My publisher, Lee Fitzsimmons, connected me with Rachel George, a UK-based freelance illustrator. Rachel created the book cover for Finding Hekate and will do Losing Hold as well. She’s an absolute joy to work with, and her work is gorgeous! Her website is, and I highly suggest looking her up if you need a cover designer. Everyone I talk to loves my Finding Hekate cover, and I can’t sing Rachel’s praises enough.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Write and read all the time. (Obvious I know, but it works, I swear!) Try to write everyday or every week since you’ll get better the more you do it. Try to read in your genre and outside of your genre as well. If you find something you like, steal the idea and craft it in such a way to make it your own! Also, join a writing group and when you’re ready, a critique group. They will be invaluable in keeping you on track and giving you feedback.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special? Mia Foley is special because Charles Donavin scarred her when she was younger. She’s been running from him ever since. In her haste to get away, she’s done deplorable things, things she’d never consider in other situations and things that haunt her when she’s alone. Her story is one of redemption, of trying to be a better person, of accepting your past and making sure it doesn’t hinder your future. Of finding a home. Other special things: she makes a killer xarian flower tea, she can handle a dagger with ease, and she is slowly falling in love with a certain female member of her crew.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Actually starting is the hardest thing. Which is weird, because I like writing. I know I like writing. I know it’ll be fun. I know I’ll enjoy it. But actually sitting down, facing that blank page, and starting to write is one of the hardest things for me.

What is the current book you are promoting? I’m currently promoting the Queer Scifi/Mischief Corner Books Flight anthology coming out on September 21, where my flash fiction piece “A Sub-Mechanic’s Panic” will be featured among the other amazing writers, and the Back of Beyond Press zine coming out in October, which will feature my short story “Mission 20.” I’m so excited about both!

What is your next project? My next project is a five-book fantasy series that I’m tentatively calling “The Broken Chronicles” and it’ll feature bisexual, lesbian, and fluid main characters. Each of the first four books will feature a different main character, and the fifth book will have them come together to fight the big baddie. I’m in the worldbuilding, character creation, andkdoherty plotting phase right now. It’s so refreshing to work in another genre. Don’t get me wrong, I love my science fiction work, but it’s a nice change working in fantasy. (There’s magic. And wyverns!)

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Harry Potter. Because it changed my life and inspired me so much within my writing career. I’d love to be the writer of something so amazing and inspiring to others. Props to J.K. Rowling. She created (and is creating) an amazing world. MF: I agree. I’m actually re-reading the series for the fourth time.

What book are you currently reading or just finished? The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I was hesitant about his series at first—I couldn’t really get into the writing—but I’ve since settled into it and have decided that it’s a great read!

What do your fans mean to you? My fans mean everything to me! I love hearing the feedback on what they liked and what they didn’t. I hope to attend some conferences next year and meet some of them in person!

Tell us something unique about you. I was the co-manager of Write to Publish 2016 for Ooligan Press! There are two new ones every year, so it isn’t exactly unique, but if someone told me I’d be running a writing conference as part of a graduate program I never would have believed it. (The conference was a success, by the way, and tons of fun to organize!)

Many and much thanks Kellie! For more about Kellie and her work, follow the links below:

Website / Website2 / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Linkedin / Goodreads / Amazon / Createspace / Smashwords / Instagram

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