Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Adult

Meet Author Kathryn Sommerlot

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Kathryn Sommerlot

Kathryn grew up in the American midwest, among the cornfields and gravel roads. She originally attended university and graduated with an art degree to pursue a career in graphic design, but changed her mind at the age of 25. She went to graduate school to become a TESOL educator, and now teaches high school English in Japan, where she lives with her husband.

Book sample: “The Life Siphon”, fantasy (adult)

The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu, who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he travels into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more, he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

When did you decide to become a writer? I’ve been writing stories since before I can remember, so I doubt it was ever a conscious decision. It just doesn’t feel quite right if I’m not writing something. But I never wanted to base my life off something I enjoyed, or risk losing the passion, so I never pursued writing as a full-time career.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I wrote fanfiction for years – I’ll admit it! Writing fanfiction was the biggest thing that improved my writing. Not only was I writing almost constantly, words upon words upon words, but I had an entire online community of friends and like-minded people who would offer advice, constructive criticism, and encouragement. It hugely impacted my evolution as an author, and it’s probably the most beneficial part of my creative past.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I never used to use outlines because I wanted a more natural evolution, but I use them pretty extensively now, and it’s been incredibly helpful. I still end up adding scenes as I write that feel organic, and then add them into the outline after the fact, but at least I’ve got the majority of the necessary scenes plotted out before I start.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I used the incredibly talented Jenny at Seedlings Design Studio for my latest book, and will be using her again for the follow-up. She was amazing to work with, and I highly recommend her! (http://www.seedlingsonline.com/index2.php#!/HOME)

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? Part of what I wanted to do with my latest protagonist came from my frustration that fantasy – at least the low fantasy I’ve been reading lately – doesn’t have a lot of diversity in main characters. I think everyone should be able to read about a hero or heroine that is similar to them, but most of the time, these characters and relationships play a minor role rather than taking center stage. I wanted to offer something new to that, so my male protagonist is bisexual. I don’t think LGBTQ+ works all need to fall into a single labeled genre. Instead, I want genre fiction that just happens to have LGBTQ+ protagonists. From this idea, the rest of the story grew naturally, so he’s the focal point for a lot of the work.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Editing! I hate it – it’s my least favorite part of the entire process. I’m very much a “write it and move on” person, so having to spend months laboring over word choice feels like such a chore to me.

Which writers inspire you? I used to get a lot of books on Amazon that were recommended by the site or came up as a promotional deal, and I never really looked at the author or who they published with. As a result, I read a lot of self-published works that I never even knew were self-published. Authors like Intisar Khanani have really inspired me to self-publish and stop feeling so guilty about doing it my own way. Also Susan Ee and A.R. Ivanovich are inspirations, as well as some traditionally published authors like Rae Carson.

What is the current book you are promoting? “The Life Siphon” is my most recent work, which is the first in a duology, so in addition to promoting that, I’m working on the second book in the storyline.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? I minored in English in undergraduate, which included a creative writing course, and I was rejected from the University of Iowa’s graduate writing program, so I suppose that’s something!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Lorelai Gilmore. Not a book character, I know, but Gilmore Girls was a huge part of the making of my adult self, and I quote it endlessly. Lorelai is definitely a life-spiration for me, even now.

Who inspires your writing? My husband, definitely. And my beta readers are huge inspirations – they encourage me so much to write more! Having people read it chapter by chapter as I write it really helps the evolution of the story from a reader’s perspective, and they always offer such wonderful insight.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? I think there definitely is, and I perpetuate part of that myself. When people ask me about my work, and are impressed that I’m published, I always follow it up by saying, “Oh, but it’s just self-published, so don’t get too excited.” Then I wonder why I do that. Writing a book and putting so much work into it must be a big thing on its own, but somehow, I feel like I have to justify that it’s not the same as an agent picking it up and deciding it’s worth backing. I probably need to adjust the way I react to people to help diminish the stigma!

There ya have it folks! For more about Kathryn, her work, and to get you own copy, follow the links below:

Website / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Andrea Smith

Hello my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with Andrea Smith

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author Andrea Smith has a wicked sense of humor. No matter the genre, she is able to infuse laughter throughout.  She is an open book to her friends and family. She celebrates10303738_10203805717502727_5308064755946317415_n her successes and reflects on her failures with those she holds dear. Andrea is an Ohio native, currently residing in southern Ohio. She is the mother of two grown sons, and through the years has always held on to her dream of publishing fiction.

She has self-published over 15 titles of fiction, in genres ranging from Romantic Suspense to M/M erotica.

Book blurb: Southern Comfort

Release Date:  June 14, 2016

Genre:  NA Suspense

Synopsis:  In 1979, the small town of Layton, Alabama didn’t look much different than any other southern town of its size. The community was tight-knit, friendly, and comprised of God-fearing Christians, many 99 CENTS PREwho attended Sunday services at Brier Ridge Southern Baptist Church. Their minister, Avery Dawson, preached the Word in a way that left them yearning for more. But they had no idea just how much more Reverend Dawson was prepared to offer his congregation.  Sunshine Gardner was enjoying the summer going into her senior year of high school hanging with her friends, going to the drive-in, and thinking about boys. But since her mother’s marriage a year before to the highly revered Avery Dawson, she was beginning to resent her mother’s devotion to her stepfather and the church which appeared to have changed everything in their home.  Once Sunny glimpses the evil within Avery Dawson, she and her best friend set out to expose him for the fraud that he is to the community which embraces him. Only things don’t go as planned, and it’s Sunny who finds herself the outcast of Layton.  Sunny leaves her hometown amidst lies and accusations which Avery Dawson concocted to hide the truth about his own dark and evil behavior. But will she ever have the courage to return and demand retribution?  Andrea Smith brings you something new with this story of suspense, complete with twists and turns you won’t see coming, and characters that will feel like family. Get ready to hold your breath in anticipation when you travel this dark tale of one girl’s battle to save a community from the evil one who has brainwashed almost everyone in this Bible Belt town!  Adult Content 17+

When did you decide to become a writer?  In 2012, after I found myself unemployed!

What genre are your books?  I write multiple genres. I have this thing about being labeled as a ‘One Trick Pony.’ I can’t churn out cookie-cutter books. It would seriously bore me to death.

What have you written?  The Baby Series:  Maybe Baby, Baby Love, Be My Baby, Baby Come Back

G-Man Series:  Diamond Girl, Love Plus One, Night Moves, G-Men Holiday Wrap, Taz

Men Series:  These Men, My Men (Menage)

Limbo Series:  Silent Whisper, Clouds in my Coffee (Sensual Paranormal Suspense)

September Series:  Until September, When September Ends (NA Taboo)

Walk of Shame (NA romance)

Black Balled, Guns Blazing (M/M Romance, co-written with Eva LeNoir)

Southern Comfort (New Adult Suspense)

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I prefer just seeing where an idea takes me.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  In Southern Comfort, the main character is a teen-aged girl, Sunshine, living in a Bible Belt community in 1979. Her mother, recently married the community’s Baptist minister, who is loved and followed by the community. But Sunny knows there is evil beneath the facade of her stepfather. I think what is so special about her is the strength she shows in the midst of having the entire town turn against her.

Where do your ideas come from?      Everywhere!  Dreams, true stories, memories . . . .

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  The most difficult thing was writing something different I think. There is no romance in this book. It is total suspense and mystery, and a bit darker than anything I’ve written before.

Which writers inspire you?  Harper Lee, Kathleen Woodiwiss, J.D. Robb

What is the current book you are promoting? Southern Comfort!

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? Avery Dawson switched on the porch light and peered out into the night. He turned his head to the side so that his eyes could catch a glimpse of the street, all the way to the corner. But there was nothing but darkness.

Mosquitoes and gnats were swirling around the porch light. He made a mental note to buy one of those bug zappers the avery dawson teasernext time he went to the hardware store.

The August night was quiet, thick with the Alabama humidity. The window air conditioner hummed noisily inside the living room, working hard to cool off the downstairs of their bungalow. There was another window unit upstairs in their bedroom. Sunny had one in her bedroom that was just across the hall from their room. She wasn’t allowed to turn her A/C unit on until she was in the room for the night though and tonight she was late.

Again.

“Your sixteen-year-old has missed her curfew again, Donna. The girl has no respect for rules or boundaries it seems.”

“Oh Avery,” Donna replied, uncurling her tanned legs from beneath her as she sat upright on the sofa where she’d been glued to the television. “It’s only eleven thirty-five. What’s five or ten minutes?”

Avery turned to face her, his face a mask of solemnity. He was a man of God; he took rules and regulations seriously. He had done that all of his life. Having grown up in Tupelo, Mississippi, under the strict tutelage of his father, also a minister in the Southern Baptist faith, he had learned those lessons. He had been taught the importance of adhering to the rules, and conversely the consequences of defiance.

Sometimes those consequences culminated in having a razor strap flayed against his bare back. But at the end, he had learned the lessons he was supposed to learn; and he was raised with discipline. As a result, heteaser5 respected the authority of those in power; God, of course, being the highest one. It was because of this he’d made a vow to serve God and see to it that others learned to follow the straight and narrow path that would ultimately lead them to their own personal salvation.

“The point, Donna, is that the girl needs to learn to follow the rules she’s been given. Not to bend them at her whim. Five or ten minutes now, fifteen or twenty minutes next time. She has to learn self-discipline. You aren’t consistent with discipline. She knows what she can get away with when it comes to you.” His voice carried disapproval.

“But it’s summer time. It’s when she’s supposed to cut loose a little bit, honey. Wouldn’t hurt if we extended her curfew to midnight. My boy was allowed to stay out later on the weekends than she is at the same age, darlin’.”

Avery had now tensed up. Donna was too soft where her offspring were concerned. That had been evident from their first date two years ago. The boy was obviously out of control. It had been a blessing when he finally enlisted in the military a year after graduating high school. Perhaps the Navy would find a way to repair the damage done as a result of his undisciplined upbringing.

But it wasn’t too late for Sunny. Avery needed to press that upon Donna; he wanted to be a part of that process. He felt responsible now that he was part of this family to ensure that the girl reached her full spiritual potential. It was too easy these days to fall in with the wrong crowd and she had. They were wild party girls. In particular, Gina Margolis. He knew plenty about that one.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? I love Sunny for her strength and character in the wake of fb new cover templateadversity. She is determined to right a wrong, and in doing so, she puts herself at risk.

Who is your least favorite character and why? Oh, the Reverend Avery Dawson of course! He’s one of those characters you love to hate. He’s the villain of the story, and trust me when I say, he will have readers tossing their Kindles!

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? I would cast Johnny Depp as Avery Dawson; and Olivia Holt would be perfect playing the role of Sunshine Gardner.

What is your next project? Eva LeNoir and I are working on a sequel to “Black Balled” called “Hard Edit.” It will release first in paperback at the Submit & Devour Author Event in Miami on July 30th. The official ebook release is scheduled for the first of September.

Many thanks to Andrea! For more about Andrea and her work follow the links below:

 

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