Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Adventure (Page 1 of 2)

Meet Author Alex Avrio

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Alex Avrio

Alex Avrio is an author of fantasy short stories, novellas, and novels. The first two novels in the swashbuckling Merchant Blades mercenary fantasy adventure series are now available to buy. Her previous dark fantasy novella, the Dreaming Demon, is also for sale on Amazon.

The third novel in the Merchant Blades series, The Hidden Dragon, is due for release in late 2017.

Alex was born in Nottingham, UK, to Greek parents. She has lived both in Greece and England where she returned to study for an MBA at the University of Kent. She also has a PhD in e-business strategy management from the University of Kent. Alex has been writing stories from an early age and, after concluding her PhD, she decided it was the time to try to become a professional writer. Alexandra currently lives with her husband and their two cats in Newcastle upon Tyne, a place so far up north that if you go any further you’re south again. She would love to share with you her love of fantasy and adventures. She also has a book, bingo and dessert habit to fuel, so please help by buying her books!

Book sample:  The Alchemist’s Box – Fantasy Adventure

Five years ago she would have run him though with her saber. Now she must trust Kapitan Maximillian Jaeger, enemy in the recent bitter war, with her life. The mercenaries’ simple job: to retrieve the mysterious Alchemist’s Box from the neighboring Duchy of Pella.

But in Pella, a curse of a thousand years has resurfaced.

Where are all the court dignitaries? What does the Alchemist’s box contain that is worth killing, or dying, for?

Can Regina and Jaeger put the war behind them and work together to save everyone in the Duchy before it’s too late?

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it? Alex Avrio is a pen name. I use it because most people can’t pronounce my Greek legal name. After going through a few ideas, I chose Alex Avrio because it’s short, memorable, and easy to pronounce. Avrio is the Greek word for tomorrow, so I like to think that it implies that I have a writing future.

Why do you write? Writing is like breathing to me. I can’t not write in the same way that I couldn’t not breathe. I have so many stories I would like to share with my readers. I just can’t type fast enough.

When did you decide to become a writer? I guess I always wanted to be a writer. I have recently plucked up the courage to start writing full time. I finished my PhD and thought that what I really wanted was to be a writer; it was now or never really, so here I am.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It depends on the book. Some are easier to write that others. Books are live entities, each one with its own distinct personality. Sometimes they are similar: a series of books is like a family, each sibling similar but different, or they can be wildly different from each other. I’d say on average it takes about six months to finish a first draft. Then it goes through rewrites, beta readers, editing, and then to a professional editor before it’s ready to be unleashed into the wild.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I write during the day. I wake up, take my (very large) cup of coffee and sit down to write. I normally stop for lunch (and ‘cuddle the cats’ breaks) and finish around six in the evening.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? I have lots of playlists that help me get into the writing groove and various mood lists. My Enigma playlist is among my most valued writing tools.

What have you written? I am the proud author of the Merchant Blades series. This fantasy adventure series includes The Alchemist’s Box, Lose a Princes Lose your Head, and I’m currently writing the third book in the series, The Hidden Dragon.

I have also written a dark fantasy novella, The Dreaming Demon, and various other short stories. I have another novel about three quarters finished, with the working title Miss Silk and the Tomb of Menkare. This is an ambitious project and will be a real epic, with three parallel storylines from three different time periods spanning around 15000 years, which will all hopefully seamlessly intertwine to create something special. This one’s going to take a little longer to write and polish, and so it’s taken a bit of a back seat to the Merchant Blades series at the moment.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? Each book is a different entity, so it needs a different approach. Having said that, I have found that the ‘writing from the seat of my pants’ approach works best for me. I have an idea of the key points in the plot, so at the start I know roughly where I want it to be at different parts of the book, and that’s about it. I start writing and then I often get surprised by what my characters get up to. More than once I’ve started writing a scene and when the characters start talking they’ve said completely different things to what I originally had in mind, taking the novel in a different direction. I find that this flexibility keeps my writing fresh, and I have to finish writing the novel to find out how it ends! It’s like reading a book, only I have to write it to see what happens next.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Read a lot, write a lot, and don’t give up.

What is the current book you are promoting? I’m currently promoting The Alchemist’s Box, as it’s the entry to my Merchant Blades series. It’s a fast-paced quest-type fantasy adventure, with a strong female lead character, Captain Regina Fitzwaters, and a gritty leading man, Kapitan Maximillian Jaeger. They fought on opposite sides in a bitter war that finished several years earlier, and now they are both members of the Merchant Blades mercenary guild. They get thrown together on a quest to retrieve the Alchemist’s Box, and must try to work together, which doesn’t prove easy. They think they are over the war, but they still harbor deep-seated grudges that makes it a challenge to work together. They must battle through, trying to avoid getting killed by foes both human and magical, while trying not to kill each other!

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? I’m currently writing book three of the Merchant Blades series, working title The Hidden Dragon. Regina has to take Max back to her home in Merrovigia to meet her somewhat dysfunctional family. As usual, Max’s Eressian charm does nothing to smooth over the difficult relations between the two Empires. You’ll meet a lot of the characters from the first two books again, as they get sucked into both political intrigues and tackling more magical monsters!

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? That’s like asking me who my favorite child is. I like all of them. At the moment I especially enjoy writing about Regina Fitzwaters and Maximillian Jaeger. Regina is a clever and independent woman trying to wade through all the sexism and favoritism in her world. Max has good lines and is hard done by but still tries to do what he thinks is the right thing.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? We have currently two cats, Sooty and Ray. They’re litter brothers but they’re quite different. Sooty is super cuddly and sits on my shoulders when I write (it’s more comfortable than it sounds) while Ray is more reserved. They’re both writing cats in training. We had a silver tabby, Mickey who sadly passed away last year. He was an excellent writing cat and helped me write my first book.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? You shouldn’t have asked that! I have a lot to say on the subject, as its related to the topic of my PhD. Deep breath. Here goes.

I think traditional publishing is considered by many to be the ‘proper’ way of doing it and traditionally published authors are considered ‘real’ authors. While traditional publishing will be with us for a long time, and the delight of the smell of a freshly printed book isn’t going anywhere, times are already changing. Thank goodness for that! In my opinion traditional publishing has far too many gatekeepers. Agents, people who wade through the slush piles, more people who read what has been selected by the first round of readers. Then there are trends and fashions that the publishers consider, what they think people will buy. Even then, if your book miraculously makes it through all the hoops, it has a small window of opportunity to make it. Bookstores have limited space on their shelves; if the book isn’t selling over a period of about six weeks they send it back to make space for one that might do better.

We have all heard the stories of how now famous writers amassed piles of rejection letters. Makes you wonder that seeing as writers such as J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and James Patterson received dozens of rejections, what chance do the rest of us have?

Now, with the thriving self-publishing market, an author stands a good chance of bringing their work to the public without having to jump blindfolded and backwards through fiery hoops.

Personally, I think that’s wonderful, for readers and authors alike. Traditionally published books often take years to reach the bookstore shelf from authors’ keyboard. Most ‘traditional authors’ release maybe one book per year, and it can be a pain waiting for the next book from your favourite author to come out. No more. Self-publishing can help to fill this gap. What’s your poison? What do you love to read? You can find whatever genre and subgenre you enjoy reading, a plethora of authors, and they tend to publish far more often, some even five or six books a year!

For authors it’s great news as well. They write the story the want to tell and can immediately put it out there for the readers to find. No jumping through hoops any more, no receiving hundreds of rejections. What’s more, the financial terms are better and the author gets to keep most of what they make.

Self-published authors need to be careful to ensure the quality of their work, making sure that they put out the best version of their work that they can. One of the problems with self-published books these days is the editing. Poorly edited books risk giving self-publishing a bad name. Sometimes, in their enthusiasm to get a book out, authors put out work that could do with a few more rounds of editing. Books full of typos and grammar mistakes. I understand that not everyone can afford professional editing (which I highly recommend, by the way – it’s an expense that pays for itself). If paying a professional editor isn’t an option, authors need to find trusted family members or friends prepared to take the time to beta-read thoroughly, to spot typos and grammar mistakes, and provide brutally honest feedback – these types of friends aren’t always easy to find, but are essential, as after a while when you read your own manuscript typos become invisible. A fresh pair of eyes does wonders.

What do your readers mean to you? The readers are the life and soul of books! I like to think of my readers as very special friends.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? You can sign up to my newsletter at www.alexavrio.com. All people who sign up to my newsletter will shortly receive a free Merchant Blades short story, set between books 1 and 2 of the series. My website also hosts my blog where you can find out my latest news between newsletters, and you can also read for free some of my flash fiction stories there.

Many thanks Alex for chatting with us! For more about Alex, her work, and to get yourself a copy, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / CreateSpace / BookTrailer / YouTube

Meet Author Rich Israel

Hola, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Rich Israel

RICH ISRAEL was born in December 1945. The baby boomer generation officially began January 1, 1946, so Rich likes to say he was sent ahead as a scout to prepare the way.

Raised in a middle-class Jewish household in Sacramento, he spent his college years at the University of California, Davis, campus, where he initially studied engineering, then transferred to biological sciences because of his love for nature. After graduating, he worked for the entomology department at the university for a year, then dropped out and embarked on many of the adventures described in his writings.

In the early 1970s, Rich coauthored the first back-to-the-land book for his generation—a self-published guide titled Homesteaders Handbook. He went on to study natural medicine and worked in the natural foods industry for a dozen years. In 1991, he authored The Natural Pharmacy Product Guide, which remained on the Nutri-Books “Top Ten List” of health books for four months.

Rich is currently working on Trippin’, the second book in his Hippie Adventurer series. He lives with his wife, Doris, in Boulder, Colorado.

Enjoy this book sample:  Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes

Genre: Memoir/Adventure/Coming of Age

Synopsis: In this spirited coming-of-age memoir, Rich Israel takes us on his journey of self-discovery during the trans-formative sixties. Eschewing societal norms, he hitchhikes across the country, tries his hand at mining, works at a circus, and rides a horse hundreds of miles through the Rocky Mountain wilderness—all the while, the draft and Vietnam War are nipping at his heels.

Join Rich and his canine companion, Charlie, as they meet one colorful character after another, from a rifle-toting hippie to a loudmouthed carnival boss to a sultry flower child, whose bewitching powers lead to lust and longing—and heartbreak. A consummate storyteller, Rich peppers his writing with wit and sensitivity, as well as insights often revealed through mind-blowing acid trips.

If you were there during this unique period in our history, Groovin’ is certain to spark treasured memories. If not, you will get to enjoy the flavor and exhilaration associated with catching that phenomenal wave.

Why do you write?  I believe I have something of value to offer. My first two books were how-tos designed to help people learn self-sufficiency skills and improve their health. I wrote my latest book, Groovin’, to share entertaining, humorous stories and offer younger people a glimpse into that remarkable time. A number of readers who rode that amazing wave have gotten in touch to thank me for sparking their own wild memories.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  The sixties were a free, exciting time for me. I collected a number of unique, humorous stories and found that people enjoyed them. You can find plenty of books on the history of that period, but I wanted to offer a sense of what it was like to live during those trans formative years. I also wanted my daughter to understand some of the events that shaped me.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write best in the morning, but if it isn’t going well and I’m not enjoying it, I take a break. I don’t force it. I also keep a notepad next to the bed because sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about a particular episode. When I’m reliving a story, I want to capture the feelings I’m experiencing while they’re fresh. Here’s a tip: If writing in bed, use a good gel pen so you can write while holding a pad in an upright position. (Pentel EnerGel pens work well.)

Any advice for aspiring authors? If you have an idea for a story, write it down. If you think of details for that story, write them down. You can always piece things together and refine your writing later.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  At first it was the worry that my words and humor would be lost in the editing process. Fortunately, I had the brilliant Sandra Jonas at sandrajonaspublishing.com as my final editor. I found I could trust her suggestions, fighting only for important items I felt essential to my story.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  I’ve always loved Westerns, having been raised on Roy Rogers, Bonanza, and Rawhide. Their influence led to my pipe-dream-induced, month-long, hippie horse trip through the Rocky Mountain wilderness, documented in Groovin’.

Which writers inspire you?  Those who paint vivid pictures with their words, allowing their readers to immerse themselves in every scene and know the characters on an emotional level. There are quite a few great authors, but Raymond Chandler comes to mind. Though it’s only background to his stories, he really gives you a feel for Los Angeles in the thirties and forties.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  I’m working on a sequel to Groovin’ called Trippin’: Road, Rails and Mountain Trials, scheduled for release in the fall of 2017. Here’s a synopsis:

In book 2 of his Hippie Adventurer Series, Rich takes us on another wild ride during the 1960s as he and Charlie, his faithful canine companion, hitchhike, hop freights, work in an Alaskan gold mining camp, and manage a Sacramento Valley cattle ranch.

Together with his off-the-wall friends, he explores altered states, sentiments, and perspectives while freestyling through life with passion and enthusiasm. And, just like in his first book, Groovin’, Rich’s powerful, heart-on-his-sleeve thirst for love propels him into one unexpected situation after another.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  Convince everyone on the planet to find the place in their hearts where compassion and tolerance reside. If this were to happen, wars and injustice would cease to exist!

Where do you come up with your stories?  From living them. All my stories are true, though a few may be hard to believe. I am fortunate to possess a remarkable memory of the sixties.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? In this book and the next, my trusty dog Charlie accompanies me everywhere. She (yes, “she”) was with me in the sixties and seventies, but most of my life, I’ve had a canine companion. My current darling is Sophie.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  Persistence and attention to detail are key to creating works you can be proud to release.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  Never. Although I believe sex scenes should be executed with some class, it is a very natural subject and should not produce shame.

What do your readers mean to you?  My readers are the reason I write, period! If I can’t entertain them and hopefully give them more than a few belly laughs, then what’s the point? Nothing is more fulfilling than having people tell me they’ve enjoyed my stories.

Tell us something unique about you.  I have a secret talent—I speak cow-talk! See next question.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?  Check out my website and sign up for my blog to receive my bimonthly musings and stories that can enhance the quality of your life. Everyone who signs up will receive a link to a video clip showing off my unique talent.

There ya have it folks! Many thanks Rich! For more about Rich, his work, and to get your own copy, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

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

Meet Author Jeffrey Wesley Landmon

Halo me lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author Jeffrey Wesley Landmon

Jeffrey Wesley Landmon -also known to the many in his online circles as ”Jw Hammond”- was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. An early interest in music led him to begin playing the violin in the second grade. He went on to write his first school play in the sixth grade, and has remained passionate about music and writing throughout the course of his life.

At age 20, he moved from Wisconsin, and spent the next two decades in New York City. There, he discovered David Wilkerson’s ministry, and became deeply aware of Jesus Christ. Now, as a member of ‘The Remnant’ and a host of the Holy Spirit, he is as passionate about sharing his love of the Lord, and the Good News of Salvation, with all.

Although widely praised for his imaginative creativity, Mr. Landmon has maintained his practice of sharing his varied talents and gifts, in both his music and writings, openly and free of charge. You can find more of these works by following the Links included.

As he brings more of his works to publication, it is his hope that he is able to leave a legacy that can be remembered as an honor to the Lord Jesus, one that will be shared by others as a continuing encouragement to those who are still seeking for truth.

He considers it a ‘Mission Accomplished’, of course, if his works also inspire people to Think!

Book * Suddenly Solomon – The Last Musician

Genre *Christian Fiction/ Adventure

Blurb

“When the lights go out, Mickey and her brother Virge at first think it’s just one of those things. But then, the Angel comes…and the Earthquakes begin…and the world as we know it will never be the same again. Join the adventure, as this small group of survivors discover that they solomon-coverare THE Remnant of Believers, and the last hope for those who have put off their Salvation maybe just a bit too long.”

Suddenly Solomon – The Last Musician is a high-action, hard hitting, mind-twisting, down-to-earth Christian Adventure!

Who inspires your writing?  The Holy Bible. World news. My own life experiences. Movies, Television…and of course, my fans.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  Virge Johnson is somewhat of a loner. He likes living off the land up in the mountains. He frowns on modern-day technology, and laziness. His steadfastness in his beliefs, his ability to communicate through honesty and music, make him special

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Keeping my promise to God and to myself to only write this book while sober.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?  I’ve given that a Lot of thought, haha. Will Smith. Jamie Fox. Regina King. Jasmine Guy. Gary Busey. Robert De Niro. Dwayne Johnson. Jada Pickett-Smith. Oprah. Forest Whitaker and Danny DeVito. I would have to interview child actors for the roles of Roy and Keisha.

What is your next project?  A Sequel to Suddenly Solomon. Following the adventures of “Raborn”; who was formally brutal an evil, and who went around killing and controlling. After he meets Jesus. He becomes much like the apostle Paul. Traveling around a desolated countryside trying to win souls for Christ. Action packed with strong Christian values underlined.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  Easy enough. How about an excerpt?

Scene 7 – part B

“A saint you say, dear Wendy? Have you in fact lost your mind too? This man…this, Raborn…is nothing more than a drifter, with old-fashioned ideals and old-fashioned ways. Come back to reality, we are all here in Mole City…I have provided well for all here. And in you I have placed much trust because of your wisdom. But now I question myself, with you referring to this freak as a…’Saint’?”

“My Lord,” Wendy said softly.

“Do not call him Lord, my good sister,” said Raborn. “He is but a man. Be that an evil one.”

Wendy continued with her dialect to Gallanger, “You have no idea about whence I get my wisdom. For ten years, you have thought of me as some sort of prophet, or fortune teller. I am neither, and I ask God to forgive me for hiding from you the secret truths that I know. Have known for years, for His Spirit has spoken to me all this time…warning me of your dead heart, dead mind and dead soul. You have no concept of God. No compassion, and no hope. You live in a world void of faith, truth, and authenticity. For years now I have waited for the one God told me He would send, and that is he that you see standing before you. Raborn! A man after God’s own heart. He has been through the fire. Tried and tested, burnt and busied. He brings truth, to show the people of Mole City a way out. No longer will I pretend for you and your world of worms and treachery. It is time. Raborn has arrived. The people will be set free!”

Gallanger leaned back against the wall, holding his chin is his right hand. He stared at Raborn and then back at Wendy, then he looked to the men that were with him.

“Take them both to the Barbecue pit!”
(Jw Landmon 2016)

What one person from history would you like to meet and why?  Humm? That’s a very tough question. I want to say Jesus but, I believe I have already met Him. So, perhaps King David or his son Solomon. Maybe Isaiah or Daniel. Why? Because these men were all chosen by God, well-versed, and gifted.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  That a lot people simply don’t read anything anymore! Nothing more than a paragraph at least.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?  Traditional publishing is a blessing. Self publishing is a lot more work!

What do your fans mean to you?  Having fans makes me feel loved, respected and makes the work worth it!

My fans and their feedback are what keep me motivated. But in my heart, I desire for God himself to be my biggest ‘fan’. To be307066_10150317539969026_92456520_n pleased with the work I do for His Kingdom. That one day He will look at me and say “Well Done, My Faithful Servant.”

Tell us something unique about you.  I have a long Frankenstein type of scar on the left side of my head. It comes from surgery that I had after a car accident I was in, when I was a young boy. I had a fractured skull due to the accident. Sometimes, when people ask me about it, I just smile and tell them ~ “Oh, that’s from my lobotomy.” 🙂

Is there anything else you would like to add?  Yes. Without faith there is no hope. And without hope there is no reason.

Many thanks and blessings Jeffrey! For more about Jeffrey and his work, follow the links below:

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Smashwords / YouTube / Google

Meet Author NLJ

Howdy my darlings! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with author NLJ

NLJ is an author, screenwriter, inspirational speaker, and former children’s educator. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and furthered her education to include children’s literature, personal development, and psychology. Her hobbies include daydreaming, exploring, and eating chocolate.

Book sample: Title – Chronicles of Drenyon: The Golden Sword

Genre – Fantasy Adventure

Synopsis

In the Land of Drenyon…

There is a maiden who is so desperately lonely that she befriends a frightful-looking tree that lives outside her village. Her name is Anya. Her tree is enchanted, and every day she listens to its strange and troubling fables, unaware that they are prophecies in disguise.  One day, she returns home from visiting the tree and the first of the fables comes to life, causingsword_ebook_cover her entire village to burn to the ground. Now it’s up to Anya to use the other fables to save the rest of her kingdom from the same destruction. And according to these fables, there is only one weapon that has the power to save her people: The Golden Sword.

If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?  It’s nothing too fancy, pretty much just letters from my full name.

But I’ve always wanted a pen name. I’m kind of a mysterious person by nature, I like to intrigue and inspire.

Why do you write?  Because I must! Writing chose me!

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I think I’ve evolved in my mindset of about writing.

I’ve learned that writing is a very spiritual process. They say that when you are dreaming, all of the characters in the dream represent some part of your personality. I have learned that writing is very much the same. Each of the characters is a part of my personality. Even if I write a character that is based off of someone else, it is still technically based on my perception of that person, not necessary the person himself. To have all these different pieces of you come together in your story and interact with each other is soul play. Writing isn’t simply a skill or a recreational activity. It is a way for different parts of your psyche to work certain things out in your life.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  I love listening to soundtrack music when I write. It helps me visualize my scenes better.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?  When I was little it was killing me to see all the damsel-in-distress stereotypes. I really wanted to see a strong female protagonist. Decades later, society went into the opposite extreme, where the women characters were hard, but not necessarily “strong.” They were more like a “strong cup of tea.” And even when they could kick butt or blow up stuff just like a male character, their personalities were still flat.

What’s great about Anya is that she was written to be an individual. She does start off as a damsel and there is societal pressure on her in the story because she is a woman. But that is not the real reason she is a damsel. She is a damsel because of the way she sees herself. And anyone can struggle with that. As she grows and matures she becomes the best of both worlds. She becomes strong without having to sacrifice the glory of femininity.

Where do your ideas come from?  Dreams. Literally. I fell asleep one night during a horrible experience with another writing project, and I had a dream about all the characters that are now in my current book. I even dreamt of the locations and some of the obstacles they faced. One of my scenes in the book came straight from that dream. I was so moved when I woke up that I wrote down most of the story while still in bed.

But to be honest, many of my stories have come into existence that way.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  My favorite movies are Lord of the Rings, Inception, The Prestige and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Which writers inspire you?  J.K. Rowling, Hayao Miyazaki, Steven Spielberg, Gail Carson Levine, and Jonathan and Christopher Nolan.

What is the current book you are promoting? I am promoting book one of a 4 part book series called The Chronicles of Drenyon.

Book one is called the Golden Sword.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  I love all of my characters, even the bad guys. You kind of have to love and respect the bad guy in order to truly make him despicable.

But hands down my favorite character is a pair of mysterious twins called the Oracle.

Even though there are two of them, they share one basic identity and therefore have one name. They hate being referred to as plural. (Never call them Oracles.)

 If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? I would cast Brooke Williams to play the main character, Anya. She used to be in a show called Legend of the Seeker and she is currently on a series called the Shannara Chronicles. She’s very pretty in a modest and unassuming way.

I’ve considered Jared Leto playing the enchanted Tree. And there is a prison warden character who I envision being played by Laurence Fishburne.

Who inspires your writing? God. I don’t say that to sound religious at all. But rationally speaking, if I’m writing entire books based on dreams, there has to be a supernatural power at work. Especially if the books end up being good. 😛

Tell us something unique about you.  For those of you who follow the Myers-Briggs temperaments, I’m an INFJ.

For those who don’t, it boils down to this: I took a personality test a while back that basically said I have the same personality as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones.

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

Website / Blog / Goodreads

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