Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Urban Fantasy (Page 1 of 2)

Meet Author Sarah Buhrman

Howdy my lovelies! Please join me in welcoming author Sarah Buhrman to Interview FoxSeat.

Sarah is an AuthorGoddess, one who embraces the divine honor of creating worlds with words in the hope of inspiring others. Sarah has been writing for more than 20 years. She lives in the middle of nowhere with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby), and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week. Sarah is the author of Too Wyrd and the Life 101 series. She has short stories and essays in emagazines, The Witches’ Hour and Dreams Eternal, and several anthologies, including Visions IV: Between the Stars, and The Pop Culture Grimoire: 2.0.

Book blurb: Too Wyrd is an Urban Fantasy that follows Nicola, a Heathen single mother who rushes in to save her missing step-sister and finds herself fighting to save the world from a cult bent on starting Ragnorok. Nicola was never a hero. She goes back to Indianapolis, dodging old enemies and calling on old friends to help her find her step-sister. What she finds instead is an ex with super-powers, monsters and demigods on the streets, and a detective ready to bring her in for a murder investigation…or three. Can Nicola become the hero she needs to be, or will she lose everyone she cares for?

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? Once I get rid of all the busywork, life-distractions and procrastination, it takes me about 6 weeks to fully write a book. It’s another month or so before I can do the first round of edits, just because I need that time to get distance. After about two rounds of edits, it’s ready to send off – so about 4-5 months for a ready-to-publish work.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? This time, I was doing NaNoWriMo. I had a bunch of unfinished stuff and no really great ideas, so I rebelled and worked on the unfinished stuff. The first one I started was Too Wyrd, and that ended up being the whole project. I won my NaNo, finished my book, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I have a part-time job, two kids, two weekly podcasts, three blogs, speaking events, a home-based baking business, and a vending event or two that I work. I also run the local Farmer’s Market and help my boss with marketing, plus I do my own marketing, freelance editing, and a la carte meal planning. My day is structured based on what is going on that day. I prefer to get all the above stuff done before 8 or 9 pm, and write after that. I love being up late at night to write. It all just depends on my energy levels at that point.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Creativity in my ideas has never been a big problem. Taking those creative ideas and getting an actual plot out of them has been. I’ve definitely gotten much better at organizing my ideas into something that is cohesive and, well, readable. I’ve learned to be able to figure out what is a “scene idea” and what is a “plot idea”. This helps so much to be able to map out a real and enjoyable story from what is otherwise a great thought just hanging out in my head.

What have you written? I’ve written essays for: Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans (Published Feb 28, 2014), The Pop Culture Grimoire 2.0 (Published Oct 18, 2015), and Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism (Published Jan 15, 2016). I’ve had short stories published in Dreams Eternal Magazine (1st issue Published Jun 1, 2015), Visions IV: Space Between Stars (Published Apr 29, 2016), and Twisted: an Anthology of Feminist Horror (to be published Oct 31, 2016). I have a series of non-fiction booklets out: the series Life 101: How to be a Grown Up. I’ve self-published a personal anthology of short stories (When Life Happens, Don’t Blink – Published Apr 16, 2015) and an anthology of poems (Crazy, Not Stupid – Published Apr 19, 2015). And, of course, Too Wyrd, Book 1 of the Runespells series, was published Sept 8, 2016. There’s a few poems, essays and short stories that I’ve missed over the years, but this list covers at least the last couple years.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I’ve tried just seeing where an idea takes me. The answer is nowhere. I cannot just stumble on a coherent plot. I’ve tried. So I’m an avid plotter. I know where I’m going, at least in general. Sometimes I have to go back to the outline and change things, or add stuff. I think that’s great – a story should grow out from underneath the author.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? I think that there is nothing as important to an author than personal exposure. That means not only getting the book and book links out in front of as many people as possible, but also getting yourself out there for people to get to know. The more personable I’ve made myself in my marketing, the better the results have been.

Any advice for aspiring authors? I’ve said this a thousand times – know the industry. Know what authors really make. Know average royalties. Know the success rates for authors in different genres. Know how many books most authors must publish before making “real” money (it’s about 12). This isn’t to discourage writers. It’s because I see so many people who work on one book for years, put it out there, and then are heartbroken because they aren’t the next Stephen King, Anne Rice, or JK Rowling. Just because the first book isn’t an instant success doesn’t mean you aren’t a good author. Know the facts, not the myths. You’ll be better prepared for the long road ahead.

Also, please, please, please stop assuming that anyone who volunteers to/wants to read your stuff is going to steal it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? Well, she’s not a he, for one. Nicola is a mixed race, Heathen witch, single mother. She doesn’t want to be special, and she really isn’t that special. She’s a person with one main thing going for her – she’s clever, and not even much more clever than anyone else. There are others with more intelligence, or education, or strategy and skill. Everything else that’s going for her seems to be a matter of right-place-right-time, of not shirking her responsibilities, etc.

Where do your ideas come from? Once in a great while, I’ll get inspired by a movie, or book, or even a random thing that happens. But that works better for my short stories than my full-length novels.

I get a lot of ideas from “scenes” that I remember from dreams. I’ll dream about a boy painting Chinese dragons that then come to life, and that turns into Paper Dragons, a Mid-Grade fantasy about a Chinese-American boy who joins a secret guild that brings magic through ancient Chinese arts and fights against those who want to abandon the culture and history of the Chinese. Or I’ll dream of a woman searching for tiny silver pendants in piles of grain while monsters chase her, and that turns into Too Wyrd, book 1 of a 9-book series about the Norse Runespells.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? It was all about getting over my own anxieties. I’m extremely insecure about my skills as a writer, despite the logic and data that so often proves me wrong. I have to deal with that every time I write something.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? I will never be able to pick just one. I enjoy intellectual shows, like Criminal Minds, humor, like Legally Blonde, things that make you question morality, like Lost Souls, things that make you question reality, like Gaslight, things that make you question fate, like Cloud Atlas, and action movies, like the Marvel movies, and great “kids” movies, like Home or Inside Out. I just love well-done shows and movies of all kinds.

Which writers inspire you? Jim Butcher, M.R. Sellars, Anne MacCaffrey, Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward, and all the writers in my writer’s groups.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? This is the opening scene for Fluffy Bunny, the sequel for Too Wyrd:

I stepped into my bedroom, still dripping from my shower, and froze at the sight of the three women waiting for me. The shock of finding people in my room was brief. Then I saw the women, registered their appearance, and I felt a deep horror wash over me, numbing my limbs – the way I imagined a mouse felt the second before being swallowed whole by a snake.

The women were neither young nor old, not pretty, not ugly. They were average-looking women… until I met their eyes.

They looked at me in a slightly off-focus way, like a blind person does, meeting my gaze without really seeing with those gray-ringed pupils that I found myself staring into.

I felt a slight burning on my chest and I reached up to touch one of the four silver sigils hanging from my neck by a length of the chain that bound Fenris Odinslayer, the monstrous wolf-son of Loki. The sigils were Runespells, my souveniers from several months ago when I won a magical race for the powerful amulets.

After searching for my missing step-sister, I ended up fighting demons for the Runespells to keep a horrid man, not-so-good ol’ Bob, from using them to cause trouble in the form of starting Ragnarok. I wasn’t sure how Bob would have done that, but I knew that Ragnarok was supposed to start when Loki gets angry and breaks free from his chains to lead an army of Jotun, fire and ice giants, against Asgard.

None of that would end well.

I stopped not-so-good ol’ Bob, fought the demons, found the Runespells, and spent half a week in the hospital afterwards. My reward was to keep the Runespells, so I could use them in my search for the other 14 missing sigils. Some prizes aren’t worth the trouble.

As my fingertips grazed the sigil burning my skin, information flooded my mind, telling me about the god-creatures before me, and I understood why I’d felt such primal fear at their gaze.

The women before me were not gods, after all. They were stronger than the gods. They were god-creatures that I would never want to anger or insult. They were beings that I would think long and hard before attempting to deal with.

They were the Norns, and they were waiting for me.

 What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? I think they both have their place. There is a lot of structure involved in traditional publishing that often prevents really good, original, and unusual works from breaking through. However, the way that traditional publishers handle a book provides a bit of a guarantee of quality. That’s a line that we have to learn to walk with the new publishing world. I look forward to seeing how publishing grows to fulfill the needs left by both sides.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? I’m most accessable on Facebook, but if you want the goods, fast and cheap, you’ll want in on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/kalisara) or my Facebook street team (contact me for access).

There ya have it folks! Many thanks Sarah for visiting! For more about Sarah and her work follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Linkedin / Goodreads / Amazon / BookTrailer

Meet Author Sam Reed

Halo me lovelies! Welcome back to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Sam Reed

Sam Reed is a born and bred southern girl who grew up reading Toni Morrison, Archie Comics, Christopher Pike, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. When she’s not thinking of what to write she is napping or eating, going to church, wishing she could sing, dreaming of owning a tiny house, watching A Different World reruns, trying to perfect her grandma’s biscuit recipe, or reading a book.

Book blurb: Fair to Hope

Every day two groups secretly war for control of souls; a war that fuels the chosen for the Final Battle. A destined death-fight between best friends for the last soul and the fate of the world.

Velma had lived two lives; her first as a former foster kid abandoned by her parents, her second as an unlikely recruit into a secret order full of ritual, lore and punching that satisfied her need for fairtohopelaunch-22-of-87retribution. Her fifteen year old self had given up on hope, but after three years with the Taram, she’d found more than just family, she’d found her life’s purpose.

That is, until she is surprisingly named Kachina, the fabled chosen empowered to fight the last battle for the fate of the world. Because having to kill someone she loves was never part of the bargain, even if it means saving everyone else from damnation.

Attempting the impossible – building a normal life free from the pull of the Taram seems like the only answer to her prayers. Except her best friend, the other Kachina, is coming. The legend is clear that one of them must die. Velma will have to weigh the cost of her life against a world that’s constantly betrayed her, and quite literally decide if she’ll be damned in dying, and take the whole world with her.

Why do you write?  I write because I first fell in love with words, and the way that I was able to trust what books gave me. I always felt like I was a bit of a strange bird growing up, and books made me feel okay.  I was in awe of them and the writers who were able to transport you somewhere…I belived everything they built for me when I was reading, (at least from the good ones), and I wanted to be able to build the same things, too. First for myself, which led to years of me filling up journal after journal, and then the leap of faith to see if I could be brave enough to jump out of my introvert self and put a story out there for others to read, and hope that it would resonate with at least one person, lol that’s the most I could ask for.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  I do listen to music when I write, I can’t watch TV or I get too distracted. Usually the music fits the mood of what I’m trying to write. When I wrote Fair to Hope I was listening to a lot of hip hop – The Roots, Tribe Called Quest, Outkast. I was also listening to R&B, (it’s not at all subtle how these things leaked into the book), my favs were a lot of Indie Arie and Erykah Badu, Corrine Bailey Rae and Nina Simone.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I don’t usually outline anything. Though I’m convinced it would be easier if I did, sometimes it’s difficult for me to see that far ahead in a story. So instead what happens is I have an idea that’s a few lines strong and I start with that while telling myself that whatever comes after is ok, that I just need to get the words out, some words, any words. At that point I feel like the words and I are working together, and then I cross my fingers that we’ll be able to come up with something good.

Which writers inspire you?  My mom, she was a writer but let it go when she had kids in order to provide for us. But she had notebooks of short stories and poems and reading them was confidence for me, because they were good, and I would think, some of that lady is in my DNA – so I should be able to do that too. And then all the writers who I felt like were amazing at showing the subtle savagery of people coupled with our unbelievable ability to rally and hope and show up – folks like Stephen King, and Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Dean Koontz, Christopher Pike (his young adult books for me growing up were epic, always such strong female characters that had very little to do with a girl navigating a life around a boy, which was prevalent and still is in some sense, that ‘relationship’ defines you – you weren’t okay until you met him, you won’t be okay without him, that is so short-sighted for not just girls but boys too – relationships are beautiful, love is a blessing, but love yourself first), George Orwell, Zora Neale Hurston, Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend?  Definitely, Stephen King’s book, On Writing, was so helpful for me and I always recommend it to others. I mean, it could also just be that I’m obsessed with him as a writer in general, but in being as objective as possible, I still think it’s a really good book. MF: Almost every author I’ve interviewed here have suggested Stephen King’s book, On Writing. I have finally decided I need to read this book. All of  you wonderful authors can’t be wrong. I promote and suggest the stuffing out of Rayne Hall’s Writer’s Craft series. I’ll add Mr. King.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?  Love this question! I think Ya Ya Decosta or Aja Naomi King for Velma. For Josh, he should be a Lance Gross, Taye Diggs, Tyrese type. Sue would be played by Zoe Kravitz, Amandla Stenberg or Logan Browning. I see Enoch as Sendhil Ramamurthy or Ansel Elgort, maybe even Zach Efron. Elizabeth Olsen, Emma Watson or Juno Temple would be awesome as Nita. Last but not least for Bailey I picture Rinko Kikuchi, Fan BingBing or Rila Fukushima, any of those ladies would be perfect.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  I would get people to recognize the humanity in others. I feel like so much of the bad that happens in the world is because for some reason or another, one group of people is unable to see/accept that another group is as human as they are. As worthy of grace and consideration, love and respect and patience; to understand differences without the assumption that they separate us. I think far more accurately, differences enrich us. There is so much we can learn from one another. I think it’s a tragedy when we don’t.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite?  It’s impossible for me to answer the favorite book question, it’s ever changing and evolving, in high school I read 1984 and The Invisible Man and was struck by being pulled along by the hand towards the evolution of something…does that make sense? Watching this thing unfold, often tragically, and being so invested that it becomes more than a story, it becomes something that shapes how you view life in general. Beloved did that for me as well, Stephen King’s IT was the first book to truly scare me, and I grew up on horror movies so it was unexpectedly exhilarating, everything by Toni Morrison, literally everything, shaped how I categorized myself as a black woman, but perhaps no novel more than Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, I read it as a young southern teenager who’d just moved to the ‘big city’ and it gave me all these new definitions of love and security and self-awareness, vulnerability, strength, carelessness and hope. Though my favorites list is always revolving, that book stays in my top 3. My favorite setting is the South, it’s in my blood, I love the slowness and the sly calculation of the people and the observations, the food, the heat, heat can be a character in and of itself, when it’s hot enough, people are inclined to do crazy things! And food too, what a person eats, how they eat, the memories surrounding what they use to nourish themselves can be one of the most telling character traits.

What do your fans mean to you?  Oh man … do I even have fans yet? Lol. If I do, they would mean everything, because somebody trusting me to tell them a story is amazing to me. To offer the option for a reader to get lost for a little while in the madness that came from my brain, and then have them sign on and say sure, why not, is the epitome of magic. It is the greatest honor that a reader would trust you enough to take them there. That’s especially important to me with Fair to Hope, because I knew that I was taking a chance in writing it the way that I did, that folks were either gonna hate it or love it, that there probably wouldn’t be much grey area. So now, if I do have fans, those folks are sticking with me because they got what I wanted to do, this book that I was so worried about resonated with them in some way, they get me – and that makes the fans that I have now extra special and important to me.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others?  There is actually. It’s called The Raw Shark Texts by Stephen Hall, I read it years ago  (it was released in 2007) but it was so amazinglyauthorphoto_1 original, and I never hear about it, and I think that’s a shame. I wouldn’t even be able to explain it to you if I tried – but it’s like if the movie Inception and maybe The Adjustment Bureau had a baby? I love it, it’s awesome.

Tell us something unique about you.  I love to drink olive juice from the bottle, I’m also a huge fan of single malt scotch. I have a culinary degree in baking and pastry and used to make custom wedding cakes. I’ve never, ever been afraid of the dark. MF: Though I write horror and am well past 30, I still see the closet monster and beasts under the bed. I can’t watch a horror film and then head to bed. Nightmares will wake me.

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

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author Haven Cage

Hola my lovelies! Today author Haven Cage has joined us for some Q&A.

Haven Cage lives in the Carolinas with her husband and son. After many years of dabbling with drawing, painting, and working night shift in the medical field, she decided to try her hand at writing. Unfortunately, her love for books came later in life and proved to add a healthy challenge during her writing journey. Determined to hone her craft though, she soaks up as much information as she can, spends her free time tapping away in her favorite local coffee shop, and keeps a good book in hand whenever possible.

Years have passed since she began to write and sculpt her first novel, and now it is finally ready for debut. What began as a hobby has grown into a way of escape and the yearning to take her journey farther, her love for writing and reading deepening along the way.

Book blurb: In FALTER, a dark New Adult/Adult Urban Fantasy novel, Nevaeh Richards thinks she has found a chance to leave her homeless life behind. When the spirit of the only father she knows is wrongfully taken to Hell, Nevaeh is hurled into a world haunted by monstrous demons, rogue Guardian angels, love that is beyond her control, and a soul-threatening choice between the inherent evil inside her and the faltering faith she is struggling to grasp.

Nevaeh and George have lived on the streets as father and daughter since he found her, alone and unconscious, many years ago. When they start a new life employed at Joe’s cafe, Nevaeh experiences debilitating visions and frightening apparitions. Adding to the troubling path her life has taken, George suddenly becomes ill and an Animus demon takes his soul hostage in Hell. Unfortunately, the ransom may be more than Nevaeh can afford.

As Nevaeh spirals into this supernatural world, Gavyn—the handsome café-owner—tries to convince her that she belongs to a hidden race of people with God-given gifts known as Celatum, and she may be a key player in the Celestial war. However, even after all the otherworldly events she experiences, Nevaeh continues to deny her part in it all.

Meanwhile, Archard—a stranger she feels undeniably bonded to—mysteriously wanders in and out of her life, offering none of the answers she suspects he holds.

Will Nevaeh attain the faith it requires to fulfill her fate as a Celata and take part in the Celestial fight? Or will she give into the darkness that calls to her for the sake of George’s soul and damn herself to Hell?

Warning: this novel contains adult language and sexual content. Readers 18 years and older only, please.

Why do you write?  I write to escape reality, to be a different part of myself that gets hidden most of the time. Writing has also helped me explore my beliefs, my past, and who I really want to be in general. I get to act out the emotional ups and downs inside me, but at a safe, somewhat displaced, level. Just as journaling is therapeutic, creating fiction heals me in many ways while drawing me out of the confines of life.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? My son started preschool when he was three; I decided to make those few hours I had alone during the week to do something that was just about me and who I wanted to be as Haven. Inspired by Stephanie Myer and her story of Twilight being sparked by a dream, I dredged up one of many odd dreams I’d had and let it guide my imagination. This turned into a long and involved hobby, which turned into a need. After five years, I’d put too much put into the book to turn back, so I set my heart on publishing one way or another. I released Falter on May 6, 2016!

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  Music is one of my favorite things. It calms me, inspires me, and just plain makes me happy. I listen to music often when I write. My favorite station to stream is the Halestorm station. When I need something a little lighter, I’ll listen to a Phantogram station. I feel having music in the background can really help set a scene mood.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I actually do this backwards. The idea was pretty solid when I started, so I went with it and let the words flow. About halfway through Falter, I returned to the beginning and formed an outline sectioned into chapter summaries, character details, plot ideas, and so on. Even through book two, I’ve upheld that same backward notion of being driven by the words and ideas, then getting the logistics fleshed out.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  Visual art has always been a rather dominant skill in my family. I guess because of that, I knew I wanted to be involved as much as possible in the cover. I created it myself by editing a photo I’d taken until it felt right. Then I stumbled through the joy of Photoshop. In the end, I got something simple but attractive, I think. I’ve also created all the graphics on my logo, banners and teasers.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  Nevaeh is a young woman living a hard life with a forgotten past. Years of trials and living on the streets has made her strong, but in that strength, she is stubborn and untrusting. I wanted to show her flaws and how she works to overcome them by putting Nev in a position where she had to step out of the box she lived in, depend on others, and walk the gray areas that we sometimes encounter during especially tough times.

What is your next project?  I’m nearly finished with the first draft of book 2 in my Faltering Souls series, then it’s onto the hard part…editing. I also have a stand-alone fantasy novel in mind that I’m very excited to start.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  MacKayla Lane from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I love that she is snarky, beautifully flawed, confident with some parts of her life but not with others, and she does everything with passion and conviction…even when she makes mistakes.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? You have to be diligent in everything you do. It’s easy to get bogged down in the small details and yearning for instant gratification, then you become discouraged when things don’t work out as planned. This is a lifestyle of sorts, something you’re in for the long haul, so treat it as such. You need to bend, adapt, learn, and fix your work until it’s something you’re proud of!

Do have a favorite car or truck model?  Shelby Mustang

Many thanks Haven for stopping by! For more about Haven and to buy her book follow the links below:

 

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Smashwords / Trailer

Meet Author Sheena Binkley

Halo lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Sheena Binkley

Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment. In April 2016, Sheena launched her own publishing company, SBinkley Publishing, which focuses on romance novels. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.

Book blurb: The Love Chronicles

Andrea “Andie” Williams and Dexter Robinson have known each other since they were in diapers. While their parents are the best of friends, the two are barely even acquaintances. While Dexter is the most popular guy at Williamson High School and only cares about which girl he will sleep with next, Andrea is focused on getting into her dream college, Yale.

When they are placed together for an unlikely project, the two have to come together not only to pass their class, but also graduate. With a series of events surrounding them, they both realize that their first experience at love could be with the person who was right in front of them all along.

Why do you write? I write because it’s my passion. I’ve been writing since I was nine and it’s something that I truly enjoy and hope I can continue doing for years to come.

When did you decide to become a writer? As I mentioned in the previous question, I started writing when I was nine years old and pursued it only as a hobby. I had no intentions of becoming a full-fledged author until three years ago when I self-published my first book, In Love With My Best Friend. At that time, I felt I was ready to show my talent to the writing world; now, I’m still writing, which is one of my life’s greatest achievements.

What genre are your books? I consider myself a multi-genre author, in which I write books in various genres, including African-American Romance, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, New Adult, and Urban.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? If I have a lot of time on my hands, I would say in a month, but if I’m busy with work and my daily routine, then about a month in a half to two months.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? Usually, I would write at night when my family is asleep and have the time to do it; but if I have an off day, I would try to fit some writing in (normally about an hour or two) into my daily schedule.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Normally, I love listening to music because it helps me set-up various scenes for my story. I also have book playlists for majority of my books.

Any advice for aspiring authors? The advice I have for aspiring authors is to never give up on your dreams. No matter how many people may knock you down, don’t let that discourage you. Also, always listen to your gut and do things that you know will be good for yourself and your career.

What is the current book you are promoting? The story I’m promoting is actually a new story, which is titled The Love Chronicles. It’s set to be released on July 12th, but it is available now on pre-order.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? Sure! 🙂 The Love Chronicles is a spin-off from my very first series, In Love With My Best Friend in which this story is from the kids of the main characters from the series. It’s all about finding yourself in the last year of high school and experiencing love for the first time. It’s a feel-good story which will have you laughing, a little frustrated (but not too much), and crying tears of joy.

What do your fans mean to you? My fans mean the world to me. When I first started out, I had a lot against me which made me want to quit writing altogether, but I think my love of writing and my new found readers are the elements that made me keep going. I try to write stories that are not only relatable, but are also entertaining, and I think my readers have realized that. I’m just happy and blessed that I have such loyal fans and I hope they continue to stick with me throughout my writing career.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can find my books at various online outlets:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Overdrive, All Romance eBooks

I also will start distributing paperback books at various bookstores.

Many thanks Sheena! For more about the fabulous Sheena and her work, follow the links below:

 

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / CreateSpace / Smashwords / YouTube / Google / MailingList

Meet Author R.D. Vallier

Halo my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author R.D. Vallier

R.D. Vallier is an explorer, a storyteller, a dancer, a lover of all things shiny or grimy or bizarre. If she is not traveling dirt or blacktop roads, then she is in the wilderness handcrafting an off-grid homestead with straw and mud and, at times, crossed fingers.

Book blurb: DARKSHINE

Miriam always knew something wasn’t quite right with her life, but it isn’t until a clash with the supernatural that she discovers her entire existence is built upon lies. Now two magical beings are promisingDarkshineCover25 the truth. One problem: Only one version is correct and each insists the other will bring her destruction.

When Miriam discovers secrets that can destroy her husband’s political campaign, she finds the strength to escape his abuse and seek her true and magical birthright. But he refuses to lose his wife so easily, and will hunt her down to assure his secrets are never exposed.

Why do you write?  It is a natural drive, and a core element of who I am. If I don’t write or tell stories I become depressed and lost. I become a shell of who I am … and that shell is not pretty.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I consider myself more of a storyteller than a writer. I’ve always told stories in one form or another (mostly illustration in my earlier years). I was in my early to mid 20s when I discovered the stories I needed to tell were far too in depth for the mediums I originally chose, and I needed to become a novelist to get them out of me.

What genre are your books?  Urban fantasy and dark fantasy

What draws you to this genre?  Urban fantasy is my favorite, and will probably become my main genre. I love it because it allows me to show the magic and mystery I see in the everyday mundane. Storage units. Road signs. Motels. Grain Silos. Graffiti. I love breathing new life into the common and often ignored.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  Darkshine was different in that I pecked at it over a series of years while I dealt with life. If I focus, I typically have a steady pace that takes 9-12 months.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I live off-grid in a cramped space (for now) with my husband and two year old son. I have no desk, no time, and sometimes no electricity at home. I park our truck in the pasture to write with pen and paper between 3:30-4:30AM. I then drive to a local truck stop that lets me occupy a booth and use their wifi until 8am. I then get home when my husband and son are getting up, and start the rest of my very, very long day.

That is, if I am not traveling with my husband for his work, like I am now. Then it is early mornings in motel rooms, usually writing curled up in the bathtub so I don’t wake up anyone else. MF: My goodness! You deserve a day off.

What have you written?  Darkshine is the only novel I have published, but I plan to put out my dark fantasy series, Aisling, by 2018. All four novels are written, I just learned a lot since I wrote them and I am deepening the writing. I’m also working on the second story in Darkshine’s tale.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I like to pretend I know what I am doing and sketch out an outline. But there is this amazing moment in every book where the characters seem to step forward, inform me I have no idea what I am doing, and completely take over. I’m then just along for the ride, watching a world unfurl.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  Acid PopTart is the wonderful talent behind Darkshine’s cover. You can check her out at www.facebook.com/theAcidPopTart

Any advice for aspiring authors?  Live. Go out in the world and truly SEE it. Seek out details. Explore your emotions, your successes, your failures. Try new experiences and push your comfort levels. Embrace it all. This is what I feel breathes intimacy into a story.

Also, learn to use your middle finger when people try to bring you down. MF: Amen sister!

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  I had to pull up a lot of demons from my past to get the feel I wanted for Darkshine. Facing hurts you wished to stay buried is never pleasant.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? Delano. I like the mystery around him, and a bunch of other things I can’t mention without spoiling the whole series. He always surprises me while I write him. I’m debating doing a novel in the future just for his story since it’s so in depth. We’ll see…

Who is your least favorite character and why? Sam. I didn’t even like putting him to paper. Not because he was difficult to write, butAuthorPhotoWithCredit because he was so easy. I have met men in the world who are like him. Unfortunately, I know I am not alone.

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? The Fire In Fiction, by Donald Maas.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes? No. I only include them if I feel they are needed to move the story or a character forward, which becomes my main focus. The rest is just details!

Tell us something unique about you. My genome. 🙂

Okay, okay. I used to belly dance professionally. I’m also super-proud that I once broke my foot on the flying trapeze.

Many thanks R.D. for coming by! For more about the fabulous R.D. Vallier, follow the links below:

 

Website / Blog / Blog2 / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Instagram

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