Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Other Systems Making Connections Blog Tour

Other Systems will be shown on all these awesome blogs this week May 19th – May 25th. Check out every blog for your chance to win some great prizes! US/CANADA – signed 8×10 Act break prints from Act 3; INTERNATIONAL – eBooks plus 5 space wallpapers! Other Systems Cover

May 19th: 1st stop:
Michael Sci Fan – Interview

2nd stop:
Evening eBook – Review 

May 20th:
Beanie Brain Reader – Review

May 21st:

Giovanni Valentino – Interview

May 22nd

Judith Leger – Promo

 

Part3

US/Canada Readers: Want to win this print? Check out each stop on the blog tour!

May 24th

A Readers Review – Promo 

May 25th:
Making Connections Blog – Interview

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Never Give up, Never Surrender–my opinion of how to behave at a book event

Never give up, Never surrender is a line from the film Galaxy Quest,  That is how I look at how to behave at an author event.

The truth is being an author is hard. Anyone who tells you different is lying or selling you a book about how to be a best-selling author.

For myself, events are a great way to make contacts and sales. If you have any chance to sell your book at a event– no matter how small– you need to have a “never give up” attitude.

If you want to make sales, you can’t give up. You can’t complain. Too often, I see people editing, playing on their phones, reading or a variety of other activities. When at an author event, your job is to inform people about your book and network. Hopefully, with a maniacal smile plastered on your face.

I was at an event recently that a good number of folks gave up, you could tell, they didn’t get up on their feet. They were focused on their laptops and phones–not the customers. They read within their booth. The reason that doesn’t work is the moment one gives up, bitterness creeps in. They start slouching, frowning. They seem unapproachable.

Here is my advice:

1) Act excited. Remember what I said about smiling above? Do that. . Some people say, just be yourself, be genuine. However, many authors are introverts. Many authors get nervous with public speaking. Even if you don’t feel it, even if you are scared, you should act friendly. Eventually it will feel more natural.

Here is me dressed as an elf at ECCC 2010 (debut of Faminelands #2)

Here is me dressed as an elf at ECCC 2010 (debut of Faminelands #2) Our booth babe, Matt, is in the background.

1.a) If like me you get a nervous tummy, know where the bathroom is, in regards to your booth/table. Never wait. Just put a sign up on your table and go.

1.b) Drink lots of water and eat fruit or what will ever make you have a happy tummy.

2) Don’t be late and don’t leave early. Empty tables look bad.

3) Be kind to all.  Not becauce they bought your book. I don’t care if they buy my books or not.  Be kind to children. Be kind to their parents.  Thank the sponsors/organizers of the event.

4) If your budget allows, purchase a few books that interest you. Remember, it’s a hard world out there.

4a) Don’t go over budget for any event, no matter how much you want to be supportive to your new friends. You will see them again.

4b) Never assume that just because you bought someone’s book that they have the budget for your book–even if they are making sales. You don’t know what they are going through. Sometimes, my budget is focused on purchasing Christmas or Birthday Presents, sometimes I’m scrapping money together for my next run of comics and need every dollar. If I am interested in your book, I will buy your book. As I said, I will see you again.

5) Set Goals, make it a game. Challenge yourself.

Good Luck, my friends!

Special Guest Amber Skye Forbes!

 This week I’m welcoming author Amber Skye Forbes as she readies for her October release of her debut novel WHEN STARS DIE the first book in The Stars Trilogy.
ImageSynopsis:
Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims in the snowy city of Malva. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.
           
Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.
           
Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?
Alright on to the questions,
So, Amber, when did you know you wanted to be an author?
It was in journal time in second grade when we all wrote in our journals for thirty minutes about anything we could think of. I used to write about things I just did everyday, but then I started to want to write stories like my favorite author at the time, Mary Pope Osborne, author of The Magic Treehouse series. It then became this compulsion, this need, and I knew I wanted to publish one day. There is no rationale behind why I want to be an author and be published an all that. I just know that I want to be.
I understand that. I have wanted to be an author as long as I could remember too. What has been the biggest thing you have learned in this process of writing a novel? 
The biggest thing I’ve learned in the process of writing this book is that just because the story isn’t working now doesn’t mean it won’t work later. I started it at 15, which was 8 years ago. The story definitely didn’t work at the time, but unearthing it at 21 and re-doing it with the new skills I gained definitely made it something that, after much work, would be worthy of publication. So I learned to never give up on a story. Novels take time.
What was the most challenging character to write?

Image

Nathaniel, Amelia’s younger brother, was hardest to write because he is eight and much younger than Amelia. I had a really hard time trying to develop him as a character because of this barrier, and even now I still don’t think I fully succeeded, but I’m still learning and growing as a writer, and Nathaniel is going to be in the second book, in any case–he will be much better developed, mostly because he will be older.
Who is your favorite character in WHEN STARS DIE?
Amelia, of course. I like her determination and loyalty and her unfailing will to want to do something good for her world, even though she is restricted in a lot of ways.
Your cover is absolutely gorgeous, who designed it?
Viola Estrella of Estrella Cover Art.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
I wouldn’t say they’re that important. I mean they are because the names differentiate them, but they don’t hold any special meaning. I name the characters based off the time period and what names I happen to like at the time.
Okay now the questions are going to get personal. 🙂 What makes you laugh?
Just about anything can make me laugh because I am a very easygoing person.
If you could choose anyone to be a mentor, which author would you consider?
Libba Bray. She has been an inspiration this entire time, and I would say fans of A Great and Terrible Beautywould love When Stars Die.
What is your favorite book?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It’s one of those books that makes me want to cry just thinking about it, and a book has never done that to me before.
Most of the readers of my blog are other writers, any advice to share?
Make sure something happens in every chapter, be it plot or character development. I had to learn that the hard way. Also, I recommend an outline at some point during the writing process. I also had to learn that the hard way. And last, try not to get too enamored with “rules of writing.” If you follow them so strictly, your writing will end up coming off as flat and unoriginal.
Amber Thank you for taking the time to be here today. 
Want to know more? Ask a question for Amber in the comments!
Or follow this awesome new author on Facebook, Twitter Feed, Blog Reader
or add WHEN STARS DIE to your Goodreads TBR List

Embracing the Flames Blog Tour: Interview with Candace Knoebel

 Embracing the Flames CoverI am happy to welcome the award-winning author, Candace Knoebel, today on the blog.

She is busy promoting her new novel: Embracing the Flames the second book in Born in Flames-a young adult fantasy trilogy. Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013.

In Book 2, The Stone of Immortality has always been kept under the watch of the Draconta. That is, until the betrayal of a Fate. Now everything is about to change.

Aurora Megalos accepted her destiny without blinking-even if it meant succumbing to her dragon side. Deemed the Progeny, she left the ordinary life she knew and has done everything in her power to learn the ways of her new realm and what it means to be part dragon. But when her mentor, Astral, suddenly disappears, she is forced to take the reins.

With war on the brink, she sets out on an epic journey to not only find her mentor, but to stop her Arch Enemy, Zordon, from obtaining the Stone of Immortality. But what she discovers about him along the way is far worse than she could’ve ever imagined. She will be tested and pushed to the limit. Lives will be lost, love will be questioned, and a battle will begin.

So lets get on with the questions!
When did you know you wanted to be an author?

– About the same time I first typed the words the end back in 2009.  Before then, I didn’t even know I could write a full novel.  Now it is all I want to do.

How was writing your second novel different than writing your first?

– I knew the character and where the story needed to go versus sitting down with a vague idea and a glimmer of a character. I had more confidence and knowledge in what I was doing which made the words and the concept flow easier for me.

What has been the biggest thing you have learned in this process of writing a novel? Most challenging thing about being an author?

– The biggest thing is to not compare yourself to anyone else or worry about what others think. Take from what you hear and grow from it, and always try to top yourself. You can only keep improving. The most challenging part has been following that advice.

If you could choose anyone to be a mentor, which author would you consider?

– J.K. Rowling. She is brilliant.

What is your favorite book?

– Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Who is your favorite character?

– Harry Potter of course lol.

Who designed your covers?

– The very talented Ravven. She is awesome to work with. You can find her here: http://www.ravven.com/

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?

– Yes. I believe every name should have a meaning whether it pertains to the story or to the personality of the character. It’s like naming a child. Their name has to meansomething or else it’s just another name.

What makes you laugh?

– My husband. He is a human encyclopedia filled with sarcasm and jokes.

You seem like you are industrious, do you ever go on vacation? Where would your dream vacation be?

– I am very hard-working, but I find plenty of time for my family and for myself. We are actually getting ready to go on a vacation in August to either Washington D.C. or to the Keys. We haven’t decided yet lol. My dream vacation would be backpacking through Europe though. Hopefully one day I will.

Most of the readers of my blog are other writers, any advice to share?

– Practice makes perfect and it will only happen if you make it happen. Keep writing! 😉

Want to read more? Check out Born in Flames and Embracing the Flames!
Born in Flames CoverEmbracing the Flames Cover

Calendar for Upcoming Embracing the Flames Blog Tour!

I am happy to be part of the Embracing the Flames Virtual Book Tour. On July 16th, I’ll be conducting an interview with author Candace Knoebel. Below is the rest of the information about the book and the upcoming tour!

Embracing the Flames CoverEmbracing the Flames Book #2 of the Born in Flames Series
By Candace Knoebel

The Stone of Immortality has always been kept under the watch of the Draconta. That is, until the betrayal of a Fate. Now everything is about to change.

Aurora Megalos accepted her destiny without blinking-even if it meant succumbing to her dragon side. Deemed the Progeny, she left the ordinary life she knew and has done everything in her power to learn the ways of her new realm and what it means to be part dragon. But when her mentor, Astral, suddenly disappears, she is forced to take the reins.

With war on the brink, she sets out on an epic journey to not only find her mentor, but to stop her Arch Enemy, Zordon, from obtaining the Stone of Immortality. But what she discovers about him along the way is far worse than she could’ve ever imagined. She will be tested and pushed to the limit. Lives will be lost, love will be questioned, and a battle will begin.

Tour Schedule

July 14th- Girls *Heart* Books Tours-Schedule

                Writing: Escape From Reality– Review of both books , Excerpt/Spotlight, Guest Post

 

July 15th- Cassandra Lost in Books-Review of both books

 

July 16th- Consuming Worlds– Review of Embracing the Flames, Dream Cast

                ZB’s Blog of Awesomeness– Author Interview

 

July 17th- C.Giovanni Writes– Review of both books, Character Interview

 

July 18th- Reading in Twilight– Top Tens

               Rate my Romance– Review of both books , Dream Cast

 

July 19th- Alex’s Reads– Review of both books

 

July 20th- The Next Chapter– Book Soundtrack

 

July 22nd- The Next Chapter– Excerpt

                 Books and Bindings- Author Interview

 

July 23rd- Teracia’s Book Hoarding Problem–  Excerpt/Spotlight

                Lost in a Sea of Words– Review of both books, Excerpt/Spotlight

 

July 24th- and then there was Sarah– Author Interview, Excerpt/Spotlight

 

July 25th- Paperrdolls-Review of Embracing the Flames

               Books and Bindings– Review of Born in Flames

 

July 26th- Black Words-White Pages– Review of both books , Top Tens, Excerpt/Spotlight, Book Soundtrack, Playlist, Dream Cast, Character Bio

 

July 27th- Reading Bliss– Excerpt/Spotlight, Book Soundtrack, Playlist, Character Bio

July 29th- The Next Chapter– Author Interview

 

July 30th- Books and Bindings– Excerpt/Spotlight

 

July 31st- Book Freak– Excerpt/Spotlight, Playlist

 

August 1st- The Next Chapter– Review of both books

 

August 2nd- Paranormal Book Club -Review of Embracing the Flames, Excerpt/Spotlight

 

August 3rd- Indy Book Fairy- Review of Embracing the Flames, Author Interview, Top Tens, Excerpt/Spotlight

                   Books and Bindings– Character Bio

 

August 4th- Book Dream Land- Excerpt/Spotlight, Dream Cast

 

August 5th- Tsk Tsk What to Read–  Review of Embracing the Flames, Character Bio

 

August 6th- Books and Bindings– Review of Embracing the Flames

 

August 7th- Lebooksquirrel– Review of both books , Excerpt/Spotlight

 

August 11th- Bawaka’s Book Fair– Excerpt/Spotlight

 

August 12th- Kate’s Korner of Mischief– Review of both books

                     Books and Bindings– Character Interview

 

August 13th- Cu’s Ebook Giveaways– Review of both books, Excerpt/Spotlight, Character Bio

 

August 14th- That Bite’s Book Talk Reviews– Excerpt/Spotlight, Character Bio

 

August 15th- Tam’s Two Cents– Review of Embracing the Flames, Dream Cast, Character Bio

Author Links-

Goodreads-http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6458922

Twitter-https://twitter.com/Candaceknoebel

Website-http://candaceknoebel.wordpress.com/

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candace-Knoebel/190993824332540?fref=ts

Interview with Zachary Bonelli and Aubry Kae Andersen!

I am so happy to welcome author Zachary Bonelli  (founder of Fuzzy Hedgehog Press) and artist Aubry Kae Andersen (The AKArchy) to my blog today. They are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the art buget for Insomniuma story that is as much about coping with loss, tragedy and adversity, as it is about finding purpose and meaning in a hostile and barely comprehensible dream world.

Nel Hanima goes to sleep in his Seattle apartment and awakens in the fantastically paradoxical City of Nowhere. Among the city’s bizarre inhabitants, Nel discovers three other humans—Giniip Pana, Rev Merveille, and Drogl Belgaer—each from their own alternate reality version of Seattle. Together, they learn that Nowhere is actually a dream, a whole universe conjured into existence by someone’s overactive nighttime imagination. But this begs the question—whose dream is it? And more importantly, how do they wake up?

Insomnium is expected to begin its release cycle on October 30 of this year. A final version, all twelve collected episodes in print and ebook formats, will become available on February 12, 2014. In order to make this schedule a reality, the Kickstarter campaign will have to reach its funding goals by the end of the day on July 7.

Okay, let’s get started on the questions! How did this collaboration come about?

Zachary: Aubry and I met in our science fiction writers’ meetup group. About a year ago, I described to her one of the scenes I wanted illustrated for Voyage. It was Kal and Rko’s kiss inside a forcefield bubble surrounded by lava. She drew it up on the spot, and I asked if she would be interested in working on the series.

Aubry: I’ve been working with Zachary on his Voyage serial project for nearly a year now, providing illustrations, cover art, and other random graphics, as well as editorial advice on the story.  When Zachary decided to take a break from Voyage and work on a fresh story, he approached me to provide illustrations.

How has it been to work together?

Zachary:  Great! I think that Aubry’s illustration style compliments my writing well. I tend to write about people being thrown into places that are weird, not only in that the normal social rules break down, but even the places and people themselves tend to be different and unique. Aubry’s signature style, the hand drawn faces, with cloth and other textures filling in the color digitally, fits this motif.

Aubry: Working with Zachary has been great.  Our ideas mesh together very well.  He has a fantastic imagination and I love bringing that to life.   I can’t really say there have been any challenges involved, either.  I couldn’t have asked for a better client, or a better friend.

How did you decide which scenes to illustrate?

Zachary: In the case of Voyage, it depends on the episode. Sometimes I have a scene that’s screaming out at me, begging me to be artistically realized, and I communicate that desire to Aubry. Other times, it won’t be as clear in my mind which scene should get illustrated, and we’ll both chat about it until we come up with something. Sometimes I’m useless and I just leave it up to Aubry entirely, based on the text of the story.

In the case of Insomnium, the illustrations will be for the covers. Insomnium’s City of Nowhere is divided up into wards, which each have a governor. And the episodes more or less contain one new ward and one new governor. Our plan is basically to match governors and wards to the covers for each ep. You can see the preliminary sketch for the ward of Earth Above Heaven Below and its governor, the Farseer, on the Kickstarter page, for example.

Aubry: For Voyage, I read all his episodes, then together we pick out the scene that would be most visually appealing and representative of the themes.   Zachary trusts me a lot to envision an illustration’s subject and composition, but I always present him with a sketch first, in case I miss a detail like correct clothing or hairstyles.  For Insomnium, this process will be much the same.

What have you learned during this project?

Zachary: I feel I’ve learned a lot about the drafting process. Voyage is this big, sprawling thing, that’s taken over a decade to finally get into a state where it feels “right.” Insomnium, on the other hand, is a much more tightly contained story, coming it at a total of twelve episodes, as opposed to Voyage’s seventy. Not to imply that Insomnium is superior. Voyage is just more “epic” in scope. Planning and writing Insomnium has taught me a lot about the structure and arcs of shorter serials.

 Aubry: In our preliminary preparations for Insomnium, we’ve learned making a video of ourselves is hard.  We’re both fairly introverted people with weird senses of humor.  We’ve also been learning the nitty-gritty of publishing–the unglamorous stuff, really, like how to register a business, how to pay taxes, how to handle marketing, and so on.  Artistic endeavors like this are a lot more than just spewing your imagination onto computer screens and paper.

Aubry, What/Who influences your artwork?

My mother, Charlotte Warr Andersen, has always been a big influence on my artistic tendencies.  She’s a pictorial quilter, and you can really pick up a similar style in the art I make.  I just don’t have the patience to sew, so I piece together paper and fabrics using glue or Photoshop.

She and my father encouraged me to pursue my art, ever since I was a child.  It’s not a lucrative career choice, so anybody going into an artistic field really needs to find support like that.

Aubry, Who are some of your favorite artists?

My favorite contemporary artist is Yoshitaka Amano, a Japanese illustrator most famous for his depictions of Final Fantasy characters.  I played those video games while growing up, and was always wowed by his work in the instruction booklet and Nintendo Power Player’s Guide.  That was before the Internet was everywhere.

If we’re talking dead artists, my favorite is Francisco Goya.  He was before his time, I think, making very raw, expressionistic work during a time when art was more about hazy, romantic perfection.   

Zachary, What/Who influences your writing?

My favorite book of all time is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. You’ll see a lot of that influence in Insomnium. I’m also fond of Neal Gaiman and China Mieville. If a piece of writing has a really weird and creative high concept, I’m game. 

Zachary, Who are some of you favorite authors?

Besides the three mentioned above, I’m also fond of Ursula K Le Guin, Philip K Dick, and Neal Stephenson.

Finally what is your advice to aspiring authors and artists out there.

Zachary: I’ve lost a lot of time in my life, which I could have spent writing, to the false idea that I would never be “good enough.” If you have a story that just needs to be told, then write. Just write. Seriously, go write your story. Then write other stories. Then come back and write your first story again if you need to. Whatever you do, just keep writing. Don’t stop because of something as trivial as not meeting someone else’s expectations. Grow, live, learn, and write some more.

Aubry: A lot of people are pursuing the arts these days.  The people who succeed will be persistent and differentiate themselves from the crowd.  This comes easier if you truly love the make your art, if you need to express yourself in order to keep yourself happy.  There’s a reason so many artists and writers are perceived as a few cards short of a full deck.  Creativity often comes at the cost of normalcy.  People who lack the same creativity still enjoy creative things, yet they’ll often look down upon the everyday artist struggling who sacrifices their comfort for their art.  That type of person will call the artist or the writer lazy or crazy because they aren’t pursuing a more stable career.

Don’t listen to them.  Embrace your own weirdness.  Surround yourself with friends who will accept you in all your mad glory and support your goals.  Show naysayers to the door.

That’s great advice! Thanks for stopping by!  

Zachary Bonelli grew up in a small town in northern Illinois, west of Chicago. After graduating high school, he dual majored in English Literature and German Language at a small, Midwestern liberal arts college. After undergrad, he turned his eyes towards exploration, and spent many years in Japan, Thailand and Hawaii. Zack loves stories. He’s long been fascinated by video games as a storytelling medium, and loves exploring different cultures, discovering the different underlying stories that different groups of people tell themselves, the stories that define who they are and how they perceive the world. Nowadays, he lives with his partner near Seattle, Washington.

Aubry Kae Andersen is a freelance designer living in Seattle, WA.  Her business, the AKArchy (akarchy.com), does design work for web and print, as well as illustration.  She has a BFA in Studio Art from Westminster College of Utah, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for A/NT Gallery (antgallery.org), a non-profit artist’s collective where she shows her more traditional work.  In addition to all that, she’s working on her debut novel, Isaac the Fortunate, slated for release later this year.

If you’d like more information about the Insomnium Kickstarter campaign please go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacharybonelli/insomnium-a-serialized-science-fiction-novel

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ZacharyBonelli/

Publisher Website: http://www.fuzzyhedgehogpress.com/

Blog: http://www.zacharybonelli.com/

 

Other Systems Virtual Book Tour!

Other Systems_small_Skyscraper

Here is the first part of the schedule for the Other Systems Virtual Book Tour.  I hope you check out some of these great blogs.

http://caughtinasnyderwebb.blogspot.com/  PROMO STOP MAY 21st

http://candaceknoebel.wordpress.com/ INTERVIEW with Candace Knoebel MAY 24th

http://www.rosebuz.com/  GUEST POST: Writing about Technology in Science Fiction Novels  May 25th

http://booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/ INTERVIEW July 10th

http://frankieblooding.wordpress.com/  REVIEW July 19th

 

 

PS Though not part of the official tour. YA Bookstop is having a monthlong Dystopian Novel Month so  http://yabookstop.wordpress.com/ GUEST POST: Creating and Researching Technologies in a Dystopian Setting  June 15th

 

 

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