Get to know the author – Juli D. Revezzo

I loved getting to know movie lover, fantasy enthusiast and zombie writer Sara Shrieves last week. This week I’m very happy to be interviewing Juli D. Revezzo, a high fantasy lover who hides away in her writing cave using mythology to help craft her novels.

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JuliDRevezzobTell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

Well, I can’t say I write necessarily for a living, but it does take up my whole day sometimes. I don’t really work outside the house these days.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Favorite food would be Italian food–spaghetti and sauce, lasagna, pizza. Color: Purple. Writing zone…well, my little office in the back room. Or writing cave as it’s affectionately known.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration?

I like most traditional high fantasy I’ve read: Tolkien, Melanie Rawn, J.V. Jones. I have to say my all around favorite is Michael Moorcock. After them come the classics, LeFanu and Poe other such authors.

Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

For books, The Elric Series, is always my top choice, also Moorcock’s Von Bek books, then there are authors like Patty G. Henderson and S.G. Rogers, and, and, and (gosh where do I cut off the list?). For movies, I’m a fan of the Aliens films; Excalibur is also longtime favorite. Also the Lord of the Rings films, the Narnia films, the Underworld series, I could go on and on…

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

I have to say Elric, then King Arthur.

The Artist's InheritanceWho’s your favourite character in your own work?

The heroine of The Artist’s Inheritance, Caitlin and after her, Beryl, the witch.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Weather manipulation would be nice. Why? It’d be nice to be able to keep hurricanes away from land. I also wouldn’t mind teleportation. Wouldn’t that just make travel easier?

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

A lot of the time I find it in reading mythology. For instance The Artist’s Inheritance was influenced by the fact that at the time I started writing it I’d just finished the Welsh mythological tome The Mabinogion and a handful of Irish mythological texts. We tend to think of the gods as helpful and loving but they could be meddling when they wanted to be or if a lesson was necessary. So I played on that theme in my novel. How would a wife deal with it if the gods came and smacked her husband upside the head for something?

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I definitely tend jump back and forth. I can write a whole section at a good clip. But then the steam will peter out and I’ll jump forward to keep going until I can fill in that hole.

House of CardsWhat’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I think if people go into them thinking the ghosts are the bad dudes, they’re in for a shock. My ghosts tend to help out the living more than I think in most ghost stories you might encounter. And when the gods are brought into most novels they’re not treated fairly. I tried to treat them a wee bit better in my own, (though with what they put my heroine, Caitlin, through she’s got a right to be bitter). Also, I try to stay away from the “idyllic retirement home” or beachcomber feel that so many books set here tend to. I try to write it as “at home” as I’ve always felt.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a follow up to The Artist’s Inheritance and *sheepishgrin* will soon be getting started on some revisions on a paranormal romance novel I just sold. It’s a wee bit different than The Artist’s Inheritance, I must admit!

How can readers connect with you?

You can find my books at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Feel free to visit my homepage, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking links to say hi.

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo

On G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111476709039805267272/posts

On Librarything: http://www.librarything.com/profile/julidrevezzo

On Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/JuliDRevezzo/

On Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1002694572/Juli-D-Revezzo/

Get to know the author – Sara Shrieves

Last week we heard from Irish author Ken Magee, and discovered that his Dark Tiding’s hero, Tung, was probably the most inept thief you’d ever come across. This week we hear from Sara Shrieves, a Californian movie addict who pulls her inspiration from Joss Whedon to Anne Rice.

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

I am currently living in Orange County, CA with my husband, step daughter and our close friend/roommate James.  We’re all movie freaks and we all get along really well.  I am the only reader in the house, so I have claim over any space that can hold a bookshelf.  Unfortunately I don’t get to write for a living right now.  I do write often, and I sneak in moments at work (usually on my breaks).  I currently work for the County of Orange.  Not too much excitement but it pays the bills!

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

My all-time favorite food is Chinese, hands down.  I grew up in northern CA, and we lived in San Francisco right down the street from China Town, so I had access to some of the best you can get in the country, I’d say.  It was also my first solid food!  My favorite color (big shocker for those who know me) is black, and orange when the mood strikes.  I don’t actually have a designated writing zone, sad to say.  I write everything longhand, so I kind of just curl up anywhere and get to it when something pops into my head.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration?Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

Well as far as authors, Stephen King is one of my all-time favorites.  I actually have a symbol from the fifth book of his Dark Tower series tattooed on my right wrist.  So yeah, I’m obsessed.  I also love Anne Rice, Peter Straub and Christopher Pike (his vampire series is still one of my favorites).  These are not all of my favorite authors, but just some who help inspire my writing.  I grew up reading Christopher Pike so as far as YA, he was a big influence.

Some of my favorite books are (big surprise) The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, The Talisman, also by Stephen King, the Earth’s Children (Clan of the Cave Bear) series by Jean M. Auel, Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, as well as his Alvin Maker series, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and also Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series.  I could go on and on with this!

As for movies there are just way too many to list, so I will sum it up with Shawshank Redemption for drama, Mission to Mars and Contact are two of my favorite sci-fi movies, Grandma’s Boy, Kung Pow and Hot Rod are some of my favorite comedies, and for action I love True Lies, all of the Die Hards and the Alien movies (although Alien falls under sci-fi as well).  For TV shows I would say anything Joss Whedon has done.  I absolutely love Firefly and of course Serenity.  Buffy is still one of my favorites as well.  I just love the way he writes/directs his characters.  They are all so different and odd, but they match up as a group perfectly.  That’s what made me so excited for the Avengers movie!

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

This is incredibly hard to choose.  I always end up falling for the underdog or the quirky ones, so it probably wouldn’t even be anyone people knew.  One I can say right away is Tom Cullen from The Stand.  Alvin Maker from that series by Orson Scott Card was really awesome too.  I do also love the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.  She is a great main character.  Oh, also Aurora Teagarden from another one of Charlaine Harris’ series.  For villains I would have to say Randall Flagg from The Stand as well.  And his many other roles in Stephen King’s books.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

Definitely Bruce!  He can say anything he wants.  He’s sort of my outlet, I guess.  He is a mixture of a few people I know, so he is very important to me.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Oh wow, my husband and I were just discussing this not too long ago.  This has long been a topic of discussion since I was a kid.  I almost always pick flight first, because I just think it would be amazing.  Plus you can get yourself away from any immediate danger at any time.  But then I think about intelligence, and being some sort of super genius.  I just think that would be amazing as well.  Like Beast in the X-Men.  He’s this savage-looking creature but he’s so incredibly smart, or even the Hulk.  He may be a big green monster when he’s angry, but he’s also a gifted physicist.  I just think there would be so much you could do with that.  Learn anything, do any type of work.  Maybe it’s boring, but intelligence stands out to me!

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

I constantly get inspiration from my family.  Especially my husband and step daughter.  Audrey is loosely based on my step daughter, but she insists that personality-wise she’s exactly like me.  Of course she’s coming from my head, so I can’t argue it too much.  But I think I take ideas from everything around me.  From overheard conversations, to complaints from my step daughter about her school friends.  As well as my husband and his co-workers.  There are some pretty insane people at his office, ha ha.  Also past experiences!

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I’m definitely one of the “sit down, start at the beginning and just write” types.  I can’t jump back and forth, it throws me off.  I usually write out a loose outline and plot out how I want things to go, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.  The story will take on a mind of its own and I just tend to go with it.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

Well with Who is Audrey Wickersham? it takes the zombie genre and does something completely different.  Plus it’s humorous and has a lot of gore, which I loved writing.  The second one in the series (which I’m working on right now) will also be gory, but have a completely different plot line from the first book.  I don’t want each book to be the same type of thing.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Audrey series, and also a non-YA book loosely based on my work environment.  Sort of an office humor book I guess.  I also have one other YA sci-fi/fantasy book that I have written a little of, which I will get to when I’m done with the next Audrey book!

How can readers connect with you?

My Facebook is under my name, Sara Shrieves, and my Twitter account is as well., @sarashrieves.  I can also be found on Goodreads.com, under my name!  I also have two websites:sarashrieves.com and whoisaudrey.net

Get to know the author – Ken Magee

Thanks to the lovely Kate Aaron, we got to find out all about the Lost Realm series last week. Now we turn our attention to Ken Magee, a Northern Ireland resident and software developer who loves nothing more than to indulge in time travelling with his humorous hero!

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

My name is Ken Magee and I’m an… author. I live in Bangor, Co Down. I worked for many years in the computer industry in a wide variety of roles including programming and sales. In the middle of it all, I served in the Navy Reserve for five years… which was hard work, but fun. In 2010, I decided it was time to finish the book I had started many years ago (writing not reading). I would have finished it sooner, but life got in the way. It’s finished now, but I don’t think any of the original book survived the process!

I’d love to make a living out of writing, but it’s so hard to get noticed. I will keep plugging away at it until I crack it. Software development actually pays the bills at the moment.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Food – Seafood – particularly crabs claws, scallops and mussels.

Place - New Orleans

Colour(s) – Black and white… howay the lads!

Writing zone – A little room at home, surrounded by the knickknacks that I love.

You write in the fantasy genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

I write humorous fantasy and Terry Pratchett has been my main inspiration. I’ve had a lot of reviews which have compared me with him… it doesn’t get better than that as far as I’m concerned.

Favourite books – Mort By Terry Pratchett, Better Than Life by Grant Naylor

Favourite movies – Pulp Fiction, Terminator, Memento.

Favourite TV Shows – Dexter, True Blood (season 1), The Good Wife, Battlestar Gallactica.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

The Stainless Steel Rat – Harry Harrison’s creation is such a wonderful villain/hero. I was going to say Death in the Pratchett novels, but some might argue he’s not fictional!

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

Tung. He’s the inept thief who time travelled to the 21st century and he’s struggling every day to come to terms with it. He’s a hoot.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Invisibility, so I could find out what some people really think about me.

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours?

I find inspiration from conversations, observations of life, the TV… just about everywhere.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I like to have the skeleton mapped out and I always write the last chapter very early on. It helps keep the story on track. After that it’s just write, write, write.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

My first two books Dark Tidings and The Black Conspiracy live under the tagline ‘ancient magic meets the Internet’ and that’s a bit different. There’s also an underlying conspiracy which explains why the rich are getting richer while the ordinary man suffers. If readers want a laugh while the world comes to an end… then they should be back for more (I hope).

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the last book in the ‘ancient magic meets the Internet’ trilogy. It’s called A Darker Shade of Black.

How can readers connect with you?

I have a Facebook page and I’m @KenMageeAuthor on Twitter. I’m also happy to answer questions at ken.magee@gametheworld.com. Finally, my author page on Amazon is a good place to find out more about me and it links to the two books and some of their reviews as well.

Get to know the author – Kate Aaron

The race really is on to Christmas now, and if you’re looking for some great fantasy books, then you’re in the right place. Last week I interview Patty Jansen, an Aussie author with a huge back catalogue of gripping fantasy and science fiction novels to devour. This week we’re bringing back to Britain and meeting Kate Aaron – Liverpudlian, parrot owner and fantasy author.

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

It’s about 50-50 at the minute, although I do have a day job: believe it or not, in construction project management. I’m the only woman working at my company, which is great when I write predominantly about men – I’ve got an insider insight into how they interact!

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Oooh, I’m a bit of a foodie, so that’s difficult. I’m horribly addicted to Man vs Food at the minute, which I know is trash TV but I just can’t stop myself. I’m a big fan of sushi, but I’m also pretty awesome at baking (if I say so myself). My pear and almond cake has to be eaten to be believed (slight aside – please can I have some?! Sounds delicious – Geoff). My favourite place is probably a little croft my family owns in the Scottish highlands, it’s the ultimate writer’s retreat and I keep threatening to move up there and become a hermit. My favourite colour is purple and I’ll write anywhere as long as it’s quiet. I’m not one of those pretentious types who takes their laptop to Starbucks!

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

I’ve always liked fantasy, from Bram Stoker to Charlaine Harris. Give me vampires and I’m happy! (Just as long as they’re not the glittery kind…).

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

Has to be Heathcliff, I just love, love, love him. So dark and brooding and tortured.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

That’s a difficult one. I’ve got a soft spot for all of them, but probably in my fantasy my favourite character is Fenton, my tortured asexual vampire who’s desperate to find love on his own terms. He’s such a divisive character, but I adore him. Writing his story breaks my heart.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Teleporting would be awesome – no more time wasted travelling! But I think everyone wants the gift of invisibility, it’s the ultimate superpower.

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

Not particularly. I don’t plot or anything, I just sit down and write. It’s like an itch that needs to be scratched, but I’m never sure quite what I’ll produce in advance. I’ve written my whole life, but the first book I published – Blood & Ash – I wrote as a sort of reaction to the books I’d been reading. I love fantasy, and I generally prefer to read books with queer MCs, being gay myself, but I didn’t buy the way m/m romance writers combined the genre with fantasy: the worldbuilding in the books I’d read just fell flat. (I’d like to add that I’ve read some really, really superb m/m fantasy books since then!). Because I couldn’t find the book that I really wanted to read, I wrote it.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I’m definitely a ‘sit down and write’ gal. When I’m on a roll I can barely keep up with myself, but when I’m stuck there’s no getting around it. The entire plot resolves itself somewhere in my subconscious. It’s an interesting process from my perspective; when I wrote Blood & Ash, for instance, I knew it would be the first of a trilogy but I didn’t have a clue how the story arc was going to pan out. I included certain things in that book that I knew were foreshadowing something to come later – but I didn’t know what! When I came to write the second book, Fire & Ice, a lot of things suddenly came together in a way I’d never consciously envisioned, but clearly somewhere deep down I’d already got it all worked out.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I like to think that I write something a bit different to the usual m/m style – in fact, I don’t consider my Lost Realm series to really be m/m anymore, it’s definitely more high fantasy with a strong gay side-story. In my world homosex is punishable by death, which makes a change from the usual m/m trope where it sometimes seems that everyone is gay. I’ve also got a bit of a succession crisis in the fae royal family, and an asexual vampire. So I’d say that my series is pretty unique!

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a number of projects – first the third novel in the Lost Realm series, which is almost finished (eek!); a spin-off to my contemporary romance The Rest of Forever called When Forever Ends, (bit of a weepie, that one); and I’m also working on sweet little tale of forbidden love in Victorian England.

How can readers connect with you? (Facebook/Twitter etc).

I’m usually found haunting facebooktwittergoodreads or my blog. My books are available from AmazonAReB&NiTunesSmashwordsSonyKobo and Diesel.

Get to know the author – Patty Jansen

Can you believe we’re in November already? The race is onto Christmas, and if you’re a writer, then you might even be participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Last week I brought you the insights of Drako, an author who fills his world with beautiful dragons. This week we turn to Patty Jansen, a science fiction and fantasy author who has a back-catalogue to keep you going for months!

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

When I’m not writing,  I sell non-fiction books online.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Coffee & chips in my office and my own chair. If not, out on the back veranda where I can sit in the nuddy (not that I ever do) and no one would see. From up there, the only thing I can see is trees!

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

Actually, my inspiration has been my job. I worked as a research scientist and often wondered about taking the science (nonsensical or real) into the realm of the impossible. My favourite writer is C.J. Cherryh, my favourite movie is Independence Day and I don’t watch TV. I’m baaaaad at pop culture.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

I absolutely adore C.J. Cherryh, and my all-time favourite character is Banichi from the Foreigner series. Yes, he’s an alien, but he’s awesome.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

I have a favourite character in every book. In my current WIP (Shifting Reality, currently serialised on my blog by way of ARC), my favourite character is Ari Suleiman Rudiyanto. Yes, he’s Indonesian (the name kinda gives it away), and he’s gay, and does dubious things in a space station. He’s also very smart, and because he’s bored, he does the most stupid things, like tinkering with important technology and smuggling stuff.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

I’d love to be able to live a very long time, like some of my characters.

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

Oh yes. I sold a novel to a small press (Ambassador, coming out in 2013), and this book started in a very strange way. Usually, inspiration for a novel will come as a scene where two characters are talking to each other. I’d always wanted to do something thriller-y and political, and I had this idea of a character going on a major mission (the character is Cory Wilson, who as kid is the main character of my kids novel The Far Horizon). Cory was talking to this important person about a job he was about to do. I made a note of this scene, intending to file it for later. The scene was really boring, full of backstory and setting. These scenes never survive in the final product.

Anyway, the scene was so boring that my brain subconsciously decided to make it more interesting: it threw a bomb into the window of the office where the meeting was taking place. I spent the next four drafts finding out who did it.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

Oh no, I am a pantser extra-ordinaire. In fact, I’m a pantser to my own detriment. Plotting bores me to death, although I’ll probably have to do a lot more of it if I want to be more efficient.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I write three distinct genres:

My space-based SF is hard SF. Lookie, see! I’m a woman writing hard SF. I’m trying to prove that science geekery and character development are not mutually exclusive.

My space opera is unique in that it contains aliens, and it contains Earth in a way we can recognise it, in other words, not that far into the future. In my space opera world, alienoid humans came to Earth in 1968, and lived as humans amongst us. They came, not to the US, not the UK, or not South Africa, but to Athens, Greece. It’s kinda funny how I wrote all of my novel Ambassador before the current crisis, and it’s almost as if that book was prophetic. It’s scary.

My fantasy is weird. It’s not medieval, it’s not urban fantasy, there are some science elements. My trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic world where something that sounds suspiciously like radio-activity doubles as magic. Some people can use it, many die from exposure. I did a fair bit of reading on radiation poisoning for this one. One of the countries has steam power and uses telegraphs and balloons. Not the standard fantasy fair.

What are you working on now?

My hard SF novel Shifting Reality is almost finished.

Tentative blurb:

A few years ago, a military doctor walking the corridors of New Jakarta Station saved Melati’s life. She signed up for the International Space Force to pay back her moral debt to him. But her family thinks she has betrayed her people. It was ISF who forcefully removed their grandmothers and grandfathers from the crowded slums of Jakarta to work in interstellar space stations.

It is Melati’s job to teach six-year old construct soldiers, artificial humans grown in labs and activated with programmed minds. Her latest cohort has one student who claims that he is not a little boy, but a mindbase traveller whose swap partner took off with his body. It soon becomes clear that a lot of people are scouring the station for this man, a scientist with dangerous knowledge.

What would be a better place to hide a fugitive than in the seething mass of traditional and modern cultures and subcultures in New Jakarta’s B-sector? Problem is, Melati’s family, and especially her cousins Rina and Ari, are involved in a scheme to sell the scientist in return for greater political power for the workers so that those who wish can return to Indonesia. Never mind that if the scientist’s knowledge falls into the wrong hands, none of them will live to exercise that right.

After this, I will be writing the sequel to Watcher’s Web, after which I may write a quasi-historical fantasy based on the Dutch VOC, in which the Chinese come to a city that sounds suspiciously like 17th century Amsterdam in steam ships. Watch 17th century Europe & their squabbling royalty fight over steam power and cosying up to the Chinese! Yeah, I love torturing history. MWAHAHAHAHA!

 How can readers connect with you?

I’d love everyone to follow my blog Must Use Bigger Elephants. I also have a website: http://pattyjansen.com, and am on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like to find out more about Patty’s extensive range of books, please see her Amazon author page. Enjoy!

Get to know the author – Drako

OK, I may be on holiday but I’ve tried to be ultra organised and get a few posts sorted. Last Tuesday I interview Michael Brookes, a video game developer on the UK who has a passion for writing horror novels. This week I took some time out to talk to Dragon Hunter series author, Drako.

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

Writing is my second job. For my day job, I work in call centres. Gives me exposure to a lot of people and gives me a lot of time to develop characters.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Favourite food is steak. Seriously, this is my first request for birthday presents/dinners. Favourite place is wherever I call home (I move a lot). Favourite colours are blue and black. And I don’t really have a writing zone. I write wherever I can whenever the mood comes over me.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

Anne Rice is my all time favourite author. My eighth grade English teacher got me hooked on her and I have been ever since. I am also a huge fan of Sherilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, and JR Ward. All four are a big inspiration to me. Anne Rice because she is such a spirited and open minded woman. Sherilyn Kenyon because she is so kind hearted despite a bit of a dark past of her own. And the other two are just great writers that I don’t see as much of publicly but I can’t get enough of their work.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

This is hard to choose, but I’d have to go with the Vampire Lestat. Lestat is so complex. He’s wonderfully bad and charming, intelligent but makes grievous errors, and he’s just hilarious. If he were real, I’d definitely want to be his friend.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

I don’t really have a favourite, but I’m closest to my character Jarel and his brother Zarel. They’re awfully sarcastic and honestly they surprise even me sometimes. All of my characters really write themselves, but these two find ways to make me laugh at points where I should be frustrated with the book. Perhaps it is because they are twins and they’re gods, yet they have traits that some would think are human traits.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Telekinesis without question. The ability to manipulate things with my mind would just be awesome. First, because I’d never have to get up to find the remote. Also, I could pull so many practical jokes on people. Man that would be fun. That particular power I gave to one of my characters, Brandon, in the first book and he just ramped it up to a whole different level. His fight scenes are the most fun to write

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

Inspiration hits randomly. Sometimes I just hear something and it hits. Music also helps a lot. Watching an action scene in a movie occasionally motivates me to write on my own books.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

Generally, I just sit down and start writing. I sometimes sit down and write out descriptions of the characters just to look back on. Mainly physical and general personality traits. But honestly my characters just take off from the moment I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

Well, there is a heavy basis on Greek Mythology, but I add my own twists. I added some additional gods of my own creation, as well as back stories to some favourite paranormal beings such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and angels. I’ve also told I have a more masculine style of writing, somewhat different to those that are used to reading female authors’ works. Each character is different, and there’s more than just the main character of each book’s story to get into. They are family, and they’re far from a normal family, so readers kind of pick their favourites.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on several books. There are two books out in the series now, The Lost Dragon and The Dragon Witch. The third book, Fatal Healing, is in the editing process and should be out before the end of the year. I started the fifth book, entitled Blood Monarch, just a couple weeks ago. There is also another part of the series entitled the Chosen of Hecate of which the first novel Heir of Mjolnir, is also being worked on.

How can readers connect with you?

You can contact me on my website, Facebook, Twitter or my wordpress blog.

If you’d like to find out more about Drako’s work, then feel free to use the following links:

The Lost Dragon: Amazon, B&N

The Dragon Witch: Amazon, B&N

The Dragon Hunter’s Guide: The Dragon Hunter’s Guide, B&N

Get to know the author – Michael Brookes

I don’t know about you, but I’m quit enjoying these Get to know the author Tuesdays. Last week, L.E. Fitzpatrick gave us an interesting look into her life and the writers who inspire her. This week it’s the turn of Michael Brookes, game developer, avid reader and the writer behind The Cult of Me and An Odd Quartet.

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job? 

Unfortunately I’m not yet writing for a living, that is the goal for some day in the future. In the meantime I spend my days as a Producer at a video game developer. Games are one of my other passions, besides writing so doing what I love day and night isn’t too bad, but can get a little tiring :-)

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

Favourite food is a Sunday Roast. Place would have to be Germany, the Schwarzwald if I need to be more specific. My favourite colour is blue – I’ve no idea why. And writing zone is my huge comft leather recliner in my front room.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

In the horror genre Clive Barker has been a big inspiration, along with James Herbert and Stephen King of course. I also draw influences from othergenres like Ian M Banks – probably my favourite author. Movies include The Hitcher (original version) and Hellraiser (Clive Barker again). TV shows is Millenium and Twin Peaks – classic shows that mix the weird and the darkness well.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

That is a tricky question. I focus more on story than character. If I have to pick one then I’ll go for Lucifer/Satan in Paradise Lost.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

Friar Francis from The Cult of Me – he is a good mixture of physical, spritual and mental.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

This might seem an odd choice, but I’d like to be able to speak and comprehend and language.

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

Driving seems provide most of my moments for inspiration. Usually while I’m driving to work. It’s also a good time to unravel plot knots.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I’m very much a planner. I will plan out the chapters in detail before I start writing. Although as any good general knows the plan changes almost immediately – I do try to maintain the plan at least until I have completed the first draft so I can use it as reference.

 What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I try to bring something new to horror stories, whether that be perspective or the situation. I do enjoy mixing the supernatural with the modern. And I love a twist.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on Conversations in the Abyss, the sequel to The Cult of Me.

How can readers connect with you? (Facebook/Twitter etc).

You can follow me on Twitter. I also have a blog.

Michael’s books are available from Amazon, and you can learn more about An Odd Quartet and The Cult of Me by following the hyperlinks.

Get to know the author – L.E. Fitzpatrick

Last Tuesday I featured Grant Taylor; budding indie author and writer of Heavens Door. This week it’s L.E. Fitzpatrick’s turn, welsh resident and author behind the Dark Waters fantasy series.

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Tell us about yourself? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

I’m an independent author, which means I don’t make enough money to buy a pint of milk, never mind paying a mortgage. I supplement my income with a full time job managing an accountancy firm and… wake up it’s not that boring… okay maybe it is, but at least it pays the bills and keeps Ebay in business. I’m also a haphazard mum and owner of many disobedient pets.

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please.

The greatest food in the world is cheese. Without it we would be a poorer species and my life certainly wouldn’t be worth living.

I am very lucky to live in West Wales, where we have green hills, blue seas and lots of rain. So far I haven’t found a better place in the world to spend my time.

Red is my favourite colour, I’m sure there is a psychological reason why, but I’m damned if I know what it is.

When I write, usually I am sat on my tattered leather arm chair, with my laptop perched on a cushion and my fat, toothless cat sat beside me.

You write in the fantasy/supernatural genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

I am a big fan of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, John Connolly and Neil Gaiman as writers, usually when I’m stuck on a chapter I pick up one of their books to push me along.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

I’m not sure I’d say that he was my favourite character, but certainly the one that has stayed with me all these years is Mr Pudd from John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. He is the creepiest, scariest character I have ever read and I still have nightmares about him. I can’t even begin to describe him – just read the series.

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

Certainly in the Dark Waters books, Egan Wey is my favourite character. He’s a lawless lowlife and is such fun to write, especially alongside my more serious characters. There’s something very liberating about putting yourself in a drunken pirate’s boots and smashing up an inn somewhere.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

Flying – I’ve always wanted to fly, I think this is because I spent a lot of time on public transport and just being able to fly home after a long day at work is really appealing – of course weather resistance would then be another essential power I’d need for it to be at all beneficial

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

The backdrops of my stories are all derived from an interpretation of folklore. I’ve always been very interested in mythology, especially Celtic mythology and this forms the foundation of most of my work. For instance in my Dark Waters series the pirate tribe the Fimorri are inspired by sea demons from Irish mythology. I like to take old concepts and develop a different spin on them.

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I always know my ending before I start writing. But I prefer to let my characters work the plot for me. Sometimes this is quite tough, especially writing about a bunch of rebellious pirates, but the result is a much more fluid, credible story. Most of my chapters are re-written at least twice before I am satisfied, some can take a lot longer.

In the Dark Waters series, because I focus on a number of different characters, I wrote each storyline individually, starting with the main characters. Once I have the entire book written I then mercilessly edit and weave it altogether.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

My books are fast paced, character driven stories. I am drawn to the darker side of writing, but deliver these themes with my own twisted sense of humour, which is hopefully on the right side of good taste. The Dark Waters world is unique, exciting and totally unpredictable. My characters are bold, usually flawed and more often than not doomed.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing Part Three of the Dark Waters series; Flames and Blood. Hopefully this will be out by next month. Thereafter I am mulling ideas around for another series, totally different from pirates and zombies, but there’s still another two books after Flames and Blood to get out before Dark Waters is anywhere near finished.

How can readers connect with you?

I’m on facebook, Twitter and I have a personal blog and website, the latter of which has extras and samples to the Dark Waters series.

L.E. Fitzpatrick’s Dark Waters series are available on Amazon, with Harvest, the first in the series, available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. If you want to pick up both of the books, Traitors Day, book 2, can be found at .com and .co.uk. They’re only 77p ($1.25) each, so give them a go!

Get to know the author – Grant Turner

It can be hard to find new and interesting reads that aren’t mainstream in the fantasy and  supernatural genres. I’m not saying that mainstream fiction isn’t incredible – some books really are. But, there are some really awesome paranormal and fantasy novels out there too waiting to be discovered.

In ‘Get to know the author’ I’m featuring some indie author’s whose work you might like to check out. First up is Grant Turner, Manchester resident and author of Heavens Door.

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Tell us a little about yourself, Grant? Do you write for a living? If not, what’s your day job?

I like to consider that writing is my day job at the moment, I was a student at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Crime and Sociology; but with the economy there was no career prospects in the field of crime for me and as for sociology there was never  any career aspects. So currently I am looking for full time employment, hopefully writing can be that thing to fill the void!

Favourite food, place, colour and writing zone, please

My favourite food I am a fan of a quick meal so pasta would be my first choice, I am a little unconventional with it though butter and salt with my pasta please! My favourite place would have to be my bedroom – and not for any smutty reason, it is just my little bubble where everything is always good. For that reason my bedroom is also my writing zone, the rest of the house is too cluttered with people and noise.

You write in the supernatural  genre….who’s been your inspiration? Favourite books? Movies? TV Shows?

I LOVE SUPERNATURAL! Like so much, I have been interested in it for years, even before I began reading. Just the idea of seeing something not of this world is like a rush to me and to be honest I have had my fair share of paranormal experiences. Books and films though, I would have to say James Herbert was my key inspiration for writing, ever since reading Moon I just thought I want to do that too. Favourite supernatural film; that would have been sixth sense if it hadn’t have been ruined for me! One that always springs to mind though is The Others, I loved how that played out, goosebumps the full lot after that film.

Who’s your favourite all time fictional character?

Mort – as simple as that Terry Pratchett wrote him so well and in a way I see myself in Mort; tall, gangly and somewhat clumsy. I just think his character development from awkward teenager to omnipotent Death was superb. Well done Pratchett!

Who’s your favourite character in your own work?

In my own work I would have to say the character in my upcoming novel “Red Winter” – Eric Connelly. He is disturbed, obsessive and violent, but all in good cause. History always shapes a man.

Let’s talk superpowers….there’s no denying we’d all love one. What would be your choice, and why?

In a way I would already say I am invisible – but that’s my own choice I love to be alone. Super-powers though, I think telepathy would be amazing, not only to find out what people are thinking but also how to judge people properly and be able to see who would have the ability to be troublesome in some way. That way I could avoid their hassle.

Inspiration’s a funny thing. Where do you find yours? Is there one particular moment that stands out?

That is a tricky one, sometimes I could be watching a movie and I think – “what could I do with something like this, the premise is there but how could I make it my own?” Other times and more often than not it is a specific dream that I have had that will spark the writer in me and push me to write said story. For example in “Heavens Door” there is a scene where the main character is drifting off to sleep and he experiences something bizarre, that in itself was a dream I had. Left me feeling a little scared I must admit!

Writers have very different approaches to completing our works. Are you a heavy plotter? Jump back and forth between scenes? Sit down, start at the beginning and just write?

I know that I should plot, as to allow me time for more writing but I am definitely a freestyler; when it comes to my head it goes down onto paper, in very rare circumstances do I plot. It only happens if I find I have written myself into a rut or something like that.

What’s fresh about your books? Quirky and different? Likely to entice readers and keep them coming back for more?

I would say that with some of my writing I have taken horror and its description back to its gritty ways, I am not afraid to go into detail about blood and guts, in fact it’s the bit I love writing most! But I think my twists and sometimes multiple twists keep the reader turning pages and wanting more.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am working two projects – a re-write of my first novel “Red Winter” a supernatural thriller with many twists and turns, with a lovely cliff hanger and “The Darkest Hour” a compilation of short stories intended for Halloween. These stories are a mix of real life terrors and the paranormal so there is a little bit of something there for everyone.

How can readers connect with you?

Readers can interact with me on Twitter, as well as my Goodreads page where you can ask me questions and interact with me via the Authors blog.

Heavens Door is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk