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.

A surprising new book

You may have read an earlier post where I talked about how to promote books on Squidoo. I’ve become fairly addicted to Squidoo over the past few weeks, and whilst I am yet to actually note any sales as a direct result of my marketing there, I am having fun. In addition, creating a lens about how to write a great vampire novel seemingly triggered a creative thought process in my brain, and now I started a new book!

With it being NaNoWriMo this month, and the fact that I haven’t really got off the starting block with the third Inside Evil book, I’ve been a little worried. I’ve failed at NaNoWriMo for two years running, mostly because I just haven’t sat down to write, rather than attempting and failing miserably. I have no interest in writing a vampire story, it’s really not my thing, but my Squidoo lens talked about the importance of bringing something new to a genre, of putting your stamp on it, of creating a new tale with one or two features that are original. Finding originality in literature is incredibly hard these days as most things have already been written. Then, choosing to write in a small genre, such as vampires, makes the task even harder. But it got my brain thinking, and last night I had a flash of inspiration for, uh-oh, a zombie story.

The inspiration occurred to me yesterday, and I decided to write some notes and shelve the idea for a while. After all, I’m in the middle of writing TWO book series. Plus, I’ve NEVER wanted to write about zombies. However, as I was working at a gardening client’s today, the novel just wouldn’t leave me alone. Ideas were coming thick and fast, and I’ve just ended up writing a 3,000 word first chapter for the book! I don’t have time to write a full length novel, not when I’ve got other series in motion, but a short 20k/30k novella might be OK. So, it’s decided, this NaNoWriMo I AM going to participate. I’m going to write my first ever short story. I’m going to take a leaf out of Hugh Howey’s book, and throw a short out there and see if it gains traction. If it does, I’ll write more. If it doesn’t, I’ll be happy that I completed NaNoWriMo for the first time and crafted my writing skills a little more.

I’m excited! I’m off to write!

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!

Inside Evil paperbacks are here!

As you’ll know from my ‘Making paperbacks with Createspace‘ blog, I’ve delved into realms that I never thought I would as an author. The digital age has really opened up the world of publishing, and I thought I would be happy having my books online as ebooks. That was, until I held the beautiful crisp paper and stunning covers in my hands and put my own works on the study shelves.

It’s taken a while to get the proofing correct and for CreateSpace to accurately link the Kindle versions with the paperback copies. This is largely due to an author name discrepancy that I talked about here. BUT, the good news is that you can now buy both Inside Evil and The Tower of Souls as books that you can actually hold in your hands!

Of course, paperbacks are more expensive than ebooks, and both my novels aren’t any different, making buying a digital version far cheaper. Also, I’m fairly sure there are large shipping fees and delivery periods for those buying in the UK. So, if anyone in the UK does want a version, I’ll be selling Inside Evil and The Tower of Souls at £6.74 and £8.99 respectively from my own batch. Just holla if you want one.

It is a glorious thing to hold an actual paperback in my hands though, and even though its probably very self serving, I’m glad that I decided to delve beyond the simple ebook niche.

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

Correcting my author name

I’ve learned a lot in the past seven months of self publishing. Oh, how daunting everything seemed way back in April, and now I have two novels on Amazon shelves and another on the way. However, if there’s one thing I haven’t been careful about, it’s my author name. Continuity is key when you’re developing a platform and creating a brand for yourself, so your author name should also be constant. Unfortunately, in my case, this isn’t true, and it’s got me into quite a pickle.

If Joanna Rowling suddenly published a new Harry Potter book, you might think that it was fan fiction. After all, she is known as J.K. Rowling by millions of people around the world, and it always seems a little odd to hear her called Joanna. Likewise, if an S. Myers released a new fantasy novel, it wouldn’t be instantly obvious that it was the same Stephanie Myers who wrote the Twilight Saga.

Having been attempting to upload my books to Kobo, and hence going through the manuscripts again, I realised that there was no continuity with what I called myself. I was Geoffrey Wakeling here, Geoff Wakeling there, and G. Wakeling on the front cover. It might seem like a small issue, but it’s importance has been highlighted with my recent creation of paperbacks via CreateSpace. My kindle books are listed on Amazon as written by Geoffrey Wakeling. However, my CreateSpace novels are Mr. G. Wakeling, and that has led to some confusion over linking.

From now on, I really need to start paying attention to keeping continuity and will be going through all my literature to correct my author name to G. Wakeling. Call me what you like, and I’ll respond as long as I know that it’s me you’re talking too. But, creating a constant author name is vital if you’re to create that all important branding and it seems that I’ve not been nearly careful ensuring in creating my author name platform.