Archive for December, 2015

Wrapping Up The Year!

Posted: December 31, 2015 in Book Thoughts

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Hard to believe it’s the end of the year!

When I started this blog a year ago I had no idea where it would go. I only had one real thought–share what I like reading. Eventually I saw it as a way to start building my author platform, but it’s always been about ‘the read’, getting books in front of readers.

This year was a busy year for reading books. I had more than one time where I read multiple books at once (I’ve averaged FOUR books). According to my tally on Goodreads.com, I read 149 titles (I pledged to read 50) –127 of which were reviewed and posted on Goodreads.

Some of my top reviews…

Everlost  6482837 7728889 13455782

Go to Goodreads.com to see the rest of my list.

One of my most memorable events all year was my Paranormal Two-Night Event on Facebook.Vamp I thoroughly enjoyed organizing an event celebrating some favorite paranormal/urban fantasy authors.
There were giveaways and contests. I plan on hosting the event again next year in time for the release of my own urban fantasy, Demon’s Birthright.

I had the honor of helping to promote a number of authors on my blog via A Center Stage Moment spotlightand book tours, cover reveals and book blitzes. None of that would have been possible if it hadn’t been for UtopYA (now known as Utopia). It was a life changing moment for me. I got to educate myself about self-publishing, fangirl over the authors I’d been reading, and make new friends. Which led to me attending the Great Lakes Book Bash in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

But none of this would have been worth it all without support! Hitting 1,000 followers was a serious, uplifting moment. Thank you again!!

What’s in store for 2016?

A new website… newsletter subscribers will know when the site goes live first. Click here to subscribe.

I’ve signed up for another author event on Facebook for February.

My first book, Regress, is scheduled for March 31st release. I’m planning a Dystopian event, like my paranormal event, either on Facebook or via YouTube.

I’ll be going back to Utopia. Two of my short stories will be released in two different anthologies for the Debut Collective. The books will be available for purchase at Utopia. I will have information for how you can get copies if you won’t be at the event.

My second book, Rescue, is scheduled for either July or August release in time for my signing event in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

I stopped making resolutions a few years ago–they only get broken if you don’t have real plans. I just work goals now.  What are you planning for the new year? Drop me a line and let me know.

 

 

 

 

spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you S.E. Summa!

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I live just south of Nashville with my husband and a menagerie of spoiled pets. After my daughter left the nest, I rediscovered my love for writing. Growing up in Nashville, I always felt the city’s unique culture and landmarks would be the perfect setting for monsters to play. I graduated magna cum laude with a BBA from Belmont University.

I’m a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and I serve as the Volunteer and Membership Coordinator for my local chapter, the Music City Romance Writers (MCRW).

Inspired by my fantastic experience at UtopYA Con 2015 (now UtopiaCon), I started The Debut Collective, an online community of authors committed to publishing by June 2016. The Debut Collective is a supportive tribe of authors (both published and aspiring), editors, formatters, and cover designers working together to foster a new generation of stories and authors.

Without further ado, here is S.E.’s interview…

I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Yes and no. When I was younger, I dreamed of writing books and as a tween/teen I teased my mother non-stop for watching the TV show Murder, She Wrote—while secretly wishing I could grow up to be an author. (Though, why ANYONE would be friends with Jessica Fletcher was beyond me. People dropped like flies around that lady!) [LOL! I watched the show with my mother.]

Then life happened and I put my dream aside. I raised a daughter and graduated with a sensible accounting degree. I would often go a year or more without even reading for entertainment.

It wasn’t until the sudden loss of someone very precious to me that I was knocked out of my comfort zone. While grieving, I could think of only one thing that made me feel a sliver of happiness… books. On a whim, I went to the 2013 Southern Festival of Books thinking just maybe I’d start a book blog or maybe I wouldn’t— but at least I was leaving the house for a change and that in itself was huge.

While listening to Myra McEntire share how she became an author, I felt a spark. For three days in a row, I drove downtown alone and by the time the festival ended, I felt alive again with a burning need to write. The next month I won my first NaNoWriMo and have been writing and educating myself on the publishing industry ever since.

Why did you choose to write dark fantasy and horror stories? My first thought is, “Spooky is what comes out.” I’ve always been drawn to darker stories: ghosts, haunted houses, curses, witches, and any type of monster really.

As a child, I could often be found at the library with books stacked to my chin. My mother usually scanning the titles while making “the face.” You know the one, all parental units have it perfected. Followed by something like, “Shanna, can’t you get one book without ghosts, witches, or monsters? What about horses? You like horses.” I never did go back to the shelves for a book on horses. So, it’s only natural I’m compelled to write dark fantasy and horror stories.

Or I could just go with a quote from Stephen King to explain, “People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy… and I keep it in a jar on my desk.” Ha ha! [Along with his brain…. Maybe?]

What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?  Hmm… Everything I’ve ever written has an element of strangeness to it: sin eaters, Spellcasters, curseweavers, undead ballerinas, ghosts/specters, possession, and then I have a growing list of beasties of my own creation.  [I can’t wait to read those. The created ones are always the most interesting!]

My web search history is a peculiar and a macabre collection of strange.

What are you currently working on? 

My upcoming release Much Of Madness (Spring 2016) is in the hands of my talented editor, Kathy Lapeyre. So I’m drafting the sequel More Of Sin and revising a serial, The Betwixt Files: Jack. I plan to release both in 2016.

I also recently finished editing notes for four short stories that will be released in the upcoming Debut Collective anthology series in June 2016. (Two stories tied to Much Of Madness & one tied to The Betwixt Files.)

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover blurb for Much Of Madness [This is not the cover art. It’s merely a backdrop for the blurb.]:

SE Summa's cover blurb

 

 

Much Of Madness is a modern Gothic horror story about loyalty, sacrifice, and discovering the courage to love no matter the odds.

What motivated the plot of your latest book? First, came my tormented Sin Eater, Finn. I could picture him perfectly with skin and hair faded pale white by the supernatural sins for which he had atoned. Next came his feisty Spellcaster best friend, Seraphina, who helps Finn hold on to his humanity and run their apothecary for supernaturals in downtown Nashville. The curses, creatures, and mayhem grew from there. [Love it!]

What was the hardest story for you to write? Much Of Madness was my first and most difficult so far. I wrote it as a “pantser” with no real idea of where it was going. But I loved the characters enough to deconstruct it and rework it over and over, until I had transformed it into a story I was ready to share.

 What process do you use to plan your novels?  I am a self-professed Plotter McPlottypants. While enduring the countless revisions for Much Of Madness, I took a plotting by color workshop by Author Cherry Adair and was forever changed. I’ve morphed some of Cherry’s ideas into my own method and switched from post-its to an Excel spreadsheet. I know the who, where, and plot point of every chapter before I ever sit down to write. The characters, however, have full freedom to react to the plot in whatever way is natural for them, so there’s always an element of unknown as I begin each chapter. [Ah, a RECOVERING pantser…]

Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I have a soft spot for my little ghost, Rolf. Rolf is a “dog boy” with hypertrichosis (AKA werewolf syndrome) murdered long ago while traveling through Nashville with a carnival. Seraphina befriends and brings the lonely, rambunctious ghost home while she tries to help him crossover into the Veil. Rolf’s shenanigans wreak havoc in the apothecary, but he proves his bravery.  [Sounds like an interesting character.]

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? There are small fragments of my personality in most of my characters, but they all branch off into their own unique identities.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I have and for me it comes purely from fear. Once I work through my fears and get out of my own head, the words come back.

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I have a science fiction/fantasy story fully plotted that both thrills and scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. I will write it eventually, but I’m not quite ready yet. [You can do it!]

Which authors inspire you? Such a tough question! Currently, anyone brave enough to keep publishing over and over. The more precise answer is Stephen King, JK Rowling, Laini Taylor, Edgar Allen Poe, Libba Bray, and Victoria Schwab are all favorites.

What novel would you read multiple times? There are too many wonderful stories I’ve yet to experience. I very rarely reread. But if I were going to reread any series, it would be Harry Potter. I think it would be interesting to revisit that world from the perspective of a writer. [I’m about to be a FIRST time reader of Harry Potter!]

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? Mahatma Gandhi. I’ve admired him since I was a small child. I watched the Gandhi movie when I was eight and fully believe that experience helped form my beliefs about people, animals, and politics.

What is your favorite quote? [She has TWO!]

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

—Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? All of them. But I have a particular fascination with octopuses. (I was shocked to recently learn the plural is NOT octopi!) Their intelligence, beauty, and adaptability are fascinating. I could watch videos of octopuses on YouTube all day. tumblr_msyan63vgr1sntiu8o2_1280

What is your favorite color? Black. I go through phases of liking bright colors, but my forever favorite is the always elegant (and sometimes spooky!) black.

You can catch up with S.E., a full-time writer and part-time accountant, online at…

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Debut Collective on Facebook

Thank you S.E. for participating in my Author Spotlight! It was a pleasure having you and good luck with your book.

Join me next week as I feature Rebekah Raymond!

Happy New Year!!

26802017Goodreads.com Description: Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her.
In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.
Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.
With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.

This is the first book in the Treemakers Trilogy. This series is intended for mature YA audiences, as there are certain mature themes (abuse, character deaths, etc.,) which may be too emotionally intense for younger readers.

About the Author

8186790Adverb addict and alliteration activist. Daydreams and chocolate. Caffeine, check. Sleep, sometimes. Raold Dahl, Effie Trinket, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Daryl Dixon. Dubstep. Scars. Fire. Darkness. Love above all else.

Find Christina online at…

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

My Review

Ever pick up a book that intrigued you from page one and then disturbed you after a few pages, but you continued to read it because you couldn’t put it down? That sums up Christina L. Rozelle’s The Treemakers. This book was like reading a mash-up of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza.

The plot of The Treemakers was unique and had me hooked. Rozelle weaved in elements of science fiction and science news–Earth’s depleting ozone layer, global warming, the Fountain of Youth, and even Star Trek’s holodeck experience.

Rozelle’s characters really made this story work. They were carefully crafted with plenty of layers.

My favorite character was Joy. She wasn’t your atypical 16-year-old. She didn’t want to be a beacon of strength nor a warrior. Joy was just a worker in a factory trying to survive. When her situation changed, she evolved. But this character wasn’t a perfect specimen. She made mistakes. She showed poor judgment. She was a teenager.

At first I thought Jax was going to be a great love interest. Well, he turned out to be a cad (you’ll have to read the book to understand why). I went from liking him to loathing him in about 60 seconds. I loved how Rozelle did not set up the atypical love triangle.

I loved Smudge. She was insightful and intelligent. She was the voice of reason so desperately needed with this ragtag bunch of orphans.

I found Mateo interesting. He was like a refreshing breeze after a sweltering summer day. But if you stand in that breeze for too long, it’s no longer comfortable. I have a feeling that Mateo might be like that breeze over time. We’ll see how he develops in book two.

If you’re looking for something different in the dystopian genre and you can handle mature concepts in your reading, I highly recommend The Treemakers.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

 

My Writing Journey

Posted: December 28, 2015 in #IAmWritingNow, Writing
Tags:

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I hope all of you had a merry Christmas! The day after Christmas my family recognizes Kwanzaa. It doesn’t replace a holiday. Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration, a time of reflection.

Let’s see how I did with last week’s goals.

1) LAST WEEK’S POSTED GOALS:

*Complete changes to Regress. It took a minute (okay… more than a few minutes) but I got it done. There were some obvious things I should have changed, but it didn’t become obvious until someone unattached to the manuscript read it. I thank Jennifer for giving me some great feedback. It made me re-evaluate some things in the manuscript. My goal isn’t to just publish a book. Let’s face it, ALL of us can do that. Just slap together something and hit the publish button on Amazon. But I made the decision, long ago, that I wanted to put out something I could be 1) proud of and 2) other people would enjoy. So, I made the necessary changes and will happily do so again if needed.

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*Continue revising the rough draft for Rescue. This slid to the back burner due to revisions on Regress. I will get back to the revision this week. Thanks to the changes I made in Regress, I had to go back and make necessary changes in Rescue for continuity purposes.

*Prepare for changes to this site. Done. I’ve selected a host and a theme on WordPress I want to use. I took a course through Udemy to help me set up my site. I have a list of subscribers and I’ve set up my first newsletter (are you signed up?).

2) THIS WEEK’S GOA LS:

It will be a challenging week with Kwanzaa and New Year’s, but I will do my best.

*Continue revising the rough draft for Rescue.

*Set up website.

*Send out newsletter.

3) A FAVORITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: Do your best work always! That was the whole reason why I sat down and worked on my manuscript. It’s why I slashed one particular repeated word over 60%. If I put out C work, then I can’t expect A results.

4) THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK: Impatience. I just wanted to be done with the manuscript. No matter how many times I told myself ‘do your best’, I just wanted it to be over. Every time that demon raised its head, I looked at my deadline and reminded myself of what my overall goal was.

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5) SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP: [Since I didn’t work on my WIP, I’ll mention my manuscript.] The revisions I made tightened my story. I cut paragraphs I didn’t think I would have the guts to cut out. Slashing repetitive words and phrases made me find better ways of writing the narrative. My critique partner has the manuscript now. I’m hoping she’ll agree with my work.

Well, that’s it for this week and this year! I have enjoyed sharing my writing journey with you. The new year will see another transformation on the journey. I’m looking at big things in 2016 and I would love it if you join me.

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Remember, life’s short and there are NO guarantees. Embrace it and enjoy yourself! Have a great week!

Keep reading. Keep following.

Sign Up For My Author Newsletter Here.

 

 

Book Trailer Friday!

Posted: December 25, 2015 in Book Trailer
Tags: ,

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Merry Christmas on this book trailer Friday! Maybe Santa dropped off a few good books for you. Maybe you didn’t get what you wanted and are counting down to the minute you can raid the bookstore. In case you need some inspiration…

10838787 Goodreads.com Description: “YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.”

Other books in the trilogy:

10944842Goodreads.com Description: “For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?”

25246657Goodreads.com Description: PAWN…CAPTIVE…QUEEN?

Kitty Doe is a Blackcoat rebel and a former captive with a deadly connection to the most powerful and dangerous man in the country, Prime Minister Daxton Hart. Forced to masquerade as Daxton’s niece, Lila Hart, Kitty has helped the Blackcoats take back the prison known as Elsewhere. But Daxton has no intention of ceding his position of privilege—or letting Kitty expose his own masquerade. Not in these United States, where each person’s rank means the difference between luxury and poverty, freedom and fearand ultimately, between life and death.

To defeat the corrupt government, Kitty must expose Daxton’s secret. Securing evidence will put others in jeopardy, including the boy she’s loved forever and an ally she barely trusts. For months, Kitty’s survival has hinged on playing a part. Now she must discover who she truly wants to be, and whether the new world she and the rebels are striving to create has a place in it for her after all.”

Have a great holiday!

Keep reading, keep following.

26844893Goodreads.com Description: “Hailey Devareaux, inexperienced yet “all-knowing” 19 year old Necromancer, couldn’t care less what the world had to offer her. Five years after her mother encountered a powerful seer—albeit a dead one—they uprooted their entire clan and moved to New Orleans for a rare supernatural conjunction. Dangerous didn’t begin to describe the reality of Necromancers living in a city so rich with history involving the celebration of the dead, but Hailey didn’t have to worry. Her abilities hadn’t matured.

What good was Necromancy when she couldn’t save her mother? Hailey hadn’t been strong enough to bring her back—not even to say goodbye.

While Hailey moped around during her family’s celebration of the Day of the Dead, she met Bobby; if only she had realized he was dead before she started talking to him. Robert “Bobby” Duval died one year ago. When he died, the veil between this world and the next was at it’s thinnest. It should’ve been easy for him to cross over, but something kept him from doing so. On the day he met Hailey, he prepared to finally move on, but a moratorium was placed on departing souls—the veil, too volatile to pass into the great beyond. His chance at his afterlife once more denied.

Based on a cryptic letter her clan received, Hailey is elected by the Necromancers to embark on the dangerous quest to restore the veil. Bobby joins Hailey and helps her understand her powers.

Will Hailey give up her bitterness against the craft and her own fear of death, and forgive herself in order to embrace her purpose—to be the next leader of their clan? Will she embrace her power as well as help save the supernatural community by sealing the veil once more and will she help Bobby cross over to finally be at peace?”

About the Author

61d9b25243b8a78f-morgan600x450Morgan Wylie published her first novel, Silent Orchids, one year after moving across the country with her family on a journey of new discovery. After an amazing three years in Nashville, TN and the release of two more books, Morgan and her family found their way back to the Northwest where they now reside. Still working everyday with great optimism, Morgan continues to embrace all things: “Mama”, wife, teacher, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head… where it gets pretty loud!

Find Morgan online at…

Website

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

My Review

The Supernatural Chronicles: The Necromancers by Morgan Wylie was very interesting.

This installment did not have a typical love relationship. Instead Wylie gave readers a strong, heartfelt relationship between a ghost and a necromancer. The ghost named Bobby was my favorite character. He had accepted his death and was ready to move on but didn’t know how. His selfless nature was endearing.

It took me a minute to warm up to the main character, Hailey. She was the second supernatural in this series who didn’t want her powers. And, much like the succubus, Hailey had no idea of just how powerful she could be. Once she started embracing her strengths, Hailey became more likable. Instead of wallowing in her own issues, she realized she could help others.

The mysterious dark stranger, Rafe, was intriguing. I’ve read other books with characters named Rafe and they have all been angels. I’m interested in reading more about this particular character. Will he be an angel or just a dark spirit?

The Necromancers is the first book I’ve ever read by Wylie, and it won’t be my last. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more about these characters.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

Next story…

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spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you PM Hernandez!

pmbh photo black-white PM Hernandez is a young adult paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy author. She is a self-proclaimed nerd. She wears a lot of black, not because she’s cool but because she’s fashion-challenged. She has been known to fangirl all over the freaking place. Her book, Flesh and Stone, will be released on January 15, 2016.

Without further ado, here is PM’s interview…

I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Absolutely. I wrote fan-fiction before I even knew what it was, before the Internet when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. On an electric typewriter. God bless my laptop. I don’t know how I lived without it.

Why did you choose to write for young adults? I write what I want to read. I love young adult because I never grew up, which I highly recommend if you’re on the fence about being an adult. The teen years speak to all of us and are the perfect metaphor for change, upheaval, and learning. I write paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction because I’m a big geek who loves shifters, fairies, dragons, magic, science (which is just another kind of magic, if you ask me), and things that go bump in the night.

What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? I have a story inspired by Frankenstein that required me to do some research that might get me put on some government watch lists. Google probably thought I was planning a murder. I’m happy to say I know the scientific terms for the chemicals (and smells) produced by a decomposing body.

What are you currently working on? Right now, I’m all about aliens. I’m in the middle of a book about refugees from another planet who come to Earth, live in secret, and have a few kids. But then things go south. Big time. If I can get it in gear, I should have it ready to publish by June or July.

What motivated the plot of your latest book?  I have a book coming out in January called Flesh and Stone. What started it for me was my love of gargoyles. I’m nuts about them. Really. I search out churches decorated with them and take pictures. It’s a sickness. Anyway, I got to thinking about how gargoyles are sometimes portrayed as evil or ugly when their job on churches is to keep demons and bad stuff away. They are protectors, which to me is a beautiful thing. It all just rolled from that.

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What was the hardest story for you to write?  For some time, I tried to get traditionally published. While I had positive feedback, I got a lot of rejection, mostly in the form of “interesting but not for me.” A couple of nibbles kept me in the game but traditional publishing, especially finding an agent, is very subjective. While that makes the process difficult, the subjectivity is good to a certain extent. You want your agent interested and invested in you and your work because they love it. The downside is that a lot of good books won’t get published. I never queried Flesh and Stone but it was the hardest for me to write, not because of the story (which DID need help) or because of writer’s block (which MIGHT have happened a time or two), but because it was a huge leap of faith to enter into indie publishing. I have to say, though, that investing in myself—literally and figuratively—has been a great decision. And, of course, it gives all my indie friends the opportunity to say I told you so.

What process do you use to plan your novels? I’m almost a complete pantser [Yay for another pantser!]. No planning. OK, some planning. I usually keep a separate document with a rough outline of the plot, character descriptions, etc. I use Pinterest to make super secret squirrel boards with pictures of what I think the characters look like, places in the book, and the like [Me too!]. Other than that, it’s rear in the chair and Lola the Laptop in front of me. (Yes, I named my laptop.)

Who has been your favorite character to write and why?  In my own work, I think Carrie from my Frankenstein-inspired book, Dark and Bright, is my favorite. She changes so much over the course of the story and hers is a tragic tale that doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending, just like Frankenstein’s monster. I hope everyone gets to meet her next year!

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I think they all have some aspect of me, the good and the bad. Writing is great therapy. In Flesh and Stone, Ellie is a flip-flopper. (So frustrating, but I do it, too.) She’s also smart and I like to think I’m a sharp cookie. Michael thinks a little too highly of himself and is prone to complaining. (Guilty as charged here.) Gabriel is rather innocent and sweet, but lashes out in unexpected fits of temper and over-reacts. (Yep, that’s me.) John is a big goofball. (Me, too.) But in the end, they become their own person and I’m along for the ride acting as their scribe.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?  I think everyone comes to a point where the words aren’t flowing. Could be the plot went off into left field. Could be boredom. Could be stress. Lack of time. I try writing something else until the characters in the first book start talking to me again. I also find that when the words stop, it’s usually because of problems or stress in other parts of my life. I focus on those and then things turn around for me. I’m also big on taking care of the writer. That’s me, in case we aren’t clear. That means getting my rest, drinking my water, walking my dog, eating right… all the things that keep your body well-tuned. Our minds and our bodies are connected. If one is neglected, the other suffers. I also find having an author tribe keeps me grounded, entertained, happy, and inspired. Writing can be a lonely thing if all you do is sit with your laptop. You can’t write about a life if you aren’t living yours. [So true…]

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? My husband is always trying to get me to write romance. I told him no one wants to read a love scene written by me. (Seriously, you don’t. It would be the most clinical, unsexy thing ever [LOL!].) That’s probably the only genre I wouldn’t write. If I had to choose, it would be a straight-up fantasy with crazy worlds and long exotic names for things where the characters go on epic journeys like in Lord of the Rings.

Which authors inspire you? So many. I read YA obsessively. Pick any YA author at random (indie or traditional) and I can probably wax poetic about their books and how they influenced me. My biggest inspirations across genres are Austen, Shakespeare, LM Montgomery, Rowling, and Tolkien.

What novel would you read multiple times? Emma, hands down. I read it about once a year. I think Jane Austen is the bomb. Do people still refer to things as the bomb?

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? I would love to meet Anne Shirley to find out if we’re kindred spirits. I think we might be.

What is your favorite quote? “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” George Knightley says this to Emma Woodhouse and I swoon every time I read it. I think a lot of us picture true love as this almost violent thing that causes us to act crazy and rashly. Mr. Knightley is quiet and steadfast in his love, not making long speeches or trying to impress, but it’s a deep love nonetheless.

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?  Gargoyles, of course! I’m also partial to griffins and dragons, but my favorite real animal is my Labrador… oh, and sea otters. They’re irresistible. blue

What is your favorite color?  As anyone who has met me and seen my hair will attest, it’s purple followed by pink.

You can catch up with PM, part-time writer and full-time government trade negotiator, online at…

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Thank you PM for participating in my Author Spotlight on such short notice! It was a pleasure having you and good luck with your book.

Join me next week as I feature Shantele Summa Martin.

Merry Christmas to all….

 

 

Descent Cover Reveal

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Book Preview
Tags: ,
Title: Descent
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: YA Fantasy
Blurb:
It’s been two years since the lion roared … the eagle flew … and the fated Celtic warrior embraced her destiny. Now, with an unknown darkness swirling and the body count rising, the world needs a hero more than ever. A new battle is brewing. Who will answer the call to war? The time has come. The stage is set. And the Garretts are back in a brand new novella. Descent; The Gryphon Series Resurrection, Coming in Spring 2016. It’s hard to keep a bad pirate down…  



RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.




Happy Blogiversary!

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Book Thoughts
Tags:

Blogiversary

It’s my anniversary–my Blogiversary that is!

A year ago I wrote my first blog. The idea of sharing what I read with others excited me. For months I read and shared, read and shared. Then I got the idea of adding other things to the blog–book trailers, featured authors, a journal about my writing, promos….

As my content grew so did my following. Hitting 1,000 was a really big deal.

I appreciate each and every one of you who have followed me, shared a post, and even commented on one. Followers, like readers to authors, are a necessity for bloggers. Otherwise, we’re just posting to see our words in print. Without the following we might as well get out an old-fashioned diary and write our thoughts in it.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for me. There are big things planned, including the release of my first novel and two short stories in two anthologies by The Debut Collective.

I ask that you keep following to see what all the new year has in store. I’m working on something that I will be announcing soon (first to subscribers of my newsletter–click here to subscribe).

$1.99 24-Hour Flash Sale!

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Promotion
Tags: , ,

WH 199 Xmas Square ad

Indie-rocker Bo Lindgren is worshiped for his looks and musical genius. It’s been lonely at the top since his ex left. Bo will never take a girlfriend again though, because he doesn’t have the chops to love. He knows he’s poison, a heartbreak waiting to happen for anyone he allows too close—like his ex. Bo screws his way through the fangirls until he’s sick of it all. Until the dark gaze of Nadia Vidal appears in the door to his dressing room.

Purchase links:

http://bitly.com/HeartbreakUS

http://bit.ly/HeartbreakUK

http://bit.ly/HearbreakAU

http://bitly.com/HeartbreakCA