Author Interview – Antoinette Houston

Antoinette

Author Spotlight

I am pleased to welcome multi-genre fantasy author Antoinette Houston to the Desu Beast Blog. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight. Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

 I am a chocoholic, I love manga and anime and enjoy RPG videogames. I’m addicted to the Sims. If my video card was working properly, I would be playing them now. I am never without a pen or pad, always writing notes on something. I do not act my age and you can’t make me. I have a little boy and have been happily married for 12 years come July 16. I make unique leather accessories from jewelry to bookmarks and purses. I have an eclectic love of music. I listen to metal, country, new age to classical, RnB and soul.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

Honestly, no. I’ve always had a great imagination, loved books, adored video games, but I wanted to become a great cook first and then went to school for that. I learned then that cooking, well, while I love experimenting in the kitchen I do not have the passion to push it further than ‘hobby-level’. All the time while I was in school, from elementary to culinary; I’ve been writing stories.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

My fortieth birthday and a cousin that convinced me to give Createspace a try. I hit forty and decided that I needed to do something with all the files and notepads and journals of stories that I had collected over the years. Somebody would enjoy them and I might enjoy it.

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

When I started, I had no clue there were so many and even more sub-genres. I’m still learning the exact placement of my writing, but so far it’s been fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, space opera. I’ve other stories that I’ve yet to place but I think they may fall in one of the dystopias and one I believe is considered a ‘Timeslip’ story.

  1. What is the name of your latest novel? 

My latest novel has been the final book to my space opera: Beyond Human. A trilogy that popped up after finishing my second book.

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  1. How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

I dreamt it. Most of my stories were dreams that wouldn’t fade until I wrote it down. As with my very first story, it was only supposed to be a single book, but somehow it multiplied and turned into a trilogy.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

That’s a hard one. I supposed it would have to be a character I haven’t introduced yet. She’s stuck with me for a looong time and I’m still trying to perfect her story. But my second favorite is Rita from my Red Summer series.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

The least favorite? Don’t really have any, the ones that go un-named? Maybe the ones that have like one scene or are simply there for information. Those are the hardest characters to come up with. The no-face ones.

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why? 

Rita. After allowing a few friends to read her story they’ve all come back telling me that she pretty much me. I hadn’t meant for Rita to be that way. I was trying to make her different, but I realized that she was after the four hundredth re-write. Not many paranormal stories with a female lead that’s not your normal black girl. I had given her a lot of my habits and characteristics without even realizing it. Taste in music, desires as far as friends and uncertainty as far as her direction in life.

  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

No. Sometimes people ‘read’ too much into a story. This is just a story I made up for pure enjoyment. No lesson or philosophical meaning to be found between the lines. Just a story I created to escape reality for a bit. Adventure, fun, imagination. I’m not deep like that.

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  1. What books have influenced you the most?

Why? Piers Anthony’s Xaneth series. Steven R. Boyett’s Ariel. Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elfquest – I enjoyed the twisting of the normal formula of fantasy. A play on puns. A swearing and dangerously curious Unicorn. Taking something and recreating it your own way.  I don’t want to follow the usual story lines. I want new ways of storytelling.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Piers Anthony, Steven R. Boyett, Richard & Wendy Pini, Steve Perry, Robert Asprin, Terry Brooks…

  1. With what author would you love to have a conversation?

I Don’t Know! That’s one question that’s hard to answer. To have a conversation is the problem. My mind would more than likely draw up silly questions no matter what I did. I doubt that I would be able to get my voice to work anyway. But, I think the first Author I’d love to speak with would be Piers. His were the first books I read, my introduction to fantasy.- waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in elementary school.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

Sure! I’m working on the final book to my Red Summer series – Its title is still a work in progress but it’s sub-title will be ‘Tying up loose ends’ Because that’s what I’ll be doing. I’m also working on my Time slip series and my Epic Fantasy story Wonderlost, which you can read on my website, I’m finishing it and moving on to the 2nd book.

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  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

Lol, sure. All the typos that I missed.

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

The explosion was an ominous sign of things to come. Honey and Sammus find that their ‘rough patch’ only gets worse and outside interference bring big changes they never expected. Bo finds himself confused and unable to get over what he did to Evvie. His mental stability spirals out of control as he attempts to fulfill his sister’s revenge.

  1. Do you have a favorite quote from one of your novels?

“Fine, be a @!%#! about this. I’ll be the monster you want.” – Bobby Acosta (Wil’s Winter)

  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Just do it! Don’t hesitate, as it is, you can always go back and fix things, but the feeling is wonderful when you have that very first book in your hand.

  1. Are there any future events you would like to announce?

I’m going to my first book convention in July! July 22nd! The Atlanta Kickback at the College Park Convention Center. I’m nervous as all get out, but I’m excited as well! I’ll also be at the Onyxcon in August! Excited for that one too!

To learn more about Antoinette, please visit her FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, or AMAZON pages.

Thank you for stopping by the Desu Beast Blog. I’ve enjoyed your books and your banter! I am looking forward to meeting you at the Kickback.

Antoinette

Nubia One Fest

Nubia One Fest 2017

If you are in the Atlanta area, you should definitely visit the Nubia One Fest at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on June 17 at 1:00 pm. Admission is free and the list of artists, authors, and vendors is phenomenal!

Come out and meet a plethora of talented creatives that you might have never knew existed. Atlanta is a mecca of talent, filled with exceptional people. I’m only beginning to meet a few since relocating to the area.

Do not forget to attend the informative panel discussions as well. I’ll be a panelist for the Black Women in Speculative Fiction panel. Have a seat and join the conversation!

More about the Nubia One Fest:

NubiaOne is the next level of Black Speculative Fiction – a multi-media platform focusing on the development and distribution of Black Speculative Fiction entertainment. The platform consists of various social media sites, including the NubiaOne Channel, which will soon feature original short and feature films and webseries.

NubiaOne has partnered with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History to bring you a full day of Black Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror created by – and about – heroes and sheroes of Afrikan descent.

NubiaOne Fest features dynamic, educational, entertaining and interactive panel discussions and workshops, an art exhibit, cosplay photoshoot sessions, and vendors of comic books, novels, Afrikan artifacts and maybe even gourmet pot pie, vegan chocolate cake and other goodies.

For more information, please visit the NubiaOne Facebook Page.

I hope to see you there!

Author Interview – William Hayashi

Today, I am pleased to sit down with an extremely talented Speculative Fiction author and radio host. William Hayashi has three highly acclaimed novels: Discovery, Conception, and Confrontation, comprising the Darkside Trilogy. Welcome, Mr. Hayashi, and thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me.

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  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

No, I came to writing fairly recently, beginning my first novel in 2001 and my first screenplay in 2009.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

The realization that no matter how many great stories I could come up with, none of them were real until they were written down and vetted by the reading public. The first thing I thought of was a great, ironic ending, knowing that readers and moviegoers remember the endings most, and most often judge the quality of the work by how the writer concludes the story. Therefore, I sat down, and being an IT nerd since 1970, I started up my technical drawing software and created a flowchart of what I thought a fun, interesting plot would be.

Also something Isaac Asimov said effected be greatly, and I quote, “Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.”

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

Speculative fiction, either science fiction or drama. I like playing with “what ifs” surrounding themes that no one else has written about. The premise in my first literary trilogy was something nobody had ever addressed.

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  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

It’s Quarantine, the first installment of the second trilogy in the Darkside Universe which should be out by the holidays. The entire series will be seven books, two trilogies and a final volume that concludes the saga. In between writing those Darkside installments I have a handful of short stories published and a book or two outside of Darkside. I’ve also guest written in other authors’ universes, most recently Milton Davis’ Dark Universe and H Wolfgang Porter’s The Dark God’s Gift series.

  1. How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

I thought about all the reading I’ve done since my preteen days and came up with a plot that no one else had done, then applied myself to produce a story in the same vein as The Golden Age of Science Fiction authors. At first, it was going to be a single novel, but when I approached the middle of writing Discovery, I realized that more had to be told to complete the story.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

Actually I have several, for different reasons. And if what conventional wisdom says about every character in an author’s story is really the author in some way, shape or form, then modesty prohibits me really choosing just one!

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

There are different characters I could name, but most of the people in my stories who fit that description are those who maintain a status quo existence that perpetuates the perspective or cultural antagonist within the story. For example, the Darkside Trilogy tells the story of what happens in the United States when it is discovered that African Americans are discovered having lived in secret on the backside of the moon long before Neil Armstrong set foot there. In Darkside, my least favorite characters are those who perpetuate America’s racist status quo and force others into situations that are patently unnecessary.

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

I think Christopher Wright or Lucius Walker for various complicated reasons.

  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

That not everyone in this country has the same experience in life as everyone else and that those differences are not necessarily benign. One of the best examples of this is in a one star review someone posted on Amazon.com about Discovery. The review was from a white man who simply couldn’t understand why anyone Black would prefer to live on the moon with just other Blacks instead of remaining in the United States if given the choice. At first, I was angry about the review because the reader said that Discovery was like a Saturday Night Live skit because it wasn’t believable to him, but a few hours later I realized his response was perfect in illustrating why I wrote Darkside in the first place.

  1. What books have influenced you the most? Why?

In terms of the genre, again it’s the “what ifs” that intrigue me. I’m working on a short story that is based on an idea I discussed with a few writers I do a weekly Google Hangout with, often for six or more hours in the evening. Those stories are influenced by the thousands of books written by science fiction authors from the Golden Age I mentioned before. I have my favorites, but they really are too numerous to begin listing I also like writing stories with a social justice theme, and two of the books that greatly influenced me were Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat By The Door and Edwin Corley’s Siege, both of which I read quite a while back.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Many of the Golden Age authors are among my favorites; Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony. I tend to like those who create interesting characters and then write multiple stories about their journeys through life.

  1. With what author would you love to have a conversation?

I have questions that I would love to ask Octavia Butler about being a Black woman writing speculative fiction in her day. She flourished in a time when self publishing was largely unheard of.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

I have two feature movies I would like to get made. Both scripts are much more mainstream than my writing. I have been exceptionally fortunate in that my first four scripts were actually filmed. They’re shorts that are on my YouTube channel. There’s also a 3D animated movie in production at BlackScienceFictionSociety.com I wrote the script for entitled Earth Squadron.

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  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

I don’t think so. Since it’s in a series that I thought out fairly well, it strikes a good balance between science fiction adventure and the needs of the few outweighing the needs of the many—diametrically opposing the underlying theme of the Star Trek universe.

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

Not as of yet. When it appears on Amazon there will be an excerpt anyone can read. For a deeper look at the first trilogy, the first four chapters of all three of the Darkside Trilogy volumes are available in the Darkside Group at blacksciencefictionsociety.com.

  1. Do you have a favorite quote from one of your novels?

This is a great question for which I have no answer. I guess if pushed I would say, “There goes the neighborhood,” in Conception. When you read the book, you’ll get the joke.

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  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Like anything, one learns, and you do have to do a good deal of research and study to become a good author, be sure to learn the fundamentals first before you decide to branch out into your own personal style. Also, decouple your self worth from your work. Criticism of your work is NOT a repudiation of you as a person. If you stick with it you will become better and better. I honestly admit that each of my books is better than the last.

  1. Are there any future events you would like to announce?

Not at this time.

If you would like to learn more about Mr. Hayashi or his speculative fiction series, you can find more information on his Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Page, YouTube, TalkCast, and the Earth Squadron website.

Thank you for sitting down with me tonight, Mr. Hayashi. I thoroughly enjoyed Discovery and look forward to reading Conception.

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Audiobook for Rites of Heirdron

Rites of Heirdron - AudioBook Cover 6-2017-SMI am extremely elated to announce the coming audiobook for the Science Fantasy Romance Rites of Heirdron (book I)!

Back in December 2016, I decided to publish Rites of Heirdron in audiobook format. However, there was only one narrator that I wanted for the voice of Zrahnz Uleryn (and the compelling cast). I fell in love with Victor Bevine’s narrations listening to the Drizzt series from R.A. Salvatore. All of his character depictions and emotional aspects he brings forth are captivating, drawing you further into the plot and characterization.

After listening to his narration (and acting), I wanted him to narrate my novels as well. Albeit, I wasn’t certain if he would accept such a small project or have the time.

When he responded with a yes, the same day, I was ecstatic! I always remain professional, but it was hard not to fangirl just a little when talking with him.

We had a few setbacks (he is so busy) and a delay, but the complete audiobook will be out very soon on audible! I think I am fangirling a little right now.

You can enjoy an excerpt of Rites of Heirdron, narrated by Victor Bevine below!

Author Interview – Tom Fallwell

It is my pleasure to welcome fantasy author Tom Fallwell to the Desu Beast Blog. His Rangers of Laerean series includes: A Whisper in the Shadows, Where Shadows Fall, and The Shadow of Narwyrm. Tom also writes a monthly story (Stormguard) in SciFan Magazine.

Time to find out more about Tom Fallwell and his journey as a writer.

Tom

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

I had for a time, but because I was in another career, I didn’t have time and didn’t think too much about it. Once I retired, I found the time, and discovered the urge to start writing all those stories in my head.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote a short story, a sort of romantic/mystery/inspirational tale, which was well received by those who read it. A friend encouraged me to keep writing, so I turned to a story idea I’d been playing with in my head for quite a while. Once I started writing, it just flowed out and in a few months, I had a full novel. The inspiration for the tale actually came from playing a video game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I’d created a character and a bit of a backstory for her, named Delina. She is the MC in my first novel, which is now being rewritten.

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

Mostly Fantasy, though I also enjoy writing Science-Fiction and Science-Fantasy.

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  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

The latest novel is coming this summer (2017) and is called, Dragonblood Throne: Legacy. It is actually a rewrite of my first novel, expanding upon that story a bit and planning it to be a two-book series. The original novel was Dragon Rising.

  1. Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

For Dragonblood Throne: Legacy, I believe the message is Love over Hate. Love conquers all things, and I think that is pretty much what this story is about.

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  1. What books have influenced you the most? Why?

The Lord of the Rings, because of the in-depth world building and true-to-life characters that Tolkien created. I aspire to be as meticulous in my own works as Tolkien. Another is any and all of the Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, because of the larger-than-life aspect of the main character, Conan. He was stubborn to a fault, mighty, and determined, yet at times, he showed an inner compassion for others you would not expect.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

I’m currently working on a new fantasy novel which I am co-authoring with another author whom I’ve found I have much in common with. I can’t say a lot about all that just yet, but I think the story we are creating will be epic!

  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

No

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

This is from the end of a battle scene in which the main character, Delina, loses herself in a fit of pure rage.

Moving too fast for Horath to follow, Delina grabbed both his wrists and squeezed with a strength that caused the Spy Master’s eyes to bulge in shocked surprise. Piercing agony raced through his arms and his daggers fell to the ground as his hold on them loosened.

 Delina’s face was a tortured mask of indignation as she pulled the spy’s face to within inches of her own, showing her teeth in a snarl of pure hatred, her eyes reflecting the anguish of her soul. In that moment, she had no conscious thought beyond hate. Hate for this man who’d killed Morlok. Hate for Kargoth who’d stole the man she loved from her side. A growl of rage escaped through her clenched teeth.

 Horath’s pain was suddenly overridden by the acute realization that he was about to die. He opened his mouth in a last second attempt to speak a surrender in the hopes he might survive this ordeal, but it was too late.

 With growling scream of pure fury, Delina jerked both of Horath’s arms, ripping them their sockets, leaving behind torn and bloody shreds of flesh. Horath’s last sight was the enraged dragonblood holding his arms up like trophies. Then, wailing in dying agony, Horath fell to the ground, sobbing from the sheer torture of his pain.

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  1. Do you have a favorite quote from one of your novels?

This is a quote from Ranger Baric in Where Shadows Fall of the Rangers of Laerean series. He and his companion Ramura are talking about the grief one must endure when someone you love is lost.

“Grief must come, but it’s still grief and there’s no part of the body that can hurt more than the heart.”

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  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Write because you love writing, first and foremost, and never let anything drag you down. Keep writing, no matter what. Also, write to please yourself, not others.

  1. Are there any future events you would like to announce? Soon 😊

If you would like to learn more about Tom or his fantastical novels, follow/friend him on Amazon, Website, Facebook, Smashwords, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, his Podcast, and you can join his Mailing List.

Thank you for visiting the Desu Beast Blog! I look forward to reading more of Stormguard and the next in the Rangers series.

Outlanta Convention

Where will I be this weekend? I will be at the amazing Outlanta Convention May 12th – 14th at the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta, GA.

15002501_735727426586906_5790235716610344788_oCome out and join the fun for an action-packed weekend! Do not forget to stop by the Dealer’s room and visit my booth. I will always have a warm smile, peppermints, fun stories, and friendly hugs. Oh, do not forget about the great novels and swag!

Hope to see you there.

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I am waiting for you!

New Release!

After much deliberation and planning, the graphic companion to The Rise of Nazil series is available on Amazon!

The Guardians' Rise Front Cover-SMThe Guardians’ Rise is an introduction to the fantastical land of Faélondul. It is a companion graphic with a prelude to The Rise of Nazil, containing over thirty custom illustrations commissioned for The Rise of Nazil Epic Fantasy Series. Meet many of the intriguing characters, species, and creatures found within the pages of The Rise of Nazil, Seed of Scorn, Piercing the Darkness, and Blood of Oisin. There are a few bonus images from the Science Fantasy novels Rites of Heirdron and Orbs of Trenihgea!

This collection of illustrations and bonus content is not available anywhere else. If you are in the Atlanta area, stop by OutLantaCon this weekend for a personalized, discounted copy!

Love classic Epic Fantasy with a modern EDGE? Faélondul Awaits!