Author Interview: Makayla Love

Sanctuary

Author Spotlight

Makayla


Makayla Love
 
is an aspiring Harley Quinn-esque super villain who has decided to spend her time between nefarious schemes by writing paranormal novels in her lair somewhere in the general Kansas area. She enjoys sit-coms and doesn’t have enough shelf space for her ever multiplying collection of books.

Author Interview 

How long have you been writing?

Jeeze, so far back I can hardly remember. It goes all the way back to when I was a little kid sitting in my fifth grade class with a notebook writing Harvest Moon fanfictions. I remember once writing a horror story (albiet a terrible one) and binding it together with cardboard I found around the house and some string. I think I tried to illustrate it with a “how to draw anime” book I had at the time but I might be getting two memories mixed up with that one.

do remember, though, that in sixth and seventh grade I had this red notebook that I wrote (again) Harvest Moon fanfiction in, and all my friends loved it. They passed it around to each other whenever I finished a new chapter and would beg me to write more. That’s one of my fondest memories of my middle school days, and probably one of my best memories in my life so far. I’ll always be grateful to my friends for that early support.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I actually had this conversation with my husband not that long ago. I dabble in a lot of different ones, but I think horror and romance are my favorites. I say horror and romance, instead of just picking one, because those two are so tightly neck-and-neck for the number one spot that I don’t think I could choose only one. All of my stories, no matter the genre, always have romance because I’m a sappy romantic at heart. But I also feel like a story has a hard time holding my interest if there isn’t some viseral horror in there as well. So the more those two work together the happier I usually am with a project.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve never tried straight-up YA. Not YA fantasy, not YA horror, not YA romance (though, again, knowing me it’ll get in there) but like Young Adult-Young Adult. The trials and tribulations of growing up as a kid. I’ve tried to try it before but never really stuck to it, but I keep wanting to stick to it. I think its because I know virtually nothing about the genre besides what I’ve read in other books, and even then I haven’t read that many YA books. I feel like I have this instinctive urge to talk down to them when I know thats rediculous. It might have something to do with the fact that I don’t think I paid any attention at all during my teenage years.

Please tell us about your book.

“Sanctuary” is the second book in the Titanomachy series, which is a steampunk/post-apocolyptic series I’ve written. It follows Shiloh and Rilei Beaumont through their adventures in a war-ravaged future. The culture of the Victorian Era was never given up and was, instead, incorporated into the war between genetics and technology.

Here is the excerpt for Sanctuary:

“Shiloh isn’t adjusting well to her new life in Ironbridge. Life isn’t how she always imagined it would be, and every day is harder than the last.

Things only get worse when a small family on their way to a settlement called “Sanctuary” shows up on Shiloh’s doorstep looking for an escort the rest of the way.

But Sanctuary isn’t all its supposed to be. When they find themselves trapped, every second becomes a fight for survival. Can they find a way out before one of them falls to a mad tyrant? Or will their little group be broken up forever?”

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Although I know a lot of people probably pick their main character as their favorite, I think my real favorite is Garth. He’s got such emotional depth that I find my heart breaking for him every time I think about his wants and his goals and his hang-ups. Despite how he acts, he’s a beautiful human being and (being the way overly emotional person that I am) I’ve found myself crying for him more than once.

My least favorite is a tie between Hiram Jefferson and Victor Beaumont, which shouldn’t be that surprising given that one of them is the major villain. Neither is completely clean in this story. Neither is really the hero. With them it’s a question of “who is the least at fault here?” because both had a hand in making the world what it is now. They both believe they’re right and won’t give it up, both believe what they’re doing is for the betterment of humanity even as the world collapses around them, and both are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to defeat the other.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Keeping things in sequential order. I always have a problem with stories where there’s an overall plan thats kept secret from the main characters, but is fully in the mind of a character I can’t get into the head of. I love them, but they’re a challenge for me to do in a way that I feel is believable. Luckily I managed to make it work in this one, I think.

Another problem I had was Shiloh’s depression. Whether people believe it or not, depression is a real problem child to translate onto paper. Especially when you know that some people might read it who have never felt it before. I had to toe the line between believably depressed and not having her come across as whiny. I feel like that worked too. Otherwise it would still be in the editing phase and not published yet.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

My writing routine is fairly simple. I have to write before I go to my day job or else its just not going to happen that day. Half the time its because I come home exhausted and end up going to bed about an hour or two after I eat dinner. I’ve been trying to fix it so that I wake up earlier in the day and have time to work, since I’ve noticed I write better if I do that anyway (even if I have the whole day to write and don’t have to work.)

I need music to work, and that’s usually a challenge because it has to be the right music. Sometimes it has something to do with getting the atmosphere right, and other times it’s just putting my head in the right space to do something worthwhile. I never know what the song is until I found it and sometimes that can be kind of a challenge.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

“Sanctuary” didn’t take nearly as long as the first book, “The Gilded Cage.” It maybe took a few months to write. I think I finished it in April of last year, and just put off the editing for several months. Truth is I think I halfway forgot I still had to edit it—but once I remembered, I sat down and did it in maybe a couple of months. Maybe less than that. Then I put it out!

Can you tell us about your editing process?

My editing process has gone through something of a metamorphosis since I started publishing again. For a while I did it just reading through the whole thing and using my best judgement, then I tried this app called “Hemmingway App” that goes through and helps you find words that could be better or sentences that sound bad or paragraphs that could be parred down. I liked that app for a while, but it stopped working for me when I had to switch to “OpenOffice” instead of paying for a full subscription to Microsoft WORD (cause at the time we weren’t making the kind of money that would allow something that expensive), so I had to go back to where I started, and that’s where I am now. I just read through the whole thing and pick out things that sound funny to me or that I think I can do better.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes, “Sanctuary” is the second book in my Titanomachy Series. “The Gilded Cage” is the first.

There’s a very specific reason why I chose to call my series the “Titanomachy” series. In Greek mythology, the “Titanomachy” was a ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly, consisting of most of the Titans fighting against the Olympians and their allies. My books stretch it out to two centuries and the “Titans” are Hiram Jefferson and Victor Beaumont. I just felt like it really captured the essence for what this series is really about.

Jeeze, I have no idea how many books will be in this series. It’ll probably depend on how many of my ideas for it I can pack into how many books. I’ve been able to work several into the third and fourth books, so there will be at least four, but beyond that we’ll both be surprised!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! No matter what, keep going! I can’t count how many times I’ve almost given up because it was hard, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Write for yourself and no one else. Tell yourself a great story and worry about the other stuff later. Don’t panner to the popular genre at the time because that changes like the winds, and don’t let self-doubt get you down! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted on self-doubt.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

  1. Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Anne Rice
  3. David Moody

What inspired you to write your book?

This is the second book in my Titanomachy series, and it didn’t occur to me until it was too late that maybe I should’ve done this with the first book (“The Gilded Cage” ) first, but with this book I really wanted to explore the psychological trauma Shiloh experianced thanks to the events of the first book, and how hard it can be to adjust to a new situation when you’ve been sheltered all your life. But, more than anything, I wanted to show someone overcoming that sort of thing.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on a lot of somethings right now. A couple of one-shot books that aren’t related to any of my series at all, the third book in both the Lost Angels series and the Titanomachy Series (the book after this one), and just toying around with a few other things that probably will never see the light of day.

For more information about Makayla or her novels, you can visit her WEBSITE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER.

 

 

Author Spotlight: Dr. Wesley Britton

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Dr. Wesley Britton

Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”

Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha will be the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania. He lives with his one and only wife, Betty, in Harrisburg, PA.

Series Promo

The Blind Alien is a story with a highly original concept, fascinating characters, and not-too-subtle but truthful allegories.  Don’t let the sci-fi label or alternate Earth setting fool you–this is a compelling and contemporarily relevant story about race, sex, and social classes.”

–Raymond Benson, Former James Bond novelist and author of the Black Stiletto books

Book One, The Blind Alien, came out in Sept 2015 – Book Six is due for release before Christmas 2017.

Wes-1The epic opens when Malcolm Renbourn, a young history teacher, walks into an ordinary bank on an ordinary day. Suddenly, he feels excruciating pain. Unexpectedly, he loses his sight and discovers he has been drawn against his will across the multi-verse to a slave-holding country on a parallel earth. He doesn’t understand a single word he hears, but he soon comprehends that he is the focal point in the quest to end a plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year on Beta-Earth.

Branded state property, he must escape, but where can a blind man in a strange world dominated by desperate scientists run? And on a world where polygamy is the norm, how can Malcolm Renbourn adapt into becoming the husband of five independent wives who never expected to be the mothers of a generation a planet hopes will carry the genes that will change everything. And that’s just part of the story.

Much of Malcolm’s background was drawn from my own life, especially his blindness and the treatment he endures because of it. Some of his more bizarre encounters actually happened to me, many of them quite comical. People have asked Malcolm and me all sorts of strange questions over the years—Do blind people sleep with their eyes open or closed? How does a blind man aim properly in toilets? Did I know I had a beard?

Of course, most of the book is pure imagination, as in the ghastly plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year, resulting in Beta-Earth’s culture of polygamy. Hence, Malcolm’s growing tribe of wives and children.

Here are a couple more reviews for Blind Alien which is available for only $0.99 for a limited time.

 “An excellent work of new SF that hearkens back to the classics of Asimov and Heinlein. Told from the viewpoint of the different characters, it is a tale of a man from our earth (Alpha) being unwittingly transferred to a parallel earth (Beta) where he must learn to adapt to new cultures, attitudes, languages at the same time as coming to grips with the loss of his sight. Each of the characters are fully developed and well defined and being able to hear their thoughts about each encounter brings a richness to the narratives. Politics, religion, social mores and relationships are all examined from both without and within.”—Dave Massengale, Amazon review

“Spymaster and imaginative author, Dr. Wesley Britton has another big hit! His book takes the reader on a compelling journey of an Alpha earthling who has been spirited to planet Beta. Science-fiction, yes, but much more. The book explores science, medicine, commerce, education, spiritual life, family life and sex on an alternative planet which at times is insightful and hilarious in its comparison to our own Earth. In an ingenious way, Dr. Britton has created a new grammar and vocabulary to continually intrigue the reader. A true winner!” –Bobbi Chertok, Amazon Reviewer

Explore Beta-Earth with Tribe Renbourn as the “Alpha Man” and his wives face irresistible prophecies, island tyrants, the curse of the “Plague-With-No-Name,” and a horrifying death-trade.

Just when Tribe Renbourn is certain they’ve found sanctuary in the country of Alma, they must battle a mutant girl from the aristocracy, a lecherous prince, a theocratic church, and take sides in a world-shaking civil war.

After leading a fleet of exiles from the Alman civil war, Tribe Renbourn becomes embroiled with a duplicitous island royal family, the fight to end the “Plague-With-No-Name,” the invasion of a deadly foe, and the demanding will of the harsh goddess of Beta, Olos.

Forced to leave Beta-Earth behind, six members of Tribe Renbourn are forever transformed when they travel across the multi-verse to be captives of a very different kind of humanity of pairs and must lead the rebellion of the single-bodied “nams.”

Forty years after Malcolm Renbourn was drug across the multi-verse, two of his children from Beta-Earth, and two from Cerapin-Earth travel to our planet where they encounter a world suffering from biological war, climate change, religious zealotry, and fear of what these aliens might bring to a suffering humanity.

For more information regarding Dr. Wesley Britton or The Beta Earth Chronicles, please visit his WEBSITE, BLOG, or FACEBOOK.

 

Series Promo

Author Interview: Bill McCormick

Bill

Author Spotlight

Bill McCormick

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Bill McCormick to the Desu Beast Blog. Bill is definitely one of my most colorful guests with an outré sense of humor. Yes, he makes me giggle (and sometimes blush).

Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

I’m slightly stunned by the fact I’m alive, as is anyone who’s known me for a while. I’m 56 years old, started selling fiction when I was 49, and keep checking every day to see if this is all some cruel joke. I spent decades in the music industry, starting as a musician and working my way into management, eventually running an indy label that was distributed by Warner Brothers. One amazing lawsuit later, it involved the use of our copyrights and not anything we did wrong, I found myself out of work and getting divorced. So, I figured I had nothing to lose. I started taking the voices in my head and sharing them with people. So far, it’s working out pretty well.

That’s amazing. After sharing an author panel with you, I know how personable and humorous you are. So, music to novels. Let’s find out more about that.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

No. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a circus ringmaster. I just thought it was cool there was a job where you got a uniform, got to be in parades, and did no discernible work.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Also boredom. I’d been writing nonfiction about the music industry and pop radio for a while: mostly because I toured with bands and did a specialty show on ABC-FM here in Chicago from 1986 to 1991. Those are not unrelated. Touring and talking to yourself is a great gateway to getting stoned as hell.

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

Humorous dystopian sci-fi. I’m not sure it’s a real genre, but it’s what I write.

  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

The Brittle Riders.

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

Well, as I mentioned above, I spent all of the 80’s, and the early part of the 90’s, stoned off my ass. When I was touring I would get bored and watch the landscape pass by. Since the majority of America is farmland, I’d look at lots of cows and horses and stuff. I started wondering what would happen if they gained sentience. One thing led to another and I had the plot for The Brittle Riders.

  1. Once you had the plot was it easy to write the book?

Oh, hell yeah! This was the early 90’s. I took all my notes, cobbled an outline, and crafted a 1,400 page magnum opus to fantasy. It had a Sword of Truth … you know what, let’s not talk about that. God gifted me with a paper shredder and I was able to save humanity goo-gobs of literary agony. Quite honestly it was so bad that, had it gotten released, I may never have gotten laid again.

Years later, drug free and reasonably sane, I had started getting my short stories published. I ran across my notes on The Brittle Riders and saw some stuff that was worth saving. I kept the titular characters, one villain instead of a dozen or so, and came up with a single story arc. After that I let the characters guide me. I was hoping to get a novella out of it and ended up with a trilogy. Hopefully, in this case at least, bigger is better.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

That would be Sland. He’s rude, violent, insecure, and capable of more than he’s comfortable admitting.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

I really don’t have one. My girlfriend hates Xhaknar because he’s so violent and self serving. But I can’t hate something that fell out of my brain. Tumors and all he’s a part of me.

Trilogy

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

Oolnok. His whole life is spent watching the events of the novel happen around him. He’s not a warrior, not a leader, he’s nobody and everybody all in one. That’s a lot like any of us. We’re not ruling the world, or saving it, we’re just doing what we can to keep a roof over our heads, not piss off whoever’s in charge this week, and make sure our families are protected and safe. He, literally, has nothing to do with the story and yet people seem to like him as much as I do.

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

In the Bible we’re promised a world without end. There’s nothing in there that says humans are guaranteed any part of that.

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

Oooh, toughy. Walter Miller Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz for its glorious look at how religions develop, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on how we perceive authority and reality, Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster for its ability to use poetry as prose (a staple of hers), and others. I would also toss in Harlan Ellison’s Repent Harlequin Said the Tick Tock Man, even though it’s a short, for its passage about using jellybeans to overthrow a government.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

The ones I just named, obviously. I’d add Arthur C. Clarke, David Brin, Anne McCaffrey, Lara Elena Donnelly who recently caught my attention, and there are many more.

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

Is this one of those living or dead questions? I usually prefer the living since the dead don’t talk much. I guess I would pick Vandana Singh. I’d like to know how a native Indian came to encompass Whitman’s bromide, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Also I want to pick her mind about several of her shorts.

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

A few. I just licensed my IP for Legends Parallel, Pestilent, and Bob: Sins of the Son, all graphic novels and comic books, to Nerdanatix for development into video games, animated series and, some day hopefully, live action films or television shows. They will also be developing spin off properties for younger audiences since all my stuff is rated “M” for Mature. That’s not as crazy as it sounds. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was flat out murder porn when it came out. A tweak here and a tweak there and you know what happened after that. And it’s far from the only title to successfully make this transition. Legends Parallel already has two issues out and the other two titles are slated for release in 2018. I did the deal based on the scripts and the quality of the work of the artists involved. I also have the prequel/sequel to The Brittle Riders coming out next year. It’s called Goptri of the Mists and it’s even more twisted that TBR. And, as usual, I can also be found in numerous anthologies.

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

I get asked this a lot and can’t really think of anything. I know nothing’s perfect, but I was allowed to do with this trilogy many things other authors might not be offered. I was even allowed to change the structure of the prose from book to book, starting with Present Perfect and then devolving to a traditional past tense narrative as the story develops. That was purposeful. In the first book the titular characters ignore their pasts, which suck, and don’t believe they have a future since everyone they love is either dead or in exile. As they develop so does the surrounding prose.

 

Brittle Riders Teaser

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

Sure. Because I’m an asshole, and have played one on TV, I’ll share a scene from Book III.

Worlds can change on the tiniest thing. History, written by the winners, tends to edit out the minutiae and record the broader stories. One item that historians would edit out happened now. Which is a shame, because without this event the rest would never have happened.

Nature called and it was Sland’s turn to answer. It was almost even-fall and they could hear the survivors setting up camp on the shore. They’d decided to wait until breaklight to see who was alive and in charge and then figure out their next move.

Sland cared about none of this, although he was aware of it all. He just wanted to find a quiet tree and loose his bowels. He walked a considerable distance from their camp, found a suitable tree, and was just finishing with the last wiping leaf when he heard a harrumphing sound behind him. He slowly rose while pulling his pants up and turned. He was faced with a nice array of weapons, any one of which could kill him instantly. He finished buttoning up and realized that this might be his last moment on Arreti. If so he wanted to go out with a laugh. He stood as tall as he could, expanded his chest and bellowed.

“I am Sland, prince of the Temple of Azarep, blooded warrior of the Brittle Riders. I have come to Kalindor to meet Quelnerom in ritual battle for the throne.”

Yep, that should be good for a laugh. He smiled as he gently stepped away from the steaming pile and waited to be executed. Instead some of the weapons waggled for him to move forward and others waggled for him to put his hands above his head. He complied with both wagglings.

They did not remove his weapons. His gun was still holstered on his thigh and his sword was still sheathed on his back. His many knives were still hidden all over his body. Not that he saw any way of using them without being killed instantly but he noted it since it was odd that he still had them.

They led him to the shore and into the middle of their makeshift camp. He could see they were all wet and tired. They didn’t look good at all. Of course, being blown out of a perfectly good ship and then swimming a kay or so to shore will do that to a brand.

He assumed the reptiloid wearing more feathers and glitter than the rest was Quelnerom. He was dry and reasonably unruffled so Sland figured he must have ridden in one of the boats he saw dragged up on shore. He’d only heard him described but this brand seemed to fit the description. One of his captors reeled off his bona fides as he’d given them and then they all stepped back a respectful distance.

Sland chuckled to himself. He sincerely doubted that Quelnerom would follow through with anything other than having him killed where he stood. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Quelnerom stood and stared at him.

“You carry a sword. Is it for decoration or can you use it?”

Sland was astounded. Geldish was going to kill him if he survived this.

“The sword has been blooded.”

Quelnerom nodded appreciatively. “Remove all your other weapons.”

Sland did as he was told and that took a bit. When he was done his gun, holster, and eight knives lay in a neat array to the side. The reptiloids looked as though it were a small’s illusion show as each knife appeared from a different place. He stepped back to the center of the group and looked at Quelnerom.

Quelnerom was handed a sword and he aimed it forward in the ritual salute. Sland, seeing no option, unsheathed his sword and crossed his with Quelnerom’s.

Quelnerom nodded and lunged.

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

Apocalypses are funny that way. The second I wrote it I knew I had a tagline for the series.

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

Vodka makes the world better. If you’re single groupies, preferably rich ones, are a good call too. I would also suggest they write everything. Speeches, ad copy, out of genre stories, anything and everything. Even if they never come back to those methods again they’ll be better writers knowing them.

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

Yessiree Bob. Or, Yessiree Aaron-Michael, as the case may be.  I’ll be appearing at the Motor City Black Age of Comics convention on November 18th at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan.

Thank you for visiting the Desu Beast Blog. I have my copies of The Brittle Riders and can’t wait to get started! I’ll be stopping by your booth during the Virtual FantasyCon. Great Success!

For more information about Bill McCormick, please visit his WEBSITE.  You can see him in person at the Motor City Black Age of Comics, and virtually at the current FantasyCon event on FACEBOOK.

You can enjoy a recent panel discussion on What Makes an Epic Saga featuring Bill McCormick.

Interview with TaLynn Kel

TaLynn

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the amazing TaLynn Kel. If you haven’t heard that name before, she’s an exceptional person and cosplayer that you might want to learn more about. TaLynn is an inspiration for many and headlines numerous events in the Atlanta (and surrounding) areas.

Please enjoy this short interview and get to know Talynn and me a little better. She has a wonderful personality that exudes confidence and affability. I’m looking forward to the next time that we can sit down and chat.

You can view the full video below that includes additional interviews with authors Antoinette Houston and Mark McCray.

 

For more information about TaLynn, please visit her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, and TWITTER pages.

Author Interview: Delizhia Jenkins

DJ_A_

Author Spotlight
Delizhia Jenkins

Today, I’m pleased to welcome Delizhia Jenkins to the Desu Beast Blog. Delizhia is a multi-genre author who loves vampires and urban fantasy. Let’s meet this talented author and learn more about her numerous novels and projects.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

I knew I always wanted to write. In fact, I developed a love for writing when I was in the third grade and have been writing ever since. I wrote sorts of short stories, poems….I even dabbled in writing song lyrics in my teens thinking that would be my career move as an adult.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

Xena the Warrior Princess. Six years ago, I was in a moment in my life where I was ready to begin writing again after a long hiatus. Storylines and characters were dancing around in my head, and I had just begun to jot them down on paper. Then one afternoon, I was watching Xena the Warrior Princess when it hit me: a storyline about a god slayer. And from there, Nubia Rising: The Awakening was born.

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  1. What genre(s) do you write?

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy for adults and young adults is my thing.

  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

The Vampire Hunters Academy The Shadows

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

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the late L.A. Banks. In fact, she is really the reason why I fell in love with the SciFi genres. Moreover, I wanted to write something that I thought would carry on her legacy, because let me be honest her Vampire Huntress Legends series is the best in fiction. So, I knew with Slayer novels, I wanted to do something different. I am a fan of Buffy too but I wanted my story to be MINE. I thought about where I could go with a huntress story and with this particular story my main character will have a spin off series as an adult. So, I decided to start her off at a school that trains specially gifted students to fight vampires and all entities of darkness because let’s face it: a kid with a talent for clairvoyance will not be accepted nor will they fit in in a regular school. My Slayer, or “Chosen One” is a single female born every few thousand years to tip the scales in the favor of the Light. She is the hope of the world but before I set her off into her destiny, I wanted to give readers a chance to grow up with her. Thus, The Vampire Hunters Academy was created.

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  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character from all of my books written would be Damien from Blind Salvation.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

In The Vampire Hunters Academy, the Slayer’s best friend is annoying as hell but fun to write. In my other books, the character I dislike the most would be Queen Natalia (Into the Shadows).

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

I am going to share a secret with you: Every main character written with the exception of one, is a different version of myself. Sanaya, Kitara, Sin, Kennedy, Mary, Danielle, Dawn…they are all me.

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

Yes there is. I want my readers to find me in my books. If you really want to know me, read my work. I also place “gems” for my readers to think about with the goal of encouraging them to do the research.

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

L.A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress Legends series, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander and Fever series, those books have had a heavy influence on me. L.A. Banks’ novels taught me the importance of creating relatable characters. J.R.Ward made me think outside of the box, and forced me to really think about my characters as individuals. Karen Marie Moning is brilliant when it comes to descriptive imagery and setting the scenes. I learned a lot from these women without ever having to meet them.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

L.A. Banks, J.R. Ward, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole and Karen Marie Moning.

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

L.A. Banks

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

I am working on another god-slayer book called Celeste, which will definitely be interesting because it involves Voodoo. Also, I will be re-releasing my Shadows book which is a series (paranormal romance to be exact) and I will be releasing its sequel around the same time this year.

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

No. There are moments when I think, “Dang I should have done this or that,” but when I sit down and work on its sequels, I am happy with the direction the story is going.

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

Here is an excerpt from book 3 of The Vampire Hunters Academy, The Reckoning (Available October 30, 2017):

The attack was swift, and Sanaya barely had enough time to use her own blade to block the entity’s strike. Steel met steel as the two danced, recognition flooded Sanaya’s memory instantly. This was one of the Seven! Which had to mean that Cain was closer than what she initially thought. She swung, catching the vampire with her fist and then following through with a swift kick to her chest. But the vampire was too fast and stronger than anything Sanaya had fought up until this point.

 “Sanaya!” She heard Archer calling out to her but she did not have time to think let alone respond. She barely missed another hard strike. And another. And then the vampire disappeared into mist. The tension in the air thickened. Nothing but the sound of her own beating heart pounding against her breast bone filled her ears. Her Guardians were silent.

 And then the entity reappeared behind her, snatching her by the back of her neck and slamming her into the concrete. Gun shots rang out. Sanaya’s body hit the concrete with so much force that it split. Pain shot through her, blinding her. However, adrenaline kept her in the fight. Flipping back on her feet he went for the entity again, with the sweet chime! Of the Millennium Blade slice through the air connecting with the entity’s own blade.

 More gun shots followed by the foolish bravery of King and Trent heading straight for vampire.

 “No!” Sanaya shouted at them but it was too late.

 The vampire smiled and spun around quickly, using the same telekinetic force used on Tatsu, she flung both Guardian potentials into the cast iron fence. The two young men ricochet from the fence onto the wet grass and from what Sanaya could tell they were bruised but nonetheless ok. Refocusing her energies on the fight at hand, the entity took advantage of the split-second distraction and in a movement to fast for the eyes to follow she hit Sanaya with several hard punches knocking her to the ground and The Millennium Blade flying in the opposite direction.

 Badly beaten but not ready to give up, Sanaya pushed herself up. Maya’s chants could be heard off in the distance, while Danny did his best to distract the entity with the fireballs he launched at her from the palms of his hands. A dense darker energy awakened once again in Sanaya’s psyche, just as it did with Cain. Her cracked ribs were already beginning to knit themselves together, but not quickly enough for Sanaya to escape being snatched from where she stood and into the powerful grip of the fallen huntress.

 A beam of light flashed across the sky and from it appeared Aklia, Natasha and Raya who hit the ground running to Sanaya’s aid.

 “Annalia,” Aklia commanded. “Let her go.”

Annalia’s laughter filled the dense night air as the Slayers faced off with their former protégé.

 “You bitches were too stupid to realize that I am the Slayer the prophecy spoke of and not this little tramp!”

 “You are no longer a huntress Annalia,” Aklia said calmly. “Now let her go.”

 “Well neither is she!”

 No words would ever be effective enough to describe the pain of Annalia sinking her dagger like fangs into Sanaya’s throat. She felt the terror sink in to her Guardian team and the Council Members. Maya’s chanting grew louder as the ground began to tremble. Aklia was pure motion. In a sweeping move, she struck Annalia with multiple energy blasts from her palms, forcing the vampire to release Sanaya’s limp body.

 Sanaya collapsed on the pavement, gasping for air and gripping her mangled throat. With each struggle for breath, the vampire toxin filtered in through her veins, liquifying her from the inside out. Thrashing about on the pavement from the pain, she could barely see the fight between The Slayers and the vampire huntress. Her Guardians went nuts, and she could hear the parade of more feet hitting the pavement in a full run. King was the first to reach her.

 “Baby!” He croaked as he gently tried to raise her up.

 “Don’t move her!” Archer commanded. “Don’t move her.”

 Demon entities surround them. Their disembodied spirits awaiting Maya’s command. Steel met steel off in the distance. Guardians were cursing, emptying shells, and the emergency alarms went off, warning students and staff that the school was once again on lock down.

 King’s warm hands covered her own. “I’m right here…”

 “Don’t…don’t leave me,” she managed to say just before the pain took over and stripped her of her consciousness.

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

Sadly I do not. My characters say all types of things at any given moment, so right now, no.

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

Do your research and be ready to do the work. The work begins AFTER you write the book.

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

No. I am just focused on completing my projects and taking it from there.

Thank you for stopping by the Desu Beast Blog, Delizhia. Great success on your published and upcoming novels. I’m looking forward to reading In the Light of Darkness.

For more information about Delizhia Jenkins, please check out her AMAZON and FACEBOOK pages.

 

Author Interview – Antoinette Houston

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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

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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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.

Write On Podcast Interview

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I recently had the pleasure to sit down with an exceptional author and Write On podcast host, Tom Fallwell. Click the link below to download and listen to this phenomenal interview!

Author Interview

“The debut episode of Write On with Tom Fallwell features an interview with the incomparable Aaron-Michael Hall, a Book Review of Magnolia Secrets by Beth Hale, and a couple of Book Readings: The Redoubt by Devorah Fox, read by Angela B. Chrysler, and The Winter That Follows by L.G. Surgeson, read by the author.”

Do not forget to follow the podcast. The coming line-up is amazing! Write On!

aaron

Author Interview – TJ Morris

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Author Spotlight
TJ Morris

Today I would like to welcome cross-genre author TJ Morris to the Desu Beast Blog. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

I have. I have been writing since I was in high school. I started my novel in the 90’s and recently found new inspiration and have not looked back!

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

I was researching schizophrenia and Cromwellian history. I wrote a sentence and followed the character from there. I let some people read it, great trepidation there; when they said it was really good I finished it.

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

I have written a bit of poetry, a few short stories (character sketches), and science fiction. Science fiction is my true love.

  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

The Cathedral” is the novel currently on the stands, I have a novelette titled “Dahmba,” and the sequel “The Cathedral” will be out soon be out, “Heaven’s Gate.”

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

Through my research into topics that interested me, a background in gaming, and a fertile imagination, I envisioned my characters and followed them through their stories. I am an organic writer and truly believe the characters drive the story line and not the opposite.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

His given name is But for the Love of Jesus Christ We would all be Damned Smith, the III: BC for short. He is a conflicted fellow and you really cannot tell what his disposition is … good or evil. He has a path to travel and it is difficult and full of emotional turmoil, conflicted characters draw me.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

It is hard for me to name a least favorite. Even my antagonists draw me. The point of a good foil is to make the interaction dynamic. I believe I accomplish this and my story is buoyed as such. The characters drive the storyline both antagonist and protagonist.

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

I actually think I relate most to a secondary character in my second novel, “Heaven’s Gate.” He has had a number of struggles in life including alcohol abuse and contempt for the organizations in which he is engaged. He refuses to toe the line if it is not a correct one to toe. His name is Popatus. As a person he has motivated and inspired many, as a human he struggles. He represents to me the plight of most of us.

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

Life is a journey. We all have to travel it and no one is guaranteed an easy walk. Life is about the trials and your success/failure. What do you learn? How do you improve? How do you triumph?

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

I would have to say first is “Foundation and Empire” by Isaac Asimov. His antagonist, the Mule. is an intricate character who would not be considered a power in most circles. The disruption to the Seldon Plan he causes defies everything the great minds predicted.  Next is Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse,” the visceral nature of the main characters pain and path really quantifies the struggle between good and evil and the knife’s edge one walks when taking justice into one’s own hands. I would be remiss if I did not include “The Hobbit,” and “The Lord of the Rings.” This book really sparked my interest in reading in high school.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

The aforementioned Asimov, Clancy and Tolkien. I think in terms of my emotional content I would have to include Nathaniel Hawthorne … the darkness of his works with the overall message is compelling. Johnathan Edwards … never has anyone portrayed vitriol in terms of our destiny to try and do good as he did. Finally Walt Whitman … his style and relentless pursuit of topics that were pariah was inspiring.

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

I think I would have to say Nathaniel Hawthorne. How does a customs clerk write stories that encapsulate the struggle between good and evil in such a human setting? His societal commentaries were potent, accurate and strong. The best summation of this is the sexton’s last words in “The Minister’s Black Veil:” when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!”

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

I am in the process of publishing my second novel, “Heaven’s Gate.” I am really excited to be starting a steam punk novel, “The Cogsworth Conundrum,” which will use the imagery of steam punk one sees at conventions. I want to bring the steam punk aura into the forefront by writing imagery about the Waldos (Heinlein), actuators, articulated steam driven mechanisms to bring the background of our conventions to the forefront. I also have another novelette coming out, “Star Walker,” which will have a story about an African Queen who leads her people from oppression, to freedom and strength.

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

I would change my prologue. In hindsight I have worried the juxtaposition of time could confuse readers. I still believe it was important for continuity in the book but some of my younger readers have said the time shift threw them of; not so with more advanced readers.

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

BC wiped his tears and looked deeply into Raysa’s eyes. “Life has a value above any other thing in this galaxy. I detest its taking. Had I not taken these lives, my life and yours would have been forfeit. I could not lose you any more than I could lose myself.”

“But you don’t even know me,” she said.

“I know,” he replied, “but I know the purity that I see when I looked into your pathways … and that innocence is worth the world.”

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

“You are adjudicated!”

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

Hammer the keys. If it isn’t what you want continue. If you are afraid someone will critique you, continue. Follow your characters and see what is around them and in their minds. You will be amazed at where they take you. Find someone you can talk to about your work; it will inspire you and keep you going.

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

I will be at Treklanta April 28th through the 30th. I will also be attending Wholanta May 5th through 7th

  1. Do you have any links that you would like to share?

Tjmorrisauthor.com and boldventurepress.com

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Desu Beast Blog. I am looking forward to reading The Cathedral and your other future works.

It was also a pleasure meeting you at the SciFi and Fantasy Expo this month. You are a fantastic new talent!

For more information about TJ Morris or his novels, please visit his WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, and SMASHWORDS.

Read long and prosper!

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