Category Archives: Author Interviews

Interview with Rhys B. Crabtree

Rhys B. Crabtree was born and raised on the Gulf Coast where he developed a love for reading, writing, and the Pagan practices found in the heart of New Orleans and the great swathes of country lands north of I-10. Fènwa World is the first novel in The Seven Worlds series (which is currently planned to have a total of seven books) and is his first published novel-length work.

More information and insider knowledge can be found at his WordPress website http://www.thesevenworlds.net (including rough draft peeks at the first three books, random facts, pronunciation lists, and a working glossary). Mr Crabtree is also on Instagram and Facebook, both under his name and The Seven Worlds series’ title.

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
    1. I’m a trans man (female to male), former Navy meteorologist, and a Pagan High Priest for my Tradition (known as the Greywalker Tradition which is where I got the race one of the main characters hails from). I’m the youngest of four for my adoptive father, youngest of five for my birth father, and am my mother’s only child. I’m a DoD trained victim advocate as well as trained by a local victim advocacy support organization. I’m also polyamorous and currently have a partner and datefriend. I also am diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (I’m known as a multitude which essentially means my “Alters” whom I refer to as “Others” and I share a symbiotic relationship, each of them are their own separate people with their own emotions and memories rather than facets of my own main personality. It’s also an exceptionally rare form of D.I.D.); this disorder is also where I came up with the setup of and their Others/the race of Otherborn. I’m known as a medical anomaly because I was supposed to be the mirror twin to my identical twin brother but instead consumed him in utero; as a result, I have smaller than average kidneys, my heart is located slightly left of my sternum, extra joints alongside several primary ones, and above average healing/recovery time to name a few. I also suffer from severe fibromyalgia, costochondritis, major depressive disorder, and complex PTSD and was officially diagnosed as a sexually sadistic sociopath (meaning I experience sexual pleasure from the pain/discomfort of others, more particularly my sexual partners but not always limited to them, and have no empathy whatsoever as well as limited emotional ranges and what emotions I do feel are skewed/different from a non-sociopathic individual).
  2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
    1. .. when I was I want to save 7yrs old? I wrote my first technically chapter story while my mum did Saturday detention at the high school where she taught at. It was a ghost/horror story set in the school itself but done in an alternate reality of sorts. When my mum read it she encouraged me to write more, said she loved it, that it was really good. I don’t know how truthful that was hahaha but hey, it worked. When I picked up the very first truly fantasy book in 2001 when I was 11 years old called The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass, I became determined to share the stories I had in my own head to build a World as expansive as what she had and put it to paper for others to read and enjoy.
  3. How long does it take you to write a book?
    1. I think the shortest time frame is roughly 7 months from prologue to final entry (I call them entries while still penning the rough draft, chapters once completed). Though I’m on track to likely beat that time frame with book four (which I’m currently working on). But it all depends on how my schedule ends up playing out given there’s a lot of upheaval in my personal life at the moment.
  4. Were there any challenges in getting your first book published?
    1. A bit. If only because I was torn between wanting to go the “traditional” route of submitting to a publishing house or self-publishing through places such as Amazon. In the end I went with Amazon because I’ve been working on this series for over a decade and a half and I’m impatient. After that… it became a matter of trying to figure out formatting for the book itself. I’m not 100% pleased with how it came out, but I plan to republish with a better cover and fixed formatting soon as I can.
  5. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
    1. Finding music that fits whatever emotional impact I’m aiming for in an entry/chapter or block of entries/chapters. As well as getting my muses to fixate on one singular idea at a time instead of all of them at the same time, hahaha. And well not having unrelated personal issues affect my mood when I sit down to write new content, especially if the mood I bring to my office doesn’t mesh with the mood I’m supposed to be in for whatever I’m working on.
  6. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
    1. Insane? We’ll go with that. When I’m writing new entries/doing overhaul edits on a finished first draft, I can sit at my desk anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours straight, with obvious bathroom breaks and breaks taken to fill up my water bottle. I think the longest I sat focused on writing was like 10 to 12 hours with minimal breaks. That was during the first draft writing of Fènwa World (book one) towards the end because I was in a crunch to finish it before I went on vacation.
  7. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
    1. If I’m interrupted when writing the rough draft of an entry before a certain point where I have the majority of the base of what I want it to contain, I will lose the entirety of it and have to start from scratch. Problem is, I never know where that line is until I’ve passed it. So sometimes it can be 300 words in, sometimes 2k, sometimes 5k.
  8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
    1. Spend time with my datefriend (when they can come down, they live out of town in Columbia, SC, about 1.5 hour drive from me) and my partner (when he isn’t working). I also enjoy going to the gym, harassing my three fur children (I have a Maine Coon named George and two black cats named Tarzan and Turk), and reading.
  9. What has influenced you the most as a writer?
    1. That’s a tough one. I wanna say probably my friend Devin Ladner (author of the book Anaya, which can be found on Amazon). When she was first writing Anaya she posted it on WordPress and it gave me the idea to do the same. Not only to keep me accountable and track my progress but also to get instant feedback from readers. And having that kept me writing, even when I had a period where personal life issues made me step away for some four months and nearly lose the draft, I had finally gotten started.
  10. Do you have any suggestions to help other’s become a better writer? If so, what are they?
    1. Honestly this answer would depend on what you’re struggling with writing-wise. Though the key piece of advice I always give authors is when it comes to writing, write like you’re verbally telling the story. And by all the gods, people watch. People watch and, in your head, try and describe how they’re moving, how they look when they talk, when a certain emotion crosses their face, their change in tone, body language, etc. But when you do, do so in a way that with your eyes closed you can picture exactly what you first saw. Then take that description and write it. Boom! Movie-like descriptions. This also works for dialogue, too, though that tends to be trickier.

      Also read. Read books both in your preferred writing genre and outside of it. Read fanfiction about your favorite books and TV shows and movies. Notate while you do what elements you like, what annoy you, what common mistakes are, what writing styles just speaks to you and which ones don’t. And then take those elements and apply them to your writing as it stands, then make adjustments as needed/accordingly.

  11. What do you think makes a good story?
    1. The relatability. Sometimes this is found in the realistic quality of the characters (even in the fantasy genre), sometimes it’s found in the situations characters are put in and how they get themselves through/out of those situations. Other times it’s found in the setting. But that’s only the half of it. The other half comes in the impact all of the story itself and the relatability it carries. A really good story sticks with a reader from the second they put it down for a break until they pick it back up again; it burrows deep into their mind so that even years, decades even, after they’ve finished reading it, they still think about it. They dream about it, they read fanfiction about it, write fanfiction about it. Look for fan art, make fan art. A really good story doesn’t just hold on to you while you’re reading it, it keeps holding you even once you’ve stopped.
  12. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
    1. Ironically enough, I wanted to be a writer.
  13. What is your writing Kryptonite?
    1. Being unable to find the right music I’m looking for when writing a new entry/doing edits. And being interrupted before I reach that crucial point where I can safely step away and not lose what I’m working on like I mentioned in #7.
  14. How do you conquer writer’s block?
    1. Depends on how bad it is. Either I’ll read over previous entries/chapters/books in the series I’m working on or just old content of mine in general that contains the mood/emotions I’m aiming for. Or I’ll just step away and read a book, watch a TV show or movie on Netflix, or go out with friends and let the ideas come back when they come. Because forcing them gets me nowhere and frustrated.
  15. What is your favorite genre to read, and why?
    1. That’s a tough one. I love horror above all others but fantasy horror comes in a very close second. Horror is my favorite genre to read because there is so much you can put into it. And I love seeing how other writers view the psychological and emotional responses characters/people have to certain horror-typed situations and how, or if, they differ from mine. I’m also an adrenaline junky and horror gives me that perfect fix without me having to deal with the phobia I have of heights and ride a rollercoaster or something.
  16. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
    1. An animal from my series called a snakat; a creature with the body of a snake, cat-like ears and head with a front set of paws. Largest known one in the Worlds per canon was 6ft long and weighed nearly 150lbs.
  17. What is your favorite childhood book?
    1. Hands down The Wayfarer Redemption series by Sara Douglass. I tend to not have a favorite book but rather a favorite series, hahaha.
  18. Tell us about your upcoming novels, or what you’re working on.
    1. Basically I’m working on the continuation of The Seven Worlds series following Rhyshladlyn Ka’ahne and others. The next book to be published would be book two titled Txitweb World with Imèn World and Anglë World (books three and four respectively) following after.
  19. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
    1. Remember that not everyone who reads your work will like it and that’s okay. Just like you don’t like every single thing you read; others are the same. Don’t let critics make you feel like you’re doing a disservice to your characters or the story overall. You are the writer and what you do to/with those characters and the Worlds in which they operate is up to you and no one else. Don’t give up.
  20. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
    1. Not that I can think of right now. Oh! Wait. If y’all write or have written fanfiction of my work? Send a link to the official Facebook page and I will happily check it out. Same with fan art.

 

Share a few links to where readers can find you online. (These can be Amazon links, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/rhysbcrabtree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSevenWorldsSeries/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARBonx888O3xp02Lzz3rIphpWSOL4mrCeWEXCsxhTiRCE_tJtifXEAXlUY32bWLU6yvNzRTUBt0hkDO8

Instagram both mine and the series’: @official_rhysbcrabtree_author and @official_thesevenworlds_series

WordPress: www.thesevenworlds.net

Author Interview with R.L Andrew

RLAndrew

  1. Where are you from? Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
  2. When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer? When I was a child.
  3. How long have you been writing? I’ve written short stories and poems since I was a kid but as only taken writing seriously for the last five years or so.
  4. What genre do you write? Science Fiction and horror. Occasionally others.
  5. What are you working on now? Editing the sequel to my first book ‘A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YCZDK5) – ‘A Demigoddess’s Guide to Interplanetary Parenting’ before it goes to my Editor then Publisher in hopefully a couple of months and plotting/planning the third – ‘A Demigoddesses Guide to Inter dimensional InLaws’.
  6. What inspires you to write? Myself. I believe inspiration for me comes from planning, thinking, creating and hard work. I sit down everyday and write, always working towards a goal. I have to make sure I have what I’m going to write clear in my head before I do sit down. Then I put myself in the background of the scene and let it play out.
  7. Who is your biggest influence as a writer? It’s definitely been my Mentor/Editor and now Publisher Randall Andrews. He’s taught, encouraged, supported me and truly made the biggest difference to my writing life. He continues to do so.
  8. Do you have anything published? If so can you tell us a little about your latest publication? Aside from a number of short stories published in Anthologies internationally my first book ‘A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YCZDK5) has been published by Ja-Col Publishing Inc.
  9. Where is your ideal writing spot? On my couch with a settee, my legs up and my macbook on my lap.
  10. Is there a routine you have to go through to get in the writing mood? I sit down, put myself in the scene and write. A lot of mental battle goes into that as I’m chronically ill. Everyday I wake up I do not want to get out of bed and have ever reason to feel that way. But I get nothing achieved with that state of mind. It doesn’t change my pain levels but it does change my mental health for the better – positively. Instead of wallowing while in pain, I’ve created – written books while in pain, something has come from it.
  11. As a writer, what is the biggest area you’ve struggled in? Commas. I totally suck at them, my editor will verify this lol. I work hard at figuring those out but I still seem to screw it up. I’ll get there eventually.
  12. Any advice for upcoming young writers? Be open to challenges, learning about the craft, and giving up any preconceived ideas you have about being a great writer right off the batt. Like most things it takes work, effort and learning. Don’t talk about doing it, don’t think about doing it, just do it.
  13. What has worked for you? Setting realistic goals for myself and working towards them. There’s always a million excuses for not finding time to write each day but you only need one reason to do it and you’ll achieve great things over time.
  14. Other than writing, what do you do? I love horror movies, gardening and cooking when I”m able to. Funnily enough I’ve created some of my most delicious meals while hunched over and shallow breathing. It’s amazing what you can do if you push yourself. Though i realise you probably shouldn’t always do that!
  15. Have you written anyone you know into your novels? If so, why were they important to that particular story? Oh heck yes. They might not be directly named but everyone I’ve ever known, met or encountered shows up somewhere in my books. Depending on what type of people they are is what type of characters they end up as.
  16. Do you have any upcoming events (release parties, giveaways, etc.) or book releases coming up? If so feel free to provide the links. My first book has been released as an ebook and should be released in paper back within the next couple of weeks. I am doing a few in person book launches where I live but it’s too far for you guys to come.
  17. Is there anything else you would like to share with us? The only person that stops you from doing something is you. And if you are dead set on achieving something nothing will stop you.

Some Fun Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite line from any movie? They’re here.
  2. If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction? A disaster movie with plenty of action and dark comedy.
  3. Who would you want to play you? Claudia Karvan – she’s an Australian Actress I’d also love to play my main character in a show or movie.
  4. What is your favorite quote? This too shall pass – because it does. It’s inevitable.
  5. Name 5 favorite movies. John Wick, Selfless, The Conjuring, Evil Dead (original) and thirteen ghosts.
  6. Why? There are too many reasons but I can watch them over and over and not get sick of them.
  7. Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.Spring and early summer. I hate the cold. Mostly because I have a small build and it’s impossible to get warm enough. And you can’t spend much time outdoors when it’s cold and wet.

The Flavors of a Good Ghost Story

The Flavors of a Good Ghost Story

By Dreaming Novelist Laura K. Cowan

 

Guest Post for Chasity Nicole

April 21, 2014

 

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“Not All Ghost Stories Are Sad.” That’s the line I have used to introduce people to my upcoming literary supernatural novel, Music of Sacred Lakes [ http://www.amazon.com/Music-Sacred-Lakes-Laura-Cowan/dp/1494711427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390140902&sr=8-1&keywords=music+of+sacred+lakes ] , in which a young man is helped to a discovery of his place of belonging in the world by the spirit of a girl he accidentally killed. There was a time when I thought all ghost stories were the same. But if you dive into the supernatural genre, particularly the YA flavor my fellow author Chasity Nicole writes so well, or the spiritual end that is my playground, you find a much richer genre.

 

“A beautiful young girl with a free spirit, so I’m told. Let’s see if we can break that spirit. I’m Miss Elleanora.” So begins Chasity’s story of Miss Elleanora’s Boarding School of Buried Dreams, in which children who misbehave are fed to a mysterious monster beneath the school. From this story to her haunting tales in the upcoming Sins of the Past historical horror anthology and Shades of Fear [change title if anthology name changes] in which we are both taking part, you can see how Chasity balances the frightening and the humorous, the human spirit and the things that try to suck it dry from the hereafter.

 

My stories? Well, they’re pretty strange as well. In Music of Sacred Lakes [ http://www.amazon.com/Music-Sacred-Lakes-Laura-Cowan/dp/1494711427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390140902&sr=8-1&keywords=music+of+sacred+lakes ] the protagonist Peter is pursued by strange images and sounds that haunt him through his waking and sleeping hours. The spirit of the girl he killed rises out of Lake Michigan under the Northern Lights and tries to help him understand something very important about the world around him and his place in it. And ultimately, it is the lake itself he hears whispering this truth to him when he finally finds an inner silence and gives up his will to die. But this story is so far afield from the standard ghost story that you might not even be sure that that’s what it is. I’m not even sure that that’s what it is! I love to write stories that are on a fringe like Chasity’s, where even I’m not quite sure how to explain them. I think that’s the key to a really good ghost story. It leaves you feeling a bit haunted, not quite with all the answers, but with some very interesting questions and an unforgettable experience. Who needs all the answers, anyway?

 

 

Laura K. Cowan, The Dreaming Novelist, writes imaginative novels that explore the possibilities of the human condition through the connections between the spiritual and natural worlds. Her debut novel The Little Seer spent its launch week at #2 and #5 on the Kindle Bestseller List for free titles in Christian Suspense and Occult/Supernatural, and was hailed by reviewers and readers as “riveting,” “moving and lyrical.” Laura’s second novel, a redemptive ghost story titled Music of Sacred Lakes, and her first short story collection, The Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen, will be available soon. Connect with Laura on her website LauraKCowan.com, on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

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Interview with Jane Peskara/Audrey Valentine- An author of many genres with one common goal of helping people- 2/28/14

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Jane Peskara/Audrey Valentine- An author of various genres with the goal to make the world a better place.

 

I had the lovely privilege of being able to interview the lovely Jane Peskara this evening and find out more about her and her writing endeavors. 

 

Q&A:

How old are you? Where are you from?

Jane is 23 years old and from Vienna, Austria. She writes under the pen name Jane Peskara/Audrey Valentine, but her real name is Sabrina.

When did you realize that writing is what you wanted to do?

Jane has wrote stories since she first learned how to write when she was seven years old. She started out writing essays in school, amazing her teachers. In 2000, she started writing longer stories and then a few years ago she began writing her first novel. Jane realized then that she being an author was her dream. She said, “I am an author at heart already.”

What are you writing about?

 Mostly Jane writers thriller and love based books and trying to write an erotica book. She is also trying to write one or two children’s books.She already has many ideas. Besides novels she writers poems, and songs, and is also working on a biography.

Can you tell us a bit about your book?

She has ten novels that are already finished, and about forty new ideas, although none of them have been published yet. Jane said, “I now have enough courage to publish this year.” She will publish her first novel, SINFUL, that is about a guy who has everything but still starts having an affair. The affair leads to dramatic incidents, and he even has to fear for his life and the life of his family. Jane states, “Sinful is a thriller with some erotic scenes and some drama.”

What do you want to achieve with your writing?

Jane stated, “Well I would lie if I wouldn’t say I really would love to write for a living, which would be awesome, so my passion would be my job.”  But Jane said she knows how hard it is to become famous nowadays because everyone can call himself an author. She wants to achieve publishing her book, and hopefully more to follow, and gain readers who purchase and read the books. Jane wants to entertain them, scare them, make them dream big and escape for a while from their everyday lives. She also hopes to support people who suffer, that is why she posts blogs about bullying and such. She wants to help people in the way of giving them a place where they can go to with her books, and be there if they need someone to talk to. “I want to change the world for the better and I am serious about that.”

Do you have any idols?

Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, The Dali Llama and Fran Drescher (she’s an actress and has endured a lot), these people are her main inspiration for how she wants to live.

Jane’s writing inspirations are: Karin Slaughter, Lisa Jackson, Chris Carter, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, Cody McFadyen, Lynwood Barclay, and Jodi Picoult.

Do you like to read? If so do you have any favorite authors or genres? What do you not like to read?

Jane loves to read, and has been able to read fluently since the age of six. Her favorite authors are the one’s mentioned as her writing inspirations, and her absolute favorite author is Karin Slaughter. Her favorite genres are thriller, horror, romance, poems, self-help, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as Non-fiction. Jane doesn’t really like fantasy and mystery that much and she absolutely won’t read a sci-fi unless it’s for a good friend.

Is there something important you want the readers to know about you?

The most important thing you should know about Jane is that she is honest, loyal and has been through a lot of crap in her life, and it’s still far from being easy. She says she does fight and that some days she doesn’t know how to move on, but she knows that there are people who have things worse. She knows that she is stronger now and that she wants to help others. “And let me add: I love writing and reading, music and movies. And writing and to know others read it would be so amazing that I probably would collapse. So I think that’s important for others to know about me.”

What are your plans for the future (as a writer and private)?

Jane wants to reach people with her stories and one day even with her songs and poems. She wants to touch a person’s life, so not only writing for herself but for them as well. Jane never wants to be an author that writes just for the money, she wants to write because of the passion and love she has for writing. She also never wants to be the writer that writes 500 pages just because the publisher house wants it or to earn more money. “If my story is told in 50000 words then so be it.” Jane also wants to make screenwriting school so she can begin writing screenplays and wants one or more of her books to be turned into a movie one day. 

Jane’s private goals are to get a job, move out from home, and one day have her own home with a garden and a little pool with a pet or two and a child. She wants to start her life in Austria with her boyfriend from Australia, and knows that it won’t be easy. “But as I say “Dream big”.  You have to have goals and dreams in life. No one can tell the future so I can’t plan everything (sadly because I am an over thinker and analyze everything) but I can set goals and do my best to reach them.” She also wants to do some traveling.

 

Links for Jane/Audrey

 

Facebook

Youtube

Goodreads

Website