Saturday, April 23, 2016

Science Fiction & the World of Possibilities

Author Jennifer-Crystal Johnson

Of all the book genres out there, science fiction is my favorite. Not only to write, but also to read – and watch, as long as it’s done well. Sci-fi makes you think and explore the possibilities of technology and other worlds; it always has. In the past, it predicted technology we could only dream of 30-40 years ago that has become a reality now. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty amazing!

Then there’s the idea of space travel and alien life, which is also fascinating. However, this has been done a lot and I’m more interested in the possibilities of things that are unseen – things we, as humans, may not be able to perceive with our senses at this time. Things like other dimensions and the possibility of the spirit world as well as potential other worlds running parallel to our perceived dimension. It would certainly explain why some people see ghosts and spirits... and shadow people.
Shortly after my son was born (he’s six now), I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and put on fluoxetine. While I was on this medication, it seemed as though all of my dreams at night involved creatures of some sort – not monsters, per say, but strange creatures that I’d never heard of or seen before.

If You're Human Don't Open the Door
Someone asked me if I thought it was possible that my subconscious was getting a glimpse into alternate dimensions. That got me thinking... a lot! I wondered if that could really be possible, and I did use my dreams and the creatures in them as fodder for some of my short horror stories in If You’re Human Don’t Open the Door.

Fibers by Jennifer-Crystal Johnson
That wasn’t the first time I used my dreams as inspiration. My imagination goes crazy with ideas, especially when I’m sleeping, so my dreams have always been a source of ideas and things to think about. The exception, it seems, is The Infiltration Trilogy (Fibers being book #1).

There are so many things we don’t know and haven’t discovered yet, and I love considering the possibilities, even if they seem outrageous at first. In Fibers, I took elements of real life and explored some of those possibilities. A mysterious and incurable disease, beings from another dimension, a secret agreement between their leaders and ours, and those afflicted with Morgellons catching glimpses of the beings from another dimension – the idea was really exciting, and now the first part of it has come to fruition through this novel.

If you love the world of possibilities, I invite you to read my new novel, Fibers =). If you’d like to know more before you make a purchase (it’s $0.99 on the Kindle until Sunday, April 24th), please sign up for my author newsletter. I’m putting the final touches on a series of 12 emails containing excerpts of the novel for your enjoyment, so if you’d like to receive those emails, please go to 
www.JenniferCrystalJohnson.com and enter your name and email address.


I hope you dive right in and enjoy imagining what’s possible in the amazing sci-fi genre!

Follow Jennifer-Crystal Johnson on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Meet Author E A Hargrave and Discover How an Illness Inspired Him to Write

Author E A Hargrave
Author Q&A:

Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? 
I am a very passionate part-time writer. 

Would you ever be a full-time writer? 
Yes, I am lookin foreword to full-time writing.

Did you always know you would be a writer someday? 
No, I went to school for others thing like psychology.

What made you write your first book? 
After a trip overseas I came back home and got very sick, after months of research on the condition that I have, I was inspired to write my first book. 

What did you personally have to overcome to write your book? 
When I was writing to book I had to talk to doctors, and chemists. The biggest hurdle that I had was getting the right information and weeding out the misinformation. It took two years of hard research for this book and the motivation that it took too read study after study was extremely hard to find.

Who designed your book cover and your website? 
I designed my book cover, chapter art, and most of the charts, I have a background in design.

Do you read much? Could you name a few of your favorite books
Disguised in Deception by E A Hargrave
I read about one book a week, I am reading through Rich Dad series right now.

What do you love about writing? 
What I like the most about writing is the research, as laborious as it is that is what I like the most.

What do you find difficult about writing? 
It is hard to take the scientific jargon, and break it down so that everyone can understand with out loosing the value of the study.

What are you working on next? 
I am working on part two to the series “Truth Wrapped in Lies” (working tile). This book will go in more detail about the food and chemical industries. Answers some question that Discussed in Deception does not. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Readers Meet Young Adult Fantasy Author Kim Richardson

Author Kim Richardson

April is an exiting month. Getting ready to wrap up Blood Magic, the third and last instalment in the Divided Realms series, a YA Fantasy trilogy. The story revolves around Elena, a headstrong young woman who is thrust into the bloodiest race in all the realms against her will, and where she must stop the ancient, wicked evil that threatens all living things before it's too late. The books are getting great reviews and has already accumulated a whopping 1000 reviews on Google Play books alone.
Steel Maiden by Kim Richardson
The first book has been translated into French, Portuguese and will be available in German next month. For those who are interested, I offer the first eBook for FREE if you sign up to my newsletter on my website: http://www.kimrichardsonbooks.com/

Soul Guardians 3-Book Collection
But what has me even more excited is the announcement of a Soul Guardians spin-off series I’m working on. The original series has a total of eight books, and because of the huge demand for more books in the series (also in several different languages), I’ve decided to return to the world of Soul Guardians but with an entirely different series. The new series, The Horizon Chronicles, will stay in the same world of angels, demons, of good versus evil, but with a new cast of characters with new problems to solve and obstacles to overcome. This new series will be a little more mature and a little darker than the Soul Guardians, and intended for a ‘slightly’ older audience, but nothing the original fans can’t enjoy.

So far, I’ve planned out about five books in this series, and depending on how well the series will do, there’s always room for more books. I’ve planned the first two books to be released in 2016. The first instalment should be ready later this year.

Kim can be reached on her Facebook, Twitter or Website


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Confessions of a Series Author

Author Paula Berinstein
By Paula Berinstein, Author of the Amanda Lester, Detective Series


What’s your favorite book series? 

(Seriously, I’d love to know! Mine is Harry Potter, but there are so many other wonderful ones.) Series are hot, and for good reason. They give us a chance to spend time with our favorite characters, offer zillions of interesting plot developments, and are easy to find—after all, we already know the author. From the author’s point of view, they’re an effective way to build a career; once you’ve built your audience, chances are they’ll stick with you.

Amanda Lester and the Pink Sugar Conspiracy
But series aren’t a cakewalk. Most series authors will tell you that the writing of each new book becomes not easier but more difficult, despite the characters and the world having been defined. Some of us look back fondly at that first book, the one we thought so impossible to write. Now, in hindsight, it was the easiest thing we’ve ever done. Here’s why.


1.      Freshness. The first book in a series is original. No one has ever met these characters before, seen this world. No one has experienced the premise, at least not in the way this author has executed it. So the first book is a voyage of discovery, with all that entails. Sometimes that means it’s a bit foreign and takes some getting used to, but that’s part of the fun. However, come that second book, the ideas have already been used and the honeymoon is over. Eeek! Now how do I keep my audience interested?

2.      Continuity. Oh, what a bugaboo this one is. We’ve all read series where characters’ eye color changes, they contradict themselves, the world is inconsistent. I used to think, “The author knows her own book. How can that happen?” Ha! Now I know. An author has to juggle so many characters, casual statements, and details that it’s easy to goof. I keep lists of my characters and try to construct a profile for each one but I can’t keep up. I’m constantly looking back at old texts and cursing myself for being too lazy to have maintained that character bible. Errors happen to the best of us, even if we have eagle-eyed editors. Thank goodness we have readers to keep us honest!

3.     
Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle
Backstory. If you write a serial-style series as I do, each book builds heavily on the ones that preceded it. That means the ideal way to read the titles is in order. However, not every reader does that. They may come to the series at Book 4. Will they be lost? We have to make sure that doesn’t happen, but if the beginning of each story is all recap, it drags. So the question is, how do you build in enough backstory to keep people oriented without getting bogged down. 
 
Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis
These issues require that the author concentrate as if her life depended on it and innovate, innovate, innovate. One way I do the latter is by adding new characters and focusing on previously minor ones. I also try to bring in new plot elements and new threats. Sometimes I’ve planted seeds early on that I let sprout. But it’s difficult—really difficult—which is why authors who pull it off are absolutely awesome. I just hope I can be one of them.

You can reach Paula through her Website, Facebook or Twitter






Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meet Romance Author Camellia Hart & Discover how San Francisco Has Shaped Her Characters

Author Camellia Hart
Readers Meet Camellia Hart

Are you a full-time or a part-time writer?
During the day I work for one of the top technology companies in the world and spend most evenings and weekends writing. It gets tiring sometimes, but I enjoy writing so much, the days I don’t write, I feel unaccomplished and empty.

Would you ever be a full-time writer?
In a heartbeat! If I do well enough as an author, that is. But of course, deep down, I’ll always, and gladly, remain a geek.

Did you always know you would be a writer someday?
Actually, never in a million years could I’ve imagined myself writing even a page worth of a story, let alone a book. It’s surreal to me where I am today, promoting my debut novel, Chasing Eva.

Then what made you write your first book?
It all started one foggy Sunday morning, seated by my desk at home, with the view of white sailboats floating by in the blue San Francisco bay. I powered up my brand new laptop and started to type, simply to test it out. I typed for four hours straight. That’s when I knew my true passion. The realization amazes me even today.

Who designed your book cover and your website?
I did. Bought a few pictures from a stock site and hours later I’d designed my first book cover. I designed my website too and my husband built it. After all, we’re both techies!
                                                                                                          
The name, Camellia Hart, is that your real name?
No, it’s a pen name.

Chasing Eva by Camellia Hart
Why that specific name then?
I wanted a name that I could connect to a happy memory, to that first date with this man [now my husband] for whom my heart flutters even today. It was also my birthday that day. He’d gifted me a heart shaped pendant studded with red garnets. That’s the inspiration for my pen name: Camellia [pinkish-red flower], Hart [sounds like heart].

Do you read much? Could you name a few of your favorite books?
I read everyday and I do read varied genres. My favorites: Twain’s Tom Sawyer [who doesn’t like this book, right?], MacLean’s Where Eagles Dare, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Clavell’s Shogun, Herbert’s Dune, Hoover’s Confess, and… gosh, so many more!

What do you love about writing?
Dreaming up a story and seeing it unveil on paper. Writing allows me to express my imaginations without any inhibitions, and I love that.

What do you find difficult about writing?
Killing my favorites, like Stephen King suggests in his book, On Writing. It’s hard to cut out your favorite sentences and characters from your book even when you know they don’t add much to the story. It’s surprising how precious they become.

A foggy view of San Francisco Bridge
How do you develop your plots and characters?
I live in San Francisco, the city is constantly buzzing around me and I draw inspiration from it all. Everything and everybody I see, I touch, I talk to, I walk past, inspire me to knit a ‘what if’ situation that leads into a story of my own.

What are you working on next?
I’m writing Loving Eva, Book 2 of the In Light of Shadows Series. But every now and then, I wander off into Book 3. I’ve already written the ending of Killing Eva by the way.


You can reach Cameilla through her Website, Facebook or Twitter

Sunday, April 3, 2016

LEARNING TO LET LOOSE

Author Linda B Myers

Although I was married for many years, I'm not sure my mother ever believed I actually had sex. In fact, I had to wait until after she died to write bedroom scenes. Which brings me to a truth about authors: we must be able to grapple with subjects that are usually kept secret.

A writer has to be capable of diving deep within her characters if they are to be more than stick figures. This means telling it like it is. Maybe your protagonist is a nymphomaniac. Maybe she is a terrorist. Maybe she has incredibly bad flossing habits. Just because she does, doesn't mean you do. Right?

But! Some buttinsky said you should only write what you know. Consequently, a certain amount of readers will think if you write it, you've also done it. You've  committed a murder or burgled a bank or omitted shaving your legs.

Lessons of Evil by Linda B Myers
Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But it is true that a writer needs to tackle the tough stuff. Some can do it through keeping a journal or writing a diary where they reveal their deepest and darkest. I learned to do it by blogging. Dozens of people might be reading my words, and I had to make those words worth sharing if I wanted them to matter to anyone, including myself.

So I blogged about sex. And fear of fatness. And being a widow. And bankruptcy. And cancer. Personal stuff like that. I got better at it with practice. Writing about things that hurt became a way to heal the wounds. I knew the audience was there, but I couldn't see them. Still, many connected with me and told me that what I was saying touched them. Made them laugh, cry, feel squeamish.

It took time to develop the ability not to flinch, but I believe my novels have benefited. If I could do it for myself, I could certainly make up characters who could. So my peeps are strong enough to face harrowing events and come out the other side intact. I have written scenes about the desolation of missing persons, the fury of rape, the terror of abuse, the grief of a nursing home.  And I have found a way to do it with a certain amount of humor and poise.

All five of my novels are about keeping hope through dark times. They are all mysteries and suspense in one form or another. Lately, I have branched into fantasy with my Cascadian Ventures series. Even here, the protagonist is a spirit who has been tasked with driving out the rage that too many humans are feeling these days. Everything is available as Kindle Select ebooks, and the novel entitled Fun House Chronicles is also in paperback. Just search for Linda B. Myers on www.amazon.com.

It is my desire to be real with readers through the murky days of their own journeys. To do that, I had to learn to let loose and share my feelings all the way to the bottom of the well.


Check out Linda on her Website, Facebook & Twitter