Indie Author Friday – Nabila Fairuz #IndieAuthors #YoungAdult

indie-author

Who doesn’t love a good pirate story, right?  Today’s featured indie author is Nabila Fairuz with her book, The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Manhar.

32278405-1

The youngest of three siblings, Shelly’s childhood tragically ended when her family disappeared under cryptic circumstances. Shelly and her sister embark on an epic journey to find them, only to face more hardship.

Witnessing the death of her only sister hardened Shelly more, and she was left with facing the bleak reality of continuing the mission alone. It affected her deeper than she imagined, and fueled her every move. It made her become the pirate captain whose name would eventually be feared everywhere. She gathered a crew and despite all odds always managed to come unscathed from any of her crazy exploits.

Along the way, she bumps into her brother who is now charged with arresting her, reconciles with her father who is hiding his own secrets, and frees her mother from the clutches of a power hungry Admiral of the English Navy. Will the fearless Captain Shelly Manhar manage to evade the hangman’s noose, or be forever lost in Davy Jones’ Locker?

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

The most constructive criticism that I received in my writing career was given to me by my publicist, and it goes (more or less) as follows: “Get a better editor.”

Needless to say, editing is not one of my stronger points and I need ALL the help that I can get.

What do you wish you’d known before you were published?

I’d wish I’d known what a tremendous amount of marketing I’d have to do. Writing the book is probably only a quarter of the actual work. Getting it recognized by people takes up about 80 percent of the time, and even then, it seems to me that it is never enough! I wish I had known that sooner.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell her to never give up. I can’t tell you the number of times I had come so close to giving up writing and not finishing my manuscript. Now that I actually hold my book in my hands, I bask in the pure joy of my creation. I just wish I had not been so negative about my writing in the early stages.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

Firefly, and the movie sequel of the series, Serenity. I can watch that series over and over.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“Noot, noot, amigos!”

(I am guilty of occasionally enjoying watching Pingu. There, I said it.)

 How would your best friend describe you?

Makes really horrible and lame puns. Beware.

Author Bio

Nabila Fairuz is an upcoming writer making a debut in the world of fiction. Born innabila Dhaka, Bangladesh, she moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2009. Nabila has a deep passion for reading, and this habit was developed at a very early age. It grew in her an intense urge to venture into the field of writing. She has written a number of poems, stories and articles, and maintains her blog, My Own Little Corner, to keep her writing habits going strong.

Social Media
Blog: http://nabila-fairuz.blogspot.ca/
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/nabilafairuz56508/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/N_FairuzR
Instagram: n_fairuzr

Buy Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Captain-Shelly-Manhar/dp/1612967655/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476037530&sr=8-1&keywords=nabila+fairuz

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chronicles-of-captain-shelly-manhar-nabila-fairuz/1124683838?ean=9781612967653

 

 

 

Different Take On An Interview #IndieAuthors #horror

Today’s interview is a little different from what you might usually read here – 10573040because I’m the person being interviewed.  Ana, a Goodreads member, received Sarah from NetGalley and graciously posted a glowing 5 star review, saying “The Harry Potter references make my heart smile” and “a well written book with easily relatable characters whom you can’t help but root for”.  She was interested in learning more about Sarah, my writing process, and me, but didn’t have a blog, so I offered the use of my own.  (On a side note, Ana is a fellow Potterhead, so she’s obviously good people.)  Welcome Ana, my first guest interviewer!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I wouldn’t say I have any interesting quirks – Diet Coke or chocolate gets the 41jwrqyo45l-_sy346_brainwaves flowing, I usually have music playing, and sometimes I wear my son’s flannel shirt.  For some reason, my productivity increases when I wear it – so I confiscated it permanently.  Occasionally my cat sits beside me and stares while I work – he’s a very discerning editor.

Where did you get the idea for Sarah?

Strangely enough, the idea came from my cat.  We’d just moved into a new house, no previous occupants, and Shadow would sit at the foot of the stairs and hiss or growl at something at the top of the stairs we could never see.  Kind of freaky, but it made me start thinking about how a new house could be haunted – the result was Sarah.

Did you do any type of research while writing Sarah?

Not a lot.  I researched metaphysical stores – one of the characters in Sarah owns one and I wanted to get a good grasp on what those types of shops offered.  The book is set in Charleston, SC and the movie theater, mall, and restaurant Cain goes to are real.  I once learned in a writing workshop that it lends more authenticity to your story if you use actual places, so I googled those and even read reviews of the restaurant.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read a lot – my TBR pile is over 100 books and I’m usually reading anywhere from one to four books at a time.  I also review books and feature indie authors on my blog.  Working out and yoga keep me sane, and I’m constantly trying to stay caught up with my Netflix queue and DVR.  I’m beginning to think that will never happen.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How vocal the characters can be.  If you don’t write, you may laugh at that, but it’s true.  I may have a direction in mind for my characters, but sometimes they rebel and do their own thing.  I’ve had minor characters decide they needed bigger roles and I just had to go with it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m a huge animal lover and thought about being a veterinarian, but then realized how miserable I’d be if I lost any patients.

What is the first book that made you cry?

I’m not one to tear up easily and can’t remember the first book that made me cry.  However, I was in a book club a few years back and someone had selected A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron – and I couldn’t finish it.  I can watch people be eaten and bashed in the head on The Walking Dead and stabbed, shot, and disemboweled in horror movies all day long – but if animals are involved, I can’t handle it.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends on the day.  Some days, the words are flowing and all is right with the world.  Other days, I can’t form a sentence and I’m beating my head against the wall hoping something useful falls out.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I’m really bad about editing while I write and searching for the perfect word to describe something.  That can work for some writers, but hinder others – I’m in the latter category.  Some of the best advice I’ve been given is just get the first draft down – edit later.  Once I started doing that, my productivity increased.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

The book I’m working on now is developing in an unusual way, but it seems to be working for me so far.  I’m writing out of sequence, creating scenes from two different characters’ POV, then hoping it forms a cohesive story when it’s blended.  Keep your fingers crossed.  The next book may form another way – I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.

Did you draw inspiration from authors, TV shows, etc. as you wrote Sarah?

I read Stephen King’s On Writing again, a book on craft I’d highly recommend to writers, and attended writing retreats and workshops led by author C.J. Redwine.  She’s a master at world-building.  I’m a big fan of horror books and movies, so I’ve got years of creepy images stored in my brain!

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A black cat, hands down.  Shadow, the cat who inspired Sarah, was black (he’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge now), then we adopted another black cat named Bond a few years ago.  Due to superstition, black cats are the last to be adopted from shelters, but I’ve known several and they’ve all been full of personality and love – consider giving them a forever home!

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Oddly enough, I don’t find it difficult to write from a male perspective – it comes more naturally to me than writing from a female POV.  A friend of mine says my brain is wired more like a man’s, so maybe that’s the reason?  I also have two sons and after years of being around them and their friends, writing from a teenage boy’s perspective comes pretty easily.

What is something you edited out of Sarah?

If I told you one of the things, I’d give away a spoiler.  The other was that Maddie’s character, Cain’s little sister, was a younger brother.  I thought the story read better with a sister and several reviewers have commented on the sweet relationship between them.

Did you identify with any of the characters in Sarah?

After reading Sarah, a friend of mine said Cain was me on the outside, the personality I let people see, but Finn was the real me.  I think he nailed it.

How do you select the names of your characters?

For the most part, my characters choose their own names and introduce themselves to me.  For minor characters, I’ve looked up popular baby names in the year the character would have been born and waited for something to jump out.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Close friends have recognized some things I’ve taken from real life.  One of the lines in the book came directly from one of my friends – something she said in response to a rude woman at a concert.  In the book, it was a comment Finn made to someone.

What was your favorite part of Sarah to write?

The banter between Cain and Finn – those guys talked in my head constantly and I had to cut out a lot of their conversations during editing.  They could go on for hours if I’d let them.

Are you currently working on another book?

I just signed a contract with Black Rose Writing to publish my second book, with the working title of Gemini Connection.  It’s a YA sci-fi/fantasy and will probably be released sometime in the winter of this year.

As a Potterhead, I must ask, what House do you consider yourself to be in?

I’ve been sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore and every other quiz I’ve taken.  My wand is 12.5 inches, fir wood, dragon heartstring core, unbending flexibility, and my patronus is an orangutan.  I’m a bit of a Potterhead too!

Is there something you’ve never been asked in an interview, but would love to talk about? If so, what is it?

The importance of reviews for authors – especially indie authors.  They don’t need to be long, even a couple of lines would be extremely helpful and much appreciated!

The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman #TuesdayBookBlog #suspense

This chilling novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Lake of Dead 30759310Languages blends the gothic allure of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and the crazed undertones of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper with the twisty, contemporary edge of A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife—a harrowing tale of psychological suspense set in New York’s Hudson Valley.

When Jess and Clare Martin move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to their former college town in the Hudson River valley, they are hoping for rejuvenation—of their marriage, their savings, and Jess’s writing career.

They take a caretaker’s job at Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor. While Clare once had dreams of being a writer, those plans fell by the wayside when Jess made a big, splashy literary debut in their twenties. It’s been years, now, since his first novel. The advance has long been spent. Clare’s hope is that the pastoral beauty and nostalgia of the Hudson Valley will offer some inspiration.

But their new life isn’t all quaint town libraries and fragrant apple orchards. There is a haunting pall that hangs over Riven House like a funeral veil. Something is just not right. Soon, Clare begins to hear babies crying at night, see strange figures in fog at the edge of their property. Diving into the history of the area, she realizes that Riven House has a dark and anguished past. And whatever this thing is—this menacing force that destroys the inhabitants of the estate—it seems to be after Clare next… – Goodreads.com

Reading The Widow’s House was a strange experience for me because rarely have I come across a book in which I disliked so many characters.  That being said, this is a wonderful blend of gothic and twisty psychological suspense and once I reached around the halfway mark, I honestly wasn’t sure which direction this story would take.  And I still wasn’t certain until the last several pages.  So, yeah – it’s compelling.

The setting is modern day New York, but Riven House might as well be an old ancestral manor in the English countryside.  With a long tainted history, it holds many secrets that are gradually revealed as the pages are turned.  Toward the end of this book, like Clare, I wasn’t sure what was real anymore and questioned everyone’s motives and actions – which thrilled me as a reader.

Getting back to the characters – I’ll focus on Clare.  It’s difficult for me to connect to a story when I can’t get behind the MC.  Clare isn’t very likable for various reasons, but for me, it’s because she considers herself inferior to her husband and is constantly worried about upsetting him, and when there’s friction between them, she looks for another man to rescue her.  Slather some paranoia on top of that and you’ve got yourself a basket case; however, I’ll say that some of her behavior makes sense at the end.

Although I didn’t care for most of the characters, the plot was strong enough to hook me and I’d recommend this to fans of psychological suspense.  The Widow’s House is scheduled for publication March 21st, 2017.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC.

 

Downsizing the TBR Pile #amreading

Busy past couple of weeks – making some progress on the new book, but still in the drafting phase.

Saw the new John Wick movie this weekend – it’s as good as, and maybe even better33227363 than the first.  The ending leaves an exciting setup for a third movie, with Wick up against seemingly insurmountable odds.

I read out of order, but I finished In a Small Compass by Karen Oberlaender, a marvelous collection of short stories – a full review will be posted soon.

Still reading:

23299513

 

 

 

 

Up next:

TBR:  104

Read:  1

Bought:  1 (preordered the final book in V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series – if you’re a fantasy fan, seriously, you need to be reading this)

Total:  104

Sarah Free Today Only! #horror #freebook #YAreads

Let’s try this again – the pricing snafu has been resolved.

Get Sarah today only for free on Amazon!  Book cover for the novel SARAH shows girl with long black hair hiding her face crawling down steps from attic door

What reviewers are saying:

A great creepy YA tale that adults will find equally intriguing.

Teri Polen’s SARAH is the stuff that will keep you up at night. It’s the perfect blend of lighthearted teenage banter and blood-curdling horror elements.

Well developed characters, twists and turns and excitement to last these teens a life time! This will keep you guessing and turning pages well into the night.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, Sarah is also available on KDP Select for a limited time.

Book Talk 2/17/17

Traci Kenworth says Sarah caused “chills creeping up my spine” – drop by to read her review! If you’re looking for a genre-specific book to read, Traci regularly posts links to reviews on various blogs – an excellent resource.

Where Genres Collide

41jwrqyo45l-_sy346_

Book Talk 2/17/17

Traci Kenworth

Sarah by Teri Polen. 2016. Black Rose writing. Netgalley.

Cain Shannon and his family recently moved into a new house after the death of his father. Strange things begin happening. The attic door opens by itself. Cold spots deepen. Cain feels like he’s being watched. The family’s cat, Eby, acts spooked. Cain, a horror buff, wonders if his house is haunted. He and his friend joke about using a Ouija board to bring the spirit forth.

When they set up a camera to record things in his room, they catch a ghostly specter on it. Soon afterward, Sarah visits Cain for the first time. She says she wants his help. When he is knocked unconscious at his soccer game, he begins to experience periods of blackouts and find himself watching the football players with hostility. He breaks up with his girlfriend who manipulates him and…

View original post 160 more words