Indie Author Friday: Aaron Lawler #IndieAuthor #scifi

Friday seemed to get here pretty fast this week, and that means it’s time for an indie author – Aaron Lawler!  His wife’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies sounds divine – with all the mouth-watering cookie descriptions over the past few weeks, I may have to start a new blog feature on cookie recipes – yes?

Fitz Faraday, his best friend Hollis, who comes from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks, and his hoped-to-be-girlfriend Josey, the new girl in town, are taken through harrowing events and thrilling misadventures, as they learn about life, love, death, the inner workings of the psyche, and the flimsiness of reality. After witnessing the murder of Professor Oliver Crowley, who has invented a way of bringing thoughts into physical reality, Fitz and his friends must exonerate the town bully, who is being framed for the murder. Using Professor Crowley’s inventions, Fitz soon learns he can bend the field of Id, a sea of golden dreams and wishes. Fitz finds himself drawn inside a new world he never knew existed. He hopes he will be able to use that world to help his friends and even his enemies. To do so, he must master Crowley’s technique of “Thought becomes light and light becomes physical.”

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

Overall, Black Rose Writing were very good too work with and remain so as we move into new areas of marketing and selling books. Initially, I queried nearly sixty different literary agents and publishers. Only three responded back with favorable offers. That much rejection can be hard to take, but it also taught me so much about myself and the process. In the end, when I chose Black Rose it was because they are a small press firm, and I believe in small press – I believe in the idea that more work should be shared with the world instead of relying solely on the Big Four. I am advocate for small press. Small presses are publishers with the “desire to help disseminate literature with only a small likely market”.

The Big Four book publishers include Simon & Schuster (a subsidiary of CBS Corporation), HarperCollins (a subsidiary of NewsCorp), Penguin Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann and Pearson), and Hachette Livre. All, but Hachette Livre, are headquartered in New York, NY and two are subsidiaries of large news media organizations. What this means for us? As readers and consumers our choices are filtered through four megacorporations who dictate what should be part of the body of literature we have access too. I am staunchly against this system, even if literary agents and publishers are not. 99% of all published works are not on the New York Times Best Seller’s List, so we are often only exposed to 1% of works being created. My argument is simply, that is it possible the other 99% might contribute to our culture? Is it possible?

Like any performance, the anxiety of rejection always looms in the corner. Once I developed a thick skin for rejection and critique, I am now finding one of my biggest challenges is self-promotion. It does not come easily to me and moves me out of my comfort zone. I struggle with it, and often feel it comes off unauthentic.

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

This game I have played too many times! But I think I would tell myself to keep being curious and keep being daring. There was a point in life where I stopped taking risks and stayed the true and narrow course. Although I have little regrets in life – even my biggest mistakes have helped me become who I am today – there are things I certainly missed out on for such silly reasons as peer pressure, fear of embarrassment or rejection, or just plain trepidation. As a child I was fearless – adventure was my calling! Be it the hikes in the woods, building forts and having wars with the neighborhood kids, or trying any sport/hobby/musical instrument that came in front of me. My adolescence somehow quieted the beasts of curiosity and wonder, but I rekindled those flames in adulthood. And my wife, and now my children, have become terrifying and beautiful adventures all on their own!

What do you love most about the writing process?

I am a classically trained painter, and one point in my life thought I would become a professional illustrator. Trying my hand at the trade, I found myself stifled. With endless parallel and extradimensional planetary worlds orbiting about in my imagination, I always thought the vehicle to sharing these would be through illustration. But I found that I much prefer the written word when it comes to world-building and character crafting. Painting slows my process down too much. My mind wants to invent, sprout up new places and sights and sounds with ludicrous speed. And the brush, the canvas, the whole process limits me too much.

I have found that I prefer to paint watercolor landscapes and mixed media portraits as a form of relaxation – something that actually lets my mind quiet down. Whereas writing is the opposite. Writing for me is painterly process but at superspeed. I can craft entire gardens, or ocean floors, or mystical forests with rich and lurid detail in mere moments and then continue my Aslan-like painting process by filling the world with the sons and daughters of my visualization.

My wife once compared my writing process to the Robin Williams’ movie “What Dreams May Come.” In the movie, the visuals are liquid paintings that shift and grow from scene to scene, always lavishly textured, and in a perpetual motion. This is how I write, filling the page with the symbols – in this case words – which represent full, technicolor splashes of life. Painting does not allow me to communicate this way, it is so arduous and would require hundreds of canvases to create the world I want to bring to life.

It is a double-edged sword in some ways. Because I want to create a specific visual in the mind of others – I want to seed them with my thought in the pristine, perfect way I have shaped it. But writing forces me to let go of this. I find myself relaxed at the release of control, at first it was painstaking to simply be – to simply flow. But now, I visualize the image, craft the words with poetry and rhythm instead of color and brush, and that is how I manifest my ideas.

The Marvelous Paracosm of Fitz Faraday and the Shapers of the Id actually pays homage to this process. Although my first novel, this not my first writing (I have even published nonfiction articles with the International Journal of Art and Art History and the Erudite Journal of Educational Research). Yet this novel is so personal because Fitz creates his world the same way I created the world for Fitz and even Fitz himself. There is a meta-element to this novel in that it in many ways explains how I created the “paracosm” – a word here, meaning parallel world sideways from our own.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Oatmeal chocolate chip – hands down. My wife makes these from a recipe handed down from her great-grandmother, and there is little better in the world than a homemade batch of these! Its an entire process, almost like the samsara cycle leading to a transformation into nirvana. When she first starts mixing the batter there’s a subtle hint of the flavors wafting through the house. The undernotes are just at the tip of your senses and you know what is coming – something quite remarkable. When they begin baking in the oven, the oatmeal rises and the chocolate melts. Everything in the universe comes to a single point of perfection, as if the very moment of creation was made from cookie dough. The trick is to not let them cool too long. You have to eat them just before they completely congeal, where they live in this liminal state between solid and semi-solid; one foot in reality, one foot in the spiritual realm. And then that first bite is explosive. Every taste bud screams in unison like a crowd at a concert. Euphoria. Ecstasy. The voice of God fills your chest as the warmth trickles down your esophagus and all of reality sparks in singularity, trapped perfectly in your mind’s eye. And then there is the release. The “Mmmm” that overcomes your entire being. You stop thinking. You stop worrying. You stop being self-conscious. All that exists is a cookie. A perfectly crafted cookie that is slightly crunchy on the edges, gooey in the center, and chocolate that liquefies across your tongue. Its sensual. Its warmth. Its home. And I can get drunk after eating them; a bear-like sleepiness forces me to the easy chair and I drift off into the best nirvana-like dreams.

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

I just finished Westworld, Season 1 – the HBO series. It was life changing. I was immersed in the entire experience. Mind-bending narratives, idiosyncratic philosophies that challenge what is known and how it is known, beautiful violence romanticized as good as the best Kung Fu aesthetic, sex scenes that drive you mad because they uncomfortable and voyeuristic but somehow emotionally moving, and unparalleled acting. Amazing performances where you lose a sense of reality, and cannot understand how a person is a robot and is a human; how can a human play a robot that thinks it’s a human? Just a remarkable series.

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

My favorite contemporary works are Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, which is just so lush and whimsical and philosophical; and Michael Crichton’s Prey (Crichton was the author of the original Westworld series, by the way!) which not only moves at the pace of an action movie but changed my entire perception of reality in terms of holism, emergence, and interconnectedness. But if I had to narrow it down, I would start with Phillip Pullman. I love his worlds, his characters, and his plots. He just creates this rich tapestry where you become completely immersed. I would simply ask, “How? How did you create this world for His Dark Materials?” And then I would try to tap into that energy and that magic, to create this kind of world. I am in such awe!

There are two characters in Pullman’s series that I really identify with (certainly a much more idealized version of myself!). Lee Scoresby a Texan aeronaut who befriends and helps the main character. Scoresby has this folky sort of wisdom that is just so powerful. He is a living embodiment of an Aesop Fable, and I am drawn to him because he says little but when he does speak its poignant and powerful. In that way he is the opposite of me – I am a college professor and I say way too much! In the movie version he was played by Sam Elliot, who is just the quintessential cowboy.

The second character is Iorek Byrnison, a panserbjørn (armored, anthropomorphic bear), who is a great, Byronic character. His vices separate him from his armor – the most prized relic of a panserbjørn – but eventual through his regaining of his honor, he wins the armor back. I love this idea on so many levels. The armor is symbolic of the protection and vulnerability we experience, while the loss of it represents the loss we all experience when we make poor choices or let our vices get the best of us. But in the end, perseverance, friendship, and wisdom bring forth the courage to regain his honor. I just think that is a beautiful metaphor for our lives.

Author Bio

Aaron J. Lawler has taught for fifteen years and has published peer-reviewed studies in humanities, technology, game theory and education. His mother taught him to tell stories, his father taught him to think independently, his wife pushed him to try. Aaron is a classically trained painter and holds advanced degrees in the humanities, education, and technology. He is in love with his wife, his two kids, and his two dogs; and always will be.

Aaron Lawler: “I am a traveller in both the world and in the library. Writing allows me to design the journey, where I will go, what I will do, and who I will meet. Adventures in Europe, Canada, the States and Mexico opened me to new ideas. Philosophical jaunts changed who I am and the way I think. But writing allows me to wayfind. I can engineer a compass for my own path, following my own direction. The mindscape is an amazing place for a daytrip.”

 

Buy Link

Amazon

 

Indie Author Friday: Myrtle Brooks #indieauthor #literary @JGCitygin

It’s finally Friday!!!  And that means it’s time to welcome another indie author to Books & Such.  Myrtle Brooks is here to share her intriguing story about an infant adopted and raised by Old Faithful geyser and a mother buffalo.  She also offers valuable writing advice and names the cereal that describes her colorful personality.

The story, a fable on man’s edification through nature’s examples, begins during the era of the First U.S. Cavalry in Fort Yellowstone, and the founding of the National Park Service 100 years ago in 1916.

At the turn of the twentieth century, an infant of mysterious origin is adopted by Old Faithful geyser and by a mother buffalo named Bearer of Song. Beloved to all the park, Flower of the Steam Basin grows up with their stories, proverbial sayings and teachings: in a land where the animals, winds and geysers speak their own languages.

Having met a child her age and her parents, trust ripens between families, and Flower of the Steam Basin gains a closely protective circle of human friends. At nine, she is brought face-to-face with Retired Lieutenant Ned Halpen of the Yellowstone Cavalry, whose exemplary career embodied the role of protector of Yellowstone’s spiritual and physical heritage.

In the wake of Lt. Halpen’s passing, her sacred vow to continue his legacy brings both reward and mortal danger. And when the circle is breached, Flower of the Steam Basin and her father are forced to choose between her well-being and the performance of her sworn duties.

This is her story as seen through the eyes of Yellowstone.

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

‘Your book is too long. Tighten it; make it concise. But don’t hack at it.’ This from a friend of a friend, a retired professional editor. As a result I edited two novels, including Geyser Girl, a book of short stories and a screenplay. I eliminated what was unnecessary and cumbersome without destroying the art.

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

Be persistent, write what you love and be objective.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love how it courses through the veins. When you love what you do, even the most difficult tasks (editing, writing the query and synopsis, marketing) will flow. Tears, frustration, labor pains, yes. But it is a labor of love.

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

“I have traveled the world and lived others’ lives vicariously. From this, I have gained empathy; I have understood the common bond between all creatures and the necessity of friendship.

“Now, please do be a friend and show me to the nearest walk-in refrigerator.”

If you were a box of cereal, which one would you be?

Trix. I’m a big kid with a colorful personality.

 If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Belle, Beauty and the Beast. She looked beyond the beast’s physical appearance, even beyond his gruffness, with a deep-seated spiritual discernment; sought the innate goodness in him, understood he was cursed and tried to help him. It has been my favorite fairy tale since childhood because of the traits she holds which I try to emanate in real life.

Author Bio

As written beneath her yearbook photo, Class of 1970, the expressed lifetime goal of the author herein known as Myrtle Brooks, is: “to realize the love present in everything.” Maturity has taught her that this is a vision meant to be shared.

When not at home in her beloved Brooklyn, N.Y., she may be found dancing with the big rigs on the interstate as she heads for national parks and places of quiet beauty.

Knowing her place, she enters such sanctuaries as a respectful visitor and humble observer;

Whereupon she is lovingly greeted and made welcome as family.

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/Myrtle-Brooks-603381156456666/
https://twitter.com/JGCitygin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/myrtle-brooks-61189625/

Website:

www.myrtlebrooks.com

Buy Links:

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/literary/the-geyser-girl-of-yellowstone-park?rq=the%20geyser%20girl

https://www.amazon.com/Geyser-Girl-Yellowstone-Park-ebook/dp/B00RYABSUA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492818206&sr=8-1&keywords=the+geyser+girl+of+yellowstone+park

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-geyser-girl-of-yellowstone-park-myrtle-brooks/1120920479?ean=9781612964546

Indie Author Friday: Teagan Riordain Geneviene #IndieAuthor #mystery #suspense

Today I’m hosting one of my favorite guests – Teagan!  She’s so much fun, and a highly creative writer, as evidenced by her book, Three Things Serial.  Who else could make short stories out of random things suggested by blog readers?  It’s Friday, today is Cinco de Mayo, and the penguin in the question below has the right idea.

3-things-cover_3-2016

The Three Things Serial Story

Hi Teri. It’s great to be at your blog again. When I started my blog (Teagan’s Books) at the end of 2012, I did a few posts. By 2013 I wanted a theme — something more than just talking about my novel (Atonement, Tennessee) each week. That’s how the first of my serials began — The Three Things. I expanded on a writing exercise I developed long ago. (I would ask friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.) So I brought that exercise to my blog, but I had the readers send me their things. I let the things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. The serial took shape and my blog grew with it. Eventually I did four different serials.

Comics Mural Teagan
Image by Chris Graham

Blurb — the Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures. In this story a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped. Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos and other “things.” Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.

While any of the serials were being created at my blog, people would ask for a book version. So I’ve finally made time to “book-ize” the first serial! Here’s the Kindle version and the paperback. Now I’ve almost finished book-izing the second serial, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I. It will be coming your way soon!

Link to novella launch: https://teagansbooks.com/2016/12/02/book-launch-the-three-things-serial-story/

Now for answers to your so very creative questions!

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

Write what you know. That doesn’t mean that I don’t learn new things in order to write a different story. I’m a research geek. It’s hard to stop myself from jumping onto long research tangents. However, I like some basic element of the story (such as the location) to be something I know well.

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

Don’t listen to your parents — go ahead and write any story you want. Does that sound rebellious? Well, I was in sixth grade and started writing short stories. They got attention from my teachers. My parents didn’t want that, so they told me I’d better stop doing that right now. So I didn’t start writing in earnest until my late thirties.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

For The Three Things Serial Story, I think that would be one of the less important characters, Flavio Fabro. From the beginning, I thought he was a player.

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

As a writer, I always saw myself as strictly working in the fantasy genre. However, when I decided to use my three things exercise at my blog, I knew that method worked best with mystery stories. So I took a deep breath, and jumped into the mystery arena. It’s still not how I see myself, but I’m comfortable writing that kind of mystery.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Shortbread. I’ve always liked shortbread cookies. However, in adulthood I developed a nasty and huge allergy to eggs. It’s hard to find cookies, pastries, or any dessert (heck, anything period!) without eggs hiding in it somewhere. Shortbread cookies usually don’t have eggs.

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

I cut the Comcast cord about three years ago, and I’ve never looked back. For me, television consists of YouTube and Netflix. I’m totally fine with that. That gives me more TV than I could possibly watch. At this writing the last things I watched were a Steven Colbert sketch via YouTube, and on Netflix, an episode of Murdoch Mysteries.

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

Don’t you wish you could be this cool for Cinco de Mayo? See me in my tuxedo and sombrero? I’m the cat’s pajamas, huh? Thank God Prohibition is over! I’ll have a margarita. Time to get spifflicated.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

I admit that some anime is a guilty pleasure for me. (Just like movies and TV, some of it objectifies women way too much, and even sexualizes young girls. I don’t like those. Others, however are very good.) So I think I would be Kagome from the Inuyasha series. As a young girl I always fantasized about other eras. Kagome goes back to feudal Japan.

Inuyasha vol-1 1997

This was fun, Teri. Thanks for having me over! Hugs.

Buy Links:

Kindle version and the paperback

Teagan on Social Media:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Indie Author Friday: Darlene Foster #IndieAuthor #ChildrensBooks @supermegawoman

We’re changing it up today on Indie Author Friday.  Darlene Foster is sharing her exciting collection of children’s travel adventure books.  Join Amanda as she journeys around the world and experiences new cultures and a few mysteries.  Aren’t these covers beautiful?

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her.

Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.

Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.

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

I wish I had known that although it is possible to get published, it can take a long time. I think if I had known how long it would take, I would have started the process sooner. I got into the writing game a bit late. However, I believe it is never too late to start writing!

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

After publishing my first book, Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates, I sold a copy of the book to a woman who had been raised in the UAE. She approached me later and told me how much she loved the book. She then asked how long I had lived in the UAE. I replied I had only been there on a two week holiday visiting a friend. She was surprised and said it made her feel like she was back home when she read the descriptions in the story. That meant so much to me and motivated me to write more.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love how it all comes together. No matter how frustrated I get, how I think I will never get another good idea or when the editing becomes a slog, it always comes together! It is magical. When I hold my newly published book in my hands I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Even though I have had six books published, his happens every single time.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

It’s not really a cookie so I hope it counts. It is a Nanaimo Bar. Cookie on the bottom, custard in the middle and dark chocolate on top. Everything I love and it is so yummy. I can supply the recipe if anyone wants it.

How would your best friend describe you?

I wasn’t sure so I asked her and this is what she said –

First and foremost, I would say that Darlene is charismatic, thus she draws people to her. A real people person who thrives on personal interactions.  She is patient, loyal and kind. Darlene works very hard at keeping in touch with family and friends.  Relationships are the keystones of her existence. She is a good communicator, both orally and in the written word. Thus, her career as a writer. Darlene seeks new adventures which is evident in her level of travel, not to mention her move to Spain after her retirement. Always engaging, never boring, – that is Darlene.

Wow! Now I have a lot to live up to.

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

I would be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She is clever, witty and knows her own mind. She has a great relationship with her father, doesn’t suffer fools and cares deeply about her family and friends. And she gets to marry Mr. Darcy in the end!!!

Thank you so much for this interview. Loved answering your questions.

Author Bio

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She worked hard to make her dreams become reality. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of children’s travel adventure books. She divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, in Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true.

Buy Links

Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone

https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Alberta-Writing-Stone-Travels/dp/1771680199/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amanda in England – The Missing Novel

https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-England-Missing-Darlene-Foster-ebook/dp/B016TX3HTM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting

https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Spain-Girl-Painting-Travels/dp/1926760557/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1926760557&pd_rd_r=CVHEYKZJYSV56PARP0N9&pd_rd_w=WqBFt&pd_rd_wg=DUbXa&psc=1&refRID=CVHEYKZJYSV56PARP0N9

Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask

https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Arabia-Perfume-Flask-Travels/dp/1926760360/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio

https://www.amazon.com/Cerdito-juicio-Spanish-Darlene-Foster/dp/8494369008/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Social Media

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog 
Goodreads
Twitter@supermegawoman

Indie Author Friday – Meg Lelvis #IndieAuthor #mystery #suspense

Welcome Meg Lelvis and her debut novel, Bailey’s Law!  Meg possesses a rare talent – singing barbershop harmony – and she has excellent taste in cookies.

Meet Jack Bailey, hard-boiled PTSD-damaged detective, who reveals more than the killer during his crime investigation in Richmond, Texas, where homicides are rare.

To escape the ghosts of his past, Jack Bailey moved from Chicago to Richmond six years ago and joined the PD. After Todd Kaplan’s body is found, the cops wonder who would murder such a nice young guy? Jack soon discovers the Todd wasn’t so nice. This leads to a disturbing motive with suspects too close to home.

Meanwhile, Jack’s PTSD symptoms, caused by buried family secrets, force him to seek help in order to attain mental stability. Psychological links surface with characters harboring issues of grief, anorexia, love, date violation, and more.

Was this small town murder an act of justice or revenge? Only a parent who has lost a child can hold the answer in their hearts. Jack understands. Only too well.

What are your favorite books in your genre?

An older classic, Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Although it falls into the     classic/literary/gothic categories, it tells a superb psychological mystery story. I love the characters, setting, plot, and theme, all elements of the novel excellently drawn.

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

Of the memorable things I’ve heard from readers, one sticks out. Someone wrote that my book, Bailey’s Law, has endearingly flawed characters. Those few words sum up my goal in creating characters, and I’m happy that someone verbalized it.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

I’d find it difficult to get along with the character of Tilford, a detective on Jack Bailey’s team. He’s a thorn in Jack’s side; an aging cop who’s putting in his time until he can retire. He resents Jack, who’s younger, and supervises the team. Tilford tries to get by with as little work as possible, but does show a good side on one occasion.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Thanks for an easy question, Teri! Gooey chocolate chip cookies, preferably warm, straight from the oven. I don’t bake any more except at Christmas and for my book club, so I need to rely on bakery cookies.

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

Maybe an unusual hobby or talent could be singing barbershop harmony. Years ago I sang in a barbershop chorus in Indiana, which included quartet groups. After moving to a couple different cities, I formed my own barbershop quartets where we sang for people in nursing homes and later for school-related activities. One year we received our school district’s “You Make a Difference” award for contributing to the school and community. Although I have no solo-singing talent, I enjoy singing in a group and harmonizing.

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

I am hooked on UK and Scandinavian TV movies and series. I recently enjoyed Dr. Blake Mysteries on Netflix, an Australian series set in the late 50’s featuring a flawed doctor who returns to his small town to take the place of his father. Lucien Blake is also the police surgeon, who helps solve crimes while bending the rules. I highly recommend the series.

Author Bio

Meg Lelvis’s fiction and poetry have won awards from Houston Writers Guild and Houston Writers House. Her short story was published in HWG mystery anthology. Bailey’s Law is her first novel. Meg grew up in northern Minnesota and is a former English and psychology teacher. She resides in Houston, Texas.

Buy Links

Amazon
Black Rose Writing

Social Media

Facebook
MegLelvis.com

 

 

 

Indie Author Friday: D.L. Robinson #IndieAuthor #romance

Welcome D.L. Robinson to Indie Author Friday!  With five young children, I can’t imagine how she has time to write, but in the questions below, she reveals her methods for working it in.  And I think I’m going to need her chocolate chip cookie recipe.

In just a few short days Loriel has major concerns about her new job. First thought to be a dream career, she realizes the job she had so anticipated has placed a target on her back, and she will be lucky to come out unscathed. Without the help of Givanni, her boss’s nephew and the CEO at Shellbrook, her fate would have been sealed a few times over. But his world, though frightening, brings with it breathtaking sights, adoring family, and stronger feelings than Loriel wants to admit. And although making it out alive had seemed impossible, it becomes desperately more important to make it out together.

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

I have been given a lot of advice over the last year since I published Storm Front, but there are a few things that have become very helpful! I’ll pass those along… the first is to write at the edges of the day. Writing is usually an extra goal – added onto a full time job or a family… or both! But it can be done in small amounts of time. Just keep those ideas building and write them down in hyper speed when you get the chance! Another tip is to cut to the chase. While this depends on your individual prose and the type of novel or literature you’re writing, you don’t want to over-word things. Keep it moving. Finally, don’t give up! There are a lot of successful authors out there, and some that you’ve never even heard of! There’s room for you, so keep going.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

Enrica for sure! She is beautiful and hostile and utterly above this inferior world (at least in her mind), so yeah, we would have trouble getting along LOL.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I think after writing Storm Front, and continuing to work on the sequel, I have tried to have more specific goals and milestones for my characters – more of a plan! For me, to write the entire thing down on a nice little outline would pretty much kill the desire to write. But, there are definitely advantages to having at least your next few steps sketched out. I always know the beginning and ending right off the bat, but defining a few pivotal moments in between is also important.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies – I can (and sometimes DO) make them every day! And the reason is easy… I have the best recipe on this planet. Mmmmm…

Any unusual talents or hobbies?

Unusual? I’m not sure if it’s unusual, but I teach a Zumba class a few times a week. It’s free and moms come exercise while kids play – lots of fun! I also love running, and have done a half dozen half marathons. Swimming, hiking, biking, camping, you name it – I probably like it.

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

I watched some Scandinavian cooking show where they made ice cream by dragging it in a sealed metal bucket behind a horse and sleigh through the snow! Perfectly churned and it looked amazing – I want some right NOW!

Author Bio

Born and raised in California, Diana developed an early love for the coastline, mountain ranges, and desert in between. Her grade school years were spent in a chaos of paper and pencils, writing stories and poems, oftentimes scattered around the sunny white farmhouse she called home. Trading flip flops for cowboy boots, she now resides in rural Idaho with her husband Joseph and five young children.

Buy Links

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=storm+front+dl+Robinson

Blackrosewriting.com: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/storm-front?rq=storm%20front

Paperback and eBooks available!

Social Media Links

Instagram: @dlrobinsonauthor
Website: www.dlrobinsonauthor.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/stormfrontdlrobinson/

 

 

Indie Author Friday: Charles E. Yallowitz #scifi #fantasy #LGBT

Charles Yallowitz is here today with the most recent addition to his Shattered States series, Chasing Bedlam.  If you’re unfamiliar with Charles’s work, he’s also the author of the Legends of Windemere fantasy series, with twelve books to date.  And he presents a strong argument why Spiderman would win in a fight with Batman.

Lloyd and Cassidy’s last adventure was to honor a life. This time they are out to end one.

It was a normal, violent mission to Texas that should have had nothing more than beer-induced hiccups. That is until an old enemy makes off with Cassidy’s jeep and most of their gear. Needless to say, she’s pissed off and challenging Lloyd for the psychopath of the month award. With the mouthy serial killer by her side, she is going on the warpath from Dallas to Miami even if it means declaring war on the drug cartels.

So strap in for another wild ride through the Shattered States and learn why you never mess with Cassidy’s jeep.

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

I really wish I knew how much went into the promotion side of things. At the beginning, I knew a blog would be helpful and tried to have fun with it. As time went on, I began looking into more social media sites and trying to learn them. Most didn’t help much, but the biggest problem was that it felt like it took more time to promote than it did to write, edit, and publish my books. Thankfully, I’ve found my comfort zone and realized that what works for one author doesn’t always work for another.

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

Never stop having fun. I’ve come close to looking at this more as a job than a career, which can wear on my creativity. It leads to me going through the motions and then I have more work to do during editing. So, I’d really tell my younger self to hold onto that spark I had when I was in high school. It wasn’t the neatest thing to work with, but there was a passion that fueled me for hours.

What do you love most about the writing process?

There are so many aspects to choose from, but my favorite stage is the initial creation. It probably stems from me having to spend ten years only doing outlining and character bios in preparation of getting real writing time. So this has become a haven for me. When I don’t have much time or feeling stressed, I grab a notebook, pick a future idea, and tinker with it. Don’t get me wrong though. The other stages are a lot of fun, but creating something from nothing is where I feel the most excitement.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Tough one because I love pastries in general. Can’t go wrong with chocolate chip, Oreo, or anything with peanut butter. Yet, I would say my favorite are the Neapolitan cookies. They were a weekend treat when I went to Shul and the kids got to the food first. We’d make a race for those cookies, which were always moist. There was also a sweetness to them that wasn’t too overpowering. I don’t indulge as much as I used to, but now I have this temptation to buy a box next time I go grocery shopping.

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

I know this isn’t going to be a popular answer, but I’m working with them simply running into each other and having no prep time. Spider-Man is stronger and faster than Batman, but he doesn’t have the martial arts training. So this evens them out as long as the web-shooters and batarangs negating each other. Now, the only reason I say Spider-Man is because of his spider sense. This means Batman can’t sneak up on him, which removes stealth from the equation and puts it in Spider-Man’s favor. Also, I’ve always been more of a Spidey fan. To be fair, Batman regains the advantage if he’s given time to plan since he’d probably create something to negate the spider sense or threaten to reveal that Peter Parker is Spider-Man unless he throws the fight.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Tough one because I’ve seen so many cartoons and my personality tends to put me as a background character. As far as one that I would want to be is Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Not only because he’s short, but he’s very creative with his powers. He can create things using alchemy, which can range from turning his metal arm into a blade to transforming a battleship into a robot. I see it a lot like how I write a story, but mostly I’d love to get chores done with those powers. Not to mention all of the fun I could have in public or simply goofing off. This is probably why I shouldn’t be given any superpowers.

Author Bio

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Buy Link
Amazon

Social Media Links
Legends of Windemere Blog
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Charles E. Yallowitz Website