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I released Daughter of the Drackan's sequel, Mother of the Drackan, just two days ago. Today, the first book in the Gyenona's Children series hits #3 on Amazon's Top 100 Free Dark Fantasy. I don't quite think I need to say more.

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Author Spotlight on Celebrate with a Book
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I've had the extraordinary pleasure of getting to know the wonderful Tina Glasneck, Crime Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance author. She's also the founder of Celebrate with a Book, her site dedicated solely to advocating other authors and getting the word out there about their best new titles.

Today, Tina's hosted me on Celebrate with a Book with some highlights of Daughter of the Drackan, just before Book Two, Mother of the Drackan, hits the shelves on May 31st. We've got another dragon-lover in the ranks here, and her enthusiasm made my day. Stop by and check it out!

February 5th Final Tour Stop at Long and Short Reviews

This is it! Today marks the end of 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Virtual Tour, with a final stop at Long and Short Reviews. I broke out of the norm, and wrote a guest post about the things I do outside of writing and editing. Because, while those are my favorite things, I do other things, too.

Come stop by and check it out! Thank you so much to all of you who have followed the tour, commented, shared, and supported this book. Don't forget to enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card, and 'Daughter of the Drackan' is still discounted at $0.99...but only until the end of the day.

2. Yoga —No writer can sustain their creativity without also taking care of their body. I rather enjoy yoga, and I practice in my living room just about every morning first thing. It keeps me flexible, my muscles strong, and works better (and quicker) than a cup of coffee for waking up (though I also drink coffee). Lately, though, I’ve been unable to keep to my yoga schedule. I recently had surgery on my foot to remove a pretty nastily painful bunion, and I’ve been taken out of the game (mostly physically, at least). I got the stitches out last week, and so far we’re healing well, my foot and I—just no physical activity for a while yet. I very much look forward to future months, when I can return hiking in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in which we live, playing in the woods, and rock climbing back into my daily life, along with yoga. Good thing my recovery coincides with Spring coming.

February 4th Tour Stop at Queen of All She Reads

Yet another guest post from me today for 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Blog Tour, stopping at Queen of All She Reads.

I was asked to write about the difference between how I work and think as a writer, and how I switch my brains into editor mode. This was a fun post for me to write - and it's amazing how closely related the two are!

Come stop by! Say hello! Leave a comment and enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. 'Daughter of the Drackan' is still $0.99, but only until tomorrow! Click the link at the top to read the whole post.

‘Editing mode’ is a lot more structured, analytical, and ‘on the screen’ rather than ‘in my head’. Knowing the ins and outs of proper editing (i.e. grammar, punctuating, sentence structure, plot and character elements, etc.) have always come naturally for me. I chalk that up to the extensive repertoire of reading I’ve managed to amass in the last twenty years. I read voraciously even still. It feels like a second limb in the back of my head…something that’s quite normal for me, and sometimes others can’t understand it and are even amazed by it.

February 3rd Tour Stop at Dark Treasury

For the last three days of this tour, I've got some pretty cool guest posts to share with you instead of the interview (though how much fun were those?). Today at Dark Treasury, I wrote about Fantasy World Building and the separation between what you need to know as an author and what your readers want to see.

These are guidelines I like to use myself, and the major points I felt were important. Boy, did I ever want to expound and get all crazy detailed, but alas. Word count limits do exist.

Come check it out! Enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. Get the ebook of 'Daughter of the Drackan' for $0.99 until this Friday, February 5th, when the deal ends. Ask me some weird stuff, tell me something witty, share your thoughts!

Here's an excerpt from the post, and click on the link at the top to read the whole thing.

Building a Fantasy World vs. Writing A Fantasy World Encyclopedia

As writers, it’s challenging not to get caught up in all the intricate details of our worlds, wanting to share every little morsel we can with our readers. As readers, we want to feel like we’ve been transported into this world and can trek its hills and valleys as if they were our own.

Tread carefully, creators of the realm. For it is a slippery slope when distracting your adventurers by shoving a list of terms, definitions, and appendices in their faces.

Those here for the magic wish to experience it for themselves.

February 2nd Tour Stop with Archaeolibrarian

I'm tellin' ya, people, this is one pretty awesome interview I did with Archaeolibrarian during 'Daughter of the Drackan's' virtual tour. You get not one, not two, but three really cool excerpts from the novel (those close to my heart...and all of them completely different). I was feeling generous :)

Please come on by and say hello. Post some things. Ask about the book. Enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. Either way, I'll be there hanging out. Come join me!

Click on the link at the top of the page to read the entire interview.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Most of it is completely imagination and the movie in my head. In real life, I got Igetheyr’s character from a dream (he’s a fabulously powerful supporting character, and his role in this book and its sequel stand somewhere in the middle of major and hardly seen. I have been throwing the idea around of making him the protagonist in a sequel to ‘Daughter of the Drackan’, set centuries in the past, but it hasn’t stuck anywhere yet).

I think I also pulled all my negative emotions, aggression, disdain, and everything I wished I could do if it weren’t for societal mandates—and, you know, having friends—wadded it up into a mucky ball, and threw it into Keelin. She took it like a champ. I think Keelin is the way I get to channel my own inner, wild darkness without it ever having to see the light of day. Thank goodness.

February 1st Tour Stop at BooksChatter

Week three has begun! My virtual tour with 'Daughter of the Drackan' stops at BooksChatter today for another really cool interview (I think). My favorite part? BooksChatter kindly searched for the top music track which unequivocally inspired me to write this book (and is basically Keelin's theme song). Play the YouTube video in the background while you're reading the interview (and maybe even the book, when you get it), and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Stop by! Ask me the question bound to pop into your head when you listen to this music and read the interview. Check it out. And don't forget to enter your name in the Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. Plus, 'Daughter of the Drackan' is still $0.99. But only for the rest of the week until February 5th.

Here's a little excerpt for ya. Click on the top link to view the whole interview.

Keelin is definitely who I wish I could be sometimes.  That’s about as close as she and I get.  All the social norms I wish I could tear down, all the times I just want to punch somebody in the face instead of listen to their monotonous droning, Keelin gets to do instead.  Plus, who doesn’t like a naked assassin whirling in a flash of teeth and steel, cutting down anybody who crosses her?

Most of my characters are pretty physically skilled at something—mostly fighting.  I’m just not. I may come close to Keelin when I talk about rock-climbing, but let’s face it, she’s got me beat there, too.  She scales entire cliff faces for days…without a harness or a tie-in, without any ropes, leads, or hooks.  I don’t think I could ever do that."

January 29th Tour Stop at Deal Sharing Aunt

Last stop of the week, people! Deal Sharing Aunt was kind enough to host me today as I talk a little bit more about my writing life and my new release, 'Daughter of the Drackan'.

Here's an excerpt. Click the first link above to check out the whole interview.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My love of darkness, struggle, and a need for a higher purpose inspired me to write ‘Daughter of the Drackan’. I also really wanted a super badass character who could get away with (almost) anything. I always loved reading action and adventures, especially fight scenes, and I wanted so badly for Keelin to deliver some really superior fight scenes. My readers have told me it gets their hearts pumping just reading it, which is pure gold to my ears!

January 28th Tour Stop at C.A. Milson

Today, 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Virtual Blog Tour stops at C.A. Milson. I can't even begin to say how much fun I've had with the interviews this week. We've got a few unknown quirks about myself, what actors I'd choose to play most of the book's characters, and a much more thorough breakdown of Keelin's character (which I definitely enjoyed revealing).

What's in it for you? A super fun chance to say hello, ask me questions of absolutely any sort, and learn about the book! A chance to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card (awesome), and of course, 'Daughter of the Drackan' discounted throughout the tour at $0.99 for the ebook. I want to see you there!

Here's just the tiny first snippet of my dive into the sexy, epically ferocious assassin demoness that is Keelin Kaht-Avmir, and you can read the entire interview by clicking on the link at the top of this post.

Keelin is like one of those electric bug zappers you hang on your porch, and everyone else is a bug. They can’t help but be attracted to her—they see her, want her, adore the strange quality about her they can’t quite place, and have to investigate further. But the closer you get to her, the more you risk your own destruction.

January 27th Tour Stop at Two Ends of the Pen

Today, with 'Daughter of the Drackan's' virtual tour at Two Ends of the Pen, I share a little bit more about one of the book's supporting characters (who is so very cool), and a lot of information/tips on self-publishing and launching an Indie Author career (from my experience).

Come and check it out! (I feel like a caller at a carnival.) Comment on all the things, ask me questions, don't be afraid to speak your mind. And enter the Rafflecopter contest to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card.

One more excerpt for you. Click the second link above to read the whole interview.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?

Aloran, the first human Keelin meets and her ‘guide’ within the human world, originally started as a very supporting character. He was the initial bridge between her and the humans, and was supposed to show her just a few tiny secrets in the beginning. It was not my plan to have him fall in love with her, nor to give him such a huge role as the leader of the underground assassin group, the King’s Knives. But it happened.

And when that happened, he invariably makes a second and possibly greater appearance in ‘Mother of the Drackan’. We get a little bit of a deeper look into his own life, where he came from, and when he meets Keelin again, he finds a connection to his past he never knew existed. It’s pretty important for the ending, too—Aloran has a huge role in the final epic scene.

January 26th Tour Stop at Kit 'N Kabookle

Well, this was exciting! I had fun questions waiting for me at the stop before I ever even got to the post this morning. That's what I like to see! Head over to Day 7's stop at Kit 'N Kabookle, where I answered some really cool questions about what I would do (and have done) if transported into the book's world, and which characters I'd go out with for drinks!

As always, come join me. Ask weird questions (I had some good ones already), sign up with the Rafflecopter drawing to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. Grab the book, discounted as an ebook at $0.99 throughout the tour. There's some really fun stuff in the interviews this week. You don't want to miss them!

Here's a little excerpt. Click the link at the top to see the whole interview.

I’d written myself into Keelin’s past before her story takes place in ‘Daughter of the Drackan’. The piece is in first person, and I put myself in her world in the cliffs of the High Hills basically just to mess with her. It was a really cool exercise in my relationship with both her as a character and the world I’d created. In that place, I’m a god. So I let Keelin see me (because I’d been invisible to her before, of my own choosing, of course), and threw rocks at her and got her in trouble with another drackan. Because I could.

January 25th Blog Stop at Room With Books

Happy Monday! And here we are, starting off the second week of 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Virtual Blog Tour at Room With Books.

It's been so much fun getting to answer all these interview questions about 'Daughter of the Drackan' and my writing life. Come join me. Leave a comment, ask a question. Don't forget to log in with the Rafflecopter giveaway - the more stops you visit with me, the better chances you have of winning a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. And of course, all this week, 'Daughter of the Drackan' is still discounted as an ebook for $0.99!

Click the link above to read the whole interview. Here's just a fun little excerpt below.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

Mostly, I write the book first. Ideas pop into my head without titles, and most of the time I save them under the protagonist’s name until I find the title. When it hits me, I know what to call it. Titles, of course, are super important for a book, but they’re not necessary in order to actually write the book.

I have, however, written a few short stories based off of hearing something and thinking it a great title. Then I shape the story around the title. I love to share this story—I’d watched an episode of The Colbert Report when I was in college, and Stephen Colbert had some wacky thing on about colonoscopies. The words ‘rectal dyslexia’ came out of his mouth in the middle of a sentence, and I fell in love.

January 22nd Blog Stop at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

The last blog stop this week on 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Virtual Blog Tour visits Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews. I really enjoyed answering the questions on this one about my family's support in my writing career, who 'mentored' me, and what I hear from fans. Some good tips for beginning writers as well.

Here's a little excerpt. Click the link above to view the entire interview. Join me, say something, ask a question. You can enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card, and 'Daughter of the Drackan' is still discounted. Grab it here.

I took away from that realization that, when we’re offered the chance to do what we love, we have to take it and embrace it. Feeling guilty or worthless over the gift of opportunity is like not eating a meal because you’ve made it perfectly. It doesn’t make sense. And I found myself able to embrace the turn my life has taken and really become the author I’ve always wanted to be (and maybe on some level never thought truly possible).

January 21st Tour Stop at Indie Author's Blog

And today, we head on over to Indie Author's Blog for tour stop number four! Questions about my favorite part of the writing process and how 'Daughter of the Drackan' chose me as its author.

I did a bit of snooping around this blog...I think my interview was five times longer than the other one-sentence answers... (shh)... ;)

Here's a little excerpt of something pretty cool I wrote about, and click the link above to see the entire interview. Comment while you're there, say something wacky! And during the tour, 'Daughter of the Drackan' is discounted at just $0.99!

Why choose these amazing people to be my co-authors? Honestly, if anybody did the choosing, they chose me, and for that I’m continuously humbled and flattered. These authors come from all different backgrounds (not to mention countries), and specialize in fiction of all different genres: we’ve got Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Horror, to name most of them. Melding my creative mind with other writers is such an incredible experience, and it stretches the limits of my imagination further than I ever thought possible. I’m sure I’ll be stretched some more.

January 20th Tour Stop at Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews

Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews is hosting a stop today for 'Daughter of the Drackan's' Virtual Blog Tour. This was a fun interview, and goes a little more in-depth into Keelin's character and what I do on an average day in the life of me.

Click the link above to see the whole interview. Comment, ask me questions, talk to me! You can also enter to win a $25 Amazon or BN gift card, and grab your copy of 'Daughter of the Drackan' throughout the tour at a discounted price. This is so much fun, and I love chatting with readers at this stop.

As a protagonist, Keelin isn’t necessarily for everyone. She’s gritty, haughty, and sometimes annoyingly whiney. Despite her violence, bloodlust, and infuriating stubbornness, she’s also loyal to a fault, independent, and remarkably good at what she does—namely killing. There’s a lot of my own wild side in Keelin; of course, that’s the side of me I’ll never let out, save for through my characters. She struggles constantly to discover who she is within two opposing worlds, neither of which want to accept her completely, and does the only thing she can to find the answers she needs—manipulating those around her in whatever way suits her purposes.

January 19th Tour Stop at Rayna Noire

Today, the 2016 Virtual Blog Tour for 'Daughter of the Drackan' stops at Rayna Noire. I talk about my early writing life, where it all started, and the bumps I hit along the way on my road to being an Indie Author.

Here's an excerpt from the interview. Click on the link for Rayna Noire above to check out the whole thing. Leave a comment, chat with me and tell me what you think, and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card. And pop by Amazon - 'Daughter of the Drackan' is discounted at $0.99 through the entire tour!

I do remember vividly the night I wrote this novel’s final words—New Year’s Eve of 2007, and I was seventeen. Three different friends of mine had called me and asked if I wanted to join them for New Year’s Eve parties, and I had to turn them all down. I’d promised myself that I would finish the darn thing before the new year. As it turned out, I wrote the ending at 11:52 pm before jumping from my desk, hooting and hollering in my bedroom, and doing my own version of the happy dance while the ball dropped (no, I won’t go into the embarrassing details of my dancing techniques). Then, I wondered what came next.

January 18th Tour Stop at Rogue's Angels

We're starting the tour off on a good foot this morning! My first stop touring with 'Daughter of the Drackan' is at Rogue's Angels, where they've interviewed me on my writing and the release of this book.

The following is an excerpt from the interview, but head on over to Rogue's Angels to get the full interview. Leave a comment and chat with me there, and you're automatically entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

All kids have secret wishes, daydreaming about things they wish would happen in their lives or impossible things they want to be possible—like magic. My reason for writing was a combination of both. I had a bit of a rocky childhood, though I wouldn’t change a single bit of it for the world; it made me the person—and the writer—I am today. I spent years writing about things I ‘wanted’ in my life at the time, and most of it revolved around experiences I’d never had but hoped to have some day in the future when I ‘grew up’. Writing was a phenomenal outlet for me growing up, and it oftentimes gave me the hope I needed when nothing else would do. The other half of my inspiration came from my pretty ridiculous imagination—as I believe all writers have. Sometimes, the real world is just plain ol’ boring, and I found very quickly that I could spice it up a bit with writing about things that could never, ever possibly happen in this universe.

Daughter of the Drackan's 2016 Virtual Book Tour

Come join me, tomorrow through February 5th, for Daughter of the Drackan's Virtual Blog Tour with Goddess Fish Promotions! Fifteen stops with interviews and guest posts by yours truly about Daughter of the Drackan and my life as a Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author!

During the Tour, Daughter of the Drackan will be available on Amazon at a discounted ebook price. Grab it here. One lucky participant will also be randomly selected to win a $25 Amazon gift card - which is just about as awesome as learning all Keelin's behind-the-scenes secrets! Can't wait to see you there!

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"Meet the Rising Star" Series: Interviewed by Cayce Berryman

This was such a fun interview conducted by Author, Editor, and Copywriter Cayce Berryman. Every week, she interviews a new author on their published work, current projects, and their writing life altogether. I got to talk about both my novel 'Daughter of the Drackan' (published this October), its upcoming sequel, and the next novel currently underway, the Dystopian Sci-Fi 'Sleepwater Beat'. Plus a few other little fun nuggets. This is just an excerpt from the interview, because I like sharing little snippets about all my work underway. If you'd like to read the full interview, check it out on Cayce's website here.

What are you currently working on? How did you begin working on it?

I both love and dread talking about this project, because it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever done before, and it’s a little terrifying. “Sleepwater Beat” is a Dystopian Sci-Fi set in the near-future US. The main character, Leo, is a homeless girl of 22 who is one of a growing group of individuals who have developed the ability to affect other people—psychologically, mentally, and physically—with the “superpower” embedded in certain kinds of words. Basically like X-Men abilities through storytelling. The novel also covers government/military control, pharmaceutical and media conspiracy, human trafficking and experimentation, black-market dealings, guerilla warfare, and a hint of LGBTQ flavor. What in the world possessed me to scramble all these things together? I’ll never be able to answer that question.

It started quite literally as an experiment in and of itself about a year and a half ago. I had a general feel for these ideas, and wondered what it would be like to write a long short story (about 35K words) purely comprised of short scenes without “filler” (because we all hate writing filler, right?). The trick was that I also wanted to scramble every scene into an order as far from chronological as I could possibly get. I managed to do that pretty well, and the experiment was a success, even though I would never do it again. I brought this piece to my weekly writers’ group when I lived in Charleston, SC, and they loved the ideas. Their input also inspired me to change some details, add new characters and plot lines, and I realized this thing now clawed through its outer layer to transform into an entire novel.

Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #11

Today is the last interview with author Jason Pere on his new release 'Calling the Reaper', conducted by Virginia Carraway Stark. These are just so much fun.

1. What frustrates you? In writing, in life, in love - what drives you crazy?

In writing, never enough time to write. I feel like a fiction junkie sometimes. If I am away from a keyboard for too long and don’t get a fix of creative expression, I become quite ornery and start scratching at the walls. In life, why did they make it so hard and where is the instruction manual? In love, those times where you just need to be a punching bag for the people you love because they just need something to hit. Luckily, I’m a scrappy little guy who is pretty well put-together and I don’t break so easy. What drives me crazy? I passed the town line for Crazy so long ago I don’t remember what I was driving - probably some kind of responsible, boring, economy car. Also, the two miserable felines that allow me to dwell within their kingdom surely have a role in my dementia.

2. What is the hardest part about writing for you? Do you think other writers share this problem?

I would say knowing where the lines you cannot cross are. I like to push boundaries and give readers things that they have not seen before. This often means going into some pretty dark places, and I am afraid that some of the things I write may be too taboo for the mainstream.

I’m sure that other writers have the same issue. If you want to write and attract readers, then I think you ether need to execute stories that are classically formulaic but done better than most other authors on the market, or you need to provide readers with a completely new experience. If you are going to try and explore new territory, pushing boundaries and comfort zones is a requisite on ingenuity.

3. If you were given $100,000 right now, how would it affect your writing? Would it give you more time or less if you had a big wad of cash to spend?

Oh, so much more time at first. I could quit my day job and then produce tons of material…that nobody would read and were ultimately unmarketable, so I would then be forced to try and get my old job back only to find that the position had been filled and I'd have to desperately try and get multiple minimum wage jobs to make ends meet and watch as my life became nothing more than a never-ending repetition of sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep and then I never get to write anything ever again, ever. So…I think you can keep the $100,000 for now.

4. What has been the biggest surprise you have had as a result of your writing? Was it a landmine or a revelation?

I am not a classically trained author and yet the response to virtually all of my work that I have shared is overwhelmingly positive. You hear that, kids? Drop out of school, its ok. Who needs that higher education jibber jabber? You can be a writer just like me.

5. If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jellybeans, what would you do?

First I would put in a call to Little Bunny FooFoo and cash in a favor. One time I helped the Foofur disappear a hotel room of dead field mice after she came down off a Peter “Oxy” Cottontail bender. LB FooFoo could arrange a meeting for me with one Mr. Bugs Bunny because they play squash together twice a month. I would then offer to take care of Mr. Bugs’ “Elmer Fudd” problem if he could arrange an introduction with the one and only Easter Bunny. If there is anyone who can move some heavy weight in jelly beans it is that Rabbit. And I am using the term Rabbit in the not-racist, politically correct way.

6. Who would win a fight between spider-man and batman?

Gambit, Cajun who knows his way around a deck of cards, no contest. Next Question!

7. If you could get rid of one state in America, which one would it be and why?

Connecticut because I like the idea of living in a Sovereign Nation where we could establish a proper Aristocracy.

8. What song best describes your work ethic when it comes to your writing?

Clearly it is Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. Oh, Rick Roll! Seriously I think it would likely be Mindtraveler by the Swedish Folkmetal group Falconer. To me that song is the anthem for introspective creativity.

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

The only possible thing that could be said in such a scenario. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

10. How would you rate your communication skills? How would people communicate in a perfect world?

My communication skillz is are very good lots and I knowz whatz people is be sayinz when they speak words to my earz place. When Iz talkingz I is do a strong not badz jobs of makinz people know what is be the wordz my mouth are do to make.

In a perfect world people would communicate without the need for speech. They would simply understand what others required with flawless, intuitive interpolation.

11. If you were a kitchen utensil, what utensil would you be? Why?

Like a salad fork, or maybe a dinner fork. But that is a long way to go so maybe like one of those little shrimp forks or perhaps something that is not even a fork…like a ladle.

12. How do you think your writing affects your readers? How do you feel about that?

I would like to think that my stories stay with a reader because they cause the reader to feel some deep emotion. If I were to try and convey a single emotional concept with my writing, I would say “Bittersweet”. I think we are better able to appreciate joy and levity when it is contrasted with tragedy and sorrow. All sunshine and no rain clouds denies us a frame of reference and ability to appreciate the unclouded day.

You can grab your copy of Jason Pere's tragically brilliant new Fantasy novel, 'Calling the Reaper', here.

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