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Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and a Taste of Exquisite Darkness
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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 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."

Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #12

Today marks the end of our interview series for all the new Fantasy releases this fall. It's been such a fun ride, and we've had such a great time with these interviews, getting to know these authors and their novels on a deeper level.

Last but not least, VS Holmes is interviewed by Virginia Carraway Stark today, on her new release 'Smoke and Rain'.

1. Tell me about how your personal life affects your writing. Do you write your real life relationships into your fiction?

There are many painful scenes that have their roots in real situations - fading relationships, forgotten friendships, and so forth. It happens backwards too - some realizations about my personal life came from writing. It took me writing a character explaining how they felt about another for me to first realize I was in love with the person who is now my husband.

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

This is an interesting twist! Usually the question is which song inspires me most. My work ethic is to just run as hard and as fast as I can until it's finished. The rapper Angel Haze's track "Battle Cry" speaks right to my heart. They have such a powerful voice and insightful words. "You take your dream and you run with it, and keep going even when your sun's hidden..."

3. Who has inspired you most in life and why?

I have two answers for this, and I'll draw a bit from the acknowledgements in the beginning of Smoke and Rain. My dad is a singularly determined and against-the-mold man. There has never been a point that he hasn't forged his own path. I grew up listening to stories of hitch-hiking across the country, waking up in a mountain field surrounded by elk, and living in a tiny cottage on the edge of a lake. There are echoes of those stories and the kind of spirit that it takes to find them, in my books. It is because of him and my mom that I began to write.

My husband is a phenomenal artist - no seriously, check out his stuff at www.isketchmonsters.com - and has extraordinary dedication to his work. That drive keeps him working even after an exhausting day and his family telling him it wasn't worth it. His passion is so inspiring, and it is because of him that I continue to write.

4. What (if anything) makes writing impossible for you? How do you overcome this?

I struggle with anxiety, and when I'm in the midst of a bad episode I find myself frozen. I'll stare at the next page and not write a single word. When my primary job was in healthcare, I was often so emotionally exhausted from the job that I couldn't even think about writing. I've gotten better about finding the time to write. Usually the long drives to my now primary job as an archaeologist are the perfect solution to plot-knots.

5. If you were an ocean, what ocean would you be? Why?

The arctic. I love the extreme seasons of the poles, and the incredible fortitude it takes to live there. Not to mention, Beringia is one of the routes by which humans first arrived in the Americas, on which I wrote my undergrad thesis. The arctic has such a stark and beautifully haunting landscape. I feel like it would easily get under the skin.

Don't forget to grab your copy of 'Smoke and Rain' by VS Holmes today. Just click here, and enjoy!

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