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Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and a Taste of Exquisite Darkness
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Brag Worthy Rankings

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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Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #10

This is my last interview in the series, conducted by Virginia Carraway Stark about my new release 'Daughter of the Drackan' and the things that make me tick as a writer. These were fun, intriguing questions (and I'm sure you may laugh at one or two of them, as I did). Stay tuned for the last two interviews in our Fall Fantasy Series, scheduled for next week.

1. What was the most difficult thing you ever wrote? Why do you think it was so difficult for you?

The single most difficult thing I’ve ever written was, in fact, the short synopsis for ‘Daughter of the Drackan’, back before I’d gone Indie and was still pulling out all the stops trying to get it traditionally published. This was also back when both ‘Daughter of the Drackan’ and ‘Mother of the Drackan’ were one, single, humongous piece of fiction. For some reason, it didn’t occur to me back then that something just over 200K words would be daunting for anyone to want to sign.

It took me about three weeks to finally get the 3-page synopsis written on the whole work. I still have all of the “drafts” of this synopsis saved on my computer, for hilarity’s sake. I was able to write first a 34-page summary, then pared it down to 25 pages, then 15, then 10, then 5, and finally 3 (and, in some instances with various agents, 1 double-spaced page. Yikes!). I never quite understood what other authors meant when they’d said writing a synopsis is the absolute worst part of the whole package that comes with writing and publishing a novel until I did this myself. It was intense, terrifying, frustrating, and I felt like I was just throwing out the baby with the bathwater on this one. But I did learn the valuable skill of not being verbose, and of cutting down all the intricacies of my brain into short, relevant, crucial sentences. I’d recommend doing this with any work, even if you’re planning on becoming, and staying, an Indie Author. There’s nothing quite like peeling back the skin of your novel and seeing all the guts that make it work.

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

When I write Fantasy, I like to move beyond the realm of my own understanding and into something (worlds, characters, laws, and struggles) completely new. Of course, my own personal life experiences still come out within the character interactions, which is how readers relate to characters in the first place. They have to be believable.

I will say, however, that my short stories (which are mostly Literary Fiction), the collaborations on which I’m currently working, and my own work in progress, the Dystopian Sci-Fi ‘Sleepwater Beat’, draw much more from my personal experiences and relationships than my Fantasy does. I like to pick on one single aspect of people I know or have met, and inject that into characters. I think the reason I write such dark, emotionally driven (and not always in the most positive way) fiction is because a lot of my past comes into play. As I’m sure we all do, I’ve got some pretty dark “stories” in my past, and part of a way for me to celebrate how far I’ve come since then, and how grateful I am for my currently beautiful, blessed, wonderful life, is to keep writing in a way that expresses the possibility of transforming that darkness into something else entirely. The protagonist in ‘Sleepwater Beat’, for instance, has more of myself written into her character than I’ve ever allowed before. It’s a bit daunting, a bit scary, but I may never have felt more connected to one of my characters.

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

Until just a few years ago, I went through a point in my life where I hadn’t written a single word of fiction in probably three years. And I do mean that quite literally—not a single word. I’d gotten so caught up in my own life and everything it entailed at the time that I went through this whole process of not feeling “worthy” of the written word, of wondering what it was I ever had thought I could do with it in the first place. The worst part about it was that once I considered writing again, and really diving into my work as I’d done before my little ‘hiatus’, I was absolutely terrified of the possibility that I may have lost all my “writing talent”.

It sounds kind of silly as I write this, but it was an incredibly palpable fear, and instead of choosing to sit down and figure out if it was actually true, I beat myself over the head about it for months. Something finally clicked, and I told my head to shut up and just write. To my complete bafflement and heart-stopping surprise…my writing style had managed to change completely without me ever writing a single thing. It was almost like getting a completely different hairstyle that I’d never had before—I recognized my face, obviously still had hair, but somehow it didn’t feel like me and I’d done absolutely nothing myself to invoke this physical change in my appearance. This is obviously a metaphor for my writing. I saw the same elements, the same drive for characterization and story, but my structure and voice had matured disproportionately to the amount of writing I’d actually done—which was zero. I realized then that I am a writer, just like every other writer, and the act of writing, of telling stories and wielding the saber of the written word, is ingrained in me just as deeply as all the other things that make me me. That was when the floodgates opened, and I don’t think I’ll ever be afraid of losing my “ability to write” ever again.

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

Well, I have been a kitchen utensil, so there! Either my junior or senior year of high school, the Drama Club put on a production of Beauty and the Beast for our fall musical. In addition to being part of the chorus as a villager, I was also one of the inhabitants of the enchanted castle. We were all kitchen utensils, essentially (you know, before Belle breaks the spell and everybody turns back into people), and I was given the joyous honor of playing the pastry brush. Yes, I was a pastry brush. My costume was a barrel-shaped cut of brown foam, with straps to hang it over my shoulders, a grass skirt around the bottom to serve as the bristles, and to complete the ensemble, I was given a giant tubular piece of brown foam to place on my head. It was at least three feet tall with a round hole cut in the front for my face. I’ll let you picture that visual for a moment… I was all the rage. Needless to say, the pastry brush has a very fond place in my heart.

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

I am one of those people who just can’t sit down to write when I’m highly emotional. Angry, sad, afraid, anxious—it doesn’t matter. It didn’t always used to be that way. When I was younger, writing was the only outlet I had for those emotions, and I have a rather large box that’s now overflowing with all the little scraps of writing I pumped out around those feelings. I did, however, go through a period in my life where I learned the poignant importance of being able to sit with my emotions, to process them, accept them, and try to move forward past whatever I’m feeling at the time. For me, writing now requires a clean conscience and a clear head (except for the occasional ridiculous flash fiction pieces that get created when I decide to sit at the computer with a friendly glass of whisky next to me).

I’ve just recently started giving myself daily word quotas for my fiction (1,000 words a day, minimum), and it’s been extraordinarily helpful. When I get super emotional, I first try to sit with it a bit, grab ten minutes for myself and some mindful meditation, and then see how I feel. Sometimes, though, we all just need somebody to listen, and the writing community has been a remarkable outlet for venting my frustrations. There are a few people I go to with any struggles I might have, who have all consistently given more than helpful advice, guidance, and sometimes just validation. Writers know how writers feel, and I’ve found more kindred spirits within the writing community than any other group of peers in which I’ve taken part. Then, once I’ve expressed myself fully with no judgements…I take a look at the status of my daily writing, and remind myself that, if I want to stick to my publication schedule as an Indie Author, I better get back to writing.

You can grab a copy of my newest Fantasy release, 'Daughter of the Drackan' on Amazon and in the Kindle Store here.

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Fall Fantasy Interview Series: #8

Today, I'm interviewed by VS Holmes on my release of 'Daughter of the Drackan' last month, and my love for being a part of the Indie Author Community!

1)What made you decide to become an independent author?

That feels like a bit of a loaded question! But I'll answer it as specifically as it was asked. I tried my hand for a long time querying and submitting to agents and publishers...many, many times. I have an extensive collection of rejection letters, and I'll be the first to say I am absolutely not ashamed of them! It takes a lot of work - research, writing specific query letters, different lengths of synopses and manuscript submissions (almost for every single agent/publisher). I spent two years trying to go the traditional route, and then finally realized just how much energy and focus it actually took.

Many people had asked me at that time why I didn't just self-publish. I always had that in my back pocket as a last resort, knowing that I would never forgive myself if I didn't first exhaust all my available resources for traditional publishing. As you can see, traditional publishing resources = exhausted. That was the original reason I became an Indie Author.

However, I will say now with absolute certainty that I prefer being an Indie Author. Not only do I get to keep my hands on the entire process - from typing that first word to getting a book cover and promotion design, to marketing and monitoring - but the best thing that comes along with being an Indie Author is the INDIE AUTHOR COMMUNITY. I have networked my butt off, made friends, learned invaluable things, received invaluable services in trade, and gained far more support just by being myself and using that to promote my work. That's something I don't think I could have done had I been picked up by a traditional publisher, and I'm not sure I would ever change it.

2)How does your day-job factor into your writing?

Short answer: in every way possible. By day, I am a self-employed Independent Editor, Chief Editor of a collaborative fiction organization, Editing Director of a fabulously unique Publishing Company, and an Indie Author. By night, I am a self-employed...well, rinse and repeat. Basically, I never stop working, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm lucky enough to finally be able to say that I do what I love for a living, and I wake up excited and grateful every day. Granted, there are times when all my "non-Indie Author" jobs take up a lot of time and energy, and I find myself falling behind on the schedules I've laid out for myself in writing my own fiction. But I try really hard to schedule a few hours here and there into my week where I turn everything off (except the lights and Microsoft Word) and go to town.

I will say, though, that the relationships I've built - within the Indie Author community, through Editing clients (who more often than not turn out to become very good friends), and just by simply saying hello and sharing bits about myself - have led me to the place now where, even if I'm not vigorously tapping away at my own novels, I'm writing a short story for an anthology, or a chapter for a collaborative novel, or some other crazy compilation of frenzied fiction with others. Like I said, my day job fuels my writing, and vice versa.

3)Do you have future projects in mind? Are they related to 'Daughter of the Drackan', or something new?

Always. I have so many future projects bumping against each other in my head that "future" may just never become "present". But I try.

The sequel to 'Daughter of the Drackan', 'Mother of the Drackan', will be out early 2016. Right now, I'm thinking around February. And that's already written, so it just needs one more round of revisions (which will make it lucky revision #13), and then it will be here too! I've also toyed with the idea of writing a prequel to 'Daughter of the Drackan', taking place centuries before and focusing on the very first drackan-human fledgling, but that has yet to grow roots.

I am, however, currently writing a third novel, which is a Dystopian Sci-Fi titled 'Sleepwater Beat'. The best way I can describe this is: '1894' meets 'X-Men' in the very near future United States. So we've got iron government control, pharmaceutical and social media conspiracy, human trafficking, human experimentation, guerrilla warfare, black market deals, and all that fun stuff. The 'X-Men' part of it comes into play with the characters' "powers". Some people have developed an ability to illicit physical and emotional responses from anyone within listening distance...just by using certain types of words, specific to each unique "gift". Needless to say, this is a very big project - XXL - with a lot to say, and I find myself having to sit it down in the discipline corner and give it a talking to about respecting its maker and listening to what I say...to make it easier for both of us. If 'Sleepwater Beat' cooperates...it should be out by April or May next year.

4)What about the writing community as a whole have you found most inspiring? What about something we need to work on?

I find the entire writing community inspiring! I think, though, what has stricken me as the most fabulous part is everyone's capacity for supporting each other, enthusiasm for giving feedback/critiques/new projects, and acceptance of each individual author for WHO THEY ARE. That's super important! I've come across all walks of life within the writing community, and I really mean ALL WALKS, and I have yet to see anybody left out, belittled, or intentionally discouraged. I mean, let's face it, writers are strange people. We have quirks and vices that, for the most part, only other writers understand. At least where I spend my time in the writing community, I have yet to see anybody shunned for what makes them them. And I'm pretty weird, so it's very encouraging.

I really haven't found a lot of things "lacking" in the writing community, which is what makes being a writer and Indie Author (not to mention all the other "titles" I hold) being so much fun! The thing I find most difficult, though, is being able to keep up with ALL the different groups, forums, projects, and organizations. There are way too many, and as much as I want to be an integral part of all of them, I'm very aware of the fact that, to get to that level of proficiency, I'd have to stop writing completely. There would just be no time, and then what would be the point?

5)We all have our secret favorite characters—usually one in a supporting role rather than the protagonist. Which of your supporting characters has a special place in your heart? Why?

This is kind of a hard one, because my favorite characters tend to be my protagonists…hence the story all about them! But there is one character in ‘Daughter of the Drackan’ that stands out in importance and splendor.

Igetheyr is the patriarch of the High Hills drackans (Keelin’s adoptive species, so to speak, and her only family). He’s the only drackan with obsidian black scales, is overwhelmingly enormous, and his mind-voice is a golden rich magnificence that echoes within the minds of all who hear him (drackans communicate through colors and visual patterns, telepathically and without spoken words). He was the first drackan to successfully wean a human fledgling—to give a human the drackan powers of communication, their instincts, and their bloodlust—and when Keelin becomes the second human fledgling, Igetheyr watches her through her life, and her journeys, with a keen eye. Essentially, Igetheyr is the most powerful being in the entire novel, but his bond with the drackans and the pact he’s made with the drackan gods keep him from interfering in the messes Keelin makes through her desperate search for answers.

I love Igetheyr. He’s powerful, wise, and patient; he doesn’t use his power and authority to belittle or intimidate anyone. He’s almost so powerful that anything he could do would make life as these characters know it obsolete. So he can only stand by and watch, occasionally giving advice and occasionally making crucial decisions (this comes into play in the sequel, ‘Mother of the Drackan’). My special tie to Igetheyr spans from the fact that everything about him came to me in a dream, before I had ever written chapter 5—including the spelling of his name. It was such an epic dream, where I heard him speak to me and watched him fly around a stone temple, that I couldn’t not make him an epic character in the book. If I do, in fact, decide to write that prequel to this series, there will be a lot more of Igetheyr.

Grab your copy of 'Daughter of the Drackan' here, available on Amazon and in the Kindle Store.

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