Randomosity











I had the privilege of reading Summoned before it was released, and let me tell you…it’s fantastic.  I’ll paste my review here and the buy link so you can go get yourself a copy.  It’s 99 cents this weekend, and TOTALLY worth it.

I will be honest, the cover is what first drew me in. The contents on the pages made me want to move in and live in the author’s mind. Rainy Kaye has written a fascinating and unique world where genies exist, but they certainly aren’t like what you see in the movies or in children’s tales. A kid’s book, this ain’t. 😉
I will admit that Dimitri took a little getting used to. The book opens with him kidnapping someone and admitting that MURDER is easier to do than a kidnapping. What kind of human thinks that like?!? He’s a complicated and multi-faceted character, and a pleasure to read about. He’s a Djinn, and the fairy tales you read as a child didn’t prepare you for this adventure. Poor Dimitri has to put up with so much…a master who summons him at every whim, forcing him to commit atrocious acts of violence and murder. I loved hating Sylvia and Karl, the puppet masters holding Dimitri’s strings, so to speak. At first, the wishes seem random, but there’s a mystery to solve here, and I relished figuring out what was going on at the same time Dimitri did.
Rainy Kaye gives the reader just enough information to make you think you know what’s going to happen, then she pulls the rug out from under your feet with plot twists that make you go “WHOA!” but in a good way. I found myself reading until late to find out what was going to happen next because I was so invested in the story.
I was very sad when I read the last page because I knew I’d have to wait for the next book. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Dimitri.

 

Go buy your copy here.



I’m so excited to have Kim Carmichael visiting my blog today to guest post.  She’s also doing a giveway-one lucky com-mentor will win a Permanent swag pack, so make sure you comment!  🙂

Tupperware, Shane & My Favorite Scene:

Every time I write a story I end up with a scene that is my favorite.  Most people would think it would be one of the sexier scenes, but usually it’s a scene that came to me out of nowhere, seems to write itself and either has me laughing or crying.  In the case of Permanent and the Tupperware scene it definitely had me laughing.

I enjoyed taking a simple, every day occurrence such as a lunch and making it into showing Shane’s growing attraction for Lindsay.  The inspiration for the scene was actually taken from my real life when I made my boyfriend at the time and now husband lunch to take to work.  Sometimes even though guys can be silent, I sort of wanted to take a peek into what they are truly thinking.  Additionally, I got to do some fun banter between Shane and his best friend, Ivan.

 The best thing about the now infamous Tupperware scene is that several people have contacted me regarding how much they loved that scene.

I know it has been said to kill your darlings, and I can’t lie, when I sent this over to my editor at Assent I was concerned she may cut the scene, but it stayed.  Apparently she saw the little bit of magic as well.

Maybe sometimes our darlings need to live to see the light of day:

 

Here is a peek into the scene:

What does a good girl like little Lindsay prepare big bad Shane for lunch?” Ivan picked up the cooler.

 “Hey.” He reached for it, but Ivan held it out of his reach.

 “This is pretty heavy. She must think you’re a pig.”

 “Give it.” He set his jaw.

 “Either you open it, or I do.” Ivan put his finger on the button latch.

 “You’re an ass.” He reclaimed his cooler and opened it himself.

 They peered inside.

 “I think that’s Tupperware.” Ivan pointed.

 Everything in the cooler was neatly packaged and Shane hated to disturb it.

 “You can’t lose that stuff. Women hate it if you lose their Tupperware, and if it’s Lindsay’s it’s all brand new.”

 “I know. I’m not going to lose it.” He prayed he wouldn’t lose the Tupperware and pulled out the first plastic square.

 Ivan leaned in as Shane lifted the lid. “Wow.”

 “It’s a salad.” Her precision cutting technique had all the vegetables uniformly sliced and diced.

 “And not just lettuce, there’s a good representation of different vegetables in there.” Ivan nodded. “She even put the dressing off to the side so it wouldn’t get soggy.”

Shane took a breath. Lindsay was all about the details and watching her work was fast becoming one of his favorite spectator sports. One second she was quiet and going through her papers, the next she was sternly giving him a lecture on finances. Half the time he didn’t understand what she said, but he loved watching her get all riled up. However with his money situation slowly being wrangled, she seemed to soften. Maybe it was time to plan an outing with her that didn’t involve business talk. With Lindsay, timing was crucial.

 “What’s your second course?”

He blinked as Ivan interrupted his thoughts and retrieved a round container from the cooler, opening it to reveal a sandwich on a circular piece of bread that fit the Tupperware perfectly.

 “That’s cool how she did that.” Ivan pointed. “What kind is it?”

 He lifted the bread. “Turkey.”

 “Healthy. She must not want you to die.” Ivan rubbed his hands together. “Keep going.”

He dug through the rest of lunch. A rectangular tub contained fruit salad, and a smaller square had cookies. Finally he pulled out a triangle one with a piece of cheese and some crackers.

 “How does she do that?”

 The lunch was as amazing as the woman who made it. His mouth watered. “What?”

 “How does she make all those shapes fit together?” Ivan motioned toward all the containers.

 “It’s so the food doesn’t get wrecked.”

 “Only girls know how to do that.”

 Shane pursed his lips. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

 

You can find Kim on Twitter @kimcarmichael4 and her website and on Facebook.



Some new releases from my publisher. (Man, do I love saying that!)



First I just wanted to say hi to everyone, and thank the lovely Rebecca for allowing me to come and talk to everyone. I’m a huge fan of apocalypse books, shows, and movies, so this was my own erotic twist to the genre.

Coming March 29th to Hot Ink Press

In a world ravaged by the plague women have become a new form of currency. Bartered traded, and abused they suffer under tyranny. This is the world After the Burn. This series will explore the tales of courageous men and woman struggling to carve out a new safe haven in a world gone mad.

Blurb

Despite the capsized conditions of the world, one woman risked it all to taste freedom. Devon Brown spent the past eight years operating under the guise of being male. The daughter of a Forest Ranger, she peddled her skills as she moves from town to town. This time her luck runs out when she’s discovered, and brought into the leaders of the town, Cain and Cole Hart. Instead of being ejected, the attractive males, with the dangerous aura opt to keep her.

This is her story of what happened after the world burned.

From the Ashes Excerpt

Devon Brown walked the perimeter of the dust laden gas station with broken windows and a sagging red awning. On the outskirts of town, the gray building went unnoticed by most in the town. Traffic this far away from the revived area they lived and worked in remained scarce, and she took making her way here every time. Three months into this new place, she fit in well. She didn’t want to upset the balance she’d found. Her eyes scanned the barren landscape. The chilly air carried the promise of winter. Frost formed in the mornings. It wouldn’t be long before they saw their first snow and this treks would become more difficult.

Her mind shifted to her new housemate, David. Due to his presence she hadn’t risked a full bath in a week. Hiding her secret got tricky with the young boy with hero worship dogging her every step. Privacy disappeared in this new society where the main goal was to live. Still, she enjoyed the jovial brunette. In his early twenties, he’d adjusted to life after the plague ten years prior a lot easier than those who’d had a lifetime of normalcy. His optimistic countenance presented a pleasant change from the doom and gloom, survival of the fittest jungle the world had become.

As on only child she’d lost her entire family when her folks fell victim to the mysterious strain of flu that crept into the population and never left. The supped up version of the Influenza took millions to their graves, and tossed the world into chaos. Raised on the good book, she’d thought it’d been the end of days.  If only I’d been so lucky. Satisfied the integrity of the place held, she walked over to the bathroom door. The door creaked from disuse, and she stepped inside, swiftly shutting the door behind her. A huge sigh of relief escaped her lungs, and she locked the door. For a short time, the burden of pretending to be something she wasn’t lifted off her drooping shoulders. The daughter of a Forest Ranger she knew how to survive. So, when women became the new currency she’d lopped off her shoulder length black locks, lowered her voice and peddled her skills as Devon Brown, the man. She removed her book bag off her shoulders, placed it on the ground, and pulled out her necessary items, placing them on the counter she’d personally cleansed weeks ago. Prepped, she shrugged out of her flannel and stripped down to her underwear, bra and bindings. When her Double D’s became, a feature that could endanger her freedom she’d said goodbye to femininity. She unwrapped the ace bandage and sucked in a deep breath of freedom. The uncomfortable feeling of being held tight never fully dissipated. Clad in skivvies, she turned on the faucet full force and picked up a bar of homemade soap and washcloth.

She plunged her hand beneath the icy spray and built up a lather, flinching when she ran the soapy cloth over her torso. Her teeth chattered as she rinsed the material out and moved down her legs, saving her private area for last. Sure, a vagina didn’t shrink a penis, but the chill damn near burned. She pushed down the tighty whiteys she’d pilfered from the store, and ran the soft cloth across her center. The door swung open in mid swipe with a loud bang. Blinding light flooded the dimly light room. Her jaw dropped and her mind short circuited, refusing to process properly. Micah filled the door frame with his broad shoulders. A villainous smirk spread across his thin lips. The lust visible in his dark blue eyes made her stomach lurch.

“I knew there was something off about you.”

She yanked up her underwear. He gave her a slow one over. Her skin crawled. The man rubbed her the wrong way. Rough, crude, and manipulative, Micah screamed untrustworthy. “What are you going to do?” She covered her breasts and shifted her weight, taking an aggressive stance. If she had to go down, it’d be fighting.

“Honey you know what I’m going to do.” An evil sneer twisted his Cupid ’s bow lips into something evil. “But I’ll be kinder than most, and keep you for myself instead of sharing you around. Pussy is power, and yours is untapped.”

She balled her fists. “I have rights, and I’m an asset. Not like the others.”

He laughed. “Won’t matter, Now put your clothes on. Don’t want to get jumped for my new pieces of ass before I can take it out for a spin. We’re going to see the Harts.”

Her panic spiked. Cole and Cain ran the tiny town with an iron fist. After they accepted her into their fold, and placed her in charge of overseeing water purification, she did everything possible to gain their trust, and stay well under their radar. The chiseled faced, hard bodied brothers were straight shooters. They didn’t stand for deceit, cheating, or withholding. Ex bar owners with numerous run-ins with the law, the two possessed a dangerous edge that made her tread lightly. Her knees wobbled, and she leaned against the sink to stay upright. The cool porcelain grounded her. Brought her back to reality.

“I’d leave you to change, but I know how wily you are, and let’s face it. I’m enjoying the view. It’s been a long time since I saw a woman as good looking as you. No bruises, dead eyes, or sloppiness.” He licked his lips. “We’re going to have fun. I never had a chocolate cupcake before. Do you have a creamy center?” His boots thudded against the faded white tiles as he stalked over and paused a few inches away.

“You look so soft.” He trailed a finger down her face, and she jerked turning her face from his caress.

“Don’t touch me.” She barred her teeth.

“Time to get acclimated to it, sweetheart.” He moved his hand to grip her breast, and she smacked it away.

“Nothing’s been decided, and I swear to you. If you try to claim me, it’ll be the last thing you do.”  I didn’t fight tooth and nail all this time to end up some sex toy to this sadistic fuck.

“It’s the new world order. Your opinions don’t matter for shit, sweetheart.”

“I live by my own set of rules.” She balled her hands into fists, drawing strength from her

anger.

“Maybe when you were thought to be a man.”

“Always.” She narrowed her eyes.

“We’ll see.”

She huffed, and pulled on her clothing, head held high. After starring death in the face, she’d be damned if she fell to pieces over this spineless piece of maggot shit.

If you liked what you read mark your calendars, From the Ashes comes out Saturday, March 29th just .99.

Where you can find Shyla.

Website: http://www.shylacolt.com

Twitter: @shylacolt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shylacolt



1606356_10152320548798013_672937027_o (1)I’m excited to announce my publishing debut.  My short story, Her, is in Rise of the Goddess: Divine Awakenings, presented by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.  The proceeds will all go to the Elliott Public Library, a small library that had its funding cut.  All in all, there’s 14 short stories and 3 works of art inside, along with cover design from Dave J. Ford.

You can purchase Rise of the Goddess from Amazon for only 99 cents!

http://smarturl.it/Rise_Goddess_Ebook

Blurb:

The Goddess: a female deity who represents strength, love, dignity, sexuality, motherhood, wrath, peace, the elements, and so much more. She is the symbol of every woman who has ever been or will ever come to be. She comes from a myriad of places and beliefs, her image always changing, but her presence always there. In this collection of fourteen beautifully written stories and three lovely original artworks, the Goddess rises in many unique forms to remind the world of the strength and beauty that is woman and the connection she has with all things.
****All proceeds from the Rise of the Goddess anthology will go to benefit the Elliott Public Library****

The lovely Sinead created this trailer for our book.  🙂

You can find some of the authors included in the anthology at the links posted below.

Catherine Stovall’s Facebook page.

Mariana Thorn’s Facebook page, Twitter, and website.

Andrea L. Staum’s Facebook page and Twitter.

Aubrey Diamant’s Facebook page.

Shebat Legion’s author page and Vampire Therapy links.

Elizabeth A. Lance’s Facebook page.

Michael Cross’ website, Twitter is @TheCrossLibrary, and Facebook page.

Rebecca Poole’s (that’s me!) Facebook page, Goodreads, and Twitter page.

Sinead MacDughlas’ Facebook page.

Samantha Ketteman’s Facebook page.

Beth Patterson’s website.

Cecilia A. Clark’s blog.

Dave J. Ford’s website.

Jackie McMahon’s Facebook page.



Kory Shrum Pic2I am so excited to have Kory Shrum visit my blog and talk about her latest release.  She’s honestly one of my favorite new authors, and I sincerely hope you all go and check out her book, Dying for a Living.

Before we start talking about your latest book (which I LOVE, by the way), why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself.

I’m just an insane person who loved books so much that she went to college for nine years to learn how to write them. And I teach college writing courses.

When you’re not writing, what else do you do in your spare time?

I’m into a lot of weird *&^%. Books, music, movies/TV, vegan baking, globetrotting, martial arts (I study Aikido and I have a black belt in Uechi Ryu). I study French and have a tutor. I also have an elk and maple drum that I use for shamanic drumming. I’m pretty much this person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOavbyDKSi0

Your latest work Dying for a Living has one of the coolest main characters I’ve ever read.  Where did the inspiration for Jesse come from?

I’ve always loved the reluctant hero. The person who will do the right thing, even if they have to grumble their way through it. And I’ve also been a fan of the female lead who has to come to terms with her power. I’m sure Jesse is a composite of several such characters. I’m a bit of magpie in that I take shiny objects—character traits, good lines, descriptions, etc.— whenever I see them. I’ve heard “good writers borrow, great writers steal.” (T.S. Eliot). As you can see, I’m trying to be a great writer.

I really enjoyed Jesse’s snarkiness and bad attitude. Is there a little bit of her floating around inside you?  😉

Yes.

More than a little—especially when I was younger and I had a grudge against the world. But as I get older I’m more like Ally.

In Dying for a Living, you’ve created this new condition, NRD.  Tell us about it and how it pertains to the plotline of the novel?

NRD– Necronitic Regenerative Disorder—is a neurological disorder that approximately 2% of the population has. Because it is usually caused by a gene mutation, it is often genetically inherited. When NRD first started to happen, people panicked thinking it was apocalyptic or at the very least, the repercussion of biological warfare. These people were taken into protective custody and ruthlessly experimented on until rights activists petitioned for their release. All of this happened long before Jesse’s time. The era she lives in is the post-horror commercial age, where the government has set up the death-replacement industry to try and put a positive spin on the horrible things they did in the past.

Would you want to be a Death Replacement Agent?

Absolutely. Who wouldn’t want the ability to save the ones they love from death? But mostly, I’d want to be what Jesse is turning into. *zips lips* Side note from Rebecca…You CAN’T do this to me!!!  I need the next book so I can know what you’re doing to Jesse!!

Are you a plotter or a pantser when writing?

I plot with my pants off…?  I usually have an idea of the destination, and a few high points along the way, but then I just sort of let whatever happens, happen in between.  I love it when my characters surprise me with a detail that I didn’t expect.

Favorite snack food?

One? Just one? Okay: butteredpopcorndonutsicecreamchocolate

What is your secret guilty pleasure?

TV binges and playing Sims—though playing is the wrong word since all I’m interested in doing is designing big beautiful houses and making everyone sleep with each other.

What do you geek out over the most?

Things made out of paper.

You’ve recently returned from a trip to Europe.  What do you wish you’d done more of while abroad?

Paris Brest. It’s a puff pastry. Google it.  Side note from Rebecca again…OMG.  That looks AMAZING!!

What is your favorite word?

I have many because I love words. But this time, let’s go with dilapidated

What is your least favorite word?

Same here. But for this time, squirt

BIO
Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. When not writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi. Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, Bateau and elsewhere. Her first urban fantasy novel Dying for a Living is out now on Amazon. And she’d love to hear from you on Facebook , G+,  or Twitter. To be notified of new releases, please sign up for her mailing list.

 

 

 



I’m so lucky to have Rue here on my blog to do an interview with me.  It’s an honor, and I’m very thankful she took time out of her very busy schedule to talk to me.  The woman does it all, as you will see when you read her answers.

Rue

  1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    Growing up I always loved Art in all forms. I was introduced to Violin at the age of 11 and started playing guitar at 18. My love for music spilled over into getting signed to a band of which I played in for over a decade. We toured the United States and ended up organizing what became dubbed as “Art Hops”. Our theory was that all Art could be mixed together and should not be separated, so we rented out various warehouses and had large shows that included all types of music, poets, drum circles, painters, tattoo artists and the list goes on. We even rented out drive- ins one summer and did a tour including all of these mediums PLUS Independent film makers who had their short films shown at the drive- ins we used. I absolutely loved doing it and perhaps somewhere down the road it will happen again, only this time I will not be playing in a band, I would just be an organizer and promotional director. My life really revolves around Indie Artists and helping them the best that I can. As my own career has grown in the literary world I have been lucky enough to hire people to help me with my own promotion so now I can help share links even more. I do enjoy watching people find success with their own Art, whatever it may be. I do not think there is anything more beautiful than paying your bills on something you created on your own. I would wish it for everyone. Other than that I co-own a graphics company (Vivid Book designs) with my partner Riley Steel and I do freelance photography. My life is completely wrapped up in my Art, whatever form it may be.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    I make jewelry and various craft items for my book signings and I also sell them to give the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research in memory of my Mom who died from the disease in 2012.

  3. Where do you get your ideas from?

    Life. Most of my ideas come from dreams that I have. I have very vivid dreams and try to take as many trips as possible to spark my imagination. Seeing new places, meeting new people always helps me in creating new worlds.

  4. You’ve published over 40 novels in the past 4 years.  Do you sleep?

    Not much lol. I actually do get in more sleep now than I did before. I used to suffer from insomnia, but as I have grown older I have been able to sleep more. I know it seems as if I write like I am possessed and perhaps I am. I know I am not normal when it comes to writing books but I write VERY fast. I can write 100-150 pages in under a week when the muse is active and then I can go for weeks without writing anything. I then go back and do LIGHT edits, I never tear my pieces a part and spend weeks revising it. It is just not the way I do things. Some people love my books and some just don’t get me at all and that is fine. I have a distinctive voice and it will always be the same. I also spend a lot of time with characters and conversation. Over description bores me to death so you won’t see a bunch of that in my books either. Nothing against authors who do it, it is just not my thing at all.

  5. What is the secret to being so productive?

    I write for the love of it. I do not think about the haters, the trolls…anyone who may think I should have done this or that. I don’t read reviews under a 3…ever. It is counterproductive. I avoid drama online, I block and delete people who practice in it and I ALWAYS think of my family. Everything I do is for them and to build a future for us. I think what can trip people up is worrying about opinions. I just don’t…at all. If you don’t like me…cool, move on. If you love me, then awesome, I write for you. It is not personal with me. This is my Art and I know I am not for everyone and that is okay. I think once you feel completely comfortable in your own skin then success is possible, and I am completely comfortable with what I do and who I am.

  6. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    I never have difficulty with this but then again I grew up with sisters who I told tall tales too all of the time. It was a game we played where I would start a story and then have to expand on it over time. I think it really allowed me to open up my imagination and just come up with things on the fly. I came up with character names all of the time and I do the same now.

  7. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    Music is a HUGE part of my life. Let’s see the list is LONG.
    Nick Cave & the bad seeds, Sigur Ros, Imogen Heap, Elbow, Radiohead, Grade, The Weakerthans, Broods, Underworld, The Nationals, Baths, The Civil Wars, Silver Sun Pickups, NIN, How to kill angels, RUSH, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and so many more.

  8. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    I actually have two. The Blood & Light vampire series and Hellhound.

  9. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    I am currently writing in NA/romance which is new for me.

  10. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    Finding your true voice and sticking with it.

  11. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    Flying

  12. What is your favorite word?

    Love

  13. What is your least favorite word?

    Hate

  14. What is your go to snack food?

    Trail Mix

  15. What is your spirit animal?

    Owl

  16. What is the last song you’ve had on repeat?

Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

My latest is a romance I started writing a couple of months ago. I do not have a set title or a cover for it yet but the story is already mapped out. I just need to get to the end. This book will be in romance which is a new genre for me and is dedicated to my Dad who died in 2010.

Snippet:

I ran as quickly as I could as the train started to leave the station. I was late as always. It sucked that I seemed to be my own worst enemy. This trip was so important to me. I needed to get home. I had to and the fact that I left late, fretting over what to bring, was just ridiculous on my part. I had chosen the train because….well, everyone said just take a plane, but I refused. I felt like a train would be appropriate, considering the circumstances.
My Dad loved trains. Loved, as in used to. He was working at the steel mill in Stillcreek Pennsylvania, as he had for 40 years, and dropped dead of a heart attack. This happened just a week ago and I had scrambled to change my schedule at work and find tickets and everything, but the train seemed right. He loved them so much and I think I inherited that love from him.
He had taken me on the best trip of my life when I was just 11 years old. It was a train ride that was just me and him for 5 days. We left my siblings behind. I have 4 sisters. Yes 4, and no it is not cool. I am the youngest and each one of them thinks they know more than the other one. My Mother wanted a ‘garden of children’, as she often said when she introduced us, so she named us all after flowers. Quite honestly, any woman who can go through 5 childbirths and have them all be girls has the right to call them whatever she wants to. So we ended up being called Daisy, Rose, Violet, Poppy and Jasmine. That is me on the end, Jasmine, but people just call me Jaz for short. None of my sisters were as close to Dad as I was. They all loved the girly things and I was the tomboy. I loved mud, skinned knees, messy hair and no shoes. I sometimes think my Dad took me under his wing because I was so different than my sisters. I did not do it on purpose, I was just born that way and he accepted me, just like that.
I remember sitting next to my Dad as we watched the scenery go by from our room on the train. The sky was blue, the day was perfect and he said something to me that I will never ever forgot.
“When I die, I want to be taken on a train and you make sure to scatter my ashes from here to the other side of Pennsylvania Jasmine. I want to be set free and always moving.”
I remember staring at him as he watched the sky from our window and thinking about how he would never die, he couldn’t, he was my Dad. To me he was immortal. I then found myself blinking as I felt a hand take mine and pull me up onto the slowly moving train. I almost dropped my suitcase, a tattered old thing with stickers of different places of the world on it. I sighed and then looked up to see a man standing there, he was dressed in a white button down shirt, a nice coat and jeans. He grinned as I pushed past him and then I hesitated, remembering my manners.
“Thank you.” I said.
“No problem.” He replied as I stepped through the door and made my way down the hallway. I glanced back as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. I turned back and made my way along the narrow corridor the best that I could. The train was gaining in speed, so I swayed back and forth, bouncing from one wall to the other like a ball in a pinball machine. I finally saw my door number and slid it open. I peaked in and grinned as I remembered it, just the same as it had been when I was 11 and here with my Dad. I slid the door closed behind me and walked to the single bed. I placed my suitcase on it and felt the old leather. It was smooth and weathered. Containing memories as old things tend to do. This was the suitcase I had brought on my trip with him and half the stickers that adorned it were collected by the two of us. We had not travelled to all of these places, in fact, these were a map of all the places we said we wanted to go. A wish list, so to speak.
I flipped the lid open and pulled out his picture, well it was an old black and white. He was much younger, in fact he was the same age I am now, all of 25. Mom would probably be pissed if she knew I had it, but I snatched it up when I left home for New York and bigger dreams. It was always my favorite one of him. He looked like a writer, pipe in hand, shit eating grin on his face. As I age I do see him in me, especially my eyes. I turned and sat down on the bed, holding his picture and then I leaned back. The weird thing is this. I am not so much sad, as I am empty. I hope that makes sense. I have never lost anyone close to me so I have no idea what the process is. I would have to guess this is step one. I have no idea. I closed my eyes and felt the sway of the train as the bed felt soft under me. Some people may not be able to sleep like this, but I prefer to have movement and noise. If it is too quiet, I will lay awake all night. My Dad was the same way, he used to get up in the middle of the night and eat a cheese sandwich with a glass of milk. I remember walking into the kitchen one night and seeing him sitting at the island in the middle of the room. He took a big bite and then grinned at me as he chewed. I joined him, I think I was 13 at the time and it became a strange ritual we had of cheese and milk at midnight. I don’t think my Mom ever knew that he got up at night when the house was quiet and spent some time alone. If I had been older I would have left him to it, everyone needs their personal space and time respected. I understand that now that I am an adult but then? Well, I just felt like it was one more cool thing that we shared that no one else knew about.
I then started to drift off, clutching my Dad’s picture to my chest and thoughts of just travelling forever in my mind. Never stopping, not for one minute the rest of my life…

You can find Rue at her fanpage on Facebook, on Twitter, her Amazon author page, and on Youtube.



I’m very excited to have been able to interview children’s book author J.R. Barker.  And just LOOK at this adorable frog on her cover?  I can’t get over how cute he is!

  1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    I am 25 year old Bookworm with a head full of fluff and a heart full of dreams.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    I love to read, write, walk, and do stuff in and around water. I also like to take photos.

  3. Where do you get your ideas from?

    The idea gnomes. They visit me from time to time and leave behind bubbles full of ideas; they always burst but some show me rainbows first.

  4. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    Not generally, but I have one pesky little fella at the moment who laughs in the face of names.

  5. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    No, I used to listen to music a lot. But now when I do listen to music I stick iiTunes onto shuffle and let it choose.

  6. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    I haven’t finished my favorite one so I can’t tell you what it is yet.

  7. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    I’m branching into fantasy with an eye to dip my toe in the currents of sci-fi.

  8. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    Making your brain think it wants to go over the same line again and again, only to have it tell you later that it doesn’t want that line at all.

  9. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

    The Adventures of the Frog Prince is a new take on the old fairy tale, The Frog Prince.
    In the original it seemed that the Princesses role was to strop around and be ungrateful, I thought that the Prince’s story would be much more interesting. So I wrote it.

    Frog cover IanPrince Leo has problems.
    He is currently stuck in a moat and is trying to come to terms with being small, green and surprisingly springy.
    Now he must learn to walk all over again, and avoid being eaten, as he finds his way back to the castle to find out who wants him out of the way and why.

Fun/Silly Questions

  1. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    The ability to create anything I wanted/ needed.

  2. What is your favorite word?

    Phenylalanine, an amino acid

  3. What is your spirit animal?

    I’d like to think it would be a wise old owl, but it’s probably something lame like a labradoodle.

You can find J.R. at her website, blog, or Facebook.

You can purchase The Adventures of the Frog Prince here.



Here’s the second part of the interview I’ve been so lucky to have with Danika and Oliver Campbell.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know how this dynamic writing team works.  My husband is constantly wanting us to write together, and I’ve been nervous about doing so.  After reading these answers, I’m going to certainly give it a go and see what happens.

Thank you both for visiting my blog.  It’s been wonderful getting to know you both.

danika

Interview Questions for Danika D. Potts

 1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I’m a writer from the Pacific Northwest, living in the Midwest now. I write fiction with my husband, Oliver Campbell, and I have more writing projects than I know what to do with. I have a two cats, some great friends, and I’m good for a couple of laughs now and again.

 2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

I read like it’s going out of style. I also Netflix binge quite regularly. I’m a glutton for content- film, tv, books, comics, I love all of it. Mostly, you’ll find me talking about story and structure with my husband. As nerdy as that sounds, it’s my favorite way to spend time.

 3. You co-write with your husband. Do you ever have conflicting ideas for your stories? If so, how do you work through them?

First, I want everyone to know that I’m incredibly fortunate to write with my husband. He’s a storytelling genius. He can see all the lines, you know? He can just get to the core of an idea so quickly, so cleanly, it’s dizzying. Second, I’m SO pompous, of course we have conflicting ideas. I like to get a little writing ego going now and again, and I have a tendency to want to fight for a story idea because I’ve been planning to write it forever. But the story comes first, and the rule is that everything on the page has to benefit the story. I’m learning to let go of those scenes I’m just dying to write unless they actually serve the narrative and not just my pride. Once I remembered that it’s not all about me- it’s about entertaining my audience, it started to really come together.

My husband has an incredible critical eye, and he’s as tough on his own ideas as he is on mine. It took me a bit to realize that he was just as quick to shoot down his own inventions if they didn’t make the story better. At first, It was tricky for me to separate my wife-self from my work-self. I basically had to set up a code-word to help me remember when to shut down my ego. Once that happened, we were writing like the wind blows, just beautiful word counts and thoughts meshing effortlessly. I love it.

 4. Describe yourself using only five words.

Adores robots, also accidentally funny.

 5. Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences?

There are elements of my life in stories, but there’s so much transformation involved, it’s hard to pinpoint one thing or another. I can say that there’s a lot of Oliver in Kathan (from the Twisted World), and that’s a big part of why I dig that character so much. Real life usually plants the seed, but what you see on the page has very little to do with who I am or how I live. Mostly, I’m a great thief of other’s experiences; I won’t hesitate to ask someone about their life and their story. I let those things rattle around for a while, turn them inside out and play with them, and then I find a way to flavor a character with those borrowed bits and pieces.

 6. What is the one book you can’t live without? Why?

Do you think you could ask a harder question? I’m a writer- you know that’s like asking “which breath is the breath you can’t live without?” I love books so intensely; it’s probably unhealthy. I can say that I read The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub probably once a year. It’s one of those stories that feels like coming home.

 7. I find that I get distracted easily. How do you overcome distractions when writing?

It helps to be out of time, like, constantly behind. I absolutely cannot afford a distraction when we have a project underway. I know that I’m handling my business when Oliver has to remind me to take a break and reel it back in a bit. It’s also important to be very, very honest with yourself about your priorities. I know people who tell me how much they want to write, but can’t find an hour between all their favorite shows to get some words on the page. If you want to write MORE than you want to watch TV, then you’re going to make it happen. If you want to write more than you want to be distracted, you’ll make those words appear. If you don’t, that’s cool. Just be real with yourself. Stuff is going to come up and try to claim your attention. Is it more important than your dream? Are you sure? Be 100% sure before you let it steal your time.

 8. What is one piece of advice you can give first time authors that you wish you’d known when you started out in the industry?

Network. Network your butt off. Spend as much time as you can writing, finish everything you start (even if it’s terrible), and network like your life depends on it. Your livelihood certainly does.

 9. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

This is the ugly truth, here. The hardest thing about being a writer is knowing that all the inspiration in the world counts for nothing if you don’t bust your ass and put the words on the page. Good ideas just don’t count compared to good discipline. It’s hard to realize that being creative is really secondary to being committed. I was in denial about that for a long time, but it’s also why I wasn’t completing projects.

 10. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work? Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

Our latest work is The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger. 

TheTwistedWorldI

Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.

Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities.

Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world.

They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves.

Fun/Silly Questions

1. If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would be in Tahiti, flopped out on the beach, drinking mai tais until the sun goes down.

 2. What is your favorite word?

Well, now it’s mai tais. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

 3. What is your least favorite word?

Docile.

 4. What is your go to snack food?

Oh, Cheetos every time. I’ve moved through shame and right back into complete love for them.

 5. What is your guilty pleasure movie or book?

What a Way To Go, with Shirley MacLaine. I watch it every chance I get. It’s only a guilty pleasure because my husband HATES it. Louisa is one of the most original characters, and the whole film is amazing eye candy. So many costume changes, so much romance, it’s the silliest, best movie ever made.

 6. What is the last song you’ve had on repeat?

I’m the worst when it comes to music. I forget to listen to it for weeks at a time, so I just tag along for whatever anyone else is listening to.

Danika can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and WordPress.  You can find Danika and Oliver’s other release, Rabbit in the Road on Amazon.



I’m very excited to have both Oliver Campbell and Danika Campbell, a husband and wife who co-author books together.  Today’s interview is with Oliver, and tomorrow’s will be with Danika.oc

  1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    I’m from the Midwest and have had an interesting career in video game journalism. I’ve done a bit of work as an editorialist and reviewer for a variety of smaller game news oriented sites including Hard4Games, EOGamer, and Video Game Scoreboard. I am also married to my co-author.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    As I’m a video game journalist, I spend a lot of my off-time gaming. Some games are for work, others for pleasure. Since storytelling lives in the territory of both games and film, I tend to consume a lot of both. I find it to be good study material to see where everyone else is headed, as well as helping me spot trends. Other interests that I have include baking, studying psychology and philosophy.

  3. You co-write with your wife.  Do you ever have conflicting ideas for your stories?  If so, how do you work through them?

    Oh, absolutely. Working in a team presents some interesting challenges, but we find ways to work through them. Early on we discovered that the best way to proceed was to learn how to separate our relationship from the work. When we’re in discussion regarding any of our projects, we treat it as a business relationship and act accordingly. When we have ideas or thoughts on progression that conflict with each other, we often use a pro/con approach to see which idea will present the most benefit to the work itself. Learning how to toss aside your ego for the greater good of the work is easily the most important thing you can gain from this method of creation.

  4. Where do you get your ideas from?

    The short answer? Everywhere. The longer, more fulfilling answer comes down to a simple question: “What if?” I’m a firm believer that almost every work of fiction asks a what-if question, and attempts to provide a potential answer to it within the narrative. Using this idea, I may hear about something in the news or may peruse an interesting fact in my studies that causes me to ask if circumstances were different, what the potential outcome might be. Here’s a few interesting questions for your readers to consider as story what-ifs:
    a) What would the world be like if there was no gold (the mineral) in it?
    b) What would human civilization be like if we consumed salt water instead of fresh water?
    On the surface, these two questions seem rather uninteresting and dull. If you look further into them, the entire world is changed in ways that are almost unimaginable. Gold is a precious limited resource and quite a few industries rely on it. Without it, certain technologies might not exist or alternatives would have to be found. If human beings consumed salt water instead, most human civilization would be found at the shores of oceans on every major continent and water would have to be imported in-land. These are just a few examples, but you can see how there’s a lot of wiggle room to create brand new worlds and scenarios that are worth exploring. Just change one tiny facet of how all of this functions, and you have a world much different than the one you know.

  5. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    For me, it’s not very difficult at all. The number one piece of advice that I can give other storytellers is to stop naming characters before you’ve settled on your narrative. It’s a common trap and locks you into certain things. When you’re naming a character, it’s important to consider their situation and the civilization that they come from. We choose our names based on a variety of factors including what we’re exposed to, current cultural norms and standards, and even what other people have named their own children. Sure, you might have settled on a really cool name that you like, but if it doesn’t meld and flow well with the other character names you have in your story, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb. In our first novella Rabbit in the Road, we actually sat down and studied the naming convention of America during the time period it takes place. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all stories; treat it as a guide and not a rule.

  6. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    Music is absolutely a factor when we work. There’s an entire playlist of music for Rabbit in the Road (and those songs are even referenced in the book itself). Music is a powerful entity when it comes to constructing a narrative. As we know, music has long played a major role in human civilization. A song can be a motivator and other songs can be highly demoralizing. Music invokes strong feelings in people. When we construct our works, we make sure that there is music appropriate to the scenes that we are creating to put us in the right frame of mind. I can’t recommend it enough.

  7. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    Oh, this is a tough one, but I’m going to have to say Rabbit in the Road. It was a very exciting time for us and a brand new venture. Rabbit in the Road was an incredibly successful endeavor for us, and an experience worth doing. There were a lot of things that we didn’t know and had to learn on the fly, and there was a great deal of impact on release. When we were at a wedding some months back, I was approached by several women whom I was not aware had read the book and told me how much of a difference the work had made in their lives. To be able to directly interface with your audience and to know that your work did in fact change the world, that’s a feeling that can’t be replicated by much else.

  8. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    There are several genres that we’re toying around in at the moment. Several works have been outlined in other genres including science fiction and romance. There’s also a super secret project in works in a genre that hasn’t even been invented yet. We’re really excited about that one.

  9. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    The most difficult part about being a writer is learning to grin and bear it. Not everyone is going to like your work, for many different reasons. I have found this to be true both in fiction and in my journalism work. The most important thing that I can tell any prospective writer is to not give your negative feedback so much attention. Sure, you should see if there is actually helpful criticism that might help you improve your craft, but if there isn’t, pay it no mind. Focus your attention on those who are strongly supportive of you and make sure you support them in turn. These are the people who are going to promote your work, so you would do well to give them lots of care. It will pay off.

  10. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

    TheTwistedWorldIOur latest work is The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger. It’s our first foray into high fantasy, and has been very well received. In recent years we’ve found it very difficult to find fantasy that is palatable to our tastes, so we decided to sit down and create a fantasy world that we would find enjoyable. One of the first things that we settled on was to turn genre tropes on their ear, and in that effort I believe that we’ve succeeded. Our target audience for The Twisted World has been primarily women, and we’ve REALLY resonated with that audience.

    “Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

    Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

    Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities. Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

    This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world. They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves.”

    The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger is an Amazon exclusive ebook title, and will soon be accompanied with a paperback edition to be released shortly.

Fun/Silly Questions

  1. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    Oh this one is easy. Definitely would have to be a Green Lantern with construct powers

  2. What is your favorite word?

    Metamorphosis.

  3. What is your least favorite word?

    Privilege.

  4. What is your go to snack food?

    Tropical Skittles. Always does the trick.

  5. What is your spirit animal?

    Funny question, this one. One time when I was in New York City, I visited a palm reader for a goof. She ended up telling me about the book we were working on at the time (I hadn’t mentioned it or being a writer in any capacity) and also told me that my spirit animal was the wolf.

Oliver can be found on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and his blog on WordPress.  You can find Oliver and Danika’s other book, Rabbit in the Road on Amazon.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll have an interview with Oliver’s wife, Danika, and see how things work from the ‘other side’.



et cetera