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Juniper Grove Presents: The Soul Stone by Jamie Marchant

Published August 20, 2015 by admin

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It’s a two-tour week! Today we’ll be looking at the new book from Jamie Marchant, plus she’ll join me in an interview to talk about her writing process!

The-Soul-Stone

Title:  The Soul Stone

Series:  The Kronicles of Korthlundia #2 (Standalone)

Author: Jamie Marchant

Published:  June 25th, 2015

Publisher:   Black Rose Writing

Genre:  Epic Fantasy

Content Warning:

Recommended Age:  18+

Synopsis:  In this sequel to The Goddess’s Choice (Reliquary Press, 2012), the Crown Princess Samantha and Sir Robrek struggle to solidify their rule in the aftermath of the king’s murder and Duke Argblutal’s attempt to usurp the throne. They are thwarted at every turn by those who seek power for themselves and desire to prevent their marriage. Just when they think their problems are solved, a deadly curse begins to spread throughout Korthlundia and Samantha becomes pregnant.

In my sword and sorcery novel, The Soul Stone, Samantha must fight off priests, enemies, and her closest advisors while Robrek discovers the reason the goddess chose him as king, to defeat the Soul Stone, a stone capable of sucking the soul out of its victims, which threatens to obliterate all life in the joined kingdoms. Their archenemy, the Bard Alvabane, awakens the Soul Stone and plans to use its power to reclaim Korthlundia for her people (a people driven out over a thousand years ago by the hero Armunn). Armunn had to sacrifice his life and soul to contain the Soul Stone. Will Robrek have to do the same? Will the young couple have only a few short months to love each other?

Although having read The Goddess’s Choice adds depth to The Soul Stone, it is not necessary. The Soul Stone is a complete story of its own.

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Excerpt:

At bedtime, Alvabane sat at her dressing table brushing her long hair. It had once been a bright, rich red, but it had dulled with age and was now mostly grey with only a few strands of color to remind her of what once had been. It seemed a metaphor for her life—small flashes of color to remind her of her once bright purpose.

One of those flashes, Erick, set her nightly goblet of fortified wine next to her hand. She needed the strong alcohol to dull the pain of her joints so she could sleep. Erick had served her for ten years. When her former servant had died, he’d been sent by her people, despite the fact that she’d only been a disappointment to them.

She turned to thank him, but the words died on her lips as she saw the reproach in his eyes. Alvabane turned back to her mirror. Tonight was the night of the new moon. She should have been preparing to perform the rites of the dark gods, not preparing for bed. “They have forgotten us,” Alvabane said. “The Soul Stone does not live.”

In the mirror, she saw Erick’s eyes narrow. He was not yet twenty and still had the optimism of youth. He still believed the Stone would come to life again when the gods willed it. He believed it would again be the weapon it had once been. Created in the far past by magic which had since been lost, it had been used by her people to protect themselves from the barbarians that now ran free over Korth and Lundia.

“I will perform the rites next month,” she promised, but so had she promised last month and the month before that. The stairs to the bottom of the East Tower were agony to her knees. Erick made a mewing sound, reminding her what he’d sacrificed to serve her and the dark gods. She herself had cut his tongue from his mouth when he came to her as a ten-year-old child. He had surrendered it stoically. Only the Bards were allowed to sing the rites of the gods. All others who heard them had to be rendered mute so they couldn’t repeat music not meant for their tongues.

“Do you think you have sacrificed more than I?” She turned to face him. “I submitted to the brutish duke’s bed for years. I gave birth to a child of rape. All so I could remain near the Stone. I performed the rites faithfully every new moon for decades. And for what, I ask you? The power of the Stone remains trapped behind the shield the demon Armunn created from his own soul. That shield can’t be destroyed. I have dedicated my life to trying, but it is impossible. The Soul Stone won’t live again!”

Erick mewed again and looked toward the tapestry on the wall. It showed the map of the desert of Sehra, to the south of Korthlundia, where her people had lived in exile since Armunn and his hordes had trapped the Stone and then driven them from their homeland. Blinking back tears of despair, she turned from him. “Do you think I have forgotten? Every generation fewer of our children are born. Only by returning to the land of our birthright can we be strong again.”

She got up and went to the tapestry, touching it lovingly. “Do you not understand? The dark gods have found me unworthy to be their messenger. I once thought I was the child of the prophecy, the one who would drive the descendants of Armunn’s hordes back across the mountains into Korth and reclaim the land they call Lundia as our own. But I was wrong. I’m an unprofitable servant, an unfit vessel.”

Soul Stone

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

JM: Outlining is for far more organized minds than mine. I’ve never written an outline for anything that wasn’t required by a teacher, and even then I usually wrote the essay first and then outlined it. My process is far more chaotic. Generally, the ideas for stories live in my head for sometime, some times years, before I ever write them down on paper or on the computer screen. In my head, the stories germinate. When I feel so inspired, I begin to write them as the ideas come to me, often in a very disorganized fashion. When the flow stops, I go back and revise and reorganize. Then I revise again and again and again before I’m satisfied with it.

SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

JM: I find sacrificing the first born child of a field mouse to the goddess Sulis particularly helpful, but it is very difficult to find such an offering, so I usually just pour out an offering of wine and grain. Other than causing wine stains on my carpet by these repeated offerings, I’m not sure I have any quirky writing habits.

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

JM: I’m not at all a planner. The muse must strike for me to write. Most ideas come simply through living my life. Something will happen that sparks an idea in my head.

SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

JM: My muse resembles a cat, sometimes pure white and other times as dark as ebony. She will set on my shoulder and whisper into my ear. However, like most cats, she only does this when it suits her. It is impossible to force a cat to behave. My muse is the same.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

JM: Even if becoming a human sacrifice weren’t at issue, I don’t see myself straying far from the fantasy genre. Since I was a small child, it is fantasy that has captured my imagination and helped me to envision a new and different world. I find fantasy both more real and more creative than other genres. The creativity of the setting somehow allows the characters to better reflect real people and real human emotion. Not having to focus on a realistic setting frees up the mind to capture the human spirit.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

JM: I’m not sure there is much of a downside of being a writer. The downside is being an author. The difference being that the writer creates, and the author must bring what is created to an audience. I’d much rather simply write the material and have someone else sell and promote it. However, that isn’t how the process works. If the author doesn’t sell and promote the writer’s work, no one does. While I do believe that a writer should write first and foremost for her own pleasure, I’d really like a broader audience, so as a writer, I must also be an author. I’m better at being a writer.

SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

JM: I certainly don’t relish the idea of being stuck in any of my books, and I’d even less like a loved one to be. I’m not always kind to my characters and tend to make their lives difficult. I enjoy a more much peaceful life than I allow them. Of course, my life wouldn’t make a very good novel. Remember the Chinese curse: May you live an interesting life. An enemy, on the other hand, I’d put in The Soul Stone. In my latest novel, the villain attempts to wipe out all life in the joined kingdoms. I could let my enemy deal with the Dead Lands.

SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

JM: Some people seem to have done it—Danielle Steele, Louis L’Amour, and others write the same story over and over again with a couple of twists and quirks and make a lot of money doing it—so it must be possible to develop such a sure-fire formula, but I don’t have any interest in trying to do so myself. I write what fills my imagination and would grow bored of writing the same book again and again. I write, as I believe all aspiring writers need to, primarily for the love of the process, the joy that creating brings to me. I think such a formula would suck all the joy out of being a writer.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

JM: Becoming rich at writing is about as likely as the high school basketball player’s dreams of going pro. It is extremely difficult to get published, and of those who are published, very, very few make even enough to live on. Sure, you have amazingly successful authors like J. K. Rowling, just as there are amazingly successful basket players like Michael Jordan. But both the Michael Jordans and J. K. Rowlings of the world are a rare occurrence. If you are going to write, you must do it because it is a part of who you are and doing so makes you happy. If you make money, that is an added bonus, but don’t count on it.

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

JM: I’ve already done this somewhat in answer to a previous question. The freedom of the fantasy setting allows the writer to delve deep into the human consciousness and truly explore what it means to be human. I think the most important role of literature is to help us understand others who are not like us. Fantasy, when it is well written, does this beautifully.

SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

JM: Fantasy, adventure, strong women, and what it means to be human.

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

JM: I’m not sure I have a favorite work of my own, but the novel I’m working on now is taking me in a new direction. It is urban fantasy rather than high fantasy like my previous novels. The Bull Riding Witch tells the story of a princess from a parallel realm who is placed in the body of a rodeo bull rider from Alabama. Both Daulphina and Joshua are completely lost in their new environments. It has a lot more humor than The Kronicles of Korthlundia and is overall a lighter book.

Jamie-Marchant

About the Author:

Jamie Marchant lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her first novel The Goddess’s Choice was released in April 2012 from Reliquary Press. She released Demons in the Big Easy in January 2013. The sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, titled The Soul Stone, will be released in June 2015 from Black Rose Writing. Her short fiction has been published in the anthologies–Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website

Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • A Soul Stone pendant & copy of The Soul Stone (winner’s choice, print or ebook if US, ebook if INT)
  • a $10 Amazon gift card (INT)

 Enter the Giveaway Here!

JGBS Host

Juniper Grove Presents: Shattered Memories by Susan Harris

Published July 1, 2015 by admin

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It’s blog tour time! Today I’ve got another fun, unique YA title to share with you guys! The sudden, uncontrollable urge to break into Shattered by The Rolling Stones is also killing me, but that has nothing to do with the book.

Shattered-Memories

Title:  Shattered Memories

Author:   Susan Harris

Published:  June 16th, 2015

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genre:  YAm Dystopian Thriller

Content Warning:  Adult language, graphic violence, and sexual content

Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:  A terrible tragedy forced Alana McCarthy to forget a year of her life. Now she is to be executed for a crime she does not remember committing—the murder of her entire family. Lost and alone, Alana is terrified of unlocking secrets buried so deep inside her mind that she’s willing to forget the one person who could set her free.

Daniel Costello hasn’t forgotten about Alana, and he will do anything and everything to protect the girl he loves. But first, Alana needs to unlock her memories and find out the truth about what happened the night her family was killed.

The day of her execution is set. Together, will Alana and Daniel be able to uncover the truth behind her family’s deaths before it’s too late?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

Susan is here with us today in interview form, so let’s hear what she has to say about her book and the writing world!

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

SH: When I have an idea for writing I do a lot of planning and prep before I actually start writing. First I do a book outline of what goes into each chapter. I also do character profiles where I jot down everything from eye color to height. Then once I know what kind of characters are scenes are going into the books I spend ALOT of time working on a playlist. Writing and music come hand in hand for me..I couldn’t do one without the other.

SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

SH: I think my quirkiest writing habit is I have to set up my laptop, notebook and pens in a certain way. And I have a card with my word count where I have chapters with each individual word count as well as combined word count. I also have like mini figurines of Loki, Legolas and transformers that I have to have near me! Atm I’m doing up my office area so it’s weird to be working without all of them!

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

SH: No matter how much I plan and want a story to go in a certain way, the voices in my head will constantly change the outcome as I write. And yes it does haunt me in my dreams so much so that I will more often than not wake up during the night and have to go write so that I can get a little restful sleep! Maybe I should make a shady deal with a dark power! I wonder if I made a deal with a crossroads demon would Crowley himself appear? It’s worth a shot right?

Note from SJ: Susan gets all the bonus points for the Supernatural reference.

SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

SH: If I could picture my muse I think she would be like Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones series. Smart as hell but with the attention span of a goldfish!

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

SH: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla stands out for me with that question. When I was reading the book the main character had panic attacks and anxiety die to something that happened to her. (Aiming for no spoilers!) and I related to it because I was going through the same thing at the time. Despite being a writing I found it hard to put into words what I was feeling and this book did that so beautifully.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

SH: Paranormal/ fantasy! I love reading the genre and writing it too because you have the freedom to be as creative as possible and even invent some creatures that haven’t ever been done!

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

SH: Writers block and people who think it’s easy to be a writer and anyone could do it. Plus I am not a fan of cliché rom coms! Not bashing anyone’s taste but I just find them predictable and boring….but paranormal romance ..that I don’t have an issue with!

SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it? I have a phrase tattooed on my arm that read “Better to write for yourself and have no public then to write for the public and have no self.” I think if you write something just ‘cause the industry finds something ‘in’ and the moment then you’re not doing yourself any favors. I want to write stories that spark something in me and not conform to a certain mainstream idea.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

SH: It’s not as easy as it looks. Writing is sometimes a very solitary job over extended periods of time. And that book might not make it. We authors spend a lot of our time researching and writing and re-writing before it’s even ready to submit. There is an impression that because of the overnight success’ of some authors whose books, in my opinion aren’t my cup of tea, makes our creative process seem easy.  I wish it was as simple as people think but it’s most definitely not!

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

SH: It really makes me angry when other authors or readers bash certain genres. Like people, not everyone is going to like a particular genre. I love paranormal or dystopian books while others love romantic contemporary. It should be more important that people are reading no matter what they read.

Note from SJ: Word

For my genre, dystopian at this time, it allows you to see what the world could be like if we continue on in the way we are going. Most of us won’t get to see the future in 100 years. But with the Dystopian genre we can paint a picture of life unknown and create characters that will forever be changed by the events of that future.

 SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

SH: I would like to be known for the worlds I create. Most of the authors that I read are renowned for their fantastic world building. I would love to have even a sentence of my work stand out for someone, like a memorable quote. Like when we think of The Fault in our Stars, I immediately think of his quote “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”  If even one line in my book sticks in someone’s head like that then I know I’ve done a good job!

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

SH: I’m currently working on a new series but we are in the early stages atm. It’s called Skin and Bones and I would describe it as a mix of Supernatural vs Criminal minds. It will also introduce a creature that hasn’t really been written about before and a variety of different characters who I hope will get their own books as the series progresses.

Susan-Harris

About the Author:

Susan Harris is a writer from Cork in Ireland. An avid reader, she quickly grew to love books in the supernatural/fantasy genre. When she is not writing or reading, she loves music, oriental cultures, tattoos, anything Disney and psychology. If she wasn’t a writer she would love to be a FBI profiler or a PA for Dave Grohl or Jared Leto.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

JGBS Host

Author Interview: C Bryan Brown

Published June 18, 2015 by admin

We’re back with my friend C Bryan Brown today! His post on writing prompts was so well received that I thought I’d bring back the author interview to see what he had to say about the writing process, genre fiction, and the industry in general. I was not disappointed…

A note about this whole interviewing thing. I love giving authors a chance to showcase their work and for readers to get to know them, plus learn about all the different viewpoints and takes on genre fiction. That doesn’t mean all interviews are created equal, though, let’s be honest. There’s a fine line between being confidently informative and showcasing ego or being so modest that you might as well not bother promoting your work.There’s acting like you’re giving info and actually diving into your experiences so readers learn something besides the title of your work.  I love having C Bryan Brown on here because he hits the perfect line: he says things that are very true in a way that’s easy for people to get, he’s easy to relate to as a person and as an artist, plus he says things that even I need to be reminded of at times. I’m always willing to give people a chance, but when you’re as good at presenting yourself as this guy is, you definitely get more of them from me. Read and learn, kids, read and learn.

darkbiopicchris

This is a face you should listen to

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

CBB: The process, it burns and it hurts, but only because it’s always changing, which I don’t see as a bad thing. I like to think I’m always growing as a writer and it’s normal for processes to be reevaluated and updated as… holy fuck. I went into corporate mode there for a minute. Sorry about that. Let me start over…

I have many processes. I’m an outliner, for sure, but only for novels. And I deviate from my outline. A lot. I don’t outline my short stories, those are written off the cuff, then edited with a much sharper eye than they were written with. I have an office, and I write in it frequently, but only for convenience. I mean, it’s in my house, and it has a bed in it, so when I get too drunk to walk upstairs, I can pass out.

I write on paper, type into my phone or my laptop, or doodle on napkins, which isn’t uncommon. When ideas hit, you put them down or lose them, in my experience. None of this “if it was good, you’d remember it” shit for me. Seriously? I have a wife who wants things, kids who want things, pets who demand things, and a bevy of inappropriate thoughts running through my head at any given moment, so things get written down and saved.

I have written for anthology calls before, but usually only when I have a story idea already in my head. I’ll bump the idea up on the food chain and bang it out. Sometimes it’s a home run, other times it’s not.

SJ: *Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

CBB: No capes involved in what I do, but there is sometimes a chant that goes like this: “Sit your ass down and work. Sit your ass down and work. Sit your ass down and work.” Writing is work and we’ll get more into that in your next question. My quirkiest habit is probably just that I write with music, which I’m not really listening to, but using to drown out all background noise, like my kids going, “Dad… dad… the house is on fire!”

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

CBB: I don’t believe in the muse, at least not in the way most people do.

I believe most people try to first create art when caught in the thrall of a strong emotion: love, hate, loss, whatever. It’s that passion which feeds their creativity, and when that ardor dies, so does their inspiration and that’s when you start hearing writers talk about the muse being gone. Mostly, it’s bullshit, but only mostly. Great art can come from great passion, that’s no secret, but it more often comes from perseverance.

Writing is work and you only do it by sitting down and putting your hands on the keyboard and typing or a pen on some paper and scratching out words. This is done daily, rain or shine, in love or not, sick or healthy, happy or sad.

If I waited on a muse to do anything for me, nothing would ever get done.

My ideas do come from everywhere. Certainly dreams, from the news, from other books, song lyrics, titles, watching my kids play, even driving down the road. True story, my wife and I were driving to one of the Carolinas (can’t remember which at the moment) and on some rural ass road in West Virginia we passed an abandoned, run down bar. There was nothing on this stretch of road for miles in either direction except this dilapidated building, and almost all at once a story came to me about that building, and why it’s a shell of its former self.

I wouldn’t call any time inopportune, but let’s face it, there are certain times when story ideas can chill out for a couple or five minutes, you know what I mean?

SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

CBB: My muse is 5’6” slave driver, with reddish blonde hair, and a charming smile. Her tongue is pretty sharp, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it. She acts like my wife and her catch phrase is, “Shut up and go write.” She has a wicked right foot, which is why my newest novel was dedicated to that particular part of her body.

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

CBB: There are three stories that I feel particularly close to, and they are all parts of me in pretty much the same way.

In publication order they are: “Pale Deaths,” written in 2007, published February 2010 in cc&d magazine; “Cruel and Unusual,” written in 2010, published January 2011 by Post Mortem Press in their anthology A Means to an End; lastly, “An Unfettered Life” which was first drafted in 2006, and is slated to be published in the upcoming Hydra dystopian anthology. I don’t have a release date, but I believe it’s sometime later this year.

Those three stories all project my fears about failing my boys, and other than my own death, failing to protect my children is what scares me the most. A lot of my stories feature children in some capacity, and bad things usually happen to them, but those three involve adults failing kids they care deeply for. Point in fact, “Pale Deaths” and “Cruel and Unusual” are mirror stories… the former written when my eldest son was five and the latter when my youngest son was almost a year. I call them mirrors because they deal with the same subject of murdered children, but in vastly different, yet the same, way.

I don’t know if I’d call those my favorite stories, though. I prefer when I’m able to inject some humor into the writing. It’s rare for me to pull that off, so when I do, I cherish those stories.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

CBB: I’m going to cheat, in a way, and choose urban fantasy. So much of what I write falls into that catch-all genre, it’s a safe bet for me.

They Are Among Us is about vampires… synonymous with urban fantasy anymore, even though I don’t really consider the book urban fantasy. It’s more horror, but it can be painted in broad strokes. I feel Necromancer is full on urban fantasy, though I’ve heard it described as supernatural thriller, fantasy noir, and even straight low fantasy.

Now that my skin is saved from the Great Old One, urban fantasy gives me access to a wide variety of the tools I like to use when I writer, namely the fantastical and supernatural. Both fit easily into the genre and allow me to tell a wide variety of stories.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

CBB: My biggest frustration is marketing a book after it’s published. To me, that’s really the only downside of the “business” as I don’t see a downside to writing in general. The act of writing, of putting those words on paper, is cathartic in many ways and what’s not to like about that? Not to mention, if you do happen to get your work published and out to the public, then whatever your characters go through may mirror a reader’s situation and they can see things from a different angle and it may help them deal with whatever it is.

Not to mention, writing is just fun, isn’t it? Making shit up all the time… new worlds, new people, new technology, magic.

There are many clichés that make me want to strangle people, and some of them even apply to being a writer, though not too many overall. The biggest one, in regards to writing, is that it’s not a real “job” and I really have all the free time in the world.

Seriously, people, if it wasn’t a job, people wouldn’t pay me to do it. So, no, I’m not going to give up my writing time to go to the park, play Xbox, or have a chat about your cat’s disgusting habit of puking up the bugs it eats.  

SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

CBB: You’re an evil, evil interviewer.

(note from SJ: Yes, yes I am)

If I absolutely had to be stuck in any novel, it’d be They Are Among Us. I have an unparalleled fear of death, and if someone offered me the chance to become vampire and possibly live forever, I wouldn’t hesitate. There’d be a downside to that, which is having to kill people more often than not, but the lives of those people are a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

I’d stick my loved ones in the same book. I’d turn them and we’d be a much more vicious and far cooler version of the Cullens. We’d not sparkle, for starters, and teen angst wouldn’t be a thing. I’d almost put us on par with The Lost Boys, but I’ll never have David’s hair and my wife will never have Star’s ass. But even vampires can dream, right?

(note from SJ – This is why we are friends).

Enemies would go into the black hole of the apocalypse created in my short story “The Nightly Bite” and already be dead. Too bad, so sad.

SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

CBB: A warning before I answer: everyone’s definition of success is different, so take my answer with a grain of salt and apply it to your own definition.

As far as a sure-fire recipe/formula, no, but I think there are certain formulas that work better than others. If not, we wouldn’t have the Hero’s Journey, character archetypes, the three act play, or anything that can be contained and defined. You still have to write well and have to get your book in front of enough people to qualify as successful, at least commercially.

The only other recipe I know for success is to never quit. If you never quit, you never fail, and by definition alone you’re a success.

I’d certainly take the commercial success to afford me the ability (read: quit my corporate job) to write full time. I don’t think it necessarily has to compromise the art or the fun of writing at all, but just like everyone’s definition of success is different, how they define compromise will be different, too.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

CBB: I don’t think you can give those people words of wisdom, at least not in the traditional sense, because they’re not looking for success; they’re seeking fame. I might advise them to try making a YouTube video of mash potatoes streaming out of their nose instead, as it seems getting a video to go viral is a lot easier than selling a million books.

I’d probably also tell them to check the details on each of these success stories. Find out how long each writer actually spent trying to get a book published before it happened. Was it really overnight? Usually it’s not. If possible, Google the financial details that are public knowledge to see if the monetary value is as high you think it is, and always remember that even if someone pays you a million bucks, you’re giving a good chunk of it to Uncle Sam. Writing is still a business, and the laws of finance do not cease to exist because you got lucky with a one-hit wonder.

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

CBB: I think it’s a pretty simple case to make – the speculative genres allow far more story opportunities for authors, and the ones who benefit from that are the readers.

(Note from SJ: This is also why we are friends)

Put in plainer words, a writer is a craftsman. If you stick to more literary work, keep your stories planted firmly on terra firma and stuck in the “what has been and always shall be,” you limit your toolbox. It’s my opinion that you turn yourself into a journeyman, you know, a craftsman of skill, but always limited to some degree. If you’re willing to use the supernatural, or the science, or the fantastical, you’re expanding your toolbox to include objects the others won’t use. At that point you elevate yourself above journeyman status and start entering into the master craftsman arena.

Everyone who writes horror and science fiction and fantasy knows they’re excellent genres. Readers know it, too, even if the critics and academics don’t.

SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

CBB: “That C. Bryan Brown, he’s a swell guy.”

I like the conventions, I like to meet people, and whether they like my work or not, if they’ve met me, then I want them to come away feeling enriched for what little time we had together.

I’d like that from both readers and writers, and people in general. I don’t hold much faith in the human race right now, and I don’t want to be the biggest cock of them all. A leader sets an example. An asshole tells people to be better.

We have enough assholes running around right now.

SJ: Word

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

CBB: My latest work is the novel They Are Among Us, which is the first book in what I’m calling The Blood War Trilogy. I’ve always wondered why, in series such as the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood for you TV people) and Anita Blake books, vampires would make themselves known to humans. I’d think they’d need a damn good reason to risk extinction, and the books above never really satisfied that for me. Plus, I love vampires and want to do my part in rekindling vampires that don’t go to high school, sparkle, fuck, and otherwise act like pansies with a life problem.

They Are Among Us details first contact between humans and vampires using a split narrative. The first half is from the human point of view and the second half from the vampire point of view. I’m not sure if all the novels will utilize the split narrative format in the end, but that’s what I’m shooting for.

The second novel, At Dawn They Sleep, digs in its heels as the Blood War ramps up, and the final book, tentatively titled The World With Fangs, resolves the Blood War and outlines the future between the two species.

I also have a YA fantasy novel and a new urban fantasy novel nearing completion as well. Keep an eye out, folks, I’m just getting started. If you’d like to keep up, stalk me at my website, http://cbryanbrown.net. You can get to my Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads pages from there.

theyareamongus

Special Agent Alexandria Maxell believes in human monsters, those whose soul is tainted by the desire for torture, rape, and murder. However, the discovery of a burned body may change her mind as all the evidence indicates the victim and the killer are creatures that exist on human blood. As the body count rises, Alexandria and her team initiate a desperate manhunt to bring the killer to justice, only to uncover a plot to decimate mankind and enslave the survivors.

Jack Damage has hunted humans for centuries, preying on them at will. Now, twice betrayed by his own kind, Jack is conscripted into the impending human genocide, and he must fight the war on two fronts if he hopes to preserve anything from his old way of life. When the return of a vicious, unrelenting enemy threatens the future of both races, Jack must shift his focus from preservation to survival.

Out of time and options, Alexandria and Jack both realize that truth and salvation will only exist when they are among us.

The buy link for They Are Among Us is http://www.amazon.com/They-Are-Among-Bryan-Brown/dp/0692427457

C Bryan Brown will also be appearing with me and other members of the Midest Authors Syndicate at the Grove City Wine Festival Saturday, June 20. 

Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014: Shawn Cesser

Published November 3, 2014 by admin

 

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So I missed a Halloween post, but that doesn’t mean that winter isn’t a fun time for horror – especially zombies. I’m really exited to be part of the Winter of Zombie blog tour, and even more excited to hear all about Shawn Cesser’s latest title. This is definitely one I’ll be checking out, and you should too! Let’s get to it and talk to Shawn about zombies and Warpath!

 

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Why zombies?

SC: When I turned twelve my mom allowed me to rent George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and the original Dawn of the Dead on Beta or VHS … I can’t remember which. While eating Doritos and downing Cokes I watched them back-to-back, with a couple of buddies, and have been a fan of the genre ever since.

 

What is your latest zombie release?

SC: ‘Warpath: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse’ was published on 6/28/2014. 

 

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Quick description of it.

SC: Warpath is a 130,000 word post-apocalyptic thriller set in a thoroughly devastated United States. The fast paced romp through the western states features not only hard-charging soldiers in camouflage and body armor taking the fight to their living and undead enemies, but also regular citizens doing their best to survive the zombie apocalypse.Thrown into the mix are strong female characters, a group of younger survivors, and a host of human baddies my readers love to hate.

 

Something unique about it. 

SC: Warpath, and my STZA series in general, appeals to readers of all stripes because it combines a military themed post apocalyptic romp across America featuring stealth helicopters and exotic weaponry with an intertwined and ongoing story arc about a group of civilian preppers who are also struggling to survive the zombie apocalypse. My characters come from all walks of life and I’ve noticed that many of my readers seem to have their own favorites who they identify with. But sadly not everyone survives my zombie apocalypse—a reality that has earned me an earful from some of those same readers. 

Links for people to buy it: 

 

 Warpath: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Amazon link

 Warpath Apple iBooks link

 Warpath Barnes and Noble Nook link

 Warpath Smashwords link

 Your promo links.

  FB Author Page

 FB Page

 Amazon Author Page

 ShawnChesser.com

Twitter handle: @sdchess

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Shawn Chesser, a practicing father, has been a zombie fanatic for decades. He likes his creatures shambling, trudging and moaning. As for fast, agile, screaming specimens… not so much. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, two kids and three fish.

 

 

 Info for Winter of Zombie Blog Tour:

The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

http://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/

G Tom Mac on The Star Chamber Show!

Published July 8, 2014 by admin

 

 

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It’s not often you get to actually interact or interview one of your inspirations, but I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity tomorrow (Wednesday, July 9). Join us 9PM EST on The Star Chamber Show when we put G Tom Mac in the hot seat and ask him about his songwriting, his upcoming game and movie projects, and whatever else strikes our fancy! I feel like I mention G every time I do a panel or an interview and I’m asked who I listen to when I write. This guy is a source for a lot of the music I listen to when I work on character development for my urban fantasy pieces. His songs are dreamy, dark, hopeful, and every type of emotional time capsule in between. It’s a thrill to have his time for an hour, so y’all better show up and make it worth his while! We’ll be taking guest call-ins and will be keeping an eye on the blog talk radio chat and twitter.

And if you have any doubt about this man’s credentials, may I hit you in the face with his bio…

In writing, singing & creating the masterpiece “Cry Little Sister” singing as the theme song to the now classic film “THE LOST BOYS,” GERARD McMANN hit a deep & provocative nerve in his artistic career of creativity in doing so.

Only thing was, when the film released in 1987, he was fed up with the music scene’s “business” and stopped touring. He then changed his name to G TOM MAC as a result of no one ever pronouncing his real name correctly.

G Tom Mac went on to write songs for legendary singers such as Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and Roger Daltrey of The Who. An array of contemporary Hip Hop artists, such as Ice Cube and Digable Planets, as well as KISSCarly Simon and Eminem started to cover G Tom Mac’s songs. Last year, G Tom Mac earned a Grammy on EMINEM’S “RECOVERY” album in which Eminem sampled him in the song “You’re Never Over.”

Having had songs in over 50 films & more than 100 TV shows that still continue to license G Tom Mac’s music, it all adds up to in his words “staying fresh and being true to my fans in creating believable music that they feel from me. That’s my thrill!”

After 6 album releases, G Tom Mac opens yet another chapter with his NEW album “UNTAME the SONGS” that has already been received & talked about as one of the best albums of the year.

***

Tune in Wed, July 9, 9PM EST when G Tom Mac rocks The Star Chamber Show! 

Check out G’s Website and Music!

 

TCM Presents: Hades’ Disciples by Michael West

Published July 7, 2014 by admin

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I’m really excited to finally (FINALLY) get my bud Michael West on here to talk about writing. Before I ever met him I was orbiting him for years, and I’m pretty sure there was at least one convention where I was too scared to death to talk to him because he was so far ahead of me and I never thought I’d ever get a project picked up by a publisher, let alone be able to sell anything. And now he has to talk to me every week, mwahahahaha. This is all part of my master plan…

Anyway, he has book 2 of the Legacy of the Gods series out (finally :D), and he is here today!

 

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Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

 

***

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

MW: I do a bit of both, actually.  I do some outlining, but the characters really dictate what happens.  In the past, I’ve planned to kill off characters only to have them do something totally unexpected and live.  And in one case, my novel Spook House, the intended victim ended up being one of the stars of the story.

SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

MW: Nothing too weird, but I do like it to be as dark as possible when I write, so I close all the blinds and turn out all the lights.

SJ: Do you believe in the muse?

MW: I do.  My muse is very temperamental, and she comes and goes as she pleases. 

SJ: Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

MW: I do dream some ideas, and many of them come to me in the shower, in that foggy twilight between sleep and being totally alert.

SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien?  

MW: She’s a spirited redhead with fairy wings, and she likes to read a lot.

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

MW: I don’t really play favorites.  I always think that the last thing I wrote is the best thing I’ve ever written.  That said, however, I do have a special place in my heart for the story “Jiki.”  And my story “Goodnight” is one that I read aloud a lot when asked to do readings.  As far as novels go, The Wide Game captures my teenage years pretty well.  There were no demons or murders, mind you, but it is probably the closest thing to an autobiography that I’ve ever written.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

MW: I write Sci-fi and Fantasy, but Horror has always been a part of my life.  It’s what I love to read, what I like to watch, and what I will always love to write.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

MW: I hate clumsy dialogue and weak female characters.  I think everyone has an inner strength, they just need the right circumstances to bring it out.  And people who write bad dialogue have either never heard people talk, or they never took the time to read the words out loud.  I always read my dialogue aloud.  If it doesn’t sound real, I re-write it until it does. (Ed. from SJ- THIS – SO THIS! TAKE THIS TO HEART, WORLD!)

SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

MW: I would love to be one of Poseidon’s Children or Hades’ Disciples, be able to change shape at will and swim into the depths or take flight.  I think that would be amazing.

SJ: If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why?

MW: I would probably pick “Goodnight,” because that has a very positive message on love and everlasting life.  Or maybe “Hell’s Hollow.”  I think it would be fun to visit that festival once in a while.

SJ: An enemy?

MW: I would love to feed them to Jiki, my Japanese demon.

SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

MW: I don’t think there is a sure-fire formula.  There are hacks who have become wealthier than Midas, and great artist who have never seen their works published.  I just write what I want to read, and I have worked hard to find the right homes for my creations, supportive editors and publishers who are as passionate about my work as I am.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

MW: Writing is hard work.  You have all of these people in your head fighting to get out, and you constantly question whether or not what you are doing is working.  Unlike actors or musicians on a stage, there is no instant feedback.  It may be days or weeks or months before anyone gets around to reading what you’ve written and can give you any comments or suggestions.  Even then, the chances of finding a good publisher are very slim, and the chances of landing those six-figure deals you read about are even slimmer.  Sometimes I find myself wondering why I do what I do, and the answer is simple: because I’m a storyteller, and I have to tell these stories or go insane.  As I tell my wife, writing stories is much cheaper than therapy.  

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

MW: Horror, Sci-fi, and Fantasy allow us to make observations of our own world and comment on various important issues without sounding obvious or preachy.  We can turn a fun house mirror on ourselves and show readers how ridiculous certain practices and prejudices are, and because we are talking about ghosts or monsters or aliens, people who would otherwise be turned off by an issue or a theme may get to see and experience another point of view.

SJWhat do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

MW: I want people to see my name on a book cover and know instantly that, no matter what the story is, they are in for a great ride.

 SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

MW: My latest novel (which is my favorite right now) is The Legacy of the Gods Book Two: Hades’ Disciples.

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

I am also working on a short story collection, Straightjacket Memories, due out this fall, and the next novel in the Legacy series, Zeus’ Warriors.

 

***

MichaelWestAuthorPhoto

 

Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

Website:  http://www.bymichaelwest.com

 Twitter: @bymichaelwest

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

 

Author Interview: Wade Garret

Published June 26, 2014 by admin

Since it’s been ten thousand years since I’ve done an author interview that’s not part of a blog tour, I figured we should get back to it, eh? After all, it’s fun to see what the process is like from different types of writers, and I love picking people’s brains about their thoughts on genre. So without further ado I bring you today’s sacrificial victim author friend, Wade Garret!

 

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SJ:   Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours.
WG: Mine’s more of a hack’n’slash approach. I know the beginning, middle and end, points in-between, then I start writing. If I outline, it’s only about a chapter in length. Finished, I reread and reread, putting in, taking out; it’s kinda messy but I feel better about it. I’m not one to spend so much time banging out a fully realized outline without making a single keystroke. My brain doesn’t work that way. 
SJ:  Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? 
   
WG: The Muse all day and twice on Sunday. I plan, but only to a point—big picture or climatic moment stuff; most of my best details or coolest ideas come in the rewrite/reread of a particular scene. 
SJ:    Where do your ideas come from? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power? 
WG: They come from everywhere. At odd times, too. They’re a mixture of my own creations and spin-offs or blendings of things I’ve seen or read. As a writer, you have to constantly be reading: this teaches you what works and what doesn’t; also, it gives you a framework by which to make an idea yours or better than previously done. If the ideas came from a bargain with a Dark Power, I think I’d be famously wealthy without a day of writer’s block. Sadly though, that’s not the case. 
SJ:    If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
   
WG: Maybe this is cheating, but I’ll say Speculative Fiction, which means I like a stew of genres. Allowing me not to be pigeonholed, I can pick’n’choose what’s possible via the lens of a particular story’s level of technological achievement. Perhaps it’s more influenced by the Supernatural? Through such a unique framework, I can do w/e I want and in such a way that it doesn’t seem out of place.
SJ:    What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? 
WG: Have you seen the images on Facebook where it reads, “This is what My Friends think I do; This is what My Family thinks I do” and so on, that’s a broad look at what’s frustrating about being a writer.  
SJ:   What do you consider the downside, or is there one? 
   
WG: I don’t know if there’s a downside. Like all things, this is a choice and with that, I understand and most importantly, I accept the “opportunities” that come from being a writer—even if sometimes I cuss about it into a pint or when I’m not able to sleep. Nevertheless, for me, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Everything else I do is because I’m not yet able to do this full time. 
SJ:  Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
   
WG: 1 “Writing is easy. I could do that.” People don’t realize how often you can sit all day at your computer, maybe, maybe get a dozen hundred words on the screen—that’s a pretty damn good day—only to delete half them or more the next day. Or maybe, you bang-out a few books before anyone takes the time to read one, let alone publish it.
    2 “Why don’t you…” The Business of Writing, which means knowing at times if you’re not doing what’s popular or “selling” at a particular moment, you’re only hurting yourself. People say it all the time but how about Professionals, too? I had an agent tell me once she liked my writing, but wondered if I’d be willing (hinting she might publish it then) to write XY&Z cause it was “trending” and therefore had a greater potential for a quick return on the publisher’s investment. Now, I get that and that’s ok, it’s a business. However, realizing that agents/publishers aren’t necessarily looking for New and Unique content, so much as what’s Like and/or Similar to something already out and doing well is a tough pill to swallow.  
SJ:  Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? 
  
WG: Yes and No, because it depends upon what you mean by Success. If you can dominate an already successful series, like Star Wars, making your take on it the most popular, even better than the original, than yes. And I’m cool with that kinda thing because it’s clear what you’re doing. Likewise, if you can “copy” what’s popular—Teen w/e; Boy Wizards; Some kinda Reality Show type drama—you can be successful. But this is where it sometimes bothers me. Disclaimer: The Copy bit is always in the eye of the beholder and it’s thrown around a lot in the Science Fiction & Fantasy genres. 
    If asked to dabble in another author’s world and I was a fan of it, sure, that’d be cool, but I couldn’t stay there forever. And as I said before, I was asked once to fall into the trend and I couldn’t, but this isn’t to say in the future, when trends have changed, that I won’t finally write a Vampire story, sorry, not for teens. I think timing is key in a lot of these circumstances. You can kinda tell when publishers/agents are trying to jump on a particular bandwagon. And again, it’s business, it is what it is.  
SJ:   It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write
   
WG: Fantasy, Science Fiction and Comics have spawned such great stories and characters that’ve changed the world, yet they all get downplayed compared to Literature. And if you don’t raise your nose when saying Literature, you’re not doing it right. Honestly, how does Historical or Non-Fantastic Fiction, which is often considered True Literature, compare to the social impact of Conan, Sherlock, Batman, Captain Nemo, F451, 1984, Welcome To The Monkey House and so on? 
SJ:    What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
   
WG: First, that I’m humbled by those who came before me. This includes many with works I don’t like, because the fact is they MADE IT, despite opinions like mine, they’re where I want to be and that means they found an audience—that’s all we can ask for.
    About my writing specifically: 
    Keep the words of Kyle Reese in mind, “Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” 
    The takeaway from The Kingdom Come Series, of which Genesis is only the beginning, is what the conflict between the (Truly) Good and the (Truly) Evil should really mean; rare as they should be represented in any story. Skipping the Light/Good side, I’ll say sometimes the degrees of EVIL or what’s represented as Evil “The Enemy” isn’t always made as brutal or dark as it should be. Also, there are times, critical or cumulative, where it’s made to be, well, dumb. Making Evil stupid, allows the Good to survive and escape to fight another day or to win when you wonder why Evil wasn’t better prepared—I try my best not to find myself in those kinda corners, you’ll have to tell me if I succeed or not. So, if the varying shades of  EVIL are to be feared, really feared, across the entirety of the series, they can’t become a joke. We all know the jokes about Storm Troopers, right? Ok, so my baddies and their bosses won’t become jokes like that, the heroes will always fear/respect them. The characters who don’t (as does happen) well, you’ll know what color shirts they’ll end up wearing before long. My Star Trek Fans know what I’m talking about.
SJ:  Please tell us about your latest work.
WG:     Overall Blurb: Jak Hartlen, 19, the son of William and Mary, will face many thresholds of flesh and mind on his road to reaping the Whirl Wind; seeds of grief and guilt only now coming to fruition. If only they’d know what they were doing… 
    The Gan and their Areht who shape the world behind the scenes will hate him, because he’s a threat they’re not sure can be chained. 
    The Pillars and their Faithful who spread the world’s leading religion will fear him, because his existence, once known, will challenge Ages of dogma and accepted history.
    The Crimson King and its Servants who seek to return to power, destroying all that remains of The White, will hunt him, because even in death, they’re not sure he’ll ever bow to the Dark. 
    —They All Should. For as One of Five with the power to shake the world, they’ll hollow his heart and mind through countless sacrifice and vengeful selfishness.
    Back Cover Blurb: 
    After a year of laborious solitude and a conflict brought to the doorstep of his father’s house, Jak, a Southlander of meek circumstance, will come to accept the future isn’t set. Through abilities unnerving to any Areht, against enemies rising in every corner of the planet, he’ll be forced to resolve his destiny as One of Five that can change the world…
     Such selfless transcendence isn’t easy, nor simply the heroic result of dark revelations shielded from him since childhood now exposed; rather, it’s because of what’s undeniable, even to him. Like all great forces collected at the tip of the spear, the truth of his purpose and the price of his existence has a cost—and friend or foe, there’s no getting around paying it.
    Publisher’s Blurb: 
    The true test of Man, is to see if he can stand naked before himself without blinking. The same trial of existence for a God, however, even one created, is if when he blinks, will he change or the world…
    Genesis: Book One of The Kingdom Come Series, is an ambitious, Speculative Fiction story in the epic tradition of Dune, The Dark Tower and A Song of Ice and Fire. Blending elements of gritty Steam/Diesel-punk and realistic sword-wielding Dark Fantasy, this stand alone’s cross-over appeal ranges from Y.A to the mature Science Fiction and Fantasy book lover. Readers seeking a strangely familiar world of intrigue, intense action and mortal failings vs the injustice of power and spiritual corruption will be drawn to this book. And once caught in its exciting pages, they’ll quickly learn what really separates man from what is Evolved.
    
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@wadejgarret on Twitter

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    wjgarret.blogspot.com

    You can purchase it in a variety of formats on Amazon, B&N or from the Black Bed Sheet Book’s site—any small bookstore can also order it. 

     I’m also on Goodreads