Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Leah Reise Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you

I’m a bit of a dreamer, and I consider myself mostly introverted. I enjoy spending most of my time alone. I love traveling the world alone. And I guess you could call me an observer of people. I’m a student of the human condition. Since I was a young girl, I enjoyed learning what makes people tick. Everything I learn about people, I apply in my writing of course. When it comes to education, I have my BA in Spanish, and then completed undergraduate credits for a Master’s of Science in Anthropology. Unfortunately, I never made the cut, but continued taking classes in the human condition and writing on the side. As for my career path, I’ve always worked in public health, mostly as a bilingual public health aide. The last 14 years, I’ve worked at a hospital as a Spanish English interpreter, and also as an insurance verifier, and registration clerk in Emergency Room and Admitting. This year, I also began scheduling in radiology and surgery. On my free time I write novels and write as a journalist for City To Country Magazine.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
My debut novel, which I self-published in July of 2016, is called The Beauty in Darkness: A Vampire Story. I am currently working on writing the sequel. It’s a fantasy trilogy set in San Francisco today. It’s a different kind a vampire story than people are used to, and carries a philosophical and scientific theme. The story is about love and loss and self discovery, which I hope inspires people to find happiness and joy amidst a dark chaotic world. I’ve also started writing a sci-fi novel called The Man Who Changed The Universe. It’s about a Blackfoot Indian man in Montana who finds when he sleeps he travels to parallel universes and wakes up in one of his many doppelgänger selves. That novel is on hold for the moment while I write the sequel to my Debut.

When did you start writing? 
I remember writing was something I loved as a child. Anything that took me somewhere else. Fantasy stories. Poems. Especially journaling through my hardships. For long time, I think writing was the only thing I excelled in. But it wasn’t until August of 2000 that I wrote my first article. It was about social justice, something I was passionate about. I brought it to the Sonoma County Peace Press, on a whim. The editor read the article right in front of me, and it brought tears to her eyes. That’s when I realized my writing could affect people. It was something I could use for a good cause, to bring awareness to the world.

Why do you write?
I write about anything I’m passionate about. Fiction and nonfiction. For City To Country Magazine, I write about positive and uplifting subjects to give people a little break from all the negativity in the world.

What would be your choice for a superpower?
Perhaps it would be flying and the ability to breathe in space and under water.

Who is your favorite author?
J.k. Rolling 

What are you reading now?
I have a weakness for vampire stories. At the moment, I’m reading Awake at Dawn by C. C. Hunter, and The Vampire Girl trilogy by Karpov Kindrade, a husband and wife author team who happen to be locals in my county. I’m also reading a few others on and off, like A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss. I love science and also anything relating to the human condition.

Who is your favorite character to write?
My favorite character in my debut is Pierre, the protagonist’s vampire maker. He is my favorite character to write because he’s the rawest character. He’s a man who lives with real terrors and because of them he hasn’t been the most honest with his immortal progeny. Like many people today, he has trouble facing his own inner darkness, and with that a tragedy from the past that forever haunts him in immorality. Because of this, even though he’s over 300 years old, he still has a long way to go when it comes to self discovery.

Do you have a writing process?
My writing process is probably the most unconventional. I don’t write out a full outline like most authors find most helpful. When I begin writing a novel most of the story is spinning around in my head from beginning to end. I do write down notes whenever an idea comes to mind, but my notes are usually scattered and unorganized. Most authors have to go back and re-structure their novels after they’re done with their “final draft” anyway. I always felt the best way to write is to just write whatever you can and whenever you’re in the most passionate mindset that’s best conductive for writing. I’m not always in this writing mode, so sometimes I just have to start writing. That often gets my thoughts flowing. .

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Just write. Don’t fear rejection or it will inhibit your work. Write for you. Tell the story of your dreams. Tell a story for the world. No matter what you write, there will always be both people who love and hate it. But completing a book is a great accomplishment on its own. Be proud of that, even if only a few people like it. As long as your write from the heart and have a story to tell, there will always be people interested.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
What inspired me to pursue writing was helping people find joy and happiness and sometimes dark and chaotic world. I love that creative writing has the power to bring hope to people. It has the power to give people a break from the negativities in the world and bring them into a place of dreams and fantasies. I found you can also do this with nonfiction while writing inspiring true stories.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
I have to say I love Harry Potter. I also love vampire movies, and fantasy movies and shows. Charmed and Buffy The Vampire Slayer are my two favorite TV shows. I also love science documentaries as science plays a big part in my writing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
If you love vampire stories and also have a passion for science and philosophy, check out my debut, The Beauty in Darkness: A Vampire Story. It’s definitely a different kind a vampire story. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter under Leah Reise, and my book page under The Beauty in Darkness: A Vampire Story.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Cats
Coffee or tea? Both
Favorite food? Thai, Vietnamese, and Sushi!
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Phone, wallet, and beef jerky lol
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
Stephen Hawking, The Dali Lama, and Carl Sagan
TV or Movies? Harry Potter!




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Karen Rhodes Interview


First off, tell us a little bit about you....
I trained as an accountant and sat on several Company Boards as Finance Director before becoming Managing Director of a UK engineering company in 2013, where I remained for four years but earlier this year decided it was ‘now or never’ and I was finally going to step away from this career and concentrate on my writing.
Since leaving my job, I’ve become a total gym nutter and boxercise fanatic and train at least four times a week – I find it helps me to concentrate better now I’m working from home.
I live in a sleepy little village in South East England which I love and find lots of inspiration for my characters on a daily basis but probably best to keep that one a secret!

Tell us about your books/what genre do you consider your books?
So, I started work on my first novel in March this year having had several ideas floating around for quite some time. I have always wanted to write for young adults and being a mega fan of fantasy and sci-fi and having what my mother calls ‘a big imagination’ although I think she means I’m prone to exaggeration, I was never going to dabble in anything else. The book centers on a young human girl taken against her will by a demon to become his Queen in the Underworld and the massive turmoil and conflict his irrational move causes for everyone, both on the surface and in the Underworld.

When did you start writing? 
I wrote my first mini book at the age of five, in my first year at school. The then head teacher was so impressed, that she had the book bound and for many years it sat in the display cabinet in the school’s front entrance. But seriously, I have written all my life, from poetry to short stories. I always wanted to write for a living rather than just for pleasure and decided earlier this year that I need to write up all the stories floating around in my head before I’m too old and decrepit to remember them!

Why do you write?
I write because I have this huge imagination that leads me into constantly day-dreaming about changing ordinary situations into something more interesting or magical, even when I should be doing something else. Then I find I have to get these ideas down on paper before I lose them. It’s a compulsion – singers sing, whether they are famous or not they feel a need to do it, writers write!

What would be your choice for a superpower?
Mind reading without a doubt! Imagine all the things you would find out and all the embarrassing situations you could avoid!

Who is your favorite author?
This is a difficult one because the world is full of wonderful books written by wonderful authors, but if I have to pick one it would have to be Robert Jordan. I could read The Wheel of Time series over and over, in fact, I have!

What are you reading now?
I have such eclectic taste in books but in the main I tend to switch between historical fiction and fantasy/sci-fi. At the moment I’m reading The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. Absolutely loving it!

Who is your favorite character to write?
Although my novel is based on Elice, Queen of the Dark Realms, my favourite character to write is definitely her 10 year old younger sister, Mercla. I have loosely based Mercla’s character on my young niece and I picture what she would be saying in certain circumstances or situations and it often makes me laugh out loud.

Do you have a writing process?
I plotted the story in my head, made copious notes then dived straight in. With this story, I knew exactly what I wanted the outcome to be and thankfully it just seemed to flow.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Being so new at this myself, any tips gratefully received.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
I think ‘who’ inspired me would probably be more appropriate here and along with JRR Tolkien (of course) it has to be my mother, who always said I had an over the top imagination that really should be put to better use!

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
Well it has to be Game of Thrones without hesitation!

What are your current projects?
I am concentrating purely on QUEEN at the moment, with a view to making it the first of three books on Elice and the Underworld.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
Don’t be afraid to try someone new, you never know they might just become your favourite author (and yes, tongue in cheek, I’m pushing myself here!!)

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Cats
Coffee or tea? Tea
Favorite food? Pasta
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Phone, House Keys, Hairbrush
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Alison Weir – my all-time historical writing heroine; Peter Jackson – I’d love to persuade him to make QUEEN into a movie; Charles Dance – Big fan and I have the perfect part for him to play
TV or Movies? Both



Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dawn Napier Interview

Do you ever get blocked in the middle of a story? How do you get around it?I usually take a break and write something unrelated, like a short story or a poem. Going back to it with fresh eyes usually helps me figure out where it’s going.

Do you listen to music while you're working? What are some of your favorite bands?


I don’t usually listen to music while I’m composing the first draft, but listening to mindless pop music helps me focus while I’m editing or rewriting.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?I am an animal hoarder in training, so when I’m not writing I’m usually walking a dog or cleaning out a litterbox or guinea pig cage.

If you weren't a writer, what would you be now?Miserable.

If a ten year old child approached you and said, "I want to be a writer when I grow up," what would you say to him or her?I’d high five them and say, “So do I!”

Tell us about your latest work. Wow us with it.My latest published work is entitled Star Pack, and it’s about werewolves in space. A planet of shape shifters learned how to travel between the stars as a way to escape the tyranny of the moon, and they wind up on Earth going, “Wait, have we been here before? These people seem to know about us.”

What were you most afraid of as a child? Has that changed?Deep water scared me half to death, and it was everywhere in upstate New York where I lived. The first time I visited a commercial beach I was blown away by how not-scary it was to go swimming.
I still don’t like it. When you can’t see the bottom, anything could be down there.

If you threw a dinner party for your literary heroes or inspirations, who would you invite and what would you serve?I would invite Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, and Joyce Carol Oates. And maybe it’s mean of me, but I’d be tempted to invite EL James in the spirit of Dinner For Schmucks.
I don’t know what I would serve. I’d probably hire a caterer, bc I would already be freaking out over just having those people in my home.

What are some of the themes and questions of your stories? Are there any themes that recur throughout your work?
My themes tend to be about surviving the past and questioning the status quo. Star Pack takes an innocent-eye perspective towards social mores like organized religion, pop culture, and environmental protection as a way for me to think about them from an outsider’s point of view. Its main characters all have their own past troubles that they’re trying to escape by traveling through space, but they figure out pretty quickly that wherever you go, you take yourself along.

How old were you when you wrote your first story?Maybe six? Then I started submitting and collecting rejection slips when I was 16, and I published my first story at 35. It’s not a profession for people in a hurry.




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

J Kyle McNeal Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you....

Hidden within a hemlock ‘fort’ on the side of a small mountain in North Carolina, I imagined vast new worlds and incredible adventures. I was a child then, but I’ve never stopped imagining. Now, I write about and share these worlds and adventures.
I’m a reformed engineer, a closet geek, a sports fanatic, and a very proud father.
Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
Fantasy—specifically epic fantasy—is my first passion. I’ve let the story arc for my Revisions to the Truth series (Birthrights, Broken Oaths, and two more to come) simmer in my head for a couple decades while I flavored it with life experiences and travels to over 40 countries. That said, I enjoy telling tales and write in a mix of genres and perspectives to keep my mind fresh.

When did you start writing?
I’ve dabbled in writing for most of my life, but with only the vague idea that I’d like to make it a career “some day” in the future. However, three years ago, after spending a decade establishing and running a factory in China, I decided to pursue my dream of writing full-time. During this period, I finished Birthrights (which I started in university), wrote Broken Oaths (the second book in the 4-book series), and penned a shorter Supernatural Suspense novel (while waiting for beta readers to review the Broken Oaths manuscript).

Why do you write?
We are all allowed a couple senseless choices in our lives, right? I mean, who wouldn’t walk away from a solid professional career to hole up alone a room and pound on a keyboard for long hours every day?

What would be your choice for a superpower?
I’d be grateful for any superpower—and be guaranteed to get myself in trouble using it. Forced to choose one, I suppose I’d select the ability to read minds—to understand the complex emotions that reside behind people’s words, expressions, and actions. Then, for once, I might win an argument with my wife. Or maybe not.

Who is your favorite author?
I owe debts to a great number of authors who’ve influenced both my perspective and my writing. When I consider an all-time favorite, though, George RR Martin takes a slight edge over Neil Gaiman. Though I’m not much a fan of his Conan books, Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) has surpassed Lord of the Rings as my favorite series—assuming he finishes the story in the next decade (and the HBO show doesn’t count).

What are you reading now?
I divide my reading into three categories — “audio”, “before sleep”, and “time to savor”. I listen to audio books while doing yard work and driving, and am currently nearing the end of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Before sleep, I’ve started reading short stories and am halfway through Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier. My favorite reading, though, is when I have the chance to sit down and enjoy some uninterrupted time with a novel. At the moment, I’m enjoying The Six-Gun Tarot during these periods.

Who is your favorite character to write?
Kakati, the heroine in Broken Oaths, is hands down my favorite. She’s the type of free-thinking, boundary-pushing, ass-kicking young woman I hope my daughter will one day identify with (though not necessarily emulate in every regard).

Do you have a writing process?
I’m most efficient when I outline each chapter and write from start to finish. I’m most creative when I bounce between chapters based on inspiration, ignoring the outline when the characters insist. I try to find a balance between the two, but it’s a constant give and take.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Be ever hungry for constructive feedback and avoid mistaking criticism of your work for criticism of you. Cultivating a group of fellow authors who will push you to address the weaknesses in your writing style and stories is invaluable.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. The chance to create stories that give to others the enjoyment and inspiration I’ve received from reading books is a constant draw. And … being an author is more accessible than some of my other dreams—astronaut, superhero, pro athlete.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
The Last Kingdom and Game of Thrones are my two favorite series, but between writing I use sitcoms like palette cleansers. Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and Life In Pieces are my top choices.

What are your current projects?
I’m finishing the final edits for Broken Oaths, Book 2 in the Revisions to the Truth series and, at the same time, finalizing Jugdes by Jij (YA Paranormal Suspense) to send to beta readers.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
Should my writing interest you, I’d love for you to subscribe to my newsletter (available on www.jkylemcneal.com) so I can keep you updated on my projects as well as giveaways and sales.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Dogs! My eyes swell shut around cats.
Coffee or tea? Tea — bubble tea if possible.
Favorite food? Thai food — hot and spicy
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Plain vanilla, that’s me … ha!
What is something you never leave home without? Clothes (at least not recently)
Laptop or desktop? Laptop for sure … like to change up positions.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
1) JK Rowling
2) Neil Gaiman
3) Scarlett Johansson (shh, don’t tell Viki)
TV or Movies? Movies, though DVR’s have helped narrow the gap.




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Diana Anderson-Tyler Interview


First off, tell us a little bit about you....


Well, I’m a Texas girl, born and raised. I grew up on a farm and barrel raced (a mighty horseback sport down here in the south!) for fourteen years and played lots of sports. When I wasn’t outside, I was inside playing make-believe or scribbling down stories. I don’t play make-believe or barrel race anymore, but I’ve never stopped writing!

My husband and I live in San Antonio. We own a CrossFit gym called CrossFit 925 and love helping people reach their fitness goals. When I’m not writing, I can be found there lifting weights like a mad woman! Working out is like therapy for me, as well as a wonderful way for me to clear my head so new story ideas can take root.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?

It’s common advice these days that writers should pick a genre or niche and stick to it for the sake of brand identity. I have nothing against that advice, it’s just not been easy for me to follow (not that I’ve really tried).
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been “genre hopping.” I have bins full of early stories, poems and plays, some about damsels and dragons, some about an ordinary Texas girl’s first love (semiautobiographical, of course…), and still others written in homage to whatever my favorite book or TV series was at the time (Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Boy Meets World, Gilmore Girls, to name a few.) To put it simply, I write what I want to write, regardless of whether it’s well suited to a particular market or serves to build my “brand” or not. To me, writing is and always will be something I view and treat primarily as a passion, and secondarily as a career. 

It is that philosophy that’s led me to write straight from my heart, for better or worse. I began my publishing career with a series of nonfiction faith-based fiction books for women (how’s that for “niche”?), as well as an inspirational memoir chronicling my battle with an eating disorder, the sudden death of my father, falling in love, and finding my purpose. At the end of 2013, I decided it was time to get back to my storytelling roots (I majored in screenwriting at the University of Texas) and try my hand at penning a full-length novel. It was by far the most challenging writing endeavor I’d ever taken on, and also the most rewarding. Three years later, writing fiction is now a full-time career – though it is no less challenging than when I started!

Whether it’s writing motivational fitness books, Greek mythology-inspired novels, or women’s fiction hearkening back to my own heartbreaks, fears, and triumphs, my aim is to write words that ring true and resonate, on one level or another, with my readers. I believe we were all put on this earth to shine our unique, inimitable light with the world, and writing honestly and deeply about topics that move and have changed me is one of the ways I’m able to do that. 

When did you start writing? 
I honestly can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t my foremost passion. Sure, I claimed, as many children do, to want to be a thousand different things when I grew up, including archaeologist, marine biologist, and barrel racer (a horseback sport here in the south!), but I always maintained that I would “write on the side.”

I wish I knew what made me want to be a writer, but I’m convinced it was a proclivity I was born with. My grandpa was an actor, drama teacher, and playwright, so maybe it’s in the genes. I also wish there was a romantic story I could share, something about how I listened to a TED Talk that changed my life by encouraging me to pursue my dreams, or how I ran into Stephen King near his home in Maine and showed him a short story that he thought was fantastic and I’ve written ever since. But my story’s pretty boring, unfortunately. I’ve always loved writing more than anything else and, despite countless doubts, fears, and frustrations, I’ve kept at it.

Why do you write? 

Truthfully, I can’t help but write. It’s as essential to me as breathing, as cliché and dramatic as that may sound.

What would be your choice for a superpower?

It’s a three-way tie between flight, invisibility, and telekinesis.

Who is your favorite author? 

Gosh, how does anyone pick a favorite? I might just have to go with the two whom I remember really making an impact on me in high school: Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Crichton. Kingsolver’s lyrical, poetic style blows me away, as does Crichton’s mastery of tension, pacing, and big, satisfying pay-offs.

What are you reading now? 

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty. I always read in whatever genre I’m currently writing in, and right now I’m working on a Contemporary Women’s novel that’s a bit Chick Lit as well. I’m also catching up on my issues of Writer’s Digest.

Who is your favorite character to write? 

So far, I’ve most loved writing Hermes in my series The Petros Chronicles. He’s mischievous, charming, self-possessed, but extremely wounded as well. It was a blast to reveal his backstory little by little and also follow his arc from villainy to redemption.

Do you have a writing process? 

I majored in screenwriting, so thoroughly outlining is something that was hammered into me. When it came to writing screenplays, treatments, beat outlines, and such were necessities, but novel writing is a whole other animal, at least for me – I never have been able to stick to the game plan!

It’s much more fun for me to “discovery write,” as they say. I have a general story arc in mind, as well as major plot and pivot points, but I leave the specifics unknown. The characters take on a life of their own, thereby taking the story in surprising directions I never could have planned.

After I have a first draft, I will reverse outline by going through my manuscript and making sure all the turning points are in place and that each of the scenes has a valence shift.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 

I love this piece of advice I from Joanna Penn: Find a balance between creativity and consumption.

Don’t feel like you have to choose writing mode over read/research/learn mode or vice versa. I strongly believe that writers should be in the practice of writing as close to daily as possible, so letting other activities – even advantageous ones – get in the way of creating is detrimental. 



Even if you have a lot to learn about the publishing process, don’t wait to write until you’ve figured out your game plan. Even if you have to research The Revolutionary War for your next novel, don’t wait to start outlining until you’ve read your mountain of library books. Even if you want to write three novels in the next three months, don’t neglect your fiction-reading time, as reading fine work makes us finer artists.

I’ve found that balancing creating time with consuming time keeps me productive and allows me to learn and digest new info and material at a manageable rate.

What inspired you to pursue writing?

This sort of goes along with your question, “Why do you write?” Writing is what I’m most passionate about. Nothing else comes close. Sure, there are other occupations that are more lucrative and less discouraging, but none would be as spiritually, mentally, and emotionally rewarding to me as an artist who expresses herself best through the written word. 

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?

My husband and I are huge comic book nerds. We love watching Arrow and The Flash, as well as all the D.C. and Marvel films. We also love fantasy movies (The Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, etc.) and historical epics like Gladiator and Braveheart.

What are your current projects?

I’m editing book 2 of The Petros Chronicles and outlining book 4 of The Orchid Series.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, I’d love to have you join my newsletter as I’m always eager to hear your feedback and receive suggestions on what to write about next! You can sign up here: http://www.dianaandersontyler.com/signup/. I run fun giveaways every month! I typically share exclusive short stories, too.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Dogs
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favorite food? Burgers
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Purse, cell phone, book (unless what I’m reading is on the Kindle app on my phone!)
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Steve Martin, Steven Pressfield, Margaret George
TV or Movies? Movies





Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.

Friday, June 16, 2017

JM Sullivan Interview



First off, tell us a little bit about you
Ok! Well, hi! My name is JM Sullivan and I am a Science Teacher by day and an author by night. I love reading, singing, all things sparkly and am entirely too dependent on coffee. When I’m not working or writing, you can find me at home dancing around with my kids or watching scary movies with my husband (if the cats give us their blessing).

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?I guess the easiest way to classify my books are as YA retellings. Otherwise, I seem to mix it up a bit within the genre. For example, my debut novel, Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles is a Dark Fantasy twist of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and my second novel, The Neverland Transmissions is a SciFi spin on Peter Pan. So even though I like to switch it up a bit, I would definitely say I’ve found my happy place in fairy tales and retellings.

When did you start writing?Oh gosh, I’ve written forever. I’ve always loved reading and telling stories, but I didn’t really get serious about my writing until the beginning of 2016 when I committed to completing my first manuscript.

Why do you write?  
Writing is my escape. My life can get pretty hectic between work, family, pets, and and and….writing is the way that I am able to go relax and find a way to organize and declutter the billion and a half thoughts that threaten to drown me every single day. I find that being able to focus my energy and creativity into making something provides an outlet for the chaos and really, just makes me happy.

What would be your choice for a superpower?Any superpower? I would definitely go the Aquaman route! I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean and secretly wanted to be a mermaid, so I would totally be down to hang with the fishes.

Who is your favorite author? Oh gosh, this is really tricky, and I don’t even know that I could gie you an honest answer because I love so many authors, but I will say that Marissa Meyer is the RETELLING QUEEN and an absolutely incredible storyteller. To be even have my work considered alongside hers would be the most amazing honor.

What are you reading now?   
Right now I’m reading a couple of different stories. I just finished the cutest YA Contemporary, Chasing Zenn by Wendy Bryant, and I’m in the middle of a YA Sci-Fi, Matched, along with a YA Fantasy, Counting Wolves. I’m enjoying both. June has definitely been a good reading month.

Who is your favorite character to write? There are good points to all of my characters, but I adore Chess. His snark and witty banter always bring a smile to my face, but on the flip side, getting in the head of the Red Queen, my villain can also be entertaining… especially if I’m feeling particularly cantankerous that day ;)

Do you have a writing process? Um…. Does forcing myself to write count? My process really isn’t very organized. Normally I start off with a basic outline for where I want the story to go, but from there I let the story take over. I don’t like being too detailed in my outlines because more often than not I’ll end up changing and veering off on different tangents so providing a starting and ending point with a few key events in the middle to keep me anchored is about as structured as I get.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?Be nice to yourself! Writers (and most creatives I find), are hard on ourselves far too often. An inner critic can help keep you on your ‘A-game’, but only if you don't give it so much free reign that it derails your work. Remember, someone needs your words. No one can tell your stories. To get them out there you have to write them!

What inspired you to pursue writing?I think it was my love of literature and stories that ultimately inspired me. It has always been a dream of mine to become an author and I think it’s because of all the authors and stories that I’ve loved so much over the course of my lifetime. I know what an impact the words of people like JK Rowling and Gail Carson Levine have had on me, I thought it would be so amazing to have my words provide the same things for others.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?To be honest, since I’ve started writing more, my TV time has gone down dramatically, so more often than not if I’m watching something it’s either a movie that the kids are playing while I work, or my husband has hidden my computer and forced me to sit down and relax. When that happens our go-to genre is almost always Horror but sometimes we like to mix it up with some Sci-Fi or Fantasy films.

What are your current projects?Right now I’ve got a couple things on my plate. I recently finished drafting and revising my second novel, a Peter Pan retelling tentatively titled The Neverland Transmissions, and I have begun the querying process towards representation and publication. While I wait on that, I’m currently writing the sequel to Alice, Through the Broken Glass (again, working title, lol). So those are definitely my focus right now, and I’m having a lot of fun with them.   

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for taking the time to read my work. Whether it’s this article, or work on my blog, or my stories, thank you. Your support means the world to me and I am so grateful to you. Without you, my words would have no-one to play with! Thanks so much for keeping them company! I love you guys! :D


Quick Fire:Cats or dogs?  Both.
Coffee or tea?  COFFEEEEEEE
Favorite food?  Pizza
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?  Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without?  My purse, my sunglasses, my laptop
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?  Gordon Ramsey, Jennifer Lawrence, JK Rowling
TV or Movies?  Movies



Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.











Friday, June 9, 2017

Fanni S Interview


First off, tell us a little bit about you
My name is Fanni (with an “i” not with a “y,” strange, I know, but that’s how it is.) I’m in my late twenties and I live in France, near Paris. I’m Hungarian but nowadays I mostly write in English. My hobbies are travelling, reading, writing and learning languages. I love board games, series and cute crazy stuff. I teach English from kindergarten to middle school.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
I like stories where reality and imagination intermingle, that’s why my favourite genres are urban fantasy, magical realism and cyberpunk. Even when I write realist fiction, I try to make the story “magical” either with the atmosphere or with the story telling. 

I have (too) many WIPs both in Hungarian and in English, but I think I’ll concentrate on the English ones. I hope one day I’ll be able to finish most of them.

The ones I’m most intrigued by are “Glasgow, my love,” which is a multiple-ended love story, exploring various possible endings of a coffee house meeting and “Dreamless” which is an alternative history / Victorian novel where imagination is banned and dreamers are hunted down. You can get to know more about my novels by checking out their Pinterest boards. (https://uk.pinterest.com/mspumpkinhime/

When did you start writing? 
Oh, I started writing way back. My first projects were Sailor Moon fanzines and Knight Rider fan fiction in primary school. Then as adolescence hit I wrote love-hate poems about my crushes. Around the end of high school I started writing stuff which was not completely embarrassing. I started writing in English in 2013 while I was spending my Erasmus semester in London.

Why do you write?
I love making up worlds and I’m also awfully curious about the life of others. When I was in middle school I thought I wanted to be an artist, but I wasn’t skilled enough to draw the things I saw in my head and I wasn’t patient enough to try to learn it. In the end, I found out that I can also draw pictures with words and I’m much better at that.

What would be your choice for a superpower?
I’d like to be able to stop time, so that I can get a few more hours to write when the writing bug bites me. My biggest problem is that I’m very enthusiastic and I fall head over heels for story ideas and I work like a madwoman in the beginning. Then something interrupts my process or I have a lot of other things to do so I get out of the mood. Sadly, I’m a bit like Dory from Finding Nemo: Look, a new idea! 
I think stopping time could definitely help with this issue.

Who is your favorite author?
Neil Gaiman is my absolute favourite, he is also my role model. I also like Antal Szerb, a Hungarian writer from early 20th century. He has pretty good English translations, I warmly recommend him because he shaped me a lot as a writer.

What are you reading now? 
I’m reading J. M. Sullivan’s debut novel, Wanderland Chronicles and The Hollow City from Ransom Riggs. I also started re-reading an Antal Szerb novel because I found a good French translation. I want the summer holidays to start already so I have more time to read.

Who is your favorite character to write? 
I like characters who are easy-going and make me laugh, they’re very fun to write. Sometimes I create characters because I’m inspired my one of my celeb crushes and I want to spend some time with them at least on paper :D

Do you have a writing process? 
Not really. Ideally I just sit down and write but for that I need peace and like 0 distractions. Approaching deadlines do miracles to me and I can write 2000 words in 1-2 hours. I like these marathons because although the stories aren’t perfect, at least I got them done. Usually I return to them a few weeks / months later and make them into something good. If it’s a longer story, I like to create Pinterest boards and Spotify playlists because this way I can bottle up the mood of the story.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
I know it’s a cliché but really, please read. Read the classics and the big names but read also indie authors because, besides helping fellow writers, you can discover hidden gems.

If you feel writing is your way, don’t let others discourage you. Listen to the critiques. Take what you need and try to improve your writing. Everybody has to work on their writing even the big names. Some stories will be better, some stories will be worse. 

I know it’s difficult to face mean words and rejections, but if the other person is an a*hole it’s really their problem and not yours. If they’re nice and fair about your opinion, take notice and don’t give up. Maybe they weren’t just the right audience for your story.

Try to find writing buddies. Join a Nanowrimo community, sign up for Scribophile or any other writing group. Read and critique other people’s writing. The easiest and least painful way is to learn from other people’s mistakes.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
I’m a serial hobby-abandoner. I’ve done folk dancing, karate, modern dance, guitar, cross-stitch, etc., but I just fell out of love with them after a while. Writing stayed with me. I write because it makes me happy and I can get transform my troubles and pain into something (hopefully) beautiful. Of course, I also want to be rich, famous and beloved but if only my friends read me I’m fine with that too. 

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
It’s been a very good year as for series. I follow Dr. Who, American Gods and the new Twin Peaks. I also love Parks and Recreations, Black Adder and Buffy. My newest love is Gravity Falls.

What are your current projects?
It’s really high time I finish my first novel, Londemonium. It’s an urban fantasy set in Hell and London. In Londemonium Hell is a multinational company, led by its eccentric CEO, Luke Seyton. The characters include: Gregor, a German programmer who descends to Hell to retrieve his abducted crush; Molly, a feisty Irish girl in look out for her heritage; Aiko, an English-Japanese girl who wants to make sense of her life and Raphael, an immigrant angel, who desperately wants to fit in.

I’ve recently come up with a summer project for myself, we’ll see how it works out. I’m planning to write a tween novel about an adventurous summer holiday. I imagine it as a blend between Gravity Falls and Doctor Who with a lot of humour and excitement. My idea is to use the cards from a Dixit (it’s a very good association-based board game with gorgeous art) expansion which would give the writing process some randomness and excitement. I can’t wait to start.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
You can never be too nice. Be nice. I really, honestly believe in the power of politeness and kindness and I try to make the life of others easier. If more people did the same, we’d live on a much friendlier planet. I also believe that hard work and determination pays off. 

I want to bring people stories that show the lives of different people because knowledge and empathy usually walk hand in hand. I also want to write stories which give hope and consolation on hard days.

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs? Owls! Okay if I have to choose between the two I’ll go with cats, but I love dogs too.
Coffee or tea? Usually coffee, but I also like herbal tea..
Favorite food? Sushi and Japanese food in general. Also cheese sticks. 
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla.
What are 3 things you never leave home without? I have type 1 diabetes, so it’s essential to have my blood sugar checker, some sweet things in case of an emergency, and my phone + earbuds
Laptop or desktop? Laptop. I haven’t owned a desktop for many many years.
Who are 3 famous people you would want to hang out with? Neil Gaiman, Tom Hiddleston, Steven Moffat
TV or Movies? We don’t have a TV in our flat, although we do have Netflix. I like to go to the cinema every now and again for a change, but I prefer the cosiness of my bedroom.

Bio: Fanni Sütő is a writer in her mid-twenties. She writes in Hungarian and English; poems, flash fiction and countless unfinished novels. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants. 

Twitter: @Fanni_Pumpkin




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.













Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trina L. Talma Interview



First off, tell us a little bit about you
My name is Trina Talma, though people I meet on Twitter more often see me as an anagram of that name. I am very nearly half a century old, and I live in the more civilized part of North Dakota with my husband, my son, my mother-in-law and five cats. I also have a daughter, who lives with her own menagerie elsewhere. Besides being a writer, I am also a jewelry designer; most years I make way more money from craft shows than I do from book sales. My hobbies include spending not enough time reading, spending too damn much time on Twitter, attempting to grow vegetables during the summer, playing The Sims, and watching to see whether the birds or the squirrels will win the Battle of the Feeder. I love music and animals, and hate housework and bigotry. I speak English and sarcasm, and can read a smattering of French and German.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?

Over the past 12 years I've self-published a total of nine books (one is no longer in print). I have a fantasy-adventure series (the Zania series) of five books: Silver and Blood, River's End, The Throne of the Sun, Return To Dawn and Dreams of Darkness. My other series is a mash-up of YA, speculative fiction and action/adventure, and so far consists of two books, The Time of the Wolf and Cherish the Fire. I also have a mixed-genre short-story collection, Unlikely Muses. A few years back I produced a “free sampler” book with novel excerpts and short stories, which I give away at shows and conventions.


When did you start writing?
Somewhere in the dim distant days of my very young youth. I didn't start seriously considering it as a career until my middle teen years, though.

Why do you write?

Part of it is that I like the process of capturing a scene or a moment in time as it appears in my head, and I can't draw. The bigger part of it is that I just like telling stories. I'll take the dumbest little events from my life and when I tell somebody else about them, they become stories that are way longer than necessary. I suppose that might be because I started reading at a young age (pre-kindergarten) and telling stories is just a natural thing for me.

What would be your choice for a superpower?

The ability to stretch time. I could really use a day that lasts for 48 hours or so.

Who is your favorite author?

I used to say Tolkien every time, but nowadays it's a toss-up between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

What are you reading now?

I'm currently re-reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon series for the third or fourth time, and I'm just about to start Terry Pratchett's Nation. I generally have one paper book and one ebook going at the same time.

Who is your favorite character to write?

Considering that most of my first-person narrators are female, I'm surprised to find that I (somewhat) prefer writing about their male companions. Kahri Aldien in my Zania series is one of my favorites, as is Yvan Landbru from the same series. I like them for their own selves as well as for their relationships with Zania. Then there's Sharrec Fehr, who turned up briefly in Dreams of Darkness and is now a main character in a new book. He interests me because I know a lot about his back-story but he hasn't revealed much of it to the reader or to his friends in the book.

Do you have a writing process?

Not really, apart from the fact that I write all my first drafts on paper first. Back when I started writing, the only writing “machinery” I had access to was a manual typewriter that was probably 20 years older than I was. It was quite a while before I had an electric typewriter, and I didn't have my own computer til I was in my late 20s. So the paper was a necessity that became a habit I still cling to. New notebooks and pens make me happy.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Read, read, read! Read in your chosen writing genre, read anything else that appeals to you, read fiction and nonfiction. You never know what's going to lead to interesting ideas. And don't spend too much time thinking about “the book I'm going to write some day”. Start writing it. It'll be crap – everybody's first book is crap. But if you're really determined to write, and if you're any good at it, you'll learn from everything you read and everything you write. Never think you've learned everything you need to know, either. You can't improve if you don't keep learning and keep writing.

What inspired you to pursue writing?

Apart from realizing that all of the books I loved were written by ordinary people – if they could do it, I could too – I had some really excellent English teachers when I was in high school and college. They were the ones who told me that I showed some talent for writing when I wasn't sure if I did. I probably would have given up if they hadn't told me that I was good at what I wanted to do.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?

I tend to gravitate toward fantasy and SF genre shows more than anything else, but I'm picky. A lot of the shows that are really popular right now just bore me. But I love “Supernatural”, and “Doctor Who” is great (most of the time), and I still love re-watching older shows like “Buffy”, “Charmed”, “Quantum Leap”. For movies I split about 50/50 between fantasy/SF and comedies. Everything that's good enough to stick with me for a while eventually becomes idea fodder for writing.

What are your current projects?

Right now I'm working on sequels for both of my series, plus I have a fanfic going just for fun. I'm hoping to finish the book in my YA/spec fic series within the next month or two – although I've been hoping that for several years now! After that's done I have another book planned for that series, and I'm hoping to get some more short stories going soon too.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?

Hi readers! How are you? If you like my books, could you please leave me a review somewhere, or visit my Facebook page or my Goodreads page or my Patreon page? Writing is way more fun when I get to hear from my readers in some way.



Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? I like dogs, but I love cats.

Coffee or tea? Tea. Herbal varieties please.

Favorite food? Pizza – and yes I am one of those weirdos who likes pineapple on it.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate – with brown sugar and/or whipped cream on top

What are 3 things you never leave home without? Phone, wallet and pen. You can pretty much travel the world with just a smart phone and a credit card these days.

Laptop or desktop? Desktop – better for playing the Sims

Who are 3 famous people you would like to hang out with? Uhhhh.... Peter Tork (my cousin met him last week and I'm very jealous), Neil Gaiman and... ummm... Misha Collins

TV or Movies? TV, but only because I don't often have time for a whole m





Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE to borrow any of my books for FREE!

Best-selling author of Wake the Dead! On Amazon Kindle here!

All Artwork and covers of my works by William J. Kenney & Carlos Cara

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2014 unless otherwise noted.