Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rae Elliott Interview


Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider them?
I write mostly in the Fantasy, Science Fiction, and YA genres.

When did you start writing? 
As long as I can remember I've been writing, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say my first memory hits on the age of six.

Why do you write? 
Because it is my undying passion. I cannot imagine not writing, and I wouldn’t be whole if I couldn’t express my thoughts, my views, through stories and characters that speak to other readers. I know it is my strong suit, but I feel it is more than just a hobby.

What would be your choice for a superpower? 
I think I would be a morpher or body changer, so that I could become anything that suits the occasion, or the need.

Who is your favorite author? 
 Man that is a really tough one. I have a huge nostalgia-inducing pull towards J.R.R Tolkien, but I often love how F. Scott Fitzgerald puts a really beautiful and unique perspective on a person or the world in just a few words.

What are you reading now? 
Unfortunately, nothing too fantastical. Really, just indie author homework. How to Market Ebooks, gain loyal readership- those sort of books. And quite a few at a time.

Who is your favorite character to write? 
My favorite character I have written thus far has to be my main female character in my science fiction novel Fractured. Queen Darphina. She is a battered wife and mother, but she shows complete selflessness and unwavering bravery in the face of a man who could kill her and their beloved children with ease. That man being her husband, King Magnus.

Do you have a writing process? 
My writing process usually goes like this: I have a wild idea, begin writing it down right away, maybe even making it five or six chapters in, and then once the writing spree is over, I look it all over again. By that point I re-flesh the whole thing out, organize it, and change up a mess of things, including major edits like character or chapter cuts. Then I typically read it to a willing ear, usually my husband, and he helps me flesh out the ideas a bit better. That process gets repeated.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
 The writing advice I can give other authors is the same question that guides me with every book I create: "Why does your reader care?" If your reader does not care about your characters and what happens to them, then you have no audience no matter what genre you write in.

What inspired you to pursue writing? 
The fact that I have always loved writing stories and found that it was my strong suit. Over anything else I have ever done, my love and passion always comes back to writing stories. I knew I had to try to make some kind of a career off of it, and even if it doesn’t go anywhere, at least I shared my story with a few people out there.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? 
Oh man. This list is too long for words but I’ll sum it up. Favorite shows: Freaks and Geeks, The Blacklist, Gilmore Girls, Criminal Minds, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Parks and Recreation, Broadchurch. And, a few movie faves include: The Lord of the Rings Series, Gladiator, Frequency, Forest Gump, The Planet of The Apes, Brave, Ever After, Wall-E, The Count of Monte Cristo, Man of Steel, and the list could go on.

What are your current projects? 
I am always in the middle of a few different projects, but to narrow it down I'm in the final editing stage of two different books. One is the first in a Fantasy/thriller/YA series called "Treefell: Legend of the Wood", and the next is a how-to-guide for indie authors about marketing their work on Pinterest to their advantage.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? 
I hope you enjoy my books, each story is meant to speak a very real problem one and all have either faced ourselves or have seen the results of. I think a lesson can be learned from each character and what course they choose, in the face of real, relatable problems.



Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Always Dogs.
Coffee or tea? Tea
Favorite food? Thai food.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My wallet, my phone, and my Nintendo 3DS.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop




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, March 30, 2015

Rachel Pattinson Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you, Rachel...
Hi Gary, thanks for having me today! I'm Rachel and I'm a Young Adult sci-fi author. I'm 24 years old and I'm an English girl, born and raised. I love tea, cake, Lord of the Rings, bread and butter, and rain. You have to learn to love the rain if you grow up in the north of England.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
I write YA science fiction. Sci-fi is a genre I kind of accidentally fell into; all my previous attempts at writing have been YA dystopian/apocalyptic novels. I never set out thinking that I'd end up writing science fiction. Don't get me wrong, I love science fiction films and I love reading other YA sci-fi books – learning about new technology/civilizations and the way in which these things impact on society have always fascinated me. But it wasn't until I was a good halfway through writing Synthetica that I even realised I was writing sci-fi. I just thought I was writing a 'futuristic' YA novel...it wasn't until I had to define it in a category for my query letters that I realised it was, in fact, sci-fi. And now, I can't seem to stop thinking of other science fiction stories to write...

When did you start writing? 
I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing. Even in primary school, I remember folding up coloured pieces of A4 paper to make a book, scribbling a story in the first few pages and then abandoning it (that habit hasn't actually changed that much – only, now I use a computer rather than random bits of paper). Making up stories has been the only thing that's been constant throughout my life – I've never doubted I'd become a writer one day, but it's only in the past few years that I've decided to take that ambition seriously. I first started writing novels three years ago, when I was about to graduate from university. It was while I was waiting to hear back from the hundreds of job applications I'd sent out that I decided to write my first novel and see what became of it. I've stopped and started a lost of books over the last few years, but I finally feel like I'm ready to take my writing career seriously.

Why do you write? 
I write because I simply can't imagine not writing. I'm always making up stories and characters in my head. Apparently some people narrate their life in their minds – I make up stories in mine. Most of the time when someone is talking to me, my mind will start to wander and I'll be making up whole worlds in my head, when I'm actually supposed to be listening to what they're saying. This is a very bad habit, but I can't seem to stop myself!

What would be your choice for a superpower?
Fire. Lots of fire. The ability to conjure up fire from your fingertips has always fascinated me – it looks cool, and no one would ever dare to mess with you again.

Who is your favorite author? 
I've loved J.R.R. Tolkien ever since I first read LOTR at ten years old. He's the only author I've bothered buying other works/companion novels for. I'm so in love with Middle Earth and it's rich history – there are times when I forget it's made up! But lately, I have to say that George R.R. Martin has competed for my affections too – probably because Westeros is just as rich in history and characters as Middle Earth!

What are you reading now
? I've just finished reading Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Having suffered from panic attacks in the past, and continuing to suffer from anxiety now, I found this book incredibly liberating. I was going through a rough patch when I bought it, and it really opened my eyes and made me realise that no one has to suffer depression alone. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has, or has experienced depression and anxiety. I've also been hoarding books for my Easter break – including Half Wild by Sally Green, Burning Kingdoms by Lauren Destefano, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater, so I'm really looking forward to taking break and digging into them over the next few weeks!

Who is your favorite character to write? 
This is a hard one to answer! Although I love all the characters in Synthetica, there are two in particular that I couldn't wait to write: Clay Winterbourne and the Hacker. I loved writing Clay's chapters because he's such a misery guts and he's got such an intriguing background, that I could have a lot of fun exploring his reactions to certain situations. He's not used to being around people and suddenly he's thrown into this situation where he not only has to interact with people, but he also has to go back to the Imperial City and try to face his personal demons head on. He's turned his back on the city that framed him for murder, but he has to decide whether he's stubborn enough to refuse help to someone who genuinely needs him.

And the Hacker – well, who doesn't love writing about villains? I always knew I wanted the Hacker's POV dispersed throughout the novel, so we could get a sense of his motivations and why he was committing the crimes he did. It was a challenge to get across his personality in such short scenes, while also making him a bit of an enigma. The Hacker continued to surprise me throughout the book – I always knew he was going to be a sociopath, but I found myself constantly wondering exactly how far he'd go to achieve his goals. He's a man who genuinely has no regard for human life, which makes the stakes all the higher when Anais encounters him.

Do you have a writing process? 
When I first think of an idea, I'll quickly jot it down on my phone or on a piece of paper. On my laptop, I have a special folder called 'Ideas', and in that folder is a file called 'Random Notes'. Any story idea I have, no matter how weird or stupid, goes in there. Although I'll probably never write 90% of the novel ideas that are in there, I think it's a good practice to have, as it gets me used to thinking about different stories and characters. Occasionally, I'll think of an idea that I just can't get out of my head, and I'll be thinking about it constantly on my commute to work, while I'm at work, while I'm watching TV...it's when I get one of these ideas that I'll create a brand new Word doc on my laptop and write down every singly thing that occurs to me about that story. It might take a few weeks or months, but eventually, I'll bring all these notes together and start plotting the outline of the novel. Once I have an outline, I'll write my detailed synopsis, which is where I get to plan out every stage of the novel to see if it works. Then I'll leave that synopsis alone for a month or so, and it's only when I've come back and looked at it with fresh eyes that I'll finally start to write the actual novel. As you can probably tell, I'm definitely a planner when it comes to writing novels!

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
Don't give up. I'm not going to lie - writing a book is hard. It takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when you're halfway through writing your first draft and you suddenly realise everything you've written is awful, or you've written in a character that doesn't work with your plot anymore, or you've just spotted a gaping plot hole. It can be disheartening, but remember, no first draft is perfect. Just keep going, and eventually it all comes together. First drafts (and second, and third , and fourth drafts...) can always be rewritten and restructured, so just keep writing. You can change the words you've written, but you can't change anything on a blank page.

What inspired you to pursue writing?
Even though I've always imagined I'd become an author one day, it's actually my anxiety that has been the main driving force behind my writing. After university I was stuck in such a dark place, and one day I said to myself, 'you know what? I'm not going to let this stop me anymore.' There have been times when I thought I've never achieve my dream; but each time my anxiety has come back, I've forced myself to slow down, take a break and remind myself that I'm the only one in control of my life. If I want to write, I will. I'm not going to let my mental health define me, or keep me back from my dreams.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?
My favourite TV shows at the moment are Better Call Saul, American Horror Story and Orange Is the New Black. I love anything with a strong plot and characters that break the mould. Me and my partner tend to binge watch Netflix over the weekends, so we're constantly on the lookout for new shows!

What are your current projects?
At the moment, I'm currently having a lot of fun writing the sequel to Synthetica, which I hope will be published before the end of the year. Just a word of warning - if you thought Synthetica was dark, it's nothing compared to what's in store for book two *evil laugh*.

I'm also currently outlining an idea for a standalone novel, which I'm working on during my breaks from the Synthetica series. Nowadays, people seem to put a lot of emphasis on the amount of 'likes' or attention they get on social media (myself included), and this got me thinking – what if you took this concept and applied it to a situation where it actually mattered how many 'likes' you received? For example what if in this world, the amount of 'likes' you had decided whether you lived or died...? I'm super excited to explore this idea, although at the moment I'm having a hard time getting the characters of Synthetica out of my head!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
I can't express how grateful I am for everyone's support both while writing and publishing Synthetica. For an indie author like me, your support means everything, so thank you so much! Without your support and encouragement, I wouldn't be where I am today. Every single day, it's the thought of my readers that inspires me and keeps pushing me forward, even when I feel like giving up. Without you, I wouldn't be able to do the job that I've been dreaming about for so long – so, thank you :).

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs? Cats
Coffee or tea? Tea – I am English after all
Favorite food? Cake. Any kind of cake.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My phone, my purse and my glasses
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would like to hang out with? Jennifer Lawrence, J.K. Rowling and Barack Obama
TV or Movies? TV – it lasts longer

About the author
Rachel Pattinson graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Publishing Media. Born and raised in the north of England, she shares a love for anything to do with tea, cake, bread and butter, rain, the dark, lakes, fells and Lord of the Rings. She now lives in Norfolk with her partner in crime, and is currently working on several new projects, including the sequel to Synthetica. Find out more at www.rachelpattinson.blogspot.co.uk and follow her on Twitter: @REPattinson1

Author links
Twitter: @REPattinson1
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25003055-synthetica?ac=1
Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Synthetica-Rachel-Pattinson-ebook/dp/B00V5D68P2/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_2




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, February 23, 2015

Jeff Roberts Interview


I've recently had the pleasure of meeting Jeffrey Roberts, writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy. Author of THE HEALER. Jeff, thanks for stopping by and sharing with the readers of the blog over here and best of luck moving forward. So, let's discover some info about Jeff....

First off, tell us a little bit about you
I was born in New York City on 2/24/1949. I attended Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, AZ, where I received degrees in writing and American history. I’m an advocate of disclosing the truth about UFO’s; I’m an airplane freak, and I’ve lived in Tucson, AZ for 4 years, having moved from my hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider them? 
 I write science fiction, horror, fantasy, and comedy/fantasy.

When did you start writing? 
I started writing in college.

Why do you write? 
To create worlds that never were – but might; characters that never existed – but could; and strange situations in this life- and others that can only be imagined.

What would be your choice for a superpower? 
I think perhaps either invisibility, or the power of teleportation.

Who is your favorite author? 
 I have no 1 favorite author, but several come to mind: Ray Bradbury, James Thurber, Thornton Wilder, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury – and I kind of like me, at the risk of sounding conceited!


What are you reading now? 
Nothing right now. Too busy writing and promoting.

Who is your favorite character to write? 
The underdog, the iconoclast that saves the day and gains new found respect.

Do you have a writing process? 
 I write in long hand first, on black & white composition books, where I edit ceaselessly until it looks like I’ve hemorrhaged all over it. Then I transfer the final version to my computer, on WORD 2007.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
Buy all the books you can about the craft of writing, study them—then toss them in the garbage! Because if you follow them to the letter, your book will end up bloodless, like a dry textbook. And it will read like everyone else that did the exact same thing! Do you think Hemingway or Steinbeck followed all the rules? Hardly. They had their “Own voice”. Develop your own voice, your own style! March to the beat of a different drummer, and you’ll be remembered for it!

What inspired you to pursue writing? 
Hard to say. My Dad was a writer for radio after the war. Perhaps creativity is genetic. I reasoned that since I didn’t have the math skills to be an astronautical engineer with NASA, I would use the one mental gift I did have, a creative mind- to write stories that challenge the imagination.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? 
Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, Constantine, Supernatural, Scorpion, and Ghost Adventures, to name a few. Plus the History and Travel channel.

What are your current projects? 
My next book, a fantasy entitled IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOUSE OF GOD, should be out in about a month, and I’m working on a horror novel, THE HORROR ON THE HMS COTTINGLY.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? 
Please buy THE HEALER, by Jeffrey G. Roberts! It is a 5-star science fiction novel whose plot has never been done before!


Quick Fire: Cats or dogs? Cats, but I adore puppies, and all animals.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, but I enjoy tea also.
Favorite food? Anything that doesn’t eat me first! But out of many things, probably steak and pizza.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Definitely chocolate.
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My clothes, my wallet, and my phone.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop, a HP 2000.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Nikola Tesla, Capt. Glenn Edwards, for whom Edwards A.F.B. was named after, and scientist Dr. Thomas Townshend Brown, who experimented with electrostatic propulsion in the 50’s.
TV or Movies? TV.




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.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wayland Smith Interview


Here is the next in the series of ongoing author interviews, and we have the pleasure of meeting Wayland Smith!

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books? I write whatever the little voices tell me to, so I’m all over the map. My published novel is about a terrorist attack on Washington, DC, the ones I have drafts of or am shopping around range from urban fantasy, weird western, or mysteries.

When did you start writing? I played with a few things when I was a kid, but I started getting serious about it roughly seven years ago when a friend talked me into doing NaNoWriMo for the first time. I’ve been writing pretty steadily ever since.

Why do you write? I have stories to tell. The characters or scenes come to me, and pretty much pester me until I get them down. I hope I’m entertaining people along the way as I tell my tales.

What would be your choice for a superpower?Super-speed. You can do so many cool things with that.

Who is your favorite author? Toss up between the late Robert B Parker of Spenser fame, and Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files.

What are you reading now? My current book is Full Force and Effect, Mark Greaney continuing Tom Clancy’s world of Jack Ryan.

Who is your favorite character to write? Oh, that’s hard. I write about a team of superhuman mercenaries called Wildside, Inc., and Sprynt, their speedster, is usually pretty entertaining.

Do you have a writing process? Not really. I get an idea, be it a scene, or a character, or a “What if…” kind of idea, and I just go with it. I don’t outline, I just charge ahead when I start.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Sit down and write. I’ve been to talks by New York Times bestsellers, local writers, and all kinds of others, and that’s the point they agree on. Writers write. You will get nowhere by talking about, or thinking about writing, until you start putting fingers to keys or pen to page, however you do it. Then get someone you trust to give you actual feedback to go over it. Anyone who just says, “Oh, this is cool,” or something like that isn’t helping you.

What inspired you to pursue writing?Like I said before, my friend Harry Heckel (AKA Jack Heckel and Lee Lightner) pushed me into doing NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been going ahead since.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?Top of the list, I’d have to say, would be Flash, Walking Dead, Gotham, Mentalist, and Longmire.
What are your current projects?Many, among them a zombie novel, vampires in the American Revolution, the superhuman mercenaries I mentioned above, and a monster hunter in modern Boston.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?If you find a writer you like, buy their books, review then on Amazon and Goodreads, and talk them up. I think I end up reading more books from people I hear that are passionate about them than from any other source.

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs?
Both. I love animals.
Coffee or tea? Neither. I’m one of the rare ones who are allergic to coffee and I can’t stand tea (I just alienated all my potential readers in the UK).
Favorite food? Chinese. I could order varieties of that all the time.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Of those two, chocolate, though I prefer mint chip.
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My badge (been in law enforcement for about 13 years), my business cards, and a mini-Mag flashlight.
Laptop or desktop? Both, sometimes at the same time.
Who are 3 famous people you would want to hang out with? Harrison Ford (who I met once and is amazingly kind to fans), Jim Butcher (same comment), and Pink.
TV or Movies? If I have to pick just one, movies as long as there’s popcorn, although I enjoy 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.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Michael Cairns Interview

 Hello all! Once again, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Cairns, so strap in and get ready for an exciting Q&A with the author of several genres that he coins 'fantasy type stuff'.

First off, tell us a little bit about you...
My name’s Mike. I began writing at school, but never did anything serious until about three years ago when I sat down one weekend and wrote the first ten thousand words to my first novel. Since then I’ve written over two and a half million words, published six books, dozens of short stories and maintained a fiction blog for well over a year. I love pineapple and chocolate, often at the same time, and I am also a professional drummer. I’m a passionate reader of all genres and get very angry with people who suggest comics aren’t a genuine style of literature.


Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
My books are all the stuff I’ve spent my life reading, crammed in together! I write in various genres, all under the broader banner of fantasy type stuff  My Planets series is superhero science fiction, my A Game of War series is Young Adult science fiction, my Thirteen Roses series is paranormal, post apocalyptic zombie fiction. Upcoming is the Assassin’s Cycle, which is dark fantasy and Ninja Zombie Killers, which is a Gonzo zombie musical comedy series.

When did you start writing? Properly, near the end of 2012. On a daily basis, I began on 1st January 2013. That what I started to view myself as an author. I first published in 2013 and first started tracking word count. Basically, that was when I started taking it seriously.

Why do you write? Because I now couldn’t imagine not writing. I’ve made stuff up my entire life and I realised a couple of years ago that I should have been writing it down. Also, I’ve got so much pleasure and joy from reading my entire life, that the thought of being able to give that to someone else is deeply compelling. Also, I like zombies.

What would be your choice for a superpower? I’m one of those weirdos who has thought long and hard about this question and still can’t find a satisfactory answer. I would love control over water, like my character Neptune from The Planets. I’d love to be able to make everyone tell the truth all the time. I’d quite like to be Iceman from the Spiderman and his amazing friends TV show, so I could do all that cool sliding around on ice ramps. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Who is your favorite author? I can’t name one, sorry, so here’s a few: Neil Gaiman, Steven King, Joe Abercrombie, George RR Martin, Sarah Waters, Kate Atkinson, Neil Stephenson, Terry Pratchett, Terry Moore, David Lapham, Jaime Hernandez, Alan Moore, Steven Erikson. Okay, I’ll stop now.

What are you reading now? The Wise Man’s Fears, by Patrick Rothfuss. The guy writes with such wonderful poetry and lyricism and has built a wonderful world. I love it, but I can’t decide whether it’s as good as everyone thinks…

Who is your favorite character to write? I have a bunch. I have a character called Scarlet, who is sort of Harry Potter, if he was female and grew up one of the nastiest estates in West London. She’s sarcastic and grumpy and so much fun to write. Then there’s Dave, who’s the guitarist/zombie killer/saviour of the world in my Ninja Zombie Killers series. He’s great because he’s a real hero, but he still can’t stop lusting over the wrong women and saying the stupidest things at the worst time. Finally, the aforementioned Neptune is a fave, just because she cares far more than she should and is totally bad ass.

Do you have a writing process? Sit down. Open Computer. Write.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Write every day. There is no excuse. Any excuse probably means you don’t actually want to be a writer.

What inspired you to pursue writing? Interest followed swiftly by obsession. I love reading and always have and it came as naturally to me as drumming, so it made sense.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? Ooh, tough one. TV show faves are Buffy, Angel, West Wing, Firefly, Scrubs, Dead Like Me. Movies, all sorts, but the classic zombies by Romero are probably my faves. Also a huge fan of Kevin Smith, QT, James Bond and Indiana Jones. Come to think of it, the latest few Marvels have been pretty awesome.

What are your current projects? I’m in the middle of writing book five of Ninja Zombie Killers. The series is what would happen if Buffy grew up, grew a pair, grew an unhealthy addiction to hot choclate, moved to London and learnt how to Rock. Also featured is copious swearing, violence, action movie cliches and, hopefully, funny stuff. Pure escapism run through with characters that matter and more musical smilies than you can shake a maraca at.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? I write with the sole aim of helping you escape from the world. I write characters that you may well know, in situations you almost certainly won’t. Also, check out my #15for2015 challenge, the maddest and coolest thing I’ve ever done. Except maybe having kids.
Visit Mike here.


Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs? Cats
Coffee or tea? Tea
Favorite food? Chocolate
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
What are 3 things you never leave home without? My notepad laptop. My wallet. My pants.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would like to hang out with?
Emma Stone, Ani Difranco, Joss Whedon
TV or Movies? Movies. No, TV. No, movies. Ahh, dammit. Books.




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Donna Cook Interview


I recently had the pleasure  of meeting the well-spoken Epic Fantasy Author, Donna Cook, and she agreed to an interview here with the readers of Eye on Ashenclaw. The following is the result of that interview...


First off, tell us a little bit about you.I grew up in the cradle of the Arizona desert but relocated to Boise about 3 years ago. It was an unplanned move that ended up being exactly what I needed. I’m married to a fellow creative, artist Kevin McCain, who keeps me going when I want to quit. I have three sons and three step-daughters and a strict no-pet policy because we’re doing good just to keep up with all the people who live here. I’m a freelance book editor specializing in fiction and, of course, an author. I love to dance. I love to travel. I don’t love to cook but I do love to eat.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?
Gift of the Phoenix
is an epic fantasy adventure. Readers and reviewers often draw comparisons to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Two very different stories, obviously, and mine has its own unique feel as well. What they have in common, though, is that big, fun, adventurous, magical feel. Who doesn’t like that? :)

When did you start writing? According to my mother, before I even knew how. My pre-writing scribbles are long gone, but the desire to write has never left me.

Why do you write? I can’t help myself. It’s playtime for grown-ups. I absolutely love inventing new worlds, new characters, new stories. Whenever I hear people talk about retiring, I think, “I’ll never retire.” I hope to spend the rest of my life playing with stories.

What would be your choice for a superpower?Either flying or invisibility. Or decisiveness.

Who is your favorite author? Several. Kate DiCamillo. Patrick Rothfuss. John Steinbeck. Rainbow Rowell. How much time do you have?

What are you reading now? I just finished re-reading These is My Words by Nancy Turner. One of my favorite books. It’s on the short list of books I’ll actually re-read.

Who is your favorite character to write? Ooooh, that’s a tough one. (I do not do well with favorites lists.) I love so many of my characters. Even the bad ones are fun to write. I’d say the character that lingers with me the most, though, is Nashua. She’s a side character in Gift of the Phoenix. I ended up writing a novella about her and plan to write more. Her stories are a pure labor of love. I don’t think they’ll have the broad appeal Gift of the Phoenix has, but I’m so drawn to her. It may be no one will read her stories, but I feel compelled to write them anyway.

Do you have a writing process? Yes. I brainstorm plot, subplot, characters, and world building in a spiral notebook. Some ideas make it to the first draft, some don’t. I don’t sweat it. The notebook stage is all about pure exploration. By the time I start a draft, I have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen, but there are always surprises along the way. I focus on big picture corrections in the second draft (plot, pacing, etc), then polish up the language in the final draft. I bring my editor in after the first draft.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? I think aspiring authors sometimes read the answers to this kind of question looking for the magic bullet. Some new trick they haven’t heard of yet. There really isn’t a trick. Learning to write is like any other advanced skill. You must practice. You must learn the tools of your trade. So it comes down to three things: read a lot, study the craft of writing, and write a lot. For years. If you do that, there will be no stopping you.

What inspired you to pursue writing?It’s just always been a part of me. I could no more answer the question, “What got you interested in breathing?” For whatever reason, writing has always been in my blood.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?Any movie about writing or writers inspires me. Finding Neverland, Miss Potter, Little Women, even something like Julie and Julia. Anything dealing with the creative drive.

What are your current projects? The Lost Branch is the follow up to Gift of the Phoenix. I finished the second draft and my editor gave it a green light for the final draft, which means all the story elements are solid. It’s time to look at the language. I’m currently letting that book rest before I dive into the final. I want to re-read it with fresh eyes to see if there are any opportunities I’m missing. Meanwhile, I’ve started the rough draft of a completely new story, The Crossroads. I may or may not get the entire draft done before going back to The Lost Branch. I’ve also been letting the second Nashua story rest, but have been itching to pull it back out. My Muse is fickle and secretive. I literally have no idea which of these projects I’ll be working on two weeks from now.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Thank you! One of my favorite things is meeting readers. I adore them. I’m grateful to them. Without them my stories would feel so lonesome. Thank you, thank you for reading.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? Dogs
Coffee or tea? Tea
Favorite food? Mexican
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate
What are 3 things you never leave home without? Keys, phone, notebook and pen.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? Kate DiCamillo, Rainbow Rowell, Maya Angelou.
TV or Movies? Movies



Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wake the Dead Reviews


Hello, all! First let me preface by saying, I don't often post anything about reviews, mostly due to their subjective nature, and this being the internet and all. I would say that most commenters, posters, etc, find it easier to snipe than to praise (again, my opinion), but on occasion, we find a gem. That being said, I had to shine a spotlight on two specific recent reviews of Wake the Dead, as the author of the first really validates what I was trying to accomplish in this book and series, while the second states that the book is well done in a quiet way.

Wake the Dead Full Cover
Reviews, as I have stated numerous times, are an authors way of not only learning what the audience thinks, but on those occasions when there is something constructive in there, to learn from them.

When I read these in particular, I was both humbled and filled with joy, and appreciative of the time they spent writing and posting them. And so I say, to everyone who posts a review, and in this particular case, the two I am about to post, I THANK YOU!

The first, a 5 star, can be found here:
I have been a huge fan of "The Walking Dead", so when I started this book, I was expecting to read something along the same storyline at best, something very lame and boring at worst. What I read left me with a smile. Granted, most of these zombie-themed movies or shows will have the same tone to it (some virus causes people to die, and then re-animates them as the undead, causing havoc), but the author has given this story some uniqueness by adding a wolf in the midst, telling us that some are immune to this virus (I think), etc, which makes this story more interesting to me.

In addition to all the action, there is a decent smattering of romance - particularly the love-making scenes I thought were much bolder and intense than some I have read in these so called erotic books. I truly enjoyed those. Towards the end, just as they thought the apocalypse was over (which dismayed me a bit - I was like WTF), they realise that it isn't. I wonder what the author has in store for us next. Can't wait to start the next one. I have greatly reduced giving out 5 stars on reviews, but I can, without hesitation, dole out 5 stars to this book. I highly recommend it especially if you are a "walking dead" fan like me.
The second, a 4 star, was here:
So, when I'm feeling gloomy I cycle through Apocalypse and Zombie books. Some are same old same old, some are intense and some are quietly very good, like this one.

Anyway, I am happy to hear from the readers and like I said, the reviews are very much appreciated from every single author who takes the time to attempt this endeavor of opening your imaginations!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all!



Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pamela Winn Interview

Hello all! It's been a while and I am back with another delightful interview from a fellow author. Meet Pamela Winn...

First off, tell us a little bit about you...I am a mother of 7, grandmother of 18. I have 19 books indie published. The 20th should be done this month for the NaNoWrite November. I am all about books, avid reader, reviewer and writer.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?Tough question for me. I write preschool to novels. The children's books are fun, rhyming books that will hopefully give children the love of reading. The novels are supernatural, sci-fi, mystery, paranormal and a bit of spiritual, along with a lot of conspiracy.

When did you start writing? I always wrote poems and short stories, but the actual novel writing began two years ago and I haven't been able to stop.

Why do you write? Mostly to get sleep! At night I lay awake while the words and pictures float through my mind. Putting them on paper seems to help. I love to have my writing take readers to another place for the time it takes them to read the book. There is nothing better than taking a break and going on an adventure. When readers say I hated for the book to end I am on cloud nine.

What would be your choice for a superpower?I would love to read minds, but that may not be a great power because I may not like what I hear. I think I better go with flying. How awesome would it be to travel to places I have only read about and this would also be a great way to add new locations to the novels I write.

Who is your favorite author? Definitely Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but I also love John Steinbeck, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. I find a great new author almost every day, if I find a good story then I am happy.

What are you reading now? I am asked this a lot, because I read about three books a day, when I am asked I am finished reading the book. I have been reading a lot of John Dizon, John Tucker and Angie Blake. But I have found so many new authors I love that I couldn't begin to mention them all. I get lost in a book and feel that is partly due to my vivid imagination.

Who is your favorite character to write? I love all my characters and hopefully my readers do too, I have been told that readers do feel they know my characters. I do have fun writing as the bad guy (or woman) though. I think I get to let out my evil side that way. When writing I tend to be my own characters for awhile, that is if they let me. They do have ideas of their own.

Do you have a writing process? Mostly I write down the characters and what they look like to me, ages, height and weight are a big part but also character traits and a little background on each one. From there those characters seem to decide where the story goes.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? If you love writing do it. If you are looking to get rich and famous, I'd think twice. Unless you have a great publisher and a promoter with inside information you aren't going to be rich. You might make enough to buy the coffee or whatever you use to finish the novels. Writing has to be a passion, not be about the money.

What inspired you to pursue writing?When my husband had health problems we were told to move to a different place. He was told to get his affairs in order. Through the process of downsizing I almost had to throw out my writings of poems and short stories. That's when I decided I should put everything into book form and I became an indie author.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?I love anything with a touch of the supernatural and am a big fan of old sci-fi and horror movies. I am watching Haven and Ressurection right now.

What are your current projects?Right now I am writing a novel for the November Nano Writing, the book is about a new type of serial killer. "The New Moon Killer" It is a pyschological suspense horror thriller.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?Thanks, Thanks, Thanks. I have been so lucky to receive awesome reviews and great feedback from readers. It is a reader's imagination that actually finishes a book. No two people come away from a novel with the same pictures in their head. I have been so touched by what my readers tell me and can never thank them enough.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs?
I love both. Dogs are so loyal and love unconditionally, but I have to admire a cat's attitude. Their Independence and do what they want attitude is to be envied.
Coffee or tea?
Definitely coffee, day or night I have one by my side.
Favorite food?
Chocolate, does that count? actual food would be biscuits and gravy.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
I'll take vanilla, but just throw in a banana, some toppings and lots of whip cream.
What are 3 things you never leave home without?
My notebook, my pen and my imagination.
Laptop or desktop?
Desktop.
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with?
Edgar Cayce, Stephen King and Nostradamus
TV or Movies?
I love movies but never seem to be able to sit down that long, old TV shows like All in the Family or Barney Miller are great.




Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WAKE THE DEAD 2, Chapter 1




Hello all! I am excited to remind you that Wake the Dead 2 is available right now for pre-order and will be released on Halloween, this coming Friday,October 31st.

Please stop on over to WattPad to read WAKE THE DEAD, Chapter 1 in its entirety. It's free and you don't need to sign up for anything to read it, but if you do, please feel free to vote for my works.

(If you haven't read the epilogue to Wake the Dead, it can be found right here.)

Have a safe and happy Halloween this year and happy reading!






Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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, October 1, 2014

WAKE THE DEAD 2 PRE-RELEASE!


It's been awhile since my last post, and that is due to real life getting in the way of my writing. But it's mostly because of my complete immersion back into the lives of Alex, Shadow and company at the Renaissance Faire in the land of The Dead Series! That's right, Wake the Dead 2 is available for Pre-Order right now & will go live on October 31, 2014!

It can be pre-ordered right here:
Wake the Dead 2

As for a special treat, I wanted to show everyone the full wrap-around cover art that Carlos Cara provided me...this is how it will be seen in its full glory on the paperback version of CreateSpace/Amazon.






Visit me on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE & my SMASHWORDS PAGE!

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.