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.