Author Corner–Brenda Corey Dunne

E: Hi, Brenda.  Welcome to the blog.  Care for some candies?

B: Yum! I’ll take a chocolate mint please…Delicious!

E: You have a new book coming out from Jolly Fish Press, Dependent.  What can you tell us about it?

B: Dependent is the story of a military spouse, Ellen, who has lost her sense of self—something easy to do in the military lifestyle. Through a series of events—early pregnancy, marriage at a young age, frequent moves, abuse of power by her husband’s superior officer…she becomes a dependent in the true sense of the word. The story follows Ellen as she rebuilds herself and finds her inner strength. It’s a story of love and loss and regrowth.

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E: You also have a book that you self-published, Treasure in the Flame.  What can you tell us about that one?

B: One of my favorite places is the world is a living museum on the East Coast of Canada called Kings Landing. It’s like walking into history when you walk through the gates. My kids were there for a week of summer camp—wearing traditional costume, milking cows, making butter and working in the carpentry shop. I was walking around visiting them and thinking that it would be a great place to set a story…and the story just sort of grew in my head. It became my NaNoWriMo project for the year, and I wrote the first draft in just under a month.

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E: What factors went into your decision to self-publish over traditional publishing with your first book?

B: I did start with an eye toward traditional publishing, but only sent out about five queries. Of the five, I had a full request and a partial…so I knew that the story had some merit. I also had a small market (the museum gift shop) and the desire to learn more about the publishing business. After a year of waiting for responses I decided it was time to move on, and started searching for editors, graphic designers and formatters. Treasure in the Flame was published about 8 months later.

E: What has your experience with traditional publishing been like so far?

B: I’m publishing with a small press, so there are many similarities.  There are no huge advance checks and no big-business powerhouses behind you with a small, independent press. It’s a trade off—I lost some control of things like cover design (although I had input) and publishing dates, but I gained the expertise of other like-minded book professionals.  With my publisher behind me I also gain exposure to foreign rights and things like movie rights that wouldn’t have been available to me before.

E: Have you learned anything through this process that you wish you had known with your first book?

B: I had a great experience with my first book, so I learned a lot. I know how difficult it is to get in with big box book stores, I know the work behind book publicity, and I know how a book gets put together. What I didn’t expect was the support of other publisher and agent mates, and the sense of community we have, through Facebook groups and email. I’ve met many authors (virtually) and have a wonderful source of information that I didn’t have before.

E: You have plans for a sequel to Treasure in the Flame.  Will you self-publish that one as well, or will you go for the traditional publishing route?

B: Good question. I’m in discussions with my amazing agents at Literary Counsel about the Treasure sequel and where to take it. I’m certainly not against the idea of traditionally publishing it, but the Treasure series is my little project. The feedback has been so positive for my first little story. I think with the right publisher and at the right time I’d happily sign a contract. More publishing support equals more time to write!

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

B: Dependent will launch from Victoria, BC, Canada (at the Chapters on Douglas) on August 2nd. It’s going to be an amazing day! After that I’ll be doing signings and events throughout Vancouver Island, Mainland BC and the Seattle area over the summer. I’ll update my blog (brendacoreydunne.blogspot.ca) as things are finalized.

Thank you so much for allowing me to hang out on your blog, Erin! Really appreciate it. And good luck in all of your writing endeavors!

You can find Brenda on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Author Corner–Mary Borsellino

E: Hi, Mary!  Welcome to Erindipity.  I trust you found the place ok?

M: Thank you so much for having me, it’s a pleasure.

E: Your book, The Devil’s Mixtape, is being released as a second edition.  Can you tell us what’s new with this edition?

M: The new edition has fanart from readers, which is always an exciting treat for me and which I’m really glad to be able to share with everyone. There’s also a very grim little short story by me, ‘Shots and Cuts’ that felt like it fit thematically with the novel.

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E: Looking through your catalogue, the title that jumped out at me as very different from the rest is Sharpest—a tour diary.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

M: It’s funny that you say it jumps out as very different, because in many ways I feel like it’s the direct ancestor of The Devil’s Mixtape – both are about live music, physical travel, and using those things to cope with loss and darkness. Sharpest came first, and dealt with my own experiences, and then Mixtape was the translation of those themes into a fictional narrative.

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E: You have a series, The Wolf House, which deals with vampires and werewolves.  How is your series different from all the other vampire and werewolf stories?

M: It doesn’t actually have werewolves! I love werewolves, but the use of wolf in the title refers more to how the vampires are pack animals. I also wanted to invoke that little red riding hood vibe, of stepping into a place that seems welcoming but is very dangerous.

If anything, the other horror creature which appears – though only through reference, not as a character – is Victor Frankenstein’s creation.

I guess the thing which makes my series different is that I wanted to tease out the things usually only addressed in metaphor by vampire stories, and make them manifest as their actual selves rather than just as oblique references. The first book opens with a discussion about how vampires are still scary because of AIDS, but later on there’s an actual character with HIV. Queerness is present in the text, not just the subtext. One character had an eating disorder when she was alive, and that plays into how she feeds as a vampire. Things like that.

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E: You also write a lot of steamy books and stories.  What do you like best and least when working with erotica?

M: I like how easy it is to write short stories in erotica – apart from occasional anthologies, other genres of writing aren’t as big on short stories, but they’ve made up the bulk of my erotica work.

What I like least is probably the way everyone immediately asks ‘are you going to sell 70 million, like fifty shades?’ as soon as they find out I write in the genre!

E: You write for both YA and adults.  Subject matter aside, what adjustments do you make when writing for these different audiences?

M: None, really. YA appeals to me because it tends to play with broader strokes than adult fiction; all the emotions and stakes and events are bigger and louder. I don’t really have much of an interest in writing anything mundane or cynical, and I think those are what makes a book ‘grown up’. Adults can read my books, teens can read my books.

I’ve never been sure what differentiates the two audiences from one another, I think the books in the two categories tend to be more different from one another than the two groups of readers are.


E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc.?

M: I do! On 30th July at Warragul Library in Melbourne I’m giving an author talk with my friend Narrelle Harris, who also writes vampire novels. And at some point in the next few months I’ll have a launch for a novel I’ve got coming out, but I don’t know the details of that one yet – I’ll post ‘em on maryborsellino.com as soon as they’re worked out.

E: What are you currently working on?

M: I’m writing three video games right now. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing a more open-ended narrative form; the rules are different to straight up fiction, but I’m loving it so far.

 

 

Author Corner–Johnny Worthen

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E: Hey, Johnny!  Welcome back to the blog.  How goes things in the land of tie dye?

J: Exciting and vibrant. Colorful and casual.

E: You have a brand new book.  What can you tell us about it?

J: ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN is my new young adult paranormal novel. It’s been called a romance and a horror because there’s a monster in it, but just one little one. I think of it as a fable.

It is the story of a fifteen year-old girl growing up in a tiny Wyoming town. She quiet and unassuming, average and easily ignored. But is not as she seems. She is a sea of contradictions; lost but found, old but young, malleable but fixed. She is most human and not.

It is a character study of a confused but loving little girl who has to face some real challenges. It is centered around a metaphor that change is hard but necessary. It is a book about things not being as they seem and the challenges of growing up. It delves into some serious issues; Bullying, prejudice, love and forgiveness. Courage and cowardice. Trust. It is a haunting tale that will stay with the readers long after it’s finished.

It’s getting great reviews and I’m very proud of it.

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E: The Unseen Saga is at three books so far.  What can we expect from future books?

J: ELEANOR is a stand-alone title. I want to make that clear. I always feel a little tricked when I buy a book only to find out an ending isn’t included. My publisher put “Book 1” on the cover, but it stands wholly and completely on its own.

However, if you love Eleanor as much as I and are curious to continue her tale, it does so in the next book CELESTE and the third book  DAVID which again has an ending.

Without spoiling anything, I can say that in these later books the stakes get higher – much higher. Eleanor’s struggles on, still afraid but feeling her potential. Her secretes still haunt her and she has to come to terms with her own prejudices and fears. Danger and discovery wait around every door and catastrophe is but one slip up away.

E: Do you see the Saga going beyond the three books or will you stop here?

J: The three books are written and at the publisher, so if I die, Eleanor’s story will still be told. I’m happy about that. If THE UNSEEN is popular enough I have some ideas on the progression of the story, but I am very satisfied with the conclusion of the trilogy as it stands now, as I am the conclusion of the first book. 

E: Do you have any upcoming events, book signings, etc?

J: The official date of release is July 1, but I have a June 28th launch date at the biggest Barnes & Noble in the state. Check this out.

I’m doing all kinds of conventions and book stuff all summer, including teaching at the League of Utah Writers and going to Comic Con. I’ll fit as many book signings in as I can. Lots and lots I hope. Check my website. 

E: Jolly Fish Press is doing a giveaway for Eleanor.  What formats are up for grabs?

J: Jolly Fish has this give away:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have this one:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m not sure what Jolly Fish is giving away, but I’m giving away a signed paperback copy from my own stash. Enter both. 

E: Do you have any other projects going on?

J: BEATRYSEL and DR. STUART’S HEART are still going well. I’m promoting them to readers with darker tastes. In 2015 look for another complete change of gears from me when THE FINGER TRAP, a comedic noire detective mystery/social commentary comes from Jolly Fish and my comedian slacker detective Tony Flaner is unleashed upon an unprepared populace.

E: What has been the most memorable part of your publishing journey so far?

J: Getting to talk at conventions and conferences. I love the attention and I can share my scars so other people don’t have to get them to get where they’re going.

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Author Corner–Max Booth III

E: Hey, Max!  Welcome back to the blog.  Of course, you had to bring me guacamole.  Why can’t you bring me pie like normal people?

M: It is pie. It just happens to be filled with guacamole. I don’t understand why you won’t just eat the damn thing. It’s delicious. This is what killed Hitler. It’s good for us. Trust me. One bite.

E:  You have a new book out, Toxicity.  When did it release and what can you tell us about it?

M: Toxicity was published by Post Mortem Press back in April. Post Mortem Press is probably best known for publishing the short fiction of Joe Hill and Clive Barker through various anthologies, along with the ongoing columns by Harlan Ellison in their quarterly dark fiction journal, Jamais Vu.

Toxicity is a dark comedy about drug addiction and dysfunctional families. It features three main characters and their individual stories, who all eventually clash together toward the end of the book. So, it’s kind of similar to certain Quentin Tarantino narrative techniques in that aspect. Many reviews actually have compared the book to Tarantino, as well as the Coen Brothers, Elmore Leonard, and Carl Hiaasen.

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E: Where did you get the idea for the book?  What’s the weirdest, or most unusual, thing that has inspired a story?

M: I grew up loving the hell out of films like Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. I wanted to write a humorous crime novel in the same sort of style. The actual idea? Man, I don’t know. I started off by writing about a dysfunctional family very similar to my own family, and allowed the craziest shit I could imagine to continue from there. After many rewrites, an actual novel had formed.

E: You’ve got some short story news recently.  What got accepted and where can we find it?

M: My short story “The Neighborhood has a Barbecue” was recently accepted in Michael Bailey’s psychological horror/science fiction anthology, Qualia Nous. He had previously published my story “Flowers Blooming in the Season of Atrophy” in his horror anthology, Chiral Mad 2. “The Neighborhood has a Barbecue” is written in the same style as old Twilight Zone episodes, so fans of that show will probably really dig my story. Well, that’s the idea, at least.

Vincenzo Bilof also accepted my short story “One Day I’ll Quit This Job and Rule the World” in his anthology, Surreal Worlds. My story is…surreal.

Both anthologies should be available sometime later this year.

E: You’ve got a fairly busy convention schedule this year.  In fact, didn’t you just get back from one?  Where else can we find you this year?

M: Indeed I did! I just returned home after a great convention at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. I spent most of the time panhandling on the streets with Christian A. Larsen.

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The remaining conventions for this year all happen to fall on September. I will be at the following conventions, hosting a vendor table for my own small press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing: Monster-Con (San Antonio, TX – September 06-07), Enter the Imaginarium (Louisville, KY – September 19-21), and Alamo City Comic Con (San Antonio, TX – September 26-28).

Side note: I’ll also be attending Enter the Imaginarium in September.  If you’re in the surrounding area or you’re willing to drive and you’ve got a burning desire to meet us, that’s where we’ll be.  Charlie can’t come.  They said something about “biohazards” and “fumes.”  Bastards.

E: You have another book coming out this fall from Kraken Press.  What can you tell us about that one?

M: The Mind is a Razorblade will be published this September by Kraken Press. It’s a supernatural neo-noir horror novel of a man born into death. Drowning, he wakes beside two corpses. His memory has been wiped clean. He doesn’t know his name, what he’s doing here, who these people are, or even why one of them is a cop. Questions plague his mind like hellfire, questions that begin a journey leading into the rot of downtown America, a journey that will not end until every one of his questions have been answered, despite who has to die in the process. Even if those who have all the answers aren’t even human.

A story of identity and redemption, satanist cults and funny bunny slippers, The Mind is a Razorblade is the deformed lovechild of a lunatic raised on cheesy ‘80’s science fiction movies.

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E: You’ve also edited another tribute anthology.  What was behind choosing Charles Bukowski and what are your plans for future tribute anthologies?

M: I’ve done two tribute anthologies so far. Volume one focused on Kurt Vonnegut, and the second featured Charles Bukowski. Both of these authors inspired me both as a person and a writer. They affected not only me, but millions of fans. I’m currently putting together a new volume for Elmore Leonard, and if any writers are interested, they have until September 30 to submit something to me.

I am actually on the fence about continuing the tribute series after Elmore Leonard. If I do, I’ll either tackle Flannery O’Connor or Roald Dahl.

Roald Dahl sounds like a lot of fun, to be honest.

E: If you could change any part of the publishing industry, what would you change and why?

M: Besides all the ass kissing that’s involved, probably the really shitty “publishers” popping up every two seconds. You know the kind I’m talking about. The publishers that pretty much release only anthologies, offering zero payment or contributor copies, and exist solely to make money off of writers’ friends and families. I would love to see them all fall off the face of the earth.

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BIO:

Max Booth III is the author of two novels, TOXICITY and THE MIND IS A RAZORBLADE, along with a collection of flash fiction called THEY MIGHT BE DEMONS. He is the co-founder of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and the assistant editor of Dark Moon Digest. The editor of numerous anthologies, he has studied under Craig Clevenger and award winning editor, Jennifer Brozek. He writes columns for Litreactor, Revolt Daily, and Zombie POP. Raised in Northern Indiana, Max currently works as a hotel night auditor somewhere in San Antonio with his dachshund and life partner.  You can find Max at his website  or on Twitter.

Author Corner–Simon Sylvester

E: Hi Simon and welcome.  Pull up a chair.  I’ve locked Charlie in the closet so you should be safe for the time being.  We’ve been working on his impulse control but it’s not going well.  Corpses.  What can you do?

S: Not a problem. If I’d only known, I’d have brought my shovel.

E: You have your debut novel coming out very soon.  What is the name of it and what can you tell us about it?

S: It’s called The Visitors, and it’s equal parts mystery, thriller and coming-of-age. The main character, Flora, is a 17-year-old girl living on a remote Scottish island. She would very much like to leave, but then two weird strangers turn up – and islanders start disappearing. Unravelling the mystery takes Flora to some terrifying places, and leads her to question her entire sense of self. The story is bound in Scottish folklore, too, and rooted in the Scottish islands. It’s about isolation and friendship. It’s a murder mystery about love.

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E: What has the process been like for this book?  What has been the most frustrating and the most rewarding parts of the journey?

S: It’s been a relatively short journey, I guess – just under three years from conception to publication. Most frustrating have been occasional parts of the editing process. I enjoy editing, but I did three or four huge redrafts of The Visitors, including a partial reworking that damn near finished me. But for all the hard graft, there’s nothing like that feeling when the story accelerates away from me – when I’m no longer in control of my characters, and they’re deciding for themselves what they want to do next. That’s why I write – for that dizzying, exhilarating moment when I’m part of something bigger than myself.

E: You also have a book of flash fiction pieces out.  What can you tell us about it?

S: That’s called Marrow. It’s a collection of 28 stories ranging between 13 and 1,000 words. The subjects flit from voodoo to lion tamers, fighter pilots to guinea pigs, and avocados to the end of the world. I love flash fiction. In 2010, I started writing 140-character stories on Twitter. I’ve pretty much stopped now, but I’ve written about 1,500 of them over the years. I moved onto longer flash fiction when 140 characters simply wasn’t enough. I love working in a 300-500 word range – it’s plenty to shape a sense of character, or a glimpse of a world. Telling a good story in that space is a real challenge, but it’s fun, and when I’m so strapped for time, flash fiction gives me the hit I need to stay sharp. I’ve also started reading and performing my work at open mics and spoken word nights more often, and that’s fuelled the need for shorter stories – I prefer reading flash fiction to excerpts from longer works – it’s more satisfying to share something complete, and flash fiction encourages a bit of theatre.

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E: You chose to self-publish this one.  What are some of the major differences you encountered between self-publishing and having a publisher (either pros or cons)?

S: I self-published Marrow for a few reasons. I didn’t think there was much hunger for flash fiction collections from traditional publishers, for one thing. But as The Visitors was going through the editing process, and I was learning more about how a book is put together, I decided that I wanted to learn some of the skills for myself. So I taught myself enough InDesign to lay out and typeset the collection, then flailed my way through Photoshop to design the cover, and bounced the roughs off my friends for feedback. I liked being in charge of the process and creating everything from the ideas in my head to the finished book in my hands. I’ll probably self-publish the next collection, too. But my experience of traditional publishing has been life-changing, and I wouldn’t change it for all the tea in China. Thanks to Quercus Books, I have a phenomenal editor who challenged and encouraged me to develop the story far beyond my original manuscript. Her ideas and guidance have massively improved my book, my process and my writing. Working with the Quercus team has been really positive. The copy editor picked up inconsistencies no-one else had noticed, and the designer created a cover that took my breath away. The book looks and feels better than I could have achieved with self-publishing, and the story is stronger. Quercus have managed all the online listings, and we’re now starting to plan events around the book that I couldn’t have done without them. They’ve been incredible. It still feels like I should be waking up.

E: You’ve just finished a novella, The Year of the Whale.  You work with multiple story lengths: short stories, flash fiction, novellas, novels.  Do you have a favorite length to work with?

S: The story dictates the length. Of those 1,500 Twitter stories, I’ve found myself going back to redraft some of them in longer forms, because 140 characters simply wasn’t enough for the idea, and it was bugging me to leave them unfinished. Generally speaking, I seem to gravitate towards the extremes of flash fiction and novels, missing out the short stories and novellas in the middle. I started with short stories, and they were how I learned to write, but it’s only in writing novels and flash fiction that I’ve improved my storytelling – flash fiction taught me to be precise and concise, and novels gave me the space to expand on my ideas and make a world of my imagination. The Year of the Whale is a peculiar piece. It was all I could salvage of a novel I abandoned at 50,000 words a few years ago. I was left with 15,000 words of a character I loved and an idea I couldn’t shake. I’d been wanting to finish it for years, but The Visitors, Marrow and next novel The Hollows always came first. Then I discovered a novella competition with a month before the deadline, and decided the time had come to wrap it up. Cue long days and late nights to get it finished in time. I don’t think I’ll write another novella in a hurry. I have so little time to write, and the next novel is shouting louder than ever. It’s about a man who loses his memories, and the woman who goes to find them. It’s almost 20,000 words in, and I’m starting to know my characters. It’s beginning to evolve, and that’s really exciting.

E: You have an agent.  What was that process like?  What advice would you give to other authors who are currently seeking representation?

S: My agent is a wonder. She’s called Sue, and she’s incredible. I was very lucky. A friend of mine heard she was taking on new writers, so I sent her a short story about a WWII fighter pilot and an outline for the novel, which at that stage was three-quarters finished. She liked the story and was intrigued by the novel – so I finished it as quickly as I could, spent months and months redrafting, then submitted it. A week later, she wrote back to say she loved it. That was The Visitors. I wouldn’t have found Quercus without Sue. She’s heavily involved with the editorial side as well, which is brilliant – she totally gets me and my ideas, and it’s fantastic to talk to her about my stories. She’s also extremely nice; whenever I call her up to discuss some part of the job, we usually spend half an hour talking about Game Of Thrones or the mice in her office. As for advice on finding an agent – do your research. Make sure your work is a good fit with the agent you’re approaching. Follow their guidelines. Be realistic about where your work fits the market. Be nice. Read the Slushpile Hell Tumblr, and don’t do any of the things on there.

E: What is the most difficult part of your journey as a writer and what are some ways you overcome those difficulties?

S: The hardest part is time. I work very hard as a teacher at a local college, I make short films for local businesses, and I have a wife and daughter I want to spend more time with. As a result, I don’t get a lot of time to write, and I find that frustrating. I often work very late, or cram a lot of writing into my days off (I once wrote 11,000 words in a day). But that means I get tired and stressed. I crave writing, and there’s nothing else I’d rather do, but at the moment my hands are tied by real life. I have my next five novels lined up and good to go, but no space in my head or time at my desk. I try not to beat myself up about it, but it does get me down sometimes. Writing is all I want to do. One day, I’ll find a way. For now, I have my half-hours of flash fiction, and half-days of my second novel.

Good questions. Thanks for having me along!

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Simon Sylvester is a writer, teacher and occasional filmmaker. He was born in 1980 and grew up in Scotland, England, Germany and Northern Ireland. He studied English Literature at Lancaster University and Film Production at the University of Bristol.
After years working as a camera assistant and then a magazine journalist, Simon started writing fiction in 2006. His short stories have been published in journals, anthologies and magazines including Dark Mountain, Gutter, Valve, [PANK], Fractured West, Fire Crane, Southpaw and Smoke: a London Peculiar. He won the Flashtag short short story slam in 2014, was shortlisted for the Drowned Villages poetry competition, and has written more than a thousand very short stories on Twitter. His debut novel The Visitors will be published by Quercus Books in June 2014 and he is now working on his second novel, which is called The Hollows.
Simon lives in Cumbria with the painter Monica Metsers and their daughter Isadora.

Author Corner–Angela Hartley

E: Hi, Angela!  Welcome to Erindipity.  I see you’ve got something there.  Did you bring me a present?

A: Why yes, yes I did. I brought you some chocolate covered cinnamon bears as a tribute to Copper Descent’s release next month. I made them special just for you—a thank you gift for having me. No Charlie! Those are Erin’s! Animals aren’t supposed to have…err… chocolate. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’s fine. Look, he’s smiling. Would you like to give them a try? There’s a few left without slobber on them. I promise you’ll never be the same after you’ve tasted their decadent loveliness.

Charlie is now banished to the basement until further notice.  Bad Charlie!

E: Your first book is coming out very soon.  What can you tell us about Copper Descent?

A: In this New Adult novel, you’ll find procreating angels, demon rock stars, Lucifer’s story tied into Native American legends, and temptation. Let’s not forget temptation. Nineteen-year-old Nina Douglas faces the ultimate enticement when she meets Sinauf, the dark god of her ancestors. Later on she discovers the gods in the legends were actually angels and fallen angels, and she’s the key that could tip the balance. It isn’t too much of a surprise. Her mother always said that Nina would fall for Sinauf. I have to admit, he’s pretty irresistible. Speaking of tempting, you still haven’t sampled any of my treat. Don’t you like candy?

E: Your main character is Native American.  What was your research process like?

A: Funny you should mention it. Nina kind of knew she was Native American way longer than I did. The demographics and story structure were set up in such a way that I had an awkward moment in my third revision where she finally came out and admitted it. I changed her ethnic background and it all came together just like that! I’d already placed legends and folklore I loved as a child into the story, so the transition was seamless.

I also spent a lot of time researching ancient texts, mainly the book of Enoch in The Dead Sea Scrolls. Ezekiel was a complete nut, but he carried knowledge a man of his time shouldn’t have possessed. He talked about the gateways to heaven, eleven total. Four by sea, and seven on land. How could he have possibly known how many continents and oceans were on the earth? This was the premise I started with, and the rest kind of took on a life of its own. Ah, I see you couldn’t hold out forever. Aren’t they amazing? I can’t think of any flavor more sinful than chocolate and cinnamon combined together. My antagonist knows all about sin, he orchestrated the first, after all.

E: I think writing about Lucifer is an interesting craft choice.  Have you received any negative comments about that choice?

A: On several occasions, I’ve been asked what could have possibly possessed me to write on this topic, but the answer is simple, really. I, too, was afraid of the monster. To overcome that fear, I decided to shed some light on the torrent of emotions tied to his name. I wanted to know if it was the entity who caused such a strong reaction or the array of feelings he represented.

The most resistance has come from the way I portray Lucifer, but it really wasn’t my image to begin with. I was fascinated with Milton’s take on Paganism and Lucifer’s role in our fall. Take the gods in most Mythologies and Occult arts. What happens if you put angels or fallen angels in their place? The beliefs become rather similar to a single god faith. Think of Lucifer walking the earth from the beginning of time, posing as gods. Does it make sense that he is ugly, or would he be beautiful, charming and irresistible? I imagined he’d be consumed with vengeance and superiority. What better role to play out his ego trip than a famous rock star with millions of adoring fans?

I also wanted to make a path to overcome his hate and find a way home, but only if his pride allow it. Even if he managed to make this choice, how would he cope with his permanent disfigurement and the judgment of his own race? He was capable of loving once. Unable to die, does he still pine for a possible mate? His banishment is eternal, carried on until Humanity’s suffering is at an end. Of course, he would do everything within his power to speed up the process.

Considering all of this, do I think his actions are justified? Absolutely not! But after I developed his character, I found I no longer feared Lucifer, but pitied him. Even though his return to grace would be best achieved by eradicating evil, he has continued to create misery instead. He has chosen to remain in a hellish existence. After all this time, he’s still fighting his war, but we can decide not to participate or play into his hands. Just like the chocolate cinnamon bears. The candy isn’t responsible for being tempting even when it’s covered in slobber, but we can decide how we react to wanting it. In many ways, this is the power Lucifer uses against us. He likes to play on our flawed nature.

E: What are you currently working on?

A: Iron Resolve, the second book in The Sentient Chronicles. There will be six or seven total, depending on how many it takes to tell the full story. In the next, we follow Myke Preston, a man with a weak disposition. He walks away from his wife and daughter to discover his world has literally crumbled beneath his feet. The only way back to his family is through a hellish maze of doors that lead through his tragic past. I touch on some pretty heavy issues in this novel, like addiction, infidelity, and domestic violence. I’m also working on a cautionary tale of hypnotherapy and mass murder called D-Brie.

E: How has your publishing journey been so far?

A: Fox Hollow has been awesome to work with. They’re in it for the long haul, and work tirelessly to make their authors happy. I feel very fortunate to have come in on the ground floor on a company I believe will have a very promising future.

Now, on a personal level, I’ve had a few moments where I’m like, “What the hell were you thinking?!” All writers have to be a little crazy to expose ourselves even more intimately than if we were standing in a room full of people naked, but our words are pointless if they’re never shared. So I make myself crawl out of the fetal position, and try remember that my work doesn’t define me, it just enhances what’s already there.

E: What part of the process has been the most fun for you?  Which has been the most tedious?

A: Character development has to be my favorite part of writing. I like to get into the heads others and try figure out how they tick. Naturally, I do this with fictitious people as well.  Once I have my characters pegged, I can figure out the best ways to mess with their heads.

The hardest has been the rejection. You need to have a pretty thick skin to make it in this business. If I wouldn’t have loved the craft so much and wasn’t so stubborn, I probably would have quit in the beginning.

E: If you had to pick one author to be your unofficial mentor (unofficial because they wouldn’t actually know about it), who would you pick and why would you want to use them as a resource?

A: Stephen King. I read The Talisman when I was eleven-years-old. Now, I don’t recommend for children to read Stephen King (I had a rather interesting childhood), but for me, something in the other worldy feel of his work resonated to my core. I didn’t really understand the connection until years later when I, too became a writer. Originally, I wanted to write for kids, but my work was way too macabre. No matter how hard I tried to be light and funny, I just couldn’t. Around this time, I picked up The Dark Tower series.  I can’t remember exactly in which book it happens, but the main character, Roland carries on a conversation with Stephen King. It was profound—the creator speaking to his creation. The dialogue was life-changing for me. King talked about channeling his work, having it come from somewhere else. He really has no control over what happens. Finally, I understood why some work came so easily and the rest was like pulling teeth. When I was forcing the story go the way I wanted, it fought me. My expectations needed to be set aside so I could allow the plot to derive from that other place. I’m good at scary, and that’s okay.

536188_2465020840214_854053515_nAngela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far more enjoyable than the one she resided in. Literature became a passion and the idea of writing carried her through years of uncertainty.

After high school, she met and married her own Prince Charming. They rode off into the sunset in his blue Toyota and a whole new world full of hope and happiness opened up. He claimed they could move mountains together, and they did.

While facing the painful realization that sometimes there are no tomorrows following her father’s tragic death in 2005, she decided it was time to follow her dreams. With the love and support of her family, she dove into another world, full of procreating angels and demon rock stars.

Her debut new adult horror novel, Copper Descent will be released on Amazon May 2014. Angela currently resides in Midway, Utah with her three children and husband.  You can find her on her blog  or on Facebook.

Author Corner–Perrin Pring

E: Hello, Perrin, and welcome to Erindipity!  Thanks for stopping by.  Yes, that is a corpse petting a kitten.  No, you shouldn’t be alarmed.

P: It seems to me that cats, while having a reputation for being fickle, clearly aren’t. If you give them love, they’ll love you back, in their own way. They don’t discriminate based on if you have a pulse or not. This should give us hope in case some sort of dead reanimation apocalypse comes to pass. At least our furry friends won’t run away screaming.

E: You recently debuted your novel, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever, with Glastonbury Publishing.  What can you tell us about it?

P: An Appointment at the Edge of Forever is the story of an unlikely group of people faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge. A plague threatens the universe. Evil gods, the Afortiori, are systematically enslaving all beings with Free Will. Ryo can stop them, but she doesn’t know it. She doesn’t even know who she is. Filion knows Ryo’s secret but in order to protect her, he has to first find her. He enlists the help of Captain Eri and her band of rag-tag smugglers. Together, they will search the wastes of space for Ryo. The question is, will Filion and his crew find Ryo before the Afortiori do?

Beyond the plot summary though, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever, is a quick read. You don’t have to be into ‘hard’ science fiction to understand it. You don’t know a thing about astrophysics? That’s okay. You don’t want to even read the words ‘time dilation’? Once again, that’s okay. The story isn’t driven by theoretical physics. It’s driven by a set of un unusual people who are forced to work together. Picture four of your most opposite friends stuck together in a confined space (like a space ship) and then being tasked with saving the universe. You might not want to be there while they do it, but reading the book afterwards could be fun. At the same time, An Appointment at the Edge of Forever will appeal to those who like science fiction/fantasy. It takes place in SPACE! There are phazers, alien planets, aliens, epic battles, and mind controlling gods. You want to leave your cubical for a while? I’ve got the perfect vehicle.

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E: This is Book One in a trilogy.  What can we expect from future books?

P: Well, I’m actually taking a break from editing the third book to answer these questions, so I’ll start by saying this, the trilogy has been completed. Book two and three are in various stages of edits. It all comes together in the end, and I’m pretty happy with it.

As for specifics… In book two, the readers are going to get to know a lot more about Captain Eri, including what happened to her wings. Ryo is going to do something that she shouldn’t be able to do, and Red, as usual, is going to screw some stuff up. I’m going to introduce some new characters, many of whom will make an appearance in book three. Also, some love interests are developing, but don’t get too wrapped around that because no one is going to have all that much free time – the crew of the Dark Horse is on a schedule.

I’m not going to say too much about book three, other than there is a pretty epic battle scene. Perhaps if we do another interview for book two I’ll have more to reveal.

E: So far, the trilogy is getting rave reviews on Amazon.  Has anyone mentioned something that was surprising to you or that was particularly helpful to you as a writer?

P: One thing that has been really surprising is the wide range of people who are enjoying my book. I’ve been told by multiple people (most of whom I had no idea bought my book) that while they don’t usually like science fiction, they really liked my book. This is big to me for two reasons. One, it means people are buying my book, and two, it means I’m attracting people who aren’t ‘science fiction’ fans, per se. I also find it interesting the number of people who have read my book on their phones. That is a huge compliment to me, seeing as it takes a lot of dedication to read anything on a phone, let alone a novel.

E: On your website, you list your top books of the year, with The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time #12) by Robert Jordan as your honorable mention.  I’ll have you know I’m up to Book 11.  Yeah, I’m showing off a bit.  Who are some other fantasy/sci-fi authors you read?

P:  Well first, congrats on making it to Book 11. You should show off. You’re going to be pleased with book 12, for sure. The battle scenes are awesome. So, authors I read… Obviously, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (I’m going to read some of his other stuff after reading the last three Wheel of Time books). I just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. In the past few years I’ve read Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Lois Lowry, Robert Heinlein, Ernest Cline, Joe Haldeman, Christopher Moore, Hugh Howey, Sherri S. Tepper, Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut, Orson Scott Card, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, Hilary Jordan, J.K Rowling, Philip K. Dick, S.M. Sterling, Kazuo Ishiguro, Richard K. Morgan, Stephen King, Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, David Mitchell, Gail Carriger, J.R.R. Tolkien, Max Brooks, Michael Chabon, and Peter Benchley, and others.

I can’t say I liked all of the above author’s books, but reading a wide variety of stuff, particularly stuff that doesn’t always appeal to me, makes me a better writer. I learn what I like, what I don’t like, and how I want my books to sound.

E: When did you decide to take the plunge into writing and was there ever a time you thought about giving it up to do something else?

P: Well, I’ve been writing long pieces since high school. My first long work was a narrative about my travels with the junior and senior US national wildwater kayaking teams. I spent my senior and junior years of high school traveling around the country and the world to compete in whitewater kayaking, and I wrote a memoir, I guess you could call it, of one of those summers. It still gets passed around by my old coach, but I haven’t seen it in years. I’d be afraid to look at it. I’d want to edit it!

I wrote another long non-fiction piece while in college, also about one of my summers on the river. After I graduated, the economy tanked (August 2008 – welcome to the real world, college grads), and I found myself working at a rafting store in Montana. Well, August turned into winter, and there I was selling boats to no one while I watched the snow fall. I was trying really hard to be a real adult and get a ‘real’ job, but  the only job I really wanted was that of a writer. I tried to come to my senses and stop writing, but I couldn’t. I spent all day doing nothing at my job other than thinking of stories. Finally, I realized that no matter what I was doing, be it trading stocks on Wall Street (right!) or re-arranging the neoprene gloves for the fifth time in a day, I was going to have to write.

Once I accepted the fact that I couldn’t stop writing, I just had to budget my time. I became a seasonal worker, first for the US Forest Service, then for the National Park Service. I would take the winters off and use most of my time to write my own stuff. I had other jobs for a while (promotional blog writer, substitute teacher, kayaking coach, intermittent government worker) but after Appointment at the Edge of Forever got picked up, I quit working part time in the winter. Now I work in the summers and write in the winters.

There have been a lot of moments when I wanted to quit (thank you Hobbs and Sam and Kendall and Mom and Dad for your constant support). Writing, like most art, is hard because every rejection can feel like a personal attack. I started a folder in my email for my REJECTIONS (as the folder is titled). What’s interesting is that for every ten queries I’d send, I’d only receive a handful of form letter rejections. It’s a weird world where getting an email that says ‘Dear Author’ is better than getting no response at all. It can be a demoralizing process, but my determination seems to have paid off.

I used to read articles by other published writers all the time that would say, Keep at it! J And they would piss me off because I was so frustrated. I guess one thing I’d like to say to people who are going through the cycle of rejection, is that if you are actually writing, and querying, and e-publishing, and editing, you’re so much more dedicated than most. When I graduated college, everyone wanted to be a writer. I had tons of friends who would describe themselves as writers. What I saw though was, as people entered the ‘real’ world, most of those who said they were writers didn’t actually make time to write. They just wanted to be a writer, ‘in the future’. If you write, you’re a writer. If you edit, you’re really a writer. Keep that in mind. There are those who say they are writers, and then there are those who are writers. You don’t one day wake up and become a writer when you’re an adult. You wake up and write, and therefore are a writer, every day. There is no ‘becoming a writer in the future’. There is ‘becoming a better writer in the future’ but that’s only because of the effort you’re putting in now. So good job to all you writers out there, whether or not your work has been publicly validated.

E: What was the last book that you read that surprised you?  It can be good surprised or bad surprised, or maybe even a bit of both.

P: Well, I’ll give you two books. This past December I read The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey and, as I mentioned, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. What surprised me about The Devil’s Teeth (a non-fiction book about a Great White Shark research team based on the Farallones, a set of rocky islands within the San Francisco city limits) was how much I loved the first part of the book, and how much the second part of the book was like watching a drunk cause a car wreck. From a completely intellectual stand point, it is impressive how distinct the two halves are. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can read my review of The Devil’s Teeth on Goodreads, if you’re interested.

So, that was a bad surprise. A good surprise was the next book I read. I actually listened to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I was only doing it because it was a book club pick. I’d read Neverwhere and the first of Gaiman’s Sandman series, and I was just not that into Gaiman. I found Neverwhere hard to follow and the Sandman series really dark. The Ocean at the End of the Lane though, kept me thoroughly entertained, and while there were some really dark bits, I listened to the entire book in a single sitting. Perhaps it helped that the audio version is read by Gaiman himself.

E: You bake pie.  This pretty much makes you my favorite person on the planet.  Will you bake me a pie?  I’ll even share it with you.*

*There’s no way in hell that I’m sharing it with you.

P: Ha! I would make you a pie, but it won’t ship well. You’ll have to come to me, then I’ll do it. The secret’s in the crust. It’s hand made. Send me an email, we’ll talk…

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You can find Perrin on her blog, on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, and on Instagram.

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