Category: Interviews/Guest Posts

FATED by Joanne Kershaw

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My dear friend Joanne is celebrating the release of the final installment of her fantasy trilogy! She has been kind enough to allow me to share an excerpt from this exciting YA fantasy novel.

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EXCERPT

(Note from the author) – Elora gets a chance to explore her life beyond her friends and family in a new posting in Fated.  Her new commander, Marcus, asks her to share the events in Africa (at the end of Reflected).  This scene was interesting to write for me, to explore the sensations of being trapped in the power that consumed Elora at the end of the previous book. It was also exciting to explore the link between Elora and Zak. Enjoy!

The light. The power. It burns.
Save me! Save her! Siva? Mom?

Falling! Falling!

The arms. The arms that saved me. My eyes scoured the ground for him, for his body. Tendrils of fear squeezed my already exhausted heart and the threatened tears now fell furiously.

Then I realised where he must be.

I ran forward to the edge of the pit where the circle had been formed.

“Zak!” It was more a gasp than a word.

Lying at the bottom in a crumpled heap of blood and cloth was Zak.

“On the Spirits, no!” I couldn’t feel him within me. I pushed aside each person, forced out each voice, searched desperately for his mind.

There was nothing.

“NO!” I gasped as I tore myself from my own thoughts. Marcus rocked away from me, clearly shaken by everything he had seen. It had been mere seconds, such a lot to process in such a short space of time. Zak. All I wanted right here and right now was him. The need was core deep and binding. I leapt to my feet and stumbled as the blood pounded into my over-exhausted skull. Frantic, I looked around, needing to see Zak. Needing to be sure he was safe.

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Conversation with Ginger Mann; Author Interview

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Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Miss Ginger Mann, which occurred during her visit to my little corner of the etherverse.  Mann is an up and coming novelist and acquaintance of mine through Xchyler Publishing.

Ginger Mann_200x274Aurel: Hello Ms Mann, It was so good of you to accept my invitation for an interview.

 Mann: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to talk to you today.

 Aurel: As I understand it, you have a new work of fiction just released. What can you tell us about it?

 Mann: Yes, I have had a new work released. It’s a story called “Jilted River.”  Here’s a look at it:

A river siren lives in an Appalachian forest. She lurks at the bottom of a sinkhole, where a mountain collapsed more than a hundred years ago. Her magical voice haunts the underground river there, where she Continue reading

Legends and Lore an Anthology of Mythic Proportions – Blog Tour

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

Delve into myth and legend, where the Fates force post-modern man into a world of the unknown—a world long since dismissed as ignorant superstition.

The Brother-Sister Fable by Alyson Grauer: a young boy disappears into a realm where only his sister can follow.

Faelad by Sarah Hunter Hyatt: Claire Whitaker didn’t even know she was Irish, let alone The Morrigan, the goddess of war.

By Skyfall by Emma Michaels: a mer-couple from Atlantis find themselves in the middle of a human murder investigation.

Charon’s Obol by. R. M. Ridley: Jonathan Alvey didn’t believe in gods, until he helps a lost child find her all-powerful parents.

Peradventure by Sarah E. Seeley: a jinni must choose between the woman he loves and destroying the city that persecuted her.

Natural Order by Lance Schonberg: when Carlos Vasquez is kidnapped, he discovers powers within himself to change the world.

Two Spoons by Danielle E. Shipley: A little girl’s soul meets its match in the family diner’s most mysterious patron.

Grail Days by A. F. Stewart: Living forever has its drawbacks, especially when you spend it clearing away the messes of other immortals. Downward Mobility by M. K. Wiseman: they say love conquers all, but can it save a Valkyrie when she breaks all the rules? Continue reading

Conversation with A.F. Stewart – Author Interview

The recording device from which this transcript came was recently found on a church doorstep near Salem Massachusetts. It involves a conversation between J. Aurel Guay and author A.F. Stewart. The whereabouts of Dr. Guay are still unknown.

GooglePhotoAurel: Hello Ms. Stewart, it was so good of you to accept my invitation for an interview. Although I must say, your choice of setting here in this centuries old cemetery, under a full moon is a little… unorthodox. Fortunately, I’ve brought along a little picnic basket. Help yourself to a fruit tart and a glass of wine, and we will begin.

Stewart: Oh, blackberry and sour cherry tarts. My favourite flavours. I’ll pass on the wine, though, as I don’t imbibe. I’ve also brought something, my own little delectable delicacy, Deviled Egg Eyeballs (holds out a container of deviled eggs in the shape of bloodshot eyeballs). Care for one?

Aurel: Don’t mind if I do! As I understand it, you have just released a new work of fiction and are celebrating with gifts to your readers. What can you tell us about it?

Stewart: My new book is a Continue reading

Looking after #1 – Write the Novel You Want To Read

Guest post by Author J. S. Collyer

10372641_1436299246625640_8730916658319903732_nI sometimes wonder what sparks people off to start writing. In my experience, people decide to start for all sorts of reasons and at all stages of life. Some start penning poetry at 45, others (like me) were scribbling space operas in notebooks at age 10 before we even knew what a space opera was, let alone ever read one. Everyone has their own starting point and their own journey but I know the reason I started writing stories was because I loved to read, but the more and more I read, the more I realised that my novel is not out there. And the reason it’s not out there is because it only exists in my head.

Until now.

My first novel, a laser-filled SciFi romp called Zero, is due for release this August and it is the first time that a novel is out there that has everything in it that I would like to read. I’m not saying it’s perfect, or even that it’s any good, just that it was what I would like from a story. And it made it incredibly fun to write.

(If you want more details about Zero, you can check out my page on my blog)

It’s a given that if you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, chances are your reader won’t enjoy it either. Love you work, writers! Sink yourself in it and don’t be ashamed of what you want from it or what it wants from you. If you want to write paranoid erotic thriller or the next biggest literary social commentary with a high fantasy side-plot, you do it, baby! There will be an audience out there for you, whatever sort of story you want to write, so why not enjoy the journey?

If your narrative is a chore, chances are it’s not your narrative.

I’m not saying give up at the first rocky patch in the road. You and your story will go through good times and bad times, just like with any worthwhile relationship. There will be times when you skip through flowered meadows hand-in-hand, feeding each other chocolate-dipped strawberries and blushing at every exchanged glance. But there will also be times when you want to throw the furniture at each other, throws, cushions, lamps and all.

Don’t be scared of the work, of the difficulty bits or the dodgy bits in your draft. Keep on writing. If you’re really, really stuck, change your playlist, go for a walk, read another book and come back to it. If necessary, have a break. But, I’ve found, if you have faith in your project and you enjoy it enough, you will come back together and find a way to patch up your differences in the edit.

Of course, don’t avoid making the tough decisions. Some narratives are not meant to be. Be warned, it may take a long time for their cracks to show. You could have just written the first page or you could be 100,000 words in. But you can’t lie to yourself. You will know when a narrative is not salvageable. Be tough. Move on. It’s best for both of you.

(A tip for these difficult times: if the ctrl + alt + del step is a little too final, squirrel the story away in a ‘ongoing’ folder somewhere on your hard drive, or in your desk drawer if you’re old school. This is agreeing to disagree indefinitely and go your separate ways…but keeping each other’s phone numbers, just in case)

Because, after all, if you’ve reached that point, it probably means there’s another narrative in the brain tank screaming to get out, the one that was meant to be. No one else is going to write that story, not in the way you will. If you want it in the world, make it happen.

Set it free!

Look after number one, write the novel you want to read, because it’s very unlikely anyone else will do half so good a job.

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J. S. Collyer is a science fiction and horror writer heralding from Lancaser, UK who shares fiction and musings on writing on her wordpress (jcollyer.wordpress.com). Her first novel, Zero, is due for release by Dagda Publishing Aug 2014 and you can follow her for updates and fiction fun on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jscollyer) and Twitter (@JexShinigami)

Conversation with Jay Barnson ~ Author Interview

Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Mr. Jay Barnson, which occurred during his visit to my little corner of the etherverse.  Barnson is video game designer, up and coming novelist and acquaintance of mine through Xchyler Publishing.

JayPunkHeadshot1J. Aurel: Hello Mr. Barnson, It was so good of you to accept my invitation for an afternoon drink at the ‘Grog-and-Dart’. Pull yourself up a stool.

Barnson: What, they’ve got stools here, too? Man. Classy establishment. So much better than the last place I found myself…

J. Aurel: I understand that you have a new work of fiction. Can you tell us a little about your story?

Barnson: I could tell you, but then I’d have to ki… oh, fiction. Right.

I was actually inspired when I was doing research on what was going to be a totally different story, involving telecommunications in the Victorian era. I had some weird idea for steampunk technology, but the more I dug into the actual technology of the era, the more I realized that what I thought would be science fiction in the 1880s was actually science fact. They really did have pretty amazing technology back then. Trans-Atlantic communication, fax machines, “online” romances, telecommunications fraud…Really, all the stuff that we think are unique to the Internet age… maybe back when it was text-based, at least… existed back then, on a smaller scale.

A few months earlier, I’d read an article about a profoundly autistic teenaged girl. Her therapists believed that she was also intellectually disabled. With a great deal of effort, her family taught her to use the keyboard. After a while, she was able to write messages to explain what she was going through. Even her family, who loved her and knew her best, had completely underestimated her. Here was an intelligent young lady with the same emotions as any other girl her age, fully cognizant of how her brain and body were betraying her. Until she used an alternative form of communication, everyone assumed she was incapable of understanding what she was doing.

Between this, and a little study of Savant Syndrome, I thought about how little we know now in the 21st century about these kinds of disabilities. Back in the 19th century, what chance would even a mildly autistic individual have?

These ideas became the seeds for Dots, Dashes, and Deceit. From the high-tech telegraphy industry came Winnie. She’s a young, small-town telegraph operator who has been displaced by advancing technology. She’s frustrated by her love of technology and hope for adventure, and the expectations of society which considers her perilously close to “old maid” status. Then you have Joshua, a mute savant, dismissed by the town as harmless but hopelessly “dumb,” in both senses of the word. However, nobody recognizes that the supposedly nervous habit he has of tapping with his hand is actually Morse code… and that he’s discovered a deadly plot that he has been unable to communicate.

Add to that an eccentric inventor, mechanical men controlled via Morse code, an alternate history where the East India Company was not nationalized after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, long-distance plots from across the world coordinated via coded telegraph messages, and an airship full of thugs… and you have Dots, Dashes, and Deceit, my short story coming soon in Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology.

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J. Aurel: Wow that sounds like quite the story! What moved you to become an author?

Barnson: I honestly can’t Continue reading

Conversation with ‘Dancing with Fireflies’ ~ Author Interview

Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Ms. Crysta, founder of ‘Dancing with Fireflies’. Ms. Crysta is a prolific blogger, champion of authors and the writing craft, and acquaintance of mine through our common interests in writing and blogging.

DWF Pic.J. Aurel: Hello Ms. Crysta, thank you for coming.  Would you care for some Tea?  Crysta: I would love some. I have actually been a tea drinker for many years. In fact it is one of my many writing rituals, to make a cup of tea and sit for a few minutes watching the steam rise.  

J. Aurel:  You are very welcome.  Let’s see now, I have Earl Grey, Green, and Raspberry Zinger, which would you prefer?  I am so glad you were able to make time in your busy schedule. Tell me, what is ‘Dancing with Fireflies’ all about?  

Crysta: I love Earl Grey with cream and sugar. So, Dancing with Fireflies started off like so many blogs as a personal space for my own creative writing. But through the years it has started to morph into an imaginative networking place for people who have the same love of writing as I do. Writers tend to be introverts, unless forced out into the public due to some grand luck of fame. So this gives people a chance to share their art from the comforts of their own sacred spaces.  

J. Aurel:  Please help yourself to a biscuit.  And tell me Ms. Crysta, how is it that you find yourself in the world of Blogging?  

Crysta: Well for me, I have always been a journal keeper since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. I found that through my writings, both fiction and non-fiction, I could express not just my feelings but create my own worlds when I felt like this one was just overwhelming. Blogging evolved from LiveJournal and moved into what it is now.  

J. Aurel: What are your aspirations both for yourself and for Dancing with Fireflies?

Crysta: Dancing with Fireflies has been an amazing experience for me both as a writer and as someone who wasn’t sure what to do next, after Motherhood started to become less of a full-time job. I knew I wanted to be a writer, I spent some time with local press and always submitted freelance pieces. But I would like to take the steps to publish and take my own writing to a new level. Dancing with Fireflies is also moving forward in the direction of becoming more about creative exploration with others and opening up to bringing people in to share their talents. We learn from each other and grow as writers and as humans in the light of brilliance and talent. 

J. Aurel: Can you tell us about some of the things that inspire you?

 Crysta: I am always inspired by Continue reading