🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author: CatrinRussell (Page 2 of 53)

Named Best Read of May 2022 by The Magic Book Corner!

🖤 I had to share this because I am so so honoured that my book, The Resurgence of Light, was picked as the Best Read of May by @magicbookcorner 😍 Thank you so so much!! 🖤

Repost below 🖤

🔥May Wrap-up🔥

Yes!! I’m finally posting it.🤩
My first ever monthly wrap up with hopefully many more to come! 💃💃💃

In a Bookdragon special manner of course. 🐉📚🤩
Cause we can’t have it any other way. 😉😎

The truth is, I shamelessly stole the idea from @mamaisbooked ❤ who posted about her way of keeping track of her read books.😅

Because mini books are totally awesome and I fell in love with the idea.
No reel, because I have no time to edit that today, but a couple of pictures to show all my May reads, in mini book form.

📚Total books read: 20

No idea how many pages cause I suck at Maths and would rather not do that sum.😅😂
20 is a big-ish pile so that’s enough for me.🤩

I did fall behind and carried 3 books over to June, but I hope to finish them soon.

Romance is less. And that is clearly seen now at the official wrap. But I’ll try to even the odds this month.

For now, this is it. And I’ll call it a day with

🖤The Best of May:

🔥The Resurgence of Light (Light of Darkness Book 3) by @catrinrussellauthor

❤Hugs and light everyone
And be kind.😘

📚🔥🖤🔥📚

Sunday Shout-out to Tirza for her review of my box set!

🔥 Sunday Shoutout to @tirzaschaefer for her marvellous review of my recently released box set! Thank you so so much for this!! Partial repost below! 🔥

BOOK REVIEW: THE LIGHT OF DARKNESS BOOKS 1-3 BOXSET
by Catrin Russell @catrinrussellauthor
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yes, I have read these books already individually, loved them and given them all epic 5-star reviews and you are welcome to read them on the major platforms and my own blog and social media. Gushing reviews, full of enthusiasm, wild abandon and delight.

This series deserves to be up there with the best like Tolkien, Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, Terry Brooks and so many others that have delighted the fantasy fans of this world over decades. Mind you, The Light of Darkness isn’t like any of them. The author possesses her own unique style of storytelling and the story itself is also unlike any other. But who wants a copycat? As such you must fail because you can never hope to come close to the original. Because you’re not them, you’re you.
And Russell knows this and follows her own heart, mind and inspiration – and whatever it was that made her bring this amazing series to paper.

The world will thank her for being true to herself and gifting us with a unique story with so many delightful characters that leap off the pages and enthral us with their individual, as well as collective, stories. A feast for anyone who loves fiction. Not only fantasy fans.

Author Interview: Naomi Valkyrie

Check out this author spotlight for Naomi Valkyrie!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Naomi Valkyrie, often called a Firebrand Provocateur, brings her unique Autistic perspectives and curiosities to life by weaving tales of deep connection, mystery, and romance. She is inspired by being able to spontaneously create a thought that takes on a life of its own, opening up new adventures for her readers.

The Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy realms are particular areas of interest for Naomi as they allow for the vast exploration of magic, adventure, and the impossible while creating diverse characters that her readers connect with on an emotional level.

When she isn’t attending to familial connections, Naomi loves a dark, comfy reading space surrounded by the symbolism of her spiritual archetypes and her daemon/familiars, while she sips her Starbucks tea and immerses herself in imagination.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, spring, summer or autumn? Autumn – crisp air (although not so much here in the south, unfortunately), leaves change color, Samhain (my favorite holiday), apple cider and hot chocolate

Tea or coffee? TEA! Coffee makes me too jittery.

Mountains or beaches? Mountains – the quality of silence on a mountain is superb. You can hear the wind move through the trees. No city noises or lights. No crowds. Communion with nature. As an Autistic person, I appreciate the reduction of sensory stimulation.

Plotter or pantser? Pantser! I am a chaos author. Whatever happens, happens. It’s just as much a surprise to me as everyone else. Keeps things interesting.

Hero or anti-hero? Both, depending on how it’s written. But usually, I’m going to go for the anti-hero. Most often they feel more relatable than a hero. Deadpool and The Punisher are two of my favorites.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Honestly, it depends on my current hyper fixation. I go through periods of time where I will binge read a certain genre or type of book and almost nothing else will do. I went through a ten-year span of soaking up a bunch of books on various spiritual traditions. Right now, it’s M/M Romance – any subgenre.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I have several projects in various stages of development – two of those for the launch of a new pen name.

Currently, I’m attempting to focus on finishing Something Wicked, which is the final book in my Life is Hell series, but I’ve also got a witch book and a ghost book from two new series that are fighting for time.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My most recent release is The Ghastly Gumball. It’s a M/M RomCom.

Book Blurb:
This is a zany, wacky story about a guy named Lockwood King.

There’s magic.

There’s humor.

There’s chaos.

There’s meddling by outside forces (but it’s for their own good – really, it is).

There’s sort of fated mates (fate gets a little push – okay, a big shove, but everyone deserves an HEA, right)?

There’s a bit of cursing (the magic and the swearing kind).

There’s inconvenient tentacle wrestling. (Don’t ask me, I just write what the characters tell me to).

And speaking of tentacles, did I mention the cigar-smoking octopus named Clyde?

If you don’t like absurdly unbelievable tales and magical mishaps, this probably isn’t the book for you. You’ve been warned.

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I can pretty much get inspiration anywhere. I’ve gotten ideas from custom license plates, a shoe on the side of the road, an apartment number, my dreams, random thoughts, people watching…

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I don’t have a specific routine. I write when I am able to around my other life responsibilities. If we’re talking about my writing process, it’s chaos. I’m a pantser and I pretty much never know how things are going to play out. I just roll with it.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

There is no one correct way to write a book, so don’t compare yourself to other authors. Also, being neurodivergent, most of the writing advice out there won’t work for you so don’t waste time on it.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

You can find all of my social media links in one convenient place: https://linktr.ee/naomivalkyrie

While I am on a lot of platforms, I spend most of my time in Naomi Valkyrie’s Book Dungeon Community and on Naomi Valkyrie’s Book Dungeon Discord Server.

Author Interview: D. L. Gardner

Check out this author spotlight for D. L. Gardner!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hi, I’m Dianne and write as D.L. Gardner. I live in the Pacific Northwest and enjoy wildflowers in the mountains, and sandy beaches, strawberry fields and all the lush vegetation in Washington state. I’m an award winning author, artist and screenwriter an write fantasy, though I have a few stories in other genres. I’m a mom to 5, grandmother to 16, and great grandma to 2.  

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Tea or coffee? Tea. I love coffee but I can’t handle caffeine anymore.

Morning or evening? I love mornings when the sun peaks over the trees and promises a new day.

Library or museums? I like specialty museums with lots of antiques. That or museums with old art of the masters.

Witches or wizards? WIZARDS they’re a lot of fun and don’t take life nearly as seriously as the witches do!

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Fantasy with the unwilling hero, especially if he’s a young man. I’m a softy for the fellas that need encouragement.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write fantasy (mostly). I finished a high fantasy trilogy this last year. It has a romance subplot, but it’s a sweet romance so don’t look for steam. I’m more concerned with the two heroes’ relationship. It’s a enemies-to-lovers trope and the two MCs must bring their kingdoms in alliance with each other before they can defeat the evil that threatens their kingdoms. I have a spin-off novel to the series releasing April 14th and I’m really excited about it. It was a feat for me writing three books in a year, but I’m happy with what came of it.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The series begins with Rise of the Tobian Princess

Erika, the youngest daughter of a legendary king, aspires to be a warrior and follows her brother to war against the dark wizard. She accidentally kills a king during her first battle and that mistake costs the allegiance of an island whose magic her father’s kingdom needs to win the war. When she attempts to right her wrongs, she instead falls in love with the island’s heir. Arell, at first has no idea she killed his father but is thrust upon a throne he never wanted, pitted against an enemy he never asked for, is then, once the truth is revealed, is forced to exile the only woman he ever loved. Can the two forget their grievances in time to save their kingdoms?

Fall of the Kings and Curse of Mount Ream are the sequels.

“A masterful painter of words, D.L. Gardner’s brushstrokes of prose bring to life a compelling fantasy tale that demonstrates the power of forgiveness and redemption in the aftermath of tragedy.” – award-winning author Stephen Zimmer.

“There’s never a dull moment in here; it’s jam-packed with monumental events and action to look forward to. Princess Erika is one hero that readers are going to be thrilled to discover.” – Independent Book Review.

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I read a lot of fantasy and love diving into books by authors such as Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie as well as C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. I draw from a lot of my own experiences too as I lived in the country for many years without electricity, rode horses, cut firewood for heat and cooking, it was pretty rough living but well worth it and great fodder for my books!

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

Early morning and late at night. I like to get at least 3000 words in a day and prefer to stop in the middle of a chapter because it’s easier for me to pick up where I left off that way. I outline, do character studies, and figure out the premise, log line, and conflicts well before I begin.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Start young. I waited way too long.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

Websites

https://gardnersart.com

https://gardnersart.wixsite.com/chonisi

https://gardnersart.wixsite.com/iansrealmsaga/

Blog

https://diendrial.wordpress.com/

FilmFreeway
https://filmfreeway.com/projects/1689365

https://filmfreeway.com/projects/1658440

https://filmfreeway.com/projects/438618

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/DianneLynnGardner

https://www.facebook.com/swordofchonisi

https://www.facebook.com/TheIansRealmSaga

There are more book pages.

Substack

https://dianneg.substack.com/

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/diendrial

Twitter

https://twitter.com/DLGardner2

Find me on Patreon.

https://www.patreon.com/DLGardner

Sunday Shoutout for this brilliant review by The Magic Book Corner!

🔥 A huge Sunday Shoutout and thank you to @magicbookcorner for this absolutely mind-blowing review!!! Repost below! 🔥

“Salvation is not a destination. … You experience redemption as you travel the road of your existence, through your actions, and that of others.”
“My journey through life is salvation?”
“It is… if you allow it.”

🔥– The Resurgence of Light by @catrinrussellauthor

Gets 5 dark stars from me
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This series gets better and better with each book.

🔥The third instalment in The Light of Darkness series picks up straight from the end of book 2, revealing the aftermath of the High Priest’s actions, not only on Samael, but also on the Priesthood itself.

🔥A taint has been left behind on Samael’s mind, which may lead him to a fate worse than the feral if Anaya doesn’t succeed in removing it. A seemingly impossible task, but by far not the biggest hurdle our couple must face. Anaya is now supposed to take up the leadership mantle within the Panther tribe, but not all demons are quite as ready to accept a Priestess as their Matriarch. Especially not after the Priesthood’s former actions. And some will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening.

🔥While book 1 of this series set up the stage and made us wonder about that difference in between right and wrong, faith and obsession, or duty and heart; book 2 brought our unusual priestess-demon couple together, taking us a step further dealing with dark things done in the name of light and justice, as well as the moral dilemma of choosing to either stand back or react when faced with something inherently evil. Book 3 delves even deeper, strengthening the already set relationships and connections as well as broadening the scope.

🔥This time around we get to see if light and darkness can not only coexist but also work together. And the struggle of both priests and demons to make that happen is beautifully achieved. The reluctance to trust going hand in hand with crippling guilt and a hope so frail and yearned for! The play of emotion while beliefs are upended and aspirations completely realigned! Cheff’s kiss for it all!

🔥Written in a wonderful, elegant prose, this novel has something for everyone.
Love and tenderness enough to make you sigh, for all those in search of great feeling; as well as mystery and suspense to keep you guessing till the very end. Magic and faith, as well as blood and gore scenes aplenty, broken characters and emotionally crippled people, feelings enough to melt a heart and action to keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to the very end!! And we even get a few beautifully written descriptive love scenes that manage to be super hot while keeping in line with the elegant tone of the narrative.

🔥And the best part of it this time, the feeling! Irresistible wonderful addictive feeling!

🔥The Light of Darkness is a bloody tale of revenge and obsession, hope and redemption, and most of all, fierce love!
Dark, gruesome and heartbreakingly beautiful!
I absolutely loved it!🖤

Author Interview: Nathan Tudor

Check out this author spotlight for Nathan Tudor!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hello! Thank you for having me. Be forewarned, I talk kind of strangely when I need to give my bio.

Nathan Tudor has researched ancient religion at Oxford, traveled the seven continents, and mastered the art of speaking in the third person. His debut novel The Empire’s Lion tells an epic story filled with action, identity, and the struggle to do what is right in an upside-down world.

See what I mean? I get all meta with the third person voice thing.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Morning or evening?

My biology and temperament are absolutely for the evening. I’m a natural night owl; my ideal day is something like 10AM-2AM… though at certain points in my life, I’ve had far more extreme sleep patterns. I also just have a much stronger affinity for the moon and stars than I do for the sun. The night is serene; the day is loud.

I can actually talk for a while about how ridiculous it is that our society is generally organized around morning people. Some of us are genetically predisposed to stay up and wake up later—and that’s for survival reasons! Night owls in industrialized societies will often have more health problems due to how we’re forced to ignore our circadian rhythms and suffer sleep deprivation.

All right, I’ll get off my soapbox haha. If anyone else is interested in the subject, I highly recommend the book Why We Sleep by Dr Matthew Walker.

All that said… ironically, I do most of my best work toward the start of the day, and I feel incredibly demoralized if I haven’t started writing by sundown. I say ‘most of my best work’ because sometimes I’ll get a lightning bolt of inspiration at 3AM, and those usually hand me some of my best scenes. I’m tired the next day, but it’s worth it J

Library or museums?

All right, this choice is borderline impossible because I adore both. I’m that guy who walks around the library taking photos of every book he might eventually want to read, so I have the titles for future reference. However, I will ultimately have to go for museums. I love walking through history and seeing glimpses of all these different cultures. Museums are inspiration central for me—I can guarantee I will get ideas for a story any time I set foot inside one. Something about the physical presence of objects that have traveled through time and space, intersecting with who knows how many lives along the way, it gets me excited and activates my writer brain!

Plotter or pantser?

I see plotting and pantsing as a spectrum, and I’d say I fall about 80% toward plot… maybe 90% haha. I learned years ago that I need an overarching structure in place before I start drafting, or else I’ll run out of steam a few scenes in. I’m a huge fan of the Story Grid methodology, and I always recommend it to other writers thinking about studying plot structure.

When I’m pushing through the beginning and middle, I need to have the finale already in mind, because for me the ending payoff is everything. For my process, I’ll usually come up with an awesome ending and then figure out how to set that up.

That said, I’ll always leave some room for sudden inspiration to take me down another road, and every book I write ends up with a few scenes that came about as spur-of-the-moment ideas. Some of my favorite scenes happened that way!

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

I have a romantic dream of writing an entire first draft with a fountain pen (I love my fountain pens!) but right now that sort of thing just isn’t feasible. My day-to-day writing relies on momentum. I’m always hunting that flow state where the words are just pouring out of my unconscious, and I have the most success when typing.

I’ve used Scrivener for years and it’s absolutely essential for my process now. I write in composition mode with a smaller notes window floating off to the side, so there’s nothing on-screen except the document and my outline for the scene.

My Notes app is filled with scraps of character details, plot ideas, reminders for revision—and that’s all in the cloud, so I can write those on my phone while I’m out and about and then have it easily accessible on my laptop at home. Keeping cloud backups of my Scrivener projects is also essential for my peace of mind.

All that to say, I’m cripplingly dependent on technology for my writing haha

Hero or anti-hero?

This sort of question is on my mind a lot actually. Every day I’m pondering why certain types of stories and certain types of characters appeal to people—and why the overall preference of readers seems to shift over time and in response to what’s going on in the real world.

I can’t deny the appeal of the anti-hero (I’d like to write some anti-hero protagonists someday!) but if I had to choose one or the other, I will always go for the hero. At the core of my beliefs is the tenet that the most meaningful thing a person can do is willingly and lovingly sacrifice oneself for another—to me, that’s the heart of the heroic archetype. I could talk for hours on the topic because it’s one of the foundational pillars of why storytelling matters to me. The Hero’s Journey has been criticized plenty—and some of that is genuinely insightful critique—but I don’t think we’ll ever be able to stop marveling at the person who steps out into the realm of danger and the unknown, the person who descends into the underworld and dies (literally or symbolically, depending on the story) and does so not out of selfish desire, but out of genuine goodwill for their fellow human. I think you can really see how these ideas play into my writing when you read the climax of The Empire’s Lion.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I have pretty eclectic interests, so it’s hard to pin things down. If it’s a fantasy, I’m looking for a really interesting world—especially one that partakes of inspirations and influences from beyond medieval Europe. Right now is such an exciting time to be into fantasy because the genre is constantly expanding—there’s Asian fantasies, African fantasies, Slavic fantasies, the list goes on!

I have a strong preference for competent characters. There’s just something deeply satisfying about seeing someone who’s a master of their craft. That’s not to say I don’t like the classic story of a novice building their skills and growing—it just needs to be really well done to hold my interest until it gets to the ‘master of their craft’ bit. (Will Wight’s Cradle series is absolutely incredible in that regard.)

I also really like things with a literary or intellectual bent. Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun for example, I consider that to be a masterpiece of not just sci-fi/fantasy but English literature, full stop.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

To paint with a broad brush, I write epic fantasy! To be more specific, right now I’m working in the historical fantasy/military fantasy subgenres. My debut series is The Imperial Adept, and it’s set in a world inspired by Mediterranean antiquity. So far, I’ve released a prequel (which is free on my website nathantudor.com) and the first book in the series, which is titled The Empire’s Lion. I’m at work on the sequel, though I haven’t settled on a title yet.

At the core of The Imperial Adept will be a trilogy of novels telling the story of Reiva, a young woman with immense magical power who grows not just in strength but also in character and spirit. Aside from the core trilogy, I would like to write some additional books like the prequel, which are not necessarily required reading but flesh out the characters and world. Also, the core books are doorstoppers with many POV characters (The Empire’s Lion is 220,000 words!) while the prequel is more like 95,000 words and focuses on a single character—so those shorter books are less intense from a planning and execution perspective.

Beyond that, I have many more plans—enough plans to keep me writing for years—and I look forward to going on that journey with readers. For now though, I’ll keep my focus on The Imperial Adept!

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The Empire’s Lion is my debut novel and it came out January 21st! It’s an epic military fantasy set in a war-torn, magic-filled world inspired by the empires and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. As for the story…

She left a slave. She returns a conqueror.

As an Adept, Reiva blasts fire from her hands and leaps over walls. But when her first solo mission leaves her half-dead amidst a heap of massacred allies, she gets just one chance at redemption.

The Empire orders her to crush the one kingdom she thought she would never see again: Talynis, the land of her birth, the land she left in chains.

Standing in her way is the Wolf, a vicious assassin hellbent on killing Adepts—and a single cut from his cursed blade will destroy Reiva’s magic forever.

Even if she can survive, victory may come at a price too high to pay…

Right now it’s available from Amazon, Apple Books, and Kobo, with paperbacks on the way! This link will always have the most up-to-date store options:

https://books2read.com/u/3n2GLP

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

So, I take inspiration from a lot of places. My undergraduate degree is in Religious Studies, and for part of that I spent a term at the University of Oxford, studying and researching ancient mythology and religion. I tend to read a lot about ancient history and cultures, but even more than that I love to read primary sources—the myths and religious texts themselves, rather than just what some modern academic has to say about them. When you’re reading The Empire’s Lion, you’ll notice inspiration from the ancient Near East, Greco-Roman cultures, and more! (You might even catch some hidden meanings if you’ve studied ancient Hebrew or Greek…)

In terms of fiction… I also have so many different sources of inspiration haha. One of the most important is Guy Gavriel Kay—his historical fantasy is second-to-none, and his prose is absolutely beautiful. His book Under Heaven is one of very few books that I’ve read more than once in a single year.

William Blake’s visionary poetry is just astounding. The term ‘mad genius’ gets thrown around a lot, but I’m convinced Blake truly was one. Long before fantasy was anything approaching a proper genre, Blake was inventing his own mythology and giving it terrific expression.

Venturing beyond the realms of fantasy, Fyodor Dostoevsky is a genius of literature whose work I will forever gape in awe at. I’ve never read anyone who cuts so honestly and precisely to the heart of the human condition, weighing the different ways we try to make sense of ourselves and the world. Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov are essential reading.

Steven Pressfield is another giant—not just his historical fiction but also his non-fiction. If you’re interested at all in pursuing a creative calling, I cannot recommend enough his book The War of Art.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I write in sprints (usually about 15 minutes per sprint) and I take a longer break about every hour or so. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to measuring performance, so I keep a spreadsheet of daily output, as well as my average speed. I try to keep that rate above 2000 words per hour. If that sounds impossible, believe me, I used to think it was too! I recommend Chris Fox’s 5000 Words Per Hour and Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K if you’re interested in increasing your writing speed.

I also used to think that fast writing = trash writing, but what I’ve found is that writing at speed keeps me in the flow state, attuned to my writing and nothing but my writing. I leave editing for afterwards, once I’ve dredged the story out of my unconscious. Some people find that it works best to write slowly and very cleanly, but if I did that, I would hardly get anything finished. Find what works for you!

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Build your writing habit sooner! One of the hardest things for any aspiring author is learning to put the work in, day after day, without external reward. But once we learn to see the work itself as its own reward, once we harness the discipline to write as a habit, then everything else starts to fall into place.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

The best place to find me is nathantudor.com! That’s where you can get your free copy of Adept Initiate, the prequel to my series. I also blog there occasionally, so if you’re interested in more rambling, half-insane thoughts like those above, that’s your best bet!

On social media, you can find me on Twitter @NathTudorBooks. I also have a Facebook page, facebook.com/nathantudorauthor. You can also find me on Goodreads!

Author Interview: Lindsey Kinsella

Check out this author spotlight for Lindsey Kinsella!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Certainly, and thank you for having me. My name is Lindsey and I reside in the eternally rainy glens of Scotland. I live with my girlfriend and my two children and work as a naval architect. I only began writing in earnest around 18 months ago after years of convincing myself that it was silly idea. I don’t think I then decided it wasn’t silly, I just figured that an idea being a silly one isn’t something which should stop me. As such, I’m a fairly inexperience author, but I have been buoyed by my feedback so far!

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Cat or dog? Cats! I’m an animal person all round, so I certainly have nothing against dogs, but I just find cats more rewarding. You have to work harder to form a bond with a cat because, at its heart, it’s still nature’s finest killing machine and doesn’t really need your affection.

Morning or evening? Most certainly evening. There are few things I despise more than an early morning rise; thankfully home working has reduced those somewhat. On the other hand, writing into the early hours of the morning is not out of the norm, in fact I find myself far more productive.

Library or museums? Museums; is that sacrilege for an author? Libraries are great, but I adore a museum, especially a natural history museum. The fact that such a vast wealth of knowledge is mostly free to the public is mind blowing.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Computer, my handwriting is atrocious!

Standalone or series? Based on my current writing trends I do seem to be laying the groundwork for several series. It’s not really a conscious decision, I just feel I have more stories to explore with certain concepts than a single book would allow.

Oddly, I usually prefer to read standalone books. I think that probably makes me some kind of psychopath.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

To be honest, I much prefer a story with no obvious tropes. Originality is the biggest draw for me, something which strikes as being entirely new. That does mean occasionally falling for gimmicks, mind you!

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

So far I have written science fiction, currently writing fantasy and have plans for some horror. In truth, I tend to concoct a story and worry about what genre it might fall into later which does result in some “genre hopping”. I like to experiment with different topics, different audiences, and different writing styles. Perhaps that means I haven’t really found my niche yet, but then perhaps I don’t want to.

My current work in progress is a family friendly fantasy (a fairly dramatic departure from my previous work) which follows a young girl on a quest within her own subconscious. The quest in question is in an attempt to save the main character’s cancer-stricken mother, so the stakes are high.

The basic concept allows for a lot of creative freedom, which I am enjoying a lot, but also makes striking the right tone somewhat difficult. It’s quite an ubsurd concept, so it can’t take itself too seriously; it has to be fun and charming and sometimes overtly silly. However, it still has to be able to provide real emotional impact when called for. It’s a difficult balance to reach.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My current book, The Lazarus Taxa, is a tense, grounded, sci-fi thriller. It features time travel but in a limited way; I intentionally created the rules of this particular method of time travel in such a way that it has a very limited effect on the plot. This was done primarily to remove the temptation to use the functionality of time travel as a deus ex machina; a common frustration of mine within the sci-fi world.

One of my primary inspirations was the desire to combat the prevailing and outdated presentation of dinosaurs by popular media. As an avid palaeontology geek, I find these animals to be fascinating and it has pained me to see them being relegated to Hollywood movie monsters or otherwise being “for kids”. It’s a complex and wonderful science which is wildly underutilised in current culture.

The plot of the book follows the first scientific expedition through time to the Late Cretaceous. Here, evidence of a dark conspiracy slowly becomes apparent. It’s difficult to delve much deeper without spoiling it for the reader, but, despite the dinosaurs, the real villains are very much human.

Please do check out the Amazon link below!

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I tend to draw a lot of real life inspiration from people I know and use that as a basis for a character’s personality. It’s much easier to imagine how a real person might react to a situation and then apply that to the fictional version. Of course, I only tend to pick aspects of people, so no character is fully based on a single, real life person.

I also draw heavily on science, something which I’m sure is common for science fiction writers. Deep dives into the research are common… and sometimes distracting!

History is another fantastic source for inspiration for me; some of the greatest stories ever told were real. I wouldn’t say that has been hugely influential on my current book, but I have a few rough drafts which are heavily influenced by classical European and Mesoamerican history.

I think my fictional sources of inspiration are far more varied. Curiously, for an author, I’m not a huge reader. It perhaps takes me a couple of months to get through a book, but I do draw inspiration from the likes of Douglas Adams, Philip Pullman and Steven King; all very different writers, but I like aspects of each style. I have always been somewhat of a movie buff and I draw a lot of inspiration from there too; oddly I think “Alien” was one of the primary sources for The Lazarus Taxa, I think I applied some similar tricks in creating tension.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I don’t have a routine as such, I write whenever I find time, which tends to be late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

I think, rather than giving advice once I had started writing, I would instead travel back further and convince myself to start writing sooner. I’d tell myself not to worry about what other people would think, but to simply write for me. Thankfully, my reviews so far have been positive and it feels great to be able to share my work, but even if no one had ever read it it’s a surprisingly cathartic process. I think everyone needs a creative outlet.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

I have a Facebook page which is my primary method of engaging with readers and fans. I now have a Facebook group for engaging more directly on matters relating to the book/s (I tend to bang on about palaeontology a lot on the page) and I do also appear on Goodreads.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindseyKinsellaAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60043780-the-lazarus-taxa

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