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Category: Author Interviews (Page 1 of 28)

The blog goes on hiatus…

Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog over the years. It’s been fun to post everything here too for people to see, even those who do not frequent the regular social media channels.

However, due to my life becoming increasingly busy (now with a house build and a small puppy added into the mix), I have been forced to cut down on certain areas of my author business. I would never let my writing suffer, so new books are in the works, but parts of my social media must unfortunately go. One of those things is the blog, meaning my author spotlights, too, have to go.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in my author interviews, and I am sorry to those who I have been unable to feature before this quite abrupt ending. I might start doing these again in the future, but at present, my best guess is that it will be gone indefinitely.

So, to clarify: I am not going anywhere. My books aren’t going anywhere. I will just not post about my writing here, on this blog, for the foreseeable future.

You can find all the information about my books here:

https://catrinrussell.com/

Also, my art isn’t going anywhere! I have so much more to show now than what I’ve had on this blog. Please, for anyone interested in a commission, be it book covers, logos, character art, promotional pics, etc, check out the dedicated page on my website!

https://catrinrussell.com/stc/

To keep up with my shenanigans, please subscribe to my newsletter!

https://www.subscribepage.com/catrinrussellnewsletter

And for those of you who would rather follow me on social media, you can find all my links here:

https://linktr.ee/catrinrussell

With that, I wish you all the very best. Love and Light!!

Author Interview: Thomas J. Doscher

Check out this spotlight for author Thomas J. Doscher!

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!

I am a retired U.S. Air Force journalist living in Illinois with my wife and two sons. I started writing when I was 13 years old but never attempted to publish anything until a little over a year ago. I have a degree in History and that’s my biggest passion.

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

Cat or dog? Dog. I have a goldendoodle named “Mimsy.”

Tea or coffee? Coffee.

Morning or evening?  Evening.

Library or museums? I believe in the great power of the word “and.”

Hunter or gatherer? Hunter. Just got an eight-pointer last week.

Witches or wizards? Witches. One of my favorite books is “Hi, I’m a Witch, and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion.”

Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas.

Mountains or beaches? Beaches. I grew up in Florida.

Plotter or pantser? Plotter.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Pen and paper.

Standalone or series? Both.

Book or ebook? Book for nonfiction, ebook for fiction.

Hero or anti-hero? Whoever can get the job done.

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

Sci-fi with a historical hook. Harry Turtledove’s “Guns of the South” has Robert E. Lee holding an AK-47 on the cover. Shut up and take my money.

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

I am currently writing the fifth book of a six-part series called “The Vixen War Bride.” It is a military sci-fi story about a group of soldiers occupying an alien world following Earth’s first interstellar war. It’s part action, part romance, part comedy that focuses on things like cross-cultural communication, PTSD, what it takes to win a peace after winning a war and the overall nonsense of military life in a deployed area.

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 was the fourth book of “The Vixen War Bride,” “Repatriation.” You can find all my books on Amazon:

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!

A lot of my real-life inspiration comes from historical anecdotes. “The Vixen War Bride,” for instance, is based on a story I heard about a soldier in U.S. occupied Japan after World War II. In the story, a Japanese woman comes to him to turn herself in for her actions during the war. Turned out she ran an inn that catered to kamikaze pilots on their last night before their final suicide missions. He didn’t have a reason to arrest her, but it was plain she wouldn’t take no for an answer. So he put her in their jail for a few hours and then let her go. As far as fictional sources, I get inspired to write whenever I see or read a good movie or book. The kind that makes you go, “I wish I could write a story like that.” It really fires me up and end up in my basement working.

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

I’m not sure it’s a routine, but I try to write at least a little every day. The way I figure it, even writing one word is still progress. It keeps the momentum going.

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?

Don’t stop writing. I gave up writing for a few years and now I look back and see it as time wasted.

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

Easiest place to find my books is Amazon.

Here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B092YNRGGL/

I also have an author Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069514145266

Author Interview: Tim Goff

Check out this spotlight for author Tim Goff!

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!

I was born in Alaska and grew up on a homestead at the very edge of the road grid. That gave me a bit of experience in everything from carpentry and automotive mechanics to swimming, boating, skiing, and more. I liked to read, which set me apart from my peers. Afterward came a bit of college and on-and-off stints at a range of jobs finishing with a dozen years as a USPS contractor. It was during this period that I took up writing.

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?

Summer. Winters here are long, cold, and dark, and I’m a bit old for the wintertime activities anymore. Spring is mud, and autumn can morph into winter on a whim.

Cat or dog?

Cat. They be self-reliant. Not anything against dogs, just don’t care to have one.

Tea or coffee?

I will drink either, but it is not a big deal.

Morning or evening?

I tend to stay up late (often writing) and sleep in late. While with USPS, I was often at work by 6:00 am, which…I did not care for.

Library or museums?

I have not been in an actual museum in over a decade. I do visit the local library a couple times a month. Currently, I attend the local Writers Group there – it came back to life after being dormant for years.

Hunter or gatherer?

More of a scavenger.

Witches or wizards?

Different sides of the same coin.

Ninjas or pirates?

Pirates.

Mountains or beaches?

Should be ‘mountains and beaches.’

Plotter or pantser?
Used to ‘pants it.’ Wrote myself into multiple dead ends that way. Anymore, apart from ‘test pieces’ to see how a idea works, I don’t begin a tale without knowing the beginning, middle, and end. Shorter stories – under 20,000 words, I don’t usually have an outline; for novels I will have 2-3 page outline with a few short sentences for each chapter that depict key scenes.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

Desktop computer. Way, way back, I sometimes used a typewriter.

Standalone or series?

Currently at two series (‘Empire’ and ‘Labyrinth’). ‘Empire’ has six books, four published. ‘Labyrinth’ has two finished books and a third I’ll have to write from scratch.

Apart from those, I have written literally dozens of stories ranging from 500 – 30,000 words, ranging from standalones to series of short stories.

Book or ebook?

Up until a few years ago, paper book. Local bookstore closings and issues with mail order made me switch to Kindle.

Hero or anti-hero?

Both. I take a more complex view. A hero struggling with past misdeeds or walking into darkness. An anti-hero who does the ‘right thing’ on a whim or who views the world very differently than others.

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

Ordinary people caught up in the grand sweep of events.

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

Currently, I am wrapping up the so-called ‘rewrite lite’ of ‘Empire: Spiral,’ fifth book in the ‘Empire’ series. ‘So-called’ because the book doubled in size AFTER cutting 10,000 words and leaving out another 18,000. This was the second rewrite for this story – there was a timeline issue that didn’t work and some plot-holes that needed filled.

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

That would be ‘EMPIRE: METROPOLIS,’ fourth book in the ‘Empire Series,’ which went on sale November 15th.

Corber Port – largest metropolis of the Solarian Empire – and a city in turmoil after an earthquake and fire turned a fifth of it into rubble.

Tia is held captive in this urban wasteland by demons masquerading as men. Tia’s former companions scour the city for her but hit one roadblock after another.

Worse, dark forces conspire to unleash yet another catastrophe on Corber Port – and Tia’s captors might be the only ones able to halt it – if they choose to do so.

Amazon.com: Empire: Metropolis eBook : Goff, Tim: Books

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 got to (slightly) know quite a few people over the course of my life – coworkers, relatives, casual encounters. When writing, I will go – ‘okay I have this situation. How would I react in it? How would some of these other people react?’  

I was a big fan of ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Wizard of Earthsea,’ and similar works as a kid. Later, I got into Feists ‘Magician’ series and a whole slew of ‘pulpier’ fantasy/sf books.

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

Usually late at night. I was working full time during the day, so I’d get home, eat, tackle a few chores, and write until I crashed. Now that I am semi-retired, I still find myself mostly writing at night.

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?

Write every day. There were long stretches where I didn’t even attempt to write.

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

Not really into social media apart from Facebook. I did set out to create a website, but that didn’t go too well.

Author Interview: Colleen Tews

Check out this spotlight for author Colleen Tews!

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!

I am author Colleen Tews. I love all things paranormal. So much so I write paranormal thrillers, paranormal romances, and urban fantasy. When I’m not writing or reading, I am hanging with my family, dogs and cat. I love going to conventions to meet new people, watching movies, and practicing witchcraft.

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? I love autumn the most. It is still warm. There is a crispness in the air.

Cat or dog? I love both. I have two dogs, River and Bettis, and a cat named Smokey.

Library or museums? I’ll pick a library every time. To be enveloped by hundreds of books beats a hundred paintings for me. There are so many stories that I haven’t read that I can’t wait to dive into soon.

Standalone or series? I’m all about a good series, to delve head over heels into a world that I don’t want to leave too early.

Hero or anti-hero? Give me a good anti-hero. There is a depth there that you don’t get from a simple hero.

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

I love to read what I write. Deep paranormal thrillers and urban fantasies that questions what it means to be human and out nature through the eyes of the monsters. Mind you, I read pretty much anything and everything happily.  

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

I write dark paranormal thrillers and romances; the darker the better. My current project is Onyx. It is a paranormal thriller about the witch Raven Sinclair. Her sister, Onyx, is murdered and her heart stolen. Raven returns to Briar Ridge, Ohio, from New York City for the funeral, but chooses to stay to catch the killer. It is available for pre-order on Kindle.

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

My most recent publication is the first book in the Dream Prophet Trilogy, Awakening. The second book is due later in 2023.

Two millennia of civil war between witches and werewolves has taken a serious turn. The Alpha, leader to the world’s strongest lycanthropy pack, died, leaving a hole in the chain of command. A battle royale narrows down the list of those fit to take on the role. What the shifters don’t know is one of the wolves in the fight is also a witch.Rhianne Leto is that a witch. She’s also a werewolf and a werewolf hunter. Since the Alpha’s death Rhianne has been having odd dreams. She headed into the arena to gather information and came out with more questions. As the mystical puzzle pieces from her dreams come together so, too, does a forbidden romance between Rhianne and the new Alpha. Could these new feelings and insights lead to peace in her time or a hidden doom exacerbating the current state of affairs?

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 stop and think about all the things in life I have survived. My health has been atrocious over the past decade: sepsis, breast cancer, PTSD, and depression, etc. Learning to embrace every moment gives me hope and inspires me to write great protagonists.

I love reading work by Laurell K. Hamilton, especially the Anita Blake Series. I grew up on L.J. Smith and Christopher Pike’s works. Then there is watching Marvel movies and action-packed films with usually a humorous/dark edge like The Fifth Element and The Crow. I love musicals like Hamilton and Wicked (the book was just as good).

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

I outline everything. Though I rarely stick to the original outline. Characters throw in monkey wrenches all the time.

My day goes like this: I wake up at 8:30am and exercise or meditate depending on the day. Then I write until lunch time. I survive on cherry coke. Hate to admit this, but I am not a big coffee drinker. In the afternoon, I either write more or edit what I have done. Usually adding a bit more to a scene to flesh it out. I do this until about five o’clock when I make dinner. I go to bed around eleven and start all over again the next morning.

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?

Be gentle with yourself. There will be days where you write a thousand-plus words and other days where all you can do is move from the bed to the couch. Both are okay.

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

I can be found at www.facebook.com/authorcolleentews,

www.instagram.com/colleentews,

www.tiktok.com/colleentews,

www.colleentewsblog.blogspot.com,

https://www.amazon.com/stores/Colleen-Tews/author/B01GIEMFP4

Author Interview: Eric Malikyte

Check out this spotlight for author Eric Malikyte!

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!

Hi, I’m Eric Malikyte, a neurodivergent author of five books including, Echoes of Olympus Mons, Mind’s Horizon, Neo Rackham 001: Ego Trip, Suleniar’s Enigma, and Suleniar’s Enigma Books 1 and 2, The Man Without Hands and The Rise of Oreseth.

I’m a professional content writer, video editor, illustrator, and more. I’ve written for websites and YouTube channels like TopTenz, Biographics, and Geographics, and my work has appeared in several anthologies, one of which is being published by Crossroad Press soon.

I also run a couple different small YouTube channels that I upload to whenever I have time.

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?

I write all year round, but my favorite time is during the fall, especially around Halloween. I’m big into writing Lovecraftian horror, and something about the leaves and weather changing really gets me inspired to scare the crap out of people.

Cat or dog?

Cat. I’ve got a short hair tabby and she’s my best non-human buddy, she follows me all around the house, screaming at the top of her little kitty lungs for pets and food. Any time friends visit, out of our two cats, she’s always the favorite. Though, my wife’s cat, Wash, is probably the softest critter you’ll ever attempt to snuggle. I say attempt, because he will bite you. He and I have developed a special relationship, though, and now he lets me pet and snuggle him. Poor guy has anxiety though, so he gets over stimulated pretty easily. Dogs are great, but I’m allergic to some breeds, and I know they’d be a little too much for me to handle with my busy schedule, so I prefer to live vicariously through the friends of mine who have dogs.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee. I often joke that I like my coffee the way I like my metal, “black.” But really, that’s a lie, cause that’s probably the one metal genre I don’t listen to. I pretty much only drink it black, though.

Morning or evening?

Evening. I’m not a morning person at all. I worked a job for seven years that forced me to be up at 4:00am, and that was murder on my social life.

Library or museums?

That’s a tough one, because I love our local science museum, but since I’m a bit more inclined to visit that place over the museum of fine arts or history, I’d say library. Books are my thing, and the San Bernardino Public Library in Southern California is where I got to experience a ton of great authors in speculative fiction and comics that weren’t readily available at Barnes and Noble or Borders (yes, I realize I’m dating myself by mentioning that store, but hey, they were awesome back in the day).

Plotter or pantser?

This is another tough one. I would say I’m a hybrid between these two options. I’m really good at remembering conversations. I might have trouble with what someone was wearing or what color their eyes were, but I can usually accurately recall the details of a conversation. I’m also ADHD. And while I do take meds for it, there are some “symptoms” that are really hard for me to control. One of those is doing tasks that I find annoying, and creating an outline is definitely one of those tasks. For some reason, though, I’m able to hold loose outlines for about 10 different projects at a time. I love the feeling of discovery when one of my characters or the world itself surprises me.

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

People often say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but generally that’s the first thing I notice. If I see cyberpunk imagery, tentacles, Lovecraftian symbols or labyrinthine alien ruins, or pretty much any cover made for a Neil Gaiman book, I’ll usually pick the book up and check it out.

Beyond the cover, the prose has to grab me in the first ten pages.

I love to be taken on a journey. I’m a sucker for a good detective story, who done it, Lovecraftian horror featuring strange, alien landscapes or cities, and modern cyberpunk that mixes the old and the new to create something unique. 

Oh, any hard science fiction like Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary, I definitely need more experiences in my life like that!

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

I write in the genres of cosmic horror, Lovecraftian occult horror, dark fantasy, and Cyberpunk. I’m currently working on finishing up a first draft for “Suleniar’s Enigma Book 3: The Transit of the Kultari,” two irreverent and intense cyberpunk detective thrillers to follow up my first short cyberpunk book “Ego Trip,” and several Lovecraftian horror novels, including a follow up to my first cosmic horror novel “Echoes of Olympus Mons.”

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

That would be The Rise of Oreseth, the second book in the Suleniar’s Enigma series. The first two books are free if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited. This series contains just about everything I love about fiction, minus anything you might find in cyberpunk.

The best way I can describe it for potential readers is that it’s the Lovecraftian bastard child of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Game of Thrones. The characters and relationships are rich and complex, the action will leave you on the edge of your seat, the enemies will terrify you, and the world building will suck you in.

Two worlds entwined. A journey across time and space.

Two men who will do anything to resurrect what they’ve lost.

A boy who yearns to be accepted by his people, and an Eldritch secret that haunts his past.

The last war is on the horizon.

Fifteen processions ago, Sage’s father left the City of Yce Ralakar soaked in blood as the result of a failed coup.

With otherworldly enemies searching for the remnants of the once great Sulekiel Empire, the High Elder has declared that all Sulekiel youth must enter a deadly test of strength and otherworldly power to prepare for that war.

Now, with his father’s legacy constantly being thrown in his face, Sage of Yce Ralakar must prove himself in the Trials. But, will strength and power be enough? Will the Council of Elders let him succeed? Or will his father’s crimes haunt him for the rest of his days?

I also painted the covers myself, and recently redesigned them after spending most of lockdown refining my skills. Here’s the link to the series page:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BQ9M2V5

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!

For characters, I usually look pretty close to home. Friends both close and distant, family—estranged or otherwise—and even public figures to a certain extent. I’m a big fan of realistic dialogue, to a point, since I’ve traveled all over the country, I have a habit to listening to the way people talk, their slang, idioms, and sentence structure. As for subject matters and plot, I’ll look at various things like scientific papers, developments in technology and the way the internet continues to evolve, politics, urban legends, the policies that mega corporations are enacting, etc.

As for fiction, my influences spread across pretty much every storytelling medium. As a kid I was exposed to way too many R-rated science fiction and action flicks thanks to my father dragging me along to most of the movies he wanted to see. So stuff like Alien, Total Recall, Terminator 1 and 2, and True Lies all had a profound early impact on my sensibilities. I was also fanatical about Batman and especially Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT is still something I feverishly collect).

Other than that, my dark fantasy and action oriented stuff is heavily influenced by Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, The Void (a fantastic Lovecraftian horror film that doesn’t explain a damn thing), as well as Dragon Ball and other Shonen Manga.

My cyberpunk is influenced by the original Ghost in the Shell anime film, Armitage III (despite being dated and a total mess), Fallout: New Vegas, Blade Runner 2049, and of course, the excellent Akira manga and film (though the manga is the best way to experience that story).

And of course my cosmic horror and Lovecraftian stuff is inspired by The Martian, Project Hail Mary, analog horror channels like Local 58 and Gemini Home Entertainment, and even Bram Stoker’s Dracula and other epistolary novels, because nothing makes a horror novel feel more real than journal entries, video, or audio recordings.

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

Well, given how hectic my schedule can be, I try to squeeze in writing sprints whenever possible. I’m a big fan of breaking my productivity down into 25 minute intervals, followed by 5 minute breaks. After four of those, I’ll give myself a fifteen minute break where I can watch a YouTube video or grab a snack. (If you don’t know what a Pomodoro timer is, I highly recommend you look into it). Sometimes I’ll start my day with a series of Pomodoros, but some weeks are so busy that I’ll only get one day to really focus on it. I’ve been trying to match the productivity I had back in 2019 and 2020, but it’s really hard sometimes. I still average about 2,000 to 5,000 words a week or more, but it’s not what I was doing a couple years ago.

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?

Hire someone to navigate marketing. I tried doing it all myself when I first started out, and while I did okay, marketing is a skill unto itself. I got overwhelmed really quickly, and the publishing landscape and trends change so quickly, it’s really hard to keep up sometimes. If I had done that one thing in 2019, I’d be in a very different position today. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being where I am now, but I kind of lucked out in a couple of major ways.

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

You can find my books on Amazon and on major publishing sites like Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and more. Readers can also sign up to my weekly newsletter for a free copy of my first novel, Echoes of Olympus Mons.

Eric Malikyte’s Amazon Page:

https://www.amazon.com/stores/Eric-Malikyte/author/B07H22ZRYY

Echoes of Olympus Mons:

https://books2read.com/u/bOxyx9

Apple Books: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/579569

Mind’s Horizon: https://books2read.com/u/mZjkgE

Ego Trip: https://books2read.com/u/bzo0rL

News Letter Singup Freebie: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/1cw07o2uyb

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter, YouTube as Science Get, Storyrant, and of course, my analog horror series, The Office of Extra-dimensional Intelligence (OEI).

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ericmalikyte

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericmalikyte

Science Get: https://www.youtube.com/c/ScienceGet

Storyrant: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Sk2h2WsYMxnGERAH_FbGg

OEI: https://www.youtube.com/c/OfficeofExtradimensionalIntelligence

Author Interview: DJ LeJeune

Check out this spotlight for author DJ LeJeune!

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!

Hi! Thanks for having me. My name is DJ LeJeune, and I aim to send my readers on near and far future Science Fiction adventures, blended with a dash of thriller and a lot of character. I won the Grand Prize for the Summer 2020 Writing Contest at Short Fiction Break. I enjoy gaming, tech, and Donatello, because he’s the MVP of the Ninja Turtles.

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 – Cat. Or a Wiener dog… they’re like the cats of the dog breeds.

Tea or Coffee – Coffee, because… c’mon. But only black—no cream, no sugar—just like my grandmother taught me to drink it.

Plotter or Pantser – Hybrid. I do a lot of advance work to plot the story, but I can only get so far before those efforts stall.

So as I’m writing the first draft, I’m discovering a good deal about how characters react and what certain settings look like. Then when I begin work on the second draft, a new round of plotting comes in.

Book or Ebook – I’ve gotten to love the convenience of an ebook. Most my family and friends are still all about a physical book, though, which I get.

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

Stories about ancient mysteries or some far-off, newly-discovered space artifact that’s been there for tens of thousands of years. That sort of thing. It’ll usually have some hook of unknown awe/fascination that grabs me and makes me want to read.

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

I primarily write science fiction, but my current work dives deep into fantasy, too. I published my first novel, Path of Relics: Aether Shard, last year, and I’m working on the sequel, which I’ll publish later in 2023. Path of Relics is in a sub-genre of scifi known as Gamelit or LitRPG.

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

Path of Relics: Aether Shard is like a mix of Ready Player One, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones.

The blurb describes the book fairly well:

He entered the contest to win cash…

Now millions could die.

Random gigs and ramen noodles… that’s how out-of-shape gamer Terry survives the job-starved future of 2044. Until he’s accepted into the Path of Relics tournament—the most anticipated virtual reality RPG event of the decade—where he has the chance to win some real loot.

But does he have a fighting chance against the world’s top Active-VR athletes?

Not to mention the ancient dungeons, puzzles, scorpion-wolves, and all-too-realistic NPCs the game world throws at him. And just how advanced is this “Portal Rig” that lets him physically experience the fantasy world as if he were transported there?

Worse, could his suspicions be true?

Are the strange and deadly malfunctions plaguing Manhattan somehow triggered by Path of Relics?

Now, outmatched and exhausted, can Terry’s mysterious ability to level-up quickly and his meager martial arts skills help him avert catastrophe in the real world?

You can get it here: 

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!

My real-life inspiration usually has to do with technology. I love reading about this or that new advancement that might revolutionize the world, both in the near term and far future. That sort of stuff tends to inform my stories.

Fictional influences run the gamut, but I’ve always loved Issac Asimov’s writing style. His prose is clear and easy to read, but not over-simplified. He just tells a good story without drawing much attention to himself as the writer. I like that.

For Path of Relics in particular, I took tons of inspiration from Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth. There’s such a sense of “journey” to that movie. The main character visits so many strange places, and it just has this epic feel. I tried to get across that sense of being transported to another world in Path of Relics.

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

I write mornings, mostly. I work in Scrivener and use the Pomodoro technique where I’ll set a timer for 25 minutes and just write. I’ll take a five minute break then do another sprint, although my breaks tend to stretch beyond five minutes.

I’m still holding down a day job (mostly work from home), so I try to get my word count done early before things get busy. It’s working well so far.

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?

That self-doubt and uncertainty are a part of the process, and you just need to push through. I’ve always wanted to be a published author, but I never went for it thinking I wouldn’t be good enough. Then when I finally started my novel, it took me over two years to publish it, mostly due to procrastination. I put off doing the work for fear of how poorly I might do the work.

I’ve met several writers now (I’m in an online writer’s group), and realized most authors struggle with this. I’m better about forcing myself to move forward now, even when I don’t know exactly where the story is headed. Or when my writing seems a hollow version of the vision in my head.

It’s about taking things a little at a time and improving the story each step along the way. Most people can’t hold in mind all the parts of their story and grammar rules and everything else to get it out in draft one. That’s fine. That’s what revision is for.

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

You can find updates on my writing and projects at https://djlejeune.com and also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/djlauthor, and Twitter @DJLauthor

And again, Path of Relics: Aether Shard is available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited here: https://www.amazon.com/Path-Relics-Aether-Seeker-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B0B9RRJ2MQ

Author Interview: Derek Power

Check out this spotlight for author Derek Power!

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!

I began writing in early 2001, mainly focusing on short stories. After winning the odd contest here and there I figured I would try and write something a little longer. A few false starts later I managed to complete my first novel, titled Filthy Henry: The Fairy Detective, in early 2013. Since then, I’ve written four more Filthy Henry novels as well as a sci-fi noir novel called Duplex Tempus. I’ve also been included in a few anthologies over the past year.

I currently live in Skerries, Dublin, Ireland.

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? Winter, because if you are too cold you can just put on more clothes.

Cat or dog? Dogs, cats are soulless creatures.

Tea or coffee? Coffee in vast amounts.

Plotter or pantser? Plotter, I need the roadmap. Sometimes the plot evolves as it is being written, but I need the roadmap.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Computer and Remarkable (digital tablet) – I need to be able to undo and backup and paper just gets ruined when you spill coffee (which is a warcrime).

Standalone or series? Both, all I care about is the story.

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

I am a sucker for sci-fi, but the old style stuff like Philip K. Dick. Space operas don’t really hold my attention. Fantasy is also high on the list, but I typically read anything and everything with the only exception being I don’t go near Romance/Erotica.

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

So far I have focussed on writing just fantasy-comedy stuff. Filthy Henry is a comedy fantasy series about a half-human, half-fairy who solves magical cases in Ireland. It draws heavily on the old Celtic myths and legends, but then puts modern spins on them. The short stories I have written for anthologies are also comedy-fantasy. I grew up reading Discworld and always loved how the two genres had been pushed together.

Currently I am trying something a little different and trying my hand at writing a crime novel. It’s a serious one too, so it will be an experiment to see if I can keep the comedy out of it.

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

My most recent novel is ‘Nearly Christmas – a Filthy Henry novel’

Blurb:
Mortals magically murdered generally is enough to get Filthy Henry, Ireland’s first and foremost fairy detective, involved in the case. But when those murders happen on Halloween there is even more reason for him to investigate what is going on. As the walls between Realms weaken, allowing spirits to roam the land, Filthy Henry and Shelly are in a race against time to ensure All Hallows Eve goes off without a hitch. Otherwise dead mortals are going to be the least of Ireland’s problems…

It can be gotten from numerous places at the following link: https://books2read.com/u/4AvOEp

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’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin and Tom Holt. I’ve also read everything ever written by Philip K. Dick and Blade Runner is my all time favourite movie, I’ve watched it at least a hundred times.

Being Irish I have a deep well of Celtic myths and legends to draw from, which feed into Filthy Henry a lot but also some other aspects of my stories.

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

I have a job, I have young kids, so writing always happens at nigh time. Which isn’t ideal, because you are tired from the day – but the writing has to be done in order to stop the voices in my head. I write every day, including birthdays and Christmas, and get at least 800 words written. Some days this is a slog that can take an hour or two, other times I blast out 2000 words without breaking a sweat. But writing a little every day means the story gets done, eventually.

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?

Drafts are your best friend. Back when I first started writing I spent so much time trying to craft the perfect sentence before moving on, that nothing ever got written. I might get three or four pages out one night, then immediately start to tweak them the next night. What I should have done was gotten the drafts done, then started editing/fixing/perfecting on the next draft. I would probably have gotten a lot more books done that way.

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

Books to read: https://books2read.com/ap/xqkYXL/Derek-Power

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dcpower_author

Website: https://www.powerwrites.com/

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