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Category: Author Interviews (Page 1 of 18)

Author Interview: Gabriella Balcom

Check out this author spotlight for Gabriella Balcom!

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!

Hello. I’m Gabriella Balcom and I want to thank you interviewing me. I appreciate your time and effort very much.

Here is a short bio about me:

Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas and writes fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi, literary fiction, children’s stories, poems, and more. She loves great stories, forests, mountains, and back roads, and has a weakness for lasagna, garlic bread, tacos, cheese, and chocolate. She’s had 280+ works accepted by publishers including Barrio Blues, Black Hare Press, Black Ink Fiction, Blood Song Books, Breaking Rules Publishing, Celestial Echo Press, Clarendon House Publications, Clarendon House Short Story Magazine, Crow’s Feet Journal, Dastaan World, Dragon Soul Press, Eerie River Publishing, Fantasia Divinity Magazine, Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, Insignia Books, Iron Faerie Publishing, JayZoMon/Dark Myth Publishing, Paper Djinn Press, Pixie Forest Publishing, Raven and Drake Publishing, Reanimated Writers Press, Siren’s Call, Soteira Press, Stormy Island Publishing, Suicide House Publishing, Sweetycat Press, The Great Void, The World of Myth Magazine, and Zombie Pirate Publishing.

Gabriella won the right to have a novel published by Clarendon House Publications when one of her short stories was voted best in the anthology in which it appeared; her book, On the Wings of Ideas, came out afterward. She was nominated for the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award, won second place in JayZoMon/Dark Myth Company’s 2020 Open Contract Challenge, and her novelette, Worth Waiting For, was then released. Gabriella’s novelette, Free’s Tale: No Home at Christmas-time, was published at the end of 2020, and her sci-fi novella, The Return, came out in 2021. Another of her novellas pends publication.  Her Facebook author’s page: https://m.facebook.com/GabriellaBalcom.lonestarauthor

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this-or-that questions. Explain why you chose your this answer or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Autumn?

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the trees’ stunning colors, and the usually mild temperatures. It’s not hot to the point of sweltering like part of Spring and most of Summer, and not cold like Winter. Being able to relax in shorts is nice as opposed to needing heavier, warmer clothing.

Cat or dog?

I prefer cats, although I like dogs a lot, too. My first friend was a cat, and I can say quite honesty she was a true one. I’ll never forget how loving and responsive she was to my emotions. Cats’ overall independence and alert watchfulness appeal to me, as opposed to dogs often fawning over people and seeming more “needy,” per se. But I know cats can demand attention forcefully, too. I also admire cats’ cleanliness, ability to twist their bodies and land on their feet, and how many of them hunt for food even when they don’t have to.

Tea or coffee?

Neither. I prefer hot chocolate, although I do like certain decaffeinated teas (camomile, blueberry, green, lemongrass, peppermint, etc.). Water is probably what I drink the most, but I also enjoy blue Powerade and fruit juices like orange, grape, and apple.

Morning or evening?

Both, and night, too. I’m naturally most alert in the morning, but typically sleep through a good part of it because I work evening shift (mid-afternoon throughout the evening, and sometimes a few hours into the night). When I’m off work, I get up early to have time for writing or writing-related things, and work on my creations for hours at a time. The days I go to my job, I try to fit in writing time before I have to leave, and once I get back home, too.         

Mountains or beaches?

Mountains and forests, actually. I live in a small town in the country surrounded by trees, and love it. I enjoy smelling all the nature scents, and seeing and hearing birds, squirrels, deer, rabbits, coyotes, and other animals. I find walking in the woods to be both healing and uplifting. Mountains thrill me also. I love seeing them and being on or near them. I admire their majesty, agelessness, and knowing how long they’ve been around. 

I do enjoy visiting beaches now and then, walking in the sand, hearing gulls, and collecting shells. But forests and mountains are my favorites.

Plotter or pantser?

Pantser. I don’t outline my stories or plan out this or that. Ideas constantly flood my mind, and I never know where a certain idea will take me. My characters lead me along, per se, and I often envision or “hear” scenes from their lives.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

I mainly use my laptop, as I type fast and can go quicker that way. When things pop into my head, I don’t want to forget them, and jot notes down on paper, index cards, or whatever I can get my hands on. If I’m driving, I’ll dictate into a memo app or text things to myself.  

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

I write in multiple genres, including fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi, literary fiction, children’s stories, poems, and more. I do stories of varying sizes, all the way from one-hundred-word drabbles through novel-length works. Right now, I’m working on several pieces, some for specific calls, others just for myself.

I submit things to several publishers on a regular basis. My acceptances for 2022 include drabbles for Black Ink Press’ Heartless anthology, a short story for Raven and Drake’s Aliens anthology, a poem for Sweetycat’s Beautiful: In The Eye Of The Beholder anthology, and a drabble and story for the January issue of The World of Myth Magazine. I’m excited to say one of my novellas has been accepted for publication, too, but I’ll keep that secret for now and announce it later. 

My goals for this year include submitting more works, and doing so steadily. I hope more will be accepted. I also hope to finish a novel I’ve been working on, do edits on a second, and submit a third  to publishers.

4. 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 Return, a sci-fi novella published by Black Hare Press. I’m quite proud of it, and just love the cover. Here’s a little about my story:

The world doesn’t know anything about the compound hidden underground, and the wealthy investors funding it want things to stay as they are. It’s the year 2030, and scientists have made numerous scientific advances.

They use cutting-edge technology with their Feline Service Units and Human Replicas—HRs, as they’re commonly known. However, most of the research being conducted in the facility is illegal. If animal rights’ activists had an inkling of what went on, they’re clamor for justice. Human rights’ activists would scream from the rooftops.

Tensions are mounting, and things are not as they appear.

Amazon link: https://bit.ly/39y9iOL

Reader comments about The Return:

“…This is a thrilling ride. I’m hoping there’s a sequel.”

“…man, it got me good. Best plot twist I’ve read in a book…you’ll love this book!”

“Fascinating and amazing!”

“…had me on the edge of my seat.”

5. 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?

BELIEVE in yourself, no matter what!

6. Last but not least, where can we find you? Drop those links!

My Facebook author page: https://m.facebook.com/GabriellaBalcom.lonestarauthor

Author Interview: Raven Oak

Check out this author spotlight for Raven Oak!

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!

Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has many published short stories in anthologies and magazines. She’s even published on the moon! (No, really!) Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled ENBY who enjoys getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography and art, or staring at the ocean. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at www.ravenoak.net.

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? 
  It’s really a tie between autumn and winter. I love the leaves changing colors and the cool temperatures of fall. I’m also a huge fan of creepy things, so Halloween is definitely my bag. But I also love snowfall and the winter landscape, as well as the December holiday season.

Cat or dog?  Cats. I love most animals, including dogs, but cats are more intelligent. They aren’t subservient and like me, tend to do what they please. 😉 I have three disabled cats that own me.

Tea or coffee?  Tea. I enjoy cold brew coffee and sugar-coffee aka mochas and pumpkin spice lattes, but tea is everything. It’s warm and soothing or it can have a bit of a kick like it does in black licorice black tea. It’s one of my favorite drinks and yes, I have tea cups.

Morning or evening?  Definitely evening. I’m a mid-owl. I do my best work between 2 PM and midnight. By 2 AM, I’m ready for sleep. Book or ebook?  You know, for all that I have a M.S. in computers and love tech, I’m a book person. E-books give me migraines and honestly, I lose focus with them. But a book—oh man, you can smell the pages, like memories floating through synapses. You can touch the paper and binding, feel the weight of it in your hands. There’s something about the tactile experience that makes the reading all the more enjoyable for me.

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

I don’t look for tropes typically. I prefer books that subvert them anyway. I tend to look for something that’s unique or something that asks intense questions such as is intelligent life avoiding us or are they as small as we are in the universe? I want to read something with depth of thought and world building. Good covers help too. Nothing bothers me more than a cover that looks like the author made it in paint. I usually pick a page at random to read to ensure the book’s been edited by someone with real editing experience. As an author, I can afford to be picky so I am.

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

I mostly write speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy) but I do make dips into horror and mystery. What can I say? I love crossing genres. I’m currently working on Book III in my Boahim Trilogy, Amaskan’s Honor. I just finished two short stories for anthologies and should have 3-4 books out this year provided supply chains don’t get worse. I’m hoping to release a collection of short stories too if I get to finishing some of the new stories for it. Right now, I’m writing and waiting for Covid to go away so I can return to being a guest at various conventions. I miss seeing my readers.

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

I just had two holiday novellas come out in December: The Ringers (gothic fantasy) and Ol’ St. Nick (sci-fi mystery). You can buy them anywhere, but here are the Amazon links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MR6JVTL/ (The Ringers)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09MNX94ST/ (Ol’ St. Nick)

In The Ringers:  Every time a bell ring, someone’s going to die.
Around Christmas, many towns and villages are full of wonder and magic, full of smiling people who live to spread seasonal joy. But in the dreary village of Dekwood, the midnight bells are ringing once again… Who are these Ringers? Why does no one speak out against the evil in town? Young Elise seeks deadly answers in hopes that she can save the town…and herself. Will the Ringers take them all, or will Elise release evil’s grip on the little village of Dekwood?

In Ol’ St. Nick: When a mobster Santa dies, everyone’s a suspect!

What do you get when you mix an old Earth myth with mobsters and space ships? A locked room mystery with holiday trimmings involving the plucky crew of a scavenger ship.

Captain Mark Barnes has but one request: keep his ship flying and his crew happy. But when someone from his past tears their way into the present, everyone on his ship becomes a murder suspect, including himself. Especially himself. Time’s running out as Mark and his crew struggle to find the murderer among them, because if they don’t, they just might kill one another. When a family falls apart, can the damage be repaired? Or will this holiday go down in history as a complete and utter disaster?

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 from my own life and lives of people around me. File off the serial numbers and voila! New story! For example, my space opera novella, Class-M Exile, came from my past. I grew up in the Bible Belt in a town where even the Catholics pretended to be Southern Baptist/Evangelical. When I first met a good friend, she was the complete antithesis of everyone I knew and as such, people were afraid of her. I used that experience to write about a future where humanity is mostly extinct, so when a group of aliens see one, they freak out. It’s comical but underneath it is an exploration of prejudice. I try not to use existing works by others as inspiration because it would be too easy to write that instead of something new, but I love space westerns so works like Cowboy Bebop and Firefly are appreciated.   

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

I write full time for a living so I definitely have a routine. Because I’m disabled and brain fog from both my disease and my meds is a thing, I usually spend the morning shaking it off by reading, doing brain puzzles, or watching a good TV show. Around 11 A.M., I go to my office and answer business emails followed by 30 minutes doing business social media. I spend a few hours editing (I take a lunch break somewhere in there), and around 2 PM, I hit the ground running with writing. I typically work until around 6 or 6:30 PM and then spend the evening with my family. Weekends are typically for family as well, unless I’m at a convention/conference, writer retreat, etc.

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 listen to the anxiety and depression. You’ve got this.

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

Website:  www.ravenoak.net

FB Author Page:  https://facebook.com/authorroak

FB Reader Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ravenconspiracy

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/raven_oak

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/author_raven_oak/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/kaonevar/

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

BookBub Author Page:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/raven-oak

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravenoak1

Author Interview: Alexander R. Davis

Check out this author spotlight for Alexander R. Davis!

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 love stories, movies and books alike. I learned many of my morals from the heroes in books and movies when I was younger. People have teased me about being a knight, more than once, haha. Because I saw how much of an impact stories had on me, I wanted nothing more than to be able to do that for someone else!

​A story has such power to change. There is something about them that can touch hearts in a way that simple facts could never do. Textbooks are great, but they don’t hold a candle to the books that teach lessons through stories. I realized early in my life that stories are the best way to really teach and have an impact on lives. Think about some of the greatest speeches you have heard. Think about the lessons that really stick with you. Very often there is a story tied in that drives the lesson home. Even look at some of the greatest teachers. Look at Jesus, Gandhi, or even the best school teachers. They have a message and they share that message through stories.

​Knowing the impact I could potentially have I looked into becoming an author myself. I wanted it so badly, but for over a decade I had done nothing with it. I searched in the self development world for the answer. After a lot of study, I found that I had a belief that told me: “dreams are something to look forward to, but not have. They are something to see, but not touch.” Wow. When I came to this realization, it changed everything!

​I worked on this belief and cleared it away. As soon as I was free of that limiting belief, my dreams became reality. In a decade nothing, and then in a year and a half, I published 6 books! Can you believe that? If I hadn’t experienced it, I would have laughed if someone told me what was going to happen.

​At first, I had only planned to write fiction, but because of my journey in the self help world, I began writing in that realm as well. Both adventurous stories, and real life teachings had helped me, so now I share my knowledge and imagination.

​You may ask: why should I care about all of this? I have an answer for you. If this young guy from a little town could reach his dreams, then so can you. You CAN and WILL succeed!

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 for sure. Cat’s have such self reliant attitudes most of the time and don’t need my attention 120% of the time. At the same time, cats can still be affectionate and hang out with you too, they just are so needy as most dogs are.

Standalone or series?
Series all the way. with a series you can actually get to know the characters really well. With a stand alone it’s hard to really get into much depth with any one character. It helps them feel more real and let’s you relate to them more. Plus, if it’s a really good one then it doesn’t end after only one book/movie and leave you wishing there was more. Imagine if something like star wars, lord of the rings, or the office, only had one book or one season. It would indeed be a travesty. 

Hero or anti-hero?
From a tactical perspective, anti-hero may be the way to go, but I have to stick with the traditional hero. Heroes have always fascinated me, not because of some power or ability they may have. not because they may be a better fighter or luckier than the next guy or anything else like that. The reason I’m drawn to them is because of their characters. They are genuinely good, wholly and truly. Their morals are what I really am attracted to. So though they may have more weaknesses to exploit than an anti-hero, I still have to stick with the traditional hero.

Plotter or pantser?
You know, I have tried to be a plotter, more times than one, but it never works out for me. As I am trying to plot things out, I just can’t help going into a lot of detail and then just wanting to keep writing from there. So I defintely jive more with the pantser. In fact, I wrote a three book series and did almost zero plotting. I just let the writing take me where it would.

Morning or evening?
The evening is where it’s at. For whatever reason as soon as the sun goes down, I typically get less tired. My brain starts rolling and the creative juices often get flowing better. I remember one night I couldn’t sleep and stayed up writing. In that single night I wrote close to 30 pages of a novel I was working on. Plus there is always the bonus that most people are off of work in the evening, including me. Haha.

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

An uncorrupted hero in a corrupt world. A good example would be a story like the Dark Knight. the hero, batman, never kills, regardless of what is done to him or the ones he loves.

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

I am all over the place to be honest. I have inspirational, relationships, coaching and fantasy books. But fantasy will always hold a special place in my heart, because the first fantasy book I picked up was the book that made me realize that reading didn’t just have to be a chore issued by school. What I am focusing on now is a series (Omeron: The Hero’s Chronicle). The first book has been published for a little over a year and after a little break I am coming back to continue writing the next book.

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

The most recent release is the one I mentioned above (Omeron: The Hero’s Chronicle). This book was born out of my fascination for heroes and what makes someone a hero. more than just powers or abilities, but who someone has to BE to be considered a hero. Here is the teaser.
“If you could stop all of this, would you?” the hero asked.

Randrum knelt before the hero, who was adorned in his bloodstained armor. That armor had once been bright and gleaming, but no longer. Randrum only lifted his eyes, too weak to stand. He hardly noticed the blood red snow, or the still bodies around them, which he himself would soon join.

“Of course I would… but it’s too late,” Randrum said before going into a fit of coughing. Once he recovered somewhat he raised his eyes to meet the hero’s gaze. “No one can turn back the hands of time….”

The hero crouched down before Randrum, still holding his gaze. “But what if one could?”

Randrum licked his lips. The blood loss must have been getting to him. He actually considered the question, even though it was impossible. “If it were… possible… I would sacrifice anything to change this.”

The hero smiled and held out his hand. “’That’ is the right answer.”

Randrum hesitated, then reached for that hand.

If a murderer was given the choice between death and becoming a hero, something so contrary to everything they know, would they? Even if they did, could they actually change? Could they fight their nature and become a true hero?

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!

Some of my driving inspirations have been: The Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings.

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

I’ve tried many different ways, but right now I’m set on time. I give myself a set amount of time to write. It doesn’t matter how much I write in that time period as long as I am writing. At the same time I also listen to music because that helps me to write. My typical music is just music mixes without words. I go to youtube and type in music mixes. Two steps from hell, and audiomachine have some good mixes.

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 dwell on criticism. Give it a look to see if there is any value in it, then throw it away. dwelling on the negative feedback only sets you back.

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

https://www.srabooks.com/https://www.facebook.com/alex.r.davis.9https://twitter.com/davisRalexander
https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-R-Davis/e/B07V5VY6VV/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Author Interview: Anat Eliraz

Check out this author spotlight for Anat Eliraz!

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! My name is Anat Eliraz and I am from Israel. I work as a physiotherapist in a neonatal intensive care unit.Mother of four, jogging and practicing martial arts… oh, of course! And writing! Somewhere in between!English is my second spoken language but my first written one and so I do most of my writing in English. I am mostly interested in the fantasy genre, ever since I started playing D&D in the late 80’s (yup… I am THAT old…!)

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?Spring, definitely. Great weather, best time for hiking, the feeling of renewal everywhere!

Cat or dog? Dog. Had both over the years, but always more of a dog person. They are just happy to see you come back home, great friends, great cuddle, fun on trips, loyal, guardians… and cats… just aren’t…

Plotter or pantser? Panster. Totally. I write scenes, as they come to me and only later glue them all together.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Anything available! My first book was written on over 150 pages by hand before I transferred it all to the computer. I used to write in coffee shops or in the middle of the night, and pen and paper was the quiet solution for that. 

Standalone or series? Hard to say… my first book was supposed to be a standalone, but then I had this idea of how to continue it. It can still be read on it’s own, but the next book is supposed to give the reader more information that was unknown in the first one. I am writing another story that is supposed to be a standalone (I know the ending and don’t think it would continue).

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

Books that don’t just ‘feed’ me the story but let me join in on the journey. That make me think, make assumptions, try to figure out where the plot is heading and who is behind it all.

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

I write fantasy. Right now I have two projects in progress- the sequel to my published book and another story altogether, that takes place on earth during WW2.

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

My first book was published at the end of April (2021). “Jewels of Smoky Quartz”. The story is about a nurse who also practices martial arts and one day finds herself in another world. She needs to use her wit and skills to survive and find out more about this new world and about herself.

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!

Wow! Well, I come from the medical field so some information I used was explained by fellow medical staff. I also practice martial arts and took the inspiration from there. Landscapes are based on my hiking to some degree. Personally I read many genres, but I love fantasy. One of the authors I truly enjoy reading is Charles De Lint (Someplace to be flying).I don’t watch movies much, but I like to listen to music and songs by indie artists such as ‘Aviators’, ‘Malukah’, ‘Miracle of Sound’ etc.

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

Don’t have one. I write whenever and wherever I can. I have a notebook in my bag and if a treatment got cancelled, I grab a cup of coffee and sit to write. With my first book, many parts of it were written in the middle of the night. I would wake up with a scene or idea and just had to write it down. 

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? 

Get to know the world wide community of readers and writers before publishing. I am really happy with certain things like the cover, but I would have taken a different editor. I didn’t come from a background of writing, and I never even guessed what a huge business it is. Still, I am not disappointed with my work, only learned I could have done it even better.

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

Link to my book on Amazon-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VNH7KDW/
Link to a song I wrote. It’s part of the book, and a friend took the words and brought them to life! It was done during lockdown, not in a professional studio, but at home, with minimal equipment and lots of love!
https://youtu.be/ZF9RWfUonRk

Author Interview: Belart Wright

Check out this author spotlight for Belart Wright!

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!

My name is Belart Wright, the offspring of some fantasy author’s imagination. He thought he was clever by mixing up his own name to create my first name and referencing his profession to create my surname.  As a mere construction, I am an author in the Sci-Fi, LitRPG, GameLit, Fantasy, and Horror genres.  I also like videogames and lukewarm tea!

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?

It’s typically Winter for me, but that’s starting to change now that I have an automobile. I like the two in-between seasons.  Between Fall and Spring, I think I’m more of a Fall guy.  It’s even got two names, how neat is that.  Maybe we should split the difference and call it Fallumn, no?

Plotter or pantser?

I’m non-ironically both, in equal measure. As a matter of fact my MBTI is equally split at INFP and INTP so I’m very active in both the thinking and feeling parts of my personality.  I plot out my entire book and then break that down further into chapters. I’m not overly detailed but I can be.  The trick is that I allow my characters to smash through my chapter outline whenever they feel like it which usually enhances the story.  I can’t seem to control them so they just kind of do what they want and I have to course correct and write around them all the time. Oy!

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

Nothing trumps pen and paper.  I’ve felt like such a stranger working strictly from my laptop these last few years.  I decided to do so for efficiency’s sake since I often had to transcribe my novels from my notebooks to my laptop.  The writing flow generated from notebook work is unmatched for me.  My next project will thankfully take me back to my pen and paper roots. It’s not the most efficient, but nothing beats it.

Standalone or series?

I’ve been writing series for a few years now and while I’ve always liked series and other types of longform storytelling, I had only envisioned that a select few of my projects would be series.  I have a newfound respect for standalone books now, since I believe there’s something a little more pure about them.  I have a few fun series still in the pipeline, but once those are done I’m more interested in writing standalone stories.

Hero or anti-hero?

I sometimes trick myself into thinking I’m more of an anti-hero guy but I really tend to like heroes that look like anti-heroes—the dark, brooding, and gothic types.  Batman is a good example of that.  Don’t get me wrong, many of my favorite characters are indeed anti-heroes, but there’s something about the selfless and self-sacrificing type that I find incredibly noble.  Maybe it’s the fact that they’re selfless and self-sacrificing … yeah that’s it! 

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

The hidden protector & hidden society tropes usually get me good especially in Urban Fantasy stories.  I like when there’s a whole world of danger and adventure that’s hidden in plain sight that most mundane folk aren’t aware of.  Harry Potter was one of the first books to introduce me to this decades ago but it was prevalent in many cartoons and anime from my childhood.

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

The genres most comfortable to me are Dark Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Urban Fantasy, LitRPG, and GameLit.  My stories typically cross genres, taking bits and pieces from everything I like.  My latest project, Hell’s Glitch is a great example of this.  Most of my other upcoming projects such as a WIP visual novel currently codenamed Stone Heart will also cross genres.

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

I’ve so far published 10 books, but I’ve removed them from the digital storefronts in order to focus on strengthening my brand and marketing strategy.  I’m currently relaunching my most popular series Hell’s Glitch which had a great run when it was first published in 2016.  It’s been off of digital bookshelves for over a year now.  I’d like to get a much better version of the story in the hands of even more people in 2022. You can find the preorder for the book at https://kdp.amazon.com/B09MKTK4LM with the scheduled publication date being May 25, 2022.

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 draw inspiration from every part of my brain which was inundated with cartoons, videogames, anime, movies, books, and comics growing up. I pull a ton from childhood, but with something like Hell’s Glitch I drew heavy inspiration from the videogames, books, and anime I’ve consumed as an adult.  The works of George R. R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Kentaro Miura, Norihiro Yagi, abec, Reki Kawahara, and Hidetaka Miyazaki all influence Hell’s Glitch for instance.

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

My routine seems to change from project to project.  I just write whenever I can, wherever I can, with whatever I can get my hands on.  I’m getting back to writing consistently which hasn’t been easy these last few years so I think I can and should develop a consistent routine.

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’d tell him to work on what he likes and stay consistent with it.  If I had more time, I’d also break down all the publishing/marketing/formatting knowledge I’ve gained over the years. It’d be nice to have that earlier in life.

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

Thank you!  You can find me at all those fancy links below or email me directly at belartwrightlitrpg at gmail dot com with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding my work.  Take care!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Belart

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2BW6wld

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BelartWright

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OccultLitRPG/

Author Interview: Jon Cronshaw

Check out this author spotlight for Jon Cronshaw!

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’m a full-time SFF author based in Morecambe, a small coastal town on the west coast of England.

I’ve had a zig-zag career which has included working as a music writer, a political reporter, and an art history lecturer.

I spend my days writing and wrangling my nine-year-old son.

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? Dogs are better than cats in every way *ducks to avoid flying objects* :p

I’m severely visually impaired, registered blind, and I’ve worked in partnership with a guide dog since 2009.

Both of my guide dogs have given me a level of confidence and independence I don’t get when using a cane…or a cat. 

Tea or coffee? As a stereotypical English gentleman, it has to be tea…followed by coffee…then another coffee…and tea. That reminds me, I need a cuppa. 


Library or museums?
Difficult to say, as I love them both. But if I had to choose, nothing inspires me like exploring a museum.

I recently took a trip to Egypt and found myself in awe all the way round the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

So many objects I’ve seen in museums have sparked ideas for my fiction.

Witches or wizards? I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan, so whenever I think of witches and wizards, I can’t help associating them with the inhabitants of the Discworld.

The wizards come across as a dusty old bores who are only interested in magic as an academic discipline to be performed only in ivory towers.

Witches help people. They’re practical and blunt, relying more on ‘headology’ than magic.

But when they do need to use sypathetic magic, it can be more powerful than any wizard.  

Book or ebook? I can’t read print anymore due to my eyesight, but I can manage with ebooks.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of an ebook not being made from pulped trees. Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Can I pick audiobooks? Last year I listened to more than 150 audiobooks. They’re my favourite form of entertainment and I usually have a novel and a non-fiction book on the go at any one time.

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

I like stories about wronged heroes overcoming the odds, of characters who live by a guiding principle that ends up getting them in trouble.

Anything fantasy with thieves, assassins, and other scoundrels get added to my seemingly infinite TBR list.

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

I write SFF. I wrote five post-apocalyptic novels, two novels about coming to terms with going blind, twenty-one higjh fantasy novellas, and one high fantasy novel.

I’ve promised myself that I’m going to stick to high fantasy from now on.

I’ve built a world that excites me that can be the playground for so many different types of story.

My current project is called Trial of Thieves and is the second book in my Dawn of Assassins series.

I have to admit that I love the interplay between the two main characters, Fedor and Lev.

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

Dawn of Assassins (book 1 of the assassin fantasy series).

Two friends. A master assassin. One deadly choice.

Fedor and Lev are thieves…not killers.

They lead a desperate life in the tunnels of Nordturm, conning and stealing to buy their next meal.

But when an assassin recruits them against their will, they are forced into a life they do not want and cannot escape.

If they leave, they will die. But if they stay, they must kill.

Can they survive the master’s relentless evaluation?

Is loyalty stronger than the will to live?

Will their friendship last the ordeal?

From the best-selling author of The Ravenglass Chronicles, comes a new thrilling adventure featuring a new cast of unforgettable characters.

You’ll love this high fantasy series, because these unlikely heroes have a story you won’t be able to put down.

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!

Living with the reality of a pandemic taught me a lot about myself and about where I draw my inspiration.

I definitely draw from real life, from people I meet, from places I visit.

Although I read a lot of non-fiction books about history, culture, and philosophy, nothing compares to feeling the wind on your face, or hearing the sounds of a city.

In terms of fiction influences, there are too many to name, but I love writers like Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Michael J. Sullivan, and Bernard Cornwell. 

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

I try to write every weekday between 9.30am and 2.30pm. That can include standing at my desk and hammering out the words, or sitting in a local hotel bar outlining the next book on paper.

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 sooner. Don’t wait for everything to be right. It won’t be.

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

You can find all my links at https://joncronshaw.com

I’ve also been recording a weekly audio diary since October 2017.

You can find Jon Cronshaw’s Author Diary wherever you listen to podcasts, or visit https://anchor.fm/joncronshaw

Author Interview: Jamie McFarlane

Check out this author spotlight for Jamie McFarlane!

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’m Jamie McFarlane aka James Greenwood and I’m a multi-genre author who is probably best known for writing thrilling science fiction adventures. Having graduated with a MS in Mathematics, I focused my first career on software development. Later in life, I discovered the revolution occurring with Amazon and other independent author platforms and my life changed direction almost overnight.

With kids having moved out of the house, I discovered if I wrote on nights and weekends, I could finally fulfill a lifelong fantasy and publish the stories that had previously just been rolling around in my head. I was as shocked as anyone when readers who I had never even met started reading my books and even more importantly asking for more. Well, if ever there was a feedback loop I wanted part of, that was it. Five years later, I set aside developing software and started writing full time, never to look back.

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 is my favorite season. The summer’s heat is gone but there’s no reason to head inside. There’s nothing better than tromping through the woods with my wife and my dog running around like a lunatic (for clarity, just my dog doing the running).

Cat or dog? Dog. I’m all about having a companion who will jump in the truck and get dirty down by the river or just to run out and grab a cup of coffee.

Tea or coffee? I like both, but I’d struggle to live without coffee.

Morning or evening? Morning brings the promise of a whole new day. I love that hour before sunrise when everything is still possible.

Library or museums? Library. I’d read all day if given the option. When I got Covid, my biggest concern was loading my Kindle.

Hunter or gatherer? I’ve been a hunter and recognize the value but it weighs on you. We spent a whole lot of time searching the woods near our cabin for mushrooms this last year. I enjoyed that a great deal.

Witches or wizards? Wizards with long gray beards and pipes filled with mysterious plants.

Ninjas or pirates? Pirates. Yar!

Mountains or beaches? Mountains when I was younger, beaches with drink service now that I’m older.Plotter or pantser? So far down the pantser path I can’t even respected a three bullet outline.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Electronics are my thing. I find writing with a pen laborious but can type nearly as fast as I can think.

Standalone or series? Series all day long. If a character doesn’t have to live with her decisions, it’s just less interesting.

Book or ebook? eBook for sure. I’m just tired of paperbacks slapping me in the face when I fall asleep.

Hero or anti-hero? I love them both, although most of my anti-heroes turn out to just be well disguised heroes.

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

I get stuck on coming of age tropes. I love to read how a younger person’s decisions shape their life story and how that growth helps them overcome challenges previously overwhelming.

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

I’ve written YA Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Action Thriller, Gamelit/LitRPG and Science Fiction. Currently, I’m finishing up Book #20 in the Privateer Tales series, which I’ve been writing for 7+ years. I’m also working on a LitRPG – Wizard Prince. Both of these will be available roughly around April.

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

Junkyard Raiders – Junkyard Pirate #5.

Dumped on a backwater planet, heroic old vets will risk everything to take a stand against vicious alien invaders.

Link: https://fickledragon.com/junkyard-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!

Today, Star Wars is so overdone it’s hard to understand just how exciting it was when first released. I remember being completely blown away by the movie. I still draw inspiration from those feelings.

Robert Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov were the authors I read as a kid.

More recent inspiration was the TV show Firefly. Seriously, why did they stop making that show?

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

I write on Wednesday and Thursday with the stated objective of writing 3, 1100 word scenes each day. The day does not end until that’s completed. If for some reason I don’t get my words in, I’m back at it on Friday. I don’t allow excuses from myself on this. This stems from a knowledge that if I keep this pace, I can produce four 24 chapter books each year.

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?

Get started earlier.

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

I’m not the best socialite in the world. https://fickledragon.com is my website. I blog sometimes. https://facebook.com/groups/JunkyardInsider is my reader’s group. https://facebook.com/JamieMcFarlaneAuthor is my author’s page. If you really want to know what’s shaking, though, I’m all about my email newsletter. Sign up for that at my website.

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