Author Interview: K. Thomas

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Follow K. Thomas on Twitter!

1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

Paperback (though I read more ebooks).

2. Pick a genre, any genre!

Paranormal anything!

3. What is the first book you remember reading?

Myself? Socks for Supper.

4. What book shaped your childhood most?

The same book. It’s about a poor couple on a farm not having money, and bartering for cheese from their neighbors with socks, then the neighbor knitting a sweater with the sock yarn and giving it back to them.

5. When did you first start writing?

Very young.

6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Escapism, I think. No. I’m a very happy adult. I write now to give someone else an escape.

7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

Time to Wake, because it was such a personal growth point to let anyone read it. Let alone put it out in the world for strangers.

8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

Published!

9. How many books/collections have you published so far?

Two books, working on the third.

10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I hope I’m not the only author that doesn’t really know this answer. I usually market as Paranormal Romance, but the more Authors I meet in the genre the more I realize it leans heavily into “high flame” — which I don’t. I think if I could make a genre it would be Romantic Supernatural Thrillers.

11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

So. Much. Research.

12. To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I have a very loose “what needs to happen” but mostly I just write. I think the important thing to do as a pantser is reread the old books. I also stop and reread everything I write every few chapters to make sure something didn’t go down a path that contradicts with the past.

13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

Self-publishing. For the most part. It’s the only real way to publish and not have a contract interfere with my day job.

14. If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Most the books I love there is a thriller element. I don’t think I want to live in any universes where monsters actually exist. Unless I get to be one.

15. Do you currently have a WIP?

Yes. It is lovingly titled “One More Hour” and is the third in my Nephilim series. If you read my books, you get it.

16. Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

Katie. She’s that little part of my soul I’ve locked up to keep safe.

17. What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

I don’t know if I look at anything I write as a great achievement. Maybe overcoming my anxiety of letting others experience it?

18. Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

I kind of ship Benny and Katie. But I’m probably alone in that.

19. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

Yes! I make entire playlists that go with my books. Right now I’m a bit obsessed with ‘Can’t Let Go’ by Bryce Menchaca because I can imagine one of my characters as a teenager playing it in his room on repeat.

20. Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

Not yet. But there is some on the way!

21. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

If you love it, that’s what matters.

22. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have! When I published the book I really didn’t think anyone would read it. My husband convinced me to send it off to several writing contests and editorial reviews, saying it was a good way to get feedback. I’m still waiting to hear back from two, as they don’t announce until June, but I did win the Silver award for New Adult fiction from Reader’s Favorite. I found them to be a very good experience, and being in their book rotator (part of the reward) does drive sales. All around the books have received very good feedback/reception. Still shocks me.

23. Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Laurell K Hamilton, Patricia C. Wrede, Carol Berg, Kim Harrison, Jacqueline Carey, Meredith Ann Pierce, Richelle Mead, P.C. Cast, L. J. Smith, and R. Raeta … there’s a couple themes in there.

24. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

You can find my books, goodreads, and all my social media accounts at my website.

Author Interview: Jae E Glass

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1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I’m always a sucker for hardback copies of books, but paperback is the most versatile and easiest to get your hands on

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

I’m a hardcore fantasy lover! That being said, I do love the subgenres of Urban and Dark fantasy. There’s just so much you can do with a story that falls into either category, and so many themes to play with.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

Robin Hood. It used to be my go-to read as a kid when I was feeling down or lonely. 

4.      What book shaped your childhood most?

I know this will be an unpopular answer, but the HP series played not only a huge role in me becoming an author but also cultivating my love for reading outside the classics I was given by my family. 

5.      When did you first start writing?

Twelve years old. I started writing fanfics that never saw the light of day outside of my very tiny friends’ circle.

6.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Bit of a dark answer, but writing has always been cathartic for me. Growing up in a broken home, I had a very hard time expressing my hurt and anger until writing came along. All of a sudden, I was able to pour my heart and soul onto ink and paper without judgment or fear. Slowly, I learned how to cope with my emotions, and I have writing to thank for allowing me a safe space to express my true self and my true feelings. This still holds true today with the addition that I weave the lessons I’ve learned into my stories so that others might not feel so alone while healing.

7.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

To date, Blood and Tines is the book I’m most proud of followed closely by Undergrounder. While the latter is my first official publication and a huge accomplishment, Blood and Tines is a whopper of a story and one that’s grown exponentially from its creation almost ten years ago.

8.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

Undergrounder is my first official published novel! 

9.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

Only one, but the series will have five books in total once I’m finished.

10.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

Fantasy with an emphasis on Urban and Dark Fantasy.

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

I do a TON of research on some of the most mundane things. Honestly, it’s a little insane how much research I do for a fantasy book, but I want my world to be believable and grounded in reality as much as possible. I’ve spent hours pouring over Google Maps trying to pinpoint the perfect location for a scene in my book or combed through hundreds of Wikipedia pages looking for a sliver of a fact that will add agency to an upcoming scene. 

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I’m a Planster. While I like having a scaffold to work off of, most of the time I just throw idea seeds into my garden and see what comes of it.

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

For now I’ve decided to go with self-publishing due to the freedom it provides. I may look into indie publishing for my next book, but we’ll have to see. Safe to say though, trad publishing isn’t something that interests me anymore unless an agent comes to me directly with one hell of an offer.

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Alex E. Harrow’s world she created in The Once and Future Witches. There’s just something so awesome about witchcraft taking place during the Sufferage movement that really captured my imagination. 

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

I have three because I’m a glutton for punishment. 

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

That would be Anna from Ether Roots, the fifth and final book in my Community Archives series. Anna is a tortured soul with a childhood not so unlike my own, and her entire drive as a character is to overcome the traumas of her past and embrace who/what she was always meant to be within the realms of the Community. Her story is about rediscovering pride in her heritage as well as stability in the face of personal demons.   

17.   What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

Hands down, Blood and Tines. When I say it’s a hell of a story I’m not kidding. This thing hits like a freight train, and I hope it leaves people cheering by the end.

18.   Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

I don’t want to spoil anything for future books, so I’ll focus on Undergrounder. Lee and Alex’s romance is some of the sweetest, gentlest romance I’ve ever written, and I love those two idiots so much. Writing them falling in love came so naturally. I love their grumpy/sunshine dynamic and the little nerdy moments they share throughout the book and into book two.  

19.   Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

I’m one of those weird people who needs absolute silence when I write. Plotting, however, I always plot to music. Anything by Jennifer Thomas is excellent writing music. Or if you want something more electric, Audiomachine has shaped quite a few scenes of mine with their wildly epic music. 

20.   Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I absolutely do! 

1) Orin and Ria by @Ximuori
2) Alex and Lee/Feral by @Yuufaia
3) Lee and Alex by @Plastic_Pipes

21.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

There are no rules. Honestly, there really aren’t. There are “rules” put in place by those who think they hold sway over the vast writing world, but writing is an art form. There’s no wrong way to do it, so write everything, find your voice, find your footing, and go from there. Don’t listen to the “how-tos” and “what not to write” crowd. All art has gatekeepers but they aren’t the end all be all to the community. 

22.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I haven’t yet, but I plan on this summer and fall! 

23.   Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Alex E. Harrow
Heather Walter
Tamsyn Muir
Pierce Brown
Scott Lynch 

24.   Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Goodreads | Twitter

Author Interview: Josie Jaffrey

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Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

All three! I read paperbacks in the bath, hardbacks when they’re fancy editions or picture books, and I listen to audiobooks every night to help me get to sleep.

Pick a genre, any genre!

Fantasy romance. My favourite escapist treat!

What is the first book you remember reading?

A non-fiction hardback my dad had about the lifecycle of ants. It was fascinating and weird, which suit me down to the ground.

What book shaped your childhood most?

Probably the Famous Five books. We were always trying to go on exciting adventures in really mundane places. And getting in trouble for it!

When did you first start writing?

With purpose? In 2014 with A Bargain in Silver. That was the first book I ever finished writing. Before that, I’d started a couple of books in university, but they never went anywhere.

What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

To start with, I think I just wanted to see if I could do a book. These days, my drive comes more from wanting to get the stories that are in my head out and onto the page so they’ll stop bothering me. There’s nothing more irritating than a story left untold.

What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

Probably May Day, the first in my Seekers series. It’s a bit different from my previous books and I’m really proud of the voice.

Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

The books I left uncompleted before A Bargain in Silver will never see the light of day!

How many books/collections have you published so far?

I’ve published ten novels so far in four different series, plus a whole bunch of short stories that will eventually be compiled into collections.

What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I’ve published fantasy, sci-fi and historical so far, but I also have my eye on a contemporary thriller series I’m plotting at the moment.

Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

The kind of fantasy I write requires less research than the kind of historical fiction I write, but I’d say there’s always some research involved, even if it’s just about how far a horse can travel in a day.

To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I used to go straight in without any planning, but the world in which I’m writing has become so big that I can’t really use that approach anymore. These days I tend to create a rough plot for an entire series, with more detailed plotting for individual books before I start the actual writing, but I always leave room for a lot of improvisation. Sometimes I need to be surprised by the directions my characters take.

What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I’ve self-published, but hope to become a hybrid author in future, because some of the novels I have planned will – I think – do much better if traditionally published.

If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

The worlds of all my favourite books are frankly terrifying and I would be dead within five minutes! So for that reason, let’s go live in AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh, shall we? Honey, bread, sunshine … Sounds good to me.

Do you currently have a WIP?

Yes: I’m working on Winta’s Day, the third book in my Seekers series. If all goes well, it should be out later this year.

Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

This is a tough question because I love writing Jack Valentine – a vampire detective with a serious attitude problem – but I have a real soft spot for Cam Sawyer. He’s a vampire who turns up in most of my books, who’s a complete softie and resembles nothing so much as a giant golden retriever stuffed into human clothes. I just love him so much and he has such a hard time. I feel bad every time I screw him over, but it’s sometimes necessary for the plot.

What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

If I can go this wide with it, then I guess my magnum opus is the Silverse, the world in which all of my vampire novels are set. It’s just becoming enormous, and I have so much more planned!

Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

Definitely the romance/rivalry between Jack Valentine and Killian Drake. They are so messy. They each spend all their time desperately pretending that they hate the other one, but they’re fooling no one except themselves. It’s such a childish romance and I just love it.

Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

I don’t listen to music at all while writing – I’m easily distracted and need quiet to concentrate!

Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I do! I have some excellent character designs by Morgana Anagrom for my Sovereign series that you can see on my website. She’s also done some character art for the Seekers series, but I’m not ready to reveal that just yet …

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Read a lot, and read widely. I’ve found it the best way to learn technique.

Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have! I entered BBNYA in 2020, placing 4th with The Gilded King, and that was a great experience, so I entered again in 2021 and placed 1st with May Day! I was completely blown away by the response to the book, and all the bloggers involved were so kind. I’ve entered again this year with The Wolf and the Water, but I’m not expecting to win this time!

I also entered the Friday Night Live competition that Jericho Writers ran at their Festival of Writing in York in September 2019, and was shortlisted along with seven other authors. That meant reading the first 500 words of an as-yet-unpublished book, on stage in front of about 400 people. It was a terrifying but wonderful experience.

Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

In no particular order: Terry Pratchett, Gail Carriger, Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Michael Marshall Smith, Jodi Taylor, Melinda Salisbury, Michael Crichton, Tessa Dare, and lots more I’ve forgotten, I’m sure!

Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Details for all my books are on my website, but if you want to get in touch then I’m usually hanging around on Twitter.

Author Interview: Kathleen Stone

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1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I prefer paperbacks, but I will never turn down a hardback! I do love ebooks as well, as I can have hundreds at my fingertips at any given time. I must admit I have never listened to an audiobook before, but I am currently looking into getting my own novels distributed in that format.

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

I will read anything! It’s honestly impossible to pick a favorite genre because I love all genres. I try to keep my reading open to everything.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

Timothy the Tiger written by Marjorie Barrows and illustrated by Irma Wilde, originally published in 1962. If I remember correctly my mom got it from a children’s book club. Believe it or not, I still have this book! It is in terrible condition, so I have it preserved in a plastic baggie, but there is evidence of my first attempts at writing as well, none of which is legible!

4.      What book shaped your childhood most?

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton were my absolute favorites.

5.      When did you first start writing?

I started writing as early as I can remember; probably when I could write in full sentences. I was a voracious reader thanks to my parents, and whenever I was bored with the books I had, I’d write my own. I’d draw the photographs (terribly) as well, and fold the sheets together like a book. I can’t remember if I stapled them down the middle or not!

6.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and I had all these ideas playing in my head like movies. I was painfully shy, so it was easiest to write them down as stories. And yes, it still holds true — I always have ideas playing in my head as movies and I will probably never have enough time to get them all out.

7.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

I am most proud of my novel ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ because it was a truly difficult book to write. It’s a story with characters and circumstances that haunted me during the writing process, and continue to haunt me to this day. It has received six awards since its publication in 2020.

8.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

I’m sure I have a copy somewhere, but I’m not sure where it is. It has never seen the light of day, and probably never will. LOL!

9.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

I have published seven novels and I have short stories in two anthologies.

10.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I typically write relationship stories — there are definitely elements of love in each of them, but they are not all necessarily described as romance. I can only describe my novel genres as rock and roll fiction, coming of age, romance and romantic fantasy.

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

It doesn’t matter how much of the actual story is in my head, research is key no matter how small. Research, research, research! We owe it to the readers who pay money for our work to get it right.

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I guess I’m what they call a “pantser.” I do not organize before I start writing, and I don’t plot or outline. I know the basis of the plot going in, so everything else comes with the writing itself. I tried outlining a book once and it didn’t go well for me.

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I queried in the early days before I was ever published (and before the Internet), and unfortunately it was not a good experience for me. I ended up being scammed by publishers and agents alike, and it soured everything for me. I am a proud indie author now, and I love the freedom I have in all aspects of my own work.

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Historical fiction like Jane Eyre or Bridgerton, definitely!

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

Always … right now I have three!

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

The character dearest to my heart would be Shea Sullivan, a four-year-old deaf child in my novel Hey Jude. He shows everyone around him the true meaning of love, and saves the hopeless nanny hired to take care of him.

17.   What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

It would have to be my novel, ‘Tell Me You Love Me,’ coming in with six awards since its publication in late 2020. It was a difficult story to write — many times I cried and told myself I wasn’t the person to tell this story. I was wrong, as it was mine and mine alone.

18.   Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

My favorite romance would have to be between Ruby (Roo) and Lonny, in my novel Whispers on a String. They meet at fourteen years old beginning high school together and become the best of friends. They have the same last name, and the same birthdate. They are secretly in love with each other and the story chronicles their lives (together and apart) as they depart on a cross-country road trip on the cusp of their 50th birthday.

19.   Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

It’s a must! I cannot write without music; I tried once and it was an abysmal writing day. It’s difficult to choose just one song, as I usually listen to music pertaining to the era of my story, but David Cassidy’s ‘My First Night Alone Without You’ is quite emotional, and if I need something romantic, Air Supply is a definite go to!

20.   Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I only have one piece of character art, and it’s of Lonny Winter from Whispers on a String. The artist is David Strover (@REALFilmCricket). He did the band logos for my fictional band Livingston Monroe, and my fictional record store, Vinyl Horse Records from the same novel. I can’t tell you how much I adore them!

21.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Never give up, and listen to your gut. Don’t let the naysayers get the best of you; if you are meant to be a writer you will stop at nothing to make it happen. I would also recommend doing your homework as there are far too many people out there willing to take advantage of unsuspecting writers dipping their toe into the water for the first time.

22.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have entered many contests and it has been an overwhelming experience! My novel Tell Me You Love Me has won six awards, including the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards Contemporary Fiction winner. My novel Whispers on a String has won four awards, including Outstanding Women’s Fiction winner in the 2020 IAN Book of the Year Awards. My new novel Hey Jude has won one award so far, a 2021 Indies Today Award finalist.

24.   Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Personal Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | TikTok
Goodreads | YouTube | LinkedIn | Bookbub
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SPSFC Finalist Results – A Touch of Death placed 8th!

The first SPSFC has been so much fun and I’m very glad I entered A Touch of Death. From 300 down to 30 (Semi-Finalists), to the final 7 (Finalists), it’s been amazing to see all the self-published sci-fi books that have been showcased! The results of the finals came out today and whilst ATOD didn’t end up making it into the final round, it did end up placing eighth overall! I’m very proud of my little dystopian novel! The competition is so good and all the books that made it into the finals look amazing! I can’t wait to read them!

And here are the finalists:

Good luck to all the finalists!

Author Interview: Daniel Aegan

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Follow Daniel Aegan on Twitter!

1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I prefer paperbacks for their portability. Hardcovers look cool to have on your shelf, but they feel too bulky to hold while reading. I don’t read audiobooks myself, but I don’t discount it as a good way to read.

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

This is tough as I’m always trying to mess with multiple genres. If I had to pick a favorite, though, I’d have to go with sci-fi.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman.

4.      What book shaped your childhood most?

Probably Where the Red Fern Grows. It taught me to be wary of books with dogs.

5.      When did you first start writing?

I dabbled a bit when I was in high school, but gave it up. Didn’t start again ’til I was 33. 

6.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

I wanted to read the story that was in my head, but I came to the realization that I’d have to be the one to write it. It does still hold true today, as I still love the stories I’ve created and plan on creating.

7.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

The Blood Drive series for sure. That one little idea about vampires heisting the Red Cross turned into a whole trilogy that concludes this coming autumn!

8.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

My first book was self-published and then unpublished later on. And no, it will not ever get a re-release.

9.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

Nine so far with the tenth one out in June (Trash Rat).

10.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

I’ve written in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Most of the time it’s with humorous themes. I’ve taken to writing villainpunk books like Reign of the Unfortunate and have some more stuff planned in that particular genre. 

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

Both. Most of what I write doesn’t take place in the real world. I have a huge space in my head called the Aegan Multiverse where it all happens. When I do write things based in reality, I do my research as I’m writing or in the second draft to make it sound more realistic.

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I have to plot everything out. I can’t write a thing if I don’t know how it ends. I don’t always stick to my outline, but it’s there in case I get lost.

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I started self-publishing after a not-so-fun dive into the querying process. I discovered that agents and publishing houses aren’t looking for me or my stories since I break from the norm so often. One agent even told me to copy the Amazon top sellers if I wanted to land an agent, but I couldn’t bring myself to simply copy what other writers were already doing. So, I figured I was too hot for traditional publishing, and I’ve enjoyed the freedom that self-publishing has given me to tell my own stories. Writing isn’t my day job, so I don’t need a huge contract to do it. I love doing it, and this keeps me going. Besides, if I ever got big I know it would go straight to my head and turn me into an egomaniacal asshole.

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Middle Earth would be pretty sweet, but I’d need to have an ATV or something to get around.

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

Yes. I’m currently writing my third villainpunk book called My Good Friend Dr. Debaucherous, which is a fun non-linear story about a young man who wants nothing more than to be mentored by a supervillain. I won’t give away too much yet … 

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

That’s a tough one too. I’d have to say Almond from The Adventures of Trash Rat. He’s so small and adorable and on an adventure that’s so deadly and dangerous! 

17.   What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

It’s really a stretch, but I wrote a story called Who The Fuck is Rocky Phantasmic?! that is a cosmic horror / comedy that popped in my head out of nowhere. It’s so zany and whacky I can’t even put into words what happens in this book. Anyway, it’s not due to be released till 2024, so there’s going to be a bit of a wait.

18.   Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

I don’t do romance well. I’m not wired for it, I guess. I’m better at writing break-ups honestly. The best “non-couple” might be Dr. Everything and Osprey from Reign of the Unfortunate. The book takes place long after their break-up, and they’re trying to do their best work as supervillains while tiptoeing around their past romance. It’s a pretty fun dynamic to have for queer villains. The best friendship I’ve concocted is probably the vampires Christian and Evan from the Blood Drive series with their odd couple relationship.

19.   Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

Nope. White noise is the way to go for me. 

20.   Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I did the characters for the Reign of the Unfortunate cover. I’m not an artist, so it took forever to do them with my graphics program. I hired Zack Loup to do Almond from Trash Rat for me, and it came out awesome. You can see him on the cover and my avi on twitter.

21.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

I say it all the time, but get a thick skin. No matter what you write or how good you do it, you’ll always have trolls hounding you to piss you off solely for the clout, especially if you’re writing queer stuff. I’ve been called a certain new slur now that the world is going backwards again, so you need to learn to shrug it off or figure out how to best troll the trolls back.

22.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

I have in the past, but not recently. Most of what I do is submitting to magazines, but I can never seem to get anything into the proper word limit. Even my short stories are too long to be considered short stories.

23.   Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

In no particular order: Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Richard Adams, Sara Kjeldsen, Carmen Loup, etc.

24.   Link us to your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

Best place to find me is twitter: @Daniel_Aegan or @StonedTarot. My website is here, and you can find my blog, my book list, and all my Stoned Tarot stuff there!

Author Interview: Mark Jonathan Runte

an open book with pages spread; text says 'author interview: indie book spotlight'

Be sure to follow Mark Jonathan Runte on Twitter!

1.      Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

Paperback and hardcover. There’s nothing like the smell of paper compared to audiobook or kindle.

2.      Pick a genre, any genre!

Urban fantasy, gothic horror or just horror. Whatever’s dark.

3.      What is the first book you remember reading?

Goldilocks? Maybe, Macbeth might have been my first seen play when I was little.

4.      When did you first start writing?

There was a little school project where we had to write stories and the teacher bound them with cloth when we finished. Mine was a rabbit with purple spots named “Spots”. I still have it … Kind of worried what that little rabbit would do now if I brought her into a manuscript these days since she was bullied for her fur coloration …

5.      What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Midnighters by Scott Westerfeld broke my writer’s block in early high school. Does that count?

6.      What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

It would have to be Fly Away Home, though it’s slowly being replaced by its tie in “prequel” Siuil a Run.

7.      Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

Self-publishing my first soon. As expensive as that was, I needed to get a feel for publishing in general before I started trying to go indie.

8.      How many books/collections have you published so far?

Ash will be my debut. So … one? Unless it’s little drabbles and short stories, in which case three so far.

9.   What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

Horror, urban fantasy, speculative historical fiction. And apparently, epics? In length, rather than quality? I don’t dare compare myself to Tolkien or George RR Martin. Also, I hope I’m a bit faster at typing than the latter.

11.   Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

I research where necessary.

12.   To plan, or not to plan your plot?

A little planning but I’m more of a pantser. Siuil a Run needed a plan, mostly for the number of POVs involved.

13.   What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

Self for now but I want to get more into indie. Maybe if I’m lucky enough to get an agent, DAW books. *hopeful*

14.   If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

It would be Seannan McGuire’s Ghost Roads series.

15.   Do you currently have a WIP?

More than I maybe should? There’s Shadow as the sequel to Ash, and two more urban fantasy things unrelated to that.

16.   Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

So many. I love them all when I write – even the bad, morally dubious ones.

17.   What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

Siuil a Run, for its complexity.

18.   Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

Militsa and Hrafn, those two just can’t get a break when it comes to a war and different social positions. He’s a prince, she’s a lowborn bard. And they aren’t even the same people. Shapeshifters, yes, but there alternate forms are a wolf and raven, respectively.

19.   Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

Ironically, the same song I used to title this manuscript with.

20.   Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

I have a cover for Ash, it’s sitting as my Twitter and Facebook banner right now. Nothing yet for Siuil a Run but I haven’t gotten to the beta stage of that WIP.

21.   If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Keep at it and read lots.

22.   Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

No, but I suppose querying and submitting to small journals counts as a contest? It’s all a lottery on acceptances, isn’t it?

23.   Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Seannan McGuire, Holly Black, Dorian Sinnott, May Howell … that list could go on forever, honestly.

24.   Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

No book link yet but that’s coming soon. So for now, here’s my Twitter. I’ve got Patreon as well but that’s probably best left lying where it is for now. It isn’t … clear how to best use that at the moment.

Author Interview: Greg McManus

an open book on a bed, blurred objects in the background; text says 'author interview'

Follow Greg McManus on Twitter!

1.  Paperback, hardback, audiobook?

I currently have three books out on Amazon. So I am an author. I read all of the above plus ebooks.

2.  Pick a genre, any genre!

Yes, any genre … I write mystery-thriller books with a little bit of romance.

3.  What is the first book you remember reading?

Pippi Longstocking. I was in third grade.

4.  What book shaped your childhood most?

I think that would have to be The Hobbit.

5.  When did you first start writing?

I started writing poem in high school but never seriously. My first time of actually writing started in 2015.

6.  What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?

Boredom actually. I was in CA alone and tired of staring at the motel walls and thought about creating a Christmas present for my wife.

7.  What book/poem are you most proud of creating?

The Bunker as it created the characters that I used in my other books.

8.  Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?

I published it on Amazon.

9.  How many books/collections have you published so far?

I have three books and two works in progress.

10.  What genres do you write in (or hope to)?

Mystery thriller and one WIP is a fantasy adventure.

11.  Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?

My research involved places I’ve actually lived in. Everything else is from my head.

12.  To plan, or not to plan your plot?

I don’t really plan it I just let it flow.

13.  What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?

I use Amazon self-published books because I don’t know anything about traditional publishing.

14.  If you could live inside another author’s universe, which one would you pick? (Ex: Middle Earth, Narnia, etc.)

Definitely Middle Earth.

15.  Do you currently have a WIP?

Two.

16.  Tell me about the character you’ve created who is dearest to your heart.

Jesse Jaines.

17.  What do you consider your *current* magnum opus?

I don’t know if I really have one.

18.  Do you have a favourite romance in your books? Or, if yours features no romance, tell us about your favourite character friendship!

It would have to be Robbie and Millie from The Huntress.

19.  Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.

‘Memory’ from Cats.

20.  Do you have any character art for your books, whether by you or another artist? (Be sure to credit/link if you can!)

No.

21.  If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Just let your ideas flow and don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time.

22.  Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!

No.

23.  Who are your top 5-10 favourite writers?

Tolkien, Jane Austen, Dickens, King, Crichton, Follet, Carr.

24.  Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!

The Bunker (Jesse Jaines mystery)
The Huntress (Jesse Jaines mystery)
The Senator’s Daughter (Jesse Jaines mystery)

Book Review: Bound (2021)

two hands holding out a book and flipping through the pages, text says, 'Book review: indie book spotlight'

Bound by Kat Kinney

“What matters is intent. I feel you beneath my skin, know how you’ve tortured yourself all these years to make sure you wouldn’t hurt another person. Your magic can do terrible things, but you would never let it. You aren’t like the others. You saved me. Every day I live is a gift because the vampires nearly destroyed my mind, and in that terrible second, when I was convinced I couldn’t live with the pain any longer, you didn’t let go.”

Gif from Shadowhunters of Alec, large tattoo on his neck, kissing Magnus.

OH THESE TWO.

Stephen Colbert dramatically fake crying and waving his hands, text says: 'I just feel like my heart is going to burst because it's full of rainbows.'

Okay, so total confession – I skipped book two. Which, of course, I’m now going to circle back to because book three was FABU and I totally want to catch up on the other characters and couples and DRAMAS. Book three was put forward for #IndiePride, though, so I wanted to dive straight in as I’m trying to read as many books for #IndiePride as I can.

>> My review of book one, Dark, is here. I really enjoyed that one, but I think I loved Bound a small bit more! West and Topher were just so HEART EYES the whole way through and I want more of their story. My goodness, Kat Kinney really knows how to write tension and angst and longing.

“Don’t.” West inhaled sharply. “I can’t breathe when you look at me like that.”

As much as I loved every interaction between West and Topher, I also adored Topher’s determination to find his brother. Just, YES. Loved it. Chef’s kiss. Hats off. I really hope we get more of the brothers in later books because I feel like there is so much to develop on that front and I want to know more!

West’s turmoil was so well done, too. The focus on his inner conflict was wonderfully executed and I simply adored him. (I’m trying not to spoil here~). I’ve got to circle back to book two next, and then on to book four, because after Bound’s ending I have QUESTIONS and EXPECTATIONS. I also have a lot of ships I want actualised.

gif from New Girl, Schmidt is beside Winston saying 'Gimme it!'

Book Review: The Goddess of Nothing At All (2021)

hands holding open a book and flipping through the pages; text says, 'book review: indie book spotlight'

The Goddess of Nothing At All by Cat Rector

A couple of wolves were hardly going to stop me.

gif of a woman in furs smirking

This hardback is absolutely gorgeous, oh my goodness! It feels nice in your hands. Is that a strange thing to say about a book? I don’t care, it’s true! This hardback has a soft cover and it’s so pretty and I was in love with the book before I even opened it. And you just know a book is going to be good when it opens with a quote from Libba Bray (a writing queen, tbh).

SPOILER WARNING

A Jotun. Tall and lean, his open palm full of wildfire. It was him. It had to be […] The Trickster’s gaze travelled to the bloodstain on my trousers and back to my eyes. “Let’s end this, shall we?” His voice was low and coy, a small smirk on his lips.

gif of Loki throwing a blade and hitting an enemy target

The Goddess of Nothing At All tells Sigyn and Loki’s story. BRING. IT. ON. Their first meeting is just *chef’s kiss*. Loki is such a fun character, right from the start. Watching him run circles of thievery around Sigyn had me giggling.

Their ‘family’ in Asgard really frustrated me, though. Not that they weren’t well written, they absolutely were, they were just such jerks. I say ‘family’, cos everyone from Odin to Sif were so endlessly dismissive, antagonistic and cruel to both Sigyn and Loki. I really appreciated Loki’s resistance to everyone’s scorn, but Sigyn’s longing to be needed and approved of by the others made me growl internally a few times. I understand why, like, it makes sense for her characterisation – she’s always been pushed aside and forgotten about and dismissed – and I’m glad she slowly stopped caring so much as the book went on and her confidence grew, but there were a lot of moments early on where I wanted to be like GURL WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT ODIN THINKS?? HE’S BEING SUCH AN ARSEHOLE JUST DO YOUR OWN THING!! And then Thor just flipping on a dime and turning against Loki also really bothered me cos I was hoping Thor was going to have Loki’s back ;_;

gif of Loki saying, 'You had one job.'

I’m glad Loki couldn’t have given a toss about anyone’s derision, but I did feel so bad for him for basically all of it. JUSTICE FOR LOKI!!!

I was delighted when Sigyn finally lost her shit.

“I know that Sif said things to Loki that we’d have strung anyone else from the rafters for saying. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t have your hammer, or your spear, or your godsforsaken shiny boar. You talk about his morality, but the only person in this room with a clean conscience is Idunn. I know the lies of more than half of you, and each of you either smells like your secret lover or has blood under your nails.”

gif of a woman dressed in medieval clothing stabbing her knife into a table covered in goblets, grapes and a candle

YAS GIRL GO

And it was really frustrating for Thor and the others to flipflop so often where it concerned Loki and Sigyn. I really struggled to like any of them because they were just so cruel and unforgiving.

The scenes with Sigyn and Loki caring for each other were lovely, though, and I’m glad the romance didn’t take forever between them to blossom. I like slow burn, but I am also an impatient shipper and start drawing heart eyes around the characters from the get-go with some couples, so my shipper heart squealed at their romance.

SUCH PRECIOUS MUFFINS \o/

gif of a man and a woman kissing

It must also be said that the writing in this book is lush. Descriptive. Enthralling. It is certainly an exceptional debut novel.

Flowers blossom most thoroughly when given time, affection, and kindness. This is, I suspect, true for most things in life.

This book totally took me by surprise, I must say. I wasn’t anticipating the scope of the tale and so many of the twists, that’s for sure. I think I’m so used to first books in a series being just, like, the start of a romance, that I didn’t anticipate how much more of the story would come after Loki and Sigyn’s love story began, blossomed and became something so much more. The sheer breadth of the The Goddess of Nothing At All reminds me of earlier epic fantasy books (like, 1970s-1980s fantasy) – and I totally mean that as a compliment. This is a tale that span years, generations, parents, and their children and beyond.

Rector weaves a deeply intricate tale herein of family, love, loss, survival, endurance and so much else besides. There are *so many* unexpected wrenches thrown into the lovers’ paths to trip them up and tear that apart (I was *not* expecting Loki’s reveal to Sigyn after his long absence at one point ;_;). I amn’t as familiar with Norse mythology as I’d like, but seeing how intricately Rector incorporates all the legends, figures, descendants and locations just left me in awe. I honestly could not have guessed some of the reveals, so hats off to the author! It’s great when a novel can totally surprise you! I’m very curious to see how Epilogues for Lost Gods turns out!

Thank you so much to the author for a review copy.