Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An updated trailer of FALWYN - written by yours truly! It will be available via paperback in two weeks  and is available now on ebook!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Savile & Lockley's Northern Soul

I have enjoyed Savile's works for several years now. Indeed, my favorite is London Macabre. I have started reading Lockley's works with equal passion. In the past, reading several works by one author has been a bit of a let-down. One books shines brightly and then the next two pale in comparison. This was hardly the case for Northern Soul! I finished the book in several hours. It kept me on the edge of my seat - I couldn't put it down! Fast-paced yet smoothly written, I was actually dreading the end: it's hard to find works of this caliber! I don't write reviews that reveal the book. Let me just end this one with this fact: it is worth every penny and more!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & the Currently Accepted Habits of Nature (A Cletus J. Diggs Supernatural Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I was gifted this book by the author. I needed a good read. What I got was a great read! This book is engaging, funny, spooky, and so revoltingly horrific that I couldn't put it down. The humor was the icing on the cake. The references to hill billy life and redneck dreams had me in stitches. The story line grips you and pulls you in with decomposing tendrils... it was an exciting, kooky read. I've never even entertained such grotesque possibilities and it derailed my reading - in a wonderful way! I will be reading more of Wilson's novels every time I need a break from the mundane!

Kane Gilmour - editor, author, adventurer!

My editor, Kane Gilmour, is also an accomplished author! I recently read his hit, RESURRECT, & was fortunate enough to pin him down during his busy holiday schedule to ask him a few questions.
Please enjoy & check his books out! They're a wonderful read!

1. You have travelled & lived all over the world. You settled in Vermont with your family. Of all the choices you had, what made you choose beautiful Vermont?

Kane: That’s a weird one. I’ve actually always had family in Central Vermont—my aunt and uncle have lived here for over 40 years. Although I always loved it here in the state and have always wanted to live here, the way I ended up here was very strange.

I came back in 2007 for a visit, and on my way out, at the airport, I met a woman who was looking for an editor. It took a year for her company to secure the funding, and in the meanwhile I was living and working abroad in South Asia. But she eventually made me the offer, and I returned to the US and settled here in Vermont to work for that company—which laid me off 4 years later, along with 500 other employees. Not sure I ever would have thought to try to move here while working freelance. It’s an expensive place. But I love the state, and now that I’m here, I have no intention of leaving any time soon.

2. You have had many careers. When did you realize that you wanted to add published author to the list? Is writing something you plan to continue pursuing for the rest of your life?

Kane: I think I knew in my early twenties that I wanted to write. I just didn’t know I wanted to write novels. Then, when I really decided I wanted to write novels, I was around 26. It took me until 29 to start writing RESURRECT. It took me until 39 to finish it. I look back at that decade as a colossal waste, with regard to my career. Granted, I was busy getting a master’s degree, most of a doctorate, getting married, raising a child, working either half-time or full-time, and travelling the world. So it’s not like I was just sitting around watching TV and movies. (Okay, I watched a lot of TV and movies.) It just took me a long time to get my act together. But I knew for a while.

Do I want to keep doing it for the rest of my life? Yes. I just need to get paid enough to do that. Then I can focus on it entirely.

3. Are you an author who plans out his books, or do you write off-the-cuff? Which works best for you?

Kane: Yes. I plotted RESURRECT to death. Other books I’ve done with a loose outline of a few words per chapter. Other, as yet unfinished projects, I’m cuffing. I think a mix works best for me—have a loose road map, but then allowing myself to go where the story takes me.

4. Who do you write? Do you base your characters off actual people?

Kane: Most of my characters are original people. A few share names or partial names with real people. Some share a few characteristics. The one character who is practically a real-life person, is Curtis Johnson from RESURRECT. He’s based on my friend Perttu Aho. Although, even there, Johnson is quite different from Aho in a number of ways, particularly in surface ways. Aho isn’t a climber, for instance. But personality-wise, Johnson is similar to the 20-years younger version of my friend.

5. You weave a lot of history into your books. You’ve travelled through China & Tibet, and one can tell that it’s something you’ve experienced, because your writing is both descriptive and at times emotional. Gathering facts can be back-breaking work—what about it do you enjoy most?

Kane: I never really set out to include a lot of history in my work. Just turns out that way. I really enjoy travelling, so where I’ve gained useful tidbits that way, I’ve enjoyed it. But researching things on the Internet? Hate it. Mostly because the way I tend to do it, is to look for the historical bit I need, as I get to that spot in the story—which kills my forward momentum. I hate breaking stride to go look something up. A lot of the time, I’ll just leave myself a blank in the manuscript and come back for it later. Helicopters are a great example. I do not know the names of helicopters. But I feel like I need to drop in the name of them when I mention them or use one in a story. So I’ll just write HELICOPTER, and highlight it, and press on. Later on, I’ll come back with the make and model. But sometimes, just sometimes, I learn something really interesting. For example, in RESURRECT, I learned how a hang-glider actually works, because I needed that information. In OMEGA, I wanted to have a character flying a helicopter, and he needed to be a newbie pilot, so I learned as much as I needed for the scenes I was writing. It was fascinating stuff, and the controls of a helicopter and not very intuitive, so the information wasn’t something I could fudge on. The great part is when I do a lot of research on something—like the monorail controls at Disney World, and then a foul-tempered reviewer will say the trains are nothing like that, when actually, they are. No, research isn’t my favorite bit, but I do it.

6. Your action scenes are wicked! You write as if you have experienced a few of them yourself. Please share with us!

Kane: Oh gosh. Thanks. Where to start? I haven’t done most of the crazy in my books, obviously. But I have done some small stuff. I’ve rock climbed and rappelled. Boats and fast cars. Parasailing, mountain biking, river kayaking, and loads of international travel. I’ve been to a lot of the locations in RESURRECT, so I was able to make the stunts seem more realistic by dropping in local color and detail, but I’ve never driven a car onto the frozen ice off Helsinki. I have been to Finland though, and I did know people do drive on the ice to the outlaying islands in winter. I’ve been on nearly every mode of transport known to man, so I can throw in a few details there, as well. I’ve never been in a Mercedes MacLaren, but I was lucky enough to see one from a few feet away at Harrod’s in London, when I was writing RESURRECT. I’ve also experienced a few natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and so forth. So all of that, plus a healthy love for action films, lets me imagine a lot of crazy in my head. But I’ve never been run down by a helicopter or rappelled the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica. (Although I did go there to research.)

7. Jason Quinn, the main character in RESURRECT, is an all-around man’s man and adventurer. Exciting and experienced in life, he is the type of person anyone would want to be friends with. How do you connect with this character?

Kane: Quinn is me in a lot of ways, and not in others. He climbs a lot more than I used to. I could, perhaps, have gone that way, but my climbing partner suffered a fall and broke his ankle. It’s a team sport; you can’t easily continue without a partner, so I moved into other things. My very minor interest in Mars—I’ve read a few books—turned into Quinn’s obsession with the planet. My travel influenced his, but he’s on the road for nine months of the year or more. I haven’t had a loved one die, like he has, either. So for me, I think he’s an amalgam of lots of action heroes I’ve seen or read about, mixed with me, mixed with my ideas of what a hero should be. I have no idea if he’s successful as a hero—he does let some bad guys burn to death, while he watches, no less. Maybe he’s an anti-hero, although I dislike that term. Not sure what he is. He’d probably just describe himself as a normal guy.

8. Was there any point in writing RESURRECT that you became stuck and felt like throwing in the towel? What made you continue writing & sticking with the tale?

Kane: Nope. I always wanted to finish it. I always knew I would. I just had no idea how long I’d spend thinking about it instead of typing it. Ultimately, I rented a cabin in New Hampshire for three days and wrote most of the last third of the book in that one marathon sitting. Usually I came back to the story when I was unhappy with my life and where it was. I always looked at writing as a way I would ultimately not have to work for other people. Not there yet, but getting closer. As for the tale, I always thought it was a good one, so I stuck with the story because I wanted to see it done.

9. How long does it usually take you to complete a book?

Kane: Ten years or two weeks? Depends on the book and the length, but a typical novel length, and no interruptions or major upheavals in my life? I could write it in six weeks or less. RESSURRECT took me ten years of mostly not writing. CALLSIGN: DEEP BLUE took me two weeks of writing 6-8 hours a day. RAGNAROK and OMEGA were probably each a month for the first draft, and then Jeremy and I tinkered with both multiple times afterward. THE CRYPT OF DRACULA was probably two months, but at a much slower pace. I tend to write around 1000 words an hour, if I already have the story sorted out in my head, and I don’t get sidetracked researching things. So with RES being 96k, you can see it really only required around a hundred hours of typing, yet it took me ten years to do that. So it all really depends, but now, after having a few under my belt, I know how to get it done a little faster and not let life sidetrack me too much. I don’t want another decade to go by before we see the next Quinn adventure.

10. You have accomplished much in a very short amount of time. RAGNAROK became an Amazon bestseller and your collaborative efforts with other writers have seen equal success. How does it feel to have such talent & to be a recognized successful author?

Kane: I honestly have to keep reminding myself that some people see me as talented and successful. It’s always a scale, isn’t it? I berate myself for not having done more, but in the last two years I’ve had five novels out and an anthology I edited. I’ve written a handful of short stories—some for anthologies. I wrote scripts for a web-comic. I’ve edited over 40 books for other authors too. And worked a full-time 60-hour-a-week job for one of those years, and worked freelance for the other. I also have a nearly two-year-old girl and a nine-year-old son. That’s plenty, surely. But I always feel like I should have written ten more books in that time, because I know I could—if I wasn’t doing all this other stuff.

I was really lucky that Jeremy Robinson invited me into his world as a co-author, and it’s helped me gain plenty of readers. I’m grateful for every fan I’ve got. Unfortunately, the sales are slow, and not enough to pay the bills. So I’m slower than I feel I could or should be, because I’m usually working some day job to get by. So by my own scale of ‘successful’, I don’t feel I’m there yet. But I realize I do better than some authors and worse than others, so I guess I’m happy that people think I’m talented, but I think I’ll always consider my success to be not enough. Not financially, per se. I’ll just always keep striving to do more and do better.

11. What do you do for fun?

Kane: What is this ‘fun’ of which you speak? I actually have very little time for it now, but I still like to go to the movies, kayak, read, and travel when I can get away to do those things. Just happens rarely now.

12. Tell us three fun/strange/unbelievable facts about yourself!

Kane: 1. I have worked as a human trash compactor. 2. I was responsible for bringing the first pizza to Sri Lanka. 3. I only have six bones in my neck.

13. FROZEN—what’s the latest news? When can we expect to read the next chapter in the Jason Quinn adventures?

Kane: Besides the above issues and unexpected health issues, and every other thing that could get in the way? I have one more book to write—Book 5 in Jeremy Bishop’s REFUGE serial novel project, which will be called BONFIRES BURNING BRIGHT. That should be out in early January. Then I’m setting a couple of other projects aside: a Frankenstein novella and a YA book called MONSTER KINGDOM. I’ll still get to them eventually, but for now they take the back burner. Once I’m done with REFUGE, I’ll turn my full attention to FROZEN until it’s done. I only have a few chapters written, but most of it is sorted in my head. I hope to have finished writing by Feb at the latest, and then I’ll get it out el quicko. I expect the third Jason Quinn book will also see the light of day in 2014, to get me back on track, too. Not revealing the title of that one until the last page of FROZEN gets printed.

The good news for Quinn fans is that I have long-range plans for the series, there will be two books in 2014, and at least one more in 2015. I think people will be happy with it, and hopefully they’ll forgive me for the wait.

Website: http://kanegilmour.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kane.gilmour.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaneGilmour

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I recently finished Cate Rowan's "The Source of Magic" and she graciously allowed me to interview her! 
The Source of Magic, was a wonderful, exciting read! 

1. To begin, I'd like to ask you why you write romance/fantasy books. What is it about this genre that compels you to write?

I've always loved the idea of magic and fantasy worlds. My father gave me an illustrated version of Tolkien’s The Hobbit when I was seven. I was entranced! After Tolkien, I found C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea trilogy, and Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. Those books shaped me--both who I am as a person and as a writer.

The Pern books were special for me because many of them have a romantic subplot. I adored the love aspect without even knowing there was more romance reading to be found in the world. I finally discovered the full romance genre, and after that all my writing melded fantasy and romance. Hooray for magic and love!

2. What inspired The Source of Magic?

I was bored one day while waiting for a bus and fell into a daydream. Very useful things, those daydreams. The initial image was of a falcon materializing from nowhere into an unsuspecting woman's kitchen. That image didn't make it into the final book, but it led me down the path of this novel. (Who knows, maybe I'll use the falcon someday in a different tale.)

3. What is your favorite genre to read & why?

One of the few non-fun parts about being a writer is losing time to read. It can also be hard to find books that don't put me into "analysis mode" instead of "enjoyment mode"--d'oh! Sometimes I'll pick up a memoir just to read something very different from what I write. Even so, I was drawn to writing fantasy and romance because I love to read them the most. I recently stumbled across Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series and I was captivated. They're romantic historical fantasy and beautifully done.

4. Are any of the characters in The Source of Magic based on real life people?

100% made up--although I'd love for them to show up in real life. Except maybe Bhruic, the villain, LOL. (Having my characters here in real life might be my favorite writing fantasy, but I'll guess I'll have to make do with the occasional dream.)

5. Out of all the books you have written, which one is the nearest and dearest to your heart? Why?

Ack! How do I choose among my brainchildren? Hmm... I guess it would have to be Kismet's Kiss, a sequel to The Source of Magic. Kismet's Kiss is a fantasy romance between an autocratic king and a magical healer from an enemy land. The story's desert palace setting (something like Aladdin crossed with The King and I) was one of my favorites to run around in. And the storyline pushes a lot of boundaries, including some deeply-held expectations of the romance genre. That boundary-pushing is one of the reasons I'm so proud of its two nominations for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award.

6. I'm sure you have many favorite author moments, could you share one with us?

The very first time I got a message from a fan was a total thrill. Stories live in a writer's head for weeks or months or even years before finally making it into readers' hands. When a reader deeply connects with a story and lets me know--well, that's simply magical. It means I got a chance to share my inner world with someone and they loved being there. Even better, that first fan message happened to be from an author I truly respect. *double woohoo*

7. Please share three crazy/fun/strange facts about yourself!

I'm a huge fan of Claussen dill pickles, I love kissing my kitties' bellies (and as rulers of the house, they happily accept this homage to their awesomeness), and I want a Star Trek transporter so I can transport myself onto the deck of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D (Next Generation era, thank you).

8. What advice would you give beginning authors - those who are just breaking into the publishing world?

Be patient with yourself and with the market. Write the very best you can, put it away and work on something else, and then come back to it; you'll notice things to be improved. Be aware of your own limitations and learn when to ask for help or suggestions. And also listen to your gut. Your subconscious will help you improve your work if you let it.

9. You have quite a few plot turns in this book and are credited with being a master of twists. How do you keep your ideas so fresh and appealing to your readers? 

You have the same reputation, Ashley. :-) As for me, I try not to do the most obvious thing--though sometimes I've realized that the most obvious thing to me is not the most obvious thing to anyone else! That comes in handy. 

I also look for things I'll enjoy writing about, and that usually means unusual settings--often on another world, or with magic--or situations with built-in challenges, like getting abducted into another word (in The Source of Magic) or risking entering the enemy's lair to help him (Kismet's Kiss). The novel I'm working on now takes place in our contemporary world, but involves a being that shouldn't exist: a djinn (genie). Characters are more interesting when they have to face something they thought impossible.

10. The main character, Jillian, is a very appealing character. While she doubts herself, she finds that she is much stronger than she believed. I find this appealing as many people are put to the same tests - one which they find a deep rooted strength within themselves. Did you plan this life lesson for Jillian and or did your writing just lead to it? How much planning was involved for this character?

I'm glad Jilian resonated with you! I first wrote the book about a dozen years ago, so my memory of the writing is a little hazy now--but I mainly wanted to put her into a tough situation (alongside an intriguing romantic interest) to make her dig her way out. To do it, she had to figure out her strengths--and pursue them. Your Fins trilogy makes Morgan do those things, too.

I believe one of the reasons we love to read stories, particularly genre fiction like fantasy or romance, is to watch the characters grow over the course of the story. As readers we're usually empathizing with the main characters, so we experience that growth, too. Reading a great book is like living an extra life in a few hours. Hooray!

11. The saying "sex sells" has lead to a great many lewd & crassly written books. How do you keep from falling into this trap?

I'm a romantic at heart. Real love is sexy, but it can also be so tender. Although I read and enjoy books of many styles, from sweet to sizzling erotic, I'm most comfortable writing about sexual situations when they're a key part of a growing emotional connection for adult characters. I guess sex all by itself is less interesting a concept to me than true love!

My review: 
4 enthusiastic stars!
Exhausted with the hand life has dealt her, Jillian feels beaten to her very core. To top it off, her mother is succumbing to a strange illness the doctors cannot heal. Suddenly, she is transported to another dimension - one in which people live hundreds of years longer than humans and where magic and heroism is commonplace. Despite being tossed into this confusing new realm, Jillian finds her inner strength along with new found powers which may help her find a cure for her mother. Can she resist the powerful handsome prince and return to save her mother? Will she use her powers to help rid the land of the evil villain plaguing it? Or would everything be so much easier if she just gave up? Read The Source of Magic to find out. And clear a few hours out of your day to do so as you won't be able to put this book down!

Please check Cate out at her website!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Recently, I had the privilege to interview author David Wood. He has written many books including "You Suck", "Quest" & the soon to be released, "Atlantis"! 
Interview is posted below my review and includes a link to his site!

You Suck! 4 out of 5 stars

What a great title for a young adult paranormal book! The story centers around teenager Dunn Kelly, who balances high school, bullies, sports, keeping his alcoholic father in line and covering for him at his job as a Paranormal Police Officer. When a teen celebrity chooses to film a reality show in Dunn's small town, Dunn is drawn in to investigate a series of brutal murders that occur to the contestants. Each of contestants vying for the teen sensation's life are vampires, and while this is commonplace in the story, their deaths are anything but! Dunn finds himself juggling his already complicated life with the grown-up responsibility of solving the murders and trying to handle the popular star's affections! Will Dunn be able to keep his head above water, or will he crumble? The outcome is quite surprising!
The suspense in this book was perfect and kept you wanting to read on. It is stories like this that will keep your teen reaching for a book instead of their iPhone. And at a Kindle price of only $2.99, you can go wrong!

You Suck: A Dunn Kelly Mystery

1. You didn't start writing until 2004 - why did you wait so long?
Lots of little reasons, but nsecurity was the big one. I'd always wanted to be a writer but couldn't believe anyone would actually want to read anything I wrote. In retrospect, I wish I'd started much sooner.

2. You are quite accomplished, having several degrees under your belt - what made you want to achieve so much?
I'm one of those weird people who is interested, and at least competent, in a lot of things. I enjoyed my pre-publishing careers a great deal, but I'm happy to be writing.

3. Why do you root for the Atlanta Braves?
I love baseball. The nature of the sport, the structure of its season, and the way it values its own history lends itself to narrative. Baseball teams and players have great stories, and each season is a story in itself. It's also a conversational sport that moves at a leisurely pace so the fans can discuss and analyze the game as it's happening. The reason I love the Braves is I grew up in Atlanta and suffered through the misery of the 1970s and 1980s, and stuck with them through it all. Now it's a love/hate relationship, as I wait for the inevitable late season or playoff collapse.

4. What inspired you to write "You Suck"?
I was signing books alongside my friend, Jim Bernheimer (a fantastic author), and envied the way he kept hooking people with the hilarious premises of some of his stories. I wanted to try my hand at something with a humorous premise, so I mulled over what things I'd like to make fun of, and settled on vampires, teen pop stars, and reality shows.

5. Are any of your characters in "You Suck" based on people you know? Can you share some details?
Oh, yes! I'm a former middle school teacher, "You Suck" is dedicated to my old school, and many of the characters are inspired by, or at least named after former colleagues or students. One of the detectives was my Assistant Principal, the CSI, Dunn's "hot" teacher, his swimming coach, and the custodian are all former colleagues, and Abriel and Parker are named after former students who've kept in touch with me. Even Dunn Kelly himself is named for two teacher friends.

6. What genre do you prefer to write? You write quite a few!
I can only choose one? Bummer. I suppose Action-Adventure, because I get to solve ancient mysteries and see the world through my characters, though I have a blast writing YA and fantasy, and would like to try a few more genres some day.

7. How much research on vampires did you need to do before writing "You Suck"?
Not a great deal. I chose the various vampire stereotypes I wanted to spoof, and did some reading on the ways to kill vampires, but the book is really about a teenager and his struggles, so that was my focus.

8. What advice would you give writers just beginning their craft?
Have fun and don't worry so much about whether or not what you're writing is marketable. If you're serious about publishing, get involved in some sort of writers' workshop where you can get honest critique of your work. Finally, be patient. Whether you go the traditional or independent route, it's going to take time to achieve your goals. Don't make hasty decisions that come back to bite you and don't give up.

9. Do you blog? Has that contributed to your success in sales and how so? Please share your blog website with us.
You can find me at www.davidwoodweb.com. I don't blog frequently, but lately I've been posting a weekly pulp adventure serial on my blog every Monday. Feel free to check it out if you like Indiana Jones or Doc Savage.
I don't think the blog has impacted sales, but I do think my Facebook page, in particular, has benefited me because it's such a great vehicle for interacting with readers. You can find me there atwww.facebook.com/davidwoodbooks

10. What is your favorite book you've written and why?
I'll answer that question right after I tell you which of my children is my favorite and why. But I kid...
Honestly, I can't choose one. Quest is special because it's the one that really took off and confirmed that my decision to write full-time was the right one. I love You Suck because it was so much fun to write and so many of my friends have read and enjoyed it. Ultimately, though, I love whatever I'm working on at the time.

11. How long does it typically take for you to complete a book?
I juggle so many projects that I seldom work straight through a single book without interruption, but four months is probably about right. I brainstorm, research, chart out the main scenes and settings, let it simmer in my brain for a couple of weeks, and then dive in. Typically, I write a chapter a day, and take weekends off, so six to eight weeks for a first draft, followed by revisions.

12. Tell us about your favorite author moment.
Any time someone tells me they enjoy my work, I'm ecstatic, but I guess my favorite moment (or set of moments) was this year's Thrillerfest. I kept having "pinch myself" moments while hanging out, even having dinner with, authors whom I've long admired. Such a great feeling!

13. Who would you choose to have as a mentor? Any of the greats?
Neil Gaiman. He's one of those rare writers whose prose and storytelling are first-rate, and can write in a variety of genres.

14. What are you currently working on?
I'm mostly working on Atlantis, the next book in my Dane Maddock Adventures series, but I take a break with The Gates of Iron, the next installment in the fantasy series I write under my David Debord pen name, and The Impostor Prince, which I'm writing with Ryan Span. I'm also in the planning stages of three future collaborations. Never a dull moment!

15. Give me three great facts about you!
Great facts? Nothing like ratcheting up the pressure. Can we make it "interesting" instead? I'd hate to let your readers down.
I'm a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
I co-host the ThrillerCast podcast, a podcast for readers and writers of thriller and genre fiction, with my friend Alan Baxter.
Prior to writing full-time, I worked as a landscaper, pizza guy, newspaper deliveryman, warehouse worker, injection molding technician, martial arts instructor, recreation director, youth minister, pastor, and teacher.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I was recently interviewed by the lovely Lori Hays about The FINS Trilogy. If you're interested in listening, here is the link. It was a great deal of fun and I really enjoyed the conversation!