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Monday, August 31, 2015

Brain to Books Aurelia Maria Casey

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: Aurelia Maria Casey
Genre: fantasy and science fiction, with occasional hints of romance and thriller
Books: Sorcerous & Beastly Season 1 from the Sorcerous & Beastly Series


Aurelia Marie Casey (1)

When I’m not hanging out in my fairy court conversing with you, my readers, and occasionally my characters, I am a fashion designer and a biomedical engineer because I love transforming ideas from my imagination to reality. It’s the same thought process as storytelling, really. Just a different medium.
I write the stories that my imagination won’t let me forget about. These stories fall into many different genres and for many different age groups. (Don’t worry, I keep the forums and podcasts PG-13 and I rate my books the same way Hollywood rates movies, so you’ll always know what to expect). I love exploring story from many perspectives, so I started a book club where we can discover new authors in a breadth of genres.


Editor of an annual Domestic Violence Awareness short story and poetry anthology, the proceeds of which get donated to support victims and survivors.


Aurelia Marie Casey (4)A villain Death is afraid of. One girl left to die in the Enchanted Forest, the other ran away and got stuck there. A lord playing prince and a prince who breaks the law. Can they overcome impossible odds and find each other in time to do what Death won’t?
I’m Death, and this is a story about a time I failed.
But honestly, I had almost nothing to do with anything that happened. So it isn’t really my fault.
You see, there’s someone who terrifies me. He’s done some truly horrific things. Basically, he’s the cruelest man alive.
I’m going to start at the prophecy, because until then I was avoiding my job. The prophecy made me hope that someone else would save me from having to be a hero.
Heroism really isn’t my thing. I traverse the world of the living and collect souls who are ready to move on to the afterlife. Nothing heroic about that.
Anyway, after the prophecy I started paying attention to life again, just to keep track of things. It’s taken me a long time to gather all the pieces of this story. It’s about some real strong girls and boys, men and women, who managed to accomplish something I thought was impossible.
I’ll let you judge for yourself whether or not I’m a coward for staying mostly on the sidelines.

ExcerptAurelia Marie Casey (2)

I suppose you might think that I’m only making excuses. You could be right. This story certainly wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been scared. Cowardly, perhaps. But I’m not telling you this story for my benefit. I’m telling you this story because someone needs to remember. Someone needs to hold me accountable for all the lives I’ve ruined.
So. To begin:
Once upon a time, far, far away, there was an enchanted forest. To the east and west of this forest were impassable mountains. To the north and south were two kingdoms which had almost nothing to do with each other. Many generations ago there had been a large road through the enchanted forest which connected these two kingdoms, but when the Wolf Queen usurped control over the enchanted kingdom it became impassable. After years of traders entering the forest on that road and never returning, these two countries grew apart. There remained a small amount of diplomatic contact but the sea-voyage was treacherous and ships were nearly as unreliable as the trade road had become.
The kingdom in the north was called Manassa and it was the most dreary of rainy, foggy, damp countries. The Manassans were primarily interested in fighting the nomadic reindeer-herding barbarians in the far north. Having no good grazing land, the Manassans fought fiercely to survive in their stone fortresses, scraping by with what little wheat could be grown in the stony soil. 
The kingdom in the south, known as Sacor, was vibrant and lush with the perfect balance of seasons. In fact, it was so lovely that the fairies caught in the Enchanted forest were jealous that mere humans could live in such a fairyland. As a collective of dukedoms, ruled over by one duke elected to the Governorship every twenty years, the Sacorans were a peace-loving and cultured society. They had little interest in warring with other countries, and luckily had nothing of value to other countries. The worst spat of violence Sacor had experienced in its history was a great duel between two young noblemen over who would marry the Governor’s daughter, fabled to be the most beautiful woman in all the world. Or so the fairies claimed.
But one day, all the magical creatures everywhere in the world disappeared. They vanished, and no-one could discover where they went or why they left. Fairies and elves became legend and hobgoblins and pixies became stories to frighten children. Sorcerers practiced their arts in secret, and witches were laughed at.
Still, nobody was brave enough to enter the Enchanted Forest.
Until one day a Sacoran father-to-be, desperate for a remedy for his pregnant wife, wandered over the edge of his garden and into the forest. He was chasing after snowdonia hawkweed, which is a real plant although it is extremely rare and difficult to find, because the midwife told him its healing properties would ease the birthing.
Fortunately for him, before he could go far enough to be noticed by the Wolf Queen’s spies, the last mamitu stopped him. She was bony-thin from hunger, her black hair hanging thin and stringy down her back. Despite this, her black ridged horns twisted delicately from her temples crowning her with dignity.
She sent him home, saying his wife would come through her labor safely and his firstborn would become the greatest queen in all the world. Before he could thank her, she loped away, drawing the wolf spies after her. The mamitu had stopped him before he could cross the inner ward and he returned unscathed from the forest’s edge to find all as the mamitu had decreed
Almost exactly ten years later, Viola was almost to the stone wall at the very back of the gardens. She could see the ward crystals glittering when the breeze moved the foliage to let the sunlight through. The ward crystals were superstitious nonsense: everyone knew that, but everyone used them anyway, which was a good thing, because they did work only nobody remembered that because the magical creatures had disappeared centuries before. Viola and Robbie, the stable boy, had been sneaking out to play just past the wall, where none of the servants would think to look for her.
A bumble bee buzzed around the blooming roses, and she smiled. Soon she would have the freedom to stop and smell the roses too.
Viola was running away. She thought the stories her nurse told her of the monsters in the forest were scary, but she felt that her upcoming tenth birthday celebration was more terrifying than pixies and wolves and enchantresses. Dresses were inconvenient, hot, and itchy. She hated cakes and icing and fruit punch. But most of all, she hated how everyone would be expecting her to look the part of a future queen and would see her awkward, clumsy, shy, self. Somehow whenever she had to speak to anyone important she started stuttering and couldn’t remember anything she was supposed to know. Of course, this included her parents who consequently thought her to be stupid and lazy. But they couldn’t entirely ignore her because of the Mamitu’s prediction when she was born: that she would grow up to become a queen. Viola had no desire to be a queen. All she wanted was to be left alone. So far as she could tell, queens had to do everything she hated: studying boring books, planning parties, talking to strangers. Math and genealogies. Ugh! She shuddered at the thought and ran the rest of the way to the wall.
She was about to clamber up and over it when she heard a crash-clatter-thump behind her. 

Interview with Aurelia

Angela B. Chrysler: I want to take a moment to welcome Aurelia Maria Casey author of [add however many titles you would like] available on [add link]. Thank you so much for speaking with me, Ms. Casey. Please take a moment to tell us about your book.
ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
AMC: Well, unlike most of my stories, the story spark for Sorcerous & Beastly was actually a variation of Cinderella and Ella Enchanted that I came up with when I was about twelve. It wasn't the first story spark I had that was worth pursuing, but it's the first one that's finished.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?
AMC: I've read a lot. I think most of my research was understanding fairy tale and fantasy novel tropes, so I could pick which elements would work and which were too cliche and boring. There are a few cliche things that I kept on purpose because I wanted readers aware that there may be some fairy tale elements to watch out for. Sorcerous & Beastly definitely isn't pure fantasy. There are hints of mythological influences, most notably the fact that Death is a character: the narrator, in fact.
ABC: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
AMC: The scenes without dialog are always the hardest for me, because I worry that the narrative isn't engaging enough without conversation. However, there are a couple characters who have more of an internal journey than an external one, so that was definitely a challenge.
ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite?
AMC: I love the part(s) where Death forgets he's a narrator and takes action within the story itself. Also, I like when he interjects into his own narrative with asides and commentary. That's always fun.
ABC: Which of your characters, do you relate to the most (or) who is your favorite character and why?
AMC: In Sorcerous & Beastly I definitely relate to Viola most because she is based on my seven-year-old self even though she's ten. But my favorite character ever is Elethiere. She's an elf and I've been working hard on her story since before I had the idea for Sorcerous & Beastly. Elethiere's story is the one that propelled me to become a writer rather than merely someone with an active imagination.
ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
AMC: I think every author I read has an influence on my writing. Sherwood Smith is my favorite author of all time. However, there are many other authors I love: Ilona Andrews, Patrick Rothfuss, Mercedes Lackey, Anne Bishop, Tolkein, CS Lewis, JK Rowling, Devon Monk, Lisa Shearin, Ashley Capes, Rachael Ritchey, to name a few. I'm working on building a database in my Fairy Court where you can find the books I would recommend from all my favorite authors.
ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
AMC: A story is something that entertains and teaches. Everything important about how people work and interact with each other and how to overcome seemingly impossible challenges I learned from reading fantasy and romance and science fiction and literature. It's way more fun than a psychology class, in my opinion. It's a way to dream collectively, and then we can collectively decide which dreams to transform into reality through innovation in tech, fashion, food, etc.
ABC: Tells us about your next project.
AMC: Well, I have several projects in the works. The Necromancer of Many Faces is the first novel in the Intrigue series. If you want a peek at that world, you can read my short story Assassin, which takes place in between books 3 and 4. I'm also working on another serial called The Exclusives which is science fiction and I'll be reading that on my podcast Storytime starting in December. You can listen to all of Sorcerous & Beastly one episode at a time starting in September. And of course I'm working on Elethiere's story. Chains of Destruction is a short story that I originaly intended as the proglogue to Elethiere's Story.
ABC: Where can we find you and your book?
AMC: Join my Purple Court! You get access to all sorts of cool stuff including a forum where my characters sometimes drop by to say hi, and notifications and updates whenever I publish something new. I'm also entering everyone who joins in August into a drawing to get an e-book version of the complete first season of Sorcerous & Beastly. Go to http://amcasey.com/join and start reading the stories in your starter library!
ABC: Thank you again, so much for speaking with me.

A word with Death...

Q: Go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell the audience about yourself.
Death: I'm Death. I'm immortal and stuff, and I help souls transition from living to dead.
Q: Tell us where and when were you born.
Death: I guess I was born before the beginning of time. I don't really know. Time isn't the same for me as it is for you mortals.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
Death: I like to think I'm dedicated and hard working. But I know most people think I'm selfish and cruel. It's hard to be popular when your job is to help people pass from Life to the Afterlife. The Living almost never understand.
Q: Tell us about where you grew up.
Death: It was wonderful. The world wasn't overcrowded then, so I could take my time and explore the world of the living and the world of the dead. Now I'm overwhelmed with the vast number of souls I have to collect.
Q: Tell everyone what it is you do when you’re not [verb from previous question].
Death: It's been a really long time since I've been able to take a long enough break from reaping to do this, but I love collecting the stories of the dead. I find it so fascinating how their motivations change between life and death, and it's comforting for some of them when they first cross over to know that someone remembers what they were and cares.
Q: Are you serious with anyone?
Death: No. Unlike your Hades, I don't have a Persephone yet. Maybe I'll find someone, but for now I am alone.
Q: Tell us about your worst fear.
Death: He's the cruelest man alive. I refuse to allow him into the afterlife because he'll continue to cause problems for the dead if I do. That's all I want to say.
http://amcasey.com/join Go to my site and join the purple court for a chance to win the complete Sorcerous & Beastly Season 1, open during August only. Winners will be congratulated on Storytime at the end of Sorceorus & Beastly Episode 1 and emailed.

For the month of august, anyone who joins the Purple Court (http://amcasey.com/join) will be entered to win an ebook copy of Sorcerous & Beastly the Complete First Season. Whether or not you win you'll get access to the starter library, world building documents, forum, and more as soon as you join.


Brain to Books Chrissy Moon

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: Chrissy Moon
Genre: Paranormal romance, women’s fiction, YA paranormal romance, horror, poetry
Books: Surreal Enemies: Angel City of the God Generation


Chrissy Moon

Chrissy Moon is the youngest of four girls, born in Orange County, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Her parents and sisters came to America from the Philippines in 1970, seven years before her birth.
As a teen, Chrissy wanted to work for the United Nations in New York and work as a translator. Her plan was thwarted when she got married and had a baby.
She continued her attempts to learn the basics to many languages. However, as her baby got older, and especially after her divorce, her days were spent working full-time at various office jobs. Languages have been put on the backburner, most of the basics forgotten.
Now that the baby is a high school graduate and an adult, Chrissy is able to devote more time to her writing.


The cause Chrissy is most concerned with is domestic violence – its prevention, and the healing of its victims.
Her next goal is to learn about local safe houses for abused women and children.


Someone’s been killing Slates and freeing the Melted from their ice prisons in the Heaven embassy.
The God Generation consists of supernatural entities – angels (the Worthy), demons (the Melted), and archaic gods & goddesses (the Slates), born into human flesh and living among the rest of us.
Morgan Constantina is an abuse survivor and a recovering ecstasy addict. She’s been working hard to learn how to be tough and never be anyone’s victim again.
Her new life with her loving, supportive, semi-famous boyfriend – who happens to be her former Living Guardian Angel – grows to include an addition to the family, moving to Los Angeles, meeting his gigantic family, and reluctantly co-starring in their new restaurant-based reality TV show.
Morgan learns there are Worthy authorities who keep a judgmental eye on mundane humans. One of them is quite helpful, but another has a personal agenda that could cause trouble for her.
And as she’s meeting new people, she’s also gaining some enemies.
High on the list of foes is an old family friend who’s made threats to kill her, her own mother who thinks she’s immoral and soulless, and her boyfriend’s former flame – a woman Morgan’s already met!
Surreal Enemies: Angel City is a story about the war of good and evil inside all of us, and the powerful, unforgettable force of parental love.


He stood in front of me, his posture a bit more relaxed than it had been for the last hour or so. Seeing the old Ree in his eyes made me want to take him in my arms and kiss him over and over, but I sensed that something still wasn’t right, so I remained still and simply listened to what he had to say. “I swear I didn’t know I have been deviating from my usual behavior. Baby, this is just me talking, this person standing before you. I am neither demon nor angel, boyfriend nor friend—I’m just this spirit who is in love with this spirit right here.” He pointed to my heart without touching it.
He kneeled in front of me then, not like a marriage proposal-type of kneel, but more like his legs gave way and he collapsed. His arms clamped around my waist so hard, at first I thought he was attacking me. But then he leaned his head on my middle and sobbed. I mean, he really cried harder than I have ever witnessed before.
“Ree, you’re acting like someone died! Please help me understand!”
Instead of the scoff that I expected, he turned to face me slowly, his eyes watering as they regarded me with a sad, faraway look.
“I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you everything…” he said, still weeping. I was immediately frightened. I had to admit this was not the way I thought this conversation would go at all. I thought he might be angry back or that he would make a sad face and tell me I was right, and proceed to reveal whatever stupid secret he had. But this…this was different. I knew then that I was about to hear something that would change me, change us, change everything.
“Oh my god,” I whispered. “Someone did die, didn’t they?” I raised my voice to a normal level. “Who was it, Ree?”
Not meeting my eyes, he continued. “Connie. And then you, less than a week later.”

Interview with Chrissy Moon

ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

CM: Well, I wanted to illustrate a story about a woman overcoming domestic violence and drug addiction. She’s already overcome some really turbulent things, but now she needs to find a sort of happy medium, so she can be stable and happy without shutting out her loved ones. It’ll take her a while, because as much as she’s learned, she’s still got a long way to go.

This book is written as a standalone, but it’s technically the sequel to my debut novel from a couple years ago, Surreal Ecstasy. I had a whole mythology already set, so my challenge was to create a new story that also fits into the first book, but that can act as an entire story in and of itself. Because of this, it took me longer to write this book.

I wanted Surreal Enemies to have more action. I wanted us to delve some more into the God Generation world. I wanted my main character’s relationship with her boyfriend to kind of reach the next level. I wanted to reveal a little more about the love life of a gay supporting character, Dess. But I also wanted to introduce some new situations to the characters as they get stronger and smarter.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?

CM: Let’s see. The locations didn’t require any research because the main characters move to the area I grew up in. I did have to ask some family members a little about how the entertainment industry works and about reality shows, because Morgan, our protagonist, ends up on one. I also asked my brother-in-law about the angel hierarchy, because he’s an expert on the subject and even teaches at church voluntarily.

Oh, I lied about the locations. I just remembered. I had to look up the Omni hotel in San Francisco and check out their room service menu and hotel suites because Dess stays there in her own narrated chapter.

ABC: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
CM: Hmm. I’ll try to explain this without us having to put up a spoiler alert sign. There’s a part where Morgan and her boyfriend begin to grow distant. When she finds out why, there’s an explanation and many related scenes that follow. I kept having to change small details, right up until the last minute. I also kept giving my publisher updated manuscripts when I’d already sworn numerous times that it was absolutely the final version. That whole thing about why Morgan and her boyfriend Ree had grown distant is a very delicate subject, and I had to run over it with a fine-tooth comb, because the slightest mistake would have killed the entire scene and aftermath.

ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite.
CM: I find myself flipping a lot to the chapter where Morgan meets Snaps, the director of her boyfriend’s family’s Food TV reality show. His personality reminds me a lot of some people I know, and I find it entertaining when he says off-the-wall things. What’s even more entertaining are Morgan’s narrated reaction thoughts.

ABC: Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
CM: Morgan is my first published fictional creation, and because of this, her life is very personal to me. I have also had issues with possessing or relinquishing control in relationships, dealing with people who assume the worst about me, feeling misunderstood, and having that ‘me against the world’ mentality. I have also had to learn the hard way that a romantic relationship shouldn’t be the sole purpose in life, that a person should build up their core first and then find love out of want, not need.

ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his or her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
CM: Richelle Mead is my biggest modern influence. By the time I started writing my first novel, I had already read everything she’d written. Her books are smart, sexy, exciting, and emotional, and that’s always what I wanted to depict in my own work.

Older influences include Pearl Buck. The way she wrote The Good Earth is incredible. The narration is very simplified and nonthreatening, yet at the same time the main character experiences such a vast array of emotions and obstacles. That’s something I strive to accomplish in my work – saying what I need to say without doing a descriptive overkill. I try to make my readers feel comfortable and like they can read my stories without getting confused or having to memorize a bunch of complicated stuff.

ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
CM: Good question! The way I see it, “story” comes from our spirits. It’s a part of ourselves that we mix with art and then display for others to view, appreciate, and think about. It’s intensely personal and inspires people to feel all kinds of emotions and think terrible and wonderful thoughts. “Story” is a primary example of what’s insightful and extraordinary about the human race.

ABC: Tells us about your next project.
CM: Just as Surreal Enemies is a sequel, I have another sequel I’m finishing up. This one will be the sequel to my YA paranormal romance, DayDreamer. It’s for a younger audience and is clean and sweet in terms of heat level. I had originally created Kayla, the main character of DayDreamer, to balance out my brain, because writing Surreal was too intense. DayDreamer was written in a much more light-hearted manner.

With this second installment though, Kayla’s world is going to be a little more well-rounded. She’s going to face some issues and paranormal situations that’ll challenge her abilities and morals. I have a lot planned for her, and I hope readers will enjoy watching her mature.


Connect with Chrissy

Twitter: @WriterAngel
Amazon: Amazon

Brain to Books Alan Black

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: Alan Black
Genre: A little bit of everything
Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside 3Chasing Harpo (action/humor)
Metal Boxes (science fiction - military, space opera)
The Friendship Stones (Christian, historical, young adult - book one in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
Steel Walls and Dirt Drops - (science fiction - military)
The Granite Heart (Christian, historical, young adult - book two in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
Chewing Rocks (science fiction - space opera)
The Heaviest Rock (Christian, historical, young adult - book three in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
A Cold Winter (western novelette)
Titanium Texicans (science fiction - young adult space opera)
Empty Space (science fiction - military)
How To Start, Write, and Finish Your First Novel (non-fiction)
The Inconvenient Pebble (Christian, historical, young adult - book four in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1925)
Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside (science fiction - military, space opera)


Bio PhotoI started writing sometime in the second grade, well over fifty years ago….I think. Gaak! Who remembers that far back? I started my first novel in 1996. His writing tastes are as eclectic as his reading preferences.
I was born in central Kansas, grew up in Gladstone, Missouri and graduated from Oak Park Senior High School, eventually earning a liberal arts degree from Longview Community college. I did spent most of my adult life in the Kansas City area. The U.S. Air Force stationed me Texas, California, Maryland, and Japan. I got married in the late 70s and I’m still married to the same woman. We now live in sunny Arizona.
I am an indie multi-genre writer who has never met a good story he didn't want to tell. My vision statement: "I want my readers amazed they missed sleep because they could not put down one of my books. I want my readers amazed I made them laugh on one page and cry on the next. I want to give my readers a pleasurable respite from the cares of the world for a few hours. I want to offer stories I would want to read."


Black's scifi book Metal Boxes hit #1 on Amazon.


METAL BOXES - TRAPPED OUTSIDE COMPLETEWithout warning, Stone found himself flying across the room, smacking face first into the opposite wall. The top side of the heavy conference table slammed into his back, sandwiching him so hard he imagined he looked like mayonnaise oozing out between two pieces of bread, but it didn’t hurt. There was no noise or bright flash of an explosion. He didn’t even hear the table as gravity dragged it back to the floor, nor did he feel the slightest pain as the sandwich fell apart and he crashed down beside the table.
Stone rolled to his hands and knees. Rough hands grabbed him. Someone grabbed a fistful of hair and yanked his face upward. Numos pulled, brutally twisting his arms and legs. Stone wanted to object. He didn’t feel a thing and, although he could see Numos screaming at him, he couldn’t hear a thing.

Interview with Alan Black

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing? What is one thing that would surprise us?) I started writing early, but I didn’t finish my first full length novel (100,000 words) until the late 1990s. Generally, when I’m not writing, I’m editing, publishing and marketing my books. This is my full time job and I put in about 60 to 80 hours a week at it.
Is this your first book? Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside is not my first book published. I’m writing my twentieth book, but I’ve only published thirteen of them so far. How many books have you written prior (if any?) List other titles if applicable.
Chasing Harpo (action/humor)
Metal Boxes (science fiction - military, space opera)
The Friendship Stones (Christian, historical, young adult - book one in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
Steel Walls and Dirt Drops - (science fiction - military)
The Granite Heart (Christian, historical, young adult - book two in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
Chewing Rocks (science fiction - space opera)
The Heaviest Rock (Christian, historical, young adult - book three in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1920)
A Cold Winter (western novelette)
Titanium Texicans (science fiction - young adult space opera)
Empty Space (science fiction - military)
How To Start, Write, and Finish Your First Novel (non-fiction)
The Inconvenient Pebble (Christian, historical, young adult - book four in An Ozark Mountain Series - 1925)
Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside (science fiction - military, space opera)
What genre is it and what is it about? Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside is a military/space opera science fiction novel. It’s the sequel to Metal Boxes and is about the continuing adventures of Blackmon Perry Stone, a young man in service to the empire. Against his personal preferences (he is agoraphobic - that means he is afraid of being outside, not being afraid of sweaters made from goat hair), his new assignment is to lead a team doing planet pacification of a newly discovered world. Not only is it all outside, but they find a warring alien race.
What inspired you to write this book?
The feedback from the first book drove me to write the sequel.
How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
The original book Metal Boxes was titled that because the protagonist grew up in Metal Boxes (space stations and spaceships). He never ventured outside under open skies until he was in his teens. Hence, he is agoraphobic. The second title plays against the first. He is still agoraphobic, but now he is trapped outside.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The artwork for this new book was done by Bill Wright. You can see his artwork at https://www.flickr.com/photos/billwrigt1/
The cover layout was done by the excellent people at The Cover Collection at http://www.thecovercollection.com/
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I haven’t actually cast the actors in this book. Some I have, but in this story, I prefer the reader build their own mental image.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? Robert Heinlein and Louis L’Amour were my two favorite authors growing up. Some people are surprised that they wrote in such disparate genres. I disagree. The only difference between scifi and westerns is location. They are still morality stories with good vs evil.
What does your writing process look like?
I actually go into my process in depth in my book How To Start, Write, and Finish Your First Novel. I pick a character that I like and throw all the nasty crap at them I can think of. By the time they get all of their problems resolved, the book is done. I don’t edit, I don’t proofread, check spelling, format or even worry about the color of the hero’s girlfriend’s hair. My rough draft is all about story and action. Then I go back and rewrite all the other stuff and start fixing my mistakes. Rule #2 in writing is that you can’t fix what ain’t been writ.
Are you a plotter or a pantster (writing by the seat of your pants)?
I am a pantser. I have a rough idea where the story might end up, but when I am in the middle of writing, I couldn’t tell you what is going to happen in the next paragraph until I’ve written it.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why? How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
My favorite character to write is Harpo Marks from Chasing Harpo. He is an orangutan. Part of the book is written from his point of view. I had a lot of fun with it because I struggled not to anthropomorphize him into a semi-human. He has a sense of realism to his ape-ness, but he has grown used to humans and adopted some small characteristics. My least favorite characters are easy to spot because I kill them off. Not everyone who dies in my books is someone real, but some are. Not everyone who dies in my books is someone who I don’t like, but some are. For example I kill off a character in Metal Boxes - Trapped Outside who was modeled after a good friend of mine. She complained, but that is the way the story goes.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years, I will still be writing and publishing. I don’t know where the publishing business will be, but I will be here. My list of published books will be longer as I have a goal to write four books a year.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews, but I never ever ever respond to them. I will answer direct questions on my website or Amazon Author Page, or Goodreads, or Facebook, or Twitter, but not a review. My best advice to bad reviews is to read them carefully. Search them diligently for clues to improve your writing. Develop a thick skin and learn that reproof will only make you better. If there isn’t anything to learn from a review, good or bad, then give a little shrug, have another glass of wine, and mentally put it aside.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
The best marketing is word of mouth. Tell someone about the book. Oh, don’t lend them the book, but write a review, tell a friend, mention it to a co-worker at lunch.
What is your best marketing tip?
I put marketing tips on my website. So far I have collected 49 different things for author to try. There is a tab for Marketing Tips on the home page.
What are you working on now?
Strangely, I am not writing scifi. I alternate scifi with something else. I am writing a Christmas Romance novel.
What do you wear while writing?
I write in gym shorts and a t-shirt. Not that I go to the gym, their just comfy.
What literary character is most like you?
There aren’t any literary characters like me. Oh, you read about guys like me in books, but we don’t get names. We’re just the tertiary character whose body is found in a dumpster by the protagonist or the guy who’s too fat to run away from the Zombies and dies in chapter two.
If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?
The ability to convince people I’m right…whether I am or not.
What is your favorite movie?
I like the movie “Silverado”. It is a fast paced western with a superb cast. It is fun without taking itself too seriously.
What makes you cry?
One of the rules of writing these days is that you can’t kill a dog or a horse. It is deadly to readers. That always makes me cry. I’ve done it, but I hated it much worse than killing people.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Brain to Books Judith Quate

Brain to Books Blog Tour

image2Fast Fact

Author: Judith Quate
Genre: Memoir
Book: Our Special Child:  Jason's Story


image1I am a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, sister and a good friend.  This is what defines me.  What I present to you on this website is a mixed media artist who creates inspirational art and fiber creations.  What most inspired me to launch my business is the valuable lessons I learned for twenty-eight years raising a son with cerebral palsy.  I was his nurse, social worker, advocate, therapist and most importantly, a loving mother.  My book, Our Special Child:  Jason's Story, will soon be available and you can purchase it here on this website.
I create mixed media paintings and designs because I want to share the valuable lessons I learned caring for my son. He inspired me every day and it is now my turn to pay if forward.
I lived in Philadelphia for most of my life.  Nine years ago my husband and I moved ten miles north of Philly to Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  I loved the city but it was time to live in a more peaceful surroundings in my retirement years.
I started creating my business four years ago after I retired from my federal government position.  I worked over 40 years of my life, 22 years with the federal government.
I am sole owner of my business and designer.  I love working alone, making my own decision and working the hours I choose to work.  I share my time babysitting my two grandchildren and working out at the gym.  Life is good and I am making the most of it.

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