Interview with Justyn Simon

Justyn SimonChristine: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Justyn: Surviving high school, working on becoming an eagle scout, reading, making art, reviewing, blogging, social media, and walking my dog.

Christine: What is your writing process like?

Justyn: Research, outline, rough draft, polish, add more stuff, add story to a document, check for errors, add more, convert file to the type I need, check for more errors, publish, check for conversion errors and fix any as needed. This is how I’ve decided to do this, as this is somewhat easier than the path I took while writing my first book.

Christine: What do you write about?

Justyn: I enjoy writing about adventure. Right now I’m working on my second book: Rufus in Teralupis. It’s in my first series, Brindle stories, which is an animal fantasy genre series.

Christine: What sort of mythical creature would you be?

Justyn: I would be a griffin, as they stand for bravery, are not able to breathe fire, and are a “mash up” of two real animals. They are the same as dragons.

Christine: What are some of the social media sites you are on?

Justyn: All of the social media sites I’m on can be found here.

Christine: Anything else you would like to share?

Justyn: Yes, I would. Other than writing, I also enjoy drawing animals, mostly dogs.

Christine: Thanks for interviewing on my blog!

Interview with Carrie Golden

Carrie Golden

Carrie was born in a small city of Plattsburgh near the border of Quebec, Canada and grew up in the Adirondack Mountains. She now lives near Raleigh, NC with her husband and son, and a small cat farm.

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?

Carrie: As a girl, I pretty much lived in my imaginary worlds. I felt like an outsider; different from the others mainly because of my hearing disability and my strange accent. The problem was I tended to act out whatever went through my mind. One time this landed me in the ER. When I was in 5th grade, a good friend and I decided, just for fun, to see who could write the best short story. From this single experience I discovered another way (safer too!) of bringing things to life. Writing changed everything for me. Since then, it helped me to stay out of the ER!

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carrie: I like to write different types especially micro-poetry, short stories, screenplays, and web novels.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carrie: One day I’d love to be able to stay home and write on a full-time basis; in the meantime, I work in the banking industry as a Loan Servicing Specialist so my husband can complete his Engineering degree.

Christine: What do you like to read?

Carrie: I enjoy reading apocalyptic types of books that have elements of fantasy in them (books written by Terry Brooks for example).

Christine: What genre do you write, and why?

Carrie: I tend to write cross-genre. My favorite is blending Fantasy with Horror while sprinkling in a bit of Science Fiction. I primarily do this because I don’t like being confined to one genre.

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?

Carrie: I have several short works published on Piker Press as well as Zombie Poetry and Literature for Kids

Christine: What seems to be the recurring theme(s) in your writing?

Carrie: Death and hopelessness as well as hope and faith. I like to include most if not all of these in my stories. No matter how bleak things get, if you just hang on, there is an end to this darkness and misery. The light is just around the next corner.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Carrie: On Twitter or on my writing blog A writer and her adolescent muse.

Thanks so much for interviewing on my blog today, Carrie. Good luck with your writing and your writing career.

Interview with Stephen Brayton

Stephen Brayton

Stephen L. Brayton owns and operates Brayton’s Black Belt Academy in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is a Fifth Degree Black Belt and certified instructor in The American Taekwondo Association.

He began writing as a child; his first short story concerned a true incident about his reactions to discipline. During high school, he wrote for the school newspaper and was a photographer for the yearbook. For a Mass Media class, he wrote and edited a video project.

In college, he began a personal journal for a writing class; said journal is ongoing. He was also a reporter for the college newspaper.

During his early twenties, while working for a Kewanee, Illinois radio station, he wrote a fantasy-based story and a trilogy for a comic book.

He has written numerous short stories – both horror and mystery.

His first novel, Night Shadows (Feb. 2011), concerns a Des Moines homicide investigator teaming up with a federal agent to battle creatures from another dimension. His second book, Beta (Oct. 2011), was the debut of Mallory Petersen and her search for a kidnapped girl. In August 2012, the second Mallory Petersen book, Alpha, was published. This time she investigates the murder of her boyfriend.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Stephen: Well, I can’t claim I was a writer right from the womb, but soon afterward. ‘Soon’ being a relative term, of course. I loved books from an early age, and one day I thought that with all of the books I’d read, mysteries and science fiction and horror, I’d like try my hand at writing some stories. I created a character called Sam P. Petersen who lived in the Quad Cities (where I spent my early years) and worked for the East Moline Police Department. I wrote short stories featuring him. Those were my first attempts at short story writing and character profiling. From the time I started talking about writing, my parents encouraged me to continue creating stories. I wrote during college and became serious in the late-90s.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Stephen: Well, my last book, Alpha, was published in August of 2012, but my most recent publication has been the first part of a serialized short story called “White Belt Weapons” in Taekwondo Times magazine. The March issue published an interview with me as a ‘Person of Interest,’ and the May issue began what I hope to be a long-term relationship with them on short stories.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Stephen: I’m a Fifth Degree Black Belt and own and operate a taekwondo club in Oskaloosa; plus, I have a full-time job. I have to find time to write during the slow hours or days off.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Stephen: Depends on the day. My schedule is never the same from week to week. I could work weekends or nine nights in a row. Usually, I’m on the graveyard shift from 11-7; sleep until the middle of the afternoon; class on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings; back to work at 11. During the night, I have plenty of time to write. On days off or afternoons, I may head outside to write or fish or visit family. I wish I could tell you I was an international spy in a different locale every day… At least the travel part sounds fun.

Christine: What is the title of your most recently published novel and a description of it?

AlphaStephen: Alpha is about Mallory Petersen, a Fourth Degree Black Belt in taekwondo and private investigator in Des Moines, Iowa. Usually her cases involve the oddballs of society, but every now and then she takes on a serious investigation. In this book, she’s relating a story to her current boyfriend about her involvement in the investigation of the murder of her previous boyfriend. Along with that case, she’s also searching for a missing woman.

Christine: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them.

Stephen: Of course I’m in love with Mallory. Six feet tall, blonde, blue eyes, drop dead gorgeous, excellent martial artist and instructor, strong, independent, quirky sense of humor, and a romantic.

I know an author is supposed to know almost everything about all the characters, but I’m still discovering things about Mallory’s office manager Darren. Currently, he doesn’t have a last name. That issue will be solved in the next book. He’s enigmatic, quiet, loyal, and always seems to know where Mallory is and what she’s doing. This drives her crazy sometimes.

Christine: Where can we find your novels?

Stephen: Alphawww.amazon.com/Alpha-Stephen-L-Brayton/dp/1610091159
Beta (Mallory’s introduction. Ebook only) – www.amazon.com/Beta-Mallory-Petersen-Mystery-ebook/dp/B005UHEWPC
Night Shadows (eBook only) – www.amazon.com/Night-Shadows-ebook/dp/B004O0VD1M

Christine: Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen: Ellery Queen – I think I’ve read almost every one of his mysteries.
Erle Stanley Garnder – Ditto.
H. P. Lovecraft – The master.
Clark A. Smith – A close second to Lovecraft.
Elaine Viets – She helps inspire my humorous creativity.
Sparkle Abbey – Who doesn’t like dog and cat mysteries?
Robert Pobi – A true genius with words.
Frank Kane, Carter Brown, Day Keene, (and others in the same genre) – Pulp fiction mysteries. I really enjoy the flavor of these stories.

Christine: Where can we find you on the Web?

Stephen: Website – www.stephenbrayton.com
Blog – www.stephenbrayton.wordpress.com
Book Review Blog – www.braytonsbookbuzz.wordpress.com
I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@SLBrayton).

Interview with Aoife Marie Sheridan

Aoife Sheridan

I met Aoife on Book Blogs – a great website to network with other authors. Aoife is twenty-eight years of age. She lives in Kells, Co. Meath, a small town just outside Navan. She was raised in Navan but left with her family at the age of sixteen. She has always had a passion for writing but mostly poetry. This is her first time writing a novel. She studied Accountancy and qualified as an accountant technician. She worked in this profession for several years, but with the economic downturn she was made redundant. She now spends endless hours reading and writing. Read on to learn about her inspirations and her books.

Christine: Aoife, what have you published recently?

Aoife: My works so far:

Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy)
Four banished Angels,
A world created by the hands of God,
A Kingdom on its knees,
A secret protected for centuries,
And one mortal can save them all.
Step into Saskia.

City of SecretsCity of Secrets (Part two of the Saskia Trilogy)
A war awaits her arrival,
A warrant for her arrest.
She must rise as a princess,
And Darkness shall fall.
But will their love survive this battle?
For Tristan and Sarajane?
Step back into Saskia. 

Pending:
The Rise of the Rightful Queen (Part three of the Saskia Trilogy)

Aoife’s Other works:
Wisps
Nine

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?

Aoife: I have always written but mostly poetry; it’s always been my way to deal with my emotions, no matter how big or small. Two years ago I lost two people I was close too. I had never lost anyone before, so I didn’t deal with it very well. One night I had a dream of a man and a woman on a horse, passing through a wall of fire. The dream lingered with me, as did my grief. So, instead of writing poetry, I started my story. My starting point was my dream and I worked my way from there. Eden Forest helped me once again deal with death and all that comes with it. So, in a way, I am very grateful for this story.

I always wondered why God created us and what was our purpose, but those questions are unanswered. So in my story I give you the answers for this world called Saskia. In the story, God creates a world parallel to ours for four fallen angels.

Death is something that I also question now, like why do we die? Is 60 to 90 years of life enough? Imagine having immortality…what would one do to gain it? And that’s where a lot of my plot lies. The greed for immortality, for powers that only God should wield, drives Saskia into war.

God decides to give one person all the powers that anyone could possess to banish evil before it destroys Saskia and Earth. This one person happens to be a young lady called Sarajane Anderson who lives in the mortal world (Earth) but is actually from Saskia.

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?

Aoife: I have my own website: www.aoifemariesheridan.com
It displays my work, links to where you can purchase my books, listen to my interviews, watch my book trailers, and more.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Aoife: I work full-time, so I write when I can, but always with pen and paper, never typing at first. I carry a pen and paper wherever I go and when an idea comes to mind I jot it down. Also, if I had any weird dreams (the ones that linger) I will keep them maybe for a different story. At present there are seven books I want to write. Since I started, I just can’t stop.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Aoife: My writing I would consider fantasy. I write about the impossible, of different worlds that have magic in them. I always feel this can’t be it. All of us on this little planet, floating in the galaxy…there has to be so much more; we just haven’t discovered it yet. Maybe in a couple hundred years people will look back and say, “They knew all along that there was more”. Well that’s what I like to think.

Christine: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them.

Eden ForestAoife: My favorite characters in Eden Forest would have to be:

Queen Bellona – she was the most interesting to write about. Bellona is all that is bad in the world. She is a combination of people that I have crossed paths with in my life. But she does not represent one person alone. Through her, I could vent the injustice of people’s ways and display it.

Second would have to be Sarajane. She plays the main character. She is relatable as in she isn’t perfect. I created Sarajane with flaws, as we all have them. Mine can be that I am selfish, so that’s the flaw I gave Sarajane.

I am surrounded by very strong women in my life, and I am grateful for this. I take a lot of their personalities and place them in my characters, or something they might do, or even a facial expression. I love to watch people’s reactions as they talk to me. If they stumble on a line, they may chew their lip in an endearing way. I note it and file it away for later.

Christine: Do you find you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help you or bother you?

Aoife: Yes, which I absolutely hate. I am so much more aware now. It drives me spare. But in another way it makes me feel better that I am not the only one who makes mistakes. LOL.

Christine: What music do you listen to while writing?

Aoife: My favourite musician would have to be David Guetta , Titanium, and She Wolf. I wrote nearly the whole two books to these songs. I find the words empowering and a story is told even in the beats.

Christine: What do you eat while writing?

Aoife: O God, I am really bad; I have a serious sweet tooth. I do try and control it. Sometimes I do, but other times I fail. So I love sour cream Pringles. Yum. Cadbury’s cream eggs. Love the centre. After that, I love Sprite. These are my three enemies yet my favourite things ever (apart from writing and reading, of course).

Christine: Where can we find you on the web?

Aoife:
My website: www.aoifemariesheridan.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Aoifemariesheri
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/Aoifemariesheridan
Twitter: www.twitter.com/aoifesheri

Thanks for joining us today, Aoife. Good luck with your future novels.

Interview with Natasha House

I met Natasha House on Book Blogs. She has been happily married for seven years. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, playing piano, and crafting. Her dream is to be a full-time author one day and quit her day job!

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?
Natasha:
I decided to become a writer when I was twelve. I wrote a story for school and finished it in one day. I went to young authors because of it!

Christine: How long have you been a writer?
Natasha:
Eighteen years. Forever I know!

Christine: What is your writing experience as an author?
Natasha:
I’m a fairly new author, so I don’t have a ton of experience. I did have a book signing for the first time on my book Superhero Princess. That was exciting!

Christine: What types of writing do you do?
Natasha:
I do all kinds of writing. I have a sci-fi romance novel and a middle grade/YA fantasy book. I’m also writing a paranormal/gothic and fantasy book.

Christine: What books have you published recently?
Natasha:
My most recent one would be Superhero Princess and the Curse of the Rainbow Fairy. I’m working on book two for this series!

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?
Natasha:
I wish! That is what I’d love to do, but no, I’m a department manager for a retail store.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as an author?
Natasha:
I write on my lunch break at a bookstore. It’s my best focus time. I tend to get distracted at home.

Christine: How much time do you spend writing each day and what do you normally work on?
Natasha:
I would say I spend a good half-hour a day writing. I’ve been working currently on my fantasy novel. It’s getting crazy exciting! I also have been working on Superhero Princess and the Well of Madness.

Christine: What marketing techniques do you use to promote yourself as a writer and your writing?
Natasha:
I use facebook, twitter, and blogs. It’s a lot of leg work, but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end!

Christine: Where can we find your published writing?
Natasha:
http://www.amazon.com/Superhero-Princess-Curse-Rainbow-ebook/dp/B007ODOGJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352258808&sr=8-1&keywords=superhero+princess

http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-ebook/dp/B007SCUBG6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352258847&sr=8-2&keywords=superhero+princess

Christine: What genres do you like to read?
Natasha:
I like to read paranormal or YA books.

Christine: Do you find you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help you or bother you?
Natasha:
I find myself observing other writers’ work. Sometimes too many errors get on my nerves, or if words sound choppy and hard to read. I think one thing as an author I encourage is to read your own work out loud to someone.

Christine: What is your favorite book?
Natasha:
I really love The Oath by Frank Peretti. It has so much action and crazy stuff in it.

Thanks so much for joining us, Natasha. All the best with your writing endeavors!

Review of “Anywhere but Here”

Anywhere but Here by Sherri Fulmer Moorer is an intriguing story about a sweet recent college graduate and her experiences after her application to a Master’s program is denied. She feels hopeless and empty, not knowing her life’s direction anymore. She goes to work and looks for friendship there, but nothing is what it seems. She tries to get promoted at work, because of her recent college degree, but it seems that everything is holding her back from what she is trying to accomplish. Will she ever move up in the corporate world? Will she find love again? Reading the story will tell you.

Anywhere but Here is an exciting story, because of the twists and turns in the plot. It speaks of the aggravating and drama-filled social politics that comes with working in a business office. The main character is in hell with what she is dealing with at work and in life. A small gift from her best friend allows her to visit another world in her dreams, which she enjoys more than her real life. In general, the story is realistic with a fantasy spin to it.

I recommend Anywhere but Here to all readers in favor of a quick, easy read that will take them to another time and place. Most people will be able to relate to the main character, especially young women trying to find their place in the world after college graduation and those experiencing heartache. This is an enjoyable read and the ending left me feeling satisfied.

You can pick up your Kindle copy here and your Nook copy here. Enjoy the read!

Review of “The Chaosifier”

The Chaosifier by Mike Evers is an excellent fantasy novel with an adventuresome plot. It is well-written, with lots of description for the characters, background, and setting. Reading the book was an enjoyable experience.

The main characters are called bifurs. They are miniature people that cannot be seen by humans. Their purpose is to balance out the chaos of the world with moments of good luck. They do this by sprinkling a special dust on certain humans that are specially chosen based on their need and what they can accomplish.

The chaosifier is a machine that causes chaos in the world. That is the main reason the bifurs use the special dust. Usually, the chaosifier is set at a normal level, but it is not in the present time of this story. The bifurs are low on special dust and must find out what is causing the excess chaos in the world.

I definitely recommend this well-written novel to readers of fantasy. The story has a slow build up to the climax, but once there, I was hooked.

It is available in kindle format here. Now, go grab your copy!

Review of “Red Leaves and the Living Token”

Red Leaves and the Living Token by Benjamin David Burrell is a well-written, fast-paced adventure that takes place in a fantasy realm. The book is descriptive and easy to read, which is fitting for readers of various backgrounds. The characters are optimistic, compassionate, and strong-willed.

The story is about a world where the beings are unique species. There is the botann – who are made of trees, the petra – who are made of rocks, and the zo – who are hunched-over furry animals. The botann, petra, and zo have conflicts with each other because of their differences (but occasionally they intermingle). They each have their own areas of the world and do not allow trespassing by other species.

Emret, who is a young zo boy, has a terrible illness and will die if he doesn’t get cured soon. His father, Raj, doesn’t know what to do, but needs to do something soon. Emret’s nurse, Moslin, a female botann, takes good care of Emret, and they think highly of each other.

Emret likes it when Moslin reads to him. One book in particular inspires the two of them to go on an adventure to the other side of the world, which encourages Raj, and others, to follow. Emret is in search of a cure for his illness. Their travels become a wild adventure in which their inner strength and dedication to each other will be tested. Will Emret find what he seeks?

Burrell has a talent for creating lively characters that his readers will grow to care for and love. His book demonstrates his skill of knowing what will satisfy readers’ needs for plot description and clarity of storyline.

I greatly enjoyed this book. The ending left me hungry for more. There is a sequel that will be released in the near future. I recommend this book to readers of fantasy and adventure books. You will not be disappointed!

You can get your copy here. Happy reading!

Review of “Pray”

Pray by John Prescott is a by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure, from the depths of fantasy to the raw realities of Christian beliefs, with a paranormal twist that makes it have a huge edge. This book is one that you can’t easily put down. The unique characters and sharp setting make the story so real that it is going on in the room around you. Even if you’re not religious, you will still enjoy the thrill and gore of this action-packed, makes-you-think novel.

Everyone on Earth witnesses the sound of the trumpet as many people simply vanish, and their loved ones are left to mourn and question everything they know about the stability of their lives. The world will never be the same. Then it all starts to fall apart.

Pray follows the lives of a handful of one-of-a-kind characters that were left on Earth after the trumpet sounded, as they run from the destruction and mayhem that is the end of the world. In North America, a select few head to the western states, hoping for safety and peace. Somehow they end up with the same destination in mind. What will happen when they reach it?

Pray is about the Book of Revelation and what could happen if/when the end of the world comes. Even though I’m not religious, I was still able to understand and thoroughly enjoy this book. The characters and location are written realistically and vividly. The story involves human fears about pain, death, and losing control, as well as human fantasies about surviving the end of the world and escaping death. It has hellish creatures, and authority figures that go wrong.

I recommend Pray to readers of horror, suspense, paranormal, and fantasy, who love a thick, adventurous plot, and themes that really make you think. The action in this book will blow your mind.

You can grab your copy here. I am certain you will enjoy it.