Category Archives: Author Spotlight

Interview with an Author Featuring M.K. Hall

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is M.K. Hall! Her newest release, Empyrean Queen (Origins Book 2) releases May 23rd.

How long have you been writing?

I’ll preface this question by saying that I didn’t discover the power books hold over a reader and how they can provide an escape from reality until my late twenties. That was when the fuse was lit and I made my first attempt to write. It failed miserably and thankfully only my sister-in-law knows just how terribly that went. (I’m still not convinced she forgives me for that). After another twelve years of reading and battling excuses and debilitating self-doubt, I finally mustered the courage to try again.

Describe a typical writing day.

Weekends are easy. I usually write from the time I get up until dinnertime. I have a full time job, so during the week I’m usually up by 6am, writing by 6:30am. I clock in for work at 8 and then write over my hour lunch break. When I clock out around 5-6pm, it’s back to writing until bedtime. (Somewhere in there, I manage to eat and say hello to my family.) Whether weekends or weekdays, rest assured there are copious amounts of coffee involved.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

My first published series, Origins, which features just two books (Empyrean Born and Empyrean Queen), stemmed from a conversation between my younger daughter, then 18, and myself. We were watching tv and there was yet another odd weather event or something and I just looked at her and said, “I should write about 2020. Maybe make up some race of people who are responsible for all this craziness.” Thus, the Empyreans were born. As far as the other irons in the fire, those ideas just randomly hit me. I use Pinterest a lot and am one of those authors who needs the FBI to know those Google searches are for research, I swear.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

I actually really enjoyed writing one particular type of character in Empyrean Queen. Without giving too much away, it was oddly fascinating how much fun I had writing from the bad guys’ POV. I guess we all have a darker side just waiting to be tapped into.

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

In general, I’m someone who likes quiet. I can’t write with music playing or when there are other distractions and this is especially true during an emotional scene. I usually have a woodwick candle burning (I get hypnotized by the sounds of the crackling wick). I simply reread the previous scene or chapter for that character and get myself into the moment. I’ll be honest, sometimes it doesn’t work and I just have to write out some of the action and go back to tweak it, add detail or dialogue at a later time.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Oh boy. I’m not good with these types of questions. (See? Already broke the rules.) I guess I’d have to say considerate, trustworthy, introvert.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

 I find that delving more into other characters’ lives and history, building that foundation and making it relevant to the current storyline works from my perspective. In the Origins series, the second book has several chapters from other characters’ POVs, characters that were secondary and one that wasn’t even mentioned in the first book.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Yes! I’m very excited about my current project. I actually finished the first book last year and then walked away from it while I wrote the Origins series. The break proved to be just what I needed. Now that I’m nearly done with a total rewrite, the story has become much larger and far more complex. I feel I’ve finally found the true voice of these characters and I’m so excited to get this one out. Without sharing too much detail, I’m comparing it to a Lord of the Rings style epic fantasy but with a rather intense romantic theme. I’m not quite ready to reveal the name of the series just yet. You’ll have to join my Facebook reader group – Books, Cats, and Tatts – for more information.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Haha, well honestly, I’m still in a place where I’m the one looking for advice! I will say this, though, never stop writing. If writing is your passion but you’re going through a slump of writer’s block, take a break but do NOT give up. This was proven to me with my current project. I wasn’t 100% happy with it but I kept going. As it turns out, that first draft gave me the foundation I needed to make the story something I’m truly proud of.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

What I hope for more than anything, is to create worlds readers can get lost in. I envision them so vividly in my mind and I wish for nothing more than others to see what I see. Life and reality are hard enough. We all need an escape, even for a little while. I truly think this is what most authors strive to achieve and if even one person enjoys the escape I’m attempting to provide, I’ll consider myself a success.

Thank you M.K. Hall for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out and preorder her newest release, Empyrean Queen today!

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~Synopsis~

The year 2020 may be over, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten any easier. With mixed feelings about no longer carrying the secret title of being the Empyreans’ Chosen, Val returns to her realm and her people only to find more danger lurking in the deepest, darkest shadows and threatening to destroy the Empyreal world.

Everywhere she turns, betrayal isn’t far behind, and with an ever-growing list of bad guys, trust is a precious commodity. Yet allies from unlikely places come forth as more mysteries about her life are brought to light. Val will be tested and forced to confront the truth of her past and the unknown future, all while attempting to save the soul of the man she loves.

With demons of all kinds on the loose, the looming threat of war with Purgatory, and Gabe’s eternal damnation hanging in the balance, will Val ever learn who she really is and where she came from? Will she ever be crowned Empyrean Queen, or will deeply buried secrets be her undoing?

Empyrean Queen is the final book in the Origins duology.

Origins

CHECK OUT BOOK ONE!

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M. K. Hall is a fantasy author living in a small Midwestern town with her husband, kids, and furbabies. She loves cats above all else, but coming in at a close second are coffee, craft beer, birthday cake, and virtually anything flavored with lemon and blueberry. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cross stitching (mostly naughty sayings), binge watching tv shows, or camping with her hubby of nearly 24 years.

https://linktr.ee/MKHall_Author


Interview with an Author Featuring Caitlin Denman

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Caitlin Denman! Her debut book, She Awakens released on April 27th.

Congrats on your newest release! Tell me a bit about your book?

My book is set in a time where the Fae have taken over the world and humans are in hiding. It revolves around Attina, a human girl who knows nothing about the woman who gave birth to her. The book follows her, along with her sassy sidekick talking horse Raven, as Attina learns more about her past and who she really is. As her journey progresses she learns that she is the only person who can take on the Fae King and put an end to the Fae’s vicious reign.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

For She Awakens I drew inspiration from a dream. I had a few dreams over multiple days where the entire story played out. I’d never had dreams like that so I figured that was a sign that I should write it down. I’m also trying the question method for another work in progress. It’s in the very early stages but basically I think of a character I want to write and ask questions. For example let’s say a Fae is exiled from its people, why were they exiled? How could they get back in their people’s good graces? I just repeat that process until I find I story I would enjoy reading and write it.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Actually I haven’t always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been a voracious reader for years, reading 80-100 books a year. I  had my dream about She Awakens and decided to try my hand at writing and absolutely fell in love with it.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I absolutely LOVE Laura Thalassa, Sarah J. Mass, and Emma Hamm. I think all of their books influenced me. I look up to all of them and hope to be even half as good of an author they are someday!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Well I based Attina off of Alexandra Daddario so I would feel so blessed if she would play my main character. The horses, Raven and Oak, are based off of horses I actually owned in my life. The best person I can think of to play Attina’s love interest, James, would be someone like Jake Abel. Attina’s father in my mind looks like an older Christian Bale and the mysterious Allister was based off of a Jason Momoa type (yes, he is my celebrity crush).

What is the best part of your day?

Even though I am a writer the best part of my day also includes my horses. I absolutely love the peace and happiness they give me. My best day would be riding and training my horses all day and writing the rest of the night.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Determined. Hard working. Compassionate.

What are you reading now?

Well I read 3 books at a time so currently I am reading:

1) The Broken Daughter by Aimee Shaye 

2) A Beast so Beautiful by Carlyle Labuschagne 

3) God Save The Child by Robert B. Parker

What advice would you give to other authors?

WRITE, WRITE, AND WRITE SOME MORE!!! Get everything you can down on paper. If things seem too daunting take it scene by scene if you have to. If you’re not feeling a scene that day, skip it for a scene you want to write. Take a notebook with you everywhere you go and if you get even five minutes to write, do it. Even if you only get a few words down a day that’s a few more words down on paper than you had the day before.

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

Honestly the one thing I really want people to know about my books is that I appreciate every single person that reads them. I feel so incredibly blessed that anyone at all is interested in my books. I think if my books resonate with even just one person I’ll feel like all the stress and worry was worth it.

 

 

Thank you Caitlin Denman for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, She Awakens today!

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~Synopsis~

In this Young Adult page turner, Attina finds herself in an unlikely predicament when it’s uncovered the normal, human existence she thought she lived is turned upside down. Finding out she’s half Fae not only confounds her, but in a time where the brutal Fae run the world she is suddenly tasked with bringing the Fae and humans together.

With the help of her trusty, and somewhat snarky steed Raven, Attina sets out on a mission to save the human race from extinction. As she continues on her mission, she discovers powers beyond her wildest dreams.

In a world where it’s tricky to discern who’s good and where the evil really lies, Attina finds herself in one predicament after another, not knowing who to trust except for Raven. As her journey unfolds, her strength and will are tested.

Will she ever be strong enough to bridge the gap between these two worlds?

 

Caitlin lives and grew up in Southern California with her family and her three
horses, three dogs, and a cat. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor’s in agribusiness.

Caitlin is a debut author and her first book is a YA Fantasy called She Awakens
which is available now at Amazon and is a part of kindle unlimited. She Awakens is a
coming of age story about a human girl and her journey, with her sassy talking horse Raven, to take on the Fae King.

Besides writing, she loves training and competing on horses. She has competed
in barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping, and mounted shooting. She has owned and ridden horses since she was twelve-years-old.

Caitlin would love to connect with each and every person who loves her books.

http://bit.ly/LinktreeCaitlin


Interview with an Author Featuring Jodi Gallegos

The Literary Vixen presents…

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Joining us today is Jodi Gallegos! Author of The High Crown Chronicles.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve used writing as my primary form of creative expression for as long as I can remember. I was the scriptwriter for a 3rd grade play–fired because I wouldn’t compromise my story-telling for the sake of a “short play”. Sadly I never considered I could be an author until I was in my 30’s. At that point I began to study the craft and the business so I could seriously pursue being a published author.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

 I love to keep a project journal on hand. It’s a very basic notebook (sometimes a thematic appearing journal) in which I keep all my plot and character ideas and notes. I will print images from my project Pinterest boards and decoupage them on the cover of the notebook (or inside if it’s a fancy journal). That way all my images are right there with my notes. The notes inside are chaotic, but as much a I’ve tried a more organized method, this is what works best for me—and I have an awesome keepsake when the book is done.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I cry–sometimes a lot. I’ve had to kill characters that I feel deeply attached to and no matter how many times I’ve read the passage, I still cry when they die. When I’m writing, I try to stay in the emotional mood of the project, so I’ll watch very dark, moody programs and listen to angry music. When the project is over, I have to reset from the deep emotions. I’ll binge-watch The Office or Friends and crank happy music to balance myself out again.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written seven. Four are published (with another coming soon!). The High Crown Chronicles is my favorite. Maybe because it’s the book I spent the most time with. From the first word to publication was about 8 years of writing, editing, revising, and re-revising.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I do so much world building before I even start to write. My starting point is very early on—when the story is just a thought. I’ll journal and brainstorm all the aspects of the characters, setting, and plot line. I love doing research, so I’ll spend weeks to months researching every aspect I can think of to enrich my story: location, foliage, currency, construction, diet, clothing, folklore. I like to have meaningful names for my characters and locations, so even if I don’t remember how I came to them, there was always a reason I chose them. I tend to draw from root words, Greek and Latin, and mythology/literature. I also research names to find meanings that reflect what I imagine to be core personality traits of my characters. Before I begin writing, I usually have maps, a playlist of music that keeps me in the right frame of mind, and a Pinterest board of images set up, so I have an image of the world and characters in my head. So, you see, I can really spend a lot of time—usually months—world-building!

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I don’t hear from them as much as I’d like (but I think we all feel that way!). A few have reached out to say how much they enjoyed my books or are looking forward to the next. It’s always a little rush when someone does take the time to reach out. It’s nice and nice things are growing harder to come by lately, so I always try to respond and acknowledge their messages when I get them.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a massive tome of Edgar Allen Poe stories and poems. It’s so big I should probably use it for bicep curls after reading.

Describe yourself in three words.

Introverted, awkward, and adventurous.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

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Zoey Deutch for Malory

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Max Irons for Jamis

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Zendaya as Isobel

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A younger, but comparatively intense Johnathon Rhys Myers type for Josef

What advice would you give to other authors?

To keep at it. Consistently work to improve your skill, keep up on what’s happening in the industry, read widely, keep writing, and above all keep believing in yourself. Making connections with others is imperative to doing all of those things. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned about the art and business of writing, I learned from being critiqued by others and chatting with them. Just because someone is still unpublished doesn’t mean their feedback isn’t insightful. And when you do become published, pay it back by helping others: do the free critiques, pimp the books of others, share their good news and celebrate it with them.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I just want everyone to know my books are really good (lol—how could I pass up that opportunity). In all honesty, I just want everyone to know that I’m passionate about my books. I’m not afraid to explore some darker emotions and ideas and each book is a reflection of some part of who I am on some level.

Thank you Jodi Gallegos for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series, The High Crown Chronicles today!

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~Synopsis~

While the war between the kingdoms grows, the long-forgotten gods are beginning to take notice. And one of them has been waiting for this moment for a very long time…

Malory has survived betrayal, an assassination attempt, and the Battle of Allondale. But months later, with the Unified Kingdoms at war, she is a queen in name only. All she rules is in ruins and her enemies won’t stop until she and Jamis are dead and their lands claimed.

Hidden deep in the forested Argralands, Malory—along with Jamis, Kennard, Katherine, Josef, and Isobel—has been systematically raiding the resources of Roarke and his allies. As Malory and Jamis work to bolster their troops so they can finally conquer their enemies, a new threat emerges that leaves all the kingdoms at risk. But ever-shifting alliances and a broken unification leave Malory questioning loyalties—even among those closest to her. Can Malory build her armies before a devastating loss brings her to the brink of her own ruin?

Queen of the Ruins picks up seamlessly where The High Crown Chronicles left off and draws the reader more deeply into this world of stunning imagery, dynamic characters, and shifting political alliances. A blend of dark, vengeful tone and deeply emotional moments will draw readers through this action-packed novel and leave their hearts thundering until the final page.

Jodi is a YA and Adult author, black belt, and registered nurse. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

https://linktr.ee/JodiGallegos_


Interview with an Author Featuring Astrid V.J.

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

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Joining us today is Astrid V.J.! Author of The Apprentice Storyteller.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was twelve, I read a book that started an idea. But before I get to that, I have to acknowledge my mother’s dedication to fostering my love of the written word. By the time I was twelve, she’d already read Lord of the Rings to me. And I wanted more! However, I was also a little sad about the fantastical books I had access to. There were so many wonderful fantasy novels, but almost all the ones I’d read thus far were of white boys. As a girl growing up in multi-cultural South Africa the whiteness of fantasy really bothered me.

So, back to the idea… Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock inspired me to write an African Occult Fantasy series about a girl from Uganda in search of Atlantis. No, I have not yet finished this epic adventure. It has grown and matured as I’ve learned new things over time, and it has a ways to go yet to be ready.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I work best in absolute silence, which is hard to come by in a family with young children.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I compartmentalize  and I focus on what the situation means for the character and how it will make them grow. I often try to get through the writing of difficult scenes in a single sitting so they don’t have to linger.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Thus far, I have published four novels, two novellas and I have two more novellas and two short-stories in the pipeline for this year, as well as a whole host of novels in my two current series. That excludes the Atlantis project, which is a half-written quintet.

Just like with my children, I can’t say I have a favourite. Each of my books is unique, and the characters and their journeys have grown me and made me a better person. They truly are my book babies and I cannot choose one over another.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Are you prepared for the answer to this question? I’ll try to keep this as short as I can 😉

From Fantasy, I’ve been heavily influenced by a range of authors including Tolkien who taught me the value of worldbuilding and developing details that will never be seen in a published book. Phillip Pullman taught me that no topic is too difficult to take on as a writer. If you think its important and feel it will contribute to humanity, write itand set it in a Fantasy setting for good measure. Guy Gavriel Kay taught me the beauty of writing Fantasy and that this genre can be literary, too.

Michael Ende taught me the power of imagination and how to twist even the most mundane thing into a magical concept. J.V. Jones, J.K. Rowling and Ursula K. Le Guinn showed me that girls can, too, and that we have the power to write incredible fantasy. Their writings totally inspired me to keep on writing myself, even when I doubted my craft.

Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters taught me the value in writing about relationships and how we humans interact through society.

Neil Gaiman is my inspiration for quirky, dark twists.

Robert Rankin inspires me to find my funny side. I’m still struggling to put it into writing, but I feel I am improving thanks to this hilarious author.

Margaret Atwood is simply awesome. I love all her books and how she twists things around to make me think about the world we live in. I aspire to write books with great messages thanks to her writing.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I have a core group of die-hard fans who love my work and support me in the most incredible ways. Many have become my beta readers and give me invaluable feedback during the writing process.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

My recent publication, The Apprentice Storyteller, alongside Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart: Daily meditations on the path to freeing your soul, and Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion by Jack Zipes.

Do you have any new series planned?

I have several. One that’s taking shape nicely is The Last Vasa, an urban fantasy set in contemporary Sweden.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

I’d want up-and-coming actors from India and Africa to star in any film versions of my books.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Believe in yourself. Only you can write the book you are writing. The fact you are writing a book already makes it unique because no one else has your experiences and knowledge-set. Trust in that what you have to say is important and will reach the right people.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

All my books engage with key principles of human transformation. I love exploring our human capacity for achieving success in the face of adversity. As a transformational life coach, I love the fact that through my writing I can reach even more people with the messages I teach to my clients. I want to see people succeed and achieve their dreams. That is my calling. And if my passion for writing can help that along, then it makes me happier.

 

Thank you Astrid V.J. for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her books today!

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~Synopsis~

“Set amid an imaginative blend of sci-fi and fantasy, the novel’s fictional universe is vividly realized and will grab curious readers. The book works in thought-provoking themes that will further draw readers in.” BookLife Prize

The Alchemist meets fantasy with a splash of space opera.Viola Alerion, a renowned storyteller in the Haldrian Empire, wants to be left in peace. For years, she’s been hounded by her past, never to find a moment’s rest. Then she meets a boy who wants to become her apprentice. He refuses to take no for an answer, and she reluctantly yields, even though she knows taking him with her could endanger his life. As their journey progresses, Viola begins to understand she’s not the only teacher in the equation. The nameless boy also has something to teach, but Viola makes for a reluctant student.

Can she give way to possibility and embrace a future in alignment with what she’s always wanted? Can she find the courage to embrace the principles that will transform her life? Can she overcome her circumstances and face her past? Or will she keep on running with nowhere to hide?
And what of the boy who guards untold secrets and exhibits mysterious powers that defy belief?

The e-book of The Apprentice Storyteller also includes exclusive access to “Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible”. This workbook to help guide you through the first steps towards achieving your own dream is based on key transformational principles from the DreamBuilder™ Course and is not intended for publication. The workbook is only accessible through The Apprentice Storyteller e-book. The link to Viola’s Guide to Achieving the Impossible is embedded in a concealed place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!

This book is accompanied by The Wordmage’s Tales, a series of novellas based on the tales the apprentice learns from Viola Alerion in this story. The Sewing Princess is exclusively available to my newsletter subscribers and The Artist and His Muse and The Last Warrior are available on pre-order.

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Also by Astrid V.J.!

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Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author, Astrid V.J. was born in South Africa. She is a trained social anthropologist and certified transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and their two children. In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages–interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes fantasy in a variety of genres, exploring her passion for cultures and languages. When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.

Astrid writes transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. She loves exploring the human capacity for transformation and potential to achieve success in the face of adversity. Astrid is interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Christian backgrounds. Astrid feels the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity and culture. She seeks to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating her background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences, which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics she finds most important. These include: racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact, the representation of people on the autism spectrum in among the general populace, the human capacity for transformation, and much more.

 
 
 
 
 
 


Interview with an Author Featuring L.C. Miller

The Literary Vixen presents…

 

Joining us today is L.C. Miller! Author of the Abby and the Mystic Dancers series.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always daydreamed about anything and everything fantasy and supernatural when I was younger, but it wasn’t until after I was done with college that I attempted my first book.

What time of the day do you usually write?

Early, EARLY morning. Like 5AM! My husband used to have to be at work by 6 and I always got up with him. So, I used that hour or hour and half to write before my kids get up.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Not that much. I like to get an idea of the story and the direction it goes before I build out around it.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

My Abby and the Mystic Dancers series has been my favorite to write because I get to watch Abby grow up as she’s trying to navigate and find her role in her life

Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

This is a tough one because I have many! CJ Redwine creates some amazing worlds and stories. I am also a fan of J. K. Rowling (Huge HP fan!) and John Flanagan with his The Ranger’s Apprentice Series. And while she’s not necessarily in my genre, I grew up reading the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. I wanted to be Nancy because she was super smart and could solve problems.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

Sometimes. I typically hear from a few parents that their girls loved my book and felt they could relate to Abby and what she goes through.

Favorite book when you were a kid.

All of the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene

Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

Bombers, Abby’s pet snake is a very important character in the fourth book.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I’m sure they’ve heard this advice before, but I always say KEEP AT IT! No matter how little you can write, always keep at it. Every word counts.

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

Something to know about me is that I write what I like, which I know is not always a popular theme at the time, but I fall in love with a story and I like to finish it and see where it takes me. As for my books, my main characters are finding their paths in life or the one thing they have been missing regardless if they realized it at the time or not. Some have romantic aspects and some do not.

 

Thank you L.C. Miller for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her Abby and the Mystic Dancers series today!

~Synopsis~

As the product of a forbidden alliance between the elemental Mystics and the wand carrying Wielders—two distinct, often feuding, magical realms—acceptance is something fourteen-year-old Abby has fought with for the last four years. When an alliance is formed between the Mystic Dancers and the Wielder’s, Abby is given the chance to live with a Wielder’s family and attend Wielders Academy of Magical Arts. In order to do so, she first has make three promises to the Mystic Dancers leader … Tell no one she’s half Mystic, that her father is a Wielder who is also a wanted criminal, or that she can transform into anything she wants. Her day-to-day life of secrets, school work, and dancing is interrupted when her mother’s murder case goes to trial. The Mystics believe they finally caught the killer, who happens to be the father of one of Abby’s new friends. Abby has a choice to make – reveal her secrets, or let a man she knows is innocent go to prison.

L. C. Miller has been daydreaming since she was about four years old. She waited until out of college before attempting her first book and now writes in her downtime as often as she can. Fantasy has been her escape from reality and gives her imagination a chance to fly. 


Interview with an Author Featuring K.L. Kolarich

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is K.L. Kolarich! Her debut, House of Bastiion (The Haidren Legacy Book 1) released on January 19th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Long before the whisper of Orynthia graced my ordinary ears, I had embarked on a much different project, writing a non-fiction exposition. A different tale from a different lifetime, after curating a good deal of material, my sister-in-law challenged me around the halfway mark in my progress. She said, “why are you writing something you would never read?”, a seemingly harmless statement, but it really rocked me… because she was absolutely right. That huge project of mine would never blend in on my bookshelves, amidst my tales of wonder and old. Therefore, in probably one of the scariest endeavors of my life, I trashed it, figuratively, and set out into the unknown. I opened my laptop one night on a plane and let myself dream. The first to meet me there was the Figure, who opens the prologue in House of Bastiion. On his mysterious shoulders, the entirety of The Haidren Legacy series was born, and in a sense, I with it. That was over five years ago. So to answer the question, I’ve been trapped in an alternate world for half a decade, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Describe a typical writing day.

At present, my writing is wedged in the pockets of the day not allocated to work or familial commitments. Be it by the light of a flickering, nearly dead Edison bulb late at night in my office, or beside a fresh bloody mary on a Saturday morning, I try to schedule time with my imaginary friends whenever possible. Thankfully, my calendar will start to allow for more routine in my writing regime in the coming months.

Aside from actual hours available to traverse the Other, my writing sessions are always scored. I usually need the assistance of a musical escort to voyage me away from the rigidity of my tasks, deadlines, ever-growing laundry pile. I will cater the instrumentals to the scene, much like how the HOB playlist is framed for readers. As the entire book is already meticulously plotted, for the most part, I ease my way into the draft, moving from my plotting to the chapter outline, then to an expanded outline, and finally to the outpour of words on the page. I wish I could say I was a “panster”, but the truth is I’m pretty neurotic about my method. Apart from my characters, and their story, I find beauty in the literal puzzling. When we step back, after the entire series, and are able to see how all these threads come together to create a pictural tapestry we never saw coming – it’s breathtaking. In that sense, I aim to lose my breath during my work. I want to look up at the end of it all to find a luminous web of intricate chaos and completion. Pouring out my very essence, I wish to see it multiplied into something I could never become within myself. And doing that, certainly requires ignoring the laundry bin…

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

One major theme in The Haidren Legacy series, is a full cast of contrasting characters, each coming from their own corner of the map. Growing up in a very diverse area of the country, I wanted to grant each House their own culture, dialect, customs and cause. If every player comes from centuries of particular practice and priorities, their motivations are seasoned with a history that extends beyond the personal. The dialects, specifically, are inspired by my own experience in Metro Detroit, where my family would often try to learn bits and pieces of the language of our neighbors. This became a privileged way to meet them where they were, and in a humbling transaction, be welcomed into their lives a little bit more. There is something magical about language, how it sounds, how it conveys. The symphony of vowels and consonants, in fluid tandem, moves us just like music. When it came to my characters, I wanted us to know them and their House of origin, just a little bit more intimately, and language is the perfect vehicle to deliver that distinction.

Thematically, The Haidren Legacy is laden with crumbs of my own reformation. The most wonderous aspects of my life have been transformative, therefore transformation as a theme plays a major role in the telling of this story. I purposely wanted the reader to meet our characters before their finest. Intentionally regressing them, was a way to emphasize the need for redemption in us all. We are so imperfect and ever malleable. The loveliness of our humanity is the strive to transform, in various ways. That calling, above all, is the central anthem to the series.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

While most readers connect with Luscia, our highlander protagonist, she is not so much my favorite as she is my mirror. I’ve given her specific elements of myself, while also gifting her the attributes I wish I had. But to be honest, more than anything she harbors my deepest fears and my interpersonal shortcomings. Writing her is revealing, and that vulnerability is less enjoyable at times as compared to the others.

Like nearly every reader, I adore Dmitri, the quiet leader and subsequent “glue” to our cast of bickering, influential misfits. In him, I planted much needed reprieve amidst the battle of wills. Many times, Dmitri imitates some of my favorite people. My own friends who soften my hard exterior, or who still my need to perform, to excel, to punish myself for not being more. Friends like this are the critical antithesis of bold personas, because they remind us that strength is not always imposing, courage is not always loud, and that leadership is rooted in service to others, rather than service to self. Dmitri, in his own imperfection and flaw, offers Orynthia hope. Hope that people are born for goodness and can choose it still.

Out of all of my characters, it is Zaethan who is my favorite to write. He is my exact opposite, and in a way, is completely unapologetic about it. I framed Zaethan off my own spouse, were he emotionally unhealthy that is, and so I probably favor him for that reason. Like my husband, Zaethan is boisterous and brave, ferociously loyal, and wields a rebelliously wit at the most inopportune times. Where these two men differ, is their backstory. Zaethan carries many scars under his skin that drastically affects the way he relates to others. This realistic depiction of him as a victim emerging from an abusive upbringing was essential to his character development. I hate how in books, it is often portrayed that victims of abuse easily bypass generational patterns, never exhibiting these behaviors themselves. When the reality is, individuals who battle those generational patterns must do the hard work to weed certain habits out of their own instinct and practice. It’s painful and arduous, but it’s necessary. This is why I love Zaethan so immensely—he is unequivocally, uncomfortably real.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Cry in the shower. Just kidding—well, kind of. 

My husband, Aaron, and I use an analogy in our relationship that also applies to the relationship I have with my society of imaginables. We relate our capacity to give (be it emotional or otherwise) to tokens at a carnival. Each of us, in our individual wiring, are given a certain and differing amount of “tokens” to spend each day, week, etc. To that end, we know from experience that I have a pretty limited number of tokens in my own bucket, as opposed to the average person. In life, I deplete rather rapidly from social engagement, and it is no different when it comes to the emotional impact of my writing. While my characters aren’t real… they are real to me. Their feelings are wonderfully burdensome, and the energy to knit them together has a cost. So, to deal with that cost, at the start of every week, Aaron and I chart out time allotted for each other, as well as those in our life, real or imagined. Just like when there are less dollars in my pocket, it’s my responsibility to budget my tokens wisely and honestly. In addition, the time to recover and “replenish the tokens” I’ve spent. This is normally achieved by adequate periods away from others, doing absolutely nothing. Like a socially awkward robot, who must go into sleep-mode to recharge. Preferably, with a large pizza in my lap.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

I am! Though don’t judge me too hard in terms of my socials, I’m still learning the reigns and for the sake of my aforementioned tokens, am not always active. But I love chatting with readers, especially in our THL forum! Fair warning, I really like cat GIFs…

*Links to follow are down below*

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Since THL is my first attempt at fiction, as opposed to my previous projects, I can only say that for me personally, I just keep going down that rabbit hole. As the series is not yet complete, I don’t have a need to freshen things up yet, but I look forward to that day! At present, my paws are full trying to finish this tale. It’s haunted me for half a decade, and I can’t wait to get it out into the world as a complete saga. 

Because this leaves readers waiting on the sidelines, I love recommending works by my literary heroes in the Indie community. Off the bat, some authors whose tales are similar to my own would easily be Sarah M. Cradit, Angelina Steffort, Cameo Renae, and so many others.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Why, the second installment in The Haidren Legacy series, of course! Book 2 is coming along, on pace, and while my fear of a sophomore slump is real… it’s already proving to be such a delight as much as it is a challenge. 

In this sequel, readers will begin traveling the Orynthian map, which is exciting in and of itself. Out of all overarching stories, since THL engages multiple at once, this installment zones in on Zaethan, our male MC. Journeying to the Andwele mountains, we get a harsh and thrilling glimpse of his backstory on a new level. In addition, more time with his pryde of militia, who are by far my most ridiculous band of personalities. Yet, even though book 2 centers around Zaethan a bit more than the others, readers should rest assured… they get plenty of Luscia, her Sight of the threads, and the most important character of all, her wolx, Aksel.

What advice would you give to other authors?

A newbie myself, whenever asked this question, I tend to give the same response as it pertains to my own authorship: Write your favorite book.

Yes, we want to write for our readers, naturally. But if I get lost in trying to imitate those I admire, keep up with their progress, or change the story because someone doesn’t like one facet… I will no longer be writing for me, the first fan.

No one will love my characters as much as I do. How could they? We know the page can never hold all that they are, and so it’s my job to do them justice. If I sacrifice them to the demand of anyone else, I’ve diminished what makes them special. I think as authors, we must hold onto what initially made us fall in love with our story, our characters, our very worlds. Usually, that’s something no one should alter. And to shield it, sometimes we need to step away and give ourselves room to create, freedom to flex our imaginations away from the mainstream. Otherwise, we just end up becoming second-rate versions of everyone else.

No one will love your characters like you do. So, love them well. Love them by protecting them from your own comparisons. Love them by getting your sleep. And most of all, love them by first loving yourself.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

The Haidren Legacy is definitely a niche read! Hefty on worldbuilding, I always say THL is for anyone who loves a fat, healthy glossary. Additionally, House of Bastiion, the first installment, does not harbor a heavy romantic side-plot, though as promised to many, romance will develop in time throughout the series.

Perfect for fans of Sanderson, Rhodes, Hobb and other epic fantasy sagas, THL wrestles with some difficult themes, namely, the dichotomy of joy and sorrow. And in that vein of joy and sorrow, everyone at court is wearing a disguise, each for their own end and agenda. For after all, behind the mask of duty and power, no one is who they seem…

 

Thank you K.L. Kolarich for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The House of Bastiion today!

~Synopsis~

House of Bastiion is the first installment in the series, The Haidren Legacy, an intricate epic fantasy adventure loaded with political intrigue, sharp objects, and complicated characters, packing an epic punch for NA and upper YA readers. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Morgan Rhodes, and Robin Hobb won’t be able to resist!

The Series
Dive into the alluring world of Orynthia by exploring additional THL references online. For a more immersive reader experience, visit http://www.TheHaidrenLegacy.com today!

House of Bastiion (THL, Book 1)
Behind the mask of duty and power, no one is who they seem…

Centuries after the Forgotten Wars ravaged the world and turned it to ash, the Houses of Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion forged an accord with the royal line of Thoarne, founding a Quadren of advisory to the throne of Orynthia. Every generation, a single Haidren from each of the four Houses is appointed to this coveted chair.

Upon her Ascension to adulthood, Luscia Tiergan takes her seat at court as al’Haidren to the House of Boreal and is quickly drawn into a maze of political traps and dark secrets. As she adjusts to her new life, Luscia uncovers a pattern of forgotten children, slain in the streets of Bastiion.

Raised on superstitious rumors about Boreal’s penchant for sorcery, Zaethan Kasim, al’Haidren to the House of Darakai, inevitably clashes with Luscia when she arrives in Bastiion. But when his position is threatened by an old rival, Zaethan is forced to set aside his hatred and form an uneasy alliance with the Boreali al’Haidren to secure his claim.

Following a disturbing stream of innocent bloodshed across Orynthia, Luscia and Zaethan discover their ideals are far more aligned than they might have imagined. But in a land of war and deceit, the path to peace should never be trusted.

K.L. Kolarich is a debut New-Adult fantasy fiction author, based out of Nashville, TN. Growing up in Metro Detroit, Kolarich developed a deep love for eclectic variety as well as the underappreciated. Both themes readily present throughout her series, The Haidren Legacy.

An individual plagued by sarcasm, conviction, and an ever-present distraction of fable and lore, K.L. Kolarich dreams in the day and writes through the night. Often hearing her characters argue in the background, Kolarich stifles the daily temptation to abandon reality and lose herself in the realm of Orynthia.

When fully present in the real world rather than another, Kolarich explores local waterfalls, habitually frequents the same Thai restaurant, adds to her ever-growing spice collection, and maintains a thoroughly messy kitchen for the sake of colorful vegan feasts.

With too many cats and not nearly enough wine, Kolarich resides in the woods away from the noise, happily married.

THL Newsletter: https://www.thehaidrenlegacy.com/contact

FB (Series Page): https://www.facebook.com/thehaidrenlegacy

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Goodreads (Author): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20726718.K_L_Kolarich

Amazon (Author): https://www.amazon.com/K-L-Kolarich/e/B08H1FFQ59/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-l-kolarich


Interview with an Author Featuring Casey L. Bond

The Literary Vixen presents…

Sessions April 2019 438

Joining us today is Casey L. Bond! Her newest release, Gravebriar released on March 17th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been published for seven years, but have been writing for 8-9-ish!

Describe a typical writing day.

Typically, I try to write as much as I can during a writing session of an hour or so, then take a break to walk around or do something that has nothing to do with writing. It’s a refresher to get away from the screen for a bit. Then I go back to writing after a break. I repeat this process until I run out of creative juice or other obligations need my attention.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Music is a heavy influence, but I guess I get inspired by many things. Art. Pinterest. Life. I enjoy bringing many elements into my work.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

It’s so hard to pick just one. I’ll say that the ones I’ve felt the most connected with were Sable from When Wishes Bleed, Liv from With Shield & Ink & Bone, and Noor from a book I haven’t announced yet. ❤

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

Always music. I’m usually really hyped to write it but have to walk away from an intense scene. If it’s emotional, I get drained easily. With Shield and Ink and Bone was one I had to take breaks from. The book made me cry many times while writing it.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Happy, Smart, Kind.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I have been writing more standalones lately but just dove into a small series and I think the key to keep things fresh is not to re-hash what was in previous books. When you write series, you have to remember that there is an overall plot arc for the entire series and not lose sight of that while writing one book at a time.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Smiles…. I’m writing a duet/ duology. It’s YA Fantasy. I can’t tell you more because I really like to do fun things with my readers, like sending stickers for title reveals. I’ll be hosting sign-ups for one of those in the next couple of months. Hint. Hint. Watch social media for my posts as spaces are limited.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Never give up. Never quit. Never stop. Don’t limit yourself. If you want this, make the time. Put in the work. Do the thing. If I can do it, anyone can.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I write from my heart and soul and want the reader to feel what the character feels, experience what he/she experience. I want the book to be an experience and one that you’ll remember. I want my books to be re-read! ❤

Thank you Casey L. Bond for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Gravebrair today!

gravebriar_kdp

~Synopsis~

Sometimes witches hunt their own…

Someone knows my secret and they’re wielding it as the weapon of my execution. I stand accused of poisoning my Gravebriar coven mate. To my fatal regret, I can’t prove my innocence without revealing the truth I’ve long kept hidden: while every other Gravebriar witch are green witches and healers, my magic lies in poisons.

There is one witch who believes me – the same boy who was sent to kill me with instructions to pluck the briars that sprouted from my grave – the only cure for a Gravebriar witch. Forge Silverthorn will be my undoing… or my salvation.

He claims there is a malicious plot vining through the witch town of Cauldron that threatens to tighten around my throat in a deadly noose. Promising I can escape by seeking the help of a banished witch who hides our kind in plain sight, he leads me to a dark circus full of witches.

The ringmaster will only help us if we agree to join his circus of uncanny tricks and diabolical feats for two nights only, using our magic to thrill his patrons. In exchange for our participation under the big top, he’ll divulge the information I need to save my coven mate and clear my name.

But when dark secrets emerge from the shadows of this promised sanctuary, I’m forced to decide if I can truly trust anyone, especially Forge… my would-be executioner, my coven’s sworn enemy, and my could-be love.

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.

Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, Things That Should Stay Buried, and With Shield and Ink and Bone.

Website: www.authorcaseybond.com

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7212486.Casey_L_Bond

Amazon: amazon.com/author/caseybond

YABC: https://www.yabookscentral.com/search/tag/authorname/casey-l-bond/?criteria=6


Interview with an Author Featuring Sarah M. Cradit

The Literary Vixen presents…

SMC_Submark_White

Joining us today is Sarah M. Cradit! Book two in her Kingdom of the White Sea series, The Broken Realm: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 2 is set to release on March 23rd 2021.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was seven, and it was something I did to satisfy a very vivid imagination that had been with me since I can remember. I don’t remember really thinking about writing, but rather, just doing it. It became something that I was known for as early as second grade, and from there it just took off. You could say it’s always been a part of me.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Probably my almost obsessive commitment to world-building. If I didn’t push myself to write, I could build worlds forever. I love coloring out new places and ideas and characters, and what you see on the page is very “tip of the iceberg,” but all the details that don’t make it in nonetheless help make the books what they are.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

The only way I know how is to lean into it. If I try and separate myself from the emotion, you’ll read that separation on the page. If I can feel what they’re feeling, and I allow myself to go there, then that’s where the magic happens, so to speak. When this does become hard is when it hits close to home. I once had to write a death scene for a major character, and the timing coincided with a death of someone very close to me. I had a choice between “phoning it in,” or tapping into my own grief, and I chose the latter. It’s still a scene I have trouble re-reading, but my readers tell me it’s one of the best of that series.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’m working on my fortieth right now. That felt so strange to write. Forty! I often find that whatever I’m working on is my favorite, and right now I’m still immersed in my epic fantasy saga, Kingdom of the White Sea. The Kingless Crown, right now, feels like the best thing I’ve ever done. It feels like the culmination of all the hard work and polishing of craft that came before it. And that’s the hope, isn’t it? That everything that came before allows you to be where you are now.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A LOT. Probably 50% of the total world building I’ll end up doing overall. The rest gets colored in as I write. And as I said above, a lot of this world building never makes it into the stories, not directly at least. But it lives in my notebooks, and in my head, and helps make the world feel like it’s real.

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

I do, and I really really love talking to readers. They offer a perspective I can’t get anywhere else. As the writer, I will never know what it is to experience my books for the first time, and when readers tell me how a story or a character made them feel, I get to live vicariously through that, and to see a side of my world that is otherwise closed to me. Writing is about delivering an emotional experience to a reader, and if my readers are feeling anything at all about my books, then it’s a very satisfying thing for me.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I don’t read a lot when I’m actively writing a project, unless it’s something I’ve read before. I always have the Lord of the Rings at the ready when I need a break from writing.

Describe yourself in three words.

Curious. Resourceful. Imaginative.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Kingdom of the White Sea has a ton of characters, and I’ve never been good at these exercises, but as a reader, when my favorite books come to life on the screen I prefer the actors to be people I don’t recognize. For casting, their physical appearance is less important to me than nailing the character’s motivations, beats, quirks.

Having said that- I would give my left arm to have Eva Green play ANY of my characters.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Whether you’re just starting out, or years in, no two author journeys are the same, and if you set your goals against what you see others achieving, you’ll find nothing but frustration and disappointment. Instead, set your goals according to what you can achieve, and let your best be the bar that you seek to achieve, and beat, consistently. When I see the progress in craft and process from my first book to my fortieth, that gives me a perspective I can’t get from just looking at my work in its current form. And most importantly, writer’s write. There’s no gatekeeping, no milestone you must hit to be called an author. You just have to write. That’s the one thing we all do. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. The easier it will feel, and the less time you’ll spend cleaning it up.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

That I write what I love. I will always write what I love, even if it isn’t the most trendy, or popular. But it means the world to me that so many of you love what I write, and I can’t thank you enough for taking what can be a very solitary journey for authors and enriching it with your words, and fandoms, and time. It drives me to keep going even on the hard days.

Thank you Sarah M. Cradit for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The Kingless Crown today!

TheKinglessCrown-Final-high

~Synopsis~

From the USA Today & International Bestselling author of the Saga of Crimson & Clover comes a gripping new epic fantasy world that will leave you breathless to the very last page.

A crown woven together by lies.
A kingdom with the power to unravel them.

Four Reaches. Four brides. Only a fortnight separates the young women from becoming reluctant queens of the usurper king, Eoghan Rhiagain.

Twenty years earlier, King Eoghan’s father cunningly devised marriages between the highborn sons and daughters of the oft-warring Reaches, sealing the unions before they could protest, shattering existing betrothals in place of forced alliances.

Now, Eoghan, the cruel boy king who stole his crown through murder, demands the eldest daughters of these unions. To accept is unfathomable. To refuse is treason.

The lords and ladies of the kingdom have no choice but to prepare their beloved daughters for the horrors ahead. But they’ll soon discover there are no longer any daughters left to present. All four have disappeared, painting the world with their rebellion.

Theirs is not the only rebellion. Across the kingdom, little fires light within. From the enigmatic sorcerers in the northern mountains, to the magi who both wield and regulate the kingdom’s magic, and beyond… to a place where two prisoners are not what they seem.

As the Reaches ready themselves to face the king, the kingdom hovers on the edge of chaos.

And there are many who recall, in candlelit secrecy, tales of a time before…

Sarah is the USA Today and International Bestselling Author of contemporary and epic fantasy.

An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She’s a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Pennsylvania, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.

 


Interview with an Author Featuring Angelina J. Steffort

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Angelina J. Steffort! Her latest release, Shadow Rule (Shattered Kingdom Book 3) released on February 28th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

It has been over ten years since I started that first book. Honestly, back then I had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that I had needed to get it out. White (Wings Book 1) was never meant to be published. But when I reached out to readers almost seven years later, feedback was great, so I took a leap of faith and published. Since then, I have completed fifteen more novels in four different series and am working on number seventeen (Lost Towers, book 4 in my Shattered Kingdom series) at the moment.  I can’t imagine one day waking up and not wanting to write.

Describe a typical writing day.

There is no such thing as a typical writing day for me, even though things have become more routine since that first book ten years ago. I write whenever I get the chance; between meals, when my son is at kindergarten, at night, when my son is asleep. In coffee houses, on trains and busses, and basically everywhere I can fit a laptop for a couple of minutes.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

My first book came from a dream. As for the rest, I am not sure where it comes from. When I start a new series I often have no clue what I’m going to write until I start. The words just flow and it never ceases to surprise me that it actually works. I do have a great team of alpha readers who give direct and unfiltered feedback, as well as a wonderful editor who has my back. That helps immensely to polish things once the initial creative phase is over.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

That’s a mean question, because there are so many. Let me try to narrow it down. The first character I loved was Jaden in my Wings series. He isn’t the lead character there, and most of the characteristics why I love him so much only come out in book three of the trilogy, and some of them will remain hidden until I write that prequel to Wings that I have been promising. Then, of course, I love Heck and Jemin in Two Worlds; their friendship, the way they are like two opposite ends on the scale of coping mechanisms. Sunshine and brooding clouds. Gandrett in Shattered Kingdom is my favorite female character so far. She has endured so much in her short life and still hasn’t turned bitter. Her journey and the way she discovers who she truly is (because she couldn’t during those most important years of her life when she was held at the Order of Vala) is a thrilling ride for me as a writer. And her chemistry with Nehelon–who is another favorite of mine, of course–is something that keeps hitting me in the gut. Then, there is Cas in my Breath of Fate series who sometimes makes it hard to find sleep, that’s how upset he makes me.

So, you can see, there is no one single answer. It’s probably like trying to determine who your favorite friend is. There are many, and each of them for a different reason, each of them with their own unique strengths and flaws, and you need each of them in your life. Don’t make me choose 😉

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

Music. Music. And more Music. I have a playlist for almost every book I write and listening to certain songs brings the mood right on. Also, I studied acting when I was still in high school, so I learned to step into different roles. If all of that fails me, those characters all have a mind of their own and simply bring in their opinions on how things should go, no matter what I have in store for them.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Daydreamer, multidimensional, enthusiastic.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Things never get boring. Since I hardly ever plot out what I’m going to write, I rely solely on the characters’ ideas of how the story should be going. Even though I have a story to tell, it is not mine, it is theirs. So writing is like watching and documenting a TV show where characters pop up out of nowhere and introduce themselves, love and fight and do all the things I never planned for them. It is like drawing my sword with them to defend them on a battlefield. Like being hung over when they party at the solstice celebrations. It simply never gets boring.

However, it can get draining. Sometimes those characters are faster than my fingers can type and I need to hit pause in order to catch up. But no matter how difficult it gets, in the end it is always worth it. Even with the seven books series I am working on right now. It has never occurred to me to write a stand alone.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

After the release of Shadow Rule at the end of February, I am right in the middle of writing Lost Towers. This will be midpoint for my Shattered Kingdom series, and I can’t wait to reveal some of the tangled political and personal relationships in Neredyn. Also, I am editing Unraveled, book two in my Breath of Fate series, the one with said Cas, who sometimes won’t let me sleep. Release date April 30, 2021.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write what you love. Read. A lot. And all kinds of genres. Then, read some more. Write some more. Never cease to be curious. Write because you have a story to tell. Listen to your characters. Listen to your readers. Understand that a story idea doesn’t make a book, that there is so much more to the process until you hold the finished product in your hands. And yes, it is a product. Treat it as such. Be kind to those who criticize you–there might be truth to what they have to say. Don’t let one opinion change the direction you are headed. You may be the one who comes up with the story, but what it becomes in the end happens in the reader’s mind. That’s where your story comes to life.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I am grateful for how my work has been perceived over the past years and humbled by the countless emails and messages I get from readers and fans. Thank you for your incredible support.

Thank you Angelina J. Steffort for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Shadow Rule today!

~Synopsis~

Breaking the curse will break her heart

Gandrett can no longer hope that she has a dying chance to save the Prince of Ulfray nor the friend the Dragon King has taken from her. But she won’t give up—even if it means she has to travel to the forests of Ulfray first to help the Prince of Fae to wake his people.

Gandrett leaves behind the ruins of the future of Sives and embarks on an adventure of her own—where she gets more than she bargained for.

Venturing into Ulfray with brooding Nehelon is a challenge in itself, now that she has seen what lies beneath the harsh and cold shell he so very much likes to wear. But waking up the Fae is a whole different thing—especially when the path to lifting the curse is woven from secrets.

Gandrett can only pray to Vala, the goddess she no longer serves, that she look over her friends and brother until she can get out of Ulfray. And she needs to act fast. Because in Neredyn, forces are brewing that will change the course of history.

In this third installment in Angelina J. Steffort’s Shattered Kingdom series, Gandrett must fight the yet biggest battle of her life—the battle of her heart.

“Chocolate fanatic, milk-foam enthusiast and huge friend of the southern sting-ray. Writing is an unexpected career-path for me.” 

Angelina J. Steffort is an Austrian novelist, best known for her Wings series, a young adult paranormal romance about the impossible love between a girl and an angel. The bestselling Wings series has been ranked among calibers such as the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Lauren Kate’s Fallen, and has been top listed among angel books for teens by bloggers and readers. Her young adult fantasy series Shattered Kingdom is already being compared to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series by readers and fans. 

Angelina has multiple educational backgrounds including engineering, business, music, and acting, and lives in Vienna, Austria with her husband and her son.

www.ajsteffort.com 

https://www.instagram.com/ajsteffort/ 

https://www.facebook.com/ajsteffort/

https://www.pinterest.com/ajsteffort/ 

https://www.twitter.com/ajsteffort/ 

https://www.amazon.com/Angelina-J-Steffort/e/B071Y9LNLL/ 

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/angelina-j-steffort 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16604778.Angelina_J_Steffort


Interview with an Author Featuring J.R. Walden

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is J.R. Walden! Her co-authored debut novelRose Bound: The Rose and King series Book 1 released on February 14th.

Congrats on your newest release! Tell me a bit about your book?

This co-authored book is a mix of crime and supernatural. You get to take a journey of self discovery with a damaged vampire prince to learn who murdered his parents and how he played a role in it. Mob bosses and wolf fighting. Lust and love. I think this book has a bit of it all. 

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I READ! And watch tv show. If I can visualize but verbalize I draw the scene or character.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I started writing when I was very very young. I’ve always loved it!

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Early on Twilight and Harry Potter we’re big influences. But I’d say I began writing before I had even discover my love of reading.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Oh Lordy. Ian (Damon from VD) would have to be someone! Hmm I’d say Chris Hemsworth would be an amazing Ollie! Voice and all. For Gavin I envision someone like Christian Grey from the movies. 

What is the best part of your day?

Whenever I get a pic of someone who has enjoyed our book baby! It’s always a highlight.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Artistic, shy, animal lover

What are you reading now?

I’m currently listening to The Bone Witch. I’m enjoying it so far!

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep going! Don’t let your doubts or reservations keep your words from the page. I almost did.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

My books come from my heart. Every character and every scene is felt and thought over countless times. I want my readers to feel with the characters. To me, that’s good writing. 

Thank you J.R. Walden for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Rose Bound today!

~Synopsis~

Ousted for being a human sympathizer, Prince Gavin has found himself in the belly of the Underground, a world where ghouls rule and werewolves fight to the death.

After learning of his parent’s murder, Gavin is called upon to endure the Rose Bound ceremony and claim his covens throne with a wife.

Forces are rallying against him, some closer to home than he anticipates. Finding a murderer, leading a coup and himself, proves to be a journey that will change his kingdom forever.

But, when Gavin’s soulmate goes missing, none of that matters. Nothing will stand in his way to find her, not even his own demons.

Wolves, fae, vampires and witches are only a few of J.R.’s favorite things. She also enjoys riding horses, beach trips, and spending time with her husband and fur babies.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jriley.walden

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j.r.walden/