Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring J.S. Latshaw

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is J.S. Latshaw! Author of the Brathius Legacy Series.

How long have you been writing?

I was one of those kids that was always writing, trying (and too often succeeding) to make my classmates perform my plays. I remember a Christmas play in 3rd grade where for some reason I thought making 80% of the production an intense birthing scene would be a good idea, and my teachers didn’t agree, though they expressed their horror too late, only after it was performed for an audience of visiting parents. More formally, I started writing screenplays 20 years ago, and novels 7 years ago.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get my inspiration from living life and all the hurts and joys that come from doing that, from exploring the outdoors, from lots of reading (fiction and non-fiction), from unapologetically watching and loving movies and television, and from paying attention to what rattles around in my head and heart throughout the day.

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

For me, a whole lot. I normally do not start writing until I’ve got a ton of raw material to work with, and I can inhabit the world and hang out with the characters. I think about stories and worlds for a long time before I write, normally during long solitary hikes in the santa monica mountains. Sometimes I even try to write little almanacs and encyclopedia entries about the worlds my stories take place in, and answer a lot of those questions. I’m curious about mapping all these things out, whether I’ll use them in the books or not, it’s important for me to know. Of course, while writing more of the world will be revealed to me too. But I need to have a lot of it felt and known prior to writing pages.

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I would hope characters are transported somewhere faraway and fantastic, and yet in that journey learn something about their everyday life and their own heart. I want people to feel like they’re reaching for the unknown and grasping enough of it to think they’ve embarked on an adventure. There’s a lot of loss and pain and joy and curiosity and strength and weakness and betrayal and heartbreak in my books, and I want people to feel those things deeply.

What is the significance of the title?

I’ve always been fascinated by the hidden dangers in this world, the creatures in the shadows, the sea monsters hidden below the surface. There’s something about an unmapped, unknown area that is both incredible attractive to me, and utterly frightening, at the same time. So with THE THREAT BELOW, to me that’s both a warning but also a siren’s call. Yes, it’s dangerous down there, but isn’t it also exciting? And don’t you want to know what’s going on exactly?

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

Curious, sensitive, active.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Finishing it! And having it exist not only in my head, but in a form where other people can experience it, live in it, interact with it, love or hate it, feel something. That’s been truly satisfying in a way I wasn’t fully aware it would be prior to writing.

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

Yes! I’ve finished the sequel to the Threat Below, and now I’m working on the third in the series. (I have 4 books planned all together.) I’m also almost finished a shorter stand alone novel which is set in this same world, but a completely different location with different characters. And I’ve completed a novel with a writing partner which I’m also very excited about and we’re pursuing traditional publishing for that one.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Oh goodness. One, write what’s exciting to you. If you’re looking at a chapter and you think I don’t want to write this because it feels boring… don’t write it! If you’re bored by it, there’s little chance someone else will enjoy it. Find another way, find something that intrigues you, characters who beguile you, stories that enfold you. And two, expect the criticism, and listen to what is useful but tune the rest out. Nobody can write something that everybody in the world loves. Accept that. There is no bullet proof book. Write something that you love, and there’s a good chance many others will love it too. And lastly, just write it! It’s scary to actually bring something that exists only in your head onto the page, because it never looks quite as good there as you’d hoped. But something on the page, that actually exists in the real world, is a thousand times better than something that lives only in your head. Accept this on faith, and press into it. You will fight yourself on this. But make the writing your goal, and tune out the naysaying.

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

If you like headstrong stubborn but lovable characters, faraway worlds that maybe could have been or could still be, mysterious monsters that aren’t quite what you think they are (but are, I promise you, still monsters – not people in masks, I will never write a scooby doo ending, my monsters are always real, and huge stories that ultimately focus on heart and relationships, you might find something you like in my work.

 

Thank you J.S. Latshaw for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out Brathius Legacy Series today!

~Synopsis~

She heard the legends. She knew the history. But nothing could have prepared her for what she found.

Three hundred years ago, a lethal and mysterious threat arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the descendants of the few survivors who escaped the massacre below – lives above the clouds, atop a mountain. When they discover their water supply is being poisoned, an expedition, including seventeen year-old Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the horror that wiped out civilization centuries ago.

The danger is closer than you think. The shocking true nature of the Threat Below.

As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, uncovers an ancient revelation, and faces a choice that will change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to survive – and bear a terrible secret?

Read this page-turning adventure today. 

Jason was raised in Pennsylvania and now lives in Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA’s Screenwriting MFA program.

Website: https://jlatshaw.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasonsethlatshaw/?hl=en

New Release · Release Blitz

Holtondome (Timeless Keeper Saga Book 1) by Ryan Southwick – New Release

Holtondome (Timeless Keeper Saga Book 1) by Ryan Southwick is now available!

~Synopsis~

Seg Holton yearns to leave his isolated farming dome and travel the ravaged Earth, or even to Mars Colony. Only a few things stand in his way: an authoritarian government, deadly storms, and an enchanting outsider who may be the most dangerous of all.

Fast-forward 500 years. Civilization has nearly wiped itself out of existence, and is on the long, slow road to recovery, held together by an agreement called the Pact between cities, agricultural domes, and a new global government.

Seg is a farmer in Holtondome. Like his ancestors, he’s chosen a life of ignorance about technology and the outside world in favor of a simple existence, free of the corruption that almost destroyed the human race.

His world turns upside down when Fi arrives. Tall, exotic, and far too wise for her age, she challenges everything he’s been taught to believe, making him question for the first time if a simple life is right for him or, indeed, for the rest of humanity.

But Fi has secrets darker than her black-ringed eyes — bigger than the Pact — that have implications far beyond Seg and the residents of Holtondome.

If you enjoyed Doctor Who, Firefly, or Hunger Games, then Holtondome is sure to please!

Gift with Purchase are available as well!

https://www.ryansouthwickauthor.com/holtondome

 

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author Featuring Benjamin S. Schofield

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Benjamin S. Schofield! His debut book, bifurcation point… survive the night, papua (survive the night series Book 1) is celebrating a publiversary on December 17th!

How long have you been writing?

I wrote some when I was young, but I didn’t start writing until I created the origin of Bifurcation Point, 9 or 10 years ago.

Describe a typical writing day.

My creative process has me daydreaming stories before finding what clicks. Most of the big ideas are created in my head before being written. During the writing process is where I start to brainstorm to figure out all the smaller details in between.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I’m interested in most genres, but I aim to capture a realism approach. That’s why I tried to make the story and prion to be as scientifically accurate as possible. I’ll also gain inspiration from cinema or other books.

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

Tess is my favorite character, no question about it. My main source of inspiration for the character is my sister. She’s a proud mother of 3 and served in the Military Police. I have nothing but love and respect for her and I wanted to emulate her strength so others can be inspired as well.

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

I’m an emotionally sensitive person so it is relatively easy for me to feel a character would feel. When creating an emotional scene, it’s not difficult for me to be invested in how the character is feeling.

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

Eccentric. Nerdy. Imaginative.

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

I empathize with the characters and connect with them emotionally, however, it’s not really draining.

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

I will just say I have some plans for Tess in the future.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Everyone’s creative process is different, just make sure the story is yours.

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

Family is the most important thing to me and without them, I never would have been able to make Bifurcation Point what it is today.

 

Thank you Benjamin S. Schofield for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out his debut book, bifurcation point…  survive the night, papua today!

~Synopsis~

One verse. One plague. One night. One hero. The question is not, could it happen? The question is, when will it begin?

See how scientific facts combine with prophecy to reveal a possible future where humans have reached the tipping point for their survival. Read about prion diseases. Read about gene editing. Read about the apocalypse in Zechariah 14:12. And then read bifurcation point, survive the night, papua.

Tess Camon has a genius level IQ and a biomedical engineering degree. She served in the Army and deployed as a medic with Special Forces units. She achieved “Expert” certification in the Army Weapons Qualification Course requiring hits on 36 of 40 targets. She hit all 40.

Now she is following in her parents’ footsteps, continuing with their research on a new prion discovered in the Papuan rainforest. It doesn’t take long before she finds this research is destined for much more than she ever anticipated. In the wrong hands, this research can lead to devastation, and her own government can’t be trusted to help her. With time running out, can she save the world from an outbreak of the most devastating bioweapon ever created for which her family is responsible? Who will survive the night?

As a millennial, Benjamin S. Schofield, has spent his entire life on the cutting edge of technology, particularly e-sports and video games, which helped mold the storyline for his debut novel, Bifurcation Point.

His life’s philosophy is to avoid growing old with regrets, living the best life possible. It’s his goal that his readers can do the same.

He lives in Tennessee and is engaged to be married.

Website – https://www.bifurcationpoint.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Benjamin-S-Schofield-100789201337904/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Ben_S_Schofield

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/benjamin.s.schofield/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19525589.Benjamin_S_Schofield

 

Free Download Friday · Freebie

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The Aviary (The Uncaged Series Book 1)

By Emily Shore

~Synopsis~

“Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!”

Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity’s natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents’ best efforts, she’s been taken—ripped from her home and the only life she’s ever known—to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary—an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.

Luc comes to idolize Serenity’s purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time—The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn’t anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents—or become Luc’s Swan for good and lose her identity forever.

Review

Athena’s Choice by Adam Boostrom – My Review

Release Date: December 13th 2018

Genre: Dystopian Fiction 

~Synopsis~

Athena Vosh lives just like any other teenager from the year 2099. She watches reality shows with her friends, eats well, and occasionally wonders to herself: what would life be like if men were still alive?

It has been almost 50 years since an experimental virus accidentally killed all the men on earth. However, a controversial project is currently underway to bring men back. There’s just one catch. The project has been sabotaged.

So begins the award-winning novel, Athena’s Choice. When the police of 2099 are tasked with finding the saboteur, they receive a mysterious command to investigate the otherwise innocuous Athena Vosh. After it becomes clear that the young girl might know more than she lets on, Athena is brought in to participate in the official investigation. Simultaneously, the girl begins to experience a series of cryptic dreams featuring a ruined library and an old book containing the saboteur’s true identity. As the police close in on their prize, Athena finds herself on a journey of her own. Her clue-filled dreams and incorruptible spirit bring her face-to-face with a pair of forgotten truths about happiness and gender. The world waits to see if men will return as Athena fights a separate battle, culminating in the choice that will define her and others’ lives forever.

~Add To TBR~

~My Review~

Athena Vosh’s life was pretty normal. As normal as it can be in the year 2099. Every day was the same. Until the dreams started happening. What did they mean? Whisked from her mundane life, she is invited to help solve a crime that’s been committed. Could this be her chance at greatness?

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. A virus that had wiped out the men? Like whoa!! Athena’s Choice is an entertaining read. I was pleasantly surprised! The cover is pretty. I could tell the author put a lot of work into the story and details. Adding touches here and there to tie this story together. It wasn’t hard to imagine a world like that at all. Athena is a likable character. She wasn’t a standout to me but held her own. Some of my fave characters were in the background. Loved Mirza! Even Valerie. This is a new to me author and I look forward to seeing more. A great sci-fi read! I give it 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

~Buy Now~