Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Blast: Orenda by Ruth Silver



Title- Orenda
Series-Orenda Book #1
By- Ruth Silver
Genre- YA/MG Fantasy
Published By- Booktrope Publishing


Blurb-
Join forces with a parallel universe.

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified, Lil comes face to face with her doppelganger, Willow, who possesses the ability to travel between the two worlds. Everything Lil knows logically says that Orenda can’t exist, but a small clue may be proof that it was more than an ordinary dream. With the threat of her sister in danger, Lil crosses dimensions but it may cost her even more than she bargained for.


A sword wielding girl, the eternal suit, and a parallel universe come together in this action-packed Young Adult fantasy adventure that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages. Orenda is the first novel in the Orenda series.


Goodreads -
Barnes & Noble -



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. She also writes The Federal Agent Chronicles, an adult romance series under the name Ravyn Rayne for Blushing Books. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Follow Ruth here-

Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here-

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Free Kindle Book Promo: The Rise of Mallory by Roy Huff


BLURB

As the epic journey continues, a victorious Owen Sage stands undefeated against his enemies. His last battle in Everville gave rise to a new insidious evil, Mallory; whose determination to defeat him opens an unexplored Pandora’s box. Owen's search for truth will unveil the mystery and surprising insights surrounding himself and his friends at Easton Falls University. New creatures will be uncovered and the true value of friendship will be tested, as Owen embarks on yet another battle in Everville.

FREE Kindle Promo 
April 27 - May 1

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cover Reveal: Desert Fire by Charyse Allan


Desert Fire
Valley of Death Series Book # 2
By- Charyse Allan
Genre- YA Thriller
Expected Publication Date- May 12th, 2015

Payton survived being forced to flee her home in order to escape the Elites. Yet she’s still not safe. The Elites are relentless, and they won’t give up their pursuit of her that easily. With her loved ones at risk, and trusting her boyfriend Conner, the two devise a plan to ditch her family in order to keep them safe. But their plan quickly backfires and puts everyone in even more danger.

Reiley is left behind when Payton leaves. Having to prove herself as a capable assassin, she joins Cadmar in his pursuit to track and end the Elites. Except the agency anticipates their every move. In her angst to establish herself, Reiley is caught off guard and makes a deadly mistake that jeopardizes everyones lives.

Betrayal, abductions, and murder stand between Payton, Reiley, and their loved ones. Can they trust anyone in a world of treachery and destruction?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pre-Order Promo: The Brother's Keep by Tessa Stockton



Publication Date: May 6, 2015
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Series: The Brother's Keep (Four Novellas in One)

Four brothers are appealing in appearance and stature. Yet beneath the striking features, magnitude and charm, they are monsters, for each one of them have fallen to darkness and are cursed for all time. Possessed with unique power, along with the wrath to destroy, the brothers consume all in their paths …until unlikely maidens challenge them apiece.

Each of the four young maidens ventures out, vulnerable and alone, to battle unknown elements, demons, and strange magic. Risking all for the journey, they are set to find the demise of their monster. But the question of motive begins to infiltrate each of their minds. Are they really trying to save their people from the harm of the monster or redeem a heartless being for the sake of love? Because somehow, while daring, their own hearts are stolen in what could be the quickest path to destruction, the greatest betrayal of all.

Along the way, meet Lily of the Valley, Bright & Morning Star, Promise the King, and The Messenger, characters potentially aiding these impressionable young women who find themselves quite lost in the keeps of alluring yet unscrupulous brothers.



Pre-Order at Amazon for $2.99!



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kindle Countdown Deal: The First Pillar by Roy Huff


BLURB

Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between.
With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.

Kindle Countdown Deal
.99 cents
April 26 - May 1

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Free Kindle Ebook Promo: The City Of Worms by Roy Huff



BLURB

College freshman Owen Sage has just started to understand the darkness trying to overtake Everville and the earthly realm. With the help of The Keeper and the Fron army, Owen has managed to buy some time, but new problems have already emerged, new secrets need to be revealed, and the race against time to stop Them from conquering both dimensions has only just begun. The Keeper, Owen Sage, and his friends at Easton Falls University must now battle threats from within. To do it, they must reunite with familiar creatures and join forces with new ones as they navigate their journey to the truth that awaits them in Everville.

FREE Kindle Promo
April 23 - April 27

Friday, April 24, 2015

Feature: C.L. Denault author of Gambit








BLURB


In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.
Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.
Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?



AUTHOR INTERVIEW


What inspired you to write this book?

I happened to be watching an episode of Alphas one day on the Syfy channel and was intrigued by the idea of people with superhuman abilities being targeted and used for government purposes. I was already a huge X-Men fan and familiar with the idea of extraordinary humans hiding to avoid persecution. So I thought, why not turn the tables and give those people with special abilities absolute power over the normal population? That idea prompted me to start writing, and the story unfolded from there.

Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?

Gambit is set in a futuristic Great Britain, beginning in what was previously Glasgow and ending up in a rebuilt version of London (now called the Core).

How did you choose your title?

I actually changed the title after signing with REUTS Publications. A best-selling author had just published a book with same title I’d chosen, so we decided it was best to pick something else. We chose Gambit because of the book’s game elements and theme of sacrifice, and also as a nod to the X-Men series. Then I worked the title and its concept into the book to bring everything together.


Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.

When Ashley, the lead graphic designer at REUTS, initially asked me what I wanted on the cover, I gave her a few elements and told her I’d love to see something dramatic with lots of texture. She nailed the concept right away, and a few versions later, the cover was finished. I fell in love with her design—not only is it visually stunning, it’s also incredibly symbolic of Gambit’s main character, Willow. Her innocence (the butterfly), her skill (the tiger stripes on the wings), her destiny (the dagger), and her DNA (the drop of blood) are all brought together in one powerful image. I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.


Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?

I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable self-publishing, so my original intention was to query agents and see if I could publish traditionally. Before I could start that process, though, fate stepped in and introduced me to REUTS. I knew very little about Indie presses, but I liked the REUTS philosophy and the idea of being an active part of the publication process. They offered a lot of flexibility, along with many of the same benefits as a traditional publisher, and that middle ground was the perfect solution for me.


What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

For me, it’s relatable characters. I can handle a lukewarm plot or events that strain credibility as long as I’m invested in one or more of the characters. My favorite books are ones with characters that I love as much as the real people in my life.


How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young, actually. My grandmother kept a drawer with all the stories and poems I wrote for her, some as early as my kindergarten years. I loved making up stories and kept up my creative writing until college put a damper on my free time. I picked it up again a few years ago, when I became a stay-at-home mom.


What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

Not being able to express myself when inspiration hits. My schedule is a bit restrictive at the moment, and my muse doesn’t always appreciate being swept aside for mundane activities like laundry or cooking. She’ll pick the worst time to tease me with an idea, then turn around and abandon me when I need her most. Sometimes I just have to wait until we’re on the same page.


Who is your favorite character from a book?

I don’t really have a favorite, but the character I most relate to is Emily Starr. She’s the protagonist in L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon series. Montgomery’s books played a significant role in shaping my thoughts as a teenager, and Emily definitely had the most influence. She’s a writer who lives mostly inside her imagination. She’s fiercely independent and usually misunderstood by the people around her. I identified with that plight early on and often drew on her strength to get through rough spots in my own life. Emily’s secret love, Teddy Kent, is where I got Willow’s last name.


What is your favorite book?

Narrowing down one favorite book is impossible for me. I have a small collection of books that I would consider my absolute favorites, though, mostly because I can open any of them to any page and get sucked back into the story immediately. Watchers by Dean Koontz and Firestarter by Stephen King are particularly mesmerizing for me because of their intriguing plots and moral complexity. If I pick either of those books up, I’m lost for hours.


Have you had anything else published?

Yes, thanks to Project REUTSway. REUTS holds an annual short story competition and publishes the winners in an anthology. Last year’s theme challenged writers to put a bone-chilling twist on common fairy tales. I couldn’t resist writing “Cry of the Windwalker” (a bloody version of Rumplestiltskin), and to my delight, it was accepted. The story was published in their 2014 horror anthology, Fairly Twisted Tales of a Horribly Ever After.

What's your next project?

Right now, I’m focusing on new adventures for Willow. She has a challenging path ahead of her, and it’s going to be tricky getting her through it. I just hope the little butterfly is ready! 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing stories and posting on The INFJ CafĂ© are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.

Find out more at cldenault.com, twitter or facebook.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Blast: My Demonic Ghost Series by Jacinta Maree












Title- My Demonic Ghost: Banished Spirits
Series-My Demonic Ghost Book #1
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts

Published By- Staccato Publishing 

BLURB

Rachael has traveled to Whitehaven to visit her father, a trek she can not help but dread given his recent descent into madness. Upon her arrival she realizes his deterioration has not only been mental, it’s been physical as well. His death comes as no surprise, but what she discovers soon after, is shocking when his burden becomes hers.
Lock is a banished spirit who must attach himself to a human host in order to hide from those who would drag him back to hell to be destroyed. When he meets Rachael he finds more than a host, he finds an ally.
Together they must defeat each of the seven sins in order to guarantee Lock's safe passage into the Third Realm, a loophole in creation that would allow him to escape hell and have peace at long last. Through their unlikely friendship, other banished spirits flock to them in hopes of a peace they hadn't dreamt possible.





Title- My Demonic Ghost: The Reapers
Series- My Demonic Ghost # 2
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts
Published By- Staccato Publishing 

BLURB

The day you die is meant to be the end, but for 18 year old Jordon Hastings, his death was only the beginning. 
In a dark and twisted world, lost spirits known as Reapers remain behind after death to help collect the spirits from the realm of the living. A new Reaper, Jordon struggles to accept his fate and lingers in the shadows of his mortal life. But when a demon wolf starts to live through his shadow, hunting his family and friends Jordon has no choice but to leave. As soon as he accepts his new role the truth behind the relationship between Reapers and Angelic Hunters is revealed. His loyalty is tested, making him choose between a corrupted God and a single Banished Spirit.




Title- Hunters and Creators
Series- My Demonic Ghost # 3
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts

BLURB

It’s been five years since the phenomenon that shook the world’s belief in the supernatural. It has become a worldwide obsession as crowds flock together in hopes of catching a glimpse of the spirits. That is most… except Rachael Hastings.

Rachael, now at University, lives with a giant blank page in her memory from when she was fifteen years old. Plagued by nightmares of a green-eyed monster, Rachael tries to stay as far away from the paranormal as humanly possible. Despite her efforts, he stalks her through the shadows and appears in her dreams for reasons she can’t understand.

Along with friends from school, Rachael returns to Whitehaven. During her stay she is caught up in the ongoing war between heaven and hell she had unknowingly escaped from years ago.

Forced into the care of Gargoyle the Hunter, Rachael attempts to piece together her shattered memory. As emotions grow between them, a familiar green-eyed demon returns to her side, claiming that Rachael is his one true love. With the world falling apart around them, can Rachael remember who she loves and which side is right before it’s too late?




ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Self confessed chocaholic, Jacinta was born and raised in Melbourne Australia with her loving family of five. Even as a child Jacinta had an itch to write. Writing was the one constant hobby she clung to, also trying her hand at piano, flute, tennis, horseback riding and drama.

Jacinta works full time in the family business and spends her afternoons either playing basketball, reading, writing or hanging out with friends. She is always happy to try something new; getting her real estate license, practicing ninjitshu, Zumba and parkour to name a few.

For her future, Jacinta sees herself writing. It is a large part of her identity and something she hopes to continue. Aside from her love of stories she loves Japan and its unique and beautiful culture and history. From their delicious sushi dishes right down to their wooden sandals and kimonos. She is also a huge cat person and loves to snuggle up in front of the fire for a good movie or book. Her favorite genres are paranormal and fantasy but she also loves anything written by thriller writer, Stephen King.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Blast: Aberrant Trilogy by Ruth Silver



Title- Aberrant Trilogy Boxed Set
By- Ruth Silver 



Book One: Aberrant (#1 Amazon Bestseller!)

In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Times is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.



Book Two: Moirai

Olivia has been on the run from the government of Cabal since the marriage ceremony. Finally settling in and finding herself a place to call home in Shadow, Olivia and Joshua prepare for the uprising that they and the rebel alliance have been planning for months.
With new abilities and special talents from Mindonsiphan, Olivia learns she can do more than most ordinary eighteen year olds. Learning both to hide and perfect her skills will be one of the biggest challenges she'll be forced to face.
A constant rollercoaster of emotion and adventure await Olivia and Joshua as they embark on a journey to the rebel city of Torv, and what was once home, Genesis.


Book Three: Isaura

With Joshua’s recent disappearance, Olivia has little choice but to head into the dangerous Gravelands as the new government wrestles with fixing the damage to society. Joining forces with her estranged father and a girl from Haven, they go on a search-and-rescue mission to find Joshua and bring him back alive. If traveling through outlaw territory isn’t frightening enough, Olivia learns she has exposed her secret and is hunted by her allies. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. She also writes The Federal Agent Chronicles, an adult romance series under the name Ravyn Rayne for Blushing Books. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Follow Ruth here-
Facebook- http://facebook.com/writeawaybliss

Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here-


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book Blast: Uprising by Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons



Title- Uprising
Series- The Dolan Prophecies Series Book #1
By- Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons
Publication Date- April 18th, 2014
Genre- New Adult Dystopian

BLURB

The year 2102--the world as it was no longer exists. Ravaged by nuclear war and polluted almost to the point of no return, Earth was dying. When the faeries came and brought their healing magic, humanity was grateful at first. Centuries of damage repaired in just five years, and during the course of that rehabilitation, they invaded. Quietly overthrown, the human race is now enslaved. The majority doesn’t even realize they have no free will. Branded, herded and kept only to further the agendas of the Fae Courts, humanity could be facing extinction.

But a resistance is coming…

Fianna Dolan has spent her entire young life preparing herself for an uprising against the Fae. One scorching summer night Fi's parents leave and never return. Thrust into a position of power she never expected, Fi struggles with her new position and the responsibility it entails. When a secretive fae man known only as Flint breaches the city’s defenses claiming he can help, Fi begins to doubt everything she's ever considered truth. As betrayals and deception come to light, will Fi want the answers she’s been seeking, or will trusting Flint lead to her destruction?

Amazon Paperback- http://tinyurl.com/o6cjg69
Createspace (Paperback)- http://tinyurl.com/o6pvskm



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allana Kephart has been making things up and bending people to her will from a very young age.  She loves animals and reading and spends a large amount of time thinking up ways to torment her characters. She shares a brain, a love of coffee and the color purple with her alter ego/best friend/co-author, Melissa Simmons.

Melissa Simmons is an avid reader who married her soul mate and is the proud mother of a spoiled cat.  She spends her days helping promote independent authors and doing what the voices in her head tell her to. She shares a brain, a love of coffee and the color purple with her alter ego/best friend/co-author, Allana Kephart. 

The Dolan Prophecies Series Blog- http://dolanpropheciesseries.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: Untreatable by J. Laslie


Untreatable
By- J. Laslie
Genre- YA Dystopian
Expected Publication Date- May 15th, 2015

People are dying...

Tahlia and Quentin live in a world where the US population is starving to death one hundred years after a government-mandated "cure" for obesity. Tahlia's ancestors escaped genetic mutation. Now she and her tribe must hide in the wilds of South Dakota to avoid being harvested for their untainted DNA. When Tahlia is captured on a supply run, she becomes a lab rat for the scientists searching for an antidote. The fate of humanity lies buried in Tahlia's genetic code, and her own survival lies in the hands of Quentin–the only son of the very doctors who want to cut her open.

Harrowing and suspenseful, Untreatable transports readers to a dystopian future where everything is not as it seems and resilience of body–and spirit–is required to survive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Kiss Me Dead by Dale Ibitz


Kiss Me Dead
By- Dale Ibitz
Genre- New Adult Urban Fantasy/Romantic Suspense

One curse . . .

Christian, a nineteen-year-old reaper-human hybrid enslaved to the Other World to harvest souls, earns his freedom by making a bargain with the Goddess of Death. As part of the bargain, he’s been cursed with the kiss of death.

One kiss . . .

The only way Christian can break his curse is for an angel to kiss him. Willingly. He finds Brooke, a nineteen-year-old descendant of a Naphil whose destiny is to hunt rogue reapers, suffocating in a semi-agoraphobic cocoon since witnessing a reaper steal her brother’s soul.

Two destinies . . .

Christian has found the angel who can break his curse, and the seduction begins. To break her phobia’s hold, Brooke embraces her angelic role and makes it her mission to kill rogue reapers to avenge her brother’s murder. Christian can break his curse by kissing Brooke dead . . . but will she figure out his game and kill him first?

  


Monday, April 13, 2015

Feature: Michael G Munz author of The New Aenid Cycle




Title:  A Shadow in the Flames 
Series: The Aeneid Cycle 1
Author: Michael G. Munz
Publication Date: December 16, 2014   
Genre: Science Fiction/Cyberpunk 

BLURB

Northgate is in turmoil. Decaying, violent, and corrupt, it is a common enough city in 2051, yet soon, discoveries beneath the Moon’s surface will mark the city with their first distant echoes. 


New arrival Michael Flynn is jobless and down to his last few dollars, but he still dreams of making a positive difference of his own. He has no family, no friends—save for the freelancer known only as Diomedes—and tonight the apartment they share will burn to the ground. 


When Diomedes becomes his mentor in a search for the arsonist responsible, Michael will get the chance to realize his dreams. Joining them is Felix, a wise-cracking “information bounty hunter” who claims that neither the arsonist nor the man Michael idolizes are quite what they appear. 


Will Michael find the courage to pass through the flames unscathed, or will the violence that surrounds him incinerate all that he is? Those who search the Moon will be watching...

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N iBooks


Title: A Memory in the Black
Series: The Aeneid Cycle  2
Author: Michael G. Munz
Publication Date:  March 17, 2015  
Genre: Science Fiction/Cyberpunk 

BLURB

Save humanity from itself. It is the goal of the worldwide conspiracy known as the Agents of Aeneas. For months they have struggled to unlock the secrets of an alien spacecraft buried on the Moon. Now word of that craft has leaked, and multiple groups plot to seize it for themselves. 


One man has plumbed its depths and returned alive. While Agent Michael Flynn protects him from those who believe that he knows too much, together they must find a demon from Michael’s past: the freelancer Diomedes. Michael’s violent ex-mentor, Diomedes murdered a man at the heart of the spacecraft’s discovery. They must learn why. 


Meanwhile the vigilante Gideon, slain by Diomedes six months ago, has been seen alive in the city of Northgate. His baffling return will draw two women into dangers far beyond those that lurk in the city. 


Memories that haunt them all will entangle their fates as one in the blackness.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?
The primary protagonist—especially in A Shadow in the Flames—is named Michael Flynn. While you might think I named him after myself, he's actually named for an ancestor of mine who was on the U.S.S. Maine when it exploded just prior to the Spanish-American War. In hindsight, I wish I'd given him a different first name...

How did you choose your title?
I was looking for something that worked on both a literal and a thematic level. Much of the book involves Michael and Diomedes searching for the mysterious arsonist who set fire to their building—a shadow amid the flames. In addition, seeing past illusions (whether those illusions come from within or without) is a major theme of the book, and shadows dancing in flames and smoke felt fitting to me on that level as well.

Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.
Both of the covers for The New Aeneid Cycle were designed by Amalia Chitulescu. I'd self-published the original versions (prior to their being revised and re-published by Booktrope this winter), and I loved her work so much that I persuaded Booktrope to keep the designs. For A Shadow in the Flames, the flame and shadow is pretty self-explanatory, and of course the cityscape is meant to invoke the approach of night in the city of Northgate. Aside from the fonts and text layout, the moon is the key element that ties both books in the series together. You'll notice it's larger on the cover for A Memory in the Black, as the lunar-based elements grow to influence the rest of the story more directly in book two. As for the silhouette, there are a number of characters dealing with memories in assorted ways (some more artificially than others), so I like that it can be representative of multiple characters depending on how you choose to interpret it.

What do you consider the most important part of a good story?
It's hard to pick just one part that's the most important, because a good story is a combination of so many things: characters, events, the author's voice, etc. Yet I suppose that even if a story's premise is what hooks me the most, if the characters don't wind up engaging me, I'll stop reading. So for the purposes of this question, let's go with well-written characters who I enjoy being around in one way or another.

What is your writing process?
Heh. “Writing process.” Like it’s so organized. …Well, okay, so it kind of is. I tend to front-load the work in the sense that I prefer to plan things out ahead of time:

  1. I get my premise, which can often take a long while as I search for an idea that excites me enough to keep me interested the entire time it will take me to write a novel.
  2. Sketch the main characters, create a “step sheet”/outline that shows the flow of both character arcs and plot progression, and a general bunch of notes about the setting itself to help inform the writing.
  3. Actually write, using the step sheet and character sketches as a guide. This does NOT mean that I hold such things inviolate. On multiple occasions I might come up with new ideas as I go (and certain parts of my outline might simply say “whatever seems to make sense for the characters at this point”), change directions, or even discover that the characters themselves have tapped me on the shoulder (or punched me in the face) to say they’d do things differently.
  4. Edit, revise, agonize, improvise, and probably eat some pizza.

How did you get started writing?
I've been writing, in some form or another, for as long as I can remember. My first "book" was written in 3rd grade for a class project (it was 10 pages long, and we bound them ourselves in class), and I liked to write short stories and even the occasional radio play as a kid. In college I wrote and filmed four (exceedingly amateur) movies. But it wasn't until the summer after my freshman year of college that I really decided that I wanted to try to make a professional go of it.

I was staying at my parents’ place and feeling isolated and down. (I should mention that it wasn’t some sort of Harry Potter-esque forced-to-live-in-a-closet-all-summer sort of deal. My parents are great people, and even if I had been forced to live in a closet, I’m sure it would have been a very comfortable closet. I was just having trouble dealing with being away from all of my college friends.) Reading was an escape. I can very clearly remember lying on my bed eating popcorn, in the middle of enjoying Terry Brooks’s Elfstones of Shannara for the first time, when I realized how fulfilling it would be to give others the same enjoyment via my own writing the way Brooks’s writing was giving me. So I decided to go for it.

What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?
Usually it's the inception. It takes me a long while to carve out enough of an idea that a) I can turn into a novel-length story and b) I'll be interested in enough to be able to stick with it for as long as it will take me to write the entire book. I get a lot of idea kernels, but growing the full story out of such ideas is the challenge for me.

What tips can you give on how to get through writers block?
While writers block can sometimes be simply the result of being tired (in which case, go get some rest), I've found it's often just your brain telling you that you're not prepared enough. That's when you have to step back a little and fill in more background details of what you're writing about. Maybe that's just mapping out an area for an action scene. Maybe it's a bit of world-building so you can better understand how your characters might be affected by certain events, or how they might choose to react. Maybe it's just a matter of taking stock of where your characters are emotionally at a certain moment: How are they feeling right now? What's their immediate agenda? How much are past events or relationships weighing on them? Focus on building things and characters like a simulation in your mind (or on paper – outlining is helpful for me in these cases) so you can just hit "play" and write what happens next.

Read anything good lately?
Rationality Zero by JM Guillen. It's a novella of sci-fi, horror, and espionage all rolled into one. I blogged a review of it last month, in fact: http://michaelgmunz.com/book-review-rationality-zero/

Have you had anything else published?
Last year my relationship with my publisher began when they chose to publish a comedic contemporary fantasy of mine called Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure. (The other Greek gods find a way to assassinate Zeus, which allows them to return to the modern world after a 3,000-year absence. Hilarity ensues. Also venomous bat-winged kittens and a group known as the "Ninjas Templar.") It was a blast to write, and it's been very well-received.

What's your next project?

After that, I may write another book in the world of Zeus Is Dead, or write something completely new. And then there IS something I've had in the drawer that I might just polish up a little more to see what becomes of it…




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State at the age of three. Unable to escape the state's gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington. 


Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. Among his sci-fi influences are the writings of Dan Simmons, Frank Herbert, and Douglas Adams. 


Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguini.

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