Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Lane Northcutt

Meet Lane Northcutt, author of Rejected.

About Lane Northcutt

A Kentucky native, currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and ideal reader, Shannon. Rejected is the sequel to his debut novel, The Delivery Co. and the second in the trilogy. When not writing, Lane is an actor, photographer, and enjoys bouldering at his local rock gym. In addition to The Delivery Company series, Lane is working on other books, screenplays, and more.

So let’s talk a bit about Rejected.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Rejected:
Rejected is the sequel to my debut YA Dystopian novel, The Delivery Co. and was quite the undertaking. Overall, this book continues the story of Ahna and her group as they face new problems in their main goal to dismantle and destroy The Delivery Company and all it stands for. It’s only when they try to do so again that she realizes that not everybody will survive, and not everybody has.

When did you start writing Rejected? What inspired you to write it?
I started writing Rejected pretty much right after I published The Delivery Co. which would be around January of 2021. I wrote the first draft of the novel in the first few months, then put it away for the summer before returning to completely rewrite and edit it in time for publication for Feb. 22nd, 2022. (Twos-Day, 2/22/22 which was a fun thing to do since this is book 2!) A lot of what inspired this series stems from my own journey with Crohn’s and ADHD, but chronic illness/disability is only one of many themes recurring throughout the series.

Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character since the beginning has been Scorcher. I feel that he is a lot of me, but also just an interesting and mysterious person overall. However, I will add that Felan has quickly become one of my favorites as well because I was able to put the parts of me that aren’t in Scorcher into her. If I could say to read two characters to understand me from my books, it would be Scorcher and Felan.

What was your favorite part to write?

There’s a chapter late in the book that became one of my favorites from the first inkling of the idea. Without saying too much about it, it’s about a newer character and a big change for them personally. I guess I can give away the number of the chapter, thirty-three. That and chapter eight, but for very different reasons. I think I prefer these parts primarily because it is focused more so on the characters themselves and less on trying to move the overall plot. I like the more intimate character driven moments the best.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Rejected?

I think the general message of Rejected is the same as the series as a whole: who you are is ever-changing and your family can be as well. Just because you live with a disability or chronic illness doesn’t mean you aren’t still able to make a difference. Sometimes, the smallest action can mean the world to someone, but sometimes you are someone’s world. Either way, you are who you are and there’s nothing wrong with you, regardless of what you might be told. The Delivery Company may reject you, but I guarantee that there’s a whole group of people out there just like you who will accept you no matter what.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?

Waterfall. This word is a spoiler for both The Delivery Co. and Rejected in a different way.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Rejected?
One reason that readers should pick up Rejected would be to get to know Felan. She was introduced at the very end of book one, but they get to know her so much more in book two. I think that she’s worth meeting, for sure.

Since Rejected is a sequel, what is something you think readers will be most excited about?

I think that readers will be most excited about seeing how the world outside Deliverance was affected by everything before and just how bad things are getting with The Delivery Company as a whole.

I can’t wait to dive back into the world of the Delivery Co. But first I would love to hear more about YOU!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I write because it’s what I do. I have so many stories and characters in my head that can’t be kept hidden away. I constantly create, always thinking of new and exciting ideas, and can’t stand to not have them out in the world. I have been telling stories as a writer and actor for so many years that storytelling is just in my DNA, it’s who I am.

Do you have any hobbies outside of writing? Do they influence your writing in any way?
I am a HUGE gamer. I have played video games almost my entire life and still do most days. Mostly, my interests lie in RPGs and rogue-lite games. I play mostly RPGs because of their stories. Gaming not only helps me to relax a lot of days, but constantly inspires me. Sometimes, I feel very inspired by their settings and sometimes it is a specific character or quest that will spark an idea. A lot of the time, I write to the soundtrack to one of my favorite video games of all time, FrostPunk. Gaming has and will always inspire and influence my writing and life.

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
I think one thing that may surprise some of my readers, but certainly not any of my close friends, is that I have no true routine. My ADHD and various other things have kept me from establishing much of a consistent routine. Often, I find myself hyper focusing on a chapter only to avoid writing the book altogether for days at a time. Then, my thoughts will sometimes be so scattered or I’ll have sudden bursts of inspiration or something and I will try to take the story or a certain character in a totally different direction. While that may be sometimes beneficial, I would say that it can hinder my progress quite a bit as well. However, while I have no concrete routine, I do tend to do the same few things when I do sit down to write: noise-cancelling headphones, FrostPunk soundtrack on low, and have outline of the current chapter I’m writing off to the side. Then, I crank out however much I can during the time that my brain decides I’m interested. Sometimes, that is a long time and I write two or three chapters and other times it is only a paragraph that I edited as I wrote. There’s no telling which way it will go most days, but I’m never upset with the progress. Afterall, any progress is still progress. As they say, ‘you can’t edit a blank page.’

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
One of the biggest successes I have had as an author has been one of the first few reviews I received from a total stranger after releasing my first book. The reviewer left an amazing review, which I always appreciate, but also had messaged me just to say how much they appreciated my writing of a specific character. They said that it made them feel ‘seen’ and that The Delivery Co. had become one of their favorite books they had ever read. Hearing that was probably one of my greatest achievements in my author career so far. Even if I only impact one person, I’ve done my job as an author. That, to me, is success.

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
If I were to tell my past self anything, my advice would be: Write. Write whatever you want and don’t worry about whether it will be any good. Stop editing in the moment and try to let the story and characters just be. Getting the story out of your head is the best first step, so do that. Don’t worry about it being perfect, just make sure it is able to be.

Check out Rejected below…and be sure to follow Lane Northcutt to discover more of his work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Bri Mooney

Meet Bri Mooney, author of Scorched Feathers.

About Bri Mooney

Bri Mooney writes dark, and a tad romantic, fantasy novels. Her 5-star debut novel Scorched Feathers takes place on both Earth and Hell.

Born in Queens, New York, she is used to the obscure. She now lives amongst the trees in North Carolina.

During her spare time, Bri is a bookworm, serial hobbyist, horror movie enthusiast, gamer, and travels the world with her partner.

So let’s talk a bit about Scorched Feathers.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Scorched Feathers:
It’s a story about a woman named Aradia who has lost some of her most important memories and her journey to get them back. Scorched Feathers takes place in Heaven, Hell, and Earth.

When did you start writing Scorched Feathers? What inspired you to write it?

I’ve always loved myths, fairytales, and legends. My mom has this old copy of Aesop’s fables that I would beg her to let me read. Anderson’s tales, the Brothers Grimm – I would devour the stories and movies.

A while back I did a deep dive looking into the Goddess Aradia and found there to be barely anything about her. I wanted to know more about her and her story.

Then, in May of 2020 I spent ten months furloughed from my job. For the first month I completed odd projects that I had never had time to do before and then the insanity started seeping in. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I had always wanted to write a book, but I had never managed to finish a story. So I made it a goal and woke up everyday to sit in my office. By then, Scorched Feathers kind of poured out.

Who is your favorite character?

Aradia is definitely my favorite with Asmodeus as a close second.

Aradia is the poise and grace tempered by steel that I had always craved for myself. I wrote her based on the myths surrounding her with a sprinkling of what I thought true divinity would be like; her fierce love of not only her friends but for all of life, her ability to seek out peace mingled with the strength to fight for it when necessary. I wrote the Goddess I think the world deserves.

As for Asmodeus, I’ve read a lot of romance and noticed that most love interests are alphas wrapped in red flags. Don’t get me wrong, I love dark romance. But I’ve been craving a kinder, more green flag kind of male love interest. And Asmodeus was born. He remembers the way you take your drink and your favorite things. And, at the end of the day, he’ll slaughter all of your enemies. What’s not to love?

What was your favorite part to write?

The flashbacks. I actually wrote all of them first and grew the story around them later. It was so much fun just letting myself write any scene that came to mind and seeing how they all stitched together as the story came to life (there was very little plotting done for this book). And I love the way the story begins with the reader and Aradia both on equal footing. No one knows what the heck is going on in the beginning, but you grow with her

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Scorched Feathers?

It’s a bit of a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ story. A glimpse at internal biases and a shattering of expectations for mythical beings.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Scorched Feathers?
If you enjoy found family, dark themes, and a little bloodshed mixed with some romance, grab a copy!

Scorched Feathers sounds like an amazing story that breaks tropes and molds. So I definitely want to know more about the person behind it!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I don’t think I have a choice. Since I learned to read, I’ve been devouring stories. Everytime I went to the library, I’d go and take out the maximum amount of books. Growing up, I read every book we had in the house, no matter the genre. Then all it took was one creative writing class and I was hooked on writing. The stories come to me, characters speak, and I love putting their voices to paper.

Do you have any hobbies outside of writing? Do they influence your writing in any way?
I’m a bit of a serial hobbyist. One of my favorite past-times is baking. Tell me a flavor or combo you love and I’ll whip up something. I baked a Dr. Pepper cake once for a friend. Cupcakes are my favorite. In my latest book, The Witch of Fire and Shadows, my MC owns a bakery.

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
 I’ve found that a strict routine doesn’t work for me. The whole ‘sit and write 1000 words even if it’s garbage’ thing left me with no words and a headache. I do my best to write or edit everyday, but I count reading, researching, learning, or even watching TV as getting work done. As long as it can be applied to the stories, it counts. That way I avoid burnout and keep a steady speed while still loving what I do.

What software do you use for writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?
I’ve been playing with a few things. I use scrivener to write. I really like how customizable it is. I’ve recreated my character sheets and reference material in it and am pretty hooked.

Atticus is my go-to for formatting ebooks and it seems pretty great. Affinity Publisher is what I use to format my paperbacks and I love it.

My covers are done with photoshop but I’m switching to Affinity Photo and Designer as they’re more economical and almost identical to photoshop.

I use draft2digital for my wide ebooks and I’m currently on the waiting list for paperbacks (which is a huge bummer). I’ve been toying with switching to Ingram Sparks because of that. I’ll probably always be trying different things, though. There’s so much out there!

If you could give one piece of advice to your past self, what would it be?
There are a lot of pieces of advice floating out there in the void that will tell you how to be a writer or author. A writer writes, that’s it. As far as publishing and all of that, there is no playbook for success. There is no ‘perfect’. It’s all trial and error. Learn new methods, apply what seems to fit, throw away what doesn’t. Be flexible and open minded. At the end of the day, just keep writing!

Check out Scorched Feathers below…and be sure to follow Bri Mooney to discover more of her work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Katelyn Young

Meet Katelyn, author of The Vult

About Katelyn Young

Katelyn Young is the author of The Vult and The Four. Her love of vampires and literature has inspired her writing. Katelyn recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with her degrees in English and Film Studies. When she isn’t writing she is either glued to the television, editing photos for her Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan account, or spending time with her dog, Baxter.

So let’s talk a bit about The Vult.

First things first, tell us a little bit about The Vult:
The Vult is a novel about the friendship between Deklan Powers, a vampire, and Amber Edge, a human. They become friends after Deklan saves Amber’s life and the story follows the ups and downs of their friendship.

When did you start writing The Vult? What inspired you to write it?
I started writing The Vult during national novel writing month/NaNoWriMo in November of 2019. I was inspired to write the story by my love of vampires and by the fact that I enjoyed reading stories about male and female friendships.

Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character is Deklan.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from The Vult?
The message I hope readers pull from The Vult is the importance of friendship and how friends can become family.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
An out-of-context spoiler would be prepared for a cliffhanger ending.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up The Vult?
One reason you should pick up The Vult is that it combines vampires and friendship in an action-packed novel.

The Vult sounds like such an exciting novel filled with friendships! I’m sure the author behind the book is just as exciting!

So, tell us a little about yourself.

Why do you write?
I write because I get so many story ideas in my head and I just have to put them down. 

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The book inspires me to write about friendships.

Do you prefer physical books, ebooks, audiobooks, or all of the above?
 I prefer ebooks because I can hold countless books in my hand at once but I also have been getting back into reading paperbacks.

What software do you use for writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?
I use Scrivener and Google Docs to write. I use Amazon to publish and I use Facebook and Instagram for marketing.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
There are two things I can think of right now, the first one is that my book was the Selling over 100 books in less than 6 months.

Check out The Vult below…and be sure to follow Katelyn Young to discover more of her work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Raquel Herrera

Meet Raquel Herrera, author of Hunters I: The Mission.

About Raquel Herrera

Raquel is a 25-year-old student of Classic Philology. She fell in love with books when she was in high school and her literature teacher made her read The Hunger Games for her final test, soon after that she found her passion to write too. Her first attempt to write was around 2016 on Wattpad, with a story called “Just one heart” but for some personal situations she stopped writing back then. Also, she is a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout. She has been following her for years. Besides writing she loves traveling and music, and she actually play bass and transversal flute.

So let’s talk a bit about Hunters I: The Mission.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Hunters I: The Mission:
Hunters is a high fantasy world, with seven kingdoms and each of them hunt a specific type of animal or creature. In the first book (The Mission) we meet Akane, she is a huntress/crown princess, who has to do a mission for her to become queen. But the day before she starts her mission, a bunch of different things happen, from a prince showing up to an ancient legend, her world will soon turn upside down.

When did you start writing Hunters I: The Mission? What inspired you to write it?
I start writing hunters back in 2018. That’s when the first idea came up. I believe I got it from a dream, this princess hunting in the woods. Back then I was living in New York alone, away from my family and I was homesick so I started writing it as a way to escape. I’m sure the sad/angry/tense scenes where the first ones I ever wrote.

Who is your favorite character?
People are going to be upset about this, but it’s actually Killian. He is not the main character at all, he is in just 2 or 3 chapters but I just love him so bad.

What was your favorite part to write?
Probably the scenes where Killian and Ashton are together (that’s around chapters 29-30) I love the chemistry of those two characters together.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Hunters I: The Mission?
Even though the situation might be hard, or what’s in front of you seems impossible, with friends and family you can make it through. Also, not giving up, writing the book was hard for me as well this mission is hard for Akane, but we didn’t give up. People should follow their dreams.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
There’s a face-to-face dragon scene

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Hunters I: The Mission?
Well, who doesn’t like a badass warrior crown princess with a sarcastic and funny sidekick friend? Plus, there’s a bit of an enemy to lovers.

Hunters I: The Mission sounds like so much fun, and I love how it has been influenced by your life.

So speaking of your life…let’s dive a bit more into your writing life…

If you could sit down with your favorite author for an hour, what would you ask them?
I’ll probably have time just for 1 question because I’ll freak out (no joke, this already happened, I got into the same elevator as her, and I didn’t know what to do so I got out on the wrong floor) so I’ll ask her any tip she can give me to grow as an author. Or about her mistakes in her journey so I can try to avoid them

What does your writing routine look like, if you have one?
Let’s say it includes a lot of procrastinating, but there’s something I always do, and it’s setting a daily writing goal, I even do a chart where I can keep track of it. I can’t really write without it because I need to see that I’m in fact making some progress.

Who do you consider your biggest support when you are writing?
My parents and brothers hear me talking about my own nonsense all the time, they aren’t readers and of course, they don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, but they still support me. My parents even read my first book, even though it took them months to finish it. And I’m sure that was the first book my dad ever read completely. 

How do you define success as an author? Is it the number of book sales? The number of reviews? The fact your story made someone smile? Or something else?
For me, success is being able to inspire people, for me publishing my first book was a long journey, and the fact that there are people out there telling me my book inspired them to follow their own dreams, is more than enough for me.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
There are two things I can think of right now, the first one is that my book was the most sell book in my local bookstore back in June 2021. And the second one is that I got an invitation to be one of the authors signing in ApollyCon 2022, which is a really big signing event in DC, organized by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Basically, I’ll be signing books along with other amazing and popular authors like Brigid Kemmerer and Danielle L. Jensen. 

Check out Hunters I: The Mission below…and be sure to follow Raquel Herrera to discover more of her work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: R.T. Cole

Meet R.T. Cole, author of Genesis of War (Book One of the Realm of Aeron).

About R.T. Cole

R.T. Cole is a fiction writer and the author of THE REALM OF AREON series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

He has been a fan of fantasy since the days of Willow, Conan the Barbarian, and The Princess Bride. When he was a teenager, he saw The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters; After that, he knew that he wanted to write epic stories and turn them into books for a new generation of fantasy fans. R.T. now spends his days working to bring life to his own worlds.

He grew up reading science fiction & fantasy, from Star Wars to Harry Potter, and writing fan-fiction Transformers stories. He was, and still is, a gamer that prefers RPGs for their intricate plots and detailed magic systems. If there’s ever time left in the day, he can also be found reading the latest issue of DC’s The Flash.

So let’s talk a bit about Genesis of War.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Genesis of War:
Genesis of War is the first book in a 5-part epic fantasy series called The Realm of Areon. It tells the story of three brothers who are thrust into a new war with a vengeful sorcerer. While the siblings are together in the beginning, they’re quickly separated by duty, and we then follow each of them on their unique journeys.

When did you start writing Genesis of War? What inspired you to write it?
Technically, I started writing it in 2002. By “writing it”, I mean I jotted down a notebook full of ideas, lol. After spending years compiling more notes—never fully taking it seriously until I was older—I finally took the plunge and wrote the whole novel in 2017.

As for the inspiration, the reason I began writing down notes in early 2002 is because I had just seen “The Fellowship of the Ring” in December 2001. I will always credit that film for giving me the realization that I wanted to tell stories.

Who is your favorite character?
I have a lot of characters, lol. But if I had to choose one, I’d say Thasus Palidor. He is the oldest of the three brothers I mentioned before. It’s a lot of fun writing him because he’s the one character who has taken on a life of his own in the story—meaning he has turned out completely different than what I had envisioned in my outline. It has actually worked out for the better.  

What was your favorite part to write?
Any part where there was a battle, or when I had the opportunity to describe one of the many abilities used throughout the book. For example, the first time we find a character utilizing the ability to read minds, I wanted to give the reader a perfect glimpse into what that would be like.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Genesis of War?
All heroes have flaws, and all villains have at least one redeeming quality.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
The evolution of one character may surprise you.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Genesis of War?
It’s an easy read for a first-in-a-series.

Any other things you want us to know about Genesis of War?
While there’s talk of different locations, history, and people called Sages, there’s a map at the front of the book and appendices at the back to make things a lot easier to follow.

Genesis of War sounds like an amazing first book to a series! I just started reading and can’t wait to dive into it more!

So speaking of writing…let’s dive a bit more into your writing life…

So tell me…why do you write?
I just want to tell stories. Books, movies, TV shows, comic books, and video games have all shaped me with the amazing stories they tell. I hope my stories reach just one person at that level.m out of my mind. 

Do you prefer physical books, eBooks, audiobooks or all of the above? Why?
I prefer physical books. Not only do I love the smell of a new book, but also it’s easier for me to stare at over a screen any day of the week.

How do you define success as an author? Is it the number of book sales? The number of reviews? The fact your story made someone smile? Or something else?
Book sales are great. Reviews are even better because they can lead to more sales through word-of-mouth. But I consider myself a successful author if my stories resonate with the readers. There’s no greater feeling than seeing one of my books mentioned in a social media post, or receiving a message from a reader with positive thoughts.

What have been some of your biggest successes as an author?
’ve had two that come to mind: 1) I’ve sold over 1,000 copies of Genesis of War since it was published in 2018; and 2) My third book, Shards of the Sun, received the #1 New Release banner on Amazon in January 2021, and the banner remained for the entire first week of publication. That last one was a bit of a big deal because the book could’ve lost the banner after the first day, due to lack of sales, but it thrived for its first 7 days in the world. I was shocked!

What has been one of your biggest mistakes on your publishing journey?
Rushing my first two book releases. In that regard, I mean that I didn’t know the ins and outs of obtaining ARC readers, sending out newsletters, marketing for months leading up to the day of release, etc. I did well enough with Book 3, but I’m hoping I can perfect the process when I come out with Book 4.

Check out Genesis of War below…and be sure to follow R.T. Cole to discover more of his work!

Featured Author, News

Featured Author: Jesse M. Harvey

Meet Jesse M. Harvey, author of Scythia Protostar (Book One of the Dark Stellar Legacy).

About Jesse M. Harvey

Jesse M. Harvey debut book is ‘Motherhood at the End of the World.’ She writes many types of fiction, including science fiction, space fantasy, supernatural, thriller and mystery. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s degree in history.

Jesse currently lives in Syracuse NY. She is married with three school age children. Her family comes from a military background, and her husband is a veteran.

Through all her work, Jesse includes underlining themes of hope, compassion, courage and determination. She believes that fiction shapes the future. Jesse wants to help inspire a more diverse and inclusive world.

So let’s talk a bit about Scythia Protostar.

First things first, tell us a little bit about Scythia Protostar:
It is a Science Fiction/Fantasy adventure. It’s the first in a series. Evil Galactic Empire, where a group of misfits are brought together. They are sent on their first mission together and it does not go as planned.

When did you start writing Scythia Protostar? What inspired you to write it?
I started writing it about five years ago. It started as a NaNoWriMo challenge. My husband and I were discussing working together on a book. We originally talked about writing a Romantic Comedy. Somehow, we went from, Bad guys need love too; to what if the henchmen fell in love. Then, too what if they were really bad at being bad guys, ending up with a group of morally grey characters inadvertently becoming heroes as they try to survive a very dangerous world. It was a wild ride honestly.

Who is your favorite character?
Djaem is my favorite. He is the sneaky, brilliant master mind, and manipulator. I love the super smart characters, like Sherlock Holmes, or Loki. But he is also the physically weakest of the group, so he must be very clever to not get hurt. It also means that when he does put himself in harm’s way it is even more of a sacrifice.   

What was your favorite part to write?
I really enjoy writing the descriptive scenes. I feel that this book lets me get a little more poetic with some of the descriptors because it is in space. I also really like the funny parts. They still make me laugh.

What is the general message you hope readers pull from Scythia Protostar?
Scythia is written in a pulp style. So, it is supposed to be fast and fun. I hope they feel a little inspired, a little hopeful. The darker it is the, brighter our little light becomes.

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler?
Uthraith is one of the smallest people from his tribe. He was sent from his tribe to the Inner Ring of the empire because he was the smartest and spoke the most languages. He only keeps and decorates the skulls of the enemies he finds worth.

What is ONE reason readers should pick up Scythia Protostar?
It is a wild ride, and it will make you smile.

Any other things you want us to know about Scythia Protostar?
We didn’t get rid of the Romantic idea. In fact, we decided to make the romance and unlaying theme. Each book is like an episode, each episode is a beat to the romance plot. Book one is boy meets girl. Book two will have book boy realizes he likes girl. Etc.  

Scythia Protostar sounds like an amazing and fun book! I love that you enjoy writing descriptive scenes…I feel like a lot of writers don’t.

So speaking of writing…let’s dive a bit more into your writing life…

So tell me…why do you write?
I have been writing since I was 11. I joke that if I don’t write the people and worlds in my head will make my brain explode. It helps to tell their stories. It clears them out of my mind. 

Ok so you must have more hobbies outside of writing. What are they? Do they influence your writing in any way? Oh I collect hobbies. I love puzzles, and games. I play roleplaying games, as well as video games. I also do cross stich, and pain by numbers. I love baking and stuff like that. I think it helps a lot with my writing. It helps give ideas, and keeps my calm, it also gives my brain a way of sorting through things while I do the hobby and relax.

What is your favorite word? Why?
I don’t think I have a favorite word because there are so many. But I do have a favorite curse word. I love the word Fuck. Because it is so diverse, and I can use it in so man different ways.

Ha! That’s great! It really is quite a diverse word…it can be used as a verb…adjective…noun…oops! I’m getting carried away.

Anyhow, who do you consider your biggest support when you are writing?
My Husband really is my biggest support. As I said I have been writing since I was a teen. But I didn’t think I would ever publish. I wasn’t even going to try. I was writing to get the stories out of my head, and to share with friends. He was the first person to keep pushing me to send out samples of my work. To finish a novel, to do the edits. He has always been the one to keep me working. He never lets me quite and always keeps me believing in myself.

I love that! It is so important to have support. But it is also important to meet our goals. So with that being said, how do you define success as an author? Is it the number of book sales? The number of reviews? The fact your story made someone smile? Or something else?
Success for me I guess it hard to really explain. I absolutely love when someone enjoys my books, or stories. And I get so excited when someone leaves a review. But I have a dream. It is to walk into a bookstore and see My books on the shelves. Or on a display. Like at Barnes and Nobles or the library. That is my dream.

I think that’s a common goal for all of us. So I’m sure you always need to remind yourself to keep pushing. So, with that in mind, if you could give one piece of advise to your past self, what would it be?
Write. Just keep writing. Different genres, different styles. Just write.

Thank you so much for answering these questions Jesse! I think it will help readers really get in touch with your writing. Do you have anything else you want to say before signing off?
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy my book. I have many more in the works.

Check out Scythia Protostar below…and be sure to follow Jesse M. Harvey to discover more of her work!

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A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Chloe Gilholy

Today we are talking with Chloe Gilholy about her creative process. Chloe Gilholy is the author of Game of Mass Destruction.

About Author

Chloe Gilholy was born in Staffordshire and is a healthcare worker from Oxfordshire. She had her first poem published in an anthology when she was eight and hasn’t stopped writing since. She is the author of Game of Mass Destruction, Drinking Poetry and Fishman. She also writes fanfiction under the penname, Chloboshoka.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

Game of Mass Destruction is a romance between dystopian sci-fi and black comedy.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

I came up with the plot to Game of Mass Destruction as part of an English assignment where we had to write a science fiction story. I got carried away and started a fan fic where couples from many fandoms were put into teams and had to destroy loads of robots. At the time it was called Paranoia Wars Community. I was only 15 when I started it and it became too much for me, so I never finished it.

Battle Royale is one of my favourite novels and I loved the movies and the manga series as well. Getting into Hunger Games, The Lord of the Flies, Ready Player One and The Running Man eventually made me want to try the story again. Paranoia Wars Community was changed to Game of Mass Destruction. After writing the fic version, I thought I would have more freedom with it if I created my own characters.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Yuzuko Shikumi is widow with an infant son and a girlfriend. She loves her country and is very close to her grandfather. Yuzuko shares a name with one of the main characters from a manga called Citrus.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

The main setting for the story is an island under constant watch. Various reality tv shows like Big Brother, Survivor and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. I still haven’t watched a single episode of Love Island.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

Other than the fan fic inceptions, there were plenty. It was so much more than just name changes. The robots have more personality and Sia or Bobby would have been the main characters.I never used to edit my work cause I was obsessed with getting right the first time. Now it’s one of my favourite parts. I like sharing my work too.Other than the fan fic inceptions, there were plenty. It was so much more than just name changes. The robots have more personality and Sia or Bobby would have been the main characters.

What is your writing process like?

I have no routine. There are days I can write thousands and days when I’m lucky to reach a page. I put all my brainstorming and plotting on pen to paper first, then start the first draft in my notebook, then write it up on Word, the tidy it up as I go along.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

I never used to edit my work cause I was obsessed with getting right the first time. Now it’s one of my favourite parts. I like sharing my work too.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

Refining my work and getting understood.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

Reading lots of books made me decide to write books too. My nans on both sides of the family encouraged it.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Just do it, but don’t feel bad if you can’t do it everyday.

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Chloe Gilholy, check out the links below!

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Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

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A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Valerie Evans

Today we are talking with Valerie Evans about her creative process. Valerie Evans is the author of the Anberlin Chronicles.

About Author

Valerie Evans has been writing since she was in middle school and started the first book of the Anberlin Chronicles back in 2012. All three parts were published earlier this year in a staggered timeline. She has always loved fantasy and bringing stories to life so she’s excited to share more stories from Anberlin as well as a new project involving werewolves.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

Kindred Spirit focuses on Aria Tate who is a witch that sees ghosts and lives in a very supernatural town. Vampires, werewolves, witches, an occasional demon, and the many unaware and aware humans call Anberlin home. The trouble starts when she saves an injured man’s life only to learn that he’s a hunter of people like her then worsens when her childhood imaginary friend, Faith, returns in adult form. Suddenly, the pranks of her childhood and Faith’s current behavior seem malicious and alienating which leads her to wonder if maybe it was more than just an overactive imagination and what Faith wants from her.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

Funnily enough, a movie called Imaginary Friend starring Lacey Chabert started me on this path. It dealt with an imaginary friend coming back as an adult and her questioning her sanity. However, I was disappointed to learn it wasn’t supernatural so I began crafting a story of my own where it’s definitely supernatural but the what isn’t so obvious. Who better to draw things dark and malicious than a witch with some strange hobbies?

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

Aria Tate comes from a long line of witches but also has an unfortunate side effect of seeing ghosts. She runs a junk shop with her brother’s girlfriend and tries to be as normal as possible. While I didn’t have any particular real life person, her appearance as red hair and green eyes was inspired by my Irish ancestry. I translated my love of thrift stores and all things strange into creating her store.

Jeremy Hayes came from far too much Supernatural. The idea of hunting supernatural creatures intrigued me, but I also wanted to play with the idea of can people change when given all the facts? He grew up with a limited view of the supernatural then gets dumped into the middle of it by crossing paths with Aria. He’s forced to face supernatural creatures are more than he realized and begins to question if he can continue to kill them so indiscriminately.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

In a lot of ways, Anberlin is like the town where I grew up. It’s small and everyone knows everyone. Strangers are rare and the businesses are locally owned. It’s a lot more interesting with its supernatural citizens, though!

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

It was originally intended to be a stand-alone novel except new questions arose. Hints were dropped, and I found myself learning more about where Aria’s magic came from. An event took an unexpected turn and gave me a chance to explore “magic comes at a price”. It wasn’t intended to have such a romance angle, but Jeremy and Aria’a chemistry popped up almost immediately so I had to explore it deeper.

What is your writing process like?

I’m an outline person, but I normally do it in chunks of 5-7 chapters with basics ideas or hints then write the meat of it freehand. I try not to edit as I go unless I left off unsure of a scene. I’ll sometimes write scenes out of order then have to find where they fit into the rest of the story.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

I love the writing phase because I finally get to see all these choppy notes become a cohesive story. It always takes me fun, unexpected directions, too, so it’s like an adventure where you don’t have to leave the house.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

The most difficult part was the confidence part because I’m overly critical. I’d had people praise my work in school assignments or writing fanfiction but making an entire world and characters of my own was new. I actually overcame it through conversation and a supportive network in my real life so I took the step to finish and publish.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I’ve read so many great authors but Holly Black started my fantasy obsession; however, I’ve shifted away from fairies to more mainstream fantasy species. A close friend and my sister inspired me, too, because both had early access to the first draft of Kindred Spirit and encouraged me to make that push toward self-publishing and getting my stories out. And the rest is history!

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Write the story you want and be true to your own vision. Don’t be afraid to write something new and strange!

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Valerie Evans, check out the links below!

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Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

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A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with Cynthia Vespia

Today we are talking with Cynthia Vespia about her creative process. Cynthia Vespia is the author of Karma, Kobra, and more!

About Author

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

It’s a superhero series called Silke’s Strike Force. Book 1 is Karma. 2 is Kobra. 3 is Kaged and 4 is Khaos. I did the spelling that way with the “K” on purpose just to have a theme.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

When I started, superheroes on the big screen and TV were all the rage. I’ve always loved superheroes and comics so I decided to make up my own.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

My main character is Silke (silky) Butters. I got the name when I was working at The Wynn in Las Vegas. Someone checked in using it. We get a lot of aliases in Vegas hotels! I wrote Silke to have a good heart and pure intentions so I could challenge her. She starts out a little naïve and as her powers grow she does as well. I also made her American Indian to change things up from the norm.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

The story takes place across New York and Los Angeles. Isn’t that where all superhero stories are based? Heh heh

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

Silke’s Strike Force started out way different! Originally it was a story about female investigators. Silke was a Caucasian blonde. It evolved into this massive superhero story with military and sci-fi undertones. Crazy stuff happens when you’re a writer.

What is your writing process like?

I used to be a panster but I realized it was hurting my story. Because Silke’s Strike Force is my first big series I needed to plot it out more to have a throughline between all 4 books that links them up. But I don’t over plot either. It stifles creativity. I just put down the nuts and bolts then let the characters surprise me.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

Character creation is my favorite for sure! I’m also partial to developing villains. I guess because you have more freedom. For instance, my villains The Sin Squad are full of a bunch of powered people named after the Seven Deadly Sins. In writing them I got to explore each of their unique stories and what brought them all together.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

I wrote part 1 Karma in 2017. Then life kicked my ass. So the hardest part was trying to get back in the mindset to finish the rest of the series. Part 2, Kobra was so hard to write. But I got through it and I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

Dean Koontz. I read a book of his called Intensity when I was in school and wanted to create stories like that. I met him a few years later!

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Learn the rules of writing and then break them! Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your writing. It’s your story, have fun!

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in Cynthia Vespia, check out the links below!

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Until next time,

E.S. Barrison

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A Discussion of Creativity & Writing: An Interview with S.W. Raine

Today we are talking with S.W. Raine about her creative process. S.W. Raine is the author of The Techno Mage.

About Author

Raine is Canadian, born and raised, and constantly moved in between Ontario and Quebec with her military family. She moved to Michigan, USA, in 2004, where she currently still resides with her husband and son.

She has always had a vivid imagination and loved reading and writing from a very young age. She took courses in Children’s Literature through ICL in Illinois, and released her debut New Adult Steampunk adventure in 2020. She has participated in NaNoWriMo for over a decade and is currently a Municipal Liaison for the Detroit region.

So let’s get into the questions!

First, tell us about your book!

The Techno Mage is about a trio of friends, a mythical man, and a mission to destroy the mythical airship Faugregir.

How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?

I’m a total Pantser, and the only inspiration I had was an image of an airship that appeared as a floating island instead.

Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?

I had originally created the trio (Ikarim, Arteus, and Magaliana) for a Steampunk Role Play that never really took off. The only inspiration I had was a random image of a blond man as my avatar for Ikarim, and a woman with long blonde dreadlocks wearing tan overalls that I had seen long ago.

What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?

When I created the trio for the RP, all three were mechanics. And since Arteus was the son of Doktor Gesselmeyer–a wealthier scientist–it just made sense to have them be in Germany, working as a side-gig for the old man.

Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?

I deleted a few scenes, but I also ended up deleting an entire character, as well! It broke my heart, but he’ll make his reappearance proper in the spin-off. 😉

What is your writing process like?

As stated earlier, I’m a total Pantser. I cannot outline to save my life. I like to think of myself as simply following the characters around and chronicling their journeys.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?

The actual writing. Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) is my favorite part because I can just let the ideas flow.

What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?

Revision and Editing were the most difficult parts. I had originally written The Techno Mage back in 2012 for NaNoWriMo, and every time I’d try to edit, I’d end up giving up after chapter 3 or 4. It’s because I didn’t truly understand how to properly edit, nor did I know that editing and revision were two separate things. It took years of trying and giving up off and on before I found myself up until 3AM learning about revision, macro edits, and micro edits via Pinterest.

Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?

I have always loved reading and telling stories. I’ve had a wild imagination since I can remember, and creative writing was always a favorite at school. I’d have to bargain with the teachers to let me write over the max word limit! I’ve had many different favorite authors as I grew up, and even took courses with ICL in Chicago, but I can say that even though I didn’t know the awesomeness of Neil Gaiman until the early 2000s, he is definitely my biggest inspiration. His storytelling is amazing, and the fact that he writes for all different ages was a definite win in my books.

Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.

Thank you for joining us today! If you’re interested in S.W. Raine, check out the links below!

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Until next time,

E.S. Barrison