Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Collateral Damage by Taylor Simonds TAKEOVER TOUR

Collateral Damage by Taylor Simonds

Publisher: The Parliament House

Graphic 1.png

Book Synopsis

Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.

 

Meg Sawyer has none of these things.

 

Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted evil for years.

 

For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.

 

But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground of a story she never wanted to be part of—one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.

Pick up your copy today 🙂

Author Taylor Simonds

Author – Instagram: (@taylor_on_tour),  Twitter: (tay_simonds),

Visit her website!

f9b74c_6d38c0c5547a4806b7d56135a49b4741_mv2_d_2432_3648_s_4_2

Q&A with Taylor Simonds

  1. Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

 

A: I don’t know if two books is enough to supply a scientifically justifiable pattern, but pretending it is, here’s the process: 

1) A book premise and ending drop themselves into my head fully formed. I know who my characters are and where they’re going and I have no idea how they’re going to get there. 

2) I pants. I write without an outline. It is bad. “The first draft is telling the story to yourself!” I scream at myself as I write many, many bad words that I know I will delete later. 

3) Somewhere around the 40,000-word mark, I realize that I have made a crucial error in developing one of my lead characters. That personality isn’t right at all. I have to fix it. Wait, I need to change the opening scene to match the characterization I actually want them to have. Wait, none of these characters are right. This worldbuilding is so half-baked. This would make a much better inciting incident. What am I doing? 

4) I move all 40,000 words to a file labeled “WIP Dumping Grounds” and start over from scratch. 

5) I do this three more times until I have 40,000 words I don’t hate and then I finish the book, still screaming.

 

  1. Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

 

A: I have to know who my characters are before I start writing, or the story will never get written—I’m the world’s worst pantser, so all I ever know going into a book is who my book is about and where they’re trying to get to. For COLLATERAL DAMAGE I had a set of references for each character to use as a template for if I got stuck (Meg was Mia Thermopolis x Veronica Sawyer x Darcy Lewis x Haruhi Fujioka, for example, mixed with a few friends I know in real life). I feel like if I can understand my characters on as many levels as possible—what they want, what they fear, what they’re trying to accomplish, who or what raised them, how they connect to others, how they talk and move—they’ll become as familiar to me as real people. And if I let them act like real people, they’ll naturally make choices that create the plot.

 

  1. Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: DISNEY WORLD RESORTS. I’m so lucky that I live so close to them. I work from home as an editor most of the time and if I had to stay in my bedroom all day I’d go crazy, so my favorite thing to do is go work at one of the themed hotels. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation, and it’s so easy to be inspired when every aspect of the Disney brand relies so heavily on thematic storytelling. My top three spots are Beach Club, which makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship, Wilderness Lodge, which makes me feel like I’m on a writing retreat in the woods, and the Grand Floridian, which is just fancy.

 

  1. Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

 

A: Yes! COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a play on the superhero genre, which I’m a huge fan of, so there are Easter eggs and references all over the place. No real names or exact details are used, of course, but they’re clear enough for a potential fellow nerd to be like “Wait, this feels like Spider-Man. That’s a Flash joke. That thing covered in gemstones they just walked past in the vault is totally the Infinity Gauntlet.” Stuff like that.

 

  1. Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

 

A: I prefer each book to stand on its own! One of my favorite concepts is “leave the reader wanting more, not needing more.” I’m an advocate for letting books work on their own as a self-contained unit; I don’t like it when a story ends with all of its ends still loose. I shouldn’t have to buy another book to know how the first book’s conflict wraps up! I think of it as a TV series—you know how each season typically has a central theme, antagonist, character arc, collection of new characters, etc.? By the end of the season, almost everything that has been presented should have reached a conclusion—but then the last episode will hit you with a tease that there’s more to come, like the camera shift to the looming Upside-Down after the school dance scene at the end of Stranger Things. I prefer books in a series to work in the same way—when a reader picks up a book, they’re being invited on a journey, and it’s unfair to the reader to cut that journey short. Without giving anything away from the end of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, there is definitely room for a sequel eventually because it’s superheroes, but I don’t think anyone would feel confused or infuriated if this was the only book in this world that ever got written. I like to put bows on things!

Publisher

Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House

Tour Wide Giveaway

20190620_155040_0000.png

Prize:

  • US ONLY: Paperback copy of Collateral Damage

  • INTERNATIONAL: Collateral Damage E-Book!

  • To enter:
  • – Must be following @theparliamentpress and @taylor_on_tour

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and tag author and publisher.

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts
-Must be 18 + or have parents consent

-Must be able to provide an email for the E-Book

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.

Tour Banner (1).png

Advertisements
Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Hook & Crown by Nicole Knapp TAKEOVER TOUR

85B4BCA9-2B7C-4077-9775-36946B939BB4.jpeg

Publisher: The Parliament House

Book Title: Hook & Crown

Q & A with Author Nicole Knapp

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

A: My all time favorite authors are Sarah J Maas, Tahereh Mafi, Stephanie Garber and J.K. Rowling

Q: What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

A: Rowling I used to really dislike the Bronte sisters, but as I read their novels again at an older age I really enjoy them now.

Q: What is the first book that made you cry?

A: The Fault In Our Stars, I was a mess reading it.

Q: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

A: I would much rather be original than cater to a specific audience. I want to gain my own readers by standing apart from the crowd.

Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

A: Honestly, my writing process is a mess. I jot down random ideas all the time and mull them over until inspiration strikes, then I take it from there. I tend to end up with a lot of not finished writing projects.

Q: Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?

A: I really relate to Elena from Hook & Crown. A girl trying to find her place, sick of relying on relationships to make her happy, but a hopeless romantic deep down. I put a little of myself into all of my heroines.

Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

A: Typically I have a good idea of who I want them to be, but as I write, and the story takes shape, the characters do change a bit. I like to start off with a good base of who they are and let them grow like a real person. I feel that makes them more real and relatable.

Q: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

A: Fallen by Lauren Kate or Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Those series don’t get enough love and are great books!

Q: What is your favorite childhood book?

A: Peter Pan, of course!

Q: Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

A: Absolutely! I go through times when I read 3 books in a week, and other times where I won’t touch a book for months. It’s a vicious cycle.

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: I like to write on my couch, in the middle of the night. That’s when I do my best work.

Q: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

A: Writing a male character is definitely tough! The hardest part is writing from their POV because I truly don’t know how they think sometimes, and I don’t want them to sound too feminine.

Q: How do you select the names of your characters?

A: I keep a list of names that I like, and I pick from that.

Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A: I love using bits of my real life in my writing, or bits from conversations I’ve had with people in real life as dialogue in my stories. The only people who would ever notice are the ones who were there for the event or conversation.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write (without giving spoilers of course)?

A: The scene inside Skull Rock in Hook & Crown! It took me forever to get it just right. Switching between the three characters POVs and making the timing of all three line up was tough! Plus it is a major scene in the book and it needed to be perfect.

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

A: I would love for my books to connect to each other! Obviously, not ever single book I wrote, but the current ones I’m working on, yes.

Q: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar?

A: A cat for sure! Loves naps and lounging in the sun, kind of a jerk sometimes, and nocturnal. Me all the way!

Q: If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

A: Start writing seriously sooner.

Q: How many hours a day do you write?

A: At least 3, mostly at night, but also throughout the day. Sometimes as much as 8 hours a day on a good writing day.

Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A: Too many!

Author Nicole Knapp

Author Headshot (1)

Author – Instagram (@author.nicole.knapp)

 

Publisher

Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House

Giveaway

20190528_154706_0000.png

Prize:

– US ONLY Winner – Set of four Hook & Crown inspired candles from Talking Candles and Hook & Crown E-Book.

 

-International Winner – Hook & Crown E-Book!

To enter:

– Must be following @theparliamentpress @author.nicole.knapp

For an additional entry follow @talkingcandles

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and tag author and publisher.

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts
-Must be 18 + or have parents consent

-Must be able to provide an email for the E-book

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.

Enter here.

Book Synopsis

You’ve heard of Neverland and its inhabitants… Fairies, pirates, mermaids and a boy who didn’t want to grow up. But you can’t always believe the stories.

 

Elena Hart arrives in London, bound for a new boarding school operated by her estranged uncle. A fresh start is exactly what she needs. But when strange things begin happening, things she can’t explain, she begins to wonder if she has lost her mind.

Until the night a strange girl appears in her room, claiming to be a fairy from Neverland, come to take her to the fantasy world at the request of its ruler.

Skeptical, Elena refuses. But the following night, a young man with strange green eyes appears, and though she tries to resist his charms, something about him draws her in and Elena is whisked away from the world she knows, to a world she always thought was make believe.

But when she arrives in Neverland, it is nothing like the stories and Elena realizes that she must figure out for herself who the true heroes and villains are.

Pick up this book here 🙂

Tablet Mockup.png

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, fairy tales, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Blinding Night Audio Tour & Author Interview

IMG-20190325-WA0003

Publisher: The Parliament House

Book Title: Blinding Night Audiobook

Series: Blinding Night Book #1

Purchase Links: https://adbl.co/2Y5bBAj

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Narrator: Dollcie Webb


Synopsis

What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends?

Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.

Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.

Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that

the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

Author Q&A

Loie: How do you go about revising your novels? Do you edit as you write? Do you have multiple drafts and send them to beta readers?

Chantal: Usually I write one draft and then start my editing process. It’s never wise to edit as you write (though, sometimes I do that) – as you’re spending more time editing, then actually writing. It’s better to just get everything down, and then go back and fix things. I might end up with 2 or 3 drafts, but often times I’m working in a Google Doc, so “drafts” often change to just “updates.” And no – under contract, I am not allowed to share my manuscripts once they’ve been signed to the company – so beta readers aren’t allowed. (Which in all honesty, is perfectly fine with me. I completely trust my editors.) Of course, I might share a paragraph or two with my writing friends or my family, just to get an opinion or to gush about my characters, because I love them so much! But having a contract with a company, keeps your manuscript more in-house, and less likely to be shared and “released” early. 

Loie: Can you share a bit about what it was like to have your book turned into an audiobook?

Chantal: Of course! I’ve been extremely lucky to be working with the oh-so-talented Dollcie Webb, who helped bring my book, “Between the Sea and Stars” to life via audiobook. So this time around, everything was more fluid and I knew what to expect. We actually have a really great working relationship – and we work as a team to make the audiobook. (Everyone’s experiences are a little different!) Dollcie will record the chapters, and actually send them to me to listen and catch any odd pauses or missing words/sentences, or anything that just doesn’t sound correct. I have to say, the experience is so rewarding and I love listening to each chapter. By the last 5 chapters, I had become the reader (instead of the author lol) and was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen. It’s exciting to write, of course. But it’s even more exciting to hear your work be brought to life. Each time I’ve heard Dollcie read my work, it feels so . . . strange to know that I’ve written what she’s reading. (It’s this, “Wait, I wrote this?!” sort of moment!) 

Loie: Are there any other Greek Mythology stories you’d like to explore?

Chantal: Yes! I’d actually love to write more of the stories involving the Underworld. Orpheus perhaps. I’d also like to explore Cupid and Psyche. I think in the next book, “Gilded Ruins,” I’m going to do more research into different stories and try to do what I can in weaving them into the narrative. While everything will still be from Summer’s Point of View, I’d like to her to ask the questions to the Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus about their own “myth.” 

Loie: Can you share a little bit about Summer and where her character came from?

Chantal: Summer is actually from the very first novel I wrote called, “Seven Seeds of Summer.” When I started writing this book back in my Junior year of college, I wanted to write a retelling of a story that wasn’t already shared often in the market. And I knew that Hades and Persephone really didn’t have a retelling at the time (back in 2009/2010). Ten years later, it’s a different story! Summer started off as being more … me. And I think that’s really true for a lot of authors. We place ourselves in characters in our books. It just turns out that most of my main characters are female, and I get to sneak my own traits and experiences into those characters. Summer is a college student, sarcastic and witty, but loving and kind. While I may not be a college student anymore, I like to think that I can be quite sarcastic, and both loving and kind. She was my first character that I ever wrote, so I think she comes from me in a lot of ways. 

Loie: I love that you are inspired by Kdramas! I read in an interview that Darce is inspired by Kim-Woo Bin 🙂 Can you share some of your favorite Kdramas?

Chantal: Yes! Darce is inspired by Kim-Woo Bin in “the Heirs” and a little from “Uncontrollably Fond.” Both of which I recommend. (Just know Uncontrollably Fond is SUPER sad.) I knew the moment I finished watching that series, that Darce for me – was him. I wanted him to look like him and sort of act like him. So – Darce become Kim Woo Bin! 

Kdramas to watch: Touch Your Heart, Boys Over Flowers, The Heirs, Goblin: The Great and Lonely God, W (THIS IS SUCH A GOOD SHOW), Moonlovers Scarlet Heart (Again, SAD, but SO good) Cinderella and Four Knights, Legend of the Blue Sea, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? Where Stars Land, I Am Not a Robot, Strong Woman Do Bong Soon – just to name a few. I have some other favorites that are non-Korean. . . 
Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo: Seasons 1 and 2 (Japanese), Good Morning Call: Seasons 1 and 2 (Japanese) and Meteor Garden (Chinense). I definitely recommend them all! 

Loie: I loved the secondary characters in Blinding Night, particularly Morpheus! Would you ever explore their stories down the road?

Chantal: I really loved Morpheus too. Originally, he was meant to play a much larger role in the novel “Blinding Night,” (by actually being a part of a love triangle with Darce and Summer.) But I had a feeling that many readers wouldn’t really like a love triangle – and it felt a little unfair to Morpheus because I knew I needed Summer to first like Darce, and then fall in love with him. Having Morpheus as a part of that would just make things a little messy. But I did hint that Morpheus harbored feelings for Persephone (and a bit for her) – and I hope to bring a bit more of that into the story as I continue on in “Gilded Ruins.” I would love to give Morpheus a story of his own, and I’ll be interested to know a bit more about him after I write the next novel in the “Blinding Night” series. 

About the Author

Author Headshot

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published several novels including, “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Between the Sea and Stars,” “Blinding Night,” and “WinterDream” with Parliament House Press, with other titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.


Publisher

Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House


Tour Wide Giveaway

Giveaeway Graphic.png

To enter:

– Must be following @theparliamentpress @chantalgadouryauthor @daydreamingdollcie and @adornedbyaisha

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and tag author and publisher.

Rules:

-No giveaway accounts
-Must be 18 + or have parents consent
– US only

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.


20190422_184100_0000.png

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview with Candace Robinson

cloudedbyenvy Cover

Hi everyone, I’d like to welcome author, Candace Robinson, to the blog today. Candace has written a number of dark, romantic, and quirky novels: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT, THE BRIDE OF GLASS, HEARTS ARE LIKE BALLOONS, and co-authored BACON PIE with Gerardo Delgadillo.

 

Her upcoming release, CLOUDED ENVY, was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It releases on February 19th, 2019 but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC last year. I fled through this book in one day. It’s magical and romantic and at times scary.

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

 

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

 

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.”

 

Candace runs an awesome book blog, at literarydust.wordpress.com

 

Loie: Welcome Candace 🙂 Can you please share with readers where your love of reading and writing began?

 

Candace: With reading, I first fell in love with R.L. Stine books way back, such as Goosebumps and Fear Street. Then I transitioned to Lois Duncan books when I hit junior high. Then my reading hobby kind of died for a bit. However, I did read 1984 back in high school and seriously fell in love with it. That book made me really think about the world. Anyway, so years pass, right? And I saw the second Hunger Games movie which ended on a cliffhanger. I was like, now what? So I picked up that trilogy and could not put it down, and after that, I needed more and more books. Reading is now my true escape!

 

For writing, I knew I wanted to be an author senior year of high school, but life kept getting in the way. But then a few years back I was like I need to just do it, otherwise it will never happen! So I started on Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault back in October 2016!

 

Loie: Eep! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Great books as well! Yes, life can get in the way. I’m so glad you decided to do it. I was kind of the same. Stopped writing during university and then sat down one day and decided I had to start somewhere 🙂

I loved CLOUDED ENVY. Could you please talk about the initial spark of inspiration behind this story?

 

Candace: Funny story. So I have the companion book, Veiled by Desire, coming out in late fall of this year. This was supposed to be the first book I ever wrote, but I couldn’t get the story right. Humans are in this world, so I thought, how did they get there? And then that brought me to thinking about how humans came to Laith and I had a whole story kind of come up from that! Enter Clouded by Envy!

 

Loie: That’s amazing 🙂 ! Awww, I cannot wait to read the companion book. What a journey :).

When you are writing, does it take you a couple of drafts to find the voices of characters or do some arrive fully formed in your mind?

 

Candace: For me, character voices is the easiest part since most of my stuff is character driven. Sometimes, I don’t know my characters voices before hand until I start writing the first chapter. Usually, it flows from there!

 

Loie: Awesome 🙂 Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What do you have with you when you draft?

 

Candace: I generally write when my daughter is at school. I have a spiral notebook I keep beside me where I write down main scenes of the story, but I don’t have a real outline! Is that bad? Lol!

 

Loie: Not at all 🙂 I write down main scenes as well and usually go from there.

Do you have any stories on the backburner that you can’t wait to write? 🙂 How do you choose what to work on next?

 

Candace: I do. I have a companion book for an unpublished book that I really, really, really want to work on. But I’m trying to figure out if anything is going to happen with the first book or not.

 

Loie: Cool 🙂 Good luck. What’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019 🙂 ?

 

Candace: Oh man, so many! I’d have to say Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. The Shatter Me series is my favorite ever. Since I already started King of Scars that one doesn’t count, but I’ve been waiting an eternity for this book!!

 

Loie: All awesome books 🙂 Thanks heaps for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait for Clouded Envy to arrive 🙂

You can find out more about Candace on her website or on Twitter and Instagram.

Author Interview, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview with Amber R. Duell

DreamKeeper_cover

I’d like to welcome Amber to the blog today. Amber is a YA fantasy author of Fragile Chaos, The Last Goodbye, and the forthcoming Dream Keeper trilogy. The first book releases on January 29th from Parliament House Press. The book is called Dream Keeper, a deliciously dark and romantic tale. I had the opportunity to read an ARC and I absolutely loved it.

Loie: Thank you so much, Amber, for agreeing to be interviewed 😊 Can you please share that initial spark of inspiration behind Dream Keeper?

Amber: I was lying on the couch thinking about what to write next (I was querying Fragile Chaos at the time) when it hit me out of nowhere that I wanted to write something that included the Sandman. That was it—no plot or other characters which was obviously super helpful, haha. It took me days to come up with the rest.

Loie: Are there things you do before drafting that help open up new ideas for the plot or characters?

Amber: I wouldn’t say before drafting. My “first draft” is where things sort themselves out, but that’s really a glorified outline of 20-30k words. I know where things start and where they end, but I give the characters a good amount of leash to explore the rest. In writing book 3 of the Dark Dreamer trilogy, I realized I set up something in book 1 without knowing it so at least they know what they’re doing. 😉

Loie: How did you come up with the nightmarish world? I loved all the details and it really came to life. I felt scared and amazed at times while reading.

Amber: Thank you! It was my favorite realm to create! Everyone is afraid of different things, whether it’s a living thing or something emotional. For the emotional landscapes, I tried to embody the feeling it wanted the Dreamer to have, but the living ones were my favorite. Honestly, I just took something, like the clown, and kept twisting it until I knew it would freak people out. (Is my dark heart showing?)

Loie: Can you share who your favorite character is to write in this book?

Amber: Kail! He’s not in the first book much, but he’s so fun to write because he doesn’t give one single crap.

Loie: What’s next for you 😊? Do you have any genres you’d like to visit after this trilogy?

Amber: Don’t I wish I knew? 😛 I have a few ideas jumping up and down on the sidelines, begging me to pick them as soon as book 3 is finished. 1 involves magic, 1 science, and the 3rd, both.

Loie: Can you tell us what’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019?

Amber: I already have it! The Wicked King! I’m rereading The Cruel Prince right now to savor the story a bit longer.

Loie: Thanks so much, Amber, for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait until the rest of the world gets to read Dream Keeper!

About Amber:

Amber

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

Website  | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest|  Goodreads

Author Interview, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

Author Interview: Canadian YA Author Mere Joyce

Introducing Mere Joyce

download (14)

Mere Joyce is a Canadian author of books for young adults. Her writing includes contemporary tales, high-action mysteries, and her personal favorite–ghost stories. When she’s not writing, Mere can be found recommending books as a librarian, or spending time at home with her husband and two sons. She’s also been known to be a selective, yet highly enthusiastic fangirl.

Mere’s novels include Blank Canvas (Evernight Teen, 2015), Getting the Brush Off (Orca Book Publishers, 2017), Shadow (Orca Book Publishers, 2018), and Shade (Oracle of Senders book 1 – 7S Pub, 2018).

*

Welcome to another addition to Canadian Author Interviews. Today, I’d like to welcome Canadian YA author, Mere Joyce.

Loie: Welcome to the blog, Mere! So lovely to have you here. Can you please share about your journey as a writer to published author? When did you start writing and why? When did you decide you were ready to try and have your book published 😊?

Mere: Thank you for having me! I can’t precisely remember when I started writing, but I can trace it back at least to my tween years. Writing has long-since been an important part of my identity (my high school yearbook actually says my future goal is to become the female Stephen King, :P), but it wasn’t until I finished schooling and began working as a librarian that it went from being a hobby to being something I was serious about. It’s always easy to say ‘I’ll get to it eventually’. But being surrounded by books each day at work made me realize I needed to make an honest effort at getting my own writing on the shelf as well. I sent out my very first query in January 2012, and spent three years working on various projects before finding a home for my first novel.

Loie: YES! Love your high school yearbook goal 🙂 I know that way of thinking too, getting to it eventually.

Can you share some of the inspiration behind Blank Canvas? It sounds so complex and amazing 😊

Mere: Blank Canvas actually came from a dream I had when I was fifteen years old! At the time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the creepy man who painted everything and kept me captive, so I wrote a story called The Painter. It was a fairly short tale, and more of a horror/thriller. But unlike some of my other earliest writings, I never gave up my conviction that someday the story would make it into book form. Nearly a decade after first writing it, it occurred to me that the story could be told in a totally different way, focusing less on the imprisonment/escape and more on the life lived afterwards. I started to explore the character of Maddie more thoroughly, making connections I’d never realized before (for instance, that she herself was a painter), and I ended up rewriting the entire thing from scratch. The story gained depth, and the character of Maddie truly came alive for the first time, which was awesome.

Loie: Wow! Some dreams are truly powerful. Love the story behind Blank Canvas! Can’t wait to read it. My copy is on its way:)

What is your favorite genre to write and why?

Mere: I love horror, and would be thrilled to write more YA horror stories. But I actually find myself often drawn to writing YA contemporary tales. I love exploring the possibilities of ordinary teens facing extraordinary dilemmas (big or small), as well as the complexities of “normal” life.

Loie: Yes! I love contemporary as well. I’m working on a Bluebeard fairytale retelling. I’ve never written horror or creepy stories, so it’s been kind of fun.

Do you have any new projects on the horizon in 2019 that you can hint at 😊 ?

Mere: I have a couple! In addition to continuing with my Oracle of Senders series with the upcoming Revenant, I also have a new YA Contemporary called Things That Fall, which will be released in August by Dancing Cat Books! Two very different stories that are both immensely near to my heart – including a varied mix of ghosts, cousins, romance, and mystery.

Loie: Eeee! I love the title, Revenant! Also, your new contemporary sounds fantastic. Ghosts 😀

With your experience, how have you found the Canadian publishing industry?

Mere: The Canadian publishing industry is really interesting…it can be a challenge, as there aren’t a ton of publishing houses/agencies, and many of the ones that do exist have very specific areas of interest. But I absolutely love the dedication of the Canadian industry to publish and promote Canadian authors and Canadian content, especially in regards to YA—I grew up not even knowing Canadian YA existed! There is a lot more visibility for our works now, and there is a sense of community among both publishers as well as authors that is fantastic.

Loie: Thank you for sharing 🙂 I always love to hear authors perspectives on the industry. I see the dedication too and its lovely. Super encouraging for up and coming authors and writers.

Who’s your favorite author and why?

Mere: I actually find this an incredibly hard question to answer, because I collect favourite stories far more often than I do authors! However, if I were to choose one, I’d have to reach back a ways and go with Frances Hodgson Burnett. She had a way of writing stories that were grounded in reality but completely magical all the same.

Loie: Oooo! She’s a fantastic author.

Favorite 2018 read?

Mere: I really liked Kiersten White’s The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, an unexpected enjoyment that’s rekindled my interest in the original tale.

Loie: I can’t wait to read that book!!! Any tips for aspiring authors 😊 ?

Mere: When you read (both in your genre and outside of it), pick out the things you absolutely love about the stories—especially the little things. Metaphors or descriptions, character interactions or settings…delving into the intricacies of stories will help you learn what kinds of things you love (and, conversely, what things immediately make you roll your eyes with annoyance or dismay). There are so many “rules” out there for writers, that it’s easy to feel like you have to write in a certain way, or avoid a type of story because it’s been done before. Always keep the magic of reading alive, and write the kinds of things you love/wish there was more of as a reader—without worrying if it follows the rules or is going to be seen as cliché!

Loie: That is great advice! I actually was planning a series for January where I’ll look at examples of characters or setting in various stories and share what I love about them so much.

It’s like studying craft more directly:) Mmmm. I love that – keep the magic of reading alive. I agree one hundred percent.

Thanks so much, Mere! Fab to get to know you more and highlight Canadian YA authors<3

Author Interview, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview: M. Dalto of TWO THOUSAND YEARS

Hi everyone!

architecture business city classic
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Please welcome the funny and lovely, M. Dalto, soon to be published author! Her debut novel releases tomorrow, December 11th, with Parliament House Press! I was lucky enough to be mentored by MB during #WriteMentor from the months of May to August. MB mentored me with Amber R. Duell (author of Dream Keeper) and it was a blast.

download (6)

Welcome MB! I’m so happy you are here, today. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey with TWO THOUSAND YEARS and what’s next for you 🙂

Let’s get started!

Loie: When did you start writing TWO THOUSAND YEARS and what inspired it?

MB: The inspiration for TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually came to me in 1993 – and now I’m probably dating myself. Billy Joel released his album entitled River of Dreams and on it was a song called Two Thousand Years. My best friend and I had very active imaginations and often wrote our own stories, roleplayed, and the like — there was something about Two Thousand Years that called to me, even then, telling me there was a story there, and it needed to be written. They melody was moving, and the lyrics were inspiring- battles to be won and love that spanned centuries. It was just begging for a story to be told.

I socked the idea away for many years later, until 2014 when something in me felt the need to write a story for NaNoWriMo. So, using the same song for inspiration so many years later, that’s exactly what I did.

Loie: Wow! Love the story behind TTY. That is so cool, MB! Now I’m going to go and listen to that song 😉 

Can you tell readers what Wattpad is? When did you decide to post TTY on it?

MB: Wattpad is a website where millions of writers and readers can come together, from all over the world, and share their stories and experiences. I had heard about it from a friend when I was looking to do more with TWO THOUSAND YEARS. What brought me there didn’t start out as happy though…

I finally decided to share my first chapter on one of the NaNoWriMo forums. And the person who read it, a total stranger, messaged me and told me that it may have been one of the worst pieces of writing he ever read.

I was devastated.

So much so that I was ready to just stop- no more writing, throw the story away, that was it.

Until a friend of mine mentioned Wattpad. I never knew it existed until she told what it was, where I could upload as much or as little onto it as I wanted, where the feedback I could get there would be far more diverse than one unknown person’s opinion.

So I finally joined in February 2016.

Loie: Super important to receive diverse feedback compared to one person. I’m so glad your friend mentioned Wattpad to you ❤

Did you have the novel finished before you started posting on Wattpad or did you write a chapter a week?

MB: TWO THOUSAND YEARS was fully drafted when I decided to post it to Wattpad, but I was still in the process of my first round of edits and revision. So once I had a chapter completed, I would post it to Wattpad. I tried to get at least one up a week at the time, sometimes there would be two. I remember when I was about 10 chapters away from the end I went on a posting spree and put up one a day, but because I wanted to mark it as ‘complete’.

Loie: Oh, that’s neat 🙂 How fun! Your readers must have been thrilled about the posting spree, hehe 🙂 ! I used to post on Fanfiction. I wrote Sailor Moon and Harry Potter fanfic (featuring Harry’s parents :D) and I remember how fun it was to receive reviews and feedback on my writing.

Can you share your journey with Two Thousand Years getting published?

MB:  confess I had not interest in publishing when I started writing it. I merely wanted to write a story, and I did. But once I posted it to Wattpad and it won the Watty, I started to consider that maybe there was something more I could do with it. So I started querying it to agents. A lot. And it was rejected. A lot. I tried on SwoonReads and it ebbed and flowed in its popularity, but nothing came of it. It got some interest a Pitmad or two from indie publishers, but at the time I was focused on traditional publishing. I even tried throwing it into 2017’s PitchWars but it got me nowhere.

I soon lost count of the rejections, but for this one I was okay because it, and the rest of its series, was still extremely popular on Wattpad. But eventually the frustration got to me and I was seriously considering myself as a writer (don’t we all?) until a friend of mine whom I met through an ACOTAR FB group started posting about her new book coming out with a Parliament House Press. After talking to her about it and her experiences, I began to realize that TWO THOUSAND YEARS as a story I wasn’t going to compromise to sell, so maybe an independent small press was something to consider. So I queried them and they enjoyed what they read enough to request my full manuscript a month later, and a week after that I was sent the contract!

Loie: Writing is a journey and I agree, I think every writer doubts themselves. I’ve been there. So cool that you met a friend through your love of ACOTAR ❤ I love Parliament House Press. I’m so glad they’re releasing your book. Also, your cover is amazing! 

What is your favourite 2018 read?

MB: This is hard because I can barely remember what I read! If you’re asking me what my favorite 2018 release was, it would definitely be A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas because her ACOTAR series is my favorite, with A Court of Mist and Fury still up there as my most favorite book ever. I know a lot of people were upset with this book, but it was a novella and it was a fun novella and I’m okay with the romantic fluff every once in a while, especially where Rhysand is involved.

Now, if you’re asking me about books that I actually, finally read in 2018, the favorites there would be Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Though I guess I can now throw Queen of Air and Darkness into the mix, as it’s a 2018 release though I haven’t finished it. Yet…  But those books redeemed her Shadowhunters franchise for me and I absolutely love them. Almost as much as must as the ACOTAR series.

Loie: Eep! I haven’t finished ACOFAS but maybe I will in the next few weeks. Also, I need to get caught up with the Shadowhunters books so I can finally read this new series. It sounds amazing!

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do In your free time :)?

MB: What’s free time? 😉

Other than writing and wrangling my 8-year-old daughter, I love to read. YA and Adult fantasy are my favorites, though I’ll drop everything for the Outlander series. I also love playing video games – RPGs are my preferred genre, and I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for what feels like forever. And sometimes, when the mood arises, I’ll practice yoga- basic Hatha is my go-to.

Loie: Hahaha 😀 ! Outlander! Love it. Also, I haven’t played video games in ages but I would love to again. I was inspired by my love of Legend of Zelda to write my own fantasy novel.

Okay… now for a super important question: why is Jamie Campbell Bower the best :D?

MB: *HAHA* I see what you did there…

Okay, so let’s start at the beginning.

Hi, my name is MaryBeth, and I adore Jamie Campbell Bower.

I don’t want to use the term ‘obsessed’ because it still remains a healthy infatuation. For the moment. The man can do no wrong – he can act, he can sing, and he’s gorgeous… I mean…a very successful model. He’s well spoken, hilarious, and did I mention gorgeous?

So, Jamie is one of those actors who you know without realizing you know. He was in Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter, played the most amazing Jace in the City of Bones, and then there are those damn movies about sparkly vampires that we don’t talk about. He was also the front runner in Camelot for the one season it was on Starz and played the most amazing Kit Marlowe in TNT’s Will. He’s incredibly talented, and not only on the screen. He actually started his career in music before acting, and his band, COUNTERFEIT., is coming out with their second album in 2019. AND I can attest that he is as genuine in person as you may see in his interviews because I was fortunate enough to have met him in 2018.

But I digress….

Loie: Hahah! Thank you for sharing! I’m sold on JCB! I have yet to listen to COUNTERFEIT but I will sometime this week. Yes, I’ve seen a few interviews with him and he does seem really genuine. So neat that you got to meet him! 

What does 2019 hold for you? Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

MB: So the beginning of 2019 will bring the release of the first two companion novellas for the Empire Saga, REYLOR’S LAMENT and TREYAN’S PROMISE. After that, there’s rumor’s Book 2 could be coming out later in 2019, but we’ll see what happens there 😉

Other than that, I have a couple of other projects I’m working on, both with myself and others. A manuscript or two I’m trying to focus on finishing and polishing, and maybe a couple others that are ready to start from scratch. We’ll just have to see how the year goes!

Loie: Wow! I’m so glad there’s more on the horizon. Can’t wait to read the novellas! Congrats, MB! One more day until TWO THOUSAND YEARS releases 🙂 It’s one of my top reads from 2018 ❤

Thank you so much, MB, for visiting the blog today! You can connect with MB on her Twitter, Instagram, and Wattpad 🙂 

Pre-order here! It releases tomorrow! 🙂

Until next time,

Loie xo