Tag Archives: fantasy

Meet the Author… P.M. Carron

I met P.M. (I know his first name, but it’s a secret between the two of us) on Twitter. I was intrigued by his ZZ Top-looking outfit (they’re one of my favorite bands) and entertained by his regular tweets. I had to find out more about him. Read on about this mysterious yet outgoing person.

P.M. Carron

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Biography

A native Vermonter born in 1965, I was raised in Burlington, Vermont along the shores of Lake Champlain and surrounded by the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Some twenty years ago, I moved with my wife and daughter to Concord, New Hampshire, where I still reside. Over the last three decades, I owned and ran a hobby shop with my wife and partner, was an accountant, and eventually became an attorney. With four stories published on Amazon, my career as an indie author is well underway. I hope the readers of my flights of fantasy enjoy my stories as much as I basked in the delight of writing them.

Have you ever read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Yes. My mother gave me the 1967 version of the Thorndike Barnhardt Comprehensive Dictionary when I was five or six. I read that tome from cover to cover at least thrice after she gave it to me, and although it shows its age, I still have it in my collection of reference materials. I thought it more interesting reading than Dr. Seuss or other children’s authors I thought too childish. I liked adult things with adult themes like Gunsmoke and monster movies like Frankenstein. With the exception of Loony Tunes, I had no interest in cartoons and shows like Sesame Street. By giving me that dictionary, my mother gave me a golden ticket to the adult world. With that tome, I could figure the meaning of any word, which meant I could read any book and come away with a semblance of understanding.

PM_Carron_DateWithDestiny.pngWhen I was growing up in the seventies, mail-order book clubs were the thing. My mother was a member of one of them book clubs. She had what seemed like a ton of books all neatly stacked on homemade bookshelves that decorated the walls of our apartment. I got to reading some of those books when I was seven or eight. That was my first brush with fiction that was not childish and meant for children. I entered into the fictional worlds of Agatha Christie, Katherine Anne Porter, and Charles Dickens. Those authors became my point of entry into adult fiction, and I was enamored with their fictional worlds.

When I was eight or nine, I noticed a new book on my mother’s wonderful shelves. It was a Reader’s Digest condensed version of excerpts from the works of a bunch of famous philosophers. I didn’t know what to make of it, but pulled it from the shelf and trundled back to my bed. I opened the book and Plato’s Allegory of The Cave caught my attention. It just blew my little mind. Over the next few days, I read that excerpt ten or twelve times. Each time, I understood a little more, and had to look fewer words up in my dictionary. Plato changed how I viewed fact and fiction. It caused my imagination to fire in multiple directions. I’ve been reading philosophy ever since. Take any idea from any philosopher and add a fantasy gloss to it and oh boy, what you have is something from across The Cosmos!

What do you love most about the writing process?

That first thrill of getting a series of ideas from my head onto the page and watching it grow with each word. I love the act of putting pen to paper and not knowing where it will take me. I guess the real answer is:  PURE CREATIVITY. No other profession has this quality, which is why writing was what I was meant to do. It just took me fifty years to figure that out.  

What does your typical writing day look like? How many hours a day do you write?

PM_Carron_RudeAwakening.pngI wake up an hour or two before dusk. Dusk to dawn is my preferred span of time to be awake. Sunlight saps my energy and makes me less creative. Most days, my preference for the shadows is obtainable, but there are those days when life’s obligations get in the way of the way it oughta be. In any event, once awake, I do whatever task I need to accomplish for my day job, greet my wife when she gets home from work (she is unlucky enough to have to go to the proverbial salt mines, and I love her for doing that so I can have the flexibility needed for my writing career), have supper, hang with my wife, and when she goes to bed somewhere around 10 P.M., I get to my main purpose for living, down to the business of writing.

I sit on my porch, click on one of my music mixes that are saved on my cellphone, open a bottle of soda, light a cigar, take a few puffs, and then I’m in the zone and ready to write until dawn. I try to write three or four hours every day. If I’m lucky, I clock in seven or eight hours. The first light of day, brings me back to reality. Most nights, as I’m heading to bed, my wife is going off to work. 

What are your books about? Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must read?

I write dark, fantasy stories that intertwine around one another. My plan is to write one hundred-fifty stories, centered on ten trilogies. This project is more epic than any attempted before by any author. Each story is written from the first person point of view and have elements of high fantasy, science fiction, and horror. At root, my tales are adventures.   

Literally, thousands of thoughts and concepts thunder across my mind every minute of every day, whether I’m awake or fast asleep. I call them my Thought Trains, and they take me for rides to fascinating and fantastical places. My stories are my attempt to bring those ideas to anyone who wants to experience fantasy from a fresh perspective without the traditional definitions and limitations of genres put into place before any of us were born or reading, creating and writing. I pay homage to the great writers without becoming a slave to their process. For me, art is about being fresh and novel, and I do view my work as an art form.

My most recent book is The Shade’s Tale, Parts I – III. It is the first book of the first of ten trilogies, and will be published sometime between the end of August and the middle of September. The book is in the final stages of formatting and will be sold on Amazon as an E-Book like my other four stories.

The Shade’s Tale is written from the point of view of a shade named Count Darkly Vandercoot. The story tracks Darkly’s rise in power as a mortal born of shadow. The reader has an intimate, front row seat to Darkly taking his place as the leader of The Cause, the rebellion against the tyranny of The Gods. The story begins with Darkly telling his tale from a prison cell. Nothing about this tale is ordinary or predictable, but it is the beginning of something really epic. My first four stories lit the fuse. Now, The Shade’s Tale is the explosion that no reader of fantasy will want to miss.    

What gives you inspiration for your books? How did you come up with the idea for Lady Luck Has Left The Building?

PM_Carron_LadyLuck.pngFifty-three years of living life to the fullest gives me the inspiration I need to write my books. Wherever I go, I pay attention to the smallest of details as those bits reveal themselves to me and unfold around me. I wake up every single day and expect it to be the best day of my life. I don’t just wish for happiness, I expect and demand it. Most days are far from perfect, but more often than not, something happens that makes the day special. Those remarkable occurrences are the seeds from which my stories grow.

Lady Luck Has Left The Building began with a conversation I had with my sister about fear. She told me her greatest fear was to be locked in the trunk of a car. I thought long and hard about my sister’s strange idea of terror and Lady Luck sprang to life. Beginning a story with a gambler zip-tied in the trunk of a hovercraft on his way to a shallow grave seemed like an interesting way to begin a science fiction story that transforms into a tale of horror.

How long does it on average take you to write a book?

It depends would be the obvious and honest answer. On average, I’d say six to nine weeks. My first story, A Rude Awakening, was finished in a week. It just came together. I breathed life into my fourth tale, Lady Luck Has Left The Building, in six writing sessions over two and a half weeks. Another quickie. My newest book, The Shade’s Tale, Parts I – III, took over a year to come to fruition. Since The Shade’s Tale is a trilogy, I had to write all three of the books as a unit. Yea, six to nine weeks seems like a good, overall average. 

How many unpublished and unfinished books do you have? Have you written any other books that are not published?

Well, let me think about that for a minute. I have four published works, four stories are finished but as of yet unpublished, and six tales are in various states of completion. 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I’m always adjusting my process to make it easier for myself and my team of three editors. My first story, A Rude Awakening, made me aware of the annoyance of formatting for publication. After thinking about how to mitigate that hassle, I changed the format I use for my first drafts to make the backend more efficient.

What do you find to be the best way to market your books?

PM_Carron_ThirdTour.pngI’m always looking for the better mousetrap that is more fun for me, my fans, and ultimately, for my readers. With that in mind, I use Twitter as a platform to feed or direct my fans and readers to my website, my Amazon Author Page, and my Patreon Creator Page. Through the years, I’ve found focusing works best and is more fun.

The internet is a big place and authors need to decide where their people are and focus their energy there. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and artists must conserve and direct their energy and enthusiasm for the long haul. Patience and persistence are two qualities I feel are integral to the creation process as a whole, and particularly useful when it comes to marketing. Unlike some of my fellow authors, I look for the fun in marketing my art, rather than the drudgery of it. A positive attitude gets you further than a negative anything.

What motivated you to become an indie/published author?

At heart, I am an entrepreneur. That means I make for a terrible employee, and am not good at taking direction, following, and carrying out someone else’s vision. Since the age of twelve, I have been starting and running businesses. My writing business, Cosmik Winds Publishing, is just another in a long line of my startups. I have worked for myself for more years of my life than those spent working for somebody else.

I have my own vision and know where I want to take it. As an artist, I encourage and look forward to criticism of my work. That’s the only way to improve. As an entrepreneur, selling my works of art, I know my vision is breaking new ground. That’s the exhilarating part!

I just don’t have the patience for business naysayers who look in rearview mirrors when they should be gazing into the darkness of the future to see the possibilities. I have no interest in being the last buggy whip maker. I want to make something nobody has brought into this world. For all of those reasons, indie publishing made sense to me. I write because I must, and I am an indie author for the same reason.    

Here’s where you can find me online.

Website

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Patreon Creator Page

Email: pmcarron4242@gmail.com

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today, P.M.! I am even more curious and want to find out more about your writing, and for the price of $0.99 for each of the first three short stories, there is no excuse. Grab yourselves a copy of each, folks!

What To Watch? I Am Dragon

If you didn’t get your romantic fix during your summer holiday, don’t worry. You can get it when watching this fantastic (literally 😀 ), Russian movie I found on Amazon!

I Am Dragon

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Cast

The first thing that strikes you is how well the two main characters have been chosen.

Maria Poezzhaeva plays Miroslava (Mira), the girl who gets taken by the dragon. Although she was twenty-six years old when the movie was made (in 2015), she looked about fourteen which I think would be a believable age to be married in a fantasy medieval Russian setting.

My favorite of the movie is, however, Matvey Lykov as Arman. I had to look him up, to see if he plays in other movies. I was not surprised to find out he’s actually a model. He is in two other movies, Peterburg: A Selfie, a Russian movie, and Woodkid: Iron which is a French movie but English spoken. I hope to see him in more movies to come. This man’s body is fantastic. He is so skinny and sinewy. A perfect match to the dragon!

The two of them together is magic on screen. At first I thought Maria’s performance was a bit ‘wooden,’ but soon you get swept away by the chemistry between the two.

Next to these two, there are Stanislav Lyubshin as Prince (Miroslava’s father), Ieva Andrejevaite as Yaroslava (Miroslava’s sister), and Pyotr Romanov as Igor (the groom).

Matvey Lykov as Arman
Matvey Lykov as Arman

Plot

In the past, girls to be wed were offered to the dragon. The people would sing a song to accompany the ritual during which the dragon would come and take one girl away.

Two generations ago, the betrothed of the girl taken didn’t take no for an answer, went after the dragon, and killed it (although his bride-to-be had already perished).

Now, Mira is betrothed to Igor, the grandson of the dragonslayer. For years, the dragon song hasn’t been sung, but Igor insists the song is sung again to honor his heritage. To everybody’s surprise another dragon shows up and takes Mira.

Will Igor get Mira back?

What I liked about I Am Dragon

The best thing about this movie is that it takes you away into this other world and you feel the yearning of two loved ones who cannot be together. Credit to Indar Dzhendubaev, on his directing debut.

Even though the movie was 85% CG, the setting was incredibly real, and I never felt some of it was fake. Okay, sensibility tells you it can’t be real (like the waterfall at the top of the ‘mountain’), but it looked and felt real! Especially the dragon looked as real as it can get. What more does one want?

Mira and the dragon
Mira and the dragon

What I didn’t like about I Am Dragon

As mentioned earlier, Maria’s performance felt a bit fake at the start of the movie, but she soon gets into her role.

Summary

This is a movie for the whole family although probably not too young kids as some scenes may be scary/threatening. Even though there are ‘naked’ shots (without genitalia shown), at no point was there any embarrassment necessary for it.

The film is about tradition, arrogance, true love, and standing up for yourself. DON’T watch the trailer as it gives away way too much! Instead, let yourself be swept away by the dragon…

I am Dragon
I am Dragon

PS: I cried in the end, so keep the tissues ready!

BookFunnel Giveaway!

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Searching for a new Kick A** Heroine to love?

Look no further! These authors have teamed up to help you discover your next Urban Fantasy obsession. Nearly 50 FREE books with new heroines to root for!

You can find them here, but only till the 31st of July…

BookFunnel Giveaway!

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Searching for a kick-ass heroine to love? Why not pick one of the Amazing FREE Paranormal Romance Prequels, Novellas, or Novels from this Women of Urban Fantasy Giveaway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends July 31.

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

BookFunnel Giveaway!

AmazingFantasyGiveaway.pngDon’t know what to read? Why not pick one of the Amazing FREE Fantasy Novels from this Amazing Fantasy GiveAway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends July 20, so hurry!

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

What To Watch? Immortals

Last Thursday, we were deciding what to watch on Netflix. We read the blurb for Immortals, but the rest of my family wasn’t too convinced. As I held the TV remote (a rare occasion), I pressed play and, to my surprise, everybody was pleased I did afterward.

Immortals

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Cast

The movie has a spectacular cast and, for the life of me, I don’t know why I had never heard of this movie before. As the main characters, it has Henry Cavill as Theseus and Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion. The role of Zeus is shared by Luke Evans, in the role of the god, and John Hurt, in the role of the old man-form of Zeus.

And then, for the vampire-lovers amongst us, there’s Kellan Lutz (aka Emmett Cullen in Twilight) as Poseidon, Joseph Morgan (aka Niklaus “Klaus” Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) as Lysander, Stephen Dorff (aka Deacon Frost in Blade) as Stavros, and Daniel Sharman (aka Kaleb in The Originals) as Ares.

The two women in the movie are Isabel Lucas as Athena, goddess of wisdom and daughter of Zeus, and Freida Pinto as Phaedra, an Oracle priestess who joins Theseus on his quest (and being the love interest).

Plot

King Hyperion, who wants to free the Titans (to revenge the death of his family) and hopes to slay the gods this way, is hell-bound to find the Epirus bow, the only weapon that can free the Titans. He uses the visions of Phaedra, the Oracle priestess, to locate it.

Immortals2In the meantime, Theseus, his mother, and many others try to flee from Hyperion and his approaching Heraklion army. Unfortunately, Theseus’s mother gets killed by Hyperion and Theseus is imprisoned. At a chance meeting, the Oracle Priestess sees Theseus being part of the future and organizes to set him free. Zeus tells the other gods not to interfere with the troubles of men, but, of course, they do.

What I liked about Immortals

The first and foremost thing that struck me watching the movie was the beautiful aesthetics. The director, Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Mirror Mirror, Self/less), is known for his unique visual style, and Immortals is a wonderful example. The colors and texture jump off the screen when the story is good and beautiful, yet are bleak and colorless (except for the color red) when dark and gloomy. You could say it is the enhanced version of 300 (I actually only found out it was from the same producers as 300 after I watched the YouTube trailer 😀 ).

With such a cast, you can’t expect otherwise than the performances to be excellent. They draw you into the story from beginning to end.

As this is a movie based on Greek mythology, there are quite a few fight scenes. All done impeccably, easy to follow, and believable, with lots of blood gushing out of inflicted wounds (I can see why they did a 3D-version of the movie).

What I didn’t like about Immortals

Immortals3As the common critique was when the film came out in 2011, it could do with a bit more character development and (hence) better script. I actually quite liked the overall story.

I must admit I didn’t like Luke Evans in the role of Zeus. They should have taken someone to match, if not surpass, the physical appearance of Micky Rourke.

Summary

This is a beautiful movie to watch if only for pleasing the eye. Beautiful colors, beautiful people, beautiful scenery. The story isn’t real (at least, it’s not a ‘real mythological’ story), but I thought it believable (as far as Hollywood movies go). It does have quite some gruesome moments (crushing of testicles, cooking of humans, and the necessary blood-shed) in it, so I’d recommend it for older teenagers and up.

My Irish Writers’ Podcast Interview

When I was in Ireland last month, attending the Dublin Writers’ Conference, I happened to meet Máire Brophe (I think it’s pronounced Moira, but do correct me if I’m wrong, Máire!). We got chatting about orcs and other fantasy creatures, as you do. She mentioned that she did podcasts and asked if I’d agree to an interview. Of course, I said yes!

It was a bit scary at first, the thought of being recorded. I hate my own voice, for one, and I kept thinking ‘what if I get stuck with words?’ I’ve had it before, many times, that all of a sudden I get insecure and both the English and Dutch language try to get out at the same time. Or I can’t find the English word I want to say. Yet, it was surprisingly easy to talk to Máire. The interview is actually twice as long as I remember 😄.

Listen to the podcast here.

The first seven-and-a-half minutes are an interview with Ann Richardson, who wrote a non-fiction book on Celebrating Grandmothers, and then it’s my turn. You’ll also get a ‘sneek peek’ about the next novel I’m writing!

Thanks again, Máire, for the opportunity, and I wish you all the best with your own novella, After the World, and the Irish Writers Podcast. I do hope you get to write that full novel one day!


PS: If you buy the Suckers Trilogy books from my book store, you get a 15% discount!

Meet the Author… Jodi Ann Fahey

I met Jodi on Twitter. Her Casey Blane vampire book covers are beautiful and her book content enticing. Hence, I wanted you, my dear fantasy lover, to meet her too.

Jodi Ann Fahey

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Biography

Jodi Fahey studied journalism from the time she was in high school. When she attended Fashion Institute of Technology, she was able to branch out into the world of advertising. It was in that field that Jodi learned Graphic Design as well as film production and photography, both as a model and a photographer. Jodi’s articles on local businesses and events were published in local papers.

Jodi is a freelance web designer and ad developer. Her work has been published in European Homes and Gardens as well as BiBi Magazine. Also, she has done freelance work on Poetry Bay Online Poetry Magazine and Long Island Quarterly.

Utilizing all of her learned skills, Jodi has started her newest venture, the Casey Blane series. Jodi not only writes her stories, but she also designs her own covers, creates her own trailers, and designs all her ads. She also created her own website.

What made you want to become a writer?

I’d always loved to write and have been able to do a large range of projects. My first was a poem A Desolate Beach when I was fourteen. It was created for a submission in the Reflections contest in school and won. That was my first and only attempt at poetry, but it did spark an interest in writing for me.

After that, I was able to study journalism in high school. When I moved onto college, I took photography, and learned graphics, even modelled, too. All paved the way to what I do today.

Since High school, I’ve done ads, interviews, self-help, and instructional how-to articles. It wasn’t until I had my children that I even though of taking on a project as grand as the Casey Blane Series.

My son was really the one that awoke the writing bug in me. He was in kindergarten and was given a project of writing a short story. His teacher explained it as needing a beginning, middle, and an end. Well, my son being the intelligent child he was, and still is, challenged that theory. So, his story was:

There once was a horse named Kyle. He went to the top of the hill. Nothing happened. By Kyle Fahey

Needless to say, I received a call from his teacher that same day.

So that night, I told him about the use of his crayons by bringing out our hefty, six inch thick, Webster Dictionary, and explained to him that his story was a great start, but we have so many more words available to us, and they all want to be used. I opened that dictionary and told them that each of the words in the book are a writer’s crayon that a writer uses to make the story more colorful.  And a writer can write about anything.

Kyle, being Kyle, challenged me by saying, “Well, you can’t write about shoes!”

I laughed and right on the spot, I told him a story about a boy and his wet shoes. That story is currently being illustrated as we speak and my son has named it My Wet Shoes.

Jodi Ann Fahey_Letorian DescendantsAt that time, Kyle was not at all pleased by that and decided he wanted to stump me with a spatula, from which, The Killer Spatula was born. It’s a short tale, and one we use during camping, but that spatula comes out at Boy Scout events, even today.

A few years after that, my daughter had a very traumatic event happen to her and a friend of hers. Sadly, it was what cost her friend her life. Bullying is a horribly dangerous thing and the scars from it we carry throughout our lives. I wanted to help her and always said to her that you can’t change them, only yourself and how you view them. If you believe in yourself, their words hold no meaning. Power is within us. That was the inspiration to the Casey Blane Series.

What do you love most about the writing process?

That is a very good question, Jacky. I would have to say being able to create a world, a vision, in my reader’s mind. I think that’s an art in itself.  The process to achieve that, though not a simple one, I do find the most enjoyable. My characters are given a life way before the first word of the book was put to paper. I have characters that go back four hundred years and some that only came on in this lifetime. What that did, was it gave each and every one of them a voice and I feel that you can actually read it and hear them as they speak because of that detail.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

I believe both. Being able to write is definitely a gift and one that I fully enjoy. However, since I did start the series, I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up in the middle of the night with an idea or a thought and just stayed up the entire night writing. So, the lack of sleep from a midnight thought is one thing a writer will tell you is definitely a curse of the art.

What does your typical writing day look like? How many hours a day do you write?

As a very intelligent man once told me, Beem Weeks is his name, I am a writer with a day job.  I do work full time and put in almost sixty hours a week, just there alone. I am a mother of two, in addition, so my days are specifically planned out to accommodate all things. So, after my day, children are fed, house cleaned, and Facebook takeovers are done, and I am off to writing, I give myself at least fifteen minutes a day to write. Though, I can tell you, I think that has happened only once. Most of the time I write well into the night and fall asleep on my work.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

My first draft is done in pen. I can’t tell you how many of my pages have pen blobs from falling asleep with my pen in my hand.

I do have a funny story to share about that, too. I organize my chapters, so that each notebook is one single chapter. It worked out wonderfully for the first book. However, for the second, Lucian Sword, I ran into a small issue. On just one chapter, Chapter 22 to be exact, I had lost the notebook for. So, I rewrote it, went back to editing on the first book, picked up the second again to transfer it into my computer, only to find that chapter went missing once again. That happened four times.

Well, as it turned out, it was a good thing. I took it as a sign that the chapter needed to go in a different direction and, boy, did it ever. It happens to be one of my favorite scenes in the series thus far.

Do you write alone or in public?

Jodi Ann Fahey_Lucian SwordI do enjoy writing alone. My favorite spot to write is sitting on the arbor overlooking the Long Island Sound in a small local park by me. I love to hear the call of the Red Tailed Hawk that has nested there for years, and the sound of the waves below me. That’s on a nice day. Otherwise, I’m in my office corner, a corner of my bedroom that I made my own spot.

Music or silence?

Oh, definitely music. My favorite groups that I find inspiring are Thirty Seconds to Mars, Florence and the Machine, Muse, Evanescence, Imagine Dragons, Within Temptation, Linkin Park, and Mute Math, to name a few.

Do you outline or just write?

Outline. Definitely. I need to know the flow of the books prior to starting them. Don’t get me wrong, it does change as it goes, but at least I have a direction. I also have a timeline, a family tree, and a bible of facts for this series. As you read it, you will see why these were necessary.

What genre do you consider your book(s)? Have you considered writing in another genre?

The Casey Blane series is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance mixed with Action Adventure. I like to write movement and feeling, so my style does carry that element. I want the reader to feel the tension as they read it.

I have actually written other genres. I have just joined the Double DD group of writers (https://thedoubledd.com) created by Fredd Caroll and was given many wonderful opportunities there. I was given the opportunity to work with J Morgan Woodall with Lost Love Letters where I was able to expand to romance. Also, through them I was given the opportunity to do a Romantic Comedy through Genre Swap. In addition, I’ve been asked to do Live Writes and do have many wonderful opportunities to test out different genres there and work with great authors, like Steven Evans and Zorha Edwards, as well. I’m seeing a possible horror novel in the near future.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Another great question, Jacky. I did have to do research for this series. As I stated before, each character in the Casey Blane series has a story behind them. I did it that way, not only so that each character had depth to them, but because I wanted to have the possibility to go back into the story, as well. So the story doesn’t have to just be one angle, but many.

The second book, Lucian Sword required far more time to develop because it takes place in Northern Ireland and carries many tales of the land with it as the story moves forward. I wanted to make sure I had it perfect. So, that one did take seven years.

Thanks so much, Jodi, for sharing this with us. I love how your son made you become a writer. And I’m impressed with your research for your second novel taking seven years!

To let you know a bit more about Jodi Ann Fahey’s books here’s some more info:

Her first book, Letorian Descendants, was released December of 2016. In the fall of 2017, it was given the distinct honor and recognition by being named and awarded a finalist for the Book Excellence Award. In December of 2017, it was also awarded ‘one of the Most Memorable Reads of 2017’ by Stratford Living.

Jodi’s second book, Lucian Sword, was released November of 2017, and was immediately made ‘Book of the Month’ by Rave Review Book Club for the month of January.

Her third book, Dragon Lines, is set to release December of 2018, and Jodi is also part of two anthologies scheduled to release in 2019, so stay tuned!

Ways to connect with Jodi Ann Fahey:

Facebook Author page

Facebook group 

Twitter

YouTube

MeWe

Goodreads

Tumblr

Website

Instagram

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Amazon

Meet the Author… Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz is the author of the Legends of Windemere novels (fifteen books already!) as well as various other novels. The covers of his Windemere books attracted me as I retweeted them on Twitter, but, being a vampire-lover, his new WIP War of Nytefall – Loyalty made me contact him for an interview.

Charles Edward Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz

Biography

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. Legends of Windemere is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

If I want to be technical, it was in 2nd grade and I wrote a picture story called Hunt for the Ruby Monkey. This was heavily based on King Kong, but I was trying to show characters and build tension without knowing it. This was a gift for a friend, so I don’t have it anymore. Prior to this I was writing little books that involved jokes, my week, or animals.

Charles_E_Yallowitz_ImmortalWarsSince I didn’t really know what I was doing during this attempt, I would say the real first story of mine would be Immortal Wars: The Summoning. I was in high school and decided that I was going to be an author. One of my favorite things to do was read comic books, so I went with superheroes. It was about four teenagers who discover they are immortals and need to protect the universe from a band of evil immortals who are about to return. Each character had a magical weapon built on one of the nine planets. This was in the 1990’s, so Pluto hadn’t been downgraded at this point. I had an entire series planned out with the weapons switching hands, deaths, births, and any twist that came to mind. I only wrote the first book, which was ‘The Summoning’, but then I moved on to fantasy.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

It’s the cursed gift that keeps on giving.  The curse part is that authors can find it hard to explain things to other people. You become very aware of spoilers, so you have to explain stories without going into the details. This can lead to confusion and the sense that nobody understands you. The gift side is that you develop this drive to create and explore worlds that you’re helping to nurture with your words. There’s a thrill to the building of a story from nothing to an intricate world that can draw others into it.

What is your writing Kryptonite? Have you ever gotten writer’s block?

My mood can be my personal Kryptonite. Once I’m annoyed or flustered, I lose the ability to focus on my creative thoughts. It isn’t that I have to be in a good mood to begin with, but I need to have a clear mind. Otherwise, the issues of the real world will get in the way of fiction and that doesn’t always match up. This is really hard for me because I don’t have an office or anywhere private to write.  So, I’m constantly running the risk of being distracted. As far as writer’s block goes, I’m lucky that I’ve never really hit a creativity wall. If I have a problem, I walk away to work on another project and it comes to me the next time I sit down.

What is/are your book(s) about? Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

All of my books are exciting action adventures that can take the reader out of reality. They’re pure escapism, especially since I write in third person present tense.  It’s not a common style, but it means my books read like tv shows and movies where you see things unfolding in real time instead of them being past events.

Charles_E_Yallowitz_QuestoftheBrokenHeartedMy most recent book is Quest of the Brokenhearted, which is on sale for 99 cents until the end of July. This is a spinoff of my series, Legends of Windemere, and it shows the fate of a supporting character named Kira Grasdon. Over the course of the previous adventure, this merchant house heiress lost everything and now she is struggling to survive on the streets. She learns about warriors going to Lacarsis, the City of Evil, which has begun to move. Deciding that she will either find a new reason to live or meet her death, Kira heads into the monster-filled city. This is an exciting, action-packed adventure, but it also looks into the psychology of a hero who has already been broken.  Mentally, Kira is hanging on by a thread and I think this is a state that many people can understand.

Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?

I don’t feel like I have any difficulty writing female characters. I only use their gender to designate clothing to some extent, pronouns, relationships, and physical appearance.  Beyond that, the abilities and personalities for a man can still be used for a woman.  Both can be brave warriors, cunning thieves, or sadistic villains.

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?

I’m trying to find a middle ground for most of my books. Each book and series tells a self-contained story, but they take place in the same world. Every entry adds to the depth of Windemere and builds it into a playground for future heroes.  This would be similar to Middle Earth or the various comic book universes.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Charles_E_Yallowitz_War of NytefallI’m currently working on a fantasy vampire series that takes place in the world of Windemere.  It’s called War of Nytefall and it’s my current ‘core project’ for the next 3 years. After that I have about 30 other series and one-shot stories that I’ve been outlining over the last 15 years.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

The most useful thing I learned when it came to writing was that I had to write what I loved. If I enjoyed the story that I was working on then that would come through and the readers will have a better experience. The most destructive lesson that I learned nearly cost me the first book of my Legends of Windemere series. I let a lot of people read it over the course of ten years and I tried to implement every suggestion that was given. This made a mess out of the entire story and even caused trouble for future volumes. It required a lot of rethinking and rewriting before I felt comfortable publishing it.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

There are a lot of common traps, but there are two that come to mind. First, there is always the temptation to respond to negative reviews. Not everyone gets the warning that you have to take the lumps in silence. This means a new author can build up the reputation of being a ‘spoiled and combative’ person. The other is the ‘Pursuit of Perfection’. I’ve known many aspiring authors who refuse to publish until their work has met this ideal of flawlessness. They will read every book they can find on the art of writing and tear their work down at the slightest mistake. In the end, they enter a cycle that they can’t get out of that seems to stop at the first draft stage at best and they eventually give up. The truth is that every story will have a flaw of some kind because it’s a human writing it.

How do author friends help you become a better writer?

Charles_E_Yallowitz_LegendsOfWindemere15Discovering the large community of authors online was like wandering into a place that feels like home. You get a level of support and insight that people who never considered being an author can’t give you. Criticism is given in a more palpable method and discussions are allowed instead of the blunt tearing apart that non-authors think are necessary. There’s also a lot of sharing of experience and tools, which helps new authors avoid some of the pitfalls. Honestly, the whole community functions better as a support structure than a pit where everyone is out for themselves.

Where can we find you online?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Tumblr

Amazon Author page

Anywhere else where your book(s) is/are for sale:

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Thanks so much for you time and chatting with us, Charles. I’ll be looking forward to reading your vampire stories!

All Charles E. Yallowitz’s books are available on Amazon. Take your pick!

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