Monday, October 31, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: M. A. Leslie

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Amy and Mike Leslie (M. A. Leslie)


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
A - Charlie from Liberty, not because of his role in the first Liberty, but in the process of writing a second story containing him, he is really coming to life for me. It is almost like I can see him. Not that all of the other characters in our books aren’t special, but he is kind of taking a life of his own.

M- Libbi from our book Liberty. I know that Libbi is a girl and for that reason we are very different, but there are many similarities to her upbringing that are similar to my own. She is feisty like my wife and has seen more than any person of her age should have. I respect her and feel like I can see through her eyes sometimes.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
A – If I could insert an IV of coffee in my arm and walk around all day, I would be the happiest person alive. Please just add the French vanilla creamer.

M – I am going to have to go with coffee too. I don’t know how people can write without it. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get writing done and most of it is done at night for us. Therefore, we need our coffee.


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
A – Currently I am reading two books. I am reading New York to Dallas by JD Robb and Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson. One I am reading for myself and the other I am reading for my son. He likes me to pre-read his books so we can talk about them.

M – Right now I am reading Urban Mythos by Jay Eckert. A fellow self published author from New Jersey. It is an extremely interesting YA fantasy book that I have been meaning to read for some time.


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspiration to write?
A – Believe it or not, but most of my thoughts for stories come while I am driving. There has been more than one story hatched as I drove and Mike wrote as fast as he could to keep up. Then of course there is the fact that most of our stories are based upon dreams that I have had, even the scary ones.

M – I find the inspiration to write from Amy. Writing is something that I have always loved to do, but until we put our thoughts and writing together, I never finished anything. Amy is my muse, without her, I wouldn’t be able to write.


9. Food you could eat every day?
A – Pasta.

M – Pasta. Any shape with any sauce.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
A – I am more of a run with it kind of girl. I let the ideas flow from my mind and the order isn’t really all that important until the end.

M – I am an outliner. I need structure, without the structure, I am unable to finish anything. I usually let Amy run with it and I do my best to follow and put it in outline form.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Leslie Collage

M.A. Leslie isn't just one person, but the pen name is made up of two people. Mike and Amy Leslie, a married writing team from Southern New Jersey. There, we raise our children, work, and write by the beach in Cape May County.

Find M. A. Leslie online at these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Leslie/e/B004SCHBTE

- www.maleslie1.blogspot.com


- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4717954

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BLOG HOP: Jeremy Bates' Halloween Hop

Blog Hops

Join me and other bloggers this Halloween weekend for Jeremy Bates' Halloween Hop!

I'll be giving away one signed copy of Ambasadora (US only) and two e-copies (internationally).

Just leave a comment here and Tweet:
Check out #Ambasadora by @heidirubymiller - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZR9WOY

Or post to your Facebook page, but provide the link in your comment here so I can find you!



Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Gary Vanucci

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Gary Vanucci


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I don’t really have a favorite on my own, though I do enjoy writing the goblin Barguth especially. All of my main characters have very unique personalities and motivations that set them apart and make them special. That is enjoyable for me as a writer. Most of the time, I put myself in the place of them and then have at it! From a character standpoint, I think that you need to have strong characters that people care about or else you will lose your audience quickly.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Erik Scott De Bie’s Downshadow and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. What can I say, I enjoy fantasy!


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I am inspired by reading novels, watching good television and comics I read growing up. I really think that exposing myself to comics and role-playing games at an early age opens your mind to a wild imagination. I have that and I would not trade it for anything. You know how some people say: ‘think outside the box’? I live there.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
I listen to rock mostly or alternative if I am in the mood. I listen to Godsmack, Metallica, Candlebox and The Gracious Few for the most part. I dig the 80’s metal as I was a singer in a band in the late 80’s, too. Sometimes I find myself listening to soundtracks like the Game of Thrones soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi, whose work really needs to be up for an Emmy. I also enjoy the soundtracks from the television show Scrubs. And on a few occasions, I can be caught listening to some Frank Sinatra or Billy Joel.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
The first book I did with a very basic outline. I had a story I had written years ago and used those notes as the catalyst. I expanded on the notes as the story went along detailing only the most basic of details from points A to B. The second novel I am working on, I did a more detailed outline of what I wanted in each chapter…this seems to work out more smoothly!


13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
I’d like to say that George R.R. Martin and R. A. Salvatore are the most influential to me. I have read a ton of Forgotten Realms novels as well as George’s Wildcards series from the early eighties. He edited them mostly.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Gary Vanucci was born in Pennsylvania in 1968. He enjoys writing, reading, music, art, anything at all that promotes creativity and activities that push the mind beyond conventional thinking. He has spent time as an amateur singer/songwriter and has spent multiple decades creating role-playing scenarios and playing games amongst various genres. Years of reading graphic novels, comic books, fantasy/science fiction novels and the like has led him to discover his true passion—writing!

His education includes a Bachelor’s of Science in the field of Information Technology and an Associates of Arts in the field of Graphic Design.

Favorite Quotes: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle.

PURCHASE Covenant of the Faceless Knights:
Authorhouse: http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000465859

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Covenant-Faceless-Knights-Beginnings-ebook/dp/B005FLPVYO/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1311380163&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/covenant-of-the-faceless-knights-gary-f-vanucci/1104302135?ean=9781463417321&itm=1&usri=covenant%2bof%2bthe%2bfaceless%2bknights

Follow Gary:

- http://twitter.com/AshenclawRealm


- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Covenant-of-the-Faceless-Knights/215704991808213


- http://eyeonashenclaw.blogspot.com




SYNOPSIS of Covenant of the Faceless Knights
When a dangerous artifact goes missing from a temple, the elderly high priest in charge eventually comes to the conclusion that he needs help. He requests aid in the form of a one-time apprentice, Garius, who is now an Inquisitor representing the Order of the Faceless Knights. After a series of interviews, Garius sets out on his quest aided by Rose, a rogue among rogues, by the battle-hungry Saeunn, and by a naïve elf named Elec, who reluctantly agrees to accompany them at the behest of the persuasive Inquisitor. The eclectic group then sets out to recover the artifact before it falls into the hands of the lich who once held it. Such is the Covenant of the Faceless Knights!

EXCERPT
The orc bore down on him quickly and was only within a few arms lengths. He could see the beast’s teeth and drool spray from its mouth as it uttered some foul orc-speak. Elec waited calmly with his weapons drawn, but had not revealed them from beneath his cloak. As the orc reached his position, Elec nimbly dove down and to his left to avoid the brunt of the charge, all the while keeping his foot outstretched enough to trip the orc. The momentum of the beast’s charge took it headlong into the mountainside, sliding on the slippery slush a bit and smashing its helmet down around its eyes, looking a bit worse for wear.

Within a second, Elec was back to his feet, spinning hard and plunging his sword into the back of the creature, placing all of his body weight into the strike. He pierced flesh, but the blade stopped on something, most likely a rib, and therefore was not the killing blow he had hoped for. He cursed his luck, thinking the strike to be well placed. His frustration nearly cost him.

The rest of the excerpt and one more can be found here:
http://www.ashenclaw.com/index.php/book-excerpts

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Sabrina Benulis

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Sabrina Benulis


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
This is a very difficult question, but if I could choose only one, then my favorite character from my novel ARCHON is Angela, my main protagonist. I love all of my characters, but Angela's vulnerability and growing integrity have really stuck with me and the more that I see what she is destined to become, the more excited I get. Angela is a very real person. She has a lot of flaws, and comes from a past that has been extremely unforgiving and harsh, but that past has also molded her into someone who is so honest and straightforward with herself that she ends up making a stark contrast to the other characters, who only know how to hide their true selves behind a proverbial mask. I wanted to write Angela as a person who you would want in your corner, that you could see yourself being friends with, but who also grows and grows from someone who doesn't make the best choices, to someone very admirable.

2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
I'm a pop culture kind of girl, and I like to stay on top of trends in movies, music, and novels. But I do think academia is important for analyzing those trends and exmaining where we are taking them, and what that might mean for entertainment in the future.

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
My inspirations to write come from a million different sources, but I love anime and manga, and I can really see the influence it has had on the way I write and what kind of stories excite me. But anything can give me an awesome idea, and I find myself watching movies I love, listening to popular music, and even flipping through artbooks for that one image, or sentence, or scene that will get my creative juices flowing.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
I could eat birthday cake every day. Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. My literal slice of heaven on earth.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I have a pretty balanced mix going where I outline half the book and let the other half sort itself out as I write. The truth is, it's very important to know what your end goal for your characters and story happens to be, but it's the route you take there that can develop so many twists and turns, the process eventually surprises even the author. Some characters are easy to work with for me--they follow the plan I've laid out almost exactly. But some prove to take on a life of their own, and that can be where the real magic of storytelling happens. I always think it's more fun to be surprised, even when, as the the author, it should be very hard to surprise you.

13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I think anyone who shoos cartoons aside as being just for children is really missing out on something special. Animation allows you to play with and present a story in a way that no other medium does. And one style of animation can be very different from another. Japanese anime is a great example of what animation can do when it's matched to an amazingly imaginative, and often deep or mature, story-line. I think it's rather sad that in America, cartoons are for children and very few other people, and that there is very little room for creativity outside of comedic animation like The Simpsons or Family Guy. Perhaps that will change in the future as more varities of entertainment get more exposure through the internet.

Sabrina Benulis's debut novel Archon, the first installment in The Books of Raziel trilogy, comes out December 27, 2011 from Harper Voyager. In 2007, Sabrina graduated from Seton Hill University with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction , where an early version of her book was also her graduating thesis. She married soon afterwards, and she and her husband currently live in northeastern Pennsylvania with a spoiled cockatiel and a lot of rural wildlife. Sabrina is hard at work on the next novel in the series, but when she isn't writing, catch her watching anime, playing video games, or getting some much needed sleep.


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Benulis/171453932941688

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Tracy Falbe

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I write epics that have many characters, so it is hard for me to pick just one because I’m rather fond of several of them. Even so I am tremendously in love with Amar from my recent release Rys Rising: Book I. He’s supposed to be the bad guy but my husband insists Amar is the hero, but regardless of those opinions, he is definitely a great way for a teenage princess to get back at daddy. He’s a notorious killer and does not care if he lives or dies. This does not mean that he acts without purpose. He is the devoted servant of the rys Onja, whose magic supports his warlordism. Amar quickly earns the name among the peasants of dro-shalum, which means curse demon. Women are attracted to his burgeoning power, but he ignores them until of course he meets the right lady. I like so many things about Amar. He’s audacious, daring, sneaky, provocative, and literally gets away with murder. He offers an interesting look at a life unhitched from normal social constraints about right and wrong. I would never want to be like Amar, but experiencing his power is exciting.

Short excerpt from Rys Rising: Book I featuring Amar:
Taking up the rope, Amar mounted the parapet above the window that he had entered mentally with Onja. A waning moon had just broken the horizon and dappled the scattered clouds with light. Stars glittered in the heavens, and the hills jutting above the dark fields were silvery and silent.

As Amar wrapped the rope about his torso and gripped it fiercely, he paused to take in the splendor of the night. It was good to see beauty and have it touch him. He needed this moment of blessing before he committed cold murder.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3.Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee every morning with a little sugar and milk in it, unless I happen to have some cream. I drink tea sometimes, usually black, but I definitely prefer coffee. I drink a glass of milk every day too.


4. What else can you do besides write?
For the last decade I have been teaching myself how to grow food and preserve it. I also cook. Currently I am in the process of developing my home into an urban homestead with the purpose of supplying my family with as much food as possible. I’m actually starting to get good at this although agriculture always involves setbacks and failures. I rarely buy any produce or meat from a grocery store. My garden, local farms, and farmers’ markets meet many of my needs.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Peanut butter has been my lifelong companion. I ate it every day growing up and I still love it and eat it regularly.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Many kinds of music speak to me. There are many classical works like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons that I find profoundly beautiful. I also enjoy symphonic soundtracks like those made for the Lord of the Rings films. Plus I love all kinds of classic rock like Jimi Hendrix. I also love Metallica whose music frequently inspires me. Other categories I like are grunge, rap, and Celtic. I choose what suits my mood. I often like to listen to music when I write but it can only be instrumental. It can’t have any recognizable words or it will distract my mind from the words I’m composing.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I do not outline my novels. I often know where I’m headed, but the initial composition of a first draft is a creative ride for me. I sometimes make very short notes and lists of things that need to happen in the next chapter, but these fall short of being actual outlines. Honestly the thought of outlining a whole novel sounds utterly stifling. I realize it works for some writers, but I can’t function creatively with a rigid plan. As characters develop, they force things to happen that I did not originally foresee. Sometimes I don’t even follow my notes. I just write and then look at my notes and realize I didn’t do what they said. Writing a novel is like exploring a wilderness. I’m breaking a trail through my imagination. I have a destination in mind but I don’t know the path until I walk it.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Tracy Falbe decided years ago that her dream of being a novelist had to be a priority.

To develop my writing skills, I earned a journalism degree at California State University, Chico in 2000. After graduation I held boring jobs to pay the bills and worked on writing my fantasy series The Rys Chronicles. In late 2005 I began publishing my novels and selling them online. Now that I've popped out a couple kids, I work from home and dedicate as much time as I can manage to writing my new series Rys Rising. When I'm not writing fantasy, I enjoy bicycling, growing food, reading, swimming, boating, and baking. Although I seem like a boring housewife, I'm always drawing swords in my daydreams and plotting the destruction of my enemies, so you can see why I need fantasy writing as an outlet. Some people play video games. I write novels. I invite readers to try my fantasy fiction by downloading a free copy of Rys Rising: Book I from my website: http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/free-fantasy-ebook-rys-rising.html

Or sample and buy the novel for 99 cents at these popular retailers:
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79722
Apple iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rys-rising-book-i/id458569652?mt=11
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FYSSSC
B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rys-rising-tracy-falbe/1104808237

Monday, October 17, 2011

Event: Western Maryland Small and Regional Press Festival 2011

Events

Here are some wonderful photos from the 2011 Western Maryland Small and Regional Press Festival, sponsored by Frostburg State University. Photos were taken by Michael A. Arznen.


Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller





Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and Cynthia McCloud of Headline Books, Inc.




Jason Jack Miller with The Devil and Preston Black



Gerry LaFemina and John Edward Lawson



Courtney Ruffner



Cynthia McCloud of Headline Books, Inc.



Heidi Ruby Miller



John Lawson and Jennifer Barnes of Raw Dog Screaming Press



Jason Jack Miller


Heidi Ruby Miller, Michael A. Arnzen, and Courtney Ruffner



John Lawson and Jennifer Barnes of Raw Dog Screaming Press


Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller

Eric Beebe and Andy Duncan

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jemiah Jefferson

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Jemiah Jefferson

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I cannot choose. I really can't. Generally speaking, my favorite character is whoever I'm writing about at the moment. Currently, I am writing a novel with three protagonists, so whoever's point of view I'm concentrating on at any given time is my favorite.

2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee or tea WITH milk.

4. What else can you do besides write?
I'm a pretty good cook - I've been cooking since I was a little kid--though I do still sometimes make mistakes. Also I have a pleasing voice that to me seems tailor-made for being a jazz radio DJ; I've been meaning to put together a podcast to prove it, since there's no such thing as a paying job as a jazz terrestrial radio DJ. Also I don't know all that much about jazz, but I do love to talk about it, and I do love radio.

5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Honestly, from the TV, from movies I've seen, from people I've talked to. A lot of it comes from TV and film; I've been studying narrative structure since I was a child, and it's always made a sort of innate sense to me. A lot of the time,getting angry at some form of the status quo makes me need to write something to counteract that, or to provide an opposing voice. That's what inspired me to write vampire novels, anyway.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
A little of both--I don't decide to really devote myself to a project longer than a vignette unless I know how it ends, and something major that happens sort of in the middle--if there's not an arc of some kind, I don't work on it; I keep it in the back of my mind. At that point I can start outlining--and that's when I do most of my very free and creative work, just bounding along willy-nilly from point A to point B, writing down everything that comes to me in a sort of flow. When I actually start writing, I end up altering the outline as events show themselves to not really work; since I know how it ends, I never catch up with the outline, but the outline often doubles or triples in length over the course of writing the first draft. But during the outlining process, I just kind of kick back and type out what seems to come logically next. The characters are driving by that point.

13. Celebrity crush.
I have dozens. Literally. The biggest ones right now are Benedict Cumberbatch (how could I not crush on him? It's like he was designed and built from a kit specifically to appeal to me), Chiwetel Ejiofor (one of the most sublime faces ever) and Alex Kingston on the lady side. I've had it bad for Alex Kingston for years now. She's one of the reasons I don't mind getting older.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Jemiah Jefferson is the author of Voice of the Blood, Wounds, Fiend, A Drop of Scarlet, and Mixtape for the Apocalypse. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at http://jemiahjefferson.wordpress.com.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Event: Western Maryland Small Press Festival

Events

This Saturday, October 15, 2011, contributors to Many Genres, One Craft (Michael A. Arnzen, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Jason Jack Miller) will be guests at the Western Maryland Small Press Festival, sponsored by Frostburg University.

Here are our schedules:
Publishing Basics - 11:30 AM
Michael A. Arnzen, Donna Long, and Heidi Ruby Miller

Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror - 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM
Michael A. Arnzen, Eric Beebe, Jessica McHugh, and Jason Jack Miller

Self Promotion 101 - 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM
Heidi Ruby Miller and John Edward Lawson

DIY & Self Publishing - 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM
Heidi Ruby Miller, Bill Olver, and Alan C Reese

Writing Local - 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Jeff Grieneisen and Jason Jack Miller

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ASK THE REVIEWER: Live to Read


Live to Read


This is the sixth in a series I'm hosting where I talk with reviewers who have reviewed my books. Today I welcome Krystal Larson from Live to Read! She was kind enough to take time out of her reading and blogging schedule to answer some fun questions about herself, her blog, and about my novel Ambasadora.

To read Krystal's full review of Ambasadora visit: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2011/08/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller.html

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

1. What types of books do you review most often?
I tend to review Young Adult or romance the most.

2. Are there any types of books you won’t review?
I wouldn't say won't, but I prefer not to review LGBT, self-help books, some nonfiction-I have to do enough in school!-, middle grade books, poetry.

3. Do you review more books you've come to on your own or those from authors/publishers?
I definitely tend to review the latter much more, I get approximately 4-20 in the mail daily.

4. How long does it usually take you to get to a book once it makes it into your TBR pile?
Only a day or two-I have a four to five hour commute from school that allows me to read to my heart's content.

5. What do you do if you can't finish a book?
This has never happened, I guess I might skim the rest.

6. What is your favorite book ever?
Divergent by Veronica Roth for now, it's captivating.

7. Do you like ice cream better than potato chips?
Heck. Yes. Give me chocolate any day.

ABOUT AMBASADORA

1. Who was your favorite character?
Sara!

2. Who did you picture as the characters?
Not entirely sure, I based them off of the authors' descriptions.

3. What is your favorite setting within the Ambasadora-verse?
There really wasn't one I preferred over the others, they were all inventive.

4. Would you rather have a character or a place named after you?
I suppose a character.

5. What would you have changed about AMBASADORA if you could?
Nothing.

6. What would you like to see in future books within the Ambasadora-verse?
It's up to the author, I liked what she wrote for the first one!

7. Would you ever want to travel to the V-side?
Sure, I think I would give it a try.


Want to know more about Krystal? Leave your question in a comment below and check out these links:


- http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com


- http://www.facebook.com/people/Lindsay-Ann/100000547840483


- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5012749-claire


- http://twitter.com/Icecream1891


If you would like to read Krystal's full review of Ambasadora follow this link: http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com/2011/08/ambasadora-by-heidi-ruby-miller.html

If you would like to review Ambasadora, email me at heidirubymiller@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Gary Starta

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Gary Starta

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Caitlin Diggs, my paranormally-tweaked FBI agent, would be my favorite. She is currently responsible for four novels and has brief cameos in another series I started. Since becoming affected by a mysterious crystal, Caitlin is experiencing supernatural abilities. But she doesn’t quite have a handle on them or the reason why she received them. Answers will be coming in two forthcoming novels, one set for June 2012, called Demon Inhibitions. Eventually, Caitlin may come to find the universe is a lot more connected than she once believed.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea – mostly green. It’s a healthy antioxidant. I have to get my characters to drink more of it. It helps beat oxidative stress which seems to be prevalent in both the fictional and non-fictional world.


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
David Wilcox’s book, The Source Field Investigations. It is kind of rare for me to read non-fiction. This book has taken an immediate grip on me. I love science, especially science not yet quite proven, or fringe science. It really influences my stories. Wilcox posits that everything in the universe is listening to one another. So you may say we are part of a tapestry. It’s just that we don’t know how to perceive it because our senses may have stagnated. But if we could envision that everything is connected - from plants to stars we cannot see - we will find we do have a modicum of control over our lives. Wilcox cites one experiment where plants are proven to behave emotionally from stress. It means they have a consciousness. I think it means we can all tap into this consciousness. Finding the way to that mind state will make for some great science fiction stories I imagine.


6. Pop culture or academia?
I would lean to academia as it is a good basis for my stories. But it isn’t really any fun unless you can put pop culture into the mix, I have to admit. I try to keep my stories blended, sometimes mixing sci fi, romance and mystery. I feel a good story should entertain as well as educate.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Each story I read or film/TV show I watch brings constant inspiration. If that isn’t enough, there is always real life.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I write the most illegible outlines imaginable. I look forward as a writer to be taken on a ride. It’s nearly always a mix, maybe 50/50 between writing something planned and finding inspiration in the moment of writing it.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Gary Starta is a former journalist whose love for science fiction compelled him to begin writing novels. His last novel Gods of the Machines was voted a finalist in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for 2010. He plans to continue writing novels which incorporate moral dilemma with suspense.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011