Sunday, September 30, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Red Tash

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Red Tash

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
I'd love to travel more--who wouldn't? My favorite places visited so far include San Francisco, Oregon, Chicago, Boston, Destin FL, Hawaii--I just love any destination with a beach. My biggest delight in terms of accidental vacation adventures happened when I was planning an ocean-side camping trip to South Carolina. A hurricane blew in, and the only beach within a day's drive from my Southern Indiana home was on Lake Michigan. Sheboygan, Wisconsin! Kohler-Andrae State Park remains the most beautiful state park I've ever visited, with a scenic beach walk and the cleanest, most spacious campground I've ever seen. The people of Sheboygan were so friendly, too--they even gave us an impromptu VIP tour to one of their factories: Wigwam Socks. It was a hoot. Someday I hope to go back.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Oh, boy. Does anyone ever choose milk? I drink coffee every day. I used to be more into tea, and my husband into coffee, but somehow we flip-flopped!


4. What else can you do besides write?
I am a multidimensional human being. I'm a decent photographer, I teach, I used to act...but mainly I am just your typical force-of-nature mother of four homeschooling work-at-home mom.


5. Who are you reading right now?
Several books on parenting gifted children, and novels by Ash Krafton and Eric Garrison. A graphic novel by Audrey Niffenegger, and I'm using an Illustrated Classics edition of Cooper's Last of the Mohicans as a found poetry art project. So much more. I also have a "to be read" queue a mile long. I missing my reading time!


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.
Chocolate, and I do. Which is why I'm so fat.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I used to play roller derby for Derby City Rollergirls, but since I retired from derby I'm more into watching the kids play soccer or football than doing it, myself. Looking into teaching roller derby classes, though (google "Derby Lite" to see what I mean), so it's possible I'll be skating again soon!


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Red Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist of dark fantasy for readers of all ages. Monsters, SciFi, wizards, trolls, fairies, and roller derby lightly sautéed in a Southern/Midwestern sauce hand-canned from her mama's recipes await you in her pantry of readerly delights. Y'all come, anytime.

Find Red online at these links:
WEBSITE - http://redtash.com/


- http://www.facebook.com/RedTashBooks


- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5153812.Red_Tash


- https://plus.google.com/103481304245044255869/posts


- @RedTashBooks - https://twitter.com/RedTashBooks


DESCRIPTION FOR Troll or Derby:
In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and for being different. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she's grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and the blonde temptress April, forever?


- http://www.amazon.com/Troll-Or-Derby-ebook/dp/B008BMUKMC

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Patrick Stutzman

PATHS TO PUBLICATION

After I finished my game designing gig for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Saga Edition for Wizards of the Coast, I wanted to keep my writing skills sharp. I had already written a number of short stories for the sole purpose of honing my writing style and felt like I was ready to embark on a larger, more serious work.

During one bus ride to work in the summer of 2009, I began brainstorming and came up with the idea of writing a story about a woman left alone on a space station in the middle of nowhere. Three months, several bus rides, and a stolen laptop later, the first novel titled Alone on the Edge was complete.

I could have stopped at that point and started peddling my work to potential agents and publishers, but I felt that I had more story to tell about my main character. I kept writing. Despite a grueling work schedule, I finished the draft for Alone in Paradise three months later.

Two books under my belt, and I still wasn’t done! I kept writing and got about 25,000 words into the third book titled Alone in the Crowd, when I decided that I should probably stop and see if I can get the first book published before continuing.

I shifted gears and began the search for an editor. Who knew that I would find one right around the corner from me? One of my coworkers proved to be a valuable resource as an editor and has saved me a LOT of headaches. I cannot thank her enough. But after Edge was edited, I continued on my quest for publication and sent query letters to countless literary agents and publishers. Several months passed, and I received letter after letter rejecting my work. I could not understand why, since I was figuring that my experience writing for Star Wars would be a sure thing in being accepted. They proved me wrong!

After being rejected or ignored by everyone to whom I submitted a letter, I decided to forego the middleman and self-publish. In February 2012, Edge was released through Amazon for the Kindle and in paperback, and later through Smashwords. And now, Paradise has been released through Amazon and Smashwords. As for Crowd, I am aiming for a March 2013 release.

-Patrick Stutzman
September 2012


GIVEAWAY: One lucky person who comments on this post before the end of September 2012 will receive a FREE ebook copy of Alone in Paradise – this is open internationally!

Find Patrick online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://patrickstutzman.swtft.com


- https://www.facebook.com/PatrickDStutzman


- https://plus.google.com/112838542883956275738


- https://twitter.com/PatrickStutzman



Buy Alone In Paradise at these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Paradise-Chronicles-Foster-ebook/dp/B009B53M8W


- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/236194

Monday, September 17, 2012

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: The Book of the Night by Pearl North

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS

THE BOOK OF THE NIGHT

AUTHOR: PEARL NORTH

PUBLISHER: TOR TEEN (2012)

DESCRIPTION: The world of the Libyrinth has experienced a series of wrenching changes. After the Libyrarians and their longtime foes the Singers discovered their common heritage, a young healer named Po found the Lion’s Bloom, an ancient and enormously powerful artifact capable of rewriting reality.

Behind the mysteries of their shrouded past has always been the legendary Book of the Night. Sought for generations, both feared and revered, it is the key to this world of wonders. When vain, grasping Queen Thela steals the Lion’s Bloom and imperils the very reality of the world, only the Book can heal what she has rent asunder. An epic journey through strange lands, a perilous encounter in a clockwork city, and the revelation of the truth beyond reality will lead those who find the Book to a moment when their world will either be saved...or cease to exist.

Told with the grace and skill that only Pearl North can bring to the tale, The Book of the Night is a breathtaking adventure that will linger in the memory long after the final page is turned.

CHARACTERS:







Tessa Thompson as HALY
Tested and tested again, this shy clerk becomes a powerful woman who will lead her people into a new era.











Rachel Hurd-Wood as CLAUDA
Her wish for adventure is answered. A lot.













Carrie-Anne Moss as SELENE
She’s been running everyone else’s errands for two books. Now it’s her turn to decide the fate of the world.













Logan Lerman as PO
Caught between what he was raised to believe and what everyone expects of him now, he will only succeed when he finds his own way.














Angelica Houston as QUEEN THELA TADAMOS
All she wants is everything.

















Harry Dean Stanton as CENSOR SIBLEA
The morally ambiguous but open-minded leader of the Singers, Siblea used to torture people for a living. Now he’s reformed. Right?





Pearl North is the author of a trilogy of YA science fiction novels: Libyrinth, The Boy From Ilysies (a Norton Award Finalist), and The Book of the Night. A firm believer in human decency, she loves writing and reading about characters that transcend the limits of who they think they are and what they think is possible. She mentors graduate students in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program, and writes in other genres under different names. A native and life-long resident of the Detroit area, she has never lived more than two miles from Woodward Avenue in her life.



Find Pearl online at these links:
WEBSITE - http://www.anneharris.typepad.com/pearl_north/


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pearl-North/108407839196022



Buy The Book of the Night at these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/s/?index=books&keywords=0765320983&tag=macmillan-20


- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-of-the-night-pearl-north/1108946158?ean=9780765320988&afsrc=1&r=1&

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SFFS: Snippet #2 from "Dakota's Gate" in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 3

"Dakota's Gate" from The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 3: Portraits of a Trickster

DESCRIPTION:
This is my second and last snippet from "Dakota's Gate," a continuation of Farmer's novel Two Hawks from Earth. I fell in love with Roger Two Hawks' character--he's a displaced, romantic soldier just trying to get home. He relies on his instincts as much as his intellect to see him through one crisis after another, and never loses his spirit, though he is quite lonely. What's not to love?! So, I gave him a special someone by introducing a new character, Dakota Cummings, into the Farmer-verse.

Now about the anthology...

A third venture through the works of Philip José Farmer focusing on his penchant for literary tricksterism featuring essays by Frederik Pohl, Michael Bailey, Steven Connelly, Bruce Sterling, Chris Garcia, Tom Wode Bellman, Jonathan Swift Somers III, David M. Harris, Leo Queequeg Tincrowdor, and Rick Lai and fiction by Charlotte Corday-Marat, Win Scott Eckert, Heidi Ruby Miller, Octavio Aragão & Carlos Orsi, and S.M. Stirling as well as hard to find, and never before seen works by Philip José Farmer himself.

READ SNIPPET #1

--

SNIPPET #2:
"Where did you come from?" Two Hawks asked, handing her the gourd flask of fermented grain he'd been sipping.

"I think you know," she said.

The firelight danced over her skin, giving it even more luminosity. The alcohol swimming through his veins told him to get closer to her so he sat down, aware of his thigh resting against hers.

"This tastes disgusting." But she was smiling as she handed the gourd back to him.

"You came through the gate," he said.

"So did you, but I'm guessing from your rapport with these people that it was a while ago."

It wasn't a question, so Two Hawks wouldn't have been obligated to offer more, but he liked the kinship of another displaced traveler.

--

Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jessica McHugh

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Jessica McHugh


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I love almost every character in my alternate history story “The Sky: The World,” but to make things easier, I’ll choose Captain Jack Racine as my favorite of the bunch. If Indiana Jones were addicted to laudanum and had to be coerced into adventures by loading him up with liquor and lovely ladies, he’d be Jack Racine. The guy’s a bit of an asshole, but he’s that magical kind of likable,too. He’s perfect for fantasizing about, but you’d be an idiot to try to date him.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I can sing, mostly Broadway songs. In high school, I was in musicals and show choir—we even performed at Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately, there is little chance for me to sing nowadays, except in the shower. I try to get to karaoke as much as possible, but I always seem to be busy on the days the nearby bar hosts it. It’s a shame, really. I need to take more time to punish people with my voice.


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
I’m a pop culture nut. Even with easy access to the internet, friends still call me to ask, “Who was the actor in ____?” or “What movie has the line ‘You want to have, like, ten thousand of his babies.’” I’m also a good person to have around if you want to know whether a certain actor was ever in a 90s TV show on Nickelodeon. Lots of “Are You Afraid of the Dark” actors made it to the big time. I hope they credit that show for their fame—especially Ryan Gosling. However, my forthcoming novel "PINS" is the first book I've written that really embraces that pop culture part of me, notably "Disney's Gargoyles."


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
There have been a handful of tough ones in the past few years, but I think the roughest was at the end of “PINS.” I was very disturbed by the subject matter, so much so that I had nightmares. Not only about the disgusting stuff I was writing but also about what people would think of me when they read it. It took a few weeks to knock out a 10 page scene—I took many sojourns into my YA novel “Darla Decker Hates to Wait” just to escape the dark, disgusting “PINS” world. The worst had to be hearing the torturous scene during my auditory revision of “PINS.” I remember cringing behind a giant glass of wine as the computer read it aloud.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
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?
It really depends on the story. Because I regard each book as a different animal, they require different care. A lot of times, I have a basic skeleton of a story in mind, at least up to the middle, but I’ll write whatever comes to mind. Then, I’ll reach a point at which I’ll stop and say, “Okay, where is this going? What do I want this story to say to the audience?” I often plan out the final chapters at that point, but I’m not immune to deviating from the plan. The characters are running the show, not me. I find that trying to make characters do what you want is a good way to write a bad story.


13. Celebrity crush.
Ewan McGregor has been #1 on my Top 5 since I can remember, but I’d be remiss not to mention Kevin Spacey. While high school girls were mooning over Brad Pitt, I was lusting after Kevin Spacey. Weird, I know. I just thought he was really talented and had a beautiful smile. The subject will actually be covered in my novel “In the Car with Bobby Starr,” which I’ll be writing next winter.


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

Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, poetry, and playwriting. She has had eleven books published in four years, including the bestselling "Rabbits in the Garden," "The Sky: The World" and the first three installments in her "Tales of Dominhydor" series. More info on Jessica's speculations and publications can be found at JessicaMcHughBooks.com.

Find Jess online at these links:
WEBSITE - http://jessicamchughbooks.com


- http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-McHugh/e/B003NUKAA4


- http://mcnito.blogspot.com


- http://www.facebook.com/author.JessicaMcHugh





DESCRIPTION FOR The Sky: The World:
Who is Doctor Azaz? It is the 19th Century, and Azazian England is at it's pinnacle. Aeroplanes rule the sky, and crystalline technology has transformed life itself. But for stunt pilot Jack Racine, life is little more than an endless tailspin into liquor, laudanum, and loose women. But all that is about to change. For Jack Racine is about to have an audience with the architect of the age, the mysterious Doctor Azaz...










DESCRIPTION FOR Song Of Eidelons:
Delaney Lortal is a unique breed of girl. She is well spoken, extremely well read, and highly ambitious for love, but it is not those qualities that make her so unique. It's not even because in twenty-two years of life, she has never set foot outside of her grandfather's house. What makes her so unique is the truth behind a mysterious secret that has made her the target of a clandestine Order called the Orisanima. As wondrous as it is heartbreaking, Song of Eidolons follows Delaney's journey of enlightenment as she struggles to peel back the layers of deceit to discover the amazing truth about her origins.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jenn Nixon

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Jenn Nixon

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
My favorite character, so far, is Tiva Boon. She’s a female Royal Guardian from the planet Abennelp. I created the character to play an online Star Trek Role Playing game and actively played with her for about 10 years. Over those 10 years her background and personality became so rich and “real” that I knew a story was just waiting to happen. I originally wrote a short story to flesh out her history but knew it wasn’t enough, so I went all the way back to the beginning and churned out two 145K novels just to tell her story!


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea, with milk. I don’t like Coffee *hides*


4. What else can you do besides write?
I used to be a very avid Karaoke Singer and even won a regional contest several years back. I’ve been singing since grammar school and have never stopped!


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.
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 am a total pantser, I write by the seat of my pants. I normally have a simple plot outline where I would like the book to go, and the main characters are often fleshed out with a background, personality and family, chock full of issues and flaws. From there, the plot tends to unfold as I write. Because I’m a panters the plot tends to change and shift a lot, but I enjoy learning about my characters through their actions and dialogue. Sometimes they take on a life of their own and totally change the story on me, but I go with it, because in the end, it’s usually better than what I originally wanted.


13. Celebrity crush.
My current crushes are Alexsander Skarsgard and Jason Mamo. They are…well, if you’ve seen them you know. Mamoa is my dream cast choice for Kenji in Lucky’s Charm even though I wrote the character before knowing what he even looked like!


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
YES! I watch the Animation Domination on FOX Sunday’s and still watch some “kids” toons like SpongeBob Squarepants, Fairly Odd Parents, Foster’s Home, to name a few. I’m also a BIG fan of Japanes Anime like Death Note, Inuyasha, Trigun, and Basslisk.


Jenn Nixon’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels. Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.

Find Jenn online at these links:

WEBSITE - www.jennnixon.com



- www.jennafern.blogspot.com



- http://facebook.com/JennNixonAuthor



- @jennnixon - https://twitter.com/jennnixon

DESCRIPTION FOR Lucky's Charm:
To protect her family and find a killer, Felicia "Lucky" Fascino assumed her adoptive father's identity and joined the network of moral assassins to finish the job he began. Eliminating the man responsible for murdering her mother has consumed her for the last five years. Completing the job is the only way Lucky and her family can return to a safe and normal life. Lucky's uncle, Stephen Chambers, hasn't come close to tracking the killer. He announces he's stepping down as her handler to concentrate on the investigation and names Elizabeth, his daughter, as successor.

Keeping secrets is a family trait, and Elizabeth's addition to the business tests Lucky's ability to maintain the pretense that the job doesn't affect her despite the fact that all network hits are hardened criminals. While keeping her family at arm's length, Lucky begins to feel the weight of her career choice and reclusive lifestyle. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic hit man during one of her jobs turns into a provocative and dangerous affair. Distracted by the secret trysts with Kenji Zinn and mounting tension within her family, Lucky starts to make mistakes that threaten her livelihood and almost claim her life. When her family is targeted, Lucky must make several rash decisions she believes can save them and preserve her own sanity.

Buy Lucky’s Charm online at these links:

WEBSITE -
http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=73&products_id=400&zenid=68d70bfde494e5151e21617289c74f6e



- http://www.amazon.com/Luckys-Charm-ebook/dp/B008RG8V4Q


- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/luckys-charm-jenn-nixon/1112327966