Wednesday, November 21, 2012

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Paul R. Hewlett

PATHS TO PUBLICATION

PhotobucketMy name is Paul R. Hewlett and I am a self-published author. There, I said it. I used to feel like I was in a support group when I said that, but now I feel good about it. I piled up countless rejection letters on my path to publication, that much is true. In many cases they were warranted.

At some point after I tripped over a misplaced pile of rejection and query letters, I decided to investigate self-publishing. After countless hours of research, I determined it to be a viable option. There was so much to learn, where should I start? Thankfully, I stumbled upon Melissa Foster's WLC web site. Melissa is very successful author that is well known for her kindness and giving back. It was there that I found a template of how to begin.

From there I set out to learn how to build my brand, create a social media presence, and connect with my target audience. It has been a non-stop roller coaster of trial and error, start and stop, you name it ever since. The interesting thing is as I have gotten to know more and more authors, some self-published, some traditionally published, I have learned one thing for sure. Unless you are a top seller, you're responsible for most of the marketing and promotion on your own.

The whole time I have worked hard to continue to improve my craft and improve as a writer. I am a children's book author and Lionel's Christmas Adventure: Lionel Learns the True Meaning of Christmas is my third book. I have talked to many authors that have left  traditional publishing houses to go the self-publishing route. I, for one, cannot say if I would do that since I have never been traditionally published. I would like to have the opportunity to decide someday, so I keep moving forward because I love to write.

My path to publication has been very trying, enjoyable, and rewarding. It has also taught me three undeniable truths that apply to everyone, particularly self-published authors. First, have a great story. Second, make sure you have a professional cover. Last, but not least, have your book professionally edited. These are things that traditionally published authors have or they wouldn't be published. As a self-published author, it is up to you to make sure you do too.

Paul R. Hewlett
November 2012


DESCRIPTION FOR Lionel's Christmas Adventure:
Have you ever wanted something you couldn’t have? Lionel desperately wants a new sled and he will do almost anything to get it. This fun Christmas story follows Lionel from Larrystown to the North Pole. Filled with great Christmas imagery, this book is perfect for young readers and school or family story time. This holiday season, be careful what you wish for, you never know what might happen!

To promote Lionel's Christmas Adventure Paul will be on a blog tour beginning 13 November- 10 December. For a full list of dates click here.

And buy it:


- http://astore.amazon.com/shaha-20/detail/B00A5SX0IQ

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Tim Miller

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Tim Miller

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I have been training in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. I hope to have my first MMA fight in Oct 2013.


5. Who are you reading right now?
I just finished No Easy Day by Mark Owen, the Navy SEAL who was on the Bin Laden raid. AMAZING story.


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

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I don't know to be honest. I watch a lot of movies/TV and read a lot and somehow my ideas are a mish mash of things that I see and read.


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
As mentioned above, the mixed martial arts, brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai which is Thai kickboxing. I've lost 40 lbs since I began a few months ago and counting. Amazing full body workout, great for self confidence and so therapeutic being able to hit things or choke people out. LOL


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
They just take me along for the ride, I usually imagine a scenario or an opening scene and from there it writes itself.


13. Celebrity crush.
Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Erin Burnett and Meghan McCain


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

Find Tim online at these links:
WEBSITE - timmiller.org

WEBSITE - fat2fighter.com



DESCRIPTION FOR The Hand of God:
Charlie Sims is not your typical preacher. God has called him to rid the world of sinners. One corpse at a time, he carries out his brutally selfless work until a more powerful preacher appears who will change his life forever. A battle ensues for the fate of mankind.

Charlie's devout beliefs are shaken as he finds himself hurtled into a battle for the end of the world where nothing is what it seems. A violent tale filled with death and chaos, the lines between good and evil are blurred and eventually demolished.





Buy The Hand of God:


- http://www.amazon.com/The-Hand-of-God-ebook/dp/B008CS5CSM

Sunday, November 18, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Anna Zabo

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Anna Zabo
Photo by Harmony.

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
For this novel? Gosh, that's hard. I love them all. But I'd probably pick Rhys. He's young and initially unsure of himself, but when faced with very weird and very deadly happenings, he finds a reserve of strength and wisdom he didn't know he had. He's also a smartass. I love smartasses.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
All three! I usually have coffee in the morning--something strong but not bitter with a bit of cream, followed by tea in the afternoon and evening--I really like the fancy loose teas from Teavana. And even though milk doesn't love me so much any more, I'll still have a nice big glass from time to time. I just make sure it's lactose free now.


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
I'm reading Sheryl Nantus's Blaze of Glory--a superhero novel, and Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson, a historical fantasy set in Pre-revolutionary colonial America. I'm also perennially reading Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle that Made England by Juliet Barker.


6. Pop culture or academia?
Yes. :) If I ever have the time and money, I would love to go back to school and get a PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies, preferably on a topic dealing with the need for the fantastic in the post-modern, technical world. We've got near instant communication and powerful cell phones in our pockets, and yet the more we advance, there's this yearning for the unknown and unknowable, for magic and mystery. And need for the human spirit to tread the paths of our ancestors to find a place in the world. Except many of us don't have those paths. Fantasy provides an outlet and a place to explore in a world that seems all discovered out.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Everywhere. Watching personality classes at work. Driving over the Allegheny in the fog. Watching trains. Sitting and listening the the rustle of leaves. Seeing a beautiful sunset. The smell of the air by the ocean. Walking through ancient ruins in Turkey. Being afraid. Falling in love. Everything is an inspiration. It all churns around inside, then pops out my fingertips.


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 usually have some sort of vague outline, or limiting factor. For Close Quarter, since I knew the events would take place on a trans-Atlantic crossing, I had six days to work with. I knew the major issue and I knew how the novel had to end. But I didn't know what all would happen, how exactly the problem would be overcome, or even the roles some of the characters took... and that's when the story takes me for a ride. That's the part I like, the discovery of the story.


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

Anna Zabo writes erotic paranormal romance and fantasy. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think. A lover of all things fae, she finds the wonderful and the magical amid the steel and iron of her city.

She has a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

You can find Anna online at these links:
WEBSITE - http://www.annazabo.com


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


- @amergina - http://www.twitter.com/amergina
(where you will also find her other not-so-secret identity)

[Book cover by April Martinez.]
DESCRIPTION FOR Close Quarter:
On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn't his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.

Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he's a forest fae able to glamor the room around them--and more importantly, that he's on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.

Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most--the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?

Buy Close Quarter at these links:
Loose Id - http://www.loose-id.com/authors/a-f/anna-zabo/close-quarter.html

All Romance Ebooks - http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-closequarter-997909-139.html


- http://www.amazon.com/Close-Quarter-ebook/dp/B00A70QRFU


Saturday, November 17, 2012

SFFS: Snippet #3 from Atomic Zion

Atomic Zion

DESCRIPTION:
I've skipped ahead a couple of pages in the first chapter for this snippet from my SF Thriller, Atomic Zion, which is in its final revisions. The book was influenced by my time as the Educational Marketing Director at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob and by reading stories from Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, James Rollins, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Back Cover Blurb...

On the night of his 90th birthday, a former Wright Apprentice is thrown from the fifth floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The only clue to clear his grandson of the murder is a note written in Navajo code which warns "The Bear has awakened."

These four words throw Nick Vanko into the middle of a decades old international cover-up where Wright Apprentices encoded WWII-era secrets about genetic experimentation into their blueprints. In order to stop a being who isn't quite human from unleashing a biological weapon upon the U.S., Nick must find Broadacre City, the fabled utopia designed by Wright, but supposedly never built. Searching by his side are an old Navajo CodeTalker, a woman who sees emotions as colors, and a Mossad agent who is really working for the Russian mafia. But can Vanko trust any of them?
--
SNIPPET #1
SNIPPET #2
--
SNIPPET #3:

Skovajsa believed he could be like the lieutenant...one day. But today he remained frightened Jakub, his mind betraying him with its paranoia.

Was someone waiting for them? Their approach had been camouflaged by pine forests for the past two kilometers, and the landscape was such that they could see out of the forest to the rocky outcrop without being noticed in the trees' shadows. They would be most exposed for the hundred meters between the forest's edge and the cave entrance.

The lieutenant put up a hand to halt the group before the sun's rays could fall upon them. Out came the binoculars.

Minutes passed.

He gave hand signals telling Skovajsa's line to get low and move forward. The rest would cover them from the trees.
--
Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Fellengrey by Scott Thomas

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS


FELLENGREY

AUTHOR: SCOTT THOMAS

PUBLISHER: RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS 2012

DESCRIPTION: As a boy, Hale Privet dreamed of sailing the grey waters of the northern Gantic Ocean aboard a mighty ship of war. But when farm life kept him from the sea, the sea came to him – in the form of Rye Blackbird, the infamous mutineer whose wondrous tales help set Hale on his own path to adventure. And such adventures they are! Villains, mysteries, sea battles and even a cursed island await.

Privet's story is part folklore and part fantasy, set in a long-ago time where you might just as easily witness something mystical, as feel the salty spray of the sea on your face. FELLENGREY is a bedtime story for grown-ups, complete with pirates, ghosts, magic spells and, of course, a beautiful maiden to capture the dashing hero's heart. Author Scott Thomas lyrically creates a world that is visceral and treacherous, but also lovely and familiar.

CHARACTERS:



Daniel Radcliffe as HALE PRIVET

A good-hearted fellow with something of a bad temper, Hale Privet sets out to pursue his childhood dream, a life of adventure at sea aboard royal naval ships.










Daniel Day Lewis as RYE BLACKBIRD

A notorious master swordsman, who like Hale is bound to the sea, Blackbird wages a war against pirates over a matter of the heart.













Katie McGrath as HAZEL

Hazel is the lovely daughter of a tavern keeper in the village of New Crown. Her charms catch the eye of young Lt. Hale Privet and unwittingly instigate a life and death conflict between him and a superior officer.








Adrien Brody as MILL BURNSHIRE

A master coxswain in the king’s navy, Burnshire first finds himself shrunken to the size of a child and stranded on magical Small Island before later appearing as a friend in Lt. Privet’s tale.









Emile Hirsch as CAPT. LITCH

Litch is a ruthless villain who brings trouble to Hale Privet’s childhood and again when Privet is an officer at sea.









Helen Mirren as LADY SWELLBROOK

Seen as a scandalous figure at the naval fort where she has been sentenced to spend her days, Lady Swellbrook incites Privet’s protectiveness toward those who suffer injustices. He is drawn in by the story of her past and plays witness to a love that weathers both time and adversity.





Philip Seymour Hoffman as NEELAM HENTWIDGE

A meticulous fellow with a keen mind and a sword cane, Hentwidge is the kingdom’s trusted documentarian. He accompanies Lt. Privet on a mission to save the life of Fellengrey’s beloved ruler.








Geoffrey Rush as CAPT. SPURRY

A pleasantly eccentric man of the sea, Capt. Spurry takes the helm of a murder investigation and finds his ship in great danger as his very sanity is challenged.













Julianne Moore as HOLLY

As a woman of the land, Holly proves a contrasting figure to the roving Rye Blackbird, but is her love enough to keep him from riding the waves? Or will she compel him to travel the ocean again?




Scott Thomas is the author of Cobwebs and Whispers and Shadows of Flesh, both from Delirium books. His fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies which include: The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #15, The Year’s Best Horror #22, Sick: An Anthology of Illness, Leviathan 3, Of Flesh and Hunger, Deathrealms and The Ghost in the Gazebo.

Thomas is fond of old houses, cats and the music of Corelli. He lives in Maine.


Find Raw Dog Screaming Press online at these links:

LIVEJOURNAL - http://raw-dog.livejournal.com/profile

WEBSITE - http://www.rawdogscreaming.com


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Raw-Dog-Screaming-Press/141926985837593


- https://twitter.com/RDSPress

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jenna Bennett

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Jenna Bennett

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
In Fortune's Hero, definitely Quinn. Quinn's awesome. Overall... that might be Quinn too. He's really pretty cool.


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

4. What else can you do besides write?
You're gonna be sorry you asked... I've been an actress, a waitress, a restaurant hostess, a receptionist, a bank teller, a travel agent, an airline employee, a bed and breakfast reservationist, a tour guide, a store clerk, a real estate agent, a home renovator... some of them a couple times each. I have a tour management degree I've never used, too. There's honestly very little I haven't tried to become at one time or another.


5. Who are you reading right now?
Lois McMaster Bujold. Her latest Vorkosigan book was released in November - Ivan's story, Lord Vorpatril's Alliance - and I've been gobbling it up. She's one of my auto-buys: I buy - and read - her books the instant they're available. And I've been waiting a long time to see who Ivan ended up with!


6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
In Fortune's Hero, it's the scene where Elsa - the heroine - has to kill Quinn, the hero. It's only a few pages long, but it's ugly, and while I was writing it, it felt like it would never end. On a larger scale, I wrote a book once called Close to Home, the 4th book in the Cutthroat Business mystery series, and I had set up that whole five-book series, or story arc, as one long book, with three acts, a dark moment, and a climax and resolution. Book 4 is the dark moment, the whole damn thing, and it's the fastest book I've ever written. I cranked those 90,000 words out in a month and a half, because I couldn't stand being in the character's head any longer.


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'm a pretty dedicated pantser. However, lately, I've tried to work with some very basic outlines - just the three high points, say; two pages at the most - and for the shorter books I've written lately - 50,000-60,000 words vs. my usual 85,000-95,000 - it seems to help me keep on track and wander less. I can't outline in too much detail, though, because it takes away any desire to actually write the book. I like to discover as much as I can of the story as possible as I write it. And even with the super-short outlines, I find that a lot of the details change as I go along.


13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Very big and difficult question, because I read everything, and write almost everything too. Elizabeth Peters is one of the bigger influences on the mysteries. Jennifer Crusie for the romances, I think. Lois McMaster Bujold is definitely the biggest influence for the science fiction. If you go back far enough in time, you get to people like Enid Blyton and the many Carolyn Keanes, not to mention a Norwegian children's author named Berit Brænne, who wrote a book series about a little Norwegian girl named Trine who picked up siblings all over the world, traveling with her sea captain father. Ever since then, I've been interested in stories about people developing relationships across cultures and borders and differences. Which is one of the themes of Fortune's Hero, incidentally.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

New York Times bestselling author Jennie Bentley/Jenna Bennett writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. She also writes a variety of romance, from contemporary to futuristic and from paranormal to romantic suspense. Her latest release is Fortune's Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune science fiction romance series from Entangled Publishing. For more information, please visit her website, www.jennabennett.com.

DESCRIPTION FOR Fortune's Hero:
Last year, space smuggler Quinn Conlan was on top of the world. He had everything a man could want: a fast ship, a great crew, a gorgeous girlfriend, lots of money, and adventure and excitement around every corner.

That all changed when he agreed to ferry a shipload of weapons to the beleaguered planet Marica, currently under siege by Rhenian forces. Now he’s stuck in a prison camp on the moon Marica-3, subjected to weekly sessions with the camp’s “medical team,” and praying for a quick death before he breaks under the torture and spills everything he knows about the Marican resistance.

When the opportunity presents itself, Quinn takes a Rhenian med tech hostage and heads into the inhospitable interior of the small moon. There, he has to keep himself and Doctor Elsa Brandeis safe from the deadly flora and fauna, as well as hidden from the prison guards searching for them, all while formulating a plan for getting his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit.

But when Elsa professes her love, can Quinn take the beautiful doctor at her word, or will trusting her—and his heart—condemn him and his crew to an eternity on Marica-3?

Purchase information at Entangled Publishing.

Friday, November 09, 2012

SFFS: Snippet #2 from Atomic Zion

Atomic Zion

DESCRIPTION:
This is the continuation of my SF Thriller, Atomic Zion, which is in its final revisions. It was influenced by my time as the Educational Marketing Director at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob and by reading stories from Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, James Rollins, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Back Cover Blurb...

On the night of his 90th birthday, a former Wright Apprentice is thrown from the fifth floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The only clue to clear his grandson of the murder is a note written in Navajo code which warns "The Bear has awakened."

These four words throw Nick Vanko into the middle of a decades old international cover-up where Wright Apprentices encoded WWII-era secrets about genetic experimentation into their blueprints. In order to stop a being who isn't quite human from unleashing a biological weapon upon the U.S., Nick must find Broadacre City, the fabled utopia designed by Wright, but supposedly never built. Searching by his side are an old Navajo CodeTalker, a woman who sees emotions as colors, and a Mossad agent who is really working for the Russian mafia. But can Vanko trust any of them?

--

SNIPPET #1

--

SNIPPET #2:

The other men continued to exchange jokes, ranging from the indecent to the ridiculous, but always ending in the macabre. Death, blood, and bones filled their thoughts.

Skovajsa wondered if they might find that unholy trinity today. Certainly the woods around them oozed a sickly smell of organic rot.

Gregor Borikov cackled behind him and had another go at the Krauts. Skovajsa focused on a limestone outcrop one kilometer ahead. Even though his Russian was improving, he didn't get the joke. He didn't care because he hated that butcher, Borikov.

Three months more to end this Hell.

Skovajsa pictured himself sitting at a drafting table, a slide rule replacing his rifle, slippers instead of ankle-chewing combat boots.

--

Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Diana Dru Botsford

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


DIANA DRU BOTSFORD

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I lean more toward a favorite 'type' than a specific character. Whether I'm writing original prose, media tie-ins , a web series -- you name it -- my fondness goes toward the character who I've deliberately given the worst background. The more 'down-in-the-hole' the character is in the first few chapters, the more I want to just fling the worst possible circumstances their way. I'm perpetually fascinated by characters who reach for fatalism as a safety valve, but then have leadership thrust upon them and realize that 'giving up' just won't cut it. Not if they don't want to pull everyone else down around them. Whether it's Jack O'Neill (SG-1), Roz Griggs (Epilogue), or Kate Hazard (a protagonist in the original novel I'm currently working on), the journey to overcome obstacles provided by the world around them (or their own internal demons) is the most rewarding to write and to read. Life's a challenge. It's how we climb out of the hole and move forward that makes for a great story (and a great life).


2. Tell me about your travels.
As a filmmaker, I had the extraordinary fortune to travel quite a bit. Collaboration was a great way to get know the people versus taking the tourist route. I've been to six out of the seven continents so far! But, of all the places I've been, the most extraordinary was Antarctica. I'd move there in a heartbeat. In preparation for writing for THE DRIFT, I realized that I had to visit the bottom of the world first. Sure, I’d read everything I could get my hands on, but nothing I read evoked a strong enough image to spur the story I had in mind. There are, after all, just so many times you can use the word “cold” without being redundant.


There is an overwhelming honesty to the region. Imagine the coldest, driest, and yet most powerful place on Earth. Air so crisp it bites at your lungs and makes you happy to be alive. Rugged white mountains. Deep crevasses that look like someone had squeezed blue gel toothpaste onto the snow. Antarctica represents nature unbridled. Free from expectation. The land's nature was relentless. Unforgiving, and yet it's honest. Truthful.

If you'd like to read more about my experiences there, visit the ANTARCTICA JOURNEY section of my website. I've included journal entries, videos, photos. Not a day goes by that I don't miss it.


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 consider pop culture to be humanity's modern myths. Sure, we need to remember where we came from and the classic myths are a great place to start, but as a science fiction writer, I'm more interested in looking forward. Be it books, television or film, popular culture represents our current zeitgeist and while Honey Boo Boo isn't exactly my idea of an optimistic viewpoint, modern storytelling allows for such diversity! Portions of the population previously ignored now have stories that personally resonate with them whereas decades ago we had very little. As both a writer and reader, I'm in seventh heaven thanks to pop culture and how easily obtainable it is through eReaders (books, short stories, comic books) and online media streaming (film, television and web series).


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?
Classical, always. My dad was a classical record producer so I've been listening to the genre since conception (My parents actually met in a recording studio). I'm a huge fan of film and television scores, too. Whenever I begin work on a project, I'll create a playlist on iTunes with the book's title and then load it up with everything from Bach to Zimmer. I've also created playlists for certain types of scenes like battles, love scenes, contemplative moments. Knowing the type of music I play affects the rhythm and structure of my writing, I can pick a particular list to help my style and tone.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I'm an outline nut. I'm a big believer in methodically building the structure's foundation so I can relax and get into the spontaneity of a scene without worrying about where I'm going. I start with colored note cards splattered all over my office walls -- a different color for each POV -- and then write the thing up in outline form with a paragraph for each scene. The technique is steadfastly used in dramatic television writing and with good reason. It's a road map. How can you know where you're going if you don't know your destination? It doesn't mean you can't take detours, but in the end, you have to go somewhere.


13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
For plot: Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein are my old standbys, but I also look to Allan Steele, Stephen Coonts, Stephen King, Joss Whedon, and Ira Stephen Behr. For character and theme: David Mitchell, GRR Martin, Frank Herbert, and again, Whedon and Behr. But let's not forget humor! Even the darkest stories need moments of contrast or the reader/viewer gets numb. Douglas Adams has always been a favorite and I'm really inspired as of late by Community's Dan Harmon (I love meta-humor).


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Diana Dru Botsford has written for a variety of mediums including novels, television, stage and comics. While currently focusing on original novels and media tie-ins (Stargate SG-1's "Four Dragons" and "The Drift"), she recently created and executive produced the SF web series, Epilogue (see epiloguetheseries.com). Her screenwriting credits include "Rascals" for Star Trek: The Next Generation and episodes of Spiral Zone. Prior to picking up the pen, she worked in the television & film industry as a writer/producer and Visual FX Supervisor. An aficionado of speculative fiction -- from science fiction to horror, she's a frequent host on the popular Gateworld.net podcast. Botsford graduated from Boston University's film program with a degree in screenwriting and producing. She holds a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and is currently serving as an Asst. Professor of Screenwriting at Missouri State University.

To find out more about Diana's first-hand research in Antarctica--including an extensive collection of photographs and videos--visit dianabotsford.com.


DESCRIPTION FOR STARGATE SG-1 "The Drift":
With Earth’s Ancient weapons chair at the center of an international dispute, Dr. Daniel Jackson is sent to Antarctica to sooth diplomatic tensions. Meanwhile, General Jack O’Neill reluctantly takes charge of a radical new weapons chair training program. But when a natural disaster hits Antarctica, the future of the Ancient outpost – and of Earth itself – is thrown into jeopardy. Yet again, Earth’s fate lies in the hands of SG-1, but this time the team are lost and powerless to help. Trapped within a strange reality, SG-1 encounter old friends and enemies as they struggle to escape and stop the Ancient cataclysm that’s threatening to destroy the planet.

Published by Fandemonium, LTD - http://stargatenovels.com


Buy STARGATE SG-1 "The Drift" at these links:

- http://www.amazon.com/STARGATE-SG-1-The-Drift-ebook/dp/B009YXU2TI


- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sg1-21-the-drift-diana-dru-botsford/1113727421?ean=2940015915631


Friday, November 02, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Christina Freeburn

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Christina Freeburn

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
As of this moment, the favorite character of mine that I've written is Faith Hunter from Cropped to Death. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I'm once again in 'her head' as I'm working on the second book. I'm always most attached to the character whose life I'm in.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee with a splash of milk.


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
Right now I'm reading The Passporter's Guide To Disney Cruise Line (10th Edition) and Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo.


6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The toughest scene I've written so far is the ending of Long Gone, an inspirational romantic suspense. I completed the first draft in mid-October and the ending wasn't what I had envisioned or planned to write. Another reason it was difficult is I had to let go of writing, what I consider a 'standard' ending for the romantic suspense genre and go in a different direction. While I like surprising readers, I also like giving them an ending that satisfies them. It definitely is an 'ending' nothing vague about what happens, but the final showdown has a twist I didn't even except.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
My inspiration for stories usually come from what-ifing reports and items I hear or see around me or in the news.


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 do a combination of outlining and going in the direction the story 'tugs'. Whenever I try fighting the story too much, I land up stalling and find each word difficult to write. I've found I have to give up control at times and venture away from the outline if I want the book to move forward.


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

Christina Freeburn wrote her first book in the ninth grade, mostly during algebra class (which she doesn’t recommend). She served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook area among layouts, paper, bling and stuffed Disney characters. Her novel, Cropped to Death, brings together her love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia.

Find Christina at these links:

- http://www.facebook.com/christina.freeburn


- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5315723.Christina_Freeburn


- http://pinterest.com/chrisfreeburn


- http://twitter.com/ChristinaFreeb1


DESCRIPTION OF Cropped to Death:

Former US Army JAG specialist, Faith Hunter, returns to her West Virginia home to work in her grandmothers’ scrapbooking store determined to lead an unassuming life after her adventure abroad turned disaster. But her quiet life unravels when her friend is charged with murder, and Faith inadvertently supplied the evidence. So Faith decides to cut through the scrap and piece together what really happened. With a sexy prosecutor, a determined homicide detective, a handful of sticky suspects and a crop contest gone bad, Faith quickly realizes if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next one cropped.

Buy Cropped to Death at Henery Press.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: T. K. Toppin

PATHS TO PUBLICATION


My writing journey (after many half-hearted attempts) began early in 2008. To say I was a complete novice to the entire idea of writing, and the literary world, was an understatement. I just wrote what came out of my head.

Once I’d finished my very first book (the hideously rough first draft of The Lancaster Rule, which went by the plain-jane name of Tempus Fugit and Time Flies), I went about researching into how to get published. Of course, being a novice, I had no idea how to go about this, let alone write a snappy, eye-catching query letter. I learned through trial and error, and as the pile-up of rejection emails started cluttering my inbox, began fine-tuning queries, blurbs, and synopses and hoped I had a working formula.

You can imagine my surprise, after months and months, that my last few resigned attempts before deciding to call it quits, Champagne Book Group replied with a piqued interest. After recovering from my shock that they actually, really, and then definitely, wanted to publish my work, I realized just how fortunate I had been. How often does that happen, right?

Then began my real journey and my immersion into writing. It was then I learned how to go about writing, the process of it—of what to do and what not to do. I had so much to learn, and I’m still learning. Honing my craft, whittling the words, and shaping my style.

To say I’ve been lucky is yet another understatement. I have been truly fortunate. Since pushing out the last book in the Lancaster Trilogy, The Eternal Knot, I was approached by Ring of Fire Publishing, a new indie group, to submit a short story into an anthology collection. From there, the option to submit the full length spawned, and out came To Catch A Marlin, which was recently released in October 2012.

And where am I in my journey? Still writing, still creating more worlds, and far from the halfway point to my destination. Now that I’ve uncapped the literary genie that seems to have always been living inside me, I can’t seem to shake the itchy-fingers-over-the-keyboard syndrome.

--T.K. Toppin
November 2012