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Interview with an Author: Michelle M. Pillow

It is a pleasure to welcome Michelle M. Pillow author of Space Lords 4: His Earth Maiden.

Welcome Michelle to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

Thank you for having me!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Space Lords series was a series installment in the sci-fi romance Qurilixen World collection. It came naturally as the characters from previous series (Dragon Lords, Lords of the Var) began leaving their planet for the high skies. The titles of the Space Lords series has to do with a curse the pirate crew received while “visiting” a planet. Each part of the curse relates to a different element on that planet, thus: His Frost Maiden, His Fire Maiden, His Metal Maiden, His Earth Maiden. Wood will be the next element.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I started writing historical romances and thought I would never do anything else. In 2004, after my first book a Regency ghost story romance, the publisher contacted me because they needed authors to fill out their Sci Fi Romance list. I agreed with the idea that I’d do this one thing for them, and then get to back to historical “my true passion.” Those first Sci Fi books, Dragon Lords, a futuristic dragonshifter series, grew into the Quirlixen World collection with 34 books within 7 series installments and growing.

It’s comical to think of now since I don’t write historical much anymore. My career took off from there, and I now I’m best known for futuristic, sci-fi and paranormal romance. However, I’ve written in a lot of different genres—contemporary, historical, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, etc—and have recently released my third cozy mystery.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

It’s doing things away from the computer to refill the creative well. Often, that is when the best ideas strike, or I’ll be doing research for a book. Experiencing something makes you better versed to write it. Not that I can take off into spaceships, but I can tour a ghost town like what is in my newest cozy mystery, or I can interview an expert in paranormal investigations on their techniques, or climb Mayan Temples in Belize.

What makes you laugh?

I love to laugh. My husband and I joke around all the time. Usually it’s the silliest stuff.

What makes you cry?

Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone kept recommending it so I recently binge watched it and I think I cried like every episode. My husband probably thought something was seriously wrong with me. LOL

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I absolute LOVE horror movies. Scary, campy, phycological, it doesn’t matter. I have some darker books, the series Tribes of the Vampire, that does reflect a horror quality. I’d love to be able to write a straight thriller or horror if time allowed.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I love talking to my readers online. They can usually find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Michelle M. Pillow, Author

NYT & USAT Bestselling Author Michelle M. Pillow is an award-winning romance writer with over 100 published books over the course of her nearly 15-year career. She is best known for her Quirlixen World including the series: Dragon Lords, Space Lords, Lords of the Var, Galaxy Alien Mail Order Brides, and more.

Michelle is always up for a new adventure or challenge, whether it’s a paranormal investigation of an old Vaudeville Theatre or climbing Mayan temples in Belize. She was a refugee extra on SyFy’s Z Nation (2016).

Website: www.michellepillow.com

Qurilixen World: https://michellepillow.com/dragonlords/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichellePillow/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichellePillow

Instagram: https://instagram.com/michellempillow/

Upcoming/Newest Release:

Better Haunts and Garden Gnomes, (Un)Lucky Valley Book 1, Cozy Mystery Paranormal Romantic Comedy

Available starting June 26, 2018

Welcome to Lucky Valley where nothing is quite what it seems.

Lily Goode wasn’t aware she had an inheritance waiting for her in the form of a huge Victorian house in Lucky Valley, Colorado. Life might finally be coming together for her. That is if you don’t count the endless home repairs, dealing with eccentric Aunt Polly who claims they’re both witches, and Nolan Dawson the handsome home inspector who seems to have it out for her, then, sure, life is grand. Oh, and not to mention the strange hallucinations and garden gnomes who are far more than lawn ornaments.

If mysterious accidents don’t do her in, then the rebellious gnomes just might. With the help of Aunt Polly, it’s up to Lily to discover who’s sabotaging her new home and trying to drive the Goodes out of Lucky Valley once and for all.

Interview with Author Amanda Cherry

It is a pleasure to welcome Amanda Cherry author of Rites & Desires.

Welcome Amanda to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

Thanks a Million for having me!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Rites & Desires is a distillation of what’s on the protagonist’s mind all the time. Ruby is obsessed with getting what she wants, the return of her lost magical powers most of all. And since the book is all about Ruby, I wanted the title to be a reflection of her inner world.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

The only character I got to name on my own was Arsho Barsamian, who is a minor character who I love in a major way. They are a genderfluid top-tier executive and part of the Armenian Diaspora. I think nonbinary people in positions of power aren’t often seen in fiction, so I gave them the name that means “Dawn” in Armenian, because I think of it as a beginning of a kind of representation that we don’t get enough of. Everyone else was already an existing character in the universe or in mythology.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

My book takes place in the Cobalt City universe of heroes and villains. I had read several earlier stories and was already a big fan of the characters when I was invited to submit to their short story anthology in 2015. The character of Ruby Killingsworth, who became my book’s protagonist, was loosely based on me when she was first seen in a story by Dawn Vogel. After my short story sold, and I had set Ruby on this course, I really wanted to see her through it. I was thrilled when DefCon One Publishing said yes!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

There’s a balance to be struck between adequate focus to get things done, and being so hyper-focused you forget to brush your teeth or wash your kid’s clothes. Ruby is a champion of multitasking—I wish I were as good at it as she is. For me, sanity while writing (while drafting especially) lies in part in finding joy in your fictional world and being able to look forward to returning there day after day after day. Ruby is a practiced hedonist and she has a way of finding joy in every moment. If she’s not having a good time, she changes something until she is—and that’s a great metaphor for a story: if I’m not having a good time, the readers won’t either, and I should change something until it’s fun!

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Most people who are familiar with me as a writer know that I cut my author-teeth writing fanfiction. So I am very accustomed to doing my research and having to get to know existing characters and their voices before sitting down to create a story. This book took things to a whole new level. There are multiple mythologies represented in this book. A Norse god is a featured character, and there are brushes with both Tibetan Buddhism and the Queen of Sheba. I had to spend oodles of time making sure I had things just so. I didn’t want to misrepresent anything with a basis in genuine tradition, so it was a lot of work—but it was worth it in the end. I’m very happy with the finished product.

What makes you laugh?

My four year-old. A good Star Wars joke. My dog.

What makes you cry?

The fact that my childhood best friend, my mom, and my lifelong hero aren’t here to read my book. Go out and create RIGHT NOW, people! Tomorrow could be too late for the people you love most to share it with you!

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I am a geek of the highest degree. I love Star Wars and Harry Potter the most, but my love for Star Trek: TNG. The X-Files, Buffy, and the West Wing have also spawned epic fannishness. I think I see a little of all of this in my writing. There’s definitely the kind of witty banter that my favorite characters are known for as well as elements of magic that you might find in the Buffyverse. There’s even a little politicking.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

This is my debut novel and I am more than thrilled to be sharing this story with everyone. MY protagonist is objectively a villain, which is an interesting point of view from which to tell a story. I think it’s fresh and fun and I think people will enjoy it.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I am super accessible! I am probably most easily reached via tweet @MandaTheGinger . I also have a Facebook Page, a Website: www.TheGingerVillain.com, an Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/amandacherry
and a Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16099525.Amanda_Cherry

Amanda Cherry is a native of Pensacola, FL and an alumnus of UNLV who hasn’t been thoroughly warm since moving to the Seattle area in 2003. Amanda’s first love was performing, and she has had a successful career as a theatre, television, and film actress.

Amanda’s first book was penned in her family’s den and published by her father in time for Christmas in 1985, she was six years old. After the limited success of that first outing, Amanda turned to writing stories for fun. She spent the next twenty-odd years doing just that.

A lifelong nerd, Amanda joined the staff at her favorite Star Wars site, Tosche Station, as a contributing writer in 2016 and discovered that letting other people read what she’d written was actually pretty fun. Thanks to the encouragement of a friend, she was invited to submit to Cobalt City Christmas: Christmas Harder in 2016 while living overseas in Berlin, Germany. When she learned that her story was bought, she cried.

Interview with Author E.L. Roux

It is a pleasure to welcome E.L. Roux author of Unrequited Love, Book 1 of The Magic and Heartache series.

Welcome E.L. to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Magic and Heartache series is meant to be about characters who must overcome a past heartache in order to move on and find the HEA.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to? 

I read, a lot. And I’ve always love fantasy and science fiction romances, and I usually take from current events, and research projects to sculpt my stories. The idea for this series actually came from a thread from rainbow-femme tumblr rant about being sick of magical worlds not having coffee shops where you can get a shot of charisma before a big meeting, that and being asked to join an anthology group for Love Through Heartache, published in November 2017. I fell in love with the world I built, and the characters who lived in them, and had to write more.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I think honesty and being loved for who you are, are very important attributes to being a better person, and staying sane, especially in today’s world, so I try and include those attributes into the characters I write, and the stories that I read.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others? 

I wanted to create a fantasy world where you’d meet characters that didn’t meet your normal fantasy expectations while creating new ones to introduce you to. I actually did a lot of research on Greek, Roman, and German gods and spirits, and loosely based some of my fantasy races off of them. For instance, I have Trolls in my story, but they aren’t the hulking ugly things you’ve read about before. And since the series books will be about novella length, I haven’t had the opportunity to reach further away from euro-centric gods, but I’m hoping to add more characters unique character types later.

What makes you laugh?

I’m a sucker for puns and silly jokes. I laugh at a lot actually, and often crack myself up, so at least I find myself funny even if no one else does. My goal is to reach the apex of dad-joke level (parent-joke level), but my pun game is severely lacking.

What makes you cry?

I’m a sucker for animal videos, and dance mobs, but reading wise, I love when a soul has been bared and torn open for us to experience their pain and watch as they rebuild themselves, usually with help, into a better person.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Unrequited Love will be re-released as a slightly expanded and re-edited stand alone novel on April 19!

The second book in the series will be out by the end of May!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

My main author interaction is through Facebook, @ELRouxAuthor

Pre-Order Updated and revised Unrequited Love here.

Anthology Love Through Heartache, featuring Unrequited Love available via Amazon.

Interview With Author: Eva Caye

It is a pleasure to welcome Eva Caye author of the The To Be Sinclair series.

Welcome Eva to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The To Be Sinclair series is about the greatest ruling family in the history of the galaxy, which means nobility. So I exemplify the ‘noble virtues’ or chivalrous code of honor in the titles, which describe the overall theme of the novel. The only one I couldn’t come up with to fit the brand was Evan’s Ladies; it was the first book made exclusively of novellas, although my most recent one, Integrity, consists of three novellas.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Overall, I simply choose names I like. However, when the Sandy Hook massacre took place, a meme started floating around Facebook that said, “Here are the names of the victims so you won’t remember the names of their murderer.” I took that to heart and incorporated the first and last names, separately, into my next few books as tribute to them. They’re usually benevolent or highly responsible characters, like Sentinels, who are the equivalent of the FBI/Secret Service. I think I’ve gotten them all by now!

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I’ve always loved science fiction, but I chose to write science fiction romance because they’re two ends of a spectrum running from ‘intellectual objectivity’ to ‘emotional reaction’. I even wrote an article called, “Science Fiction Romance: the Ultimate Fusion!”, found here, to explain why I felt it was necessary to bring ‘the feels’ to science fiction. And, preferably, the good feels aka love! After all, even if you’re a brilliant mad scientist, the most important decision you can make in life is who you’ll spend it with.

My overall goal, however, is to write science fiction in a way that intrigues the romance crowd – not too heavy on the science, but with consistent explanations that might encourage a young lady to pursue science as a career, or that’ll leave a romance reader satisfied that these things are indeed quite plausible and can happen in the future.

I think I’ve particularly pegged the characterization of each scientist, though! I’m sure anyone who is married to a scientist will recognize their spouse in at least one of the characters!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I have no problem with ‘remaining sane’ as a writer. I do, however, incorporate a lot of psychology into my series, and several of my characters suffer depression like I do.

I rather object to depression being labeled a ‘mental illness’; there’s some real physical problem underlying it all, and I desperately hope someone figures it out soon. But, until then, I can at least write about how to deal with people suffering depression. In my most recent book, Integrity, I try to convey exactly what it’s like, and my editor praised me highly for it.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

I research all kinds of things, from black holes and quantum gravity to how ancient Greek royalty was addressed. Authors make a lot of jokes with each other about how long our NSA files must be, from Googling how far pieces of glass would fly if you used X amount of C4, or how big an explosion an atomic bomb makes if the atomic part doesn’t go off!

What makes you laugh?

Clever intellectual mash-ups, like Doctor Who songs or Star Trek/Star Wars mashups. I detest slapstick because I see nothing funny about inflicting pain or embarrassment on anyone.

What makes you cry?

Animal cruelty. I occasionally warn people on Facebook about how I block ‘friends’ who post it, and I’ve blocked four people so far.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

Oh, I’m always including my interests in my stories! I love to tat, so in one book I have a lady who tats cute little creatures for her friends, and eventually creates emblems for the Imperial Family. I have another lady ‘teach’ her boyfriend, the Crown Prince, how to lounge on a couch because he’s been raised ‘properly’ and needs to loosen up. She even introduces him to junk food!

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

The To Be Sinclair series spans three generations. The first two books are about the parents of the protagonists in the next six books, and the grandparents of everyone after that.

Otherwise, one of the main undercurrents is how women can fight their way out of a highly patriarchal society to achieve their dreams. My next (probably last) novel, Civility, will be over one of the daughters and one of the granddaughters, and it’ll be a declaration for women’s rights, as well as the rights of intelligent alien species!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

I can always be reached by email, but I’ve been shying away from Facebook lately due to all the negativity.

Thanks again Eva for the interview!

Eva Caye, author of the To Be Sinclair series, can build a rocket stove, tat lace, handle a gun, design book covers and permaculture garden plans, and teach teenagers critical thinking. Her favorite activities include writing science fiction romance and playing with her doggie. She currently lives in a tiny, century-old farmhouse with her magnificent husband and a marvelous rescue mutt in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ways to connect with Eva:

Blog: http://evacaye.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eva.caye
Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/evacaye
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/evacaye
Payhip: http://payhip.com/evacaye
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EvaCaye
Google +: http://plus.google.com/u/0/106270772543621634687/posts

Interview with Author: Carmen Webster Buxton

It is a pleasure to welcome Carmen Webster Buxton author of Alien Bonds.

Welcome Carmen to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The series is called Wakanreo because that’s the name I gave the alien world. The first book is called Alien Bonds because the protagonist finds herself tied to the world—and to one particular Wakanrean—in a way she never expected.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

I confess to a certain pettiness in that sometimes the bad guys are named after people I didn’t like, but other than that, I don’t tend to name characters with any scheme in mind. Mostly names pop into my head.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I loved science fiction and adventure stories when I was a kid, but when I look at the far future, I want something familiar, something I understand, so I add romance. Even my books that aren’t romances almost always have a love story or two. And I love reading about different cultures and customs, real or made-up. My favorite authors include Ursula LeGuin, Jane Austen, and Georgette Heyer.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

One reason I’m a writer is I want to control the story. I want the characters to say and do what I want. But left unchecked, this tendency can result in stories only I would want to read. So I have to be willing to listen to what other people think about my stories. Certainly, the more agreeable of my characters are willing to learn from others.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

In making the aliens very like humans, but still different, I had to decide what could be different and what should be the same. For example, I was going to give the aliens “cat-eyes” with vertical slit pupils but in reading about evolution, I discovered animals with slit pupils evolved as four-footed creatures who hunted close to the ground, which helped them see in shadowy places like under bushes. Since the Wakanreans are slightly taller than humans, I opted to give them round pupils.

What makes you laugh?

The unexpected, especially when it includes a dose of karma. I love seeing someone who deserves it get their comeuppance when they least expect it.

What makes you cry?

Pretty much anything at all sad. I don’t just cry reading sad books or watching sad movies. A commercial on TV can make me tear up.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love to be amused. This is certainly reflected in my books to some extent, although they are not primarily humorous. But in terms of what I look for in a book, I want to be transported to a different time and place and I want to care what happens to the characters in the story.

Is there anything else you want to add about the story, series that has not already been mentioned?

Come visit Wakanreo!

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Comment on my blog (http://carmenspage.blogspot.com/). Or if it’s a private question, my email is on the ‘About’ page on my blog.

###

Carmen Webster Buxton author of Novels: The Sixth Discipline, No Safe Haven, Tribes, The Nostalgia Gambit, Shades of Empire, King of Trees, Saronna’s Gift, Turnabout, Alien Bonds and Novella: Where Magic Rules

Connect with Carmen via:

Interview with AR DeClerck

It is a pleasure to welcome author AR DeClerck to talk about the story Bound To You.

Welcome AR to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better!

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Bound to You is the basic premise of the story, to be honest. The characters experience a bond that syncs them physically and psychically and makes it difficult to deny their attraction.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to? I have always adored SFR and I love reading it. I knew I wanted to write about characters who find love through adventure, and what better backdrop than space?

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others? This novel required some research into energy, wormholes, travel in space, giant bugs that look like crickets, and biochemical syncing of two bodies. It was loads of fun!

What makes you laugh?

Irony makes me laugh. When someone gets what’s coming to them, but doesn’t realize it til the end (good or bad) I chuckle a little. Animal videos, too, of course!

What makes you cry?

Those sappy sad declarations of love, especially at the moment when it seems all is lost and the person has to break down and say what they really feel before it’s too late. Those always get me.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love Firefly, Sherlock, Killjoys and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I think you’ll see a little of everything in my stories, especially the idea of those close connections to the people around you and how they shape your decisions and your life.

What is the best way for readers to interact with you?

Find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/authoramydeclerck and join me on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/amydeclerck

Bound To You is on sale until 02/01/2018 at Amazon, iBooks, BN.com, Kobo, Indigo, Angus Robertson

AR DeClerck is a wife, mother, and writer who lives in the Upper Midwest with her family, two spoiled dogs and a wily cat. She spends her nights on the couch writing romances filled with adventure, sadness, joy and love. She’s always looking for the next great romance.

Find AR at www.ardeclerck.com
www.Twitter.com/@ARDeClerck
Join her newsletter http://amyreadsandwrites.blogspot.com/p/newsletter-sign-ups.html

And find updated links to all her books (available at all retailers) http://amyreadsandwrites.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Interview with Author Karen Thrower

It is a pleasure to welcome Karen Thrower author of Curse of the Siren and the upcoming release Demons Within.


Welcome Karen to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your latest story better!

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you?

Demons Within was originally going to be part of an anthology where all the stories take place in Oklahoma, since all the writers that would have been contributing are from Oklahoma. The anthology never took off, but my story did. I wanted to write a western, and being from Oklahoma I had lots of things to inspire me, including real live people.

The three main characters are real people. James Masterson, is brother to famous lawman Bat Masterson (who had a TV series of his exploits!) Rose of the Cimarron and her boyfriend George ‘Bittercreak’ Newcomb were notorious robbers. So these were real people and it was a lot of fun researching them.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Being from Oklahoma I was inundated with western culture and history growing up. It’s something that comes naturally to me and I wanted to write a story that would re-introduce these lesser known characters of history.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

I think what was different about the research for this story was it was mainly looking up the exploits of real people and places. Logan county Oklahoma was where the first capital of Oklahoma was (Guthrie) and where the story takes places. It was very interesting seeing how much the city has changed since 1890.

I knew about Bat Masterson, but he had two other brothers who were also Federal Marshalls, James and Ed. I read about James dying in Guthrie Ok, and I started wondering if I could give him a more glorious death than tuberculous at age 39. He was famous for the Battle of Ingalls, which George Newcomb participated in and its said his girlfriend Rose helped save his life afterwards. If they encountered each other once, it could happen again and this time, things would be much different.

What makes you laugh?

Almost anything makes me laugh but what always gets a giggle out of me is my four-year-old laughing. It’s so infectious it’s hard not to be happy while hearing it.

What makes you cry?

Seeing others in pain, especially pain that could have been avoided.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I am a fan of demon lore and I always wanted to really dig in and find a demon to write about. I found two that seemed to work well with the story I wanted to convey, Basmu and Naberious. They’re real demons you can look up and read about!

When will this story be available?

Demons Within will be appearing in the January 2018 edition of Broadswords and Blasters and I would be tickled if you would order a copy! They will have four issues out by this time so don’t be afraid to get them all. They have exceptional cover art and wonderful stories! Find out more at https://broadswordsandblasters.com.

Where can we find out more about your other stories?

You can keep up with up me via my author pages on Amazon.com or Goodreads.

I have some books on Amazon, paperback or Kindle including a five-book romance/fantasy series and an urban fantasy one shot, Curse Siren Rekindled, but I might write more for those characters one day.

I also have a flash piece coming out December 8th for Lonesome October Lit, ‘A Demons Favor’. It’s a new, very nice little horror webzine for poetry and flash fiction. The editors are some real stand up people so give them a look! Learn more at https://lonesomeoctoberlit.wordpress.com/

Thanks again Karen for stopping by today, I really appreciate it!

Interview with Adam Bray about Ultimate Marvel

The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl welcomes author Adam Bray to talk about his latest project for DK Books, Ultimate Marvel.

Adam Bray at Motor City Comic Con in 2016

Adam Bray at Motor City Comic Con in 2016

  
Welcome Adam to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions about the recently released, Ultimate Marvel!

 
What interested you most about working on this project in comparison to working on other DK Projects?

It’s always fun to work on something new and different. This is my second Marvel book. It takes an exhaustive look at the entire library of Marvel comics and characters, so it was a chance to explore all of canon and learn a lot. It’s also nice to work on these big books because it means I’m guaranteed to have work for a good chunk of the year without having to hunt for new projects!

 
I was very surprised that this reference book was only references the comics and not the MCU Movies and TV shows. Was this always intended or did this come up during the process?

It was always planned to only cover comics in this book. I don’t think DK has published any books about the movies or TV shows yet, but hopefully they will some day. However, I did make sure we added characters from the Agents of Shield series to this book, since they have appeared in recent comics, and I am a big fan of the TV show!

 

Key Moment spread from Ultimate Marvel image via DK Books

Key Moment spread from Ultimate Marvel image via DK Books


 
What areas of this book did you work on?

With such a big book, I think all 4 of us contributing authors worked on a wide selection of characters, locations, weapons, technology and other items. I wrote sections about the Avengers and core characters like Ant-Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, all things Spider-Man (apart from his main character entry, which was written in-house at DK as the original sample spread) and Daredevil. And of course I’m a fan of the Netflix series and the Avengers movies, so it is fun and interesting to compare how the comics differ from the MCU. In total, I think I wrote around 42 spreads, which is 84 pages, if I remember correctly. There was so much material to write that I spent several months writing 7 days a week from the time I got up till the time I went to bed! And then another couple of months working on daily batches of image captions, diagrams and text revisions or additions.

 
What is your favorite entry within this book and why?

That’s hard to say because there are so many—and partly because I can’t remember everything I wrote! Captain America and Spider-Man are among my favorite characters so I really enjoyed working on all the spreads related to them. But I also like working on characters that I’m not familiar with so I can learn something new.

 

Example from Weapons And Technology section image from DK Books

Example from Weapons And Technology section image from DK Books


 
What approach did you take when researching this book? Did you need to reference original comics for this? If so which ones did you need to refer to the most?

Writing a book like this is really more like running a marathon. It’s all about staying on schedule and completing a substantial amount of work every day. Each day I had to write an average of 1500-2000 words, and all of it had to be researched that same day. I consulted a wide variety of things—particularly DK’s own Marvel reference books, as well as online Marvel Wikis and fan sites for cross-checking and tracking down sources. I used Marvel Unlimited’s online comics library and occasionally retail sites to check dates and issue numbers. Throughout the book we have Key Moments spreads that cover important stories in the timeline. This required me to sit down and read whole mini-series for particular Captain America and Spider-Man story arcs.

 
What is your favorite character or section to work on and why?

I like Spider-Man because he’s definitely Marvel’s most relatable, every-day human character, despite his amazing powers. Also Captain America is a good old-fashioned patriotic hero; an archetype that’s maybe even fallen out of fashion in our contemporary pop-culture.

 
Did you learn anything new by working on this project?

I learned so much! The thing about Marvel is we are approaching a century of comic book history. It’s impossible for any fan to know everything—maybe even impossible to know everything about some of the long-running characters themselves. So much of the material is actually new information to me too! And that’s one of the most rewarding thing about writing—is the ability to learn along the way—and something I strive to do no matter what the subject matter is.

 
Is there anything else you would like to share about Ultimate Marvel?

What sets this book apart is that it covers everything in chronological order, as the characters, locations, weapons and technology were introduced in publishing. And the book is full of timelines. So it gives fans a very good picture of how everything fits together and when events occurred.

 
Where can fans find you?

The best place to find me is on Twitter and Facebook: @AuthorAdamBray. I also have a website at www.AdamBray.com, though it’s a bit out-of-date at the moment.

 
Thanks again Adam for a wonderful interview! 

Ultimate Marvel is the definitive in-world guide to the Marvel Comics Universe featuring, in chronological order, every significant Marvel Comic character, location, vehicle, and weapon in the company’s history. This reference book is available through the following online retail sites: DK Books UK, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, BN.com, Books A Million, Indie Bound, Indigo, McNally Robinson, Waterstones.

Interview with Author Stephanie Osborn

It is a pleasure to welcome Stephanie Osborn author of the Division One series.

Welcome Stephanie to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

Division One is a series based on my take of the urban legend about the covert group of men and women who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. and make the evidence… disappear. They are, in reality, a branch of the Pan-Galactic Law Enforcement and Immigration Agency, or PGLEIA. This galaxy-wide organization reports to the Galactic Council, and is broken into the equivalent of precincts, or divisions, for the sake of structural hierarchy, and Earth is the Headquarters for Galactic Division One.

The first book, Alpha and Omega, chronicles the inadvertent induction of Agent Omega into Division One’s brand-new department, Alpha Line. Alpha Line is the equivalent to a SWAT team, or perhaps the Texas Rangers – one situation, one team.

She is partnered with the new department’s chief, Agent Echo, the top field agent in the entire Division, and second in line for the Directorship. Together, they are designated as Alpha One, the premier team in Alpha Line. They work under Agent Fox, a human with considerable galactic experience and a fascinating – and unusually long – back story; he was a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps, yet he appears to be only around 50 years of age, if that.

The first two books of the series, Alpha and Omega, and A Small Medium At Large, came out earlier this year, in print and ebook formats. Book 3, A Very UnCONventional Christmas, just came out, and book 4, Tour de Force, comes out in October. The series will continue next year with several new books.

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Special significance? Not really, though the “real” surnames of the two main characters were pulled from my own genealogy – a little trick I sometimes use just to help me quickly build the characters, since it means I know a bit about about the family background. I do usually try to pick character names that are reflective of the character, if possible, though not always.

For instance, Agent Echo’s name (on his birth certificate) was Alexander Ian Bryant. Bryant is loosely Celtic in origin (and in my family tree), hence I used variants of Celtic given names. Except Echo’s mother was Lipan Apache, and his middle name was SUPPOSED to be Elan, which is Apache for “friendly.” Only the registrar misheard and followed the Celtic flow of the rest of his name, making his middle name officially Ian on his birth certificate. (Strictly speaking, the Celtic equivalent of Alexander is Alistair, but I liked the sound of Alexander Ian better; Alistair sounds too pompous for that character.) “Friendly” as a name for him evokes an interesting dichotomy in my mind, since he is fierce in battle, and anything BUT friendly to an alien perp. He is also a reserved, “still waters run deep” kind of man, but he cares deeply about the people around him, those with whom he’s close. He doesn’t exactly show it a lot to said people, but it’s there. And over the course of the first book, we find that Omega becomes one of those people.

And since Echo is from Texas, and Bryants figured prominently in Texas history, I tied it in, just a bit, as being a branch of the family who founded Bryant Station, etc.

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

Oh, SF was always my favorite genre, growing up. I read ‘most every science fiction book I could get my hands on. I wanted to work in the space program (which I eventually wound up doing), and it fired my imagination and made me excited for the future. My second favorite genre to read was mystery, and I always liked action-adventure, a bit of thriller, and a soupcon of romance. Which probably explains why that is the recipe for most of the books that I write!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

I try to be disciplined about it, meaning that I write almost every day – it’s a job, after all. I can become a real workaholic if I’m not careful, though, and I’m handicapped, so – well, if you are familiar with the ‘spoons’ analogy of chronic illness (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoon_theory ), I just don’t have as many spoons as I used to have. So sometimes I have to just MAKE myself take a break. Otherwise…I’ve ended up quite sick as a result of pushing past my limits. And that can set me back for months, as I try to recover. Because let’s face it, creativity requires significant amounts of energy. And if all your energy is being funneled into getting well, there isn’t anything left for creation.

And yeah, I do find that several of my characters wind up being a lot like that. If you really enjoy what you’re doing, then in a fashion it stops becoming work, and you don’t WANT to stop.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Well, for this set of books, I had, and have, to do a lot of research regarding the Milky Way Galaxy and its structure. My graduate work was in astronomy and astrophysics, so I consider it a lot of fun, but what I have to do is to figure out where things are in the galaxy with respect to each other; what areas are potentially inhabitable, and what are not. Even just relative orientations! For instance, I’m currently writing book 5, Trojan Horse, and I had to ascertain where the Orion Nebula was with respect to Earth, and what was visible from the location of the nebula when looking back TOWARD Earth. So…kind of a galactic map, if you will.

What makes you laugh?

A well-constructed pun; a good joke with an unexpected punchline; my husband’s excellent one-liners. I love my husband’s sense of humor, and one of the things I have always adored about him is his ability to find a way to make me laugh, no matter how down or upset I may be about a situation.

One of the funniest things I can recall in recent years was when I discovered a webcomic called Vexxarr. The eponymous alien is an outcast from his kind, a space traveler who has collected a hodgepodge crew about himself, and who is constantly getting into all kinds of scrapes and getting out on his wits.

So in this one particular sequence of strips, Vexxarr gets nearly eaten by a large alien kaiju kind of monster, and is rescued before he can go down the creature’s gullet. Upon being returned to his ship, he is in severe shock and is monosyllabic for a bit, as his crew tries to find out exactly what happened. Finally the story gets pieced together and as one of them recounts it in toto, he makes this vivid, horrible description of Vexxarr entering the maw of the beast, with its slavering jaws, huge, razor-sharp teeth, ravening tongue…

And suddenly Vexxarr pipes up with the only polysyllabic word he’s said since the whole horrid event started.

“UVULA!” he yells at the top of his lungs.

I howled laughing. I laughed until tears just ran down my cheeks. I laughed until I was out of breath, but I couldn’t stop. I laughed hysterically for probably ten minutes, until I was gasping for air. And it was probably half an hour or better before the very thought of the strip didn’t send me off into fresh gales of laughter.

For quite a while that was the rallying cry on the Vexxarr message board…

I got to meet and get to know the webcomic’s creator a few years ago, and he’s as fun and funny as his strip. I have hopes that one of these days he’ll let me coauthor a short story arc in the strip with him. I’d love to see him bring our ideas to a kind of life like that.

What makes you cry?

Watching a hero/heroine sacrifice him/herself for the sake of someone or something s/he loves. Seeing a baby anything die or be killed. Bittersweet endings. Seeing misunderstood creatures or people be mistreated.

I watched the Japanese kaiju film, Rodan, the other day and was SO sad when the creatures died at the end, because in the end, one fell into the lava, and the other chose to dive in after it, preferring to die at its side than live without it…and there was something so loving, so touching, about it that it kind of ‘humanized’ them even though they had killed people.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’m a big film buff, particularly of science fiction and fantasy movies, but also the related genre of comic-book movies. My writing has been described as very cinematic in style, so that when someone reads it, it creates the effect of a movie playing in his/her head. And that’s pretty much correct, because when I write, it’s like watching a movie in my head and just transcribing it.

I think the funny banter found in most of the comic-type movies also comes out in my writing, too, as I find my characters have a tendency to do the same kind of banter.

###

Thanks Stephanie for taking time to let us get to know about the Division One series and yourself better!

Division One series, published by Chromosphere Press is available through Amazon:

Division One series

Division One series

About Stephanie Osborn

Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to almost 30 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series, and has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has dabbled in paranormal/horror as well, releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story. Currently she’s launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things…disappear.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

The Mystery continues.

You can learn more about Stephanie and the Division One series via her webite, http://www.stephanie-osborn.com/

Interview with Author J.L. Carter

It is a pleasure to welcome J.L. Carter author of The Sky Regency.

Welcome to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your stories better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Sky Regency could be best summed up as “a Jane Austen story with sexy aliens”. I wanted to play with the world “regency”, which literally means a change of governance while a ruler is absent. The new governance comes in the form of an extraterrestrial entity. An alien species with human appearance people chose to call “Sky Men” (the notion of space was quite primitive at the time).

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

Yes, a lot of significance! Even though the novel can be seen as sci-fi, it borrows the codes and setting of Regency-era romance. Therefore, all the characters’ names (first and last) had to remain accurate to the place and era. However, I did take some liberties for a few ones, as I launched a contest for my first readers to have their name appear in the story (either as humans or aliens) and the characters reflecting their personality. It is my way of thanking them for their great support!

Oh, and there’s also a character that is a reference to a famous Mark Twain novel (you’ll have to guess this one!)

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

I think it goes all the way back to my childhood. I was the only girl child in my family and all the boys (brothers and father) were into sci-fi. Only my mother read Regency novels quite voraciously, and so I was raised with this two vastly different influences. Growing up, I gained the geeky personality of my brothers while staying a hopeless romantic, just like mom. As a first-time author, I wanted my book to be a synthesis of these two worlds… And so, The Sky Regency was born!

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

Actually, the book often deals with the themes of madness and remaining sane. I identify with Margaret, the main character, who is sometimes seen as an escapist but knows how to separate dreams and reality, even when her own reality is challenged.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

Lots and lots of historical research on Regency-era England. I wanted to explore the basis of what made this period so memorable in British History, from fashion to architecture to the political environment. There are many references to actual historical figures, including King George III and the Prince Regent. George III was known to have developed dementia in the later part of his life, which triggered the Regency Act, but it was never officially revealed how he developed it. I thought seeing spaceships and being visited by aliens could be a theory 

What makes you laugh?

SNL, my geeky husband, politics (sometimes).

What makes you cry?

Hatred, onions, politics (sometimes).

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I’ve always been a fan of epic series, either historical or sci-fi, which explores entire civilizations, real or fictional. Star Wars of course comes to mind (I named my second daughter Leia!). I think one of my favorite writers would be Philip K. Dick. Even though his stories are essentially short, he always managed to build a futurist world that is believable and add a suspenseful plot that keeps you turning pages. The Sky Regency is obviously inspired by The Man In The High Castle, one of his finest works to me, as it masterfully imagined an alternate History, based on the idea “what if the Nazis won World War II?”

Thanks J.L. for letting us get to know you and your story better.

THE SKY REGENCY by J.L. Carter is available for pre-order, FREE with KU!
Release Day: April 30, 2017
All she wanted was a change.
All he wanted was a mate.
It’s 1810, and Europe is at war as Napoleon stages his great march across the continent and the British Empire battles the threat. King George III’s illness leaves him raving about sky invasions—rants that his courtiers dismiss as the thoughts of a madman.
Margaret Swinton has her own problems; unwillingly promised to Julian Barwick, Duke of Bridgewater and a royal insider, she struggles to find feelings for him, something that her family cannot understand.
However, History will soon be transformed when strange lights start to appear over England: a new invader with a power that easily overwhelms the primitive British forces. As George III repeals the Regency Act, Margaret meets Aidar, the gorgeous and dreaded Prince of the Sky Men.
Margaret quickly finds herself trapped in a deadly, deceit-filled love triangle in a world that has changed forever. The stakes are high, and one wrong move could easily spell disaster…

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/nu5dDH
Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon CA : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XBGXFCZ
Amazon AU : https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B06XBGXFCZ

More about J.L. Carter

J.L? Carter was born in small town Texas from an avid Regency romance reader and a sci-fi geek. As a result, she was destined to marry a Jedi Duke and be trained to become an a**-kicking lady.
Growing up as a financial analyst in Austin, she used to write kinky fan-fiction on the back of Excel spreadsheets. Thankfully, her boss never found out (but his secretary did!).
When she’s not writing, J.L. likes to read sci-fi and paranormal romance books (the more fangs and claws, the better), try not to burn everything she cooks, Netflix with her husband and raise her two kids to not become as weird as she is.

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