Tag Archive | Interview with An Author

Interview with Author: EG Manetti

It is a great pleasure to welcome EG Manetti author of the Twelve Systems Chronicles series!

Welcome EG 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

The Twelve Systems Chronicles was selected to convey both science fiction and the epic fantasy. As of February 19, 2019, there are seven volumes and another four or five to come. Why 12 systems, not 10 or 14? That’s my subtle homage to George Lucas and the original Star Wars movies: I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

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

Great question and one that came up in one of my reader groups recently. Super convenient for me because I have the response all set. The character names come from many sources; family, friends, my erratic muse. Some are deliberate choices based on meaning. Others are simply names, although I try to pull from the full range of cultures. A few of the main and supporting characters:

With the heroine, Lilian; it was her name from the first. I have no idea where it came from or why it is spelled as it is. The same is true of the Five Warriors and Adelaide—they and their stories emerged from my psyche full-blown.

The alpha male main character, Lucius took some time to settle – I wanted something that evoked the ruthlessness and warrior culture of ancient Rome, but also Rome’s commitment to law and order. According to ‘Behind the Names’ –Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux “light”. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian.

Lucius’ sons; Cesare & Raphael because I wanted to keep the Latin theme. Cesare Borgia has always fascinated me. Raphael because – art.

Lilian’s mother, Helena is a version of my given name — I couldn’t resist.

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

The story started as a vivid dream that I had the morning before a five-hour car trip. By the time I reached my destination, I had the outline in my head. That I dream in science fiction romance does not surprise me.

I’ve loved science-fiction since I found Captain Kirk and Spock on cable when I was a teenager. Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Andre Norton were huge favorites that I interspersed with romance authors Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodwiss, Amanda Quick, and others.  Then I discovered Anne McCaffery and science fiction romance – it has been my go-to ever since.  Although I’ve also been heavily influenced by fantasy authors; J.R.R. Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Jacqueline Carey, and Stephen Donaldson, to name a few.

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

Commitment, determination, endurance, tenacity, and imagination. And yes, Lilian embodies all of these and more.

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

This is my first set of novels. I’ve researched everything from ancient swords and daggers to crystal computing to poisons.

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

I love good world-building, nuanced characters, and well-constructed plot with elements of action and/or suspense. Like Dune or Star Wars it takes place in a galaxy far, far away, although the characters and plot hold the moral nuances of Dune rather than that the clear-cut good versus evil of Star Wars. The society of the Twelve Systems has similarities to twenty-first western culture, but also some critical differences.  It is a ruthless society, driven by power and wealth, rigid and often violent. At the same time, while the class distinctions are extreme, they are based on genealogy, not ethnic group or religion. For all its tolerance of violence, there has not been whole-sale ware in over a millennium, they take care of the environment, and is compassionate with the mentally ill.  Romantic love is rare and not highly valued. Sex is considered a pleasant past-time. Honor, duty, strength are the core of the value system and most relationships.

Where duty and passion collide – The Twelve Systems Chronicles.

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

This is not a conventional series in terms of romance tropes, one review called it ‘a slow-burn with sex.’ Although the heroine triumphs in every volume, the classic HEA is not an element. Yet. The narrative line is complex, and the series should be read in order. Although sex and romance are integral to the long-term story arc, each volume contains mystery, intrigue, action, adventure and some violence. The sexy bits tend to be more graphic than the violent bits.

According to InD’Tale Magazine: Science fiction is a genre known for its technical and often intricate world building, its epic battles and futuristic technologies. Romance, however, is rarely a required aspect. . . until now. EG Manetti is the newest name and hottest rising star for the very fact that she so beautifully weaves those two elements together. With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive!

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

I have Goodreads and Facebook pages, a Twelve Systems Chronicles Facebook page as well as a blog.   And there is my monthly newsletter, Red Gems.

Interview with Author: Nix Whittaker

It is a great pleasure to welcome Nix Whittaker author of Lady Golden Hand.

Welcome Nix 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

I did this one backwards. I started with cover with a woman with a brass mechanical hand and the name of the novel Lady Golden Hand just popped into my head. But the series name is based on another series in this world called Wyvern Chronicles. Since this was going to be my first foray into mystery I went with Wyvern Mysteries so at least readers knew what they were getting into and yes there are dragons in this story.

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

Not particularly in this series. I do like to delve into multiple meanings for the names of my characters but since this was set in 1830’s London I knew I had to stick with the names that were around then. Since this is an anachronistic retelling of history and there was no Queen Victoria I was a little tongue in cheek about calling the dragon Victor. But Rayne was just about having an authentic name to balance out the other liberties I take with history.

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

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?  

So one of the reasons why I like steampunk and Gaslamp is because I can take liberties with history. But I also wanted to stay true to the feel of 1830’s England which meant I had to do some research. It helps that my sister-in-law is busy working in the Tower at the moment and could help with some of the research. Though you’d be surprised what you find like the fact that eye rolling was more about flirting at this time than some sarcastic gesture. Or that newspapers weren’t competitive and shared stories.

What makes you laugh?

Dry wit and since I teach English I love a good pun.

What makes you cry?

Soppy movies. The cornier the better.

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

I love a good romance. So even though all of my stories have strong plots in another genre I always have multiple romantic tropes in there as well. In Lady Golden Hand we have enemy to lover trope as I think the sparks help with the romance.

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

Readers can always sign up to my newsletter on my website www.nixwhittaker.com where they can get free books and short stories. But I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nix-Whittaker-1540555802866070/

More information on Lady Golden Hand and my other stories are available through the following links:

Lady Golden Hand: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDSP3LW

Blazing Blunderbuss: https://books2read.com/u/31xNd6

The Mechanicals: https://books2read.com/u/mVBM1A

Wyvern’s Trim and other stories: https://books2read.com/u/mvvr0J

The Jade Dragon: https://books2read.com/u/3RVVrY

Ruby Beyond Compare:  https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Yvd

Hero is a man: https://books2read.com/u/b5rn2p

You can run: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YPU0OVQ

Sorrow also sings: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015PHRUUK

Blind Leading: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B9VERNO

Model: Serenity: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FD4HJT9

Model: Scribe: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYNVQCP

Interview with Author: Linda Mooney

It is a great pleasure to welcome Linda Mooney author of JEXX.

Welcome Linda 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

JEXX is the name of Jelia and Kaxx when their bodies meld and become a single new entity, the one with enriched powers and energy.

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

I fell in love with the sci-fi genre with Podcayne of Mars, back when I was a kid. My first taste of adult sci-fi romance was Janette Taylor’s Moondust and Madness. Since then, I’ve had the passion to write in that genre.

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

You need a sense of humor, patience, the drive to finish what you start, imagination, and the belief in yourself that, although the book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it was important enough for you to tell the story. Therefore the story has worth.

And, yes, I think my characters reflect some of those attributes.

What makes you laugh?

Snarky remarks. Comments that come from out of nowhere, but perfectly fit the situation.

What makes you cry?

When the hero or heroine feel they’ve lost all hope. When there’s an ultimate sacrifice. Deliciously happy endings.

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

I want the heart of the story to be the budding romance between the main characters, but I don’t want the book to be all conflict between them (misunderstanding and constant verbal fighting). I want a plot that is unique to anything I’ve read before, and for there to be action and adventure, maybe some mystery, and a resolution where the H/H realize they were meant to be together for their own sake, as well as for the good of others.

Yes, these are definitely reflected in my stories.

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

Although JEXX is a standalone, I learned a long time ago never to say there won’t be a sequel, or even a series sprouting from it in the future.

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

Email me. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. Comment on my blog. Join my newsletter. Details below:

Website: http://lindamooney.com/ (Join my newsletter!)

Blog: http://lindamooney.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Mooney/e/B002BMES1W

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-mooney

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/735249946549380/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaMooney

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lindam54

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lindam54/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Linda_Mooney

Instagram: http://instagram.com/macwombat

Interview with Author: Rae Anne Thayne

It is a great pleasure to welcome Rae Anne Thayne author of THE CLIFF HOUSE.

Welcome Rae Anne 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

THE CLIFF HOUSE, my first hardcover novel, is symbolic of taking risks, jumping into the void, exploring new opportunities and new directions. This is a story about three women, two sisters and their aunt. Each is at a turning point and each has the chance to reach outside her comfort zone to embrace the challenge and adventure of falling in love. This is a standalone novel set in a fictional town on the beautiful northern California coast.

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

Writing THE CLIFF HOUSE was a unique experience me, a chance to really have three heroines with entertwined stories. I wrote about twenty romantic suspense novels early in my writing career. While I still love reading the subgenre and feel like those are still strong stories, I discovered I was enjoying most the book where I could focus on the emotional and community aspects of my stories.

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

It’s important for writers (and everyone!) to focus on friends, to take care of themselves and to learn not to stress about things that don’t really matter. It’s something I am continually having to remind myself about and lessons my characters need to learn too.

What makes you laugh?

Spending time with my four sisters. We always have a great time together.

What makes you cry?

So many things. The older I get, the more deeply I feel things, it seems like. I especially cry at emotional, honest writing.

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

I’m most active on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRaeAnneThayne. Readers can also find me on Instagram, Twitter or at my web page, www.raeannethayne.com.

Interview with Author: Susan Hayes

It is a great pleasure to welcome Susan Hayes author of the Drift Series.

Welcome Susan 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

Blind Bet’s title has several meanings. It was inspired by on a photo I saw of a blindfolded woman about to be kissed. There was no contact between the lovers, and it made me wonder if she knew who was about to kiss her. In the book, my heroine has an accidental meeting with a bowl of hot soup (really!) and needs to wear bandages for a while as her eyes heal. Pain meds lead to an inadvertent confession, and a bet is made that changes the lives of everyone involved. The title also refers to the fact that to find their happily ever after, all the characters needs to make a leap of faith. They can’t know if things will work out, they’re all betting blind.

The other significance of the title is that it’s a gambling term. The entire Drift series uses this same convention. Life out on the Drift is risky, and every day is a gamble.

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

I have always loved science fiction stories. Books, television, movies, all of it. From Star Trek to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I am a sci-fi geek.

I started out writing paranormal romance, but soon I realized I could combine my love of romance with my love of sci-fi. After that, there was no turning back. I now have more than forty published works, and half of them are sci-fi romances, with many more to come.

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

My friends and family would probably tell you that I’m far from sane most of the time. It’s part of being a writer. We have entire worlds and hosts of characters inside our heads, all clamouring to get their stories told. (sometimes they’re so insistent I can’t sleep.)

That being said, I think one of the most important things I do to stay grounded and sane-ish is to give myself time away from writing. It’s easy to forget to do this – but stepping back and taking time to breathe is important. My characters are a diverse group, but I think some of them learn this lesson through their story arcs much the same way I did, by hard experience.

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

Blind Bet is part of the Drift universe, which is a cyberpunk world with cyborgs, cyber-jockeys, alien races, lots of technology, and powerful corporations that are constantly looking for ways to grow richer and even more powerful. To create stories in this world, I’ve researched everything from how wings would work in zero gravity environments to how cloning works and what it might look like in the future. I’ve taken online courses in space travel, read medical journals, and even delved into brainwashing and mind control techniques.

What makes you laugh?

Dry British humour and the absurdity of daily life.

What makes you cry?

Far too many things. A poignant piece of music. Every single episode of “Touched By An Angel.” (and yet I watched them anyway.) Even commercials can get me right in the feels.

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

I’m a geek. I love all things sci-fi and fantasy. I have tattoos of dragons and the cosmos. I own TV props from Xena: Warrior Princess, Lexx, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. There’s a collection of swords on my office walls that includes replicas of Sting and Glamdring from Lord of the Rings.

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

The Drift series is a wild, wide-open universe, and it’s allowed me the freedom to create spin-off series inside the same world. While the Drift series is mostly menage, the Nova Force series is M/F and follows a team of military investigators as they work to keep the galaxy safe. The series run concurrently, but the stories stand alone. In the future, I’ll be writing another series that includes a recently added alien race, the Vardarians. (They’re the ones with wings I mentioned earlier.)

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

Readers can find me around the web, but I spend most of my interactive social time on Facebook, on my page or in my reader group.

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/SusanHayesAuthor

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/389883471205646/

A complete list of My books: https://susanhayes.ca/susans-books/

Website: https://susanhayes.ca/

Newsletter: https://susanhayes.ca/susans-newsletter/

Interview With Author Donna Kauffman

It is a great pleasure to welcome Donna Kauffman author of the Blue Hollow Falls Series. I knew Donna from the Prodigy Romance Readers Club back when I was in college and before she was a famous writer of romantic fiction. I am extremely excited that we reconnected and she agreed to this interview.

Welcome Donna 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 more about you and your stories better!

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

My current series, Blue Hollow Falls, is set in my home area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love my mountain home and have long wanted to set a series here. I had been waiting for the right story inspiration and am thrilled to finally be sharing it with readers.
The current story is this season’s holiday novella, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls, which is part of the A SEASON TO CELEBRATE anthology. Each story in the series stands alone, but the stories do give readers of the series a chance to check back in with family and friends they’ve met along the way.

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

Blue Hollow Falls is a fictional town, is absolutely a composite of all the things I love about my home. While the place names and character names are all fictional, I have used many of the names of places and people in the story, just in different ways.

As an example, I live along the Rockfish River. In the book, the county name is Rockfish. I hike along Goodwin Creek. The heroine in my first book, her last name is Goodwin. And so on… Not all, but many of the place names and some of the character names are drawn from my area and used in some way in the book, to give it an authentic feel.

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

I enjoy contemporary romance as a reader, and wanted to write the kind of stories that I love to read. In particular, I live in a small, rural town, as does my extended family, so small towns are a big draw to me personally, and as a reader. It’s great fun to get to build my own small towns and create stories about the people there. Blue Hollow Falls is my third small town series. Each one has been set in an entirely different locale, from an island off the coast of Georgia in my Cupcake Club series, to coastal Maine in my Blueberry Cove books. The places are always special to me personally and such a joy to be able to “visit” any time I want.

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

I always travel to the areas where my books are set. Most often, I choose those areas because I have already spent a significant amount of time there. I go back when writing as various story elements require a bit more exploration. In the case of the current series, I didn’t have to travel anywhere given I live in the area I’m writing about, but other elements of the stories have required some wonderful field trips. Wineries, lavender farms, orchid growing, fiddle making and playing, raising goats and sheep, and even rehabilitating abused llamas have all played roles in the various stories in this series. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the research.

What makes you laugh?

Most often, watching the antics of the wildlife out here. They have so graciously allowed me to plant myself right in their midst, and I never get tired of their company. From the fawns bedded down in the back, waiting for mama to come back, to the baby bears getting stuck up high up the pine trees every dang spring, to the birds who frequent my many feeders and water fountain, it’s never a dull moment.

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

The next full length book in the Blue Hollow Falls series comes out this January. LAVENDER BLUE is set, as the title might suggest, on a lavender farm and the four women who own and run the farm have become close friends. I look forward to telling more of their stories in upcoming books. I hope they become good friends of yours as well!

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

Readers can follow my blog at www.donnakauffman.com/blog or find me on social media at the following places:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/donna.kauffman1/
Twitter: @DonnaKauffman
Instagram: @donnakauffman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/donnakauffman
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/donnakauffman
BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-kauffman

Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.

Available now:

A SEASON TO CELEBRATE

BLUE HOLLOW FALLS

Available for Preorder:

LAVENDER BLUE

Interview with Author: Elizabeth Bromke

It is a pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Bromke author of Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series).

Welcome Elizabeth 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, Patty! I’m really excited for this.

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

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain is set in a tiny, fictional mountain town in Arizona. I, too, live in a small mountain town in Arizona, although it’s not Maplewood. However, I was born and raised in Tucson, a desert. Growing up, I always missed the seasons. In fact, fall leaves and snow were the stuff of fantasies for me, except for when my family would visit cooler climates. So, when my husband and I moved up to the mountains, I became a keen observer of “mountain life,” and I fell in love. I wanted to build a world in Maplewood, and one good way to do that was to create a family. I come from a very big family, and so the idea of four sisters and two brothers is based on my aunts and uncles. Fun fact: my dad has one brother and four sisters, and my mom has three sisters and two brothers. The Delaneys of Maplewood echo that dynamic.

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

Some characters’ names or places are mini dedications to my family members. The characters are not based on real people, but I liked the idea of honoring them in a small way in the series. For example, I used my mom’s name for the bakery owner.

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

I have yet to meet a genre I didn’t like. I have a voracious appetite for reading. And, I’ve been writing since I was a young child. When I was a little girl, I wrote stories about big families with complicated (and confusing!) family dynamics. As I (hopefully) matured in my writing, I never shook the desire to explore relationships. Romance lends itself very well to this exploration. Plus, I love happy endings!

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

I feel less myself when I’m not engaging in creative pursuits. To me, sanity is synonymous with writing. It absorbs my anxieties. But, really the main condition of my contentment and happiness is… you guessed it! Family. In the book, even though they arrive at a major conflict in their sisterhood, Mary and Anna Delaney love each other and their siblings and parents deeply. Family is a driving force.

What makes you laugh?

It’s one of two extremes. I either laugh at the same things that 13-year-old boys laugh at or really smart humor.  My favorite TV show, however, is The Office. I’m not quite sure where it falls on that spectrum.

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

I am a huge fan of a variety of books/movies/people. For example, my favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz and Silence of the Lambs. I also love TitanicJaws, and Beetlejuice. Batman is my favorite superhero, and The Dark Knight is another favorite movie. Favorite books include Dracula, The Hunger Games, and anything by Jodi Picoult. I love psychological thrillers, too. Finally, I have a bizarre interest in Lizzie Borden of hatchet fame. My first historical fiction pieces revolve around her story.

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

Readers can find me on website, elizabethbromke.com, my facebook author page, Elizabeth Bromke or on twitter @ElizabethBromke. Joining my newsletter is a surefire way to stay up-to-date with exclusive news and promotions. You can join here!

Christmas on Maplewood Mountain (Book One in the Maplewood Sisters Series) – releasing Saturday, November 17, 2018!

It’s December, and Mary Delaney has little to show for her tenth year at Wood Smoke Lodge. Her business has been steadily dwindling. Her relationship prospects, too. But, her sister, Anna, has an idea that just might change Mary’s luck. Unfortunately, their own sisterhood might be working against them. Worst of all, it’s all coming to a head during the holidays, making Mary feel lonelier than ever.

Meanwhile, Kurt Cutler is living the high life in the tech world. Fresh on the heels of wild success in the uncharted world of cryptocurrency, he looks for a way to ensure his young company doesn’t lose its grip. When his right-hand woman suggests a get-away at her sister’s snowy mountain retreat, he jumps on the opportunity to unplug and unwind.

If Mary’s sister, Anna, can back off, Mary has every chance of enjoying the magic of the holidays. But when Mary and Kurt have to choose between love and their own priorities, what will win?

Find out if a wintry weekend can become more for people from two opposite worlds in Elizabeth Bromke’s cozy romance, Christmas on Maplewood Mountain.

Interview With Author Tessa McFionn

It is a pleasure to welcome Tessa McFionn author of The Rise of the Stria series.

Welcome Tessa 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.

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

My latest series, The Rise of the Stria, is a space opera which has been spinning in my mind for many years now. I pitched the first book, To Discover a Divine, as The Wizard of Oz meets Star Wars. At the time, the work was entitled Lost in Transmigration, but the feedback on the title was less than anticipated. Seems people thought, by the title, this was going to be a comedy, or at least a light rom-com. And that would be a big negative there, Ghost Rider. So, after several heart-to-hearts with my wonderful publishing team at Fiery Seas Publishing, we came up with the current title. The story centers around a human, Evainne Wagner, who gets sucked into another galaxy only to find out she is some sort of mystical savior eluded to in an ancient prophecy, and it will follow her as she learns of her role and navigates the intense attraction to our hero, a captain in the Strian rebel forces, Kahlym cal Jheun.

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

Ah, the names. Actually, I find myself discovering new character names in the oddest of ways. One fun way is watching the credits at the ends of movies. I have always stayed until the bitter end in the theater. Sometimes because I wanted to know who sang a particular song or where a movie was shot, but during the wait, I would read the names. My husband and I actually play a game where we try to find the funniest, or longest, or coolest name in the credits. By watching all the names scroll by, my author brain is on high alert for the next hero, heroine, villain or sidekick in the long list. But, in the case of my sci-fi, it was a little different. For my heroine, I have always loved the name Evainne. I first heard it in Neil Gaiman’s work, Starlight, and I just loved it. As to the aliens, those are tough. I mean, you don’t really think you’re going to come across a spaceman named Bob, right? I wanted to make the names look exotic, but still be pronounceable. So, Callum became Kahlym and Darrin became Dhaerin. For the others, don’t laugh, but I stared at my keyboard and started with one letter then built the names up from there. Granted, this is a very trial and error method. I thought to myself, what kinds of word sounds made me think happy thoughts and which sounded evil. I tried to give my good guys soothing sounds while the harsher tones were aimed toward the bad guys. Like I said, I know it sounds silly, but it works for me.

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

I have been a nerd for the whole of my life. My mother used to read to me and my brother when we were little. She read anything and everything. We heard The Yearling, Old Yeller, Jaws, (LOL! Yes, I heard the story before the movie was made) and The Hobbit. I remember when my grandmother gave me a copy of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. I was in the fourth grade and I was so excited. The opening line used the word “xenomorph” and I had to read the rest of it with the dictionary next to me. But I didn’t care. I was hooked. I am old enough to say that I was there the day they released Star Wars in the theaters. I remember looking over my shoulder when the space ship zoomed in from off-camera, cheering for the good guys and booing Darth Vader. After that, I continued to devour all things fantastical. I read Asimov, Bradbury, all of the Dune books. My mother even enrolled me in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Book of the Month club, which is why I dedicate each and every book I write to her memory. She is my biggest inspiration and was my most steadfast supporter, even though she never had a chance to read my works.

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

Wait, we have to be sane to do this?! Nobody told me that!!! All kidding aside, for me, since I do have a full-time day job, it’s all about time management. It’s a bit of the “all work and no play” mentality. I try to make sure to get words on pages every day, but I try, she said incredulously, I try NOT to beat myself up if I don’t. I personally tend to be rather scattered. Yes, I am a pantser and can get distracted by shiny objects. (Just ask my hubby. He calls it my magpie complex.) So, I create characters who can think on their feet and multitask like it’s cool. I don’t really have any strongly organized characters just yet, only because I’m not sure how to approach that myself.

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

That’s the beauty about writing science fiction: not a whole lot of available information on a fictitious part of the universe. If anything, I guess what you could call it is anti-research. It’s more about checking around to make sure your device/concept/planetary system isn’t already being used by someone else out there. But you still have to make things believable and relatable, and therein lies the rub. When I first started writing my space opera, I had the Alliance as the good guys, but that only sparked my memories of watching Firefly and Serenity, even though they were the bad guys in that world. So, after numerous synonym searches (thank you, thesaurus.com and my Flip Dictionary), I found a very distant cousin, twice removed on their mother’s side I would venture to guess. I rewatched lots of Star Trek reruns and Googled lots of ship components. But even then, things can go sideways. I was 90% done with the first draft and my ship’s three-armed tech/mechanic was named Warwick. I was so pleased with my somewhat obscure choice of names and took a break to read and POOF! There, as bold as day, was Warwick, out in print. So, back to the drawing board, a little switcharoo and Warwick becomes Falka, and the cleric, who was originally Falco, becomes Yhan’tu. Now, would others have made the connection? I don’t know, but if I want to set my stories apart, then maybe it means making some changes when needed.

What makes you laugh?

EVERYTHING!! I love to laugh. I consider myself to be more of an optimist than a pessimist, and I try to keep things on a positive note. This means lots of laughter and lots of smiles. My current go-to for a good giggle is a series of short videos called True Facts. OMG! If you haven’t seen these yet, they are just hysterical. They’re little nature videos about strange animals and they are just brilliant. The narrator reminds me a little of a young version of Morgan Freeman and he starts out so serious, but ends up cracking himself up throughout the episode with the facts or the videos of the animals. There is one about seahorses and he acquaints the way seahorses move to riding a skateboard and waving a Denny’s menu really fast to move. I believe that laughter is the best way to learn about people and to stay healthy.

What makes you cry?

Not much? I know, that makes me sound so heartless. But, like I said above, I try to be optimistic about things. But, if I am truly moved emotionally, I will shed a tear or two. This can happen when I see someone rise up against all odds and succeed, or when someone inspires others to rise up. For me, it’s all about the journey. I cry when I see the little kitties climb up from the edge of the abyss, or when I watch my students completely nail a performance in front of a packed house. I don’t cry in normal movies. I thought E.T. was boring and Terms of Endearment didn’t move me either. I also don’t watch sappy movies. LMAO! I know, I know! What kind of romance author am I?! But, I did cry when Spock died in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and when Gandalf fell in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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

Since my life has surrounded the nerd culture for the whole of my life, I have lots of fandoms that influence me. I have also been surrounded by the performing arts and these have been woven into a couple of my heroines in my paranormal series. In my first book, Spirit Fall, my heroine is a dancer disillusioned with life and is brought down from the edge of suicide by a handsome hero. My third book in that same series, Spirit Song, tells of a torch singer held prisoner by a sleazy mobster in Chicago and finds an unlikely savior in a reluctant Guardian Warrior. It’s hard not to infuse some of yourself into your stories. Everyone does drink coffee. That is a requirement. I even found a way to make coffee appear in a different universe. It’s that serious.

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

This is only the beginning. I wrote To Discover a Divine with the idea of it only being a trilogy, but my muse wasn’t having any of that. So, this is the gateway to a whole new universe of tales from the Dantaran Galaxy and I hope to share many more stories as times goes on.

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

I’m a bit old school and I really do like Facebook. However, that being said, I am on Twitter and Instagram as well. I answer emails, my semaphore and smoke signals are a bit weak, but I’d be willing to brush up on them if needed. Just drop by my website, my Amazon Author page or find me on the interwebs.

Interview with Author Lyndi Alexander

It is a pleasure to welcome Lyndi Alexander author of THE LOST CHORD.

Welcome Lyndi 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 LOST CHORD is a musical sequence of notes that can either heal or destroy a group of multi-dimensional universes in which our characters live. A prophesy from long ago tells that this chord may be produced by the vibration of seven souls—and the Conductor must find them all if he is to save everyone.

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

I’ve written young adult novels previously, but this one is special, because the heroine is on the autism spectrum. I’d raised one family and then remarried and ended up with three children on the spectrum, two boys with Asperger’s and a daughter with more “traditional” autistic traits. In this book, I was able to model Bee Warrick after my daughter Tasha, who not only educates the other teens on her fantasy adventure but also the readers of the book on the happy surprises that can come from being different, but not less than, neurotypical people.

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

I’ve been a published writer for over 40 years, and I’m not sure I really am sane, at this point. LOL! But I’ve been a single mom, and a law student, and a newspaper reporter, and a lawyer, and I’ve always needed to be strong and put myself out there. I think my characters—particularly the women in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series—do reflect that need to overcome obstacles and make things happen.

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

I had to learn about musical chords and composition and also string theory! It was a big stretch. Fortunately, they make an Idiot’s Guide to both.

What makes you laugh?

Watching toddlers enjoying themselves, giggling. Especially with puppies.

What makes you cry?

Watching Gandalf disappear over that ledge in Lord of the Rings. Kills me every time.

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

I’m a serious nerd, so all things fantasy and sci-fi. Writing as Lyndi Alexander, I’ve written a number of each category, and I do try to Easter-egg some things in each story that other nerds will appreciate.

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

The book may have an autistic heroine, but the story is told through the eyes of five other characters as well, including Cory Briggs, who’s a serious gamer and plays in a garage band with his friends, and Devlynn Kayne, who comes from a planet where blacks are the majority. Both boys and girls can find a character to reflect their point of view, and someone to identify with.

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

They can leave word at my Facebook page, at Goodreads or email me at lyndialexander at gmail dot com. You can learn more about my latest release by viewing the Book trailer or visting THE LOST CHORD buy link page.

Interview with Author Catherine Cerveny

It is a pleasure to welcome Catherine Cerveny author of the Felicia Sevigny series.

Welcome Catherine 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?

All the novels in the Felicia Sevigny series refer to luck. In the first book, we learn that the main character has a weird genetic quirk known as the luck gene that essentially ensure events always go in her favor—even when things seem to be going badly for Felicia. In the first novel, she learns there are rules for the luck gene, hence the title THE RULE OF LUCK. But it also refers to the fact that her life is controlled and ruled by luck—she just never realized it. In the second book, THE CHAOS OF LUCK, she hopes things will run more smoothly for her, but they don’t. The luck gene throws all her careful plans, including her love life, into chaos and makes her feel like luck’s pawn. In the third and final novel of the trilogy, THE GAME OF LUCK, Felicia finally asserts control over her life. She refuses to be used like a chess piece and is determined to take charge rather than be used and manipulated by those in her life, and by her own luck gene. If luck sees her life as a game, she’s determined to win it once and for all.

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 love it when the characters’ names mean something or there’s some hidden mystery behind them, although I don’t always go out of my way to make it happen when I’m selecting names. Sometimes, I just like how the name sounds or looks on the page. In the case of THE GAME OF LUCK, Felicia’s name means “lucky” and since this book was about a woman who discovers she has a luck gene, I thought the name was really appropriate. As for the male lead Alexei Petriv, the name Alexei means “helper and defender of mankind” which I thought was a great fit given his overall character arc. At the beginning of the series, he’s a very flawed character, merely following orders as he pushes the Tsarist Consortium’s agenda regardless of what it might mean to humanity’s future. He sees himself as being set apart from humanity but not of it. However by the end, he is transformed into someone who wants to protect what it means to be human and take a role in determining its destiny.

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

I’ve always loved science fiction—and space in general. I love the “what if” questions sci-fi poses and the mysteries it explores. Are there really aliens out there? What are other planets like and can we live on them? What would it take a terraform another planet? How would we get there? I also love the action and adventure angle, where characters were actually doing something instead of standing around and talking. Plus I love seeing characters fall in love in such adverse conditions, watching their relationship form in a pressure cooker, so to speak. When I was a kid growing up, I was exposed to a lot of action and adventure movies—Star Wars of course, but also Star Trek, and Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-man, Doctor Who, and so on. I read comics and played with action figures (by the way, Barbie and Han Solo can totally get married if they want to). I wanted to go to Narnia and Camelot and Fantasia, or anywhere that wasn’t ordinary life. So, I would have to say I was inspired to write in the science fiction genre by a childhood spent indulging my imagination and always wondering “what if”.

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

In The Game of Luck, I actually spent a lot of time researching dogs. I wanted Felicia and Alexei to have a dog, though I don’t have one myself—I seem to be allergy to everything these days. Given that I don’t know very much about dogs, I spent a lot of time researching dog breeds and behaviors, and asking friends to share their funny dog stories. So while I was researching planet terraforming and genetic manipulation, I was also trying to decide what sort of dog I wanted my characters to have—a Russian spaniel, by the way.

What makes you laugh?

My sense of humor is pretty dry and sarcasm is my go-to-move. I love wry, self-aware humor that’s a little off-beat and out in left field. You may not get it right away and you might have to work for it, but once you do, it’s that much more enjoyable. One of my favorite TV shows of all-time is the US version of “The Office”, which not everyone gets or finds funny, but I adore. I think that same wry sense of humor is in my novels, or I like to imagine it is.

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

The best way to interact with me is probably on Twitter. I’m on there most often. I just started with Instagram so the landscape there is pretty dry and dusty, but I’m trying to remember to post things there as well. Readers can also reach me through the contact form on my website. And of course, I’m on Goodreads and be reached there as well. I do have a Facebook page where I post things, but it’s more for family and close friends.

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