IAM15 Guest Feature…Competition Writing

IAM 2015 - Topper Back in January, I saw an advert for the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge and whilst I was mulling over whether to have a go at it or not, I posted the link onto my Facebook Author Page to share with others. As it was, I got distracted by something else shiny and didn’t sign up to take part, but a friend – on his way to being an Indie Author – did and completed the first couple of rounds. In today’s guest feature, Christopher William Kinsey, shares a re-blog of the post from his own blog The Kinswah Reflective discussing the experience and sharing the entry he wrote that took him through to Round Two!

NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge – Round One: Weighty Words

Having never managed to keep a short story below 8,000 words before, I took it upon myself to enter this year’s NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. I had no expectation of progressing but thought it’d be a good exercise. For Round One the participants were given eight days to write a story with no more than 2,500 words. In addition to the time and word limit, the genre, subject and character would be random along with the distribution of the writers across the forty-eight groups.

After weighing up the possible genres I decided comedy was the least preferable. The literary gods must have been listening because – you guessed it – I got comedy. Doing a competition just for fun is one thing, attempting a clean-cut comedy is another. After five days of ignoring it I sat down and bundled the following words together. I’m not particularly overjoyed with the results but in one of the biggest surprises of the century, it managed to finish fourth in my heat and progress. Heat 28 – Genre: Comedy; Subject: Unemployment; Character: A Fitness Instructor.

Synopsis:

Dale, a former fitness instructor, ponders why he was fired from his last job as he works out in his mother’s basement.

Weighty Words

Dale couldn’t help wonder if he followed bad advice based on what seemed to fit at the time. What at first appeared to be breadcrumbs – offhanded remarks, disguised as advice – now dangled the proposition they were just innocent remarks. Working up the type of sweat he used to force upon his old clientele at the gym, life seemed grim. His pectorals heaved, metal clunked as it echoed around his mother’s basement, while thoughts kept persisting on what job he’d get next.

He’d been a fitness instructor. At the time it was a natural fit. During his high school years he was the typical introvert. When his peers laid on the wise cracks he tried to crawl for the shadows. What he couldn’t build up with banter he’d make up with brawn. The obsession with a better body allowed little time for much else. This included girls and grades.

His folks hinted he could follow family members into their respective fields. His father had repeatedly said:“It’s not what you know but who you know.” The usual follow up sentence his father often added was, “Think about what you’re good at and what those in the family can do.”

To Dale these tips were handy pointers from his father, Bob Tasker, a successful accountant. His old man obviously hadn’t wanted to feed the information on a plate but the hint was snatched upon. He could work in the fitness industry. His hobby was keeping in shape; it made sense to extend this to others. And his father, the cheeky scamp, had left the important subtle hint: think about what those in the family can do. Both Dale and his father were good with figures.

It was after starting work for Mr Nobbs at Fitness Forever he realised another important family trait would come in handy. Dale spent his days pushing people beyond their limits, shouting as they endured pain they wanted for psychological pleasure. Metaphorically cracking the whip during one hour sessions as their personal trainer/torturer. Dale’s ability to do this like a seasoned pro probably came from his mother’s genes. She worked as a dominatrix. The main difference was she literally cracked the whip.

Thankfully tucked away in her basement, like he was now, the sounds of her business remained just that – her business. His new role in life was to ensure the clients left on time and his mother was okay. His parents split years ago, Bob Tasker, being good with numbers, reduced the amount of digits that ended up going his wife’s way. Maggie Tasker had been getting her revenge on men ever since.

It was only her son that received the soft touch from her.

Bob never understood why his advice was ignored the first place. He specifically recalled – on numerous occasions –telling Dale to stick to what he’d be able to do, and to get a job through the family. Short of driving him to Uncle Chad’s store, dressing him in the uniform, demonstrating how to stack shelves, there wasn’t much more he could have done.

These thoughts would have devastated Dale, but he would never hear them, to do so would have meant breaking the Tasker family long held tradition of never speaking clearly or directly to one another. It was much safer and politer to live in a world of assumptions and silence.

Continuing his own fitness regime had kept his mind sharp. Well, as sharp as Dale’s would ever be, it was still more like a spoon than a knife. Still, he reasoned if he worked out why he had failed as a personal fitness instructor then he could avoid similar outcomes in the future. To date this in the most logical thought Dale has ever expressed.

It should have been his dream job. Once he started for Mr Nobbs it became apparent that a lad without an imagination struggled to see the pluses. His lack of drive meant Dale never became certified. This lack of qualification was a bonus for Mr Nobbs for the purposes of hiring – Dale could he palmed off with a lower wage – and an aid to firing.

Study was a reminder of the dark days. The high school days. Boys full of bravado, girls with condescending stares. Those same characters had frequented Forever Fitness.

Instead of performing wedgies on underwear, the boys – who hadn’t grown into men, they’d just become bigger boys– pulled their bodies up on frames instead. They dropped testosterone everywhere they walked, it dripped on the bench press, it acted as steam in the sauna after a workout. Dale’s safe haven had been invaded by those he’d tried to escape.

He wondered if the “geeks” from school had made the right call. No former football captain was ruining chess nights or giving scorn during online gaming sessions. They definitely would never enter a comic book convention or Lord of the Rings fancy dress re-enactment.

The nerds had fewer women in tight fitting spandex to look at, Dale thought. This should have been a glimmer of hope, a perk and a pick-me-up. It was not. Dale saw those same mean girls from school now. Except they, unlike their male counterparts, had grown up. They had become bitchy women. They pretend flirted, as if part of an elaborate act Dale couldn’t comprehend, whilst focusing on everything but the simple goals he’d lay out.

They cared little for running times and lifting weights. They seemed preoccupied with their stretch marks, then in a contradiction cooed over the ones Dale had gained across his shoulders and chest from getting ripped too fast. Bob Tasker laughed at how his son never had enough brains to go around and now it seemed he was short on skin too.

The women also found it more important to update social media. Getting fit would be an accidental side effect of what was in reality an exercise in public exposure. Instead of doing the four sets per station Dale gave them, it was four selfies. Rather than risk breaking a sweat, which would be a disaster for the carefully applied make up, it was more pressing to get a shot near the big machines. Later they could pretend they’d used them while acting drained over a coffee. And a cake.

It should have resulted in a fairly easy day. Only a handful of his clients wanted to lose weight or gain definition. The bored housewife majority could have been his brain off hours. Problem was, his brain off hours started when his eyes opened in the morning, only finishing at bedtime.

This lack of foresight gave a rise to Dale aggravating the paying public. Mr Nobbs cared little if the people with gym memberships used the establishment, he cared even less if the ones that paid extra for Dale actually tried in class. Their lack of motivation equalled more cash. If they never won the battle of the bulge then Mr Nobbs would continue to fund the arms race. Complaints that Dale was too strict, too rude, or too insensitive were a problem.

Most of these came about due to misunderstanding. Take Penny Pinnerman, she asked for a simple request, that from his perspective, Dale attempted to stay on top of. She wanted a “Better tone.”Penny Pinnerman thought it wasn’t too big of a task. She was naturally a thin woman, even the smallest lycra shorts had excess material in the bum region, it was as if she’d been stretched on a rack.

Instead she got Dale snapping at her every other sentence. “Watch how you answer me back in that voice,” he’d say.“Enough of whining in that pitch,” he had once snapped. She felt bad telling Mr Nobbs but it got too much.

Dale was dumbfounded when the complaint was read out during his informal warning. He had prided himself on going that extra mile for the customer. He liked to take a holistic view. That was an alien word to Dale, but so was the cause of this complaint.

Mr Nobbs received Dale’s best apology face. Dale left the office more certain than ever that all women were from the same type of high school clique.

Dale was used to the female clients having perverse views of their bodies. “My bum looks massive today,” was a popular one, when in reality their rears didn’t catch the eye quite as much as the flab bubbling over the waistband. Penny’s request was a new take though. She hated her voice, or more exactly, her tone. Well, that’s how Dale perceived her request. So during work outs he’d point out when her nagging got to that grating level that was most unattractive. Was it really his fault if that happened to be every few seconds? People shouldn’t ask for the truth unless they can take it.

Dale placed the dumbbells on the floor, as he did they kicked up some dust, no carpet had ever been laid down here. He flicked off the dance music he always used during workouts and turned the television on.

A daytime chat show host was shouting at a man for not paying his child maintenance money, then shouted at the woman for not knowing if this guy was even the father – DNA tests after the break. He was glad his father never asked for such a test, just in case. Not inheriting his brains was bad enough, zero cash would have been worse.

Dale sat on the exercise bike. A stationary device to reflect how his constant efforts and peddling would get him nowhere. He did this bit of cardio now to keep an eye on the time. The mystery guest in his mother’s bedroom didn’t have long left.

His mind drifted to the formal warning he received. This time Katie Renton, whom everyone cruelly called Cakie Ten-ton. Her request was simple, a reduction in size. Dale thought Cakie, sorry, Katie, need to lose more than just one dress size. She needed to get to a size where dresses were just that – dresses – and not recycled tents and bedspreads.

After one session she lay slumped on the exercise mat after performing three of the most trying and all-consuming sit-ups ever witnessed by mankind. Had she been the first person to attempt them under study conditions sit-ups would have been outlawed on grounds of danger. People would have placed them above anthrax and napalm on a list of things to avoid.

“I’m struggling because of the weight today,” she wheezed.

This irked Dale, “Maybe avoid the snack shop before the session then.”He was perfect when it came to punctuality; the wait today was her rolling in ten minutes late with a ring of cream around her lips. The audacity of some people never failed to surprise.

Mr Nobbs reminded Dale that while it was perfectly acceptable to offer basic dietary advice, pointing out missteps in a derogatory fashion was something that couldn’t go unpunished.

Dale made the situation worse when he said, “That snack bar should be shut. I know it makes money but too many are in there eating.” To Dale it was like having free beer on tap during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

The end of show music made the old TV vibrate and hum; this brought Dale back from his daydream. Maggie should have text by now.

He stopped peddling.

Dale had never been one for dramatics– they took up to much energy, imagination, thought – but this was worrying. His mother stuck rigidly to a system once it was in place. Especially when it was for safety purposes. She couldn’t be killing people in her line of work by accidents and oversights.

He walked slowly to the blaring screen and removed its power. The house was perfectly silent. The niggling voice of doubt pointed out it would be in the basement so he took purposeful steps toward the upstairs entry. The stairs creaked as they absorbed his weight; the door to the main corridor gave a warning groan.

On the other side there was still nothing but silence. Had the client left, his mother would be running hot water for a shower or bath. Had the paying pervert stayed the crack of leather or a howl of pain would be filling the walls. He took the staircase to the upper floor.

At the door of the main bathroom, facing the top of the stairs, Dale saw his mother’s dressing gown. He bounced over the last steps and pushed his way into the room. She was sat on the toilet, lid down, using it as a chair. The gown covered up her work clothes, only her black boots were evident.

“What’s up?” Dale asked.

“I pushed myself too hard today, love,” she said. Her face looked drained as she spoke. In his dressing gown her tired face and messy hair made her look more like an inhabitant of a care home than a mistress.

“Why didn’t you call for me?”

“The client is still her,” she said.“I was only taking a break before getting back to him. Then my chest – don’t worry, it’s passed – but my chest was aching a little.”

“Well you definitely should have called me,” he said with a pained expression. He wondered if he needed to give CPR. He’d seen it performed on a first aid video. It didn’t look like she needed help breathing so they could skip that – thank God, only he knew where that mouth had been today – but a few chest compressions could help.

Or the Heimlich manoeuvre, he’d seen that get people going again, but that was after they’d been gagging and his mother wasn’t. Well, she had been, but he hadn’t seen that, it was minutes before she took a turn for the worst.

“He’s still here,” she said. “The client. You’ll have to untie him.”

“Wow! No way,” he replied.

“Please, love,” she said. “He’s blindfolded, so just unclip one hand and leave the room. He’ll see himself out. I’m not up to anything else today.”

The look on her weathered face pulled on all his compassion. “Okay, you go and get a cup of tea and relax,” he said.

The walk to his mother’s “Workroom”was more nerve wracking than the one he’d taken from the basement. He swung the door open, expecting the seediness to suffocate him. Instead his eyes relayed information that replaced fear with shock, confusion with anger.

Spread star-shaped on the four poster bed, tied at his wrists and ankles, a blindfold covering his eyes with a gag in his mouth, was Mr Nobbs. Dale walked over and unfastened the gag.

Mr Nobbs coughed, spittle landed over his face, and he said: “You had me going. But it was good. A tease is good. Now finish me off.”

As always Dale understood you had to adhere to the wishes of the paying customer. And true to form, his understanding of the context was some way off.

———————————————-

If you enjoyed this, you can check out Chris’s entry for Round Two here. At the moment Chris is working on finalising his first novel release as an indie author, which will be available soon!

 

IAM15/Sunday Write-Up – July 2015

Sunday Write Up HeaderIAM 2015 - Topper

No author of the day today – just a day for writing!

What better way to celebrate Indie Authors, than to join us in our regular monthly writing feature? Everyone is welcome, whether you’ve published fifty books or are just writing for the very first time.

The idea is easy:

  1. Take the five words from the bottom of this post
  2. Write a short story (less than 2,500 words), a few paragraphs of a snapshot scene, a poem…whatever you like. Post it on your own blog.
  3. Link your post back to here in the comments section.
  4. Take a look at what other authors did with the same prompts – learn, share and comment with them.
  5. Each month, we’ll share some of our favourite contributions to the feature with our Facebook and Twitter followers.

As always, don’t worry about it being long, short, perfectly edited…the idea is to just let your imagination run wild on something you’ve never even thought about writing before, blast out a piece in however much time you have on your Sunday (or the few days afterwards).

So, here’s today’s prompts – include all five in your piece and see what you come up with.

Today’s five words are:

forget     weird     acorn     come     need

IAM15 Guest Post…How I Became an Indie Author

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s guest is Hannah Harvey, author of several contemporary YA fiction novels. After a chance meeting via Twitter, Hannah has previously taken part in our regular Sunday Write-Up creative challenge, and was invited to join this month’s event from that 🙂

So, that’s enough from us, let’s hand over to Hannah for her guest post on how she became an indie author…

How I became an indie author

I’ve always loved writing. I was home educated my entire school life by my mum, and growing up, I’d always loved English the best. I’d love it when my mum would set me the task of writing a short story. This led pretty quickly into me writing not just for school, but for pleasure as well.

Hannah Harvey - Author I started to fill notebooks with stories, and even started a few novels. My main problem, was that I couldn’t finish a novel. I found it too hard to stick to one idea, because I had just so many running around in my head. This is where National Novel Writing Month came in. I started taking part and before long I was finishing full novels. My love of writing grew.

At the same time, I’d started college and I had the plan of becoming a nurse, however I was diagnosed with a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Basically meaning that I I was collapsing all the time. I couldn’t attend college anymore, and I still have the condition now over six years later. So I couldn’t go to college anymore, I could hardly stand up in those first months, before I got onto the right medications and got a small amount of control.

So plans had to be reworked. I was at home a lot of the time, and I had my laptop so naturally I started writing. I poured myself into writing, and I had so many finished first drafts, that I just decided it was time I did something with them.

It was round this time that I discovered Kindle Direct Publishing. This seemed like an amazing chance for me, because breaking into the publishing world is so tough, so I thought if I could do it myself then that would be amazing.

It’s hard work. I’m in charge of writing, editing, promotion, the whole lot. It’s also a lot of fun, and I love having the freedom to set my own deadlines and write exactly what I want. I’m learning so much about writing, editing, cover design and promotion, and it’s been incredible.

Currently I’ve published four novels and one novella, and I hope to have another book out in the not too distant future.

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Between Now and Goodbye final - CopyThree friends. One eventful summer.

Libby finally has the settled life she’s always wanted, and never before had. She has a happy family, two best friends Julie and Charles, and loves her home.
This summer will be the best of her life. A summer spent learning in a culinary camp in New York, but when something happens at home and she’s forced to return, how will her summer turn out?

Charles had big dreams for his future, college, medical school, and spending as much time as possible with his girlfriend Julie. This summer will change all of that. His mom’s sick, his dad’s gone and he’s left trying to hold his family together. On top of that, Julie’s pulling away from him. Will he be able to fix things before they fall apart?

Julie is bored. She’s bored of her private school. Bored of always doing the same thing. Bored of having plans cancelled by her boyfriend who’s always busy. She’s bored and she wants a change. When she attempts to liven things up with some of her school friends, she ends up making a mistake. How will that mistake end up shaping her summer?

Follow Libby, Charles and Julie as they fight their way through an emotional summer, as they learn that sometimes theirs no escaping goodbyes, but that they aren’t always bad things.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Hannah Harvey is a 23 year old self published author, blogger and avid reader from the UK. When she’s not writing or editing novels, she’s working on three different blogs, and reading a tonne of books.

Amazon     Website
Goodreads     Read First Chapter Free
Twitter @booktowerblog

IAM15 Guest Post…Five Things I’ve Learned About Self-Publishing

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s featured author is Charles E. Yallowitz, sharing his experiences of self-publishing and advice for doing it yourself. Seeing what other authors have done and learning from the challenges or successes they’ve had is one of the best ways to see what being an ‘indie’ is like. Let’s see what Charles has to say on the subject 🙂

Charles E Yallowitz

 

First the formal introductions! My name is Charles E. Yallowitz and I’m the author being the Legends of Windemere epic fantasy series. Also the recently released short story Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts.

I published the first of my series, Beginning of a Hero, in February of 2013 and it was in April of 2015 that I published the seventh, Sleeper of the Widwood Fugue. To be fair, I had the first 3 books of my series written and mostly edited before I ever found out about Amazon Publishing. I became a full time author with a year’s worth of publishable books almost ready to go. Just needed cover art, which was worth the rate. This ended up making me an oddity instead of the rule, which sounds kind of like gloating to get to my point. So let me recover by saying something less arrogant.

EVERYONE is an exception to the rule in the Indie World.

You see, I came into this thing knowing only what I imagined and hearing horror stories from other authors. So I came in with assumptions that were quickly proven wrong. This is still going on today because even when I think I have something figured out, a new friend turns up to be an exception. It can be anything from a promotional site working for them while it failed for me to mastering a writing style that one would think is totally unmarketable. I could go down the list of every author I know and pull out something unique about them. Instead, I’m going to talk about 5 things I’ve learned since taking the Indie Author plunge. Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m a big planner, so a list isn’t too surprising.

  1. People will claim that their way is the best way. You may even find yourself doing this and you’re right. The thing is that they’re right too. I’ve found that an Indie Author works best when following their gut. If a marketing technique, promotional site, style change, or whatever else is presented to you doesn’t feel right then you probably shouldn’t do it. This isn’t to say forget the idea because you might click with it for another project or when you’re more experienced. It’s very important to remember that you have to follow your gut here.
  2. Every Indie Author has their own dream and goal. You may think everyone wants to be a published author for the sake of it. Yet, there are always differences in the dream. Some are in it for quick money and others fame. Some just want to get a story out to the world and will walk away. My own goals include creating a fantasy world that I can eventually open up to new authors and let them cut their teeth there. So I learned to not go in and assume everyone is after the same thing.
  3. There are slow periods for the book industry and they are more common than people realize. When I started, I had no idea that this was the case and it only became really noticeable during my second year. Typically, these moments occur around a big holiday or traveling period. For example, my first November was terrifying because I didn’t find out until Thanksgiving that many people are saving money for Christmas shopping. It was a jolt to my system, especially since I’d avoided the summer slump because I debuted a new book in July. So I got lucky for the first one and my pride got knocked down a bit during the second. 2014 had an even harsher slump and I saw a bunch of authors and promo sites quit during that time. My advice to get through these periods is to either publish something you have ready or take every sale as a victory and push on to better times.
  4. This one might be a little odd or only be me. Be very careful when announcing deadlines on your social media sites. I did this a few times and it always left me scrambling to change things. I’d announce a date before I had the cover art, editing, or even an acknowledgment of those things. Then a delay would happen like the author deleting the wrong file and losing five chapters worth of edits. Kidding . . . I lost an entire book’s worth of edits on that blunder. So as an Indie Author, we have full control over our debuts and marketing, many of us still need to be patient. Believe it or not, we do have plenty of time to release a book and that means we can wait for all of the pieces to be together before announcing a deadline. (Again, this could just be my impatient butt who has this problem.)
  5. Finally, something I wish people told me before I started is that there is an amazing community if Indie Authors out there. This is where social media, especially blogging, becomes essential. I had no idea what I was doing as my first debut loomed, but I connected with other Indies. Some were at the same stage as me, some were veterans, and others were still far away from publishing. There was such a big array of feedback and support that it really helped me keep going when I thought there were days I’d fail. These are people who have an intimate understanding, which you don’t typically get from friends and family. If I’d known about this community earlier, I’d probably have started blogging and publishing earlier too.

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legends of windemereThe final champion stirs and reaches out to any who can hear her voice. Yet all who heed her call will disappear into the misty fugue.

Awakening their new ally is only the beginning as Luke, Nyx, and their friends head south to the desert city of Bor’daruk. Hunting for another temple once used to seal Baron Kernaghan, they are unaware that the game of destiny has changed. Out for blood and pain, Stephen is determined to make Luke wish he’d never set out to become a hero.

By the time the sun sets on Bor’daruk, minds will be shattered and the champions’ lives will be changed forever.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

 Legends of Windemere Blog

Charles E. Yallowitz Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

IAM15 Guest Post…Who are the Weeia?

IAM 2015 - Topper

Today we’re joined by author Elle Boca, who writes urban fantasy set in Miami. She’s with us talking about her books and the ‘Weeia’ characters that appear in them…who are the Weeia? Let’s find out!

eb_weeiabanner4

 

 

 

Do you wonder how or why it is that some people stand head and shoulders
above others in their work? It there someone you admire especially? Say,
a celebrity, athlete, singer, guitar player, chef or dancer. Perhaps the person you noticed is not known outside his or her field. It could be
anyone, a dog walker who has a knack for understanding your pet pooch;
an organic farmer with a green thumb, a steak rub maker with an uncanny
ability to match flavors to perfection; an athlete who breaks world
records; or a diver who can do impossible things in the water you.

Perhaps they are Weeia (pronounced way-yah), superhumans who are like
you or me in almost every way except that they have extra abilities.
They live hidden among us unnoticed. Who is Weeia? It’s hard to know. It
could be your neighbor, the person behind you at the grocery store, your
banker, boss or doctor, maybe a person you’ve known all your life.
Although many Weeia live in secluded communities, from time to time a
few Weeia choose to live with people, usually in big cities where
they’re most likely to blend in with the crowds. The abilities of Weeia
among us are always explained away. They look like us; they hurt and
bleed like we do. Test their DNA. Go ahead. You won’t find anything
extraordinary.

Their superhuman abilities, which vary by type and strength, fall into
four main categories: Emotional, Material, Mental, and Temporal. Weeia,
it’s the same word for one or many, can be Lowes, Medius or Maximus.
Lowes is the most common which might explain how extraordinary beings
have lived on the same planet with ordinary ones for a long time without
anyone, or hardly anyone, discovering their existence.

Weeia abilities are varied, some common and some rare. For example,
there are Weeia who can move so quickly no one sees them. Others heal
hyper fast. Some can read people’s thoughts; pick up impressions from
inanimate objects; or move things with their mind. Others can influence
people and issue commands that must obeyed without fail. Rare Weeia
control reality through dreams or travel in time.

Weeia abilities first manifest in young adults. Something strange is
happening and the most recent generation is not developing abilities the
way they should. Amy McKnight is an exception. Raised as a human, she discovers her true
Weeia nature and rare abilities without warning or preparation.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Elle is the author of the Miami Weeia urban fantasy series about superhumans. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading. She makes her home in South Florida.

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19229086
Twitter https://twitter.com/elleboca
Amazon author page
http://www.amazon.com/Elle-Boca/e/B00HRCBEYK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Author Website http://elleboca.poyeen.com/

IAM15 Snapshot Interview…Melissa Groeling

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s guest author is Melissa Groeling. She’s dropped in to answer one of our tough ‘Gimme 10’ interviews, where you have to answer each question in ten words or less. You can also find out more about her novel Lights Out.

So let’s get started with the questions…

 

Melissa Groeling

Melissa Groeling

10 words or less?!? Yikes! 🙂

1. Where do you find your inspiration? Through most people I know.

2. What is your favourite aspect of Lights Out? How heavy Paul’s emotional baggage is. I torture him relentlessly.

3. Who is your favourite character from Lights Out and why? He’s the catalyst for the redemption that Paul needs desperately.

4. What are you working on now? A story called Two Evils.

5. What do you love about most about writing? Creating something from the ground up 🙂

 

Lights Out cover-1 

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

 

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

http://www.facebook.com/melissa.groeling

https://twitter.com/#!/stringbean10

http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H51R2AS

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lights-out-melissa-groeling/1117540680?ean=2940148946137

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379110

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lightsout-1369485-235.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19270732-lights-out

IAM15 Author Interview…Carys Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperWe’ve already met author Carys Jones today, in her first feature about her Writing Routine. But, she was nice enough to fill in some interview questions for us as well and so we thought we might as well share them with you 🙂

 

 

Snapshot Interview with Carys Jones

 

  1. A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Ooh! That’s a fun question! I think I’d first ask for the ability to slow time down, especially when I’ve got deadlines looming as sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But then secondly I’d also want the ability to speed time up! Particularly when I’m waiting on a submission as publishing is a notoriously slow paced industry and I’m an insanely impatient person! Lol.

Finally I’d ask for the ‘F’ key on my laptop to get fixed. I always write on my beloved pink laptop which I’ve had for years and just can’t bear to part with even though it’s now past it’s best. So if the genie could fix the keyboard that would be awesome : )

 

  1. Describe your ideal writing space.

I’m really fortunate because I already get to work in my ideal writing space. The room I work in has bright pink walls and is littered with Disney memorabilia and there are pictures everywhere of me and my friends. It is easily my favorite room in the whole house. I like that when I sit down to write I’m surrounded by all the things I love and so many happy memories. My dog, Rollo, even has a bed in there so he can come and sit with me when I work.

 

  1. What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Flowers in the Attic. It is beautifully written and deeply moving. But don’t make my mistake and tackle the rest of the series as they really don’t live up to the brilliance of the first book.

 

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I totally get that not everybody is going to love the same book. It would be a very boring world if we did. When I get a bad review I take on board what the reviewer is saying, any negative feelings they have and am then just grateful that they took the time to not only read the book but to put in to words their thoughts about it. There have been loads of times when I’ve really hated a book that everyone else has loved. But that’s fine, it’s my opinion and I’m completely entitled to it! So if someone loves or hates my book, I’m just excited that they are reading it and having a reaction.

 

  1. What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I’m working on a really exciting YA series at the moment which is Geek Girl meets John Green but I’m kind of sworn to secrecy on it at this point! Sorry!

 

  1. What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

The most rewarding part of being published is connecting with writers, readers and book bloggers. I’ve met so many awesome and interesting people through writing. I feel like I have a totally new network of friends thanks to my books and I’m so appreciative of that.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

carys jones author    Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

For more information about Carys please visit www.carys-jones.com or follow her on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85

 

Blog   http://carysjonesauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Website   http://carys-jones.com

Twitter   https://twitter.com/tiny_dancer85

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

Buying Links   Amazon