In the Lime Light – #AuthorInterview – Joseph Mulak

Tags

, , , , , , ,

.

Please allow me to introduce fellow author Joseph Mulak, author of Haunted Whispers, Burnt Ashes, and Little Angels. He has had stories published in Death Be Not Proud, Dangers Untold, and Dark Things II, among other anthologies. He lives in North Bay, Ontario with his wife, Alicia, and five children. He is currently at work on several new writing projects.

Please Introduce us to your Blog.  What is it all about?   What sorts of posts do you lean towards?   My blog is mostly about topics concerning the genres I tend to write in. Mostly horror. Anything relevant to the genre is fair game. One thing I really enjoy doing is promoting other authors’ work. So I post reviews of books I like in the hopes of garnering the authors a few more readers.

What Inspires and stirs your creativity?  Just about everything. I get ideas from every aspect of my life whether it be work, family, friends, or even conversations I overhear in public. That and reading good fiction. Reading someone else’s work eggs me on to do better and finish whatever I happen to be working on.

Conversely, what do you find difficult to write about?  If there’s something too difficult to write about, I haven’t found it yet. Over the years I’ve had several blogs covering various topics. I’ve written about politics, religion, social issues, anything is fair game. Although I’ve toned down more recently. Now that my work seems to be garnering more of a readership, I tend to stay away from the more controversial topics so as to not alienate my readers. As consumers of art, we often have a tendency to not separate the artist from the art. We can’t support someone that we disagree with. So I’ve put my opinions on religion and politics aside and focus on more general topics.

What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?  I don’t try to put messages in my work. Usually there’s a theme I deal with such as addiction, poverty, family, etc. But I don’t want to be preachy. As a genre writer, my job is to entertain, so I try to keep that in mind whether I’m writing fiction, a blog post, an interview, or a grocery list.

How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?   I’m not sure if it’s helped me. I hope some people have found my books through my blog, which is its main purpose. As for what I’ve learned along the way? My job, first and foremost, is to entertain. I always try to keep that in mind, which is why I keep certain opinions to myself.

Tell us about your book(s):  I currently have four books in print. Flushed, which is about love and poker; Haunted Whispers, my short story collection; Burnt Ashes (soon to be renamed to Ashes to Ashes, brand new cover and everything) is a zombie novel; and I just recently put out a 10,000 word novella called Little Angels, which is more or less a ghost story.

What Inspired you to write your book?  Depends on which book, I guess. Flushed came out of two failed relationships I’ve had and the fact that I stayed an irresponsible and immature person until my late 20s.

Burnt Ashes started out being about drug addiction and by the end of the first chapter (while keeping the drug addiction theme) turned into a book about my somewhat strained relationship with my older brother.

Haunted Whispers is a collection of short stories and it covers a broad range of themes and styles. It would take a long time to go through all the various influences.

Little Angels was influenced by a family trip to Nova Scotia when I was 12 or 14. My father and I found an old graveyard and everyone buried there was 12 years old or younger. It was also influenced by my lifelong battle with depression.

From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?  My favourite depends on which best suits the story. I’ve written in both and there are pros and cons to each one. I tend to write in third person most of the time, because it’s less restrictive, though I do turn to first person every once in a while since I do like the reader only having the same information as the POV character. Makes the story that much more mysterious.

How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing?  I’m told my voice is relaxed and conversational, which is great. People seem to enjoy it.

What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?   Horror. I only have one work outside of the genre and I’m pretty sure it was one-time thing. My mind just tends to go in that direction when I’m thinking up stories. But, within the horror genre, I’m all over the place. I’ve written zombie stories, horror-comedies, I’ve had one or two of my stories described as “torture-porn,” I’ve written creepy ghost stories. Readers never really know what they’re getting with my stuff. I love most of the horror sub-genres, so I tend to write in a lot of them.

Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?  I typically start with an idea, whether it’s a character I find intriguing or an opening scene, and go from there. I don’t usually know where the story is headed until I’m about halfway through. I like to think of it this way: When you get into a situation where your life is in danger, you have no idea what you’re going to do until you learn more about the situation, the antagonist, etc. That’s how I like to write. I like to learn more about the characters and the situation I’ve tossed them in before I figure out how they’re going to respond to it and ultimately win. Or lose, depending. I know a lot of authors recommend not doing this. I just read an article by John Grisham recently where he states that even authors who say they don’t outline really do. This isn’t true and I’m not sure where he gets this idea. But doing it this way seems to be working for me so far.

Do you have a favourite or least favourite character? And Why?  Probably Todd Wright, one of the two brothers who are the main protagonists in Burnt Ashes. Todd is a musician, suffers from depression, is a recovering addict, is divorced, has a poor relationship with his brother, feels like a failure most of the time, and has a sarcastic sense of humour. These are traits Todd and I both share, so I relate to him more than most of my other characters.

Share an insight or secret about your book(s). Readers can’t put them down because I lace the covers with superglue.

HA HA HA Thats Great 🙂  What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?   I really don’t like this question. When I first started out writing, I read a lot of how-to books on how to write bestsellers, how to get published, how to get an agent, how lace the covers with superglue so readers can’t put them down, etc. The one common thread I’ve noticed in all these books, is there is no common thread between them. They all have different advice. The reason for this is every writer’s journey is different. Some books that shouldn’t be bestsellers are, and some that should be, aren’t. It has nothing to do with talent (though talent is important), it’s not about hard work (thought that’s important too). It’s a lot about luck. Why is Stephen King one of only a handful of horror writers on the bestseller lists? He happened to write a book that filled a need and got it in the hands of enough readers. There are better writers than Stephen King who still have their day jobs. The only advice to give to aspiring authors is Ass To Chair, Fingers To Keyboard. Write. Write. Write. Edit. Edit. Edit. Work hard to write the best book you can then hope someone wants to read it.

Would you like to share an excerpt from the book or a poem or two to give readers an idea what you offer?  Sure. Here’s a scene from Little Angels:

Gary hated hospitals under the best of circumstances. Nothing good ever happened in them. It’s where people went to die. Every one of his family members who went into a hospital didn’t come out until it was time to be transferred to the morgue.

The waiting was the worst part. He sat in the waiting room while the doctors examined Beth. He tried to insist on going in. No doctor was going to tell him to wait outside while his wife and child were in danger. But the doctor threatened to call security and Gary realized he was being more of a hindrance than a help so he reluctantly stayed behind, unable to find anything to occupy his mind except to imagine every worst case scenario his mind could conjure.

An eternity and three minutes later, the doctor emerged, walking straight toward him. The man’s face was deadpan, no sign of emotion to indicate to Gary what was going on until the doctor started to speak.

His mind was in such a fog, he barely heard a word the doctor said to him.

“….very sorry for your loss…these things happen…no way of telling the cause…be fine in a day or two…”

The one thing he did remember the doctor telling him was there would be no need for surgery in cases like this. The foetus would expel itself shortly.

Foetus. That very morning it was “the baby” or “our daughter.” Suddenly, it wasn’t only the child that had died. Its identity died with it and was now known as “the foetus.” Gary thought about how strange it was that people could distance themselves from something just by changing its name. “Child” was too personal. “Foetus” meant you got to sleep later that night.

But neither Gary nor Beth got to sleep that night. Or for several nights thereafter. Gary spent the late evening hours consoling his sobbing wife while he wished he could cry with her, but felt the need to at least appear strong for her. If they both lost it, who would be there to keep them together? Gary had to keep control of the situation, no matter how lost he felt.

The late night crying sessions went on for months. Gary had taken time off work to be with his wife, but he knew he would have to return soon. His employer’s patience would only go so far, but Beth’s mood was nowhere near improving and he had no idea what the couple was going to do once it was time for him to go back.

And still they waited for the dreaded day when the foetus would expel itself from Beth’s body, but after several months, that day still hadn’t come.

Gary felt they had waited long enough and took Beth back to the hospital to see what could be done. There was no way he could be sure, but he felt there was a possibility carrying a dead child inside of her could be affecting Beth’s mood. It was worth a shot, at least.

They arrived at the hospital and this time Gary didn’t bother trying to force himself into the room with the doctor and his wife. He already knew from experience what the outcome would be so when the nurse asked him to stay in the waiting room, he obliged and found himself once again feeling alone and helpless.

More waiting.

Gary was told he would have to wait until the doctors were able to remove the child from Beth. It was dead tissue and dead things encourage bacteria, which could cause Beth some serious problems.

Gary braced himself when the doctor came into the waiting room. He’d been bracing himself the entire time he’d been sitting there. But it was futile. He could have spent a million years preparing himself, but it wouldn’t have made him ready to hear what the doctor was about to say.

“There’s no foetus.”

“What do you mean there’s no foetus?” This wasn’t asked in a tone that expressed concern or curiosity. Gary was downright pissed off and was screaming at the doctor.

“Just that, Mr. Becker. We figure your wife must have expelled the foetus and either didn’t notice or didn’t tell anyone.”

“How does someone not notice they’ve expelled a foetus? I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of thing you fucking notice.”

The doctor shrugged.

Gary punched him.

And now for the hard part.  Lets talk about you 🙂  If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?   Short, bald, and ugly. Well, I’m a writer. I’m married. I have five kids, four biological and one step-son. I live in a town called North Bay, Ontario, which is in Canada, for the geographically challenged. I’m not sure what else to say about myself.

If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why? Anyone, just so I can tell them to quit living in the past.

When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?  Spending time with my family. We play a lot of board games with the kids. I’ll play Mario Kart on the Wii with the boys. My wife and I spend our evenings on the couch binge watching TV shows. Right now we’re making our way through Republic of Doyle, which is about a family of private investigators in Newfoundland. We’re also watching the current season of Game of Thrones and we just got caught up on American Horror Story’s last season.

Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination.  Have you ever been there?  What makes this place Irresistible to you?   Don’t really have a dream getaway destination, but my wife and I have talked about going to Ireland. Next year. The history of that country is amazing and she wants to see the castles.

Do you have a Mantra?  Is that like a Pokémon?

LOL Not quite…lets try again.  What “Charity” or “Cause” do you feel passionately about & Why?  Autism. My step-son is autistic and there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding it because it’s difficult to understand. People with autism range from very high functioning to very low functioning (which is where my step-son falls), which is why it’s called Autism Spectrum Disorder. My wife was the president of the North Bay and area chapter of Autism Ontario and it’s an organization we’ve done a lot of volunteer work for.

Thanks So Much Joe for sharing your time and insights with BnV 🙂   It’s been great getting to know you and having some laughs!

Please be sure to look Joe up at his social places:

Links:
Website: josephmulak.com
.
~Morgan~

Rest – #DailyHaikuChallenge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

.

Verdant into Gold

Sweet Mother changing her robes

Glimmerings of rest

.

To take part in the Daily Haiku Challenge see  The Original Post from Day One

.

Day 290 / 365

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Image found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original artist/photographer.  Thank You~

In The Lime Light – #AuthorInterview – Debbie Pierce/Caleigh O’Shea

Tags

, , , , , , ,

.

Today I have the honour of sharing with you fellow blogger Debbie Pierce from Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom blog and author of her first book Unplayable Lie.

Hi Debbie!! Thanks for Sharing your story with BnV today.  Please tell us all about yourself!

About my blog 

My blog, Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom, started for two reasons: to capture my son’s college experience and to follow recommendations I’d received at a writer’s conference to build a platform for my writing.

To say it’s evolved would be an understatement!

I post once a week (more often when I can). Once a month, I share information gleaned from research into healing gemstones. That’s an extension of one of my hobbies, jewelry making. A few years ago, I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and try writing poetry. The result is an eclectic mix of haiku, limericks, free verse, ballads, and more catalogued on my Poet’s Page. The bulk of my posts are “slices of life” revolving around seasonal nature photos, travels, parenting, or humorous incidents (some narrated by my Sheltie). And lately, I’ve been including updates from my writer’s journey.

I strive for a conversational tone, like I’m writing a newsy letter to a dear friend. The thing that surprised me most about blogging was how supportive and encouraging this community is. I was a shy child and still tend toward introversion; it required a BIG leap of faith to put my poetry online for others to read. Imagine my delight when they said they enjoyed it!

I’ve written since I could hold a pencil. When I was a kid, I’d check out immense stacks of library books, then tuck myself away visiting new worlds until I was called to chores. I remember starting (but never finishing) novels over most summers. To me, inspiration is all around! Whether it’s a news story in the paper or an overheard conversation or a snippet of research into something interesting, I find ideas plentiful.

On my blog, I avoid contentious discussions about politics, and I keep things family-friendly. I’ve found it next to impossible to write sex scenes in my novels, too. There’s enough of that sort of thing out there without me. Being true to oneself, I’ve found, is the best policy.

My book

My book, Unplayable Lie, is a fiction/thriller about a journalist who faces danger when he allows himself to become emotionally drawn into a story he’s following.

Here’s the premise:

Texas journalist Josh Griffin lives for scoops, but he’s never faced real danger to get one. Nor has he ever been emotionally drawn into his stories. Then he gets an anonymous tip that teenaged golf superstar Lexi Carlisle has been kidnapped, and Josh embarks on an investigation destined to change his life forever.

Lexi Carlisle is the daughter of Josh’s college sweetheart; watching Amanda agonize over her missing daughter while refuting police insinuations that she had something to do with the crime is more than Josh can handle. And when he unravels the web of lies spun by Lexi’s crazed kidnapper — who has killed once and isn’t afraid to do so again — Josh realizes the story takes second place to the girl’s rescue.

The book is being published by Waldorf Publishing and is scheduled for release on Oct. 15, 2017. For now, it’s available for pre-order online at Amazon and Target. (Shameless marketing plug!!)

https://www.amazon.com/Unplayable-Lie-Josh-Griffin-Mystery/dp/1684192633/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502750215&sr=1-7&keywords=unplayable+lie

https://www.target.com/p/unplayable-life-paperback-caleigh-o-shea/-/A-52028159#lnk=sametab

The spark for my story came one day as I was golfing with my son. One of the holes lay parallel to a tangled overgrown area, and the idea of a kidnapping took root, refusing to let go.

I gravitate toward third person Point of View. Like Mary Higgins Clark or Mary Jane Clark, I prefer to pick out a set number of characters to tell the story, and I rotate POV among them based on what they’re seeing and experiencing. I tend to write short chapters that end on a cliffhanger, and I love throwing in a variety of twists and turns.

I’ve tried to outline, but I don’t like to because I’m not good at it. I think that’s because as a kid, we had to outline everything. So even though I don’t do a formal outline, I’d be lost without making notes about plot points, scenes, characters, and so forth. I’ve never done NANOWRIMO (the write-a-book-in-30-days challenge) because I’m not a writer who tosses together a rough draft, then edits to tidy things up. Nope, I tend to edit as I go along, making for a slow go initially (but when I get to the end, it pretty much is!)

A secret about my book – I changed the hero’s name three times before I was happy with it! The first name I selected was actually the name of a living athlete, and I knew that wasn’t going to work. It took a while for me to get comfortable with the final choice, but I think this one fits him.

Have I written characters I don’t particularly like? Sure, but I hope I’ve concealed that and treated them kindly!

Best advice for other writers? Butt in chair, hands on keys, and start putting your ideas down. Writing a novel is lots harder than some would have you believe, especially for those of us trained in journalism. Sure, you’re telling a story, but the author is a puppet-master while the journalist is quoting facts, documents, and other sources. While I was writing Unplayable Lie, I often felt like I was living in two worlds, my reality and the novel’s fiction. It got to where someone in real life would ask me a question and I’d mentally weigh my response based on which character I was thinking about at the time!

About me

I write under a pen name, something my mom is still having a hard time with!

For years I was a working journalist, so I got used to seeing my real name in print. And it worked for factual stories. However, this novel is fiction, so it just made sense to write under a “fictitious” name. I gave my pseudonym a great deal of thought and I’m pleased with the decision. It honors my Irish heritage and solves the quandary of being christened with a common name.

I guess I’ve always been a creative person. My hobbies and interests have evolved, just like my writing. As a child, I played piano, picked up clarinet and a bit of sax in school, and now am learning the flute. I love most sports, though golf and tennis hold a special place in my heart. I’ve done needlepoint, embroidery, and crochet. I taught myself to bead one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, including Rosaries. I zone out with mindless coloring of mandalas and such while talking on the phone, I’m an avid reader, and I write.

Because I’m the sole caregiver for my aging mom, I constantly struggle with time (or, rather, a lack of it!). I’ve found that having interests all over the board keeps me sane and helps me cope with the stress. While hobbies add to my enjoyment of life, sometimes pursuing them makes it hard to find the time I need to write. Having a deadline (one that’s self-imposed or from my publisher) helps immensely.

My day job is designing Web pages. It fulfils a need to express my creativity through color and design, as well as to work for myself. I also make time to take long walks or enjoy a bit of retail therapy. I don’t need crowds of people around me; rather, I gravitate to solitary activities. Because I can always find something to do, I’m rarely bored.

While I’ve been from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, I don’t really consider myself well-traveled. My favorite place for a getaway is close to water. I find the rhythm of waves very soothing, and there’s something about a salty climate that makes me sleep better. My ideal destination is Ireland, a place I briefly visited a few years back.

People who don’t know me don’t know how independent I am. I need plenty of time alone to regroup, daydream, and create. I don’t like lots of drama (except on the page or stage), and I avoid people who can’t accept boundaries. I have lots of acquaintances but few in my inner circle. There’s a BIG difference between being lonely and being alone. The former can happen in a crowd; the latter is a necessity for creatives (writing isn’t a spectator sport!)

Please do stop by and visit Debbie through one of her social Links:

Blog (https://domermom.com/)

Twitter (https://twitter.com/CaleighOShea)

Author website (https://www.caleighoshea.com/)

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbie-pierce-36943b49/)

I’m also on Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, and have an author’s page on Amazon.

.

Thank You so Much Debbie for sharing so many insights and giving us a peak into your first book.

~Morgan~

Transcend – #DailyHaikuChallenge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

.

Silence in the Hush

Sweet and heavy, Soft and Lush

Singing O’er the rush

.

To take part in the Daily Haiku Challenge see  The Original Post from Day One

.

Day 289 / 365

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Image found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original artist/photographer.  Thank You~

In the Lime Light – #CharacterInterviews – Michelle Lowe’s Legacy

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

.

Today I am welcoming Author Michelle Lowe, Author of The Legacy.  A Story of A thief, a lover, and a toymaker; drawn together by fate, unlikely champions against a powerful and remorseless enemy. When not fighting each other, they must defeat the powerful Lord Norwich, and end his plan to unleash global violence and crown himself emperor of the world.

No problem.

But behind the scenes, the Trickster god is manipulating men like puppets, changing history to his own ends and for his own amusement. As an ancient plan is set into motion, the trio is faced with events they do not understand and may not survive.

She is going to introduce us to one of her characters through an interview with him.  So without further ado:…….

After all my years reporting and writing articles at Iron Words Newsfeed, I wanted to interview some of Britain’s outcasts. Who I found was none other than Pierce Landcross, famous thief. So popular, in fact, even Queen Victoria wants him arrested and hanged! Pierce is the protagonist of the Legacy series, including the standalone story, Boom Time, and will be in the upcoming series, The Age of the Machine. And now, here is my interview with Pierce Landcross. Please enjoy!

Today I’m here with my guest at . . . at . . . well, to tell the truth, I’m not sure where we are. I was blindfolded at the meeting spot and brought here in these woods.

Aye. It’s the safest location I could think of for the likes of me. Given my reputation, that is.

I understand. Just allow me to replace the record on my phonautograph and we’ll get started. There. Done. Just speak into the cone and the vibrations of your voice will cause the stylus to etch a recording on the lampblack paper.

I’m familiar with how phonautographs work. My old mate, Indigo Peachtree, has an older one. His isn’t as fancy as this new 1843 model, but it works just the same.

Indigo Peachtree? He’s the famous toymaker, right? The one who creates automatons toys here in England?

One and the same, darling.

We’ll come back to him in a moment. First, tell us about yourself. Where are you from?

Erm. S’pose I ought to start with my name, eh? My name is Pierce Landcross. I’m twenty-seven and a bit mischievous. My life is pretty much a nonstop adventure, meaning I can’t seem to stay out of trouble. But I’ve met some interesting people on my journeys, as well as made a handful of dangerous enemies.

You’re also an outlaw. You’ve even been dubbed the most infamous thief in Great Britain.

Aye. I’ve heard that myself. I’ve also been a smuggler and a hustler during my younger days. Hence the secret location, eh? To answer your other question, I know I was born in England, but I’m not sure where exactly. You see, my folks were gypsies who wandered about constantly. I never had the chance to ask where my birthplace is. As youngsters, my older brother, Joaquin, and me got separated from the troupe when the gypsies were run out of Abney Park in London while Joaquin and me were exploring the cemetery. When we returned, there was a strange woman there with violet eyes who told officers that we stole from her. Which we didn’t, mind you, but regardless, we were hauled away to an orphanage and put to work in a cotton mill factory.

That’s awful. Where is your brother now?

Dunno, love. Him and I had a falling out some years back.

Oh? What happened?

He tried to kill me.

Oh.

Not to sound rude, but could we move this along? I have a bad feeling all of a sudden.

Of course. You’re in the middle of your own story, Legacy (Vol.1), it appears, but some who have read it has called you the highlight of this book with your debonair wit and glittering cleverness. A fabulous character. Flawed yet a compassionate thief. And one critic even said, quote, “Landcross I always adored. And with each chapter, I loved him more and more. He was just charming as hell. My heart was all a flutter.” It looks like you’re the protagonist for a reason, wouldn’t you say?

*Nervously clears his throat and rubs the back of his neck.*  I s’pose.

 

Going back to Indigo Peachtree, I heard he’s gone missing!

I wouldn’t say gone missing, more like he went into hiding. Right now there’s this cocker, Tarquin Norwich, who’s after the Toymaker for some reason.

How do you know this?

’Cause I’ve been roped into finding him. After a major failed heist, I tried fleeing the country. I made it all the way to Le Havre, France, aiming to board a ship and escape the royal guards that are on my tail as we speak. And just as I was about to find a bloody vessel, I was snared by Tarquin’s son, Archie, and his little sister, Clover. They tried bringing me back across the Channel and hand me over to Tarquin. The bloke wants me to tell him where Indigo’s journal is, you see. We never made it, though, ’cause I was rescued by my good mate, Chief Sea Wind, captain of his ship, the Ekta.

Captain Sea Wind? He and his crew are Apache sailors who call themselves Sea Warriors, right?

Aye. That’s them. And believe me when I say it wasn’t the first time they’ve saved my skin, but that’s a story for another day. While that halfwit, Archie was taking me back to England, Clover informed me about how her father is hunting for Indigo. *Snorts.* Clover is a clever little lass, dunno how she and Arch are related. After the Sea Warriors saved me, I made a bargain with Archie that if he helps me find Indigo before his dear ol’ dad does, I’ll get him the journal. And that’s where I am at the present, searching for the Toymaker.

That’s all really exciting. If you succeed, where do you think your story will lead to next?

My grandmother used to be a fortuneteller of sorts. She once told me each life has many paths that lead in different directions. No one can truly see into the future because the future is always changing. I dunno my whole story yet, but I can tell you it involves me traveling through the Netherlands and following clues to a family inheritance, dealing with the Hellfire Club in Scotland, sailing to Sonora, Mexico with the Sea Warriors where I’ll be hunting for fugitives, breaking Chief Sea Wind and his crew out of jail in New Orleans, and returning to England to face my most feared enemy.

That sounds incredible! What else can you tell us? What’s in Peachtree’s journal? Will anyone travel with you on your quest to find the family inheritance? What’s the reason for going to Scotland? Who are these fugitives you’ll be tracking? Why will the Sea Warriors get arrested, and who is this enemy you will face?

(Unknown voice)

Over there! I see him!

Bugger me! It’s the bloody guards! Listen, love, it was nice chattin’ with you. *Kisses my hand.* Perhaps we can continue this another day? *Dashes off to his horse.*

Wait! How do I get out of the forest? Oh, well. I suppose I can find my way. That was the charismatic Pierce Landcross, ladies, and gentlemen. I must say he’s most certainly an interesting character. I truly hope to meet him again someday.  

Author Bio

A Georgia born native, I’ve spent most my life near the Atlanta area before pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country with husband, Ben, and our two daughters. History piques my interests, especially European history. I’m a big nerd at heart. I read science-fiction and fantasy stories, and I love old B horror films. I also get a kick out of playing classic Atari video games and I do oil painting as a hobby.
I’m a daydreamer and animal lover. I have a very old kitty named October, and one very demanding guinea pig. I took up writing as a serious career choice twenty years ago, learning a lot and sharpening my skills along the way.
My works include several published novels such as The Warning,Cherished ThiefAtlantic Pyramid and Children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour, and The Hex Hunt series. My latest published escapade is a steampunk/fantasy novel, titled Legacy, the first of a six book series.

Please be sure to look Michelle up through one of her social Links!

Website: www.michellelowe.net

Twitter: @michellelowe_7

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2fWq6BV 

Amazon:http://amzn.to/2bNh8WQ

.

Thank You so much Michelle for sharing your character with us.  Its been fun getting to know Pierce 😉

Many Blessings~

~Morgan~

In the Lime Light – #AuthorSpotlight – Assaph Mehr

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

.

Today’s Author Spotlight is on Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia.

Book Blurb
A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.

Enter Felix the Fox, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.
Murder in absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.
This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.

Assaph has receive many awards for his writing, including:
Virtual FantasyCon 2016

  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Book
  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Author
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Book
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Author
  • 3rd place – Favourite Fantasy Series

AND Goodreads

1st place – Indie Books Worth The Read (https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/37072.Self_Pub_or_Indie_Books_Worth_the_Read)

Hi Assaph 🙂  Please Introduce us to your Blog.  What is it all about?   What sorts of posts do you lean towards?   My blog is part of my author platform, and therefore reflects those aspects. I put out original contents (like short stories), articles about writing and marketing, occasional news, and general funny stuff.

I love the subject matter I’m writing about – the blend of ancient Rome and Fantasy – so I include information about them. I also seem to have a reasonable knack for book marketing, so I try to put out articles that could help other authors in today’s shifting publishing landscape.

What Inspires and stirs your creativity?   I’ve always loved to read. I had my nose in a book since I was five. Whilst I always dreamt of writing one day, I never thought I’d get to it before retirement. But once started, I enjoy it so much I have no intention of stopping. It’s the outlet I’ve always looked for in creative endeavours. (My only other outlet is in cooking, of which I have half a talent at best).

Conversely, what do you find difficult to write about?

According to my editor, I’m a typical guy in that it’s hard to get me to put the deep emotional stuff on the page…. It is there though. Felix is a hardboiled, crusty detective. He doesn’t necessarily show it, but the novels have a larger emotional arc to them. My strengths seem to be in the world building and the intricate plots, and my editor is whipping helping me in making my writing even better.

What Message, if any, do you hope to Share through your blog/posts?  Besides that Felix tells awesome stories? 😊 I don’t have a message I set out to share, but I think I would like to show to others that writing is a matter of perseverance, and good writing is a matter of reading. If it’s something you love, if you can stick to it, you can make it work and get much satisfaction from it.

How has your blog helped you as a writer/Indie Author? What things have you learned along the way that you never anticipated?   My blog is part of my platform, as I mentioned. It helps tremendously in building presence and getting noticed.

As for lessons learnt, I’m a self-learner. I’ll research what I need, examine the options, and then build up my skills by doing. It’s an introverted process, rather than relying on others for support. That said, I will say that the indie community is fantastic and extremely supportive. I have made many new dear friends since becoming an author.

 

Tell us about your book(s):   My books tell the stories of Felix, a classic noir detective in tone but dealing with paranormal cases – all set in a world based on Ancient Rome. I call them Storied of Togas, Daggers, and Magic. They combine the elements of what I like to read.

What Inspired you to write your book?   I’ve had the idea for the mystery behind Murder In Absentia and come of the characters involved kicking around in the back of my head for a decade. But as I said, I wasn’t looking to write anything before retirement.
Then one hot January night over two years ago, my complained that she finished everything she wanted to read. So after everyone went to bed, I sat down, and started to write. And I didn’t stop until I completed the manuscript, about four months later.

From what Point of View do you prefer to write? Is there a reason?  I write in first-person POV. I like to read such novels, where you get into the head of the protagonist. It’s very common in noir detectives, and it felt the most natural to write in. Felix is, in a way, a bigger and better version of me.

How would you describe your “Voice” or Style of writing?  Uniquely my own, I hope. Felix does have a bit of deadpan humour, and isn’t always the most reliable narrator. But if you like a bit of fry humour, you’ll love his quips.

I put out short stories with Felix, so that potential readers can find out quickly if they like my style. You can find them here: https://egretia.com/short-stories/.

What genre do you prefer to write or are you truly eclectic?  The best genre label is “historical fantasy”, though if you’d like something more specific I guess “Historically-themed Urban High-fantasy Noir Detective Mysteries (with just a splash of Horror)” would do.

I like speculative fiction. Always have. I grew of classic Sci-fi and fantasy, read a lot of detectives and thriller, and have always been in love with history and historical fiction, particularly Rome. So blending all of these was just natural. That doesn’t mean I won’t try another setting – but I think I’ll always remain under the “historical fantasy” umbrella.

Do you painstakingly plot out your story; are you a discovery writer or a bit of both? Why?  A bit of both. As the stories are mysteries, I know the ending. I know the quintessential essence, what the story is all about. I also know where I start (Felix being hired to resolve said mystery). In between, I like to discover the plot for myself. I like putting Felix in impossible situations, and marvel at his ability to weasel out of them and come to a satisfying conclusion. I just try to keep him in the right direction, as he’s telling me his memoirs.

Do you have a favourite or least favourite character? And Why?   I don’t think I have a “least favourite” character. I enjoy writing them all. Even the antagonists. I make sure that they are human too, with wants and needs, and one can’t really hate them.

Besides my protagonist through whose eyes the stories are told, I do enjoy writing the other main characters in his life. Araxus with his shifting grasp of reality, Aemilia who like to poke her nose at his business, and others. They are all like friends.

Share an insight or secret about your book(s).  I mentioned that there is an emotional arc across several books, even though each is an independent mystery. I have this planned across four novels at the moment. The point where the current work-in-progress (book two) ends – well, I am expecting a few death threats from the dedicated Felix fans.

What do you feel is your best advice to share with other aspiring authors?  The most important thing in writing is a comfy pair of pants. Put them on, then park your ass in a chair and write. There is nothing as basic as sitting down and writing, and without it you won’t get far. So write a little bit, but often. And keep at it until you’re done.

As for writing good books, ah – there the secret is different. To write good books, you must get yourself a comfy pair of pants, park your ass on the couch, and start reading. Read a lot, in your genre and outside of it. Keep reading and observing what you’re reading. And then move to the chair and write some.

Would you like to share an excerpt from the book or a poem or two to give readers an idea what you offer?  This is from the last third of the current WIP. Felix has a broken leg, and finds himself at a low-point in the case, in a foul mood and not many options. He goes back to basics, for some cash and fresh air.

I decided I needed some time away from everyone, and that I would not be getting it at home.

My mobility impaired, I could not take on another case. I was in no condition to walk far, but I limped down to the docks between the grain and fish markets, found a good corner, chalked ‘FORTUNES TOLD CURSES IDENTIFIED’ on the wall, sat down on a folding stool, put on airs, and busied myself with a scroll of Assyrican star-gazing that looked impressive with all its strange and foreign symbols.

People being what they are, especially sailors and dock workers, I scraped enough small coins that day to cover a night of drinking. Calculating people’s horoscopes is tedious, but at least cleaner than haruspicy. One sailor wanted me to write a curse against his fellow, whom he swore stole his lucky fascinum when they were asleep. I scribbled a supplication to Hygieia — about as magical as a bucket of piss — to withdraw her protection from the thief’s health. I also sold him a mild laxative in the guise of ‘special medicine’, and told him to slip it in the evening meal whilst at sea to make the guilty party revealed to all. On the off-chance he was wrong about the culprit, the laxative was to go into the main pot, with the supplication into the fire. I taught him a meaningless doggerel to repeat, so I could claim it was his fault for botching it. Thoughts of future winds generated below decks by an overly flatulent crew cheered me up.

It also kept my mind away from Aemilia, and what I needed to do with her.

And now for the part most Authors find difficult…Lets talk about you!  If you had to describe yourself to someone who has never met you, what might you say?   I… wouldn’t know where to start. There’s the obvious picture and bio. Everything else comes when you get to know them better, built over time.

If you could meet one person from the past, who might it be and why? Just one? But there are so many…. I’d probably pick Sulla and Catilina, two intriguing characters from ancient Rome who – I think – got the short end of the stick when history was written.

When you are NOT writing, what is your favourite pastime?  I spend a lot of time with my family, playing with the kids. I read a lot, mostly at nights or when I’m too tired to write. Occasionally I manage to keep up my martial arts practice. I’ve been practicing various martial arts on and off for the past 30 years, and am currently practicing an internal branch of Wing Chun. I actually based some of the magic system in my world on my experience studying the internal arts.

Describe Your Dream Getaway Destination.  Have you ever been there?  What makes this place Irresistible to you?  I love ancient ruins. I’ve recently been on a trip to visit family in Israel (pics on my blog and Instagram), so naturally I took my family to visit a few of my favourite old forts and historical sites. I have been to Rome and Italy many years ago, and would love to go again. So many places I have only seen in pictures, and would love to experience.

I have this tendency, when walking old streets, to see them as they were and not as they are. Just have to remember to watch out for traffic.

What “Charity” or “Cause” do you feel passionately about & Why?  Not a specific charity, but I do feel passionate about environmental issues. I see what we are doing to the planet and what we are leaving to our children, and it scares me.

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, and had to yell at the librarian that he can read already so he should get his own card. With a rather diverse taste in reading – from fantasy to philosophy, from ancient times to the far future – his first novel Murder In Absentia is an “historically-themed urban high-fantasy hardboiled murder mystery, with just a dash of horror”.

After years of reading and only dreaming of seeing his name in print, he suddenly started writing in 2015. He owes this to his wife, who complained that there was nothing good left to read. Once the challenge was accepted and Murder In Absentia was born, Assaph just kept on writing – short stories, flash fiction, and now a second full length novel. You can find them all on egretia.com.

When he’s not busy mashing up genres or interviewing other author’s characters on TheProtagonistSpeaks.com, this ex-Israeli-turned-Aussie enjoys his kids, cats, wife and even his day job. He hopes that his thirty years of martial arts make his fight scenes realistic, and that his love of history shines through his work.

 

Please be sure to check out Assaph at one of his many social sites

Media links

Website: http://egretia.com

Blog: http://egretia.com/news

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AssaphMehrAuthor

Twitter: @assaphmehr

Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/+AssaphMehr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14422472.Assaph_Mehr

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/assaph/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Assaph-Mehr/e/B015U1F3NC

Murder In Absentia on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XbfKN1

.

Thank You so much Assaph for sharing your insights and writing with us.  Many Blessings~

~Morgan~

Officially Out of the Office

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

.

Beginning tomorrow, Aug 15th,  I will be officially on Holiday!

It being my b-day, I’ll be celebrating with family and then, My Dear One is taking me away, to the mountains of Colorado, for some MUCH Needed R&R as well as a delicious dose of TLC 🙂 (he really is THAT wonderful<3)

In my absence, I am planning to run a series of Author Spotlights and Character Interviews from my fellow writers.  I hope you will enjoy learning about these talented friends and may take the opportunity to explore their blogs and books.

For those of you who might be interested in a spotlight in the future, please just pop me a comment and we’ll connect….after I get back to reality!….which should be around Aug 29th,……. or so…..

I want to Thank you for supporting them and your continued support of Me.  You are a wonderful Blessing for which I am ever Grateful ❤

 

~Morgan~

Chasm – #DailyHaikuChallenge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

.

Chasm Whispering

Cosmos connection Singing

Into the dark void

.

To take part in the Daily Haiku Challenge see  The Original Post from Day One

.

Day 288 / 365

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

 

Amazing image by Melissa Vincent

Save

Can you drink the cup?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Can you drink the cup?  The mother of the sons of Zebedee makes a request of Christ, “Promise that these two sons of mine will sit on your right and left in your kingdom.”  Christ sets the overzealous mother and her sons straight, “You do not know what you are asking.”

They were asking for things along the lines of accomplishment without hard work, freedom without responsibility, all the gifts and grace that God has to offer without any of the suffering of the human condition.  Can you drink of the cup, of the cup of your own life?

The hectic pace of this life leaves little time for reflection.  It is an effort to put our phones away and pay attention.  Being fully present is in danger of being fully extinct.  Can you drink the cup?

It took me a long time to be willing to look at the cup of my own life.  Growing up in the presence of alcoholism left me anxious and unwilling to discuss what I had lived through.  Little did I know that others endured the same or worse.  I lived with that for far too long.

It took a lot of counseling in addition to God’s ability to heal for me to arrive where I am today.  Much healthier, but still reluctant to trust.  That is my cup.  No shame in the things that were beyond my control.  To be able to see that the events that take part in each of our lives is God’s way of molding and shaping us, even when those things are painful and don’t make any sense.

Christ’s cup was so painful that he asked if it could pass.  All the ugliness and sin the world has to offer.  Christ submitted to his Father’s will, we should do the same.

 

Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC

Author of Incomplete

Intensity – #DailyHaikuChallenge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

.

Bright Intensity

Brandishing delicate Poise

Fire while Smiling

.

To take part in the Daily Haiku Challenge see  The Original Post from Day One

.

Day 287 / 365

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer.  Thank You~

Time Spilling – #DailyHaikuChallenge

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

.

Time Trickling slow

Avenue of Yesterday

Spilling into now

.

To take part in the Daily Haiku Challenge see  The Original Post from Day One

.

Day 286 / 365

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Photograph found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original photographer.  Thank You~

Singing – #Alliteration #Poetry

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

.

Singing

In the Sweetened Silence,

The sugar-sweet Serenade swam

In the sea of our Serenity,

Sighing.

.

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Photography by Sam Tang

#FridayFantasy – Dangerous Game – #BookTeaser

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Mountain Portal

.

Behind them, where the portal exposed by the Great Gate’s falling melded two opposing realms into one, the shadows beneath the mountain heaved and hissed with the threatening vocalizations of the Reviled.

Crimson stained arrows shot from the darkness, seeking any who might be unfortunate enough to find themselves in their trajectory, yet these tactics could be little more than intimidation; a warning of the conflict to come when the Light diminished.  The Liberators knew this and stood on either side of the yawning portal, making their presence known by creating a game out of knocking aside with their swords as many arrows as they could and by returning the insidious calls from the presently thwarted Demonfey.  Tauntingly, they issued brash invitations for the Cursed Ones to come forth; fully cognizant of the fact that they could not bear the brilliant Light filling the clearing, yet jeering at their cowardice.

“It is a treacherous game we play.”  Evondair noted as he stood beside Reydan, both malefey wordlessly observing the derisive bantering going on while standing over their fallen comrade in the silently descending flurries that had begun falling.

.

Discover more about Dark Fey here

~Morgan~

.

.

.

Beautiful Ice Cave Photograph found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Photographer.  Thank You!

#FridayFantasy – Unspoken – #EpicFantasy #Short

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

 

.

The slurking emptiness of the portal spiraled in confounding directions, blackness folding upon darkness, disorientating and robbing him of every sense. Silence filled his hearing, emptiness touched his hands, and piercing blackness robbed his sight as he forced himself to step through the numbing cold nothingness.  Three steps, Gairynzvl had told him; three steps and he would be through the portal, but in the darkness where he lost all perception, including that of his own body, he could not be sure how many steps he had taken and the slowly turning abyss offered no perspective.  Wholly uncertain, Evondair took another step.

The scrunch of gravel beneath his boots reoriented his senses as he took a final step and found himself standing on a dusty, barren track of greyish gravel surrounded by jagged outcroppings of bare rock.  A fetid stench hung upon the thin air and leaching downward from a colourless sky, sooty rain in the form of a heavy mist shrouded everything.   As the remaining Liberators crossed into the Uunglarda, Evondair moved away from the portal and gazed around curiously; yet even as he sought to familiarize himself with the empty wasteland stretching away before him in both directions and ignore the malodorous stench that made him snort in disgust more than once, he reached out through his exceptional gift of discernment.

The action was instinctual; a means of understanding his surroundings and those within it, but opening his mind to the darkness of the Uunglarda was not only an ill-conceived idea, but a thoroughly dangerous endeavor and he instantly regretted it.  With the force of a rushing tide, desperate loneliness and unremitting anguish poured into his being, overwhelming him so completely that he raised his hands to cover his eyes and doubled over with physical pain.  Memories as scathing as a lashing torment serrated through his thoughts; sadistic brutality and remorseless cruelty that drew a profound groan from behind his clenched teeth before the irrepressible tears of more souls than he could number pressed into him like a thousand blades.

He did not say a word, in truth he could not, but as the waves of despair and suffering sought to drag him into the colourless shadows and ensnare him, he fought to withdraw his discernment from the darkness even as it grasped and clawed at his mind like a ravaging monster.  He could have screamed; he could have cried bitter tears; he could have cursed repeatedly in fluent Dlalth as the comprehension of the dark language of the Reviled filled his mind as clearly as his own did, but he did none of these things. As the deluge of misery wrenched at his mind and heart and the dejectedness of the lost Fey of the Light tore at his sanity, he centered his thoughts on the only thing in all of existence that was capable of defeating the darkness.  Filling his mind’s eye with an image of bright, clear, sparkling Light, he focused his attention on the wails and screams shattering his thoughts and answered their cries for mercy with the strongest weapon at his disposal.

Unspoken, yet heard as clearly as thunder rolling across the scorched heavens, the compassionate love that filled his entire spirit reached outward benevolently, silencing the calamitous uproar as a breathless pause stretched across the gloom.

.

Discover more about Dark Fey here

~Morgan~

 

.

.

.

Image found on Pinterest.  Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Photographer. Thank You~

Save