Acts of Kindness, Award Winning Fantasy, Be the Change You Want to See in the World, Best Fantasy Books, BnV, Book reviews, BooknVolume, Free Book Preview, Inspiration, Reading community, Thankfulness, ~Morgan~
I’d like to share a recent first for me. I narrated a key scene from Misericorde, Book One of The Mercy Series on Dr. Victor Acquista’s podcast, Podfobler.
Touch the light. Hold the light. The light burns. The light runs away. Hold the light. Lock the light away.
The great spirit Vatu keeps the Sun in a box, where no thief can steal it. Once a year, the box is opened and life springs across the dark lands. The whole world belongs to Vatu. He is darkness, he is master of all. There is no hiding from him.
But Utas must try, for his daughter’s sake. She is sick from darkness, and yet she glows with a mysterious light. If Vatu can find them, he will destroy them, or worse, drag them back into his mad, dark world. Torn between duty and mercy, between justice and freedom, Utas tries to escape, but it seems inevitable that the darkness will reclaim him.
For the greatest mercy and the greatest punishment Utas can suffer is to return to his true self.
Author David Rae lives in the West of Scotland. He lives in a world of his own; a world of wonder, a world where hoards of workers spill out of factories, a world were fog and smoke shroud all kinds of creatures, a world where ruined castles, factories and houses were haunted by ghosts, gangs and memories. He lives in world where witches have been burned at the cross and martyrs have been hung on the Gallowgreen. He writes poetry and short stories and reads every trashy novel, every children’s book and every comic that comes his way.
David recently chatted with me about his remarkable story:
Is there an Author you consider your inspiration? Just one? I was that geeky, spectacled boy that always had a book under his nose. I’ve read and read my whole life. As a boy I loved Tolkien. I also love the classics. My current favorite is Amin Maalouf. If you have not read SAMERKAND then get a copy now.
What Inspired you to write your book? CROWMAN is inspired by the Native American myths about the sun being kept in a box and freed by the crow. Once I started to think about what such a world would look like, the book began to form in my head. I lived near the arctic for a few years, and I got some insight into what a world with no sun is like. It’s a lot brighter than you’d think. The moon, the stars, the northern lights and the reflection of light from the snow, all become very important. I even learned to tell the time by the position of the moon.
Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character? In CROWMAN, my favorite character is MUKITO. He’s a young bandit boy who once he meets up with UTAS and ERROI changes his outlook on life. He’s not always the smartest, but honest with himself and in the end shows a great deal of bravery and resilience. The story would have been very different without him
My least favorite is GUTUZO who is a greedy, cowardly bully. He abuses his power and the people around him. He is completely self-centered.
Which one of your characters would you like to meet and why? In my latest project, I have a character called Tito. He is a bit clueless and gets into all sorts of trouble, but his heart is in the right place. He’s usually the butt of someone’s joke or victim of someone’s scheme yet somehow always lands on his feet. He’s sweet and innocent and very kind. I wish I was like that.
What is the hardest part of editing- grammar checks, reducing content, or something else? I am terrible at editing. I use all sorts of soft-wear and text to speech but I always miss something. The hardest part is not to get discouraged. No one ever wrote a first draft that didn’t need work. Thank God for editors, I say.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be- why? Well, I would not want to live in CROWMAN. It’s an interesting world for sure, but it’s a harsh world and it’s ruled by an evil spirit. Life is cheap there, and did I mention no sun.
What’s exciting you about your next project? I’m finishing the Sun Thief trilogy, CROWMAN is book one and CROWTOWER comes out in June. I’ve started on CROWBAIT, the final book, and I am surprised and excited at the way things are heading in that book.
OH I cant wait for these follow-up! Thank you so much for sharing some of your insights with us. I truly wish you all the very best success with this unique and amazing series.
My Recent 5-Star Review!
I was intrigued by this metaphysical dark fantasy from the moment I read the description. Uniquely named characters and concepts drew me in immediately and filled my mind with questions and lush imagery…a masterful book blurb to say the least!
Vatu, the great spirit of darkness. I could see him, an ethereal and all-consuming shadow intent upon absolute control. Utas, the hopeful apparition fleeing from himself, and his beautiful daughter who is delicate and mysterious. Their plight pulled me along. I was invested in their harrowing journey, their disappointments, their hopes. Symbolism and spirituality are illustrated like characters, filling the narrative with thought-provoking themes that made me pause and consider.
As father and daughter make their way, they are joined by a melange of artfully created characters: Erroi, the warrior, whose body and spirit are independent of each other and who travels in dreams. He is beautifully silent and deliciously mysterious. Mukito, a boy whose cruel stepfather has left him few alternatives other than thievery. The innocent Zintoa, and noble Eskanza. The characters are elaborate, simple, fully-developed, flawed and entirely captivating.
The narrative is rich with unfamiliar people and places, intriguing me page after page. Dialog forms much of the story, yet there are descriptions that whisk the reader away. Poetic tangles of dream-like reveries adorn the journey, some so intricate and imaginative I simply had to read them again….and again! There were times I wasn’t sure what was reality and what wasn’t and I was reminded of an episode of STNG, ‘Masks’, where the hunt of Masaka and Korgano parallels the birth of Athena at the Parthenon.
Mythological and magical, Rae’s Crowman is a masterpiece of epic fantasy, conceptual and allegorical fiction in which I would willingly immerse myself book after book after book.
I hope you’re intrigued and will take a moment to look David up:
Connect with David on Twitter: @DRDVDRAE
DarkFey The Reviled is now Available on #Audible!
FREE DOWNLOAD COUPONS are Available for a Limited Time….Please comment for one
★★★★★ – “The Reviled has everything you could want from an epic fantasy adventure.”
★★★★★ – “This author has an incredibly visceral and intense writing style. I loved the interplay between the light and the darkness.”
★★★★★ – “Morgan is a master of description. If you want something fresh, try out the Dark Fey Series.”
Be sure to pop in and see what’s going on. There are dozens of fantastic Artists, Authors, Podcasters (with whom you can hook up) Comic Book artists, LIVE Interviews and more.
I’ll be interviewed LIVE at 5PM EST
Here for Interviews: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2821129818132287
See You There 🙂
“Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would” …work at The Wall Music Store (Sorry, but it has been Far Far too long since I dropped some classic lit on ya!) (Moby Dick, if you were wondering).
At The Wall, I met and hired a young man by the name of Troy. Nice Guy. Reliable, diligent, and lots of fun to work with. He knew his stuff when it came to music….so it’s no surprise that now…um, several years later (wink wink), he should be the creator of his own (well, his and his friend Howie’s,, actually) podcast.
“Stay Tuned is 2 dudes with dreams of entertaining you. If you have any questions or suggestions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @staytunedtnh Stay Tuned is a podcast about everything happening locally and beyond. We have experts in sports, news, health and just about anything beyond your imagination. Sit back and hear some voices from the past, present and future.”
To make a short story long- I was recently invited to chat with them about my books, my writing journey, things I’ve learned along the way, and how I come up with the crazy languages I put in all my books. (and a few more things, too!)
It was great fun and I hope you’ll sit down with a cuppa and have a listen 🙂
Today I’m bringing to you an exclusive interview with Samuel Darte, lead character of M Jonathan Lee’s upcoming release ‘337’. When Sam was just a boy, his mother disappeared without a trace leaving him and his younger brother, Tom, at home with their father. This forced family relationships to breaking point to fracture. The disappearance of Sandra Darte changed his life forever.
Hi Sam, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Please make yourself comfy!
So we’ve read all about what happened to your mum and the events after, but how would you describe your experience of it all when you were just a young boy?
Well, I guess like you said, I was quite young when it all started and there are bits that don’t remember all that well. When she first disappeared, I just remember being scared and confused, I just couldn’t fathom how she could leave us. I think that’s why I pursued it for so long – none of the conclusions answered all my questions. It was a weird feeling of betrayal too, when Tom and I read that note addressed to Dad it just said “I’ve left you. Look after the boys”… glossing over the fact that she was leaving us too. Then with everything that came out afterwards, some things made sense and other things just didn’t fit, it was so confusing.
I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for you. If you could go back and change anything, is there anything you regret doing, or not doing, during that period of your life?
It was a tough time for all of us and I’ve definitely done things I’m not proud of. But my biggest regret is not talking to Gramma sooner and trying to make things right. It’s shameful that she had to be on her deathbed for me to be brave enough to go and talk to her, but at least I did go in the end. Better late than never. But yeah, I wish I’d been kinder to her, understood more.
You were just a boy, it can’t have been easy. Now you’re older, how do you think the events of your youth changed you?
Well I’d never heard voices before it all, I can tell you that much. [He chuckles grimly] I think it’d be impossible to pinpoint something it didn’t change. I’ve lived with it for so long now that what happened… it’s part of me. I guess after going through so much, I felt justified in closing myself off from stuff, relationships and all that. But I don’t know what I’d have turned out like if it hadn’t happened so who knows, just got to work with what I’ve got and make the best of it.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sam. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today. I can’t wait to read more about your story when 337 is released on 30th November!
My Review: 5-Stars!- One added simply for ingenuity!
What’s unique about 337 is the simple fact that you can read the book from both directions. Yes, you can start at the beginning or you can start at the end. The cover is cleverly designed to be the same, with the exception of color, no matter which way you hold the book. It’s an intriguing device to get you to think ‘outside the box’, to consider what you wouldn’t usually consider the norm as the norm. The characters step out from the crisp pages like person you meet on your travels through the day. Some stay, some disappear, but you are left with an indelible memory of them.
Emotive and poignant, the gentle story picks up its pace, weaving imagery like a painter transposing a landscape. I became aware of a heaviness within the main character, Sam, and quickly understood how sad he was, how the confusion he faced as a child permeated his entire life.
A powerful story about perceptions and learning how to look beyond, 337 is a quiet thriller…. if that’s possible. A mystery memoir…so to speak. It’s not what you anticipate when you dive in and suddenly, just when you think you’ve got things sorted, the ending happens.
Beautifully written and ingeniously devised, 337 is a book you need to experience.
Yes, its Available to pre-order on Amazon now!
Author Bio and Handles: @mjonathanlee @hideawayfall
M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. His first novel The Radio was nationally shortlisted in the Novel Prize 2012. Since that time he has gone on to publish five further novels with ‘337’ being his sixth novel. Jonathan is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness and writes his own column regularly for the Huffington Post. He has recently written for the Big Issue and spoken at length about his own personal struggle in the British national press on the BBC and Radio Talk Europe.
Endlessly fascinated by the human condition and what leads people to do the things they do to one another, Jonathan is obsessed with writing stories with twists where nothing is exactly how it first appears.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2020
Misericorde is set in the future, 2446, yet the story contains echoes of our time. Indeed, with its theme of us versus them, the haves and the have-nots, you could state that the story is timeless.
The story is set up nicely. With the environment damaged, resources limited and the first three of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse recent visitors, the Archangel of Mercy, Tzadkiel, seeks to prevent the arrival of Death.
Can Tzadkiel succeed and find a human who displays genuine compassion and mercy? And could Lourdes, a young peasant girl, be the key to his quest?
Entertaining and thought-provoking in equal measure, Misericorde is an excellent read, particularly for lovers of dystopian and fantasy stories. In addition, if care for our environment and fairness stir your emotions then the subject-matter will certainly draw you into the book.
Misericorde is an impressive novel. Well-written, the author tackles important subjects with great success.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 October 2020
In a future nightmarish dystopian world nearly 100 years after the Great Cataclysm, Lourdes is a servant at The Bastion of Resolution where The Eminent Protectorate lives. She hears horrendous screams emanating from Tower Obligar, the place of torture. Tzadkiel has been given 100 years to find one person who can exhibit mercy, and thereby prevent the Apocalypse bringing down the final curtain. No spoilers, but there then ensues a gripping and imaginative story (with a clever melange of futuristic fantasy, Biblical echoes and the sonorous tones of classical-novel storytelling) as their paths cross. Also exquisitely written. Recommended.
Nobody Eats Parsley. Sit down, grab a beer and let me tell you some stories about my family. They’re so ridiculous you may think they’re fiction. Like the time I went to a drive-in X-rated movie without realizing my parents were in the next car. Or how I let my kid throw a rock through the living room window. There’s the time I bought a camouflage thong in a bait shop, and the time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. And the other time I ruined a kid’s birthday party. There’s no way I could have just made these stories up. I can’t guarantee that they will make you laugh, but I can guarantee that I didn’t make them up.
DAVID OAKLEY has been telling brand stories at BooneOakley for years. He has won many prestigious honors, including the Kaopectate Award in the eighth grade for having diarrhea of the mouth. His first book, Why Is Your Name Upside Down?, is full of stories from his life in advertising. Despite this, he was recently inducted into the North Carolina Advertising Hall of Fame. He lives with his wife Claire and their dog Walter in Charlotte, where they raised Sydney and Lucas. He loves his family very much and hopes they still love him after reading Nobody Eats Parsley.
Hi David! Let’s dive right in, huh? What do you love most about Writing?
I’ve got an ego, and sure, I enjoy the attention that authors get. (Like being asked to be on Morgan’s blog! I’m very excited about this, by the way.) But when it comes down to it, I write because of the way it makes me feel. And because of the way it makes you feel when you read it. I like surprising people and making them chuckle. It thrills me, it excites me, it invigorates me. Writing, and making people laugh, gives me meaning and purpose in life.
How did you get your start writing?
Storytelling is such a big deal in the South. I grew up listening to my grandma tell stories of growing up as a tobacco sharecropper during the Great Depression. I was fascinated at how much humor there was during such hard times. She always made me laugh and I really like laughing. So, I decided that that was what I wanted to do. The only difference is that I write my stories down. And her stories were better. LOL
Is there an Author you consider your inspiration?
I read my first David Sedaris book in 2007, and he instantly became my favorite author. His story “Big Boy” about an unfortunate incident in a bathroom at a dinner party made me howl with laughter. Not only because it was so absurdly ridiculous, but because it was so relatable to me. I thought to myself, stuff like that happens to me a lot.
What Inspired you to write your book?
Laughter inspires me. When something happens in everyday life that makes me really laugh or someone around me laugh, I write about what made them laugh. At lot of funny things, (at least they’re funny to me) have happened in my life. I found myself telling these stories and laughing about them with my friends over dinner or beers, and one day I decided that I’d better write them down before I forgot them.
That’s probably every authors nightmare – having a great idea and then forgetting to write it down! Do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?
My stories are about stuff that happens to me and my family, so I write from my POV. I see things through the eyes of a father, a husband and a son, who probably has smoked one too many joints in his life.
Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?
I’ve written two books now, and the characters in them are real life people that I hang out with every day. The first book is about my life in advertising, my work family. And my new book is about life with my real family. So, they do dictate how I write. Because they say funny things. Like my daughter Sydney, who told a friend that my new book, “might not be the best book my dad has ever written, but it’s definitely in the Top 2.”
Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?
My Aunt Hallie, without a doubt, is my favorite character in Nobody Eats Parsley. She’s an 83-year-old church going, sweet tea drinking Southerner who can strike up a conversation with a signpost. She’s sweet, humble, kind and the best natural born trash-talker in the history of North Carolina. Imagine if Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show and Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver had a love child. That would be my Aunt Hallie.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
The first thing for an aspiring writer is to keep writing. Just keep writing. Then after you have written for about 10 years, suddenly you’re not an aspiring writer anymore. You’re a writer.
Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?
No, I don’t consider Nobody Eats Parsley a must-read. That’s because I just recorded an audiobook. So, I consider it a must-listen. LOL (Even though I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.)
Do you have a Mantra- a Quote you try to live by?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” This is a quote from Steve Prefontaine, a runner from the 1970’s.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/468177255″>Nobody Eats Parsley</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user11098752″>Kara McCoy</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
I want to thank David for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop by and talk about his book. Please look for David on his social media network:
David is giving away 5 Signed Copies of Nobody Eats Parsley!
Contact him using the form below and he’ll send you one
While Supplies Last!
Meet Jackson. A very unusual boy in world that prefers ‘normal’.
Julia Curtis is a busy mother of three, with a husband often away for work, an ever-present mother-in-law, a career, and a house that needs doing up. Her only son, Jackson, is different. Different to his sisters. Different to his classmates. In fact, Jackson is different from everyone around him – and bringing up a child who is different isn’t always easy. Then, one Monday morning, an incident at school changes everything; not only for Jackson, but for every member of his family. Julia faces the fight of her life to save her unusual boy from a world set up for ‘normal’.
Bestselling novelist Fiona Higgins returns with a heart-stopping, devastating, but ultimately uplifting story about loyalty, love and forgiveness.
An extraordinary boy. The mother who loves him. The fight of their lives.
Fiona Higgins is the author of four fiction titles and a memoir. She works in the not-for-profit sector and lives in Sydney, Australia, with her stoic husband, three rambunctious children and two aloof goldfish.
Hello Fiona, Thanks ever so much for stopping by to chat with BnV about your new book. Lets dive right in! What do you love most about Writing?
I love that writing is an almost magical form of ‘primary production’; writers produce something out of nothing, using only their internal resources.
How did you get your start writing?
Young! As a child, I always loved words – and I still remember, aged nine, the heady rush of winning a poetry competition. My slightly quirky entry, entitled ‘Ya Local Truckie’, explored the stigma endured by overnight truck drivers. My poem evidently caught the judges’ eye – even though I wasn’t from a trucking family!
What Inspired you to write your book?
I’ve known many children – and adults, for that matter – who are ‘different’ in some way (some with a diagnosis, many without), and witnessed their joys and struggles. An Unusual Boy explores the great strength and beauty that lies in difference, and the healing power of empathy.
I love that. I believe Empathy, Forgiveness and Kindness are great healers. Because you have a spiritual perspective, do you have a preferred POV that you write from and why?
In An Unusual Boy, I write from two POVs – that of Julia (Jackson’s mother), as well as Jackson himself. It was quite a thrilling experience, tapping into the stream of consciousness of an eleven-year-old boy! (Two of my three children are boys, which helped me channel the pre-teen male.) Despite understanding Julia’s perspective better, I preferred the colourful, imaginative world of Jackson.
Do your characters dictate what or how your write in any way?
Yes, that’s quite normal for me. They often surprise me. In An Unusual Boy, one of the characters delivered a twist that even I didn’t see coming.
That’s happened to me too. Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character?
Definitely Jackson. He’s a composite of all the wonderful, vulnerable, interesting and quirky children I’ve ever known. Jackson reminds me of a friend of mine from school, Michael, to whom An Unusual Boy is dedicated.
What sets them apart from the others?
Jackson has a strong moral compass – of which the rest of the world is mostly unaware – that governs his choices, as well as some incredible hidden strengths unlockable with a little patience and empathy.
As a successful author, do you have any tips for an aspiring Author?
Write what consumes you.
I so agree. Outside of writing, what type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I am a huge fan of fantasy and sci-fi genres, which are wildly different to my genre of contemporary fiction.
Is there a book you consider a must-read- why?
As a writer, one book I always return to is Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. She has some very solid, practical (and humorous) advice for writers.
I’ll have to look for that one! I’m always looking for my next new thing to learn 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with BnV.
You can find Fiona across these social media networks
When the effects of a hypnosis inducing drug fade, April slowly begins a conscious awakening. Memories of her past are unclear and she has no recollection of her identity or her whereabouts.
As the days slip by, April realizes there is more to life than existing when she is introduced to an occupant who does just that—her sister. The more she learns about her environment the more she wants to escape.
Will April remember her past, her sister? Will she have the courage to leave? And if she does, where will she go?
Experience through April’s eyes her struggle to remember and her determination to escape in this sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, suspense story.
My Review – 5-Stars
Sandra’s debut novel, Promised Soul, was originally released in 2015 by her former publisher. A short story, Not Worth Saving, was published in New Zenith Magazine’s 2016 fall issue. She also has had several sports articles published in a local newspaper. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writers’ Ink. Sandra’s second novel, Playing in the Rain – Book 1 of the Escape Series, released in September 2017 also by the same former publisher.
Sandra lives with her family in a rural setting in Eastern, Ontario. She is currently working on Book 3 of the Escape Series, her first trilogy.
Do you enjoy Fantasy, Celtic culture, Goddesses and Magic? P.C. Darkcliff’s fantastic Historical Fiction is Sleeping Beauty and Faust all rolled up into one!
A young Celtic woman called RAWENA runs into an army of Germanic invaders. The soldiers pursue her, but she shakes them off and hides in a vast swamp. There she awakens the Goddess PANDEMIA, who has been sleeping for millennia. The meeting shocks Rawena, but Pandemia also wonders: she thought she wiped all humans out with pestilence.
Pandemia plots to destroy humanity to preserve other animal species. She wants Rawena to infect her tribe and spread the plague around the world. When Rawena begs her to spare her, Pandemia gives in… but she orders Rawena to bring another human to the swamp.
Rawena seeks GARUX, a tribesman she loves, hoping that he would catch a Germanic scout and bring him to Pandemia. That’s when she realizes that Garux loves her younger sister ARVASIA.
Mad with jealousy, Rawena kidnaps Arvasia and drags her toward the swamp. When Garux attacks her in the woods, Rawena stabs herself through the heart.
The Celts bury her, but Pandemia brings her back to life and makes her immortal. She turns Rawena into a pawn in a mad game: Rawena must unleash pestilence whenever somebody stabs her through the heart. If she doesn’t, Pandemia would turn her into an eternal rat and trap her in the swamp. The same fate would await Rawena if she let someone behead her or burn her to ashes.
Fearing that the Celts would burn her as an evil spirit, Rawena seduces ORTAVER, the Germans’ high commander, and asks him for protection.
The Germans overtake the Celtic town. They imprison Garux, who has recently become the chieftain, and enslave the tribe.
Four years later, just as the Celts start a revolt, Rawena dresses as a Germanic jailer to free Garux—and Arvasia sneaks into the prison and spears her heart. As a battle breaks out, Rawena crawls into safety. Pandemia mends her and gives her a month to unleash the plague.
Garux and Arvasia look for her all over Bohemia but cannot find her. The king refuses to help them; their druidess fails to reclaim Rawena’s soul. And the Germans plot revenge.
Pandemia tells Rawena that Ortaver and the remnants of his army have settled in an abandoned Celtic village. Rawena joins them there and infects Ortaver with her pestilential blood. Just before he dies, Ortaver spreads the plague among his men.
The Celts corral the Germans and contain the outbreak, but Arvasia falls gravely ill. Although she fears it’s the plague, it’s only morning sickness. Garux and Arvasia rejoice about the pregnancy. Then Arvasia miscarries.
They corner Rawena and are about to behead her to prevent her from causing another outbreak, but Pandemia rushes to save her. Before she takes Rawena away, Pandemia tells Garux and Arvasia that their baby died of the plague. And that she made them immortal to witness Rawena’s work of doom.
Garux and Arvasia swear they will not rest until they destroy Rawena and defy Pandemia.
When he was in kindergarten, P.C. managed to convince his classmates that his grandma was a tribal shamaness. Then he learned his letters, and kidding his friends no longer seemed adequate—so he started to write.
Apart from Celts and the Mad Goddess, P.C. has published two standalone novels and an anthology. His short stories have been featured in various publications.
He has lived in six countries and on three continents. Although ruinous to his bank account, the seminomadic lifestyle has been hugely inspirational, and many of his adventures have spilled into his stories. He and his wife have settled in southern Spain, where he goes swimming and cycling whenever he isn’t too busy writing.
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2020
Jasper is no ordinary parrot.
He lives in the rainforest, which secrets he’s eager to explore. Jasper loves his home and his family, and he’s also in charge of his younger brother Willie – a responsibility Jasper takes very seriously.
When he meets Charlie – a spider monkey with a penchant for food and a laid back attitude – he realizes he’s in for an adventure he never thought possible. Even if this means getting into danger and worrying his mother to no end.
Exploring the boundaries of the forest, Jasper understands that there is more to the world around him. Who are the strange new creatures that have come there? With Willie and Charlie by his side, he will soon find out.
Sharon C. Williams is a native of New England and was raised in Northern Maine. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, son and a flock of birds.
Sharon has a B. S. degree in Chemistry. Plus, an A.S. degree in Biology and in Math. She loves to read, sketch, take pictures, walk, exercise, go to the movies, and listen to music. She is a budding bird watcher, and knits on the side. She is a huge sports fan of baseball, basketball, hockey, and football. She is also a shutterbug and is always looking for the next big shot.
Hi Sharon…let’s dive right in, shall we? Tell us what do you love most about Writing? I love the freedom it gives me. You can write about anything you want. All one has to do is look around, feel or do a picture or word prompt. Literally all I have to do is be observant. Making things up out of thin air is magical. I guess it is hard to explain the love I have inside when I write. Perhaps only other writers might get it. It’s pure joy. It’s just hard to explain but yes, pure joy.
I entirely understand! How did you get your start writing? My husband had told a friend of mine earlier that he felt I wrote well. Upon her telling me this I thought to myself, “Why not?” I started seriously writing in the Fall of 2009. I had a story in my head that would not let me rest. Having two surgeries at the end of 2009, non-related, gave me a lot of free time to put to paper the story.
What Inspired you to write your book? I started with the idea of writing a book for any future grandchildren I might have. Thinking on what kind of story to even begin with I literally looked around my house. I was hoping for something to hit me in the face.
Laying my eyes on him it hit me. Jasper. You see I live with my main character. How many people can say that? He is our Amazon Yellow Cheek parrot who we rescued and adopted in 1999 at the age of five. Knowing I could use my knowledge of birds it just meshed together for me to connect the dots. Learning about where he is from, the Amazon rainforest, made me want to write about the issues there. Plus, I wanted to engage kids in entertainment and also educate them at the same time.
Pets are such a blessing…and in this case, not only to you! Thats awesome. So, when you’re writing, are you a painstaking plotter or are you a discovery writer? I’m a discovery writer. I love letting my characters decide where my manuscript goes. I also don’t want to take the time to plot. I feel, as far as I am concern, that it restricts my creativity. I love to free style. Majority of my books have arrived from me free styling.
Although it’s often hard to select just one, do you have a favourite or least favourite character? You’re right, it is hard. But I would go with my main character, Jasper. This is do to the close connection and interactions I have with him. We rescued and adopted him in 1999 at the age of five. He has been with us for 20 years now. He is truly a special animal. His personality and his mannerisms are all over this series. So you see I was already in love with him prior to writing the book.
Ok, that was kind of a gimmie. How about tips for aspiring writers…what would you best advice be? Believe in yourself and your book. Sometimes you might be the only one who does.
I say that too, but it’s so true. If you don’t love your book, who else will? Besides your own, what types of books do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write? I grew up loving horror and mystery. That has not changed. I always been someone who love watching horror films and that just translate to books. Being from Maine I am fortunate to have the great one, Stephen King, in my mist. The genre I prefer to write in is a hard one to answer. I write in a variety of genres and they all excite me- children’s, (I’m known for this one), true life, comedy and action and adventure.
As a writer, but also a reader, is there a book you consider a must-read- and if so, why? Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. In fact anything by him will help you in some way. I had never heard of writing a book in the way he breaks it down in such an effective form. I just about highlighted the entire book and earmarked the rest. His methods are simple but just so effective.
OK, here’s the hard one…at least, I think so…what is the hardest part of editing- grammar checks, reducing content, or something else? For me it would be grammar checks. I am too good at using past tense and the misuse of commas in my WIPs. But the real hard part is I hate to edit. I rather be writing away coming up with characters, plots and conflict than to take time and work on edits. I am not one of those authors who edit as I write. I rather just write. So when it comes to this part of the puzzle I am filled with dread.
And just because ….Do you have a Mantra- a Quote you try to live by? Love your book like no other. If you don’t love it why will anyone else?
I’d like to thank Sharon for sharing her stories about Jaspar with us. The series sounds perfect for YA readers…or anyone who wants a smile of a read 🙂