Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recommended Reading - Jak Phoenix

Read Jak Phoenix

Their finances had dried up, Jak’s ship was falling apart and their weapons and tools should have been on display in a museum. They were facing the reality that they may have to quit and gain real, meaningful employment.

I'll admit that the cheese factor is fairly high on this one, but this book is too much fun to pass up.  Jak Phoenix is a down-at-the-heels would-be space pirate.  No risk is too great, no hardship too onerous, if it will save him from the horrors of honest employment.  With a dilapidated spaceship, an antiquated pistol, and an unshaven sidekick, he's trekking across the galaxy in search of a dishonest buck.  He is no Captain Kirk, but to his dismay Jak will find that the galaxy needs saving, and no one else is available.

Jak is the ultimate anti-hero, a blend of Han Solo and Spaceman Spiff with a bit of Three Stooges mixed in.  It's a light-hearted adventure that will make you laugh out loud.  Don't try to take it seriously.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.  You won't learn anything profound about the human condition, but you'll have a lot of fun.  Matt Williams has created an old-fashioned space opera that is preposterous, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Read Jak Phoenix

Monday, June 27, 2011

Recommended Reading - Eternal Unrest: A Novel of Mummy Terror

Read Eternal Unrest: A Novel of Mummy Terror

Caught in the invisible, jostling hands of the Sinai desert winds, the restless sands danced, rising off the cracked and barren flatlands as a sparkling, glassy mist. Petosiris shielded his eyes and drew a swatch of weather-beaten cloth across his mouth. The desert could be unforgiving and cruel. Even experienced travelers lost their bearings staring out at an endless golden horizon. Too easy to let the sands in, to inhale the coarse grains with each breath, and begin to dehydrate and die.

Petosiris had not come to die. The opposite, actually: he had been charged with a horrible responsibility: to harvest lives at the scale of a plague. Usermaatre Meryamun Ramesses III, was dead—murdered—and every drop of his blood would need to be accounted for with a life.

To be perfectly honest, I took one look at the cover of this book and knew I was going to recommend it.  I mean, come on!  A Novel of Mummy Terror?  How could I possibly NOT recommend that?  Who cares if it reads like it was written by a brain-damaged junior high student?  It's got mummies in World War Two!
Having already committed myself, I clicked on the sample link, bracing myself for the sort of semi-literate blather I so often encounter in my endless quest for indie adventure novels to recommend.  You will never know the horrors I endure for you, my legions of loyal blog readers.

Anyway, I was in for a shock.  A pleasant shock, this time.  Thank you, Lorne Dixon, for learning your craft before unleashing your creations on a slumbering world.  Not just learning your craft.  Mastering it.  This is one of the strangest things I've read in years, and I mean that in an entirely good way.  This is literary mad science, two things that should never go together stitched to each other, made to live, and send tottering out the door to terrorize the local village.

Just to clarify, yes, I still mean this in a good way.

Eternal Unrest has a Depression-era pulp vibe.  This is the kind of stuff that packed kids into theatres week after week for Republic serials.  It's over the top, it's bigger than life, it's scary and exciting and crammed to the gills with adventure.  It's irresistibly, boundlessly cool.

And yet, it's something else.  This is the part that just shouldn't work, but it does.  Eternal Unrest is beautifully written.  It's almost poetry.  While the story itself gets your pulse pounding and your blood singing, the individual phrases are beautiful enough to break your heart.  The end result is tremendously effective.  It's an astonishingly good book.

Read Eternal Unrest: A Novel of Mummy Terror

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recommended Reading - Wrath of the White Tigress

Read Wrath of the White Tigress

Suddenly, a mesmerizing voice whispered through the rain. "You cannot move, and you will do nothing to resist me."
Uurta stood dumbstruck as the rust-red shadow of Jaska the Slayer closed on him. He called on his training but couldn't break free of Jaska's mind control. His only peace was in knowing that when he didn't call out in turn, the others would be alerted. Thunder struck and lightning illuminated murderous eyes as the steel claws of the Slayer's bagh nakh tore through Uurta's throat.

This is just how I like my sword-and-sorcery - bigger than life and twice as noisy.  An evil sorcerer rules a tormented land, aided by his loyal assassin, Jaska.  Jaska is the sorcerer's puppet, his mind controlled by a spell, convinced that he is a hero.  Then the sorcerer sends Jaska after his final victim, the high priestess Zyrella.  She breaks the spell that controls him, and he sees the monster that he truly is.

Now Jaska is on a mission to make amends, to protect Zyrella, to free the goddess known as the White Tigress, and to show a certain sorcerer just how big a mistake he has made.

David Alastair Hayden tells a riveting story of gods and magic, war and vengeance, spiced with an undercurrent of passionate, steamy romance.  Join Jaska and Zyrella on their quest to battle an army of assassins to prevent a sorcerer from opening the gates to the underworld and plunging the world into darkness.  It's a journey you won't soon forget.

Read Wrath of the White Tigress

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Recommended Reading - Genesis Earth

Read Genesis Earth

Earth was a ghost that haunted me. She was the single greatest thing that set us space-born apart from the older generation, the five hundred members of the original mission team. Though Heinlein Station was the only home I had ever known, I soon learned that Earth, a world I had never seen except in pictures and videos, was where I was truly from.

Sometimes I hedge my recommendations a bit.  I mention that the writing is a bit rough, but the story is so good you won't mind. 

Not this time.  Joe Vasicek can write.  I don't mean self-indulgent literary navel-gazing.  I mean you're right there, on a space station, seventeen years old, watching the stars slide by under your feet.  Every sentence, every paragraph, could be held up in an English class as an example of how to do it right.  It's really good storytelling and it is a pleasure to read.  From the first paragraph you know you're in the hands of a writer who really knows what he's doing.

Micheal Anderson was born on a space station making its way from Earth to a distant asteroid, far enough from Earth to safely conduct the most daring scientific experiment of all time - the opening of an artificial wormhole.  He is a teenager when the wormhole opens.  Already a highly-trained scientist, he is also young enough to survive cronic freezing.  Micheal and a troubled girl named Terra are selected to be the first ones through the wormhole.  They will spend decades frozen.  They will leave everything behind.  And that is just the beginning.

This is space opera of the highest caliber.  There are grand, sweeping ideas, the discovery of a new world, first contact with an alien species, an examination of the nature of humanity, the nature of the human mind.  Yet it's always a personal story.  No matter how epic the backdrop, you are always reading about engaging, fully-realized characters. 
It certainly qualifies as an adventure story, and keeps you wondering what will happen next.  Yet it's also much more.  Genesis Earth will broaden your mind even as it delights your inner ten-year-old.  It has a kick-ass premise, executed with enviable skill, full of thought-provoking ideas couched in a thoroughly-entertaining story that's just plain fun to read. 
Read Genesis Earth

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Featured on Indie Snippets

I'm practically a rock star.  See an excerpt from Lord of Fire (and a bunch of other cool books) at Indie Snippets.

Recommended Reading - City of Rogues

Read City of Rogues

This is what happens to those who enter my home uninvited.
The blade slashed at air.
The thiefs eyes went wider as pain like fire erupted in his gut. He stared down and saw his stomach slashed open, the intestines spilling onto the floor...

First off, I have to congratulate this author on a kick-ass title. It's also appropriate. The city of Bond is very colourful, with a fascinating cast of rascals and misfits walking its streets and skulking across its rooftops. There is Kron, the protagonist, hiding a secret identity while pursuing a bloody vengeance, and Belgad the Liar, former gladiator, now king of the Bond underworld and chief villain.

We also meet Randall Tendbones, a healer with a secret that may yet be the death of him. There is Wyck, sharp-witted street urchin, and Lucius Tallerus, mysterious stranger just arrived from the borderlands.  There is Trelvigor, a wizard quite unburdened by ethics, and Fortisquo, a man with a past so dark his new profession, professional duellist, is a new high point of respectability.  Lalo the Finder, Spider... there are enough cool characters to fill the Mos Eisley cantina.

It's a fast-paced story full of suspense and action.  You will spend much of the book wondering who among the rogues is secretly Kron Darkbow.  The plot is full of surprise twists and sudden upsets. 

I wasn't going to buy this book.  The quality of the writing is a bit shaky, and the first page or two almost put me off.  However, the story quickly pulled me in.  By the time I finished the sample there was no question of stopping.  I had to know what happened next.

There are three books in the Kobalos trilogy.  City of Rogues stands quite well on its own, but you will certainly be tempted to continue the series.  In a shameless ploy to get readers hooked, the first book is priced at an irresistible $.99. 

Read City of Rogues

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recommended Reading - Quarter Share

Read Quarter Share

The next morning, I gathered my courage and trammed over to Neris Port. It was one of those perfect, bright, warm days when the soft breezes carried the spicy, tart smell of granapples out of the vineyards and into every corner of the town. The delicate bouquet covered even the hot-circuit board smell of the tram. It made everything seem too cheerful and pleasant. I hated it.

I thought I'd get away from the sword-weilding stuff for a bit and recommend some hard science fiction.  I noodled around a bit, stumbled across Quarter Share, and immediately knew I'd made a terrible mistake.  The blog has gotten behind schedule because I've been spending too much time reading.  You have been warned.  The adventures of Ishmael Wang will gobble up your precious, productive time.

I highly recommend this book, but I have trouble explaining why.  It is immersive, compelling.  It pulls me right in.  It's missing most of the elements I usually celebrate on this blog, but it's so good I couldn't put it down.  It's the kind of book that makes you tell your friends, "Go read this.  Now."

Nathan Lowell's Quarter Share is a coming-of-age story set on a merchant spaceship lugging cargo between the stars.  There are no space pirates, no interstellar war.  Instead, I found myself completely captivated by a young man trying to find his way in life, thrust into an unfamiliar environment and determined to make it work.  Instead of swords and carnage, I was caught up in Ishmael's quest to make a really good urn of coffee, despite a formidable array of obstacles.

I wish I could explain how great this book really is.  I have no patience at all for arty, navel-gazing books where nothing happens.  This is no pretentious would-be classic.  It's just excellent storytelling, captivating and absorbing and thoroughly entertaining.  Read it.  You'll be glad you did.

Read Quarter Share

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recommended Reading - The Half-Orcs

Read the Half-Orcs

The two brothers were almost to the wall when the skulls flew overhead.
“Make them stop!” cried Harruq Tun, hands pressed against his ears. Beside him, Qurrah Tun stood mesmerized by the sight. Hundreds of skulls bathed in purple fire sailed over the walls of Veldaren like dark comets. Gaping mouths shrieked mindless wails, their voices bone-chilling and unrelenting. A few soldiers fired arrows, but most hid behind their shields.

Part orc, part elf, they are born to be outcasts and misfits, with only each other to rely on.  Harruq and Qurrah Tun are as close as brothers can be, but the bond between them will be sorely tested by the trials they will face.  One will seek redemption.  One will seek power at any cost.  The world will be altered forever by their struggle, and possibly even destroyed.

The Half-Orcs series is a rip-roaring fantasy epic by David Dalglish, author of the acclaimed Shadowdance trilogy.  Five books tell the story of a struggle that will engulf nations and pit men against gods.

This is excellent storytelling, filled with peril and warfare, dark magic and strange creatures.  It is also an intensely personal story.  There is romance, self-discovery, bonds of friendship and loyalty, bonds of love, bonds of blood.  Ultimately it addresses fundamental questions of identity and choice.  Dalglish is a highly-skilled author, and he pulls out all the stops in this series.

You can try out the first book for free, or save a buck or two by picking up the first three volumes in an omnibus.

Read the Half-Orcs

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I've Been Interviewed

My interview with Jerry Hanel goes live on Monday, June 13, at http://www.jerryandcheryl.net/writing .

The excitement around here never stops.  We resume our regular book recommendations and author interviews shortly.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Great INDIE Summer Read Giveaway

CoffeeMugged.net is giving away a hundred books over the course of the summer, including my very own Lord of Fire.  Check it out.  Lots of great books will be available, including some that I've profiled here.

The giveaway starts on June 15 and runs until the end of July.  Kudos to Katja Rinne for putting it together and making it happen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Author Interview - Talia Jager

Read The Ultimate Sacrifice

"All of the students here at Glendale Institute had gifts. Some gifts – like mine – were only supposed to be used in emergencies. However, being that I have a short temper, I don’t think the gods planned that one out real well."

The Ultimate Sacrifice is a young-adult paranormal novel with a kick-ass premise.  The Glendale Institute is a bit like boarding school, but the students have "gifts."  Paranormal abilities.  They have varying levels of control, and some of their powers are downright dangerous.

16-year-old Kassia is the protagonist.  She can hurt people with her mind.  Her life is a constant challenge with self-control, until her best friend is attacked.  Kassia saves her friend, but attracts the attention of demons and finds herself on the run.

The book starts out a bit slowly, with lots of details that only a teenage girl would find interesting.  Before long, though, things begin to pop.  There is mystery, mortal peril, and romance.

Talia Jager is the author of The Ultimate Sacrifice and several other novels.  Take it away, Talia:

What genre do you write?I write young adult. So far, three of my books have been YA dramas and one is a YA paranormal/fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. I remember writing stories in elementary schools. I would hide notebooks under my classwork in high school and hide under the covers at night with a flashlight so I could write my stories.

What do you most enjoy about writing?
Creating characters readers will care about. Bringing a story to life and telling that story in a way that the reader won’t forget.

When do you get your best ideas? When do you write the most?
Having a family makes writing whenever I want to or whenever a great idea hits me difficult. I tend to get ideas in the shower, when in bed, or while driving. I can't tell you how often I've had to get out of bed to write something down. Maybe it's because my house is so noisy, that when it's quiet, my brain gets busier. I find the best time to write is at night, after everybody else is asleep. This usually means I'm up until one or two in the morning. Sometimes an idea comes to me and I write it down, but I don't anything with it for months or even years sometimes.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
Story lines don’t always go the way you want them to and characters can surprise you.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I usually write in first person, past tense. However, that doesn't mean I'll never do anything else.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from a month to a year.

Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
I tell people three things. Write as much as you can as often as you can. Write for yourself, not anybody else. Believe in yourself and never give up.

What do you have planned for the future?
I have three ideas brewing right now. The first is a new YA paranormal, the second will be a sequel to The Ultimate Sacrifice, and the third is an edgy YA drama.

Tell us three random things about yourself.
I have five daughters. I love chocolate. I had purple hair in high school.

What does your family think of your writing?
They are very supportive. As long as I feed them, clean them, dress them, entertain them, support them and make sure they’re happy, they are fine with me writing.

Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
My blog is http://taliajager.blogspot.com/
My Facebook fan page is http://www.facebook.com/taliajager
My Twitter page is http://www.twitter.com/taliajager

Read The Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recommeded Reading - Pale Queen's Courtyard

Read Pale Queen's Courtyard

He gathered the beaded strings hanging from the archway, and pulled them slowly aside, careful not to let the strands jingle. There was no wind this night, and he did not want to test the guards’ talents. His heart began to pound, his breath shallow. Fear was delicious, in a way, like sex and sorcery.

Here is a book that does everything right.  At a superficial level it's an exciting story about a thief who gets in over his head, a soldier on the wrong path seeking redemption, and a beautiful woman in deadly peril.  There's adventure, mystery, suspense, and humour.

The book is also beautifully written.  It's almost poetry.  I found myself torn between wanting to go back to savour the beautiful, evocative phrases, and wanting to tear ahead to find out what happens next.

It is extraordinarily difficult to match beautiful writing with really effective storytelling.  Usually a reader must choose one or the other.  Beautiful sentences tend to go with gloomy, plodding plots about people who think endlessly about their feelings and never do anything.  If you want snappy storytelling with lots of action, you generally have to accept plain, workmanlike writing.  Sometimes I'm willing to put up with crude, amateurish prose if the story is sufficiently compelling.

There is no compromise required with Pale Queen's Courtyard.  The plot will appeal to your inner 10-year-old boy.  It's exciting, effective, and fun to read.  It kicks butt.  And yet each paragraph is a masterpiece.  Marcin Wrona, I salute you.

This might be the best book I recommend all year.  It's priced at a buck.  It's worth far more.  Buy it, and thank me later.

Read Pale Queen's Courtyard

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Author Interview - Nigel Slater

Read An Agent of the King

In a heartbeat the quiet sub-Saharan night was ripped apart by the noise and vicious hatred of a fight to the death. Three men in local garb lunged at them with long curved sabres. Reeling back as a sword sliced the air, Dexter saw in horror the head of one of the sailors all but cleaved from his body and heard the sickening thud, as the lifeless corpse fell to the ground.

Today's interview is with Nigel Slater, author of a two-fisted story of adventure in the Napoleonic wars.  An Agent of the King is the story of Archie Dexter, gentleman, patriot, scoundrel, and government agent.  Sent to Egypt to rally support against the French, he is caught up in the fighting when Napoleon invades.  He survives the Battle of the Nile and goes on to Spain, then London, where he must thwart a plot to assassinate King George.

Slater's prose has the same mix of charm, elegant refinement, and rough edges as his hero, Archie Dexter.  At times the writing is almost poetically beautiful, but his high school English teacher would throw up her hands in dismay at Slater's devil-may-care approach to grammar and punctuation.  You will be so swept up in an exciting story of mayhem and geopolitical intrigue that you won't mind.

Here's Slater to tell you about it in his own words:

Is this your first published novel?
It is my first published work of any kind.

What inspired you commit to writing this novel?
I was an avid reader of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series of Napoleonic Wars novels. These books inspired me to write my own thriller set in this amazingly rich and diverse period in world history. It is fast paced, exciting with bursts of violence common in this age and lets be honest the odd bawdy moment!

What sets your book aside from previous novels of this period?
I have tried to create a different breed of heroes but ensured that they have traits that people of this period exhibited. It is a fact that there were gentlemen adventurers in these times who risked their lives in the fight against Napoleon. In public they were respected members of the elite community but like so many people they had secret, dangerous and often quite naughty lives.

Will this be the start of a series?
It certainly will and the sequel is underway right now.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Author Interview - J. R. Tomlin

Read Freedom's Sword

Sir Waltir mac Donchie glared toward the center, half a mile away, where John Comyn's troops were in a writhing mass of disorder. Their own troops were eager for glory, shouting as they ranged themselves into lines. "I've done what I can, my lord," he said, "but they're still green as a spring meadow."

I blogged yesterday about A Kingdom's Cost, a terrific historical novel about Robert the Bruce and the fight for Scottish independence. Freedom's Sword is a prequel, another stirring story of historical adventure. Today I have an interview with the author, J. R. Tomlin.

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
Mainly just Butt-in-Chair. I don’t outline. Characters are generally lurking in the corner of my mind somewhere or stomping around demanding a story. If they’re fictional characters, I dump them into trouble and see what happens. If they are historical characters, I let them tell me their story.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I edit as I go. I tend to get into the story again by going over what I wrote the day before.

Do you hire a professional editor?
Yes, I have my novels edited and critiqued by beta readers.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
Depends on what I’m writing. I can’t listen to anything with lyrics while I write, but I listen to a wide variety, everything from the LotR soundtracks to Scottish folk music, Chopin to Tchaikovsky. It’s hard for me to write without music playing.

Did you submit your work to agents and publishers?
Yes. I went through the whole miserable, humiliating process. For a while, I was represented by an agent, as a matter of fact. I had a couple of novels published by small publishers as well.

Why did you go Indie?
I published several novels with small publishers, and then I signed with an agent who pitched one of my novels for a year.  It didn’t sell, and in the meantime, the whole indie thing started with the use of the Kindle and Nook burgeoning. I had these novels on my hard drive. I had to make a choice. I’d read what Joe Konrath was saying on his blog, read as Kris Rusch changed her mind, and watched Vicki Lieske have a tremendous success. Eventually, I felt it was the only logical step for me.

Did you get your book covers professionally done?
I have some professionally done.  JT Lindroos did it for me and I am extremely pleased with how it came out. My co-author on the fantasies, C. R. Daems, does the very covers on those and we're very pleased with them.

Any advice that you would like to give to others about becoming indie authors?
Read what Joe Konrath and Kris Rusch have to say. Talk to some indie writers at places like Kindleboards. Going indie isn’t for everyone. It is a lot of work. It’s not going down the easy road. But it is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.

Read Freedom's Sword

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recommended Reading - A Kingdom's Cost

Read A Kingdom's Cost
James cradled his pounding head in his hands. He owed his father--something. Not vengeance. There wasn't enough vengeance in the world for what the English had done. But he'd at least get back what they'd stolen. Somehow, he'd do that. "I swear it," he whispered.

The year is 1300 and James Douglas is living in France, poaching deer and attending school.  When he loses his father to the wars between England and Scotland, he returns home to fight for Scotland's freedom.

Naturally things get worse.  He rallies behind William Wallace, then watches helplessly as Wallace is executed.  A new Scottish hero emerges in the form of Robert the Bruce, but the British hold Scotland in an iron fist and the Bruce is forced into hiding.  Meanwhile, the woman that James loves is imprisoned.

James becomes a cunning and ruthless guerrilla fighter.  Can the British ever be defeated?  Will James be captured and hanged?  Or, even worse, will he become as savage as those he fights against?

J. R. Tomlin has written a fascinating, layered, thoroughly entertaining historical novel about a violent and crucial slice of Scotland's history.  Packed with drama and adventure, written with skill and assurance, and true to the events of history, it's a novel I can recommend without reservations.
Read A Kingdom's Cost

Friday, June 3, 2011

Recommended Reading - Trouble with Trinkets

Buy Trouble with Trinkets
Buy The Jonathan Kaye Adventures 1-3

"Upper window it was, with the possibility of escape through the back or even the kitchen if need be. People mostly gave way before a drawn blade. But if he could get in and out without causing a stir, so much the better."

Trouble with Trinkets is a thoroughly engaging short story by M P Ericson set in a fantasy version of 18th-century London.  Jonathan Kaye is a professional burglar who gets more than he bargained for when he steals a trinket box which is the key to some powerful magic.

The story will hook you from the first page, where you learn that a kindly, motherly woman selling ribbons door to door is actually casing the neighbourhood for her son, the cracksman.  The characters are engaging and the situation is filled with mystery and menace.  You will want to reach through your screen and grab Jonathan by the shoulders so you can shake him and say, "Don't steal the shiny bauble!  You have no idea how much trouble you will be in!"

This is top-quality writing.  Sometimes indie books make me cringe a bit, and I find myself thinking, "This book was self-published because no professional publisher would ever touch it."  Trouble with Trinkets is not like that.  This is an excellent, polished, irresistible story.

There are three Jonathan Kaye stories.  You can buy Trouble with Trinkets independently ($1.99) or as part of a story collection ($3.99).

Buy Trouble with Trinkets
Buy The Jonathan Kaye Adventures 1-3

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Author Interview - Brenda McCreight

Check out this book

“Does everything down here eat people? Haven’t they ever heard of turnips?”

Cleah: The Lost Fury Chronicles The Otherworld is a fantasy adventure set in ancient Ireland. It involves a plucky orphan slave girl who finds herself in the Otherworld with fairies and trolls. The story is full of action and wonder and a strong undercurrent of romance as two young heroes explore a magical realm. However, I think I'll let Brenda tell you about it in her own words.

Can you tell us about your background?

I’ve been a mom and a therapist for many years and I have worked with youth who are trying to navigate their way through life without a parent or family to help them and I thought it would be interesting to write about this issue in a different kind of setting.

Have you always wanted to write?

I have always written in one form or another. I wrote newsletters for groups I belonged to and I think one of the reasons I went after so many academic degrees was because I loved the writing part of the course work – even though it wasn’t fiction.

Why were you attracted to an ancient setting for Cleah?

I wanted to write about a time when there were fewer choices for women and yet still be able to demonstrate the strength and resilience it takes to create a life without a family to help you.

Are your characters based on people you really know?

Not really, but Cleah’s perseverance and her ability to become what she needs to in order to survive is a common trait among youth I’ve worked with.

Do you work out your stories ahead of time?

I know the basic plot and what the theme is but the rest grows as I write. I’m not the type of writer who sits down and plots it scene by scene although I do have a structure and method to make sure it comes out smoothly and with all the loose ends tied up.

What made you decide that the Lost Fury Chronicles was a series instead of a standalone book?

Right from my first thoughts of Cleah I knew that there were three stories (at least) that could be told. I wanted to have her grow up and to experience different kinds of adventures. I also wanted to complete the circle and answer the questions about her origins and that will take more than one book.

Your books have magic and battles in them. Are these your interests?

I’m not so interested in battles but I have 6 sons so I have lived years and years of video games that are full of wars and battles and it’s become an area I hear about every day. As for magic, yes I like magic, but I don’t like it to be a plot device or a distraction to the story and the characters.

What do you like to read?

I like just about anything. I love some horror, some mystery, some historical fiction. Basically, a good book is a good read no matter what the topic.

Do you have a writing schedule?

I work full time and I have 7 children still at home so I am up before them and write till they awake. I also write whenever a client cancels at the last minute and I try to put aside one writing day a week. I would love to write full time.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Well, as I said, I have a full time clinical practice and I have 7 kids still to raise as well as chickens and dogs and gardens to tend to. Life is busy.

What are you working on now?

I’m half way through the next Lost Fury book and then I’ll write the sequel to the Shay James Mysteries.

Check out this book