Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Rebecca Trogner

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Rebecca Trogner author of The Last Keeper’s Daughter series

 

About the Author

Rebecca Trogner lives in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, and frequently crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains that were the inspiration for Krieger’s home. She always dreamed of being a writer, but got sidetracked by the day-to-day adventures of life. With the encouragement of her family, she has finished her first novel and is currently writing the next book in The Last Keeper’s Daughter series. Rebecca lives with her husband and son, and a rescue dog named Giblet. To find out more about the author visit

Website | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Interview

You have created many different types of Others in you’re The Last Keeper’s Daughter series. Some are a little more traditional like the vampires, some are newer (at least to me) like the Lynea. Where did your inspiration come from when developing all of these characters and their gifts?

I was around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold and the story came to me. No, no, no, that’s not right….that’s Hunter S. Thompson.

I wish it were something as interesting as that. Mainly, I think my inspiration came from daydreaming about immortality. Once Krieger formed in my mind, I needed to create characters for him to interact with, and they had to be unique and interesting. It’s sort of a like creating a puzzle with all the pieces interlocking.

 

Most authors breathe a little piece of themselves into their characters. Which one is most like you? And how?

Definitely, Dale Hunter is the most like me. His sense of humor at the incredible world he encounters is spot on how I would react.

 

When you first began writing The Last Daughter’s Keeper did you plan on it being a trilogy or did you realize after you began that there was no way you’d get everything you wanted into just one book?

I planned on one book. About midway through TLKD I realized I had way too much to say. Either I had to do a rewrite or forge ahead and commit to writing more than one book. Or…I could have written one long ass book. I thought it over and, with the help of a few margaritas, decided to break it up into three books.

 

Throughout both The Last Daughter’s Keeper and The Last Guardian Rises I’d have to admit that my favorite characters have been Liam and Lucien. Liam is sweet and caring and just an overall good guy. Lucien on the other hand is just that dark brooding sexy man who deserves to win the girl and yes my fingers are crossed hoping for that in book three. (No pressure…LOL) Who is your favorite character? And why?

Well, that’s sort of like asking who’s your favorite child…they all are. J I will say that Lucien almost didn’t happen. He just popped into my head one day fully formed and demanded to be put in the book.

 

Have you considered writing any little spin-off novellas or full length novels with some of the other characters like Liam and Jo or Hunter and Meirta?

Lucien might get his own book. He’s a compelling character who carries his curse with such grace, plus he’s hotter than Georgia asphalt.

 

What are some of your favorite books and/or authors? And how do you enjoy reading them…digital or paper format?

I wish someone would combine the immediacy of digital in the form of a book. Holding a book and physically turning a page gives me such pleasure. Plus, I love the smell of books…okay was that too much information?

A part of my mind melted trying to list my favorite books and authors, so you’ll have to settle for what’s intriguing me right now.

Tiffany Riesz – The Original Sinners series

Diane Setterfield – The Thirteenth Tale

Marsha Pessl – Night Film

Max Brooks – World War Z

Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves

 

When you’re not writing how do you like to spend your down time?

Reading, watching way too much TV, fine carpentry, wrangling cats, trying to grow flowers in my weed beds, working, and having fun with my husband and step-son.

 

Most writers have their little rituals. Mine’s creating playlists that fit the storylines and listening to them while I write. Do you have any little things you do? And what are they?

Must. Have. Coffee.

 

What or who inspired you to begin writing? And do you have any advice for our future authors out there?

I’d always wanted to write a book, but other than a few pages here or there, never got serious about it. For some reason, the first season of True Blood inspired me to get going with my writing and I haven’t looked back since.

 

**Random Question** I believe there is one random word that will describe a person almost perfectly. Mine is tarantism. Can you give me one word that would best describe the true you?

Tarantism…I had to look that up. Hmm.

Mine would be Inquisitive.

(For all who are curious tarantism is basically the uncontrollable urge to dance. Yes, I’m weird like that. And no, I can’t really dance but it’s still fun. Oh…an no tarantulas were involved I promise.)

 

Thank you for the interview Rebecca and I look forward to hopefully reading the third book soon. ~Jennifer

 

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June 2014 – Author of the Month: L.T. Kelly w/ Interview

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L.T. Kelly has a unique perspective when it comes to her vampires. I would recommend her Falling Series to anyone who loves paranormal romance with a twist. Love triangles overlap and every page takes you somewhere you weren’t expecting.

Read Mindy’s reviews of Falling to Pieces and Falling Into You if you want to know a little more.

Congrats LT!

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L.T. Kelly author of The Falling Series

About the Author

I’m thirty-one years old (you guys know I’m never going to change that number, right?). I live in the rural county of Lincolnshire in the UK.

I joined the Royal Air Force aged seventeen. You like to hear stories of how I travelled the world right? It seriously wasn’t that glamorous, but I had a wonderful misspent eleven and a half year career. I’ve met some weird and wonderful people over the years and I wouldn’t take back a minute of it, even when we were being rocketed every night in Iraq. What a cool grandmother I’ll be! “Pull up a sandbag, I’ll tell you a story, kids.”

Alas, all good things must come to an end. I was married with a baby boy and pregnant with my daughter when I left and trained to be a florist…no, really, I did. I have done precisely zero floral arrangements since.

However, what I did do was write stories, so I started to study it…because I like to have pieces of paper that say I can do things, like floristry! I achieved an NCFE level 3 in fiction writing, if you’re wondering what that is it’s an A-Level equivalent. The course largely centered around short story writing which was fine by me because there was no way I was ever going to write a book…like ever, no way!

So, *shakes head* I published the first part of a two part series on the 15th of August 2013. The second part was released on the 15th of May 2014.

 

How long did the characters of The Falling Series stay in your head until they reached book form?

Honestly, about a week. I was challenged by a friend of mine to bring something unique to the genre. I really didn’t think I could, I cringed every time I thought about it. The story flooded my brain and that was that. Victoria was originally meant to be a nice old lady, and then I realised that wouldn’t work. Marc, Teagan, Bartholomew, and Thomas were immediately in my head. All the rest came later in my imagination.

Your characters are very unique. A little different from other vampire books. How did you come up with the strengths and weaknesses of the characters?

Teagan was easy, for my debut novel I wanted to focus on writing what I knew. Her character trait of bad decisions, selfishness, wearing her heart on her sleeve, and drinking too much was all me when I was twenty-two. I wanted to give the reader ‘real’ people that just happened to be supernatural creatures of the night. I didn’t want it to be ‘just’ a vampire book, I wanted the reader to see, touch, taste and feel what she did and really connect with her. The other characters were all out of my head. I worked Teagan with them and how I would react to those people. It could in essence all be true.

Without giving anything away, how did you choose which character was the perfect mate for Teagan in the end?

I knew as soon as I got three quarters of the way through Falling to Pieces (Book One) who I was going match Teagan up with. The idea of Geo also came to me around the same time. I started falling in love with the character then, even though I knew it was wrong to love him I started having dreams about him and then I knew for sure how it was all going to end. I still love him so much.

With the many love triangles in the story how did you keep it straight? And did you know how it was going to end before you started it?

With the second book, Falling into You I knew how it was all going to go where the love triangles were concerned. I knew who had to die to make the plot work and how the reader needed to be led in order to ensure they could understand Teagan actions. With the actual base plot I thought I knew how it was going to go, but I ended up surprising myself with huge twists and turns that even I didn’t see coming. They just seemed to fly out of my fingers without much initial thought!

Do you think this will be the end of the series or do you have more in store for us on some of the other characters?

I would like to say this is the end of the series. I think I gave the series a very good ending to satisfy the readers. However, I’ve been begged to write more Falling books. I’ll never say never, put it that way. I am working on a contemporary romance at the moment though.

Where do you find your inspiration to come up with ideas for books?

For the Falling books my inspiration was though music. That’s why my second book had a song for each chapter and the titles are the names of songs. The book I’m writing right now was inspired by a dream.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time? What is that? I’m a full time Emergency Medical Dispatcher, author, mother of two, and occasionally a wife! Just kidding. I don’t watch television very often, however I was convinced by many people to watch Game of Thrones. I’m currently on series three and my writing time is suffering. I’m a huge True Blood Fan as well. That is about as much spare time as I have.

Do you have any advice for other inspiring authors?

Plot carefully but be prepared to accept changes as they come to you. Save money whilst you write so that if you decide to self-publish you’ll have enough money to do it. Don’t even think about not hiring an editor or a cover designer. You need both. No argument that you don’t need these people will not convince me. You do.

Do you prefer electronic or paper books to read? Who are your favorite authors?

Electronic. I’m a total geek. I love technology and I’m always packing a Mac. My Kindle fire is the only thing I own that doesn’t have an apple on it.

Random Question: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Oh no! Don’t do that to me! I can’t choose one! I’m just going to have to go ahead and pick a handful! Lost Boys, Twilight (ahh whatever, I liked them :p), Dirty Dancing, and Top Gun.

**We are both big Twilight fans too, so you won’t hear anything bad about that from us!**

If you want to know more about L.T. Kelly follow her on Goodreads or check out her website.

 

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Guest Post: The Publicist & Shelf Life by Christina George

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The Publicist

Welcome to the world of publishing. The ego has landed.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author–now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.

The story only an insider could tell.

Shelf Life (The Publicist #2)

It’s an industry of out-of-control egos, unrealistic expectations, and unfulfilled promises.

This is publishing and it’s Kate’s world, but maybe not for long.

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. With the shelf life of her career and her love affair quickly expiring, Kate sets off on a new adventure…

Starting over in California is easy but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nick Lavigne is eager to help her forget but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.

As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms.

But at the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart.

Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. Welcome to Publishing, the ego has landed.

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Q&A with Christina George

What books did you love growing up?

Candidly I loved Nancy Drew, I wanted to be Nancy Drew solving mysteries and helping people. Loved those books. I also loved all of the Laura Ingalls books, such a fascinating life she had.

Why do some authors fail?

Well there are a few reasons actually. One is that their ego gets in the way of their success. Meaning that they see this fame they want and assume it’s theirs just because they wrote a book. The second is that they don’t do enough or aren’t willing to put in the work needed to succeed. Though we love overnight success stories they rarely happen.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Well publishing is easy now, thanks to self-publishing – and I always tell authors that writing is the easy part (though I know it does not feel easy when you’re in the midst of it). But for most authors, the marketing is really tough. That’s why I encourage them to reach out to someone who can help, maybe a fellow author or going to a writers conference or something. Don’t isolate yourself, that’s the worst. It’s hard to do it alone.

What marketing works for you?

Reviews work very well as does engaging with readers. I love getting reader feedback.

How do you feel about self-publishing?

I love it, I think it’s a great way for authors to get their work out there. Look, not everyone will find their way to a major publishing house, that’s just not going to happen. Self-publishing, if it’s done right, can be a fantastic way to get yourself “out there” and start building traction for you, your career and your book!

Can you tell us about your main character?

I adore Kate, she’s my main character. She’s strong, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to tell it like it is. She’s also really dedicated to her authors which is so important in this line of work and she loves publishing. Despite the fact that the industry seems to be crumbling down around her, she loves it.

How did you develop your plot and characters?

Well Kate is sort of a person I’d like to be. Ha! Isn’t that always the way? She really knows what she wants so Kate, in my view is the perfect publicist. Mac really existed, so that was easy but Nick did not – at least not yet. Many of the folks in the book are based on real people I’ve either met or worked with. The story however sort of happened. I really didn’t know where I was going with it till I was halfway through it. When I wrote this initially, I had a totally different book in mind Candidly I like this one better.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s all very realistic. Ninety-five percent of what happens in the book actually happened to me while working at my job.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?

Yes, and yes — people I adore, authors I adore and folks I didn’t care too much for. I’ve included all of it. That’s part of what made this so fun, much of it was pretty cathartic. It’s also kind of fun for folks to guess which author story is real and which one isn’t. Ninety percent of them are real.

Do you have any advice for writers?

Yes, I think it’s that you should really be vigilant with your marketing. You know stuff takes time – I always say that. But the key to a solid marketing plan is an author who is engaged in their own success. When you are engaged you’re commenting on blogs, you’re dialoging with your reader and you are careful about who you hire to do your marketing. Look, no one can do miracles. I’m on this book tour and it’s great but will I sell a thousand books? Probably not. That’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it for exposure. Get enough exposure and you’ll sell books. But don’t expect every “ping” you get to warrant a big blockbuster sale because it may not.

*Clicking on the book covers above will take you to the Amazon purchase pages.

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Interview with Bey Deckard

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Interview with Bey Deckard, author of the Baal’s Heart series

About the Author

Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy. Caged is his first novel.

Caged (Baal’s Heart #1) is an erotic pirate tale. To me, it had the perfect balance of the dark side of piracy and the passionate side of love. How did you find and maintain that balance?

Well… first off, I just want to say I’ve always been interested in pirates, wanting desperately to be one when I was a kid. For me, pre-industrial-era pirates were a fascinating bunch because they already had the basis for that kind of balance you’re talking about: during the Golden Age of Piracy they were both highly democratic and fair even though they could be positively ruthless when it came down to it. I wanted to keep that interesting juxtaposition but, in Caged, I gave Baltsaros more control to really infuse his own personal brand of darkness into the story. I then used Jon’s innocence and Tom’s painful jealousy to continuously punch holes in that darkness, letting the passion shine through like stars in a nighttime sky. As the story went on, it just became a question of throwing scenarios at them that put more and more stars out to soften that sky without ever letting the night truly end.

A shorter, less poetic answer would be this: they’re human, even Baltsaros… just three lost souls with holes in their hearts, and I continuously played into that desperate humanity to keep the darkness at bay.

Most of the gay (M/M) erotic novels I’ve read include a sense of uncertainty from one or both of the main characters. Caged is different. Although Jon is new to his feelings and hesitant about his situation I never felt that uncertainty with him. How did you come up with three such strong lead characters, each with completely different personalities?

I’ve never had a moment’s uncertainty about my own sexual identity, and that could be why it’s missing from the story – it’s possible that it just didn’t occur to me to have anyone question themselves or their choices.

See… I believe that almost all people are somewhere in the fuzzy grey area between straight and gay. Jon’s a passionate, loving guy whose life has been devoid of any sort of intimacy, and I feel like if you thrust him into a situation where he gets meaningful pleasure from someone, it’s not really going to matter much to him whether that person is physically male or female. Even in the brothel scene, it’s not about the prostitute’s sex but about whether they’re the right person at that given time…

I needed the three main characters to balance each other out while still maintaining a level of tension that would keep their story interesting. Baltsaros and Jon are variations on a pair that I’ve worked with before, and Tom is… well, Tom is special to me. Let’s just say that there is a lot of me in the three of them, I just had to tailor them to fill the gaps left behind by the others’ faults: Baltsaros’ coldness, Jon’s lack of physical prowess or leadership, Tom’s emotional vulnerability.

They’re fully fleshed-out characters, so there’s a lot of “off-screen” time during chapter writing where I have to wrestle them back to where I want them to be, and it’s almost never easy to get them to behave.

I remember complaining at one point: “I spend far too much of my time aboard a fictional ship mediating arguments between fictional men.”

Caged has started this series out with a bang. The storyline is intriguing with enough twists to keep you on your toes, not to mention it’s filled with always entertaining and ‘sexy as hell’ sex scenes that are each filled with a mixture of raw emotion that manage to even turn a straight girl like me completely on. Can you give me a little insight into how you’re able to make each sexual encounter completely unique, each filled with a different array of emotion, and each filled with an almost tangible intensity?

For such a great question, this is an utterly boring answer: the sex in this book based partly on experience, partly on personal fantasies. As someone who’s always been comfortable in either dominant or submissive roles, I can play the scenario out from everyone’s perspective and try to come up with something that is both believable and engaging.

While I’m writing, there’s a whole lot of me staring off into space, trying to pull the right words out of the air to describe things that have gone through my head, or the heads of my partners, during a particular act… and I try to arrange them in a way that hopefully resonates with the reader.

The tangled webs we weave, was a phrase that popped into my head frequently while reading Caged. Baltsaros and Tom both knew how to stretch the truth of their words, and sometimes even completely create truth in them since they were obviously lies said to get the outcome they desired, but although Jon knew almost every time he was lied to he never really called anyone out on it. For Jon there is power in that knowledge, but how do you know when he needs to actually yield that power? And will his empathic abilities continue to play a prominent role in the series?

Ah Jon. Having lived in such utter isolation he’s a little starved for attention. While he should be calling people out on things, he holds back partially because he knows he’s basically trapped where he is by his own emotions.

Maybe that power is the ace in his sleeve that he’ll need to use if/when things get really dire.

And yes, Jon’s empathy will continue to play a prominent role.

I see that you are currently working on Baal’s Heart #2. How many books do you plan on having in the series? And without leaking any spoilers, can you give us a hint about what we may find in the second book?

I was just saying the other day that I hope I haven’t written myself into a corner calling it a trilogy. I’d like for there to be three, but let’s see where the sequel leaves things.

The next book? Well, the working title is Beyond the Spires. Let’s see… adventure, new characters, death, deception, sacrifice, and, of course, sex. To quote someone who’s been reading it as I write: “I love how you’ve built this world […] it’s full and real and terrifying.”

Not to scare anyone off, of course.

Okay, enough about your wonderful book, let’s find out a little more about you. What made you decide to write and publish the Baal’s Heart series?

Caged was inspired by a few things but, first and foremost, by a line from a Decemberists song called Don’t Carry it All:

Let every vessel pitching hard to starboard Lay its head on summer’s freckled knees

I know… seems a little odd, but it makes such a meaningful picture in my head.

Before last June, the only things I’d ever written before were term papers, bad high school poetry, and something that could be considered The Lost Boys fan-fiction when I was 14.

When I suddenly started writing fiction, people liked it, so I decided to try my hand at writing what had started taking shape in my head from those lyrics. When folks really liked it, I decided to go ahead and publish it.

Do you have any writing habits/routines?

I write every day (thank you Neil Gaiman). Even if I am sick to death of the scene I’m writing – which happens when I’m anxious to get to the next part – my aim is to write at least a thousand words a day.

I drink a lot of coffee.

I drink.

I make a lot of backups in case I get Hemingway’s advice backwards and start editing while drinking… which does happen.

I draw scenes and characters from my writing to blow off steam and to stop thinking consciously about words.

I write a chapter of three thousand words, I walk away, I reread it, delete three quarters of it, rewrite, and edit, edit, edit. I read it out loud. I make my computer read it out loud… and then I edit the whole thing all over again.

Most writers tend to stay busy between their ‘day’ jobs and writing, but do you have any hobbies or things you like to do for fun?

I watch a lot of movies and TV. I draw and paint. I go to concerts. I head down to the local pub for a pint with a friend. I get tattooed. I used to club a lot, once or twice a week for years, but I’ve decided to step back from a lot of social engagements.

Sometimes you just need a break. I’ll get back to it, I’m sure of it, but for now I’m just enjoying being a bit of a hermit.

There’s so much left to write.

Most authors are somewhat inspired by their favorite books and authors. What are a few of your favorite books and/or authors? And what’s your favorite genre to read?

I read a lot, or at least I used to before I started writing all the time. If you look at one of the fiction bookcases in my house, you’ll see two over-full shelves of fantasy, two more filled with sci-fi, one of horror, and two full of what I categorize as “other”: spy novels, Shakespeare, stuff like Dickens, Tolstoy and Brönte, everything John Irving and Mary Roach have ever written, and odds and ends that I’ve enjoyed over the years like A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I honestly don’t really have a favourite genre.

Favourite books?

Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice. I have a thing for the history of castrati and I love opera. The relationship between Tonio and Guido just does something for me.

Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett. Yes it’s a Warhammer 30K book, but the setting and description is just gorgeous. Seriously. I’m half in love with the main character.

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake. I actually love the whole Gormenghast series, but the first one is the best in my humble opinion.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. I’m a huge HST fan… but this one is my favourite of his.

I could keep going as my brain keeps ticking off gems I’ve read over the years, but I’ll stop here.

Random Question: I’m basically a music junkie so please indulge me. Choose three of your favorite sex scenes from Caged and give me a song or two that goes with each. A sexual playlist so to speak.

Hm. Interesting question.

There’s actually a soundtrack I made for the novel (I think a lot about music while I write). However, it’s not specifically about sex but about the main themes of the chapters themselves. I’ll give it to you anyway, just because, and then I’ll try to focus on the sex:

Ch 4 – Run Boy Run by WoodkidCh 6 – The Difference Between Us by The Dead Weather Ch 10 – Brutal Hearts by Bedouin Soundclash Ch 13 – Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons Ch 14 – Gasoline and Matches by Buddy & Julie Miller Ch 18 – The Only Time by Nine Inch Nails Ch 21 – Prison Sex by Tool Ch 24 – I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Every Day by the Pogues Ch 29 – This is Why We Fight by The Decemberists Ch 31 – #1 Crush by Garbage Ch 32 – Out of the Woods by Justin Rutledge Ch 33 – When I’m Up by Great Big Sea

 

Now, now for sex scenes in particular… I can’t decide which three, so how about four?

Ch 8: “You’re not such a bad guy” – I love this one.

  • Bad Things by the Jace Everett
  • Jealousy and the Get Free by Bedouin Soundclash

Ch 18: “I’m yours… but not like that.”

  • The Only Time by Nine Inch Nails
  • Stripped (Highland Mix) by Depeche Mode
  • Silver by Moist

Ch 28: “Of course I meant it…”

  • Fire in Freetown by K’naan
  • Black Leaf by The Cave Singers

Ch 33: “On your back.”

  • If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray
  • Striptease by Hawksely Workman

I know some of those songs, but others I’ve never heard of. Looks like I’ll be checking out some new music. And I can’t wait! Thank you Bey for the lovely interview, it was definitely entertaining and I enjoyed it very much. ~Jennifer

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If you would like more information about Bey Deckard and what he’s currently working on check out his website: http://www.beydeckard.com/. If you want to see my review of Cagedclick on the book cover above.

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Interview with J.D. Gentry

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J.D. Gentry, author of Mommy Support Group, like many others writes under an alias and therefore there will be no glimpses into the secret identity, however there will be glimpses into the mind behind the mask. And for all who read this book, you will definitely want a glimpse, especially into Apexysm.

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Mommy Support Group is definitely one of the most unique stories we’ve read lately. In the dedication you say this started as a story for your wife; what made you decide to write such a titillating story for her? And how did it evolve into the finished product?

My wife likes titillating stories.  For years, I have invented stories, situations or fantasies that helped us bring our minds together as strongly as our hearts.  She has at those times urged me to write some down.

When my job began to take me away from home for weeks at a time, a couple of powerful forces converged.  One, my desire for her grew.  Two, I wanted to capitalize on every minute we were together.  Basically, I wanted her horny from the time I flew back home until the time I left again.  So I began to write short stories or poems to “prime the pump”.  I would send them to her a day or two before I arrived.  Homecomings were rarely disappointing.

I found, though, that the amount of setup that was required to tell a good tale was significant.  I felt like the characters had to have some depth; otherwise, I was just doing the literary equivalent of playing with dolls – hardly stimulating.  So I decided to serialize the stories, adding chapters to a work I honestly never intended to go anywhere but into her keepsake box.

After about fifty pages, though, she began to urge me to complete the story with an eye to publication.  It was an interesting challenge, and I wanted to keep her happy, so I did.  Two years of writing in hotel rooms and airport lounges, along with the grinding two months of editing and polishing, and I decided to self-publish the book.

The characters in Mommy Support Group are invited to a ‘Play Party’ with adult toys made by Apexysm. Some of the pleasure aids, as you refer to them on your website, are way ahead of their time. Give everyone a sneak peek into that kinky part of your brain that came up with Steve. How did you come up with them? And I just have to ask…did you ever sketch these items out or are they only locked away inside your mind?

I will divulge one personal detail – I am a geek.  This chapter was a hoot to write for me because I was able to let my left-brain come out to play.  The entire time I was writing it, I kept referring to it as the “science-fiction” section of the story.  But real science often begins with science-fiction, and nothing I described is technically impossible for a person or company with a will to produce next-generation pleasure aids.

I have furnished my wife with a wide variety of toys.  After all, I didn’t want her to get too lonely while I was away.  We have enjoyed using them on her.  The problem for many of them is simply the quality.  The plastic ones are cheaply-made, with no eye to quality or longevity.

I wish I had thought about making sketches before.  Maybe if I ever re-release the book, it will be illustrated.  If you would like to help with that effort, I would welcome any sketches you could make.  It would be very interesting to get a glimpse into your brain as well.

As far as showing you the brain behind it, I felt like Steve was the “perfect man” for women – always ready, never tired, always hard, capable of being very rough and very gentle, completely dependent on her whim.  He would be her perfect lover, tailor-made for her, pleasing her in all the ways she wants, and even capable of taking her beyond what she thought she needed.  All she has to do is say “…Please.”

I can honestly say that my husband says things like Greg all the time, but like most men it’s all talk, and he’d probably have a heart attack if he ever found out that I followed through with some of his insinuated ideas. Saying that, I’m curious as to why Greg was written as incredibly understanding. He’s pretty much perfect. When writing him, did you intend to make him as flawless as he turned out to be?

Of course – Greg was based on me…sort of J .  Greg’s first reaction to Ronni is always one of love and trust.  That is why Ronni is so increasingly reticent to tell Greg as story unfolds – her betrayal is compounded by her continued silence.  But just like everyone, she becomes jaded in time, learning to live with the lie of omission.

By the time Greg is confronted with the truth, there are far worse problems to consider.  I do think he was hurt, but not by Ronni taking him up on his offers.  While there may have been a twinge of jealousy, he realized he had given her permission, and she had taken him up on it.  He is hurt by her silence.  But the deeper hurt he felt is the heavy weight his mate had chosen to bear alone.  That broke his heart most of all.

Greg and Ronni both felt secure in their relationship.  Greg knew that, no matter what, Ronni was not leaving him.  He is not flawless, but this story is from Ronni’s point of view; her guilt makes her oblivious to the minor transgressions he might commit.  He does, also, rank higher in her book than even Steve because he doesn’t even need her to verbalize her desires for him to fulfill them.

Full disclosure – if my wife told me she had slept with another woman, I would only object if she failed to give sufficient details.  Pictures would make it more than acceptable.

In my review I stated Mommy Support Group isn’t for the faint of heart and we touched a little on this before, but for the record I’m asking. The amount of sexual detail is immense, not only in the pleasurable scenes but also the not so pleasurable ones. What made you decide to keep the amount of detail throughout the book and how difficult was it to write the scenes toward the end?

Since this book was originally begun for my wife alone, I included a salacious amount of detail in the stories for about half the book.  When I decided I may really publish the work, I had a choice to make: go back and obscure the details, or press onward with similar details.  It is also at that point the complete, final story line began to solidify in my head.

While the sexual scenes are graphic, I really wanted to build the story and the characters between sexual episodes.  I wanted to avoid the “heaving chest” romance and the “try every position” erotica, both of which I consider sins against literature.  I also wanted to maintain the internal integrity of the narrative, not allowing anyone to accuse me of “wimping out” or growing lazy in my descriptions as the story unfolded.

I was, thus, left with the very disturbing decision of how to write the penultimate scenes.  I ended up writing the entire passage in a single gut-check evening.  I finally had to tell myself that lovers have sex like lovers and evil bastards have sex like evil bastards.  So, even in editing, that section becomes like a swiftly-detached Band-Aid for me.

I would like to make one other comment about the detail in this book.  I was quite surprised how inadequate pronouns are when describing a scene involving more than two people of the same sex.  I ended up using the proper names many more times when I had to have the groups relate just to allow the reader to keep up with the conversations.  This may be quite obvious, but the use of “her” too many times becomes really ambiguous.

One of my favorite parts was when Greg said, “Neighbors? What neighbors?” in response to Hannah and Ronnie unconventional living proposition. I love new twists on love triangles. Without giving too much away, can you tell me how you came up with the twist of Ronni having the feelings she does for Hannah without it taking away from Greg?

You can thank Mrs. Gentry for some of this.  Early on, she commented that the book needed more romance to support the sex.  As a result, I decided to explore the relationship between Ronni and Hannah more (I don’t think that is necessarily what she meant, but she approved in the end).  The more situations I drew for them, the more natural it seemed to me that these characters would come to love each other.

The penultimate scenes are really the ones that drove the final choice.  I kept putting myself into each of the characters to find their natural reaction, and the “twist” was the only one that all three could live with.  It is certainly atypical, but, I hope you will agree, is entirely consistent with the motivations of each character at that time.

There are a lot of sexual details, especially when it comes to female pleasure. Did you have to do research or are you “The Great and Powerful Oz” and know it all? And please don’t skimp on the details as we are all quite curious on this one.

Haha!  Mrs. Gentry read the questions with me, and she says that I AM the Great and Powerful Oz.  I just say, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

But you want details, so here it goes:

With the exception of a couple of short-lived prior relationships, the sum total of my “hands-on” research has been with my wife alone.  Mrs. Gentry is generally quite well-satisfied, and has suggested at times that I teach a class.  I have chalked this up to merely stroking my ego, though.  Besides, the logistics of setting the class up, organizing everything – that just bores me silly.

Perhaps if I were not self-published, the publishing house would have marketing people create a better legend for me as the playboy of the western world.  But as I am simply me, I will say that I have to agree with Mrs. Gentry on this one: sex without a relationship is hollow and unsatisfying.  So she has been plenty for me, with the occasional fantasy thrown in for fun.

I heard a couple of disturbing statistics recently that I think may be related.  One is that most (more than half of women) have never had a full-blown orgasm.  The second study was that the average time couples take to complete a sexual session is less than five minutes.

One of my internal justifications for leaving the graphic descriptions in the final product was the possibility of helping educate readers of both sexes.  For the women, a slow build and patient consistency work to produce full-body orgasms.  And it does require patience; half an hour is the average time I have observed, and that is just to produce her first orgasm.  But the effects are glorious, grand beyond full description.  There is no more sensual sound than the groan of a woman in mid-orgasm, the air forced from her lungs by the uncontrolled contractions of her abdomen (I hope that wasn’t too graphic…).  I did have Stephanie sum up my observations early on in the book, when she and Ronni talked about reading sexual cues.  You could refer to those as the “findings” of my research.

Now for some simpler questions: Do you plan on writing anything else? And if you do, will it be just as risqué?

I will undoubtedly try to write something else.  Unfortunately, I am a man, and our natural state tends toward attention deficit (or at least mine does).  I haven’t chosen a new project yet, but I have three or four ideas in rough.

One of the possibilities is, of course, a sequel to Mommy Support Group.  I have the early plot and situation sketched, but I have not begun writing in earnest.  I will say that your kind reviews are encouraging me to explore these characters further.  And of course, if I do, the detail will be the level I judge to give the best picture of what I am seeing in my head without becoming tedious or repetitive.  This should sum to something on the risqué side.

Do you have any writing habits?

I produce, on average, eight to ten pages of writing per day.  Unfortunately, few of those pages recently have been fiction.  I do a good deal of technical writing for my job, and those demands pay very well.

When I do write, I tend to approach technical and fiction quite differently.  The technical has a very defined and structured outline before I begin.  The fiction I write tends to be as much a discovery for me as it is for the reader.  At the beginning of each chapter, I tend to ask a couple of questions.  One, what obstacle will present itself?  Two, what new thing will I learn about the characters that gets us to a resolution?  From there, I jump inside the head of the characters and see where it goes.  Each sentence of the dialogue or narrative is a step closer to the answer, but I don’t always know what the character will choose before I get to the choice.

One example of that method is the introduction of Kim to the group.  When I was writing that chapter, I had no idea how Kim would be invited and accepted into the group.  I knew who she was, but not how she would enter.  The greeting just sort-of wrote itself, following one decision to the next, leading to the “greeting”.

The final thing is I am quite obsessive about timelines and character traits.  Much of my editing was ensuring there were no errors in detail.  I keep a complete character sheet that lists not only descriptions and proclivities, but any detail a character reveals.  In doing this, I am able to be VERY subtle in signaling plot twists so that a second read of the book (if anyone wants to) will show details that were missed the first time.  I do not think any eventual twist in Mommy Support Group is un-hinted.

Do you have any hobbies or recreational activities? And what are they?

Sex, of course.  In addition to that, I spend time with my children (the direct results of sex).  We spend time in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and camping.  I am the gourmet chef of the family, and I fear no recipe.

Random Question: I love music and think everything has a song that reminds you of it. If you could pick a song (or two or three) as the soundtrack for Mommy Support Group, what would it be?

I love this question.  I did try to include some songs in the story, but as for the soundtrack, here goes:

  • I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry
  • Lady Marmalade
  • Rock You Like a Hurricane – the Scorpions (during the latter part of the Coming Home Dinner)

Follow-up Thoughts:

Well I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’d read the interview first I’d surely want to read the book now. Who doesn’t wish their book boyfriends into life? Lucky ‘Mrs. Gentry’ gets hers. And he cooks too! I think the bar just got a little higher for men.

You can read our reviews of Mommy Support Group here or click the cover below to be taken to the Amazon purchase page.

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Interview with Casey Keen

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Casey Keen, author of the Anna Wolfe Series

About the Author

I was born in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in the suburban outskirts of this amazing city. I love anything paranormal and/or supernatural – seriously I live in Philadelphia! For those of you who don’t know, this city is an awesomely haunted place! This healthy paranormal addiction has provided me the motivation to write my first book, “I’ll Be Damned.”

I graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and I’m currently working on the Anna Wolfe Series.

Anna is not the typical heroin, but then again she hasn’t had much time to figure it out. How do you find the balance between her naivety and her Grand Witch side?

Finding her balance between these two sides was challenging. In order to make her powers and knowledge develop, I had to keep in mind that she just received some serious life-changing news. Right after, she soon starts the process of learning about magic, demons, etc. I drew from my own experiences in life and applied it to her. I wanted her reaction and growth to be believable and sincere.

The Anna Wolfe Series has a wide array of creatures, some much scarier than others. Where did your inspiration come from when developing them?

My inspiration came from my imagination! I love creating new characters, especially demons, angels, etc. because I can let my imagination run wild.

Anna finds herself stuck in one of the most intense love triangles I’ve ever read. A werewolf and a warlock, both are beyond loveable. I’d love to ask “who gets the girl” but would never ask you to give away a spoiler like that. However, I would like to know what made you decide to come up with two such wonderful characters that readers would fall in love with both?

I have an obsession with love triangles in novels! I hate to love them. I knew I wanted Anna to be drawn to and depend on more than one male figure. Roman and Valen have unique personalities, both of whom bring out different characteristics in Anna. Also, the tension from the triangle adds to the plot and can influence it in numerous ways.

So far there are two books out in the Anna Wolfe Series, I’ll Be Damned and Saved by the Spell. How many books do you anticipate there being before the series is complete? And when can we expect book three?

I am expecting three to four, but as of right now, a fourth one is most likely in the horizon. Hopefully book three will be complete and published in the early spring.

With so many unique characters who is the most like you? And if you were given the choice, whose powers would you like to have?

Most of the characters have bits and pieces of me, but Anna would be most like me. She’s tenacious, loyal and stubborn. If I could choose powers, it would be Anna’s! Her powers are the strongest and since there hasn’t been anyone like her for centuries, her capabilities exceed what’s been documented.

Your bio states you have a healthy paranormal addiction. What first got you interested into the paranormal world?

I’ve always been drawn to ghost stories, hauntings, etc. I’ve always loved the theories of other realms existing within ours. I’ve never actually read the paranormal romance genre until two years ago. After my first book, I fell in love with it and it gave me inspiration to create my own world!

Who are some of your favorite authors? And how have they inspired you?

H.P. Mallory was a huge influence. It was her books (and her self-publishing accomplishments) that introduced me to the paranormal romance genre and writing.

Besides the Anna Wolfe Series, do you have any other works in progress or thoughts of what will be next?

I do have thoughts on another series once the Anna Wolfe one comes to a close. It will be all things paranormal of course!

I always love to ask authors what advice they have for other future writers. Do you have any words of encouragement for those who would like to share their stories with the world?

My advice is to never let your fears stop you from writing/publishing. There are always going to be obstacles and criticisms, but who cares? Doubts, fears and/or negativity should never be a factor when creating something brilliant.

Random Question: If you somehow knew you’d end up shipwrecked on a deserted island, which three things would you make sure you brought with you?

Endless water
Kindle
Sunscreen

If you want to stay up to date with Casey Keen or get the latest news on the Anna Wolfe Series you can check out her website: www.caseykeen.com.

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Interview with Sabrina Flynn

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Sabrina Flynn, author of A Thread in the Tangle (Legends of Fyrsta #1)

About the Author

Sabrina lives in perpetual fog and sunshine with a rock troll and two crazy imps. She spent her youth trailing after insanity, jumping off bridges, climbing towers, and riding down waterfalls in barrels. After spending fifteen years wrestling giant hounds and battling pint-sized tigers, she now travels everywhere via watery portals leading to anywhere.

She is a winner of bestselling author Annelie Wendeberg’s Sherlock Holmes Fanfiction Contest. And her short story ‘Clash of the Books’ won first place in bestselling author Laurie R. King’s National Library Week Writing Contest.

You’ve created a very detailed map of locations, each with their own distinct characteristics, from landscape to creatures who roam them. (The actual map is wonderful. I even bookmarked it for reference.) What kind of thought process went into creating such a vast landscape?

I’m what is known as an organic writer.  Many writers will sit down and write an outline, but an organic writer doesn’t work that way, they just write.  I might have a vague idea of where I’m going, but for the most part I let the story evolve naturally, and the same applies to the world.  My non-existent outlining is very similar to how Marsais attempts to chart the future.

There is an epigraph at the beginning of A Thread in the Tangle that says, “Every story has a beginning; the task is finding it.  This pretty much sums up my creative process.  I do a lot of working backwards.  An idea might pop into my head and then I will expound and create a story around it by simply asking ‘why’ is this the way it is?

In the case of Fyrsta, I began with an idea of a sanctuary that was slowly transformed into a battlefield.  A place where its own Guardians, lesser gods, turned on each other and unleashed a devastating power that shattered the land.  Civilization crumbled, and yet the gods continued to fight.  Eventually, in an act of desperation, the Keeper of Fyrsta separated the gods, in a sense, caging them behind powerful wards.  So the world was very much shaped and scarred by its history.

The Legends of Fyrsta series has many different creatures, including everything from humans to nymphs to Imps and many others, each having a unique demeanor and personality traits. Which creature is your favorite to write and why?

I love creating creatures and characters, so I pretty much throw myself into whatever I’m writing at the time.  A Thread in the Tangle only scratched the surface of Fyrsta.  The first book was a springboard for the rest of the series, and I’m eager to shove readers into its darker side.

As far as the creatures found in the first book, my favorite creature concept was probably nymphs.  Nymphs are found throughout real world mythology.  In Greek mythology, nymphs are depicted as sort of these young nubile maidens who were eternally innocent and carefree.  They were usually bound to a place and if they mated with a god, they gave birth to immortal children.

At first glance, it might seem like a simple concept, but nymphs are pretty complex creatures.  When I first started writing about Isiilde, I had never come across a fantasy novel that explored this type of creature, so I decided to put my own spin on things.  However, eternally innocent creatures don’t generally make good heroes in fantasy novels.  So it was a challenge to center the story around this type of airy, carefree creature who flits from one thing to another.  Innocence can be annoying, but it’s also beautiful and something to be cherished.  I wanted to paint that with words.

As of now only book one A Thread in the Tangle is available. Out of it, who is your favorite character? And can any of your own personality traits be found in him/her?

Each character has their own endearing quirks, but I’ll freely admit to having a rather large crush on Marsais.  He defies the stereotypical male lead, yet there is still something incredibly sexy about him.  One of my beta-readers called him a cross between Gandalf and Sherlock Holmes.  I was very pleased.

As to the second part of your question: Each character is very much their own individual with their own personality.  I never know what Marsais or Isiilde will do or say until I’ve written it.  And despite my best attempts, I can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do.  So writing them is very entertaining.  This sort of unconscious creation is very much a part of the organic writing process.

Of course, there are parts of me in each character, especially Isiilde and her own experiences, but honestly, if I was thrown into Fyrsta with Oenghus, Isiilde, and Marsais, I’d probably identify most with Captain Mael.

King’s Folly will be book two in the Legends of Fyrsta series. Do you have an expected release date? And do you know how many books will be in this series once it’s completed?

I am hoping to release King’s Folly by the end of this summer.  I have three (possibly four) books planned for this plot line, but there is a long term story arc involving Marsais’ scar that will likely take up nine to twelve books.  Originally, I started writing Isiilde when she was older, somewhere in the middle of the story arc.  It took me two and half books to realize that I really needed to go back and tell her story from the beginning.

Will there be any new interesting creatures that will make their debut in King’s Folly that we should be keeping an eye out for? (Without any spoilers of course.)

Definitely!  Readers will be thrown head first into a hostile land.  Some of the Voidspawn mentioned in A Thread in the Tangle will be introduced, like Reapers, Grawl, and Herdsmen.  Expect Bloodmagi, barbarians, fiends, elementals, Forsaken, tainted, and more explanation of the Wise One’s and their runes.  As I mentioned before, the first book only scratched the surface.  Underneath is a land teeming with threat and horror.

What inspired you to write such an extensively detailed work of fantasy?

Initially, I began writing Legends of Fyrsta because I ran into a long string of disappointing fantasy books that totally obliterated my desire to read.  I want a protagonist I can cheer for, not one who makes my skin crawl.  So I began writing the kind of book I enjoyed reading.

It wasn’t until after I finished that I realized I was telling a very human story, one of survival, healing, and hope.  Writing has always kept me sane in an otherwise insane world.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

I read The Lord of the Rings when I was twelve.  It left a huge impression on me, especially Eowyn’s showdown with the Witch-king.  Tad Williams and his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series taught me to take my time telling a story and bring all the threads together at the end.  And Laurie R. King rekindled my love of words with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

I love listening to specially chosen playlists when I write. Do you have any writing habits that help set the mood or get your mind where it needs to be?

Definitely, if I can find the right rhythm for the words I’m striving for in a song.  Otherwise, I find it throws off my writing.  For A Thread in the Tangle, I listened to Loreena McKennitt the entire time I was writing.

I love asking this. Do you have any words of encouragement for the future writers of the world?

Write, write, write.  Read a mix of genres.  Write, write, write.  Finish what you start.  Listen to criticism.  And above all, write what you love because you love to write.

Random Question: What are your three favorite movies?

Lord of the Rings, BBC Pride and Prejudice, and Napoleon Dynamite.

If you wish to keep up with the wonderful world that is Sabrina Flynn check out her website http://sabrinaflynn.wordpress.com/. You can also check out my review of A Thread in the Tangle by clicking on her picture above.

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