Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kirsten Arcadio on Speculative Thrillers & Character Construction #MustRead #Thriller #AmWriting

Q: Please tell us how you came to be a writer.

In 2012 I completed Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel (online) course. It was a fabulous experience bringing me into contact with some interesting and gifted writers, and it launched me into the world of writing. Before the course I had vague ambitions, but afterwards I was quite determined to write novels and to make it part of my life long term.

Q: You generally write in the genre of speculative thrillers. What can readers expect?

Readers of this genre would need to enjoy a wide range of genres, I suspect. They can expect page turners which, at the same time, have a layered feel to them.  A touch of supernatural runs through all my stories, but readers can choose to interpret these threads as metaphysical too. So my novels straddle the intersection between supernatural and science fiction.

Q: The protagonist in your latest novel is Dr Elena Lewis. What can we expect from her?

Dr Elena Lewis is a layered character whose motivations are sometimes ambiguous. If you like complex characters thrown into challenging circumstances which often contain some element of illusion, she’s an ideal protagonist for you!

Q: Which is your favourite fictional character and why?
I quite like Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy! I like her strangeness and her strength.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on the third book in my series of speculative thrillers The Borderliners Trilogy, ‘WorldCult’.

Q: Some writers plot to the last detail and others let the novel develop organically. Which are you?

I’m a plotter but I don’t plot to the last detail. I do about twelve major plot points, divide those into four quarters, Act 1, 2 and 3 with Act 2 having two parts, and then put up the structure for my story using that structure to guide me. I won’t plot in any more detail than that as things come up as I go along, and I like that! After my initial draft I go back and layer up using the snowflake method. I see it as chiselling out a basic statue before going back to hew in the detail later.

Q. How do you construct your characters? Are they based on real people?

No. But you have to write what you know, so I start with a few characteristics from people I know and write out from there. Usually my characters take on a life of their own after I get about a quarter of the way through a manuscript. When that happens, it’s scary. But it’s exciting too, and it usually means I’m getting somewhere with my story.

Q: What’s your favourite quote about writing?

Loads from Milan Kundera, but my favourite is: ‘the reader’s imagination completes the writer’s vision.’

Q: With the number of self-published books increasing exponentially, it is difficult for authors to make their books stand out? How do you go about this?

I’m still working this all out, but as a digital marketing professional by trade, I’d say it’s about content surfacing through collaboration with others. And it’s about building readership long term. I’ve always believed email is the killer app and this would appear to be as true of publishing as of any other industry, so collaboration and email are the two main avenues I’m working on in this respect.

Q: As a self-published author, how do you divide your time between writing and marketing?

With difficulty. I’m still trying to get the balance right. Ideally I’d want to set a stop watch to around 30 minutes a day on marketing and the rest of the time (the time it takes to write or edit 1,500 words) on writing. I’m quite disciplined about the marketing and I have a content plan of blogs, links and quotes which I publish to various different platforms on a regular basis. I would like to do more live events though. Maybe next year!

Q: You’re based in the UK, so what’s your readership? Do you have readers in countries outside of the UK?

Most of my readers are based in the UK with a smaller percentage of the majority based in the US. I have some readers in Pakistan due to a personal connection there promoting my books. I would like to promote my books in Italy as I have many friends and family there, but they need to be translated into Italian in order to do so. I would hope that my novels have international appeal!


Split Symmetry

Lost meets The Poseidon Adventure with a hint of Sliding Doors!

It's 2015 in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range of central Italy.
Quantum physicists in a lab beneath the ground begin an illegal experiment. 
A landslide hits and a hiking group is stranded. 
Every decision, every step of the way...changes reality. 

Book #2 of the best-selling Borderliners series, this other-worldly adventure will keep you turning the pages to the very end!
 'A novel about what it is to survive and endure, what defines us, how it is to be ruled by fear, to be a slave to the terror of nature and what it feels like to love.' Five star customer review. 

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Speculative thriller
Rating – PG
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@HJLawson1 on Her Daughter's Laughter & Her Fear of Car Washes #YA #Authors #AmWriting


Hayley Lawson is the author of War Kids. She has written a young adult contemporary novel set in Syria; a story about the Syrian Civil war though the eyes of children.

She was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building.

As a young child she found a passion for drawing, and continued this into adulthood, graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.

At aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband packed up their belongings for a lifelong dream to move to California. Her American dream was complete with the birth of her daughter. Her love for traveling, continued after the birth of her daughter traveling around America with the family, and the best travelled dog.
A new job position opened up New York, and the family decide to relocate to Long Island, NY, which is where she currently resides.

On August 21 she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict, and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel.

Tell us a bit about your family?
I grew up with five siblings, I am the second oldest. I have one daughter aged five, a husband and dog.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
Cry. Only joking! I just keep on going. I will never give up.

What scares you the most?
Car washes

What makes you happiest?
My daughter's laughter, and when she plays with her dad. That, and sunshine and a cocktail.

What’s your greatest character strength?
I will never give up.

What’s your weakest character trait?
I will never give up.

Why do you write?
I have always found people and places interesting, now I have found a place in writing to share them.

Have you always enjoyed writing?
No, writing terrified me for a long time. My teacher when I was seven told me if you got a pound for every spelling mistake he would be a millionaire, in front of the whole class. I have very bad dyslexia and from that day I never shared any written work, other than emails.

What motivates you to write?
Mainly to get everything out of my head, and I think people will find the stories interesting. I found them very interesting to research, but also heart-breaking.

What writing are you most proud of?
My first book War Kids, I have a bad memory, when I read it after final edits were completed I was surprised how good it was.


All profits from the book will be going to the save the children charity.

When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself. Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters. With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.

Reviews from wattpad
Very interesting story, very powerful. I can really feel the emotion...Peter

This book really touches my heart because there is so much truth is in this book. The detail is so brilliantly displayed, its beautifuly written. There are pretty intense chapters, its good... scrap that its excellent. Loe the work ...although I am upset. I know this is a fictional story, but I just can't help but feel extremely bad for all the lost lives especially the innocent and young ones...Saddy

A REMARKABLE BOOK, DEMANDS TO BE READ Goodreads review from Joe Eliseon

Buy Now @ Amazon | Smashwords | CreateSpace
Genre - Young Adult 
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with H J Lawson on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cheryl Carpinello on Knowing the Setting of Your Story @ccarpinello #WriteTip #AmWriting #PubTip

How Essential Is It to Know Your Story’s Setting First-Hand?

Many writers struggle with this question, including me. Unless you’ve built your own world, it’s hard for most authors to physically visit the places their characters live. If you’re a writer of historical fiction, like I am, it is impossible to be transported back to those time periods without extensive research.

Readers don’t want every detail spelled out for them; they just want to experience the flavor that is the character’s world. It is natural to include even small details like the weather, speech patterns, distances from one place to another, specific foods and drinks, etc. However, without first-hand experience, these descriptive additions may cause problems for you, the author.

Two examples from my own writings illustrate the little things that readers found which do not ring true.

1. In Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, I added facts from the historical period about young betrothals, castles, feasts, and the countryside to let my readers experience Guinevere’s life. I describe the food—even Circlette with raspberry jam dripping down the children’s chins. Historical fact, no problem. Then I mention that in order to prepare a stew for the night’s feast, carrots and potatoes are being peeled. OOPS! One of my adult readers informs me that potatoes were not discovered/used back in the 400-500s.

2. InYoung Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom, poured over travel books and maps until I felt confident that I had sufficient background to write my story. And I did until...A reviewer/writer from Wales caught an error that only first-hand experience would have prevented.

In the story, my young character Philip is climbing up St. David’s Head in a wind and rain storm. I describe his slips and slides on the slope with the wind raging around him. My reviewer said that in a real storm on St. David’s Head, a person would literally be crawling up on hands and knees as the force of the wind would prevent a person from standing up. Caught again.

So, is it essential to have first-hand experience? In most cases, probably not. Is it important to have first-hand experience? I say yes.

And so, as I prepare to write Book Two Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, I’m also embarking on a tour that has been two years in the planning. I am off to visit—in person—the land that gave rise to the tales of Arthurian Legend: England, Wales, and Scotland!
Author Links:

Author Sites:

Purchase Links for Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

Author Bio

I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. On Carpinello’s Writing Pages, I interview other children/MG/Tween/YA authors. At The Quest Books, I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

Young Knights

Action Adventure Kindle Book

Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions.

At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man's life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Tween Adventure
Rating – G
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nightfall #Excerpt by Brian White #Crime #Mystery

Reality is not what it seems. Any science teacher worth his salt can tell you that. An infinite number of extra dimensions, microscopic black holes flitting into and out of existence right in front of your nose. They’re all around us, but we can’t see them except through numbers on paper.
Sometimes, though, reality tilts and you catch a glimpse through the wormhole into the surreal nature of existence. It can happen because you gaze up at the night sky and for a fleeting moment you grasp what infinitemeans. Or it can happen because you find yourself being stared down by a monster of a man outweighing you by almost two-hundred pounds who wants to introduce you to the cast-iron wrench he’s holding.
When reality tilts you find out what your life really means.
That momentary understanding is the most frightening thing I can imagine.
My name is Ezzy Morgan. The Ezzy is short for Esmerelda, but please don’t call me that.
I worked for fifteen years as a paramedic in the city of Middleton, California. That’s ten years longer than the average. And it was probably ten years too long.
Middleton has the highest rate of EMS provider suicides in the country. There is something in the water here that makes people just a little uglier to each other than anywhere else, I guess. As a paramedic you get to bear witness to it all.
At some point I started getting nightmares. They were always the same.
In them I would be flying. The air screamed past, pulling my cheeks back against my skull. I would be going so incredibly fast that at first I’d laugh with the thrill of it.
Then I’d open my eyes and see the ground. Far away. Miles to go until I got there, but rushing up at me, closing the distance faster than I could react.
That’s when I’d realize I was falling, not flying. Plummeting like a meteor.
Clouds always formed below me. White towering tips reaching up to touch me, ready to drag me into their belly where darkness waited.
I would claw at the air, seeking purchase and finding none. Tears would be ripped from my eyes before I could blink them away.
I would plunge into the storm and become lost in the dark.
Warm wet drops would pelt my skin. You’re not supposed to be able to feel physical sensations in dreams. Someone forgot to tell my subconscious, because I could feel the rain inside the storm.
Only, it was never rain. The taste of copper would fill my mouth and when lightning flashed I would see my bare skin covered in blood.
Somewhere in the darkness a woman would utter a mad cackling laugh, and a child would scream in response. The scream was always cut off mid-breath. Always.
Then the clouds would vanish and the ground would be there terrifyingly close. I’d throw my arms up, but really, there was nothing I could do except wake up.
I woke from the nightmare entirely the day I walked into my supervisor’s office and slid my resignation across his desk. I walked out of his office and never looked back.
If you asked me why I became a private investigator I couldn’t tell you. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
It’s been a long time since I rode around in the back of an ambulance. The nightmares are less now, but every once in a while they still come, and I’ll fall through the bloody rain and see the ground hurtling up at me.
It’s been said you see your entire life in the instant before you die. All your good deeds and bad. Everything in between.
I don’t think that’s true. I think we all have the same thought:
Just give me one more day.

A beautiful young escort is strangled to death, her corpse discarded in a back alley dumpster. The killer’s identity is a mystery, and the homicide has gone almost unnoticed. Welcome to Middleton, where these things happen every night and the police are too busy or too jaded to notice.
Ezzy Morgan once roamed these blue collar streets as a paramedic. Here she was weaned from innocence and taught the cold-blooded nature of the human heart. Now she works as a private detective and has shut the door on shootings, stabbings, and the constant specter of death. But her life is about to be shattered when the dead woman’s only surviving friend seeks her out, looking for justice.
Clues are sparse and the trail seems to be a dead end before it has even begun. But the mystery takes a macabre turn after another death is dropped at Ezzy’s feet, and she’s hit with an ultimatum from the world of organized crime: find the killer in the next twenty-four hours . . . or die.
This murder mystery turned terrifying struggle between life and death will expose a cover-up spanning two generations involving a sadistic psychopath, a burned-out cop with a cocaine habit, and a powerful man willing to commit murder just to ensure a secret stays buried.
With the noose tightening and the clock winding down to her own demise, Ezzy must come to terms with a darkness she thought she’d left behind years ago. Nightfall has come to Middleton, and she might not live to see the dawn.
Brian White has crafted a captivating tale in the new noir. Nightfall, with its crisp prose and razor-sharp dialogue, is a thrilling tale of crime and suspense that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the end.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Crime, Noir, Mystery
Rating – R
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10 Things You Did Not Know About #SagaoftheNine by Mikey DB @mikeydbii #Thriller #Dystopian

Ten things you didn’t know about Saga of the Nine: Area 38

1) It was originally going to be a musical.  The album that inspired it, This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars, was intended not only as the frame work of the story, but the bulk of the songs as well.  I thought about seeking out Jared Leto’s help/permission to use his music and possibly add more, but things ended up turning a different direction.  It really came down to the fact that I didn’t think a musical would do the story justice.  I still listened to the album probably a couple hundred times while writing it, but the story is much different now than the original musical.

2) Mica and the USA Division were inspired by a date I took a girl on.  My date and I doubled with my roommate and his date, each got some masquerade masks, and then went to dinner at a fancy restaurant while we wore them.  Like I said, bizarre, but hey, something worked because my date that night is now my wife.

3) Area 38 is actually a reference to the 38th state of the United States of America.

4) The opening setting was inspired by the cold winter mornings in Utah.  I’ve been working the six am shift for as long as I can remember, and one of the joys about having to wake up so early in order to get to work on time, is it’s around the time that the sun rises.  The fog that covered the fields outside the industrial park were some of the most beautiful mornings I’ve seen.

5) Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who played Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock, is the person I pictured as I wrote and fine tuned Christopher Stone, the sadistic Area Leader of Area 38.  If he reads this, I hope he doesn’t get offended.  The way he talks in Star Trek: Into Darkness as Kahn is exactly how I imagine Christopher saying his lines.

6) I wrote the entire novel on the floor of my 500 square foot apartment--right at the foot of my bed.  I could only right for a few hours at a time though.  Any longer than three and my butt and legs would begin to go numb.

7) Saga of the Nine: Area 38 is actually a hybrid.  The entire plot began as two different stories.  Both of them were going nowhere, and one day I had the epiphany to combine the two.

8) Most, if not all, of my research for Area 38 came from listening to history podcasts I would listen to at my day job in the warehouse.

9) The flag on the cover was the brain child of my cousin, the cover designer.  The entire premise is that anything that is evil and corrupt usually isn’t original.  Evil simply takes originality and tweaks it.  That’s what the Nine did with the U.S. flag.

10) The foreign language in the novel is based off of Tahitian, which I picked up on my LDS mission in French Polynesia.

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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