Welcome to my weekly series – Author Interviews. In these posts I delve a bit deeper into the person behind the book and at the same time get some useful tips on writing. This week I am super excited and struggling to get a grip of myself. The author of one of my favourite 2016 […]
(reblogged from Cold Hand Boyack )
It’s time for another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to go totally steampunk on you. So grab your brass goggles and top hat and welcome Dana Redwing to the show.
“Welcome Dana, thanks for joining us.”
“Thank you Lisa, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve wanted to meet you for ages”
“Your story fascinates me on several fronts. You aren’t the first spy we’ve had on the show. How much can you tell our listeners about that?”
“Well, as you know, my family and I live in the Ohio Colony on the coast of Lake Erie. We’re part of the vast British Empire although there are those who have been lately agitating for independence seeking to have us break away from the mother country. I cannot help but think that is a terrible idea, by the way. We were recruited – I suppose that’s the best word for it – by Dr. John Watson on behalf of Mycroft Holmes, a British civil servant who is the brother of a detective of some renown. I believe Mr. Holmes chose us because we have enjoyed some success in business and thus have access to certain circles where we can gather information without attracting too much attention. Then, too, as women my mother, daughter, and I are considered, well, not to put too fine a point on it, more ornamental than threatening. Silly, really, but that’s how women are seen in 1894. Our latest mission is one of tremendous significance. The German Empire needs warm-water ports for its ever growing navy and is negotiating with Spain, which is in terrible economic straits, to allow a base in Barcelona. Mr. Holmes has assigned us to derail those negotiations if that is possible. If we are not successful, the balance of power could shift and there is the distinct possibility of war between our empires. Because of the advances in weapons technology over the past decade, I believe such a war would destroy civilization as we know it.”
“You’ve assembled quite a team. There’s you, your mother, your daughter, and Beverly Gray. Does Beverly sometimes feel out of place, or is she more like Alfred from Batman?”
“Beverly has quickly become a member of the family and we feel quite fortunate to have met her, albeit under some unusual circumstances. She’s proven to be an excellent administrator and is quite fearless, actually, although to look at her you wouldn’t know it. My daughter and I, as well as my mother, are quite tall for women and Beverly is tiny by comparison but she has the heart of a lioness. My daughter and I are both inventors and Beverly, while not possessing our mechanical aptitude, has a lively mind and often contributes suggestions of a practical nature that push us in some new directions. Of course, because she is not only a woman but also petite, men tend to underestimate her fierceness and her intelligence. That is a great advantage in our line of work.”
(reblogged from The Creative Penn)
India is an exciting market for indie authors and today, Rasana Atreya gives an overview of the publishing landscape and outlines tips for self-publishing in India.
In the introduction, I talk about the death of Prince and the need to reflect on our mortality and what will make up our creative body of work. I mention the Tim Ferriss podcast with BJ Miller on learning how to live when faced with inevitable death, and also the interview with Austin Kleon on Unemployable podcast.
Plus my launch of Destroyer of Worlds, an ARKANE thriller, set in India; and the Smashwords indie author survey results, with a lot of great actionable tips for authors; and returning to direct sales with Selz.com. You can now buy my ebooks direct from me, the author I’ll blog more about selling direct in coming weeks.
This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Rasana Atreya is the bestselling author of Tell A Thousand Lies, which was also shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. Her other works include The Temple Is Not My Father and 28 Years A Bachelor. She is also the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ India correspondent.
- Why English is the unifying language in India, and the size of the English-speaking population in India.
- On the types of books that sell in India and the focus on print rather than ebooks.
- Ecommerce in India and the importance of mobile.
- The expense of print on demand in India.
- The vanity presses that are springing up in India.
- The age of the market, and the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook.
- How book marketing is done in India, and the stigma against indie authors that still exists.
- How indie authors can try selling the Indian rights to their books.
- Rasana’s predictions on the future of digital publishing in India.
(reblogged from The Dark Phantom Review)
Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive. After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow. She’s currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or out on the links.
For More Information
- Visit Kim Harrison’s website.
- Connect with Kim on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Kim at Goodreads.
About the Book:
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?
For More Information
Would you call yourself a born writer?
I would, though I started writing very late compared to a lot of people. I never intended to be a writer, almost falling into it by accident, actually avoiding everything but the most basic English classes in high school and college to pursue a career in the sciences. But I was an avid reader, and I think I picked up on the niceties of pacing, plot development, and character growth from the sf/fantasy masters of the mid 70s, early 80s. They have stood me in good stead, and I owe them a debt of gratitude.
What was your inspiration for The Drafter?
My story ideas generally evolve slowly over the course of years, making it hard to pinpoint the beginning of inspiration. Most of my series plots take two or three of these “I wonder if” concepts and mash them up together. I’m pulled to ideas that are experienced, be it joyful, such as finding an enduring love, or painful, such as in dealing with memory loss. The Drafter, incidentally, deals with both.
It’s no coincidence that the main character in The Drafter is dealing with similar issues as a person suffering from Alzheimer’s. I took Peri Reed’s coping techniques and a few of her gut reactions from the same. Her special skill destroys her memory, and though she occasionally regains it, she’s incredibly reliant upon those she trusts to keep her centered and herself. Her special ability make her very powerful, but it’s tempered by the vulnerabilities an Alzheimer’s patient deals with every day. I wrote The Drafter to say that those dealing with memory issues are still important, still worth considering, and still part of society.
Bu-u-u-ut, you can skip right over that and still enjoy it as an action thriller with a modified-human twist.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
The Drafter was the first in a series, so I spent more time than usual developing the world and possible plot lines. I’m going to guess I began digging at the core of the story almost a year before I started actually writing it, but that first rough draft took the usual four to five months to hammer out. Another few months to edit it for my satisfaction, and then a few more spent to rewrite it for my editor. Copywrite and page proofs took a few more weeks, giving about a year total? But I worked on other things during the same time.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
I’m a 9-5 writer, five days a week. I’ve recently been trying to get out of the office earlier so as to increase my activity level. It’s not going so well. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines . . .
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
It was incredibly difficult to divorce myself from the heartbreak of working with a protagonist who suffers repeated memory loss. I’ve delved into writing drug addicts, emotionally abused adults, and psychotic killers, but this one was the worst. The creative process demands you put yourself in another person’s skin, and the emotions I had to deal with had a tendency to linger longer than usual after I left my office. Alzheimer’s is an ugly, selfish disease, but I’m trying to find understanding with it through my main character, and there is a peace in living day to day with what is before you right now.
(reblogged from Bookwraiths)
I’m so very honored to welcome Harry Turtledove to Bookwraiths today. As a longtime fan of all his amazing books, I’d be hard pressed to name my favorite. Publishing stories in the fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, and alternate history genres, there is a Turtledove story which will tickle everyone’s fancy, and now he has turned his sights to the world of baseball, where his alternate history novel The House of Daniel takes place in a Depression Era America where magic works and baseballs fly!
Hello, Mr. Turtledove. Welcome to Bookwraiths. Thanks so much for sparing some time to answer a few questions.
Thanks for inviting me here.
You have a new book coming out, The House of Daniel. Some might call it a departure, of sorts, from most of your recent alternate history series. What can you tell us about it?
It isn’t really. Something like a third of my overall ouput is fantasy of one kind or another, though I haven’t done so much the past few years. THE HOUSE OF DANIEL is an urban fantasy set during the Depression in a world that isn’t quite ours because magic works and things like vampires and zombies and werewolves coexist with ordinary people. It centers on baseball, because I’ve been a fanatical fan for many years.
How long did it take this story idea to germinate before you were able to put it down onto paper?
I spent one summer night talking baseball with Peter S. Beagle over dinner; he’s the same sort of obsessive fan at I am. He’s older than I am, too, and he remembers further back. I thought, I ought to do something baseballish. I started writing just a few days later.
What drew you to this period of American history?
It’s the heyday of the minor leagues and especially of semipro ball, which this book is about. And my parents were young adults during the Depression, so I heard a lot of stories about it growing up.
Other than sheer entertainment, was there any message you were hoping to convey to readers with a story such as The House of David?
Mark Twain said it best in his introduction to HUCKLEBERRY FINN: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”
Having been publishing beloved novels for over thirty-five years now, is there any historical period you have not written about but desperately wish to?
I have some nineteenth-century ideas I’m playing with right now, maybe turning some Victorian conventions upside down and inside out.
How comfortable are you with the title “the master of alternate history?” Has it ever caused any of your non-historical stories to be more difficult to publish?
You don’t like, or I don’t like, to do the same thing all the damn time. If I do the same thing over and over, might as well drive a truck.
Andrew Chapman, Anita Blake, Anne Bishop, Black Jewels Series, BlondeWriteMore, Boudicca, Heir to the Empire Trilogy, I Love Lucy, Interview, Laurell Hamilton, Manda Scott, Naomi Clark, One of Us, Pagan, Richelle Mead, Soundless, Star Wars, Timothy Zahn
So I got interviewed as a book reviewer as part of an ongoing feature over at BlondeWriteMore. I think it went pretty well- I’m talking about me, after all- but I can’t help but feel like I should’ve fleshed it out a bit more. Ah, well.
(reblogged from BlondeWriteMore)
Welcome to my weekly series – Book Reviewer Interviews.
I believe that book reviewers hold valuable insight for us writers and their answers to my interview questions make intetesting blog posts.
Please welcome my new book reviewer friend John Green and author of the blog Illuminite Caliginosus
John, thanks so much for sitting in my interview chair. Please tell us about yourself.
First one’s always the hardest. Lessee now- born, raised and still living in Brooklyn, NY. Wanted to be either a baseball player or paleontologist when I was little. Ended up joining the Marines instead, traveled the globe and can’t really say a bad word about my tour. To paraphrase Malcolm X: the plan was theirs, any mistakes were mine.
Worked for Virgin USA for over thirteen years; had a blast and met a lot of good people and had some great experiences. It was like getting paid for hanging out with your friends! If there ever was such a thing as a good retail job, that was it.
The last few years I’ve been in the Sports & Entertainment field; blogging and reviewing was something I kinda fell into, and I really enjoy doing it. I’ve met a lot of good and… interesting… people during my online career.
I’m also a member of Amazon’s Vine program and a former Top 1000 Reviewer on the site.
Been an avid & voracious reader all my life; I was that nerdy kid who’d always get “volunteered” to enter trivia contests, spelling bees, etc, and I always had to take something into the bathroom with me to read (once upon a time that wasn’t always seen as a good thing. Neither was being nerdy). One of these days I’ll finally finish my own novel and then get to see how the other half lives.
What made you start reviewing books?
During my time at Virgin USA I was the Magazines Buyer for the NY stores, getting my hands on more books and reading material than I’d thought possible (rubs hands gleefully).
**The store was located in the same building where Random House had their offices, and I was on good terms with the building guys so they always let me know when RH would dump out books. Discovered a lot of new authors that way- good, bad and ugly. I’ll always be proud to call myself a Dumpster Diver.**
**Our UPS driver, Joe, offered to grab a few books for me while he was delivering up there, and part of the stack he brought back included the first three books of GRRM’s Song of Ice & Fire- all hardcovers with original artwork.**
After Virgin USA closed I spent a lot of time on Amazon buying even more books. I got in the habit of sifting through the reviews for recommendations, etc, and picked up on a few individuals I felt I could rely upon not to steer me wrong, like EA Solinas, Chibineko and others. I’d always been the one my friends and family would go to for a critique because they knew I was hard but fair, and it finally occurred to me that I should write a few reviews myself- sort of give back a little and have my say. Next thing I know I’m making steady progress through the ranks and I wondered what I could do with this
How many books do you review a month?
It varies. I’ve slowed down over the past couple years; used to aim for maybe 5-10 a month, right now maybe half that. One of my goals is to clear out some of my TBR pile; I know- we ALL say that, but my work schedule affords me a lot of free time, so I have a good shot at it. I’ve still got stuff going back to the 2010 BEA I haven’t checked out yet.
What is your selection process for reviewing a book?
Nothing set in stone. The easy answer is “whatever catches my attention”, but defining that is the trick. I’m a very eclectic reader; I’ve always been chiefly into Fantasy/Sci-fi but right now I’m really into Steam/Diesel/Atompunk- though I haven’t seen much of the latter two so far. There’s also Lovecraftian Horror, which I think’s been under-appreciated but seems to be enjoying a renaissance now. Guess we can thank the oversaturated PNR/UF genres for that.
Both the blurb and the cover are key, of course- you never get a second chance at that first impression. There’s been quite a few eye candy covers that made me stop to check them out, only to get let down by the synopsis. So many books nowadays, especially in the YA genre, immediately drop the ball from sounding like carbon copies of each other that it’s hard to find anything worth investing time in. I swear you can choose ten, TEN, YA novels at random and the blurbs will all sound the same! How many Chosen Ones with Destined/Fated/Soulmates stories does the human race need? When’s the next Alice in Wonderland/Brothers Grimm ripoff due out? Will this end up being Gregory Maguire’s enduring legacy?
For me, it’s gotta be something at least a little different; whatever the genre it has to be something that makes it appear like the author actually had something to say- a story they wanted to tell and not just aping the latest trend to try and make a quick buck. And that gets harder to find every day.
A good one was Pagan by Andrew Chapman. It’s a PNR/UF/Horror series about vampires having existed for centuries but only certain agencies like the Catholic Church knew of them. All the books, movies, etc, served as misdirection and softening up for when they finally emerged and basically sucker-punched the entire human race. Some countries tried to make nice and assimilate them True Blood-style while others said F-that! Even the werewolves sided with humanity against the vamps. Made for a refreshing change of pace from sparkle-pires and woobie-wolves.
Monica Byrne is a playwright, freelance writer, and author of The Girl in the Road, a science fiction novel. On her blog, she publishes book news; pieces on travel, writing, and publishing; and other personal musings.
(reblogged from coldhandboyack)
Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Now broadcasting at one point twenty-one jigawatts across all the known galaxy, alternate realms, and into the future and past. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.
Our guest today is Limbreth, a young woman, on a quest to recover a stolen book and find the Bow of Hart.
“Welcome to the show, Limbreth.”
“Greetings from the Forest of Auguron, Lisa Burton.”
“My bio says you’ve joined this quest with a Withling named Hastra. Who’s leading this quest, you or her?”
“Hastra’s in charge but gets a lot of advice from Gweld, an elven ranger and these two dauntless dwarves, Tordug and Makwi. Hastra knows the most about our foe and the Bow of Hart. But these feckless Rokans stole her book, back in the City of Auguron using this magical creature she calls a Bane.”
“Dwarves! I love dwarves. We had a bunch of them at the writing cabin for a while.”
“Yes, Dwarves! We could use a few more of us on this trip, Limbreth. The more to teach you a thing or two about what it means to be an axe-maiden who’s been blessed with the death-grip.
“And who might you be, sir?”
“Name’s Tordug. Me and Makwi only showed up for the fun of finishing up what Limbreth started when she charged, wounded – can you believe that, Lisa? – into a pack of trolls to save Athson. It’s worthy of a song! Really, Lisa, you should have seen her glowing silver in the moonlight. We couldn’t pry one of her swords from her hand afterward (we call that the death-grip). Those trolls were right scarred before we got there. Why–
“Yeah, honey, maybe we can interview you next time. Assuming you survive this adventure.”
“Sorry, Tordug and Makwi made me an honorary member of their society and I’m not sure yet what to make of that.”
“Now Limbreth, it seems to me this book is important, but the Bow of Hart is important too. Our listeners want to know, which one is the bigger deal?”
“Well as far as I can understand, The Bow of Hart is supposed to be used on Magdronu, the dragon. He’s trying to stop us from getting the bow. We expect one of his wizardly servants named Corgren might have it so we’re going to the fallen dwarven kingdom, Chokkra, to find it. Corgren’s got trolls who attacked us and Rokan spies that have Hastra’s book too. Magdronu had Corgren and his trolls ransack Athson’s village years ago so somehow he’s mixed up in the bow – at least that’s what Hastra says. Athson knows some of it but he doesn’t understand his connection to it all.”
“So I’m getting the sense that the bow is more important to you. While Athson is a little bit messed up, you think he can take care of Cogren and Magdronu if he gets this bow.
“I’m clear on that much, but I want to know what’s in it for you?”
“Well, I fell in with Hastra after I left home to show my father, um, well, I mean I’m here for the adventure and… Well, anyway, Athson can handle himself even if he does see things like that dog. But he’s not seeing dead people from his past anymore since he got that sword. I just wish he and I could spend more time, um, scouting for the group like we did before Marston’s Station. Right now we’re riding with a bunch of elven rangers as far as their forts near the Troll Heaths and we don’t get that much time together, um, for scouting. But we’ll get him to the bow. I’ve got his back. He’ll do what he needs to. He doesn’t miss with a bow, just throwing knives sometimes…”
“It sounds like quite the predicament. How are you holding up to life on the trail? It can’t be easy with all those men around.”
“Well, there’s Hastra to keep me company. And really, everyone in our group’s experienced. It’s an incredible adventure and my father will, um, he’ll see… Anyway, I like being around other warriors. But, to be honest I’m a little worried how my feet will hold up when we start walking. I’m more used to riding horses and these boots the dwarves got me back at Marston’s Station are a bit uncomfortable. But I’ll make it.”
“I’m into fashion, and I have to know, what do you wear out on the trail? Is it long dresses, or pants and pirate boots? Maybe you have some cool custom battle armor.”
“Dresses? Seriously? Maybe back at cour-, uh, home but not here. I wear this white dueling armor made of leather and tough leggings that match. Other than that I keep my hair in a braid so I can reach either sword strapped to my back. Why? What do you wear on an adventure?”
“I tend to wear short skirts that let me move freely. I also carry the B.A.G.; that stands for big assed gun. It’s kind of like magic. It’s computer coded to my hands so only I can shoot it.”
(reblogged from BlondeWriteMore)
I have decided to start interviewing book reviewers on my blog for the following reasons:
- Book reviewers hold a lot of useful literary insight for writers.
- Book reviewers are very valuable to us when our books are published. It is useful to see how their book reviewer mind works.
- I believe getting inside the mind of a book reviewer will make an excellent blog post.
To kick off my new Book Reviewer Interviews slot is Cleo Bannister.
I am so excited because Cleo is one of my favourite book reviewers. I buy books according to what she says.
If you are not familiar with her blog ‘Cleopatra Loves Books’ please check it out.
Welcome Cleo, I am thrilled that you have agreed to this. Please have a seat in my new book reviewer chair!
Tell me about yourself.
Well that’s a daunting opening question! I am a forty-something woman, I have no pets and my favourite colour is purple!
I’m quite small, straight-talking although hopefully not to the point of rudeness and I have a distinctive laugh and actually say ahh tissue when I sneeze!
I work in the Legal Department of a company that renews Intellectual Property rights, and since I’ve been there for over thirteen years I can imagine the glazed looks on all the readers faces, so I’ll quickly move to the fact that I live in Jersey in the Channel Isles which people are always far more fascinated about.
It’s what’s known as compact living, anyone who is stupid enough to think that a large proportion of the island don’t know what they said, did and wore at any given point in time is much mistaken. Although it’s a beautiful place to live, in the winter there isn’t an awful lot to do other than socialise and so we jokingly refer to ourselves as 90,000 alcoholics clinging to a rock! I’m not, an alcoholic (I am fairly sociable) because if I drink too much the words on the page tend to swim and the reason why I’m being interviewed is because I’m a booklover and I think I’d crack up if I couldn’t get my daily dose of reading in!
What made you start reviewing books?
I started reviewing books on Amazon in 2010 as a way of having a record of the books I read because I have the memory of a goldfish when it comes to names so people would say ‘have you read xxx?’ and I’d look blankly at them needing a bit of hint to place the book – I also frequently borrowed the same book with a different cover from the library that I’d already read.
My early reviews were exceptionally short but served that original purpose but then it grew as I started to depend on reviews when choosing books and in turn wanted my voice to be heard in the crowd.
How many books do you review a month?
I can comfortably read 10 books per month and I review each and every one that I finish. Last year’s total was 145 books which works out at about 12 books per month. In between the reviews I do memes on the blog with features from upcoming books, the occasional blog tour or interview with an author and sometimes random pieces about book related stuff.
What is your selection process for reviewing a book?
- Have I read and awarded 4 or 5 stars to the author before?
- Does it have a synopsis that appeals?
- Has it been reviewed and recommended by bloggers whose opinion I trust?
- If I’ve been offered or can request it from a publisher/author, do I have a slot in my schedule? My book reading is planned to the nth degree on an excel spreadsheet – once the slots are full for a month, that’s it, no more. At the moment I have books scheduled up to July as I like to review close to publication date, and then there is the books I already own that need to be read too, oh and the ones I buy for myself because I need them!!
My main interest is crime fiction particularly that which looks at the why of a criminal act as much as the who but I do read other genres too, it’s good to have variety.
What is your book review process?
I rarely make notes, the only exception is if I’m on holiday and have a number of reviews to write on my return.
I’ve always wanted my reviews to be the gut reaction when finishing a book and in the early days I was really disciplined about not opening the next book until the one just finished had a review written, sadly I’m not that good anymore so I tend to write my review and then go back through the book trying to find the names and places to check I’ve got them right.
If I’m reading on my kindle I will highlight passages if I want to refer to them in the review but nowhere as frequently as I should.
What do you think makes a good book?
For me I have to be able to believe in the characters, which shouldn’t be mistaken for liking them, in fact my favourite characters tend to be the wolves in sheep’s clothing types. But characters alone do not make a book, there has to be a solid plot preferably a clever one by which I mean one that makes me think or encourages me to put myself in ‘someone else’s shoes.’
If it has a historical aspect then it has to be well-researched, I know all sorts of random things and if something is not in the right era it lifts me out of the story. So to sum up in a single sentence:
A good book is one that I can believe in from the beginning to the end, and that I am totally immersed in while I’m reading it.
If you’re a book reviewer and are interested in being interviewed by her, leave a comment on her original blogpost linked above.
(reblogged from Entertaining Stories)
Welcome everyone, on this episode of Lisa Burton Radio we have a really unusual guest. I’m your host, Lisa Burton the robot girl.
Crossing Bedlam is the sponsor of today’s show, and I’ll load all the important links at the end of the show. Let’s all welcome Lloyd Tenay.
“Hello Lloyd, welcome to the show.”
“Great to boob here. Uh . . . eh, close enough.”
“You have an interesting background. Prior to the collapse, which produced the Shattered States, you were in prison. Can you tell us a little about that?”
“The simple story is that I was a totally misunderstood serial killer who got caught. In my defense, the zoo had a new baboon exhibit and those animals are a lot of fun to watch. Oh, I guess I kill people because I wasn’t raised right or have a couple screws loose. I don’t know. It was either…