Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Tallulah Grace

Welcome and welcome back! Today's guest on The Same Six Questions is author Tallulah Grace!

Hi Andy, thanks for hosting. I write non-fiction business articles to pay the mortgage and all those other pesky necessities, but my southern roots show through when I flip the switch to fiction. When I’m not writing, I’m an avid reader and bead weaver. Ghost-hunting is another hobby, but lately I haven’t had time to explore that as much as I’d like. Traipsing around in the dead of night with a camera, a recorder and an amateur or three does not flow seamlessly into a day filled with writing. I’m a single mom and thrilled to say that college tuition is finally in the past. That one fact gave me the freedom, time and energy to pursue fiction as a full-time career. My daughter thinks my ghost-hunting is ‘cute,’ but she really likes my fiction. She’s at the age where she knows everything, so who am I to argue?

Thanks, Tallulah! Now it's time to answer The Same Six Questions.

1.Have you published a book yet?

My first book, Fate, went live in early June. The second book of the
trilogy, Spellbound, became available in July. I plan to publish the third installment, Destiny, in late August, early September. Collectively, the books are part of the Timeless Trilogy series. The series revolves around the lives, loves and paranormal abilities of three women; Kristina Collins, Veronica Myers and
Cassandra Locke. Kris takes center stage in Fate and enjoys a quiet, successful life as an independent television producer near Charleston, South Carolina. Her life turns upside down when she discovers that she is being stalked by a very clever serial killer. An old love reappears and new friends emerge as she deals with the drama. The book trailer for Fate can be found here. I recommend that anyone who watches it first turn up the volume. If you scare easily or have a history of heart problems, please don’t watch the trailer.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer, in one form or another. I have journals from my childhood, filled with poetry and short stories, but I stepped away from writing fiction for pleasure when my full-time writing career took off. After too many years of dry, to-the-point writing, my inner voice began crying for something extra. Timeless Trilogy is the answer to that niggling little voice, but those stories are only the beginning. Now that I’ve begun, I never intend to turn it off.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

The first serious short story I wrote as an adult was a romantic interlude about reincarnation. I had it, and a few other short stories, recorded to an acoustic guitar about ten years ago for a venture that never got off the ground. I hadn’t listened to, or read, the stories since then. I unearthed them this past spring and they helped give birth to the Timeless series.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this(write)"?

My first 5-star review gave me goose-bumps. The reviewer expressed how I felt about my characters—‘I found myself wanting to be a part of their world’—so I knew then that it worked.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I’d like to meet all of them, but if I had to choose just one it would be Cassandra Locke. Cassie’s story unfolds throughout the first two books in preparation for Destiny. Cassie’s dreams convince her that she’s lived many times before, but she’s loved only once. The power of that relationship transcends time, which, as any genuine romantic will tell you, is the ultimate test of true love. Cassie is also a successful author who lives in and tends to a Victorian mansion in the heart of Charleston. I’d love to pick her brain and hang out at her house.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

A box overflowing with spiders. How did they knock, you ask? Of course they didn’t, but the deranged stalker who’s been following me for months used them as a diversion to gain entry into the house, unnoticed. I slam the door in the path of the eight-legged fiends and run to find the phone. After calling my neighbor for extermination assistance, I fly upstairs to find my hiking boots and spot the stalker, poised behind a door in the foyer, ready to spring. Upon reaching the upstairs landing, I head for the iron urn filled with great-aunt Gert that’s sitting on the table directly above the crouching man. Without a second thought, I drop the urn on his head and go for the boots. I’ll deal with him later; the spiders must not get into the house.


Great stuff, Tallulah! For more of Tallulah and her writing, visit her web site, check out her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter

Be sure to stop in for a visit this weekend, between the picnics and the pool, and meet another indie author, C.A. Deyton!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Jacques Antoine

Welcome back to The Same Six Questions. Today's guest is author Jacques Antoine. Welcome, Jacques!

Thanks, Andy! I instruct at a tiny liberal arts college in the southwest, where I teach classes across the entire curriculum. I grew up in the New York area and went to college at a "great books" school. One thing I learned in college, and re-learn alongside my students all the time, is that writing is not specific to a particular subject or specialty. Writing is about making public what originally seems private, the contents of our consciousness. This is true whether you're writing a poem, or a mathematical proof. The ironic thing about this process is that you only learn what it is you really think when you try to explain it to others.

My daughter (12) loves karate, violin and astronomy. We spend many nights in the backyard with a telescope. The heroine of my latest book is a high school girl who loves karate, so naturally my daughter thinks it's about her. But, in truth, she is more of a story consultant than a direct inspiration.

Thanks, Jacques! And now for The Same Six Questions.

1. Have you published a book yet?

I just published my first book, Go No Sen (also available for Nook and other platforms). It's a martial arts/espionage thriller, and maybe even a coming-of-age tale. Here's what it might sound like in a capsule:

Emily Kane, 17, high school student, martial artist--when her family is shattered by covert operatives who attack their home, they go into hiding, but she refuses. She insists on staying behind, staying in school, confronting the people who attacked her family. She will do what it takes to wrest control of her life from the people seeking to destroy her.

The original idea came to me while watching my daughter in her karate class. I noticed that most girls don't really like sparring very much. It's not that they're afraid of mixing it up in a fight, but that the boys in a typical dojo tend not to have as much control and this annoys the girls. I tried to imagine the girl who wouldn't care about the boys' lack of control, and what her life might be like. The rest of the story just grew around that idea.

As you might expect, there are lots of fight scenes, some intense violence, as well as profound camaraderie. But instead of merely describing the action from the outside, I have tried to present a fight as it would be experienced by the people in the fight. This is a theme implied by the title, Go No Sen, which refers to the way a fight is determined by whoever can seize the initiative.

With my daughter's help, the story grew into a three part series. The sequel, Sen No Sen, will be available in September (we've been working on it all summer!). The third book, Sensei/Sempai, exists only as a rough draft. It will come out by Thanksgiving. We'll put our heads together over Christmas to decide if there is more to Emily Kane's story we want to tell.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I come from a writing family. My grandfather was a very successful children's book author. He even won a couple of Caldicott awards. My father was a professor of neurology, and wrote many medical articles. He taught me how to write directly and clearly by his own constant example. My brother is a journalist and one sister has also published a children's book. My wife, who was a professor of English literature, and a fine literary stylist in her own right, showed me how elegance and forcefulness go together. As you can imagine, writing has always been a part of our family conversations.

As an academic, I have published several scholarly works, and even though this might seem like a far cry from creative fiction, it shares the need to be able to present ideas with sufficient clarity. But I have always tinkered with little creative projects throughout my career. Mostly these have been children's stories, none of which have I taken the trouble to publish. But I'm beginning to reconsider that.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

A manuscript for a children's book, entitled The Cat in My Back Yard. I wrote it about fifteen years ago. I still have it in a notebook on my bookshelf. It's about a little girl stuck at home looking out the window at the wildlife in her backyard. It's an exploration of a child's powers of imagination.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

I've always known that I can tell a tale. Though I didn't realize I could sustain a narrative for a couple hundred pages until Go No Sen. For me, the hardest things have always been to write "life-like" dialogue and to imagine a complete narrative arc. But the way through each of these problems is to imagine your characters as fully as possible. I ask myself what this or that character would do or say. It begins with a single event or conversation.

Each scene implies a few more. The more scenes under your belt, the further along the narrative arc you can see. When I finished the first book, I found that I was already able to see the entire arc for the sequel.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

Because my method grows out of my ability to imagine my characters, I am in a way fascinated by them. I'd love to meet Emily Kane, since I'm currently fascinated by her. Writing is really fun for me because it lets me spend time with the characters. The few hours a day I spend writing are often the happiest part of my day, because I want to find out what happens to them next. That doesn't mean I can't kill them off, of course. Sometimes death is a tribute to a character.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

My mother...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


Thanks so much for sharing with us, Jacques! For more of Jacques' writing, be sure to check out his blog, his Your Book Authors page, of follow him on Twitter.

Be sure to stop by on Thursday to meet author Tallulah Grace!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Nancy Fulda

Thanks for stopping by The Same Six Questions! If this is your first time, welcome! This feature is all about independent authors and the fantastic work they're producing. If you're an author and would like to be featured, click here for more info.

Today's guest is author Nancy Fulda. Welcome Nancy!

Thanks, Andy! I'm a trained computer scientist, an author, a cancer survivor, and an incurable dance fan. I'm also the mother of a child on the autistic spectrum and the evil mastermind behind Yeah, I know. That's a lot of hats.

Well, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule, Nancy!

Now it's time for The Same Six Questions!

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes! Dead Men Don't Cry is a collection of 10 science fiction stories that originally appeared in print and online magazines. It includes my first award-winning story ever. Also two Writers of the Future finalists and my 2006 Apex Digest Halloween Contest winner. (I'm afraid readers will have to wait until the next collection for my Jim Baen Memorial contest winner. I don't have rights reversion on that one yet.)

The stories are thought-provoking, occasionally disturbing, but generally optimistic about mankind and our future on this and other planets. They were a lot of fun to write, and I hope readers will find themselves pondering the stories long after they've turned the last page.

The book is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and DRM-free formats.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since about the fourth grade. I brushed it off as a childhood fantasy, though. I went to college, traveled the world, founded a family, and still wound up back at the keyboard inventing imaginary cultures. I guess there are some parts of yourself you can't leave behind.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

*laughing* It was an ambitious novelette about a winged unicorn named Brimstone who set off on a daring journey to unlock the secrets of her universe. I can still hear her tagging along behind her mother, whining: "But I want to know!" I wrote it in the fifth grade, I think, on my Dad's PC using WordPerfect 5.0. Alas, the floppy disk it was saved on is no longer readable by any modern computer.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

It happened when I sold "The Man Who Murdered Himself" to the Phobos Science Fiction Anthology. There were a lot of great authors in that anthology: Virginia Baker, David Walton, Eric James Stone, James Maxey... I remember flipping through the galley, reading the biographical information and thinking, "If I can make it into an anthology with these people, maybe I can make it as a writer after all."

Ironically, it was my children who made writing a reality for me. Without children, I would have taken a full-time job doing software development. But I wanted kids, and I wanted to stay home with them. Programming was too brain-intensive for a new mother, but writing worked great. In fact, a large number of the stories in Dead Men Don't Cry were typed one-handed while I snuggled a sleeping baby on my lap.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

Good heavens, I wouldn't want to meet any of them! Imagine the flack they'd put me through. "Why did you kill my mother?" "What do you mean, I'm not sentient?" "What kind of author would invent a reality with plasma bees and alkaline lakes?" Nope. Let 'em stay between the pages of their stories. They're less inconvenient that way...

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

I'm trying to remember the last time I screamed like a little girl. I think it was at a family picnic where a pesky wasp kept buzzing at my clothing and I just couldn't take it. I had a small baby at the time, and I swear, those maternal hormones make me hypersensitive to poisonous insects. I loved tarantulas before I had kids. After? Uh-uh. But I think I'm getting off topic. What was the question again...?


Thanks so much, Nancy! I had a moment of nostalgia for floppy disks...then I remembered how unreliable they were and it passed. ;) For more of Nancy and her writing, check out her blog and Amazon author page, or find her on Twitter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Same Six Questions - S.B. Jones

Another chance to meet indie authors on The Same Six Questions! Today, we welcome S.B. Jones to the blog.

Take it away!

Thanks, Andy! I am 33 years old and writing under the pen name S.B. Jones. I live in South Central Idaho in Twin Falls and Hagerman. I have a passport with a lot of stamps in it and have traveled to the hacker convention DefCon in Las Vegas now for five years.

Thanks, S.B.! Now it's time to answer The Same Six Questions...

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes, I have published a book! It is the first of a trilogy titled The Eternal Gateway: Requiem. It is available on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble in both e-book and paperback. I outlined all three books before I began work on the first. It revolves around the hero’s journey in a Steampunk, Science Fiction, and Time Travel setting. The first book is 74,500 words long and took me an estimated 250 hours to write the first draft and several months for the rest before it was launched.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

There never was a moment really that clicked about becoming a writer. I worked for Dell for 8 years in a call center that had me do just about everything from taking calls to getting on a plane and flying to another country to train people. When they decided to shut down the call center I had six months notice and a severance coming. I took that time to trim expenses and invest what I already had to make it last. Then I decided that this was a very opportune time to do something new. The computer world had gotten stale so I decided that I would take the time to do something different. The idea of ‘The Eternal Gateway’ was something I had been kicking around for years.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

Aside from writing the outlines for classes, the only thing I had written before was a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction that I posted in August of 2009. It is still out there as I posted it on the HPFF site. I did go back and look at it for this interview and it’s a pretty sad unedited piece of work. However, I was surprised at how many of the objects and ideas that were in there made it into my own book.

4. When was your first indication, “I can do this (write)”?

I think when it dawned on me that I had something going was when I handed the first rough draft of ‘Requiem’ to my parents to read. My father is a lawyer and reads a lot, but does not read for pleasure. When I handed him a copy he told me that he could count on one hand how many books he has read for entertainment with a roll of his eyes. A weekend later and my mom and sister tell me that he couldn’t put it down and joked about him coming out of his study to tease them that he had read it but couldn’t talk to them about it because they hadn’t. If the syntax-butchered rough draft could do that, then imagine what an edited and polished version could do.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

That’s a tough one. I would have to go with meeting Angela Atagi, the woman who was born a thousand years ago with the ability to fly. A close second would be Bastiana, the psycho child who commands a lot of magical power. They would be a lot of fun to show up at the movie premier with.

6. It’s a dark and stormy’re alone in the house...there’s a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What’s on the doorstep?

I have two answers for this. One would be the ex-wife, that would be the most scary thing to have show up on the doorstep, regardless of the weather. The other would be Gwen Stefani and Zhang Ziyi begging to play a part in the film adaptation of my books.


Thanks for stopping by S.B.! For more of his work, check out his blog or follow him on Twitter.

For more indie author goodness, be sure to stop by on Thursday, when my guest will be Nancy Fulda! See you then!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Bill Grasso

Welcome one and all! Today's visitor to The Same Six Questions is historical fiction author, Bill Grasso! Welcome, Bill!

Thanks, Andy! I grew up on Long Island, NY, but my wife and I have spent most of our adult lives someplace else. After graduating college in 1970, I did a stint as an army officer. Once a civilian again, I gravitated to technical pursuits and NY rock and roll bands (guitar/bass). By 1976, the need to feed a young family was paramount; I took a job as an aircraft mechanic for a major airline in Miami, Florida. Airline jobs tend to be mobile and sometimes fleeting: over the next 30 years, we moved to Atlanta, Georgia; had that airline die under us; then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a series of managerial jobs with another airline. After retiring in 2006, I spent another 2 years as an airline consultant. Good money...but ultimately, the job interfered with my writing (I had gotten the fiction-writing bug pretty strong by 2005).

We’ve been in Tulsa since 1989. We have one son, grown and married, with two boys of his own. He’s a professor of English Lit. at a university in Oklahoma. I seem busier in my retirement than I ever was in my working days, spending my days writing, fixing a never-ending parade of broken things, and flying radio-controlled aircraft. I can still rock out on guitar pretty well, too.

And now for The Same Six Questions!

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes. East Wind Returns, my first novel, was published as an ebook in March 2011. It became available in paperback in May 2011. It’s a story I’ve lived with, developed, and refined over the course of six years.

I’m a lifelong student of history. When you realize how little it would have taken to change most historical outcomes completely, your mind can’t help but speculate. I love alternate historical fiction—my credo is change one thing...and watch what happens. East Wind Returns is set near the end of World War II—July to November 1945—and explores a very different road to that conflict's conclusion. To quote my book blurb:

The American war leaders grapple with a crippling setback: Their secret atomic bomb does not work. The invasion of Japan seems the only option to bring the war to a close. When those leaders suppress intelligence of a Japanese atomic weapon poised against the invasion forces, it falls to John Worth, a young photo reconnaissance pilot, to find the Japanese device.

It’s full of political intrigue, exciting aerial action and passionate romance. John Worth is an everyman turned quiet hero—my favorite type of protagonist. I really loved writing this book.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a fiction writer for as long as I can remember. The trouble is, I couldn’t come up with a story to save my life. I knew I had a talent for writing, though—in my aviation career, I was a prolific writer of tech and industry articles. But coherent fiction? That didn’t start until about 2005—when I was well into my 50s.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction?

East Wind Returns was the first piece I started that didn’t quickly fall apart. I’m not sure of the exact chronology, but in the year it took me to write the first draft, I completed a few short stories (and submitted them, to zero acclaim). One short story is about an over-the-hill NY doo-wop guitarist, from a very bigoted background, who realizes he might have fathered a daughter with a black woman in a drunken haze some 20 years before. The others are about a clever Chicago policewoman who yearns for success as a sculptor. I’m considering expanding the cop/artist stories into a series of short novels and releasing them as ebooks. I think I’d publish them under a pen name, as they’d be radically different in genre from the alternate historical fiction that preceded them under my own name.

4. When was your first indication “I can do this (write)”?

I’ve known I could write in a clear and engaging manner since I started writing non-fiction, aviation-related articles many years ago. I didn’t know I could write fiction that people wouldn’t laugh or spit at until I began shopping East Wind Returns to traditional publishers and agents in 2006. In my hundred or so rejection letters, no one ever said or implied don’t quit your day job. I took that as encouragement.

I received some reinforcement over the next few years. In 2008, I became enamored with screenwriting. I took classes at the local university, ultimately becoming a member of a screenwriters’ workshop that met weekly. From 2008 to 2010, I wrote six feature length and two short screenplays, often adapting stories I had already written in prose. Two of my works (one short, one feature) were semi-finalists in international contests. I took that as a sign that my sense of story (and craft) had finally arrived. Ultimately, I had to make a choice: I could not write novels and screenplays simultaneously—it had to be one or the other. While I loved both mediums, there seems to be almost no commercial outlet available for the works of a novice screenwriter in his 60s who lives outside of LA. Direct e-publishing, on the other hand, provides opportunity to anyone.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I’ve already met the vast majority of my characters, either in person or through the media. The names may be different, but the personalities and traits are the same. I owe a great debt to some of our recent political buffoons for providing models that are wonderfully hateful, intellectually challenged, and morally deficient.

There is one exception, though, and she’s the one I’d most like to meet. I’m currently wrapping up my second novel entitled Unpunished, and she is completely a product of my imagination. Her name is Pola Nilsson-MacLeish, a Swedish economist who falls desperately in love with an American airman interned in Sweden during WWII. She’s brilliant, passionate, and multi-lingual, speaking English with a maddening Scottish accent, the result of honing her language skills with the help of the Scotsman she met and married at the London School of Economics. Ultimately, she proves herself terribly courageous. As an added bonus, she constantly created her own dialogue with very little help from me.

6. It’s a dark and stormy night…What makes you scream like a little girl/boy?

It’s a barrel full of snakes—big ones, with the spade-shaped heads that identify them as poisonous. They’re escaping the barrel, forming a carpet of slithering menace that’s growing quickly across the front yard.

I can imagine the fool who placed the barrel there laughing his head off from a safe distance. I can’t help it...I have an Indiana Jones thing about snakes.

There must be hundreds of snakes in the woods behind our house, but they have the good sense to stay away from civilization—most of the time. Once or twice a summer, though, I seem fated to tangle with one.

Like Indy said, “Why does it always have to be snakes?”

Entertaining stuff, Bill! The book sounds great. Thanks so much for stopping by.

For more on Bill and his writing, check out his Facebook page.

Be sure to stop back on Monday, when we'll indie author Patrick Johnson!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sales Results After 1 Month

With the 1st Month Anniversary of my book launch upon us, I thought I'd throw out some numbers from the last 30 days. As an indie author, I know I've always been curious to see how others are doing, even before I was published. Now, I'm equally curious (and sometimes jealous) to see where others stand.

Let me tell you, it's been an emotional 30 days. There is nothing quite like putting your heart and soul (ie, book) out into the public eye. So far, Multiples has received great reviews (AMZ: 3 US, 1 UK [all 5 stars]; B&N: 1 [4 stars]) and many inquiries into the whereabouts of book 2 (Divisible by Six, which is set to launch by mid-January at the latest). Because it's so easy to track sales, I must admit I've become a bit obsessed. I'm trying to ween myself down from checking every hour, but it's so darned easy! Curse you Amazon! However, despite some authors' totals I've seen in the past, I have not been so obsessive to write down a daily tally.

Here are my totals as of 8/17 at 7:30 AM:

Amazon US: 27
Amazon UK: 1
Amazon DE: 0
Amazon Paperback: 1
B&N: 8
Smashwords: 3 paid, 39 free

Grand total: 40 paid, 39 free.

The freebies through Smashwords were part of a giveaway done through in an attempt to garner reviews. I made 50 ebook copies available and had ~75 people sign up. I had a review appear on LibraryThing today due to the giveaway and though it's 5 stars, I'm not sure I trust the source. It's certainly not one I'd wish to see on Amazon (it's vague and full of typos). But, exposure is exposure, right? ;)

So, what does this all mean? Not much, really. I know the majority of the folks who have purchased my book, as I'm sure happens with most first-time authors. But, I've been really surprised by the response I've had from folks I don't know personally. I must be doing something right 'cause folks seem to be entertained by my writing. And that's all I've ever really hoped for.

Now, I've got to put this launch behind me and focus on book 2. Folks seem much more keen to purchase a book that already has a sequel out than otherwise. A lot less waiting.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my autographed paperback copy giveaway on!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Win An Autographed Copy of Multiples of Six!

Would you like a signed paperback copy of my new book? Just swing on by GoodReads to sign up! If you don't know what GoodReads is, then you're missing out on a wonderful community of readers and writers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Multiples of Six by Andy Rane

Multiples of Six

by Andy Rane

Giveaway ends September 30, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Tiffany Lovering

Today, please welcome to the blog, author Tiffany Lovering! She's here to answer The Same Six Questions!

Thanks, Andy! Well, let me tell you a little about me. I was born in sunny California but moved to upstate New York when I was only three and I’ve been here ever since. I have a beautiful nine year-old daughter, Allison, who keeps me on my toes 24/7 with soccer, plays, and flute lessons. When I have the opportunity to indulge in my own hobbies, I love counted cross-stitch, crocheting, scrapbooking and the occasional computer game. I’m a pretty low-key gal for only thirty years old, but I’ve always loved crafts more than partying late into the night.

Great! Now it's time for...

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

I currently have three self-published books which are all available on Amazonin Kindle format or on Lulu as paperbacks. I mainly write YA fiction for the upper age group in that genre. I’m probably best known for Tamporlea and Unjust which are two books out of my Tamporlea Trilogy which is an upper YA fantasy. It’s about a young girl, Jasmine, who discovers that she can be Queen in a kingdom of magical gypsies. Throughout her journey she encounters betrayal, war between the three gypsy kingdoms, and a love she can’t ignore.

2. When did you know you wanted to bea writer?

I have always known I wanted to be a writer but I never thought I could write anything that someone would actually want to read. I started writing when I was nine but never showed anyone (even my mother) what I was doing. I just wrote to get my own creative energy out and I was okay with being my only reader for a long time.

3. What was your first lengthy pieceof fiction? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

My first lengthy fiction was called Best Friends Forever which was about two girls who are in high school who go to extreme lengths to make their crushes fall in love with them. They do everything short of murder to make the guys forget about anyone except them. It was about 60,000 words and I wrote it when I was fifteen using a typewriter because my mom was too cheap to buy a computer. I have random pages of the book floating around in my study, but many pages are missing after fifteen years of moving to different places. I’ve often thought of re-writing it but who knows when I will get around to it.

4. When was your first indication,"I can do this (write)"?

I was eighteen and in college where I had to take an English course so I chose Creative Writing. I had no idea that we would have to read some of our work out loud. The first time we had to do so, my professor asked that I read first because it was the best short story from a student she had read in a very long time. Then, for later assignments, the other students started requesting that I read my short story first and people would be talking about my stories in the dining hall. It was the first time I thought, wow, I can write stuff other people would actually want to read!

5. If you could meet one of yourcharacters in real life, which would it be?

No doubt about this one, I would love to meet Tyran who is Jasmine’s love interest in the Tamporlea Trilogy. He has this personality that just makes me want to slap him most of the time but it’s impossible not to love him because of how much he goes out of his way to protect Jasmine and the entire kingdom.

6. It's a dark and're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it,look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

My beautiful welcome mat is covered in a hive of killer bees, buzzing so loudly it’s going to haunt me for years to come. I slam the door shut and run down into the basement, trying to separate myself from the hive as much as possible. However, I’m almost positive a few got in during the millisecond that the door was open, so although I’m huddled in the furthest corner in the house, I’m constantly swatting above my head thinking I feel one near me.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Tiffany!
For more on Tiffany and her writing, be sure to check out her website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter!

Thanks again for stopping by. Be sure to come back on Thursday, when my guest will be author Bill Grasso. See you then!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Brent Nichols

Hi there! Today's edition of The Same Six Questions features author Brent Nichols.

Brent is a professional writer and trainer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Bert the Barbarian is currently live at Amazon and Smashwords. It's a science-fiction adventure story with a sword-and-sorcery feel, about a man taken to another planet where he has to escape from slavery, find his friend Janice, rescue her, and try to get back to Earth. I've also got Lord of Fire, which is a fun sword-and-sorcery book, and Cinderella's Blues, which is a re-telling of the Cinderella story in which Cinderella kicks more butt than the original.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I was a voracious reader when I was a little wee lad. These novelists who'd been dead for decades before I was even born were having this huge impact on my life. I knew I wanted to be like them, to wield that same amazing power. I've always wanted to be a writer.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

I wrote some epic poetry and some short stories in High School. I don't have any of it these days. I also wrote a novel when I was 18. That one I still have, though it was very much a 'learner' book, and I have no plans to publish it.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

I remember a High School English class where we had to read our short stories aloud to the class. I remember the whole room going silent when I got to the suspenseful parts, and everyone laughing right on cue when I got to the parts that were supposed to be funny.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

There is a minor character named Kali in Bert the Barbarian. She's very lively and likeable. She tended to take over every scene she was in, and her role kept getting bigger and bigger. I'd love to hang out with her.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

I have this one ex-girlfriend who scares me green...


Thanks for stopping by Brent! For more information on Brent and his writing, check out his blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Same Six Questions - Jason Kristopher

Today’s episode of The Same Six Questions features author Jason Kristopher. Take it away, Jason!

Thanks, Andy! I was born in Waco, Texas, and spent the first years of my life moving with my family around northern Texas and the Panhandle, including Lubbock. After settling in northern Colorado, I spent nearly two decades there soaking up the creative energy and enjoying the beautiful weather, before moving back to Texas ten years ago for "real" work.

Throughout this long journey, I continued to write all kinds of fiction, including fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and children's tales, and even tried penning a poem or two. My family members were constantly invited to read incomplete works; finally, on pain of death, I finished my first novel, and hope that their ire will be at least somewhat sated.

I currently live in Houston and enjoy reading, writing, movies, music (live and not), the Houston Astros (winning and not) and the Texas hill country, especially the vineyards.

Thanks for that, Jason. Now it’s time for The Same Six Questions!

1. Have you published a book yet?

Indeed, I have! It’s a zombie apocalypse novel that one reviewer called “the best zombie book since World War Z!” It’s got 4.6/5 stars at Amazon, with 26 reviews, nothing less than 4 stars. For 410 pages and only $3.99 (on Kindle), it’s a heck of a bargain. It’s a good solid story, with a focus more on the characters and how they deal with the end of the world—and each other—rather than concentrating on just the zombie-bashing… although there’s plenty of action, too. Lots of readers have said that it reminded them of The Walking Dead on AMC, which is great, because that’s exactly the feel I was going for.

Here’s the blurb:
"I didn't see Rebecca die the second time."

The United States military hides a secret: the completely real existence of eat-your-brains, one-bite-and-you're-dead zombies. The Army has known they exist for over a hundred years, and has been quietly and expertly keeping the secret.

Until now.

His hometown destroyed, with everyone he has ever known dead and gone, the sole survivor of the massacre at Fall Creek joins a secret military group to combat the single greatest threat our world has ever faced. Unfortunately, his help may come too late. Even as victories over the walkers mount, the seeds of our ultimate doom are sown from within, and at the last, only a brave few may survive to carry on.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I would say always, but it’s only been in the last couple years that I decided to actually make a go of it and put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. I started putting pen to paper in 7th grade (don’t ask me how long ago that was, thanks), and I knew then that I was going to have this be a part of my life for a long, long time. As it stands, I figured out the other day that with just the ideas I have right now, I could write for forty years—if I put out four books a year. That’s novels, not short stories or novellas. 100,000+ words or more. And that’s just the ideas I have now; I get more every day.

I’ll be eighty *mumble* and have more than 100 books by the time I’m done with all those. I’d call that a pretty good career. But the kicker is, it doesn’t feel like work, to me. And that is the best feeling in the world, to do something you love as your job. It just doesn’t get better than that.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

My first lengthy piece was that one I wrote in 7th grade, about a crashed alien wolf and the boy who finds him. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the way I wrote it – shifting viewpoints back and forth between the two of them – was pretty advanced, according to my English teacher. It was very, very rough and needed a lot of work, but he was surprised I’d come up with something like that. It’s been lost to the depths of my “keepsakes,” sadly – or scattered to the four winds – but I still have most of my other unfinished works.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

When I hit the final period on that last page. I remember thinking “Holy crap!” The genie doesn’t go back in the bottle, and I realized that nothing in my life would be the same ever again. Because I’d done it. It didn’t matter if I never sold that book or made a dime off it; I was a writer, and I’d written a whole novel. An original idea, set on paper by me, and it was good. I knew then that there was no way I could keep doing the 8-5 grind that everyone else does. This was the life for me, pure and simple.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I would meet Kimberly Barnes, and hope she was single, or write her that way. Seriously, though, I’d meet any of them. They’re almost all good people, and even the nasty ones started out good. Except Gardner. At the very least, they’re interesting, and I would love to hear more about their stories that I don’t know. It would be surreal at best, but I could really get into their heads and find out what makes them tick, and that could only make the sequels to my book better. And Kimberly is pretty good-looking, too.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Michael Myers. And they’re arguing about how best to carve me up. Those movies always scared me and are a primary motivation for me not watching horror movies now. And yes, I realize it’s more than a little ironic that a horror writer doesn’t like horror movies. But any of those three would scare me that much. Or Charlie, from Ania Ahlborn’s Seed. Uber-creepy.


Great answers Jason! Thanks for stopping by.

For more information on Jason and his writing, check out his profile, publishing site, follow him on Twitter, or like him on Facebook!

Be sure to stop by on Thursday, when my guest will be indie author Brent Nichols. Until then, keep writing and reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Same Six Questions - J.R. Tomlin

Welcome back to another edition of The Same Six Questions! Today, we have author J.R. Tomlin. Take it away J.R.!

Thank you, Andy! Born in the US, in Texas to be specific, to a Scottish father and very native-Texan mother, I grew up both in South Texas and in Edinburgh, Scotland. I attended university at the University of Texas at Austin and now live in Oregon where I enjoy hiking on the rare occasion it isn't raining. I write historical fiction set in the Scottish War of Independence and co-author fantasy novels with C.R. Daems.

Now, for those Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes, several. I think the best introduction to my writing is my historical novel, Freedom's Sword, which is set at the end of the 13th century in Scotland. You see, before William Wallace... before Robert the Bruce... there was another Scottish hero. In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fought to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he was dragged in chains to an English dungeon. Soon, the young knight escaped. He returned to find Scotland under the heel of a conqueror and his betrothed sheltering in the hills of the Black Isle. Seizing his own castle, he raised the banner of Scottish freedom to lead the north of Scotland to rebellion in hope of defeating the English army sent to crush them.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing poetry when I was about eight. I gave that up when I realized I would never be a W.H. Auden. However, I always knew I would be a writer, if not a poet. I hardly remember a time when I didn't write. I worked for various publications writing non-fiction and as a journalist and also in advertising, but my love and goal was always writing fiction. About five years ago, I decided that I would work to achieve that goal even though it meant financial sacrifices. Starting as a fiction author in today's market is not easy. Worthwhile, but not easy.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

I wrote my first fiction, it was about Scotland and Robert the Bruce the day he killed the Red Comyn, when I was fifteen. I no longer have any of my early writings. I destroyed them because I wasn't happy with them. I was right that they were not publication worthy, but sentimentally, I wish I had kept them anyway.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

This will sound terrible, but I always knew I could do it—as long as “it” isn't poetry. I still rather mourn that I can't write poetry. I won awards for my writing all through school and non-fiction comes very easily to me. Fiction? That's harder, but I think an author has to have a pretty sturdy ego about their writing. If you believe people who say you can't, you won't, because, believe me, there are plenty of people out there who will tell you that you can't write. I will never forget the editor who responded to one of my early fiction pieces by telling me, “Stories like this are why I stopped reading fantasy.” Well, he was right that it didn't deserve publication, but if I hadn't known I could do it, I would have stopped writing that day. Or any number of days since either when I hate something I've written or when someone else tells me they did in less than kind terms.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I'm not sure he is “mine” since he is a real historical person, but the great fighter, Sir Andrew de Moray, would be welcome to show up at my door any day. I'd love to ask him how he managed the courage to fight against such overwhelming odds and about the other great heroes who fought beside him. Fictional characters? I am very fond of Tamra, the heroine in my coauthored Blood Duty, which will be out at the end of July.

6. It's a dark and stormy're alone in the house...there's a knock at the open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

Oh, the monster from Blood Duty called an Ixich: “Between the ranked masses of the soldiers stalked the mammoth Ixich. Its scaled black body towered three times the height of any man. As it walked, its two heads glared ahead, teeth snapping and dripping venom. Each of its four arms ended in a fist empty of weapons except for its sword-like talons.” It's a nasty, nasty thing to meet on the doorstep.


Thanks so much for stopping by, J.R.!
Be sure to check out J.R.'s blog for more information.

Stop back on Monday and visit with author Jason Kristopher! See you then!