The Lovey-Dovey Stuff is my Favourite

M.L. Sparrow Author Interview

M.L. Sparrow Author Interview

Player follows Chloe, a British student attending college in the United States where she falls in love with a star football player. What was the inspiration to write a story about a British girl living in the United States and the subsequent love story?

Well, I actually applied to study in America (Texas being my first choice!), however, due to various reasons I ended up not going. This story sprang from that and, of course, I had to make it a romance because the lovey-dovey stuff is my favourite thing to write!

I felt that the relationship between Chole and Parker was deep and always entertaining to read. What was the inspiration for the love that develops between Chloe and Parker?

To be honest, their love wasn’t inspired by anything, it just grew and developed as I wrote the story. I’m so happy with the way that their relationship turned out; I liked the way Chloe and Parker were together, but I also thought that they were also strong characters apart.

What was one scene in the novel that you felt captured the morals and message you were trying to deliver to readers?

Probably the scene where Parker punches one of his team mates for being rude to Chloe, because the message that I was trying to get across in this book was that New Adult romances don’t need to be jam-packed with unrealistic drama, with hero’s that are ridiculously overprotective and get into fights at the smallest provocation. That’s not real life. In real life you can’t go around punching people that annoy you. In real life you have to talk to your partner otherwise there WILL be misunderstandings. In the scene that I’m talking about Chloe is not accepting of Parkers behaviour and makes it clear that she won’t put up with it, instead of just accepting it or thinking its sexy.

Player is the first book in the What Happens on Campus series. Can you tell us a little about where the story goes in book two and when the novel will be available?

Book two will be Flirt, Riley and Cameron’s book and it will explore Riley’s broken dreams and the reasons behind her escalating drug abuse, among other issues. I haven’t actually started writing it yet, though I plan to soon, and I’m hoping to have it ready for release in mid/late 2017.

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PlayerLet the game begin…

After a tragic accident which leaves her tormented by guilt, Chloe Newman accepts a scholarship to study a St. Joseph’s University. Traveling from England to Texas, the last thing she expects is to meet the schools charming quarterback on her first night. However, Parker Mitchell is a player both on and off the field.

Parker is immediately fascinated by Chloe and, after a rocky start, they manage to find a way to make their relationship work despite interference from others on campus, including Parkers jealous ex, and the ghosts that haunt Chloe’s conscience. But, the real test comes when they visit Parker’s family over Christmas break and he finds himself being pulled back into their lifestyle…

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Silverblood Demons

Silverblood Demons (Daughters of Darkness #1)3 StarsThere are reasons why you should be afraid of what goes bump in the night. Our dreams are not always our own and the thought that we may be visited during our sleep is an idea that Turhan Halil explores in the novel Silverblood Demons. Our protagonist, Kylar, is faced with the strange reality that perhaps those overtly sexual dreams he has been having for some time have produced something he wasn’t quite ready for: daughters. Now that he knows about their existence it’s up to him to save them from the demonic world where they have been raised since birth. Kylar learns that demons are very real and that they are more than the stuff of fairy tales and legends. In an almost whirlwind fashion Kylar is plunged into this unexpected quest to rescue the daughters he never knew he had.

While Silverblood Demons is formatted much like a Young Adult novel, the contents are quite above what the average fourteen-year-old should be reading. Love is had and love is lost in the pages of this book. Our protagonist finds himself a father at the tender age of twenty-three. The story is involved and there don’t appear to be any characters created just for the sake of creating them, which is a downfall many authors can find themselves in with such a large cast. Everyone has a role to play and they do so quite well.

However, the tale can be very confusing. The first chapter alone contains such a whirlwind of events it leaves the reader wondering what just happened. This is caused in part by the overly relaxed language used and the sheer strangeness of the events that occur. I feel that a good editor could of helped this novels pacing. The unquestioning nature of those around Kylar as he tells them about his plight to rescue demonic daughters from hell creates an unrealistic atmosphere which can detract from the story. Everyone is too nice, too accepting and too readily involved in such a bizarre turn of events.

One way that Halil shines is the imagination it would have taken to concoct this story. The descriptions are quite well done and the way the characters are all tied together is quite neat. Certain relationships are important in the story and the idea of parenthood is a whole lot easier when your daughters are teenagers. But there’s another quest intertwined with Kylar retrieving his kin. Something that will leave readers quite surprised.

While the grammatical errors can make reading Turhan Halil’s Silverblood Demons difficult, if you’re looking for a light read that you don’t have to think about too hard, you won’t be disappointed. There’s something for everyone: romance, sex, adventure and mystery. It’s a perfect little package wrapped up in not-so-lovely paper. Keep in mind that this is book one in a trilogy so whatever questions you may find yourself asking at the end will sure to be answered by picking up the next volume and giving it a read.

Pages: 266 | ASIN: B00JFOK0GG

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Paroxysm Effect

Paroxysm Effect4 StarsHuman beings can be the most destructive, manipulative creatures on the planet. Ashleigh Reynolds captures this with fierce elegance in her novel Paroxysm Effect. What begins with a futuristic world where people are chipped in order to control their emotions devolves into an end-of-the-world scenario that will have you guessing what Reynolds possibly dreams about at night. Our protagonist, Gemi, finds herself in the center of the world’s destruction as people all over begin to succumb to madness as the chips they have lived with for untold amounts of time begin to go haywire. Mild mannered receptionists are ready to dice their coworkers to pieces. Strangers in the streets are murdering others before anyone can fully grasp what is going on. Gemi tumbles out into the middle of this madness only to be rescued by the handsome Jaxton and his military band of unchipped soldiers.

In order to read this book, you must be comfortable with blood: because there is a lot of it. Between the savage beatings in the streets there follows the betrayal of friendships and the viciousness of angry, threatened women. Gemi is a fish out of water: she’s being pulled along for the ride as the military group tries to save themselves from the regular humans whose chips have malfunctioned. We learn that military members are not chipped in an effort to keep their emotions clear and functioning: they need the ability to make snap decisions. Gemi is considered a normal human from a society where chipping is commonplace. With the world going to hell around them, it’s no wonder that other members of the group look upon her with disdain and treat her like a parasite; all while waiting for her to go berserk so they can put her down.

The severity of the attacks seems to increase along with the page numbers. Reynolds is not afraid to show the ugliness that permeates the human soul. While human beings tend to pride themselves as refined and cultured, Paroxysm Effect shows how twisted and despicable they truly are.

With a quick pace and excellent story-telling, Reynolds isn’t afraid to push boundaries and ideals in her novel. For her debut into the literary world she certainly didn’t waste any time getting to the nitty gritty. You can feel the time and effort Reynolds put into developing her world and her characters. She sees the story all the way through; even with the massive twist at the end. While most twists tend to negate everything that happened before them, Reynolds instead uses her twist to full advantage and propels the tale along.

If you’re in the mood to have your mind played with while pondering the potential benefits of a behavior modifying chip, give Paroxysm Effect a read first and then determine how comfortable you’d be leaving your emotions, the very things that compile our personalities and make us who we are, in someone else’s dastardly hands.

Pages: 296 | ISBN: 1523449233

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The Everlasting Fight

Brent Thomas Author Interview

Brent Thomas Author Interview

The Deadly Troubadours seek to make a name for themselves by stealing a dragons egg. What was the inspiration that created this fantastic journey these characters go on?

There are two basic inspirations for this quest. The first and likely more obvious one, is alcohol. I have lived in Japan for over a decade and office drinking parties are a part of the culture. I certainly think this was on my mind when I decided the quest should began basically due to bragging while inebriated. As for the actual quest for the dragon egg, I wanted something relatively small scale. By that I mean a common element in fantasy is the everlasting fight against the eternal evil that threatens to destroy the world. And nothing against that books that use that in their stories, but I wanted this to be an adventure of our heroes making.

There are several well developed characters in this story. Kestra, Demetrius, Talbert, and Aleksander. What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating these characters?

To be honest I’ve never really thought about them in that way. I wanted them to be likable, even if they don’t always make the best choices. I wanted them to feel real in that we can understand their motivations even as they make those choices. I’m trying really hard to think of certain morals that I was thinking of, but I really do think I was more aiming for roundness of character, which sounds horribly egotistically of me.I would say that here are four people who are striving to make themselves better people while doing their past to remain loyal to each other and honest with each other about their mistakes.

I felt this story was very well written. What’s your experience as a writer?

Thank you! Writing has always been a hobby for me, even if at times has been a neglected one. I’ve been working on little short stories, many half finished, since elementary school. I had ringed-notebooks filled with little hand-written tales that have probably been tossed in the trash years ago. During college I tried a bit of play writing on things that never got produced even locally. After graduation I moved to Japan and did blogging on and off to keep the folks back home caught up with my life and that slowly petered out. Finally I got a job where I spent two days teaching special needs lessons and three days sitting at my work desk staring into a computer with too little work to do. That was when I remembered writing and starting a new blog, which transformed into my current site, and started writing little short stories to pass time because I figured if I was typing in English while looking seriously into the monitor everyone around me would just assume I was doing work. Deadly Troubadours actually started as a one off story about a little thief-mage running from some guards. Something about that story got stuck in my head and I kept thinking “What happened next?”

What is the next book that you are writing and when will that be published?

It is going to be a sequel to Deadly Troubadours. It is tentatively called “Sand, Sea, and Stone”. I’m hoping to have it released March 2017 and I will be starting a crowdfunding campaign to do a print run, much like I did with Deadly Troubadours. That campaign will likely start January 2017.

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Deadly TroubadoursWho are the Deadly Troubadours? Artists? Thieves? Pranksters? Punks? The answer depends on who you ask. In the summer city of Tryst the Deadly Troubadours seek to make a name for themselves – unfortunately that leads to a stupid oath after a night of heavy drinking. Because of course it does. Kestra: former gladiator. Demetrius Tate: magician and huckster. Talbert Gretchen: academic in exile. Aleksander: master of song. Will their actions earn them fame or infamy? Do they know they are out of their depths? Are they truly stupid enough to fight a dragon? Yes, yes they are. Because they are the Deadly Troubadours.

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I Dove Into This Dystopian World

Mark Tullius Author Interview

Mark Tullius Author Interview

25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, radical religion, and extreme population control. What was the spark that made you want to write a book with such dystopian themes?

The idea for 25 Perfect Days came about after my wife suggested that I connect “5 Minutes Alone” and “Four Percent,” two short stories I’d been trying to publish. Once I saw the possibilities, I dove into this dystopian world. I had been spending a lot of time researching police brutality, government conspiracies, and the abuse of human rights, so this was my chance to work through the anger I had toward these injustices.

There is a large cast of characters in this novel. What was your favorite character to write for and why?

Tough question, but I have to go with Michael Adams, the father in “Five Minutes Alone.” I reworked this story several times, even after it’d been published, because my perspective changed after I became a father. I forced this character to make a very difficult decision and discovered a lot about him in the process.

The novel is really a collection of short stories, much like the novel World War Z. Why did you choose this format to tell the story?

I began my writing career with short stories and absolutely love being able to tell a story in just a matter of pages. The short story format however comes with many limitations, especially when protagonists routinely die and there are hard-to-find connections between stories. I intended each of the stories to be capable of standing alone, but also add something to the overall collection. One of my favorite aspects of this format is that I could pop right back into it and expand it to showcase a new character or an unjust law as I did with 5 More Perfect Days (included in the bonus edition.)

In 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More you tackle a lot of extreme social viewpoints. Do you think there is anything today that you once thought only fiction, but has become reality?

I’m afraid I haven’t been all that creative in imagining some of these desperate situations, as I’ve simply exaggerated what is already taking place in different parts of the world. Outlawing homosexuality, the use of indentured servants, our dependency on technology, the corruption and oppressive potential of both religion and government. The biggest compliment I’ve been given in reviews is that 25 has made readers consider their rights and how important they are to hold onto.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will that be published?

Early 2017 I will be releasing Unlocking the Cage which documents my four-year journey where I traveled to 25 states and over 100 gyms to interview 400 MMA fighters. Summer will mark my return to fiction with Try Not to Die: In Brightside and Ain’t No Messiah.

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25 Perfect Days: Plus 5 More25 Perfect Days, named one of IndieReader’s Best Indie Books for 2013, just got better with the addition of 5 More Perfect Days. A totalitarian state doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a slow, dangerous slide. 25 Perfect Days Plus 5 More chronicles the path into a hellish future of food shortages, contaminated water, sweeping incarceration, an ultra-radical religion, and the extreme measures taken to reduce the population. Through twenty-five interlinked stories, each written from a different character’s point of view, 25 Perfect Days captures the sacrifice, courage, and love needed to survive and eventually overcome this dystopian nightmare.

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Taking Zombies Back to Their Voodoo Origin

William Burke Author Interview

William Burke Author Interview

Voodoo Child follows Army chopper pilot Maggie Child after she’s shot down over Iraq and her well-ordered life spirals into a paranormal nightmare. What was the inspiration for creating a zombie novel with such a strong female protagonist?

The positive feedback I’ve been getting about Maggie is really satisfying because it was kind of an outside the box decision. I thought moving away from the standard male action hero would give the books a unique perspective. The zombie genre tends to have main characters that are either Delta Force operators, or Joe Everyman heroes who blossom into post-apocalyptic commandos, so I wanted to go in a different direction. With Maggie Child I wanted to create a protagonist that was strong and capable, while still being emotionally vulnerable. That’s especially important given what she has to endure over the course of the book. Maggie is a trained soldier but her compassion and embracing her spiritual side will become her greatest strengths. I think she’s someone readers of both genders can get behind.

Maggie, Sarafina and Lavonia are the three main characters of this tale and they couldn’t be more different from each other. Which character do you feel you relate to and why?

Well each of the trio represents a distinct facet of human nature, with Maggie as the person of action, Sarafina as the spiritual and emotional conscience and Lavonia representing our basest instincts. I suppose Maggie is the one that I and probably most other people would relate to. We all hope that if a great duty were thrust upon us we’d rise to the challenge like her. I think it will be fun to watch her blossom from a good, strong person into a truly great one. BUT I freely admit that Lavonia is always a blast to write because she’s such a shameless, self-centered sociopath. She’s irresistible.

There are a lot of zombie novels out there. How do you feel Voodoo child stands out from the rest?

The biggest difference was taking zombies back to their supernatural, voodoo roots. The current wave (or tsunami) of zombie novels are inspired by George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which reinvented zombie mythology. Thanks to Romero’s influence literary and cinematic zombies have evolved into thoroughly modern monsters, usually the byproduct of a mutated virus, military experiment or some other consequence of our technological society. That’s ironic because zombies are actually rooted in traditional Caribbean Voodoo- a very agrarian culture that hasn’t changed much in centuries. Taking zombies back to their voodoo origin allows me to explore the rich tapestry of voodoo spirits and legends. Later novels in the series will dive more deeply into that realm. It also meant I could discard the current “Zombie Rulebook” while inventing my own mythology. I think readers will enjoy the ride. Another difference is focusing on a core group of female lead characters, both as heroes and as the main human villain. I think that casts a unique light on the genre. I enjoyed exploring the characters relationships, particularly with Maggie, who, coming from an army background is very guarded about her femininity and romantic relationships, whereas the Sarafina, the Voodoo priestess is completely guided by her heart and emotions. They make an unlikely duo that not only forms a deep friendship, but also bond as master and pupil. And finally there’s the slightly twisted humor that underscores the action, which I hope is a welcome addition. Maybe Voodoo Child is the zombie novel for people who are growing weary of zombie novels.

Voodoo Child is the first book in a series and it does an excellent job of setting the stage for the story to come. Can you tell us more about where the story and characters go after book one?

We’ll discover that the supernatural forces at work will embolden other Voodoo spirits to come forward and assert themselves, turning the island of Fantomas into a brave new world of gods and monsters. This includes Marinette- The Lady of the Screech Owl, a spirit from the traditional Voodoo pantheon that’s considered so horrible only an insane person would evoke her. Pages from the ancient Voodoo spell book have been scattered across the globe, placing great power in the wrong hands. Sarafina will try to use her portion of the ancient text for good, but she’ll struggle with the book’s power to corrupt even the purest of hearts. Maggie will be grappling emotionally with her new role as a more than human warrior. To achieve that she’ll have to embrace her spiritual side, which isn’t easy for someone who, until recently, was a professed atheist. Plus (without throwing in too many first book spoilers) Both Maggie and Lavonia will be struggling with some severe mommy issues. The US Navy is heading for Fantomas to quarantine the island and render aid to its citizens. That won’t end well at all. Plus Talos Corporation is still in the mix and another rouge nation (not mentioning any names) has its eye on Fantomas. And of course Lavonia wants her lost money back, even if that means unleashing a zombie army to do it. It’s going to be full of fun, surprises… and monsters.

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Voodoo Child (Zombie Uprising, #1)Army chopper pilot Maggie Child has a reputation for being fearless, professional and, above all, rational. But when she’s shot down over Iraq her well-ordered life spirals into a paranormal nightmare. Alone, wounded and surrounded by hostile forces, Maggie is rescued from certain death by a demon straight out of Dante’s Inferno. Then, barely alive, she’s abducted by a private military corporation conducting insidious medical experiments. Her escape from their covert hellhole lands her on a Caribbean island where an evil voodoo spirit and a psychotic female dictator are conspiring to unleash an apocalyptic zombie plague. Then she uncovers the most terrifying secret of all—her own destiny. It seems a Voodoo oracle has ordained her the only warrior capable of saving humanity from a supernatural Armageddon … whether she wants the job or not! But saving the world isn’t a one-woman job, so she teams up with a trio of unlikely heroes—a conspiracy obsessed marijuana smuggler, a Voodoo priestess with an appetite for reality television, and a burnt out ex-mercenary. Together, they’ll take on an army of the walking dead, with the fate of humanity resting in their eccentric hands. Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising is the first novel in a new horror series packed with supernatural thrills, rousing adventure, dark humor, Voodoo lore and plenty of zombie stomping action. But a word of warning; don’t shoot these zombies in the head … because that just makes them mad!

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Thawing A.C. Nielsen

Thawing A.C. Nielsen4 StarsMystery, suspense, reality television and revenge all come crashing together in this entertaining story written by Paul Carey. Thawing A.C. Nielsen starts off with dated entries, much like a diary, as we gain very little backstory on what is to be a wild ride. It opens to a nameless man being rescued from the depths of a frozen body of water. This revival is short lived, but is important to the rest of the story. Flash forward to Kate, a young and intelligent woman who wants nothing more than to stare into a microscope for the rest of her life. At the urging of her friend she goes for a job interview at the one place that will make her desires reality. Our fierce protagonist gets a little more than she bargained for when she joins up with ExitStrategy, a facility that is devoted to cryogenics and the revival of those who should be dead.

One of the best things about Thawing A.C. Nielsen is how the characters talk. There is a fair bit of dialogue but each person sounds real. They communicate like they would if they were to stand in your living room. This makes reading this tale a lot easier on the mind. Many mystery novels or those who pride themselves on suspense get caught up in setting a ‘mood’ that makes their tales very unrealistic. The fact that the reader can identify with the characters not only through their speech, but through their actions, makes the entire tale feel like something you could read about in the news tomorrow.

This can be a double-edged sword, however. Because the characters speak so ‘modernly’ it’s quite grating to read some of the speech and hear it in your mind as you read. There are some slang words that should never be printed and it does a very good job at showing how reality television stars need to work on their linguistics.

Having a strong female lead who works in an area where women are underrepresented gives this tale a special place in the world. Not only does Kate work in a science-driven industry, she is respected by her male colleagues and never once is she demeaned or demanded of due to her sex. These types of tales are few and far between.

It’s clear that Carey did his research before writing his book. There is a scene where knowledge of medicine and medical terminology is paramount to understanding what is happening. Carey doesn’t skimp on the language and has obviously done more than just do an internet search or watch television. It’s not so in-depth that the average reader with no background would be lost but just realistic enough to bring the characters on the page to life, quite literally.

If you’re looking for a fun adventure with wily manipulative old women and socially challenged geniuses, you will find all that and more in the pages of our tale. Hold on to your hearts and keep your eyes peeled as you try to figure out the mystery of Thawing A.C. Nielsen.

Pages: 368 | ASIN: B01LOHEP7G

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Girls Are Most Empowered When We Lift Each Other Up

Rose M. Channing Author Interview

Rose M. Channing Author Interview

The Mansion’s Twins follows Ellie and Savannah Senka, fourteen year old twins who run away from home and journey to a magical world. What was the inspiration behind Ellie and Savannah being twins and the bond they have?

It felt right for the story for a couple of reasons. First, it was important to me to have well-rounded female characters girls could relate and look up to. Sometimes in fantasy books, when there’s a “strong female character,” she stands alone, and ends up bashing other girls in order to set herself apart. In reality, girls are most empowered when we lift each other up. Having two female protagonists gave me the opportunity to show this. Ellie and Savannah learn to work together, support each other, and bring out the best in each other. I also had twins in mind because I always wanted a twin sister. I actually built them around my idea of an ideal sibling relationship–of course, I wanted them to be real, so they couldn’t be perfect. But I always wanted to share that kind of connection and understanding with another person, especially because I did not have it with my own sister.

The new world is full of magic, but it’s filled with danger after being destroyed by a terrible storm. I found this new world to be intriguing. What were you hoping to accomplish when developing this world and do you feel you’ve told the whole story?

I wanted a world readers could immerse themselves in, that was similar to our own enough to be familiar, but with magic integrated deeply enough to be captivating. I also wanted to show how the people reacted to this disaster, mainly the way they came together in the mansion. I certainly haven’t told the whole story yet, but there are many sequels to come!

I think the twins go through some very challenging obstacles throughout the story and grow because of it. Was there anything from your own life that you put into these characters?

I think there are at least pieces from my own life that I put into every character I have, and some are more obvious than others. For example, Savannah stands out to me. I’m naturally a shy person, and have often found myself in situations where I’ve needed to step outside my comfort zone to accomplish something. This gave me strong connection with Savannah, who has to do the same in the story. She is quiet and careful by nature, and learns throughout the book how to find her voice and confidence.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be published?

My current work in progress is called “Acapella Angels.” It tells the story of Ellie and Savannah’s parents, Cassandra and Travis, in the days leading up to the storm. It will reveal their first meeting, how they fell in love, Cassandra’s time in Summer’s Angels, and the mysteries behind the storm itself! I plan to release it later this month.

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The Mansion's TwinsEllie and Savannah Senka, fourteen year old twins, ran away from their unhappy homes, thinking they’d return after a brief adventure. Together, they journey to another world. The new world is full of magic, but though it was once beautiful, it is damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous after a terrible storm. Ellie and Savannah may be the only ones with the power to restore the world to its original state, for the magic of twins is rare and powerful. The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are, and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance. They discover their own magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them.

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What If The Heroes Were Just Some Schmucks

Tim  Owens Author Interview

Tim Owens Author Interview

The Hobbymen follows Geoff and Book who are Amateur Monster Biologists that are out to separate truth from fairytale no matter how bizarre it may be. Where did the idea for ‘Amateur Monster Biologists’ come from?

It was born out of boredom. After consuming media for over 25 years, I had become bored with the same stories popping up. I was bored with prophecies and characters destined to save the world. I was bored with all these rules about monsters that were in place for no reason other than tradition. I was bored with something as silly as a werewolf being treated with dignity and respect. So I thought, “What if all these myths were only half the story? What if the heroes were actually just some schmucks who had no idea what they were doing? Why don’t we take all the folklore to the stupidest conclusion we can find?” Because I don’t take myself too seriously and thought it was high time modern fantasy reflected that mindset. Also they’re biologists rather than hunters because hunting becomes a game of “find monster, kill monster” and having it be research is not only more fun, it opens a lot more possibility for exploring different aspects of the world they live in.

There is a lot of witty banter and sarcasm being thrown around by the characters. Did you have fun writing this novel?

I really did, sometimes more than I expected. Large portions of the book were sort of mentally written in my head as I was driving or just going throughout my day, but some scenes were completely unplanned and ended up being the most fun by just having the characters bounce off each other. The worst part was always coming up with a bit that got me really excited and it wouldn’t show up for another 3 chapters. I always had to slow myself down and make sure each chapter was worthwhile, even if I wasn’t as excited about it initially.

Liliana is a down-on-her-luck young nun who’s caught stealing a loaf of bread in a little town in Mexico. How did her character develop as you were writing?

Very slow and difficult. That’s what happens when the basis for your character started as “nun that beats things with a bat”. Having her be the audience surrogate in the beginning helped because it gave me a couple chapters for her to breathe before I really needed to know what she was about. I had a good handle on her about half way through the book, and made sure to go back and make sure she was consistent throughout. A lot of things for her sort of fell into place. Her cohorts were each at opposite ends of the spectrum, so she became a mixture of short-tempered and goofy to balance it out.  She needed to be strong and independent, yet still function as a part of a team.  My biggest focus was always to make sure her actions and dialogue came from herself as a character, and not as “the girl of the group” or “stock archetype #15”. I think a lot of the time she was the hardest to write just because she is somehow the least extreme in terms of her personality.

What were some books or movies that you think were your main sources of inspiration?

I tend to take inspiration from many places, which probably comes across as a cop out answer. The real answer is I grew up watching horror movies, reading Stephen King and Poe, and watching a little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000. The latter, for any unaware, essentially aired old B-movies and made fun of them. As a kid I loved the concept and my family ended up doing it on our own for any movie we watched. So unwittingly the concept for a book where monsters and myths are handled with a heaping dose of self-awareness and eye rolling was planted fairly early in my mind. But in terms of writing I tend to find inspiration through a lot of the classics. Like I think Catch-22 is an amazing tool in teaching about how to create the tone of a scene or how Dickens made sure to utilize his prose to make mundane events a joy to read.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?

I am currently finishing up on a short story in the Hobbymen universe titled “Truth, Dare, Scissors” which is going to be released sometime before October. It’s the second short story I’ve written with these characters, the first being “Interview with a Vampire Named Bob” which acts as a prequel to the book. I am currently working on a sequel as well. What can I say, I enjoy these characters and I’m too lazy to come up with new ones for now. The next full novel is too far away to estimate, but I will definitely be finishing it.

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The HobbymenSister Liliana has not been having the best of days. Between running away from the convent and then being thrown into a desolate prison, she has started to lose hope of having a fun Wednesday. That is until she meets two strange men with a rather peculiar hobby: Amateur Monster Biology. From ancient monsters to urban legends, Geoff and Book are out to separate truth from fairytale, no matter how bizarre or ridiculous that truth may be. And as they have found, there is truth in everything. Soon Liliana is caught in a whirlwind of adventure as they show her a side of the world she never thought existed, filled with fantastic creatures hiding in plain sight. But just as it seems her life is finally turning around, the group get a foreboding message from an unexpected, sinister source. Are the three of them in over their heads this time? Yes…the answer is yes.

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A Short Story Thought Experiment

Derek Edgington Author Interview

Derek Edgington Author Interview

Immortal: Curse of the Deathless is a fantasy novel bursting at the seams with an intricate world waiting to be discovered. What was the inspiration that drove the development of the world Asher lives in?

Immortal started as a short story thought experiment: I wanted to try integrating a character’s internal thoughts into the story, as well as (at some points) speak directly to the audience. After I started writing, I knew fairly quickly that Asher’s story required me to write something approaching “book” length. So I started world building and writing character descriptions, and Immortal: Curse of the Deathless was the product of that. It definitely is a little rough around the edges (I’m in the process of producing another edition to clean up egregious editing errors), but that was part of its charm. Asher is an unfiltered character, and while his story is one that won’t appeal to everyone, it’s one that I truly enjoyed writing. If you look closely, you may find that I worked in satire— about icons and religious practices, while also de-sanctifying the immortal. One of the guiding notions of Asher’s development is my annoyance about the peril main character’s are put into throughout the regular course of a novel— danger which, if the story is to continue, can never truly put the MC in danger. Creating an immortal character was my way of making a point about this trend.

Asher is a funny and well developed character. Did you create an outline for his character before you started writing or did his characters personality grow organically as you were writing?

Asher’s personality is a permutation of my own, and so a large reason he comes off as so well-developed from the get-go is that I’m fairly well developed as a person myself. That said, as a character he did grow organically (along with his character description) and I did write a fair amount of descriptors for the character even when I thought I was writing a short story. I think any writer should write what they know best first— with the caveat that they should push themselves to develop their style and create better content with each publication. When I wrote Immortal, I was sticking to a fairly known style that came with a limited viewpoint, but a lot of interesting potential. With my latest publication, I pushed those boundaries and created something outside my usual genre, with a different character archetype while shifting my writing approach.

In the Fae Realm, Asher gets caught up between two feuding noble houses, Summer Court and Winter Court. What were the driving ideals behind these houses while you were developing them?

The Summer Court and Winter Court are two sides of the same coin. There is an obvious patriarchy in Winter, and the matriarchy of Summer opposes it. Although both Courts are inherently dangerous (especially for outsiders), Summer is, like the season, warmer and more welcoming. Winter is a closed fist, and it rules by force. Its manipulations are sharp, jagged edge.

Are you writing a second novel as a follow up to Immortal: Curse of the Deathless? If so, when is that book due out?

A great question. Yes, Immortal: Reckoning is the sequel to Immortal: Curse of the Deathless. The series title is The Immortal Chronicles, and I’ve laid out my projected publication dates of the following two books on my website homepage (along with all my other future publications for most of the next year)>>> www.derekedgington.com. Immortal: Reckoning is due out in November 2016, and Immortal #3 will be published on May 7, 2017 (exactly a year after the first book was published).

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Immortal: Curse of the DeathlessAsher Hearst is a college student, and the closest thing he’s got to a superpower is his ability to take a punch. Basically all he has going for him is an edgy sense of humor– and, of course, that he can’t die. As a small-time fixer, he’s about to field a job request best left to the pros, because once he gets involved with witches and the supernatural, there’s no turning back. While Asher becomes immersed in the secret world of the supernatural, he makes few allies and some very powerful enemies. At least traveling across space and time will bring him some unexpected romance, right? “Immortal: Curse of the Deathless” is a humorous, action-filled story with gritty, sometimes horror-inspiring elements. Over its three parts, the book spans multiple worlds: a modern, urban city of the 21st Century, as well as Tír na nÓg, a land that’s home to the Fae (Sídthe) from classic Celtic Mythology.

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