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Cover Reveal – C.L. SCHNEIDER : MAGIC BORNE

Happy New Year, guys!!!!  I have a good feeling about 2016:)

Because she is an amazing writer and even more amazing person, I am exceedingly glad to do a cover reveal for my good friend, C.L. Schneider.

MAGIC BORNE is the third book in her CROWN OF STONES series and if you are a lover of fantasy or a fan of a really great writing, unexpected plot twists, amazing battles and lots of sizzling hot drama, I absolutely recommend picking up this series, starting with MAGIC PRICE.

I couldn’t wait to see the MAGIC BORNE cover and I am even more impatient to pick up the book itself. Cindy definitely doesn’t disappoint with her spunky hero, Ian. YUM!!!

Here is the description and the gorgeous cover:

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne Cover Reveal

He’s paid for his addiction. He’s been scarred by his spells. He’s borne magic’s weight, its pleasure, and its guilt. But will he surrender to it when the realm needs him most?

Magic-Borne, the final installment of the epic fantasy trilogy, The Crown of Stones, is almost here! The Crown of Stones follows the trials of Ian Troy; a man struggling with an inborn addiction to magic in a world where magic is reviled, not revered.

The cover of Magic-Borne was designed by artist Alan Dingman.

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                                  The lovely and talented C.L. Schneider!

MAGIC BORNE is coming out in February!!

Follow Cindy on social media :

Twitter :  http://twitter.com/cl_schneider

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

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Author’s Spotlight – Interview with MICHELLE HAUCK!!

It is my absolute privilege and pleasure to introduce the wonderful Michelle Hauck. I admire her seemingly never-ending zeal and love her blog to pieces.

She is here today to introduce and talk about her new book, Grudging. From what I read about it, it is full of sorcery, knights and witches and sounds very kick ass. Throwing characters together that would usually stay miles away from each other, characters that have to team up to fight a larger threat despite their differences is definitely my kind of jam.

The release date is November 17th and I cannot wait to bite into this delicious fantasy treat.

Without further ado, here is Michelle and her Grudging.

Part 1
1. Congratulations on your book release, Grudging. Can you tell us more about the story?

Grudging is the story of a city under siege from a much larger army. Rather than surrender or attempt a useless fight, a desperate mission is sent to seek the witches of the western swamp. The witches are isolationist, and not overly fond of men.

There are four POV characters. We mainly follow a young knight, Ramiro, on his first mission and the witch girl, Claire, he encounters. But we also see things from the aspect of the Alcalde (mayor) of the city and a priest captured by the enemy.

2. The genre of Grudging is occult and fantasy, with a really cool premise that I cannot wait to read. What inspired you to write Grudging?

I was between stories and desperate for ideas when I heard a song. Come Along by Vicci Martinez and CeLo Green has really great lines for a fantasy story. Most of the main ideas for the plot came directly from there. “Play with it while you still have hands,” I turned into a tendency by the enemy army to remove the hands of the people they capture. Sort of a literal interpretation. I hope the singers don’t mind. ☺

3. I know that writing and finishing the story that has been living in your head comes through lots of tears and blisters ( the ones on your fingers and brain ). What was your writing journey like and how long it took you to realize the story?

I tend to stop and start writing. I quit for a few weeks to host a contest and then pick it back up. Grudging took me ten months to get a first draft. My CP and my agent agreed I needed to move up three of the character POV closer to the start, so I had to actually add three scenes to the story before it went on submission. Editing took two months. Three months on submission. Result—trilogy!

4. Can you tell us more about the main hero and heroine – in this case a knight and a witch? The two are quite unusual and unique couple, which is pretty exciting. What makes them and their relationship special / unique?

Well, Ramiro and Claire start off hating each other. I’m not talking ‘this guy annoys me’ hate. Real honest to goodness hate. I hope I pulled that off. The reviews will tell.

Ramiro is very fixed on earning his beard as a fighting man and making his elder brother proud of him. He’s the youngest and newest member of the military pelotón, and takes quite a lot of teasing.

Claire wants to learn more about her magic and actually get to use it. Her mother has another opinion entirely on that subject. Claire would also like to go to the village and meet other people, make friends.

5. Do you love to put your characters through trials and tribulations?

I prefer thinking of it as putting the reader though those. If the readers like my characters, then they are the ones really feeling the difficulties and sorrows.

6. What is the craziest / most exciting thing that you researched for Grudging?

I researched all kind of things from plants that grow in a swamp to parts of a saddle. I studied up on what is said during confessional and what different saints died from. Believe it or not, I don’t speak any Spanish so I had to research all that.

But I think the strangest thing I did was talk to ER nurses on twitter about chest wounds. I wanted to know how air in the chest causing a collapsed lung could be treated. And also whether a person could get the air out of their chest with a piece of hollow reed. I think the nurses thought I was more than a little crazy. They believed I was trying to treat someone at home or something.

7. How was writing Grudging different for you from writing your previous book, Kindar’s Cure?

Kindar was my second book and Grudging was my fifth. It’s amazing how much smoother the writing process gets with practice. There’s a lot less line editing now for me. I don’t have to go back and find excess words or look for active verbs to eliminate lazy sentences. The sentences just form cleaner than before. In that way writing is easier.

I have a much easier time judging whether the emotions my characters are feeling match with the scene. And fleshing out inner thoughts flows better.

I still produce just a chapter a week, though. I haven’t gotten any faster at creating plot and material to go inside the chapters.

8. Are you a plotter or a punster?

I’m a big time punster. I never know the middle or the ending. It all happens as I go. Fortunately, I write slowly enough that my brain has a chance to generate ideas before I make a mess of things.

9. What inspired you to start writing on the first place?

A combination of a few things. I was recovering from a health problem and felt better than I had in years. I was having trouble finding epic fantasy that I liked to read. My husband dared me. I’m juvenile enough that I have to take a dare. He still prefers that first book I wrote that had no conflict and was 246,000 words.

10. What was the hardest part about writing Grudging?

Feeling confident in my writing and story has always been an off and on thing. Some days the whole thing just seems to stink. I’m wise enough now to forgive myself for having doubts and simply not write on those days. They are fewer now and don’t last as long.

11. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Being done? Writing is work for me. It’s hard. But I do like have characters run whole conversations in my head before I fall asleep or when I’m in the shower. Then the challenge is to write that all down before I forget what they said. Lots of voices in my head. Fortunately, I realize they aren’t real.

12. What is your writing schedule like?

I prefer to write first thing in the morning. In the fall, winter, and spring when I have a day job, the afternoon when I get home is devoted to contest work and blog posts. Or having fun on twitter. I get up two hours (6:00 am) early just to have time to write every day. I never miss a day unless I’m sick, though I don’t always write.

13. When did you realize you want to be a writer?

About six years ago when I started writing. I’d never considered it before. I actually have a degree in finance. I gave that up to be a stay at home mom. Then I started working with special needs kids to have the same hours as my own kids. I found that I loved it. The happiest place in the world is a kindergarten classroom. And that has nothing to do with writing, but it’s true for me.

14. Besides writing and blogging, what are your favorite things to do?

Reading is my favorite thing to do. I’d give up writing and blogging if it came down to some magical choice where I could only pick one. I also enjoy yard work and planting flowers. My family is very fond of movies. I watch too much tv. I’m pretty much a homebody. Shopping and socializing are not my favorite things. I’d rather stay home.

Part 2 

1. writing in first person or third person?  Third person. No Question. I don’t care for most 1st person stories, except for the Dresden series and Hunger Games.

2. Killing your darlings – fun or no fun?  Usually fun. Sometimes hard. I planned to kill a certain character in Grudging and couldn’t go through with it. I just injured him really, really bad. ☺

3. Twilight or Hunger Games? Hunger Games a thousand times.

4. Harry Potter or LOTR? Oh. Harry Potter in books. LOTR in movies.

5. Star Trek or Star Wars? Both.

6. Favorite book(s)? All of Jane Austen. The Wheel of Time books. Mistborn series.

7. Favorite movie(s)?  My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Casino Royale, and tons more.

8. Favorite character ( book, movie or TV show )?  Dobby from Harry Potter. Nynaeve from World of Time.

9. Which one would you choose – Possessing magic or futuristic sci-fi technology? Magic.

10. Favorite place to live ( real or fictional )?  Sanibel Island, Florida

11. Kill, Marry, Kiss ( If you could Kill, Marry or Kiss anyone (real, fictional, live or dead) who would they be? )  I wouldn’t mind getting my hands around Dolores Umbridge’s throat. I’m already married, so I’m kissing no one else. I’d probably go around hugging like a maniac given the chance. I’d like to meet a roomful of people who got agents from my contests! There’s the answer I was looking for.

Thanks so much for having me on Literary Breadcrumbs! It was a blast.

Thank you, Michelle, for being part of Literary Breadcrumbs and I cannot wait to read Grudging.

Purchase Grudging here :

http://www.amazon.com/Grudging-Birth-Saints-Book-One-ebook/dp/B010LU8ZQO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1447535524&sr=8-1&keywords=michelle+hauck

Follow Michelle here :

BLOG – http://www.michelle4laughs.com

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/Michelle4Laughs

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/Michelle4Laughs

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6692215.Michelle_Hauck

Michelle’s Bio :

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly the writer contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, PitchSlam, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints Series from Harper Voyager starts with GRUDGING on November 17, 2015. Her epic fantasy, KINDAR’S CURE, was published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, was published by The Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge. Elephant’s Bookshelf Press also published another of her short stories, The Unfinished Task, in their winter anthology, Winter’s Regret.

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Aloha and Mahalo!

Keep reading, my friends.

Stanislava

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Re-reading your childhood favorites as an adult

I was an odd child. The kind of kid who didn’t have a lot of friends and the ones I had I held dear and near to my heart. Sharing dreams and creating fake secret sisterhoods among tree branches that we usually nestled in, so nobody would eavesdrop on our very important life topics.

I was a shy, quiet kid and a ferocious reader. I wasn’t very outdoorsy. If not for my parents and grandmothers prompting me occasionally to get my “head out of the books and go get some fresh air”, I wouldn’t even think about it.

I come from a family of ferocious readers, so it’s not a big surprise where I got my love for books. The biggest pride and joy of our family was our library. An entire room filled with shelves from ground to the ceiling. Books were everywhere and my family read everywhere (which is not always fun, considering we shared only one bathroom!). I learned how to “hold it” early on, when the bathroom was occupied and someone usually yelled from the inside, “Wait a minute, this part is really interesting!”.

Having a literary family and abundance of books was fantastic. I got my library card when I was in the kindergarten and a permission to the “adult” section (meaning the “good” interesting books) when I was thirteen years old. It took some persuasion of the head librarian on my part, making a case for myself when I rented Anne of Green Gables two months in a row. The head librarian got a clue and let me in, knowing that I was smart enough to make wise choices to read only what was appropriate. Only, I wasn’t.

The problem of having a literary family with unlimited supply of books and a library card with limitless choices is that you need supervision. Or at least some guidance. I didn’t have either.

I read the entire five volumes of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable by the age of 11. I read The Exorcist when I was 13 and the same year I read Lolita. Nobody blinked an eye. My parents were too busy working, providing for the household, socializing (I had very young parents – both in college when I was born), studying for school or reading their own books. My grandmother wasn’t very interested in books and she didn’t see anything wrong with a book that had a girl’s name on the cover.

A young mind is an inquisitive mind and soon enough, questions started to follow the words. Half the literature that I read as a kid was highly inappropriate for my age and I can see it now.

But I also learned a lot from all the books I read and they certainly cemented my love for reading and later on for writing as well. To have a way with words, the ability to string them into beautiful sentences was and still is an absolute magic for me.

I wish I had someone who would talk me out of at least few books back then. Some I never returned to (two months of nightmares after reading The Exorcist was plenty, thank you very much). Some I still love and they became my favorites. During different periods of my life (and during different life circumstances), I clinged to my favorites like Leonardo DiCaprio to that piece of floating debris in Titanic. They were my comfort and my joy. And each time I re-read my favorite piece of literature, I saw it in a new light.

With Les Miserables, I went from associating myself with Cosette to feeling for Jean Valjean to being completely heartbroken over Fantine. I still pick up Anne of Green Gables from time to time. When I am feeling sad, or upset, I always reach for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books, pick anything from Jane Austen or read Jane Eyre, which I know front to back.

Favorite books, movies, TV shows that we’ve seen million times over are a comfort food. We know what to expect, we know what is going to happen and that is the point of re-reading or re-watching our favorites over and over. When we are feeling down, uninspired or simply are not in “mood” for that independent European movie with subtitles that has been shot only during a night, is devoid of color and is probably very, very depressing. That intellectual comfort food is sometimes the best cure that picks us up and refreshes our spirit.

What is your bookish comfort food? Let me know!

 

As always, keep on reading, my friends.

 

Aloha and Mahalo,

 

Stani

 

 

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Diversity as the new normal OR what I’ve learned from watching Star Trek

There has been a lot of debate about how is the climate changing among pop culture, mainly books. I am personally a huge supporter of LGBT community, but I am absolutely aware that it’s about more than that.

As a young, mildly obsessive science fiction reader, a geek and a science fiction writer, I couldn’t quite fathom why haters lashed against minorities, or anyone other than what they saw as their “normal”. I understand now that the lacks of education, ignorance, poor or non-existing upbringing, peer pressure, violent and abusive home are all contributing factors. A lot of children could learn how to be nice to anyone by simply watching Star Trek. I mean, I know it’s not as simple as that, but there is a lot to be learned from watching the crew of Starship Enterprise roaming the vastness of our galaxy and beyond.

Watch any of the early Star Treks and you will understand. The Trek can teach us many things and what it thought me is to not look at someone preference in partner or color of one’s skin. Those were the things that I thought were natural and made me perceive them as absolutely OK. I never questioned Uhura’s skin – I thought she was beautiful, I thought Spock’s ears were cool and Scotty’s accent was brilliant.

There are many episodes were Spock has to cover his ears, wrapping his head with bandana or had to wear a hat, because the civilization that he and Captain Kirk were visiting simply wouldn’t understand, or would treat them differently if they spot his pointy ears and his unusual eyebrows.

And isn’t it the point in real life to this day? How come a show from the 60’s was carrying such important messages of racial, caste and sexual hate or a hate base on something that was misunderstood and therefore feared and loathed simply on a principal of ignorance? And why is it that it took us another fifty and some years to finally starting getting it right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for “better later then never”. I would be also much happier if I would never have to read about yet another teenage suicide or an extreme act of violence, prejudice and bullying.

I am very happy how the climate is shifting in pop culture. We are finally seeing positive messages of love and acceptance in TV, music, movies and my absolute favorite, books.

Because young people are very perceptive about everything that is going on around them, I am beyond thrilled that they now have characters like Korra and that TV shows like Glee finally launched misunderstood and bullied kids into the mainstream, just to find massive support and love. I cannot be more pleased that kids not only of color and different upbringings, but also of different shapes are being cast in TV show and movies. Any kind of shaming is hurtful – especially to a young person, who wants nothing more than to fit it. So to see people of different sizes, shapes and colors on TV and movie screen is fantastic.

I cannot wait to see more same sex romances in best-selling novels, or a main hero or a heroine of different skin tone, from a different continent, in plus size, with pink hair, tattooed arms or with some new, cool accent. Because brilliant, excellent, smart, funny, beautiful, creative and interesting people come in many variations. So to limit oneself to the old preconceived and outdated notions would be absolute disadvantage to no one else, but to him or herself. Keeping the mind and heart open is the best way to go, in my personal experience.

 

Here is my list of books that I think are great reads for anyone, who is thinking of giving the diverse genre of books a shot ( they are sorted in no particular order of preference ) :

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell ( or anything by her, really – she is brilliant )

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ( she is an incredible story teller, so go read her NOW! )

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky ( I didn’t like the movie, but the book was pure genius )

 

I know that there are virtually hundreds of more amazing books with amazing diverse characters. These are just a few, that left a deep impression within me.

If you have other favorites, please let me know, I would love to add them to my library!

 

Aloha and Mahalo.

 

Keep on reading, my friends!

 

Stanislava

 

 

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Author’s Spotlight – Interview with ANGELA B. CHRYSLER!

Today is my absolute honor and pleasure to introduce an amazing writer and my dear friend, Angela B. Chrysler.

She is a kick ass person and even more kick ass author. Her imagination and her writing is like watching a master weaving thousand different colored yarns into a gorgeous and fluid canvas. Her imagery is so vivid, you can pretty much smell the fresh air of the Norwegian mountains and feel the brisk air whipping your hair around your face.

Her fantasy book, Dolor & Shadow, is a beautiful and rich fantasy saga ( reminds me a bit of LOTR, if Tolkien focused solely on elves, their songs and legends ).

Angela also just released her memoir, called Broken, which I was very fortunate to read as a beta reader. There were so many feelings and tears and emotions that rippled through me over and over and made me realize how much we have in common and how strong of a person she is for writing it all down and letting all the anguish out.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I have. Happy reading and make sure to check her books and catch up with her on social media below.

Thank you so much for having me, Stani.

1. When/where did you come up with the story for Dolor & Shadow?

I wasn’t anywhere spectacular. I had made up my mind to be a novelist, but wasn’t sure which genre to write in so, I read a number of books from all genres. It was romance that sparked my idea. I was so angry at a feeble heroine, that I created Kallan in retaliation. It was 2007 and I was standing in my living room. I declared it to the empty room. 

Dolor and Shadow began as a badly written romance. I mean…it was bad. So bad that I re-wrote it (95,000 words). After I re-wrote it, I realized how much better it was despite how horrible it still was (105,000 words). The year was 2009. I re-wrote it again. By the end of the second re-write (150,000 words), I had carved out the beginnings of a pretty epic saga…but if Tales of the Drui was to live up to its full potential, I needed to drop the romance and embrace the fantasy genre.

That was the hardest decisions to make for Dolor and Shadow. I had a wonderful romance, but an epic fantasy. Both genres brought the other down, preventing it to be great in its own genre. I had to commit to one. In the end, I realized the kind of book I was writing would not appease romance fans.

By the end of the fourth edition, it was 2012 and my word count was up to 200,000 words. But I wasn’t done. Over seven years, I would write Dolor and Shadow five times. The final product would be 270,000 words.

In 2014, I cut the book in half and cleaned up the final edition of Dolor and Shadow, which you can now purchase at 160,000 words. The second book (Lorlenalin’s Lies) is really part #2 of the same book and has 120,000 words awaiting my red pen, who I fondly call “Bloody Mary.”

2. What inspired you to write this particular book/series?

You mean after my tantrum in which I created Kallan out of spite? It was Norway. The more research I did for Norse Mythology and the Norsemen who went a-viking, the more I fell in love with Scandinavia. Norway stole my heart, and more than I ever I wanted to revive her history and honor her culture.

It’s weird. In 2007 I didn’t wake up one morning seeing the whole series. I only saw Kallan in Norway. Then I saw Kallan in Norway with Seidr. A few weeks later, I saw Kallan in Norway with Seidr and Rune. Every few weeks, I saw a little bit more to the puzzle. As if I was an archeologist with a little brush, eroding a little piece at a time. So many times I said, “Whoa! Wouldn’t it be cool if—?” I shared the thought with my husband who went, “Whoa! Bodacious!” (We are so children of the ‘80’s). We approved the idea on a high five (seriously. We high fived a lot of things into initiation for the book) and then I wrote it in.

3. Can you tell us a little more about your main hero/heroine? Who they are, what drives them?

Kallan. Sweet Kallan. She is the adored princess of the elven race, the Dokkalfar of Lorlenalin. Readers watch her evolve into the queen she becomes. I see her as such a small child missing her mother and blaming herself for failing to save her. I see the small child vowing to be stronger. So strong she can stop death. So strong, she will never fail to save someone she loves ever again. But she fails to save the children…and her father. She fails to save Svenn and…I will say no more.
Kallan’s greatest weakness is accepting her own weakness.

Rune. I love Rune. He really came into his own only months ago! I mean really! It’s July. This last January, I was writing changes into Rune and shaping him. That was one of my moments with my husband where we high fived the idea into the book. Rune is the King of Gunir who has one enemy, one thing he vows to destroy and that is the Shadow. It plagues his family, haunts him across the centuries. It killed his mother, destroyed his father, and consumed his brother. Rune sees the Shadow inside Kallan and his only goal is to seek it out and destroy it…if only Kallan would let him.

Bergen isn’t a main character in Dolor and Shadow, but he is the main character for Tales of the Drui. He is the third to my trifecta. He is the Hans of my Luke and Leia. Bergen is driven by one thing…one main goal that I can’t share with you, but is hinted at in Chapter 30. Bergen’s story is truly my favorite and is told in a separate series in depth. That first book is due out this winter.

4. What is the craziest thing you had to research for a story?

LOL…Oh, this brought back such wonderful memories! I had to research how to torture someone. The history of Persia. Nepal! Researching the history of ancient Nepal! There was reindeer herding and the day I watched a man drink fresh reindeer blood on Youtube.

Grouse hunting and oh! The Dippers! Fat little round birds in the UK that jump into the water like little balls. So funny. They jump back out again as if they are “dipping” into the water. We don’t have anything like those here in the States.

Craziest thing though? One thing comes to mind. I was researching the neighboring countries in the 10th century. While Denmark and Norway warred with England, I stumbled upon this Duke of Bohemia, who was loved by his people. For political reasons he was martyred in the 10th century…by his brother…on the feast of Saint Stephen. The Duke’s name was Wenceslaus.

I couldn’t stop singing the carol, “Good King Wenceslaus” for all the month of July 2014.

5. You are releasing a memoir pretty soon, called Broken. What was the major difference between writing Dolor & Shadow and writing Broken?

Wow. Comparing those two experiences is like comparing the similarities to eating an apple and a smashing a 1975 anniversary corvette.

Dolor and Shadow was a seven-year fictional realm I structured around historical accuracy in third person. My writing toggled between historical truth and fictional freedom. I could elaborate on the imagery and adored entering that realm to bring it to life. Dolor was a long, arduous journey that was all about endurance. I spent seven years jumping between Norway and Under Earth and adoring every moment.

But Broken…Broken I wrote in two weeks. It was emotionally taxing. There was no planning or plotting. I just sat down and wrote what I remembered. I recorded the conversations I was having with Angel, Erik, and Bergen (Ian) while I spoke to William. I wrote Broken with all the names, places, and relationships in all the right places then went back when it was finished and changed the names, places, and relationships to protect the identity of the characters.

With Dolor, there was no worry about the reception. With Broken, I worry about certain people and their response to Broken.

With Dolor, my imagination and creativity was pushed to their limits. With Broken, my mental health was pushed to the limit. With Dolor, I gleefully dove into the realms. With Broken, I lived in a two-week flashback that sent me spiraling into the abyss of my psyche. It’s a dramatic way of putting it, but it’s accurate.

How do I explain hell to those who have never seen it? Imagine your worst nightmare, only it is very real and you can’t get away not even if you wake. Imagine seeing and feeling that nightmare for two weeks straight, and its real. That is what it was like writing Broken.

6. How were you able to “distance” yourself as a writer in order to write Broken?

I didn’t distance myself to write Broken. That is part of my mental issues, my dissociation, my PTSD. In my mind, I relived every horror while writing Broken. I truly spiral down into my subconscious where I spoke to my ID. Under stress, I dissociate myself from the reality around me and relive the horror too well. I distance myself from the calm around me because in my head, the calm is dangerous. The calm is an illusion that will hurt me more than the pain. I know what to do with pain. I don my emotional armor and I go to war. But calm? I have no idea what to do with calm.

I did not write Broken from the distance view of a writer. I wrote Broken as if I was still laying, curled up on the floor of a bomb shelter in ‘Nam and you’re wondering if you’re going to be next.

7. Who/What inspired you to start writing?

A month ago, I would have avoided this question or tiptoed around it with a shallow half answer. Today, I can finally speak the truth. What inspired me to write was the trauma in my life. It feels so good being free to finally say that!

I wrote to escape the trauma and to cope with it. I started writing during the years I was beaten, and I wrote letters to Erik. Those letters really is what got me through the hardest of times. It made me feel a lot less alone. Through those letters, I could convince myself that someone loved me. Then I started writing poems, music, ballads, musicals…
By 1998 I was writing my first novel (not in print). I still have everything I ever wrote. Some of it is posted on my site. It reflects so much described in Broken. Writing was one of the few things I used to cope. There were days, it was all I had.

8.What was the hardest part about writing Broken for you?

Sharing it with others. Risking being called a liar…again…and not being believed all over again. Not being heard…again. Keeping these horrors a secret is easy. No. Not easy. A victim of abuse must choose to hold their secret and be alone with the horror of the trauma, or risk sharing it and being called a liar. In my case, it was easier to keep my secret and endure loneliness, than share my horrors with others and risk ridicule. There are some, who would look at me and call me a liar because they remember my life differently. It isn’t right having others look at your life and judge your perspective when they never once lived or experienced my view. They had no right to tell me my experiences were not as bad as I say they were.

Earlier you asked me why I started to write. Before Broken, my answer would have been a lie I told you to hide my past. Now? *smile* Now I can tell you the truth. I wrote to mentally survive the abuse I endured.

The hardest part of it all, the experience, the denial, the brainwashing, the therapy, the flashbacks…the hardest part truly is living with all my secrets buried deep inside of me where no one…not my mother, my father, not my sister…not even my husband (and best friend) knew. The hardest part, was being completely alone with such horror.

I am tired of the mask, the lies, and the façade. Mostly, I am tired of avoiding my past in daily conversations with people. By coming out and speaking the truth, I am now free to say yes, I was raped. I was beaten. I was tortured and I shared a part of my abuse with animals. I chose being raped to protect the animals who I loved from being tortured (The rapes were easier). It was the least I could do for them after everything they did for me. I was mentally imprisoned by a pedophile for five years. Where were you when the world World Trade Center fell? I was raped while 3,000 people died. I’m free to finally say that out loud.

9. The best advice for people who want to (or thinking about ) writing a memoir?

Be honest. Just tell the truth. And do it for you. Not for the reader, the abuser, or the world. Write it for you because you need to. Don’t be afraid to censor the gruesome parts for virgin ears. Too many memoirs skip the “ugly” parts. And check with an attorney on memoir disclaimers. So very…very important.

10. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Finding the rhythm, and maintaining the flow once you find it. It’s such a beautiful thing to be taken away with your own heart, word, and world and then coming out of that trance to see what you’ve created.

11. What is the best part about being an author for you?

The people! The hours I keep! The freedom. My mental conditions prevent me from getting a normal job or holding one. Being a write allows me such freedoms.

10. What motivates you to write?

The muse. Calliope. That pesky urge that sits in your head filling up with ideas until you lose sleep and can’t eat.

12. What is your writing schedule like?

Of late? I am on sabbatical while I focus on my therapy as the release of Broken requires my attention. Releasing Broken has…brought up a lot of memories I forgot…memories that didn’t get added to Broken because I buried them too deep to remember at that time. I spend much of my time at appointments, in the garden and turning my home into a “spa.” Enya plays, candles are lit, and I surround myself with books and cats. The gardens surround the house and there is no screaming. Anything I can do to keep a quiet household. My husband and I both have PTSD and sound is one of my triggers.

Ideally, I prefer writing from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. I will probably resume that work schedule in September when children return to school and Broken releases. Around that time, I plan to begin recording the Dolor and Shadow audio book.

13. Why did you choose the indie route ( in my humble opinion your writing is pretty awesome for being traditionally published )? What is the best part about being an indie author for you?

Thank you, Stanislava *grin* Time was my only reason. Assume I do find an agent/publisher right off, I still wouldn’t see my book release date for another two years after that. It roughly takes two years to find an agent, sign onto a publisher, build the book, edit, illustrate, and release. In two years, I can sell a lot of books. And, in some cases, after those two years, the deal could fall through and you could be back to square one having lost all that time. Furthermore, I would have to contend with the “death clock,” the three-week period an author has to turn their new release into a bestseller on the physical bookshelf before book sellers pull it from the shelves and return it to the publisher. If that happens, in most cases, the publisher destroys your book or ships it to a warehouse where it sits forgotten.

As an indie author, I’m the boss. I get right down to the business and I wallow in the print on demand feature! I also get to sell my books for less and earn more than if a publisher distributed for me.

I started writing Broken on 7 March 2015. It will release on 11 September 2015. In six months, I conceived an idea and turned it into a high quality paperback available on Amazon. Only indie authors can pull that off.

14. When did you realize you want to be a writer?

When I first saw my name in print through a vanity press back in 2007.

15. Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?

Singing. I love singing. So…so much. I was trained vocally and being able to sing opera, musicals, Sondheim…I love singing Bernstein. Such challenging melodies. Singing was an additional solace I had growing up.

16. Can you recommend a book that completely blew you away in recent months?

Yes! Odin’s Shadow by Erin Riley! Amazingly accurate! Loved it and the topic is right up my alley!

Dolor and Shadow Print 3D large-3

Part 2

Ok, so this part is pick one or the other in the question. You can totally elaborate why, or just leave it at that.

Author’s interview game :

1. Writing in First person or third person?

Depends on my mood.





2. Killing your book darlings. Fun or No fun?

Fun until it’s over. Then I cry.

3. Twilight or Hunger games?

Jean Luc Picard.
 – This really made me laugh out loud! –

4. Harry Potter or LOTR?

Harry Baggins. LOTR movies. Harry Potter books.

5. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek…but barely.

6. Favorite book?

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux published in 1911.

7. Favorite movie?

Twelve Angry Men. – I loooove this one –

8. Favorite TV show?

The Walking Dead (now) M*A*S*H (always)

9. Favorite Character (book, movie or TV show )?

Monkey D. Luffy from the anime One Piece! He makes me laugh when he’s silly. He leaves me speechless when he’s angry. He makes me cry when he cries. You meet that boy and you must cheer him on.

10. Possessing magic or futuristic science-fiction science?

Magic!

11. Favorite place to live ( real or fictional)?

Under Earth. Tipperary, Ireland. Right where I am in New York.

12. Kill, Marry, Kiss ( If you could Kill, Marry or Kiss anyone (real, fictional, live or dead) who would they be? )

Kill Dolores Umbridge…over and over and over.

Marry Dorian Grey (I know…I’m sick)

Kiss Bergen.  -Ohhhh, I want to kiss Bergen, too!! –

Thank you very much, Angela, for taking the time and answering my many questions. I had absolute blast reading them.

Amazon Author’s page & Books  : 

http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Chrysler/e/B00VXX0JDQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

http://www.amazon.com/Dolor-Shadow-Tales-Angela-Chrysler-ebook/dp/B00VXB916Y/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Angela-B-Chrysler-ebook/dp/B011AX4T02/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.angelabchrysler.com/

Angela’s Social Media : 

https://twitter.com/abchryslerabc

https://www.facebook.com/angelabchrysler

Check out the beautifully haunting book trailer for Broken :

And a quick message from Angela at the end : 

I am currently offering ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) for “Broken” to the first six offers. Contact me to receive a free PDF, DOC, or DOCX.

I am offering the free eBook of Dolor and Shadow to anyone who is willing to leave a review. Contact me for details.

Again, thank you very much, Angela for your time and for this great interview!

Keep on reading, my friends and see you next time!

With the warmest Aloha,

Stanislava

Angela B. Chrysler The Author of Dolor and Shadow-2

           Angela B. Chrysler

5 Real Reasons Agents Are So Darn Picky

Ever wondered why agents are so darn picky?! Here is why, as told by a super cool and in the know agent, Carly Watters.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

I think some of you swear when you say that line to yourself, but I’m keeping it PG on the blog. Really, why are we so #&$%(&-ing picky?

It’s not only the volume, but that has something to do with it.

We’re picky because we have to be. We wouldn’t be able to stay in business unless we were choosy about everything we signed up. So here’s the truth if you’re still wondering what happens at agents’ desks…

5 Reasons Agents Are Picky

1. Because editors are.

All we hear from editors is how much they have to read, how passionate they have to be in their editorial and acquisitions meetings, how much marketing and sales has a say in the books, and how they have to have a clear vision for projects they take on. So guess what, agents have adopted all those criteria too. It’s true, in this internet…

View original post 489 more words

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AUTHOR’S SPOTLIGHT – Zen DiPietro

 

Today I have the absolute pleasure and a privilege to welcome Zen DiPietro! I am a long time admirer and a fan of her amazing blog, Women of Badassery – http://www.womenofbadassery.com/

She is funny and geeky and fantastic and writes equally funny, geeky and fantastic stories and blog posts.

I am very happy that Zen took the time off of her busy schedule to chat with me. As usual, the interview has two parts, the first one to know her as an author, the other to get to know her better.

Enjoy!

 

Part 1

 

1.When/where did you come up with the story?

It started with one scene. Then another joined it. From there, my mind started clicking. Over the course of a few years, I mentally built the world, the characters, and finally the storyline.

 

 2. What is the craziest thing you had to research for a story?  

Bomb making, and the mechanics of explosive forces. Writers often have computer search histories that might upset the authorities.

 

3. Besides science fiction, what are your other favorite book genres that you would like to explore as a writer?

I write both science fiction and fantasy, but I’d like to try out urban fantasy. I enjoy reading urban fantasy and there are so many options for doing something fresh and new. If only there was enough time to get all of the ideas out! I have a plan for future projects as long as my arm.

 

4. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Planning! Letting new characters tell me who they are and what they want. Figuring out the world they live in. Then, sending them on adventures!

 

5. What is the best part about being an author for you?

I love how one idea leads to the next. I love being inspired to think about something in a new way, and following that thought process to something new. Then I start writing it to see what happens.

 

 6. Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?

I’m a dancer, and I work out as often as possible, though a foot injury has held me back lately. I also love to read, of course, and watch vintage tv. Star Trek always makes me happy, and I love shows from the 70’s like Laverne and Shirley and Brady Bunch. I saw my first episode of Love Boat a few weeks ago and need to check out some more. Those shows are like a time capsule. I like to see the clothing and décor. It’s like visiting a different world, except it’s a world that is actually our history.

 

7. When did you realize you want to be a writer?

 After I signed a contract for my first book, I asked my mom, “Do you remember when I was a little kid and said I was going to be an author when I grew up?”

Books have always been a great love, and I knew early that they’d always factor heavily into my life.

 

 

Part 2 – Author’s interview game :

1. Writing in First person or third person?

It depends! It has to be the right perspective for that story. Even with third-person, there’s the choice between a distant omniscient or a close third-person point of view. I always prefer the close point of view, regardless of whether it’s first or third person.

 

 2. Twilight or Hunger games?

Hunger Games. I’m not really into vampires.

 

3.Harry Potter or LOTR?

LOTR. The cinematography is just so gorgeous.

 

 4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

TREK TREK TREK! I am a very big Trekkie. Seriously.

 

5. Favorite book?

Pride and Prejudice.

 

 6. Favorite movie?

Just one? Maybe the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. Or Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Or Chocolat. Or something else. It just depends on my mood.

 

7. Favorite TV show?

Star Trek! Of course! Especially TNG or TOS. But also Voyager and DS9.

 

 8. Possessing magic or futuristic sci-fi science?

Science! I do love the idea of science being the impetus. With magic, there’s a tendency to rely on a “the one” trope. I like those stories too, but even better, I like the idea that anyone could be the hero of a story. That makes a story start not with a “who?” but with a “why?”

 

9. Favorite place to live ( real or fictional)?

 If I could pick anywhere, I’d live in the historic district of Savannah, Georgia. There’s so much history and beauty in every square inch of that place.

 

10. Kill, Marry, Kiss ( If you could Kill, Marry or Kiss anyone (real, fictional, live or dead) who would they be? ) example : Kill – Voldemort, Marry –Chris Pine , Kiss – Han Solo ( those are my preferences – just sayin’ ).

 

Okay, after mulling this over for a day, I’ve decided on:

Kill – Emperor Palpatine/ Darth Sidious. He is not the kind of villain I love to hate. He’s just bad, bad, bad.

Kiss – Thor. Because Thor.

Marry – Wesley from The Princess Bride, because he’s easily the most romantic, devoted hero I can think of, and he’s funny as well!

 

 

Now how wonderful is Zen, am I right? I am a huge Star Trek fan ( bordering on not so mild obsession, so I squeed with joy, when I read she is a Trekkie too. WOOHOO! )

 

You can get a copy of Zen’s book and follow her Amazon author’s page here :

 

http://www.amazon.com/Seeking-Sorrow-Guardians-Terath-Book-ebook/dp/B00UMA9X5Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435810215&sr=8-1&keywords=zen+dipietro

http://www.amazon.com/ZEN-DIPIETRO/e/B00UMDL7KM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1435810215&sr=8-1

 

Below are all the links to catch Zen & her badass awesomeness on social media :

 

Website: http://www.womenofbadassery.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/zendipietro

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zendipietro/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ZenDiPietroauthor

GoodReads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13525064.Zen_DiPietro

 

Again, I want to thank Zen for her time and hope she had as much fun answering my questions as I had reading them.

 

Keep on reading, my friends!

 

 

 

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