mysticthoughtsauthors

Interviews



COURTNEY CONANT

Just a few randoms to start.

Favorite color.

Red

Lucky number.

13, It’s the day I was born and has always been lucky for me.                             Habits that help and habits that hurt your writing.                            Having coffee on hand at all times seems to help. I have a coffee maker on my desk just so that I don’t have to get up!Having someone else around when I’m trying to work definitely hurts. I find myself easily distracted, even if the person isn’t in the room with me.

What words or phrases do you tend to over use.
‘Just’ is a big one. I had to keep going back and deleting that word over and over. I know I used it way too much and don’t want to take a guess at how many times it is used in the book.
The Blood Moon Of Winter.
Taking the quote “I love books because they are easier than people.”, do you find this to be true with you?
I don’t know many readers that wouldn’t agree with that statement. Characters in a book are easier to understand. Most times, you can see inside their heads or get a true feel for how and who they truly are. If only real people were that easy.
Wine seems to be mentioned a lot. Are you a wine fan or is wine going to be an underlying theme?
Oh I love wine. I toured around New Zealand a few years back, going to the wineries and several tastings. I rarely drink it but am definitely a fan.
When I write I am picky about important dates. Does January 2nd mean something to you?
Actually, the date itself didn’t have meaning. I was trying to find (based on the calendar) dates that coincided with Christmas Eve and New Years Eve being on a Friday. Going by that, I was able to discerne that in 2010 that would happen. So I used those dates. I found it rather strange that this year, we actually experienced a blood moon only 2 days after I called it out in my book. And no, I did not know back in 2008 that it would happen.
Your prologue.
I find it amazing it lets you see what is to come without letting you know how, why, who, or when. How did you go about writing this? Was it before or after the book was finished.
I actually wrote the Prologue after finishing the book. When I first started writing the novel, I thought it was going to be ChickLit for the genre. Based on the first few chapters, I knew that if I did not add something in at the beginning, I would lose a lot of fantasy readers right away because they wouldn’t see anything ‘fantasy’ about it until later in the novel.
The Blood Moon of Winter is the first in the Land of Makayra series and soon will be followed by Beyond the Known Horizon. Do you have any clue how many books we should expect in this series?
At this point, it looks like it will be a trilogy. There could always be more, depending on how things go, but I don’t want it to turn into a long running series.
Do you see yourself writing outside of the Land of Makayra series?
I have concepts for a couple of other novels in my head. They’ve been around for awhile now but I’m waiting to start them until the 2nd book in the series is complete. I don’t want to distract myself from finishing it.
The Blood Moon of Winter takes place over only 16 days will there be a longer span in the sequel?
Yes, the sequel covers a much larger time span. It will also be a much longer book. I can’t give away too much, but it follows both Lily and Jason. They are both main characters in this one.
How has self publishing changed you? Do you still think it is a good choice? If you had the option to turn it all over to a publisher would you?
I think that self-publishing was the best choice for me at the time. It’s been a great experience, helping me to make great contacts and to meet amazing people. I think by going this route, I’ve received the best advice possible by non-judgmental and objective readers. If a publisher chose to pick up my novel and republish it, I would definitely go for it. But by going the self-pub route first, I have more of an insight into what actually goes on in the publishing world, more so than I would have if I had gone the traditional route initially. 

Heather Hildenbran

1. The title. Did you think of this before of after you wrote the book?

After. Originally it was called Gliese, the name of her home planet, which I also changed about a gazillion times before I found one I liked. Incindentally, Gliese is the name of a newly discovered star. Seriously, google it.
2. About how long did ths book take you to write?

about 6 months.
3. Were their insprations behind Across the Galaxy?
My kids actually helped come up with alot of the otherworldy characters so it’s dedicated to them. Does that count?

4. Where did the idea come from for Across the galaxy

Okay, I know it sounds cliche by now, but… a dream.
5. Did you do much research for Across the Galaxy?

Just a little- of the solar system and various planet names.
6. Did you have people in mind as the characters as you wrote?

Hmm. The only one I can say for sure was Jalene, but I can’t tell you who it was based on as I don’t want to offend anyone. =) She’s a little bossy.

7. If you book was made into a movie, and you got to choose the cast who would they be.

Never really thought about it- I was just psyched I actually made it into a book! Honestly, though, Alina might have to be that girl who plays in Vampire Diaris- what’s her name? Oh, and the Werewolf from Twilight- the one with a temper (Paul, I think) – he would make a hot Ander. **Side note, I met him in person when the cast came through our town last year, and he is even hotter in person. He actually touched my shoulder and I didnt wash it for like a week!

8. Who are your favorite authors?

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, as a kid. They definitely inspired my love for fantasy. As of this moment, though, Richelle Mead, Alyson Noel, and Cassandra Clare are definitely in the top five.
9. What are your favorite books?

My fav genre is Urban Fantasy and Paranormal. Yes, I’ll admit it proudly, I love Twilight. As for a more extensive list, see question number 8.
10. Will there be a book 2?

I dont know, maybe. Originally there was, but I’ve got alot of other projects that excite me right now. And I can’t write it if I’m not excited about it. So we’ll see.
11. Are you working on any other books at the moment?

Yes!!! Dirty Blood is due out in March. It’s about a girl named Tara who finds out she’s a Werewolf Hunter when she accidentally kills a Werewolf while on a date with her boyfriend. Check my blog for updates on the release date. 
12 How can others contact you?

my blog: www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com

email: heatherhildenbrand@yahoo.com

I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@HeatherHildenbr)

13. What words or phrases did you find you over used?

“Like” but that’s probably because I say it alot in verbal conversation. And “Just” for some reason.

Thanks for having me!

 

Jennifer Hudock

1. Where on earth did you come up with these names?!?…Him Frick, Flick, Lord Wartemous
That’s a really good question. The character Him of the Green is a forest god archetype inspired by a tarot card in the Brian Froud Fairy Deck named “Himself.” Frick and Flick just seemed like fun names for goblin twins. Lord Wartemous is a pompous and stuffy name, and though he’s only referenced very briefly in the story, I wanted the goblin hierarchy to mock and mimic court society.

2. Do you write poetey as well?

I do write poetry from time to time, usually when my fictional inspiration loses momentum I grab my journal and pen a few poems to keep my muse inspired. I was really fortunate in college to have an amazing professor for poetry seminar and he really encouraged us to experiment with different types of poems. One of my favorite styles of poetry is the Sestina, and a couple years ago I wrote one that was published on Strange Horizons online webzine called Blood Moon. It was actually my very first paid publication, so it was very exciting!

3. Inspiration behind the book?

I have always read fantasy and horror novels, and growing up I was a huge fan of films like Legend, Labyrinth and The Princess Bride. I always wanted to write stories like that. When I was in college I took a very intensive Romantic literature course in which we studied both Dante and Christina Rossetti’s poetry. I had read Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market poem as a teen, but it wasn’t until we started to really pick it apart line by line that it inspired me. I started thinking about how interesting it would be if there were a goblin king like Jareth from Labyrinth somewhere behind that Goblin Market, and the wheels in my head just kept turning until I’d created this entire back story about a princess who’d been hidden in the human world in order to avoid marrying the wicked goblin king.

4. How did you come up with the songs and rhymes?
I made them up as I went along. As a little girl I had a really wild imagination, and could often be found rolling through the brush on the mountain behind my childhood home singing similar songs. There are always little rhymes and songs in fairy tales, which I think carries over from bardic traditions when they sang the songs of great warriors in order to remember them.

5. Where did you learn your vocabulary?  You are so descriptive how do you do it?

I am an avid reader. Even before I went to college, I could always be found hiding somewhere either reading or writing a book. One of the great things about majoring in English Literature was the vast number of incredible books I was required to read. I also had an amazing Nana as a little girl who encouraged me to learn about new words.

6. What happens next, any thoughts of book 2?
I am about halfway through the first draft of book two, which is called Jack in the Green. I am really hoping to have it finished and ready for publication by June. I also have plans for a third and fourth book. The second book picks up about sixteen years after the end of the second, and follows Meredith’s son, Jack, who was raised in the Upland by his Aunt Christina.

7. Any WIP you care to share?

Along with working rabidly on Jack in the Green, I am also working on the third book in the series, The Goblin Prince. Once Jack in the Green is finished, I plan to break a bit from the Into the Green books and work on a YA urban fantasy called Little Boy Blue. I also have a paranormal thriller about a werewolf hunter called Running Down the Moon that I would really like to wrap up and publish later this year.

8. Other published books?
I have a full short story collection called Dark Journeys that contains eleven paranormal tales. Each of the tales in that collection was published individually before I compiled them into one volume, except for the story Two Weeks, which was actually published in a zombie anthology.
9. How do you go about writing a book?

I never quite knew how to label my process until my friend and fellow author, S.G. Browne called himself a pants writer. It’s the perfect description because I am a by the seat of my pants writer, which gets me into a lot of trouble because I don’t often have a concrete plan or outline to refer to. I usually know exactly where I want to go from start to end, it’s just a matter of filling in the pages in between to get the story where it needs to be. Whenever I get frustrated my husband, who is also a writer, says, “Why don’t you create an outline?” I’ve tried in the past, but there’s something about the organizational restriction of an outline that frustrates me. Usually I have to just keep writing to get beyond points of frustration, and sometimes that means extra editing work at the end.

10. Favorite authors

I love books, so sometimes it’s really hard to pick even just a bundle of my favorite authors, but if I had to pick five they would include Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Carroll, Charles De Lint, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Octavia Butler.
11. favorite books?
Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll, Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Blue Girl by Charles De Lint, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

12. How did you stumble into writing?

I started writing when I was in fourth grade, creating stories about a girl whose father was a famous rock star. I continued writing in that series until I was in my mid-twenties, along with several other short and novella length works. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, and even during the times in my life when I tried to imagine doing something else, I couldn’t stay away from words for very long. I’d get very depressed if I wasn’t writing something every single day.

 Elizabeth Isaacs

1.  Who was the character behind Edna? Where did the sayings come from? How did you

Edna was actually a mixture of my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mom. Kentuckians are known for their colloquialisms, and so Edna’s sayings came from my childhood. 

2. The Color blue seems to have power in your book, power of the ancients and Michael, is this your favorite color?

Sky blue is often associated with depth and stability, whereas darker blue represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness. That is the reason for Michael and Elias’ eyes being blue. Green represents nature, life, and safety, and so it seemed only appropriate that Gavin have eyes of emerald. Nora’s light brown implies genuineness and trust. 

3. Who did you have in your mind as your characters?

To be honest, I have no clue who I would cast in real life. Gavin and Nora are so vivid in my mind it would be difficult to pick someone to play them. Who would you pick?

4. Did you used to live on a mountain? Or is there a significance in mountains?

I’ve always loved mountains, and I plan to retire in North Carolina someday. To me, there is something spiritual about looking over creation in all it’s glory. It brings into sharp relief the vastness of this world and the fact that I am just a speck. It’s a humbling experience, and it keeps things in perspective for me.

5. Who was the book written for?

The book originally was written for my daughter. It was only when her friends asked for a copy that I thought about publishing. I’ve been humbled and, at times, a little overwhelmed with the emotional response from readers, and I’m so grateful that they appreciate the lessons meant for Kate.

6. How did you write with all this emotion? Was it hard for you to do?

I’ve been asked that before, and to be honest I have no clue. It’s just how I write. I’ll often find tears streaming down my face as a scene unfolds. I’m a musician by trade, and I think all those years of opera finally paid off. 😀

7. How long did this take to write?

The story itself only took four months to write, but then the revision process took an additional six.

8. Did you have any problems writing this book? Did you get stuck anywhere?

Actually the story pretty much flowed from beginning to end. I write through problems though, so the original manuscript was over 200,000 words. We whittled it down to 116, 000 by the final revision.

9. Who are your favorite Authors?

My favorite authors are JK Rowling, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Seuss. Weird combo, I know, but each one taught me something different. Dr. Seuss was my first love. He taught me how to play with words, how to have fun with the way they sounded. And he was the books I read over and over again. Even at the age of eight, I was a chronic re-reader. Maya Angelou taught me that words have power. That they can affect the way that people think, they can change lives. Her work has a way of going straight from the page to my heart. JK Rowling taught me to let my imagination fly. I love the way she layers her stories. 

10. What are you favorite books?

My absolute favorite books are the Harry Potter series, although I don’t know whether that’s due to the fact that the story lines are so amazing or that I read them with my children. 

11. What were you inspirations behind this book?

My daughter. Kate was going through a difficult time, and being surrounded by mean girls and manipulation skewed her view of the world. On top of that, the books that were popular at the time were in a similar vein of harsh realities. I wanted her to have a positive message. One of love and forgiveness. The first scene that came to me was nothing but vast woodlands. The last pure land on earth, and I turned on the computer and started to type. 

12. Do you have any WIP

I’m currently working on the second, “The Secret of the Keepers”, which is slated for release this fall. I do have some other works on the back burner,but all my energy at the moment is being poured into the sequel.

13 Can we have any insight to book 2? length, where does it pick up, her last 2 visions?

The second book picks up EXACTLY where the first left off. I thought everyone would be hopping mad if we started off “five years down the road”. 🙂

14. How do you work through writers block?

When I get stuck, I write. That’s really all you can do. Write through it. I do think that letting the work steep for a bit before revisions is a smart idea. Sometimes a little break is all that’s needed, but not too long. I think taking too much time off adds to the problem. 

15 Do you have any advice for fellow writers?

Two things: 1) It’s your story, tell it. Writing is such a personal art form, often people are afraid to share their work. It takes courage,but you must write for yourself and be true to your story. 2) Be open to grow. Find a few people that you trust, that will be honest, and allow them to critique your work. I’ve come to realize that I will never be the writer I want to be, but every day I’m one step closer!

16 Inspirations behind your characters? do you start from scratch or do you use people you know?

I’m a mixture of both. My best friend Corina was the inspiration for Rena, Kate’s mannerisms and her purity of heart was what inspired Nora, and, of course, Edna was from my family. But some characters just come to me. I have no idea what inspired Gavin, the Ancient One, Elias, Tark, or Elaine.

17 how do you write?

I write anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day. I’m an organic writer, and so I write from someplace deep within. I don’t outline, make character charts and graphs, or come up with a three act story. I’m extremely right-brained, and so creativity is my muse. I do try and make sure that every scene, every word is pointed to the climax, and I go back and layer in details/subplots several times during revisions to make the story stronger, but other than that, I just write.

Thea Atkinson

1. What were your inspirations behind this book? 

 I love Egyptian history, art, sculpture, everything (especially the stonework and reliefs), so when I decided to write a series, I knew I would have to include it as the opening, especially knowing that the series deals with past lives and new incarnations. 

2. How much research did you do when it came to writing? 

A ton. Maybe too much, but like I said, I love anything Egyptian especially the mythology, so it wasn’t painful at all.  

3. How long did it take you to write this book?  

It took me about 6 months to write the novella and about 3 months to edit it. Not surprising as it usually takes me about a year to write a full length novel. 

4. Can you fill us in on the rest of the series how does this book tie in?  

This should open up a lot of questions that the rest of the series will be answering. The first novel starts in present day, but will shift back to reference Formed of Clay. Hopefully, the first novel will answer a bunch of questions, but bring up new ones.It’s hard to say too much without giving away the idea at this point.  

5. How do you go about writing? 

I freefall: a term coined by W.O. Mitchell. I find it really useful to write without editing until that part of the process is underway. 

6. How do you push through writters block? 

Music. I play lots of Tool and A Perfect Circle and the intensity keeps my fingers moving. 

7. What are you favorite books? 

Sorry to say I love good litfic because most people like the more escapist stories. I love character driven stories like the ones Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Munro write 

8. Who are your favorite authors? 

Ahha. Just mentioned em. But I’d have to add Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon too. 

9. Do you have any other published books? 

I have a few other books published to ebook format: One Insular Tahiti, Secret Language of CRows, Anomaly, and Pray for Reign. 

10. Do you have any WIP 

Tons. I’ve already begun the sequel (book 1) to Formed of Clay. 

11 When did you begin writing? What got you into the habbit? 

I started at 12 and again at 15, but seriously started at 26. I’m 44 now. So it’s been a while. The habit is sometimes more of a committment, I’m afraid. Sometimes I have to push myself.

12 Do you have any advice for fellow writters and or authors? 

Write, read, and teach. Give of yourself to every writer coming behind you and always take criticism graciously. 

J.F. Jenkins

1. What were you inspirations behind this book?

I had a dream one night about being sacrificed to a deity. In the
dream, a man came and saved me from the sacrifice, but then explained
that he WAS the deity I was being sacrificed to. He showed me his
kingdom and then said that if I agreed to be his, it could also be
mine.
The dragon element came into the picture because that was what he
turned into when he did his official business. When I woke up, I wrote
the dream down, sat and stirred on it for a little while and it flowed
from there.

2. How long did this book take you to write?

This particular draft took a couple of months, but I’ve been working
on it for years trying to get the idea solid.

3. Did you do any research with this book?

A tiny bit, but not a whole lot. Most of it came from inside my own
head. The research I did use were pictures so I could have a visual of
what the dragons looked like to help with descriptions.

4. What do dragons mean to you?

I’ve always thought of them as powerful and mysterious creatures. I
feel bad for them because they’re usually bad or destructive, and I
think they’re deep and sentient. They just want some love, like Dragon
from “Shrek”.

5. Where did Tai’s story come from

Tai’s story is interesting because for a while she didn’t want to open
up to even me about her story (yes, I talk about my characters as if
they’re real people. It’s weird, I know). I knew though I couldn’t get
this book to be what I wanted it to be without understanding how she
ticked. I sat down and stared at my manuscript and that’s when
everything about her Dad leaving the home came. From there I started
to expand on the details of her home life, many of them will come out
more in the future.

6. What happens next? Can you give us a sneak peak into book 2. do you
have any clue how many books will be in this series? why?

Book two I plan on focusing on the Inero story. There’s a lot going on
in their world too to explain the great war that’s about to take
place. Overall I plan on the series being about five books and
possibly two short stories. The short stories will be about the other
tribes, the Aero and the Terran. It will introduce the Touched
characters from those tribes. From there I’ll dive into book three,
which will be a direct sequel to books one and two. I can’t talk much
more about them without giving away all kinds of spoilers, but I’m
excited to write them all.

7. Who is behind the characters? or are they just random?

The characters are all randomly based. I didn’t model them off of one
person or another.

8. Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen King, Joseph Delany, J.K. Rowling, Ally Carter are a few.  I
have a lot of authors I enjoy a lot.

9. What are your favorite books?

“The Stand” by Stephen King, “The Historian” Elizabeth Kostova ,
“Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke, The Dark Tower
series by Stephen King, and “Gramercy Park” by Paula Cohen.

10. Do you have any tips for fellow writers?

Don’t stop loving what you do or the story. Just keep writing.

11. How long have you been writing? What does writing mean to you?

I’ve been writing for about thirteen years. To me, writing is a
wonderful escape and a productive way to be creative for me. It’s a
great feeling to be able to write and finish a story you’ve been dying
to tell.

12. Did you get stuck anywhere in this book?

A lot of times! Especially when I had to make some big changes. I got
so frustrated I didn’t even want to look at my computer for about
three days, did some reading and gaming and then came back to it.

13. How do you push through writers block?

I remind myself that whatever I write, I can change later. I tend to
only get writer’s block on the first draft. My first draft I focus on
telling the story, the second draft I fill in gaps and expand on the
story, and the third is all about cleaning up the manuscript. So when
I do get stuck on the story, I remind myself I just gotta push it out,
and I can edit it later when I’m finished. It helps me not focus on if
whether or not it’s good material.

14. Do you listen to music when you write?

I used to, but not so much anymore. Now when I write, I usually have
my son’s favorite TV show on, or music of him to enjoy.  He’s big into
music too. I’ve gotten used to his background noise, so I block him
out. When I did listen to music of my own, it was generally a movie
score.  Some of my favorites: “Atonement”, “Princess Mononoke”, James
Horner music, “Letters from Iwo Jima”, and music by Nuttin But
Stringz. Most of the time when I do listen to music of my own, I
listen to plotting songs. Those are all over the place, from Anberlin,
to Lady Gaga, to Gavin Mikhail, to Skillet. My musical tastes are
varied.

15. Where do you like to write? Is there anything you HAVE to have?

I do most of my writing in my living room in my recliner while on my
netbook, otherwise it’s in a notebook when I’m out and about. I like
to have my writing gloves, which are fingerless gloves to keep my
hands warm, or a blanket.  I need to be warm or I can’t focus. I also
need to be awake.

16 Do you have and other WIP besides this series?

I have two. One is a sci-fi story involving aliens, super heroes, teen
angst, young love, and sarcasm. The other is an urban fantasy about a
nymph who finds out she’s the daughter of a goddess. Because of her
heritage, she’s promised to a demon. With the help of gorgeous twin
satyr halflings and a witch doctor, she fights against this agreement
and embraces her divine lineage.

17. Do you write first or just type?

It depends.  I do a little bit of both. Sometimes I write stuff out
first by hand and type that up.  Sometimes I have an outline, and
sometimes I just completely wing it.

18. is there anything else you would like to say?

Thanks for having me!

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