Friday, September 28, 2012

Win a Copy of Desert Fire!

Win a e-copy of H.M. Prevost's book Desert Fire.
How to enter:

- Enter a comment in the comments section of the interview with Ms. Prevost before Tuesday, October 2, 2012!

Stay tuned for the winner, who will be required to submit their email address to: bethovermyer@gmail.com

Author Interview: H.M. Prévost

Happy Friday, all! Welcome to blog. Today I have H.M. Prévost, author of Desert Fire, joining us. Are you ready? Here we go!

Cover art: 


Me: Welcome to my blog! Tell us a little about your book

H.M.: After running to the scene of a plane crash in Abu Dhabi, Nick Chevalier stumbles across classified military secrets. A ruthless terrorist will stop at nothing to get them. As Nick investigates the cover-up behind the downed plane, he crosses paths with an agent from a covert espionage agency and makes the leap from high school senior to teen spy. But he realizes too late that he put more than his own life at risk—his mother and sister are also in danger. Does he have what it takes to outwit a terrorist who wants him dead and save the two people he loves?

Me: Is this your debut book? 

H.M.: Yes, Desert Fire is my first novel. The sequel, Shadow Army, will be published in December. The content edits are done, and I am waiting for line edits!

Me: How long did this book take you, from draft one to ready to submit?

H.M.: I wrote it in ten months, which for me, is really fast! Then I spent a few months polishing it with my critique partners and started sending it out to publishers. Finding a publisher took forever (well over a year)!

Me: Random question time: Your main character finds him- or herself in a burning museum (of your choice) with the President of the United States of America, the Queen of England, and their favorite actor. They can only save one person or object. Who or what is it and why?

H.M.: Considering all the intrigue in this spy novel, I would have to say the President of the USA. Nick would grab the President, swing the man over his shoulder, and escape out a window. Being who he is, he wouldn’t take credit it for it and wouldn’t like being called a hero. 

Me: Here's my favorite question to ask authors: "Do you believe in the dreaded Writer's Block?" If so, how do YOU get past it?

H.M.: I think it’s a myth. Sometimes I’m too tired to come up with new ideas, but that’s not writer’s block, it’s fatigue! A writer can come up with ideas at any time. I find that I have too many ideas, and I never have time to write them all down. 

Me: Care to tell us anything about your current work-in-progress?

H.M.: It is a steampunk novel about a girl who is an inventor in a strict London society that does not allow women to be inventors. 

Me: And last but not least: Do you have any words of wisdom for new and aspiring authors?

H.M.: Don’t give up! Get a critique group, keep writing and keep submitting what you write! 

Me: Thank you for the interview! I wish you much success and happiness.
 
Beth

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H.M. Prévost is a writer, photographer, teacher and avid reader of YA fiction. Thrillers, fantasy and paranormal romances (that’s right, pretty much anything with a vampire in it!) are her favorite genres. She also loves to paint and has covered her house with murals. For many years, she worked abroad in the United Arab Emirates, which provided an exotic setting for her debut YA thriller, Desert Fire. She lives in Québec with her husband, two rambunctious daughters, and Ginger the cat.

Visit her at: www.hmprevost.com

ETA - One lucky reader will win a copy of H.M's book!! Just leave a comment on this post to enter and stay tuned for the winner!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Author Interview: Marva Dasef

Hello, lovelies. Today I have Marva Dasef, author of Setara's Genie, on the blog. Grab your cocoa and let's get started!

Cover art by

Me: Welcome to my blog! I'd like to know more about your book. Care to share?

Marva: Thank you for the invite, Beth. I'm particularly grateful since I have a brand new ebook released on August 17th from MuseItUp Publishing. Here's the basic info.

Setara's Genie
A girl, a genie, a few demons. Would could go wrong?

Abu Nuwas sits in the bazaar on his threadbare rug; a cup and sign proclaim him a teller of tales. For one small coin, he bids passers by to listen. A poor girl, Najda, sells spices from a tray. Would he, she asks, trade a tale for a packet of spice? Abu Nuwas agrees and begins the epic adventures of a girl and her genie.

As did Scheherazade before him, Abu leaves Najda hanging in the middle of each yarn to keep her coming back. Between stories, he questions the girl about her life. He discovers that she’s been promised in marriage to an old man whom she hates, but she must wed him to save her sick mother’s life. The rich bridegroom will pay for the doctors the mother needs. Meanwhile, Najda sells spices in the market to earn enough money to keep her mother alive.

He relates the adventures of the bored daughter of a rich merchant, Setara, and her genie, Basit, as they encounter the creatures of legend and folklore: a lonely cave demon seeking a home; a flying, fire-breathing horse who has lost his mate; a dragon searching for his family; an evil genie hunting for the man who put him in a lamp; and a merboy prince cast out of his undersea kingdom.

MuseItUp Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/SetarasGenie
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00906ZAPU

Me: Is this your debut book?

Marva: Way past debut. I have a fairly extensive publishing history. I did my first self-pub with a set of humorous stories based on my father's tales of growing up in West Texas during the Great Depression. Yes, humorous. It's been a very popular book, especially since I had the foresight to do a large print edition. It's appealing to older folk, especially those who were raised in rural areas. There's at least one animal in every story, both domestic and wild. Here's a list of what I've had published in various formats over the last five or so years:

Tales of a Texas Boy (the above book)
First Duty - YA SciFi
Ultimate Duty - Adult version of the above
Quest for the Simurgh - MG/YA fantasy
Missing, Assumed Dead - Adult (but clean) mystery
The Witches of Galdorheim Series, including Bad Spelling, Midnight Oil, and Scotch Broom.

I've also produced a couple of short story collections. Since I've had quite a few  shorts published here and there on-line, I decided to make a couple of compilations. I like to use the shorter one, Mixed Bag, as a freebie introducing my writing. The longer contains all the stories of the short one, plus a bunch more. It's titled Mixed Bag II: Supersized.

All my books and their buy links are on my website: http://tinyurl.com/DasefAuthor and I talk about them a lot on my blog: http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/

Me: How long did this book take you, from draft one to ready to submit?

Marva: That's a tough question since Setara's Genie began life as a single short story, which was published by a micropublisher as a chapter book. I wrote another story, continuing from where the first story ended. Then another and another. Eventually, I decided that it would work better as a single episodic novel. I use the frame story technicque of 1001 Arabian Nights with a story teller relating Setara's adventures to a poor girl who needs her spirits lifted. 

I wrote the first story some time in the late 80s. When I retired, I pulled out my various stories, which I never attempted to have published, and started reworking them into what they have become today. 

Me: As an author, who has influenced your work the most?

Marva: My crit partners keep me going. Since they're authors, mentors, and friends, then that covers it. I also have a couple of high school teachers that encouraged me in the first place. Everybody deserves to have at least one inspirational teacher. I'm a huge advocate of spending public funds on education. We're lost if we don't have an educated generation following us.

Me: Random question time: You are stranded on a desert island and allowed only three books. Which books are they?

Marva: Complete Works of Shakespeare, a very large dictionary, and a compact encyclopedia. Hey, I'm a writer, not just a reader. Since Shakespeare covered just about every plot, I can borrow as freely as I wish. Then, if I have no writing tools, I'll etch words on banana leaves or cocoanut shells with a sharp stick. (Interviewer's note: LOVE IT!)

Me: ere's my favorite question to ask authors: "Do you believe in the dreaded Writer's Block?" If so, how do YOU get past it?

Marva: I don't know if my procrastination is writer's block or just crankiness. Since I have quie a few books out, I'm finding lack of concentrated time for writing because of the requirements of marketing. Every writer hates marketing, unless they're a celebrity who didn't really write their book anyway.

Me: Care to tell us anything about your current work-in-progress?

Marva: I have two possibles partially outlined, and have decided to use Nanowrimo as a great kickstart to quit marketing and begin writing again. One is in the Witches of Galdorheim series, focusing on a secondary character who is very popular with readers, especially the female readers. He's the main character's little brother. Both are witches, but the girl, Kat, has problems with magic (think green slime and explosions), while brother Rune is great with magic and charming as all get out. By the end of the third book in the series, he's almost a man, and has some issues of his own to think about. The main one being that he has a vampire father who would love to get to know his son better. Rune, needless to say, is not thrilled with spending a few weeks in a dank castle with a vampire pack.

Me: And last but not least: Do you have any words of wisdom for new and aspiring authors?

Marva: Don't take everybody's advice on how your story should go. It's your story, not theirs. It's hard to stand up to experienced writers when they give you "rules" you must follow. Heed what they're saying, but do it how you feel is right.

Second (notice how I'm getting advice when I just said to not listen), do not neglect careful editing. Nothing to me, as a reader, is more off-putting than typos and misused words. Don't count on your publisher (if you get one) to clean up after you. They simply won't take your work if it's a mess.

Me: Thank you for the interview! Best of luck to you with your writing.

Beth

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mark Your Calendars!

This Friday, September 21, author Marva Dasef will be interviewed here on my blog. Yay! 

___
If you are an interviewee, please remember to return your interview to me at least one week prior to its publication. Thanks!

Beth

Friday, September 14, 2012

Author Interview: Victoria Ley

Today I have Victoria Ley, author of the novel Darkseed: Awakening, on my blog. Here we go!

Cover art: Mike Zambrano 



Me: Welcome to the blog! I'm glad you agreed to this interview. Would you like to kick us off by sharing what your book's about?

Victoria: Hey Beth! Thank you for inviting me over. The story follows two teenage girls at their awakening to the supernatural world around them. One of them, Sarah, moves into a new house with her mother, and it isn’t long before she realises that someone else is also ‘living’ there. It’s a spirit, and he moves and hides Sarah’s things as he is desperate to get her attention. It’s once he has her attention that the problems start.

Me: Is this your debut book?

Victoria: It is. And it’s the first of the Darkseed series.

Me: How long did this book take you, from draft one to ready to submit?

Victoria: God, erm… I finished writing the book… The end of 2010, I think? Once I finished, that was it, and I submitted it right away. I don’t write in drafts—it’s actually only this last year that I’ve realised most people do it like that, that they get the story down on paper and then work out the mechanics later. That was an alien concept to me. I write how I read, and put words down exactly as I would expect it to find them.

Me:  As an author, who has influenced your work the most?

Victoria: I've no idea. I’m a massive Stephen King fan, have been since I was ten, so that’s probably influenced me in some way. He’s unpredictable. I love that he doesn't insist on the happy endings for his characters, sometimes they bollix things up and everything goes horribly wrong. As a result, I’m not going to pull punches for my characters. If they are in a situation that they couldn’t realistically escape from, then they probably won't. It’s not my job to save them!

Me: If you could be friends with any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Victoria: The spirit, I think. He's the ultimate in invisible friends; he can eavesdrop for you, move things around you, and can feed you information. Whether that information is right, however, is something you have to take on faith. The girls have fun with him.

Me: Do you believe in the dreaded writer’s block? If so, how do you get past it?

Victoria: I’m not sure I do. Believe in it, I mean. Well, it’s not affected me anyway—I guess that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist for others.  There have been times when I’ve said/thought “Oh I'm blocked” but I wasn’t really. I’m just lazy, and couldn't be bothered to think about the story. My biggest problem when it comes to writing is just opening the file on my laptop. It’s ridiculous, as I love writing, and when I start, it’s bloody hard to stop me, but sometimes just opening the file and looking at the manuscript is the most difficult thing in the world, and I’ll do anything to avoid it. It’s senseless! To get past it, I remind myself that nobody is gonna do it for me. This is what I want to be, this is what I want to do, and I've had far worse jobs! If I don’t do it, it’s only me who’ll suffer. No one else will miss out.

Me: Care to tell us about your current work-in-progress?

Victoria: I’ve a few things on the go at the moment. The primary one is Darkseed 2, that’s my priority. I’m really liking the changes one of the characters is going through, the development of her psychic side. I've wanted to be writing this sort of thing since I began Awakening, and I held back as it had to happen gradually. Although Awakening is a supernatural book, and obviously fiction, I tried really hard to keep it subtle so that the events and phenomena that occurred didn’t seem so unbelievable. I’m not having to rein the second book in so much.

   The other main story I'm writing is a survival horror. There’s no subtlety there, it’s an out-and-out visceral nightmare of apocalyptic proportions. I began that quite off the cuff when I learnt of the ‘draft’ way of writing, and I wanted to see how quickly I could get a book down on paper.  I wrote 20k words in three days before dragging myself back to DS2. I am kinda obsessed with the horror story, and when I have a “can’t be bothered” day with DS2, I entertain myself by playing with this. It’s demonic and brutal, and a lot of the characters have got Stephen King’d so far.

Me: Do you have any words of wisdom for new and aspiring authors?

Victoria: Not really! Everyone's different, and we all have different ways of working. I’m bored of reading ‘advice’ some authors seem desperate to depart—it usually starts with “Everybody thinks this” or “Everybody wants that”. They're wrong, it’s simply an indication of what they think, they want. Don’t let their arrogance make you feel as though you’re doing something wrong because you disagree. You will have your own motivations for being who you are, and what you want to become. Don’t lose sight of that.

 If there was anything I could impart that maybe someone would find of use, it would be “open that file”. Nobody’s gonna do it for you, so get on with it.

_____
About Victoria Ley: I live in south east England, and it’s where you'll find me writing, horse-riding, or messing about on a film set.

Find Victoria on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DarkseedAwakening, and Twitter: @toriley

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stay Tuned!

Check out the ol' blogger-oo this Friday for an interview with author Victoria Ley!

Hear about her book "Darkseed: Awakening" and learn more about the face behind the words. Cool beans, bellas!

See ya here and then,
Beth
____

If you're an author of middle grade or young adult (indie, traditional, or self-pubbed) and would like to be interviewed, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me: bethovermyer@gmail.com

Note that I do NOT interview vanity-published authors (a publication where you have to pay $$ and don't make any $$ and you just get "exposure." A wise man once said that a body can die of too much exposure.) I don't want to support that shady biz.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Author Interview: Enita Meadows

Today I have Enita Meadows, author of The Messenger, on my blog. Let's get to it!

Cover art by Kaytalin Platt


Me: Welcome! Tell us a bit about your book. 

Enita: Thank you for having me! My book, The Messenger, is a YA Paranormal novel about Alexis Forsyth who, after losing her mother in an accident, moves to live with her older cousin in the Puget Sound. It’s not long before she meets Cougar, and learns about his curse. He’s a skinwalker, and named for the ancient animal spirit which possesses him. With shapeshifting (among other) abilities, he’s one of four skinwalkers in the Puyallup tribe; the others being the badger skinwalker and “chief” Benjamin Beran, the reckless grizzly bear Dante Beran (Ben’s son), and the Aztec golden eagle Caleb Dorado. They all have immense powers from their animal totems, but the spirits also bring with them a lingering grudge that makes Alex a target. While Cougar struggles with the conflict between his friendship with Alexis and the emotions his curse inflicts on him, the two will also have to deal with the other skinwalkers, who see Cougar as a traitor and Alex as an enemy.

Me: Is this your debut work?

Enita: This is my debut novel! I’ve written other stories before, but this is the first one I really pursued publication for.

Me: How long did this book take you, from draft one to ready to submit?

Enita: Months, if you don’t count the time I spent just letting it collect dust. A few years, if you do count that time. The Messenger was written on-and-off for about a year, with a period of brainstorming and plotting beforehand. When I was done, I kind of let it sit, not thinking to actually submit it. So when I did, it had been sitting on a USB for a year or so.

Me: As an author, who has influenced your work the most? 

Enita: I started writing pretty young, so keep that in mind when I say I started writing after reading the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. It’s a children’s fantasy about feral cats, and the voice caught my attention and really held me there as a kid. Even now, many years later, I have the first of those books on my iPad and still read it occasionally. I learned to write when I was younger by copying the writing style of that author, then deviating from it once I was comfortable and creating my own. So I’d have to say the people who have influenced me most (as an author, at least) are the team behind the Erin Hunter books, because they got me interested in writing.

Me: Random question time: If your main character were marooned on a desert island, what three items would s/he bring and why?

Enita: Depends, there’s two main characters, Alex and Cougar. Alex would bring, first of all, a water distillation system (even though she knows that answer’s no fun), because she likes to, you know, live. Then she’d bring her camera and tons of film, because, duh, her digital camera would run out of battery before she’s rescued, leaving her no chance to wander and take photos. Lastly she’d bring a (really long) book to pass the time when she’s done with her film.

Coug’s a whole different story. He’s pretty good at surviving on his own, so he’s not going to worry about the same things Alex would. He’d bring his dreamcatcher necklace, firstly, because it helps him stay in control of himself, and that’s important even when he’s alone. Then he’d bring a gallon jug of water to last him a couple days. I could also see him bringing along something childish like a toy or a coloring book to keep him entertained. The reason he chose such limited items is because, with his telepathic bond to his “brothers” back home (one of which can fly) he doesn’t really plan on staying marooned very long.

Me: Here's my favorite question to ask authors: "Do you believe in the dreaded Writer's Block?" If so, how do YOU get past it?

Enita: No, I don’t believe in it. I only believe in writer’s laziness, but that’s not to call people lazy. It just happens, sometimes we’re bored with our writing and we lose interest. I’ve found that if you push right through, you can manage to write something half-salvageable down. If you leave it alone and come back to it when you’re feeling more up to it, that tends to work, too.

Me: Care to tell us anything about your current work-in-progress?

Enita: I do have one in place, but only in a very early, brainstorming stage. It’s something of a fractured fairy tale, with the working title BOOTS. I’m playing with a few ideas, but the basic idea is that a girl inherits a chartreux cat named Boots in her grandmother’s will, but the cat turns out to be a cursed seventeenth-century French servant. He was cursed to live nine human lifetimes in the body of a cat as a punishment for betraying his original master, and now he has to “serve selflessly as a servant should,” in order to return to a human form. I think I might already have said too much about it, actually, so I’ll leave it at that.

Me: And last but not least: Do you have any words of wisdom for new and aspiring authors?

Enita: It’s been said time and time again, but only because it’s true: Don’t give up, keep trying! Also, you’re never too young to be an author. Don’t let other people’s ideas get you down.

Me: Thanks so much for your time! Best of luck to you with your writing future. May it be full of much fun and success.

____
About Enita: I was born in Northern California, and moved to Washington State around the age of ten, which is also around the time I began writing. 2012 will mark my return to California to attend college there.

You can visit Enita at her blog: http://www.enitameadows.blogspot.com