Author Spotlight: Nikki Rae

Bio: Nikki Rae is a student and writer who lives in New Jersey. She is an independent author and has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is the author of The Sunshine Series and concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. She writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

What all have you written? Include everything:
The Sunshine Series:
Sunshine (Book 1)
Sun Poisoned (Book 2)
Sun Damage (Book 3)

Where can we buy or see them?:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
Sophie is a girl who has been damaged a lot during her life. The books are mainly about her struggles and how she copes, grows, and the person she becomes by the end. There are paranormal elements, but the story has always focused on Sophie’s character.

What are you working on at the minute?:
A horror/suspense stand alone spin off novel, which is currently untitled.

What genre are your books?:
It’s going to have a few characters from The Sunshine Series, but you won’t have to read it in order to understand this one. It’s a lot darker, and a lot more intense than The Sunshine Series, and I’m really enjoying writing it so far. : )

What draws you to this genre?:
I like the paranormal because it hints at a different world going on alongside ours, that there are things we may not be aware of, and I also like monsters. They’re often perfect metaphors for humans.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
I do research for fun, and then the research ends up in my books. For Sunshine, I wanted to know about allergies to the sun that I included. For the spin off book, animals are an important part of the story, and I already know a lot about animals because of my day job, so I had more of an excuse to research birds and cats.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
I don’t think I ever just “decided” to become a writer. I always wrote, but I decided to become an “author” when I sought out publishing and trying to get my work into other peoples’ hands, which was around my first year of college, over five years ago.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
Yes. I always try to write 500-2000 words a day.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
I usually don’t outline until after I have my first rough draft, and even then, there isn’t much to the outline, just some notes and important scenes I want to include/change.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
Being alone. I usually like being alone and being in my head while I write, but sometimes it gets hard, especially when people ask me what I did all day or why I have that far off look on my face.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
Creating. I like that there’s endless possibilities when you make up people and those peoples’ lives. They can grow or stay the same, they can make it through a situation or give up, etc. Once I have my characters laid out, I like how they take control of the story and how I can watch it unfold.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
About six to eight months.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?:
I let it sit for at least a month, that way when I go back to edit, I can look at it without being so attached to everything.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?:
My good friend Amanda edited Sun Damage and I chose her because we met in Creative Writing, I experienced how good she was at editing, and she liked my work, so it was a no-brainer choosing her.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I self publish because I like the control I have over everything: the promotional aspect, the cover, the blurb, all of it. There’s no one telling me what to do besides me.

How do you market your books?:
Any way I can. I do author takeovers, I send out review requests to bloggers, I ask other indie authors to help me out, hosting giveaways or contests…anything that works. I’m always open to new things.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
I look up bloggers that I like and ask them. It seems simple, and it kind of is.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Do it. If you want to write you need to write. It’s not always easy, but if you keep going, you’ll end up in amazing places you never thought you would. : )

Website: nikkixrae.blogspot.com

Blog: ^^SAME^^

Facebook:
The Sunshine Series: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sunshine-Series/125028937642434?ref=hl
Nikki Rae: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nikki-Rae/394844663902407?ref=hl

Twitter: @NikkiRaexX

Tumblr: Nikkixrae.tumblr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Rae/e/B00B8YR0Y6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NikkiRae

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-The-Series-Nikki-Rae-ebook/dp/B00B6T24H6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395853375&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=sunshine+nikki+rae
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Poisoned-The-Sunshine-Series-ebook/dp/B00DOOCY8A/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1XSZCN9ZXM5P792XJEAD

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6751095.Nikki_Rae

Stay tuned for my review of Sun Damage (the third novel, releasing March 28) in the near future! 

Author Spotlight: Samuel Tucker Young

Derek Agons Slays A Dragon

What all have you written? Include everything:
– A couple screen plays, none sold though. Also, I have written a lot of music under the moniker Timberwolf. Last but not least, I have written the Young Adult Fantasy, Derek Agons Slays A Dragon.

Where can we buy or see them?:
– The book is available to purchase in paperback form on the official website (www.officialderekagons.com) or Amazon.com. The Timberwolf album is streaming on Spotify, iTunes and Pandora.

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
– Derek is essentially me, as a kid in high school. He is obsessed with videogames, apathetic towards any school class that isn’t drama and more interested in the sky than the world around him. He’s spent most of his time arguing with his siblings and staying out of trouble. Too bad that won’t last for long with what I have in store for him!

What are you working on at the minute?:
– Writing the second book in the series, along with recording a new album.

What is it about?:
– The second book is a continuation of the series, which I definitely can’t divulge too much info on. Heck, even the title of it is a bit of a spoiler.

What genre are your books?:
Primarily Fantasy, though usually Young Adult Fantasy.

What draws you to this genre?:
Fantasy in every aspect absolutely fascinates me. The thought of a secret world hidden beneath our own, in any capacity, is thrilling in every way. From Harry Potter to Narnia to Pokemon, I walk around thininkg about all the little oddities of life and how they could easily be a doorway to something special. Even worlds that aren’t directly linked to our own intrigue me. Redwall, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Wheel of Time . . these series keep me coming back for more because of the immense amount of imagination it takes to build them. I feed on those worlds and the creative juices it took to imagine them.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
Absolutely. From names, to myths, to places and news stories, I love to keep my stories grounded in reality regardless of how fantastical they may become. I have a habit of taking everything around me, everything that I know to be finite and true, and twisting it and turning it into something magical. Researching actual facts about the world we live in just fuels my creativity.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
When I was in high school, I noticed early on how much effort it took just to pull a C+ average in Math, whereas I slept my way through English and still pulled A’s. It was then I had the thought that I should probably be a writer of some sort . .

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
Not at all. I just sit and write. Some days, barely a sentence comes out that I actually use. Others, three pages plop out that I never change in the slightest.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
Yes, always. If I’m writing, I know where I’m going. I may not know every single step along the way, but the path is set.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
Actually writing. Sitting down, opening up the laptop and staying diligent, no matter how much of a trudge it can be, is both excruciating and exhilarating.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
. . Actually writing. I know, it seems silly, but the truth is when I’m in the zone, I find that 4 hours just went by and I’ve been writing the entire time. This is the exhilarating part. Writing and knowing that the words are fluid is so easy and carefree. I get lost in it.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
Depends on how long it takes for a full outline to surface. This particular one took about 4 years, but the majority of it was written in spurts. Now that I know exactly in which direction I’m taking the series, it’ll hopefully be a year or two in-between books.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I am self publishing the novel through Amazon and createspace. I love the artistic and creative control both outlets give you.

How do you market your books?:
Ah, the hustle. It’s emails, emails, emails, talking, talking, talking. I’ve made business cards with the book cover on one side so that I can hand someone something physical every time they seem interested.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
Same thing. Marketing and reviews go hand in hand.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Write, create and never stop dreaming. Set your goals for the most unrealistic heights, the biggest dreams, and then don’t stop until you achieve it. No matter how hard or dark the road ahead is, there is and always will be a reward if you work your butt off. I firmly believe it. So seriously . . write, create and never stop dreaming.

Website: http://www.officialderekagons.com

Facebook: facebook.com/officialderekagons

Twitter: twitter.com/heistimberwolf

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/Derek-Agons-Dragon-Samuel-Tucker/dp/0615868584/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392868804&sr=1-1&keywords=derek+agons+slays+a+dragon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20873485-derek-agons-slays-a-dragon

Stay tuned for my review of Derek Agons Slays A Dragon in the future.

Author Spotlight: Marisa Oldham

The Falling of Love (Falling, #1)

Bio: California born Marisa Oldham, now resides in Arizona where she practices her love of writing and photography in both a leisurely and professional fashion.
At the age of fifteen, Marisa wrote her first short story.
Marisa attends The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division where she is studying to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Science – Photography. Marisa has completed both a World Literature and a Creative Writing – Fiction course during her studies.
When asked what genre her books should be categorized as Marisa answers, “Contemporary Romance.”
Marisa has already self-published three novels, part of a three part series she calls The Falling Series of Novels. The Falling of Love, Marisa’s debut novel begins the story of Grace Hathaway, a seventeen-year-old typical teenager who meets and falls in love with Ian Taylor, a rebel, misfit, outsider that is new to her small town. The Falling of Grace, the second novel in the series picks up right where The Falling of Love ended. The Falling of Hope, the third and final novel in the series begins two years after the end of The Falling of Grace.
Marisa has two more novels in the works at the current time, one with a working title of You Have Such a Pretty Face a romance novel that will explore the self-esteem issues of the main female character, societies views on overweight people, and how this makes overweight people feel, with a romantic, witty, and heartwarming story.
The second novel in the writing process does not have a working title at this time, but will be a spin-off to the Falling series where the main  character will be Michelle Hathaway, Grace’s little sister.
Marisa is also entertaining the idea of writing a historical romance based on a photo-shoot she did in 2012 and since she loves to read thrillers, she plans to try to see where she can go with tackling writing a thriller.

What all have you written? Include everything:
The Falling of Love (book 1), The Falling of Grace (book 2) and The Falling of Hope (book 3)

Where can we buy or see them?:
Amazon, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and LuLu.co

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
When the series starts Grace is a young and niave 17 year old girl who had lost her parents at a young age and is being raised by her older brother. She is an artist and also dreams of becoming a model. By the end of the series Grace has been through many more difficult life changing experiences and she is in her early thirties. I would hope that my readers will see the growth in Grace with each different novel in the series.

What are you working on at the minute?:
A book with only the title of Michelle’s book for the moment, until I can come up with a better title and a book called You Have Such a Pretty Face

What is it about?:
Michelle’s book is a spin-off to the Falling series where the main character is Grace’s younger sister Michelle (she’s been very popular with my readers)
You Have Such a Pretty Face is about a young, big, beautiful women named Phoebe who is a fashion photographer and she falls in love with a male model. It will deal with the mindset of a larger person and how it effects her life, but also have lots of juicy drama and romance.

What genre are your books?:
This is always a difficult question for me to answer. They’re not exactly romance with lines like, he dove his head between her mounds of flesh, and they’re not exactly erotica because each novel only has about five graphic sexual scenes. I like to call them love stories, because to me that’s what they are. I’ve been told they are either women’s fiction or contemporary romances.

What draws you to this genre?:
I’m a sucker for a good love story! I also like to read about drama, since I like to keep my life as drama-free as possible.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
Yes. I had to research many things for my books. When I read I like to escape and some of the places I would like to escape to would be Italy and France so naturally I write about these places in my books. To do so, I had to do a lot of research. For the book I am currently writing I have had to do a lot of research as well, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I won’t tell you what I’m researching. 😉

When did you decide to become a writer?:
I wrote my first “book” (probably more like a novella) when I was fifteen and after that I only wrote for college. I’ve had stories in my mind almost my whole life and I got bored one day and decided to start writing. Now I’ve written three novels and I’m working on two more, and I have ideas for more in my mind.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
Yes, I try to write books that are at least 60,000 words.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
I am an organic writer. I never use an outline and besides the basic core of what my stories are, I never really know what I’m going to write until I actually write it. I just wrote something major in Michelle’s book that I never dreamed I would have happen, but there it is.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
Editing! It is the most tedious task and once you’ve completed writing your story all you want to do is share it.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
Writing…for me it’s so easy to just sit and write for hours on end. Once my mind is flowing with dialogue and plots I just keep going.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
It depends on if I am working full time or not. I wrote my first book in about two weeks. The third took a lot longer because I was working.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?:
Right after because I’m so anxious to get them to my readers and I get asked a lot about when the next book is coming. Although I start editing right away, it takes months!

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?:
Christina Campbell, Lulah Wolfinger and Frankie Fraiser. Lulah Wolfinger and Frankie are two of my readers who always have an eye for catching my errors. Christina was recommended by a friend.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
Self-pub. I never imagined I would be sharing my book with the world or that I would have fans of the book in Europe. I write because I love to, not to make money so the speediness of self-publishing appealed to me. In addition, no one is going to try and change my stories if I publish them myself.

How do you market your books?:
Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. I’m a marketing nightmare!

What do you do to get book reviews?:
I pester my readers on Facebook 🙂 I am also part of a group on Goodreads that is specifically for authors and reviewers. I also love to share my work with other authors because I believe they see things that readers don’t.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Just do it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or that you’re not good enough. Write a story you love and nothing else matters.

Website: http://www.marisaoldham.com

Blog: http://thefallingseries.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefallingseriesofnovels?sk=messages_inbox&ref=hl

Twitter: mothphoto

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authormarisa

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/marisaoldham

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Marisa+Oldham&search-alias=books&text=Marisa+Oldham&sort=relevancerank

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MarisaOldham

I would like to thank Marisa for her time in completing the interview. Stay tuned for my review of The Falling of Love coming in the near future.

Author Spotlight: Milena Veen

Just Like a Musical

Bio: Milena Veen was born in Belgrade, Serbia. Her first piece of writing, a poem about a walking cherry, saw the light of the day when she was seven. She’s been writing ever since.
Milena graduated from University of Belgrade with a degree in psychology. She lives in a little European town with her husband and a mute cat. When she’s not writing, Milena spends her time reading, riding her bicycle, and listening to music. She prefers clouds to sunshine and coffee to tea.

What all have you written? Include everything:
I’m just beginning my journey as a writer. I published my first novel, ‘Just Like a Musical’, a couple of weeks ago.

Where can we buy or see them?:
My book is available on Amazon. Readers can also download a free excerpt from Goodreads.

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
Ruby is seventeen years old. She’s a dreamer, she loves music and old movies, and she’s a bit old-fashioned. Ruby’s trying to find her place in the world, and that’s not easy for her, especially if we take into account her overprotective mother. But she will find strength in her relationship with a charming old lady who lives across the street and a quirky boy who has family issues of his own.

What are you working on at the minute?:
Apart from promoting my first novel, I’m thinking about the next one. I haven’t started to write yet, but the characters are slowly forming in my head. It’s important for me to let them come to life and understand them before I put them on paper.

What is it about?:
I’m not sure yet, but I’ll tell you when I find out.

What genre are your books?:
I write contemporary fiction. Both adults and young readers can find something appealing in my book, but my main characters are in their teenage years.

What draws you to this genre?:
I’ve always enjoyed reading realistic fiction, and adolescence is a period which I think is the most important in one’s life. I try to create young, realistic characters and put them in situations that my readers would find familiar and relatable.

Do you have to do research for your books?:
I had done a lot of fact-checking while writing ‘Just Like a Musical’. Some things were easy to find, but some of them really gave me a headache. I even had to delete a couple of lines because I found so many contradicting information.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
It wasn’t really a decision. I’ve been writing in one way or another ever since I was little. As for my first novel, I just woke up one morning with that burning feeling in my chest, and all the words begging me to write them down. So I just had to do it, it was inevitable.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
I used to when I began to write, but I realized that it takes away from the quality of my writing, so I gave up. I guess it works for some writers, but definitely not for me.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
I scribbled down a very vague, undetailed outline before I started writing ‘Just Like a Musical’. I changed so many things along the way, however, that I would say it was more something like a general sentiment written down than an actual outline.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
I have a day job, so the hardest part for me is to wait for eight hours before I get back home to write. I also find the post-publishing stuff pretty hard – marketing, promotion, finding your target audience.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
Everything was easy for me as long as I had enough time for writing. I didn’t have writer’s block, I didn’t struggle to find the right word… But maybe it’s because this is my first book.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
It took me about nine months to write this one. We’ll see about the next.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?:
I’m very impatient when it comes to editing. I know that I should let it sit for a while, and I do, but that doesn’t prevent me from peeking inside from time to time and thinking about all the things that should be changed.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?:
I hired Christie Stratos from Proof Positive to proofread my manuscript. I had read excerpts from the books she had worked on before I decided to hire her, and somehow I knew that she was the right person for me. I must say that she did an amazing job with my debut novel.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I have decided to self-publish my book even before I started writing. It’s the path that seems frightening, but it’s also exciting. Everything is in your hands. You’re free to do whatever you want with your book, but you’re also the one who bears the responsibility.

How do you market your books?:
I try to reach out to book bloggers who are interested in contemporary YA. I’ve booked a book tour for late February / early March. I’m also trying out different book promotion sites like Story Cartel, Awesome Gang, etc.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
All of the above. And let me tell you, it’s a hard work, way harder that writing a book. I’ve been warned about this, though, so it isn’t a surprise.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Hire a professional proofreader. No matter how good you are at grammar or punctuation, you need a professional to look over your writing. Also, be true to yourself. Don’t write what people expect you to just to please them. Write what you feel.

Blog: milenaveen.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Milena-Veen/550035575079139?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/milena_veen

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/milenaveen/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Milena-Veen/e/B00HBRGGQ2

Book Links: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18656484-just-like-a-musical

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7336308.Milena_Veen

I would like to thank Milena for her time in completing the interview. Stay tuned for my review of Just Like A Musical coming in the near future.

Author Spotlight: F.W. Pinkerton

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Bio:  F.W. Pinkerton was born in Luton U.K. 
I have always enjoyed writing and am one of life’s daydreamers. I think being whisked away to a different world is sometimes much better than the reality of everyday life. So to that end, when I write, I get caught up in the everyday lives of the characters. A lot of what they think and feel is an extension of who I am or would aspire to be.
You can follow me on @FWPinkerton

What all have you written? Include everything: Treacle Mountain is the first book I have written that I have let out in public. I have a few others which I will at some point go back and edit/rewrite but this book was the one that really took hold and the story just flowed.

Where can we buy or see them?: At the moment its available on Amazon Kindle and I have just finished the paperback version. Which should be up to buy in early 2014. Just reading the proof copy through at the moment.

Tell us a little bit about your main character: Annie is someone who has always tried to be good and treat people with respect. Even if life does not reciprocate it back. She’s had a tough time growing up and had no real moral guidance or a parent to show her what is right and wrong but deep down I think she knows that for herself. She is feisty, fiercely loyal and someone who once a friend, would be a friend for life, sadly due to her world she has kept herself closed off and never really made any, as she finds it hard to trust people. She is worried In case they leave her or let her down. Deep down all she wants is someone to love her for her and to have a family.

What are you working on at the minute?: I am nearly finished writing book two of Annie’s Story, then the hard work begins of editing it.

What is it about?: I don’t want to say too much about it, as it would be a spoiler to book one. But it basically leads on from where book one finished.Book one could be read as a standalone and i wrote it like that, but if people want to know what happens next then they can read on. I would like to think they would want to.

What genre are your books?: That’s a difficult question. I just write the stories that are flowing around in my brain rather than writing for a specific genre. I think my book is part thriller,part mystery,part romance. a little bit New Adult (as Annie is 17) but really I did find it hard to put it into a specific category. Every time someone reads it I ask them what they think, as it all helps me. I enjoy reading Romance novels and chic lit as I am soppy & romantic at heart, so have also started writing a romance novel.

Do you have to do research for your books?: Yes I spend quite a lot of time researching. I enjoy learning new things and facts, so am happy to put the time in as its educational for me as well. For this book I spent quite a lot of time on goggle, looking at street maps and reading about New York. It’s somewhere I would one day love to visit.

When did you decide to become a writer?: I don’t think I ever did really, it just sort of happened over time. I have always enjoyed reading and writing.However I didn’t really think about putting a book out there till I thought I had written something people might really like to read. I have written a few books over the years but have gradually gotten better at expressing myself,getting my stories onto paper and the editing process but am still learning everyday. I think Kindle and the whole E-book indie world finally made it possible for me to go from my initial ideas to a finished book.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?: I try and write every afternoon/evening when I finish work.I am a normal hardworking person with a full time job but have tried to be very disciplined in when I write. My chapters tend to be quite long and I never like to leave a chapter unfinished. So I aim for 2 – 5k a day. Sometimes less sometimes more. I do seem to spend quite a bit of time now though with promotion/reading about book marketing. It was actually easier when I only had the book to concentrate on while still in the writing process,

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?: I carry a notepad with me and make notes then put that into a word document every day. So I have some direction and lots of book ideas but a lot of the time I just start writing and see where it takes me. I have a lot of first chapters !!! …but sometimes I go back and carry on. I usually know if I am onto something when I want to carry on writing and writing 😀 !

What is the hardest thing about writing?: I am dyslectic, so do find it can be a struggle sometimes, but it makes me who I am and I just get on with it. It gives me my creative side. I was never one to let anything hold me back if I feel passionately about it! (I have actually found my writing improved no end when i started listening to dance music loud through headphones.(I have a long playlist).I somehow think it makes me distance myself from my environment and I strangely seem to be able to concentrate better.)

What is the easiest thing about writing?: I just love it. I find it a total escape from everyday life. I do tend to get very involved in my characters though as I think they kind of take over and then the words just flow. It’s total virtual reality immersion for me 🙂

How long on average does it take you to write a book?: That’s a difficult one, my first full length 120k novel took about three years to write…and it sits in a box gathering dust. But I will at some point rewrite it. Treacle Mountain took me probably about two months to actually write, but it flew by, as I got so involved in it. I would be typing away and suddenly realise it was 3 AM and I needed to be up for work in a few hours. Book two in Annie’s Story has probably taken me about three months, but that was mainly because I was quite distracted trying to get people to take a chance and read the first book.It Will probably take another month or so to edit.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?: I tend to edit each chapter after I have written the next. Just the glaringly obvious typos or words my brain thought were there but were not…but then once the book is finished. I leave it a week or two then start again and again …

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?: I self edited, but did get a couple of friends/parents to read it and point out anything they could find. I am gradually learning the words/phrases I need to look out for though. As there are a few common ones that I tend to type out without realising. So I have a list that I search for now when I am finished. I do find the writing process much easier than editing though if I am honest. I am sure most writers find it easier to spot errors in someone else’s writing than there own. I know I do.

How are you publishing this book and why?: I self published through AmazonKDP. As to why, well I think its a great story and I hope that everyone that reads it thinks so as well. To be honest if a random stranger enjoys my book then all the effort was well worth it .

How do you market your books?: I don’t think I am a natural marketer. I am naturally shy I suppose. I prefer being hidden away typing up my stories quietly, but I have realised you do need to do a bit of social media posting. Mentioning book on blogs etc etc just to try and get people to take the chance and read it. I hope eventually people will enjoy my books enough that word of mouth will help people to read what I write.

What do you do to get book reviews?: Goodreads/amazon/facebook and various blogs from the fab pro indie writer blogs that are about.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?: If you believe in a story then tell it. Try not to take criticism personally as its a great learning tool in how to improve and everyone has an opinion,so no one book is going to please or be liked by everyone .

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/F-W-Pinkerton/213465738777274

Twitter: @FWPinkerton

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/F-W-Pinkerton/e/B00EVQ11PC

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EV52LY8
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00EV52LY8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7246465.F_W_Pinkerton

I would like to thank F.W. for his time in completing the interview. Stay tuned for my review of Treacle Mountain coming soon.

Author Spotlight: Stephen A. Fender

Bio: Stephen was born in Los Angeles, California. The son of a second generation deputy sheriff, he spent several hours each week after school (both grade and middle) at the local library. In high school, he was highly active in art, sometimes taking as many as three art classes per year. During his junior year he enrolled in journalism, where he produced a great many articles for the Opinion page.
After high school Stephen joined the US Navy as a computer technology specialist, working on the west coast with an anti-submarine and scouting squadron, and later on the east coast onboard a guided missile cruiser as part of the Enterprise battle group, where he wrote his first science fiction novel while on deployment to the Persian Gulf.
Afterwards, life got busy—as it usually does—and he didn’t pick up the pen for nearly a decade. He began to delve into fan fiction to practice his skills, producing several complete novels which were well received. He took the skills leaned in those exploits and produced his first published novel, The Army of Light, in June of 2013.
Stephen continues to work with the Navy, now as a civilian. When not working he divides his time between hanging out with his wife Jamie, writing, or tinkering out in the garage. Unless otherwise noted, Stephen does all of his own graphic design work.

What all have you written? Include everything: I’ve written three novels, all belonging to the same series. The first, The Army of Light, was published in June. The followup nove, Icarus, was published in September. The third novel, Second Earth, was just released on December 1st.

Where can we buy or see them?: You can get all of my novels, both in print and electronically, on Amazon.com. Just do a search for “Kestrel Saga”.

Tell us a little bit about your main character: There are actually two main characters. The hero is Shawn Kestrel, and the heroine is Melissa Graves. Shawn is a former fighter pilot, having fought in the Great Galactic War several years ago. He’s since founded his own logistics business, which he flies his own Mark-IV transport, his beloved Sylvia’s Delight. Shawn is fiercely loyal, but somewhat jaded. He’s suffering from a personal loss during the war, but he’s making the best of a life that has been afforded to him. Business at The Old Flamingo has been down lately, and he’s got a stack of unpaid bills staring at him daily. Enter Melissa Graves, the mysterious and beautiful daughter of Shawn’s former commanding officer, William. Her father was the center of her life, and was a role model for her in everything she’d done up to this point. William has since disappeared, and she manages to enlist Shawn in the clandestine search.

What are you working on at the minute?: Currently I’m working on three novels. The first, Origins: Traitor Winds, is a novel that takes place six years prior to The Army of Light. It follows Angelica, a covert agent with the Office of Special Intelligence, as she attempts to stop a renegade Admiral from unleashing a fleet of warships intent on destroying the Unified Collaboration of Systems. The second novel in the works is the fourth installment in the Kestrel Saga, tentatively titled In The Presence Of My Enemy, in which Shawn and Melissa must enlist the aid of a former enemy of the Unified Collaboration in an attempt to save the galaxy from spiraling into another bloody war. The third in-progress novel, Undone, is a standalone novel that is not affiliated with the Kestrel Saga. It’s a science fiction story, dealing with an altered version of history around the time of World War II.

What is it about?: The Kestrel Saga is a space opera in the classic sense. While searching for the missing Admiral William Graves, Shawn and Melissa—along with an assortment of clever characters—realize that the galaxy is once again standing on the brink of all-out war. The mystery unravels at each stop on their journey, finally culminating in a battle consisting of both old and new enemies. The characters must search each other, and within themselves, to find a common ground in order to save humanity.

What genre are your books?: They are all science fiction.

What draws you to this genre?: I’ve been a big fan of science fiction since I was a small boy. Growing up with amazing shows like Star Trek, Doctor Who, and the Twilight Zone, I was always enamored with other worlds and alien points of view.

Do you have to do research for your books?: Yes and no. Most of my work is pulled straight from my imagination, as only a very sparse outline is all I need to get started. Occasionally I need something that is just on the time of my consciousness, but stubbornly refuses to materialize. That’s when I rely on images from sites like Deviant Art (www.DeviantArt.com). There are so many extraordinary artists out there, and I can usually find inspiration from their work. That being said, when it comes to Undone, I’ve found that I’ve been doing an extraordinary amount of factual historical research up to and including the POD (point of divergence) from what we consider normal history. I’m exceedingly excited about how this new work is coming together.

When did you decide to become a writer?: I think it started when I joined the journalism staff for my high school newspaper. When I was offered the opinion page, I don’t think I ever looked back.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?: No. I try not to compartmentalize my imagination. Sometimes I write whole chapters in a day, and sometimes only a paragraph. Sometimes I just do research and write next to nothing.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?: Yes. For me, it’s essential. I need a map, even if it’s the most basic of outlines. For each of my novels they have never been more than a few pages. I find it helps keeps me on track, considering my stories tend to go in two or three directions at once.

What is the hardest thing about writing?: Currently it’s pacing. I’m trying to find a good balance between action and character interaction.

What is the easiest thing about writing?: Dialogue. I love being able to flesh out characters by getting them into conversation.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?: I’d say about three months, from first rough draft to finished product. Of course, it would be a lot longer if it weren’t for my editor.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?: After I’m done with the rough draft, I immediately go back to the beginning. Since the story is still fresh in my mind, I’m able to go about making any additions to the novel. It makes it easier to get the reader to follow my ideas. Then, as soon as that’s done, it goes off to the editor.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?: Lynda Dietz is my amazing editor. She actually found me. When I published my first book, it was only edited by myself. She offered to make some corrections after reading it. I gave her a shot, and my sales doubled as a result of her hard work. The rest is history.

How are you publishing this book and why?: I’m self-publishing my novels through my own publishing company, Jolly Rogers Productions, which I established here in Washington state. I sent my novels out to a handful of publishers, but I didn’t receive any positive responses from it. I was told by several friends and family that my work was still worthy of getting out to the public, so I gave self-publishing a shot. It’s been an amazing, if not eye-opening, experience.

How do you market your books?: I place my books on my website, with links to their counterparts on Amazon. I also send a lot of time on social media, mainly Facebook and Twitter. I also maintain a blog that I’ve linked with my author profile on Amazon.

What do you do to get book reviews?: All of my reviews have come from Amazon and GoodReads.com.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?: I would say to them “Firstly, tell to the story you want to be told, not the one people want you to tell. Your adventure is as unique as you are, so don’t ever think “been there, done that.” Don’t be afraid of what’s inside you. Secondly, make sure you’re passionate about your soap-box. We’ve all seen people on the street, shouting from a podium at the top of their lungs about something that is important to them. Make sure that you are passionate about your topic, and that you command the soap-box you’re standing on. You’ll find that people will listen to you if your love of the craft is there. Finally, and most importantly, don’t be afraid of negative reviews. They are your best tool for improving the quality of your work.”

Website: http://www.StephenFender.com

Blog: http://www.stephenfender.com/?page_id=320

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Fender/144771018947485?ref=hl

Twitter: @StephenAFender

I would like to thank Stephen for his time in completing the interview.

Author Spotlight: Kateryna Kei

Bio: I am a passionate reader, a restless traveller and a dreamer who can’t leave without sweet black tea and chocolate.
I love walking on the beach at sunset, swimming in the sea under the summer rain, Irish dancing, challenges and obviously writing stories.

What all have you written? Include everything:
Raven Boy, book 1 of a Y/A action & adventure fantasy saga
Facebook pour les musiciens, a guide to Facebook for musicians, in French
My own poetry
Poetic translation from Russian to French of Alexander – R’s poetry published as a book Pas Un Concert

Where can we buy or see them?:
on Amazon; the last one, Alexander – R’s book of poetry, is also available as a print edition through his web-site http://www.alexander-r.com

Tell us a little bit about your main character:
My main character is a boy. He is good-natured and curious, courageous and boyishly reckless. He dreams of becoming a Viking and a hero. He has a connection with a raven bird, who is his loyal friend. Apart from that, he is loving and kind, and although sometimes stubborn, he can be exceptionally wise… then, his actions speak about him so much better 😉

What are you working on at the minute?:
Two things: the French version of Raven Boy and the sequel to it, Anna, in English.

What is it about?:
It’s hard to tell without providing a spoiler to any of the books 😉 I guess, the only possible answer would be that it is about what happened next to the characters. However, as this answer is far from being intriguing or informative, I invite you to go to my website (www.katerynakei.com/writer/writer.html) and read the free chapters from both books.

What genre are your books?:
Raven Boy is a YA action adventure fantasy with some elements of romance.

What draws you to this genre?:
When I write, I never think of what genre the book is going to be, nor do I think of who is my targeted audience. I write as the story goes and as I love it. The best thing about it is when the characters sort of spring into life and start doing things that amaze the author him/herself 😉
As for the genre, I’m struggling to figure it out once the book is done 😉

Do you have to do research for your books?:
Yes and I love it. I am learning a lot of things through the books that I write, and so far, I believe it to be the most pleasant if not the best way of learning.

When did you decide to become a writer?:
I didn’t. Even though I’ve always loved reading, as a child I believed the profession of writer very dull and old-fashioned. I have never considered becoming something like that. But I was good in inventing stories and I liked some of them so much that I simply needed to write them down. Until, at some point, I figured that as far as it’s already written, it would be cool to publish it…

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?:
No. I tried, but it seems to be an impossible task for me. First, because I cannot force myself into doing it, it has to come by itself. And second, because when I start writing, I do not count my words and thus I cannot stop at a certain amount – it flows until I feel like stopping. And that’s what makes it so magical and fascinating.

Do you work on an outline or plot before you start writing?:
Sometimes. But mostly it all starts with a situation that makes a lot of unexpected twists and turns as it evolves into a plot.

What is the hardest thing about writing?:
To gather the courage to show it or to talk about it to someone.

What is the easiest thing about writing?:
It can be done anywhere and at any time.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?:
From one week to years.

Do you edit your book right after you finish or let it sit for awhile?:
It depends on the situation; I am a lazy person so I do things only when need arises.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?:
I self-edited my book this time.

How are you publishing this book and why?:
I self-published it for the same reason as many other authors: after several vain intents to get the attention of a traditional publisher, I figured if I wanted things done, I had to do them myself. And I do not regret it – apart from the total control over the process, it gives a pleasant sense of accomplishment and a definite possibility of self-growth.

How do you market your books?:
Through free promotions, social media and my web-site, through other book sites and communities, and through blogs. I think I am at the beginning of the process, because I have published my book recently, but the more you do it, the more possibilities you see, and it becomes fascinating in its own way.

What do you do to get book reviews?:
I ask for them.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?:
Do not keep it all to yourself! Write it down and put it out there. It’s the only way to make it as perfect as possible.

Website: http://www.katerynakei.com/writer/writer.html

Blog: http://katerynakei.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kateryna/264344076925310

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kateryna-Kei/e/B00FB94196

Book Links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFKABJO
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BFKABJO

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12105618-kateryna-kei

I would like to thank Kateryna for her time in completing the interview.