Archive for February, 2015

An interview with author Alexandra Moody

Welcome, Alexandra!

Alexandra Moody

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on or promoting.

I’m an Australian author living in London. I recently released Tainted, which is the first novel in a post-apocalyptic, young adult series called The ARC. My current project is the sequel, Talented, which is due to be released in early April this year.

What genre(s) do you write in?

I write young adult science fiction novels.

Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?

I’m a self-published author. Since beginning my journey as a writer I knew I wanted to self-publish as I wanted to retain creative control over my work and felt self-publishing was where the future of publishing lies.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Write as often as you can and love what you’re doing! If you are serious about being an author, be serious, and treat it as you would any other career.

What are you currently reading?

The Martian by Andy Weir

What makes good writing?

To me, good writing evokes emotion. It draws readers in and allows them to become absorbed in the world you create. Brilliant writing leaves the reader still thinking about your novel days after they have finished it.

How do you keep sane as a writer?

By taking my hands off the keys and stepping away from the laptop.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

The Girl Whose Feet Never Quite Touched the Ground – This is how my mum would describe me as a child as my head was often up in the clouds. It seems as though this is something I never quite grew out of as my mind is constantly in imagination mode! I’m always looking for new adventures, never truly settling my two feet on the ground.

What do you like best/least about writing?

I love writing the first draft of a novel. I usually don’t have much of an outline, so I find the initial journey can be quite exciting. Especially when the characters and story take on a life of their own. My least favorite aspect of writing is the final round of edits. I become slightly obsessive about editing, but by this stage I just want the book to be done already!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer when I completed the first draft of my first novel. However, it was almost two years until I considered myself an author, as this was the moment when I hit the publish button for that novel! Until that moment it didn’t seem real and I didn’t want to describe myself as an author until I had something tangible to show for it.

Would you rather read a book that is poorly written but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content, but is well written?

Tricky question. If a story has bad grammar I will become incredibly frustrated with it, however, if it bores me I will put the book down or won’t even purchase it in the first place.

What is the hardest thing about writing a series?

Character arcs. You want a character to grow and develop with each story, but you also want to see them grow over the entire series. It can be difficult to find a balance.

Do you think a writer should write every day?

Not necessarily. It’s important to have a day off once in a while! Even if you’re not actively working on your novel, you are often subconsciously thinking about it. It can actually be a good thing to get a little distance from your own work so as to see it with fresh eyes.

What five words would you use to describe yourself?

Friendly. Perfectionist. Ambitious. Imaginative. Wanderlust.

Please share your social media links with us, including where the book(s) may be purchased:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GT5p3Q

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandranmoody

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

Website: http://www.alexandramoody.com

 

Thank you, Alexandra. I wish you all the best with your writing. Please keep us posted on the latest developments.

 

Tainted Alexandra MoodyTalented-Alexandra-Moody

 

Tainted

Blurb:

 

The ARC: the world’s last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.

 

At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways and community comes first. Everyone lives in fear of failing their annual testing and those that do are deemed tainted—taken away without any warning or a word of goodbye.

 

No one has been taken in over six months and the remaining citizens of the ARC have slowly begun to forget the danger. Elle remains wary, but even she is beginning to wonder if it’s finally safe to succumb to her feelings towards her closest friend, Sebastian.

 

But, no one is ever truly safe in the ARC. Elle is about to experience her own personal apocalypse and with nothing left to lose, she will finally attempt to uncover the truth about the tainted.

 

Will she find what she’s looking for or are some secrets better left buried deep underground?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

There was a time when I was afraid of being tested. It wasn’t the jab of the needle that scared me—that was nothing. Being taken away without any notice and without any goodbyes? Now, that was something to fear.

 

It’s been years since I’ve worried about my annual testing. When you’ve lost as many people as I have, you come to terms with the possibility you too might be found tainted and taken away—but today is different.

 

I look down at the glass cuff that encases my wrist and my heartbeat quickens as I see the time. It’s later than I thought. Only twenty minutes until the appointment now.

 

I rip my gaze away from the glowing blue numbers displayed across the CommuCuff’s surface and attempt to focus on Ms. Matthews, who looks more like a relic of history than a teacher of it. She paces in front of the whiteboard, lecturing on the day of impact yet again.

 

You wouldn’t think it’d be necessary to teach us about the asteroid that doomed us all. It’s fairly safe to say after living down here in the ARC for fifteen years we’ve all become experts. Yet, there she stands critically breaking down the social ramifications of forcing a select few people from society down into a fallout shelter. God, I hope there isn’t another test on this.

 

As I listen to the sound of Ms. Matthews’ voice, I try to remind myself I’m not scared; that I’m not afraid and everything’s going to be okay. It’s no use. The courage I usually feel before my testing is gone and I’m completely consumed by fear. Then again, today is the exception. It’s not me that’s about to be tested, but Quinn.

 

I hazard another look at my cuff. Just fifteen minutes now. Fifteen minutes until Quinn’s name is called out. Fifteen minutes until she’s led into a cold, sterile room where her blood will be taken. If the result comes back clear, I’ll see her at the end of the day. If not—if she’s tainted … I’ll never see her again.

 

The thought causes shivers to run down my spine and I shake my head slightly, as if to rattle out the dark ideas that fill my mind. She’s going to be okay. She has to be…

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Posted by Matthew Peters - February 24, 2015 at 5:57 am

Categories: Author Interviews   Tags: , ,

An interview with author Jennifer Paetsch

Welcome, Jennifer!

Jennifer Paetsch

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on or promoting.

Hi! My name is Jennifer Paetsch and I’m an Indie artist & writer. My latest (YA) novel is Wolf of Doors and I write and draw the NSFW Little Monster Girl webcomic (http://www.lmgcomic.com).

 

What genre(s) do you write in?

I write fantasy fiction of different types for different age groups–sword and sorcery for adults, dark fantasy for teens, and I have written a sci fi and a pirate story for middle grade readers.

 

What are your three favorite books?

A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, It by Stephen King, and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I sold my first piece.

 

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?

I would rather fight a thousand duck-sized horses–whoops! I mean, either one would be okie dokie with me to be perfectly honest! I would learn to deal with it.

 

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Life is hard for everybody. No, it’s not just you. If you find something that makes you want to get up every day, do that thing.

 

Do you think a writer should write every day?

I think that if you want to do something well, you need to practice it, sure. If you want to write, write every day. If you want to push a mop, do that every day. Whatever you do is what you will become.

 

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it be called?

Try Hard

 

Has reading a book ever changed your life? If yes, which one and how?

There are some books I read as a child that I can’t even remember the title of and are long out of print, but I can remember the characters and things they did very clearly. I still think about them today, in fact, and the things I learned from them, those other lives I got to lead, if you will. So, if you think you have to write a hugely popular book to change someone’s life or perspective, then I would say you were wrong.

 

How do you keep sane as a writer?

I keep lots of notes. Lots of notecards, also notebooks I can jot ideas in, and I also use my tablet and phone and some apps when necessary. Not super organized, but enough that things makes sense.

 

Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?

Time is a circle. The past affects the future, but the future also affects the past. If you’ve only read Ghost of Doors so far, then all I have to say is, you’ll see.

 

What are you currently reading?

The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts

 

Please share your social media links with us, including where your book(s) may be purchased:

My books on Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jpaetsch

My books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Paetsch/e/B0077XG76E

My website: http://jenniferpaetsch.com/

My Twitter: WrongDayToQuit

 

Thank you, Jennifer. I wish you all the best with your writing. Please keep us posted on the latest developments.

 

Jennifer's Covers

 

 

Wolf of Doors Summary:

Book 2 in the City of Doors Series — Desperate to make things happen for STAR, his fledgling faction, Wolfgang Schäfer makes the worst decision of his life: To accept the Gift and become a werewolf. Will it help him to gain a much needed foothold in the city of Doors or will it destroy him and all those who depend on him?

 

EXCERPT — Wolf of Doors  by Jennifer Paetsch — Chapter 1

Accepting the Gift was the biggest mistake he had ever made.

He didn’t have to see the full moon—he knew it was there, looking down on him like the giant eye of a deep sea fish in the cold, dark sky. Leaves of hearts ripped from the Linden trees fell around him, annoying him, their clatter in the strong, late summer wind as they hit the sidewalk startlingly loud, making him jump, his heightened senses painfully acute. He was too aware, hyperaware, every sight and smell and touch lighting a fire in his senses that burned his brain in a way he’d never before thought possible. He was a monster in every sense of the word: A tortured soul.

Breathing was beyond his control. As each breath shuddered up and down through his rib cage, he struggled against it, but his heart and lungs demanded air. On his knees, then on his back, he shook helplessly, the icy stones of the sidewalk chilling him with a supernatural cold through his hooded sweatshirt. He could hear them now, the stones of the sidewalk. Their voices tiny and hushed, the stones that had once been human cried pitifully for help. And it reminded him: This was why he had done it. This was why he had accepted the Gift, why he was fighting against SUN and MOON—To save the humans of Doors. To save the people who, just like him, had once wanted to go home, and now could never escape. The city stole them, stole their bodies and souls to complete it. If there was a way to free them, he would find it. But he could not do it alone. And no monster would follow him if he did not inspire confidence—if he did not join them.

The pain of being born again ripped through his back and limbs, muscles and bones warped and twisted into freakish but now familiar shapes. His hair came in, lush and full beneath his over-sized clothes and coat, filling them almost completely. Claws burst through gloves and the soft boots he had come to wear after destroying two other pairs before. And the moon was in his eyes, the same moon that had watched him in the Hindernis when he had found his father’s corpse, the same moon that the Hunt followed, the same moon that had watched him take the Gift in all its agonizing glory, and it dispassionately watched him suffer now.

The city around him was dark, orange-lamp-lit, punctuated with flashes of color where a door to another world glowed with its glamour. In a moment, it would all make as much sense to Wolfgang as stoplights to a bird. The Gift dulled his thoughts as it sharpened his senses; his head was clogged with stuffing, his nose and mouth on fire with foul new scents and tastes, his ears ringing with street sounds, distant fighting and shouting, and the weak clanking of metal from some unknown, far-off source. He just wanted it to stop. But no matter how much he willed it, will alone was not enough to make the torture go away. He had had headaches before, but this was nothing like that. No illness, no matter how violent, had ever made him feel so completely rent, turned inside out. This was a corruption of his soul, a relentless assault on his mind from the city around him, for which he had no counter. He had never felt so helpless. Even his eyes betrayed him, his eyesight, rivaling a bird of prey’s, burned in his head like two holes bored to his brain.

He didn’t know how it had reached him, if it had come to him, or he to it, but in a seeming instant there was a small boy stumbling at his feet as if thrown to him when surely the child had been trying to get away. Through the haze of his torment, a part of Wolfgang realized that the boy had not been thrown—he had been struck. By Wolfgang. And knocked to Wolfgang’s feet like prey thrashed by a dog.

That moment of clarity held hands with another. Wolfgang lowered his clawed and ragged arm, wounds that he must have inflicted on himself, and caught the eyes of the boy and held his gaze for a moment. In the boy’s eyes he saw himself as he used to be. Frightened. Alone. Human. The shock was more than he could bear.

He almost awoke. He almost broke through the confusion, pain, and rage of the transformation. But it was not enough. Still, his shock and surprise gave the child enough time to slip away under the orange lamp lights and into the rest of the shadows. Wolfgang’s rage crashed back on him like a wave, swallowing up the brief moment of consciousness that had struggled so hard to surface and drowning any of the humanity that had been left in his body. A howl ripped past his lips, shuddering through him, the struggle for possession of Wolfgang Schäfer finally won. He ambled down the street in search of new prey, his gait becoming longer and more graceful with each stride as his worries vanished along with his mind.

The change was complete, his worst fears imagined: He had become monster.

 

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Posted by Matthew Peters - February 17, 2015 at 6:34 am

Categories: Author Interviews   Tags: , , , , ,

A Virtual Book Tour

VBT_TourBanner_TheBrothersKeepers

 

Greetings,

As I mentioned previously, I’m doing a virtual book tour for The Brothers’ Keepers with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour starts today, February 16, and runs through March 13.

As you or may not know, The Brothers’ Keepers is a very controversial book. So far it has garnered great reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. I am eager to see how it is received by readers and reviewers on the tour. I expect to be condemned by some, and, hopefully, praised by others. That is the nature of the book, and the subject matter it deals with. I’ll blog about the tour as I go along.

Here is a list of my stops:

February 16: Long and Short Reviews
February 17: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
February 18: Lilac Reviews
February 19: Writer Wonderland
February 20: Kit ‘N Kabookle
February 23: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
February 24: MAD Hoydenish
February 25: Edgar’s Books
February 26: Unabridged Andra’s
February 27: Black Heart Magazine
March 2: My Devotional Thoughts
March 3: CBY Book Club
March 4: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
March 5: Independent Authors
March 6: Archaeolibrarian – I dig good books!
March 9: Nickie’s Views and Interviews
March 9: The Write To Read
March 10: Rogues Angels
March 11: Straight from the Library
March 12: It’s Raining Books
March 13: The Cerebral Writer

I kick off the tour this morning with a guest post on Long and Short Reviews. The topic is “My Take on Critique Groups.” I am very partial to critique groups due to the positive experiences I’ve had with my writing group, The Scratch Pad Scribblers. And I’d like to give a great shout out to the members of my group, who are not only great writers, but decent human beings: Chris Hoerter, Tyler Johnson and Cornelia Oancea. Please stop by for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/BN gift card!

See you soon.

All the best,

Matt

 

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Posted by Matthew Peters - February 16, 2015 at 5:58 am

Categories: Writing   Tags: , , ,

My Interview on It Matters Radio

 

It Matters Radio

Greetings,

 

A short blog post today.

 

I wanted to share the link to the interview I did last night on It Matters Radio:

http://www.spreecast.com/events/no-man-is-an-island

 

My interview starts about 45:00 minutes in. Until then we are treated to some great music by Colin J. White and his band. Thanks to Kenneth Weene and Monica Brinkman for having me on the show.

 

Monday I will start blogging about the virtual book tour for The Brothers’ Keepers.

 

I look forward to hearing form you and talking with you soon.

 

All the best,

Matt

 

 

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Posted by Matthew Peters - February 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

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Checking In

VBT_TourBanner_TheBrothersKeepersI haven’t done a blog post in a while, so I wanted to check in and say hello.

Actually, I have done some blog posts, but not for this blog. Starting February 16, I’ll be doing a virtual book tour for The Brothers’ Keepers with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour will range for four weeks, with twenty stops scheduled along the way. I’ll keep you posted as it moves along.

Meanwhile, I’ll be promoting Conversations Among Ruins (CAR) through radio and bookstores.

I will be on It Matters Radio on Thursday, February 12. The show starts at 9:00 PM EST. I’m usually in bed by 8:00, so it should be quite interesting. The topic will be mental illness in literature, and I’ll be discussing CAR in that context.

Toward the end of this month I will be on Wake Forest University’s NPR-affiliate, WFDD, to talk about CAR, and dual diagnosis. I will be joined by two fabulous authors, Steve Lindahl and Ray Morrison. It looks like this will happen on February 26 at 11:00, but we’re awaiting final confirmation.

I will be at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on March 5 at 7:00 PM along with Steve Lindahl and Ray Morrison.

I will keep you updated on more appearances as they develop.

Finally, I am working hard on the next Nicholas Branson novel. I won’t say too much in order to avoid spoilers, but I can promise it will be at least as exciting as The Brothers’ Keepers!

Thank you for all the support you’ve given me since I began this blog.

I am interested in hearing topics you’d like to read more about, so please feel free to suggest some in your comments or e-mail.

All the best,

Matt

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Posted by Matthew Peters - February 6, 2015 at 11:12 am

Categories: General Thoughts   Tags: , , , , , ,

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