The Interviews

Author Nancy A. Nation – Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Writer

This week, I am going to jump at the opportunity to interview a wonderful woman who has written about Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy that has enticed many readers. Her name is Nancy A. Nation, and I’m excited to get this chance!

Interviewer: Welcome to the interview!

Nancy: Thank you!

Interviewer: So let’s start off a bit different than I have with the first two and tell us about yourself.

Nancy: I am the first born of three siblings. I received a degree in Idaho for Computer Information Systems. I had a successful screen print and embroidery business in town which fulfilled my creative energy. I raised three poodles, one after the other, no children. I’m one of those people that if I have a problem, I fix it or find someone who will.

Interviewer: You definitely sound like you don’t like to wait to get things fixed if you can do it yourself. That is very similar to me, so I like having that in common. Tell me, when and why did you begin writing?

Fiona: In 2011 I was in a library in Yuma, Arizona where we were staying for the winter and saw a sign that said, “if you have a story, our writing club meets on Tuesday” Having nothing else to do I signed up and found it was a working writing club. Two years later I published my first book, Similar But Not the Same. I chose sci-fi as my genre because it gave me more flexibility.

Interviewer: What inspired you to write your first book?

Nancy: I wanted to project how we as humans may be living in the future and how some of the mistakes our leaders do today can affect our lives long term.

Interviewer: Interesting ideas and I see you have a number of books available. Is there a message in your novel(s) that you want readers to grasp?

Nancy: When I began writing my first book, I had no idea that religion or concepts like retribution would be something I would attain. I have been exposed to vindictive people, so I use that in a few books. I try to show how the wrongs in this world can be righted in the fantasy world.

Interviewer: I love that. To use the fantasy world to show the ways to right the wrongs of the real world is very unique! Now a fun question. If you were to find out that you books were to be made into a film or just one of your books, who would you prefer play the lead?

Nancy: The lead would have to be of American Indian descent because my main character is Navajo. He’s broad and tall with long black hair. Sorry gals, I married him off. I really don’t know of any particular actor currently that could play this part. Maybe someone who is reading this might have an idea?

Interviewer: I’m sure my readers might be able to come up with an actor that fits your description. So is there anything you want to tell your readers?

Nancy: I am sure you will all like my stories. They are fast paced, thought provoking, and always have a happy ending. That’s another reason I write, my readers want to know what happens next.

Interviewer: Awesome. I like fast paced books as they tend to keep me entertained more. As we wind this interview down, do you have any advice for other writers?

Nancy: Read, read, read. Then write like nobody cares.

Interviewer: Excellent advice and I would like to thank you for doing my interview today.

Nancy: It was my pleasure!

For anyone who would like to find out more about Nancy and her books, please visit her blog and her website.

You can find her blog here.

You can find her website here. Her website has all of her books available for purchase through varying locations and also from her as well!

 

Billy Wong – Author of Fantasy

This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing a man who has found the world of fantasy to be where he finds his creative juices work the best. Billy Wong was fun to interview and I’m going to let him tell you all about what he has been working on.

Interviewer: Welcome to the interview!

Billy: Thank you!

Interviewer: So we will just jump right in here. What got you into writing?

Billy: From a young age I liked to imagine my own fantasy scenarios like many kids do, as I grew older I realized there weren’t as many awesome warrior heroines in popular media as in my head, so I decided to actually write them down.

Interviewer: Okay, I have to ask this next question since you talked about the fantasy scenarios and I see you write fantasy. Why did you pick fantasy out of all the different genre’s and styled out there? How did that come about?

Billy: I write fast-paced heroic fantasy because I prefer a focus on action and things happening as opposed to a lot of description and world building, and to follow a few characters closely rather than hopping between numerous POVs. I tend to like a focused adventure story I suppose.

Interviewer: I know many prefer faster action and faster paced books as they can really get into them quicker, so that is cool. Now, I did take a look at your titles and I must say your titles are fascinating. How did you come about deciding on what to title each book?

Billy: I learned from writing my first book that people often don’t prefer episodic plots and tried not to write novels as episodically for the most part after that.

Interviewer: I see. So in regards to these books of which I can see there are five here, are these all part of a series or stand alone single books?

Billy: The Golden Dawn and Stand Short and Proud are part of a series set in the same world but can also be read as standalones, I also have a couple other series such as Legend of the Iron Flower and Cart-Dragger saga while the rest of my books are standalones.

Interviewer: So a mix of series and stand alone books which can break up the monotony of writing everything for a series. Now, I want to switch over to discussing publishing. When you decided you wanted to publish, did you go the self-publishing/indie route or looked for a traditional publisher?

Billy: I took the self-publishing route because I realized my stuff was generally too out there for traditional publishers (usually or mostly nonmagical female warriors kicking absurd amounts of butt and performing superhuman feats in the process) lol. Plus my minimalist style of prose and description (often leading to a short book) doesn’t seem in line with what trad publishers usually want.

Interviewer: So what would you want to tell someone who is considering publishing in regards to choosing either traditional or self-publishing?

Billy: Depends on their subject matter and style. If writing about overpowered female melee fighters with little or no magic who beat up kaiju sized monsters in a book light on description in favor of action, probably self-publishing.

Interviewer: Good advice there. Now for some other fun questions.

Billy: Sure!

Interviewer: Do you have any one character you would see yourself dating or being with?

Billy: Ummm was not expecting this question at all! That being said, I would have to say tons of them, but the queen from my current work in progress would be interesting. She could be the 6’9″ near 300lb big sweetie to my 5’10” 150lb shrimpie!

Interviewer: (laughs) That would be quite the difference. In looking over the books again, the art really was eye catching on the cover. Do you do the work on them yourself or do you have a cover designer you work with?

Billy: I have worked with many cover designers, the one who does the Chronicles of the Floating Continent covers is Dennis Frohlich. http://jorsch.deviantart.com/ Some others I have worked with are Leon Jo http://longai.deviantart.com/, Mario Teodosio http://marioteodosio.deviantart.com/ and Rachel Cole https://www.litteradesigns.com/

Interviewer: So you have worked with a number of different artists. I guess finding one that caters to what you are specifically looking for can be difficult.

Billy: Yes it can and that’s why I always look around.

Interviewer: I can understand that. Now in the writing process, what was your biggest fear while writing?

Billy: My biggest fear when writing is not being able to have a satisfactory middle, since I usually know what happens at the beginning and end but not so much in between.

Interviewer: I can agree with this. I have had this fear many times myself and worry I’ll falter and the story will run flat. Do you try to write each day or write when you felt like it?

Billy: When actively working on a project I try to write every day and get down at least a set quota of writing down, between projects I take breaks.

Interviewer: So daily quotas and breaks inbetween projects. That helps with keeping the projects moving forward but also you can make sure they get done. As we wrap up here, is there anything you would like to say to someone who is contemplating writing a book?

Billy: Don’t let anyone tell you what you want to write is to unrealistic or whatever, write what speaks to your heart!

Interviewer: Great words of wisdom there, and I’m going to let that be the last thing we talk about during this interview. It was a pleasure interviewing you, Billy, and I wish you the best with all of your books!

Billy: It was fun to be here and thank you for doing the interview!

Billy has his books available on Amazon currently and you can find them by typing in his name, Billy Wong. I want to thank him for allowing me to interview him today and next week, I get the honor of interviewing Nancy A. Nation!

 

Meet Casia Schreyer – Author of Many Genres

This week, we welcome another author to my blog. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing James Salsido, and this week I have the honor of getting to interview the one and only, Casia Schreyer. I am going to stop talking here and let her get into how she writes, why she writes, and everything else in between.

 

Interviewer: Welcome, Casia!

Casia: Hello!

Interviewer: I will skip the formalities here and jump into my first question: From all the genres and styles out there, why did you pick the one you are currently writing? How did that come about?

Casia: I’m a huge speculative fiction fan – David Eddings, Stephen King, Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs, Asimov, Spider Robinson …. It’s a long list! I always wanted to write fantasy more than anything. Now though I find I’m writing fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary drama. That last came about because I had two very emotional stories to tell. I never thought I’d write something like that.

Interviewer: You mentioned wanting to write fantasy and in the list of things I see you have written there are a few, but I also see other genre’s. Would you like to mention any of your books currently available?

Casia: I’d be happy to! Currently, and in no particular order, they are:

I have several novels, novellas, and picture books available.

Nothing Everything Nothing – contemporary drama

Pieces – contemporary drama

Rose in the Dark – Fantasy

Rose from the Ash – Fantasy

ReImagined – stories and poetry

Nelly-Bean and the Kid Eating Garbage Can Monster – children’s picture book

Nelly-Bean and the Adventures of Nibbles – children’s picture book

Complex 48 – middle grade science fiction

I am right now working on another project called Separation: a middle grade science fiction book which is being released in the fall of 2017

Interviewer: That is impressive to say the least. A lot of interesting titles there and I have to say your titles are fascinating. How did you decide on what to title each book?

Casia: Every project was different. Pieces was because the chapters are like little vignettes or snap shots of the characters’ lives, pieces of the story, but also because it’s about tragedy and the shattering of a community. Nothing Everything Nothing was harder and I actually had people vote on the title. The Rose Garden books get their titles from an attribute of the main character in each book, plus the rose is a powerful symbol in the series.

Interviewer: Wow! Interesting ideas on how to get the ideas for the titles. I’ve seen many who will poll friends and family to help narrow ideas down, and it is nice to see them getting used by someone. So I have to ask, What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?

Casia: I’m a world builder. I love creating the elaborate settings for my fantasy and science fiction universes.

Interviewer: I am the same way when it comes to the world building, but now I have to ask the fun question. What was the hardest if that was the easiest?

Casia: I would have to definitely say the marketing after the writing is done! Oh, and writing a second book of this series has really drove me up a wall.

Interviewer: (laughs) I can feel you on all those points, but this isn’t about me, so let’s continue. 

Casia: (laughs) okay.

Interviewer: My next question is regarding the story: How did you decide on what you were going to write about?

Casia: Is it clichéd to say the story chose me? Seriously though, I never imagined I’d write contemporary drama for teens. With both Nothing Everything Nothing and Pieces there was a story there to tell so I told it. They were personal and yet not based on any one person. They were current and important to me.

The Rose Garden books started as a dream and I built the world from there.

The Underground books were inspired by The Super Seven by Celesta Theissen as well as The Hunger Games and Divergent and Maze Runner.

Interviewer: It’s not cliche and ironically I bet there are many out there that can say the same as you regarding the story choosing them. I had that happen with my first books, so you aren’t alone. But, I have to ask, Did you have any complications during the writing process you’d like to talk about?

Casia: It took me two years to write Rose from the Ash. I got stuck so many times. That story did not want to be written!! In the end it turned out I hadn’t fleshed out parts of the world well enough, and some of the characters were under developed, I wasn’t using them to their full potential. Once I opened up the scope of the book and figured out the missing details it was mostly smooth sailing to the end.

Interviewer: Two years is quite a bit of time, but considering some authors can take ten or more, that’s a pretty good turn around time. So with your answer, I have another question and this one is geared towards budding authors.

Casia: Alright.

Interviewer: What would you like to tell someone who is contemplating writing a book?

Casia: Find a writing group you get along with. Don’t be afraid of a blank page, just start writing. A few letters, make a word, a few words make a sentence, a few sentences make a paragraph, a few paragraphs make a page, a few pages make a chapter, and if you just keep putting down a few letters after a few letters the next thing you know you have a book.

Interviewer: So, what would you like to tell someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

Casia: That’s a really personal question and depends on what the author is willing to do for themselves, what their goal is, what their dream is. There are pros and cons to each. Self-publishing is A LOT of work and A LOT of stress. Traditional publishing is A LOT of waiting. I think they both have their place and I think whatever the author decides is right for them is a good choice to make.

Interviewer: Sound advice and very good information for any one who is writing a book, has written, or is considering writing one. Any last words?

Casia: There have been a lot of people along the way who have been a big help in getting me where I am now. My mother, my grandmother, my eighth grade English teacher, my illustrator, Andy, my editor, Angil, Authors of Manitoba, Nanohana – writing is a solitary craft but you don’t get there alone.

Interviewer: I will agree 100% that writing is a solitary craft and you can’t get there alone. I am glad to see you have a strong support system and I wish you the best in the future with all writing projects you have!

Casia: Thank you very much, and thank you for having me here!

Interviewer: It was my pleasure. 

For those who would like to know more about Casia and her books, you can go to her author page on Facebook as well as visit her website, which has links to all of her books as well as a wonderful treasure trove of reviews of other books and authors.

www.facebook.com/schreyerauthor

www.casiaschreyer.wordpress.com

 

 

James Salsido – Co-Author of Custom Chaos

I am excited to be doing this author interview today, not just because it is the first official one, but this was the first author interview I received back and from a good friend. I would like to introduce to everyone, James Salsido, Co-author of Custom Chaos and current writer of a Paranormal project called The Darkness Rises. Without, any further fanfare, I’ll let him tell you all about how he writes and any projects he is working on.

Interviewer: What got you into writing?

James: Saturday morning cartoons based on comic books about people with powers. The whole idea of people with powers that are amazing yet terrifying fascinated me, and I wondered what would happen if someone actually had powers in the real world. My cousin and I tried to write a story about this, but it took the next 23 years to come up with a science fiction novel I was actually happy with. The other thing that drove me to write was a series of experiences with the unexplained that took place over those same 23 years, and that is how I came to be a paranormal non-fiction writer.

Interviewer: Wow, so currently, do you have any books published or available to purchase?

James: Yes, a science fiction novel called Custom Chaos.

Interviewer: So will Custom Chaos be a series or a standalone book? Also, you mentioned another project called The Darkness Rises. Will that be a series as well or a standalone book?

James: My science fiction novel Custom Chaos is the first in a trilogy of books I am currently still writing. The Darkness Rises is a series of true stories and articles, and I hope to make a series of books under the same title as well.

Interviewer: How many do you plan for each series or are they going to be open-ended so you can keep adding to them?

James: For the Custom Chaos universe, I have a trilogy planned with possible options for more books once I have finished the trilogy. For The Darkness Rises, it will be a series, but I am still working on the first book so I can’t say how many there will actually be. It could be open-ended, we will just have to see.

Interviewer: Both of them sound really good and am excited for you! To change the subject here, what is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

James: The things I have to pay attention to are the things I have a hard time noticing in real-life, such as how things and people look in any given situation.

Interviewer: What is the easiest part of the writing process?

James: When it comes to fiction, the dialogue has always been the easiest part for me. I am legally blind, so I rely a lot on what I hear. I also have very sensitive ears, so I focus more on their voices than I do on anything else. I think this has helped me a lot in developing natural dialogue between characters. In fact, I never plan dialogue in advance. For my non-fiction writing, I love doing the research. It is so much fun learning new things, even if they don’t necessarily belong in the article I am writing.

Interviewer: The cover art for your book(s): You work with a cover designer or create them yourself?

James: I have a very good friend, Jennifer, who owns her own cover / logo / graphic design company called The Dust Jacket, and I go to her for all my visual design needs. She is amazing at taking my words and changing them into images that are even better than the faint, blurry images I sometimes see in my mind’s eye. She has designed the covers for Custom Chaos as well as multiple images for use on my author page and my paranormal non-fiction page.

The Dust Jacket can be found here for those who are looking for an awesome cover designer. The Dust Jacket

Interviewer: The story: How did you decide on what you were going to write about?

James: My cousin and I had the basic idea behind Custom Chaos when I was about 12 and he was about 8 years old, but it took many versions of the story over the years before I settled on the version that is available for purchase today. I look back on many of those stories and cringe, but I also know that I needed the experience of writing something I was interested in to develop what skills I have today. As for The Darkness Rises, the subject matter was already there; I just had to write down my experiences. Now, I am currently doing a series of articles on reportedly haunted places across the United States, with a focus on places that most people have probably not heard much about.

Interviewer: What was your biggest fear while writing?

James: I am always afraid I am not adequate to describe how things look, or even how they smell or feel. My only totally reliable sense is that of hearing. I have limited vision, a hit-and-miss sense of touch and of taste, and no sense of smell whatsoever. There have been times over the years where I felt like I shouldn’t even be writing because of these dimensions that I have limited or no access to. Except I couldn’t do that to myself. I LOVE writing. So, I do my best with what I have, because that’s all any of us can ever do.

Interviewer: What would you like to tell someone who is contemplating writing a book?

James: Read. Write. Repeat. Talk to other writers who have been at it longer than you have. Use the tips and tricks and information they give you that works best FOR YOU. Don’t worry about the rest.

And make sure you are having fun with your writing. If you’re not, then you probably need to be writing something else.

Thank you James for joining me today and for taking the time to answer my questions.

To everyone who is reading, here are some links to James’ Author page, a link to purchase Custom Chaos on Amazon as well as a link to Jame’s Paranormal Non-Fiction Page The Darkness Rises.

Author James Salsido Facebook Page

The Darkness Rises Paranormal Non-Fiction Facebook Page

Custom Chaos – Available on Amazon today for both Kindle and Paperback

The next author interview will be coming next Monday, June 19th!

 

Author Interviews are coming June 12, 2017

Welcome everyone to the author interviews!

I am excited to be doing these and hope that everyone who has graciously offered to be interviewed enjoys them as much as I do. Now to explain a bit why I decided to start doing these.

A while back when I was creating my website, I wanted to do something that not only would be good for me, but help other authors. The one thing I have noticed in the short amount of time that I have been published, is there aren’t a lot of avenues for authors to get noticed or get word out about their books or writing. I feel that is a shame, so I wanted to change it. Thus, the idea for author interviews was born.

Now, sure, there are others who do author interviews and I will never discredit any who do them. Some do them over the phone, by skype, by facetime or other means, but I know that some authors are really personal about who they talk to or even doing video might be a challenge. So, I wanted to eliminate all of that and I came up with a twenty-four question questionnaire that I will send each author who expresses interest. The will fill it out, send it to me, and of those twenty-four, I will use up to twelve of them in the actual blog post.

The other twelve get shelved for another day when perhaps we do a second interview with new work they’ve published or those questions might just disappear into the depths of the unpublished world forever.

If you are interested in doing an author interview, reach out to me. As long as you are published through a traditional publisher or self-published, or soon to be published, I’d love to have you do one. They are simple, they are done on your time, and I post them twice a week.

To contact me: authorlymanrate@yahoo.com. Just make sure you put in your subject line that you are interested in doing an author interview and I will reply to you as quickly as I can!