Meet The Author: Aaron-Michael Hall-Fantasy, Paranormal Author #amreading

 It’s the 25th of the month, and sandwiched in the middle of three great authors this month is author Aaron-Michael Hall! I’m excited to interview her, I crossed paths with her over a year ago when I first joined WordPress. Most of you know I’m a big fan of this genre especially when there is romance thrown in, as a reader I love it. I salute writers in the paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi genres so much, it’s a whole new kind of creativity and talent to spin these tales… I sure as hell can’t! I think the level of creativity needed is something real special, let’s get to know Aaron- Michael’s style.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Thank you for having me, Kim. I am originally from Illinois and write classic epic fantasy with a grimdark edge and science fantasy romance. I also enjoy photography and play several instruments.

Kim: Gosh, what talent musical instruments that’s something. I really need to read one of your books too * flips to Amazon*. Welcome.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I have always enjoyed writing. My first novel The Rise of Nazil was written approximately fifteen years ago. It was a story that I wanted to read (with diverse characters and a dense plot) that I could not find. It was not until I allowed others to read the manuscript that I was prodded to publish.

Kim: Now I feel like a baby! Two authors this month, who wrote their first works over ten years ago. Great stuff. 🙂

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of non-fiction. However, I enjoy some science fiction and fantasy.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

As aforementioned, I was writing only for myself. When I decided to publish, I had to learn the process and my particular market. It has been an interesting journey.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I started writing only Epic Fantasy. I always enjoyed Sci-Fi and recently incorporated my love for that genre in Rites of Heirdron and Orbs of Trenihgea. Blending fantasy, science fiction, and romance was an extremely enjoyable writing experience. After my second Epic Fantasy trilogy releases, I might revisit the SciFan genre.

Kim: Keep us posted here on MTA.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

It actually depends. My Epic Fantasy was thoroughly plotted and outlined. However, the Science Fantasy Romance just happened. The more I wrote, the more the story developed.

Currently, I am collaborating on a new fantasy with another author. We had a basic idea that turned into 70k in a few weeks. Nothing was planned in the beginning, and the concept has morphed and expanded over a few months.

Kim: Ahhh amazing, ya know you learn so when working with a co-author, great fun too.

 

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Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

Unfortunately, yes. LOL I have two that I continually mistype and catch during the editing pass. Accept/Except and Past/Passed. I know which to use where, but my fingers do not always follow the commands of my mind.

Kim: at least you have just two… I won’t tell you how many I have. 🙂

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Oh gosh, there are many. But you must stay true to yourself and write from the heart. Remember that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint. Writing the novel is the easy part, what comes after is where the true work begins.

Kim: That’s such great advice, I would agree wholeheartedly. Especially the marathon part. Thank you.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I am currently collaborating on an Epic Fantasy titled Kurintor Nyusi. It is set in the fantastical Fifth Kingdom, and has an assortment of diverse and intriguing characters. The mythos and deities created for the novel are epic, and the concept is captivating. It has been a pleasure to create this new world.

 

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Orbs of Trenihgea, the second novel in my SciFan Romance will be up for pre-order next month. The audiobook for the first novel, Rites of Heirdron released this month on audible.

 

 

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Kim: Did you say romance? Wait wait, when is pre-order date? Keep us posted please.

So… where can we get your books?

All of my novels are available on Amazon and Audible. Readers can also purchase signed copies by contacting me directly (the.rise.of.nazil@gmail.com) or visiting my website (aaronmichaelhall.com).

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Research is extremely important. With my first novel (The Rise of Nazil), the research was extensive: ancient herbs and medical practices, torture techniques, distances horses could travel (in numerous instances), distances men could travel on foot, combat configurations, fencing and martial techniques, etc. It was the same with my SciFan. I probably spent more time reading and researching than it took to write the novels.

Kim: See what I mean about you fantasy writers…. I’m dizzy just reading all that! The level of creativity is beyond me.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Not often. If a “bad” review is informative, I learn from it. If someone posted a review where it is obvious they did not even read my novel, I get irritated. I have had several instances of that. Albeit I understand that not every novel is for every person. Even King gets one-star reviews.  I appreciate anyone taking the time to read and review my work. With the plethora of authors and novels available, I am honored that they selected me.

 

Kim: Argh! Those one stars “did not finish”  baffle me.I always think to myself if I see them when browsing books to read you have no real basis for that,you never read it, it’s hard to understand that. I’ve never reviewed a book I did not or could not finish at all. It kinda feels wrong to me if I never made it to the end. That said, haters are gonna hate regardless, good thing is  I think as a writer you get to a point where you bat off those whining reviews regardless of the stars, and crack on writing with no self-doubt. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

I have a few scenes with torture and some sexual abuse. Those were extremely difficult to write.

Do you Google yourself?

At times. I Google my novels as well. That is how I discovered all of the pirated copies.  🙂

Kim: I need to do that, you’re about the fifth MTA feature who has said that. 

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends upon the novel. Rites of Heirdron took approximately two months. I spent six months writing Seed of Scorn.Thank you for inviting me to chat with you, Kim. I truly enjoyed it! Great success.

And that’s a wrap people! Thank you for your time Aaron- Michael this was a really great to get to know you better. I’d love to read one of your books with a romance element too.

Connect With Aaron- Michael:

For more information about Aaron-Michael Hall (Newland Moon), please visit her WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, and TWITTER!

You can listen to a sample of the Mehlonii language created for The Rise of Nazil Epic Fantasy series HERE, and enjoy a trailer for the SciFan romance Rites of Heirdron HERE, and listen to an excerpt of the audiobook narrated by the exceptional Victor Bevine HERE.

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Meet The Author: L. J Kane Thriller, Suspense Author + First Chapter Sample FREE #amreading #thriller

It’s the 25th of the month , I am honoured to feature another British thriller & suspense author. Mrs… yes Mrs L.J Kane. She’s one of those mystery authors that like to keep their gender in question I’m assuming, with initial usage. Reminds me of another certain household name British female author. Let’s get to know L. J’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello. I’m L.J. Kane, the author of Snatch Girl, the shocking, fast-paced, kidnap thriller released in April 2017.

I live in the UK with my husband, and I love learning about the Earth Sciences. I dream of seeing the Northern Lights, but my fear of flying has stopped this ambition being realised, but it is still on my bucket list. My interests are diverse: geology, country walking, painting, and watching movies. And reading, of course!

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

About twenty years ago, I wrote the very first draft of Snatch Girl (it was untitled back then, and Darren Broderick was the only recognisable character in it). I read the first few chapters to a friend who loved it, and when I met up with her, about 5 years later, she asked me whether I’d written more, she liked it that much. So, I guess I knew then, that I’d be an author. It just took twenty years to take the plunge and bring Snatch Girl to life.

I love people-watching, overhearing conversations on the bus, dreaming up exciting plots while waiting in traffic, and while walking the dogs. I am having so much fun with my novels, and it’s because I’ve always believed in myself, that I have finally become an author after procrastinating for twenty years!

I live with my husband who’s a great soundboard, full of encouragement, and great ideas. Between us, we have met many unusual characters over the years, people with extraordinary lives from whom I can derive lots of inspiration.

Kim: Twenty years??? Wowzers….  Twenty years ago I was just fourteen. It’s rude to ask a lady her age, but I  guess you’re a mature lady. Welcome ma’am pleasure to have you here.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Stephen King. His books just hook me in, even if I don’t feel like reading. I also read his book ‘On Writing’ and it really helped me focus on my own project, but I still can’t bring myself to read the axe scene in ‘Misery’.

Kim: He is such a great writer, I agree. 

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I love reading (and writing) thrillers. The genre is exiting, fast-paced, and you can explore a range of emotions. I love movies and novels that keep you glued to the screen and to the page, with thrills all the way through. What I like most of all, is to finish reading a great book, and then start the book all over again!

Kim: I hear ya!

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I prefer to outline the novel first, and then plot each chapter, so I know where it’s heading. Snatch Girl started out as a ‘write and see’ type of novel, but I had to reign it in pretty quickly for the re-write, so I guess I’m a ‘plotter’!

Kim: Salute, me too your approach is the same as mine. It’s nice to connect with another plotter, most MTA features have all been pansters.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I have three thrillers in the pipeline! I am currently writing the first draft of a thriller mystery set in the UK where the witness to a murder becomes the target, and the other two novels are scary psychological thrillers, exploring the dark side of human nature, which I have plotted, and can’t wait to start.

Kim: Lawd! These have “Kim’s read” all over them, please let me know when they are released I’d love to read them both.

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So… where can we get your books?

Snatch Girl is available as an ebook and paperback worldwide on Amazon: http://amzn.com/0995627312

http://amzn.eu/gztq2JU

I’m also considering opening up Snatch Girl to other online retailers soon.

Kim: great, I’ve got my copy 🙂

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It’s amazing how much research goes into a novel. Things you think you know well seem to take on another level and suddenly, you’re researching little things, like how to apply butterfly stitches, and what the hell does an animal trap look like anyway? I spent many happy holidays in and around Dartmoor in Devon, so I didn’t need to research the landscape for Snatch Girl, but I did need to brush up on my knowledge of hypodermic needles!

Kim: I’m so glad you feel this way, I think in our genre because of the level of detail in things like police involvement, ways to …err, well ya know kill people or personality disorders /traits we give characters the really sick ones,  research is needed. Can’t afford to brush over certain things in this genre, the story will lose its edge and gritty feeling. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

With Snatch Girl, I found that the scenes just flowed, and amazingly, the scariest parts were the easiest! I think it helped that I had all of the characters firmly drawn in my mind, and knew just how they would react to each scenario. The hardest scene was where Ellie faced Braddon alone.

Kim: Great job!

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Once I’d dusted off the original manuscript, it took me about 6-7 months to finish Snatch Girl. I could write a first draft in about two months, as long as I don’t flick over to edit mode…

Kim: haha … hmmm.

What’s your favourite movie?

My favourite movies of all time are, ‘Vanishing Point’ and ‘Get Carter’ from 1971. Vanishing Point has a surreal edge to it; a gritty film so different from the modern day, with a nod to escapism that I love. In one particular scene, the filmmakers overlaid a violent attack with gentle music, which stressed the poignancy of the scene, and changed the mood of the film.

Kim: Okay… I wasn’t even conceived then, I’m sure my mum was still partying the night away in 1971. Sounds like a good movie though.

What music do you like?

I like music from across most genres, so I don’t have a particular favourite. I enjoy Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, and also Don Williams, Abba, David Bowie, Adam Ant… and I love classical too!

Kim: Adam Ant haha, my older sister loved him. My mum told me she’d wear the stripes on her face too.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I create backgrounds for each of my characters, with jobs, relationships, and a reason for their hang-ups and flaws. I wanted the characters to be as natural as possible, so that they would react, as any of us would, to the situations in which they find themselves.

Kim: I think I’m going to enjoy your work after hearing that. 🙂

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

It has to be the star of Snatch Girl, Ellie, the kidnap victim we follow right through to the end. We have been at her side throughout her ordeal, and I really felt her emotions as I dragged her through nightmare situation after situation. I guess I have to feel sorry for her, maybe even a little guilty!

And that’s a wrap, it has been a pleasure to speak with another British author in this great genre. I’ve even got readers an excerpt, the first whole chapter from Snatch Girl... you lucky things you. I’ve read it, I like L. J’s style I look forward to reading the full novel. Download below click the link:

LJ Kane – Snatch Girl – Sample Chapter 1

 

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Girl missing. What if you’re with her all the way to the end…if it ends…? Will Ellie survive? Would you?

Snatched from her sadistic captor’s lair by his own getaway driver, eighteen-year-old student Ellie realises that she’s still kidnapped. As the enigmatic Darren Broderick drives off into the night with the terrified girl beside him, the sadistic Jon Braddon is not far behind.

Thrown together, on opposing sides, Darren and Ellie must stay one step ahead of Braddon’s twisted mind, and Ellie must resist Darren’s Aussie charms to the end. Darren Broderick needs the ransom, Braddon needs a victim. And he will fight to the death to get her back.

The shocking, fast-paced, suspense thriller that will hook you from the very first line.

 

Connect With Author L. J Kane:

Blog:                                    http://www.ljkaneauthor.wordpress.com/blog

 

Website:                              http://www.ljkaneauthor.wordpress.com

 

Goodreads:                        https://goodreads.com/L_J_Kane_Author

 

LibraryThing:                    https://www.librarything.com/author/kanelj

 

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It’s Official I’m An Award Winning Author. Thank You If You Voted!

Evening guys,

It has been a while since I posted anything personal, a writing prompt, or interacted I’ve been caught up with working on Conscious Talk Magazine and the next co-authored book with Didi, and I’ve been away. Sorry! That said, today I learned I’m an award winning author, with your votes for A Stranger In France my novel made it to the final! Thank you,  thank you and thank you it claimed the title Best Romance 2017 by Virtual Con Fantasy Literary Awards. I never had a chance to drum up much support for the final as I was out of the UK for the week of voting, but I’m happy with my award with the votes I had while I was away. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I never imaged I’d ever claim such a title for my work, or be able to say “I’m an award winning author” in my bio. It’s a dream come true, I worked hard and enjoyed writing all 90,000 words of my first ever romantic suspense novel  A Stranger In France.

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Meet The Best Selling Thriller / Mystery Author- Kristina Stanley!! #amreading #thriller #mystery

 

 

Kristina Stanley Author Photo.jpgIt’s the 25th of the month, taking centre stage we have another great author, a best selling one at that all the way from Canada! I’m thrilled to have her here let’s not waste anytime, let’s get into it and learn Kristina’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi Kim,

Thanks for having me.  I currently live in British Colombia, Canada and am avid skier and sailor, but writing is my passion.

I write the Stone Mountain Mystery series. DESCENT, BLAZE, and AVALANCHE are published by Imajin Books. LOOK THE OTHER WAY, my latest novel, was released August 1st.

Kim: Nice to have you here ma’am.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

Late one night in Unteruhldingen, Germany I was reading MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU by Mary Higgins Clark. The opening—a woman trapped in a grave. Darkness and silence surround her, and she doesn’t know where she is. I can still see her fingers clawing at the edges of the coffin.

Tucked in my bed, I knew a driver would arrive at 4 a.m. to carry me to the Zurich airport for a flight to London, England. The sensible thing to do was sleep. But I couldn’t. I turned pages until the car arrived. I was exhausted, bleary eyed and excited. At that moment I knew I wanted to write something that forced a person to read and to forget about life for a while.

When I finally started my first novel, I’d been living in a ski resort for five years. Skiing is one of my passions and seemed the obvious topic.

Kim: wow, it’s so great when you find a writer that does that to you. I had  the same experience, the first romantic suspense I ever read was by Jackie Collins. Them pages turned, and Lord knows I was way too young to be reading about that kind of stuff... here I am over ten years later writing that genre. This is great to hear.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’m addicted to mysteries. I read one or two a week.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I am so a “panster.” I spent years developing spread sheets to help me rewrite my drafts so they were structurally sound. Finally I got so fed up with the cumbersome process that I created a company, Fictionary.co, and developed Fictionary to help me. It’s recently been released, so other writers can benefit. The goal is to help writers turn a first draft into a story readers love.

Fictionary is a game-changing online tool for fiction writers with a first draft. Fictionary guides writers through an automated, big-picture edit with a deep focus on story structure, not on the words. Think characters, plot, and settings.

Kim: yes you told me about this I remember I must go and take a look. Thanks for reminding me.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m rewriting the first draft of EVOLUTION. I’m using Fictionary to do that.  As soon as I finish, I’ll start work on the sequel. I plan to join Nanowrimo in November to get 50,000 words written.

Kim: Good luck, my Nanowrimo was a no no this time, third time lucky I hope. I’ll be joining you in November.

So… where can we get your books?

All my books are available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Kristina-Stanley/e/B0106J097I

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

I try for little successes rather than big ones. If I wrote 1,000 words before breakfast, that’s success. If I ran 5 kilometres after I wrote, that’s success. Did I make my husband laugh? Another success. I believe it’s the little things that make a lifetime of happiness instead of trying for that big one.

Kim: very grounded. I’d love to know how you felt the day you woke up a best selling author, honestly?

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book

You know the saying, write what you know? I believe it should be write what you love. I write about skiing, so imagine how fun it is to research that? For AVALANCHE, I spent hours with the avalanche forecaster at a ski resort.  For LOOK THE OTHER WAY, I lived on a sailboat in the Bahamas. That novel takes place – yup you guessed it – in the Bahamas on a sailboat.

Kim: Bahamas?? … Nice. I like location stories * opens up Amazon to take a look.*

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Sometimes. I’d rather take feedback from beta readers when I still have a chance to make changes. Once the book is published, there’s not much I can to. I’ll admit I read the 5 starts reviews just to make myself feel good. Who doesn’t like a little ego boost once in a while?

Kim: Guilty, in all areas. For me I guess not so much ego but knowing you did a good job.

Do you Google yourself?

I have Google alerts set up for my name.  I found out my novel, DESENT, had been released in Germany. The German version, ABWEARTS, was out on Amazon before my publisher told me it had been released. That was a fun moment.

Kim: Okay, seems like this Google alert is a winner then? Another author this month mentioned they too have an alert. *Pouts in deep thought.*

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Having other authors as friends is tremendously important. I’ve developed friendships with authors who write in same genre as I do, so they are great people to trade beta-reading services with.

Kim: agreed, or even writing buddies.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I can write a first draft in about three months if I write six days a week. Then it takes me another few months to rewrite and edit, and that’s before any proofreading is done. This month I’m using Fictionary for my big-picture edit of EVOLUTION. This will speed up my editing and rewriting process.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

My favourite character is always the protagonist I’m currently writing.

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Longevity!  Writing makes me happy, so I want a lifetime of it!

Kim: Good answer! Same here.

And that’s a wrap people. Great to have so many authors from different parts of the world here. A real diverse month too in terms of genre. I hope you all enjoyed meeting Kristina. Connect with her below.

Author site  www.KristinaStanley.com

Twitter:         

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KristinaStanley.Author/

 

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SUBMERGED BENEATH THE DEPTHS IS A SEA OF SECRETS…

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.

If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.

 

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Meet The Author: Alexis Rose- Non Fiction Author #amreading #health #author

Untangled: A story of resilience, courage, and triumph by [Rose, Alexis]

Okay we’re on a roll, the final author for this month is Alexis Rose! Alexis touches on very important issues that many people face in life. It’s a pleasure to interview her. Let’s get to know her style… over to you Ms. Rose

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello, Thank You for including me in your author spotlight, Kim. My name is Alexis Rose and I live in Minnesota. Besides writing, I love to be with my family and friends. I unwind by practicing yoga and spending time outside. I work part-time doing the marketing for a couple of wellness centers, and enjoy teaching beginning writing classes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

Writing came into my life purely by accident. I had never written anything more than letters or birthday cards, until seven years ago. A friend of mine wanted to know what it felt like for me living with PTSD. Because it’s such an invisible illness, she was at a loss on how to support me. At the time, I was unable to verbalize what it felt like to anyone, let alone to myself. I went home, thought about what I would like to say, and I wrote my first poem. After showing it to her, she told me I had to start writing. I showed the poem to a few other friends, and was invited to collaborate with a couple of artists, using my poetry paired with their artwork. Three successful inspirational books later, I had developed a fierce love of writing. I took the chance to write on my own, and 18 months ago my memoir was published.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of books on mindfulness. I absolutely love reading historical fiction. I don’t think I have one author who is my favorite, but I love an author who does their research. I have a pretty good BS meter and don’t like a lot of filler in a book. I’m a person who will sit down with a book and escape into the character’s world. I simply love good books. I read both non-fiction and fiction at the same time. It makes both sides of my brain really happy.

Kim: haha BS meter, that’s a good one.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I would absolutely love to be able to write fiction. I’m so amazed by the women in my writing group, who create fabulous novels and mysteries. Some of their characters even have their own successful blogs. Amazing!

Kim: there is no try, you do! Give it ago.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I love this question! I continue to be humbled and extremely grateful when I hear that my book has resonated with a reader. Either by inspiring them, giving them something to think about or feeling like they are not alone. I can honestly say that every time I receive that feedback, I feel as proud as the first time that someone reached out to me and let me know.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes, during the editing process of all four books I wrote. Even thinking about it now, gives me the shivers!

Kim: hmm umm! I hear that.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m compelled to write, so I’m probably a little of both. I may have an idea that nags at me until I write it down, or all of a sudden, a poem will just burst out of my fingers.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Write!

Do not think about the editing process or if your book will be published.

Do not let anyone deter you or tell you that you cannot be a successful author.

Kim: Love the last tip. Straight to the point too.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on two collaborations at the moment. One is a screenplay and the other one is a compilation of inspirational poems paired with beautiful watercolor paintings.

Kim: aww painting, do keep us posted on this.

What would you like readers to know?

I would like my readers to know, how much I appreciate the time they take to buy, read and positively review Untangled. This book is my memoir, and it’s a story of pretty significant challenges. When I wrote the book, I emerged from the shadows after a life of hiding behind threats and the fear that I should never talk about what happened to me. The resilience of surviving my life, and the courage to live everyday with PTSD is what I hope comes through as inspiring and gratifying to my readers.

So… where can we get your books?

You can purchase Untangled, A story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph on Amazon. My book is available in both print and ebook formats. Here are the links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

And that’s a wrap guys, lovely to have a so many  authors on this month, non fiction, crime, children’s books. What a great month! I’ll see you next month with some more great authors. If you’d like a feature contact me here.

To connect with Alexis:

Blog: https://atribeuntangled.com/blog

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Alexis-Rose-700444583389087

Email address: atribeuntangled@gmail.com

 

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Meet The Author: Cedric Long – Crime Fiction Author #amreading #author #crime

cedric long author of the Corrupt Officers Guide series

Umm hmm who have we here? Sandwiched in the middle of the three authors for July is Cedric Long. I was thrilled when Cedric responded to my call for Meet The Author, he is the second male guest here, and personally I think it’s great to have male authors and diversity … so boys please don’t be shy. Cedric hails all the way from the USA, he worked in law enforcement before he became an author. Can you tell? Look how serious he looks. Anyway, it is my pleasure to showcase Mr. Cedric Long… let’s get to know his style, over to you Mr. Long.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

I’m Cedric Long born in Montgomery, AL. I’m thirty four tall six foot two no kids. I love to work out and travel. One of my favorite things to do is ride to a new city and stay a few days. I also am a passionate photographer. I’m an outdoorsy person. I also have a garden in the backyard because I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. I worked in the Alabama Department of Corrections for 41/2 years. Lastly i’m a big movie fan nothing like coming home after a hard days work and watching a DVD in the dark.

Kim: well, lovely to meet you Cedric. We’re the same age. I wonder who is older.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’m not a writer, I’m an author. My English and grammar skills have always been poor. I was 28 before I viewed language and writing as arts. I began working in the department of corrections and when I’d tell stories about my experiences people’s eyes would almost pop out their heads. So I always thought I should write a book about prison. This caused me to view writing as an art form something wonderful I could create through.

Kim: There’s nothing wrong with developing these skills a little later in life. I think we should all be life long learners, so don’t ever see that as your downfall. 

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I never have a favorite anything. A favorite color, food, basketball player. . I’m very objective and open. I love diversity of flavors. I look for indie authors, you know trying to find the diamond in the midst of all that coal. To kinda answer your question I enjoy Ernest Hemingway. His novel the old man and the sea takes me on a visual journey. When I read his work I can smell salt air I can hear the waves I can feel the sun on my skin.

Kim: *smiles* yes, when a writer takes you on a journey for sure that’s always a great reading experience. It’s great that you can remain so objective in life too.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Mystery Suspense Thrillers. Big fan the Alex Cross and Jack Reacher series. I love a great plot twist. Eric Jerome had a series Sleeping with strangers I enjoyed. I do love series.

Kim: I like Eric Jerome too not read one in a while though, you like mystery and suspense? Stick around you’re in good company here! 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I actually didn’t have the issue of pride when writing my first novel. I knew I was amateur and I knew my writing was terrible. Having this honest perspective caused me to really do my research. I took advice. That help me avoid a lot of first time mistakes. As a photographer the photos I was so proud of when I first started today are embarrassing. At the end I’ve learned that you have to write as an artist and as a marketer. Not only must you consider your vision but what readers want also.

Kim: I like the last part of your view, yes write as an artist and in your own style, there will be readers out there for you. I think you’re take on thinking you sucked straight away is so refreshing. Lols.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

The series Corrupt Officers Guide – follows a fictional character John Youngblood a 26 year old correctional officer. Officer Youngblood is separated from his wife and running from a horrific past. He uses PDW(Partying Drinking and Women) to cope. Working in a prison is dangerous and after casual sex with a coworker turns bad he up to his head in conflict. Things worsen after he begins experiencing a string of life threatening events all strung together by a mysterious love letter.

The book is a drama about the temptation faced working in a prison environment. It’s shows contrast of there is not black and white when it comes to good and bad. There are only the thousands of shades of grey in between. We are humans and we make decisions. It also brings to light social issues and department of corrections conditions using satire and symbolism. It has comedy suspense mystery and action.

Kim: wow!… I need a copy asap.  If you have author review copies I’d love one I really mean that.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It’s wonderful I love giving my readers a bigger picture that slowly unravels. All my novels connect and intertwine.

Kim: Sounds good. *nods her head*

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Yes I want to write a novel with monster as characters. Also plan on writing a nonfiction on black natural hair to support women making the decision to go natural.

Kim: haha okay monsters? For  what age group? Is this like sci-fi, horror or what? Talk about leave a girl out to dry, we need details Cedric! Your second idea, I like that I think there is a lot of falseness these days, and it’s pressure on all women, regardless of their ethnicity. We all need to live up to some idea of what the media or society holds as beautiful or the way to be. Whatever… “aint no body got time fo’ dat!” 

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I’m an artist at heart I’ve never desired fame or riches. I want to put out work that is amazing. Something I created.  My proudest moment was when I receive my first hard copy of my book.

Kim: Oh God, don’t I’ll never forget that feeling EVER. I am with you on that one. I lined my book up next to some of my favourite authors on my book shelf, and took a picture. 

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

I never got frustrated but I did have to take an 8 month break once, and also their came those moments where doubt came up. thoughts like – No one will like this, why finish, You should be focused on more important things but I pushed and made sure I finished my first book.

Kim: Excellent. Self belief, that’s all you need.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

Plotter definitely but I do both. Fly by the seat ideas are useful for scenes or to spice things up, Still I like for my stories to have deeper meaning even my hotshot ideas must be weaved into plot or i’ll save them for latter works.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I rarely use commas, and I leave that to my editor. You need a great editor. It’s a different profession. You may sing and be great at it, but just because you have voice doesn’t mean you write great songs and can mix your own music. To put out great work you need to use professional help. Cover design, marketing, editing, SEO – get help.

Kim: what!? Haha I can’t believe it rarely. Damn, your editor must love you!

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

OMG I’m dyslexic and southern so I do this all the time on every other page. I have a story to tell you. One day I was meeting a friend. I told them via phone I was about to go baze and meet up with them. The friend said what did you just say? I repeat “I’m about to go baze.” They said do you mean bath? Yes I was twenty four years old before I correctly pronounce bath. So I do this all the time. TGFE – thk god 4 editors.

Kim’s Reaction:

 

Thank GOD FOR EDITORS!!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

1 Research – Read other works, the bad and good it teaches you what to do and not to do. Watch youtube videos get as many perspectives about writing.

2 Don’t work on multiple stories – It’s hard but inspiration hits you all the time and you will get tempted to start a secondary work. But your brain is wired in a way that will make you lose interest in the old and gravitate towards the new. If a work seems dead leave it for a few days or weeks, then start it back up.

3 Get good feedback – You don’t need passive people telling you your work is good to make you feel better. you need hard critics telling you things like the first 4 chapters are too boring, or this seems out of place. Your sex scenes are bad and corny. You don’t want to be the wife asking her husband “Does this dress make me look fat?” You need honest feedback so you can fix the bad parts of your work.

Kim: good advice, with point #2 I say get a notepad and write the ideas down as they come. That’s what I do. Funny thing is I can’t actually work on two stories I can only do one at at a time, hence the notepad so I don’t lose the ideas as they come.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on my third novel to the Corrupt Officer’s Guide series. The first book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Money is available on Amazon. The second book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Love is finished but I do not have a release date yet.

So…. where can we get your books?

Only on Amazon as of now. I do plan on getting them in several indie book shops and a website later.

Kim: try Smashwords look it up.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

I don’t use magazines it’s to much context online now, every magazine has a website or blog these days.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

When Fans give feedback such as  “Really enjoyed this I can’t wait to read your next book.” When your work reaches people who love it and they become interested in your style of writing is success to me. I put blood sweat and tears into my works so  an audience that shows appreciation is when i made it.

Kim: aww Cedric! Good luck, I’m sure you will find your audience and you will start to build a fan base. I wish you well.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

It hurts when you can’t see your weaknesses or take constructive criticism. On the other hand it’s a bonus when you use it in a competitive way. I see Steve Harvey’s or Zane’s book on the shelf, I feel envy and  say I’m going to be up there next to them one day. Michael Jordan pushed himself to be greater because he looked at other NBA players talents and wanted to beat them.

Kim: you are the first author to mention the competitiveness but healthy competitiveness. I feel the same way! Muhammad Ali said….

25+ Stirring Muhammad Ali Quotes

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My books are actual events I experienced, it’s told thru the cloak of fiction but it’s factual based. I have lived the things in my novels even thought it sounds crazy everything is taken from first hand witness accounts. But I do recommend you learn about the subject you are writing on. readers are not stupid and if you stereotype of use cliches you book won’t be received well. Researching will keep these things out of your work.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

This is my first release I have not had public reviews. but private ones I read and yes they hurt but they can make your work better. Listen to them. If I cut my own hair and didn’t know I had a bald patch in the back of my head. I need a friend to tell me. A reviewer is your friend,  they can say your haircut looks okay, and laugh behind your back. Or they can say it looks ok except one little nitch in the back. or they can say your head looks f@# up. whether they say it nicely or rudely you need to know your work had a patch in the back of it’s head.

One of my reviewers said she didn’t care to finish my book because of all of the colorism. I didn’t realize it but my book was full of colorism, the beautiful females were mixed raced with grey eyes, white blonde hair , and Latina. This shocked me  I’m very pro black I thought I was being creative by making my characters diverse, but living in america I guess my subconscious was programmed from all the TV and music. If you don’t believe you media mind programming l search for the video  – The Doll Experiment. I will give you a prospective on how media get’s us at a young age.

I don’t read much into the good ones I’m happy to have a satisfied reader.

Kim: Now, if that aint honesty I dunno what is. As for “colourism” I think we’d call that diversity in the UK.  Cedric, write it how you like it and forget anyone who don’t like it! There is a reader out there for you. For one I love “colourism” where I’m from in London you can’t get away from it. You’re also right beauty comes in all shades not just one.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Romance I not a great when writing feelings so I had to practice a lot. I still don’t like the romantic scenes in my novel but I did okay.

Kim: I’ll read it and tell you how you did *smiles*.

Do you Google yourself?

No I don’t have an online presence at all. But I go to amazon books and look at my cover all the time lol.

 Kim: lol

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Deidre Leshay we are not friends but we communicate on social media I love her book every bit of crazy it started off with action. I learned how to hook readers interest from page one.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I wrote my first two novels in four days. I got sick and could not go to sleep. After I was up twenty six straight hours I said well I don’t feel tired let me write this book. I only doze off twice the next four days. and when I did sleep it was only around three hours.

Now these were very rough drafts, and it took months to get them ready for the final edits. I even tooks weeks or months off from writing if i needed to.  When I write I can write twelve hours straight nonstop every day for weeks. I do not edit until I finish which helps a lot.

 Kim: *shakes her head* my gawwrd. That’s true writer’s stamina there.

What would you like readers to know?

If you know someone who is incarcerated or works in a prisons and ever wanted a tour of the prison environment told in an entertaining way then check out Corrupt officer’s guide to money. Only if you go on a real tour they will clean things up for you, my version is the raw dirty laundry of the system.

Please support self published works. Most authors make under  $10,000 a year. You can help by rating books writing reviews and sharing on social media.

What’s your favourite movie?

I love all kinds of movies and never have just one favorite I couldn’t give you a top 10. My two favorite this year are Split and Get Out.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Goosebump’s Ghost Beach, I loved how the series was connect only by the slim on the covers but they all felt connected. It had an amazing twist at the end I didn’t see coming which today many award winning movies have used.

What music do you like?

A bit of everything mostly oldies and R&B you know love making music.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I want to go on a cruise to the mayan temples in mexico. I love the beach ocean tropics and adventure. This trip embodies all three.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I set strengths and weaknesses, I set goals and plant obstacles everything else seems to work itself out. I love to contrast in my writings.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

It’s a female love interest. That’s all I choose to reveal choose to reveal right now but she is based on a woman I loved like no other. She is not mentioned in the first novel by name but her ghost is there. Allegra will play a major role in my second book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Love. She is real and we are planning on getting married at the end of this year. How’s that for Mystery and Suspense? wink-wink

Kim: awww amazing!! How lovely to honour her now that’s love. 

And that’s a wrap guys I hope you enjoyed getting to know Cedric this month. He seems to be on to a good thing mixing his factual experience to create a series of books.  You can connect with him below on Facebook. If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here. And send me a message.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/authorcedriclong

Amazon Author page

https://www.amazon.com/author/cedriclong

Twitter

https://twitter.com/GetoutMatrix

Excerpt:

Vivian was smiling and laughing at all my jokes. Our evening was going well I hope this would be the date we took or friendship further. Vivian asks, “If we had sex, then a few weeks later I told you I was pregnant, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?”

So I told her the first thing that comes to my mind “Well, you know, my homeboy Fred’s girlfriend got pregnant, and her boobs didn’t get that much bigger at all.”

“Really, John Youngblood? That’s what pops into your perverted mind?”

As Vivian takes a sip from her cup, I say, “Some men get lazy and don’t feel like walking to the bathroom so they pee in cups.”

Vivian’s eyes grow wide open and give me a death stare.

I ask, “How’s the lemonade? Is it strong enough for you?”

“How about I throw this lemonade in your face and let you see for yourself?”

“I’m just joking around. I’d never do anything like that.”

“Gross, John. I’m still never drinking out of anything at your house ever again.” then she hits me on the shoulder and laughs.

 

 

 

cover of cedric long's book Corrupt Officer's Guide to Money

meet-the-author

Kim’s Top Tops: Editing The Low Down. #amwriting #writerslife

Afternoon,

I’ve decided to blog a writing tip or two per month. You can learn what’s sparked this new feature on my blog here.   I’ve been receiving emails and Facebook messages  from aspiring  unpublished authors seeking advice. Or to read their work. Of course I said yes! Right now I’m in the final throws of preparing my fifth and sixth e-books and paperbacks, that will be released in July. So this month I’ll give my take on the dreaded editing,  as that’s where I’m at. Remember this is just my take, I don’t claim to be an expert, just offering advice.

Editing: Arghh!

For me this is the part that kills me every time. I seek perfection and quality. Trust me, I have learned it’s a marathon not a sprint, when it comes to writing a book that reads well.  I’ve learned a few tricks to get there with less headache, and save myself the re-uploads of updated versions either by myself or the publisher. Before I send my manuscript to my editor or Beta Readers, I do a hardcore read through and self-edit. Here’s what I do.

  1. Let it rest… my brain, eyes, creativity and manuscript. Once I’ve typed the last word, in the last paragraph, in the last chapter, on the last page and I think I’m done, I Leave it for at least two days. A week if  I can fight the urge. I Go back in with fresh eyes and read my work. Never read while tired, hungry, pissed off or all three! Here is what I look out  for.
  • Spelling, grammar, typos, punctuation etc.
  • Plot inconsistency: Do I start off with X and then move over to Y?
  • Words that I’ve used a lot.
  • Fact checking.
  • Tense.

 Something to have in mind when you re-read your work is, you’re too close to the          story you wrote it. You’ll never catch everything and so you MUST USE AN EDITOR    AND/OR BETA READERS.  I know, it’s an additional cost if you self publish, it slows down the process to publication, you think that you can do it on your own? Right I get it. Editors don’t  have to be  expensive to be good. All they need is a keen eye for detail, sharp and not lazy.

Who and What Makes A Good Editor?

This is my personal view…Not these people:

  • Your best friend.
  • Your mum or dad or close relative.
  • Your neighbour or anyone too close to you.

What

But why Kim??

Because:

  • They love you, so naturally they will love your work.  Even if deep down they read it and hated it. They are less likely to say. They won’t give you the honest objective view you need AS AN EDITOR.

What An Editor Can Do & Who Is A Good Editor:

A good editor will : (these are just a few things).

  • Check the standard things like grammar, spellings, format etc line for line and word for word. How well they do this depends on their standard of working.
  • Check facts.
  • Help enhance your story with feedback.
  • proof read.
  • Tell you what is and is not working in the story for them as a reader… honestly!
  • Is probably a writer themselves.

The points in red are why I personally would not ask one of my sisters, or mum to edit my work. Even if any of them were writers, they are too close to me. They can proof read and comment of course, but editing is more than this my friend. Personally, I need an outside critical view. I’m not saying don’t bounce your work off family and friends, but have an actual editor you have a professional relationship with. If you use any of the people I listed above as your editor, hey each to their own. All I’m doing is giving my personal view, experience and why I would rather a total stranger rip my work to shreds, then someone who knows me well.

What To Keep In Mind During The Editing Process:

  1. It’s your book, your story and you are in the driver’s seat. What you say goes. Take what is helpful, and disregard anything you feel tries to change you, your writing style or overall happiness with the final story.
  2. Your editor does a different job to you. They are not there to re-write the story, they are there to perfect what’s in front of them. .. so make sure it’s good.
  3. Grow some thick skin. It won’t come straight away, but as soon as you know who you are as a writer it will happen.  Be confident, but never arrogant.

Kim’s Top Tips On Selecting An Editor:

Who not to select…

  1.  If they don’t have a high standard of work once you’ve worked with them, sack them. Straight away, no questions asked. Never compromise the quality of your work with a piss poor editor no matter who they are!  And if your publisher’s editor  or standards for working does not cut it… don’t publish with them. If they are sloppy forget it. I’ve been there and parted ways happily. Remember writer it’s your name, your rep, your brand. Readers are not trying to hear “but I had a bad editor before I published” that’s YOUR responsibility. Save yourself the 1* review, due to your editor’s bad practices or lack of practices.
  2. If they can’t work to  deadlines you both agreed and it was realistic, sack them. Straight away no questions asked.
  3. If they overcharge walk away.
  4. If they don’t read the genre you write, do you think they will take the time, care,  enthusiasm and love needed over your work? Maybe not. Think about this carefully. There are benefits to an editor that loves your genre.
  5. If they don’t read … don’t even go there.

Who to jump on!

  1. Someone you click with as a person and gets you. I love my editor she rocks.
  2. Someone as meticulous, picky, and perfection seeking as you… or worse!  This can be a pain, when you see all the red pen marks on your work. But take the necessary and mull over the other comments. Also all those red pen marks help you grow as a writer. I hate it when I get my work back, with the same damn comments. Or I made a typo on the same words in this book, as I did the one before for example. That tells me I’ve not learned something or grown as a writer.
  3. Someone who writes themselves. But not always needed, it’s a bonus.
  4. Someone who reads themselves.
  5. Someone who gets your work and writing style, and won’t try to change who you are, just enhance who you are.

Remember!

Editors don’t write the best sellers, the page turners or the five star review books….you do writer so always come with your A -game. Don’t write half hearted, and think “oh my editor will help me make the story better.” No! It’s down to you, they do a different job.

Always have heart when writing and be true to you, forget those that don’t get it or you. There’s a reader out there for you.

Your editor is there to enhance the natural you, that’s all. The perfection of your creativity so it’s readable, is all that comes from your editor’s nit picking and red pen.

I hope this is helpful and pretty to the point. If I’ve missed something or you have a comment, let me know. Leave a comment.