Meet The Author: Antoinette Huston- Sci-fi, Fantasy + Comic author #amreading

Last up is Antoinette Huston! A southern girl from the USA and gamer. Let’s get to know her style.

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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! I’m a southern girl born in Texas raised in Georgia and I enjoy creating jewellery out of leather, cooking and rpg video games.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create? I started writing when I was in Middle school.

My parents bought us a Brother’s Word Processor. Waaay back in the 1980’s. My inspiration? That had to be the comic books I from the stash Dad had hidden in the attic or my dad’s fantasy books I started reading one summer bored out of my head.

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

Piers Anthony, Steven R. Boyett, Richard & Wendy Pini or Steve Perry are the authors that inspired me and continue to do so.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading Fantasy and science fiction

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

It opened my eyes to the adventure of writing. My first book was a hot mess. I didn’t know anything about editing, beta readers, arcs or anything! I just put it out there. I learned really quick, like a week afterwards all the ‘no-no’s’ I did. I learned about social media, about scams, about organization. I’m still learning.

Kim: The first one is so bitter sweet, teaches you so much!

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

Honey Cantrell was a simple comic book geek when aliens or Celestials, introduced themselves to Earth. A captain was needed for the first Celestial to visit Earth, a sentient ship, and Honey was mistakenly chosen. After nearly killing her, Honey finds that the Orb that makes her Captain, has been tampered with. Besides the secrets held within her Orb, she has to deal with unexpected feelings for her Celestial partner, a revenge plot that shouldn’t include her and a dangerous alien mating ritual that she had no intentions of joining but was made a prize for the winner.

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

I hadn’t planned on a series, but you cannot deny creativity.

Kim: Got that right.

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

When I first started writing, I simply thought what I wrote was fantasy or science fiction, the sub genres was a shock to me. Now I dabble in Fantasy, space opera, urban fantasy and I may not stop there.

Kim: Go girl.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Getting that first great review.

Kim: Aww 🙂

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

Often! Especially when characters get mouthy or scenes don’t come out on screen as they did in your head.

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

I am a proud ‘pantster’! I have never planned anything out, it comes to me and I write it as is, of course I’ll go back and rearrange it afterwards.

Kim: I had a feeling!

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

I think I use more commas that anyone and semicolons, too!

Kim: *sighs* feel your pain.

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.

There is usually a problem for me. I’m always switching the ‘I’ and the ‘e’ for some reason. As and about also gives me issues.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Research them before you agree ( publishers). Join a group of like minded writers and don’t give up.

Kim: great advice.

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

Well the plan was to publish my third and final book for my Urban Fantasy series, but I’ve brought my epic fantasy story to a close and it’s decided to become a series as well. Wonderlost is the next book to be published (when I get the money to get it edited) It’s ready to go.

Kim: Best of luck

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mostly-Human-Antoinette-Houston-ebook/dp/B00WVUXQ6C It’s available on a few other sites but this is the main sites. Signed copies are available through my author page and facebook fan page.

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

That I couldn’t tell you, I’m not subscribed to any myself.

Kim: Writer’s Digest is good.

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

When I hit 100 reviews on all my books, I know it’s small for some, but it’s the reviews that make the book.

Kim: I agree, I have read that every one in 100 downloads lands a review. That’s a steep hill to climb if that’s true.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

It hurts. I’ve never met an Author I admire in person, (yet). But I would be totally crushed to be greeted by an a-hole.

Kim: LOL

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

My research usually happens during the book. I’m pretty good at scanning the process or getting the giest of whatever I’m looking up to include it into my story(ies).

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

Of course. That’s the only way you can go back and correct the issues. I really enjoy reading the reviews, sure the bad ones hurt at first (later they sting) but as long as they give a why then I’m fine (eventually). It’s the ones that give no reason for being bad that really hurt. I don’t mind going back and fixing my work.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The sex scene!

Kim: HAHA! THAT’S THE BEST AND EASIEST BIT FOR ME *WIDE GRIN*

Do you Google yourself?

A lot!

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

It varies. My very first book took years to get polished and then published. The second book after that took six months. Mostly Human came out the next year. So I ‘m guessing about six or seven months.

What would you like readers to know?

I’m Human and I make mistakes. I have a tendency to totally veer off course and I love giving chars difficult attitudes. I don’t like monochromatic stories and I always make a group of characters.

What’s your favourite movie?

Grave of the Fireflies. The only Japanese animation that has ever made me cry. I mean boo-hoo tears! It’s a beautifully done movie about a brother and a sister trying to survive the last few months of WWII.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Ariel by Steve R. Boyett. It was my intro to urban fantasy. Besides, it’s got a smart-a** Unicorn that curses more than her Human counter-part.

What music do you like?

A lot. I listen to an eclectic array of music. From Sam Cooke and Chaka Khan to Public Enemy to Eminem, Yanni and Enya to Pentatonix, Lindsey Sterling and Nuttin’ but Stringz. On to The Cure and Vast to Metallica and Disturbed. I’m all over the map. It depends on the mood or the scene that pops in my head, but music plays a huge part in my writing.

Kim: great taste you have there.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Ireland or Scotland. I don’t know why, I’ve just always wanted to go.

Kim: It’s chilly wrap up!

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters have a lot of friends and myself in them or I dream them up.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Rita ‘Red’ James – From my first book: Red Summer. I grew up with her. She’s been with me since the 1980’s.

Do you need a lot of sexual experience to be a good erotica author?

No, if you have an imagination you can create whatever you want.

Kim: Good answer.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

How I released my first book. Research first. A lot of wasted money that could have been put to better use.

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

An author with longevity of course. I want be relevant for a long time.

 

And that’s a wrap a very in depth interview here. I hope you enjoyed getting to know a new author. Connect with Antoinette and check out her work below.

 

AntoinetteHouston.com

@1975Okame on Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/RedSummerUF

https://www.instagram.com/antoinettes_originals/

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Meet The Author: Jack Binding- Dark Humour, Horror Author #amreading #horror #british

Jack

It’s the 25th of the month and boy am I glad to spotlight this British author. He is super talented and I loved his book of short stories Pills. You can read my review here. Jack’s style sits well with me personally as a reader, I get him and his work. It’s dark, it’s raw, and not for the faint hearted.  Inspired by the main man Stephen King himself. I could not keep a straight face during this interview it was an absolute pleasure to  meet him. Let’s get to know Mr. Binding’s style… let’s get into it!

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. My name is Jack and technically, I’m from Slough (where The Office is set). But I moved to Southampton when I was three years old. Okay if I say Southampton? Does that count? I live in Sydney now, though. Maybe I should say I’m from Sydney. I move around a lot. Restless.

Other than writing I enjoy creating music and watching on repeat that scene in Spring Breakers where a gold-toothed James Franco sings Britney.

Kim: Britney? You don’t look like the “type” *eyes Jack closely.*

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

I’ve always written in one form or another. Lyrics, diaries, death threats. This is just a natural progression. There is no single inspiration to create, it’s just something I have to do. Whether it be music, writing or whatever. I go crazy if I can’t create.

Kim: Hmm know the feeling.

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

Although it’s hard to pin down one author, as I’m answering this question, it’s JG Ballard.

Other than his excellent short stories, I’m a particular fan of the urban dystopia in his later works such as Super Cannes and Cocaine Nights.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Anything, as long as it’s good. Horror, obviously. And dark fiction like Bret Easton Ellis. Just finished reading his wonderful Lunar Park.

I love science fiction, too. I grew up reading Asimov and have a real fondness for the genre.

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

Although I market myself as a horror writer (pigeonholing is a necessary evil in order to find the right audience), I actually don’t set out to write horror. I always come at writing new stories from the psychological point of view. I write a lot in the first person – I like to be in the character’s head. Sometimes, however, that process isn’t too good for my own sanity.

I have thought about writing erotic romance under a pseudonym as I’m not shy about writing a sex scene, but at the moment it’s nothing more than an idea. (Or is it? Perhaps I have an entire series of erotic novels out there..?)

Kim: *wide eyes* reeeeeeeeeeally? You’re the second male author I’ve interviewed who has entertained writing romance. Go for it, I imagine your style of romance would be … err… hmmm dark maybe?  *Narrows her eyes* wait, wait.. what’s this about erotica and pseudonyms?? If you’ve got an anthology of erotica out there Jack, you better spill the beans! We wanna know… details please.

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

Maybe whilst editing the short story Breeders. There was a great, creepy tale in there, but I had a hellish time trying to pull it out. It was a very painful experience. It’s one of the longest stories in Pills. Did I succeed it making it good? Let me know.

Kim: Ya did good kiddo, I loved all of Pills… until the bitter end.

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

I used to meticulously plot, but I find that for me it leads to contrived situations and I often force my characters to do something that doesn’t fit with their personas. So now I have a vague plot, but I let my characters dictate how I get from A to B. It’s more natural that way. If that alters the plot, so be it.

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

I don’t, know what you mean.

Kim: *shakes head*  me neither I, don’t, have, no, problems with commas :).

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.

No, my spelling is perfect and their is nothing wrong with my grammar.

Kim: *Pouts shrugs shoulders* sure, same hear my speling and grammar, is excellant.  🙂 Who needs an editor?

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

If you’re pissed off, channel it to drive your plot or your characters.

Don’t write for your audience, write for yourself. If you don’t like what you’ve written, chances are nobody else will.

Take chances. That murder scene too violent? Fuck it. Leave it in there. Don’t be afraid to offend people.

Kim: * heart pounds, OMG. Did he just say what I’m thinking*…. Ahem, okay, thanks Jack great advice there. 🙂

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

I’m working on a very dark thriller right now which has the nastiest villain I have ever created. It also has a clear protagonist, which is unusual for me, because I tend to steer away from writing good guys. Can’t relate to them. It’s on draft two, although I suspect there will be many more drafts before it’s fit for public consumption.

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon! Everything’s available on Kindle. Here’s the link to my US author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Binding/e/B01M1YNRMB/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1496988813&sr=8-5

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I’m not gonna lie, I have a huge ego. To be able to write something – something that will most likely be very personal – and put it out there for strangers to read (and the inevitably judge) takes guts. There’s a fine line between delusion and confidence, however, so being self-critical is also very important. Luckily for me, everything I’ve written is fucking brilliant and it’s only a matter of time before the awards deals start rolling in and I can dine out on movie rights with my new celebrity mates.

Kim: Erm, I guess the short answer is .. no?

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

My writing tends to stem from personal experience, so I don’t need to research much. I only tend to research medical things like how to best dismember the body of a dog with rigarmortis.

Kim: *Avoids eye contact.* Thanks Jack, I think. 

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

Thankfully most reviews tend to be positive. But bad reviews don’t bother me. I actually like that something I’ve written has elicited an emotion in someone so strong they feel compelled to document it on Amazon or Goodreads or whatever. Bring it on. Haters gonna hate, to quote modern poet, Taylor Swift.

Kim: Haha that’s a sure thing just like tax and death, it will happen. Them haters gonna hate. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

There’s a short story in Pills called Sleeping Pills, and there’s something awful that happens to the narrator near the end. I don’t want to spoil it here, but that was the hardest scene I’ve had to write. It was very personal and upsetting. Had to get drunk in order to finish it.

Kim: Sleeping Pills is a deep story and one of my favourites. 

Do you Google yourself?

I have a Google Alert set up for “Jack Binding”.

Kim: *shakes her head* you’re too much Jack, seriously?

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

I am a solitary beast.

Kim: Ha more like Billy No Mates. 🙂

What would you like readers to know?

Deep down I’m actually an okay guy. Honestly.

Kim: Raises an eyebrow to readers… have you read Pills yet? You  be the judge of that one. Just kidding.

What’s your favourite movie?

It changes every week. Sometimes it’s Candyman – the most underrated horror movie of all time. Sublime story and wonderful gothic Philip Glass score. Sometimes it’s Withnail and I, because that was basically my life for about three years. And sometimes it’s White Chicks, because … well, why not?

What’s your favourite book and why?

England Made Me by Graham Greene. I first finished it on a train between Reading and Basingstoke and burst into tears in the carriage. It has had the same effect on me every time I’ve read it since. Heart breaking. Underrated classic.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I’m fortunate enough to have travelled extensively, but the one place that sticks in my mind is Lake Garda in Italy. Exquisite scenery, food and people. I will buy an apartment there when I sell the rights for Dot Matrix to Hollywood.

Kim: Dot Matrix is an excellent story!! I could see that in a movie. Great characters.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters develop themselves. I let them run with it.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

There’s a strange old lady called Mags, who pops in and out of the short stories in Pills. She’s my favourite. Sad old woman who has lived for years and has seen so much she has to resort to some very dark things to get her kicks.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I’d have grown a moustache in my early twenties.

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

Either, as long as something I write strikes a chord with people.

And that’s a wrap people, I strongly suggest you grab a copy of Pills, it’s a great introduction to what this author is about, really entertaining. But brace yourself it is over eighteen reading for sure. I’m a fan! Can’t wait for the next anthology to land on Amazon.

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Jack Binding’s Pills splices gritty realism with surreal imagery and otherworldly dread.

From the vicious high fashion horror of FMM (The Devils Wears Prada via Bret Easton Ellis-esque debauchery) to the stark, unsettling heartbreak of Sleeping Pills, Binding takes the reader on a journey through the secret parts of London that few people ever visit.

Influenced by writers such as Stephen King, Martin Amis and JG Ballard, there’s Cronenberg-inspired body horror, creepy kids (and their creepier parents), death, love (often unrequited), seedy massage parlours and late nights fuelled with lust and narcotics.

With overarching themes and characters, the 18 short stories in Pills can be read either as a whole enjoyed as stand-alone tales.

 

Read my review of Pills  here

Connect with Jack here

Author site: https://jackjbinding.com/

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

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jack_binding/

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

Diversity Within Fiction, Are We There Yet? #amwriting #MFRW #diversity

 

When I first started to write it did cross my mind that being a British author, not everyone may connect.  It never bothered me and it still doesn’t  now.  I feel this way as there is a reader out there for every writer, no matter what you write be it dark stuff or light comedy. I’ve come to feel really strongly that writers should not, and can not write to people please. Why? You’ll lose yourself , who you are and what you want to write. I write it how I like it end of.

Over the last twenty four hours I’ve really been thinking about diversity within fiction, this is mainly due to the writing prompt I did on the Ideal  Romance Hero, and  the  guest author post I done with Author Jane Ridson. I was asked ( in the guest post)  how I go about using diverse characters, and what advice I would give to those that shy away from it. To me, diversity is a given, where I’m from in London it’s a melting pot of different cultures  we love diversity this side of the water pretty much, well in London anyway. So it comes natural that I write reflecting what’s around me, and my diverse friends I have. It would be really hard not to.

Last night, I reflected on this point about diversity a little further, when I woke up this morning and read a few  other writer’s POV on the Ideal Romance Hero it occurred to me that my take on Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome  and the ideal romance hero is quite different, which is fine. I don’t mind standing out! One  ( supportive) comment led me to feel that diversity really does need to be embraced, I also had a response to my Beta Reader call from someone who is keen  to be a Beta Reader for me as I’m a different race and gender to them and I’m on  the other side of the world. This is cool really cool. 🙂  But … are we there yet? Do we still have a little work to do with diversity in fiction? There’s a blogger I love his name is Jason Cushman or Opinionated Man to you and I. I’ve said it before he is rather funny, frank, and to the point. He is also rather raw in his take on diversity.  Jason is of Asian descent and embraces it from what I read,  but he does highlight ” the struggle” he’s over in the USA.I thought about Jason, some of his posts I’ve read and his struggles. You should check him out.

I then went to Facebook in search of marketing groups or companies who actually work with writers who feature diverse characters.  I’d like to put my Romance Set in Paradise series in front of some readers who may love and seek a bit of diversity. Also my future work also, as you know I’ll never quit creating diverse characters. Do you know I found none, not one, like not even a choice! I am really surprised. This led me to set up my own group called Black, Asian and Minority Readers and Writers   this is not about segregation it’s more about celebration! Of authors who feature diverse character line ups, and can maybe help support other authors branch into this ( if they want to) without the fear of stereotypes, or stereotyping those they feature,  find readers who want to find  diversity in their fiction, a chance for all writers  regardless of their own race who love, support and read diverse fiction to come together. This includes the gay community also. I have nothing against same sex relationships at all, live and let live is my motto.  I feel like I want to do something from this side of the Atlantic as there are so many in the USA ( FB groups) with this focus on African American writers /fiction, but I see little with a welcome for all minority groups for anyone who would say they are a minority or of some mixed background.  Or am I just not looking hard enough?

So, if you’re an author of an ethnic background, or an author who writes with diversity regardless of your background, or you’d like to try it! Join the group, the link is above. I hope to build a community of support. And readers, marketers and lovers of our diverse work. Because variety is the spice of life.

Tell me, what’s your views on diversity in general?

Kim