Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Impenetrable Spy- In Paperback

My spy thriller, The Impenetrable Spy is now in paperback! I am very excited to be able to say this. I have had lots of positive reviews on it, and am very happy with the amount of purchases being made. I never expected that I ever would "publish." So I'd like to take a second and thank a few people, Unruly Guides for designing my book cover and formatting my book for both Kindle and Nook, plus paperback, and all of the help they have given me. I would also like to thank ALL of my classmates, for encouraging me to keep writing my stories, they have been SO nice, I would like to thank them. I would lastly like to thank all of my Language Arts teachers, and the school librarian, as they have helped me a lot too. You can purchase the paperback book on CreateSpace and Amazon.

Here are the links:

https://www.createspace.com/3647596

www.amazon.com/Impenetrable-Spy-Spencer-Brokaw/dp/1463693745

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with Mary Findley

What is Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion about?
Hope is a 17 year old living in Medieval England. She rebels against her uncle's strict tutoring in the Latin Scriptures and his "heretical" beliefs. Especially she resents being betrothed to his son Richard, missing for more than fifteen years after joining a Crusade, a "prodigal son" before he left, and twenty years her senior. The earl's son Robert tempts her to choose him over duty and family. But when her home is destroyed and her family kidnapped, only a mysterious stranger believes her story and pledges his help. 

Where is your book available? Amazon for Kindle and Smashwords in several e-book formats.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
I was teaching a Sunday School Junior Church and had to keep coming up with biblically-based stories for the classes. This is a modified version of one I came up with for that, more than twenty years ago.

How did you come up with the title?It identifies the two main characters in the story, and the concept of "hope" is played on throughout the story.

Who designed the cover?I did. It incorporates elements of a medieval gilded manuscript and features a WWII era photo of my father. I make our covers and illustrations in Photo Impact, which has wonderful editing, textures and faux-3D features.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?My husband and I live in a tractor trailer and travel all the time, but for our books, my "travels" are exclusively online.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?My first complete book was written shortly after High School, but it has undergone many severe revisions and currently exists as "Send a White Rose," a Southwestern adult romance also on Amazon for Kindle.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?Hugh Jackman is one of my favorite actors, and it would be great to have him play the knight. I don't know very many young female actresses, but possibly Anna Popplewell, who played Susan Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia. But Hope is not very tall, so I'm not sure if she would work out.

Do you plan on writing sequels?I am seriously thinking about a kind of sequel dealing with the knight's best friend in the book, an Egyptian Arab, and his life before and after this story's scope.

How long did it take you to complete Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion?As I said, I have reworked it over a period of more than 20 years, but the essential story was completed in two-three years.Incidentally, there is an "Illuminated" version, with illustrations using the template design pictured in the cover. Those illustrations took about two months to complete.

What is your favorite book?Too many good books to pin one down. My favorite authors are Charles Dickens and Jane Austin. I love
Tale of Two Cities and Persuasion especially.

Her Website: http://findleyfamilyvideopublications.com/Blog: http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/

Social Media sites: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Findley-Family-Video/149992491693629
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/460977.Mary_C_Findley

Links to where her book is available:

http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Knight-Black-Lion-ebook/dp/B0040X4Y8C
http://www.amazon.com/Illuminated-Hope-Knight-Black-ebook/dp/B004X2A4ZW%20http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88979 (this is the unillustrated version only)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Bloodwood: The Chronicles of Max Mayhem

   I recently received a copy of Bloodwod: The Chronicles of Max Mayhem from the author in exchange for a review, and my enjoyment. I began reading not knowing if I would like the book, because of the “vampire” scenario. I thought that vampire meant Twilight and romance, but the way this story is crafted is different. It had me hooked from the start.          
   Max is a normal skateboarding kid who’s next door neighbor happens to recently become a vampire. Max’s dad is the leader of a mysterious society who research odd phenomena. They find out about Max’s neighbor Peter and help him save his girlfriend. I loved the author’s description, he used words that were very strong to my senses. I liked the way he described everything, even simple things such as a drink of Coke.
   The only thing I didn’t like was the ending, and that was because I didn’t want it to end. Out of five stars I give this book a 5. It was great and came to a satisfying conclusion, I look forward to more books by the author

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Interview with Kenyan Smith

What is Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries about?
Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries is the first book in the Growing Pains series. This series will chronicle Kendra Foster's journey of growing up.
                                    
Where is your book available?
 Autographed copy is available at my website http://www.kendrasdiaries.com/. Book available on-line at Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. Ebook Available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Smashwords.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
 I wanted to help the youth and encourage them through the sometimes challenging but very rewarding process of growing up. Things are "different" now it has to be. Life and times are always changing. But our experiences are timeless and universal. I want the youth to know they are not alone. There are trial blazers who have gone before them and not just "survived" their journey but thrived!!

How did you come up with the title?
 The title speaks for itself in growing up there are definetly Growing Pains!!

Who designed the cover?
 Lisa Russell designed my cover and my website and is my mentor. She is the best.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?
 No traveling yet....but would love to travel to speak to The Youth about Growing Pains and growing up. It is on my radar.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
 This is my first book so it was published the year I made the big 4-0!!

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?
 China McClain to play Kendra, I always wanted to act so I can play Kendra's mom and oh Denzel Washington can play Kendra's dad.
 
Do you plan on writing sequels?
 I am currently writing the second book in the series now tentatively titled "A New Beginning".

How long did it take you to complete Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries?
 I began working on it in 2007 when my son was sick and I had to take off working for a year. Once I returned to work of course I had less time to devote to the book. It was published in 2011.
 
What is your favorite book?
Cannot name just one have so many favorites but I will say when I read a Rage of Angels by Sydney Shelton many many  years ago, I thought wow I wonder if I could write a book like this. Great Great story.

About K.P. Smith:K.P. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA. She also has a Masters in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago, IL.  K.P. Smith has a successful 13-year career in the Insurance Industry.
She has been an avid reader since her youth. Writing has always been a passion of hers. Her first novel is titled Growing Pains. She currently resides in New Orleans, LA with her two sons.

Website: http://www.kendrasdiaries.com/

Kenyan Smith (Facebook)/Fan Page Doin It Publishing

K.P. Smith: @ kendrasdiaries (Twitter)

Her book is available at:
 http://www.kendrasdiaries.com/
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615390307/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/growing-pains-kendra-s-dairies?r=1

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is your story predictable?

No one likes a predictable story. Whether you are writing a romance, espionage, mystery, or any type of fictional writing, you want to make your stroy full of suprises. They don't have to be big, but no reader will want to be able to predict what and why something is going to happen. I have read stories that irritated me when I knew exactly what was going to happen next. I like reading a story that takes me on an adventure, where I am guessing what and why something will happen next. One of the "points" in reading is to get your brain thinking, and good stories get your brain juices flowing, making you guess what will happen next. I am reading a fantastic book now, and I find myself asking questions while I read. I hope this advice helps, I have lately adjusted my writing style to write a story like this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interview with F.A. Hershey

What is Swirls: The Outsiders #1 about? Swirls is a story about discovery, adventure and romance told by the main protagonist Julia, an Amazon native descendant who was born in England and spent the whole of her sixteen years there. She is forced to go back to her roots with her parents, and this will change her life in ways she had never imagined possible. She makes lifelong friends during her journey, encounters dangerous enemies and loves like anybody has ever loved before.  
Swirls is the first instalment of The Outsiders Trilogy.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
 The idea for Swirls came from a very creepy dream I had about two years ago. I can’t tell much about it without spoiling the story, but after that dream – that was stuck in my head for weeks – it felt right to continue the story in my head.

How did you come up with the title?
 The title has everything to do with Julia. The colourful swirls are part of every living being on the planet – and Julia is one of the few who can actually see them.
As this book focus a good deal on Julia’s discoveries and her own life, I decided I would focus the title on her as well.

Who designed the cover?
 Claudia McKinney from Phatpuppy Art designed the cover for Swirls.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?Not at all :-D
But to travel around meeting fans who love my stories as much as I do is every author’s dream!
Luckily we can do that through blogs and places like Goodreads. It’s a great way to “meet” them as well.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? Swirls is my debut novel. I was 26 when it was published – I still am J.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? Well, I wouldn’t mind Ian Somerhalder playing Gabriel (one of the main protagonists and Julia’s love interest) – though I also think Christopher Perry would do just as well.
I’ve thought a lot about who would be the perfect Julia and I think a younger Tinsel Korey would be just right.

Do you plan on writing sequels?Yes. I am already working on Threads, the second instalment of the trilogy. I hope it will be published by the end of this year!

How long did it take you to complete Swirls: The Outsiders #1?It took me about two years, but I also outlined the whole trilogy during that period. 

What is your favorite book?
I don’t have a favourite book. I have a ginormous list of favourite books :-D. But right now I would say: The Hunger Games (all three of them) by Suzanne Collins, The Study series by Maria V Snyder, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, Shadowmagic series by John Lenahan... and the list goes on... J

About F.A. Hershey:Of Italian background, I was born and raised in Brazil and had strong influences from my grandmother, who has always been an avid reader herself, and who first introduced me to the path of literature.
I created a lifetime bond with my great-grandmother, who gave me my first insights into philosophy (though neither of us knew at the time that there was a name for it).
The first book that made me officially an obsessive reader is called "My sweet orange tree" by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos.
After that, I could not put a book down.
I only started writing when I came to London in 2003. Ever since High School back in Brazil, I've loved studying English like nothing else. But when I came to live in England there was that "click” and I thought: why not?
I'm also studying for a BA Hons Degree in English Language and Literature (what a surprise...), while looking after my son, and my dear husband who always supports my ideals.
Author’s blog: http://fahershey.wordpress.com/

Social Media sites:

Goodreads Author profile: www.goodreads.com/F_A_Hershey
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/FAHersheyfanpage
Twitter: @F_A_Hershey


Links to where her book is available: Amazon: (available for Kindle and paperback)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0058EAGYI
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058EAGYI
Smashwords: (endless digital formats)
 http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/86942

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Registering a Domain

Registering a Domain is an important thing for your website. Not that .wordpress's or .blogspot's are bad, but having your own "dot com" looks more professional and has plenty of benefits. If you're a traditional author and have an agent, they will 1, look to see if you even have a website or blog, and 2, they will look at your "domain." If you don't know what a domain is, take a look at my web address. It is spencerbrokaw.com. Not spencerbrokaw.blogspot.com. Which looks better? The spencerbrokaw.com is easier to type in, and is better marketing than the spencerbrokaw.blogspot.com. Please don't think that I am suggesting the free domains (.wordpress's and .blogspot's) are bad, but having your own will look a lot better.

I was at a family party and many people asked what my website was. I had to say, spencerbrokaw.blogspot.com at the time. They kept asking, "Blogspot?" After it became spencerbrokaw.com, many people easily remembered my web address.

Getting a domain name is very simple, you could either go to GoDaddy.com, or blogger has a feature to purchase a domain name for $10. I prefer GoDaddy, and yes, I am talking about the website that has those weird Danica Patrick commercials. Don't worry, purchasing your domain shouldn't cost you more than you want it to. There are tons of options that you could pick from, like "Auto-Renew" and "Website Email" that will keep driving the price up. My domain costed 20 bucks plus I got some nice features with it.

Setting up a domain was very confusing to me at first. You have to go into your domain settings, and then you "point" the domain name purchased to your blogspot or wordpress website. Just link your blog, and then within a few hours it should start to redirect to your website. And your web address will change to your newly purchased domain name, if you "point" it right. If my instructions don't help, they have lots of FAQ questions and answers for you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Interview with Kyle B. Stiff

Heavy Metal Thunder (Heavy Metal Thunder, #1)What is Heavy Metal Thunder about?
Heavy Metal Thunder is a “choose your own adventure” book on steroids. You read it as if you were the main character, a jetpack infantryman named Cromulus, and make choices whenever the narrative reaches a branch. If it sounds nerdy… it is. Depending on what level of nerdiness the reader is comfortable with, you can even pick skills and distribute stat points that can help define Cromulus as a unique individual. And the story is not like the simple “choose your own adventure” stories of long ago; it’s on another level completely. Heavy Metal Thunder takes place in the future, when alien invaders come and lay claim to the earth – which wasn’t hard at all for them, because humanity had achieved a level of cultural weakness such that we were practically bent over and unsure how to fight back. Humanity had been obeying rules and living in debt for so long that nobody cared who was in charge. Greedy corporations, corrupt governments, and hostile aliens all wanted the same things, after all.
Then came the “human fanatics” of the Black Lance Legion. With reverse-engineered alien technology and a new culture that enshrined living one’s life well rather than just surviving, they sparked a guerilla war all across the solar system in a last ditch effort to reawaken humanity’s fighting spirit. The main character, Cromulus, is a jetpack infantryman separated from his unit. He finds out that the Invaders are tracking down his ship and could possibly wipe out the human resistance. Cromulus has to make a perilous journey through the solar system, where he encounters humans who know nothing about the Legion and are living lives of quiet desperation while they wait for the Invaders to kill or enslave them. They tend to see Cromulus as either a raving lunatic or a victim to take advantage of, and Cromulus has to make difficult choices when dealing with these lost souls…

What is it like writing a choose-your-own adventure story?
It’s really not as hard as some people think! I’d already written some “normal” books in another series, so I was used to the idea of keeping my notes straight, organizing my thoughts, keeping a big project fun, et cetera. So making all the branching storylines in Heavy Metal Thunder just added another layer of organization on top of the creative process. It was fun to not have one single identity for the main character; instead, I wrote him as a sort of unbalanced ticking time-bomb who was adamant about reaching the end of his journey, but could flip either way in terms of helping people out or walking all over them. That way he could be controlled by the reader, but still have a personality rather than be a total blank slate, which is a recurring problem in most “choose your own adventure” books.

Where did you get the idea for your book?

I had the idea for the series right after I had a botched spinal tap. I was leaking spinal fluid and was so dizzy that I couldn’t get out of bed for days. I could barely even read, so I spent a lot of time in my own head… even more than usual. I saw an image of black-armored soldiers flying on jetpacks in the darkness of space. I saw them fighting with hand-to-hand weapons, flying and colliding, both ancient and futuristic. I saw black ships and the red glint of laser fire reflected off shields. The idea for the entire series grew out of that simple image.

How did you come up with the title?
Apparently I stole it! When I was playing around with the overall tone of the series, I decided that a lot of the soldiers (especially the fanatics) would listen to heavy metal music while fighting. See, the human culture that was destroyed by the Invaders was all about being clever, cute, self-aware, and all-around postmodern… rather than being genuine, strong, having depth, and being free of acute self-awareness. Heavy metal music was all that the soldiers of the Black Lance Legion had that could help bolster their resolve. So the title Heavy Metal Thunder came to me; I thought it sounded “tough” so I kept it. Eventually I did a little paranoid research and found out that the term came from a Steppenwolf song which may be the first song that refers to “heavy metal”… depending on who you ask. Other bands have referenced the phrase “heavy metal thunder”, and even a game released only in Japan also has the same name. I thought about changing the title, then I just decided that 1) the title references the very roots of heavy metal music, a type of music that I believe is the best improvement on pure silence that humanity has ever created, 2) the title has cropped up enough that it’s now a part of a tradition, and 3) it’s pretty much the title that was “given” to me by the Muse, and it would be ungrateful of me to change it.

Who designed the cover?
I did! Back in the day, I used to write books for Lulu dot com and I spent a lot of time on the covers. In retrospect, I think they were all pretty terrible. They were overdone, had too many textures, too many things going on, and they were so cluttered they ended up looking like old Image comic book covers. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake with Heavy Metal Thunder, so I found a free picture of some space dust, played with the colors a little bit, pulled out a couple of simple “graphic design” tricks that any monkey can do, and that was that. I’m no visual artist, so I decided to go simple. Someday I hope to scrape enough money together that I can pay an actual visual artist to go all-out and create a cover that can do Heavy Metal Thunder justice.

Do you have to travel a lot for your book?
No, only in my own head. I’m still just a servant, a slave who makes money by giving time and energy to companies I don’t care about in exchange for just enough money to survive. I have to write in my spare time. Not many people have heard of Heavy Metal Thunder yet, though I hope that will soon change since so many people remember “choose your own adventure” books fondly. Plus, I’ve been writing for so long and with so little to show for it that in some sense it would be just as absurd to quit writing as it would be to continue.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Oh man, I’ve been writing since I was tiny. I used to draw pictures of stick figures, then I would put random letters on the page and ask my mom to read what I’d just written. As soon as I could write actual sentences, I started putting together violent stories about vigilante on criminals. My teachers were always disturbed; I could never understand how they missed the wholesome message behind a normal dude who picks up a baseball bat or a gun and just makes a bloodbath out of the kind of creeps that we all live in fear of anyway! I remember once I tried to write a “choose your own adventure” book about Indiana Jones, but I never finished it because it was too disturbing writing so many death scenes for Indy. There’s no telling how old I was because I’ve always had a broken sense of how time actually works.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?
Wow, what a question! Though he was too old at the time, probably only Alejandro Jodorowsky as he appeared in El Topo could play as Cromulus. Both Cromulus and the protagonist of El Topo go through a spiritual journey through Hell where they both see and commit all these different atrocities. I think a young Kyle MacLachlin would play an excellent John Christian; whoever plays John Christian would have to look shy and sensitive, but also have a hateful psychotic streak just under the surface. Captain Numitor, who is cool as ice and a supreme gentleman, would have to be played by Gary Oldman. The beastly yet warm-hearted Ron Perlman could play Commander Uther, leader of the fanatical unit that Cromulus eventually joins. Cromulus’s rival-turn-friend Marcus would have to be played by rapper Krizz Kaliko; I’d love to see that guy drop twenty Invaders with a machinegun while sassing Cromulus. Sybel, the strange fanatic and dream interpreter who “draws names from the void” would have to be played by Cillian Murphy, since they both have soft ways but piercing eyes. A young Fairuza Balk could play as the spitfire Reika. As for my favorite characters, Cletus and Buford, I think you’d have to go to the Deep South and just look for two badass rednecks who love to scream and brawl and cast them on the spot. And when he finally makes his appearance, I think a bearded Hugo Weaving could play the legendary Admiral Franks, leader of the Black Lance Legion.

Do you plan on writing sequels?
Most definitely! Heavy Metal Thunder is actually the first in a twelve book series. It follows the life of the protagonist, Cromulus, who begins his career as a jetpack infantryman, then goes on to lead his own unit, then becomes an elite special forces bad-butt, then becomes captain of his own ship… and I don’t want to say where he goes after that. I also have two prequel books planned; they’ll be about Cromulus before he became a human fanatic. The prequel books will take place when the Invaders first arrived and, since humanity was living in a completely “postmodern” state of cultural weakness, instead of learning “skills” in order to survive, Cromulus will have a large selection of “weaknesses” that will help him crawl through life without making any scenes. The entire span of the series will take Cromulus from childhood and his young adult life as a spineless weakling all the way to something old and “godlike”.

How long did it take you to complete Heavy Metal Thunder?
Only two or three months, tops. The place where I was working went out of business and I got on unemployment for a while. Every day I woke up, wasted time on the internet for an hour, then wrote and wrote until I was exhausted and passed out. That was around the time when I became completely nocturnal and it was great, just a really magical time in my life. I wrote a bunch of other books, too. For anyone out there who wants to be a fulltime writer and really live the dream, my suggestion is to be born rich so that you won’t have to live a hellish existence of stirring giant vats of chili, or doing data entry in a cubicle alongside hundreds of other angry cubicles, or cleaning up endless piles of dog poop and vomit… and then writing for less than an hour every night after you’ve managed to peel yourself off the couch because you’re exhausted, which is the way things have often gone for me. Whatever you do, don’t be born as a working-class nobody. It’s the biggest mistake you can make as a writer.

What is your favorite book?While I’m usually not a big fan of flowery prose, the book that’s hit me the hardest is Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. He makes the American Wild West feel like the Apocalypse, where every soul is forced to go on an endless Grail Quest through Hell. I’ve never understood people who can “do well” at life with a straight face; to me, life has always seemed like running a gauntlet with drunken freaks on either side swinging chains and bats, and all the while I’m clutching a resume and trying to keep it from getting creased or smudged with my own blood. Blood Meridian does a great job of portraying the world like that – the way I see it.

About Kyle B. Stiff:Kyle B. Stiff has always wanted to tell stories for a living… but the world needs menial servants, not entertainers. For a few minutes (in internet time) he reviewed video games for a living, and most of those reviews can still be found online. He is engaged to an amazing lady named Rufus Archer whose beauty and wisdom mark her as a descendant of the ancient Atlanteans! He currently has yet another job coming up and he has so much riding on it that, all things considered, he is grateful for it. 

His Website: http://www.heavymetalthunderseries.wordpress.com/ and, for anyone who’s a fan of full-on insanity, http://www.kylebstiff.wordpress.com/. The second one is not for the faint of fizzle.

Social Media sites: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1843713535

Links to where his book is available:

Smashwords

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Trailers, Are They Effective?

I haven't seen too many book trailers that had me wanting to read the book, but they are a cool concept. I have watched some really good ones on YouTube, and some of them are actually from my blog readers. I personally like the one for Suzy Turner's new book, December Moon because it makes you excited for the release, and it is a chilling trailer. I have also seen some that aren't as good, but the point is, are book trailers effective?

Before I start reading a book, I never find myself looking for their book trailer. I normally just read it. I have noticed that most authors have started this book trailer trend over the past few years, and some people pay big bucks for their book trailer. Like James Patterson's book trailer for his new book, Kill me if you can. It has aired on TV. I don't find myself wanting to read his book, but that trailer has stuck in my head for a reason, and if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean :)

I released a book trailer for my book, The Impenetrable Spy and I am satisfied with the feedback I have gotten. It obviously isn't the best book trailer in the world, but I am very happy with the turnout of it. It was made by my uncle, who happens to be going to college for a "Film" purpose. He is very talented, and he helped me produce my book trailer using iMovie and Final Cut programs on a Macbook Air. My book trailer is actually a widget on the side of the page, so if you'd like to leave some feedback in the comments on it that be great!

But the whole point of this post is, are book trailers effective? I like to watch them, and find them entertaining, but share me your thoughts in the comments, I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Interview with Kate Fuentes

Elements: The Beginning
What is ELEMENTS THE BEGINNING about? Fraternal twins Gage & Talon Thorn are born from an ancient prophecy with extraordinary elemental abilities. Tragedy strikes and the boys must start over in a land that is foreign to them. Secluded from others and raised on a ranch, the twins must learn to harness their great powers while simultaneously learning to live a normal life as adolescent boys. Their wonderous gifts draw the attention of a dark force determined to destroy humanity and begins his hunt to find the only source that could dimenish his chances of world domination. The wicked emperor will stop at nothing in order to annihilate the young boys to fulfill his desire to obliterate mankind. Fate has delivered the twins to save the world and evil will do it's best to uphold the challenge.

Where is your book available?Most online resources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, my website as well as some Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Where did you get the idea for your book?My children asked me to write a bedtime story for them. I began to write the mini novel, which then turned into a full blown novel and I decided to publish the book as a demonstration to my kids that anything is possible and to ALWAYS follow through with what you started... you never know where it will lead you.

How did you come up with the title?I wanted a word that could be carried throughout the series and stand alone on it's own with strength as well as describing what the books were about. I think ELEMENTS does a wonderful job of doing that.

Who designed the cover? I had a great deal of creative control and picked out the underlying picture you see with the crack coming through the ground. My design team added the eery green smoke to enhance the creepiness and I opted for the whimsical lettering as well. I like simplistic covers that draw a reader in through intrigue.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?
 I have not traveled a lot so far, since this is my debut book. I have been asked to do some booksignings but haven't done so merely because I am not well known and don't want to sit by myself at the table looking pathetic with my piles of books... too much information??? Probably, but it is the truth and I am not ashamed to admit that I am a literary rookie waiting to break out of her shell!

When did you write your first book and how old were you? This is my first book and I was thirty-four when I began my journey into becoming an author. I have always written short stories or poetry but never thought it could be anything more than a pipedream. I'm eternally grateful to my husband and children for helping me to continue my dream and turning it into a reality!

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? I don't think I would be a very good judge of characters/actors to pick for the leading roles of a movie simply because I am too closely related to the 'real life' versions of the boys in my book. I based the two main characters on my children including their physical features as well as their personalities. It would have to be a professional that would be nominated for that particular job... I'm afraid I would be too persnickety. I'm the true epitome of a mother and think no one can compare to her own children. No offense to any of the great plethora of actors out there, I just love my boys to pieces so I am wise enough to hand the reigns over to the professionals in Hollywood.

Do you plan on writing sequels? I am currently working on book two in the installment series and plan to write four with a possibility of a book 5 in the works. My goal is to release book 2 by the end of this year! Those that are interested can follow me on facebook or visit my webpage for upcoming details.

How long did it take you to complete ELEMENTS THE BEGINNING?
 I took my time completing the book so it was just shy of eight months but book two seems to be working a lot quicker! Again, I did not plan on publishing until I had finished the book. It was going to be a Christmas present to my boys but took a different turn as things often do in life and now I am supremely elated in the outcome! The wonderful thing now is having fans ask when the next one is expected to come and see if they can get any spoilers out of me. So far, no one has been able to get me to crack! No spoilers will be coming from me!

What is your favorite book?I have so many favorites ranging from young adult to romance to non-fiction. I thoroughly enjoy novels with series or installments but I have to return to the classics and say I adore reading Greek Mythology. This is the genre where it all began for me as a child and what hooked me into becoming a bibliophile!

About Kate Fuentes: I have been married to my junior high sweetheart for thirteen years and we have two wonderful children. I work full time in an outreach ministry where I help facilitate events and organizations who help those that are disadvantaged, destitute and forgotten in this world both locally and globally. I write YA fiction in my spare time and hope to someday make writing my full time occupation as I exceedingly love to dive head first into my imagination as often as I am able to see what may come of a small idea.

Her Website:  http://www.katefuentes.com/ or her blog at http://siredscribblings.blogspot.com/

Social Media sites:

@fuentes_kate1 on twitter

Links to where her book is available:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review: Steps to Courage by Sandra Stiles

Steps to Courage
I recently read an amazing book, it was Steps to Courage by Sandra Stiles. It has to do with 9/11. This book astounded me in many ways.  It is a real eye opener. It follows three characters, Trina, Mark, and Lucas. In the beginning, each chapter focuses on a different character and their point of view. I enjoyed the way the book was written. The way the author describes and tells the story makes me feel better about what happened on that terrible day. I always thought of death and suicide when faced with 9/11, but I now realize how many people did survive, but that can't take away the sadness of that day.

This book is a must read for anyone that likes a good book. It was very descriptive and made me more comfortable when talking about the events of 9/11. I really liked the characters, and that is one of the most important things in a book. The ending was very happy and it couldn't have been better. I was also amazed at how much research went into the writing. I would classify this book as historical fiction, and it was a joy to read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I did have a few problems with the writing though. No book is perfect, and the following are minor things.

1. The characters dialogue is sometimes long.

2. Sometimes "s are misplaced, like "Words words" ,

3.  The characters sometimes say things that just retell what I just read.

These were the only problems I had with the book, overall I give it a 4/5. I would seriously recommend reading it, it was fantastic.

Get it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Steps-Courage-Sandra-Stiles/dp/1460990285/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315871232&sr=8-1

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

When 9/11 happened, I was only 2 years old. I didn't understand what was happening, but now I realize what happened on that terrible day. I hardly understood 9/11 until seeing so many programs about it. I didn't understand what a "terrorist" was until a few years ago. I never understood the magnitude of what happened on that day. But now I know, I understand what happened, so I would like to take today to  honor the brave people who sacrificed their lives to help others, and to take a moment of silence to remember the people that died on that sad day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pricing Your Ebook

Pricing your ebook is something that isn't as simple as pointing and clicking. You have to take in consideration your book length and whether or not it is your first ebook/book. If you are a first time author, I would suggest pricing your ebook at 99 cents, no matter how lengthy it is. If no one knows who you are and your book is priced at 99 cents, they might buy it, but if no one knows who you are and your book is priced at a high amount, it is a good chance you won't have many sales. I write to have fun, not to make money, so when I priced my ebook at 99 cents, I was happy.

Book length can determine your ebook price too. If your book is about the length of a Harry Potter book, charging 3 dollars is a good idea. When it comes to ebook prices, I don't want to pay the same price I would for a paperback, I want to pay about half the price.

One thing that I also would consider is the advice of many marketers. I have found that they say underpricing your ebook is worse than overpricing. That if you under price people will question the value of your ebook. I find this advice terrible. I love seeing 99 cent ebooks, I don't think that it means they'll have low quality, and I can always get a sample first. I think that 99 cents for an ebook is a great deal. I would rather buy 25 99 cent ebooks than a lot less high-priced ebooks.

Before you launch your ebook, have a friend read your book and ask them their opinions on pricing. Take these thoughts into consideration when pricing your next ebook.

I think ebooks are a great idea, and I can see the idea changing dramatically in the next few years. When it comes to Kindles and Nooks, I think of iPods. iPods started out as fat, odd music players. They evolved into skinny super computers that thousands of people now carry today. I think that eventually ereaders will evolve similarly.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Interview with David Santos

The Hopeless ChristianticWhat is The Hopeless Christiantic about?It is about a teenager (Das) who falls for a new girl, his best friends steps in and tries to get with her too. Das' neighbor tries to set him up with her sister than blackmails him into doing it. So he wants one girl but is stuck dating another. Lots and lots of drama. it is a romance comedy. Hopefully readers will find it funny and entertaining.

Where is your book available? Amazon. All links can be found on its goodreads page.

Where did you get the idea for your book?I wanted to write a book about my life, but halfway through the first chapter I realized I just made everything up so I kept going with it. It also help me get my mind off of lifes stress so I used it as a way to get a way from life. Hey safer than drugs right?

How did you come up with the title?Well the title The Hopeless Romantic is taken and way overused. I wanted people to know the book was a Christian book so since everyone was mixing their names together I decided to mix the title. I put the words "Christian" and Romantic" together creating "Christiantic"

Who designed the cover?
A friend of mine...a very beautiful friend at that! Guadalupe Mora. She is currently in college for a lot of things including graphic design. I am very grateful to her for doing the cover. I've received lots of compliments for the cover and I can't thank her enough for it.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?No, the books travel for me! I've traveled a little for book selling and stuff, but only once and it was two hours away.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?27 and 27 ha I actually wrote the book this year. I wrote a manuscript when i was maybe age 25 but I am glad it never got published!

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?Clearly I'd play the main character since it was written in first person. Jessica is a tough one to cast. probably Christine Lakin. She was a pretty feisty character in Step by Step and the role of Jessica needs someone with that spunk. Then again that show is like 10 years old so not sure how she looks or acts now. Reese Witherspoon is another great option.

Do you plan on writing sequels?I'm actually working on the sequel. Called "The Faithless Christiantic" This may be the last of its series, I'm not sure yet.

How long did it take you to complete The Hopeless Christiantic?Maybe 4 months. Well, when you have no job, no school and no little woman, you kinda have a lot of free time!

What is your favorite book?
Mine aha Well I am just getting back into reading after some 13 years so its hard to choose a favorite. Heck its hard to read a book period!

About David A. Santos:David "Das" Santos Was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents. They moved to Wisconsin when he was only five months old. He was raised in the 7th Day Adventist Church and has been helping the youth grow closer to Christ by joining local clubs such as Pathfinders and JAHWI (a Spanish organization for the youth) As an active youth in his church, He continues to work for Christ and hopes his books will be a blessing to the readers.




You can find his twitter, facebook and all on his website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Three Favorite TV Shows

Psych is my favorite show on television. It follows Shawn Spencer, a fake psychic detective who helps the Santa Barbara police department solve crime. What I like about it so much is that the episodes can be serious, yet funny at the same time. The main characters always make hilarious 80's references that crack me up every time. Last summer, I watched all the available episodes on Netflix within a month. I have become a true fan of this wonderful mystery series, and plan on watching the new season which airs this October. Some of my favorite episodes are:

Shawn vs. The Red Phantom

Gus is ecstatic when it turns out the only real clue in his and Shawn's missing-person case is TriCon, the comic book and science fiction convention currently running in Santa Barbara. As bodies start turning up, they must balance their newly-scammed and increasingly onerous duties as George Takei's assistants with finding the killer and saving the teenager. Meanwhile, Detective Lassiter is involuntarily enlisted to help Chief Vick with a time-sensitive incident of her own.

If You're So Smart, Then Why Are You Dead?

Shawn and Gus take on academia as lecturers at a school for the gifted where two students suspect a teacher of murder – they just don't know who's been murdered or the murderer's identity. At the precinct, Juliet lobbies hard for lead position on the next case, and Lassiter hands her a "gimme". The same case Gus and Shawn are working.

Ghosts

Gus' supervisor, Frankjim Ogletree, demands that he quit moonlighting at Psych, lest he face termination. The vice-president of Gus' pharmaceutical company, however, decides to hire the duo as his wife believes that their home is haunted.

Burn Notice is my second favorite show. It involves Michael Weston, a burned spy who has to prove his innocence. In the newest season, at this point he has accomplished that. Michael regularly gets hired by people to do an assortment of jobs, which include rescuing people, stealing information, and extracting people. I have been watching this show for 2 years, but have seen all of the episodes via DVD. Since I write espionage, I often get ideas from this wonderfully crafted show. It always ends with an ending that you'll be talking about with whoever you know that watches the show. I don't have any favorite episodes, but the new season is fantastic. The first few were okay, but they have gotten a lot better at making you want to see the next episode.

LOST is my third favorite show. Even though it isn't on TV anymore, it is one of the best shows I have ever seen, if it was still on, I bet it would be in the number #1 spot. I was very disappointed with the ending of LOST, because it didn't explain as much as it should have. This is a show that comes around once in a lifetime, it is outstanding. I watched all of the seasons on DVD and caught up with the newest season about 2 years ago. It is centered around a plane that crashed on a mysterious island in who knows where. The island holds many secrets that only the show can explain. Every episode ended perfectly, and personally I wish there was a novel adaption, and if there is I will read it in a heartbeat. The show was created by J.J. Abrams, whose shows and movies always amaze me. LOST is a spectacular show that I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Now Blogging on Unruly Guides!

I am now blogging on Unruly Guides. My posts are specifically aimed at kids my age and they are in a YA corner portion of the website that I post in. I am having tons of fun and my first post has recently been published on the website. I am going to try to get one out every week, and if I can't I'll think of something. You can check out the first post here: http://www.unrulyguides.com/2011/09/picture-this-ways-to-generate-writing-ideas/#axzz1XCwfF9HR

Tell me what you think in the comments! :)

Interview with Jason Beineke

What is Blackstone: Drawing the Circle about?
Blackstone is a mercenary sorcerer who does not rule any valleys and has yet to be bound to another sorcerer. Undertaking work for the sorceress queen, Spiral, he finds himself the expendable pawn in an assassination mission. Turning against the queen he fights Spiral’s loyal sorcerers and finds himself tasked with the guardianship of the marked man’s son. As the two flee from Spiral they have to work through their mutual bitterness and distrust of each other. A new tangle is thrown into their relationship when Blackstone frees a werewolf from her cage set in a town square and reverts the werewolf back to a young woman, cursed since childhood with lycanthropy.

Fleeing from the townsfolk who had previously kept the young werewolf, Loralune, captive, the three person band must confront Loralune’s transformation under the full moon, the posse that runs them to ground and a sorceress looking for revenge against Hiroe and Blackstone. Survival against these threats leaves them vulnerable to other, more insidious dangers.

Where is your book available?At this time the book is available only in ebook form from Amazon and Smashwords.  I hope to someday be able to afford to use Amazon's Create Space services to make the book print on demand through Amazon.

Where did you get the idea for your book?A scene of the book came to me while I was working at a data entry job in the late 1990's.  The scene is found in the chapter, "Bitter Spaces", of the first part of the book.  From there I built up the rest of the book over the years (stories have a long gestation period in mind...). 
I was also influenced by Glen Cook's "Black Company" series and by Darryl Schweitzer's "Mask of the Sorcerer".
I take a lot of inspiration from art, classical and instrumental music and other books that I read.  The challenge, of course, is not to blatantly copy things that I have read in the past.

How did you come up with the title?The Blackstone portion of the title will appear on all of the books in the series to maintain series consistency. 
"Drawing the Circle" has a number of meanings.  First, the series has references to alchemical philosophy and practices.  In certain magical practices (both real and imagined), a spell starts with the drawing of a circle.  Here this relates to the core members of the series being drawn together and forging their bonds with each other.  In essence, they form the circle that the book title refers to.

Who designed the cover?Lin Bo, an artist in Shanghai, China.  I came across his work at Deviant Art.
0bo.deviantart.com

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?Sadly, no, but I do a lot of research online of the geographical/cultural areas that the books relate to.  The first half of the second book will take place in an area that resembles Poland/the Baltic; the second part of book two will take place in an area that resembles the Caucasus and the Russian republic of Dagistan.
I hope to travel to China in the future so that I can learn about the setting of some of my other, future books and stories.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?1987 (Pieces of Power, not published)
I was 16 at the time (and using an old typewriter, it was in the days before personal computers)

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?Probably non-American actors, heh. 

Blackstone: Uhm, Gerard Butler maybe?
Hiroe: I would have said Booboo Stewart a few years ago, but he's getting too old now...
Loralune: No idea, Nicole Kidman when she was younger.
No idea for Spiral, though I would want someone who was an actual dancer with a lot of presence and strong will!

For the character of Musty, who is introduced in the second book: Brendan Gleeson or Kelsey Grammer

Do you plan on writing sequels?Yes, there should be a total of approximately 5 books in the Blackstone series, then another trilogy that takes place in the same world with the series name of "Love's Dread Wage".
I have written the second book in the series and currently doing a rewrite/edit. The title of the second book will be Blackstone: Butcher's Winter.

How long did it take you to complete Blackstone: Drawing the Circle?Well, I first conceived it in about 1999/2000 and finished the draft in early 2010.  I finally got it prepped and printed on Amazon.com in July, 2011.  So a pretty long time!  The second book, though requiring more research, was quicker to write and done at the end of 2010.  I just have to edit and do some reworking of it.  I expect future books to come about quicker as I go through the scenes in my head more quickly (doing data entry leaves a lot of time for daydreaming).
I experienced a writing block that lasted for something like 10 years wherein I did little, if any, writing.

What is your favorite book?Dune by Frank Herbert

About Jason Beineke:Born and raised in Northeast Nebraska.  I was a bookworm from a very young age, having a particular love for Richard Scarry, then Lloyd Alexander and later Frank Herbert.  My mother was a school teacher specializing in art, my father a cross-country truck driver before taking a position working at a farming cooperative.  I did a lot of reading when traveling with my father, devouring many Star Trek novels and other science-fiction and fantasy novels.
I graduated from high school in 1989, went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was expelled for bad grades in 1992.  I worked a lot of dead end jobs and finally managed to get back into school, changing my major from English to International Business Admin/Economics.  I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin.  Unfortunately, the economy tanked in 2008 and I have been struggling to find a good career since then.  That has prompted my return to writing.
I currently live in Omaha, NE and will be training to be an insurance salesman in the near future.  There are still dozens of other business ventures that I hope to do someday, but I will need the money first.
I live with two cats, Mischa and Suuki, who are just as bothersome as real children @_@
I will be trying my hand at a modern day zombie novel after I complete the third book of Blackstone.  It will be entitled "Spread the Word" and will deal with the concept of the philosophical zombie (or "p-zombie") as opposed to the typical flesh eaters that are found all over the place these days.
One of my favorite cities is Toronto, Ontario, which I have visited a few times and which I am enchanted with! I hope to return to graduate school to obtain an MBA and/or doctorate...someday

His Website:http://jasonbeineke.wordpress.com/

Social Media sites:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jason-Beineke/136625806414033
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5976738-jason-beineke?ref=header
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12385277-blackstone
Twitter: @JasonBeineke
Google+: https://plus.google.com/108898926867111405384

Links to where his book is available:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BCPEHG
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85530

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Taking Criticism

Criticism (bad reviews) are a hard thing to take. You have that moment where your stomach lurches, no matter how critically acclaimed your book is. It feels really bad, you completed a process that took you so long, only for someone to sneer at your work. It is hard to take, but the best way to take bad reviews is to take them as if they were positive. Listen to what the complaints were, and try to improve on that area. Now there is always the person who just hates it, and has no reason. Ignore them! You like writing, don't let other people's opinions make you stop, no matter how bad the review.

Friday, September 2, 2011

2,000 Pageviews!

As of this post, I have reached 2,000 pageviews! Thank you all for following and subscribing to my blog, it means a lot. If you've been reading my posts, but haven't commented on anything, introduce yourself in the comments, and post links to your books :)

P.S. I didn't draw that picture :)

Interview with Nancy Williams

What is What If It's All Been A Lie about?It's about a 16-almost 17-yr.-old high school junior by the name of Connor Webb, who begins hearing scratching and whispering in his attic, and though there's no one up there when he investigates the noises continue in his presence, making him wonder what on earth is going on. It's certainly never happened beefore. But that's not all--he begins to notice smoke clouds that smell like rotten eggs, gathering in his classrooms at school, as well as other clearly supernatural things. Because he has no idea whether or not there's a God he asks God to reveal himself if he is indeed alive and well on Planet Earth.

Where is your book available? It's a new release that's available free, one chapter a day (I'll have it all uploaded by mid-September) at http://nan5157.hubpages.com/

Where did you get the idea for your book? I've always been a fan of Frank Peretti's novels, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and I really wanted to do something along that line.

How did you come up with the title? In Connor's search he learns that many things we've discounted as false, are indeed true, and that the Bible has much to say about the supernatural.

Who designed the cover? I found the cover photo on http://www.freerangestockphotos.com/ and loved it on sight.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? I have done some travel in the past, as I have twenty-some books out in the marketplace, available on my website, but currently I don't travel much because we own and operate a small B&B which takes a great deal of time. I'm also a book editor with ten years of experience, so that too, keeps me busy.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote my first book in 2001, when I was fifty-two years old.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas.

Do you plan on writing sequels? It's a possibility.

How long did it take you to complete What If It's All Been A Lie? Ten days.

What is your favorite book? I love John Grisham's The Firm.
John Grisham's The Firm
About Nancy Williams: As with all authors, I love to read and write. When I began to write in 2001 I had a backlog of books waiting to be written, so they came like a flood. As I mentioned earlier my husband and I also own and operate The Nestle Down Inn B&B, located in the heart of the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. That website is: http://www.nestledowninn.com/  I have two adult children and six grandchildren, and I really love my life at this age. I appreciate the interview op.

Her Website: http://www.nancyarantwilliams.com/

Social Media sites: Twitter, Facebook

Links to where her book is available: http://nan5157.hubpages.com/