Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

...Dina Rae






1. What was the first thing you wrote?

Lots of papers for my education, but The Last Degree, my debut novel, is the first piece of fiction I ever wrote. I always thought being a writer would be fun challenge.

2. How do your family feel about you being a writer/author?

They all think it’s great. My only complaint is their computer illiteracy. For instance, if I’m on a blog such as yours they will not go on the blog let alone post a comment because it’s too hard, too time consuming, whatever.

3. Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created? 

 My favourite character is Andel Talistokov, the main character in Halo of the Damned. He’s a fallen angel who runs an advertising empire. He plans on seceding from Hell.

4. Is there anything you particularly like to write about? Is there anything you don’t?

I love horrors and thrillers, especially well-researched. I truly can’t stand romances. Although I read a few for review swaps and surprisingly got into them! Very out of my comfort zone!

5. Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story? 

LOL! Yes, I have dreams about where the plot is going when I’m writing a story! Sometimes I wake up and write down some of the ideas.

6. What do you enjoy doing outside of writing? 

 I’m a big conspiracy buff, watch a lot of TV and read a lot of postings about New World Order, secret societies, etc. I love to play tennis and love, love, love dogs!

7. As an author, who and what do you recommend reading? 

My faves, both past and present, are George RR Martin, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Joel Rosenburg, LaHaye and Jenkins, Preston and Childs, Nelson DeMille, Tom Clancy, and John Grisham.

8. What was your favourite book as a child? 

I loved the V.C. Andrews series, Flowers in the Attic.

9. What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future? 

I am writing a sequel to Halo of the Damned. So far, I think it is even better than the first one.

10. If one day you are world famous what would you entitle your auto-biography? And would you tell the whole truth? 

95% truth and the title: How to Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

11. What was the last book you read?

 The Twelfth Iman

12. If you could be a superhero what kind of super powers would you have? 


Like most, I would love to fly-scared of heights.

13. Where would you like to go if you had a time machine? 

Go back to Jesus’ time.

14. If you could speak to one kind of animal what would it be?

My dogs.

__________________________________________________________


A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship…

Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan's work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother's fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother's secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

Excerpt:
Several flies hovered around Andel's ears. Their buzzing sound amplified as hundreds more swarmed into the room.

His eyes watered with the smell of sulfur. A sudden heat wave filled the room. A voice inside his head called him by name, preventing him from hearing the television's broadcast. He recognized the ethereal sound of angelic language. Although he couldn't see anyone in the room, he knew he was not alone. Beelzebub, Satan's First Lieutenant, materialized in his basement. Andel shut the television off and knelt before the altar in complete submission.

“Armaros, he has sent me as his messenger. We seem to have a problem,” Beelzebub thundered in both of their native angelic tongue. He only referred to Andel as Armaros, his celestial name.

BUY LINK

About Dina

Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories.

dinatosto@sbcglobal.net
www.dinarae.com
www.dinaraeswritestuff.blogspot.com
Twitter: @haloofthedamned

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The trial of making a book trailer

My adventure began when I was trolling through Youtube and I came across a video entitled how to make a book trailer in power point. I thought this is excellent - as I'm not a very well know author with only a small fan base if I have one at all, I don't have a lot of spare cash. So the idea that I could possibly make my own video for free was wonderful. So I started on my project only to hit several speedbumps...

Speed bump 1: Images. Although there are a mountain of image floating around the world wide web that look free, technically I'd be ripping someone off so I had to find a way to get the images that I wanted. In the end I joined dreamstime and paid for a few image and used stock from deviant art. The deviant art stock art people are so generous, they will let you use their stock on only a couple of conditions, you credit them and you give them a link to what you did. Which is on my list of things to do today.

Speed bump 2: After making the slide show, I went back to the video on Youtube but it didn't tell me how I made it into a video. So as any one would I used the Microsoft help function. You could save it as a .wmv file but only if you have word 2010. So I contacted my brother who had it, and sent it to him sure that it would be a simply matter of re-saving and him emailing it back to me.

Speed bump 3: My brothers version of office 2010 turned out to be the student version which didn't include the option to save as a .wmv file. Do they think students don't need this? I don't know but it left me with a problem. I asked many for help and my brother suggested that I could save each of my slides as jpegs and remake it in windows movie maker.

So this is what I did. I lost all the cool words fading in, but I got some good between slides transitions and working out how to add the music back in wasn't too hard, although it took me a good few minutes to work out how to make the music and the images end at the same time.

Below is the results, I would love to know what people think.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Mary Lynn Bast




1.    Tell me about your book No Remorse and where you got your inspiration for it? 

I have always written short romance stories but never did anything with them.  A friend sent me information on a contest for writing contest featuring werewolves. I noticed that the books I had read always featured a male as the main, so I decided to try something different and came up with a paranormal romance with Amber being my main character in No Remorse. 

2.    Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general? 

In general I gain my inspiration while traveling. The people I meet and the places I see help me to form ideas.

3.    When did you first become interested in writing? 

As a kid I was always fascinated with books and began writing.

4.    What was the first thing you wrote? 

The first thing I wrote was some silly romance stories with a knight in shining armour swooping in on the back of a dragon to save the damsel in distress. No Remorse is the first story I actually continued writing and made it into a full length novel that was published.  

5.    Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author? 

Writing No Remorse was not a big struggle. The story actually flowed when I set my mind to it.  The hard part was trying to get it published. I think I found just about every person out there who was willing to take advantage of a new author. They are very willing to take your money for very little in return. It was a big eye opener. I nearly decided it wasn’t worth it, but then…I started getting lots of interest in No Remorse and people contacting me directly about the story, wanting to know when the next one will be released.  That was very refreshing and gave me a new perspective, so I continue writing.
6.    How do your family feel about you being a writer/author? 

My husband is very supportive of me writing. He is always pushing for me to hurry up and finish another story. The rest of the family is excited to have an ‘author’ in the family. 

7.    What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author? 

Everyone has a story to tell. Just tell it. I have heard so many people saying they wish they could write a book. Well, do it!  It doesn’t have to be perfect…that’s why there are beta readers and editors. There are lots of resources out there and lots of people who are willing to help. Networking is a key factor when getting started and the main thing I would recommend is talking to your network of people for advice. Don’t spend money until you have done the research, this is where your network comes in handy. Ask for recommendations.

8.    Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer? 

Sleep, family, work…you know, life, it all gets in the way. It gets a little frustrating when I have to stop the flow of a story with all the interruptions. But hey, without all this, there might not be any stories.

9.    Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member? 

Not yet, but I have a few in mind for future characters.

10. Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created? 

In No Remorse, I am having fun working with Adam.  I have lots of people wanting to know more about him. He will show up in several books in this series before he gets his own story.

11. Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story? 

Good question.  I actually have tons of dreams. Dreaming helps me work through some issues in my stories. I have even created new characters from my dreams. I keep a notebook by my bed and a whiteboard in my home office to write my dreams down on. In fact, my husband just read the white board and looked at me like I was strange. I stumbled into the office the other night and wrote on the board.  Made perfect sense to me…

12. What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future? 

I just published an ebook One Bite to Passion, my first real adventure into the world of erotica. The story was picked up immediately by Renaissance EBooks – Sizzler Editions. They are asking for my next one as well. 
 As far as Heart of a Wolf Series, No Remorse is book one.  I am currently working on book two, Softest Touch to be released early 2013. In my story being released in June, Amber must decide if killing a human would be considered A Justified Kill when she discovers a man is abusing young women.

13. If you could speak to one kind of animal what would it be? 

Love this question. I would have to say my choice would be to speak to a wolf. They always look so intense in some of the pictures. I would love to know if they were looking at the camera with that penetrating stare thinking, dinner…

      14. You find a genies lamp and are granted three wishes. What would you wish for? *note you cannot wish for more wishes, it’s cheating. ;)

1. I would have to say I would like to be granted the title of ownership to a hundred acres surrounding a huge lake in the mountains with a beautiful log cabin.
2. A big time producer making movies based on my books…
3. To be a size seven and able to eat whatever I want without gaining weight!

15. If you could have one piece of technology from a sci-fi film or book what would it be? 

Star Gate SG-1 with interstellar travel would be too cool to pass up.  

16. Star Trek or Star Wars? 

Although I love all the Star Wars movies, Star Trek would win out because their technology is so much better. I would gladly serve under Jean-Luc Pikard to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before.’ 
      
       17. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you?

1. Computer with never ending battery life
2. Internet
3. Comfortable shelter
4. Food
5. Is it cheating to ask for a two to three big strong men to see to my every need?

__________________________________________________________


Due to her unusual birth, Amber has abilities no other werewolf has ever possessed. On the run since childhood, the lone wolf avoids contact with other werewolves at all cost, continually moving, constantly looking over her shoulder and always alone. Everything changes when Amber saves a werewolf from the mere brink of death, Blake, the only werewolf to ever protect her. Love blossoms, but not without tribulations when Amber realizes she must help her new pack rescue a member who is being held hostage by a rival pack. Warring with emotions of going from lone wolf to the pack leader’s mate, Amber must decide if she is willing to risk Blake’s life to know true family and friendship despite the fact that the Council is hell bent on locating her and will stop at nothing until she is found. Will Amber’s special abilities be enough to keep everyone safe?

BUY LINK

Website:
http://www.heartofawolf.com/

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/MaryLynnBast
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaryLynn-Bast-Heart-of-a-Wolf-Series/290060734343947
http://www.facebook.com/groups/276906255723856/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/MaryLynnBast


Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Sweet Sonnet Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Hi everyone. Here I'm starting a little give away to promote the upcoming release of Silent Doll, the next book in the Cassandra Farbanks Series.

If you need any help with the answer, you can check out my website for clues. www.sonnetodell.com

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Tom Olbert




1. Tell me about your book Desert Flower and where you got your inspiration
for it?

Thank you, Sonnet for letting me be here.  “Desert Flower” (Published by Eternal Press, now out at EP and Amazon) is a short vampire novelette about a child bride in Afghanistan who is rescued from her abusive husband by a vampire girl.  It’s a tragic coming of age story of a strange friendship, an ill-fated love, and innocence destroyed.  I set out to write a vampire-themed revenge story about child brides, as I’d heard troubling reports about them through Amnesty International.  I hadn’t expected to go quite this far with it, but my research brought up a lot of information about Afghanistan.  Obviously, it’s a turbulent place where life can be hell, especially for a young girl on her own.  A vampire thrown into the fray made for the right mix of good and evil, both pure as innocence.  And, an immortal perspective on the timeless brutality of Man. 

2.  What was the first thing you wrote?

I’ve been writing about as long as I could hold a pencil.  I started out writing science fiction just for myself.  My first published short story was “Rat Race,” a darkly comical sci-fi about dinosaurs  and alternate evolution.  It appeared in “Unicorns and Space Stations,” a long-since defunct publication put out by some gentleman out in Provo, Utah.

3. Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author?

Yup.  There was a time in my early 20’s when I felt like I was at a dead end in every sense, and I thought I’d never write again.  But, it came back.  It’s as natural as breathing.  It’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.


4. Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?

Sure:  Not being good enough.  You slave over a story, scene by scene.  Tear it apart, do it over until you’re satisfied.  You go back later, after it’s in print, and say to yourself how much better a job you could have done.  Improving as a writer is a continuing process like anything else.  You just keep trying to reach higher.

5. Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member?

Yeah, once or twice.  (I’ll decline to mention names.)

6. Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created?

Ruhee, the heroine of “Desert Flower” is certainly different from any other character I’ve developed.  She really goes through a baptism of fire in this story, and it just flows very naturally, more effectively than with any other character I’ve taken on that kind of journey.  She’s the first character I’ve taken from childhood to adulthood, so that was interesting.  On the lighter side, I loved developing Garth Jenkins and Sally Drake, a couple of wise-cracking truckers I created for my sci-fi novella “Long Haul.” (Now out from Mocha Memoirs Press – available at Barnes & Noble.)  That was my first attempt at comical action/adventure.  It was also my first attempt at first person narrative.  I had a ball with it.


7. Pick one of your characters and tell me what they would do in the real world? 

Chris, the hero of my other vampire novelette “Unholy Alliance” is a vampire hunter who falls in love with Sara, a vampire.  When we last saw Chris and Sara, they were off to the darker regions of the world to fight against evil.  If they were in the real world now, I guess they’d be in Darfur killing Sudanese war criminals.  Or, possibly in Syria knocking off some of Assad’s thugs.

8. Is there anything you particularly like to write about? Is there anything you
don’t?

I never know what I’m going to write about.  Whatever idea hits me, I’ll follow it to its logical conclusion.  It’s usually on a whim.

9. What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?

I volunteer in my spare time for campaigns and causes I care about.  I’ve met some very interesting people that way.

10. As an author, who and what do you recommend reading?

Dickens and Hemingway, definitely.  And, Ray Bradbury.  Right now, I’m reading a book entitled “Beside the Darker Shore” by Patricia Esposito; a very unique and beautifully written vampire novel.


11. What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future?

I’m working on a couple of short stories now, both science fiction tales.  I have a lot of ideas in mind at the moment for sci-fi and vampire stories.  Lillibridge Press is coming out with”Shattered Universe,” a Print on Demand anthology of three sci fi novellas of mine they recently published as ebooks.  I’m hoping it does well.
 
12. If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man?

Spike, from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”  He’s got the street cred on the paranormal apocalypse deal.  (Plus, he’s way more fun than that Angel guy.)

13. What was the last book you read?  

“The Dark Ones” by Megan Harmon.  (A young woman with a hidden destiny falls in love with a werewolf and gets pulled into a wolf vs. vampire war.  Fun, atmospheric escapism.)

14. Where would you like to go if you had a time machine?

Ancient Mesopetamia, to witness the dawn of civilization.  Stonehenge, maybe, just to find out why they built it.  The hanging gardens of Babylon.  Easter Island at its peak.  Who could pick just one?

_________________________________________________________


A lost dream, a desperate hope...lost innocence, and a horror black as night.



A young girl's innocence is ripped from her when she is turned against her will into a vampire. Hunted and alone, Fleurette longs for escape from her hellish existence of eternal night,blood-letting and carnage.

In war-torn Afghanistan, another young girl, Ruhee has been cast into another kind of dark bondage as a child bride. Raped, tormented and suffering, she longs for escape. These two lost souls find a strange but pure form of sisterly love together as they survive side-by-side in a world gone mad. Ruhee must grow up amid war and turmoil.

As if American predator drones and the deadly raids of the Taliban were not bad enough, she must keep her "sister"'s dark secret, while merciless vampire hunters lurk in the shadows.

When Ruhee comes of age and finds an unlikely but pure love with a brave but deeply troubled_young Taliban soldier named Batal, Ruhee finds herself trapped between light and darkness. Her heart is torn in two, and she must make an impossible choice between love and immortality, as her young life teeters on the brink of hell.

Excerpt:

Fleurette started, her head snapping up from the throat of the mountain bandit she’d just killed, his blood still warm as it dripped from her lips. She sensed something riding on the cold desert wind. A lonely spirit, reaching out in pain and longing. Not like a roaming ghost, but alive. And, close. An innocence that touched her heart, pure as a flower growing alone in the desert. The moonlight washed silver across the sand and the rocks. The shadow of the lonely soul in pain reached out, beckoning from the village nearby. Inviting her. She spread herself upon the night wind and followed…


 About the Author

 Tom Olbert lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to science fiction and dark fantasy writing, Tom's interests include promoting clean, renewable energy and the protection of human rights.