Author Interview ~ Kimberly Chapman

Today we have a fun interview with Kimberly Chapman. Kimberly is a BUSY wife and mother, not to mention a great author. Kimberly is one of the few authors I have ever come across who doesn’t go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, ok, so if we ever get the opportunity to meat, we won’t be heading there, we will be heading for a dark chocolate dessert. It’s been my great pleasure working with her on our interview and getting to know her through this process. Kimberly is also giving my readers a special discount code to be used on Smashwords.

Promotional price: $2.99
Coupon Code: VN78S
Expires: October 18, 2012

It only works at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/180554

 

Please tell me about your most recent novel. What or who inspired you to write it?

 

My recent release is Paranormal Romance/Contemporary fantasy.  I was inspired by my love of the X-Men character Wolverine, or more specifically, his angst over being immortal.  But I wanted to read something more grown-up and in a more realistic world, so I created characters who are immortal, several hundred years old, and lonely.  Then I imagined what challenges they’d face in the real world through changing social dynamics and technologies, and forced them to find their way through to each other.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?

 

The biggest influence on my writing was reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s books as a teen through to adulthood.  His broad stories with huge casts set in fantastic versions of real history coupled with his willingness to kill off lead characters and yank the readers’ emotions in multiple directions not only affected me as a reader, but as a writer as well.  I learned at an early age not to be afraid of length if the story demands it, not to skimp on details that enrich the world-building, and to feel free to break expectations to get to the reader’s heart.

 

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

 

My main criticisms tend to come from genre issues.  Nothing I write fits neatly into any one genre, so if a reader or reviewer has expectations based on what typifies a particular story type, sometimes they’re disappointed or annoyed when my work doesn’t fit the formula.  I write romantic love stories amidst fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, and other genres.  This means sometimes the romance part isn’t dominant, leaving some romance fans waiting for the next sex scene, or sometimes the non-romance plot pauses for some tenderness, which makes those not into romance want to skip a few pages.

However, most of my readers appreciate my stories being unpredictable and not following a tired old formula.  I don’t like reading books where I know certain things will happen because of the genre, so I don’t write that way either.

I’ve received lots of wonderful compliments along the lines of my work being someone’s favourite book, but the compliments that mean the most to me are when someone appreciates exactly what I’ve said above.  One reader said on Goodreads that “Finding Gaia” is “a well-written and thoughtful mix of fantasy, romance, historical fiction, exploration of gender roles in society, intrigue, action, and erotica.”  Another said, “FG absolutely demolishes several tropes”.

When readers make it clear that they see the value in my breaking with tradition, it encourages me to keep doing it and explore tropes and how to twist them further in subsequent books.

 

This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??

 

Chocolate, but only if it’s dark.  I do like French vanilla, though.

I don’t drink coffee or tea.  I’ve been trying to start a caffeine habit lately after a rough year of health issues and poor sleep, but it turns out I can’t abide the usual sources.  I’ve found some vaguely fake-citrus-flavoured Crystal Light with caffeine that I use now in emergencies but it scrambles my brain and I can’t write while on the stuff.

I like watching movies on TV by getting DVDs from the library because I am frugal and like to knit while I watch.

 

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

 

Computer for sure.  I type at about 120 words per minute, so I can transcribe what the characters are doing in my head in almost real time.

 

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

 

Sorry, what’s “down time”?  I have at least five novels/series partially written right now in addition to the three I’ve completed.  I’m a volunteer, a cake decorator, a knitter, and a mom.  I do read, but that’s not really down time so much as forcing my brain to stop thinking about my own characters before bed, or something to occupy me in physician waiting rooms.

When I do force myself to take a break, it’s usually with a computer game.  I like builder games like Civilization.

 

If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?

 

Jason is fairly indifferent to most mortals as a self-protection mechanism.  He’d only care about me if I was in his life for a specific purpose.  That being said, he adores his ward, Trish, and those who know me say she’s the manifestation of my Id. So if he had cause to have me in his life enough to notice, he’d probably be as much amused and infuriated by me as he is by her.

Anna is even more indifferent to mortals, unless she feels threatened by them.  I’m no threat, so she’d fail to notice me unless again, she had specific reason to have to interact with me on a regular basis, in which case we’d get along well enough but not be especially close.  I’m too outspoken for her sense of propriety.

Trish – who is a secondary character – would love and hate me the way I love and hate her.  We’d hang out and snark on the world together, occasionally have tiffs, but then grudgingly move on for the sake of the friendship and not having to admit being wrong.  We occasionally argue on Twitter lately.

Don – another secondary character – would be happy to chat geeky stuff with me, and I with him.

 

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

 

I want to care about the characters.  They have to move me somehow.  I want to know about their inner turmoil, but I can’t bear any of it to be cheesy unless that’s deliberate and for the sake of a laugh.  I want angst and pain in their hearts one moment, and to be swept away by a tender love scene in the next.

I cannot abide misogyny in male characters.  Anything that smacks remotely of rapeyness, disdain for women, or abuse automatically makes a character a villain.  This makes it very hard for me to find good romantic stories where I don’t start cheering for the so-called hero to die.

 

When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order? Do they know you by name or drink?

 

I don’t go to either.  Not my scene.

 

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

 

My favourite part is how I’m never truly bored: when stuck doing a menial task like washing dishes, I can always pay attention to the fake people who live in my head.

The worst part is having to market the books.  I feel awful for pushing them into any conversation.  It’s depressing to have low sales as an indie, or to send out so many books for review and then so rarely see reviews actually posted.  The business end of it truly awful.

 

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

 

In a brick-and-mortar store, the craft section.  It’s the only reason I bother going to a physical store anymore, so I can preview craft books in person.  But so many stores have such terrible selection that I just don’t bother.

Online is better.  There, I can search by recommendations from friends or even ‘bots on places like Amazon, and find what works for me independent of the limitations of genre.

 

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

 

I’m a volunteer for multiple area groups.  I also do cake decorating, although rarely for sale.  Mostly I do it for competition or for donation to the groups for which I volunteer.  I also teach some cake decorating classes.

Otherwise I’m a stay at home mom.

Writing is something I do because I can’t bear not to.

 

What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?

 

I was once approached by two squealing teenage girls at a cake show who said they loved my novel, my cakes, and my knitting and asked if there was a museum or something where they could see all of my works.  I was dumbfounded.  I hesitantly suggested, “Well, I’ve got stuff around my house?”  They just squealed some more.  It was very odd.

 

What is your favorite junk food vice?

 

Baked goods.  Rich, dark, not-too-sweet cookies, brownies, and cake.

 

Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel?? What made it live up to the novel?

 

The Lord of the Rings movies were excellent, and I don’t mind the aspects they changed from the original books.  In many cases, I’d say they improved upon it, because the “Council of Elrond” chapter is mind-numbingly dull, but the scene in the movie is iconic for several amazingly-shot elements.  Further, the way Jackson hits you in the heart with the impending suffering at Helm’s Deep is much more powerful than the books, which is a rare feat for a film indeed.

 

If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?

 

For Jason these days it’d be fairly dull.  In current time, he’s going through his days biding time until he finds the woman for whom he’s been searching for nearly a century.  He goes to work, he goes home, he just exists.  He doesn’t use his nefarious powers anymore, and even if he did, I wouldn’t want to experience murder as an addiction.

But I’d love to be Anna for a day.  I’d love to walk through a park and have everything bloom as I walked by, to simply look at a tree and make it grow, or use my ability to scare off bad guys.  It’d be great fun to walk through Central Park at night and use vegetation to cage up anyone who tried to attack me.

 

Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

 

I had a good writing teacher in high school, but I’m not sure he was exactly encouraging.  If anything, he instilled in all of us how serious and difficult writing is as a professional act, and that if we weren’t going to work hard and hone that craft, there was no point in pursuing that as a career.  I took that to heart; it’s why I believe in solid, proper, professional editing.  I demand that of other writers and I demand it of myself.

 

What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?

 

I make a very good ultra-dark chocolate ice cream that I call Dark’n’Angsty.  I have the recipe for it here: http://www.eat-the-evidence.com/2011/10/24/darknangsty-chocolate-ice-cream/

 

If we snuck a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?

 

It’s not really much of a purse so much as a tote bag for my mom-stuff.  Usually I just carry my wallet, phone, and keys.  But the tote bag has some pens, an Epi-Pen because I’m on allergy shots so that’s required for those, some random receipts, and possibly an old scrunched up shopping list.

I’d like to say you’d find something exciting like an alien-blood-encrusted weapon or a treasure map, but being a mom-bag, you’re sadly more likely to find a kid-booger-encrusted tissue and a printout of a Google map to a birthday party location.

 

What do you like on your pizza?? Thin Crust or Thick??

 

Mushrooms, ground beef, extra cheese, low sauce.  The crust depends on the establishment, but either way I don’t want it greasy.

 

When you read for pleasure, what is your choice?? eReader or Paperback or Hardcover? Any particular reason??

 

I don’t yet have an eReader so when I read ebooks it tends to be on my computer.  For bedtime reading, that means I’m reading paper editions for the most part.  I have no preference between paperback or hard cover.

 

This or That – Christmas or Your Birthday?? Chocolate or Flowers?? Cell Phone or No Phone?? Quality or Quantity??

 

My birthday – I don’t have to do anything to prepare for it for others, whereas for Christmas I have to clean, bake, decorate, buy gifts, etc.

Chocolate – flowers are ecologically wasteful.  Unless it’s a live plant, but then I have to take care of it.

No phone – I have an old flip style phone for emergencies, but I hate cell-phone drivers and am annoyed at people who interrupt conversations to take calls.

Quality – what’s the point of having a large quantity of something of poor quality?

 

What do your friends and family think of your writing? Have they been supportive?

 

They seem to love it and constantly beg me to write more.  I keep telling them that they’d better help promote more in return, because being indie is expensive and I can’t afford to keep paying my editor and cover artist unless I get more sales!

 

In 4 words, describe yourself.

 

Creative, skeptical, nerdy, blunt.

 

Is their anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

 

Just that if you’re looking for standard formulaic romance, you won’t find it with me.  But if you’re looking for rich plots, new twists on old tropes, hot love scenes framed within a feminist context, or angst and tears coupled with geeky laughs, then check out what I write.  I’m writing the sort of things I want to read, and I’m a nerdy, lefty feminist who is sick of predictable plots and patriarchal cliches.

Also, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of progressive-minded geeky men are really responding to “Finding Gaia”.  My best reviews are from guys who clearly identify that way.  I think a lot of modern-minded, sensible, intelligent men are left out of the typical romance genres, but they too crave affectionate love stories set amidst real plots.

Giveaway # 2 Winners

Congratulations to S. D. Grady & Ren Thompson!!!

Please stop by here and share with my readers how you liked the novel.

They are the winners of a copy of Judith Leger’s newest novel. After a very ‘scientific’ method for choosing a winner, ‘einie meanine minie moe’ 🙂

Along with a free copy of Judith’s novel, they are also going to be entered into a special winners only giveaway I will be doing during the Holidays, that will be for the winners of past giveaways.

Popular Books I Won’t Be Reading

There are some novels or series that you will NOT catch me reviewing or reading, included in this is the “Hunger Games”, “Twilight Series” & “50 Shades” novels.  Despite their popularity, they are not going to make their way to this blog nor to my reading repertoire. Before I get some of my readers up in an uproar, let me give an explanation for each as to why. If anyone has a compelling argument as to why I should change my mind, I will listen, it might not change my mind, but you never know.  

 

Hunger Games ~ Very simply put, the premises disgusts me. Children, all bet 16 & 17yr olds, they are still children who are made to kill each other. No thank you. I find that deplorable. My 12 year old has read them, at school, he liked them and when we discussed them, he said he understood why I was not a ‘fan’ of them, I guess they have AR value, so that’s fine, yet, I won’t be reading them and I told him I don’t want him to read them in the house.

 

Twilight Series ~ Too teenybopper for me; I prefer my vamipre novels ‘adult’ or at least relatable in some way, even though they are fiction. I looked on several review sites and a lot of the ‘reviews’ if you can call them that, were written by ‘teenyboppers’ and they were saying how other vampire novels, ie “Sookie Stackhouse” novels are ‘rip-offs’ of the Twilight novels. I got a GREAT laugh at that, especially when myself and some other ‘adults’ pointed out that ALL vampire novels came AFTER “Dracula”, so the “Twilight” novels are just a ‘rip-off’ of the great novel by Bram Stoker, throw in that the ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ novels came BEFORE the “Twilight’ novels, they are misguided. Some of us ‘old people’ remember vampire tv shows ie ‘Forever Knight’, ‘Dark Shadows’, ‘Kindred the Embraced’ yummmmy favs. 😉   

 

50 Shades ~ BeenThereDoneThat. I won’t go into much on this, why should I read about something when the people who are reading those novels would never live what’s in them. Some things are better experienced and lived than read about. I have friends and family members who have read them and they rave about them, that’s all fine; I won’t be joining the throngs of people reading them. In recent months, I have heard of people who have gotten in way over their heads and done things that they had no training or business doing. Even with a possible movie coming out in the future, I’m going to let everyone else follow the crowd.

Author Interview ~ Kevin Howard

Today I get to introduce you all to Kevin Howard. Kevin has a wonderful sence of humor as I can attest to and after reading his answers to my atypical interview questions, I appreciate it even more. Kevin is a loving father and husband in addition to an author. Kevin has written a great Horror novel (I am excited to read it this winter).

We are also hosting an eBook GIVEAWAY. Winners will be chosen at random in 2 WEEKS!!! Winners will be notified between Oct 3rd & 4th. So make sure you leave a comment in order for a chance to win!!!

Please tell me about your novel. What or who inspired you to write it?

Yellowstone is suffering from the largest forest fire in the park’s history. Ranger JOE RAND, once passionate about nature and now drowning in alcohol after the recent death of his son, notices something is very wrong within Yellowstone after a string of disappearances. But when a fireman is found dead in the Old Faithful Inn after falling into a hole earlier that day, his body mauled and deprived of all its fluids, Joe knows he has no choice but to set down his flask and investigate. Joe and Lieutenant DALE CAFFEY of the Billings Fire Department go into the woods to search the hole the fireman had fallen into. They discover a series of tunnels lined with bones, the air thick with smoke. Joe and Dale conclude that the creature that had killed the fireman had left its subterranean dwelling to flee the overwhelming smoke from the fire above. The creature takes shelter inside the Inn, concealing itself within the darkened crevices, emerging to feast on passersby. After staging an evacuation of the park, they lock themselves inside the Inn to hunt the creature. After just a short while it becomes frighteningly clear that it is, in-fact, the creature that is hunting them.

Inspiration came very easy for this novel. I worked in Yellowstone National Park as part of a family tradition. My mother met my father there, and my sisters and uncle worked there. The park won me over with its beauty. I actually had a brush with death within the park. I had just gotten off of work and had decided to take a drive. I saw an animal dart out from the shoulder, so I swerved and pulled back too hard on the wheel. The car rolled off the shoulder and flipped several times, finally slamming into a tree. I hung upside-down, the lap belt anchoring me by my stomach, but I walked away without a scratch. It’s very easy to find inspiration from such an amazing experience.

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?

Stephen King will always be my favorite author. I will never forget giving a fifth grade book report on Salem’s Lot, and the look my teacher gave me. His imagination really inspired me to look at ordinary things from a different perspective, and to find terror in everyday places. I’m also a big fan of Ray Bradbury and Michael Crichton. My favorite novel is The Stand by Stephen King. It’s over a thousand pages long and I just wanted it to keep going. However, I don’t really get any of my ideas from these authors. Most of my novel ideas have come to me out of thin air and are completely random thoughts, like a bolt of lightning.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

I would hate to jinx myself, but I haven’t really had too much criticism toward my work. Possibly, the toughest problem I face is trying to show my family that this is not just a hobby. I guess their lack of faith did push me that much harder to get my novel as polished as it can be.

This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??

Chocolate is my favorite…unless you give me vanilla covered in chocolate sauce. Coffee is a must. In fact, I usually go through four cups before noon just to keep my eyes open. Tea is a night time thing when I’m on vacation. As a side note, my family and I will be moving to the Big Island of Hawaii next year to work on a tea farm, so I guess I’ll change my answer next year. I usually prefer movies, because I like to have something lengthy on if I’m typing so I don’t need to bother myself with that need to flip through the channels. I’m definitely more of a night person than a day person and I usually do my best writing when I’m exhausted.

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

I always sit down in the same recliner, with my laptop, around eight at night. When I was younger, I was definitely a pen and paper type of person. I hand wrote my first novel when I was about twelve…of course I didn’t have access to a computer then. When I was in my early twenties I worked for the calendar kiosk in the mall and I wrote an entire outline for a novel on register tape. I prefer my laptop. Anyone that has tried to read my handwriting would prefer it too.

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

I don’t think I have any down time. Most of my day is spent getting my children ready in the morning and walking them to and from school. Any spare moment I have is spent writing. It’s an obsession of mine and I have to do it every day. If my eyes are tired and I just can’t write, I would opt to turn on an episode of The Simpson’s. I have to admit that I love Homer. One of the first books I ever had signed was My Life as a Ten Year-Old Boy by Nancy Cartwright. I don’t really have much of a life outside of the home.

If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?

I would think the protagonist of this current novel would want nothing to do with me. Joe, my protagonist, is a loner with a drinking problem that wants nothing more than to disappear from the world. He would most likely think of me as an annoying stalker, for knowing so much about him. I don’t usually relate to my characters. I like to put myself in their shoes and imagine what I would do if I was faced with those challenges. How would I battle such internal demons or loneliness? What little games would I play to pass the time?

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

I don’t really put too much stock in what the cover shows me. I always read the back and then flip through the first chapter. I don’t place my interest within a certain genre, because I don’t think an author is defined by one topic. I write whatever comes to mind. I want to read something I’m not too familiar with, so I can experience something new. More than anything, I want to feel entertained.

When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order? Do they know you by name or drink?

I always order a Venti White Chocolate Mocha at 120 degrees…I know it sounds like such an annoying order. I actually don’t care for white chocolate, but it just tastes so great first thing in the morning. I hate being super picky, as to ask for a certain temperature, but I need my coffee instantly or I pass out behind the wheel and iced coffee just doesn’t do it for me. They don’t know my name, but they do know me well enough to ask if I’m going to want that extra croissant or not.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

My favorite part is the influence it has on my children. I would much rather have my children sit down at the computer and work on their book, because they saw me do it, than so many other things they could be doing. Plus there is nothing greater than doing what you love. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. However, my least favorite part is stepping out into the public light. I would love nothing more than to sit at home and work all day, but I have trouble breaking away from the reclusive writer in me.

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

This sounds so odd, but it’s the travel section. I’m addicted to travelling. It contradicted the reclusive writer mentioned above, but I can be reclusive on a balcony suite aboard a cruise ship too. Then, after I get my travel fix, I spend my time walking down the long, fiction section.

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

I just quit my day job after six years. It was a wonderful day. I actually downloaded the Aretha Franklin song ‘Think”, and played it over my head, on my iPad, as I walked out. Nothing like leaving while Aretha repeated the word “freedom”; it was all in good fun.

What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?

Nothing really unusual has been asked yet, but I can’t wait for those awkward moments. A few readers have asked me about what it was like to work in the park, but that’s not really all that strange.

What is your favorite junk food vice?

Pizza! I probably order pizza once a week. It’s so bad on our pocketbook, but it tastes so darn good. My worst habit is staying up until three in the morning with a plate of pizza sitting beside me as I type, but it’s my brain food.

Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel?? What made it live up to the novel?

I think The Stand did a pretty good job living up to the novel. Probably because it was an eight hour production, but other than that, I can’t really think of any. I don’t feel a novel could ever truly be transitioned into a movie. Some do a great job, but they always have to trim the fat, which ends up being the best parts. In a novel, I love that extra bit. That’s why my favorite movie is The Stand, because I want it to run long.

If you could step into the shoes of your protagonist for one day, would you? What would you like to experience or see during that day?

That’s a very difficult question for me. On the one hand, I would love to wake up in Yellowstone National Park and spend my days walking the peaceful trails, but then I’d also have to deal with an evil creature that’s hunting me, so probably not. Joe is a very nice man at heart, but he has too many skeletons in his closet. I couldn’t spend my days in such a beautiful environment spending every second trying to shut that world out. I would love to feel his passion for the park, but I’d hate to drown in his sorrows. I suppose my answer would be not to spend a day in his shoes.

Did you have any teacher(s) in high school or college that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?

No, not really. My teachers were rather odd. I went to high school in southern CA and I don’t recall any of my teachers ever taking an interest.

What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?

I would have to say just a few scoops of chocolate. My favorite flavor is Gold Medal Ribbon.

We all have our little ‘things’ when it comes to reading or writing; is their anything that bugs you when you read a novel?

I hate spelling errors, which is kind of funny, since I’m a terrible speller. But I have my novels edited multiple times to make certain that they sound smooth.

What do you listen to when you write?? Do you need quiet or do you find inspiration in music??

It’s all about the mood I’m in at that time. When it’s late and I’m trying to calm my mind I go for Mozart’s Requiem, but then ten minutes into writing I might switch over to Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’. I love all kinds of music. My playlist ranges from techno to the Beatles. I do like it loud though, no matter what I’m listening too.

On a Friday night, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?

My Friday routine is the same as my Monday and Tuesday routine. After the kids are put to bed, you’ll find me downstairs in my recliner. My wife and I are probably two of the most boring people, because we’re happy to just stay home and hang out with our kids. I guess we might have the occasional pizza delivery driver stop by, but we’ve already gone over my love of pizza.

What genre(s) are you looking forward to most exploring during your writing career??

I would love to write more science fiction. I have always been fascinated with worlds and civilizations far beyond our own. Science fiction can be such a beautiful genre if done well. It’s a powerful feeling being able to create entire worlds and environments from scratch.

Who was your current novel dedicated too?? Any particular reason?

Faithful Shadow is dedicated to my wife and children for obvious reasons. Without them my novel would still be sitting within a little folder on my computer’s desktop. My best friend, Justin Van Uden, was an easy choice. He has always been a fan of my writing. He and I have been friends since I was five, and he was always there to listen to my crazy ideas. My good friends Hillary and Luke Melin are so very creative. I chose to dedicate the novel to them as well for all the moral support they offered through this entire process. No matter how busy they were, Hillary and Luke always found the time to read my samples or a query letter. I also made sure to thank my parents and my sisters as well.

What are you currently reading??

Right now I’m reading several “how to” books about promoting on Amazon.com, because a writer is used to just writing and not having to worry about all the marketing. In fact, writing a novel is easy compared to promoting it.

Is their anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

Always follow your heart. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s great advice. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was young. I used to carry notebooks out with me during P.E. so I could write each morning. If you have a story to write then write it. I have maybe an hour or two to write in between working and raising the family, but if you take that hour or two, eventually it will get done. Also, I encourage anyone and everyone to visit my website at www.Authorkevinjhoward.com to see a ‘behind the scenes’, if you will, look behind my book. I have a slew of information about Yellowstone and my experiences that lead to the creation of Faithful Shadow. You can also read sample chapters of my upcoming novels. Please feel free to contact me for any questions and please enjoy the novel. I would also like to thank Stephanie for this wonderful opportunity to connect with all of you.

Giveaway #1 Winners!!!

Congratulations to our 2 winners Panela Hargarves and Larry Thomas. They have both won and e-book copy of Heather Huffman’s newest novel!!!

Congratulations again to you both.

Book Review ~ “Let Them eat Cake” by Ravyn Wilde

Title ~Let Them Eat Cake

Author ~ Ravyn Wilde

Series~ Vampire Sentinel

Book # ~1

Format ~ebook via Kobo

Rating ~3 ½ Stars

 

Short Recap ~ Marie Antoinette has seen it all. Lived it all. Now happy with her life, she has nevertheless earned the shadows in her eyes. As leader of the Vampyr Council, she has plenty to do. Her two human servants, Brian and Matt, meet her basic needs, even when they irritate her. Every need except one-she hasn’t had sex in decades. Then something evil moves into her region, preying on humans and immortals alike. In her search for help, an old human friend introduces Maria to his son. Justin’s life hasn’t been easy and he’s not looking for a long-term relationship. His final military assignment took all the life out of him. His father has the perfect solution-introduce him to the only person he knows with that same faraway look in her eyes. Intrigued with Maria, Justin is amazed to find this very older woman is his perfect match. As it turns out, he can’t live without her-literally. Throw in an old boyfriend with a chip on his shoulder, a monster they can’t kill and a few rogue werewolves and, well, life has never been so complicated. Or exciting.

(recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

 

I honestly did not know what to think when I first began to read this novel; it was a bit ‘out there.’ It was not what I was expecting when I first start reading, yet it grew on me. It was fun for a quick read; it was shorter than most other novels I normally read, so it was a great change of pace. Imagining Marie Antoinette as a vampire was intriguing. I love vampire novels, yet this one was not what I was expecting, it was closer to erotica than I though tit would be, yet coming from Ellora’s Cave, I knew it would be HOT and it was.

 

This is deinately not your typical vampire or historical erotical novel, worth the read. I don’t know if I will read it again or any more in the series.

 

 

Author Interview ~ Judith Leger

Today I get the pleasure of introducing everyone to a delightful author, Judith Leger. Judith let me take a peek into her not only as an author, but as a person, our interview is lighthearted and it introduced me to an author I will be keeping my eyes on for some time and one whom I hope to get to know better. Her response to ‘This or That” regarding ‘chocolate or vanilla’ is sure to have my female readers nodding their heads, lol. Also, Judith is going to choose from those who comment on our interview today to receive a copy of her novel!!! Good luck.

 

Please tell me about your current novel. What or who inspired you to write it?

 

Oh, I like this question.  My inspiration for Enchanted was the group, Creed.  I would listen to their music on the way back and forth to work. Images appeared during this time of a story with elves and magic.  Thus, Enchanted was born.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors and books? Did they influence or inspire your writing style and give you ideas?

 

My favorite of all authors is Mary Balogh.  I have been a fan of her works for years.  I even have many (almost all) of her short Signet regencies.  I also love Christine Feehan. 

 

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

 

LOL, not long ago, I asked someone to beta read one of my books.  She didn’t make it past page 18.  She then suggested that I attend some writing work shops at some conferences to learn how to write.  I’m looking at those comments, thinking what?  Not sure how I should have thought about those comments because I take pride in producing a well written book.  I’ve been writing for many years and have been published many times.  The best compliment I received were from reviewers about how they thought my works showed such brilliance in the storytelling.  These keep me going.  I want to become better and better as an author.  I love writing and will continued to do so for many years to come.

 

This or That – Chocolate or Vanilla?? Coffee or Tea?? TV or Movies??

 

Chocolate – can it be smeared all over a sexy guy?

Definitely coffee.  I have to have my caffeine I.V. every day.

Movies – Fantasy, anime, and/or romance.  Love movies.

 

When you sit down to write, are you at a computer or do you do it, the ‘old fashioned’ way with pen and paper? Do you prefer one way or another?

 

I normally sit at the computer but if I have trouble moving forward in a story, I step away from the computer and sit outside with pen and tablet.  Changing the venue of where I work usually helps release the muse.

 

What do you do in your down time? Do you pick up something from your ‘to be read’ stack?

 

I read but I also watch Anime.  My three sons (snort, sounds familiar doesn’t it?) turned me on to Anime years ago with Dragonball Z.  Fell in love with it.  I buy Anime box sets of the shows I love to watch.  Right now I’m watching Naruto Shippuden. 

 

If your protagonist was a real person, what would they think about you? Would they want to hang out with you?

 

And why wouldn’t they?  LOL  Seriously?  Probably not.  I’m more of a stay-at-home nerd than jet setter.

 

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?

 

To the Romance section!  It’s my favorite spot in the entire store!

 

Did you get to quit your ‘day job’ and become an author, or do you have a ‘day job’ and writing is something you do for fun?

 

LOL!  I wish I could quit my EDJ to write all day but nope, not going to happen unless I hit the bestseller list and even then, I’d probably stay working.  I have been writing for about 11 years now.  Over the years, I’ve made a schedule to follow everyday.  If I’m in the middle of a WIP, I wake up earlier to write before getting ready for work. After work, I have things (pickup in the house, cooking, washing clothes, etc.) to do before I allow myself to sit down to write.  This way, I have nothing hanging over my head while I’m writing.  I also Love my day job.  I work at a local university so I’m around young people everyday.  It’s refreshing.

 

What is your favorite junk food vice?

 

A hot fudge sundae.  Crazy about them.

 

Is their any movie you have seen that was based on a novel, which you think lived up to the novel?? What made it live up to the novel?

 

I’d say the Harry Potter movies.  I have all of them along with the books. They kept them pretty much the same as the books.

 

What type of ice cream could I find you eating on a hot summer day?

 

Pralines and Creams.  Yum!

 

If we snuck a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?

 

Everything but the kitchen sink.  I definitely keep my Kindle in my purse.

 

This or That – Christmas or Your Birthday?? Chocolate or Flowers?? Cell Phone or No Phone?? Quality or Quantity??

 

Christmas

Flowers (love flowers)

No phone (I’m on the phone almost all day so I much prefer no phone)

Quality anytime.  I like good work!

 

In 4 words, describe yourself.

 

Unique, quirky, sassy, happy

 

Is there anything else you would like to share or say to those who will read this?

 

My new release, Enchanted, is available from Lyrical Press.  It’s filled with magic so if you love romance swirling with magic, be sure and grad a copy!

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