Tag Archives: Interview

An Interview with Angela Ackerman

Woot! I have awesome luck. Not too long ago, I managed to score an interview with the awesome Becca Puglisi. I’m happy to announce that now, I have managed to score an interview with her partner, the amazing Angela Ackerman. As you all know, I’ve recieved a ton of help with improving my writing thanks to their Emotion Thesaurus. I’ll go into greater detail about it another day (I can’t believe I’ve not written about it before), but in the meantime, here’s my interview with Angela. Hope you like it.

R.w.Foster: Please introduce yourself to my readers.

Angela Ackerman: Instructions like this always make me feel like I’m attending an A.A. meeting….my name is Angela, I live in Canada, I write books, it has been three weeks since my last confession meeting interview… Angela Ackerman

The “official” stuff is that I am one of the co-authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and a few others, I run Writers Helping Writers with the fabulous Becca Puglisi, who is basically my twin (the better one) and when I do get around to writing fiction, I tend to pen the dark side of middle grade rather than the fluffy, fun side. I also like teaching writing, dreaming up tools that writers need, and then creating them. Oh, and I believe in kindness. Trite I know, but true. My attitude is if you can do some good, then do.

R.w.F: Would you tell us about your latest (or an upcoming) release?

A.A.: Not a book release in the traditional sense, but then I’m not really someone who colors in the lines. Becca, myself and the creator of Scrivener for Windows, Lee Powell are collaborating on something called One Stop For Writers, which is basically a cool online brainstorming library that takes all our work (writing books and online thesaurus content) and puts it together in one place. Beautifully searchable and cross-linked, it provides a wealth of information writers can access as they create, so they write more efficiently and describe more effectively. There are a few other things on the site as well, including new tools we’ve built and a one-of-a-kind generator. One Stop will evolve over time as Becca and I conjure up more useful tools, and Lee works his techno-voodoo to bring it all together in an innovative, intuitive way. One Stop launches on October 7th and we are pretty excited (translation: as excited as preschoolers swimming through a vat of sugar.)

R.w.F: Are you traditionally published, self-published, an independent, or a some combination?

A.A.: I guess a combo best describes me? All three of our books are self-published, but we have traditional translation deals with publishers in Korea, Romania, and we’re waiting for the paperwork for Japan.

R.w.F: What made you chose to go this route with publishing?

A.A.: A few things. First of all, we had an odd project, a book that was, more than anything else, a set of lists. The traditional market (especially in 2012) liked things, well, traditional. We knew it would take a long time to find a publisher willing to take a project like ours on. We were also seeing copycats of our work cropping up and knew if we didn’t get our book out there, someone else would take the idea and run with it. Self-publishing was a terrific option for us, and I am so happy we went this route. We’ve turned down more than a few traditional offers since, simply because publishers as of yet have anything to bring forward that makes fiscal sense. Besides, Becca and I like that we are in control of the end product. It would be hard for us to give that up.

R.w.F: Are you exclusive to one platform?

A.A.: No. We publish across all platforms, print and ebook, and offer PDFs to those who wish using a service called Gumroad.

R.w.F: Do you write by the seat of your pants, outline, or a combination?

 

A.A.: For fiction, I am a “plantser,” meaning I plan some, pants some. For NF, I am a strict planner.

R.w.F: What does the standard advice of “Write what you know” mean to you?

A.A.: This is “safe” advice that should only be loosely adhered to: write in genres you read voraciously, unless that genre doesn’t exist: then experiment and create your own by blending the genre elements you enjoy best. A better rendition of this advice might be: write what you are passionate about, and care enough to get the details right for your readers.

R.w.F: Now for the more unusual questions. None are X-rated.

R.w.F:  What is your current desktop picture? (would you share it with us?)

Angela's desktop

R.w.F: The last song you listened to?

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

R.w.F: You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal. What kind do you make?

A.A.: Easy–toasted peanut butter and bacon. Try it and you’ll know why.

Thanks for these fun questions Rob. As I said, I like people who don’t always color inside the lines. J

Angela

And thank you, Angela for agreeing to do this with me.

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An Interview with Becca Puglisi

This one is rather special to me as it features one of the folks who really helped me improve my work. Without this lovely writer, and her co-author, I’d still be struggling with rewrites.

R.w.Foster: Please introduce yourself to my readers.IMG_3114

Becca Puglisi: Hi, there! My name is Becca Puglisi, and I’m one of the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus, and The Negative Trait Thesaurus. I also write YA historical fiction and fantasy. I also keep busy running my blog, Writers Helping Writers, which has become something of a hub for descriptive writing.

R.w.Fo: Tell us about your latest or upcoming release, please.

BP: My co-author, Angela Ackerman, and I are really excited about a totally new journey that we’re undertaking. We’ve teamed up with Lee Powell, a talented software designer, to create a software product for writers wanting to elevate their storytelling. One Stop For WritersTM is a website that contains a host of reference materials that can help writers improve. As writers ourselves, the three of us understood the frustration of always having to stop drafting, revising, or arranging our stories to go and research different things: multi-sensory descriptions for a setting, how to effectively convey a character’s emotion, figuring out which events from the past may have helped to mold a hero into who he has become. At One Stop, we’re providing resources like these, along with customizable tools and worksheets, craft tutorials on difficult areas of writing, idea generators, and more—all in one convenient place. Our hope is that in creating this software, we will also create the one thing writers really need: more time to write.

R.w.F.: Are you traditionally published, self-published, an independent or some combination?

BP: Our books are self-published.

R.w.F: What made you decide to go this route?

BP: Well, self-publishing, wasn’t our first choice. We’d always had the dream of going the traditional route—getting the call from an agent or editor and being accepted by a publisher. We had just started down this road when copycat sites starting popping up around the Internet, where people had lifted our Emotion Thesaurus content and just pasted it onto their sites. We realized that we didn’t have time to find an agent, then an editor, and wait 12-18 months for the book to be published. So we decided to do it ourselves and get it out there as fast as possible.

 

I love telling this story because it’s a great example of how there isn’t one correct path to publishing. Self-publishing made sense for us; we had a large fan base, we were firmly established on social media, and nonfiction books can do well when self-published. I’m also partnered with a marketing genius in Angela Ackerman, which was hugely beneficial. So, even though we had no idea how to do it, we knew it was the right thing to do. And it’s worked out really well for us.

R.w.F: Do you have any advice for those wanting to start writing?

BP: There’s so much information out there about how to succeed as a writer, which can be really overwhelming for new writers, because it’s impossible to do it all. So, in my opinion, there are two must-haves.

 

First, make time to write. Do it in car line, on your lunch break, before the family wakes up or after they go to sleep. Take those moments whenever they come, and just write.

 

Secondly, you grow exponentially when you study the craft. Attend workshops, read books, listen to podcasts, subscribe to the blogs of knowledgeable authors and industry professionals—whatever works for you, do it. I would also strongly advise new writers to get into a critique group or find a critique partner. It’s difficult to grow when you don’t know your problem areas, and we’re often too close to our own writing to see those difficult spots. Having someone else read your work is instrumental in learning what you need to work on; conversely, reading other people’s work opens your eyes to problem areas, different styles of writing, and new techniques that you can then apply to your own writing.

 

And now for a few fun questions:

 

R.w.F: What is your favorite soda?

BP: All of them. I’m literally addicted to soda in any form. There’s some kind of psychological issue there that I haven’t figured out; I just know that if I drink it at all, it doesn’t matter what parameters or limits I impose, I will soon be mainlining the stuff all the day long. So I’ve had to cut it out completely. I’m now developing an addiction to Snapple…

 

R.w.F: What is the Last song you listened to?

BP: Blue Collar Man by Styx. This is currently my five-year-old’s favorite song. I hear it a lot.

 

R.w.F: What is your favorite desktop picture?

BP: It’s one of my family. Before my mother-in-law passed away last year, we arranged for an extended family photo shoot. This one was taken of my immediate family, and it accurately captures some of the personality of each of us. Props to the photographer, Jennifer Stonebrink at Yankee-Belle.

 

R.w.F: Cool stuff. Thank you for agreeing to this interview, and the enlightening (for me) stuff.

 

BP: Thank you for having me, Robert!

 

If you want to check out those awesome books mentioned by Becca, you can find them at some of the links below:

Emotion Thesaurus

The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws

Coming Soon!

Next Monday, July 20, 2015, I’ll begin to share interviews with some fantastic authors I’ve met recently.

 

Soon after, I’ll share reviews of some of their work, excerpts and more of my own works in progress.

 

Speaking of my work, I’ve discarded the old Rise of the DarkWalker stuff because it was becoming boring, even to me. I’m hoping you like the new version even more. Maybe you’ll even like it enough to comment.

65 Questions You Aren’t Used To

I found this questionnaire online and decided: “What the hell. It might be fun.”

 

1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?

Nope. I see evidence of them all the time.

2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?

That all depends on what I read before I turned out the light. One of the perils of having a highly active imagination.

3. The person you would never want to meet?

Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Think about it for a moment.

4. What is your favorite word?

“Fuck.” It’s extremely fucking versatile.

5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be?

A great bristlecone pine.

6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?

I actively avoid looking in mirrors, and so, don’t have one.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

I’m shirtless at the moment.

8. What do you label yourself as?

An asshole. Hell, everyone else does, sooner, or later.

9. Bright room or dark room?

Bright room.

10. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Laying in bed, feeling like I was going to puke. It didnt happen, though.

11. Favorite age you’ve been so far?

Twenty-four.

12. Who told you they loved you last?

The person I love most in the world. April 10th, 2014.

13. Your worst enemy?

Myself. I always manage to screw everything up, sooner, or later.

14. What is your current desktop picture?

This:

Mononoke Hime no Mori on Yakushima, Japan
Mononoke Hime no Mori on Yakushima, Japan

 

15. Do you like someone?

I like lots of folks, but I think this means romantically. I do. Shes actually a subscriber to my blog.

16. The last song you listened to?

This one: https://open.spotify.com/track/5Ox6cVMhvW5nl3UForWFHa

17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?

A fucking fucktard of a douchebag named Dan Boyce.  The reasons are myriad.

18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?

The same fucker I named above.

19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do?

If it were consentual, as a type of role play that we’d talked about extensively before hand, it would be my love. And it would be the most onerous task she could imagine: Allowing me to pamper her all day. 🙂

20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional)

My arse. It is magnificent.

21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?

I’d have to be some sort of redhead, and I’d probably spend the day masturbating.

22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it?

Yes! Convincing people I’m a fair writer.

23. What is one unique thing you’re afraid of?

My fear is actually pretty pedestrian: Heights. To be precise, falling.

24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal.

A bacon/pineapple sandwhich.

25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it?

I’m not. It’s going on my prepaid debit card until I need it.

26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go?

Land O’Lakes, Florida.

27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says. Man! What are you gonna say about that? Even if you don’t drink booze there’s something you can figure out… so what’s it gonna be?

The Greek Gods’ ambrosia. I want to be a diety, too.

28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? 

Only those I personally invite may come.

29. What is your favorite expletive?

“Fuck.”

30. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?

My laptop.

31. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

None of them. All my experiences made me who I am today and led me to the woman of my dreams, even if she doesn’t want me. I’d never risk losing that.

32. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check out this cool shit… you can move to anywhere else in the world!

This one isn’t  question.

33. The Celestial Gates Of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn’t think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back?

Issac Newton. Once he got over the time/culture shock, think of all he could help us create and learn.

34. What was your last dream about?

Walking along the beach at sunset, holding the hand of my love.

35. Are you a good….[insert anything you’d like here]?

No.

36. Have you ever been admitted to the hospital?

Many times.

37. Have you ever built a snowman?

Yes.

38. What is the color of your socks?

At the moment, I am barefoot. The ones I own are white, though.

39. What type of music do you like?

My tastes are eclectic, but leaning more towards rock orchestra.

40. Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?

As a night owl, I prefer sunsets.

41. What is your favorite milkshake flavor?

42. What football team do you support? (I will answer in terms of American football as well as soccer)

American Football would be the New England Patriots and standard football would be Manchester.

43. Do you have any scars?

I have a few. Physical, mental & emtional.

44. Would you rather be immortal, but dependant on blood, or age 1000 times slower than everyone else?

Age slower than everyone else.

45. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Whatever it is that makes me unlovable after a certain period of time.

46. Are you reliable?

From a certain point of view.

47. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

Have we gotten used to the lonliness yet?

48. Do you hold grudges?

With both hands.

49. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature, what new animal would you create?

Technically speaking, there are no laws of nature.

50. What is the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had?

This one. 😉

51. Are you a good liar?

I try my damnedest not to lie.

52. How long could you go without talking?

53. What has been you worst haircut/style?

In the 80’s (yes, I just dated myself), I briefly went with the spiked mohawk.

54. Have you ever baked your own cake?

And ate it, too.

55. Can you do any accents other than your own?

Poorly.

56. What do you like on your toast?

Depends on my mood.

57. What is the last thing you drew a picture of?

Squiggly lines. It was horrible.

58. What would be you dream car?

80’s model Corvette Stingray

59. Do you sing in the shower? Or do anything unusual in the shower? Explain.

I do not.

60. Do you believe in aliens?

Which version? From another country? Yep. From outer space? Also yep. However, we’ve not been visited by space aliens.

61. Do you often read your horoscope?

Only when I want a chuckle.

62. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?

Aye

63. Which is cooler: dinosaurs or dragons?

Dinosaurs, because they were real.

64. What do you think about babies?

Which species?

65. Freebie! Ask anything interesting you can think of.

What kind of way to end is that?

******

 

I hope y’all found this bit a little entertaining.

Author Interview: EDC Johnson pt II

Today, I get to continue my interview with the cool, and awesome author, EDC Johnson. The first part is here.  Her YA novel, Moonflower is available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.

R.w.F: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

EDC: On top of writing primarily at night from the comfort of my bed, I usually write to music. I make a playlist for the particular novel I am working on. I know that doesn’t sound quirky and lots of other writers have said they listen to music while they write. Here is where the quirk comes in. The songs I choose work like a soundtrack to the book, coordinating with scenes from the story. When I am working on a particular section/scene in my novel I will sometimes place that song on repeat. I can literally listen to one song dozens of times in a row.

R.w.F: Will you be including that soundtrack listing in e-editions of your book?

EDC: No, I hadn’t ever thought about including the playlist before. It was really just a writing tool for myself but perhaps I could do that for a blog post in the future.

R.w.F: Do you use Spotify, Pandora, or some other streaming service?

EDC: First let me say I love Pandora, like I really, really love it. I have found more great music that way. I have tried Spotify but I haven’t totally gotten into it yet but it is a nice service as well.  Though I do listen to random ambient or classical music on occasion, while writing I truly use iTunes the most. I really do listen to the same playlist again and again. It is a rather bizarre ritual I need to set the mood.

R.w.F: What’s your favorite genre of music?

EDC: I prefer alternative and indie music.  Like me, the musicians in these categories are doing their own thing, on the most part, despite what may be popular demand.  I also listen to a lot of classical, instrumental, and ambient music.  Sometimes it’s just best to have peaceful music and let your mind do the talking.

R.w.F: One food you would never eat?

 EDC:  Josie Woods, the heroine of Moonflower, doesn’t get her disdain of eggs for no reason.  I can’t do it.  I simply can’t eat eggs.  I don’t like the way they smell and the last time I ate one I vomited.  Amazingly though I do like egg-drop soup.  Go figure.

R.w.F: Reese’s Pieces, or Peanut Butter Cups?

EDC: Peanut Butter Cups, but honestly I wouldn’t pick either of them typically.  I’d go for something with caramel.

R.w.F: What was the scariest moment of your life?

EDC: I would have to say skydiving.  I was determined to do it before I turned 25.  It was one of my YOLOs.  It came about a few years later than I wanted, but my husband and I finally took the plunge.  It was totally worth it.

R.w.F: YOLO? Really? Don’t you think that is one of the most “No, duh” comments, or catch phrases, in the English language? 🙂

EDC: Aren’t you just a cheeky fellow.  I have to agree.  YOLO is used quite too liberally.  Your average Joe may tweet it at least once a week and usually for an insipid reason such as trying the new burger at a fast food chain or drinking in excess.  To me living as if this was my only turn to enjoy the splendors of the Earth involves trying things outside of my normal constraints e.g. to travel the world and see marvels, to eat exotic food (perhaps a sautéed bug), to try things that terrifies me (whether it is acting in a play or perhaps jumping out of a perfectly good plane), or dancing in the middle of a restaurant without a care as to who is watching because my favorite song came on.  YOLO shouldn’t be a phrase commonly used at all.  It should be a way of life.

R.w.F: Besides “Twilight” (barf), what is your biggest “Don’t judge me” pleasure?

EDC: Well, Rw, I wouldn’t say that I include Twilight in my guilty pleasures.  I may chuck it up to wanting to know what all the fuss is about; though I have to admit I don’t foresee myself ever reading 50 Shades of Grey no matter how popular it is.  In all honesty I enjoy animated films probably more than an adult woman should.  I truly enjoy them all claymation, Pixar, anime, you name it, I have probably seen it.  Anime probably has to be the most “don’t judge me” pleasure of them all though I am happy to see it becoming more mainstream with this up coming generation.

R.w.F: Anime is a guilty pleasure? Okay. Why do you like them?

EDC: Some are lighthearted and funny while others have amazing dramatic storylines.  Glass of wine optional!

R.w.F: Do you have a Website or Blog?

EDC: Absolutely, www.edcjohnson.com is where you can follow my updates.  I also have sites on other social media.  I’m EDC Johnson on facebook and @EDCJohnson on twitter.  I would love for my readers to follow me, and to feel free to ask me questions.

R.w.F: (laughs) Excellent. Thank you for you time, and for doing the interview.

Author Interview: EDC Johnson

Today, I get to interview the cool, and awesome author, EDC Johnson. You may remember her from last week’s guest post about the love triangle. Her YA novel, Moonflower is available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.

RwF: Are you willing to share what the EDC stands for, or is that part of your secret identity?

EDC: My first name is Elizabeth, I’m not trying to keep that a secret, but in an effort to protect what fragment of my identity I can I will keep the rest to myself.

(I did some digging for my fans. The other initials stand for Desire Chaistain. Or was it Donald Charles? No… Oh, yeah: Depak Chopra! No, that would be insulting. That’s right: Deborah Chinning.)

R.w.F: Okay, then. How would you prefer to be addressed by your crazed, stalkery – Wait, I mean, your adoring, polite fans?

EDC: You have to keep your stalker fans in line you know .  I prefer to be addressed as EDC Johnson or Ms. Johnson.  Some times I get asked or teased about having the three initial but in my defense there are quite a number of Johnson’s out there.  (You have no idea how badly I wanted to say “…that’s Dr. Jones, to you toots.”)

R.w.F: <chuckles> Without giving too much away, can you tell us what your book is about?

EDC: Beyond the synopsis I would have to say it is a real coming of age story.  The heroine, Josie Woods, has a lot of personal growth going on through the novel.  It addresses issues that range from coming to terms with death, falling in love and self-awareness.  Josie’s adventure isn’t limited to a journey to a strange world, but the journey of becoming a young adult.

R.w.F: How long did it take you to write this book?

EDC: I was writing the book for about 3 years in my free time. When it was complete I went through the editing process with my writing group and the publishing process for approximately another year on top of that.

R.w.F: What was your inspiration to write this book?
EDC: It may seem cliché, but it came to me in a day-dream. Right before I was about to fall asleep I imagined this scenario and it began to play like a movie in my mind. Then I incorporated my favorite necklace into the idea. It is made of moonstone. This then made me wonder if there was an actual moonflower, and, well, the rest is history.

R.w.F: Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
EDC: Moonflower is a novel that has something for readers of all ages: action, drama, romance and has debuted to positive reviews.

R.w.F: Which of the so-called rules of writing did you hear the most as you wrote?

EDC: When I began writing I had a tendency to use passive voice too often.

R.w.F: What is your opinion of it?

EDC: Passive voice isn’t totally a bad thing but when it is overused in your writing it will weaken your story.   I avoid this problem by trying to use an active voice often so when a passive phrase sneaks in it isn’t so bad.

R.w.F: Are you an outliner, or a seat-of-the-pants writer?

EDC: I am mostly a seat-of-my-pants kind of writer.  I have distinct moments plotted in my mind and I definitely know how I want the book to end. In essence I will start at moment A and the characters play out action toward their goals to reach moment B.  On occasion I will imagine a new plot point that adds action or meaning to the story and I will work that in unexpectedly.

R.w.F: Why pantsing?

EDC: As an artist, creativity tends to be a very kinetic thing.  I understand the use of an outline and can appreciate those that use them but I have never enjoyed them myself.  For some reason I find it to be busy work, yet it can be very useful.  It is simply how I work—to each their own and all that.

R.w.F: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

EDC: Well, it was really a two-part process. It started by reading Twilight with my husband at a friend’s recommendation. If I am completely honest, at the risk of upsetting Twilighters, it became a running joke with my husband how many times Stephenie Meyer used the word “dazzling.” I still enjoyed the book and read the rest of the series, but I came to the conclusion that it was a good entertaining book without Pulitzer Prize winning writing. I thought to myself I can do that!

As the Twilight craze continued I noticed a few of my students were reading the book. During discussion with a group of girls some had admitted that they would wait for the movie rather than read the thick YA novel. Later that week I saw a girl thumbing through a book she was debating to read. She decided to check it out of the library when she saw the illustrations. This made me decide that I wanted to write a book that would be appealing to young readers yet still challenge them as budding readers. As an art teacher my artistic skills would be put to good use in drawing my own chapter header illustrations. It was my hope that young readers would be less intimidated to read novels while growing their vocabulary and ability for sustained reading.

R.w.F: What is your take on the “rule” to write what you know?

EDC: There is a truth in it. Obviously fiction writers are creating their own worlds and scenarios but to bring a character to life a writer must breathe life into him. The best way to make a character is to understand his/her emotions through your own experiences. How can you write love, hate or sadness if you have never felt it yourself?

R.w.F: Good point. Do you have any writing projects you are working on?

EDC: I am working on the sequel to Moonflower of which I’m not willing to give away too many details. I’ll save the title for a future blog reveal, but I want you to relish in the idea that our characters will meet again—with a few new friends.
I have another series I am working on that will shy away from the period era setting and stretch the idea of fantasy. This project is a long way off as I work on the Moonflower series.

This interview will continue on Wednesday. 

Interview with Teagan, Pt II

Yesterday, I posted the first part of an interview I had with the intriguing Teagan, who happens to be a vampire. We’re sitting in a pub in London, England. Why London, and not Devonshire, Liverpool, or even Birmingham, you ask? Simple. It’s close to Heathrow. If you didn’t click to read, I learned how she’d been turned, but not why; that vampires have laws with pretty harsh punishments, her maker was a slacker, and she had a secret lover. Here’s the rest of our little chat.

 

RwF: He’s the only one that can reproduce? Why are the others sterile?

I slide her an extra bloody Mary drink.
How did you nearly get him killed by the Assembly? Did you mind control him into attacking them?
Teagan: Thanks, love, but I drink only red wine…I stay away from hard liquor, it fucks my head up.
He’s the only one that can produce others of their kind, yes. I nearly got him killed because The Assembly wanted to execute him for his crimes as well. All of the non-humans have the ‘non-disclosure‘ rule by all accounts.
RwF: That’s harsh. Does that rule apply to non-humans from other worlds?

How can he reproduce? Is it the normal way (sexually, or asexually), or is it via supernatural means, like the way vampires are made?
I lift my pint of cider to my lips and sip. Due to rumors, I was expecting it to be harsh, but it actually tasted like very ripe apples. The burn didn’t come until I set the tankard down.
T: I don’t know if there is anything other than them, I stumbled upon Marc by accident. Well I smelt him, his scent was amazing.
She rolls her eyes, and hunches her shoulders with the pleasurable memory.
He has to have sex with a woman, another one of his kind. Only the first-born sons and daughters from each family can re-produce…and only if they mate together.
RwF: Only the first-borns can reproduce? Wow. There must be millions of them. What do they eat?
T: My man….if I can call him that…likes, er, pasta? He’s Italian.
RwF: Likes pasta? Why am I finding that hard to believe? Okay. I’ll leave that alone.

What does he look like?
T: He really does like pasta. He was cooking it once when I was at his house. What does he look like?
A smile crosses her features. It makes her face light up, and takes ten years off. She must have been really stressed.
He looks like a dream. He’s 6’3 with thick, dark brown hair, and delicious muscles. His eyes seem to change colour from golden brown to liquid gold. It’s easy to lose yourself in them. His good looks weren’t what I first noticed, but his scent. I’d never smelled anything so intoxicating. Like lilies, sweet freshly cut grass and baking bread all combined. smelling him was like walking in the sunshine to me. Sorry, I’m going on.
I grin. The love is evident in her shining eyes and the way she rubs her arms, as if she were caressing him.
RwF: You’re in love. Has that happened to you before?
T: I’ve never been romantically in love before. Ever.
That’s curious. In 150 years, she’s never fallen in love? I wonder why.
RwF: Ah. Will you turn him?
T: Hhhmmm, good question. I don’t know if I can or not? He doesn’t forget when I bite him like humans do, so I don’t think that my venom works the same way.
RwF: And on that note, I thank you for your time, Miss Teagan. It’s been a delight.
I watch as the lady sashays out of the pub and sip my drink in contemplative silence for a few minutes. I signal for another, and when it is brought, a shadowy figure comes over.
Are you satisfied, Thomas?
Thomas: I am. Here’s your payment. Keep in touch.
I count the money. When I look up again, he is gone.

 

An Interview With Teagan (a vampire)

On a recent trip to the UK, I sat in a pub called the Red Lion. It was a pretty cool evening, around 65 degrees. I’d just placed my pint of cider (an alcoholic drink made from apples) on the table near me, and took off my jacket, when I noticed a young woman enter. She was about 5’4″, or maybe 5’5″. Long, red hair shimmered in the dim light. She’s very curvy and her ample bosom stretched her white vest so much I wondered how the buttons stayed on. Black jeans looked to be painted on. I didn’t look to see what kind of footwear she had. She introduced herself as Teagan, no last name. She had a bit of a Dublin accent.  I waited until she sat, then took my seat. She was the young vampire I’d get to interview.

RwF: Do you remember when you were turned?

Teagan: I remember parts of being turned. I was slipping in and out of consciousness at the time. I was going to die anyway, so I was happy to be given a second chance.

I sat forward, intrigued. She sat forward also. The light hit her face, revealing unusual blue eyes. I’d say cyan, or maybe electric blue.

RwF: You were going to die anyway? What do you mean?

T: I was dying in a backstreet in Dublin. My maker Thomas had been admiring me from afar. He saved my life by turning me into a vampire.

RwF: What happened? Were you attacked? Or was something else killing you?

T: It’s something I can’t talk about..I just can’t. It brings back to many memories from my human life that I’d rather not discuss.

RwF: Fair enough. Another question:  How accurate has Hollywood been with vampires? Are your strengths & weaknesses like what’s in the movies?

She giggles. It’s a melodious sound.

T: My senses- smell and vision are increased. I can move very quickly and I’m very strong. The stake through the heart stuff is bullshit, though. There are only two things that can kill vampires, but I’d be stupid to share that information.

RwF: What about the hypnosis; shape shifting; weaknesses to silver, sunlight, garlic & holy items? Are they real?

T: No, I can’t hypnotise anyone. My venom converts in a humans blood stream causing the victim to forget that I bit them. I can’t go out in the sun at all, we all have an allergy to the sun. Garlic, holy items…all rubbish, they do us no harm. Drinking a humans blood essentially makes my body work like a humans, blood runs through my veins, my heart beats. Without enough blood in my system my senses become diminished and I take longer to heal. I heal extremely quickly normally. Eventually, without feeding my insides dry out leaving me unable to function.

RwF: You have venom? That’s a new one.

I sit up.

Is it secreted through your saliva, or is it injected? Also, how toxic is it? I mean, it’s called “venom” for a reason, right?

I lean forward, hand on my chin.

T: It’s injected. It’s pretty harmless when given in small doses. Only when a human receives bites all over their body would it become harmful, well depending on how you look at it…that’s how you ‘make’ a vampire.

She leans back in her chair, and flips her hair back over her shoulder.

RwF: It’s not through the exchange of blood?

I scratch the back of my head.

Hunh. Interesting. How long have you been a vampire?

T: 150 years. I was 22 when I was turned. It is actually deemed against the laws of our kind to turn someone under the age of 21.

I perk up and slide to the edge of the chair.

RwF: Your kind has laws? Cool. Would you share some of them?

A scowl mars her pretty face.

T: Some of them are fucking ridiculous. One of them prevents those who are aware of other non-humans from discussing their existence. However, that means that the majority of us aren’t aware that they’re even around. Yet, we are also prevented from mixing with other non humans…yes, that’s right, the ones we don’t know about! Go figure! I’m not fully up to date on the laws. I only just found out we had anyone in authority at all, they call themselves The Assembly. My maker just explained that vampires under 21 mustn’t be made…something apparently to do with adolescent hormones, I think?

RwF: Your maker seems to have slacked off with properly educating you. Tsk. Would you tell us about him/her?

T: Yes he was slack, or so I’m beginning to learn. He’s always been overprotective. In the beginning I went along with it, just grateful that he saved me. But, after a while it got old. I like to think of myself as strong and independent. I can protect myself.

His name is Thomas Lewis. He’s a stiff uptight Englishman. He whisked me away to America not long after he made me, I embraced America, my accent gradually changed and I liked it there. Thomas has always and I suspect will always be the way he is. He was made at the age of 45 in 1670, so he’s like 343 years old. His maker left him right after he was made, I think it left an impression on him, made him moody and distant. Vampires don’t like to live alone, so he traveled around looking for others of his kind until he found the right time to make someone to settle down with.
RwF: Vampires are social animals. Who’da thunk it? Well, the social aspect brings me to another question I had. Earlier, you mentioned other non-humans. What manner of non-humans are out there? Have you met any?
T: Duh…I told you! It’s against the law for me to discuss them. Tsk. I’m in enough deep water as it is!
She gives me a dirty look. 
RwF: I won’t tell. Will you trust me?
T: I can’t. Look, I don’t care what happens to me, but it’s for the protection of the only man I’ve ever loved. His family hate me as it is. Damn his father even tried to kill me. I don’t know what I can and can’t say or do anymore.
She folds her arms protectively over her chest.
God! I need a fucking drink. Should interviews really be this stressful?
She looks around for the bartender, but she’s busy with a late rush.

RwF: 

Wow. His family hates you? What did you do? Or is it like a Montague/Capulet thing?
I stand to head to the bar.
How about a Bloody Mary, extra bloody?
T: Actually, I can and do drink alcohol, though I need to make sure I don’t get drunk….it would send me a bit, well, nuts!
She smiles.
I don’t think it’s a Romeo and Juliet thing. I think it’s down to the fact that he’s valuable to his kind, because he’s the only one of their children that can re-produce and I almost got him killed by The Assembly. I suppose they don’t want their son to be with a vampire that can’t produce heir’s for them either? Who knows….this is just what I figure.
I walk over to the bar, and order an extra bloody Bloody Mary. The bartender flashes a smile my way, revealing long canines. I quirk my eyebrow, receive the drink and head back to Teagan.
-To Be Continued-
Tomorrow, I will continue the interview with my friend LT Kelly’s character, Teagan.

 

25 Questions With Miss Jen

I decided to write-up some questions for someone very important to me, my best friend, and someone I love a great deal. She’s an upcoming author, hard at work on her first novel. I figure it will be fun to get to know her now. Fair warning: She has some snarky tendencies.

R.w.Foster: What’s your astrological sign?

Miss Jen: Pisces

R.w.F.:What would you say is the greatest act of kindness you’ve received?

MJ: Forgiveness.

R.w.F: What is one legal activity that someone could not pay you enough to do?

MJ: Jury duty.

R.w.F: Barring the birth of your kids, what’s been the happiest moment of your life to date?

MJ: Seeing podlings for the first time.

(Note: Podlings is what our small group of friends is called, due to us being like “3 peas in a pod”.)

R.w.F: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now, professionally?

MJ: I would love to be a published author.

R.w.F: What about personally?

MJ: what about it?

(See? Snark!)

R.w.F: What is your favorite food?

MJ: Candy and pizza. NY style, though. That deep dish version sucks.

R.w.F: What is your favorite flower?

MJ: Any kind of wild flower.

R.w.F: If you could go anywhere in the world, money being no object, where would you go?

MJ: Ireland

R.w.F: Why there?

MJ: It’s where unicorns live! Duh.

(Snark again!)

R.w.F: If you do do anything in the world, money being no object, what would you do?

MJ: Do do? Um, I would write from sun-up to sun-down. Of course with breaks for running and my babies.

(More snark! I didn’t realize I double typed “do”. Naturally, she has to tease me with it. I left it in for fun.)

R.w.F: What is your dream car?

MJ: One that’s good on gas.

R.w.F: What would you say is your greatest phobia (fear)?

MJ: Hurting people.

She also doesn’t like the idea of zombie clowns)

R.w.F: If you could have dinner with any author, living, or dead, who would you choose?

MJ: You, Fab, and Laurell K Hamliton. and Steven King and Clive Barker and James Brown and Connie Suttle and…. There are so many.

R.w.F: Why them?

MJ: Because they rock.

R.w.F: What is your number one favorite song? You have to choose one.

MJ: Hummm… Not gonna happen, but I got this one on loop right now: A Historic Love, from the Tudors OST.

R.w.F: What is your biggest regret?

MJ: Wow, you’re pulling out the big guns now. I’d have to say, “Not speaking with my heart and mind.”

R.w.F: Who is your favorite superhero?

MJ: I do not have one: Men in tights out of the 1800’s are a no-go for me.

R.w.F: How would you describe your ideal first date?

Miss Jen: A carefree, come-what-may one. I like it when there are no set plans.

R.w.F: What is your favorite color to wear?

MJ: Dark blue.

R.w.F: Hollywood is making the Miss Jen biopic. Who plays you, and who is the director?

MJ: LMAO. Ummm, some hot little thing. And the director of Underworld.

(Note: Len Wiseman)

R.w.F: What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

MJ: Having my book published.

R.w.F: For some reason, your loved ones have asked you to plan out your funeral. Please describe it.

MJ: There would be none. No one needs to see my dead ass. I want a party: Music, dancing and happy people. No flowers, or sad music. I want them to be happy for I am now in my next life.

R.w.f: What is your secret fantasy? The one you’ve not told anyone about. The one you pull out to comfort you when you are feeling your worst?

MJ: I wake up and I am 21 again, but in a different world. No one knows me and I have a pet dragon named Spot.

R.w.F: You have a willing partner, and all night. What do you do with him?

MJ: Talk and play cards…. Really.

An Interview With Catrina Barton

Today, I am interviewing the talented author, Catrina Barton. She’s here to tell us about her new novel, Dangerous Temptation. Look for a sneak peak after the interview.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Click to see her blog..
Click to see her blog..

I’m happily married, mother of two hyper boys. Avid reader and reviewer. I adore nature, though I have to watch how much sun I get, because the sun gives me horrid migraines.

Would you tell us a little about your novel?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of shape-shifters since I first heard about them as a young kid. I chose tigers because they are my fave animals.

I noticed in your title that it has “Tiger Shifters”. What’s the difference, if any, between shifting and classic lycanthropy?

Lycanthropy is usually tied to a curse, such as werewolves shifting on full moons. The Caspians are not cursed. They can shift at will, though I do mostly follow the Asian mythology about it being to exact revenge.

Your cover says “A Caspian Novel”. Would you tell us about the rest of the series?

Thanks for asking. I’ve already got the second novel plotted out, just need to iron out a few kinks, and flesh out the MC’s love interest, the third one is shaping up as I finish ironing out the second one’s plot. The series as a whole will consist of many different shifters, each with a unique clan name, for instance my bear shifters are the Urasuians, and so forth. I plan to avoid werewolves, but if I used them they would be the Timberians. Each clan also controlls a different elemental power.

How old are your MCs?

Kaitlin is 17, though more mature than most that age because of how she grew up and what she has faced. Cadmon is well over 200, but appears in his early 20’s.

Why YA? (Young Adult)
Once I started reading YA I couldn’t stop {still can’t, lol} I love how face paced, yet deep the plots are and how fascinating the characters are.

What triggered the growth of this story in your mind?

I’ve always wanted to write about shape shifters {particularly the tigers} After researching shifter myths from all over the world, I found the Celtic and Asian mythologies fascinating and the story started playing through my mind.

What’s been the most difficult part of writing this series?

Creating unique mythologies tailored to each clan.

Your cover art is pretty awesome. Who did it? Dangerous Temptation Cover

Thank you. My hubby did it. he’s fascinated with 3D graphics and has practiced them over the past four years. Writing is my thing, 3D art is his. I told him the idea I wanted, and he played with it until we agreed on this cover. I adore how the tiger head appears above the steam of the water.

What made you decide to publish independantly rather than traditionally?

I like controlling each aspect. I know exactly what I want my stories to be about and don’t want to have to mold them to someone elses ideas.

Anything you know now that you wish you knew before you started?

That it’s more along the lines of NA {New Adult} than YA. Makes a huge difference in marketing aspects, and the types of audiences I need to reach.

You can get your copy at Amazon and Smashwords.

An exciting sneak peek at Dangerous Temptation:

“I’m not afraid of you.” Kaitlin stroked his scarred cheek.
“You should be.” His hand cupped hers, heat pouring into her skin. Cadmon pressed it firmly against his cheek. He nuzzled it, before pulling it away.
“You’re not a monster.” She licked her bottom lip. “You’re… beautiful.” She ran a finger along his squared jaw line.
“Men aren’t beautiful.” He held her fingers away from him, staring from them, into her eyes. “What have you done to me?” Confusion etched onto his face.
“I could ask you the same thing.” She swallowed, and tugged her fingers away from him, rubbing them down the side of her jeans, hoping to chase away the electric currents tingling her skin.