Category Archives: Interview

Interview with game developer Mike Voit

Please note, that is interview was given for the Bloodletting.org game. We used In Character names for some of those mentioned in the interview to protect their privacy.

 

1.    What was the inspiration to create Bloodletting?

The inspiration came from a game called Mafia.org. Very similar with forums for RP and the ability to kill those that piss you off. That game has morphed into a game called mafiareturns. But the original is where the inspiration came from. I couldn’t code so…in 2004 I met Dracula when he came to work in Virginia. We were both in the Air Force and stationed together there. I heard he could code and told him about my idea. He was sold instantly and we started developing the game. Two years later after lots of planning, taking time off to finish degrees and Dracula getting married, we launched the game. In its initial format, it resembled Damnation a lot more. Mafia.org was a one character – one death game. You die, you start over with a new character from the beginning.

 

2.    Where do you and the team get the inspiration for details on the gameplay from?

I get a lot of ideas from other games I play. I might sign up for a game and it sucks as bad as you can imagine but they have one feature that attracts me, so I start developing it for inclusion in BL. City Searches idea came from a game I played called HoboWars and FC tributes came from another vampire game I played for a bit. Other times I just get an idea and bounce it off of DK. If we both agree it will work, we add it.

 

3.    Do you speak with other game developers for ideas? Are other developers eager to provide input on things they’ve done and tried to help you along in creating your own unique twists?

The only developer I have ever worked with is the creator of mafiareturns. He used to be the main coder in mafia.org and I pitched him my idea for BL back in 2004. So he drove down to Virginia from Jersey and sat with me for the entire day loading php and mySQL on my computer so I could get started. Unfortunately I have no skill in coding, so the stuff just sat there until I met Dracula later that year.

 

4.    What idea came first for the game? The gameplay aspect, or the writing? What do you feel pulls at you the most?

They both were worked on concurrently. The appeal to me for mafia was the interaction in the forums. They had some phenomenal writers over there. Otter being one of them. So when I was designing the game I was approaching it from both angles. For those that wanted to write and those that wanted to smash buttons. I myself, have a love for the writing aspect of it and I try to create an environment that foments that activity.

 

5.    How has Arctic Moon Studios, and the people of Bloodletting, changed aspects of your life over the years?

Well AMS for one has brought me a great friendship in the form of DK and Dracula. DK and I used to do a lot of Theater in Virginia. Me acting, he Stage Managing. When I sent out a mass email to all my contacts in email asking them to sign up for the new game Drac and I had just developed, DK was one of the first ones to do so. I soon learned he could code and as a player he started assisting Drac and I. When we decided to form Arctic Moon Studios, we initially asked DK if he wanted to be a part of it. He said no and we were rightfully bummed out about it. Just before we registered the company however, we asked him again and he agreed. He has become one of my dearest friends. I even performed his wedding ceremony. All three of us regularly get together for trips and talk on the phone.

Bloodletting is another thing all together. We used to do regular BL meets throughout the country and had the chance to meet players at them. Stalker and Tala Hemming became early and close friends. Stalker is considered family. He came to my retirement and my father in law’s interment at Arlington cemetery. Edward Broccoli (sp?   Lol..Brollachan) and I have a venture we are working on. Otter and I used to talk regularly but then he discovered girls and jujitsu, Bastet writes to me all the time when I am deployed. I performed Mackenzie’s wedding ceremony. But there are sad moments that come with it as well. Mallory Quarters we met several years ago at the very first BL meet. She became a dear friend to both me and my wife. We went to New Orleans regularly and always stayed with her. When I got the call in late 2017 that she had passed away in her sleep, it was devastating. It’s sad whenever I learn we have lost a player, and there has been a few. But Jen (Mallory) was like family to us. In the early days of the game we had a player use an exploit in the source code to kill all of the other players in the game. We thought that was the end of Bloodletting. It was a brand new game, up only about a month. Luckily for us two things happened. First DK, who was still just a player that assisted with coding and database management, had backed up the server only a few hours earlier, mitigating the damage. Second, Jen (Mallory) made to enormous donations to the game so we could ensure the security of it. Jen was a very wealthy woman who made her fortune as one of the largest pumpkin farmers east of the Mississippi. She loved to game and she loved Bloodletting. My wife and I loved her and we miss her a lot. So when you see her online 24/7, that’s one of my tributes to my friend.

The player behind Lisbeth has become a great confidante for me over the years as well. I know I am forgetting people but it’s late here and I am fighting off a virus. Please don’t be offended if you don’t see yourself mentioned here.

The player behind Smith, I consider a friend. I was actually able to meet him in England several years ago and have a few beers with him.

Shenanoska, an old time player is a friend as well.

 

6.   Do you read all the stories posted? Has there ever been a storyline so moving, it stuck with you?

I wish! I used to read them all when there was just a few entries. But alas, life gets in the way. I do try to read as much as I can. I don’t think I could pick out one storyline. Even the poorly written ones are amazing in the fact that someone at least tried to create something.

 

7.    Characters come and go. Is there any that you truly miss seeing their antics?

I miss the troublemakers. The ones that want to start wars and execute the mundane. I miss the mother out of the Platypire in all honesty.

 

8.    You’ve had to make hard choices over the years when it come to the rules. Has anyone ever really threatened you due to their own violation of the rules? Do you get ‘hate mail’?

The only hate mail we ever got was from a player that we were working on a lot of projects with. She was so involved in every aspect of the game. Then one day we received a very nasty email from her that to this day I still have no idea what prompted it. We responded with our own letter telling her that what she said was highly unprofessional and she shouldn’t have made threats and demands to us. That led to her, her husband and at least one other player quitting for good. She posted our letter to her so we posted hers to show we weren’t randomly attacking her. I truly miss her presence in game. I used to talk with her all the time via video or phone and she was just a bubbly personality. I have no idea what prompted the letter from her in the first place.

I have sent a threatening message to a player. The one that exploited the code. I sent him an email letting him know I had no issue driving to his house and beating the  **** out of him in front of his parents. I included his home address so he knew I wasn’t BSing.

Former players have posted unkind words on FB. But that’s about it.

 

9.   Over the years, you and the team have implemented new and exciting things for the Realm and its players. However, something new, and much bigger, seems to be coming for 2019; you’ve dropped a few hints to many things. Just how many things are on the horizon for 2019? Can you give us some specifics…please? Pretty please?

Houses are going to become more important. Potions are being developed. Special features and areas are in the works for the level 20s. Skills are being developed. One thing people have to keep in mind though, is that it is just DK and I really. I do have Smith assisting me on a project and Dracula has indicated he wants to get more involved. But we are limited in personnel and resources. If people want to see features roll out faster, they need to keep their Alts legal. In the past I haven’t been as strict on that rule, but when we had to make a decision earlier this year whether to keep going because of lack of funds, I had to get more on top of the illegal Alt situation.

 

Thank you Mike, for giving me your time and for all you do for everyone on Bloodletting!

 

 

 


Some of my favorite blogs…

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So, I spend a great deal of time reading and discovering new blogs. I am going to list for you several that I keep coming back to due to their content. They are very unique in their own ways. Some are about cats, dogs, baby animals. Some are inspirational. Some of educational and helpful for indie writers. And some are simply entertaining, because they allow you a glimpse into another persons life.

So, on with the list:

aopinionatedman.com

keithgarrettpoetry.com

kaineandrews.com

brittabottle.com

johncoyote.wordpress.com

bythemightymumford.wordpress.com

mistermaxxx08.wordpress.com

muscleheaded.wordpress.com

smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

disorientedmom.wordpress.com

depressionless.wordpress.com

totallyerotic.wordpress.com

bipoiarus.wordpress.com

beautifulkittens.wordpress.com

horror.org

raforallhorror.blogspot.com

hellhorror.com

horrorfreaknews.com

thisishorror.co.uk

brokehorrorfan.com

horror-asylum.com

horrorpedia.com

little-blog-of-horrors.com

nightmarenookhorrorblog.blogspot.com

yearofhorror.wordpress.com

isobelandcat.wordpress.com

dailywritingtips.com

blog.nanowrimo.org

blackcatastrophy.com

kittenarchive.wordpress.com

feedmykitty.wordpress.com

catsatthebar.org

There are SO many others. Angells Book Reviews and Courtney Wendeltons. And this doesn’t even cover many of the Blogger blogs I follow.

I am also honored that many of these bloggers follow my blog as well. Before my hiatus, I had called for people who would like to be interviewed and have their books or blog highlighted here, and a few stepped forward. There are still a few I am trying to get in touch with. Those interviews will be coming soon. I have so many questions I want to ask, I have to scale down my questionnaire a bit…lol.

Do you have a favored author or blogger that you follow? Want to share them here in the comments? I will gladly give them a look and see if they would like to be spotlighted here. Do you wish to be spotlighted? As I have said before, it’s for books, authors, bloggers…cat lovers, coffee enthusiasts…lol.

I would love to get as many as possible, covering all walks of life. I want to build brigdes and watch my favorite people mix and meet, but I dont want to do the traditions mix and meets that most other blogs do. I always have to do things the hardway, and, well, the oddball way. ..lol.

So dont be shy and step right up!

 

Be sweet!

 

 


Spotlight: Author Kaine Andrews

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Kaine Andrews

First off, lets get to know Kaine a little…

Kaine Andrews was born in San Diego, California, before being spirited away to Carson City, Nevada. There he has remained, with the exception of one memorable week in Bend, Oregon and one small tour in hell (AKA Chandler, Arizona.)

Raised among a family filled with NASCAR loving, mechanically minded folk who considered themselves witches, Kaine’s unique upbringing and early escape from the halls of education, along with the theft of his father’s typewriter, led him to the demented scribbling that he refers to as his “work.”

Through the course of his life, Kaine has been involved in television production, retail work, criminal psychology, newspaper writing, radio and criminology as well as earning trade-school degrees in private investigation, computer programming, freelance writing and motorcycle repair. This eclectic background has left him with a fractured worldview and a number of unique experiences to translate into his writing.

He currently remains in Carson City, while dreaming of the Oregon coast, wrestling with his pet coyote and hoping to one day elope with Katy Perry.

Now I want a pet coyote…but all the ones on my land are afraid of me 🙁  . Kaine was every so sweet to indulge in my 10 silly questions. But come on…He has a pet coyote…everyone should have a pet coyote for the zombie apocalypse. ~sage nod~ On with the questions, and man, are they great answers!!!

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. What is your writing process?
I don’t know that I really have a process, at least not one that I could call that. It’s more channeled insanity; you know what they say, take your handicaps and make them work for you! Generally, though, almost all of my fiction writing starts with a character – human or not. Something trips in the brain and they’re there, nattering and chewing on my ear, and just won’t shut up. Eventually, I get sick of it, and start talking back, asking them what it is that has them in such a state; if they answer back, I start writing it down. “And then…?” I say, and they tell me what happened, and why, and to who.
This generally means I’m sitting there talking to myself – often out loud, and with outlandish accents so I can keep my characters straight – in my computer chair or the cab of my truck, while my dog looks at me as though I’ve gone insane. But it seems to work, so I’m not going to complain.
If I ever hit a point where the character in question just shrugs and gives me a “Hell if I know!” in response, I start interrogating the other characters that have come up, fishing for which one of them has the next thread in the story. Rinse and repeat until they all tell me “The story is done. I’ll go away, now.”
For something that’s more practical and useful, I think the most important aspect of the process is that you do it every day. It doesn’t matter what you write – or even how much, really – but it does matter that you do it. Scribble a sentence on a manuscript, do a blog post, respond to an e-mail, just make sure you write something.
2. What do you read for pleasure?
Anything! Well, almost. Sometimes things get filed under “research” rather than “pleasure,” but for the most part, I enjoy research. Except when I’m trying to figure out something that I don’t care for or really have no interest in, and am only digging to satisfy my natural curiosity about people and the things they adore. But if it’s my absolute 100% choice with nothing resembling “work” wrapped up in it, I usually end up rereading Stephen King or Clive Barker, or digging around in the horror/sci-fi section of a used bookstore, picking something based on just how atrocious or hokey the cover art is, and diving in.
I’ve actually found some amazing reads that way; probably the best was Mr. Hands by Gary A. Braunbeck, which is probably the most amazing book I’ve read in a very long time.
I also spend far too much time on Wikipedia. I’ll pick a random article, and just keep following links until I’m tired or something fixates in my head and turns it into actual work instead of just random knowledge digestion.
3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Seeing how it all comes out. When I’m writing a story, I might have some idea of where it’s going and how it’ll all wash out, but more often than not, one of my characters will say “Uh, no. That’s not what happened,” and proceed to correct me. Often strenuously. With a ruler, in the manner of a Catholic school teacher. Typically the ending is as much of a surprise to me as it may be to any eventual readers. Watching it unfold and seeing the words spilling from my fingers – along with questioning “Am I really doing this?” – serves as my primary entertainment.
As noted, I may be insane, and merely trying to find ways to make that into a productive endeavor.
4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Oh, what highlights to hit… hmm. Well, for the things that I am in no way responsible for but am bizarrely proud of department, I’m descended from Scottish royalty, have amazing hair that is resistant to all damage and often has people threatening to scalp me, and I have enough genetic and medical anomalies that somehow manage to coexist that I could probably safely provide for retirement by selling myself to science. So far as personal accomplishments, I finished high school when I was 13, almost had a psychology degree and was going to move to Virginia to be a criminal profiler with the FBI and worked in television and radio production for twelve years. I have a pet coyote, play far too much Diablo III, and enjoy ghost hunting. I used to paint and play piano and guitar, before arthritis crawled into my hands and said “Uh, no,” and I’m still trying to train my computer to understand my accent for the eventuality that I won’t be able to run a keyboard anymore.
Oh, and if I ever actually make it big – or at least medium – I’m moving to Romania. I hear Bran Castle is for sale; if I could swing it, I would. Just to say “Yeah. I’m a horror novelist who lives in Dracula’s Castle.” Because that would be entirely too awesome.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
I think my greatest strength in that department is being able to get lost in my own story. When the characters are really talking to me and everything is gelling the way I like, as long as the coffee keeps flowing I can dump 8,000 words on the page in a day. I love those days.
The greatest weakness is the churlish, “I’m tired and don’t feel good and I hurt and I’m going to act like Sam Winchester and whine and flip my hair” aspect of me that glares at the computer chair or the iPad, knowing that there’s some work to be done, and not wanting to do it. Forcing myself to do it – even if it’s only to write one sentence – proves difficult sometimes. I’m also easily derailed by emotional or financial instability, prone to panicking rather than sitting down, taking a deep breath, and commencing the daily scribbles. Which of course only leads to more anxiety, which turns into a feedback loop, which means I don’t do any work at all for three months until something forces me back to it.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Aside from talking to myself? 😉 The only one I can think of – the one that seems most counter to every piece of advice I’ve ever heard on the subject – is break time. My workhorses, tablet and desktop both, have all kinds of websites, social media, and games installed on them, and so long as I’ve scribbled at least one sentence in between, I find no guilt in opening those things and poking at them for a bit before returning to the work.
Everyone I’ve heard says that’s death for the creative process, but I find it keeps me running; if I don’t “time out” to go hunt for a Legendary item or watch a cat video, I go insane and end up with nothing but nonsense or just a handful of words. If the day is otherwise relatively empty of activity, I can have one of those 8k days and still have logged three hours on non-work endeavors.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. I’m kind of a self-loathing individual, and I’ve also been termed, among other things, a “high-functioning depressive,” so liking myself or my work enough to try to convince other people to come see it is about as fun as dental work. Actually, less so; I’ve sat through more than twenty root canals (genetically bad teeth and a small measure of vanity are a terrible combination) and would do that again rather than have to Tweet “Hey, my book is free this weekend.” Add in that I really have no idea of how to market and there are so many conflicting opinions on the subject that trying to form a good, solid base to start from seems practically impossible, and you end up in my own personal Purgatory.
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I try. I really do. But between a dog that can’t decide if he’s shedding or not, odd hours, insomnia, and health problems that mean moving a mattress three inches is going to create day-long wrist pain and shortness of breath or a full-on allergy attack from the dust and pet fur flying when you flounce the sheet, and it becomes something I just try to avoid.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Only one? But I can’t decide! Okay. Fine. *flips coin* Romania. Scotland was a close second – supposedly I’m heir to a rock with a rock etched into it over there – but Two-Face’s method of solving all conflicts says Dracula’s Castle wins. Sneaking in a third option, the Vatican. I want to break into the secret library. Even if it’s not real. I just wanna see… just a peek? No?
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Going to have to go with demons on this one, because from a “pure” standpoint, they’re probably the most intellectual and devious of the bunch. Zombies are pretty straightforward. Werewolves, too (the furry guys are just better at hide and seek). They want to eat you. Vampires may occasionally be sexy or brainy, but they come back to “I want to eat you” in the end. For the long term mental harassment, can’t beat a devil or succubus. Plus I think they’re more interesting, if coming at them from an angle other than straight antagonist.
Vampires, werewolves, zombies; they were all human – or something close, depending on your viewpoint – at some point. They’re us, with bonus features. Demons as heroes or antiheroes or remorseful and potentially redeemable villains have an inhumanity to them; they were here before us, are separate from us, probably don’t think about things the way us silly Earth people do, and I think that opens a door for all sorts of interesting characterization that’s lacking in creatures that, even if they are technically inhuman, are still very grounded in human understanding of the way things work, and live and work and play with us every day.
Also, it’s somewhat of a cheat. Depending on how broad your definition of the word “demon” is, you can probably smuggle in elements of the others without the bellhop noticing. Bonus carry-on luggage!
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Realistically, not at all. I am a fairly decent shot with a crossbow, a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and I do own and know how to use more than one heavy bladed object, but my physical handicaps are more than likely going to result in a fatal situation. Hard to get away from the horde while you’re wheezing more than Darth Vader and limping along like Frankenstein’s monster right after his radial electroshock therapy. I do have a backup plan, though; the neighbors are elderly and have walkers. Like the bumper stickers say, “I don’t have to be the fastest… just faster than you.”
Yes, I am a terrible person. 😉

I might just have to find this man, abduct him, and keep him in…well…I dont have a basement…How do you feel about chains, Kaine? I’ll protect you from the zombies!!! 😀

Okay, back to all the serious stuff. Kaine has written many things. Click on the pics to the direct buy links! Kaine’s works include the following…

grief

Disciple of Grief:

Michael Drakanis has lived as a shadow since the murder of his family three years ago. He’s given up his career as a homicide detective, cut himself off from his friends, burying himself in his grief. When his former partner Vincent Parker turns up on his doorstep bearing news of a new killing with disturbing similarities to the deaths of his family, Drakanis will discover there are forces at work far beyond anything he once knew… and those forces are hungry for something only Drakanis can provide. Drakanis must harness his unknown birthright and confront his family’s murderer before those forces break free and bring forth untold chaos.

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Blogs from the Basement:

Meet L. Cipher. Or Bob, as his father named him. He’s also known to go by Luke, Nero or Rufus. Having been watching the internet for some time, he’s decided it’s time to set the record straight with an off-color running commentary about the true history of life, the universe and everything. Collected from his ramblings and including the commentary of such folks as JbarJ, SweetMaryM and Alpha2Omega, Blogs from the Basement covers such topics as the creation of the universe, what Adam and Eve really looked like, and reasons why Bob wants to torch his neighbor’s house. Did we mention Bob is the devil?

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For Her…:

Anthony West has lost everything. He would give anything to see her once more, to hold her, to hear his voice in his ear. He should be careful what he wishes for.

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Shadow of Purity:

Ashriel, fallen from the grace of Eden, has spent long centuries avoiding the judgement of his former superior. Humanity’s time is drawing to a close however, and Ashriel finds himself as the fulcrum on which fate turns. His rebellion and personal crusades may be the only hope left. Ashriel must delve into his own forgotten past, hold discourse with angels and demons and discover the truth behind his own existence if he is to have any chance of survival, but the Seraph of Purity has other plans… and will stop at nothing to see them come to fruition.

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Woken:

Ophelia Roberts sleepwalks through a shadow of life, as she has since the tragic death of her sister five years ago. Roger Hathaway spends his time daydreaming of penance that will never be complete. Andrew Weiss, the unknown tie between them, sleeps dreamlessly in a comatose state. Soon, all three will wake… and blood will be spilled. The power of dreams and imagination may be supreme… but what happens when dreams become nightmares and imagination is soured by hatred and rejection? (Currently out of print; set for republication Spring 2015)

Insomniac Nightmares

A cop looking for his sister’s killer. A retired lawyer with an unhealthy obsession over a mysterious book. A young man on the Tokaido Road. An old woman under a streetlight. Judas Iscariot. All these individuals and more have gathered here to share their stories… and their terrors. Featuring twelve short stories, Insomniac Nightmares shows that everyone is afraid of something. (Set for release May 2015)

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Darkness of the Soul:

It is two days before Christmas and retired detective Michael Drakanis is whistling as he drives home. He is looking forward to spending the holiday with the two people he loves most in the world-his wife, Gina, and their son, Joey. But just as he crests the hill by his house, a dark premonition overwhelms him. A handful of cops await him with horrifying news. His beloved family has just been murdered in cold blood. Drakanis is now a widower for reasons he cannot fathom. Three years later, Drakanis is still helplessly stuck in the depths of the darkness that accompanies grief; he is content to simply survive from day to day. But when his former partner, Vince Parker, notifies him of another murder-with a crime scene eerily similar to Gina and Joey’s-Drakanis is unwillingly dragged into a murder investigation with little evidence except a dead body and a missing artwork. As Drakanis’s future hangs in the balance, those close to him must make a valiant attempt to save him-before his soul is stained forever.

That is, without a doubt, an impression collection of writings. For further information on Kaine and his works, you can catch him on his various social media accounts…

Website/Blog

Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter
Wattpad
Patreon

Thank you so much Kaine, for giving us a little insight into your world, your wonderful collection of hard work, and of course, your plan for the zombie apocalypse!

Check Kaine and his work out, my lovelies!


Spotlight: Author M.K. Theodoratus

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M. K. Theodoratus

Hooked by comic books at an early age, M. K. Theodoratus’ fascination with fantasy solidified when she discovered the Oz books by L. Frank Baum with his strong female characters. She has traveled through many fantasy worlds since then. When she’s not reading about other writer’s worlds, she’s creating her own.
 
Most of her stories are set in the Far Isles where she explores the political effects of genetic drift on a mixed elf human population. Lately, Theodoratus has been setting her stories in an alternate world of Andor where demons stalk humankind.
A sixth grade English assignment started her writing. The teacher assigned a short story. Theodoratus gave her an incomplete, 25-page Nancy Drew pastiche which turned into a full novel by the next summer. She’s been writing happily ever after ever since…for four or five writing careers. Most recently she’s been concentrating of her Andor stories, set in an alternate world where demons and magic plague humans.
Now for the ten wacky questions:
10 Questions, Zoe style…

What is your writing process?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer who usually starts with a character with a problem. Sometimes it’s acute, like a demon physical attack. Sometimes it’s ongoing, like Mariah’s pissing contest with Linden, my Far Isles Half-Elven. Then I think of who or what is causing the problems. Somewhere in the process I come up with a rough outline.
My actual writing is done at the computer, which is way more fun than working with typed pages, like in the old typewriter days. Yeah, I’m so old I can remember revising my manuscripts with tape and staples keeping my changes in order. But, I also am a massive collector of Post-It notes. I have pads scattered all over the house and in the car. When I have an idea, I jot it down to transfer it to my manuscripts, background info, and/or outline.
The background info creates a “bible” for each story or world so I can keep track of my characters and the place names and background information. Again, the computer comes in handy by creating shortcuts. I put a shortcut with each new story draft, and the changes/additions magically appear in the bible.
Oh, I basically write in the mornings after I check my two main emails and read my comics—Crankshaft, Funky Winkerbean, and For Better or Worse. Oh, I must confess I check my stats on Amazon and Smashwords for the previous day.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly fantasy, but then, I consider most mysteries fantasy. I read a lot of mysteries as well as paranormal suspence. I used to read a lot of historical novels but have stopped. Too many recent writers don’t adequately research their time periods. The anachronisms drive me crazy because I’m something of an English history buff.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
“Joy”? Gotta think about that.
I’ve never considered writing anything to reach the joy end of the continuum. Writing does make me happy. Or, maybe a better way of putting it, writing amuses me. It’s the process of creating something where nothing was before.
4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Basically, I’m a grumpy iconoclast whose favorite word was “no” even before I could talk. Unfortunately, my mother is no longer around to complain about how stubborn I am.
I was raised in Northern California within easy driving distance of the Sierra foothills, the California Gold Country featured in my Andor stories. I grew up back when the American Dream was alive and well, enabling poor kids to get college educations without any debt.
Yeah. That makes me a Populist who believes all lives matter. Now I live in Colorado in a town that’s first to use the water before it sends it down river [after it’s cleaned up]. My politics shows up in my writing in my unusual characters who fight against powers-that-be of some kind or other. Mariah of my Far Isles Half-Elven is the exception, and she works outside “the system”.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
I’m easily distracted, not only by the web and solitaire, but by all the different ideas and people running around in my head. At the same time, I’m getting fairly good at concentrating on one story at a time until I get an ending on it. Of course, once the ending’s on, it’s a struggle to revise rather than start something new.
Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed I’m producing more usable words each writing session.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
No. I just sit at the computer and pound keys. Though I get ideas and sentences all over the place and at different times of day. That’s where Post-It notes come in so handy. I scatter them around the house and car with an available pen. I jot my thoughts down and stick them in my pocket. The crinkling alerts me I need to clean my pockets out. If that’s strange, I guess I lied when I said “no”.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. Period.
Marketing presents an interesting dilemma for me. I write mostly to amuse myself [though I am willing to share my stories]. Marketing doesn’t amuse me. Yet, I spend enormous amounts of time marketing. I see a collision of druthers coming.
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I halfway make my side of the bed to be sure that the blankets and sheet are aligned.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I’m too much of a gimp to travel much anymore. Though I’d probably go back to California to visit family. I have kids in New York City but don’t have any inclination to visit there. The place is too difficult for a gimp to get around comfortably. Colorado has spoiled me.
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Since demons prey upon humans in my Andor world, guess it’d have to be demons … but my own particular ones. I’m really not into blood and gore…or stupidity.
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
I’m too old to be bothered much. The same goes for when the government collapses. In both cases, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll probably be dead of natural causes before either happens.
M.K. Theodoratus has recently released a new novelette, The Ghostcrow.
The_Ghostcrow_new

Seeing ghosts has plagued Dumdie Swartz since early childhood.

Afraid that ghost guts might stick to her if she stepped through them, thirteen-year-old Dumdie Swartz still cringes when she encounters them.

Her strange attempts to avoid spirits create a lonely life.
Her sisters constantly mock her strange behavior, her parents are clueless, and her social life is zero. Dumdie finds solace working in a shared garden with her elderly neighbor, Mr. Carson. When teens from her high school steal pumpkins from his garden, Mr. Carson is hurt during the theft, and later, dies.

Dumdie’s life takes a dark turn.

She learns there are stranger things than ghosts, when she senses something evil living in Kyle, one of the boys who had raided the pumpkin patch. Kyle bullies Dumdie to scare her into silence. The more Kyle threatens her, the clearer she perceives the evil thing possessing him. Dumdie finds support in an unlikely group of girls who befriend her when she helps them with their costumes for the Pumpkin festival. During the festival, Dumdie’s fears explode when the thing possessing Kyle decides it wants to possess her.

A prequel to The Ghost in the Closet. Read about Dumdie, young and old.

Cover - ghost 1350 x 2000 (1334x2000)
Over the years, Dumdie Swartz has developed many weird habits to hide the fact she sees ghosts. When her boss fired her because he thought her trances were mini-strokes, Dumdie becomes homeless, just another old lady living in her car.

Being homeless isn’t Dumdie’s biggest problem. When she finds a room at a private shelter, Dumdie discovers the ghost of the previous owner haunts her room, a ghost with a problem of her own. Her will is lost, and the shelter’s existence is threatened. Dumdie must conquer her fear of upsetting people if she’s to find the will and save the shelter for herself and the other ladies.

A novelette set in the world of Andor.

Also available from M.K. Theodoratus:
You can follow M.K. here, on her website and the following social links:
Also of note, M.K. offers guest blogs with promo for a book, subject: My Worst Writing Fear in 7-500 words.
Thank you so much to M.K for indulging me and participating. Best of luck to you in all future endeavors!

Spotlight: Blogger and Grimdark Writer Leona!

me

Leona!

Yes, I’m a little late with the spotlight. I’m sorry. 🙁 Bad Zoe!!

However, in reading over my blogs, I came over some new developments for Miss Leona, and I will share her big announcement here with her interview!

Leona is a doll. Cute, friendly, wildly intelligent…and she writes dark stuff!! On with my silly questions and grilling of the young woman!

10 Questions, Zoe style…

1. What is your writing process?
I write by the seat of pants, pretty much. I can’t write at home, no matter how hard I try, but the words pour like the Niagara Falls when I sit at a pub or a café. I make a very vague outline of the chapters, but they end up going to places I never planned.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy fiction set in a medieval environment. These days I’m reading Mark Lawrence and Dan Polansky, and other grimdark masterpieces are lined up in my immediate TBR.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Writing: Finishing a chapter and getting feedback from my alpha readers. Making progress with the book and getting closer to finishing it.
Blogging: Connecting with the other people, meeting fantasy book lovers and exchanging comments with them. I love connecting with the new people!

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a naturalized US citizen but I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. I moved to San Jose, California in 1999, relocated to Texas in 2003 and moved to Finland in 2013. I’m an IT engineer by day and dark fantasy writer at night. Oh and I have a commercial pilot license with instrument rating, for single engine land aircraft, earned with blood, sweat and tears. I’m a restless nomad and adventurer in a sense. I’m currently working on my first book, which is the book #1 of a dark fantasy trilogy set in the medieval Near Eastern environment. I can describe it as Game of Thrones-dragons+shamans+serious amount of military stuff+elemental races+the mischievous chaos deity+cats+more magic.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
Caffeine gives me all the strength I need! I guess my biggest strength is the ability to go into a semi-trance in a crowded, noisy environment and write like no tomorrow. As I mentioned before, I can only write at public places. Weaknesses? I cringe when I have to write horrible things happening to my characters.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
I can’t write at home or a quiet environment. It has to be crowded, noisy and public. Then again Dan Polansky mentioned he writes at pubs and cafes so I guess it’s not that strange.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
For blogging –adding book cover images to my book review posts, I have to first download the image from Amazon then upload it to media manager and embed it in the post, such a tedious chore! I really hate it. How do those book bloggers make those book haul posts with a dozen covers, I really wonder! As for writing, I can’t think of anything. I love writing, editing, polishing my chapters.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I make my bed most of the time. I’m a neat freak about certain things.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Svalbard. I want to go there and see the polar bears and the midnight sun sometime, hopefully this year if I can afford it. If not, next year.

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Demons. Not a fan of the others…. Nope. I love the demons, though. I summon them for help sometimes.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Doomsday preppers style! Bring it on!

Now, as I said before, Leona made an announcement on her blog today, so I am spreading the love and quoting it here!

I am very pleased to announce a new project I started with two other fantasy book bloggers. If you like the dark fantasy genre, which is also known as Grimdark, or even just fantasy in general, I invite you to stop by and take a look at (drumroll goes here):

Grimdark Alliance
I, along with Eric from The Grimdark Review and Alexandru from Barbarian Book Club, have come together to create a master Grimdark site which will be a one stop has all portal.
We feature book reviews (mostly Grimdark but we are going to review more general fantasy books every now and then), writing and Grimdark related articles, author interviews (we have some serious names lined up already!) and news about the events such as conventions and book tours.

Seriously good news for Leona, her cohorts and their community!

To follow Leona and catch a glimmer of her fantasy world, you can find her here:

Leona’s Blog of Shadows
Wattpad
Twitter
Facebook
Google +
DeviantArt

Thank you so much for taking part in my insanity Leona!


Spotlight: Author Team HL Carpenter

LorriHelen for Web

Mother/Daughter Team HL Carpenter

This is a first for me. A writing team, mom and daughter to boot! Lets give them a warm welcome!

Florida-based mother/daughter duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, Zoe! Thanks so much for inviting us to share your blog space today.
We’re Helen and Lorri Carpenter, a Florida-based mother/daughter duo. We write together as HL Carpenter. We work in our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue. In addition to being multi-generational writers, we’re also multi-genre writers. We like variety!
2. What is your writing process?
Our writing process—hmm. Have you ever read the poem The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson? That describes our writing process beautifully.
In less lyrical terms, typically a phrase from a newspaper article or a line from a poem or an interesting image starts our imagination train. From there, we chug along through what we call the “steam-building” stage, where we think about what would happen if…
Then we fuel up by preparing a character sheet, followed by a summary of each chapter that provides a general guide for the journey.
When the summary is finished, we take off with the writing. We pass the story back and forth, gathering momentum, until we reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once a book is done, we set it aside for a cooling-off period, then we revise, revise, revise.
Oh, and if you haven’t read the poem, here it is (it’s in the public domain):
The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson

I like to see it lap the miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties, by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop–docile and omnipotent–
At its own stable door.

3. What do you read for pleasure?
We read a lot of fiction of all types. We read poetry too, as you may have noticed. We also read instruction manuals, which seem like fiction to us because they seldom match the actual process required to assemble the item purchased. And sometimes we read the dictionary for fun, though mostly we do that when we’re trying to cheat at Scrabble. 🙂 We’re big fans of words.

4. What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The possibilities at the beginning of each story and the challenge of bringing those possibilities to light.
As an example, our satirical short story, The Demise of Fyne Literature, started out as a writing challenge from graphic artist Kelly Shorten. Kelly found a photo she loved so much that she sponsored a contest. We were intrigued with both the possibilities and the challenge, and we were delighted to win the contest and have our story published.
This is the photo that inspired Kelly and us.
demise
Your imagination is jumping up and down now too, right?

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to sitting down and writing?
The strength is easy to answer—having a partner. Knowing someone is waiting for the next story installment is great incentive, as is the fact that there’s no worry about getting stuck. When either of us reaches a stopping point, we pass the work to the other. When it comes back, the next scene provides a springboard to move on.
The weakness is that we’re fairly slow writers. We’re turtles in a hare-hurry world.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
The only one we can think of is that we don’t actually sit down to write. We both work standing up. But that’s not strange. Is it? Say no.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing/blogging process?
Having to let go of a story. There’s always one more sentence that could be worded better or a scene that could be described differently or an epiphany that could be expressed more clearly or…well, you get the idea.
We’re fighting that tendency right now, with a cozy mystery we finished at the end of last year, A Cause for Murder. We’ve been through edits, we have the cover, we’re ready to publish…, and we just discovered one more change we want to make. We’re determined to get the book out this month. Our hero, Emma Twiggs, deserves her day in the Amazon sunshine!
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Bed makers, definitely. Life’s pleasures start with attending the details.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Mars. We’re ready to help colonize a new planet.
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
We always want to be the cavalry-to-the-rescue. Can we be demons-gone-good?
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Locked and loaded, with a cupboard full of canned spaghetti.

This mighty duo can be found on:

Website
Google+
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Amazon

The duo has offered up one particular book for Spotlighting, but, me being me, did my homework and will also provide covers and links (click the covers) for their other works as well. Now, on to the Spotlight book!

Dream Stealer

(Click pic to be taken to buy page)

Dream Stealer Cover final

Ever wonder what became of the dreams you once had? Fancy Moonstruck can tell you.

Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

It’s a job she’d rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.

G-Rated excerpt from Dream Stealer:
Another moment and the dream will be gone.
The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.
Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.
Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.
Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.
And I will keep my family safe.
I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.
If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.
I must take it.
I must…

The lovely teams other works! Just click the pics to be taken to the buy pages for summaries!

demise 51GTUXYyW8L._UY250_51x0aARQpTL._UY250_ 513HIrNFkSL._UY250_ 514OmBhn9SL._UY250_Thank you ladies, for allowing me to Spotlight you and share your works!


Spotlight: Auther/Playwright Damian Trasler

We welcome our first playwright this week! Exciting for me!

Dim reads

Welcome Damian Trasler!

We’re going to get my silly questions out of the way before digging into the good meat of things!!!

10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. What is your writing process?
I sit at the keyboard and then make coffee. Then I sit at the keyboard and drink coffee. Then I look at the internet and drink coffee. At some point, usually while one of my kids has required me to go and sit in a cold ice rink for an hour, I write the words that are pounding round my head and then feel ridiculously pleased with myself. Sometimes those words are a play script that I send to my publisher, www,lazybeescripts.co.uk

2. What do you read for pleasure?
I love Science Fiction, and am a particular fan of John Scalzi, but any well-written book is good. I prefer it if the story carries the weight – literary books have no merit if they are all art and no matter. That’s what Polonius said*

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Embarrassingly, the greatest joy of writing is writing. Like many people, I find it hard to commit to getting the story out of my head, and I will whine and wheedle and prevaricate, but once the thing is done I am delighted. Getting other people to read it is a bonus joy, but the main thing is typing “The End” or “Curtain” and knowing that an idea has become a real thing.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born while Elvis Presley was still alive, and before Star Wars existed. Hard to believe, I know, but there was such a time. I grew up in England, moving around a lot and gaining three children and a wife (not in that order) before emigrating to Canada. We did that because life was too easy, and we wanted more stress. Or something. Anyway, we ended up in British Columbia, which was created to make up for Australia.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
My weakness is sitting down and writing. I could prevaricate for England, except I wouldn’t get around to it. On the other hand, I have a neat little netbook which is painfully slow for anything but running Word, so when I go away or out to a sports event or music lesson with my offspring, I can get some actual work done. The strength is something other people have found – when I really enjoy the story I’m writing, I don’t notice the time or the distractions. It’s fun to write.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Once, long ago, we went to a Greek island (Kefalonia) and my wife took our only baby at the time for a day trip to the capital city. She told me to just hang out at the local bar and write all day. I drank three small beers, ate a burger with fries and wrote longhand in a notebook while the crystal blue sea washed the sands only a few feet away. I really, really wish that was a habit I could maintain.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Editing. I hate rewriting. Hate it with a burning passion. I have yet to find any method that makes it feasible for me to review an entire piece of work without printing it out and going through it with a pen. Which is just stupid. I believe this attitude may be detected in my published e-books.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I make the bed. It’s a duvet, one flump and you’re done. That makes it so much nicer when you crawl back into bed hours later, wondering if you accomplished anything at all, or whether it was just one fourteen-hour long scream.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I have so little ambition when it comes to travel. I’m taking my wife to New York for our wedding anniversary (despite a fervent wish never to see the place myself) and I’m going back to the only place I want to go – Lucasfilm Headquarters in San Francisco. Just to look. Certainly not to badger anyone I see about this Boba Fett movie script I have….

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?

Zombies. Slow moving, stupid , lurching losers.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
I’m good. I wrote “Eddie and the Kingdom” because I think a lot about surviving the zombie apocalypse. It’s not the zombies you have to watch out for, it’s the other survivors.

*This is me showing off my education. (Host note: LOVE INSIGHT AND HUMOR!)

Now! On to the good stuffs!

In his own words:

I was born and raised in England but moved to Canada with my family in 2009. I’ve been a published playwright since 2000, winning a few awards and having my plays performed all over the world. I published some of my old short stories to see how hard it was to use Amazon’s KDP program, and now I’ve reached a total of seven e-books. My next one will be the second “Eddie and the Kingdom” book, “Murder in the Kingdom”

You can find Damian on his website

His line-up of great work can be found on Amazon, just click the pic to be magically swept away!

Great Canadian cover

Eddie-and-the-Kingdom3

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Thank you so much Damian, enjoy the Spotlight and best of luck in all your future endeavors!!


Spotlight – Author Gerald Freeman

I dont believe

(Click image for direct to buy)

This week we welcome Gerald Freeman into the Spotlight.

Gerald Freeman is English and lives in Portugal with his wife and two dogs, where he writes and creates sculptures that reflect his time spent on the planet. He has traveled extensively and he believes that by sharing our experiences we make each other stronger. His main goal with both his creative outlets is to inspire people to follow their dreams and not settle for anything less than they truly desire. I Don’t Believe God Wrote The Bible is the second book in a series of memoirs called Get A Life.

Book Summary: After a near-fatal drug overdose in the late 1980s, Gerry Freeman leaves England in search of a better life and spiritual awakening. While hitchhiking around the South of France, he and his friend Jan meet an eclectic mix of carefree hippies, dashing celebrities, and kind-hearted strangers.
Wine and parties abound—on the streets and beaches, wherever they find themselves—but the good times often come at the price of begging and having to steal food to survive.
Past mental and physical abuse haunts Gerry, but he begins to realize happiness is a choice. Sometimes it takes a journey that spans lazing on the beaches of the French Riviera, harvesting grapes in the serene hills of wine country, and washing dishes at a ski resort in the Alps to learn answers that lurked inside all along. Anyone can start caring again.

Now, on to my questions!! 😀

10 Questions, Zoe style…

1. What is your writing process?
My writing process has been ongoing for thirty years. Since I left home at fifteen and went traveling I have been noting down thoughts and experiences along the way, knowing that one day I would be settled enough to actually put them all together and write some books. That time came when I hit forty and got married, finding myself happy, secure and a little bored of living back in society I began to write my books.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
I very rarely read fiction for pleasure anymore. I like real life, or books based on true events. Philosophical books are also something that interests me, I like to see how other people think and hopefully find someone I who agrees with the way I think, at least in part.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
The greatest joy and satisfaction comes from knowing someone has read one of my books and it has actually changed the way they think about something, or even educated them about an aspect of life they are unfamiliar with. A great example of this was from my first book Kill daddy http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FQQBV2O/ , which takes place in Africa, living with Rastas. At least two readers said they would never look at people with dreadlocks in the same light again, and would start to try and understand people instead of immediately judging them-Punks and Goths included!

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I left home at fifteen and went traveling around the world in search of new experiences and a life which appealed to me. Nothing I had been shown in school inspired me and quite frankly I had no idea how to fill up all my time on the planet. As soon as I’d left the constraints of a not very caring family, I discovered the enormity of the world and my philosophy and way of thinking changed completely. I gladly discovered that there could never be enough years in a life to do all the things I wanted to do. I also found out that I did not have to get a boring job I didn’t like and become an economical slave for the rest of my life. I have become a writer, part time teacher and a sculptor, all things I dreamed of doing- I look back on my life, I am forty-eight, satisfied, or rather, ecstatic that I’ve followed my heart and realized as many of my dreams as possible.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
My strengths would be that I never run out of things to say and that I have taken on board everything I have learnt in my first year of being a published author, so as to make this book the absolute best it can be. Weaknesses would have to be that I drink too much and smoke too much, drugs and alcohol were my crutches for many years as I couldn’t shake off some of the horrible memories from my childhood. Ironically, it is now that I have completed this book that I have actually stopped, and it is now just the dreaded nicotine sticks I have left to vanquish.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Well, I don’t write standing on my head, or while I’m jogging, so I guess not. I do all the usual from writing on the bus, train, in restaurants, cafés and bars. Borrowing pens whenever the need strikes from complete strangers and running out of a room mid conversation to grab a piece of paper to write something down are all things normal writers do, I think.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
I don’t have a least favorite part, I have actually enjoyed every step of the way-if I had to say one thing it would be the lack of money to be able to market my books fully and gain the exposure publishing houses can afford.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Absolutely, although my wife gets up after me, so she usually does it. I have to have order in my house, I am a little Feng Shui in that sense. My mind and my subconscious feels more relaxed when the house is clean and clear from confusion. However, my writing room is organized chaos.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I would love to go to Canada and visit the forests and lakes, maybe find a werewolf or two. The vastness and the sense of space there would be exhilarating for me and I’d like to rent a house and go fishing in the lakes every day for six months or more. Also boating and water skiing, the list goes on- Canada is my dream destination.

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Definitely werewolves because I love animals and am quite a pagan at heart!

Where to find Gerald?

Blog
Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Stumbleupon
Flickr
Google+

Geralds other work can be found here…

Geralds(Click image for direct to buy)

Trauma from the past becomes a part of who you are. It weighs down on the present, suffocating life and preventing you from healing and moving on. If you continue to carry this baggage around long enough, you will eventually become who you are not. Believe in the essential goodness of your true self, however, and you will accept the past, but let go of the burden and finally become the real you. This is the story of one man’s struggle to accept the past and move on before it destroys everything he is and could ever hope to be. In desperation Gerry flees society to save his sanity and ends up in the remote villages of East Africa. Midst the poverty, he encounters hope and more love than he could imagine. Will it be enough to save him? Can he repair the damage done to him in his childhood or will his abusers win in the end?

Thank you very much for taking the time for my crazy little interview Gerry!!! 😀 Best of luck to you in all your endeavors!


Spotlight – Chris from Living the Dream

chris bowie

I met Chris here on WordPress and he runs a great blog. He’s had his ups and downs, but in this life, who doesnt? He’s coming through marvelously though, and kudos to him for his positive outlook on things!

He was sweet enough to humor me with my silly questions, then I encourage you all to check out his page!

1. What is your writing process?
I tend to just start writing. I may think of something throughout the day and
Make a note of in my phone to go back and write that evening. Whatever
Crosses my path that I find or think interesting.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
I read many different books. I like the cheesy detective story that hits the
Bestseller list weekly. I love historical fiction. Ken Follett is my favorite.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
The blog allows me to vent. It allows me to put thoughts and words down that I
Normally would not verbalize. It gives me an outlet. Plus I have met some very
Very interesting people from blogging.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure… As you can read on my blog. I am a divorced father of two teenage girls.
Under the cover of darkness I save innocent people from the evils of mankind.
During the day I work a normal job.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
I feel my strength is that I just openly share my fears, failures, thoughts, and
Emotions. I don’t cover anything up. I don’t try and sound like I have the
Answers. I am what one might call brutally honest about me.
I feel my weakness is that I am too wordy.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Not really. Usually set alarm for 4:30 AM and drink coffee, ready news, and
Write blog entries after I get out of shower. I then leave for work at 5:45. I also
Tend to write blogs very late at night. When everything has settled down.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Not having anything to talk about. I think my day has been a failure if I can’t
Share something!

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I make my bed every morning. It’s a ritual. Read a blog entry I posted about
This from a graduation speaker.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Fargo, North Dakota
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Wolverines??? I like their healing ability. No, I enjoy the Zombies. The
Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?

I’m ready. I have a loaded shotgun in my living room, multiple knives throughout the house, a Scottish Claymore sword hanging on the wall. I also have a .38 revolver and a PK-9 in my house. Plus a few cans of beans. I’m ready.

Thank you so much for taking the time to engage our readers and take part in my little interview!!

Go on over and pay him a visit! Tell’im Zoe sent ya! 😉 Living the Dream


Spotlight: Author August MacGregor

August is a an author of one of my favorite genres…the erotic fiction. I’ve taken it upon myself to peek into his crafted world and I have to say, I love it.

He graciously sat down to answer my 10 silly questions, allowing us to see more into his life and process. He’s a good natured guy and, well, come on, he humored me…:D  . On with the show!

1. What is your writing process?
I plunk down at my laptop and write. I’m not an outliner, but a “pantser” — as I’ve read is the label for those who write by the seat of their pants. I have lots of projects in the works, so I try to focus on the one that I want to finish first. But sometimes, other stories pull me away. Usually, I have a story that I’m editing and another that I’m writing. Since I’m not wild about editing, this works better for me to break it up. But editing is certainly a big part of putting a story together, as I find lots of mistakes in my first drafts.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
Authors such as Stephen King and Donald E. Westlake. Their writing is really accessible — not dense and hard to understand. And they are great at crafting a story that pulls you along, making you want to find out what happens next.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
With blogging, it’s making connections. Having someone read my work and make a connection with it. Same with me reading someone else’s work and connecting with that. With writing, it’s the joy of telling a story. To me, writing is a rush, and it often clicks with me — where I fall into the story and have a wonderful time. That rush is also like a drug that I love getting back to. It’s an addiction. My goal is to make enough from my ebooks to quit my day job, so I can feed that writing addiction and produce more stories.

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m just a guy who loves to read books and write stories. If you saw me walking on the sidewalk, I’d blend in with everyone else — there’s just nothing that remarkable about me. I’m an introvert, an observer of people, a lover of good conversation. I hold family and friends close to my heart and will bend over backwards for them.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
A strength is that I’m a hard worker. Early on (many years ago), I wrote when inspiration hit me — which was sporadic. I talked about loving writing more than I actually sat down and wrote. Then I learned from the advice of others that you need to write regularly. Make it a routine, like going to the gym. Now I write my butt off, and I’m writing more than I’ve ever done before. A weakness is keeping focused. I have so many ideas, that I tend to jump from one story or poem to another. I have many drafts in various stages of completion that I need to get back to and just finish the suckers.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Not really. I don’t light candles to the gods of writing, or anything like that. Might be a good thing for me to start doing, though — it might improve sales 🙂

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. I love writing, but trying to sell my stories feels cheap. When I tweet about a book, I feel like I’m saying, “Hey everybody, look at this! It’s really great! Promise!” And then tweeting many times a day. I’ve read on several authors’ blogs that this brings them sales, but it hasn’t done wonders for my sales. As cheap as it feels, I know the reality of self publishing is that you have to promote yourself. It’s a business, and not just crafting stories. If you don’t promote yourself, how are people going to discover your books? You certainly can’t just rely on luck and other people spreading the word about you. But a nice thing about social media is when you meet other indie authors out there. I’ve found a supportive community on Twitter — many people retweet my posts, and I retweet theirs.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
This is probably going to sound lame, but my wife makes our bed in the morning.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Islands in the South Pacific. Those beautiful beaches, lush plants, the gorgeous water. Ahhhh….

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Werewolves. They appeal to me because they speak of a wildness inside of us that probably only comes out when we’re drunk — or for some other reason we let our guard down.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Not at all prepared. I don’t own a gun. And I don’t think I’ll be able to bring down a lot of zombies with just my axe.

I am currently immersed in Augusts ‘Orpheus Rising‘ and am so not disappointed. If you are a fan of the erotic genre, this is an author you certainly want on your shelves! Click the pics to be taken directly to Amazon!

Orpheuscover400wide

Orpheus Rising: Erotic Stories of Hooking Up is a collection of six short stories that explore the hot moments when two people—strangers or friends—hook up to become lovers. These erotic stories cover a range of characters and settings.

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Bavarian Beauty. Simon Edwards has a fetish for dirndls (the traditional Bavarian dress) — and since he is only turned on by this specific dress, he endures many disappointing dates with non-dirndl wearing women as he seeks someone he clicks with. These disappointments lead him to fly to Munich during Oktoberfest to immerse himself in dirndl heaven. He then must ask himself how far he’s willing to go to deliver on someone else’s fantasy.

You can also follow August on his website and twitter @AugustMacGregor! GO! NOW!


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