Monday, August 29, 2011

Indie Author JULIA CRANE

Where are you from?
I'm originally from Portsmouth, Va. I have also lived in ME, FL, TN and currently living in Dubail.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Many things: a vet, teacher, writer, private investigator, FBI, spy, and psychologist just to name a few.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I like to be lazy, so sitting in a comfy chair and drinking coffee is always a nice way to unwind. I also like to take long walks to clear my mind.
What is your favorite food?
American. Hahaha, I miss a lot of American foods living in Dubai. I love ribs, and baked potatoes. My favorite snack food is Pop Secret homestyle popcorn which they do not sell in Dubai.
Tell us your latest news?

I'm VERY excited that my second book "Conflicted: Keegan's Chronicles" will be released soon. Fingers crossed by September 15th.
What are your current projects?
I'm actually in the process of co-writing another YA series with a new author Nolia McCarty. It's so much fun to brainstorm with another writer. The first book in the series will be called The Book of Temperance with a tentative release date of mid-November. I've kept this hush-hush so you are the first to get the scoop.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It's funny the other day my daughter asked "So, can I tell all my friends my mom is an author?" I thought that is crazy, but I guess I really am an author. It's all so new to me so it hasn't really sunk in yet.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Most definitely. My mother and grandmother had a huge impact on my writing style. Being 100% Irish there were always folktales told at our house. My mother was very open about a lot of things that others might consider strange. She made astrology charts, read tarot cards, and practiced Reiki. We use to follow her around as she sold her paintings during outdoor art shows. My father was pretty crazy. He loved to tell outrageous stories about monsters, aliens, and big foot. I honestly think he believed in all of them. We were raised to believe that imagination was one of the greatest tools.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have major grammar issues. There is no way I could make it without my critique partners, and editors. I really don't know how I made it through college.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Well, I don't have to, but I love to travel. We are in a unique position living in Dubai. We are able to travel to many places cheaply that we would have never had the chance to in the States. I love using places I've visited in my books.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Find a couple of critique buddies. Hire an editor or two. Most importantly just write even if you doubt yourself keep writing.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
I walk and walk and walk. Walking seems to help me when I get stuck. I also need quiet to think. I get stressed out if the kids are acting up. I know it's useless and wait until I can find some quiet time to think.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
They seem to develop for me. I'm very unorganized so I wouldn't do well with set formulas.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Three to four months for the rough draft so far.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for taking your time to read my books. There are so many choices out there that I feel honored every time I get a sale or see a new review.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Conflicted is the second book in the Keegan's Chronicles series. I don't want to give too much away, but Keegan went through a dramatic change at the end of book one. Conflicted deals with the changes and how she reacts to them.
What inspired you to pen your first novel?
My husband. He always believes I can do anything. We were talking about it and he told me to go for not for a second doubting if I could or not.
Who designed the covers?
I got so lucky finding Kadri Umbleja from She is amazing.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want people to take from it whatever relates to them. There are several messages, but I just hope readers enjoy the story.
What are you reading now?
Kissed by Darkness by Shea Macleod. It's really good.
What new author has grasped your interest?
My two critique buddies Heather Adkins and Talia Jager. Both are excellent writers.
Do you think Americans are reading less than they have before? Why or why not?
I'm really not sure as I haven't read any data on this lately. I've always been an avid reader so to me it's just odd to think of not reading a lot. I think teens are reading more thanks to Twilight. I have a teen daughter and most of her friends love to read. I think e-books are making it easier for people to read more often.

Interview by Sue Owen

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Indie Author JACK WALLEN

It is my pleasure this week to welcome Jack Wallen author of several books including A Blade Away.  I've been waiting to interview Jack since he did my interview a while ago for this tour.  I was facinated by his web site and all the information he had on zombies.  Now we get to delve deeper into his zombie world ..... 

Zombies zombies everywhere!

I was recently asked what attracted readers and viewers to zombies. My usual response to this question is often simple with a layer of complexity that could be added for extra flavor. That reason is this: The zombie has not changed much since George A. Romero brought to ‘unlife’ the beast. Zombies are still shambling, thoughtless, monsters that want but one thing – your brain (and not in the I don’t love you only for your looks kinda way.) Zombies have not been sparkle-fied, shimmered, or hunked up. That familiarity is like a security blanket to the horror fan. But the attraction to zombies is much more than that. For many a film maker or writer, zombies so easily represent the mindlessness that has become the human race. The workaday nature of our lives has made us nothing more than stare-into-the-void beings going about our daily lives with little feeling and little thought.

What writer wouldn’t be all over that?

I have been a fan of horror most of my life. When writing became a profession I knew that horror was my calling – but zombies being my bread and butter was certainly a surprise. I started writing my first zombie novel (I Zombie I) when I posed myself the question “What would it be like to transform into a zombie?” It was a question I had to answer, and from that question the first book in my I Zombie trilogy was born. That book has been received with rave reviews and I believe the next book will do it one better. That book is “My Zombie My”. The challenge with the second novel was how to make this as unique as the first, without just rehashing the same old thing. I don’t want to give anything away – but I believe the voice in My Zombie My is just as unique as was the voice in I Zombie I. And what is truly exciting about My Zombie My is the amount of layering I was able to add to the story. Wrapped inside that layering was a particular device I used to help the main character, Bethany Nitshimi, keep her sanity among the chaos. That device turned out to be one of most enjoyable PR tools I’ve used to date – Zombie Radio. Zombie Radio has been a real treat for both me and the fans of the I Zombie trilogy. This podcast offers the readers a completely different perspective of the state of things in the Mengele Virus infected world I have created. Not only does the DeeJay play some great tunes, he discusses the world around him, reacts to emails, phone calls, twitter feeds, and does everything he can to reconnect the pieces of the broken world. Tune in to see what’s happening with DeeJay now!

Shortly after the release of My Zombie My (some time in October or November 2011) the final book of the I Zombie trilogy, Die Zombie Die, will hit the shelves. Once that is complete, I have decided I cannot leave the zombie genre behind and will start a yet-to-be-named series based on the world created in the I Zombie books. I can’t give anything away about that yet, but one of the characters from the current trilogy will be the main character and this series will be much darker and bleaker than what you’ve seen from me so far. Check out my Blog, Get Jack’d, for news about this upcoming series.

I love hearing from my fans and readers. If you would like to make your mark in my little zombie world, send me an email as a survivor of the Mengele virus and it might be used on Zombie Radio. You can even send me your best zombie poem and I’ll give it a reading.

Twitter: @jlwallen     

Interview by Sue Owen

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Indie Author LIZ SCHULTE

Liz is all about scary.  Check out her blog and her books and you'll see what I mean.  Writing short stories since she was young and scaring her friends with her tales of horror has put her well into the mode of creating a great set of books of horror.  Please read the interview below and check out her current releases as well as her up coming series which I am personally looking forward to reading in the dark!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I sort of wanted to be everything. I was interested in so many things, but I think the most consistent answer I gave was veterinarian.  After that I wanted to be a lawyer. Honestly, author was never even on the list though I always wrote scary little short stories.  However after college was when I began to seriously pursue this as a possible career.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I don’t have a lot of time for relaxing, but I try to make time to run every day which helps clear my head. I love television, movies, happy hour, and of course social networks.
What is your favorite food?
Crepes. There is one particular restaurant in downtown Chicago that has the best strawberry French crepes.  Just thinking about it makes me want to go. Mmmm
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
I had a really normal happy childhood which doesn’t really lend itself to writing, but my parents weren’t strict at all. I watched horror movies for as long as I can remember which has given me a lifelong appreciation for all things creepy, scary, and frightening.
Are your works based on someone you know or events in your life?
Not really on anyone I know, but some of the ghostly things that happen in Dark Corners did happen in the house I grew up in. One of them happened to me directly and I remember at the time struggling with the debate of whether or not it was a person coming into the house or if it was something otherworldly. *scene shared below*
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Find a critique partner, a writer’s group, an editor, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The writing community is a wonderfully nice and supportive group, all you have to do is participate and you will be amazed how far you can go with the right encouragement
Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us?
My next release will come out on November 22nd. It is the first book in the Guardian Trilogy, Secrets. While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn't know and sometimes what you don't know can kill you.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know how interesting it is, but I don’t normally have much control over my characters. Several times while writing I think I know where the story is going to go and I have a plan then the characters take it in a completely different direction than I anticipated. It is always fun when I am surprised by what they do next.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The scene I promised above that is based on real life events-
“Bit by bit, despite my continuing misgivings and bad dreams, Danny and I fell into a rhythm.  We made friends with the couple who owned the hardware store we were constantly in and out of because of our ongoing restorations—Susan and Doug Daniels, a very nice, normal couple around our age.. Before they moved to Montgomery, they’d lived in Seattle and worked for a software company. They moved here to start a family and be near their own.
Though the Daniels lived here and owned a business for the last five years all of us were considered outsiders by the locals. Having unfamiliar faces and being instantly labeled as "city" forged an instant connection between us. It wasn’t long before they became like family. They helped with the house in their spare time and we had dinner together weekly.
One day while Danny was with Doug at a hardware expo and Susan covered the store, I stayed home to finally do some writing. I’d been working on a new book before we moved, but since the move hadn’t written anything. It was the first time I ever had writer’s block and it drove me mad. I blamed it on being busy and settling in, trying not to acknowledge that I’d had no new ideas since I stepped foot in the house.
I unplugged the phone, so I wouldn’t be interrupted by the onslaught of hang up calls we had since moving in. I sat at my desk with Piper lying on my lap. Staring at the computer screen my mind was completely blank.
I grabbed my hard copy and settled down on the couch to read what I had last written, trying to get back into the story. As I read, my eyes became heavy and before I knew it I was napping. 
The sound of the front door opening woke me. Piper bolted awake too, barking frantically. She hopped off the couch, running to see who it was.
A low male voice said, “Hello Piper,” and she stopped barking. I assumed it was Danny, though why he was whispering was beyond me.   I thought about getting up to see him, but I knew if I did that my nap would be over. My tiredness won, I remained on the couch, eyes closed, hoping to recapture the comfortable sleep I had been enjoying.
Danny walked past the office, crumpling a paper bag, Piper’s quick steps right behind him. I was tempted to open my eyes, but something stopped me. A little voice inside my head whispered, “What if it’s not Danny? What if it’s someone breaking in? If they see you and you see them, they’ll have to kill you.”
I dismissed it as irrational.  Of course it was Danny; who else could it be? When Piper jumped back up on the couch with me I relaxed. Had it been a stranger she wouldn't have come back. I slowly drifted back to sleep.
Sometime later, the front door opened again, but this time it was followed by Danny gently waking me. “Hey you, I thought you were writing today.”
“I meant to,” I said, stretching “Where did you go?”
His brows pulled together in a line of concern. “The hardware expo. Remember?”
“I know that, I meant just now.”
“I’m not following you.”
“You came home earlier today.”
“No, I just got home.”
“Are you joking?”
“No… I just walked in the door.”
“I heard someone come in earlier; I thought it was you. It woke me up.”
Danny looked at me for a moment to see if I was serious, then he went and checked the house. Soon he came back into the study and shrugged.
“The door was locked when I got here. It must have been a dream.”
“It wasn’t a dream. I woke up.” Seeing the disbelief in his eyes I defended my position. “Piper started barking.”
“No one is here. Nothing is missing. It had to be a dream.”
“It wasn’t—I’m a hundred percent certain.”
“Then what happened?”
“I don’t know.”

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do hear from readers and I absolutely love it. What author doesn’t love to discuss their books with everyone who will listen and trust me our families are sick of us. Haha I most hear about how scary the book is and that it kept them up at night.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The selection of the title Dark Corners was sort of twofold. The first obvious thought was of things could be hiding in the dark corners of the room or your house waiting to pounce. Then the other part that contributed to the selection of this title was that it also refers to the dark corners of your mind where secrets are hidden and memories are buried.
What new author has grasped your interest?
Diane Setterfield. I absolutely love her book the Thirteenth Tale. It was a wonderful mixture of a modern story with the feel of the classics, especially Jane Eyre.
Do you think Americans are reading less than they have before? Why or why not?
I don’t think people are reading less. I believe people are reading differently than they used to. In a world of constant stimulation and our lives becoming busier and busier every year people are looking for convenience and faster paced stories. Something that will grab them immediately and let them escape for a few hours into a different world.
What book are you reading now?
My reading list is so long. So many of my friends are publishing right now and I am reading their books. I have Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase, Craved by Stephanie Nelson, and Burden of Blood by Wenona Husley waiting patiently on my Nook for me.

Further info on Author Liz Schulte:
Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz Schulte, however, didn't always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. Liz wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more.
When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.

Liz would love to hear from you and what you thought of Dark Corners.
Please stop by and visit at any of the below mentioned networks:

This is part one of a series of interviews for my blog tour through Indie Writers Unite.  Look for the Support Indie Authors logo for further submissions.  Please support these authors, check out their blogs and purchase their books.  They are the best of the best.  /Sue Owen.