Category Archives: Fantasy

Meet author Adam Zorzi

Adam was born in Venice, but educated in New York City and continues to live there. His passion is travel and he counts himself lucky to have a job that gives him that opportunity. He writes non-fiction for work – proposals, reports, and studies.  He started writing fiction about 5 years ago to entertain himself, took a creative writing class, and joined a writers’ group when he felt he had something to share. That made writing fiction even more fun and challenging for him. He takes every advantage of living in NYC with its concerts, art, and films. People-watching, he says, is a great source of inspiration.

What is the title of your latest book? adam 2

Auld Acquaintances (234 pages, Solstice Publishing, $16.99) is my first holiday paranormal romance. Set in Williamsburg, Virginia, a Colonial ghost who discovered her husband’s betrayal at a New Year’s Eve party, and promptly hurled herself out of her bedroom window, tries to stop the wedding of a contemporary couple who plan to wed on New Year’s Eve. She has reason to believe the groom is a cad. The couple, who are both university professors, refuse to believe a ghost could be the one who is interfering with their plans by stealing jewelry, destroying bridal party gowns, and poisoning a wedding guest. They believe someone in their circle of friends and family and colleagues is playing a cruel practical joke. They don’t really doubt each other, but someone is standing between them and marriage. Because it’s romance, there’s a happy ever after ending.

Your readers might find some of the holiday customs sound familiar. Williamsburg was established as part of England’s Virginia Colony in 1623 and is home to the College of William & Mary—the second oldest college in the United States—named for King William III and Queen Mary II. The historic colonial district of Williamsburg has been preserved as it was during its pre-Revolutionary War period and attracts a large number of visitors adam 4during the holiday season for colonial music, decorations, and activities.

I also have a short story Low Country Boil in the latest volume (No. 6) of the Solstice Publishing horror anthology Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. It’s not gory horror. It’s more what if? What if persons entrusted to protect the county don’t, and what are the consequences? The story follows a law enforcement transplant from Maine to a county in the southern United States and how adjusting to her new environment isn’t great for maintaining law and order.

What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

 I’ll start with the most rewarding. Freedom of expression. No matter what is going on in the world or household, I create a world, populate it with characters I find interesting, and tell a story that intrigues me and sometimes quietly draws attention to issues important to me. I enjoy researching backgrounds for settings and characters and discover all kinds of new and often irrelevant information. It’s an education. Most importantly to me, it’s fun. I truly enjoy it.

As for challenges, I sometimes write myself into a corner. I don’t plot meticulously beforehand so I have to reroute the story. There are also times when I know exactly what I want to happen and it simply doesn’t read properly on the page. I keep writing that scene until it flows and move on.

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

 Write. Write anything. Get used to expressing yourself on the page. Try different word counts— 5,000 words tells a different story than 1,000. Write the same story from different points of view (POV). Try a new genre. Don’t wait for an assignment. Write letters to the editor of a publication about a story or a letter to fictional characters.

You can’t talk/sell yourself into being an author. You have to have something on pages for an editor, agent, publisher, reading group to read.

What are you working on at the moment?adam 3

A paranormal beach read. I never expected to be a paranormal writer, but my characters usually have an eternal love. If one of them dies, it’s reasonable to me that they would try to reunite.

I’m also working on a four-part family saga that isn’t paranormal. It’s set in places I enjoy visiting and want to create characters who live there. One family member works in the Orkney Islands and another in Mallorca.

What do you like to read?

Autobiographies. I like hearing how a person tells their life story. I’m not interested in any particular industry. I’ve read books by sailors, actors, singers, business leaders, scientists, and political leaders. I rarely read biographies because someone else tells the story often from a scholarly or salacious POV.

I also read mystery and suspense. Right now, I’m enjoying Nordic crime series. One, by Kati Hekkapelto, is set in Finland and another, by Ragnar Jonasson is set in Iceland.

 Where can readers find you?

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Meet author Simon Fairbanks

I first met Simon when he and fellow authors from Birmingham, UK, came to give readings from their latest works at The Big Comfy Bookshop in my home city, Coventry. I had gone along to check out the shop as a potential venue for my own writers’ group and this seemed as good an opportunity as any. It was a very successful evening. Simon and his colleagues proved to be a great bunch, and the bookshop is a truly welcoming and atmospheric place in which to hold a writers’ group meeting. Simon 145kb

Simon is a fantasy author living in Birmingham. His first novel, The Sheriff, was released in March 2014. The following month, it was chosen to participate in the One Big Book Launch. The next book in the series, The Curse of Besti Bori, was released in October 2015.

His debut short story collection, Breadcrumbs, contains twenty-one short stories, including a new adventure starring the characters of The Sheriff.

Simon was also one of ten writers selected for the Ten To One project. Their collaborative efforts resulted in the novel Circ.

What is the title of your latest book? 

Simon 2 My most recent novel is The Curse Of Besti Bori. The jungle cloud of Besti Bori is in quarantine. An infection has consumed the cloud, turning its peaceful people into monstrous splicers. Now a team of archers watch over its borders, ensuring nothing enters and nothing leaves.
That is until Sheriff Baran visits for a routine inspection. His sky-horse is mysteriously drugged and he plummets into the darkness of the cursed jungle.
Now, Sheriff Shaula must return from her self-inflicted exile to lead a rescue mission into the most dangerous place in Nephos. Armed only  with  a team  of  warrior fairies,  Shaula  must  battle  her  way  through hordes of splicers to retrieve the stranded Baran. However, Shaula soon learns that splicers are not the only danger lurking in Besti Bori.

 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

 The biggest challenge is finding the time and motivation to write, alongside family commitments, a full-time job and the temptation of Netflix!

The most rewarding moment is holding your printed novel in your hands, knowing that all those months of grafting, writing and editing are now contained in a neat little package adorned with your name. I love sliding my finished novels onto my bookshelf in between famous authors!

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer? Simon 3

 I strongly recommend joining a writers’ group. I joined the Birmingham Writers’ Group in Autumn 2011. They helped me progress from a complete novice to a self-published novelist in less than three years – The Sheriff.

Writing is a solitary activity but you need camaraderie, accountability and feedback to stay motivated. An organised and supportive writers’ group is worth its weight in gold.

 What are you working on at the moment?

 I am currently editing my second short story collection, provisionally titled Breadcrumbs 2. I just need to write one more novella and the collection will be complete.

 What do you like to read?

 My three writing heroes are Terry Pratchett, Stephen King and Agatha Christie, thankfully three of the most prolific writers you can find! My favourite books of all time are His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I am very excited about his follow-up trilogy, The Book of Dust, which begins in October of this year. Generally, I read two books a month: one traditionally published and one self-published.

 Where can readers find you ?

NB: You can also find a short story by Simon in the Christmas anthology, Festive Treats, along with my short story, Mary’s Christmas. This is available as a free download from my Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00RVO1BHO

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Author KateMarie Collins

KateMarie Collins

 

KateMarie Collins is no stranger to this blog – she featured here on 2nd July when she talked about her work as the chief operating officer for the Solstice Publishing House. She is also an author  in her own right. Today she talks about her experience as a writer, and her latest book.

 

 

What is the title of your latest book?

My latest release is Consort of the Successor. It’s the sequel to Mark of theKate 4 Successor and focuses on one of the characters from that book, Talin. It’s about discovering who he is, his past, and what it means to stand next to someone who will eventually rule.

 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

Rewarding? Being told that a story affected someone in some way. Made them think, cry, laugh, whatever. If I get an emotional reaction from a reader, I did my job.

Challenging would be making myself sit down and write. I let a lot of things get higher priority than they should. Marketing is a close second, Kate 3though.

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Don’t give up. If this is what you want to do, then go for it. The only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is that the first one hit send. They kept submitting until they got a contract. This job isn’t easy, and it’s not for everyone. You’re going to see months on end where your book doesn’t even sell one copy while you’re branding your name. You can’t do anything about those months. You just have to take a deep breath, let it go, and keep trying. This isn’t a get rich overnight type of career.

 Kate 2What are you working on at the moment?

Guarding Amber. It’s the follow-up to an urban fantasy novel I wrote in 2016 called Guarding Charon.

 

What do you like to read?

Fantasy. Have always loved the genre.

 

 

Where can readers find you?

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Meet author Cyn Ley

The latest author to appear on my blog is Cyn Ley. I first came into contact with Cyn when she edited one of my short stories for a Solstice Anthology. As you can see below, she is the published author of several short stories herself.

What is the title of your latest book? THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHERCyn 1 UNEXPECTED TALES. It consists of four eerie and touching stories of our world and the ones beyond–whether they are real, or matters of the imagination. One of my readers called it “stunning!” I leave the rest to you.

 My other book is ENCOUNTERS: TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN. These are the best of my previously published stories from 2014-2016, some expanded and re-imagined. From the blurb: “Ranging from social satire to the paranormal, from fight to flight to friendship, these stories touch base on the encounters of the human experience.” Reviewers have called it “original,” “captivating,” “magical,” “thought-provoking,” and “a satisfying and interesting reading experience.”

Cyn 2 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

Taking your time writing the tale. I think we all get hit periodically with the impetus to hurry through our work—we want that stuff out NOW! The problem is, we tend to leave a lot of the story in our heads and not on paper when we do that.

The most rewarding aspect? There are two. The first is when I can read one of my stories over and say, “Wow. That’s really good.” The second comes when a reader comes up to me and says the same.

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Cat toys. Seriously. Write and rewrite as many times as you need to in order to get your wording absolutely right. Wad up the drafts for your cat to play with. No one’s first drafts are that good. Sure, there may be perfect bits. Your goal is to make the rest of the story as perfect.

What are you working on at the moment?

A collection of short stories based around a central concept, entitled Neighborhood Tales. It’s pretty much what it sounds like—tales of the microcosm right outside our front doors. There will be a lot of humor in this one.

I don’t write in a specific genre. It’s more like my Muse smacks me upside the head and orders, “Write this down!”

 Note to aspiring writers: Always obey your Muse. She hits hard.

 What do you like to read?

Everything. I’m a professional fiction editor by day for Solstice Publishing, which means my work runs the gamut when it comes to genres. (I was voted #6 Top Editor in the 2016 Predators & Editors poll.) Any well written story is worth the time it takes to read it. Beyond that, I love history and folklore and things that are generally rather strange. Finding where stories and facts intersect is a constant source of fascination.

Where can readers find you?

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Meet Author M. A. Cortez

Next up in my intermittent series of author interviews this summer, is YA author M. A. Cortez. Welcome Mary Ann!

mary Ann 3What is the title of your latest book? (In a nutshell what is it about?)

Sister Sleuths and The Wailing Darkness is book two of the YA Sister Sleuth series. Teen twins Sam and Sandy find themselves in the middle of a mystery when a banshee shows up in town just about the same time as new exchange student Darcy O’Sullivan. One of the twins, Sam, is on the spectrum and has a heightened sensitivity to beings in the spiritual realm. She becomes obsessed with the notion that the banshee’s prediction of death could include one of their own. But neither twin expect the twists and turns their lives take after the arrival of the banshee.

What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding? The most challenging part of being a writer, for me, is working through the middle of my stories. I know in my head what I want to happen but getting from point A to B and still keeping the story strong can be a challenge. I go through several drafts before I find something that works. Also, just getting myself to write every day is a huge challenge. I get distracted easily and before I know it the day is over and I haven’t written a word. Most rewarding, finishing a story and creating characters that people fall in love with.

What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

NEVER give up. Keep writing, and reading. Reading is just as important to your writing as putting your own words down on paper. Also, take time every day to move forward toward your dream.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have several projects in the works including a few picture books but the third book in the Sister Sleuths series is at the top of my list at the moment.

What do you like to read?  

sister sleuths & shadowman-001 (1)

I read a lot of YA mysteries. I also love biographies.

Where can readers find you ?  

https://twitter.com/@maryanncortez16

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryAnnCortez

https://itsthewriteplace.blogspot.com

Instagram@ Bookwormyxoxo

http://mybook.to/DoubleExposure

http://getbook.at/GraceatChristmas Sister Sleuths-001

http://getbook.at/Moondance

http://getbook.at/SisterSleuthsandTheShadowman

getBook.at/SisterSleuthsandTheWailingDarkness

 

 

Watch the trailer:

 

 

 

 

Want to win a book?

Announcement posterToday I am passing my blog to Solstice Publishing who are running a give-away competition to promote one of their latest anthologies  I don’t have a story in it myself as I have been busy on my own collection of Shakespeare themed stories, Cast Off, which Solstice will be publishing later in the summer. But I know many of the authors through the Solstice ‘family.’

ENTER TO WIN! That’s all you have to do. We at Solstice Publishing are celebrating Plots & Schemes Vol. 1 becoming a best seller in Germany during its release by giving away three autographed copies of the print edition of this fabulous anthology.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/237966-plots-schemes-vol-1

All you have to do is click on the Goodreads link between May 26 and June 9 and enter. It’s that simple. Once the contest ends, Goodreads will notify us of the winners names and you will receive your copy.

Her child vanishes in a puff of smoke …

When Murder is on the Itinerary …

An eavesdropped comment leads to an impossible scheme …

Mysterious events pull Dana into danger …

A rock star’s murder leaves Emlyn Goode questioning everything she knows about herself …

Murder most foul puts this cop to the test …

One murder, one plan, two possible outcomes …

Losing your mind is scary …

If you’re not at the beach, the Tough Luck stories will take you there …

Trail Town Texas leans heavily on their sheriff …

Murder, kidnapping, mysterious events, and more are our treat to you in this wonderfulFacebook and Twitter post 11 (1) anthology from Solstice Publishing. Discover the talents of K.C. Sprayberry, Debbie De Louise, Donna Alice Patton, E.B. Sullivan, Susan Lynn Solomon, Johnny Gunn, K.A. Meng, Leah Hamrick, Lois Crockett, and Stephy Smith.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B072L7KZ6K

Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find inside this intriguing book!

A smile was on his face. Despite the fact that he was supposed to connect with the egg donor of this lovely child, he had no thoughts of doing that or returning the kid at the appointed time. His timing was perfect. The child—Lanie is such an idiotic name; I’ll have to come up with another one—would be five in a few days. In time, she would forget there had been his loser ex in her life. She—Sheila will regret divorcing me—had battered through his training, all he’d gone through to make her a compliant and complacent wife. She’d run away after he ordered her to get an abortion.

Good thing the bitch ignored me. I wouldn’t have this gorgeous child to raise to be like me.

Granted the child was weak now, but he would fix that, as soon as he made sure they vanished forever. No one would stop him from raising his daughter as he saw fit, and that meant keeping her away from her weakling of a mother.

Quietly, Mark Jannson, scion of the globally famous Jannson family, whose assets numbered in the billions, removed anything he considered important from his lavishly furnished thirty room mansion located in the mountains above Denver. His mother’s jewels were carefully packed into a leather satchel, to be given to his daughter, if she remained true to the Jannson name. The woman who called herself his mother had been consigned to a hovel in the southeast somewhere, once she showed her true colors by attempting to take him from his father.

“Let the bitch live in poverty the rest of her life,” he whispered.

https://youtu.be/3xUn1SZZrF8

Starting May 26, 2017, simply click on the link provided and enter. If you aren’t a member of Goodreads, you can join easily. This is a great place to discover books by new and exciting authors and be in on the fun of all sorts of entertainment!

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Meet Author David A Wilson

On my blog today is children’s author, and dragon dreamer, David A Wilson. Like me, David lives in Coventry, UK, and is a member of the Coventry Writers’ Group.David Wilson

What is the title of your recent book? (In a nutshell what is it about?)

 Aaron Gray and the Dragon War is a book about an extremely bratty kid called Aaron who says “Crud” a lot. He lives in a children’s care home and has the same dream every night about dragons fighting each other around a castle. One day he gets sucked into the dragons’ world and is sent on a quest with another kid called Julia to try and stop a dragon war.  Julia’s generally quite thrilled about the whole thing. Aaron isn’t.

 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

 It turns out that there are rules about when to use commas and exclamation marks. No matter how hard I try I never get it right and have to kill off all punctuation mistakes when editing. Sometimes I let a few stay in out of pity. The most rewarding part is that I have this whole world of characters and fantasy creatures that I get to explore. I’ve especially grown fond of Aaron and can’t wait to send him on more adventures in the future.

 Tell us a bit about everything you needed to do to get your book published – and launched. What worked? What you wouldn’t do again?

David Wilson 2Well Aaron Gray is self-published, rather than going through a publisher who already knows what they’re doing. The steps are all still the same, but it’s me doing them all rather than clever people in an office somewhere. I had to find my own editors to critique my book and find any errors, then find a printer and distributer, then find someone to design the cover because my art skills are shocking,  then format the book for printing and for e-books, then market the book myself and approach booksellers. Oh and before all that I had to write the book too.

My main piece of advice would be to give yourself plenty of time between your final book edit and publication. Getting books printed takes time, and every time you contact someone like Waterstones there’s a 30 working day (6 week) wait before you get a reply. You also need to take time to plan your book launch and contact your local media. I tried to do all of this in about 6 weeks, which as you can imagine posed some problems!

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

 Decide what you want to write and write it. Don’t stop because it’s rubbish. First drafts are supposed to be rubbish. Don’t even stop and edit what you’ve written before. Just write whatever you need to write until your story’s finished. Then give yourself a week or so, go back to your story and start to craft it into something special.

 What are you working on at the moment?

 Book two! Aaron Gray and the <cough cough cough> is all plotted out and I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of May.

 What do you like to read?

 I have a ridiculously  strict reading regimen, making sure that I’ve read one book in each of the following four genres before returning to the top of the list.

  • A children’s/YA book (because that’s my genre)
  • A christian/spritual book (good for the soul)
  • A book that is considered a classic (because there are so many amazing books I haven’t read)
  • A book recommended by a book club (to see what’s currently popular)

Where can readers find you (Amazon links etc)?

 The easiest thing to do is check out my website at www.breveny.co.uk, which has links to all the various bookstores and new content three times each week. You can also find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/breveny .