Showing posts with label Author Interview/Guestpost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Author Interview/Guestpost. Show all posts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Not So Secret Santa by Susan Mac Nicol

I used to work in the West End of
London – the theatre district – which was an amazing experience even if it did
take me two hours each day to get to work.

The West End is a magical place
to experience the cosmopolitan flavour of London, and a great place for people
watching. Especially if you have a yen to try and spot someone famous.

At Christmas, though, it shines
brighter than ever. To get home, I walked back to the tube station about half a
mile away, through the teeming streets of people, and snapped some shots of
London in full Christmas regalia.

The vibe is something to be
experienced, an excitement in the sir, coupled with a lot of swearing from
fighting couples tired of endless shopping, and tempered with the quickfire
conversation of Japanese tourists. And the men in kilts playing the bag pipes
were a welcome addition too 😊

It is a city that never sleeps,
like a hummingbird that flies on the periphery of your vision and catches your
attention. And you fly along with it, caught up in its thrall and soak up the
season in all its vibrant and sparkly majesty.

Not So Secret Santa

Men of London

Book 10

Susan Mac Nicol

Genre: Gay Romance, LGBT romance, contemporary

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Date of Publication: 6th December 2018

ISBN: 978-1-948029-42-1

Number of pages:  70
Word Count: 25 000

Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: Leslie's feeling the season in a big way. After the Kissmas Drag Stravaganza at Club Delish, he plans to ask Oliver to marry him, but, as with all things Leslie, nothing goes quite as planned.

Book Description:

Leslie Scott couldn't keep a secret if his life depended on it...and this one's a doozy. After years of blissful co-habbing, Leslie plans to ask the love of his life, Oliver Brown, for his hand in marriage. Leslie agrees to help with the Kissmas Drag Stravaganza at his dear friend's nightclub, Club Delish, which is also the site of the impending proposal.

Every detail is planned with Swiss watch precision: enjoy the show, bring Oliver back to a private room, seduce him then pop the question. But, as with all things Leslie, his scheme goes tits up.

Never one to shy away from drama and public displays of affection, this proposal turns out to be one for the books.
Finally, the
door opened to reveal a pink faced and flustered Leslie, hair suspiciously out
of shape and with silver glitter on his face. He beamed at Oliver. “I’ll just
get my jacket, and my man bag and be with you in a second.”
The door shut in
Oliver’s face and he stared at it in disbelief.
What the hell is
going on in there?
He opened the
door and entered. Leslie looked up with a start and Oliver couldn't help but
notice the other man bent over in the corner, covering something up with a
piece of fabric. A man who had a very nice arse and when he finally stood up to
face him, looked like a Latin wet dream. The man was petite and utterly
gorgeous. And looked as guilty as hell.
“What’s up,
sweetheart?” Oliver strode over to his boyfriend and pulled him close for a
kiss. Leslie melted against him and returned the kiss with fervour. When they finally
drew apart, Leslie seemed to realise someone else was in the room with them.
“Uh, honey, this
is Chester. He works here with me. Chester, my boyfriend Oliver, if you hadn’t
already guessed by that kiss. That very possessive kiss.” Leslie’s eyes glinted
dangerously and he brushed a strand of glittered hair back from his face.
Oliver didn’t care if he’d overstepped the mark. He wasn’t a jealous man, and
trusted Leslie, but this situation was a little weird. If Leslie could
embarrass porn stars on his behalf, Oliver could stake a claim.

About the Author:

Bringing lovers together, one book at a time

Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and others that hopefully make you think. She’s also Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and one third of the deadly trio of Cover Thoughts.

Susan attained PAN status with the Romance Writers of America with her first M/M book, Stripped Bare. She’s currently a member of The Society of Authors in the UK and the Authors Guild in the US. She enjoys being a member of Queer Romance Ink, All Author, Book + Main Bites and the Paranormal Romance Guild.

She loves going to the theatre, live music concerts (especially if it’s her man crush Adam Lambert) walks in the countryside, a good G and T, lazing away afternoons reading a good book, and watching re-runs of Silent Witness.

Her chequered past includes stories like being mistaken for a prostitute in the city of Johannesburg, being chased by a rhino on a dusty Kenyan road, getting kicked out of a youth club for being a ‘bad influence’ (she encourages free thinking) and having an aunt who was once engaged to Cliff Richard

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Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Slayer’s Reverse Harem Series book 1 by Holly Ryan

Author: Holly Ryan

Narrator: Melissa Schwairy

Length: 3 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Holly Ryan⎮2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Slayer's Reverse Harem, Book 1

Release date: Aug. 20, 2018

"Marry the devil...or die." That's the ultimatum Belle Harrison, vampire slayer, just received from a demon. Belle has only one response: To hell with him.

Turns out it's not that easy, though - apparently the devil doesn't know the meaning of the word no. Lucky for Belle, three pantie-melting vampires come to her aid. Three hot vampires she can't resist. Hey, we all have our vices. Hers just happen to have fangs.

She's going to need these three to help her thwart the devil's marriage proposal and defeat the terrifying dark force that wants her dead.

Holly Ryan is a pen name for a USA Today bestselling author who one day said, “Screw it. I’m gonna write books with some serious sizzle.” She’s fueled by wine, which is where the idea probably came from.
Narrator Bio

Melissa Schwairy is a full-time narrator vocal age 20-30 living in Denver, Colorado. She has focused her acting career on narrating literature, completing titles in YA, Urban Fantasy, Murder Mysteries, and Romance. She has a BS in Counseling and Mental Health, and she is licensed in Healthcare Administration and Nursing. She loves to sing and dance in the car, and spend time with her family at home in beautiful Colorado.

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • It was surprisingly easy! Belle, my vampire slayer, is snarky, witty, but also has a huge heart, so I knew I needed a narrator who could pull all of that off at once. Melissa Schwairy, whom I believe was my very first audition for this project, completely nailed it. When I listened to her, I sat on the edge of my seat at the tense moments, even though I knew what was going to happen, and I laughed at her stellar comedic timing. She basically IS Belle!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • When I was in high school, some friends and I snuck into a graveyard on a foggy night. Nothing scary happened (darn it!), but I do remember the silence, the creepiness, especially when I saw a few tilted headstones. I wish I could remember where exactly, but I’d read that tilted headstones were a sign that a vampire had risen. It was definitely an experience that helped inspire this series.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I can only listen to audiobooks on long car trips, and I do better with them when I’m not driving. Other than that, I don’t listen to them, mostly because of my brain’s preference. I’m more visual than auditory, but if I had time, I bet I could train my brain to want to listen more. HA! My husband would probably appreciate that! ;)
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? 
    • I would definitely time travel! I would probably go back to Victorian times just so I could wear those fancy dresses. I’m such a girl! I’d probably only last about five minutes in a corset though. I would love to chat with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, and Napoleon Bonaparte, and also find out what exactly happened to Amelia Earhart.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I would tell them to go play in the street. Just kidding. Sort of. Closed-mindedness and an unwillingness to put yourself in other people’s shoes really sets my teeth on edge. We all have different lives, different ways of doing things, different preferences, and none of them are wrong.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? 
    • I immediately started the next one! Oh, and wine. ;)
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 
    • As both an author and an editor, I can’t afford to let slumps happen. I try to power through them the best I can, usually with the help of cat snuggles, wine, and chocolate.
  • What's your favorite:
    1. Food - chocolate. I always order anything called Death by Chocolate in restaurants, and oddly, I’m still alive, but that would be the ultimate way to go.
    2. Song - the one that stops me in my tracks every time, no matter what, is “Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert.
    3. Book - Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon. I cried when I finished it and then immediately went back to page 1 to reread it.
    4. Television show - Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Shocking, I know!
    5. Movie - The Princess Bride. It’s perfection.
    6. Band - Foo Fighters. Oh, and Lunachicks! I saw them both in concert, and I fan-girled so hard.
    7. Sports team - Rock chalk, go KU!
    8. City - Denver. There are some nice people there.
  • What’s next for you? 
    • A sexy dragon shifter reverse harem series, which will also be on audio! And after that, maybe a science fiction romance with aliens? And tentacles? Or wolf shifters? All of the above? I dunno.
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Friday, December 7, 2018

Max Random and the Zombie 500 by Mark London Williams

Author: Mark London Williams

Narrator: Luna Cross

Length: 6 hours 14 minutes

Publisher: Trifecta Publishing House

Released: Oct. 8, 2018

Genre: Horror

“When I first saw Max Random, he was driving his go-kart right at me. He was also wearing goggles, so it was hard to tell if he was dead or alive. I was pretty sure, though, that zombies didn't know how to drive.

“'Not dead,' Max said, as he stepped out of the kart to look at me. ‘You should get in.'”

And so, weeks after watching her principal try to chew up her school teacher, and minutes after she'd just lost her family, 12-year-old Aurora Bonsall begins her odyssey of escape with Max Random in his hand-built go-kart across a ruined map of abandoned studio back lots, wrecked shopping malls, encounters with the not-quite dead in hospitals and the not-quite tame when they meet a feral cat. All while realizing that surviving humans can be far more dangerous than the Nano-Z's taking over the world.

Max, meanwhile, keeps driving them toward a rendezvous where he says they will be safe. But as Aurora discovers he has secrets of his own, she wonders if there can ever be any escape at all.

Mark London Williams wrote the L.A. Times-bestselling “Danger Boy” time travel series, was a contributor to the history anthology “Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out,” and has covered showbiz and its discontents as a writer for Variety, the LA Times, Below the Line, and other publications. He’s had plays produced in London, wrote a videogame adaptation with both Aliens and Predators in it, and taught storytelling at Disney’s Creative Academy and other venues. He’s currently a one-man “Hollywood bureau” for a British film magazine, and keeps a watchful eye out for winds and wildfires in Southern California. He has two grown sons currently navigating L.A.’s landscape sans go-karts.
Narrator Bio

Luna Cross lives in Los Angeles and swears that she was named after the Harry Potter character (even though her parents have assured her she is not), she loves Halloween and will be holed up under a blanket with candy and a scary book for the rest of October, with Hocus Pocus on in the background on mute, thinking about the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Guest Post

Mark London Williams' Literary Inspirations

One project I’ve had recently is “going back to the basics,” as far as literary canon. I’ve finished reading both Moby Dick and The Odyssey, as the year wraps up. What you discover in the former is how far ahead Melville was in terms of “deconstruction,” in format -- with some chapters simply written as “scripts” (even before that was a word he or his contemporaries would know), driven all by dialogue.

In the latter, well -- that’s where we get our original sense of “structure” from, at least in Western storytelling traditions, yes? Literally, a “Hero’s Journey,” before Star Wars, George Lucas, and Joseph Campbell had popularized the term. That kind of mythic structure was also something I taught for several years at Disney’s “Creative Academy,” here in L.A. (which itself was a kind of in-house “community college” they had for company-wide employees, particularly those not already involved in the direction production of films & TV).

Inspirations? Well, I’m of an era where the early ones were folks like Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling. Ursula LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness being the first major work by a female sf writer I read and that when I was 17. Happily, there are far many more such voices available to budding writers now. I re-read that this past year, too. And it knocked me out -- and reminded me why it’s stuck with me all these decades -- once again.

As for Bradbury, he gave you permission to think of stories in terms of poetic language (I wound up using Martian Chronicles this past year, too, as part of a historical survey of American science fiction, for Chinese students -- with sessions conducted via Skype!) And Serling’s Twilight Zone stories -- both watched on TV then consumed again as short stories bought in collections from Scholastic book fairs -- taught me “structure,” in a nascent way, before I ever really knew that word. Never mind the utter, chilling, sad prescience of an episode like The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.

Turning specifically to our shambling friends (?) the zombies, they were mostly a movie storytelling form for decades -- though now we have them in comics, and books, of course. And while George R. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead set down all the modern rules for the genre, it was his follow up, Dawn of the Dead, that showed what an astonishing, society-wide “canvas” a zombie tale could be. That said, his third film, Day of the Dead, may have been an even greater influence on Max Random and the Zombie 500, particularly as it begins to ask who, exactly, is to be feared, in a world populated both by zombies, and human survivors, many with previously hidden impulses, now entirely unleashed.

Max, whose true last name we’ve yet to learn (we may or may not get them in the next two planned volumes), is someone we’d describe as “on the spectrum” now. But simply, he’s wired his own particular way, with an ongoing view of life from “10,000 feet,” as the saying goes -- how systems rise and fall, causes and effects, etc.

Thus, he’d be someone who, as a kid, would already assess that climate change (for example) would be an inexorable, major disruption to his adult life. The zombie apocalypse was simply “extra” for him -- if not entirely surprising, from his standpoint.

He remains a young man of few words -- which is why his traveling companion Aurora is the one who narrates their tale. He was used to speaking mostly with his hands, designing and building things. He does that in the “school” he’s shunted to, by his overwhelmed mother (with as few coping resources as society offers parents now, imagine the conditions a couple of years down the road…), where he also yearns for his absent father. But he keeps “speaking with his hands” there too, and in cobbling together his bio-diesel powered go-kart (remember, he knows climate change is here, too), he winds up saving both his, and Aurora’s life.

As this particular story unfolds, the irony of apocalypse for Max is, that it represents the first time he can start to fully come out of his protective shell, and build -- among the ruins -- friendships.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Murder in Keswick by William Todd

Author: William Todd

Narrator: Ben Werling

Length: 2 hours 38 muntes

Publisher: William Todd

Released: Oct. 16, 2018

Genre: Mystery

While on a well-deserved holiday in the Lake District to get away from the toils and troubles of London, Holmes and Watson find no respite. As soon as they exit the train, they hear news of a grisly murder making its way around the murmuring commuters. A local aristocrat, Mr. Darcy, has been found missing his head!

And that very night, the wealthy widow finds a stranger in her home who, upon seeing her, abandons his plans and quickly leaves. She believes the intruder to be the murderer of her husband who is now after a large sum of cash she keeps in the house safe.

Unsure if the would-be thief is the murderer or an opportunistic burglar, Holmes devises a plan to catch the burglar, all the while investigating the murder of Mr. Darcy. Follow Holmes, Watson, and the local constable Mr. Wickham as they untangle the mystery surrounding a Murder in Keswick.

I have been writing online since the early 2000’s, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I was the 2nd most popular author on the website for two years before moving on. I had my first book, a Victorian era horror compilation called Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week before they closed their website and never saw my hard work pay off. Afterwards I took publishing into my own hands, became an Indie author and haven’t looked back. My first self-published book was Dead of Night, another compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016 by Createspace and on Kindle by KDP. After its publication I left my comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle style. I loved it so much I then did a longer story A Reflection of Evil, both published in 2017 through Createspace and KDP. I have just release Beyond the Gossamer Veil, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and am in the beginning stages of my third Sherlock Holmes installment.
Narrator Bio

Ben is an award winning actor and voice over professional, who has performed all across the United States. From Shakespeare to Neil Simon, he has displayed a versatility and diversity in the characters and dialects he has portrayed. Ben received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Leading Actor as abusive talk show host Barry Champlain in Eric Bogosian's TALK RADIO, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Prosecutor Villeforte in Alexander Dumas' THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, also in Chicago. He has worked with an extensive list of theaters in Chicago over the last three decades: Steppenwolf, Bailiwick, Famous Door, Next, A Red Orchid, Raven Theater, First Folio, Writer's Theater, Buffalo Theater Ensemble, as well as Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory, Madison Repertory, and Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. He is an Ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theater in Chicago. For almost a decade he was the voice of the Adler Planetarium, hosting live shows and pointing out the stars, planets and constellations on the big dome. Ben has an eponymous weekly vlog on YouTube, that he films, produces, edits and narrates. He lives in Chicago with his wife Amy, two dogs and three cats.

Q&A with Author William Todd
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I never used to even think about how a book would sound as an audiobook...until I finally had one done. Now, I do. The story is most important, whether read or heard. I a bad story is a bad story. But I am more cognizant now when I write with how a phrase might sound read aloud. I think my audiobooks now are much easier on the ear then my first ones because of that. And my narrator, Ben Werling, I’ve used on every story. He’s great and has a wide vocal range. He makes turning a book into audio so much easier on me. I think we’re a good team. I basically give him my manuscript with some simple directions as to accents, maybe weird words that might pop up, since I write typically late Victorian era material, and he does the rest. He does a chapter at a time and sends them to me to okay. We rarely have to redo anything. I am truly lucky because the process, at least for me, is very simple with Ben at the helm.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Because audiobooks are so prevalent and getting more and more popular by the day, I think you have to be conscious of it becoming an audiobook while writing, especially if you plan on using that format. And I think an author is selling himself short if he doesn’t at least consider putting his creations on audiobook. It is another channel to garner readers and followers...and revenue.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I put up three pages of my book for narrators to “audition”. I listen to each audition and pick the best one. But because Ben and I have such a good working relationship, ultimately, he gets my jobs. It is not only because he is such a good narrator. I write Sherlock Holmes and gothic horror. At least for the Holmes stories, I prefer having the same Holmes and Watson in each of my stories. Ben has been hands down the best Holmes and Watson I have found so why would I switch? I don’t think my readers would like that, and I know they would hear the difference.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am. Until I land on the best-sellers list or get a movie deal, I have a job to pay bills and raise my family. I drive 45 minutes one way. Sometimes, that hour and a half is the only time I have to myself, and the perfect way to spend that time is listening to audiobooks. There are just times in this hustle and bustle life where cracking open a paperback is not possible. But your ears are always available to listen.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I might have to say all of it, but there’s a reason. Well, okay I’ll narrow it down to the final scenes of the book during a storm. But the reason I say all of it is because Ben employs subtle sound effects in the background much like the old radio stories. There is one part of the story where there is a storm, and the thunder and lightning in the background of the narrations lends itself perfectly to the feel of the scene.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Oh absolutely. I would love to go back to say anytime between 1880 - 1915. The late Victorian era/ Gilded Age fascinates me. It was a time of extreme change, and those changes caused fear. I play off those fears in my horror stories, and Sherlock Holmes was the penultimate player in those times.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • For both it is the same--just do it. It is very easy for life to get in the way of writing. And it’s also very easy to fall out of the habit of writing. Mowing, cleaning, doing things with family, work, prepare for holidays, just plain being lazy (guilty as charged), etc. You have to make the time. This just happened to me where I wrote nothing for over two weeks, and I have deadline to have a Holmes story written by the end of the year for a publication next year. I had been under the weather and busy with life on top of that. There were times where I could have written but didn’t. The good habit of writing almost daily had been broken. But for me, all it took was forcing myself to sit at the lap top and writing a few sentences. Those few sentences ended at ten pages. Same with reading. Even if you have to force yourself, do it. If you love to read and love to write, just the mere act will set you right again. At least it does for me.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • That is where I usually get impetus for my stories, so yeah. Many characters I’ve come up with have appeared in my dreams. The trick is finding the story in which they will appear, especially when I might be working on more than one story at a time.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Be picky in who you choose. The narrator is 50 percent of the audiobook, the other 50 percent being the story itself. I have heard many good stories butchered by bad narration.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I was approached by the editor of the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes stories and asked if I would contribute a story to Volume XIII due out next summer, so I am honored to be one of the authors selected to add to that volume. It will be the first time that I am published with a traditional publisher but hopefully not my last.
Dream Cast
Author William Todd's Picks For Murder in Keswick
  • Holmes: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Watson: Martin Freeman
  • Constable Wickham: Rupert Grint (AKA Ron Weasley of Harry Potter)
  • Mrs. Darcy: Catherine Bell (Hallmark’s The Good Witch)
  • Morwenna McGlinn: Emilia Clark (GOT)

Prize: $20 PayPal Cash

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