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Learn more about my first book, Six Pack: Emergence.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Twenty Questions With Mal Smith

This week's Twenty Questions session is with Mal Smith, whose young adult fantasy novel "Black Dawn" will be released through Clean Reads Feb. 14. Here's the details about the novel:

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life that is until two mysterious, and dare I say handsome soldiers show up at her apartment doorstep and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Coming from the magical and ravaged world of Kiero, Emory is brought back not realizing that both men are darkly woven in her past. Discovering she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line Emory is thrown into Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.  With both lives clashing Emory uncovers hidden secrets from her past, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows. 

You can follow Mal on Facebook here. If you are interested in doing a Twenty Questions sessions, you can learn more here.

Now let's hear from Mal about herself and her upcoming novel.

1. How did you get interested in writing?

My love for writing developed with my love of reading. As an avid reader since I was young, I really dove into writing when I was fourteen when I wrote the original manuscript for Black Dawn. I gifted it to my cousin for her sixteenth birthday, and then left writing alone for a long time. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I got back into writing again after talking about it with my husband while we were walking our dogs and  after we had talked for hours about different possibilities, I started it up the next day. Looking back there are definite influences that flamed this story to life, my cousin Jess Kovacs (who is also a book blogger, check her out at https://regularlyreads.com/)  who listened and talked to me for countless hours and years about this story, the world and the characters. My highschool English teachers, Mr. Steffler who with a heavy heart I am saddened to say passed away last year, and Mrs. Verrier who still teaches English at Strathroy District Collegiate Institute. Without these two teachers, my appreciation and love for the written word wouldn’t be what is it today. My husband Matt, who pushed me to believe in this story again, and my amazing family who fueled my love for reading.
There was no looking back for me when I started writing, I love it!!

2. What inspired you to write 'Black Dawn'?

Black Dawn, came in many forms at first but the inspiration came from the characters I imagined in the world. The original story that I wrote at fourteen had two main characters that I kept, Emory Fae and Brokk Foster.  When I revisited the story, there were key elements that helped it take shape, I knew it would deal with modern day Earth, and a world connected to ours, Kiero, where magic is very much alive. I also knew that Black Dawn Rebellion and the story behind the Academy and how Emory Fae is connected to that would make up book one.
From there the world bloomed into life, and at the end of the day the story to me is one about human nature, about reactions to hard situations and how these characters would navigate a world that is ridden with war, to save their family, loved ones, and make choices they believe will earn a life of freedom.  The inspiration for the series is to stay true to telling all sides of the character’s story, because like everything there is always two sides.

3. Tell me about Emory Fae and what inspired you to create her.

Emory Fae has always been a character that is very vivid to me. My imagination created her first above any other character, because even in the original manuscript she was a relatable heroine, that is flawed. Black Dawn, follows her story and without giving too much away, when I write her chapters I am always asking myself what would I do in her shoes? How would I feel, where would my loyalties lay? Because even though it is a Fantasy, and I deal with humans with supernatural abilities, they are still human and especially with her character I feel like her journey is one close to my heart. So it’s hard to say what the exact inspiration for her was, but her story was one that was waiting in me to be told.

4. What other characters did you find enjoyable to write as you progressed with the book?

Oh I love this question!! I absolutely adore writing my villain!!! Adair Stratton, The Mad King is one character I am in love with. His story is a complicated one, but again without giving to much away, his character deals with being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the consequences of his choice. Adair as a villain also battles with his inner demons, between man and King, between wanting to be good and being the villain. Between waging wars for power and to conquer and wars for love. His character at first I hated, then sympathized and even wanted to root for him at some points as I write the series, and I hope the reader will have the same rollercoaster with him as the books continue. I have a super soft spot for villains in general and wanting to learn their journey and story. (I realized that this probably developed at a young age and my obsession with the Phantom! I was never a Raoul girl lol.)

5. What are some of the themes you explored in writing the novel?

The major theme in Black Dawn, is the fight between “good” and “evil.” The main premise of book one is the fight between Black Dawn Rebellion and their fight against Adair as King to try to free Kiero of his madness, and to earn their freedoms. Emory is the spark to that, but also is the person who makes this theme quite a grey matter as the story develops. 

6. What were some of the things you learned along the way as you wrote and edited the book?

Oh man, I have learned lots of things! Writing is one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done. I have learned to be persistent with writing, to not get discouraged and above anything else do it because I love it, and do it because I have a story in me that needs to get to page. I have learned to be patient through all the drafting stages, because they are important!!! (I was at first not very patient lol ) As a writer you will rewrite your book many times, and at the end be sick of reading it so many times but it’s worth it!!! Trust your editor!!! The team at Clean Reads Publishing is amazing, from the first edit to the final proof read, they are supportive and I trust them whole heartedly. It’s amazing to me to see the first draft of Black Dawn, to the finished product and I feel grateful to be part of an amazing company and industry!

7. How would you compare this writing experience to other books or stories you have written? 

This is the first book I have ever gotten professionally published and written, but as a first experience it has been phenomenal! I love the book community!

8. What do you find is the right environment for you to write?

My favorite spot to write is in my room, I face the window right beside my bookshelves, my dachshunds cuddle me and I have a never-ending supply of coffee!! But honestly anywhere I can plug into my music is a great spot for me to write.

9. Are there specific programs or tools you find useful to help you with the writing process?

Hmm, my most used is the online thesaurus to search for different words to use in my books. Other than that, depending on what I’m writing, it would be Google to get all the research I need for my story, and above all else music!!!

10. What have you found to be useful methods for promoting your writing?

 My cousin, Jess Kovacs helped me understand the different social media tools last year (I’m terrible with technology) and from that my favorites are now Twitter and Instagram!! I find I can really connect to people on these platforms, and Instagram is especially my favorite because I can share more about me as a person and what I do on a day to day basis, and it’s a great way to connect with the book community!

11. Which authors do you enjoy reading or have inspired your writing?

This is a tough question, but some of my top favorites include JK Rowling, Laini Taylor, Sara Raasch, Pierce Brown, Sarah J Maas and Tamora Pierce. Some recent author discoveries that I can’t get enough of are AG Howard, Alexandra Bracken, Sabaa Tahir and V.E Schwab.

12. Any aspiring or independent authors whose books you’ve read that you liked and want to mention to others to check out?

I’m currently reading The Time Thief  by Natalia Schellhaas, and it’s amazing!! Seriously any Outlander fans out there go check it out you won’t be disappointed!

13. What advice would you give to those who want to write a novel before they actually get started?

Never give up on your dream, and if you feel in your heart you want to get the story out and onto page then do it, and don’t let anyone else tell you differently!!! Also, you can do it!!! I never thought I would be here now ;)

14. You're a dog groomer, I see. I take it that's your line of work... what's it like to do that job and what makes it so enjoyable?

I am J So I have been grooming for five years now, it’s my day job! I’m currently working at Companions Pet Resort, in London Ontario and it’s amazing, seriously check them out!!  It is a very fun line of work, I love getting to spend my days with dogs, also it is super rewarding making dogs feel better and spruced up with a new do J It’s my passion and honestly other than writing I can’t imagine doing anything else J

15. And let's talk about dachshunds... are they your favorite breed of dog? Any particular reason if so?

I’m so glad you asked me this!!!!!!!! I LOVE dachshunds, and even though I am dog groomer and love all breeds of dogs, I am totally biased when it comes to dachshunds, they are my favorite!!!! My husband and I currently own two, Link and Lola. Lola we rescued from Canadian Dachshund Rescue, and she is the sweetest senior girl ever, and Link we got as a puppy right after Lola, he is three now. Honestly they are the quirkiest, spunkiest, loving and loyal breed, and I can’t imagine my days without my little guys! (Even though they can be very stubborn… lol )

16. You enjoy hiking... are there particular trails you like or do you just enjoy finding whatever places you can to explore?

I do! I love hiking in Pinery Provincial Park, Komoka and in East London there are many awesome trails that my husband and I go to J

17. What are your favorite places to get coffee?

As a Canadian, my heart lies with Timmies!!!! I regular the one by my place way too many times in one day! But also in London Ontario, there is a new coffee shop, 10eighteen, which has quickly become one of my favorites! They are holding a book signing for me as well there!

18.  What are your favorite dessert shops that you have visited?

Annie’s Chocolates is my number one!!!! <3 

19. Looking at your author page on Facebook, I can tell you like Benedict Cumberbatch. What are some of your favorite characters that he has portrayed?

Hahah oh do I ever! (sorry Matt!) Absolutely Sherlock Holmes, he nails that role!!!! Actually, funny story, I actually have a Benedict Cumberbatch portrait tattooed on my leg (him as Sherlock), my tattoo artist Will Smink does an amazing job! Check out his work

20. Who would win a battle of superhero skills: Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman?

This is a tough question! I have thought about this one ever since I got your questions, and I have concluded, that in my opinion Batman would win. With his various gadgets and weapons, Batmobile, anger to rid Gotham of any threat in respect of his parent’s memory, also he has Robin and Alfred! Taking all of this into account, I do believe he would win ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Twenty Questions With Pamela Morris

My Twenty Questions session this week is with Pamela Morris, whose most recent release No Rest for the Wicked came out last August. Morris has written six books (three paranormal fiction and three erotica romance) and you can learn more about them at her website pamelamorrisbooks.com.

Twenty Questions is where I talk to authors about their writing and other topics. If you are interested in participating in a session, you can get more details here.

So everyone say hello to Pamela and let's learn more about her work as an author.

1. How did you get interested in writing?

I have always been interested in writing. When I was nine I wrote and illustrated my first story called "Bill, The Worm Who Ran Away" quickly followed by "The Secret Well", my first mystery!  I still have the originals filed away in my archives. In the 3rd grade I realized I may have a problem when our teacher gave us a three page weekend assignment involving our spelling words. Come Monday morning I have a very clear memory of carrying my story up to her desk and being terrified I'd done it wrong. As I handed it over to her I said, "I hope it's okay. I couldn't do three pages. It's ten. The characters just took over on me." The smile on her face was priceless as she said, "No, the minimum was three, this is wonderful."

2. What inspired you to write 'No Rest for the Wicked'?

A couple years ago a friend of mine was telling me a concept he had about writing a ghost story from the perspective of the ghosts. It never quite got off the ground for him and he put the whole idea aside. I've wanted to write a ghost story for a long time and when I switched from writing erotica to writing horror, I really wanted to include my friend's idea. I asked him if he minded if I gave it a shot and he was more than happy to let me run with it. Apparently, I did a bang up job with it, or so I'm told.

3. Tell me about the main character and what inspired you to create him.

There's really no singular main character, but Beau and Lucy have been around since 2006. They were the main characters in my erotica trilogy, so this is really a continuation and a final ending to their story. I didn't want it to be erotica and it's not, but there are more than a few racy scenes in the book because that's just the nature of those two characters. They have always had a love-hate relationship which fit perfectly into my idea for ghost story.

4. What other characters did you find enjoyable to write as you progressed with the book?

Out of all the other characters, I enjoyed working with Eric the most because he changes the most throughout the course of the book. He starts out a total skeptic to anything and everything paranormal. By the end, he's done a complete 180, at least as far as ghosts are concerned. He's also a sexy biker guy loosely based on my husband so I'm kinda partial to him for that reason, too.

5. What are some of the themes you explored in writing the novel?

The survival of love and hate in the afterlife as well as the power and great harm done because of secrets, lies, and manipulation.

6. What were some of the things you learned along the way as you wrote and edited the book?

I think maybe I came to realized on a deeper level how important honest communication is between people in a relationship. Beau's penchant for secrets and lies really messed up the relationship he had with his wife. When Eric starts walking down that same road, his marriage to Grace starts to suffer as well.

7. How would you compare this writing experience to the other books you have written?

It was a lot more free form than the murder-mysteries because I didn't have to keep track of the suspects, their secrets, or their alibis. We know right off the bat who did the killing and it seems obvious why it was done. It's not until we start learning more about the ghosts and their relationships when they were living people, that we realize we don't know nearly as much as we thought we did.

8. You’ve written both paranormal mysteries and romance. Anything you do differently in writing one genre versus the other?

Not really. I'm an organic writer for the most part. That means I don't outline. I know the beginning and I may have a vague notion of where I want the ending to be, but what happens in the middle is pretty much out of my hands. I let my characters lead me. I'm just there to write it all down. The big difference was with the murder-mysteries. Those were a challenge because I was forced to know so much more ahead of time than I normally do. As I mentioned, suspects, alibis, and secrets needed to be set very early on and remain consistent.

9. What do you find is the right environment for you to write?

In the perfect world I'd have a writer's cottage set in the backyard away from everyone. As I don't have that yet, I'll settle for a quiet morning with the whole house to myself and some Blues music playing softly in the background.

10. Are there specific programs or tools you find useful to help you with the writing process?

Just good old Microsoft Word! I do use the internet a lot for research purposes and Google Earth has been a godsend. My settings tend to take place in real places that I have fictionalized in one way or another. Being as 'No Rest For The Wicked' takes place near Winchester, Virginia, I looked around with Google Earth until I found a place that fit the image I had in my head of what it should look like, the lay of the land, the creek, and the proximity to other nearby towns. It helps me with consistency and to not get confused as to what was where.

11. What have you found to be useful methods for promoting your writing?

Having a website is pretty important. Through it I can direct people not just to the places my books can be bought, but to all my social media links like Facebook and Twitter. I've also invested in business cards and we'll be designing bookmarks at some point. I've been using Twitter a lot more lately and interacting with other authors.

12. Which books by Stephen King, Tanith Lee and Anne Rice would you consider your favorites or those that inspired you the most?

Stephen King's "Pet Sematary' was pretty awesome and remains a favorite as well as 'Interview With The Vampire' by Anne Rice, but I think Tanith Lee inspired me as a writer more than the other two. She's very different and often hard (read confusing) to read, but it was her book 'Red As Blood' that inspired several of my short stories. It was through that book that I discovered twisted fairy tales. They're challenging, but working on them really aided my imagination and helped me to get a little bit better at short stories.

13. Any aspiring or independent authors whose books you’ve read that you liked and want to mention to others to check out?

I haven't read a lot of indie authors, to be honest with you, mainly because so many are only available in eBooks and I don't do eBooks. I don't find it relaxing or enjoyable at all. Give me a good old paperback! Right now I'm reading 'Maledicus' by Charles F. French which isn't too bad. I've also been reading a lot of Hunter Shea's work the past year. I'm not sure if he qualifies as an indie or aspiring author anymore though. I'm hoping to get my hands on some of Thomas Gunther's short stories soon.

14. What advice would you give to those who want to write a novel before they actually get started?

That's a tough one. It really has to come from the heart. It has to be a passion, not just something you think you want to do. Read! Read! And then, read some more. I think a lot of new writers I've encountered over the past five to ten years need to work on the "Show, Don't Tell" rule. Learn to use all five senses. Someone long ago suggested to me that a good way to do that is to imagine your character lacks one of the senses. If a person is blind, you can't say 'He saw". You have to convey where they are with things like smell, taste, and sound instead. Lastly, don't just develop a thick skin, build a suit of armor. The rejections and snarky criticisms are going to come in fast and furious. None of us are immune. Learn how to use it constructively to improve your craft and pay close attention to anything you hear from more than one source.

15. Tell me about what you love about historical research and genealogy.

I'm a research junkie in general. I love to learn about what and who came before me. So much of it remains a mystery and when I'm digging into something, it's like a big puzzle that needs to be unraveled. I once had dreams of being an archaeologist or anthropologist for that reason. My grandmother was really into our family's genealogy and I inherited her book on the subject. Looking through it really gave me a greater sense of identity.

16. I see you are a fan of The Twilight Zone. Are there particular episodes that rank among your favorites?

"All The Time In The World" was a great episode, but my favorite, the one that always makes me snicker a little bit is "Mirror Image". Rod Serling was a local around here and is buried less than an hour from where I live. He often used the names of nearby cities in his stories. "Mirror Image" is full of references to places I am very, very familiar with like Binghamton and Cortland.

17. Tell me more about the historic articles you’ve written and the topics you’ve explored.

The first was a three-part series on my family and their role in settling this area. We've been in these parts since the early 1700s. The second was a biography on the man that my elementary school was named after. I had always wondered who he was so started digging and decided it would make a great article for the paper. I've long been interested in cemeteries and love to wander through them taking pictures. I started noticing certain headstone carvings that were similar from one cemetery to the next. The research I did about those became an article on cemetery iconography called "Their Stories Carved In Stone".

18. What was it like to be a Civil War reenactor and what did you learn from it?

I enjoyed doing living history a great deal. My partner at the time portrayed a field surgeon and undertaker, so I learned more about Victorian medical practices than I ever really wanted to know! LOL. Portraying a woman who traveled along with the army, I really came to appreciate all my modern cooking conveniences. Working and cooking over an open fire in a long dress with long sleeves in the middle of August was a lesson and challenge in and of itself. For fun I did some research on what kinds of snacks we could have out and was surprised that jelly beans were one of them! I learned a lot of little things like that in our efforts to present an authentic tableau to the visitors.

19. Tell me more about The Good Men Project and what it’s all about.

The Good Men Project is an online magazine that focuses on all aspects of being a man in today's society. What issues does he face in the work environment? What are some of his relationship, health, or social concerns? How can he become a better man all around and also some fun things dealing with fashion trends and personal grooming. You name it, if it's a 'man thing' they cover it. I wrote about five articles for them, but nothing lately. I've just been too crazy busy with the novels and self-promoting to have had the time or energy to devote to getting back with them as much as I'd hoped to.

20. Who would win a battle of superhero skills: Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman?

I'm going to have to go with Superman. Batman doesn't even have super powers. He's all about the gadgets. Wonder Woman confuses me. Is she an Amazonian princess or is she part Greek God? I really don't know and don't understand her backstory well.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

We Write Multiple Drafts For A Reason

One of my beta readers gave me some advice about how to weave backstory into my novel. This advice came because of my tendency to dump information into my rough drafts. That's how my brain is wired with writing -- I want to get that information onto the page first.

Admittedly, this draft I'm working on was one in which I had about 40,000 words in the first draft when I mapped out the story itself. Of course, that's not enough words for a book that's targeted at older audiences. So then comes how I want to expand upon and that's when I start spilling out the backstory.

Some might say tossing out that backstory isn't the best way to write, but I don't believe there is a right way or a wrong way to writing those first couple of drafts. After all, writers complete multiple drafts for a reason. It's important to throw stuff out there in the early stages so you get an idea about how the story takes shape in your mind versus how it actually takes shape toward a finished product.

It's that finished product which you need to get right, because that's the product you intend to send to agents, publishers and the general public for their review. Your first draft is never going to look like that finished product, unless you had one of those rare moments in which you got it right the first time (and if you had one of those moments, I'd sure love to hear about it!).

As we learn more from our writing experiences, we believe we should reach the point in which less editing and revising is necessary from the first draft and go through fewer steps toward a finished product. But I suspect most of us forget some of the things we've learned because we are eager to get our story written, that our minds are wired to regurgitate whatever's on our mind. Or we have certain events or characters we really wanted to work into the story, but upon further review, we determined they didn't fit.

And that's OK. We have to remember that writing is a process and completing the final draft takes time. The important thing to remember is that we write multiple drafts for a reason. It starts with putting out the ideas we have into words without worrying about the rules, followed by applying the rules so we have a proper final draft.


On another note, I am hoping that I will have some more news to share in the coming weeks regarding my upcoming novel. I know a couple of things related to it but want to wait until I get confirmation on them before I make any announcements.

And in the coming weeks, I'll be hosting a couple more Twenty Questions sessions.

Enjoy your week, everybody.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Twenty Questions With Kadee Carder

This week, I have my first Twenty Questions session with one of my fellow authors at Clean Reads: Kadee Carder. Her young adult, science fiction book Insurrection was released last October and her second book in the series will be released in February.

I appreciate Kadee stopping by to talk about her book and her work as an author. I remind everyone that if you are interested in talking about your works, you can learn more about my Twenty Questions sessions here.

So, everyone please say hello to Kadee Carder!

1. How did you get interested in writing?
Writing has always been like a best friend to me. I’ve never been great at public speaking (although I do it quite often) but I’ve found I can write down and sort All The Things going on behind the scenes, and make sense out of life. Writing has been there, in the chaos and in the quiet, and even though we have a love/hate relationship, it’ll always come back, tap me on the shoulder, and wrap me in its arms begging for more.
2. What inspired you to come up with this story?
Insurrection blossomed from a game I played with my friends in middle school. The story and characters just stuck with me. Over the years the story has shifted from a girl who ran away from an orphanage and stole a boat, to a story about a girl who had to overcome what she knew about life in order to save the world.
3. Tell me about Insurrection’s main character, Saylor, and what inspired you to create her.
Saylor is spunky, loyal, and searching. She fights for her family and loves cheesecake. She’s got a lot more moxie than most would expect of her, and she surprises almost every opponent who would cross her path. To be honest, she started out as a boy character and as I finished the very first draft of the book, it felt wrong. I thought, well, why can’t this character be a girl? Girls need great adventures, too, so I changed up some of the other characters, added a hunky Australian love interest, and Saylor took flight. I think she’s pretty awesome, and I often imagine how Saylor would interpret a situation and then try to have as much courage and tenacity as her. (Do I sound crazy? I’m not too crazy, I promise.:)
4. What characters, other than Saylor, did you find enjoyable to write as you progressed with the book?
I am in love with so many characters from this series. As I’ve written the trilogy, each character grew and changed in certain ways. I’ve cried with them, oohed and aahed with them, and been inspired by them. Logan has earned so much respect from me, and Micah is like the best friend anybody has ever always wanted. And Tucker, the love interest, now, he is actually on my mind and is the subject of a spin-off novella I’m currently working on.
5. What are some of the themes you explored in writing the novel?
As I shaped the story arc for Insurrection, I wanted to zone in on the importance of family, and of believing in something bigger than yourself. Saylor finds she can do much greater things than she ever imagined, and I want readers to feel that as well. Saylor also has to figure out what she really wants from life. Does she want success, money, a family? And when she’s in the middle of all of that searching, everything else is suddenly stripped away and she finds herself creating a home for herself where she least expected it, and that revelation changes her life and outlook.
6. What were some of the things you learned along the way as you wrote and edited the book?
Whew! I have learned SO MANY things along this path to publishing Insurrection. Not only have I learned the importance of perseverance along the journey, but also crazy things about the military and electronics and ammunition. I did a lot of research about solar flares, hand-to-hand combat techniques, guns and weaponry, the Army, and secret military bases all over the world. Also… maybe I need to go wipe my browser history real quick. Hold on. ;)

7. Do you have other published works (short stories, poetry, etc.)?

I’ve written numerous articles in my university newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, and the local paper, the Brownwood Bulletin. I’ve published a poem in The Gnu, the literary magazine for National University. And I’ve maintained a blog for eight years as well.
8. What do you find is the right environment for you to write?
The coziest place to write is wherever I can plug in my headphones and sip on coffee. Last spring I was able to spend two luxurious days writing in the lobby of a hotel overlooking a winding, forested river and I considered moving to the mountains because of that. There’s something about boats and sunshine. Also, there was a ton of free coffee.
9. Are there specific programs or tools you find useful to help you with the writing process?
Haha, the internet? Just kidding. Kind of. I LOVE the Grammar Girl website, because she answers any question about grammar in a memorable, easy-to-learn way. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
Also, youtube. There are videos for almost any subject. AND I used the street view of Google maps to walk the planet and explore places like Wyoming, Dubai, and Australia. Fun times!
10. What have you found to be useful methods for promoting your writing?
Can I get back to you on that? Lol! I learn a little bit every day, honestly. I’ve found a great site called http://sassysuite.com/ where I’ve learned a lot about social media interactions. Brenda, the owner, teaches the importance of the personal connection, and I’ve begun incorporating a lot of her techniques and gained some new readers and friends because of it!
11. What are some of the famous books or authors you have enjoyed or inspired you?
Madeleine L’Engle is my favorite author. Her books, “A Swiftly Tilting Planet,” and, “Walking On Water,” changed my life. I highly recommend any of her writing. She will speak directly to your heart.
12. Any aspiring or independent authors whose books you’ve read that you liked and want to mention to others to check out?
Maybe he’s not indie, but he’s not well-known in my circle. Remember that little show on ABC called Castle? Well, turns out Richard Castle has several books available and they are awesome. His Derrick Storm novels are my favorites. Action, adventure, and a ruggedly handsome journalist solving crime? Can’t beat it.
13. What advice would you give to those who want to write a novel before they actually get started?
How long do you have? Haha! This is a passion of mine.
1) Just write. Forget doubt, forget outcome, forget editing, forget the end result. Just sit and write, and write until you’re finished – however long that may be.
2) Start with great characters. Explore why your characters are amazing, redeemable, wretched, unforgettable, simple, complex, and extraordinary. Who was this character at 7 years old? 14? 21? 48?  We will follow great characters through almost any storyline. Have a great, unique, fresh premise, but create characters we can root for through any situation.
3) In all of your writing and editing, make sure you love what you’re writing. You never know who will read it, so make sure that even if it is only you, you love it. If you’re bored, your readers are bored. If you’re confused, your readers are confused. If you’re enthralled, your readers are enthralled.
If you love it and make it as good as you can, it will find whoever needs to read it to fulfill its purpose.
14. Tell me about your work as a university instructor and what it’s like working with college students.
Working as an online adjunct instructor has its ups and downs! Most of my students are non-traditional students, from age sixteen to in their sixties! I absolutely love working with the military students because they usually get all their work done in time and have some of the most interesting stories to write. Because of them I have been able to soar in helicopters with night-vision goggles, tackle Marine boot camp, and tumble from airplanes in mass aerial training exercises. The online environment can be tricky, but I’ve found that older students are more committed students and they desire to learn. Helping them improve their communication skills is a huge blessing to me. My students each bring a unique story and have helped me hone my writing and editing skills. For them and Liberty University I am incredibly grateful. They open my mind, my worldview, and sharpen my abilities.
15. I see you are a coffee nerd. Where are your favorite places to get coffee? What are your favorite brews?
All the coffee! We have a local placed called Common Grounds, and they have a Snickers Coffee that haunts my waking hours. On any given day I love Starbucks Breakfast Blend, Kona anything, and Illy brand coffee.
16. And you are a pizza lover, too! Where’s your favorite place to order pizza and what toppings are the best?
Ooh pizza. I love a good Margherita Pizza, which is mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil leaves. But again, I can always go for a Stuffed Crust pepperoni from Pizza Hut. No pizzas snobs over here. #cheese
17. What do you love about Taylor Swift’s music? Any songs of hers you find inspiring?
T Swift is just the best. She’s so classy and real, and her new albums are especially warm and inspiring. I know it’s a bit cliché, but I love Shake It Off. I mean, turn that song on and have a bad day, I dare you. Blank Space – love it. And Wildest Dreams is just so haunting and bittersweet. Perfect angsty music to listen to while writing a romantic scene.
18. Tell me more about some of the late 90’s punk rock you like (favorite bands, songs, etc.).
Ah, you’ve now crossed into dangerous territory on the rambling scale! Let’s talk 90’s punk rock. How much time do you have? Angels & Airwaves, Blink 182, and Bowling For Soup are some of my favorites. Throw in a little bit of Green Day and My Chemical Romance and you got yourself a playlist. I listened to “The Adventure” by Angels & Airwaves in a near loop while writing Insurrection.
19. Do you prefer dogs or cats or is there another animal that is better than both?
I have to go with cats, Bob! Dogs are too needy for me. My cat randomly goes on walks with me and I dig that.
20. Who would win a battle of superhero skills: Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman?
Now. I feel like this is a loaded question. I’m all about #girlpower, so I’m inclined toward Wonder Woman. But I haven’t seen her movie yet and I don’t read comics and her outfit is not really conducive to serious hand combat. However, I’ve been a Batman fan all my life, so I suppose I’ll give a nod to the dark night for this round!

Thank you so much for having me! This was so enjoyable and you asked some fantastic questions! If anyone is interested, I’ve had readers of all ages, men and women ages 14-67 who enjoyed Insurrection. Feel free to dive in to the adventure!
Insurrection is available for only $4.99 on:
Kobo (they often have a $5 credit so you can get it free!): https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/insurrection-20?utm_source=indigo&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=retailer

And Volume Two will be available on February 28, 2017! Check out http://www.kadeecarder.com/ for updates and get inspiring blogs directly to your inbox!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kadee Carder ~

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Twenty Questions: An Offer To My Fellow Authors

As I've explored ways to promote my upcoming novel, I've decided to make an offer to other authors and writers who stop my blog or have been following me.

A few months ago, I wrote an "All About Me In Twenty Questions" post in which I talked about myself and my interest in writing. I am now offering to do that for other authors to help promote their writing.

For any authors who are willing to participate, it works like this: I'll ask you 20 questions about you, your books you have written so far, your interest in writing and the things you learned along the way.

If you are interested in participating, here's what I need from you.

* Contact me at my author email, bwmorris @ mail.com (remove the spaces).
* Provide me with a link to your author website or blog. If you do not have your own website or blog, you may provide me a link to a Facebook page or to a page with specific details about your book.
* Once I have had a chance to review your website, blog, etc., I will then contact you with 20 questions which you may respond to at your convenience.
* I will answers emails in the order that I receive them.
* Although my novel has yet to have a publication date announced, I am willing to do any "author exchanges" that you offer.
* You do not have to provide me with any free copies of your book, nor does it have to be of the genres I write or read.

I hope this will help others promote their own books and allow me to get to know some of you better.

Thanks in advance for your interest.