To Create takes time, effort and a very fertile imagination. To weave readers inside a world that not only does not exist, but causes them to wish that it did; is exactly what the Paranormal Author does.
Paranormal Authors from All over the World...
Author of Redemption
So awesome of you to
stop by and chit chat for
a bit LaVerne.
I'm sure the readers out
there just can't wait to
hear about what you've
een up to...however...I
wanted to just take a
few minutes to get to
know you...the person...not
just the author. In this
genre that we write...often times we are so busy
creating...that our fans rarely get to see us the
person...so I love it when I can get the chance to
bring them amazing authors...and make it completely
personal for them.
Author of Out for
We are so excited to
have you stop by for a
We @ Poisonedpin,
obviously just love
paranormal, so we feel
like it's our job to
showcase up and
coming...as well as
seasoned vets. LOL.
We know that you have
a busy schedule...so we're completely grateful...that
you took some time out to chat with and check in with
Basically...we just like to know more about you as the
person...as well as the author. In this industry...we
don't get that much, so thanks a bunch for sitting
down with us.
Alie: First I'd like to ask...what made you choose this
T.P: I'm an avid reader and as a kid the paranormal
genre was my favorite but I never saw a full novel with
African American characters. So I created my own. I
loved the allure and mystique about it.
Alie: Do you have any strange writing habits (like
standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
T.P: Lol no, not that I know of. I have days where I
have to listen to music or dead silence. That depends
on my mood.
Alie: If you could cast your characters in the
Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play
T.P; Zoe Saldana would be my first choice as Nef and
Michael Jai White would be Ramesses. Jade would be
played by Brandy. Miles would be played by
Alie: Characters often find themselves in situations
they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When
was the last time you found yourself in a situation that
was hard to get out of and what did you do? I'm in
that situation now.
T.P: Usually I step back and rethink where I want
things to go. Right now I'm detailing the outline to
make sure things flow the way they should.
Alie: Name 5 favorite movies. Why?
T.P: My favorite movies are: The Wizard of Oz just
because it's a classic. The Underworld series because
it's probably the best vampire movie franchise. And
Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Alie: If we Googled your Author name what would we
T.P: Aside from a restaurant in Alabama (my home
state and not why I picked my name) you'll find my
website and links to my books.
Alie: What book do you wish you could have written?
T.P: I don't wish to write anyone's book but I wish
that I could write a series that captures the readers as
much as some of the other novels that I've read.
Alie: What literary character is most like you?
T.P: That I've created, I'd say Nef she's determined
and will do anything for family.
Alie: What is your least favorite part of the publishing
/ writing process?
T.P: Least favorite? Maybe editing or formatting. Or
release day because you're never sure what reception
you're going to get.
Alie: If you were a super hero, what would your name
be? What costume would you wear?
T.P: I don't know that my name would be but my
costume would be all black with dark blue trim.
Alie: What does your writing process look like?
T.P: Lots of notes and outlines. I jot down notes
constantly and when it's time to bring it to the table I
put it all together.
Alie: What is your biggest fear?
T.P: Not succeeding. Not doing enough in my life and
in my work.
Alie: What secret talents do you have that no one else
T.P: I could draw a little bean in the day.
Alie: If you could have any accents from anywhere in
the world, what would you choose and why?
T.P: Australian because it's appealing and just sounds
Alie: How important are names to you in your books?
Do you choose the names based on liking the way it
sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name
choosing resources you recommend? I choose names
based on the characters and their personality.
T.P: In Out for Blood, I used a lot of names from
family and people that I know. If there is a name that I
like I write it down and save it for later. There are
times where I go online and pull names from
Alie: Have you ever gotten into a bar fight?
T.P: No, not that I remember anyway lol
Alie: What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
T.P: I was quiet and shy. I'm an only child so I spent a
lot of time reading and playing with my dogs and
cousin. My favorite toy was probably my pink bike. I
rode it everywhere.
Alie: What's your favorite love story? (movie or book)
T.P: Too many to count.
Alie: If I wasn't afraid I would _____ (What?)
T.P: Do something outrageous like skydiving.
Alie: So T.P Miller...what's your next project?
T.P: My next project is the sequel to Out for Blood
and collab with my husband, S.C.A.R.
Alie: & Where can we find you? I know the readers
will just love to check out your awesome books!
T.P; I can be found at any of these places;
Email: [email protected] OR
Facebook Fan Page:
Thanks so much T.P Miller for stopping by...and we
look forward to seeing great stuff from you in the
Lillian MacKenzie Rhine is a writer who weaves stories together in her mind; creating an articulate quilt patched together with interesting characters and riveting plots. She has an open approach to genre writing where the pen dictates the theme written on the pages. Each chosen word that Lillian MacKenzie Rhine engraves into her stories will connect with her readers’ reality at some point in his or her past, present, or future.
She states: Remember, always keep an open mind and it will expand all horizons.
Sex – the carnal desire shared between two or more beings resulting in the most powerful of energy surges exhibited by man, animal and beast. Even promiscuity can be seen as normal in today's world of “hooking up”. Natalya Hart has certainly experienced all the joys that an enormous sexual appetite can provide. Picking up men and making them submit to her has become a sport – an art. However, an unfortunate combination of events take place that cause her to evaluate her present, her past and finally her future. Is she really a young woman having fun living in the hedonistic now, or, is there something else burning in her soul, itching to come out?
Natalya feels alienated – no one to help her make sense of her shifting emotions. Natalya is hopelessly alone – but is she? An unlikely ally, Sinnocent, has been Natalya's guardian for years unbeknownst to her. Alerting her to the looming danger soon to encompass her life, he takes on the role of protector after he foolishly crosses a line, embedding the woman into his soul for an eternity. The two beings are ultimately confronted with the same question with results forever changing the lives of the two and possibly more– does love and trust bring tranquility or does giving up, giving in to temptation by ending it all provide true peace?
Alie: So Lillian, what inspires you to write paranormal stories?
What inspires me to write is the story itself. I never know what genre will unfold when I get inspired to write a piece. Sometimes the look of a person's teeth point me in the direction of fangs and vampires while a certain in a strand of hair might point me in the direction of historical fiction.
Alie: And has anything paranormal ever happened to you Lillian?
When I was a young woman of about 21 years, I had a stranger visit my home. I thought she was a Jehovah's Witness but she didn't have the usual pamphlets that they pass out. Usually I would not open the door but something told me to let the woman in out of the cold. We had an hour long discussion on positivity and not living in the negative. She ended the conversation saying she was ready to leave so I walked her to the door. Next to the door was a huge picture window where you could see to the end of the block. After I closed the door, I looked out the window to make sure she reached the end of the street safely but she had vanished. My mother told me that the woman was an angel.
Alie: If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be Lillian?
I have been pondering on this question for weeks but I keep thinking of the same character. Mr. Toad in the Wizard of Oz series by L Frank Baum would be my choice. I loved him so much because he was so well-dressed which made everyone think he was aristocratic; they even tried to make him a king just because he had a tuxedo, a top hat, and a cane.
Alie: How was your publication experience?
Publishing my novella, Memoirs of a Succubus, on Amazon was easy. When it went live, I actually screamed and let everyone know. It was almost like winning the lottery. The marketing aspect can be tiresome and tedious but it has to be done.
Alie: Can you give me one of your 'aha moments'?
I had an 'aha moment' in the marketing process the day of my release. I was told by my writing mentor to leave the computer because I was obsessing over my book going live. I took her advice but I could not help but try to connect myself to my readers. Since my book involves a succubus entity, I started doing searches for succubus groups. I amazingly found a succubus support group and I joined. I connected to a bunch of men and women who related to the succubus entity in regards to dysfunctional adult acts. So I had a moment of revelation – google works wonders in marketing.
Alie: When did you first decide to write your first book? What was it like? Did you have support from your friends and family?
I was advised to write my first book by a few creative minds. I never grew writing as a child, I was more of a mathematic/scientific girl. But when I started, Memoirs of a Succubus, a book about my previous excursions with lovers, it was very nerve-wracking. I was so nervous during the whole process because I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I did have support from friends and family who listened to every chapter several times in a row with excitement and patience.
Alie: What is the biggest influence on your writing?
People watching is the biggest influence on my writing. Names, personalities, back stories, etc. I love everything about interacting with interesting characters in person.
Alie: What obstacles do you feel new authors have yet to overcome?
New authors have the overcome the shadow created by experienced authors. Sometimes experienced authors suffer from not have fresh ideas but they have the fan base who will purchase their pieces no matter what. Instead of helping out new writers either by advice or promotion purposes, they see us as competition. But when it comes down to it, a reader will always be a reader through times of prosper and times of hardship. This means there is room for everyone to swim in the big literary pool of life.
Alie: How do you connect with your African American, Native American, Latina and other ethnic readers?
I connect with my ethnic readers by creating characters that they can relate to culturally. One thing that I found annoying when I was a reader was being presented with material that I could not relate to. This doesn't mean that all my reading was one-sided but there are things that important to most cultures and if you as a writer can tap into that cultural spirit then your job is done.
Alie: How do you find the time to write?
Since writing is a full time job for me, I tend to do my work as such. As if I am working an 8 hour job in a brick and mortar. Sometimes my occupation calls for overtime (...well most of the time) but I am a dedicated employee.
Alie: What advice do you have for other authors who want to begin writing in your genre?
Research to get needed information, but also think outside of the box. The last thing you want is to have your book become a cookie-cutter image of another piece.
Alie: What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite contemporary piece is named, Commitment, by Nia Forester. I love this book because the author breaks down her characters so well that you feel like a part of their lives.
Thank you so much Lillian for taking the time out to stop by for a chat, we complately enjoyed you Poisonedpin Creations J
Author Brian Woods is a writer from Huntsville, Alabama, where he lives with his wife, five kids, and some very special pets. He spends his days as an IT developer, creating software ranging from VB to VFP, as well as database admin. At night, he weaves worlds of fantasy and horror. His stories range from epic flight of the imagination to real life horrific stories, which engulfs the reader into abysmal situations. The universe he’s created lies in the terrain of Suruale, found in the Tales of Suruale series.
While my writing varies from fantasy, horror to paranormal; the paranormal stories I have written were requested by publishing houses I have written for before. Normally I check a list of open submissions on different websites and will write for both pay and exposure. I think of it as a way to get experience outside of your normal. My normal writing is epic fantasy.
I have an aunt who has an actual haunted house. Her local newspaper has done several articles on the house, including incidents that happened to her neighbors upon visiting. I have experienced a ghost who ran water, filled a coffee pot, and made a fresh batch of coffee. I have a book in first draft about her house called Delta Rose, which is a small adaptation of her street name.
There are so many to choose from that would be great choices for one reason or another. If I have to make a choice of only one, I would choose any character from His Dark Materials series. I think having your soul on the outside of your body to converse with at all times would be an awesome experience.
At first it was a slow and painful experience, and many times I wanted to give up. Too many authors out there and few places for traditional publishing now days. But once the first release was out and available, it has gotten easier for me. With eight current releases, another three to be released this year, and still six more in production, it seems quite a bit easier now than it was getting started.
So many to reflect on, I would say the moment I got a rejection letter and the publisher told me, step by step, word for word, exactly what I did wrong. This publisher outlined everything for me and has made my life easier because of this. I think my writing alone has improved much because of it. I have sent several thank you letters to that editor.
I was working at a company in Birmingham, Alabama with a co-worker by the name of Michael Tice. I was reading about two books a week then, and each time, I will tell Mike all about it. I would mention how I would change a scene or the ending or something. He challenged me to write my own story, so it would be told the exact way I wanted it. This was in 2005, and three short years later I had a finished manuscript. It was an epic fantasy and did rather well with sales, but of course, not as well as I would have liked. My family, immediate and distant, has always supported each other in every task we try. I have many religious extremists in my family, and while they have never read and will never read anything I write, they constantly ask how my writing is going.
I’d like to break this question down and make it two questions with two completely different answers. Anne McCaffrey spoke with me at DragonCon several years ago and I told her about my writing and my stories (while getting her to sign several books of hers that I owned), and she told me my ideas sound good and that I should keep at writing. She was the biggest influence for me to write. As far as my style and content, my mentor Roy C. Booth guides me in constantly improving my quality of writing. He has been a great friend and co-writer over the last few years and I believe he has been the biggest influence on my quality of things in production. I thank them both.
With most I have seen, patience seems to be their biggest burden. If you complete the last word on your manuscript today, and write ‘The End’ on it, you are only half way there. Most want to see their work in print in just a few short weeks. For it to be done properly, it could take months to a little over a year before you see your work in print. They constantly take short cuts and that leads to no sales, or very little sales. Writing is like any other profession, you have to work at it and learn it before you can be good at it.
At this point, I have several African American and Latina fans. I will not pretend for a moment it is a large percentage as compared to my Caucasian audience, but none the less I have them. I have tried to make stories that anyone can follow and be a part of, regardless of their color and culture. I have been working with a few translators in order to take my writings into 3-4 more languages, but there is a lot of time needed to do this, and currently only my shorter works are being worked with on this.
I make time, everyday. I skip watching TV, I will put down the book I am reading currently, and will even skip going out with friends in order to write. I want to write, and enjoy telling the stories, so that makes it easier to sacrifice to do so.
Read the genre. And keep reading in the genre. You should read the small titles as well as the mainstream. Don’t let public review of a book in your genre stop you from reading it, if it is successful. Harry Potter is considered a child’s book by many, but is essential reading for someone writing fantasy. Twilight and 50 Shades gets a lot of slack from the writing community, but both did quite well sales wise and should get a little attention from a writer wanting to write in the teen/preteen female love interest and adult reader romance. Same goes with a lot of successful books that have bad stereotypes.
Thank you so much Brian for taking the time out to stop by for a chat, we complately enjoyed you Poisonedpin Creations J
Karen took a wee bit of time out of her busy scheduel this week to stop by and chat with us :)
us a little bit about who your ancestors in the Northampton area are Karen.
My 11th great grandmother, Mary Bliss Parsons actually lived in Hartford when she married Joseph Parsons 1646—he was from Springfield—and brought her home with him where they lived for 11 years before he got the idea that he’d increase his fortunes by going up-river to settle Northampton. Hartford and Springfield were both founded 1636
Give us some history of Mary Bliss Parsons and Sarah Lyman Bridgeman. What happened between the two women?
Epic jealousy! After growing up in Hartford where Sarah—who came from a distinguished family--knew Mary Bliss as the daughter of a poor farmer, both women moved to Springfield. Mary Bliss-- with a husband who would make a great fortune-- and Sarah Lyman who married a carpenter. James Bridgeman was unable to match Joseph Parsons’ wealth and Sarah was unable to match Mary’s birth record.
How did Mary’s witchcraft trial compare to the Salem witch trials? Did they occur close together?
No. Mary Bliss Parsons was tried 17 years before the Salem Witch Trials by a couple of the same judges (William Danforth and Thomas Stoughton) who went on to try the Salem cases. (Court of Assistants in Boston, a panel of judges)
Lots of people when they hear the word witchcraft automatically jump to Salem, but the first witch hanged in New England was probably Alice Young of Windsor, CT 45 years before Salem. Before Salem over 90 people had witchcraft complaints against them. About 60 went to trail, about half were acquitted. Approximately 15 people were executed. Most significantly, only 4 confessed.
I understand that your book is set in Springfield, MA. What can you tell us about the early settlement?
Springfield in those days was an unusual place—almost a baronial state run by one man, William Pynchon. Everyone in town worked for him. He had a general store at the edge of the river where Indians came to trade furs and everyone in town shopped. From there he shipped barrels of furs, meats, grains back to England. He was enormously rich and appears to have been a mentor to Joseph Parsons’—Mary’s husband.
As your grandmother told you stories when you were little about a witch in the family, did you believe her at the time? Or was it all in good fun?
I had to believe—she delivered her story with great sincerity and pride. She was glad to have an ancestor with such an exceptional life.
The journey of writing this book began with you hearing stories about your ancestors at your grandmother’s knee. How important is it to keep the oral tradition alive? And how can parents and grandparents do this?
Well, first you have to know your family stories, you have to be interested yourself or you won’t be able to interest your children.
Keeping oral tradition alive is, in my opinion, a good thing. What’s the saying?
If you don't know your history--you are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.
topic of witchcraft holds a fascination for many people. What are some
misconceptions about the subject?
There are many:
Most common: Witches were burned at stake in New England
Only ignorant, uneducated people believed in witches
Only women were accused
How long have you been at work on this book?
I started the first research in the 70s, wrote a non-fiction narrative back then. In the 80s –while I owned an art film theatre--I decided I’d try to make it into a screen play. Early in the 21st Century I started work on the historical fiction—by then I had the help of the Internet for research. So the answer to your question is—30 some years.
Why was writing this novel important to you?
I fell in love with the story and with my characters—especially Mary Bliss Parsons. Another, less obvious reason, had to do with our times. The Puritan theocracy was very similar to radical Islam without the suicide bombers. I wanted to explore the similarities.
What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?
An enormous amount of enjoyment, a sense of being on an adventure and a better knowledge of our founding fathers. These were Early Modern people with no understanding of science. They were not us and should not be judged by our standards.
What’s next for you – will you continue writing
Yes. I have a new novel in the works--literary fiction with a mystery element. Oddly, it’s based on another story my grandmother told me—about her own life.Thanks you so much Karen, and much sucess with your book.
So Merlin, tell us a lil bit about you, and what you do outsider of writing?
Divorced and semi retired from the Rat Race. I do pretty much what I like and of course in this country that can be influenced by the weather so if the sun shines I have been known to put the roof of the car down and head out somewhere. I love nature and the British countryside and have recently acquired an interest in history, a subject I hated in school. Took me all this time to realize it wasn?t the subject I disliked but the teacher so now I can indulge myself by combining the two things and go exploring this beautiful sceptered isle.
Of course such a wayward and footloose existence allows me to indulge my other passions and go in search of good food. I am glad to say the unnatural fad of convenience food is on the wane and there is a wonderful trend back towards real food. This is promoted by a series of wonderful food and Drink festivals all over the country set up to promote locally grown and produced foods and a return to real cooking. I love to cook as well and am always on the lookout for new things to try. My summer specialty is a picnic without any convenience foods, no sandwiches, Scotch eggs or packets of chips and dips.
As was throughout my life and career I am still a rebel at heart, I have little or no intention of growing old gracefully if I can avoid it. There are still many things to do on my Bucket List, although a sad lack of funds is a drawback, not that get?s in the way of having fun and a good time.
Okay Merlin, so what inspired you to write?
Thinking I could do it better than the twaddle I had just watched on TV.Trouble was that what I knew about writing for the screen you could have written on a fly's butt with a paintbrush, you still can. However I had a story idea so I wrote a lot of notes and eventually sat down to turn it into a story, that was some ten years ago and I?ve been at it ever since.
And do you use a pen name, how did you choose it?
I couldn't use my real name purely because it was already in use by a Scottish poet, better known than I am, (no I'm not going to say who it is he doesn't need the publicity).
My pen name comes from the fact that Merlin, he of Arthurian legend, is something of a hero of mine and the surname is because I was born into the Scottish clan Fraser courtesy of Mummy Dearest!
What genre do you write in, and why?
I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to genre and I have a tendency to wander around blurring the lines. My first attempt at writing was something of a YA magical romantic fantasy involving my hero Merlin where he appears to a young girl in modern day England. I think it confused the critics who said the story fell between two stools and would appeal to a more mature female market than the intended reader.
My Murder Mystery stories cross the genre boundaries as well when I choose to enter the Paranormal world although this time the genre blending is quite deliberate as I seek a unique niche for myself as a story-teller.
Just to blur the issue even further I have also created a host of. Dust Bunny, characters and written a series of children's stories about them and a young ,Oomin, girl called Maggie.
And how long have you been writing?
I've always been a bit of a story teller, but seriously in an attempt to earn my living at it about ten years.
So Merlin tell us about your book?
Can we make that Books plural and in that way I can talk about my Murder Mystery trilogy INNER SPACE. I read somewhere that you should always right about what you know rather than what interests you, so naturally I did it backwards. I love Detective murder mysteries, both in books and on screen however I also have an interest in the Paranormal and though about how I could join the two together in a story. (I know I know don't mix Genres. NUTS !!!)
First, take one, not terribly interesting, Detective who is in the middle of his own Midlife Crisis, and then turn his little world upside down by challenging everything he once held to be true and absolute.
Inner Space relates to the inner space of the human mind and the many spiritual powers that we have lost over the eons. However what if those powers are not lost but merely buried in the dark shadows of our mind. What if a group of naive scientists had rediscovered how to unlock those powers. What if such knowledge and power fell into the wrong hands?
Welcome to the Inner Space World of Merlin Fraser!
If you had to say Merlin, what authors influenced you as a writer?
Wow, that's not an easy question I suppose a lot of people at different times in my life. In my different careers, first the Navy and then the Oil Industry, I have always had wonderful moments of excitement interspersed with long boring bits spent at sea or sitting in airports and hotels. I would have to start with all the British greats of the crime world, Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle, Collin Dexter and many, many more. Of course to fuel my sense of humor you would have to include the likes of PG Wodehouse, Douglas Adams and Bill Bryson and all that's before we even get to the Classics and the thrillers.
One thing I would hope is that no one ever says that I write like, so and so. I fancy myself as excitingly different it would hurt to know I'm not.
So, how long have you been published or trying to get published?
Trying to get published started about eight years ago before sitting down and trying to analyzing why I wasn?t getting anywhere. Of course all writers think they are unique and we have just written the greatest thing since ?War and Peace, and that all literary agents are as dumb as a plank for their sheer arrogance in rejecting us.
OK here's the reality check 99.9% of us are not going to make it into the established book publishing world of the big six and the sooner you learn and accept that fact the less pain you will suffer to your ego.
Now, fortunately and unfortunately, there is another way.
What is your favorite Quote? Why is it your favorite?
It is the reply given to the often quoted statement; It take all sorts to make a world !
The response being, Actually it doesn't. We just happen to have all sorts!!!?
If Published; how long did it take you to publish your first book, once you started looking for an agent or publisher?
I gave up looking for an agent years ago, they have a different agenda from ours and most work within tight guidelines from their publisher masters, all who join that circle must learn to sing from the company song sheet. They say hindsight is a wonderful thing but I can say. Been there Done That and got the lumps to prove it. Of course back then I didn?t realize I was witnessing ?Dead Men Walking, and I swallowed all the guff how we needed them more than they needed us. What Crap !
What is a publishing house without authors? I am an Independent author and proud of it, the future is Digital and it is a future where the old school have no place until they change their 19th century attitude of who is the Master and who is the Servant.
What's the strangest way you've sold a book/story (either to a reader or to a publisher/agent)?
Offering them a money back guarantee if they genuinely didn't like the story, a tough thing to do if you sell books for a living.
What do you think of e-books? And if un-published, would you sell to an e-book publisher?
I think they are the greatest thing since the invention of that Wheel Thingy, they have opened up the book world to a whole new market and readership. True there is a shed full of unadulterated drivel being dumped onto the poor reader without any form of Crap Filter available but the market is young and these things will come. (Look for an ISBN, it?s not exactly a guarantee of quality but it at least shows the author has taken some trouble with their work before publishing.)
No I wouldn't sell to an E Book publisher. We don't need them until they are prepared to take on the task and responsibility for PR and marketing the work of their authors.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Probably about two years-ish, that is from getting an idea doing the research and getting down to writing. Of course this usually happens when I'm doing something else and causes me mental aggravation however I'd rather have two good ideas than sitting looking at a blank screen.
Do you write one book/story at a time or multiples?
I usually have two or three projects on the go at the same time, sometimes if I get into the groove I will become fairly single minded and everything else gets pushed to the sidelines and really do mean everything. Time ceases to have any meaning and only desperate need takes priority. At other times I will move around and play with whatever takes my fancy that day.
Are there any genres you'd like to try your hand at but haven't?
Something historical, possibly nonfiction or maybe a blend of the two.
Are there any genres you'd never consider writing in?
Sci-Fi, not sure I have the right sort of imagination for that, also steamy romance, I think I'd rather be taking part in it than writing about it. Oh yeah, if there are any ladies who feel the same I never Kiss and Tell!
Hahah, that's good. And what's your writing process? (writer, plotter, or mix? write on the computer? longhand? mix? how many passes? etc.)
Once I have an idea I will make notes and read as much as I can find on the subject until I can find a hook to hang a story on. I will create my characters and see what they think about the idea. When I start I never actually know where the story will end, to me that is far too rigid a format I want to see where the story leads because I know if the story surprises me then it will also surprise the reader.
When I start to write seriously I prefer my computer, it's more than possible I will have a few false starts until I can get it to flow. There's no point in starting with a mighty bang if by page three the question upper most on your mind is; Now What? With a computer I can cut and paste the good or bin it.
As I said earlier there comes a point in all stories when everything clicks and you are on a roll and when that happens, for a writer it is the most fun you will ever have. At least with your clothes on that is.
What genres do you think are up and coming or waning?
I would like to see the over used genres like Vampires disappear for a while I hate it when something becomes so popular that everybody jumps on the bandwagon. We are writers for pity's sake it would be nice to see inventiveness and a bit of originality. Although you can't lay all the blame on the writers, look how any popular genre is milked to death. Naturally I would like to see the Paranormal take center stage for a while, especially where it blends and crosses into other genres.
Hummm, well I won't touch that Mer, especially since I write about Vampires lol.
So what do you think the next big thing in the industry is?
Honestly I think it's a fantastic time to be a writer, the whole of the book publishing world is in turmoil and for the first time the playing field is level and the stranglehold of literary agents and the mainstream publishing house's has been broken.
The future has to be digital, both in publishing and reading. The E readers are going from strength and surely full color, interactivity and decent audio can't be far away. When I say decent audio I don't mean what we have now that sounds like Stephen Hawking is reading aloud. I mean real voices that put the right emphasis on the right syllable.
What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Determination and a sense of Humor!
What would you say is the #1 holiday or birthday gift to purchase for an author is...
Don't get them anything! If they are any good they'll be so busy they won't notice you forgot. However, beware of authors who dish out signed copies of their latest book as birthday or anniversary gifts means they think more of themselves than you, also it?s not a good gift for Valentine?s Day, I tried it once and was told to shove it! Still trying to work out if that is actually physically possible!
You're a laugh Merlin. So what is the funniest or strangest editor/crit request/comment you've encountered?
Funniest comment came from a reader of INNER SPACE Book One. A lady sent me an E mail to say how much she enjoyed the story and how it had kept her guessing right up until the end. Problem is it's not a "Who Dun It". I actually tell you who did it in the first few pages, the story is WHY!!
If you could have a book signing anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
Any major airport during a strike with lots of cancellations, after all your travel plans are screwed you might as well read a book.
What's the strangest/worst job (outside of publishing) you've held?
Not exactly sure what constitutes strange however in my Oil Industry career as a Logistics troubleshooter failure was never considered an option so I was sometimes expected to achieve the routine but in some pretty strange places. In a career spanning nearly thirty years I have experienced the cold of a Siberian winter, the blistering heat of the desert the monsoon floods in Bangladesh and witnessed flash floods caused by tropical rainfall in northern desert of Peru.
I have felt elation at the sheer wonder of Mother Nature and her creation and I have felt fear and been powerless in the face of her awesome power a lifetime of excitement and experience that I wouldn't swap for my weight in gold and I'd happily do it all over again?
Have you ever included a real experience of your own in a book? Did anyone who knows you notice it?
I guess the honest answer has to be yes since most writers draw down upon our life's experiences the trick is to disguise it in a way so you don't get your ass sued off. I have on occasions used a real name for a character and written something I know that person will recognize and hopefully feel flattered by it. (Yes she did spot it !)
In my first ever story I used a couple of real experiences from my own school days where one of my class mates, a farmer?s daughter, could out wrestle any boy in the school, least ways until the day she found out it was a lot more fun when she lost.
Have you ever included someone who irritated you in the book? As what, and what comeuppance did he/she get?
I hate Political Correctness in all its nasty forms I also hate sexual inequality and feel that people should be judged upon their ability to do a job based upon their qualifications. I draw the line when I see examples of what I call Reverse Inequality, where someone is wrongly placed in a job based more on sex or race just to make a company or organization look more PC.
I use a working example of this is the first Inner Space novel.
Where do you get your character names?
I like fairly simple and names in common use, I want my readers to settle down in the world of my characters fairly quickly because I need them focused on what?s happening. I like my stories to gallop along at a fair pace so there is no time to wonder what happened to, so and so. Nor do I want the reader to wander off feeling sorry for a character I may have inadvertently christened Phillip McCann. (Fill-up My Can?just in case you missed it !)
Although I did use the name Daisy May once, but only so that I could use a joke that I had seen written on a toilet door somewhere. ?Daisy May? was written in bold capital letters on the door, underneath someone different had written, that surprised me, cos I didn't think she did!
Lol, okay and where do you get your inspiration for a book? How do you get your ideas?
Mostly from imagining a story from a possible title, when I heard the expression Inner Space. I had an image of the human mind and knew I just wanted to mess with it. My latest story, a follow on from the Inner Space trilogy started from a similar expression, A Wilderness of Mirrors, so you can expect that there is a lot more sinister mind games to come.
Tell us about releases you expect within the next year...
Working on a few projects, one trying to turn my Inner Space trilogy into audio books, if I can find the right voice at a decent price, or someone willing to share royalties with me on audio book sales. Looking into the new possibilities of Interactive e book publication for my Dust Bunny stories and of course Novel number four, "Trapped in a Wilderness of Mirrors."
Tell us about your current release... blurb... if you have one
Nothing in the immediate pipeline but I can give you an idea of what to expect in novel four. CalledTrapped in a Wilderness of Mirrors it is a semi political thriller and is a mind game from beginning to end.
Cognition is the mental faculty or human thought process of acquiring knowledge through reasoning, intuition or perception. If, for whatever reason, that process can be interrupted or even destroyed with a series of conflicting facts the cognitive process will also be interrupted or destroyed and we will have a seemingly unsolvable mental paradox.
Imagine if you will you are held within a maze of mirrors, everything your eye sees reveals a contradiction of information to the brain. You entered the maze therefore there must be at least one exit. Yet with the passage of time this appears to be wrong. Move one mirror and everything changes.
Imagine your mental anguish if you cannot trust anything you see, hear or read, everything may be true but equally it may all be false how can you tell one from the other....
Okay Merlin, so what is the best reader or reviewer comment you've ever received?
"I couldn't put it down and when I reached the end I thought Damn I didn't see that coming!"
What's your favorite part of being a writer?
Bringing pleasure to others by what I write, that may only be by filling a few dead hours on a train or a plane but I would like to think that I may have raised a smile when they reach the end of the story, even it is only one of relief!
What advice would you give to a new writer?
If your motivation is money then go take a course in plumbing but if you genuinely get pleasure from writing then go for it. These days it is fairly easy to get your work published but if you do go down that road take your time, make your work the best it can possibly be, get it professionally edited and proof-read, This much we owe our readers.
Well Thanks so much Merlin for stopping by :)
We asked Merlin if he could make up his own question, what would it be?
And this is what he said...
Where do we go from here ?