Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Steve Peek



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Welcome to the Longclaws and Alien Agenda tour, by Steve Peek.  

interviewb
Steve, when did you first think about writing for publication?

Technically, a neighbor gave me a toy printing press when I was seven.  Using little rubber, linotype letters, I wrote and printed a neighborhood newspaper, but even then, being a smart little guy those sixty years ago, I saw the internet and knew newspapers had seen their day.  From that point on wherever my imagination put me as an adult:  lawyer, preacher, policeman, fireman, soldier, scientists, I always wanted to be a writer.  I began writing game instructions for publication in the early 1970’s.  Over a forty-year career in gaming someone told me I had published over a million words.  My response was, ‘Where’s the money.”  I published my first traditional book in 1982, The Game Inventors Handbook.  I wrote off and own for the next twenty years.  Now I write full time.
                                                                                     
Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

During the course of my life I accumulated more than five million frequent flyer miles.  My butt still hurts.

You had a long career in the game industry.  Can you tell us a bit about that?  How has that influenced your writing?

Writing game instructions are a lot of work, much like any form of technical writing.  The rules require levels of testing to eliminate any ambiguity.  I think eliminating the ambiguous is now second nature.

First tell us about your book “Longclaws” and the premise behind it.

Longclaws combines my research into parallel universes and my love of horror novels.  The basic idea is that worlds are connected and during certain times and events, and at certain places, gateways open.  This thinking came from my earlier book, Otherworld, I imagined a horrid world where nothing survived many years.  Everything was both predator and prey every moment; to sleep was to die.  I populated it with things from various cultures universal myths and made them iconic prototypes of creatures we believe to exist today.  These creatures, with their own societies and needs, cross into our world and all hell breaks loose.

Then there’s your book “Alien Agenda”, please tell us about that and the research that went into it.

Alien Agenda: Why they came, Why they stayed, was born from the several hundred books I read while researching Otherworld.  In those days, scientist didn’t talk about parallel universes for fear of losing their place on the government grant teat, the same as now with weather and such.  Anyway, the idea that aliens came from parallel universes and not thousands of light-years away, led me to wonder why they came and then why did they stay.  It combines known historical facts with UFO mythology in a way that makes it difficult for the reader to know where facts end and fiction begins.  I call it Science Faction.

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

One of the main characters in Longclaws is Royce Mason.  He’s an old, World War Two veteran who has experienced a lot of strange things during his life and has that country way of allowing people to underestimate him.  When Longclaws was finished, I missed most of the main characters, including the Longclaws.

Do you find it fun to “reimagine” historical events to match them up to the narrative you want to bring to your readers?

Of course, how can I not like playing god?  It is fun, but it is much more difficult than it sounds if you do it so the combination is not only seamless, but logical to the reader.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

How quickly the powerful publishers have succumbed to the internet without putting up much of a fight.

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

My great friend, Herbie Brennan.  Author of more than a hundred published books, Herbie’s constant encouragement and feedback kept me working on my darkest days.

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

I am editing a novel called Islands. (Working title).  One day everyone who lives on a coast on any land mass, wakes up and discovers new islands were none existed before.  It’s a little bit end of the world in a Douglas Adams sort of way.

Blurbb
Their world is crowded with active volcanoes, sulfur and acid rains, permanent thick clouds turn day into deep twilight. It is a violent place: moment-to-moment survival is victory, every creature is constantly predator and prey, sleep is certain death. This is home to the longclaws, beings of super-human speed, strength and senses. Their predatory skills allow them only a tenuous niche in their hellish environment. Though smart and fierce, their rank in the food chain is far below the top. One clan leader draws from ancient legends of paradise and devises a plan to escape and take his clan to the otherworld - a world filled with slow, defenseless prey. The clan activates an Indian mound deep in southern forests and enters our world -hungry for prey. Torrential rains and washed out bridges force a runaway teen, an old dowser and a Cherokee healer to face the horrors of the clan's merciless onslaught. Mankind's legends are filled with vampires, werewolves, dragons and other nightmarish. Perhaps our legend of hell is based on the world of the Longclaws.Abab  
Steve Peek grew up in a family of readers and writers.  In the second grade a neighbor gave him a toy printing press and, using rubber linotype, he wrote and printed a neighborhood paper.  His first short story won a competition in his third grade class.  Sometimes he dreamed of being a policeman, fireman, lawyer, minister, soldier, politician, but in every dream he was also a writer. Peek loves games.  He enjoyed a forty year career in the game industry which allowed him to travel the world where he was able to explore many of the ancient, mythical places he’d read about. Some legends associated with these enigmatic sites led him down a winding road to a junction where myth meets science and the hold of this magical place continues its grip. Over the decades Steve always wrote.  Sometimes just here and there.  Twice he managed to have books published. Now, with the precious time to write, Steve found the traditional publishing world in disarray and decided that it is more important for him to write than to sell books to the big publishing houses.  The venue of the e-book makes this possible.  So, for better or for worse, Steve sits at a kitchen table looking into the woods around his home in the Smokey Mountains and writes every day. Reviewers have declared his books Longclaws and Alien Agenda: Why they came, Why they stayed to be a new sub-genre, ‘science faction’.  Much of the books are based on history and science while the story falls under fiction. Steve’s books are based on things that interest him and he works hard to make them interesting for his readers. He would like to hear from you via jstephenpeek on facebook or send him a message via his contact form.





Follow Steve on social media!

Buy Longclaws or Alien Agenda here

Steve is on tour between 12th and 26th July - you can check in with tour central here, and please check back each day to read more fascinating thoughts by this eloquent and interesting author.
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Tour arranged by The Finishing Faires

Friday, July 18, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Jane Linfoot


Today, fresh off of yesterday's book launch, I'm very excited to have Jane Linfoot, author of the new novel High Heels and Bicycle Wheels from HarperImpulse.  First, a bit about Jane ...

Jane Linfoot writes fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge. She lives with her family and pets in Derbyshire UK, and loves hearts, flowers, happy endings, everything vintage, and most things French.

Jane, when did you first think about writing for publication?

I first had chance to write romance for publication when the property crash hit the UK, back in 2010. At the time I was working as an architect and property developer, and as the work slowed down I decided to get on and write that novel I’d always dreamed of.

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

I speak fluent French, with a specialist agricultural vocabulary, a hangover from when I was officially a French farmer.....not many French teachers know the word for combine harvester – it’s moissonneuse batteuse if you want to catch them out!

You call your home a “mountain kingdom”.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

I live in Matlock Bath which is a Georgian Spa resort, built in the Derwent Gorge. I live in a tiny hamlet towards the top of the hill, reached by a very narrow, very steep, mile long single track road. I call it a mountain kingdom, (with a winky eye), because it does have a kind of hidden, fairy tale quality. It’s not so good if you go out and forget something, or when it snows and there’s a mile of road to clear, and it is quite a muddy place. But the views down the valley are lovely, and it’s very quiet and rural up above the bustle down below. It’s great because we can walk straight out into the woods for dog walks, and there’s a local herd of dairy cows who wander past the garden on their way to their field, yet there’s a station and a main road at the bottom of the hill.

Available now on Amazon UK
and Amazon US
It’s the day after Release Day for you, congratulations!  Tell us about your new release “High Heels & Bicycle Wheels”.

I am SO excited about High Heels & Bicycle Wheels going out into the world, because it’s a much longer book than my previous ones. It’s sexy summer chicklit – think camper vans, beaches, long hot days....and a feisty TV production assistant Bryony, possibly the least sporty girl on the planet, who winds up on a tandem ride with a hot, hot pro cycling star called Jackson. There’s heaps of fun, lots of clashes, a whole stack of emotion....oh, and it’s sizzling hot too.

You definitely have a fun and flirty streak in you, even in your titles (“The Right Side of Mr. Wrong”, “How to Win a Guy in 10 Dates”).  Are your characters anything like you?  Do you draw on experiences of yourself or others?

Well, in High Heels & Bicycle Wheels, Bryony screams when she goes downhill on a tandem, and I have been known to do the same.... And Shea, in The Right Side Of Mr. Wrong has long curly hair which refuses to be tamed, and I know how that feels.... So fragments of me and my life are implanted in my characters, but mostly they are very much themselves. Bryony has way more shoes than I do – yes, I am soooo jealous of her shoe collection – and she eats way more cupcakes than me. Am I fun and flirty? You’ll have to ask my friends that!

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

I’d like ALL my readers to be able to meet the hero of their choice....there’s quite a lot of book-boyfriend love going on out there for the guys I write about, so being able to arrange some real life meetings would be totally awesome.

What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

I had no idea that the team at HarperImpulse would be so lovely and warm and special and endlessly helpful. Charlotte Ledger is beyond awesome, and Katie Sadler and Alex Aldern are wonderful too. I was surprised that their working relationship with authors is so close – I didn’t know I’d be allowed so much input in decision making.

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

Joining the Mills and Boon New Voices Facebook Group, in conjunction with the 2012 competition, was my most helpful step in writing romance. This group was very active, and was made up of both published authors and hopeful writers, many of whom have had huge success since. I wasn’t eligible to enter the competition, but I learned so much from the articles and information the group members shared, and it was my first experience of the brilliantly supportive romance writing community. So, this is a big shout out for all the members of that community, and the help and encouragement I received from them.

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

There are SO many stories in my head which are all fighting to be told, and I’m also excited that Harper Impulse will allow their authors to try new and different things.

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you.  Here they go!

  1. What is your favorite word? Oxymoron - I like the sound of the word itself, and I enjoy the contradictions it implies 
  2. What is your least favorite word? I hate anyone saying they’re “bored”
  3. What turns you on? Fabulous design and creativity, and I include stories in that.
  4. What turns you off? I’m useless when I’m cold
  5. What sound or noise do you love? I love to hear my cat Umberto’s purring croon – he’s got a huge purr, but a while back he had a head injury, when he fell off the shed roof, and he lost his purr – so it’s lovely to hear it now that it’s come back
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? I hate whispering and low voices 
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Holy crap – it began tongue in cheek, and kind of stuck – holy crap to that too
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Jewelry design sounds cool, or lingerie design, or maybe working in TV might be fun.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Apart from decorating, I find anything to do with maintenance pretty tedious –  I much prefer creating.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? ‘The library is that way, you’ll find the sun loungers in the garden, your friends are waiting for you, help yourself to red wine....’ or ‘Yours is the house with lots of glass....’

Jane, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

You can find me here:

Facebook Page and Profile

Twitter

Website

And find buy links to all my books at HarperImpulse


Thursday, July 17, 2014

LAUNCH!!!! High Heels and Bicycle Wheels by Jane Linfoot


Meet Jane Linfoot, tomorrow's guest on Finding Fiction Friday, whose novel launches TODAY!

~~~

I’m Jane Linfoot, and I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge. I live in a mountain kingdom in Derbyshire, England, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the domestic chaos – happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. For me, writing romance is cool because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things french. When I’m not on facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be walking, or gardening. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.

~~~

High Heels & Bicycle Wheels

Meet Bryony: She's a fun-loving, very single TV production assistant whose idea of sport is the Jimmy Choo sales scrum

Meet Jackson: Cycling's bad boy superstar. Injured and out of racing this summer, without his training he's looking for another distraction.

Bryony's facing a triple whammy – her last single friend just named the day, her mother's offering to have her eggs frozen, and the guy she's loved from afar, forever, just got hitched. So she's more than happy to accept the offer of a totally out of character but seriously steamy one night of no-strings fun. Especially when the guy in question is so attractive he even looks good in Lycra!

Jackson's on the look out for a new career but if the opportunity to work on TV means a fortnight with the most uptight woman in the world, he'd rather not bother. He never goes in for seconds – and who in their right mind would head off in a camper van with a woman who irons her knickers?

Add in a tandem (yes, a tandem) and fast forward to double trouble for a summer neither of them will ever forget!

~~~

Buy Links!                                                                                                      Author Links!

Amazon UK                                                                                                   Facebook

Amazon US                                                                                                    Twitter

HarperImpulse                                                                                                Website

~~~

Come back tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Jane Linfoot!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Myths and Me - Guest Post from Steve Peek

Steve Peek is guesting on the blog today, and will be the subject of Finding Fiction Friday on July 25 ....



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 Welcome to the Longclaws and Alien Agenda tour, by Steve Peek.  Today, Steve is talking about mythology and the pervasiveness in our culture.

Myths and Me

Alexander Eliot had retired from Time magazine at thirty-nine and devoted the rest of his life to studying mythologies and their impact through the ages.  He begins his book, Universal Myths, with these telling words: “Myths are never factual, but seldom are they totally untrue.”

Virtually every acknowledged authority on mythology has made a similar statement at one time or another.  As fanciful and weird as myths seem, they appear to be rooted in some primordial reality.

How old are myths?  The original myths were stories born of a time thousands of years before history was written.  According to Eliot, Joseph Campbell, and others, these primal tales still invoke powerful responses.  As long ago as 525 BC, Greek scholars suggested that since the original meanings of myths had been lost, we should look for hidden ones.

The search has continued ever since.  Mythology reveals itself differently to different investigators.  Historians find garbled histories of kings, wars, and migrations.  Anthropologists dust off tribal imperatives and taboos.  Psychologists see archetypes.  Philologists point out the ancient roots of language.  And so, under intellectual scalpels, these simple tales are cut to pieces, rather than examined as a whole.  My exploration of myths led me toward the monsters.

The question that pulled me was: why would ancient peoples separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years develop the same universal myths dealing with esoteric things?  The Sun, moon, stars, storms, volcanoes, earthquakes are examples of myths that should be born of every culture.   But there are some myths that at first glance don’t appear to be to be nominees for Universal, but they are.

Vampires, shape shifters, ghouls and dragons appear in every ancient civilization’s library of legends.  Why?  Occam's Razor suggests they are present because they were real.

When I recovered from the realization that these and other creatures of the night may once had existed, indeed, they still may.  The next question was where are they?  Why are they so elusive? I discovered the answer in the 1980’s while working on the book Longclaws: Stone Gates Trilogy.  The answer was found in quantum physics that suggested that for our universe to exist with its laws, then other universes must exist as well.  In the thirty years since physicists continue to close in on the theory of everything and to get there they demonstrate over and over again that parallel universes must exists.

So, using my research of Celtic and American Indian myths I theorized that at certain times and places and in specific conditions, the gateways open  and sometimes we humans cross into other worlds but sometimes the denizens of those unknown worlds cross into ours.

Longclaws: Stone Gates Trilogy is a tale of creatures from a cruel, unforgiving world crossing into our own.  It incorporates many myths in a fresh way.


I know that in one of the infinite number of parallel worlds my books are selling well. 

Blurbb
Their world is crowded with active volcanoes, sulfur and acid rains, permanent thick clouds turn day into deep twilight. It is a violent place: moment-to-moment survival is victory, every creature is constantly predator and prey, sleep is certain death. This is home to the longclaws, beings of super-human speed, strength and senses. Their predatory skills allow them only a tenuous niche in their hellish environment. Though smart and fierce, their rank in the food chain is far below the top. One clan leader draws from ancient legends of paradise and devises a plan to escape and take his clan to the otherworld - a world filled with slow, defenseless prey. The clan activates an Indian mound deep in southern forests and enters our world -hungry for prey. Torrential rains and washed out bridges force a runaway teen, an old dowser and a Cherokee healer to face the horrors of the clan's merciless onslaught. Mankind's legends are filled with vampires, werewolves, dragons and other nightmarish. Perhaps our legend of hell is based on the world of the Longclaws.Abab  
Steve Peek grew up in a family of readers and writers.  In the second grade a neighbor gave him a toy printing press and, using rubber linotype, he wrote and printed a neighborhood paper.  His first short story won a competition in his third grade class.  Sometimes he dreamed of being a policeman, fireman, lawyer, minister, soldier, politician, but in every dream he was also a writer. Peek loves games.  He enjoyed a forty year career in the game industry which allowed him to travel the world where he was able to explore many of the ancient, mythical places he’d read about. Some legends associated with these enigmatic sites led him down a winding road to a junction where myth meets science and the hold of this magical place continues its grip. Over the decades Steve always wrote.  Sometimes just here and there.  Twice he managed to have books published. Now, with the precious time to write, Steve found the traditional publishing world in disarray and decided that it is more important for him to write than to sell books to the big publishing houses.  The venue of the e-book makes this possible.  So, for better or for worse, Steve sits at a kitchen table looking into the woods around his home in the Smokey Mountains and writes every day. Reviewers have declared his books Longclaws and Alien Agenda: Why they came, Why they stayed to be a new sub-genre, ‘science faction’.  Much of the books are based on history and science while the story falls under fiction. Steve’s books are based on things that interest him and he works hard to make them interesting for his readers. He would like to hear from you via jstephenpeek on facebook or send him a message via his contact form.





Follow Steve on social media!

Buy Longclaws or Alien Agenda here

Steve is on tour between 12th and 26th July - you can check in with tour central here, and please check back each day to read more fascinating thoughts by this eloquent and interesting author.
Finishing-Fairies-small-banner
Tour arranged by The Finishing Faires

Friday, July 11, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Lisa Fox


Foxy ... Foxy Lady!  Lisa Fox is here on the blog to chat about her novel "One Kiss" and other adventures in writing ...

World-renowned neurosurgeon, jet fighter pilot, secret member of American royalty, seducer of legions of beautiful, outrageously sexy angels and demons and vampires and werewolves and the occasional pirate, Lisa Fox has done it all…in her own mind. In reality, she can generally be found at her desk with a cup of coffee close at hand. Or maybe a martini. It really depends on the day.


Thanks so much for having me over, Aaron!

Lisa, when did you first think about writing for publication? 

I always thought about writing for publication. That was always my goal.
Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us. 

I have no sense of direction. I ALWAYS get lost. I’ve lived in New York City most of my life, but I could get out of the subway tomorrow and turn in the wrong direction. Always. Without fail.

You have quite a few books under your belt, but first I’d like to ask about your latest release, “One Kiss”.  Tell us about this novella and where it came from. 

One Kiss is all about two friends who learn they might have more than strictly platonic feelings for one another after they share a New Year’s Eve midnight kiss.

As to where it came from… that’s like one of the most impossible questions to ever answer. Where do any stories come from? The gods? The ethers? The vast, unknowable universe? 

You’ve written contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal romance.  Do you have a favorite genre?  And is there really a big difference among the three from a writer’s perspective? 

I really do like them all. I don’t think there’s any real difference in writing the various genres either. No matter what I’m writing, I just keep in mind that every world has its own rules. As long as I stay true to them, the story works just fine.

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why? 

I’d love form them to meet all my characters! I think they’re interesting people. But if I had to pick only one, for now, I’d choose Ryan, the hero from my latest submission to Harper Impulse, A Kiss in the Dark. He’s young, full of energy, and he’d be a great guy to have cocktails with. 

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you? 

How slow it moves sometimes. I really thought publication would be a whirlwind experience. It’s actually more akin to waiting for water to boil. 

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing? 

I have so many people in my life who have always encouraged and supported me – far too many to list here. I am very blessed.

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future? 

So much. The ideas never stop, you know?

So, I need to ask, and be honest – do you have an obsession with Hugh Jackman?  ;-) 

LOL! Just a little one. You know, totally tiny. Not what you would call an obsession or anything. Definitely not. 

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word? I go through phases with this. Right now I’m fond of persnickety. 
  2. What is your least favorite word? Failure
  3. What turns you on? Success. (And Hugh Jackman)
  4. What turns you off? Whining – even when I’m the one whining.  
  5. What sound or noise do you love? A bluesy guitar riff
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? The grinding of train wheels on metal tracks. The sound makes my teeth ache.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Motherfucker
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d love to be a rock star.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything that requires a suit, a desk, and 70+ hours of my life every single week.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Don’t you have reservations elsewhere?
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Seriously though, how awesome was Charles Bukowski?
Lisa, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books? I am everywhere!

Email: lisa@lisafoxromance.com
Twitter: @LisaFoxRomance

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop!

I haven’t been tagged in a blog hop in a while!  But this week I got tagged by fellow HarperImpulse author Nic Tatano, who I’m told is the only other male writer in that imprint.  (He seemed pretty pleased when Dawn and I signed over there!)  Nic has been with them about a year, and his serialized novel “It Girl” is making waves right now.  He was here on Finding Fiction Friday on May 30th, and you can read that interview here.

So I’ve been asked to talk about my writing process.  Since so far I’ve written exclusively with partners, it’s more “our” writing process.  I’m glad there are questions accompanying this blog hop, or I’d be lost.

What am I working on?  Well, Dawn Treadway and I submitted the first manuscript in her “Progeny of Sin” series, and we are poking away at the sequel.  I say “poking” because she is in nursing school with finals every couple of months, and I work full time.  “Progeny of Sin” is a paranormal adventure/romance series that follows a family of daemons who has escaped the hell-like realm of Sheol and now protects the human race from the denizens of that realm.  (Can't wait to see the cover art!)

At the same time, my other writing partner, Patricia Laffoon and I continue to work on the first book of “The Realmwalker Prophecy”.  This adventure/romance series will have elements of paranormal, historical, science fiction, and fantasy.  The first book takes place in what we know as the 18th century Caribbean, a high seas adventure with a love story between an ex-pirate and a mermaid.  (These covers were made for the initial short stories that led to the series, work in progress.)



How does my work differ from others in my genre?  “Progeny of Sin” is Dawn’s baby, but I will tell you how I think it is unique is in the combination of strength in the female protagonist, and her incredibly quick wit when faced with impossible-to-fathom situations.  She’s a human with a unique gift that just gets thrust into this bizarre world of demons and other realms, and does so with a bit of quirky humor.  One of Dawn’s strengths is writing dialogue, and I’ve learned a lot from her.

“The Realmwalker Prophecy” is a unique take on the paranormal romance series, I think, but I don’t want to give too much away at this point ;-)

Why do I write what I do?  Well, there is more to this story which if you are interested you can read starting here and continuing here and here, but in a nutshell, my wife introduced me to a paranormal romance series, I started writing role play / fan fiction in that series, and it simply flowed for me.  It’s writing people who are real, that we can relate to, but have these special abilities or backgrounds.  It’s different than writing pure fantasy or sci fi.

How does my writing process work?  I really enjoy writing with partners, which I know seems a little unusual.  The collaboration, bouncing ideas back and forth, and the feeling that you are “in this” with someone else gives a certain validation to what you are doing.  That being said, I enjoy winging it a bit.  It’s more fun, and doesn’t feel like it did writing in school, where you needed to submit an outline and then follow that outline.

My work with Dawn started out as an author-editor relationship, which turned into a co-authorship when I gave her some ideas and she asked me to come on board as a co-author.  She builds the framework of plot and settings and starts the writing process.

My writing with Patricia has been in a role play style, whereby we each create one of the main characters, develop our own backstory and personality for them, and then write scenes back and forth in an interactive style within a particular setting or situation.  Then we take that and edit it into a more traditional narrative, keeping the elements and point of view that seem to fit the best.  We have reams and reams of stories to tell this way which was the genesis of “The Realmwalker Prophecy”.  (I have ideas in my head for at least eight books in this series, based on all the writing we’ve done together.)

The two different relationships and processes actually help keep things a little fresh for me, preventing the writing from becoming rote.  The challenge is time, which has been scarce of late.

Tag, you’re it!

Brigid Coady:  Brigid is part of the HarperImpulse team of authors.  Like me, she is a non-practicing engineer working in project management!  (Funny how that happens.)  She lives in London and yet loves country music.  Brigid has her own blog and is also part of a group blog:
http://biddycoady.blogspot.co.uk/
http://theheroineaddicts.blogspot.co.uk/

Torie James:  One of my FAVORITE people, Torie is the author of the awesome New Camelot series, an adventure/romance which gives a whole new take on the legend of King Arthur.  You should absolutely check it out.  She is also planning a book surrounding the legendary Fate from Greek mythology, Clotho.  Torie has an amazing ability to connect with her readers and fans too, I sort of envy her for that.  She is a great friend and writer.
http://torienjames.blogspot.com/
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Jill Knapp


Meet her before you can buy her!  Ok ... in retrospect that sounds really wrong, but I am happy to have on my blog today Jill Knapp, whose first novel with HarperImpulse releases next month.  First, a little bit about Jill ...

Recently signed by Harper Impulse/ Harper Collins, Jill Knapp is a native New Yorker who is the author of the series "What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?" (out July 24th). A former adjunct professor of Psychology at her Alma Mater, she received a Masters degree in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and The High Tea Cast; Jill discusses entertainment, dating, and the differences between city and suburban lifestyles.   In addition she competed in and taught figure skating for over a decade.

Jill, before we get into your writing, tell us a bit about your experiences as a Huffington Post blogger.

I have been blogging for Huff Po since 2011 or 2012 now (I have lost track!). Mainly I write about dating and women’s issues. I have gone on a lot of horrible dates, so I like to turn them into funny, yet cautionary tales for other women. I really like writing for them and wish I had the time to do it more often, but being an author takes up 90% of my writing time! Here is a link to my archive so you can check out my articles for yourself! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-knapp/

When did you first think about writing for publication and how was that transition from blogging to fiction?

There really wasn’t a transition. I have started writing my first book before I ever became a blogger for anyone. It took me a very long time to complete the first novel because I was working two jobs and I had moved from Staten Island to Brooklyn at the time. I had taken a lot of creative writing courses in college. I always loved to write, but at the time I was on a different path- career wise. After completing my M.A in psychology, I realized that path was not for me. I decided I wanted to write full time. It was something I truly love doing, and I have never felt that way about any other line of work.

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

I eat ice cream every single day of my life! My day is not complete unless I get to eat ice cream.

The official cover reveal was
yesterday at Bleach House Library.
Check them out too!
Your debut novel “What Happens To Men When They Move to Manhattan?” is coming out next month.  Tell us about it!

What Happens To Men... was originally a self-published novel called “Chase”. It’s the first novel in a series of New Adult books I am working on. I was fortunate enough to have Kimberley Young and Charlotte Ledger over at HarperImpulse, HarperCollins, read my manuscript and like it! I did annoy them a bit until they finally read it, but I like to think that my stalking (er, I mean persistence) paid off.

The book is about a 23-year-old woman named Amalia who is living in Manhattan while pursuing her M.A. at New York University. She has a boyfriend named Nicholas who she considers to be her “soul-mate”, but her eye keeps wandering over to a guy in her school named Michael. Apart from her relationship drama, she has a best friend named Cassandra who she has known practically her entire life, a new friend named Olivia who seems to be the only level headed person she knows, and a crazy family who constantly forgets about her existence. Amalia works her way through love and city life and tries to find what is worth the chase at the end of it all. 

How long did you live in New York and what about it made you choose it as a setting for your book?  Did you have experiences that inspired the book?

I lived in NY almost my entire life. I lived there for 27 years before moving to NJ for a year, and then taking the leap to move down south to North Carolina. I like to think that in my novel, New York itself is a main character. The city is so full of life, possibilities, and also heartache and despair. Living there is literally the best of times, and the worst of times, so I wanted to write a book about what it really felt like to be young and trying to make it in Manhattan.

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

Definitely Amalia. Her personality is somewhere in the middle of her two friends’, Olivia and Cassandra. She deals with a lot of heartbreak and a bad times, but still manages to get through it. I think even though she still has a lot of growing up to do (which you will see throughout the book series), she is still a great person.

What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

Probably how nice everyone has been! I love working with everyone with HarperImpulse and only wish I lived closer to everyone so I could see my co-workers more often. 

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

I wrote a Young Adult Fantasy novel called Golem Glam that I am really hoping will get picked up!

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!

  1. What is your favorite word? Persnickety
  2. What is your least favorite word? It’s really more of a phrase- At least.
  3. What turns you on? Good manners
  4. What turns you off? Conceited snobs
  5. What sound or noise do you love? The ocean
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? frogs
  7. What is your favorite curse word? The F word (Thank you, James Lipton ;-) )
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Screenwriter
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Accounting
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? You did the best you could.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Can I turn your book into a movie, and pay you a million dollars?

Jill, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

What Happens to Men When They Move To Manhattan? will be available for purchase on July 24th from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com!


You can stay up to date with my book by visiting http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/authors/jill-knapp or by following me on Twitter!