Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I hope you are all gearing up for a safe and fabulous holiday!  I know we are.  In honor, I'd like to share some pictures of famous people holding my book.  Enjoy!

R.L. Stine.  The master of YA horror and creator of the Goosebumps series.


IronE Singleton, main character from "The Walking Dead."

Madison Lintz from "The Walking Dead."

Michale Koske, zombie from "The Walking Dead."

Kevin Galbraith, zombie from "The Walking Dead."

Travis Charpentier, zombie from "The Walking Dead."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Meet An Author Tuesday

My radio recording is up on The Authors Show today.  You can access it here.  I also have a guest blog on the Zombie Survival Crew site.  That is here.  Check them both out!

Today's guest is Joy Brooks, who is a Southern lady in love with the mystery and adventure associated with medieval warriors and royalty. She fills her spare time with reading, writing, cross-stitching, and playing with her seven cats. She enjoys the quiet life in a quaint, historic Georgia town.


Website
Blog




What inspired you to write this story?A lot of my inspiration comes from random thoughts. I was thinking about a new story and the Sword of Virtue popped in my head. The more I thought about it, the more ideas I had. It wasn't long before I had my computer out and I was writing about Jared. The ideas flowed and Jared's story came to life.

How long did it take you to write?
This story, about two months. Every minute I had free, I wrote. That's how I work. When I get the idea for a story, I am driven to write it until the story is told.

I've been writing about three years now. I wrote a book when I was in my twenties, and it was denied. I took it to much to heart and stopped writing for many years. I believe it to be a true calling, so many years later, I tried again. I won't ever stop.

What is your favorite thing about writing?Having someone read my stories is the greatest pleasure I get out of writing. I want to share what I write. I wish to entertain my readers with exciting, intriguing stories. I hope they come back for more.

What is your least favorite thing about writing? Well, I have to say, no sales. I try so hard to write material to entertain my readers, not seeing my stories selling is hard to take. I don't feel I'm alone when I say it is disappointing to a writer when their stories aren't read. Other than that I don't really have a least favorite. I love to write!!! I even enjoy the editing process.

If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Hmmm. The first thing that popped into my head was to be a famous writer. I'm going to say J.K. Rowling. I am choosing her because she is a modern writer and her stories have soared to the top of the charts, not to mention the movies. I would like to find out how she went about getting her books to the public. I would have a lot to learn in that one day.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?Other than the ice in my ice maker, I would have to say a carton of eggs. I don't use many eggs. It's probably over a year old. I know, I really need to get rid of them. I also have a half bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper. It's probably six months old. I'm sure the fizz has gone.

What can readers expect from you in the future? More books. I don't see myself slowing down. I have so many stories I want to tell. I'm even thinking about expanding my genre's. As much as I love writing about the 16, 17, and 18th centuries. I love the future. I am thinking along the lines of a crew on a spaceship. I'll have to think of some really cool characters. No robots or people with pointed ears. Or, maybe .... The ideas are still coming.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Movie Review Monday

I have a guest blog up here and here.  Check them out.

That's My Boy (2012)

There are some movies that you watch the trailer for and just know that they are going to be bad.  This was one of those films.  Normally, I don't mind Adam Sandler.  This movie, however, was never on my "to watch" list.  The spouse wanted to see it, though, and I had nothing better to do, so I watched it.

In a nutshell, the film is about relationships and how socially reprehensible they are.  The film opens with a 13 year old boy having a crush on his teacher, and that teacher responds by having an inappropriate relationship with said student, which results in a pregnancy.  When the relationship is exposed, the boy instantly becomes a celebrity because he lived every adolescent boy's dream. 

The depravity doesn't stop there.  The film examines the relationships between fathers and sons and how they have been corrupted, the relationships between mothers and sons, strippers and customers, brothers and sisters, and the older generation and the younger generation.  It attempts to examine why some relationships are more socially unacceptable than others and challenges our perception of them.  There were parts of the film that made me very uncomfortable and some made my stomach churn, but I think they were supposed to.

Well, that's how I viewed the movie anyway.  It's possible the film was nothing more than an attempt at comedy using alcohol, drugs, and sex.  If it was, it wasn't very funny.  Of course, I outgrew that humor when I became a parent.  For me to sit through it, however, I had to find some deeper meaning.

Friday, October 26, 2012

This Week in Reading

My blog tour started today.  You can read the first of many blogs here.  As usual, I'm pimping Life After the Undead.  It's so close to Halloween, and zombies are a staple of the season, how could I not?  Plus, I need to make sure people have read the first one so they can enjoy the sequel.

I'm also doing a book signing today at a local bank (picture 1 has my information).  I'm not too optimistic about the outcome.  I can't sell books at a sci fi/fantasy convention, I doubt I'll have any luck in a bank.  But who knows.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.  I'll let you know how it goes on Monday. 

Other than that, I've been reading The Underminer by Mike Albo and Virginia Heffernan.  It's very interesting.  It's told in first-person perspective from the underminer's viewpoint.  I find I have to read it in chunks because the character is so vicious.  I mean, seriously, s/he is so cruel.  I'm not exactly sure of the gender, but I'm fairly confident it's a female.  I'm enjoying it, but it's very intense.  You wouldn't think it would be with only one perspective, but I was surprised.  As usual, I'll review it when I'm finished.


Yesterday, I met the 5 year old at school for lunch.  He's been asking me to go for a while, and that was the first chance I had to go.  Yes, I ate cafeteria food, and no, it wasn't horrible.  It was a bit more than I normally eat for lunch, though.  I'm not used to eating tator tot casserole, carrots, and a roll for lunch.  I had chocolate milk to drink, and was informed by one of my son's classmates that white milk was better for me.  To which I replied, "I know, but chocolate milk tastes so much better!"  Normally, I only have a sandwich and chips for lunch.  I thought I was going to pop when I left.

I think I really made his day.  He was so excited to see me, and I made him laugh a few times during the meal.  He didn't talk much, the little girl sitting next to me talked more than the 5 year old, but it was all good.  Just spending time with him was enough.

Later that night, when I picked him up from Grandma's house, he said, "Maybe you could come on Friday or next week on the same day for lunch again."

It made me so happy.  Sadly, I have to let my dogs out at lunch, so going all the time isn't an option, but believe me, I will try to fit it into my schedule as much as humanly possible.  A day will come when he won't want anything to do with me, so I have to cherish these moments while I can.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Self-promotion Thursday

Halloween is right around the corner, so how about some creepy stories about the Devil?  Check out The Devil Made Me Do It, you won't be sorry!


This is a collection of five different stories that explores what it would take to drive someone to deal with the Devil. Think they're all evil? Think again. Driven by tragedy and loss, most of the characters are looking for ways to cope. When no one else can help, the Devil steps in with an irresistible offer. From mothers to husbands to college students, each character has their own reason for leaving the path of the righteous and drifting to the dark side. What would push you to make a deal with the Devil?

I keep forgetting to mention that my Author Show interview will go live on October 30.  It will be here.  As usual, I'm talking about Life After the Undead.  But it's so close to Halloween, who wouldn't want to talk about zombies?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Networking

One of the things I really enjoy about going to conventions is the ability to network.  Mile Hi Con is fairly small, and I've seen a lot of the same people for the past 3 years, but I've still managed to meet some new people and (hopefully) make some new contacts.  Standing out in the book world is hard, and it's nice to have as many people on your side as possible.  Us authors have to stick together and help each other out.

One day, I'm hoping to get to a really big convention.  If I was wowed the first time I went to Mile Hi Con, imagine what it will be like to go to a Comic Con or a World Con.  I bet my head would explode.  That's my plan for next year.  To save up and go to a really big convention.  I'm sure it will be incredibly fun, and I hope to find even more networking opportunities!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Sara Daniel.  According to Sara, "I write what I love. That means irresistible romance, captivating small-town drama, and quirky characters in romance fiction as Sara Daniel. In children's chapter books as Sara Shafer, that means fun, family and adventure. Whatever I write, you're guaranteed a happy ending. I write fiction to entertain but also to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after.

On the personal side, I'm a frazzled maid, chauffeur, and personal assistant (aka mom). I tried a stint as a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. (The Bravest Squirrel Ever is the fictionalized version of that experience from the squirrel's point-of-view!) I'm crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And I have my very own happily-ever-after romance with my hero husband.

Follow my blog, like me on Facebook or email me for the latest updates on my books and writing projects or to debate the best race car drivers!"




Q) What inspired you to write this story?

I saw a submissions call for a series called Finally Ever After. The stories were to be short, happily-ever-after romances about lovers who had loved each other and lost. I love characters with a past history, especially in a short word count. They have instant attraction and long-standing unresolved conflict—the perfect elements for a fast-paced, emotion-packed read. Zane’s Art had all these things coupled with a strong present conflict. The story flowed out of me so fast I knew it was meant to be!

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Zane’s Art is a short story and took me a week to write. I fell in love with the characters and didn’t want to leave them, so I ended up writing a sequel with their siblings (Wyatt’s Guilt, to be released December 2012)…which took me three times as long to write.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite part of writing is brainstorming "what if" scenarios for my characters. I brainstorm while walking and driving. Eventually, I sit with a pen and paper and channel these half sentences and random musings onto the page. I write down everything I know about each character’s past, personality and present situation. Then I write what I see as the story conflict. Finally, I start typing up a synopsis. By this time, I’m usually dying to dive into the actual writing of the book, but I’ve found it critical to get my details and plot figured out first (even if I go back and change everything later).

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The hardest part for me is getting all the logical points lined up to make the plot believable. Again, I go back to my what-if scenarios and make sure my characters have good motivations to make their actions believable.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I’m going to go with Amelia Earhart, preferably not on the day her plane goes down and she’s never heard from again! I would love to have her courage and determination to follow her dreams in the face of so many naysayers and other obstacles.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
The oldest thing in my fridge is probably a bottle of mustard from when we moved into our house 15 years ago. No one in my family eats mustard, so it just sits there. I bought it case we had guests over who liked mustard, but we’ve had the bottle so long I’m afraid to offer it to them! Perhaps I should think about throwing it out some day…except if it hasn’t gone bad, that would be a waste of good food.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Psychic Lies, part of the Wiccan Haus series, comes out on Friday. Fiona must keep her ability to read minds during sex a secret from those determined to exploit her, especially a sexy truth-finding investigator who needs her psychic power to save his job. Wyatt’s Guilt will be available in December. Nicole trusted Wyatt with her heart once. She won’t make the same mistake twice.

Zane’s Art (available now) A high school art teacher must choose between her students and the artist she never stopped loving.

Connect with Sara Daniel:

http://www.SaraDaniel.com
http://saradanielromance.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/SaraDanielSaraShafer
http://www.facebook.com/SaraShaferDaniel
http://www.twitter.com/SSaraDaniel

Monday, October 22, 2012

Convention Review Monday

I didn't watch any movies this weekend since I was down in Denver hanging out with nerds.  As always, I had a wonderful time.  There is nothing better than hanging out with people who share the same likes as you and talk about it for days.

I participated in two panels this year.  One was a late night reading, and I read the first chapter from Death to the Undead.  There were six of us, and I was the only female.  There wasn't a huge crowd, maybe five people in the audience, but it was still fun.  The other authors' stories were fantastic!  I felt like an amateur.

The other panel I was on was called "Prequels, Sequels, and Reboots," and the panel talked about movies and books with the aforementioned labels.  It was fun.  This panel was on Saturday, and the crowd was much larger.  People had to stand around the room because there weren't enough chairs.  Females outnumbered males on this panel, with three of us and two of them.  It was so much fun! 

Other than that, I sat at the author co-op table in an attempt to sell some of my books.  I didn't, but the author sitting next to me was fun to talk to.  I did hand out my baubles, so that counted for something.  Perhaps one of those key chains or notebooks will inspire someone to buy the book.

I donated a copy of Life After the Undead and Life Lessons from Slasher Films to the literacy auction, along with a picture of Madison Lintz and Michael Koske holding my YA zombie book.  Thankfully, someone bought it.  I thought I was going to have to take it home, and that would have hurt my feelings! 

Otherwise, I had a great time attending panels and mingling with other nerds.  I met a few new people and hopefully got some new connections.  By Sunday, I was exhausted and couldn't wait to get home.  I really love geeking out, but, man!  It takes a lot out of you!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Get My Geek On!

Today after lunch, I'm heading down to Denver to attend Mile Hi Con.  This will be my third year attending, my second as a panelist.  I'm very excited.  I usually end up having a really great time.  There is nothing more spectacular than hanging out with like-minded people!

I'm about 75% done with The Cold Beneath by Tonia Brown.  I am really enjoying it.  I will review it when I'm finished.  What are you reading this week?



The boys started wrestling on Monday night.  The 5 year old brought home a flier from school and said he was interested.  I thought it sounded like a great idea, so away we went.  I was thrilled when we got there and they told us the 3 year old could wrestle too.  He idolizes his big brother, so whatever the 5 year old does, the 3 year old does.

The nice thing, though, is that even though they are in wrestling together, they don't always have to be together.  The first night, they got separated into two separate lines for drills.  It didn't bother either one.  They didn't cry or whine and switch lines to be with each other. Then, last night, they were working on some take downs, and they had to find a partner close to their size.  The 3 year old tried to be with his brother, but the 5 year old wanted to find other partners.  I found the 3 year old another little boy close to his age and paired them up.

This poor little kid.  He was so shy.  Painfully shy.  Like if you looked at him funny, he'd burst into tears.  I think his dad was helping coach, so the 3 year old got very specialized instruction.  At first, the little boy was very nervous about working with my kid, but as the night wore on, he actually started smiling.  I was so proud of my boys for breaking out of the comfort zones and finding new kids to play with/beat up.  Made me happy!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend indulging in things that make you happy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Self-promotion Thursday

Hmmmm.  Choices, choices of what to promote today.  How about my first book.  I don't think I promote it nearly as much as I should.  Here ya go!  Coming from Nowhere!  You can order it here and from Amazon.


JD does not have a past--at least not one that she can remember--and that makes living life on Mars challenging.


With nowhere to go, she is sent to the local military academy where she is trained to become a member of the elite secret police. While there, she becomes a pawn in Roger’s struggle for military dominance and Chris’s rebellion to overthrow the military regime.

She supposedly holds a secret that will change the face of the soldier, but, unfortunately, she doesn’t know what that secret is. Her only desire is to find the truth of her existence, and finds herself thrust into a realm where the truth of her past and present is more horrific than she ever imagined.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jerrod Does It Again!

Again, I would like to point out how cool my friends are.  Jerrod Brown, horror artist extraordinairee, went to a zombie walk last weekend, and he was kind enough to promote my books and share his pictures.  I've included a few here, but there were many more.  JERROD ROCKS!  Enjoy!






Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Meet an Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Edith Parzefall, author of Strays of Rio.  Edith studied literature and linguistics in Germany and the United States. After graduating with a PhD, she worked as a technical writer. Drawn to a more challenging career and increased opportunities for traveling, she moved on to management at a global IT company. Now a full-time writer and free-lance editor, she strives to combine her two passions: writing and traveling.


She is supporting a street kids project in Recife, Brazil, and visited Grupo Ruas e Pracas where she took part in a music and crafts workshop with the children. During her stay in Rio de Janeiro, the idea for Strays of Rio was born.



Lisa Kerry witnesses a private death squad attack street kids close to her bookstore. When the police take no action, she vows to purge Rio of the ruthless killers. To keep him out of the line of fire, she must quell her affection for the one man cut out to exorcise the demons of her past. Drawing strength and rage from the abuse she suffered as a young girl in a juvenile detention center, Lisa closes in on her marks.


Unable to get to the rich and powerful leader of the recreational killers, she enlists the older brother of one of her street urchin friends—a drug lord. Lisa's pursuit of justice spirals into a violent struggle to survive, for herself, her young charges, and the man she loves.

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
I was on writing withdrawal, racking my brain for a new story idea, So I
followed the old advice: write what you know about. I made a list with books
and minerals at the top. So I sent a bookstore owner and her geologist
boyfriend to Brazil. The story didn't kick off, but the research I'd
done inspired Strays of Rio. Only the bookstore owner survived, but with a
very different character taking on the job, and I relocated her to Rio de
Janeiro. A geologist later made it into my Chile road trip novel, Crumple
Zone.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
It took seven years from that first idea to publication of a very different
novel. This is my most rewritten manuscript so far while I honed my writing
and plotting skills and learned more about Brazil. The final story only
developed after I visited Rio de Janeiro and a street kids project in Recife.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
Exploring the human condition, living someone else's life, sharing my
fictional characters' emotions, hardships and triumphs.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing? 
With most books, I'd say the third or fourth editing round, but in the case of
Strays of Rio it was something far worse: fully identifying with the
villain. I had jotted down a background story for Félix, my main antagonist,
but shied from tackling his point of view for a long time. Then came the
moment when I had to slip into his head and body and make him a living being.

After writing the first four pages, I felt drained and unhappy. It took me
a while to struggle out of the dark hole I'd written myself into, but there
was more to add. The task became easier, but never fun. Still, the story
needed these additional scenes. I shudder at the thought of how Joyce Carol
Oates must have felt while she wrote Zombie.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I'd be tempted to pick one of the world leaders in the hopes of making a
difference, but I have the strong feeling I might end up a major
disappointment, if not disaster... So I'm going to wimp out and pick John le
Carré. Can I keep his insights and skills once I'm me again?

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Hold on, gotta check. Hm, not too bad: Dijon mustard, expired in August. That
stuff is a little too strong for me, but it's nice to add half a tea spoon to
a creamy sauce. I must have bought it two years ago or more. When did I last
open the jar? Probably some time last year.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Scheduled for release in November is Knights in Dark Leather, the sequel to
Wind Over Troubled Waters, a post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure I co-wrote
with UK author Francene Stanley. Two more books in the Higher Ground series
will be published next year by Double Dragon Publishing.

In February, MuseitUp Publishing is going to release Crumple Zone, my
psychological suspense road trip though Chile.

Still under revision are Rapunzel Plan, set in the Austrian Alps, and the
sequel Cinderella Conspiracy, unfolding in Tenerife. Both are action
adventures featuring the tour guide from hell and a control freak manager.

Now I'm undecided if I'll dive into a third book in my "fateful fairy tales"
or start something completely new. I've already picked the location:
Australia. Scenes are floating in my mind while I wait for a quiet month to
dive into a first draft writing frenzy, always the most exciting time for me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Movie Review Monday

Dark Shadows (2012)

I had no expectations coming into this film, except that maybe it was supposed to be a comedy.  If it was a comedy, it was pretty dark and I didn't laugh once.  Then, half way through, I started thinking it was a tragedy, but then it was a little too light for that.  I'm not sure how to classify this movie.  It's from Tim Burton, so, really, I'm not sure you can classify it.

I wasn't impressed with this film.  It was way too long and not a lot happened.  It's the story of Barnabas Collins, a rich kid from England who moves to America with his family and find wealth beyond their means establishing a fishing town.  Barnabas refuses to love Angelique, a servant and a witch, so she puts a curse on him.  He gets locked in a coffin for 200 years before he is inadvertently freed.

The Collins family has endured since then, but not well.  They've fallen on hard times and are losing their wealth.  The curse has carried on through the generations.  Of course, it comes to light that Angelique is responsible for all of the hardships and bad things that have happened to them.

It was really hard for me to get into the film.  I didn't care enough about the characters.  It was hard for me to feel sorry for Barnabas and his plight.  He was supposed to be pining for his lost love, but when he finds her again in a different form, the film barely focuses on that.  The love story is secondary to Barnabas restoring his family.  If you ask me, that should have been the focal point of the film.  After all, Angelique felt slighted because Barnabas didn't love her, and Barnabas lost his love because of Angelique's jealousy.  I suppose you could argue that the love of a family is greater than anything, but that didn't seem to be the message either.

Don't even get me started on the Collins family.  Talk about misfits.  But there is nothing earlier in the film to set up that expectation, it just happens at the end.  David talks and sees ghosts (there is hints earlier in the film that this is going on, but his mother actually makes an appearance later) and all of a sudden, Carolyn is a werewolf.  It felt tacked on.  Almost like a side note.

I've never watched the original series, so I can't do a comparison.  I doubt I'll ever watch the originals, though.  There wasn't enough intrigue for me.  I suppose if you're a huge Johnny Depp fan the movie is worth it. 

I also had the pleasure of watching part of The Avengers this weekend.  I'm not really a Marvel fan, I am a DC girl, but the film was really good.  I'll review it when I get the chance to see the whole thing!

Friday, October 12, 2012

This Week in Reading

I joined a group on Facebook called Zombie Book of the Month Club.  I don't really have time for it, but they read some great books, so I figured I'd try.  Right now we are reading The Cold Beneath by Tonia Brown.  I'm really enjoying it.  I've read another zombie story of hers, it was an erotic zombie tale called Lucky Stiff, and Tonia is a fantastic writer.  I'll let you know what I think when I'm done!


Last night, the boys hung out at Grandma's house.  Since it was a school night, they couldn't stay all night, so we picked them up later.  On the way home, we stopped so the spouse could get dinner and gas.  While waiting to pull onto the road to head home, there was a line of traffic, which was pretty surprising for that particular road at that time of night.

"Who opened the flood gates?" I asked.

A 5-year old voice came from the back seat.  "Grandpa.  It was Grandpa.  Grandma had her pajamas on."

I laughed.  Kids can be so literal!

Now, in his defense, when we picked them up, we had to drop off the snowmobile trailer, and Grandpa did open the fence gates for us, so I'm sure that's what he was referring to.  Still, it made me smile.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Self-promotion Thursday

You all know what's coming.  I have to pimp my newest book.  Yes, you saw it yesterday, but it's so cool, you know you want to see it again!

Death to the Undead


Before Death to the Undead opens, tough teenager Krista’s parents are killed by the zombie horde, but she escapes to the safety of Florida. After her reunion with General Liet, a distant cousin, she moves with him to North Platte to help build a wall to keep the zombies in the West. Krista falls in love with Quinn, a survivor and fighter from the zombie-infested wildlands of the West, and together they free the garrison at North Platte from the power-hungry Liet.


Now, North Platte is free, but Liet was not the only one using the zombie apocalypse to control their people. Florida is ruled by five ruthless Families, who use intimidation and the threat of the zombie horde to coerce their populace. While trying to solidify their new relationship, Krista and Quinn hatch a desperate plan to run guns into the state and help the people revolt. When The Families label Krista and Quinn rebels and attack North Platte, Krista and Quinn run for their lives. The Families want them captured, the zombies want to eat them, and other survivors want them dead. Caught in between powerful forces, they must survive long enough to devise a new plan and put it into action, all while trying not self-destruct in the meantime.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

IT'S FINALLY HERE!


After a several month delay, Death to the Undead is FINALLY available as an ebook.  You can only get it from the publisher's website at the moment, but I have been assured the print version will be available very soon.  I was told it was supposed to be done by the time I go to a convention next weekend, so we shall see.

Either way, I'm very excited, and I hope you are too.  This is the sequel to Life After the Undead, and I think it wraps the story up nicely.  One of my beta readers said they enjoyed this one even more than the first.  Of course, read it and let me know!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Jared Gullage.  He'll tell you about himself.

I was born and raised in Opelika, Alabama. Though at first a slow learner in reading and writing, once I began to do so, I grew to love it. My father always told me that to be a great writer, a person must learn to form pictures with words. Since my brother was the better cartoonist and visual artist, I worked at creating stories. Role-playing and an excellent education in English throughout high school honed my skills further. Attending Auburn University, I majored in English. Throughout my life, creative writing and anything that makes it better, easier, or more worthy, has been that which appeals to me most. Often, to understand this world, I have taken my knowledge to imaginary ones to toy with. I have jokingly told my students that "writing is my default setting" and what I would do if I had to decide on one thing to do forever. Writing is much less a thing I do, but a place and time, a brief leap from the boundaries of the mundane.



Q) What inspired you to write this story?

This story, The Dust Finders, was honestly one part writing exercise and one part bet with myself. I played around with a game a friend told me about which we called "Thirteen Different Ways to Think of Garbage Disposal Repairs," where you pick a subject and think of 13 different story plots that have to do with the subject. The subject of this story was...well...I'm going to say it was nomads (though it wasn't. Can't tell you for spoilers). The bet with myself was that I could write a complete story in Stream of Consciousness narration, which I had not really done too much of before. It's interesting to me how this character ends up being rather like the character from Flowers for Algernon, and yet becomes an elder in his tribe as well, and a father. What mostly guided the story, and helped write it, however -- the main theme, that is -- was asking the question about what is the purpose of bad things that happen to us? The narrator of the story encounters some very troubling moments in life and he cannot wrap his mind around them, or understand just why they happened. He is trying to understand a complicated world around him with only very simple faculties. I am not sure he finds any universal answers, but he seems to find answers for himself, and perhaps that is truly all he needs.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Unlike Drinna, this story took only a couple weeks to get it perfected to the level I wanted it to be (truthfully, I am never really finished with a story, but have to let them out after a while). It is much shorter than Drinna and written in a much looser, more nebulous style, so it took a great deal less time to write. The stuff I left out, the details and background, was done so deliberately in large part because of the deteriorated mindset of the main narrator. Therefore, the language used in it is sort of half poetry and half...delusion, confusion, whatever you want to call it. It makes it easier to write, but maybe a little more difficult to read.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I like creating worlds and the people in it. I like being able to imagine and create imagery, and paint pictures with words. I enjoy also being able to explore the hidden depths of my mind and work out answers to questions I have in my mind through creating this world to myself.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Always, always, always: PROMOTING. Please buy my books, but not because I am pimping them out hard, but because you really want to read fantasy like no other fantasy. I consider myself to be original, as much as possible, and I am proud of the novels and novellas I produce, but I HATE ADVERTISING. I really wish I could get an agent, because I am no good at promoting myself.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Right now, I would love to be in George R.R. Martin's spot, only because his books have lit up and are really being read right now. I'd like to "catch on" myself and enjoy that spotlight, mostly because I would love to be able to do nothing but write for my career, instead of keeping a day job. And wow, to have a television show of that quality dedicated to my works...man, that might be fun. I would love to see a movie made of Drinna (producers and directors out there, I believe it would do quite a bit better than Eragon; I'm not derivative of Tolkien, and Drinna's got a really good story).

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Hmmm, I think it used to be one thing and now it is something else. I'm not sure of what it is, anymore. It's in the back in a jar, safely contained, so that some teenager some day in the future can open it and release the zombie plague. But, soon, I expect for Zool to be there, waiting on the keymaster for Gozer. When that happens, well, I guess we better call Bill Murray.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
More work from Trithofar. I'm currently working on a novel that's reached that crucial 50,000 word point so far, and is going quite well. It's called, tentatively, The Wizard's Nest, and you can imagine what it may be about. I'm well pleased with it and hope to be finished with the draft of it by the time this is posted. I am going to try and be traditionally published again soon, if I can be, or at least professionally published. If I cannot, then I'll have to self-publish it, but that was a lot more work and money than it has been gain with The Dust Finders so far.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Movie Review Monday

First, and most importantly, the two winners of my giveaway are:  Mary Jo Burke and Jean MP.  Please send an email to pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com and let me know what story you would like and what format you want it in (pdf, Kindle, etc.).  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who commented and participated in the blog hop!

Also, don't forget The History of My Wishes is $1.99 this week.  Great time to check it out, especially if you like vampires and dark romance.

I watched three movies this weekend.  It was pretty chill.  I'm not going to go into an in-depth discussion on each, though.  Just give you the highlights!

American Reunion (2012)

I feel just about as old or older as the characters in the movie.  The first movie came out in 1999, three years after I graduated high school, but I was still young enough to relate.  Watching the film was like looking into a mirror.  I don't know if that is depressing or flattering. 

The film wasn't terrible, but it wasn't as raucously funny as the first.  It had it's moments, but the franchise is wearing itself out.  If you like the American Pie series, I recommend checking it out, just so you can say you watched them all.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Originally, we were supposed to go to the circus with the kids this weekend, but since it was snowing and very cold, we opted for a movie instead.  The 5 year old has been asking to see this since the previews came out.  I thought it looked entertaining, so going to see it was fine with me.

The film was pretty funny.  There were elements that were entertaining for both adults and children.  It was very predictable, as I'm sure you can imagine, and there wasn't much of a plot.  At an hour and a half, it dragged a little.  The kids absolutely loved it, though, and that was all that mattered.  The 5 year old said that when Dracula would get his mean face, that scared him just a little bit.

All in all, it wasn't a completely wasted afternoon.  I enjoyed the movie, and so did the kids.  It sounds like we will be adding it to our collection.  If your kids and you like monsters, I recommend seeing it at least once.

Cowboys and Aliens (2011)

I have wanted to see this movie since I saw the previews.  I thought it looked fascinating.  My spouse thought it looked ridiculous and terrible.  I was going to go to the theater by myself to watch it, but time slipped away from me.  I finally convinced the spouse to watch it this weekend because it was free on HBO.  I loved this movie.  It was everything I hoped it would be and more.  The spouse hated it. 

It was a typical Western.  A mysterious stranger with a questionable past shows up in a small town and has to help the townsfolk fight an evil.  The stranger is neither good or bad, but lost somewhere in the middle and has moments of both honor and evil.  Instead of fighting really bad guys or Indians, the stranger has to fight aliens.  What's not to like about that?

The aliens were really cool, too.  Vicious, hard to kill, and intelligent.  My kind of extraterrestrials.  There were explosions and great fight scenes.  The plot was thin and predictable, but that didn't lessen the entertainment value.  I'm a big fan of mashups like this, and the film totally delivered.  Of course, throw some science fiction or horror into anything and I'm a happy camper.  I know the film won't be for everyone, but watch it and form your own opinion.  And, come on!  It's got some big name actors in it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

This Week in Reading

The History of My Wishes is on special this week!  You can get it for $1.99!  You can miss out on that!  Check it out here.

I finally finished It Came from Del Rio by Stephen Graham Jones.  Man, that seemed to take slightly longer than I had anticipated.  Oh, well.  It's done now.

I really enjoyed the book.  As I mentioned before, it is split into two sections:  Dodd's and Laurie's.  Dodd's section gets a little confusing at times because it's not told in linear fashion.  He skips around in time a lot.  Laurie's is told chronologically, and it helped make everything clear.  Well, almost everything.  It is the first in a series of books.

I'm not exactly sure how I would describe the book.  It's not exactly horror, though there is some of that in there, there is some mystery, some political intrigue, some family drama, and a zombie.  They all combine to make a truly entertaining story.  I recommend it if you're looking for something a little different to read.  I would give it 5 out of 5 bunnies.

I'm trying to decide what I want to start next.  I have several books on my shelf and in my Kindle, so options abound.  What are you guys reading?  Do you have any recommendations?


Earlier this week, I was sitting in my recliner watching TV.  My spouse stood in front of me with his hands on his hips.

"You're ruining my boys," he said to me.

I pushed my eyebrows together in confusion.  "How so?"  (In reality, it could be so many things, but he seemed to have something specific in mind.)

Apparently, that morning, the 5 year old asked if they could listen to Lady Gaga on the way to school.

"I don't play that kind of music in here," my spouse responded.

"But Mom plays it in her car," the 5 year old pointed out.

"That's fine.  But I'm not going to play it in my truck."

I couldn't help but smile.  There's nothing more fabulous than watching my kids rock out to Lady Gaga.  This is for them!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Self-promotion Thursday

If you're not too sick of reading about my stories from Musa Publishing, check out the blog post I'm featured on today.  It gives you an excerpt from Other Options.

Aside from Musa having their 1 year anniversary, MuseItUp Publishing is celebrating their 2 year anniversary.  They were kind enough to publish my story, The History of My Wishes, and they also contracted to publish my novel, Wucaii.  Check out both places.  While you're at it, buy some books!


When you're told your life is tragic, what else can you do but believe it? To deal with her own tragedy, Stevie drowns her sorrows in alcohol while never venturing beyond a three block radius of her home. A menial existence at best.

Then, a blue-eyed mysterious stranger offers to take away the pain and heartache and show her the world, all Stevie has to do is make a wish...or three.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Utter Failure

I apologize for not posting on Monday. I spent the day attempting to keep my stomach in my body where it belonged.  I got the stomach bug twice in 5 days.  It was not pleasant.

Anyway, enough about my illness.  I was supposed to announce the winner of the $100 Amazon gift card for the most reviews posted.  Here ya go!  There wasn't one.  Not one person sent me a link to show that they had posted a review.  Oh, well.  What can I do?

Don't forget to do the Musa Blog Hop for your chance to win a Kindle Fire.  The information is a few posts down.  If you leave a comment on my blog, you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of one of my stories.

Good luck!  Have fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meet An Author Tuesday

Please welcome Leigh Daley, author of Storm Duty, a short story available from Musa Publishing.


In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he’s glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.


But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire—for both Kyle and Jenna.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?

“Storm Duty” comes straight out of the experience of living through the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Two little towns less than 30 miles from my house were completely destroyed and my hometown was without power for four days because the damage to the power infrastructure was so catastrophic. I work for the local electric utility in my day job and watched the linemen work day and night for a week to put it all back again.

Despite the danger—and it is very dangerous—and the fatigue, they gave themselves day after day because they believe that getting the electricity back on in a community means increased safety, better relief efforts for recovery, and a return to normalcy for everyone involved.

This story is not just a love story between the main characters—a lineman supervisor and his ex-wife—who are putting their relationship back together as they put the town back together. It is really a love letter to all the linemen out there. I think the world of those guys! (And no, my husband is not a lineman but he’s not jealous!)

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I spent a couple of weeks on the story and a couple of months on the editing. This is my second published work at Musa Publishing and I wanted my sophomore effort to be worth submitting. I’ve read the other stuff Musa is putting out and I am in distinguished company!

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love being able to enter the world my characters inhabit so completely. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know them and watching them grow and love and discover. I write contemporary and spec fic romance as Leigh Daley and fantasy/YA fantasy as Arley Cole, so I get to inhabit some very interesting places!!

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Making the time to do it. I have a day job and a family, so something has to give. My husband wants me to come sit and watch Cajun Pawn Stars with him right now, but I’ve got more work to do before I can call it a day. It’s always a balancing act. Ultimately, my people come first, but I have to make sure that my writing gets its due or I get really cranky and hard to live with and that’s not good either.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Bestselling author Leigh Daley! Or Arley Cole! That would be so great!! But it would stink if it was only for one day. I’d like to get a few years out of it at least. Right this minute for hanging out with a famous person, I’d like to hang out with Kate Bush. I’ve been re-listening to her works and find something new in them every time. She’s an awesome artist.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
My fridge has been recently purged, so nothing in it is too bad. However I did throw away some 25 year old caraway seed recently. Still smelled caraway-y too.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Leigh Daley is hard at work on a paranormal romance for Musa’s super-cool Wiccan Haus line.