Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writer Wednesday with William Bortz author of These Ties

 It's Writer's Wednesday! 
Today we have with us

William Bortz who is the author of
There Ties


Welcome William!!


Do you work another job when you are not writing?
I do not, a few months ago I quit my current job as a barista to take on writing and marketing my book full time.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
I love to listen to music while I write, but sometimes sitting outside and listening to nature brings inspiration music never could.
What is your favorite color? Why?
Purple, I think because it’s so lively, and yet it can be so calm at the same time.
What is your favorite season? Why?
Spring. Everything comes to life. The trees start budding, the grass turns green, and birds start singing. Nothing is more beautiful.
If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why?
Somewhere in Italy or Austria. I read many articles and find as many pictures of these places that I can and stare at them for hours. I love everything about them! From the furniture to the food. I dream of sitting in a room with wide open doors facing the sea underneath massive cliffs and drinking in the atmosphere.
If you could have any car, what would it be?
Actually, I do not like owning a vehicle! As silly as that sounds I just feel as if I don’t need one. I love walking and riding bikes, and there is nothing more interesting than a bus ride across the country!
Tell us about your writing:
How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?
I’ve been writing for a long time. It started off as a journal, and then intertwined with my love for guitar and I would write my own songs and lyrics. Once I graduated from high school I didn’t write as much, being busy with school and work, and one day I woke up and realized these were not the things I wanted my life to be about; money and work. So I quit my job and took a break from school to try and find my calling, which I later figured out was writing. It started off as a hobby, but grew into a passion nothing could match, I will always keep writing regardless of the direction my life heads.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing?
It depends on the day, but usually between editing, writing, and creating around six or seven hours.
Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?
I always try to find a routine but it never works, it coincides with the mood for the day. If it’s sunny and beautiful out inspiration comes easy, but one those slow and cloudy days I find myself sitting in front of a blank screen for some time. Than there are those days where writing seems like the last thing I will accomplish and at the most inconvenient moment inspiration hits! Good thing I’m not against writing on my arms and legs or half of my work would not exist today.
Is there some place special you like to be when you write?
Outside usually. The best places are in spots I’ve never been too before, and haven’t visited often. There are always those things you see that seem so new and my writing seems to flourish in those hidden spots.
Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write?
Both seem to work wonderfully. It depends on what I’m writing about, if it’s something to do with nature and love I’ll usually turn the music off and listen to the world. But if it is something I’ve dealt with personally and I have to dig deep to find it music does the trick.
Tell us about your book:
What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel?
‘These Ties’ is a compilation of poems and short stories written over the timespan of about a year. It was at a very detrimental point in my life where I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to be, and all the relationships at that point seemed to be withering, not only my romantic relationships but the ones with my friends and more importantly the one with my mother. When the summer hit that year I ventured out west to visit a friend and try and find whatever I was missing. I found love, real love, and it changed my life entirely. I spent most of that summer on the west coast living the dream of being free to venture new grounds with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. The book covers the strain of relationships and how they can effect so much more than themselves, and how the discovery of love transforms how one can think. It’s really about the power of love. The book does not stand alone, there are three in this project that will all tie together.
Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?
Sorry, I seemed to cover this question in the one above.. haha. If this is problem all you have to do is send me an email and I can rephrase the question before this one so I can answer both separately. Hope this is no inconvenience.
What is it about?
How love can change someone’s life. Not only does it teach you how the heart works, but also how it opens your eyes to the world. Love allows you to see the beauty in everything and everyone.
Your other work:
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?
I have quite a few projects I am working on currently. The major of them are the two books that go with this one, which will branch off into more personal events and stories, and also dive into a more earthy tone. I have a few short stories I’m working on editing and hopefully will be available as an eBook soon. There’s a novel I’m slowly piecing together that will take quite some time, as well as a photography and poetry book
Where can readers connect with you?
I am available on almost every social networking site out there! I love to connect with people anyway I can, so if anyone has a random thought or interesting topic of discussion I would love to hear it. Of course, I love to answer questions about my book as well.
Where can we buy your books?
My book is available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The book is also available on my publishers site; Friesen Press. Of course it’s available on all those smaller eBook sites as well. I’m currently working on getting it onto iTunes and on some bookshelves.



  Where can Readers Reach you?
Website: Blog: At the moment I’m currently switching to a new blog site.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mention Monday Brings us Author W.C. Hewitt and Deceit


 It's Mention Monday! 
Today we have with us

W.C. Hewitt who is the author of
Deceit


Welcome!!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Do you work another job when you are not writing? 

No. I am happily retired and content in creating and writing fiction.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing? 

I like to read, watch movies and spend quality time with my family.

What is your favorite color? Why?

 Hunter green. I find the colour very satisfying and strangely calming.

What is your favorite season? Why? 

Winter. The season slows everything down to an enjoyable, easy going pace.

If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why? 

Blackheath Ontario, Canada. The land is vast, green, beautiful and free of urban encroachment.

If you could have any car, what would it be? 

A vintage Aston Martin DB5 of course. Everyman’s dream.

Tell us about your writing:
How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?

I’ve found pleasure in writing since I was a teenager, almost two lifetimes ago. Writing for me is something that I’ve always done and in many ways I find very theraputic. To focus on a story and incorporate individuals and instances from your past provides an excellent challenge to my creativity. History has always intrigued me and the opportunity to utilize history with a fictious charcter I can control can act as a reminder to each passing generation.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Usually between 3-5 hours a day.
Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes? It starts out as a routine usually but sometimes when the mood strikes I can find myself behind the keyboard for hours on end.

Is there some place special you like to be when you write? 

At my desk. It was originally my Great Uncle’s, big , solid oak and I just love the comfortable, old leather swivel chair. 

Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write? 

Once I’m focused on writing I really don’t take notice of outside distractions. With or without music it really doesn’t matter to me.

Tell us about your book: 
The book is a historical/fiction, action/adventure. From the not too distant future to the elegance and extravagence of Edwardian times the story follows a brash young reporter’s discovery that unearths events surrounding a young woman’s coming of age in a male dominated society of a century earlier that centres around the voyage of the ill-fated Titanic.

What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel? 
The novel is called Deceit and is the first of the Elizabeth Brunnette series but is also capable of standing alone.
Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?

 I had envisioned the foundation of the story when I first caught the Titanic ‘bug’ many years ago. My first draft was originally written in 1992 but after many revisions, additions and edits was finally completed in 1995. I didn’t start shopping around with it until early 2009 and it was picked up by LazyDay Publishers in 2010.

What is it about? 

The book is about the perseverance of media in today’s world and the lessons to be learned from the past and how we have eventually evolved into the society of today. 

Your other work:
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published? Yes. The next four Elizabeth Brunnette adventures are complete and are ready for publication. Following also is The Lucey Headron and the Chronicles of the L.O.D.M..


 

Where can readers connect with you? 

I can be reached on Facebook on the Deceit page, Twitter and through LazyDay Publishing.
 Blog: http://wchewitt.blogspot.ca/
Twitter:@WCHewitt


Where can we buy your books? 
My kindle is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, OmniLit.com, Googlebooks and Barnes&Noble.com.








 Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/IJ7otN
 Barnes&Noble.com:  http://bit.ly/HKmfC4
 OmniLit.com: http://bit.ly/J061Ej
 Googlebooks.com: http://bit.ly/HJIXfy
 LazyDay Publishing.com: http://bit.ly/HKmgWE

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thomas talks about his story "Amethyst Eyes" by Debbie Brown


Please welcome character 
Dthau-Mahsz "Thomas" Commander of the Phoenix and Tommy's father
to our blog today!
He is the star of the book Amethyst Eyes
Created by Debbie Brown


As Thomas joins me, I can't help but stare into a strong face and a pair of amazing Amethyst Eyes. There is no doubt where the name of the book came from! 

Thank you Thomas for joining me today! Tell me about your story. 


Amethyst Eyes starts off with a horrible tragedy in which my wife dies, leaving my son alone and injured in the hospital. 
What a way to start a story, I'm so sorry!
As you soon find out, I am not from Earth, and as soon as I get the emergency signal I make arrangements to go to my family, but the reality of the situation hits me hard when I sense the loss of my wife through the link.
Wait... you're not from earth?
The story is about my son, who after losing his mother leaves the only life he’s ever known to come live with me. I am the commander of a Crisis Intervention Vessel and live onboard my ship. 
I assume that is a spaceship...
Unfortunately, due to the injuries sustained in the accident and the poor care he’d received, I was forced to have him undergo treatment in medical bay upon his arrival…I’m sure it didn’t help ease his apprehension of us. I found myself in a similar situation on Earth, having to trust someone I didn’t know in a world I knew even less about.
Trust is a hard thing.
Tommy’s adaptation was difficult since he was not prepared to deal with my world…something his mother neglected to include in his education. I had enlisted the help of the doctor’s daughter, Jayden. She is a few months younger than my son, and ahead in her studies, but she made it clear from the beginning that she was not pleased with the arrangement. She made a serious mistake that almost cost my son his life, but was able to follow the list I had given her after the incident without any more trouble.
Well that is good. 
My son seemed to struggle with every aspect of his new life. Much of our existence is thought directed and this was quite a shock to him. I believe he feared some kind of mind control in the beginning. 
I'm sure he did. 
Tommy had to learn how everything worked, had to catch up in school (which was quite an endeavor) and had to accept our philosophy and our ways…all very different from what he knew. Both he and I have amethyst eyes…rare, even amongst my people. This made him the target of the Binari and their quest for power. When he was abducted by the Binari I was afraid I would lose my son…when I felt his life force slipping away…
The thought of losing your son so soon after your wife must have been dreadful!
Our adventure brought us back to Earth, giving Jayden a glimpse of Tommy’s life and all the differences. I believe this helped her adjust her attitude towards my son.
 I am afraid I might have given away too much information here…well, If you want to know more you will have to read the book.
LOL... I think you gave us enough to make us want to know more!
We all want to be different, so what is the one thing you wish your creator had done differently with you?
I wish there would have been a way for me to remain with my family. I did not want to have to leave my wife and only son behind because of my duty. Most of all, I did not want to suffer the loss of my wife in order to be reunited with my son.
Of course you didn't! 
If you could have added something to the story, and your creator would have let you, what would that have been?
You mean aside from not losing or being separated from my wife and child? I would have to say protecting my son from the Binari attacks. I almost lost him there, and I would have liked to keep him safe. Our sense of duty, especially to family is beyond what you seem to understand…but I could not just force my wife to follow.
I bet you wish you did now. 
What do you love best about yourself? What do you like least?
I have many responsibilities. In my job as commander of the Crisis Intervention Vessel, I have been part of many rescue missions and seen hopeless situations turned around so that these people could be given another chance at life. I also love the bond I have formed with my son. I believe I am a fair commander, and that I am respected and appreciated by my crew.
That is always good.
What I dislike would have to be the fact that my job forced me to leave my wife and son behind. I did not get to see him grow and I lost my soul mate when my wife died. I know you cannot understand, but our position is determined through a series of tests and trials, placing us in the best and often only position suited for us. There was no other to take my place, which is why I had to leave my wife and child. I had hoped they would follow, but my wife preferred to stay behind on Earth to raise our son.
I know that must have been hard on everyone.
What part of the book was the hardest for you and your creator to work through?
Seeing my son suffer and struggle through the changes in his life. He lost his mother, had to leave his home, friends and planet behind to come live with me…and his mother had not prepared him. Tommy did not know anything about me or my world and this only complicated things. 
I bet!
Is there a sequel for this book? If so, what do you want to accomplish in the next book. If not, do you wish you could continue your story?
There is a prequel coming out around August that tells the story of my time on Earth, from my crash landing to my departure, and my life with Emma (my wife) in between. The story is told through my wife’s eyes.
Very cool!
The sequel is under way, told three years after Tommy’s arrival on board. Tommy has started his specific training, and he is now a cadet. His friendship with Jayden has evolved, possibly into something more. There are also changes he may not be prepared to deal with that have to do with the prophecy…the legend about Amethyst Eyes. And there is the increasing danger of disaster on Earth…so much to deal with.
Sounds very exciting!  Thank you Thomas for coming to visit with us today and for sharing the information about your book!  
Watch the Video Trailer

To Purchase Amethyst Eyes
To contact the Creator Debbie Brown

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writer Wednesday with Brook Syers author of The Brainiacs

 It's Writer's Wednesday! 
Today we have with us

Brook Syers who is the author of
The Brainiacs


Welcome Brook!!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Do you work another job when you are not writing?  
Yes.  I'm an internal auditor.  I know it sounds exciting and sometimes it is.  As soon as I leave work and get on the bus, I put on my cape and start writing.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing? 
 Spending time with my wife and our 4-year-old son.  We do a lot of things as a family and I really enjoy that.  
What is your favorite color? Why?  
Green, probably because it's the color of my eyes.    
What is your favorite season? Why?  
I live in Texas so it's definitely not the summer!  I would have to say winter, which in Houston means "not as hot as the summer."
If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why?  
Austin, TX.  I graduated from The University of Texas and Austin is my favorite city in the whole world.  The food, entertainment, and outdoor activities are unrivaled.  There are film festivals, awesome live music, and it is surrounded by the beautiful hill country.  
If you could have any car, what would it be?  
That's easy.  A Ferrari 458 Italia.  And I wouldn't let my son near it because he's messy.  
Tell us about your writing:
How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?  
I have been writing for almost a year.  It started as a challenge to myself to see if I could actually finish writing a novel.  Then it grew into something that I love to do.  I look forward to it everyday now!  
How many hours a day do you devote to writing?  
About an hour a half each weekday when I'm on the bus traveling to and from work.  I'm probably appear unfriendly to my fellow bus riders  because I pop in my earphones, turn my iPod on, and start pecking away at my laptop.    
Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?  
It's routine and I like it that way.  It makes me focus because I know I have a set amount of time to write.  
Is there some place special you like to be when you write? 
 I don't really have a preference.  As long as it's not too loud and I can listen to music while I'm doing it.  
Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write?  
Music all the way!
Tell us about your book:
What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel?  
It's called The Brainiacs and it's the first book in a series.  How long the series goes depends on how much it connects with readers, which I think it will.  I've already written the sequel (The Brainiacs vs. The Ravens) and it should be published this summer.  
Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?  
Most people were bullied in some way in school, as was I, and it always upsets me when I see stories about students coming to school with weapons and committing acts of violence.  I asked myself what if there was a way to fight back without using violence?  That is how the idea for the book was born.  It took about 5 months to write.  
What is it about? 
 There are two parallel stories.  The first involves a group of geeks that band together to fight back against the bullies in grade school.  The second story picks up after they have all graduated from college and decide to reunite to take on the vicious gangs that are threatening to destroy their hometown.  There is actually quite a bit of humor in the book to balance out the thrills.    
Your other work:
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?  
The sequel (The Brainiacs vs. The Ravens) should be published this summer.  I'm also writing something completely different right now.  It's a sitcom written as an ebook.  
Where can readers connect with you? 
Where can we buy your books? 

Amazon

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mention Monday with David Berger & Task Force: Gaea


 It's Mention Monday! 
Today we have with us

David Berger who is the author of
Task Force: Gaea- Finding Balance


Welcome David!!

Tell us a bit about yourself:


Do you work another job when you are not writing?

I'm a high school English teacher with AP English and IB English classes, all with seniors, as well as an online Latin teacher. I also teach a college course in College Success Strategies.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?

Reading. I know, that sounds like such a "geek" thing to say, but it's true. As a teacher, though, I don't get to read from my own list much since I'm either reading books I teach or grading papers. I was the kid under the blanket with the flashlight reading the Encyclopedia Britannica, and ever since then, reading has been one of my favorite pastimes.

What is your favorite color? Why?

Cobalt blue is my favorite color, mostly because I love the rich jewel tones, but also because it reminds me of the night sky under which I find my peace of mind. Ever since I can remember, I have had this affinity for blue things. The color's pacifying effect can't be matched; it brings me to a special mental place.

What is your favorite season? Why?

Unfair question :) As a teacher, I adore summer. We have this tempestuous love affair for a few short months, and then it’s over. However, I would have to say autumn is my favorite. Having grown up in New York, where seasons actually change (unlike Florida where we have two seasons it seems), I remember brisk air carrying the heady, intoxicating scent of leaves on the ground; the trees with their motley foliage of orange, red, yellow, and brown; the times when I’d go apple picking with the sweet smell of apples perfuming the air. It’s also the beginning of school for me, and I’m exhilarated to know what my classes will be like and how my students will be. I guess you could say I cheat on summer with autumn, and I’m okay being promiscuous with the seasons (since I’m monogamous everywhere else).

If you could live any place on earth, where would it be? Why?

Ireland. When I was in college, I worked my summer and winter breaks for Academy Broadway, a company that developed camping equipment mostly (and dog clothes—go figure). While there, I met a guy my age named John who was from Dublin. He was staying with his family in New York for the summer, but he wanted to work to make some spending money while he was there. We became good friends, and when I went back to school, he suggested I visit Ireland at some point, and he’d show me around. Well, I graduated the following spring and went there has a graduation gift. John and I traveled the countryside by train and bus, and he showed me everything from Dublin to Cork to Castlebar and many places in between. I kissed the Blarney Stone and climbed Croagh Patrick; I had my first Guinness and my first Irish breakfast. My first trip to Europe, and I had found my second home. I’ve been there a few times since, some for tours with students, but one where I was in Galway for an NEH grant to study the works of W. B. Yeats for a month. I’m of Lithuanian/Latvian descent, but I feel connected to the Emerald Isle. I’d love to live in Galway, on the west coast, and live like Yeats, in “a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,” to write and read. 

If you could have any car, what would it be?

I used to think it was a Jaguar XJ-6, largely because I saw a movie once where a college professor, who wore sport coats with elbow patches, drove one. But, now, I’m not so sure. Being more practical than fanciful when it comes to cars, I’m just happy with my Hyundai. I’ve never been a sports car kind of guy, and I have no desire to drive a car with a manual transmission. Now, as a fantasy writer, I’d love to drive a chariot, simply because of the horsepower. ;)

Tell us about your writing:
How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?

I remember writing stories when I was in junior high, but it wasn’t until I was a in high school when I found my first voice (I’ve matured much since then, so my voice has had many incarnations). I wrote poetry, too, and I hadn’t given much thought to longer pieces until later in high school. I’d say it was a hobby, but a serious one. Back then, I was artistic, too, so aside from writing, I sketched, painted, sculpted, etc. Writing seemed to stick, though, and one specific class assignment had us writing short stories in our favorite genre—I chose sci-fi/fantasy. A comic book fan since I was 10, I had fallen in love with characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, so this story was not only easy to write, but so much fun. That story, “The Olympus Corps.,” written back in 1984, became the inspiration for my first, recently published, novel—Task Force: Gaea. What was once a hobby has evolved into a passion.

How many hours a day do you devote to writing?

I’d say, when I’m focused on a specific story, I spend upwards of six hours a day writing, although not always in one lump of time. Sometimes, I scribble ideas down all day long, especially when I’m at school. Sometimes, I’d use my planning period to plan a story more than to grade papers.

Do you have a set routine, or do you write when the mood strikes?

Mostly when the mood strikes, but it strikes more often than I can allow time for it. There’s no routine, either. I just fall into it and see where the Muses take me. It’d be difficult to pin down a routine since I write wherever I am: a bookstore, at home, at school, on a plane, etc.
Is there some place special you like to be when you write?
Not really. I can write in public, like a cafĂ© or bookstore, or at home in my office. When I’m in my zone, nothing really disturbs me. Summer, though, tends to be the time when I am the most productive.

Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write?

Music would distract me during, but I do listen to music when I take breaks. Mostly classical music, too. I like the “white noise” of a public place, too. I recently found a website called rainymood.com that just plays the sound of a thunderstorm. That’s been helpful as background noise when the house is too quiet.

Tell us about your book:
What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel?

The novel is Task Force: Gaea—Finding Balance, and it’s going to be part of a series, probably three books.

Where did the idea come from? How long did it take to write?

Comic books entered my life when I was about ten, back when I rode my bike to the stationery store since comic shops as we know them today weren’t around. I had also found, and couldn't get enough of, Greek mythology (now an insatiable addiction). I discovered Saturday morning cartoons then, too, and then the Fates had me ensnared: I learned about Wonder Woman. All of these things together motivated me to write stories, and I found myself writing superhero stories. When I learned that Wonder Woman had ties to Greek mythology, that was it—I was hooked. My original idea for the story, “The Olympus Corps.,” was more Star Trek than fantasy, but it had my heroes traveling from planet to planet, encountering monsters of myth and the gods. About fifteen years ago, I changed the premise of the story and the title, but kept the heroes. I had matured as a writer, too, so some of the original ideas wouldn’t work as well for me now. I finished the manuscript five years ago and began the editing process. That's how Task Force: Gaea came to be.

What is it about?

The story twists the ancient myths we grow up with where what the reader knows about the Olympian gods, or thinks he knows, is challenged in fresh and curious ways. One god’s journey and actions unimaginably affect the entire universe. Basically, the book opens after Zeus and the gods have defeated the Titans, and Zeus is setting up Olympos with the gods. He makes some judgment errors, shall we say, that mess with the cosmos. Prophecies come about that tell of four mortals who will set right that which Zeus has done, but that won't happen right away. Amidst this chaos, Apollo is cast out of Olympos, punished, and his journey feeds into what eventually happens to fulfill the prophecy. Four mortals do indeed rise to the challenge in the modern era, and they have a tremendous job to find the balance once again between order and chaos.

Your other work:

Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?

I’m currently working on the sequel with an expected finish date of December 2012. I’m trying to put together a collaboration with other writers of short stories and poetry where the proceeds would benefit cancer research.

Video Trailers:



Where can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AuthorsDen, and Authors.com.

Website: Blog: www.taskforce-gaea.com
Google +: http://bit.ly/Ha9QcI, (as Task Force: Gaea) http://bit.ly/HD388g
Where can we buy your books?

Fantasy and myth-lovers can find Task Force: Gaea on Amazon as paperback and Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. 
Kindle owners can get a free “Kindlegraph” at kindlegraph.com.

Amazon