The Brits Don’t Have ALL the Good Historical Fiction – Blue Honor by @KWilliamsAuthor

This year has been tough physically for me. If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you probably know I battled cancer. Do you know what kept me going through those dark days of chemo? Books. Surprise, surprise, right? The author loves to read. Shocker.

Well.. I don’t like talking about ‘favorites’ because I have a lot of author-friends whom I love and respect more than life itself, but I’m going to tell you about MY FAVORITE book that carried me through chemo. It’s a little gem called Blue Honor by K. Williams.

About the book…

blue_honor_cover

Blue Honor tracks four tightly twining families during the American Civil War. Each member is asked to sacrifice more than their share to see friends and loved ones through the terrible times. The only certainty they have is that nothing will be the same.

Emily Conrad is the bookish daughter of a wealthy dairy family from Vermont. Her indulgent father has educated her and bred ideas that aren’t acceptable to her more urbane mother, who thinks Emily needs to settle down with her longtime friend and town philanderer Evan Howell. The outbreak of war frees Emily from these expectations for a time, but a stranger soon arrives after the guns begin to blaze, threatening her plans more than societal conventions ever could.

Devoted to the young woman who healed her wounds, Henrietta has become part of the Conrad family, hoping that she may one day see her husband and son again. As a runaway slave, she’s been lucky enough to find this slice of peace in Vermont, but the return of Evan Howell and the man he brings with him portends great change that might see her locked back in irons, if not executed for what she’s done.

Evan isn’t as bad as his reputation has made him out to be. He knows his chum Emily will make the best doctor Vermont has ever seen, and he knows he’s not the man to marry her. With a little manipulation, he convinces his commanding officer, Lieutenant Joseph Maynard, to take leave with him and see the beauty of the north. He just doesn’t let on it’s not hillsides and streams he’s setting the man up for.

Joseph has both power and privilege as the son of a Baltimore lawyer, but neither can guarantee him the things he wants in life. His commission in the army is likely to lead to death, a sacrifice he was willing to make to end slavery in the States—that was until he saw Emily Conrad. Torn between duty and desire, Joseph struggles to stay standing for that which he once held strong convictions. War weary, they all march on to duty…


I was so excited that she agreed to be interviewed on my blog. It was a total fangirl moment for me! So without further ado…

Author Interview with K. Williams

kwilliams

One of my favorite things about Blue Honor is the attention to detail you put into the history of it. I felt smarter for reading it when I was finished! What is that process like for you? Do you have formal education in history or are you just a history buff who studies it for pleasure?

That process is probably a little insane, but it works for me. I have a lot of background in history, growing up in a house with a veteran and being surrounded by history, history buffs and other vets. I’d say that had an influence on how I proceeded in life.

For my undergraduate studies, I minored in European, British and early some American history. I majored in English, reading a lot of British Lit, but also Native Lit and some American. When I got to my master’s program, I had already done 99% of the work on Blue (and those studies focused on political history of the US and Film; emphasis on race and gender). I pretty much wrote the story and kept my resources handy as I wrote. I knew a great deal about the history/period, but specific details and dates had to be looked up. I’d look those up as I went along, as needed, so it wasn’t overwhelming the story.  Some materials you read end to end before getting started so you have a base to work with, and others you use as secondary information for the tidbits, or to fill in any cracks. Ken Burns’ work The Civil War had a huge impact on me, helping me to focus my story and understand the period.

Being from North Carolina, the majority of the books I’ve read about the Civil War have been from a Southern perspective. Blue Honor is told from the perspective of the Union side with a few characters who seem to carry the traits of the best of Southern and Northern ideals without being Confederate sympathizers. What influenced the decision to put your leading characters in a slightly gray area?

Well, Vermont is very much a Northern place, as I see it—even more so than New York. They were the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery. They also had a large black regiment. Vermont has always been on the cutting edge of progress. I think that’s quite exemplary of what has been labeled Northern ideals. That said, there isn’t anywhere in the States that you can go where you don’t find people with traditions, although the South is stereotyped as ‘down home traditional’. Northern or Southern, Americans have traditions and they also want to progress. I think those common core ideals of humanity reign true throughout all people, despite how we want to paint them, in order to either feel superior or suit some other need. Privilege, for instance, is at the root of a lot of misunderstanding. We take for granted that our perspectives on life and the world are universal, or that the United States is singular in every aspect, when that is not at all the truth. I remember a colleague who, many years ago, was asked if they had corn in France—well corn is grain to Europeans, but he knew what she meant by it (maize), and responded with equal surprise that they indeed did. That is how privilege works, it precludes us from realizing how very similar all of humanity is, and that because someone is from outside the US borders that they’re not a rube living in rudimentary conditions. Despite cultural quirks here and there (like calling orange soda pop in other states, or Sprite a lemonade in the UK) we’re all on the same page, all trying to live and be happy.

That’s why the gray area, bad guys don’t wear a certain color, although it feels that way at times, and good guys are not always in a ten gallon white hat. Striking realism requires a balance, hence Joseph’s refusal to abide abuse and slavery despite growing up with that institution at his doorstep, while his father is a little more passive about the matter due to age and his legal career, and Mr. Oates is aggressively pro slavery, believing Africans were not human or deserving of equal rights. Mr. Oates is not all of the South, because you have Joseph there denying that. Likewise, you have Emily and her mother as opposing forces and even some of the folks in Vermont aren’t all that keen on blacks, despite the state voting slavery out. Other than that, the grayness can be found in the fact that things change. The way we view events, current or past, changes with the experiences and knowledge we gain in life, and are really defined by the context of the temporal. One overarching idea/thing may be at the heart of an event/view, but it is dotted with many other ideas/things. That’s called intertext and that is a fascinating subject I love writing about.

One of my favorite characters is Henrietta, a runaway slave who is rescued by the Conrad family. Is she based on a real historical figure?

Henrietta is completely fictional. I struggled a great deal with writing her. How can a white girl from privilege ever understand the struggle of this woman? How I approached her came from a couple of places. The invasion of Afghanistan by Taliban forces back in the 1980s changed that state forever. Up until that moment, they were quite a progressive country. You can see pictures from the 1950s-1970s of many of the Middle Eastern States prior to the rise of fascism there, and they don’t look at all different from the United States at the time. Many of the countries are on par with the west still, despite terrible poverty (we have that too). Anway…I was given an article to read about these changes in my junior year of high school. It illustrated what was happening to the women in the region. Prior to the takeover, women were lawyers, teachers, doctors, all kinds of professionals, but then that was banned upon pain of death. I read about refugees and I read about one woman who had been a doctor. This doctor lay down on a cot, faced the wall and expired. She willed herself to die because she could not accept this change and give up her former life. They would have executed her if she continued to practice, as she could not run away and resume her life in another place—but, imagine being forced from your home or accepting the decimation of your equality. Hettie was derived from the emotions that I had in that moment, wondering what it would be like if I could not write again because the laws of the country were changed and women were forbidden such things. My guts ached and I cried for this woman. I empathized so deeply with her plight. My empathy deepened as I continued in my career, facing rejections and insurmountable obstacles in my path. Had a man written Blue Honor, would it have taken me so long to get it published? So many articles are written on this topic and it’s a very real struggle. Secondly, would they have labeled it romance, as they were wanting to do—waring between the label of literature and romance. This has also been written about extensively. Much of women’s writing is dismissed to Women’s fiction and Romance simply because women wrote it, and it has very little fit in those categories. Blue, in my estimation of the work and intent I put into, deserved a more proper label that it didn’t achieve because of the gender of the author. My fear is that readers will be disappointed in the work, because it doesn’t fit the romance parameters they’re expecting. Being mislabeled, misrepresented if you will, is agonizing. This experience with gender bias also helped forge Hettie. It was the closest I could come to the kind of suffering she experiences. That said, I’d love to see her discussed in classrooms and beyond, as those around her as well as herself expose the nuance of privilege and race. Maybe in that she’s representative of many historical figures, both known and unknown.

How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?

Probably with a ‘fat dinner’—cheeseburger and fries from Five Guys or maybe a Hattie’s Chicken shack run. Chill out with my dog, Sadie Sue and relax for a bit.

Where to Find K. Williams on the WWW:

Website: http://authorkwilliams.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/K-Williams-65489613737/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/KWilliamsAuthor

Tumblr.: http://captainmaiel.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kwilliamsauthor/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/109536104874370337106

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6033812.K_Williams

Booktrope: http://booktrope.com/book_authors/k-williams/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/K.-Williams/e/B002YFZ018/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1443571721&sr=8-1

Kinja: https://kinja.com/kwilliams0603

deviantArt.com: http://kwilliamsphoto.deviantart.com/

Stage 32: https://www.stage32.com/profile/36578/k-williams

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/KellyWilliams701

International Thriller Writers: http://thrillerwriters.org/connect/profile/2579

It began with the Third Reich… – Marrow Charm by @Krazydiamond07

Have you ever read something, heard a song, or watched a movie and thought, “Dang… I wish I had thought of that”?

That’s how I feel about Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques, a.k.a. KrazyDiamond. (Yes, she likes Pink Floyd, I asked.) Apparently, a lot of other people loved this book as much as I did, and it was a 2015 Watty Award winner! Keep an eye on this new author, folks. This chick is going places!

marrowRead it FREE on Wattpad!

Magic runs bone deep…

In a world overrun by monsters, humans struggle for survival underground. Magic is feared and reviled, but rooted deep in the bloodlines of families, cropping up once a generation. These individuals are cast out, banished to the Above where humans are far, far down the food chain.

When her younger brother is tainted by magic and forced to the surface, Azzy follows, determined to save the only family she has left, no matter what he becomes.

Check out this prologue. OMG.

It began with the Third Reich.

Magic suffered a slow death in the minds of mankind, supplanted by the cold steel of the industrial age and the callous march of science. Long forgotten were the warnings, the rules, and the boundaries that must not be crossed.

In his desire to bring the world to heel, the Führer broke them all, combining his mad science with the darkest depths of sorcery. No one believed his experiments would wake something in the ether. No one thought he would bring something through the Gate. Not even he did, caught off guard when the abyss stared back. A vision of a new world sank its claws into his mind and drove him insane.

As nations allied against him, turning the physical tide of battle, the Führer opened the Gate to the waiting void, and put a bullet through his temple. The dark magic rolled over the world, twisting the natural order, creating abominations and mutated versions of the wildlife. It sought out the hidden potential in human bloodlines, transforming millions into monsters.

Humans toppled far down the food chain, hunted and preyed upon by a world in chaos. Desperation drove them underground, huddling in ramshackle settlements deep in the earth. For generations, mankind scratched out a living in bedrock and darkness, fearful of magic, fearful of what it did to their neighbors, and loved ones.

Willing to do anything to keep it out.

Author Interview with Kristin Jacques

Marrow Charm is fast-paced, high intensity adventure fantasy. It has a very elaborate plot, one that I’ve not seen done before. Where’d you get the idea?

May sound cheesy, but I did indeed have a dream. Or more accurately, a crazy nightmare that woke me up at 3:30 in the morning. Instead of going back to sleep, I whipped out the laptop and started writing. The premise came later, when I realized I wanted the setting of this world to be a twisted version of Earth. The idea of Nazi’s dabbling in the Occult is based in history. That is the flash point. The actual story begins a few generations after the event with a fully changed world.

Your world-building skills are well defined, so I think it’s safe to guess that you’re an avid reader. Who are some of your favorite authors that have influenced your style?

Some of my favorite authors are Tamora Pierce and Terry Pratchett, both masters of world building, with massive story lines that take place in their created universe. It is fair to say I am also heavily influenced by Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Fantastic story tellers and both authors have a knack for entwining magic with reality.

I get asked a lot how I balance life with writing. Honestly, I don’t do it very well. 🙂 You’re a wife and mother with a full-time job (or two). How do you find time to write?

There are days it happens and days it doesn’t. There are good weeks and bad weeks. You steal moments where you can, sacrifice a bit of sleep here and there, and combine tasks, like snuggling with a laptop while your little ones watch a movie with you. My best writing time is after the school bus comes, before work. The weekends are a free-for-all but if you are passionate about writing, you make the time no matter what.

How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?

First Item: Living Room Dance Party.

You can find Kristin Jacques on the WWW at:

Cursed Times, Now What? by @lina_hanson

I read Cursed Times-Now What? in about two days. I loved it! Being that I sort of feel like a brainless writer–meaning that I would love to write historical fiction if I weren’t so lazy–I was blown away by the amount of research and attention to detail that Lina put into this book. Rightfully so, this book was awarded a 2015 Watty Award out of 75,000 entries! Congratulations, Lina!

Cursed Times – Now What? by Lina Hanson

From Pyramids to Standing Stones; from the high-tech 21th century Earth to a parallel past full of magic: ‘Cursed Times’ follows the adventures of an extraordinary woman. Trueth, last of the European witches (or so she thinks) sets off on a vacation from hell which starts in an underground temple and goes downhill from there. Together with her new-found friends she solves a 5000-year old riddle and, as a reward, not only gets heart-broken but stranded in an alternative Egyptian civilization.

The place is as full of magic as it is lacking in decent showers. Instead, there is evil lurking just below the surface of the Nile and Trueth will need to embark on yet another world-saving adventure. One that hopefully does not end with a romantic shipping-wreck…

CursedTimes2Read it FREE on Wattpad!

What sparked the idea for the novel?

I’m fascinated by history. Especially the long bloom of the ancient Egyptian civilisation has me intrigued and I read tons of novels over the years. I read less about the witchhunts but I’m still intrigued at what sparked this outburst of inhumanity. It felt natural to combine the two and throw in a lot of humour, which is another thing I like a lot. And cats. Must have cats!

I get  the impression you’re a big traveler. Is it safe to assume you’ve visited the settings of the book?

I have been to Egypt several times, and I lived in Britain and worked in tourism jobs. I really know the country very, very well.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Hm. I use the Scrivener corkboard function to plan the plotline and I plan each chapter in terms of purpose, characters, conflict etc. But things change. A lot. It’s an organic process. I need to have a view of the characters and the purposes and rough outline though. Based on that I’, probably a plantser or potter. Or whatever a hybrid would look like.

I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett and you might notice it. Not in terms of style – I would not remotely aspire to his levels. But I love to couch my opinion of certain ongoings in our world into fiction. There are some clear ‘messages’. I dare say the novel is still highly enjoyable.

If you could write in a different genre than your normal one, what would it be and why?

I shifted from fantasy to paranormal to adventure. I believe I’m writing fantasy adventures. My secret ambition is to write cozy mysteries with a fantasy touch, lighter than the Cursed Times series. Let me just finish this one and I’ll be off on that project.

How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?

Not sure. I think I would do what I did when I won a Wattys Award – just stare at the screen and go ‘Nah, not possible.’ And then just continue. And secretly be very, very happy. And hope I get tons of money so that I can do some good for at least a few of all the people suffering in this world!

Find Lina on the WWW at:

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I’m Getting DRUNK ON LOVE with @natmarieauthor

If I were to pick a Wattpad author who I think has a similar style to my writing, it would be Natalie Marie, hands down! I love this book. It’s easy to read, it’s fun, and it’s got a love story that will make your toes curl.

Drunk on Love by Natalie Marie

Something old: Her ex-boyfriend, Casey. Something new: His gorgeous wife, Julia. Something borrowed: A slinky, black dress. Something blue: A pair of eyes staring at her like she’s crazy.

Somehow Becca Felix tricked herself into thinking that going to Casey’s wedding was a good idea. It wasn’t. In fact, it was beyond terrible. Not only did she make a fool of herself, but she woke up with a killer hang-over and in bed with his best friend. Cue the awkwardness and watch the sparks fly.

This is a story about letting go, hanging on, realizing who you are and why fate should always come with a pair of blue eyes.

natmarie2Read it FREE on Wattpad

What sparked the idea for Drunk on Love?

Drunk on Love actually started life out as a short story. I was a year out of college and found myself amidst wedding season and several friends starting the next chapter of their lives with their special someones.
There were always reconnection with new people, old acquaintances and a slew of quasi-wedding dates. Becca and Nick’s story was born.

Your book starts with your MC having to attend the wedding of her ex-boyfriend. Oh, the horror! Have you or would you do this?

I have not attended an ex’s wedding, but I have been to a wedding or two where ex’s of guests or the bride or groom were present. It’s the nature of a close knit group of friends and college town I suppose. Would I do
this? I’m not sure. I guess I’ll know if the opportunity presents itself.

I know I tend to weave in parts of my personality into my female lead characters. Do you see any of yourself in Becca?

I think inadvertently there is a bit of me in all of my characters, and my friends for that matter. Like me, Becca enjoys what she does for a living, is close to her family and is a closet romantic.

Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?

I’ve tried honorably and adamantly to be a plotter. I have almost OCD-like tendencies in other parts of my life, but aside from very blurry scenes and general plot lines I can’t force my writing. I’m a pantser through and through.

How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?

This is mind-boggling to even think of this happening. I picture a signing with big cardboard character cutouts and drinks all around to celebrate. Just enjoying the moment with everyone who helped inspire me and make it possible.

Find Natalie Marie on the WWW at:

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Try Your Luck with RUSSIAN ROULETTE by @MayFreighter

Russian Roulette by May Freighter

Soul-bound to a man she cannot trust and hunted by darkness, nineteen-year-old Helena Hawthorn is learning what the world behind the veil of normality is really like.

Desperate to know the fate of her father, Helena ventures into the Angel Realm but never expects that her curiosity would put everyone she loves in danger. An unseen darkness now hunts her, threatening to devour her soul. Believing he might save her, Helena binds her soul to a mysterious vampire called Lucious only to find that he is being hunted by the deadly Vampire Council.

With their lives tied together and emotions stripping their barriers, the Council is coming for her too, the darkness still looms in the shadows … and her guardian angel is nowhere to be found.

So, will she be able to fight the attraction between them and protect those she loves?

HH-RR v5 whiteRead it for FREE on Wattpad now!

What sparked the idea for the Helena Hawthorn series?

When studying Computer Science in university, your imagination tends to go down the drain as mathematical and logical sciences consume your brain. I spent a lot of time staring at the screen and half-listening to my lecturers, or doodling as if my life depended on it to stay awake. Then, one day, I thought: “Why not try meditating. It’ll be fun.”

So, I did try it, and it wasn’t what I expected. What really happened was that I was standing in a white space with a representation of a guarding angel next to me. Yes, I believe guardian angels exist. That is how Helena and Michael were born. I asked him if vampires existed, and he told me they did. So, when I linked my soul-string to one, I got to meet the character people know as ‘Lucious’. After that, I stopped meditating and just wrote Russian Roulette. At some point in the drafts, I had to separate Helena from myself and I’m glad I did. She is her own person now.

Your stories weave in a lot of high-concept fantasy, vampires, and romance. The story often reads like a dream. I wonder if you are a vivid dreamer?

I am indeed. I always dream in colour and find myself inside of people that are doing something. This can range from escaping from bandits that hijacked the train and having to survive in the strange new place city, or a zombie apocalypse, or an experience where things get really steamy. I probably wouldn’t trade vivid dreams for anything … unless it’s a mountain of non-expiring cake.

In this series, you’ve done a lot of world-building, creating this “world behind the veil of reality”. World-building can be tough, what inspired you to create such an elaborate realm?

It took me three years to solidify Helena’s world in my head. It was mainly through the side stories, and a series called “God’s Games”, which I will start after Helena Hawthorn series is over.

As for what inspired me, I grew up watching horror films, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ series, magical anime, and, soon after, I dove into reading Fantasy and Horror. I still remember “The Forbidden Games” by L. J. Smith and the “Saga of Darren Shan” or “Demonata series” as something that kept me clinging to the books I borrowed from the local library. I found those universes to be so fascinating and out of the blue decided to make my own.

Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?

Always a plotter until I reach a point where the characters just drive the story. This happened in Demon Gates. The characters simply ignored the plot and did whatever they wanted to do. I didn’t stop them as it was their lives I was watching. And, I can honestly say, I’m glad I didn’t intervene. They made the plot better. They even added their own lore.

Otherwise, I have to know the beginning, middle, and the end. It allows my brain to decide on certain elements in the story and the general direction it will take. The characters and their little schemes take care of the rest.

How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?

I want to say party but I’m a boring sod during those. Drinking makes me sleepy, so I stick to cola. Instead, we should go to Disneyland. I would want to feel like a kid again.

Where to find May Freighter on the WWW:

www.mayfreighter.com
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Sink Your Fangs into Red Night by @RCKClose

Every once in a while, someone will drop into your life and completely shake things up. Author RK Close is one of those people for me. It started over on Twitter when I sent her a message that went something like this… “Can you explain to me the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance?” She seemed to be an expert at both, whereas I have a bit of genre ADD. She jumped right in and offered me some wonderful explanations and advice. We’ve been fast friends ever since.

If you like sexy vampire books, you need to check her out. She is a Wattpad featured author with a trilogy that’s packed full of more fangs and sexual tension than a Transylvania night club.

RED NIGHT by RK Close

Life is good for Samantha Chase. She’s finally caught the eye of the handsome and quiet professor she’s been crushing on, and her PI business continues to gain new clients. But life takes a sharp turn when Sam becomes entangled with two mysterious men. She soon learns that vampires are not just scary stories told in the dark of night. Some are dangerously… attractive.

Adam, a seductive and provocative vampire claims to be on the trail of a murderer but can’t seem to keep away from Sam. Alex, is far more than the unassuming sexy college professor next door.

When a killer sets his sights on Samantha, the unlikely trio attempt to work together to protect Sam and stop the killer. Not an easy task when both men hate one another and Sam isn’t sure she can trust either one of them. Everything Sam holds dear is threatened in this fast paced paranormal romance-thriller.

RED NIGHT is a fast paced sexy urban fantasy with an endearing heroin who stumbles into love and danger, with grace and humor.

“Never believe the illusion that I am human, Samantha. My very nature desires to take advantage of you, in every way imaginable.” Adam ~ RED NIGHT

3D Red NightRead it for FREE on Wattpad!

What sparked the idea for your novel?

When I sat down to start my story I had no idea what I’d write besides the fact it would be paranormal romance/suspense in an urban setting. My entire story started with putting my main character, a female private investigator in a busy shopping mall while following a woman who is part of her current investigation and an unknown male. My first chapter ends up with her following them to the dark underground parking garage where the situation escalates quickly with a situation she never expected.

I don’t really plan very much when I write. I’m definitely a Pantser and not a planner when it comes to writing. My characters sort of dictate what will happen and when. Sometimes they surprise me.

 How do you deal with writers block?

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced writers block. I’m over half finished with my second story but I don’t run out of things to write so far. I’m sure that could change. As long as I know what the next chapter is about, writing it is easy for me. Editing is another monster entirely. I loath the editing part of writing and I find all sorts of busy work to keep me from it. My Achilles Heel would be grammar but I’m working on it.

What inspired your love of Vampires?

That’s easy! Anne Rice is responsible for my vampire addiction. Rice creates creatures that are so believable and deeply complex that you love and hate them in equal doses. Some you pity and others you want to punish. But all of her characters pull strong emotions from you. Her writing has a way of captivating the reader and pulling them into a fantasy world that starts to be believable. Who doesn’t want to get lost in their fantasy novel?

What is your favorite book and why?

There are so many books I’ve never read but currently my favorite author and novels are Karen Marie Moning and the Fever Series! I highly recommend these stories to anyone who enjoys a strong female lead who is believable. What happens to her and our world is not but the story has intense action, sexual tension, epic romances, a plethora of alpha males and all the paranormal aspects to keep you on the edge of your seat and dying for the next book. I’ve read the entire series at least three times and I could read it again. I love this story and its characters that much.

How would you celebrate when you make the Best Seller list?

I have all these little dreams to hire a house cleaner to come in once a week. Cleaning is the bane of my existence as a wife/mother. I’d love to spend a couple months in a country estate in Italy, France or Ireland while writing my next novel. I’d love for my husband to be able to retire from the fire department in four years, rather than continue working two jobs. I’d love to pay for all three of my kids college without having to take a 9-5 desk type job to make it work. Most realistically I’d have a big party for friends and family and then take my family on a memorable vacation. Our past family vacations are some of my fondest memories and no fame or fortune could ever be better than those precious moments. But making new ones would be wonderful.

Find RK Close on the WWW at the following links:

www.rkclosebooks.com
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The Iceberg Theory by @A_VSim

The Iceberg Theory by Ana Simons

“Well, you know what? I’m telling you that story now.” And that would be the story of Sophie Thompson who, in one of those moments life throws you a curve, sets out on an inner journey, a truly emotional roller-coaster ride with all its highs and lows, twists and turns.

She won’t be alone though. A perfect stranger will cross her path, willing to dive headfirst and go there, to that secret place we all have but try to keep safe from everyone’s eye. The thing is, will she let him in?

But there’s always a story behind a story, and sometimes in order to understand one, you have to know the other. And that’s the challenge of ‘The Iceberg Theory’: to make real sense of everything you’re being told…

Cover_FINALRead it for FREE on Wattpad!

What sparked the idea for your book?

The ‘iceberg theory’ itself, which I actually lecture about. It reinforces the idea that our perceptions rarely correspond to the whole truth, because we all hide much more than we allow the others to see. The iceberg analogy, the fact that there’s much more underneath the surface than we actually observe floating on the ocean, underlies the love story between the two main characters.

What is your favorite book and why?

Paul Schatz im Uhrenkasten, by the German author Jan Koneffke, is definitely one of my all-time favorites. Based on real life events, it’s a moving, at times disheartening account of how a Jewish little boy managed to survive the Nazi persecution. Part of it is narrated from the child’s perspective and it’s amazing how the writer, who is nephew to the real ‘Paul’, managed to capture a child’s imaginary and his innocent interpretation of all those shattering events.

In your book “I Love You. So What?” you write from a man’s point of view. How do you get in that frame of mind? Is it hard for you to get inside the brain of a dude?

No, it’s not that hard, but it’s quite a challenge. And I like challenges. A lot. First of all, you need to be crazy enough to believe you can play the part. I don’t know if I can do that well enough, but I do find myself sometimes laughing at my own character and his views, so probably that means that I have it: the necessary degree of insanity. Then we all know the stereotypes, so I start from there; it’s meant to be satirical and funny, so I guess it’s okay to play with all these preconceived ideas people have of men, and of women as well. I also gather characteristics from different people I’ve met along the years, been reading a lot of male magazines lately and, of course, I have my own male private consultant at home.

Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?

I’m a total pantser! When I started posting ‘The Iceberg Theory’ I had only written about a dozen chapters, knew how it was supposed to end, but had no detailed, rigid plan for the following parts. Then I began to post as I was writing. Not very professional, I am aware, but I actually think that those segments are better than the initial ones. Knowing that people are already reading it, makes you work harder, I feel.

With my current story “I Love You. So What?” it’s the same: I know where I want my guy to go, but I’ll decide along the way how I want him to get there. Or I won’t, as sometimes I even have the feeling the plot takes on a life of its own…
Well, I write mostly for fun, as a hobby, and the truth is that I really like this feeling that I’m watching it from the first row, that I’m discovering my characters and their adventures and misadventures as I write them.

How are we going to celebrate when you make the best seller list?

LOL. When? Not if? You’re funny. I don’t know, I’ll slap myself a couple of times first just to make sure it is for real? Now seriously: my first novel is set in different locations in Europe and also in the US. Maybe I would visit them all.

And one more thing: I’m hooked on the work of the Broolyn Duo. What they do with a piano and a cello is simply amazing and I have used a lot of their interpretations of well-known songs in the media of ‘The Iceberg Theory’. I’d love to meet them and listen to them perform live.

Find Ana Simmons on the WWW at:

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Blood Mother by @Tammy_oja is Why Kids Should Never Talk to Strangers

Blood Mother by Tammy Oja

Blood Mother is Bram Stoker meets Law & Order: SVU.

It’s the kind of book that has the power to make Anne Rice ask, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that plot?”

There are no sparkly vamps in here, folks!

This gritty vampire tale may be the most underrated story on the entire Internet. No joke. Calina is probably one of the most well-written villains I’ve ever read. I love her and I hate her in equal portions. There is so much depth to her personality and her story that I often realize I’m cheering for a baby-killer! Major kudos to Tammy Oja for making me feel so twisted and nefarious. *clap clap*

This book is truly a gem and you can read it for free on Wattpad!

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Calina remembered very little from her life before it was stolen from her. As she cradled the sleeping boy in her arms, she tried to recreate the one thing she could never forget: the feeling of being a mother. She hummed softly the way she had for her own children and kissed his cool cheek. When she had spent every moment she could with him and the sun threatened to rise, she fed from his tiny throat. It was euphoric, but it lasted only for a moment. Then the hunt to find another would begin.

Stone Hoyt was assigned to the solve a string of child killings that everyone believed was the work of a serial killer on the loose. But Stone was more than a street cop and knew firsthand the work of the undead. His past experience and training would lead him to network the underground and invade the nests to find the vamp that decided children were acceptable targets. And when he did, there would be no hesitation in putting a stake though its heart and sending it back to hell where it belonged.

Interview with Tammy Oja

What inspired your love of vampire novels?

When I was young, vampires were awful and wonderful. I slept with a wooden crucifix to keep them from coming in my room at night. Bruises were nothing compared to being a meal. I loved Lestat, Dracula, and every scary vampire out there. In the last few years I see my daughter and her friends swooning over the romantic soft loving vampires with good looks and clear souls. While I love that diversity, I feel like they get cheated if they aren’t given the dark side as well. I don’t want to lose that exciting fear I remember having. There’s room for all vampires, but I wanted to bring that side back.

Your villain is super-twisted. Does she make you cringe sometimes?

All the time!!  I love her though, as much as I hate her. She has lost every good part of her. I feel for her because she didn’t choose it. And, in her own way, she is evil because she misses what was good about her–being a mother. When I get comments from people saying they love her and hate her, it excites me because I know I’m conveying exactly what I feel.

How do you find time to balance personal life and writing life?

It’s probably easier for me than most. I get to work three 12 hour shifts as a nurse, and my characters are never quiet. So I don’t have to choose between cleaning and writing. They make me write. It’s a passion that is new, but I hope lasts forever. I’m still learning the trade, but I have amazing friends who encourage and cheer me on. I can’t imagine loving any activity more.

How are we going to celebrate when you make it on the best sellers list?

With champagne!  And a paper bag to stop hyperventilating. And sending huge thanks to a few people who have really made it possible. You, Elicia, have been a true inspiration and support system that totally gave me belief in my writing and this book. RKClose who gave me a beautiful cover that I still drool over. And Juliet Lyons who saw this story sitting on my shelf with 22 reads and no votes and started shouting. She changed the title and literally said “Hey, this is good, get writing, this story will be read.”  There are so many amazing people that I am just awestruck to stand beside and so proud to be inspired by. That is the big win for me. Holding it in my hand, that will be seeing a dream literally come to life. Like magic!!

You can find Tammy Oja on the WWW at:

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