Tag Archives: author on author interview

Interview with Author The Raven’s Doctor

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

– I got into writing because of my fascination with the stories woven by the many animes and fantasy stories I’ve seen throughout my life. That with the added bonus that people said I had a bit of a talent for writing kind of collimated into me trying to throw my hat into the ring. The only thing I will say about my life is that it can all be summed up in one word, and that word is persistence.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

– I sight two light novels and one anime that jump started this little story of mine. The two light novels were The Rising of the Shield Hero and Overlord and the anime that was a major help to me was Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. But the funny thing is that I had six chapters already written before I even watched Fullmetal Alchemist.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

– I have two themes that I want my readers to really take from my book, the first thing is that family is what you make it. The other one was that fate can never bind it, but I’ll put more emphasis on that theme in later books.

 4) What drew you into this particular genre?

– I have a unique love for both horror and isekai (trapped in another world) fantasy stories.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

– I would sit alongside Malcom and ask him how it felt getting his head cut off. I would ask because I always wanted the power to detach and reattach body parts at a whim.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

– I’m going to be honest, I’ve tried a good many writer sites and have found little to no success when it comes to readership.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

– Find the best editor your money can buy, trust me it goes a long way with helping your book.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

– I don’t know what the future may hold. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t look too hopeful but I won’t let that deter me. I will make sure that later in life that more books will be released. And hopefully an anime will come out as well.

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About the Author

The Raven’s Doctor likens himself to a weaver; his computer is the loom, and the words are the threads. Every day, without exception, the Doctor weaves his tale throughout. Additionally, he will examine his work closely to make sure there are no visible nicks or crevices. He aims to make the reader feel as though they are a fly on the wall witnessing the action take place in real time. What more could The Raven’s Doctor want for? He will also weave his book such that it may continue beyond his death for future generations.

Interview with Author Yasmine Maher 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I think I’ve always been a storyteller, even before I learned how to write. My parents used to keep cassette tapes of the six-year-old me narrating stories I made up with imaginary characters and colorful worlds. During middle school, I started experimenting with writing, video creation, and drawing anime mainly because I had so many stories to tell. Though I didn’t create anything serious until much later in life, it all put me on the right track.

Growing up with social anxiety, I had a lot of trouble expressing myself. I have never really been an eloquent speaker, but writing gave me an opportunity to put my thoughts and feelings into words and helped me become more confident.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Honestly, I wrote the first draft of Echo so long ago that I can’t remember how it all started. But I do know that I’ve always been passionate about magic and superheroes. At that time, most female superheroes I knew were “too cool,” if I may. I couldn’t relate to them, and I wanted to write about a hero that was just…ordinary. A clumsy, sometimes naive character who’s always trying to do her best despite her own insecurities. That was how Echo was born. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Everyone has a choice. In the battle against evil, the hardest part is to fight the demons inside. Whether it was Echo, Doyle, Ebba, or any of the characters, it was always up to them to choose redemption, even when it wasn’t the obvious choice and when it wasn’t easy.

There’s evil and good in all of us, and we get to choose which side will win. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve been a fan of witches and witchcraft since I was a child watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch on the Disney channel. So, my first serious book had to be a fantasy. 

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

If I could, I’d sit down with Vanna, drink tea, and ask her about life in general. What she has learned in her long life and what she has read in her books. Vanna has always been the one who didn’t say much, yet she thought a lot and had surprising opinions about everything.  

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6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

It’s a bit too early to judge that since I’m still starting, and my book isn’t even out yet. Like many authors, social media is a great challenge for me; however, I’m more comfortable using Twitter than FB or Instagram, and many people know me from there.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Keep writing. It’s the only way to get better. Ask for professional feedback if you can (and as soon as you can). And stay strong. Writing is not for the faint of heart, and the path to authorship is full of rewrites, rejections, and redirections. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Yes, I’m very excited about moving on to my new books. I’ve already plotted the planned the first two. They’re going to be different from Echo, and I hope they’ll live up to my readers’ expectations.

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About the Author

Yasmine Maher is the author of Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches and Director of Fables and Facts Publishing. As a passionate wordsmith and an active member of the Twitter writing community, Yasmine loves to weave captivating tales that inspire her readers with whimsical adventures, magic, and larger-than-life characters.

https://yasminemaher.com/

Interview with Author Philippa Jabouin 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

This is my first book and my initial intention was to publish in French, which is my first language. However, I stumbled upon a writing contest for micro fiction and French was not one of the languages in which you could submit your work. I ended up submitting 2 stories but I had almost fifty that I was not using. That’s when I decided I would publish them and that’s how my collection ended up being in English. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Short stories have always been my favorite type of fiction. Two of my favorite authors, Françoise Sagan and Chimamanda Adichie, write with so much emotional intensity. I was inspired by their work and wondered, what triggers intense emotional reactions for me? This is what motivated me to write the stories in my book. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they appreciate the deep inner workings of the human mind. Things are not always what they seem at the surface, and it is almost impossible to read other people’s minds. When you are not in someone else’s shoes, you just never know what is going on for them.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I enjoy novels in general and I think short stories simply give me the impression that I am getting even more out of an author. Great short stories leave you with a sense of awe and wonder because the length leaves you wanting more. I would love to create that feeling in my readers. 

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5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I don’t use much social media. Maybe I should. I use the old fashion social networks, i.e. word of mouth!

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

The author Hala Alyan states that she allotted 30 minutes a day to her creative writing as she was working on her doctoral thesis. I decided to try it out and soon 30 minutes a day became 1 or 2 hours. That is how I got my book written and published in a year. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I would like to keep writing and publishing short stories for the moment. I feel I need the practice before I devote time to a full novel. My next collection of short stories will be in French!

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About the Author

Philippa c. Jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://a.co/cp41DxM

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Interview with Author Colin Guest

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

While on a palace contract in Brunei for the Sultan, I started an online writing course. At first, all went well with both my tutor and I pleased with how things were going. However, when my tutor was changed, nothing was the same. In one lesson, I had to write the basis of some true-life stories. This I did, but my tutor did not believe they were true. As a result, I stopped the course.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

After I retired from working for fourteen years on mainly high-class projects spread over three continents, I wrote Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps, a memoir of this time. It shows that there is more to life than a boring 9-5 job.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

By thinking positive when things get tough, it is possible to get back in the driving seat of life.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I write in several genres, both fiction and non-fiction. As well as memoirs, I write thrillers and romance stories.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would ask Jeff Stone, the main character in two of my thrillers, For the Greater Good and Desperation Rules the Day, how he manages to survive in dangerous situations. It would help give me a better understanding about the characters I write about.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I guess that would be Facebook. I use this for posting about my writing and replying to others in the various groups I belong to.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Never give up. If you find yourself stuck while writing a story, take a break. Go out and take a walk if you are able, or pick up a book and read. Later, when you feel more relaxed, return to your writing.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am presently completing It Happened in Barcelona, another romantic novel, as well as working on Accidental Death, a short thriller. I am also part way writing a film script based on A Dangerous Love Affair, another of my published romantic novels.

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About the Author

Colin Guest is an author with eleven books published in various genres. His latest book, An Unforgettable Cruise is a romantic novel. He has also written two film scripts based on his thrillers, For the Greater Good, and Desperation Rules the Day. Colin lives in Istanbul, Turkey with his wife Gulden and their cat Bella.

Check out, https://colinguestauthor.com

Interview with Author Joseph Schiller 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I first fell in love with prose in a creative writing elective class in the 7th grade.  The teacher (wish I could remember her name so I could give a proper shout-out) really helped me develop my literary voice and confidence. I’ve been writing fiction ever since.  Earlier on I tended more toward short stories.  This novel is my first attempt at long-format.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve always been fascinated by the mythologies of early cultures and the way in which these cultures personified their beliefs and spirituality.  Angels of Death of caught my imagination for a while. For this particular story, I actually began with the imagery of a specific scene of an angel of death observing the passing of a mortal, which became Chapter 2 of the book. From that point, the rest of the story developed out.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I don’t have a specific message or theme I want readers to take away.  It would mean more to me that they simply enjoyed the story.  Sometimes that is enough, to just enjoy a book.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Everyone has their own unique inner creative voice.  Mine just happens to gravitate toward the imaginary.  This is the case both with my prose and my art.  I’ve always been “in the clouds”.  There’s already enough reality in my life.  I’d much rather dream.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I really only have one main character in my story, Azrael. My other characters play more minor roles. I wouldn’t want to ask him anything so much as I would like to “see” or experience things from his perspective as an angel of death.  Sometimes I feel that our physical frames are so limiting.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I haven’t found much help from social media.  This doesn’t mean that I do not use social media platforms.  It just means that I have not seen a direct correlation between social media, and why people are buying my books. Most of my witnessable success in getting books into people’s hands has come from hitting the pavement, or, in other words, getting out into the community with book signings.  I’ve been busy at comicons, farmer’s markets, bookstores, comic books stores, and breweries doing signings.  I also spent weeks contacting a couple of thousand indie bookstores worldwide directly by email. Now I’m in 17 bookstores.  One thing I’ve picked up on social media is that it is saturated, so I chose to get old school.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Write for yourself first and foremost.  You are the only person that needs to be satisfied by your story.  That same perspective should, therefore, also guide you when working with an editor. Use a freelance work site such as Upwork or Fiverr to find an editor, graphic designer, and some to do your book layout.  There are plenty of highly qualified people that can help you for a fraction of what the traditional companies will charge.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am currently working on another fiction novel based on the ancient Greek mathematician and esoteric figure, Pythagoras.  I’m still conceptually working out the plotline, so much too early to provide more, but what I can say is the premise will be connected with some of the mystery surrounding Pythagoras.

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About the Author

Joseph A. Schiller is a high school social studies teacher in Houston, TX, where he lives with his wife and three sons.  Upon the Arrival of Dawn is his debut novel.

FB: facebook.com/UpontheArrivalofDawn

URL: josephschiller.weebly.com/authorship

Interview with Author Louise Ambrosio

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing? 

I was an English major. I was very reflective, I had a lot of strong feelings and I often wrote them down in a diary but never ventured into writing a novel. I was so busy creating space for people to manufacture their art, as either a manager or a producer, etc.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

I stopped running and had the opportunity to look back and saw the immense chapters in my life and the stories I needed to tell. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Hopefully, every individual will strive for freedom, freedom is not a political instrument, freedom is internal in man’s soul. Using truth, the real truth of one’s consciousness in coming to terms with the ghost/reservoir main our life where one can achieve true freedom. When freedom is achieved one becomes limitless. Truth is a very hard pill to swallow for most of us but without truth, we have no freedom. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Truth. You cannot write this genre unless you have a basis of truth. Though it is fiction, most fiction is based on reality.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I would ask Gail why she made such a destructive choice in attaining a goal that she rightfully should have answers for but she wound up hampering or destroying close to 400 actors’ careers.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

None and I am not a big fan of social media. It is a necessity for communicating.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

I would tell a young writer to zero in on elements of your life and talk about them but remember the equation of truth and freedom. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

A round trip on the Queen Mary to England, then renting a car and retracing my steps for 3 months in Europe, when I return from Europe I am then getting into my Jeep with Buddy going cross country retracing my steps in America on those wonderful trips I had. I am in the outline stage of writing a second book called “Reflections on a reservoir man.” Looking back, observing on my final journey. Also, the release of our new feature film “How Dark They Prey” on various platforms including Amazon Prime Video September 15th, 2022.

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Author Bio: 

Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist throughout his impressive career.

Book Bio: 

Everywhere Michael turns he sees a Reservoir Man. Michael’s endless trials of survival include sexual assault, The Vietnam War, an arrest in Spain, Hollywood scandal, the AIDS outbreak, 9/11, and beyond. If only Michael could find the one thing he values most, his freedom. Michael’s coming-of-age is tarnished by many but the courage to live his truth may just keep Michael one step ahead…or will he succumb to the embraces of a Reservoir Man?

A Reservoir Man on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZCYB8PG?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

Louis J. Ambrosio IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1780076/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1

Interview with Author Steve Malik Swayne 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get into writing?

I am Steve Malik Swayne. I was born in Ogden, Utah and raised in Salt Lake City, UT and Las Vegas, NV. I became fascinated with words in elementary school, where I began writing short stories and poems. This eventually led to me writing music and fictional novels.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Traitor was inspired by actual events. Traitor gave me the chance to express how I felt during my first few years of incarceration on a poetically creative level. The story was a release for me – the transformation of darkness into light, if you will.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

In this specific piece, I would like for the reader to recognize the in-depth expression of what can dwell inside of each one of us when driven or pushed by betrayal. Secondly, I would like the reader to be dazzled by poetry and comparison to life and recognize we all have some kind of monster inside of us, rather it be negative or positive. Finally, I would like the readers to enjoy the various plots, twists, and craftiness of mental perception that Traitor delivers.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I am a complex thinker. Psychology was one of my favorite classes in college, not to mention, I am a major fan of thriller and suspense. I honestly put myself to the test with this one; I wanted to see if I truly had an understanding of what it is to create suspenseful dissimulation in the context of an urban thriller.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

This is a difficult one, I mean, I am essentially the creator of their thoughts. So, there isn’t an answer they’d provide that I wouldn’t know. I guess if anyone, I would sit down with Xavier. Many times throughout the book, Xavier vowed he would never go back to prison. I would ask Xavier if he was nervous, worried, or concerned he could possibly be found connected to the downfall of his former friend, Tyson, causing him to go back to prison.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I would have to say Facebook thus far, although we have barely begun adventuring into our social media campaigns.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Just let the ideas flow. What begins as a simple thought may very well snowball into something monumental. As long as you believe in yourself, there is nothing you can’t accomplish, for creativity has no bounds.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I have three new projects that I have recently finished, all in different genres written from an urban perspective, delivering a unique message within each of them. I believe it’s invaluable to be able to deliver a relevant message through artful composure while still entertaining people. My ultimate goal is to bring my works to life on the big screen so that I may furnish people with entertainment on a broader platform.

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About the Author 

What’s up everybody! I am Steve Malik Swayne. I was born in Ogden, Utah and raised in Salt Lake City / Las Vegas, NV. I became fascinated with words in elementary school where I began writing short stories and poems which eventually led to me writing music. After years of pursing a music career, I began running the streets, headed down the wrong path eventually leading to my incarceration. While incarcerated, (a father of three) I decided I wouldn’t become a statistic. I enrolled in college classes where I obtained two associate degrees, one in Liberal Arts and the other in General Business Administration. Still passionate about writing, I began writing fictional novels, calling home to my wife, where she would record my writings, then take the hours of recordings and type them into her laptop. From there, we pursued publication and now those publications are being introduced to the world.

Social Media:

Instagram @stevemalikswayne_theauthor

Facebook @SteveMalikeSwayne

Twitter @Malik_theAuthor

Website traitorthenovel.com

Available on Amazon & Barnes&Noble

Interview with Author Park and Barbara Lien-Cooper

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Barb’s answer: I’m Barb Lien-Cooper.  My writing partner is my husband, Park Cooper, an English professor. 

As for how I got into writing: as a child I was always daydreaming, writing stories in my head.  Later, for a while, I was a singer-songwriter in Minneapolis, but just as I was starting to get somewhere, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so that dream died a sad, lonely little death.  Then I got into comics and graphic novels.  There was one comic I loved more than any other, named Hellblazer.  I read that series and said “I want to write that character so badly…”  There I was, just some punk gal, thinking I would be allowed to write a major character like John Constantine!  In retrospect, what was I thinking?  But, that desire led me into writing for a women-in-comics site that I co-founded that they named Sequential Tart.  

I had nibbles here and there concerning writing comics, but not a lot panned out.  After a while, I said “I don’t really want to write someone else’s characters, I want to write my own characters,” so I wrote a webcomic called Gun Street Girl with artist Ryan Howe.  I also did a graphic novel called Half Dead with my husband and artist, Jimmy Bott.  I did a one-year stint as the managing editor of the award-winning magazine Comic Book Artist (one of the awards was for the time I was working there), and then I got a job in manga as a manga adapter for Tokyopop and Viz.  After the manga boom went bust, I started writing prose, which eventually led to writing novels. 

Park’s answer: I wrote a thing in 9th grade about how I’d like to be a writer– a science-fiction writer, specifically, as I recall. I wrote things now and then, just a little, in high school and especially college, small things, just because it was something I felt I had to do now and then, but I didn’t really take it seriously as something I should do until I met Barb. Even then, I started just editing her stuff– if she needed a monster described, or a fight scene, I’d write that for the artist… and I slowly started doing more and more until finally, by the time she was writing prose stories, I was basically co-writing stuff with her, and then I started writing some projects myself, too, like my cyberpunk comic Swipe and some prose novels.

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2)      What inspired you to write your book?

Barb’s answer: Well, I have loved world mythology since I was around eight years old.  I also developed an interest in comparative religions around that time.  I was a weird kid, let me tell you.  A little later, I developed an interest in supernatural literature, which led to a love for the horror genre, particularly quiet horror, and folk horror.  I have a great fondness for horror films, especially foreign horror such as Asian horror films like R-Point and A Tale of Two Sisters, horror from Mexico such as Carlos Enrique Taboada’s films, and Giallo films such as Deep Red, Lisa and the Devil, and The Psychic.  From those films, I realized that horror and urban fantasy could be the most imaginative genres because anything could happen in them.

When my webcomic Gun Street Girl couldn’t find a publisher, it distressed me quite a bit. I was told that it was “excellent” but publishers just “couldn’t take a risk” (possibly because the lead character was a lesbian??). So, when Ryan and I started pursuing separate career paths, I had a ton of excellent GSG stories just sitting there.  Since I couldn’t in good conscience ask my artist to continue on with the series, I thought that maybe some of the plots might work better as prose. I mulled over the stories a lot, then said: “Hey, what if I had a supernatural investigator go to a psychiatrist about his problems, and have his therapy sessions be his caseload and his past cases?”

From there, I had to really think about my world-building, who my characters would be, etc.  After I got into the groove, I realized that I had a lot more story ideas than just my old GSG scripts, so I kept writing until I had a series of books.

3)      What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Barb’s answer: I am not a writer with any kind of agenda except entertaining my readership.  Having said that, I guess there are two themes in my book that I hope readers will pick up on:

1/  World mythology is wonderful.  It’s always entertained me.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

2/  Writers don’t have to use the same genre tropes over and over again.  We can make new tropes.  We can subvert the cliches of the genre.  We live in a postmodern age.  We can do anything now, as long as we use our imaginations to entertain our readership.

Park’s answer: Since The Talking Cure is a novel of magic and psychiatry, I will add, actually, that there is a message that I hope readers take away from reading it, which is that mental illness isn’t anything to be ashamed of– that sometimes people have emotional problems or other kinds of problems, and that it’s good to talk to professionals about it and seek help from other people. Sometimes these problems have a medical basis involving brain chemistry, and sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter– there’s an old stigma about reaching out for help, and since the world is creating more and more situations to give us emotional problems, it’s past time to get rid of the stigma.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Barb’s answer: Well, as I said, I’ve loved horror and dark/urban fantasy all of my life.  But as for being attracted to writing in these genres, it comes down to the freedom I find in writing supernatural literature.  Unlike in other genres like mystery and science fiction, I am not bound by sciences like physics or forensics.  I make the rules of my world building. I always say that if a writer writes characters that the readers care about, in fantasy, you can take the characters anywhere and have them do anything, and the audience will be there with the characters…as long as they act in character. A lot of viewers hated the end of Game of Thrones because a certain character had to act out of character to move the plot forward, for instance. I always say that if a character has to act out of character to advance a plot, change the plot, not the character. 

Park’s answer: I started reading at a ridiculously young age, and found it more engaging than the real world, so I guess it’s just what I grew up with, in books, comic books, and television and movies– when I was a kid someone gave me a video tape with three movies on it: Tron, Time Bandits, and Disney’s original Alice in Wonderland. This was before there was a Blockbuster in our town, so I watched those over and over… and then when you could rent movies, I went for more sci-fi and fantasy…

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Barb’s answer: Fitzgerald once said that he wrote because he wanted to know what he felt about this subject or that. Well, I write to find out what my characters think, feel, and do. My stories are me sitting down with my characters and asking them questions, really. Oh, I’d love to sit down with my supernatural investigator, Zach Cutter, and just let him talk about his caseload. But I can’t do that– another story would pop up instead, and then I’d have to write it.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Barb’s answer: We’ll see once the work gets out there.  Promoting our work is a whole new world for me.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Barb’s answer: John Cage said, “Begin Anywhere.” To me, that means, don’t wait until you have the time to write a thousand words a day, every day.  It means, write when you can and however you can, then build from there.

I will tell those just starting out: please don’t despair if your first story isn’t very good. Writing is a skill. It takes time to learn. That first story of yours is no indication of who you may become as a writer. The truth is that most writers’ early stories are mediocre at best. You’ll get better at it if you keep going.

Park’s answer: Barb has thought about this question far more over the years than have I, so I feel there’s nothing I can add as far as “just starting” authors. But for “aspiring” authors– people who want to start writing, but know they’re not there yet– my advice is to practice writing by writing down what happens to you every day. Specifically, don’t just write down what happened to you every day, or it’ll get like “ate, worked, ate, slept, ate, worked, ate, watched TV, slept.” Instead, write down how you FEEL about what happened that day, and why. Use complete sentences and paragraphs. That’ll start getting you practice that you need.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Barb’s answer: I don’t know what the future holds for me personally, but there are other volumes in the Cutter and Mann series that will come out in the months and years to come. I also have some comic book projects that I hope come to life in terms of publishing. Finally, I have a paranormal novel called Song to the Siren that we plan to get out there before the end of the year.

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About the Authors

Barb is originally from Minnesota. She was a radio DJ for a while in college, and then she grew up to become a guitarist/singer-songwriter and got an album put out on the Imp label. However, she also had health issues: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia and extreme environmental sensitivities and allergies. (She also has Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to issues involving her family of origin.)

For a while, brain fog from the CFS and the fibro made it harder for her to read long and involved works of fiction… So (since she’d always loved them in her childhood) she got into reading comics and graphic novels, particularly the comparatively avant-garde work coming out at that time from DC Comics.

Now we pop over to Park, in central Texas. Like Barb, Park also read comics (and a LOT of books) in his youth as well (a lot more sci-fi and fantasy books than Barb, and a lot more Marvel comics than Barb). Then he started college and said “I need an extra hobby or something. Maybe I’ll get back into comics again.” He started doing so, including reading the comparatively avant-garde work coming out at that time from DC Comics…

Then someone in the letter columns of the comic Sandman announced that they were doing a fanzine for readers of that comic. Barb and Park both wrote in.

Barb and Park became aware of one another… Park liked the writing Barb submitted to the fanzine, and he wrote to Barb, and they began writing to each other. Then they started talking on the phone… they fell in love… they started visiting one another…

Reader, they got married (to each other).

Barb wrote for the award-winning website Sequential Tart, made by women about comics and other popular culture things, and Barb wrote a lot of reviews and articles (especially articles)

Park and Barb had a column online for a now-defunct website entitled The Park and Barb show (about the same sorts of things) for 12 years…

A little after they started those things, Barb started writing her comic Gun Street Girl…

A little after that, they started adapting and editing manga for major American publishers importing manga (and sometimes their South Korean and Chinese counterparts) from the far side of the Pacific. Honestly, there were too many to keep track of… lots and lots of titles. Near the end of this, Barb and Park wrote the manga pitch The Hidden for TokyoPop, perfectly timed to appear the week that that company fell apart.

Then Barb and Park wrote the sci-fi vampire graphic novel Half Dead.

Somewhere around this time, Park successfully completed his Ph.D. in literature, and then Barb and Park wrote the vampire prose novel Something More Than Blood.

Eventually Park started writing his cyberpunk comic Swipe for Angry Viking Press.

(You can read more about all of the above projects elsewhere on this website!)

There were also other various short stories (and a novel, in one case) and non-manga-related editing jobs, too many to bother counting here…

These days, Barb and Park live happily together in Austin, Texas.

https://parkgsg.wixsite.com/wickermanstudios/home

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057705847859

Interview with Author Dana Hammer

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m not sure how I got into writing. I’ve always written. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t write.

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Drugs, haha. Basically, I wanted to write a satire about the way we treat addicts in our society. On the one hand, we treat them as criminals for something that pretty much everyone agrees is a disease, and that’s messed up.  On the other hand, addicts often do horrible things because of their addictions, and we can’t ignore that, and act like it’s not a problem. To my way of thinking, the solution to addiction isn’t to punish addicts. The solution is to come up with a cure for addiction. I’m not a scientist, so I can’t do that. But I can write a book about it. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

This book has a lot of themes in it, and I’m reluctant to tell people what to take away from it. I just hope that something resonates with them. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I love horror comedy and dystopian fiction. Both genres are always asking the question “what if?” And I think that’s the basis of all really good storytelling.

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d like to hang out with Esteban Zappa, of course! I want him to take me out to a fancy restaurant and introduce me to exotic dishes and I’d ask him to tell me stories about his globetrotting adventures.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

The only social media site I really use is Facebook. I technically have an Instagram account, but I hate taking pictures, so it’s not really for me. Twitter seems like it’s just people being really mean, really fast. Maybe I’ll try TikTok someday. I don’t know.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Marry someone who will support you financially so you have the time and space to write. Alternately, be independently wealthy. I’m mostly kidding, but not entirely.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Yesterday I finished a new draft of my first middle-grade novel, My Best Friend Athena. It’s about an eleven-year-old girl whose best friend is the reincarnation of the Greek goddess, Athena. When Athena accidentally turns the school bully into a cockroach, the girls have to work together to find him and turn him back into a boy. 

We will see if I can get it published. 

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About the Author

Dana Hammer is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, and screenwriter living in Anaheim, California.

https://www.danahammer.com/

https://a.co/3x08ftf