Archive for August, 2013

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an author who is as creative as they come. She’s taken on the task of bringing a people group back to life and mixing in a bit of magic along the say. Sit down, take off your shoes, and keep a close eye on them so they don’t suddenly disappear. Enjoy getting to know, K.R. Thompson.

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You’re the author of HIDDEN MOON. Tell us what made you write this book and a little bit about the series, the Keeper Saga.

I had the opportunity to visit our local museum (Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum), here in Bland County, VA, a few years. My imagination sparked to life when the tour guide told the story of the human remains that were found there when the interstate came through. Fourteen bodies—Indian—and an animal’s bones– possibly that of a wolf.

I became intrigued with the idea of an Indian tribe on the brink of extinction. What would happen if Nature had stepped in to help them? Would those fourteen souls have survived? And the wolf—what magic could he have brought to them?

I did some research and found an extinct tribe, the Wighcomocos. Then I started writing them back into life and gave them a legend and magic passed from father to son through each generation. They’re known as The Keepers, protectors of the woods and all that live within.

The Keeper Saga is a series that follows these protectors through the magic, mysteries, legends, and the danger that threatens to destroy their way of life.

Share your favorite passage from one of your books in one paragraph or less.

“Wherever there is life, there is magic. So many people just don’t see it. They look, but they don’t really see. Every tree… every animal…all full of life…full of Magic. It’s not just in this forest, but in everything…everywhere. The trick is to teach yourself to see.  When you learn to see, you’ll find things you’ve will have thought were only in your dreams…” Hidden Moon.

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author but can never write again or write forever but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

Write forever! Money isn’t everything, and writing is too much fun to give up!

If you could live on a college campus and never leave or in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

I’m already in a small town (which I love!) and traveling to new places is always awesome!

Okay, how about in a zoo or in a museum?

Traveling to a zoo or a museum? I’d say both! I’m guessing we are talking about living arrangements though, so I’d have to go with museum! Though it would be less exciting, there would be less chance of being eaten whilst you sleep. 🙂

And what about Scotland or Canada?

Scotland!!! It’s number one on my bucket list of places to travel and explore!

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

Hootie!  (You must be psychic to have put that there!)

Is there any good band out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?

Aerosmith. I think Steven Tyler probably has another 50 years in him. I think they are either immortal already, or…very lucky!

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is The Office)?

That 70s Show

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

Yes, the second installment of the Keeper Saga—Once Upon a Haunted Moon, slated for release this December. I’ve also started working on a detective mystery, which I hope to have out sometime within the next year.

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series—“How on earth do you keep all of the details straight?”  (She writes absolutely marvelous books, truly works of art…but they are enormous and the historical data alone in them is astounding!)

Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Mountains!

Peaches or plums? Plums!

M & M’s or Skittles? M & M’s! (Chocolate factor, there, that one was easy! 🙂

The Daily Show or The Colbert Report? Neither

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happy! There’s enough sadness in the world.

Beer or wine? Wine

Flying or driving? Driving!

Hemingway or Thoreau? Hemingway

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

My two people—my husband and son, whom I never want to be without. Only two things, wow!  Hmm. A swiss army knife and a fishing pole! Survival is always key.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet at their place of royalty

I’d go back in time and meet George Washington. I’d want to see what he would say about how things are today. I’d go to his place!

You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be? 🙂

That the world learns to respect nature before it is too late.  It isn’t “world peace”, per se, but more of “world awareness”. I want there to still be a world for my little boy when he grows up, and for his kids after him.

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K.R. Thompson

K.R. Thompson was raised in the mountains of southwest Virginia. She resides in Bland County with her husband, son, two cats, and an undeterminable amount of chickens.

When she is not writing, she is an avid reader and a firm believer in magic. She still watches for evidence of Bigfoot in the mud of Wolf Creek.

Connect with K.R. below:

K.R.’s Website

K.R. on Facebook

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On Thursday, August 29th and Friday August 30th, you can download “What the Hell” for free on your Kindle or Kindle e-reader. You don’t even need a Kindle to be able to read it as the Kindle app will work on your computer, phone, or tablet. This book is great for those of you interested in theology/philosophy books written in a story-like form.

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Today, we’re talking to an author who also writes for a newspaper. She’s published three novels and offers a more-than-healthy amount of writing experience. Sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know, Charmain Brackett.

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You’re a writer in a world where it seems everyone is trying their hand at writing. What inspires you to write and when did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In seventh grade, I had a school project to create a newspaper. At the same time, I was working on my journalism badge in Girl Scouts. We took a field trip to the local newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, and I think ink somehow seeped into my blood.

I had forgotten about that newspaper ink by the time I reached college. I loved to read and write so majoring in English sounded like a perfect blend, but people wrongly assumed my only career option was teaching. I minored in communications and that long forgotten newspaper ink found its way to the surface. I got a part-time job with the Chronicle in college, and I have been writing for that publication in some capacity for 25 years. I’ve also written for several magazines and the newspaper at the nearby military base over the years.

I started writing fiction because there was a story inside of me that wouldn’t go away. I felt compelled to write it down.

To me, writing is a combination of creativity and discipline. I force myself to write every day whether I feel like it or not. My newspaper editors don’t care if I’m “inspired” to write. There’s a deadline to meet, and they want their copy. I translate that into my fiction writing. I give myself a goal and go after it. I don’t have time to find a muse.

Share your favorite passage from one of your works in one paragraph or less.

“You cannot go through life with regret. Although you feel you’ve missed out on some things in life, everything you’ve gone through has prepared you for the place you are in now,” Elyon said. “The best is still ahead of you.”  The Key of Elyon, page 63.

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You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author but can never write again or write forever but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

There’s no choice for me. I have to write. It’s part of who I am. I’ve tried to “quit,” but I can’t. Words bubble up from deep inside of me and demand I write them down. The day I quit writing will probably be the day I die. While I’d love to have a book on the New York Times bestseller list, that’s not the reason I write and not making it would never stop me from writing.

If you could live on a college campus and never leave or in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

The second option. I live in a relatively small community, and I am able to travel. I love it.

Okay, how about in a zoo or in a museum?

A museum. I love learning, and the museums in my area are filled with so many fascinating facts on history, art and culture.

And what about England or New Zealand?

While I’d love to visit them both, I’d have to say England. I would love to see the moors I imagined as I met Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and visit Whitby Abbey which I saw in my mind’s eye when I first dove into the pages of Dracula. I want to see where William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen lived and created their amazing characters. Not only would I revel in the island’s history, but I’d love to experience the modern day culture and take in as many shows as possible in London’s West End. Besides, I love Dr. Who, and I have to go to the place it originated.

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

They had bands in the 90s? To me, the 90s are a blur. I had two children during that decade and raising them was at the forefront. The only music I remember from then played on Sesame Street, Barney or Teletubbies.

Is there any good band out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?  

I’m sure we’ll be surprised because what is good and what sells aren’t necessarily the same.

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is The Office)?

We don’t have cable so I don’t watch much television. My favorite shows are Dr. Who and BBC’s Sherlock, which I’ve seen on Netflix.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I’m always writing. If I’m not writing about a local artist, an upcoming event or a fashion trend for the newspaper, I’ve got a work in progress elsewhere. I’m writing a romance novel, and I’ve also been researching a book on my ancestors who owned a circus around the turn of the 20th century.

 That sounds interesting 🙂

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be? 

That’s a tough one. There are so many authors I’ve loved. I can’t say I have a favorite. There are so many authors I’d love to pick their brains, and being a journalist, I can’t stop with just one question.

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Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Ocean

Strawberries or blueberries? Strawberries

M & M’s or Skittles? Anything chocolate!

The Daily Show or The Colbert Report? I don’t watch either of them.

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happy. In my non-fiction day job, I’ve written too many real stories with tragic endings. I’ve cried on the job many times. I want my fiction to take me to a place where happiness lives.  

Beer or wine? I don’t drink.

Flying or driving?  I like to drive and see the sights.

Shakespeare or King David? I love them both.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

Since I’m currently in the middle of writing a new novel, I’d love to be stranded on a deserted island all by myself with just my computer and the Internet. I could get so much more writing accomplished with no interruptions.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet at their place of royalty?

I would love to sit down with Queen Elizabeth I in her palace. I’ve read a lot about her and the swarm of conjecture around her. She sounds like a fascinating woman in a time when women had little value except to bear children.

You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be?

That all three of my children fulfill their destinies and live each day to its fullest potential.

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Charmain Zimmerman Brackett grew up in a quaint Southern neighborhood filled with retirees. With no children to play with, her best friends became the characters within the pages of books she borrowed from the local library. A storyteller at heart, she has written hundreds of articles for The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta Family Magazine, Augusta Magazine and The Signal. She won several awards for a series of articles on returning wounded warriors for the Army newspaper, The Signal, including a second place at the highest level of the Keith L. Ware journalism competition. She’s published three novels, The Key of Elyon, Elyon’s Cipher and Elyon’s Light.

 

Connect with Charmain below:

Charmain on Facebook

Charmain on Twitter

Charmain’s Website

Fellow Pandamoon author, Alisse Lee Goldenberg, hosted me on her blog. Check it out by clicking on the photo below:

 

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Today, we’re talking with our second zombie-loving girl in the past week. Prepare to be amazed as the cutting edge blogger & author, Christina Jones, graces us her with her presence.

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You’re a writer with a bit of diversity. What is your favorite style of writing and what inspires you the most?

I really enjoy writing anything that involves humor and relationships. Humor has gotten me through the rougher parts of life and I love being able to do the same for my characters. As for inspiration, I draw mostly from my everyday life. My oldest son is hilarious and there’s never a dull moment around here.

Share your favorite passage from one of your works in one paragraph or less.

“The ride back to the house was awkward. Neither of us knew what to say and all I could do was stare at Frank and drool. I don’t know if he realized how close my face was to his. I just wanted to smell him. Graciously, he didn’t say anything to me about it. If only he knew how painful it was to refrain from biting off some part of him. By the time we got to the house, I’d already imagined his brain being everything from a T-bone steak to a juicy pork chop. In case you don’t remember, I don’t normally eat pork, but I would have that day. “

It’s a zombie story.

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author but can never write again or write forever but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

I could never give up writing. I’d much rather be poor and unknown. ☺

If you could live on a college campus and never leave or in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

I love to travel. I’d take the small town any day.

Okay, how about in a zoo or in a museum?

Zoo. I’m bonkers about animals. I have a miniature zoo of my own.

And what about Ireland or Australia?

Ireland. My husband is Irish and I have a thing for Irish anything… haha

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

Oh man, that’s tough. I’m a music junkie. I’d probably have to say Blink 182 or The Goo Goo Dolls (but they’ve been around since the 80s).

Good choices!

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (I love The Office and Seinfeld)?

The Office, Parks and Recreation and Family Guy.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

Yes. Shhhh… It’s a secret.

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

Eeek! This is harder than the music question. I don’t know if I really have a favorite author but if I had to pick one to ask a question to, it would be Stephen King. I’d honestly like to know if his stories keep him up at night.

Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Ocean

Strawberries or blueberries? Strawberries

M & M’s or Skittles? M & M’s

The Daily Show or The Colbert Report? The Colbert Report

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happy ending

Beer or wine? Wine

Flying or driving? Flying (I don’t want to be locked in a car with two kids for hours haha)

Shakespeare or King David? Shakespeare

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

My journal, my iPhone, my husband and Bear Grylls.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet at their place of royalty

I would want to talk with Herod, a king back in the Bible days and if given the preference, I’d much rather visit his kingdom than have him visit my home. I would love to talk about the beheading of John the Baptist. That was one of the most heartbreaking stories for me to read.

You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be? ☺

To go back and spend a week in the 1920s. ☺

Christina Jones is an avid blogger, writer, mom, nurse, Jesus lover, wife and student. She has published multiple short stories, poems and photographs and is currently in the editing trenches with her first novel. When she isn’t busy doing any of the above, you will find her somewhere reading a book.

Christina’s Blog
Christina on Twitter
Christina on Facebook

Blurb:

Kenleigh Briggs suffered debilitating depression at the age of twelve after losing both parents in a tragic house fire. Her aunt assumed guardianship and forced Kenleigh to learn how to horseback ride. She soon developed a bond with the horses that helped her work out her depression.

Seven years later, young Kenleigh is now a sophomore at the University of Texas, San Antonio. During summer break, she arrives at Serenity Falls, a horse ranch devoted to helping children with disabilities learn to ride. She loves watching the kids build the same healing bonds with the horses that she did. She really finds satisfaction in paying it forward. 

Wesley Adams, the son of the ranch’s owners, is a professional bull rider who lives in Dallas. With his blond hair, Caribbean blue eyes, and tattooed muscular body, he is epitome of every woman’s dream. Wesley is good guy, but he has a bit of a rowdy side.

Kenleigh has learned to take life head on. She no longer holds back, and seizes every opportunity that she has to make herself happy. Content with the way her life is going, Kenleigh never expected Wesley. He takes Kenleigh on the ride of her life, until tragedy strikes again. As Kenleigh and Wesley discover a love like they have never known, will they also discover the best parts of life they are missing?


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The lovely Jackson Baer has asked me to write a guest blog for him on how I, as a writer, fight the urge to procrastinate and get to writing.

I am a very busy woman. I am a property manager, am active in the Toronto musical theatre scene as a props manager and occasional actress, and I raise triplets. I like to say that there are twenty-four usable hours in the day, but managing them so I can get everything done is not always easy. When my children were first born I became nocturnal for a while. Raising triplets is anything but easy. My husband helped care for them during the day and I took the night shift. It was easier to just stay up all night with them due to the constant feedings. I quickly learned that at night, no one calls the house, and there is absolutely nothing good on television. So for me, between bottles, diapers, and sterilizing, this was the perfect time to work on my stories. Within the first couple of months, I had my first book The Strings of the Violin edited, and a first draft of the sequel largely complete. It’s very easy to get things done when you have no distractions.

Now that the children are two and a half, things are very different. I wrote my next book Bath Salts a Zombie Novel in a very different way. I did this as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have learned that if I don’t have large chunks of time, I need a deadline looming over my head in order to ensure I get done what I need to get done. (That, and very strong coffee.) Procrastinating is very easy to do. There are far too many distractions around. I have three very good, very loud, very messy ones running around every day between the hours of 8:00 and 7:30. When they’re asleep, there’s the television, Facebook, Candy Crush, and I still need to find time to see my husband, and not neglect our dog Sebastian. For me, I need to work on my time management. So, I try to pretend that every day is NaNoWriMo. I give myself deadlines and strive to meet them. I am very strict with this and work hard towards meeting them. It’s as if I give myself homework assignments: Chapter Five is due by Tuesday. Every few words count towards finishing the next book, the next outline. Even if you just pound out one sentence, that’s still one sentence closer to completing your next story, and that day is not a failure. For the most part, when my kids are awake, I’m a mother, not a writer. When they’re sleeping, that’s my time to shine with my computer, and research books, and my very strong coffee.

So far, this approach is working quite well for me. I have a book due out this October with Pandamoon Publishing. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy novel called Sitnalta. I have a fully outlined sequel for it planned out with the first 7,000 or so words typed. I have the second draft of the sequel to The Strings of the Violin finished and almost ready to be sent to the publisher, and my friend An Tran and I are at work on the sequel to Bath Salts. I have a million ideas always spinning around in my head for the next story. It’s just a matter of having the discipline to write them down. I think that so long as you can force yourself to spend at least a few minutes a day just jotting down ideas, or putting words to paper, everything will get finished eventually. Once this becomes habit, it’s a hard habit to break. This, and I’m counting down the days until preschool. Then I will have my mornings back to really spend some daylight hours on my craft!

You can visit me and read my Ramblings at my website: www.alisseleegoldenberg.com

My books are found here:

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