20 Questions With..., pictures

20 Q’s with Dorothy Tinker

     For the longest time I believed that Dorothy Tinker and I wrote completely differently, evident by our differing genres.  Tinker includes magic, dragons, different languages, and species in her work all while creating her own world her characters reside  in.  I prefer to use a real place, and set my characters in a specific time-thus my research begins by looking at maps created by others, rather than creating my own.
     While I know that both of us use love as a central theme  it wasn’t until she came in for a haircut, prior to teaching a class about world building, that she informed me that we were two in the same.
     Although I use our own Earth’s timeline to form the background of my characters lives; and Dorothy starts one from scratch-we’re both creating a world in which our characters can thrive, prosper, or shrivel up in despair depending on where the story takes us.
     It’s strange how we’re all more alike and share some of the same experiences while living entirely different writing lives-that’s what Dorothy taught me.

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Now for her answers to my 20 Questions….

  1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

I wouldn’t say there was a specific book that made me want to be a writer. My decision to write came from the multitudes of stories that have always filled my head and the inspiring friendship of another young writer/artist when I was in middle school.

However, the books that inspired me to write about characters who don’t conform to society’s rules was Tamora Pierce’s Lioness series. A young noble girl wanted to be a knight, but only noble sons were trained as knights. So she traded places with her twin brother, who wanted to study magic instead of war, and pretended to be a boy. She continued the charade through the next few years, through being a page, being a squire, coming into her womanhood (her first monthly was terrifying), and being knighted.

The rest of Tamora Pierce’s series were just as inspiring.

  1. How old where you when you started writing?

I started writing at thirteen. I remember it easily because that was the year I met my friend who wrote poetry and fanfiction. She made me realize that the stories I told myself everyday could be written down and shared with others. I tried my hand at poetry and fanfiction, but the original, novel-length fantasy stories that I began that year (I had at least seven at the time) were my true dream.

  1. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

I would love to have lunch with Tamora Pierce, Rick Riordan, Naomi Novik, and Eoin Colfer. All four are brilliant world-builders, to the point that they’ve all written multiple books within each of their worlds. I love Riordan’s use of mythology, and his ability to fit them all into one world. I love Novik’s dragons and her integration of them into history. And I love Colfer’s use of fairy and how he’s created a non-human world that coincides with our own but is much more technologically advanced, something that isn’t often considered when integrating fairy lore into stories.

  1. What would you eat?

This question makes me laugh. Since I’m a fantasy author (and I’d be eating with other fantasy authors, mind), I have to say we’d probably eat samples from each of our own worlds. Hell, we could break out the ambrosia and call it a day.

  1. How do you plot out your work?

Plotting is pretty much done only in my mind. The times I’ve tried outlining, it gets too drawn out, and I just give up and go back to the way I usually do things. I do have a couple of timelines jotted down, but that’s more to remember when I am than anything else.

Not far into my first book, I did begin a Word document just for a list of my characters. In a world as expansive as mine (it may focus in one country, but the first series alone will be four or five books, plus sequel and prequel series of about four books each, and a ton of side stories) the number of people who show up, especially when you consider very minor characters, is too much for me to remember.

The tentative plot for the book I want to do five or nine after the one I’m currently working on, sure, but names—not a chance.

Do you write in the morning or evening?

Ideally, evening is always the best for me to write because I have always been a night owl. However, with a full-time job that I work from about 5a-2p, I write when I can, especially now that my fourth book has been so long in the process with nowhere near the amount of progress I would prefer. These days, I try to write from the time I get home (after eating so I don’t fall asleep) to the point when either food or sleep becomes necessary.

7 Is there music on?

Sometimes I write in silence, but that is becoming rarer. As long as the music doesn’t have words and doesn’t put me to sleep, it’s good writing music for me. My current preference is Lindsey Stirling radio or 2cellos radio on Pandora.

8 What inspired your last story?

I’ve been working on a lot of short stories this year, with a heavy load of four this month. The one I just finished was actually a rewrite of a story I wrote for English class in high school. We were supposed to write a mystery, which is still a genre I don’t do well at writing. Anyway, suffice to say, my teacher thought it was a good story, but that it wasn’t really a mystery.

Fast forward to about a year ago, and I rewrote the story as a horror story (I have plans to eventually do an anthology called Dreams and Nightmares, some of which will actually be based on real dreams I’ve had). I thought, at the time, that that particular rewrite was good and put it aside.

I picked it back up this month because there was a call for submissions for a YA anthology themed “That Moment When…”, which focuses on stories with a moment of disillusionment. This particular story, which is now titled Perspective’s Cruelty, has a perfect “That Moment When…” at the end. Hopefully, I make it in and can recommend it to people to read.

9 Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

Three books I wish I could claim as my own? For one, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. Like I said before, her integration of dragons into history is amazing. Second would be First Test by Tamora Pierce (really, any of the Protector of the Small series). This one was about the first girl who was openly allowed to train as a knight, and the way she deals with the girl’s treatment by those around her is wonderful.

Third, I would have to say The Host by Stephanie Meyer. There’s so much controversy over Meyer’s Twilight series (either you love it or you hate it, it seems), but you don’t hear much conversation about this other great work of hers. Written from an alien’s point of view as she discovers the passions of the human race and finds herself becoming a part of the human family, it’s a moving story and an interesting look at humans from an outsider’s point of view.

10  What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

I could probably name a lot, but here are some I enjoy: Once Upon a Time, Leverage, Now You See Me (I & II), White Collar, Castle…

11  Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?

Unfortunately, this is one question I don’t like. I don’t know enough about actors and such to say, “Yes, I want so-and-so to play my main character.” Although, I have had it happen once, but it was based on vocals rather than physical features. I have a Mage Healer who is the leader of one of my nomad clans. She has a very melodious voice, and I would cast Elizabeth Mitchell as her in a heartbeat.

12  Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

The fourth book in the Peace of Evon series, Forgotten Goddess, which I am currently taking a break from, has to be the one to give me the most trouble so far. I’ve been working on it for about a year and a half, restarted it at least once, and am still stuck before the halfway point. I’ve also been fighting the realization that there will probably be a fifth book in this series. Peace of Evon began as an idea for a single book, and I really didn’t want to add a fifth to it, but I’m starting to accept that it might be necessary.

13  Which was the easiest?

I’m not sure I can name a specific story that has been the easiest, but I do know it would probably be one of the short stories I’ve written this year. If I have to choose a particular one, I’d have to say that it was probably Swelling Tides, one of my two fantasy romance shorts that got published in Houston Writer Guild’s Riding the Waves anthology. My mind had been chomping at the bit to write a piece about the two pirate captains that showed up briefly in my first book, and it was fun to write a man who could only communicate through his parrot. It threw an interesting dynamic into their relationship.

14  Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?

I’ve had several people express their love for the world I create in my Peace of Evon series. And I love talking with people about my world.

15  What are you working on now?

Currently, I am writing the second of an apocalyptic series set 2000 years before my published books. Written in first person, present tense, the trilogy follows a young elf who unconsciously turns his five friends into various creatures (two birds, a rodent, a vine, and a flame moth) in order to protect them from the Chaos that breaks out.

This second story is set ten years after the Chaos broke out, just after the Chaos has finally ended. He nearly gets eaten by a monster and then is saved by a motley group of a human, a dwarf, a naga, and a barghest. In the end, he will hopefully be able to turn his friends back into their elven selves, but I’m still figuring that part out.

16  What story do you have to write before you die?

Unfortunately, my brain says all of them. However, the one series I would love to be able to write eventually is the prequel series to my Peace of Evon series. The prequel series is mostly set in the country across the sea, where science rules instead of magic. I’m planning to do kind of a Japanese version of Steampunk, and my current thought is a science based around crystals and possibly trapping souls within them. However, I still have a lot of research to do for that one, so I don’t know when it will get written.

17  What’s your best fan story?

So when I first published, I came out with Peace of Evon: Missing Heir, which is now out of print since I have broken it up into Peace of Evon and Gift of War. Because of this, my first book was about 200,000 words long. Now, that first year I did a convention in Lafayette called Louisianime. There, someone bought my book on Saturday. On Sunday, the next day, she came back to my table and told me that she loved it and couldn’t wait to read the next one.

Turns out that she was a speed reader. My response: “I wish I could write as fast as you read.”

18  What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

When three months empty stands the throne,” she intoned, her words ringing with otherworldly knowledge, “the reign of Chaos is all youll know.

I love world-building and using poetry (whether as prophecies, songs, or simply poems) in my prose.

19  Have you ever based characters off of real people?

Most of the time, if I consciously base my characters off anyone, it’s me. I have a novel-length story that I would eventually love to finish and publish that features seven main characters, each of whom is based off one of my “personalities”: a pair of twins (one male, one female), a vampire, an angel, a cat man, a dragon/human half-breed, and a woman from another land who brings them all together.

20  Who’s your favorite character?

Can I choose two? There’s Mama Dragon, a thousand-year-old dragon who is much more than she seems, and Mama Caler, a peppy old Seer whose family line holds a terrible secret. Both appear several times throughout my writing.

 

You can find out more about the author and the worlds she writes and purchase her work through her website, http://www.balanceofseven.com.

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novel, pictures, short stories, Signing Events

Amazing Comic Con 2016 Pictures

Let’s just say that the highlight of Amazing Houston Comic Con was that I did a podcast for bfe podcast.

Basically incredible because I got real for the interview.

Also terrifying because I got real for the interview.

It should drop on Monday September 12…so be sure to check out bfe podcast

 

 

It is always a joy when I meet someone that loves my work, therefore it’s awesome when I can find a new reader.

 

Without each of them I wouldn’t keep writing, much less get to do all the cool things I get to do on a regular basis.  Like meeting cool people…

It’s always a pleasure to do these events with good friends, like D. Marie Prokop and Chantell Renee, and by making new ones.

It was a pleasure meeting everyone!  Thanks to everyone that is so supportive of me-love to all of you.  This month has been a wild ride-later I plan on posting some pictures from my vacation back home on the east coast.

 Please remember to leave an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads of anything you ever read-especially my work.

20 Questions With..., pictures

20 Q-Patricia Flaherty Pagan

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She isn’t the first author in the Houston Writers Guild that I met, but she is arguably the most influential in my career.  I’ve been in three different critique circles with Patricia Flaherty Pagan, so she’s read my first stab at a novel, to giving me the idea to entirely re-write the chapter called ‘Truth or Truth’ in my debut romantic thriller Unseen.

Patty isn’t only an award winning author, she’s the founder of Spider Road Press a local feminist driven publishing house in Houston.  This fall my piece Thomas (which came in fourth place last year in the Spider Road Press Flash Fiction Contest) will be included in their collection Approaching Footsteps.  My poems ‘Darkness’ and ‘Snowfall’ (under the pen name Elizabeth Harris) are included in the collection In The Questions.   For video of me reading Thomas click here to view it on my Facebook author page.

 

As far as Spider Road Press I’m happy to announce that my flash fiction piece Blanquita was awarded third place in their 2016 Flash Fiction Contest.  The award ceremony, along with the Press’s birthday celebration will take place on August 18 in the arts district in Houston.  I’d love for you to join us for the readings, cake, and a little bubbly.

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Without Patricia I would have never written a flash fiction piece to begin with, but with her guidance and support it turns out I’m pretty good at it.  Although I’m no match for her visceral and visual pieces.  Thanks you for everything, Patty.

And now award winning author, amazing Mom, and kind leader Patricia Flaherty Pagan answers my 20 Questions…

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20 Questions with…

Patricia Flaherty Pagan

  1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

    The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is the book that awoke my imagination, and still one of my favorites of all time. But the book that made me think I could be a writer, and see myself doing it, is a book that I also read in fourth grade-The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton. It was also magical, and fun, but took place in Concord, Mass, just three towns over from where I grew up. If she could write a good story about my area, then being a writer was a real job, that smart, real people could do.

  2. 2. How old where you when you started writing?

    Ten. But before that, I used to draw streets with several houses on them and imagine all the stories of the people who lived inside. My poor older sister Maryellen-she got to hear all the stories.

  3. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

    We’d have to have lunch in writer’s heaven-which would surely have a good bar. Flannery O’Connor and Truman Capote, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Shirley Jackson. Do I have to stop there? If Edgar Allen Poe and Dorothy Parker could drop by for a “digestif,” that would be ideal. Because what’s a dinner party without Dorothy Parker?

  4. What would you eat?

    We would start with baked Brie and warm French bread, because all good things start with good cheese. Steak salad, strawberries and champagne.

  5. How do you plot out your work?

    I make notes and then a rough outline, but really I’m a midwife for my characters. They know the route. My characters tell me what they want to happen, and it never fits the outline.

  6. Do you write in the morning or evening?

    Writing in the morning is my preference, but with a toddler you write whenever the baby sleeps.

  7. Is there music on?

    Yes. I often play the same jazz and classic rock albums, in fact. Writing music should be interesting, but not too interesting, as then it could distract you.

  8. What inspired your last story?

    I am interested in voice and setting as a character; my stories often grow out of an interesting story and her “voice,” or a unique place I have visited. Recently I have been working on a story about quarantines on Roosevelt Island in New York and the characters and plot flow flowed from there. Roosevelt Island has a fascinating history of housing the “other” of New York and New Jersey-people struggling with mental illness, prisoners, and sick people. Yet Manhattan glitters right across the tram. And now parts of it are becoming trendy housing-right over where the other was held.

  9. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

    Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Alison, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, In The Woods by Irish suspense writer Tana French, and all the short fiction collections by Joyce Carol Oates. She’s one of the best living American writers.

    10.What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

  10. Netflix’s Bloodline is an excellent TV thriller. Clever Man, a new Australian show with an unlikely Aboriginal hero and available on Sundance TV and iTunes, is fantastic-in all the senses of the word. And of course the brilliant The Wire, and Gilmore Girls, which a classic for rapid-fire dialogue. Regarding films: Thelma and Louise, Rear Window, In the Bedroom, Strangers on a Train, any Jane Campion film. I could go on… How much time do you have?
  11. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?

    Tatianna Maslany from Orphan Black. She can play anyone with compassion and humor.

  12. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

    I love mysteries-but they require an extra level of focus because all the clues have to tie together well at the end. No scene can be kept just because it has pretty words in it.

  13. Which was the easiest?

    “Blood-Red Geraniums” my tense little piece in Waves of Suspense, a fun read featuring work by several Houston authors. It’s won an award, but it was inspired by a summer job I had many years ago and an article I read about migrant workers in Texas, so it flowed.

  14. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?

    “Bargaining,” My award winning story about baby brokers and a desperate woman from my collection Trail Ways Pilgrims. Women have responded to the desperate woman’s moral, legal, and emotional dilemmas.

  15. What are you working on now?

    The Roosevelt Island piece, and a historical mystery short story set in Revolutionary Lexington and Concord.

  16. What story do you have to write before you die?

    I am working on a story about a woman with mental illness and her neighbor, a flawed mother, who witness a murder and no one quite believes them. Because in American culture, how much weight do we give flawed women and women with medical problems?

  17. What’s your best fan story?

    A reader mentioned reading Trail Ways Pilgrims four times. That’s wonderful and humbling.

  18. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

    “I neither missed nor carried” or “I redact.” They are both from my flash piece, “Rays Of Someday Almost.” It’s been published in The Pitkin Review and Trail Ways Pilgrims. I love short sentences with zing.

  19. Have you ever based characters off of real people?

    “Perhaps. But I’d never admit that here,” she said with a raised eyebrow and a grin.

  20. Who’s your favorite character?

    Meredith from my novel, Bleed She’s driven and sarcastic as hell, but tries to bring the truth to light.

 

 

You can find out more about the author on her website, http://patriciaflahertypagan.com. You can purchase her work from http://spiderroadpress.com/book-store/ and check out her work on Amazon author page, http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Flaherty-Pagan/e/B00LZY4VB4

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20 Q’s with… D.L. Young

Houston might be the fourth largest city in the country, but the writing community is rather small.  Or maybe that’s just the way it seems to me because I do have this tendency to talk…a lot.

Anyway the writer that was kind enough to answer my 20 Questions in the lovely month of  July is one of those authors that everyone knows and loves.  Not only because he’s an amazing author, but he’s just a really cool dude.

We met at Comic Con a few months ago were I was able to pick up a copy of his latest work (and first in a series) Soledad.  While I was reading it I did notice some similarities to his protagonist and my character Samantha in Blood On The Potomac.  Yet as his fast paced story continued I realized that Young is highly adept in creating a world that is familiar although tragically altered in his dystopian tale.  By the end I continued to see the similarities between Sol and Sam (of hispanic descent, on a mission in which they’ll do anything to find the truth, survived a horrific past) but their stories are highly different.  Also Sol had much more soul when it came to the prospect of hurting someone (pun intended).

Basically I’m obsessed with his novel Soledad and after reading it I knew that I wanted author D.L. Young to answer my 20 Questions…

His answers just prove how cool he is.

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Twenty Questions With… D.L. Young.

  1.  Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

In my case it wasn’t a book. Great storytelling—irrespective of the platform—inspired me to tell stories. TV shows, movies, comics, and (of course) books were all part of that.

2.  How old where you when you started writing?

9 or 10? It was my grade school years for sure. Drawing was my first love and creative outlet, but since I also enjoyed stories, I began to do my own comic strips. My strips adorned the family refrigerator for years.

3.  Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

Kurt Vonnegut, Zadie Smith, Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson

  1. What would you eat?

    With Thompson and Bukowski in attendance, I doubt there would be food.

  2. How do you plot out your work?

    I’m definitely in the ‘planner’ camp. I obsessively outline all major plot points, character profiles, character arcs, etc. That said, though, I try to outline in a way that allows me some wiggle room if—during the actual writing—the creative process takes things in an interesting, unplanned direction.

 

  1. Do you write in the morning or evening?

    Short stories I can write in bits and pieces when I get time. For novels, I force myself to get up at 5AM and write until the kids wake up, around 7. I’m not a morning person at all, but that schedule seems to work well for me.

 

  1. Is there music on?

    I’ve written with and without music. For me, I’m far more productive in silence.

 

  1. What inspired your last story?

    It’s an adaptation of the “Llorona” legend from Latin America. The story was a specific request from the editor of an upcoming anthology, and I had a lot of fun writing it.

 

  1. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

    Huckleberry Finn, The Windup Girl, White Teeth

 

  1. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

    For me, Breaking Bad was just about the best television series ever. Phenomenal writing and acting. In film, I can’t think of anyone who’s made better movies than the Coen brothers, although I’d put Wes Anderson up there as well. In music, Pink Floyd’s lyrics have always resonated with me.

  2. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?

    Tough question! Who would play Soledad, the protagonist of my current novel? Michelle Rodriguez has the perfect blend of toughness, vulnerability, and unpredictability, but Soledad is about 15 years younger. Maybe an unknown actress would be better, since Soledad is a bit of an unknown quantity as well.

 

  1. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

    The last novel for sure. Though I’m not sure I’d say ‘hard’. More like challenging since I’d only written short fiction up until that point. I don’t view writing as hard. It’s a challenge, can be frustrating, but I love it and I try to remember it’s a privilege, not a chore. The day it starts to be drudgery, I’ll stop writing.

 

  1. Which was the easiest?

    A tongue-in-cheek story I wrote about an AI who makes blockbuster movies. It just seemed to write itself.

 

  1. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?

    My short story “Ximena”. It’s about the owner of a brothel with robot “service providers” set in Madrid. Women almost universally got it and liked it. Interestingly, though, men—especially men over fifty—almost universally disliked it. The dichotomy of feedback was so interesting to me that I wrote a blog about it entitled “The Time I Accidentally Wrote Feminist Fiction” (link here: http://dlyoungfiction.com/2014/04/the-time-i-accidentally-wrote-feminist-fiction/)

 

  1. What are you working on now?

    The follow-up novel to Soledad. The working title is Prayer’s War.

 

  1. What story do you have to write before you die?

    Whatever story I’m working on at the moment!

 

  1. What’s your best fan story?

    Not sure I have a specific one, but when readers discover your work and reach out to you and say it meant something to them, or they go out of their way to evangelize your work, it’s really great. I find it very inspiring.

 

  1. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

    “It’s a shitty world and people are the shittiest thing in it.” So yeah, my stuff tends to be a tad on the dark side.

 

  1. Have you ever based characters off of real people?

    I do this all the time. After I come up with a character’s basic outline, I think of a real person I can base them on. This helps me “see” them more clearly and model their way of talking, walking, mannerisms, etc.

 

  1. Who’s your favorite character?

    That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. Impossible to answer! That said, though, readers really liked the character Lela (a fearless, faithful bodyguard) from Soledad. I can see myself doing a standalone work exploring her story at some point.

 

 

You can find out more about the D.L.Young on his blog D.L.Young Fiction and purchase his  work from Amazon.com

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novel, pictures, Signing Events

Pop Shop Houston Summer 2016

As proof that it’s been raining daily for what seems like months-it poured down on Houston on Sunday June 12.  Silver Street Studio did lose power, and that’s when I left, which proved more difficult than expected since Edwards St. was flooded.  My car is pretty small, so I stayed on high ground until the water subsided below my knees (which is where it was when I first left (and I know because I got out of my car like an idiot and walked toward the street)).

There were some cars that had been parked along the street and had been submerged in the flood water-but most people simply stayed at the event enjoying the crafts and community until the water subsided.

Thankfully I did get to meet some new readers-one of which is also a fan of author D.L. Young (who will be taking over my blog next month when he answers my 20 Questions…). This avid reader, John Husisian, was a pleasure to speak to, and a true fan of local authors (or anything well written).

Overall it was a great event in which I could see friends, make new friends, and share my gift of storytelling with someone new.

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I’ll be at Comicpalooza on Sunday June 19 from 11-5 look forward to seeing you there!

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20 Questions-Chantell Renee

I’ve always loved talking with other writers about their process, and I love reading their work.  Thus I can only hope that my readers agree with me.  In the vein of James Lipton I’ve come up with 20 questions that I want to ask my fellow writers-half the fun will be how each of them interprets the questions themselves.

Each month I’ll feature another talented author-the first of which is Chantell Renee author The Shifter Series including ‘Belonging’ and ‘Consumed’ as well as the HWG NaNoWritMo winner of 2014.  Without this author I wouldn’t have joined the Houston Writers Guild, thus never would have written ‘Blood On The Potomac’ or any of the other stories that I’ve published.  So thank you for that, Chantell, and also for being the debut author to answer my 20 Questions…

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1. Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?

For me that was the book “The Darkangel” by Meredith Ann Pierce. This was the first time I picked out a book to read on my own. The power of the words to capture me and take me far away, discovering love and fear and romance, it was amazing. Not to mention the sexual undertones that I soooo didn’t get at the age of nine!

2. How old where you when you started writing?

This would have been my freshman year. I was a poet in the making. It wasn’t until way later. like six years ago, that I started to write novels!

3. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.

Really, this would be hard for anyone. Okay I’m going with dead or alive. Edgar Allen Poe, Kahlil Gibran, P.C. Cast and Stephen King. They are all very different but similar in the way that they are deep thinkers with an amazing knack to push boundaries. Though I’m sure it would turn into dinner and breakfast, very long conversations at that table!

4. What would you eat?

Roast Beast! and if someone is a vegetarian, they get carrots. LOL

5. How do you plot out your work?

I see a blurry ending, and I build towards it until it solidifies. Usually I write the scenes that are most vivid and that is never in order! I have tried going straight through, and it’s not the same. Everyone has a different process and whatever it is, do that. As long as you keep writing.

6. Do you write in the morning or evening?

Both. If I haven’t written in a while I will sit down and write until one in the morning. But I always get loads done in the morning as well.

8. What inspired your last story?

A cat eating pizza in outer space shirt. I needed something about outer space and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if one of the things that survives once we move out into the stars, was those crazy shirts?

9. Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.

Witching Hour!!!!! One of my all time favs by Anne Rice.  Last book of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. And Harry Potter!! I want a mansion.

10. What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?

Supernatural, Penny Dreadful, Walking Dead,  Home for the Holidays, Portishead self titled album, Practical Magic…too much really!

11. Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent work?

I am currently writing book three of my Shifter Series. I’ve thought about this many times…Adelaide Kane from Reign. Not sure why really, that character isn’t anything like Vivian, but that’s who I’ve picked.

12. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?

I’d say the current novel I am on! Mostly as it’s probably the last in the series and I want to make sure I tie up all loose ends. Plus, saying goodbye is hard!

13. Which was the easiest?

Second book. I didn’t want to make it long and drawn out, and I had a few twists to put in, and it worked perfectly!

14. Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on your work?

This would probably be the short story I wrote for Tides of Impossibilities. This was a short story about one of the characters in another project I have yet to embark on, Effa. It’s titled ‘Effa on Fire’. Many who read it felt her surprise in surviving her trials. It’s a fun one.

15. What are you working on now?

I find myself writing a few things for my next series in between the third book of the Shifter Series. Though honeslty, I am not sure what series will come next….

16. What story do you have to write before you die?

I am strangely fascinated by the Dean Correll case. Not sure if I will ever get the opportunity to do that one, but it does interest me. I also love my Punk in Space story line.

17. What’s your best fan story?

Let you know when it happens! For now, it’s just getting people who walk up and say, my friend has your book, let me get one. 🙂

18. What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?

“With her stick figure and giant curls, she’s like Side Show Bob, but less attractive.”

19. Have you ever based characters off of real people?

No, not exactly. I ‘ve pictured the things about people and set off to write it, but the character changes a bit once I get them out.

20. Who’s your favorite character?

For me it’s my ladies, The Aunts. They are wise, silly, genuine, and selfless. They are just fun to write and may not be completely done telling their stories after the last novel….
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You can find out more about the author on their blog achantellreneeblog.wordpress.com and purchase their work from Amazon.com, Belonging Shifter Series.
novel, pictures, Signing Events

You know you want me to sign your book

I love meeting readers and going to really fun events-thankfully I’m doing that twice in June.

First on Sunday June 12 from 11-5 I’ll be at Pop Shop Houston in the totally chill Silver Street Studios in the heart of Houston’s arts district.  If you like man buns, diy crafts, live music, great food, and impeccably created wares then this is the event for you.  When I first attended this event was when myself, author Chantell Renee, and author Andrea Barbosa started calling ourselves ‘the dream team’.  Not only do we get along well but we all love to talk to people about our craft, and if we’re not the author for the reader then we’re more than happy to direct them to each other.

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That’s the best part of the Houston Writers Guild-you create lasting friendships.

Second on Sunday June 19 from 11-5 I’ll be at Comicpalooza at George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.  This will be my first time at this particular event, but my second time cosplaying as my character Samantha Locke from my debut romantic thriller ‘Blood On The Potomac’.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see Harley Quinn again, as well as Black Widow.

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As you can tell I like strong female characters.

 

novel, pictures, Signing Events, Uncategorized

Pictures from ‘Blood On The Potomac’ release party

We were lucky enough to have Xen Photography at Gratifi Kitchen and Bar, and they took some amazing photos.

Below I’ve included some of the best and I encourage you to check out their website Xen Photography and book them for your next special event.

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novel, pictures, Signing Events, Uncategorized

The Birth of a Novel

 

 

The night started off as many spring evenings in Houston-pouring down rain. Thankfully by the time my handsome man Israel and I made it to Gratifi Kitchen and Bar, in the heart of Montrose, the water abated. The weather reminded me of my personal experience while writing the novel. There were pitfalls, and a fair share of challenges, but in the end, after three years, my story was made available to the public.

 

I was excited when I saw that the menu had named a drink after my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’, which proved delicious.   The venue was crowded, and when I read scenes from the novel there were gasps and laughs at the right times from the audience.

 

The people that joined me on the evening my novel was released ranged from old friends, fellow writers, and avid readers that were excited to start reading. One of the attendees-a college student and talented author told me that after I read the infamous ‘roof top’ scene in the ‘Looking Glass’ chapter she “couldn’t stop reading even after you did. I just had to find out what happened next!” (The link to my Facebook Author page is at the end of this blog-and where you can see video of my readings)

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That was one of the highlights above my gratitude that so many people came to support me.

 

The most memorable moment for me was when someone made a toast to me, easily one of the people that have known me personally for the shortest amount of time. Sherrie along with several of my co-workers from Green Apple Salon- Montrose, http://www.greenapplesalons.com came to the event just a few blocks from our salon. I was elated that they attended-a friend mentioned that no one from my previous salon attended any of my previous, yet numerous, writing events. My fellow hair stylist, Sherrie, stood up, and tapped a knife against her glass. She called the room to attention and began to speak.

 

Her words were moving, and the night was long, thus I can’t quote anything for sure other than how she concluded her toast of love and admiration with “you are a true artist, Mel, and we love you.”

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Knowing that others appreciate your gift for the written word is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Thank you to all my friends, family, and the readers that attended any past or future event-without you I’d be telling stories to myself.

 

You can find my debut novel ‘Blood On The Potomac’ on Amazon or from Inklings publishing https://www.inklingspublishing.com

Like my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/melalgoodauthor/

And follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/MelAlgood

 

novel, Signing Events, Uncategorized

Release party for ‘Blood On The Potomac’

I’m so happy that my debut romantic thriller ‘Blood On The Potomac’ (which I spent three years writing) is finally being released on May 21.  The party will be held at Gratifi Kitchen and Bar from 7pm-9pm.

They have some amazing food, and great drinks including The Silencer-which is a drink named after my short story in the anthology ‘Eclectically Criminal’ from Inklings Publishing which is available on Amazon.

You can buy ‘Blood On The Potomac’ on Amazon on May 21, or you can come to the party and pick up a signed copy.

Hope to see you there!