Monday, December 26, 2011

GIRL BLUE closer to release!

Just received the edits from Samhain Publishing. Went over them, made a few changes, and sent them back. GIRL BLUE is that much closer to a release. Looking forward to seeing what the response will be to this erotic supernatural thriller. Jeremy Copper carves the most beautiful nude women in stone since the masters of aniquity. Now he's dying. This is one bizarre story.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Hop!!! Ho! Ho! Ho!

It's time for the IWU Holiday Blog Hop! Ready? Then let's go. First, a few rules for the contest.

Any reader/writer is eligible. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog post beginning 12/15. Very important--please leave an email address where I can contact you. At the end of each day, I will randomly pick a winner and the winner's name will be posted below. The prize is a free Smashwords coupon for my biomedical thriller GARGOYLES, the first book in the Resurrection Trilogy series. From 12/15 until 12/25, there will be eleven winners.

Then on 12/26, I will randomly choose one winner from these eleven who will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Now for the REALLY good news! As a grand prize for the entire tour, a Kindle Fire will be awarded to one lucky participant. At the end of the blog tour, all the winners' names from all the different blogs will be collected and one lucky individual will win this fantastic Holiday Hop grand prize.

That's it. Simple. So everyone enjoy yourselves and have fun. With all the different blogs participating, there are plenty of prizes for everyone.

So start blog hopping!

Happy holidays!

Day #1 winner is CherryBlossomRain/Ashley! Congrats.

Day #2 winner is Deanna Boocock! Congrats.

Day #3 winner is Julie Jansen! Congrats.

Day #4 winner is Stephanie Abbot! Congrats.

Day #5 winner is Jesse Kimmel Freeman! Congrats.

Day #6 winner is Nat Cleary! Congrats.

Day #7 winner is Carrie at Celjla! Congrats

Day #8 winner is Books4me! Congrats.

Day #9 winner is Mcv! Congrats.

Day #10 winner is Meghan Page! Congrats.

Day #11 winner is Craig Smith! Congrats.

And the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is...Monica Vargo(Mcv). Congrats. I'll email you the card.

All winners who are eligible for the Kindle Fire giveaway will be forwarded to Cheryl Bradshaw. Thank you everyone for your participation in the Holiday Blog Hop and I hope everyone has a great new year.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Samhain Publishing has announced a future release date for my erotic supernatural tale GIRL BLUE. I've included the Amazon link. Yeah, I know in August 2012, but thought I would warn everyone now. Lol.
GIRL BLUE is the story of a terminally ill sculptor who becomes haunted by his last work. Yup, it's a bizarre tale that will keep you reading.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plague Synopsis!

Below is the synopsis to PLAGUE, the sequel to my novel GARGOYLES. PLAGUE is book two in the Resurrection Trilogy series. The PLAGUE cover is being designed as you read this...

In nine days, modern civilization will come to a jolting halt.
   Unaware she stands on the brink of a global catastrophe of unprecedented magnitude, Amoreena Daniels embarks on a goodwill mission to the Yucatan jungles of southern Mexico. Four years have passed since her involuntary participation in a diabolical transgenic cloning experiment and subsequent narrow escape from the Las Canas research facility buried deep in the Guatemalan rainforests. In PLAGUE, the riveting sequel to the science fiction thriller, GARGOYLES, Amoreena is ready to move on with her life. She’s on the verge of graduating from UCLA medical school and set to begin a prestigious residency at Stanford.
  Only weeks before her graduation, Amoreena and her new boyfriend, Dr. Robert Kincaid, an ambitious ophthalmologist, join the Flying Samaritans and fly to the Yucatan where they will deliver care to the poor. Early in the trip, though, Amoreena and the other Samaritans are caught totally unprepared by the massive spread of illness. In one night, all of Amoreena’s coworkers succumb horribly to enferma de diablo, the devil’s sickness. Before her eyes, people become monsters; insanity, cannibalism, grotesque physical transformations are hallmarks of this rampant disease. An entire village is wiped out.
   The contagion is a highly infectious gene altering viron, inadvertently released by Dr. Ross Becker’s organization, Amoreena’s nemesis from GARGOYLES, and has spread globally. This primitive virus-like protein is a ticking time bomb programmed to detonate at zero-time, the point maximum virulence is reached and everyone exposed will be altered. The vast majority will die. Amoreena reunites with her companions from Las Canas, and together they must flee for their lives. But this time there is no place to run. No place is safe. While attempting to save her own life, Amoreena is suddenly confronted with another startling revelation—one that just might hold the key to the salvation of mankind!
   Fasten your seat belts, close your eyes, and pray like hell, because the world as we know it is coming to an end!

Monday, October 31, 2011


I've reached the halfway point in the sequel to my biomedical thriller Gargoyles. Plague is the continuation of the Amoreena Daniels' story--only now it's four years later. I'm really excited about how book two of The Resurrection Trilogy is developing. What's next for the brilliant and beautiful Amoreena? Next week I'll post some more about where the Plague plot is going. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The talented and pretty author Heather Marie Adkins!

Heather Marie Adkins is an independent fiction novelist and avid bibliophile with the library to prove it. She first began publishing her work in June 2011—much to the chagrin of her mother—and now has five published ebooks in various genres.  In September of 2011, she was chosen as the Louisville Eccentric Observer’s Reader’s Choice 3rd Best Local Author.  She loves to garden, cook, and travel, and would give anything to live in a cottage in Ireland.  She can be found barefoot on her urban Kentucky farm.

Cause & Effect
Martin’s existence has centered on his wife, Sophie, for thirteen years.  Their tumultuous, explosive relationship ends in adultery and her abrupt death, leaving Martin to pick up the pieces of the life she built for them – and a daughter he barely knows.  With the touching insights of his little girl and memories of Sophie to keep him going, Martin navigates the year after her death in a series of lists, finding that happiness is something to create, not expect.

Now for the much awaited interview!

      1)  Many authors, when asked what inspired them to write a particular story, mention either a mental image popped into their mind, or they heard a line of conversation, or it was related to an event in their lives.  What inspired you to write Cause and Effect?

A writing exercise.  I follow my favorite author’s blog religiously (Jennifer Crusie).  She did a post a couple years ago about how beneficial writing exercises can be to a writer—practice makes perfect, etc.  One of the people who left a comment mentioned a “laundry list” exercise—make a list, then write a short story telling how each item made it on the list.  So, I did.  What was originally a fun writing exercise for my blog became a novella.

2)Cause and Effect is a gritty, real life drama-type story—unlike your other well-reviewed story, The Temple. Why did you elect to switch genres from paranormal to a subject matter that is more representative of real life events and situations?

I don’t like to be tied down.  I believe that any writer can branch outside the genres they’ve limited themselves to and do it well.  The five books I have published range from mystery to horror to paranormal romance to chick lit—and of course Cause & Effect, which I guess could be best classed as a literary drama. 

That being said, I’m nearly certain Cause & Effect wrote itself.  I have no idea how the story developed... it just did.  It was so outside the realm of my comfort zone yet it turned into something so beautiful.  A lot of the real-life emotion that is found in this novel was me channeling the death of my cousin.  Much of what Martin goes through came directly from my own experience. 

3)Though Cause and Effect has an interesting plot, to me, the story is more about the relationships between the characters than a simple plotline. Did you find it more difficult or easier to craft a story built on relationships versus a plot driven story?

You are absolutely correct.  Cause & Effect has little to do with plot and everything to do with the relationships.  I’m fascinated by relationships.  What causes one man to dote upon his children—little league, ice cream cones in the park, helping with homework at night—yet another man barely knows his kid?  What drives a woman to cheat?  Cause & Effect is a glimpse into what happens for every action we take in life, and how the people around us are deeply connected to our responses.

4)As a follow-up to the above, the structure of Cause and Effect is unique, in that the story does not follow a single timeline from early to middle to end, rather the scenes jump from the present to the past and back to the present again, which worked really well with how the story elements played out. My question is how hard was it to write the scenes this way or did you actually write the entire story first, then reposition the scenes in the final version?

            I actually wrote it out of order.  It wasn’t too terribly hard to keep up with but I kept an active Word doc on the laptop where I kept track of every date for every story.  I had a system—luckily it seems to have worked!

5)I have to ask this one since the characters seem so real—do you “know” any of the major players in Caues and Effect, or did you really just make them all up?

            They are all made up :)  I didn’t base any characters in Cause & Effect on actual people, though I did try to make them as real-to-life for the kind of people who live here in Kentucky.  Martin is a true country boy, while Sophie is probably every blonde cheerleader I knew in high school.  And Alison is the kind of child that were I to ever have a daughter, I would want her to be like Alison.

6)Without giving away too much of the plot, do you think Martin and Sophie would have remained together if what happened didn’t happen? Or was their “situation” inevitable?

They would never have stopped loving each other, but their marriage was probably not salvageable—unless Martin had realized where he was going wrong and fixed it before, and the same for Sophie.  Too many people lose sight of the fact that relationships are NOT one-way streets, and that’s why divorce is so prevalent.  A relationship takes love, honor, devotion, and WORK.  And if the two parties involved can’t meet halfway, then it’s doomed.

7) This question might not be fair but I’ll ask it anyway (lol). Who are you more like—Sophie or Tina?

Definitely Tina.  I’m SUCH a hippie.  Sophie is confident and sexy (SO not me), and her very outlook on the important things in life doesn’t match my own. 

8) Besides being entertained, is there anything else you would like the reader to take away from Cause and Effect?

Time is not static.  Everything you have now is fleeting, so each moment should matter as much as the last and the next.  The people in your life are everything to the person you have/will become.  And finally, always remember cause and effect.  What you put out determines what comes back.

9) Will we visit Martin and his family again, or is Cause and Effect the only glimpse of their lives we will ever see? (That sounds so melodramatic, in other words, is a sequel in the works?)

No, there is unfortunately no plan for a sequel.  Then again, I said that about The Temple and I have eight people tell me to write a sequel.  So I am.  My moods are subject to change ;)  If I did go anywhere with Cause & Effect, it would probably be with one of his kids, because essentially, Martin’s story is told.

10) Was there a defining moment when writing Cause and Effect when you thought, “Wow, this is turning out pretty good.”

Not while I was writing it.  When I was writing Cause & Effect, it was just a fun exercise.  I was exploring emotions and imagery; learning about Martin and his world while I went through a lot of sh** in my own life.  It wasn’t until I was doing rewrites when I realized that I had a piece of gold; the most emotional, beautiful piece I had ever written.

11) Does author Heather Marie Adkins plan on staying with real life drama stories or will readers see more paranormal in your future endeavors—or both? Yes, here is where we want to hear about your future projects.

I dabble in a bit of everything.  I read in every genre and therefore I want to write in them all :)  So, you’ll see more of both.

Currently, I am focusing on a YA paranormal romance that will be released under my YA pen name, Nolia McCarty.  After that, I have the first in a new witchcraft mystery series, as well as a thriller and a southern chick lit.  My next YA novel will be a real-life drama.  I have a loooong list of ideas that will keep me writing for years, and there’s a little bit of every genre hanging out on that list.

Check out my debut novel, The Temple, at these platforms
and my second release, Abigail, at these platforms.

Find me online at my blog!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Giant Cat!

The true Smilodons  lived from 2.5 million up to approximately 10,000 years ago. These majestic predators roamed North America until the end of the Ice Age. There are actually three Smilodon species, though Smilodon fatalis is the most well known. Weighing up to 600 pounds Smilodon fatalis was about the size of present day Siberian tigers. The huge cat in SMILODON is much larger because of a mutated atavistic gene. Technically Smilodons were not tigers, yet they are often referred to as saber-toothed tigers. Tigers belong to a different subfamily of felines. These huge cats, famous for their large canines sometimes approaching a foot in length, preyed on the large mammals of their time—bison, deer, tapir, camels and ground sloths. There is some evidence they might have even killed smaller mastodons and mammoths as well as prehistoric humans. The giant predator in SMILODON fed on elk and moose and deer, though once homo sapiens invaded his domain, the human carnage became inevitable. No one messes with an enraged Smilodon, especially a mutated one, and lives to tell about it!

SMILODON.    Amazon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't Fear the Reaper

Title: Don’t Fear the Reaper

Description: Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zombies--Modern vs Historical!

 Modern Zombie or Historical Zombie: Which do you Prefer in the Apocalypse?

Hi! I’m Angie. Thanks for having me. It’s great of Alan to give up a post in order to host my discussion and I hope you’ll all join in and let your voice be heard.

There are many differences between the modern and historical zombie but probably the biggest, is speed. Zombies of the past were slow, clumsy, and apt to run into things because their eyes seemed not to work right.  Modern zombies fly along the walls and ceilings and they are incredibly fast. In a race with a modern zombie, average people will loose every time.

The newer zombie is also more lethal upon first contact. A historical zombie encounter would usually end in a bite that eventually turned the victim into a friend-attacking flesh eater. A modern zombie delivers death in a series of lightening fast bites that are impossible to avoid. Survivors are unlikely but those who are infected will become the walking dead with in minutes, another of the larger differences. Contagion is immediate.

And what about their intelligence? Zombies of the past were slow and dumb. Perhaps they craved brains to make themselves smart again. Either way, past walking dead were seen running into walls and beating against doors because they could not figure out how to turn the handles. Locks were rarely necessary, only boarding to prevent them from breaking through with their brute strength. A modern night walker races to cut victims off at the pass, hiding in clever ambushes, and are capable of great self control, unlike their relatives, who's blank eyes showed only one thing. Bloodlust.

There are a lot of differences between a modern zombie and a historical zombie, including communication skills, awareness of their surroundings, and how they set up dens. The new zombie has adapted into a dangerous foe that few would want to meet. It can communicate with its fellow undead and in films like: I am Legend, have developed a basic hierarchy of authority inside their clans. They now use their environment to their advantage, such as waiting until the sun goes down to hunt. They have gone from groups of brain craving biters, to serial-killing predators. Their instincts have sharpened. They have evolved.

So, which zombie is the one for you? Modern or Historical? Join the Discussion.

Would you like to check out one of my apocalyptic fantasy books?
This one has zombies- The Mountaineers: A Prelude
This one does not- The Survivors

Both just $.99!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

IWU! Blog Tour welcomes Laura Yirak!

This week it is my pleasure to welcome talented indie author Laura Yirak to the blog tour. Laura spent her early years in Scotland attending a school that was rumored to be haunted. Now that's interesting. She lives in the States now and published Delivered to Eternity just this last March. Writing is her passion which is exemplified by her novel's many five star reviews.

Let's meet Laura.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Delivered to Eternity was named so, because that is my pure romantic definition of a vampire. In becoming one--you are 'delivered to eternity'--your own.

What is Delivered to Eternity about?

Alesta is a nurse with a secret. When babies start disappearing from her hospital, the police investigation implicates her. The police, however, are the least of her problems, as her past comes back alive. Such is the way with vampires.

Alexandria, Scotland has no idea what’s coming!

FREE now on Smashwords:

Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?

I was inspired by my experiences from working as a nurse in an Intensive Care Unit. I felt some things after people passed away that I could not just explain away medically, though I never spoke of it at the time.

Tell us a little about any current works in progress.

I am currently writing a psycho-thriller set on the Washington coast.  It's INTENSE!

What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writng? How do you deal with this?

I would love more time to write. Currently, if I’m lucky, I get two hours per day to write. I deal with this by packing in as much as I can.

What are you currently reading?

I am about to start, Melissa Smith’s, Thunderhead.

If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?

I would join up with anyone from IWU J

Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?

There are a few cabins I like to visit in foothills of the Cascades, or on the beach on Orcas Island--no TV, no internet. 

What do you like LEAST about writing?

Editing--I like being done and sometimes it’s as though I could edit and add forever.

Any advice for beginning authors?

Go for it! Now is the time!

Tell us about your other published works.

I have a new children’s series, The Adventures of Be Boo and Dolly.
Seasons is free now on Smashwords:

How can readers contact you?

Visit my blog:

Amazon Links:

 Thanks---yours Laura

 Thank you, Laura, for the entertaining interview and good luck with all your projects.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IWU! Blog Tour Welcomes Athanasios Galanis!

 This week, my special guest is Athanasios Galanis and he will be telling us about himself, his books and a fabulous contest he is offering. Athanasios is the talented , the witty and the intriguing indie author of the compelling MAD GODS, now available on Amazon and Smashwords. So let's meet Athanasios!

1 How did you come up with the title of your book?

The title Mad Gods is an appropriation of the Joe Cocker album Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Never had it, never heard it, but I saw it in an old record store & thought it was a cool title. It stayed with me till I wanted a title for an earlier comic book version that I called Mad Gods & Buried Children. It was about a giant guy, a natural hulk who was also scarred badly in his youth. Due to his abnormal size he was thought of as a monster, a damned creature that had to be a creation of the devil. So the Antichrist hadn't come into my mind until way later in the Mad Gods & Buried Children timeline. So this huge hulking guy, Bear, comes along in my imagination with this terrible childhood. That's the buried children part. So I follow the ideas in my head till since he was considered a monster & was damned, creation of the devil, yadda, yadda, yadda, that's when I thought, why isn't he the Antichrist? I also didn't want him to be huge but wanted him to be beneath notice, an everyman, all the more insidious because he could be anybody, look like anybody. Medium height, medium build, brown hair, brown eyes, no discernible racial characteristics, nothing impressive or frightening until you find out he's the Antichrist.

2 What is Mad Gods about?

Mad Gods is about a remnant of imperial Byzantine antiquity, Kostadino Paleologos enforcing the beliefs of his tutor Plethon. He is set on a search for the Idammah-Gan Codex in the Library of Alexandria; Ptolemaic Library believed lost to antiquity. It is a catalogue of a soul that wishes for redemption; a life more ordinary. It doesn't matter that it is also a detailed account of the past lives of the Antichrist. This soul should be allowed to decide if it will follow fate or live its new life in peace. He kidnaps him as an infant and avoids Luciferians/Satanists who wish their Messiah returned and the Catholic Church's Templars who want him dead. Kostadino's usurping of the baby Antichrist throws Revelation into chaos. He names him Adam and they settle into a life of peace in Northern Canada. Meanwhile the Luciferians and Catholics war amongst themselves and all about them. Kostadino raises Adam to think for himself, and not trust religion. The Templars & Luciferians independently converge on the unsuspecting Kostadino and Adam. In the attack enough pain, blood and death is shed by both sides to summon Satan/Lucifer who possesses Kostadino and orders Adam to do as he is told. Adam refuses and becomes the final evolution of Man's Duality: Good/Evil - Christ/Antichrist - Xos/AntiXos.

3 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?

I grew up being scared out of my wits by the Exorcist & the Omen. They were released in theatres in 73 & 76 respectively, which made me 9 & 12. This was in my formative years before I began thinking for myself & got out from my traditional Greek parents beliefs. I wanted to go past those fears & began looking into whatever was known about the two characters therein: Satan & hisdarling son. The further I looked into it the more scared I became so I left it alone for a while. I didn't even consider it apart from giving myself the willies every couple of months when I gave both some thought. The idea as to how much fear they caused stayed with me. I didn't like it but I knew it was powerful.

4 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.

The book I’m currently working on is the second in the Predatory Ethics series, titled Commitment. The first was Mad Gods. In Commitment Adam, the main character must deal with the repercussions of all that’s happened in Mad Gods. It’s driven him insane but that doesn’t mean serial killers, pagans, the Dark Nobility or his biblical father, Satan, are still not after him.

6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing? How do you deal with this?

Finding the time to write. I have a day job where I can do a lot of the preliminaries and promotional parts of indie authorship. Yet when it comes down to doing the grunt work of pulling the tale out of my head I need quiet. I can do my job, graphics and video editing listening to music, or watching some television, or documentaries on my computer and have no problems with concentration. Writing, however, is totally distracting. I can't do anything else. I can't listen to music, or watch anything on computer. So it's difficult to find a place to concentrate on it. It's getting better, though because I can work on the train on my way to and back from work.

7 What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower 3: The Wastelands, and three other books but all of them by indie writers: Cheryl Bradshaw’s Black Diamond Death, Danielle Benson’s Beautiful People, and David Gaughran’s If You Go Into the Woods.

8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?

Just to play along with this question, because I’m such a giving guy, I would say Mary Renault. It’s been a long time since I was so involved and engrossed in a story. I’ve read much of her historical fiction from the Alexander trilogy, Fire From Heaven, Persian Boy, and Funeral Games to The Last of the Wine and Mask of Apollo. She just transported me to ancient times and I’ve loved her for it since. That said, I wouldn’t really collaborate with anybody, I’m way to difficult to get along with.

9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?

I watch a lot of television, documentaries and movies. I also do a lot of my own home repairs, that may not be fun but when it's done it's very gratifying. I'm a Howard Stern fan in the truest definition of the word. I listen to him every day and love every minute of his show. I haven't missed it since I first heard him when he was broadcast in Montreal in 1998.

10 What do you like LEAST about writing?

The duration. I’ve been doing creative things for most of my life, and I’ve been good enough at all of them to be able to earn a living. None of them keep my attention or patience as long as writing has. I dislike the time it takes to get what I have in my head out but it’s a small dislike compared to the wonder the finished story still instills in me.

11 Any advice for beginning authors?

Write the story you would like to read. Surprise yourself by not doing what you would expect to do. Yes I know, how do you surprise yourself, you’ll see you coming. Keep “what if” as one of your go to phrases to surprise yourself.

12 Tell us about your other published works.

I don’t have any.

13 How can readers contact you?

I can be found @: My website with all the links to every incarnation of Mad Gods is @:
Adam's blog is @:

List of purchase links for your books.
Here are my links to my books:
Mad Gods - Redux
Mad Gods Volume I
Mad Gods Volume II

Mad Gods Volume III
Mad Gods Volume IV
Mad Gods Volume V

And because Athanasios is feeling particularly generous this week, he is proposing the following contest and all commenters are eligible. He plans to offer any of the volumes of MAD GODS as a giveaway. And ANY appropriate comment will earn a copy. Yes, I said "any". So all you have to do is comment and a copy of one of the volumes of MAD GODS is yours--and you get to choose! Athanasios would appreciate a review on Amazon US, UK, and DE in return for the read.
  There's more! And the best review of each volume as judged by Athanasios will earn the MAD GODS-REDUX in full, plus all 27 illustrations used in the 22 chapters, 4 volumes and 1 Redux cover. Can't beat that offer.
   So let's see some comments please! 
  Again, Athanasios' email is:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

IWU Blog Tour Welcomes Helmy Kusuma!

 This week it is my pleasure to welcome talented Indie author Helmy Kusuma. Helmy was born in Palembang, Indonesia and spent most of his childhood reading encyclopedias while fantasizing about Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. These days, Helmy is no longer fantasizing but creating his own works of fiction.

1 Tell us about you upcoming release.
Cinta 3 Sisi is a romance novella to complete the story in Mementoes of Mai. At this time I am writing it not in English. I might translate it into English if passion permits. My next novel in English would be a science fiction adventure temporarily titled Inverta.

2 How did you come up with the title of your book?
Mementoes of Mai is a result of an exhausting search of genuine but simple word inside my before-titled 'ai is love'. A fellow writer guided me on this effort.
There Is Hope sort of popped itself up while I was imagining my short story.

3 What is Mementoes of Mai about?
'Mementoes of Mai' is about a story of deciding between passion and love while in 'There Is Hope' I am hoping to give a bit of smile amidst the chaos in the world today.

4 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular  story? Why?
The first one was inspired by my own experience when traveling to Viet Nam, while the second was inspired by the world's situation.  I want to share my impressions to the world.

5 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.
I will pass 'Cinta 3 Sisi' because it's for other audiences. Well, I am going to continue my science fiction after that. 'Inverta' is about a journey of a young man where suddenly an aged old secret fall on his lap, and this secret challenges his beliefs.

6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing? How do you deal with this?
The space between writing a piece and the next one. It's so chaotic. It makes you want to write the next one immediately, but, of course, you need a break, or else the characters will start invading your common sense.

7 What are you currently reading?
Citizen Zero by Mark Cantrell
Sin by Shaun Allan
Heavy stuff.

8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?
Too many to mention!! Of course, A Flash of Inspiration, is my first collaboration, one among the many to come.

9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?
I watch movies which tend to sprout ideas. I eat fine foods. I meet people.
10 What do you like LEAST about writing?
The typing. Seriously. If words can just come straight out of your mind into the document.

11 Any advice for beginning authors?
Be persistent.

13 How can readers contact you?
Twitter : @hanzpk

And yes, Helmy is sponsoring a contest. Whoever comments will get a chance to win a copy of There is Hope.

 Thank you Helmy for stopping by this week and we hope to see more of your work in the future.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

IWU! Blog Tour with Red Tash!

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Red Tash to the IWU Blog tour. Red Tash writes dark fantasy. If you like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, or Holly Black, then you like dark fantasy, and you will like Red Tash. So let's welcome Red.


Thanks for having me on your blog this week!

The long Labor Day weekend has just ended, and it’s back to work for us writers, just like everyone else.  The different for us, of course, is that we set our own timetables, even when we’re under deadline.  Do I linger over coffee while the family sleeps, enjoying the quiet?  Should I rush downstairs to my waiting computer and see how much I can accomplish?

I often wonder how my idols get anything done during their day.

I was saying to a fellow author, on a publishing bulletin board recently “It’s hard to sound like a fan anymore without sounding stalkery,” and to me, that’s sad.  What’s wrong with wanting to know a little more about the workflow and thought processes of your favorite writers?  It doesn’t mean you’re planning on moving to their town or sneaking up on them in the dead of night.  It just means you feel a kinship with them, and are curious if you can learn anything from them.  It dismays me a little that anyone who takes an interest in us anymore is automatically “SwimFan” material.

Having said all that, I did a little research into how my favorite authors write.

Neil Gaiman is such a prolific presence on the net that one wonders how he even finds the time to write.  He said in a 2006 interview that his process evolved from writing and smoking all night, to becoming a daytime writer, after he was married and had children.  Eventually he was also able to afford remote cabin rentals where distractions were a minimum.  Hrm…every writer’s dream, Neil.

JK Rowling famously had a vision about Harry Potter while riding a train, then spent years amassing notes and drawing sketches of her ideas.  When the time came for her to write, she said she felt like she was carving the first book out of a mass of notes.  We all know the story, of how she would push her daughter around in a stroller and then work on her manuscript by hand.  For those of us addicted to the instant gratification of seeing our words appear on screen (not to the mention the convenience of self-expression at the rate of 90 wpm), writing stories out longhand can.  Seem.  Impossibly.  Slow.  And who’s to say how she’s doing it now?  She’s not that forthcoming.

Stephen King says you can write anywhere, but you do have to have the time to do it.  I read an interview with him bragging about how he wrote a chapter of a novel in a notebook while holding the leash for his dog, waiting on his wife and son to finish an activity.  Of course there’s his amazing book, On Writing, to draw inspiration from, as well, along with a host of other books meant to encourage writers to write—but the mechanics of who, when, etc. remain somewhat of a mystery for some of us.

The thing that’s common to all the above stories, in my opinion, is the burning passion to write.  Even knowing that what you’re writing may not be your best work—it’s a draft, after all, in most cases, just the act of writing needs to be acknowledged and valued. 

It was Labor Day weekend, these past few days.  If you’re reading this, you probably worked a bit during the break, didn’t you?  You worked on your novel, you tidied up a draft.  Perhaps you were busy uploading something to Kindle.  We’re in luck, us writers.  We’re so passionate about what we do that we will write while walking the dog, while watching the children, while vacationing with the pure intent of writing.  Writing is a drive, a purpose, a need, and a luxury, all in one. 

Where are you writing today?  On what topic?  How?  I’m curious.  If you’re not a writer, then what are you reading?  Leave a comment here on Alan’s blog, and the most interesting response will win a free copy of my upcoming book, This Brilliant Darkness.  I’d love for you to join me at, as well, where I post art, videos, photos, and quotes that inspire me, as well as thoughts on the writing life, sneak peeks into my work, and the occasional contest for you, the reader.

Red Tash is the author of the dark fantasy This Brilliant Darkness, coming within a matter of days to Amazon Kindle Store and Smashwords, and soon for most other ebook platforms including Nook and Kobo.  Red’s free short fairy tale The Wizard Takes a Holiday is available for free, and you can find other samples of Red’s work on her website,  Look for a huge prize giveaway to celebrate the release of This Brilliant Darkness.  You could win a free Kindle, gift certificates to Amazon, and books by other hot fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal authors!

Contact info:
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Thank you again, Red, for participating in the IWU! blog tour. And readers, don 't forget about Red's huge prize givaway!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

IWU! Blog Tour welcomes Todd Russell!

                                                      This week it is my pleasure to welcome  indie horror writer Todd Russell. Todd will tell us why he loves reading and writing scary stories. This should be scary--I mean interesting!
Welcome, Todd.
1 Tell us about you upcoming release.

My debut novel Fresh Flesh, a psychological thriller horror story washes ashore 9-29-2011.

2 What is the book about?

Shipwrecked Jessica is rescued, cherished and trained to survive on a strange island by a man who is not what he seems.

3 How did you come up with the title of your book?

The man that rescues Jessica sees her as something fresh washing ashore. The flesh part will become clear once readers learn what is going on with the man and the island.

4 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?

I wasn't happy with my first two novels written in the mid to late 80s. I've seen several writers say that their first two written novels weren't very good and the third book was when things came together. Fresh Flesh is my third completed novel.

The story idea first came in 1987 and the first draft was written in 1988. It's gone through several revisions over the years up to and including a decent amount of brand new material in 2011.

So it's a work that took roughly 25 years of aging to come to fruition.

5 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.

Recently I started writing a new short story every work day. As of this writing, I've written a week's worth consecutively, so no significant streak yet, but I have a feeling (hope) it might go awhile. I'm not worried about running out of story ideas I'm worried about getting distracted and sidetracked.

This project is paying homage to an online writing area at AOL that I was fond of in the late 90s which came out with weekly writing prompt contests.  It stirred my creative fires. I use these shorts as warm-up exercises and then get into some meatier--in terms of number of words, not value or importance--works. I love the beauty in brevity of short stories and it's an art that a writer can lose if s/he doesn't continue to work at it.

I have several longer WIPs at various stages. I've outlined most of the second book in the Fresh series and will be starting the first draft soon. I have made notes on many possible future Fresh series stories, so depending on time, energy and interest, there could be many future books in the series.

Another story, this one a pantser (no outline) and so far seems aimed at fans of Death Race 2000 and Soylent Green. No idea how long this will be but it's heavy on my mind at the moment which means it's getting significant new word priority.

6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing? How do you deal with this?

Focus can be very difficult. It's so easy to jump from project to project without completing already started works. I have several story ideas bouncing around in my head competing for attention. The muse sort of dictates which one to work on because a powerful scene or character is more valuable to me to get out than forcing a scene I'm less excited in writing because it's next in line.

Completing a work brings me a tremendous amount of self-confidence, so it's important for me to keep completing works. Even if the works in the editing stage are deemed non-publishable or needing significant work to become publishable.

How I've dealt with this over 30+ years I've been writing has changed. Lately, I'm doing this by using short stories to finish more works more often. I've also cut down on the amount of time spent doing non-new-writing activities, so I can focus more on writing new words. I also have a couple regular activities like the weekly #SampleSunday on Twitter (I've done 21 consecutive Sundays to date) and a daily history-related tweet (daily since June 2011).

7 What are you currently reading?

Please follow me on Goodreads: -- I track all the books I'm reading there and some at LibraryThing. As of this writing I'm re-reading The Raven & Other Classic Poe Stories and first reading Dead Man's Eye by Shaun Jeffrey.

8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?

I tried some collaboration in the 90s with a few other writers. I would love to collaborate with any of my three favorite writers: Robert McCammon, Stephen King and on the TV side, Rod Serling (R.I.P).

I'd be open to co-authoring the right kind of story with one or more co-authors as long as our styles were compatible. That's the big hurdle. I don't think collaborations work as good if the styles are too different. And just because writers are in the same genre doesn't mean they can collaborate well on something. As a reader, I'm not as excited by collaborative works as single author works.

Then again two of the story ideas I have are ripe for multiple co-authors to work on and would be something that might even work well with different writing styles.

Collaboration is fun and an interesting way to work on a story. If another author enjoys my work and thinks we could create an awesome together, please feel free to hit me up and let's chat.

9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?

My wife and I love to get in the car and drive, destination unknown. We are a relatively short drive from the beach, the mountains and all kinds of wonderful places in between.

10 What do you like LEAST about writing?

Nothing. I enjoy every step in the creative writing process:

11 Any advice for beginning authors?

At the infant stage in my publishing career, I don't feel qualified giving beginning authors advice. There are a ton of other authors with more publishing experience than me. Please follow-up and ask me this question again in 5-10+ years and maybe I'll feel experienced enough then to answer.

As for advice for beginning writers? Let me quote from a blog post I wrote titled: Most Important Writing Skill -

"The skill that young (in career, not just age) writers need to develop most IMHO is the discipline to take an idea from conception to completion to maturation to publishing."

12 Tell us about your other published works.

Mental Shrillness is a collection of six horror short stories available in paperback and ebook (multiple formats). Two of the stories are award winners and so far the book has received good overall reviews. There are also four bonus stories and author's notes on all the stories for those who like to learn more about how the stories originated.

13 How can readers contact you?

Preferred method is to use the contact form on my website:

OR ... if we follow each other on Twitter readers are welcome to DM:

There's also Facebook, Goodreads and many other social networks I belong to that are too numerous to list here. If you try to reach me through the social networks and I don't respond within 1-2 business day then I probably missed the contact. Please use the contact form at my website.

I love communicating with readers, so please don't be shy!

List of purchase links for Todd's books.

Amazon US (paperback contains an exclusive story)

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble NOOK

Kobo (on sale as of this writing)

Apple iTunes / iBookstore

Smashwords (multiple e-formats, great for friends outside the US)

Not through yet, readers!

And best of all, Todd is sponsoring a contest! He will give away a free ebook of Mental Shrillness for the three best follow-up interview questions in the comment section between now and September 29, 2011. Rock and roll, let's see some weird, wild and wonderful questions :) Come on commenters--let's hear from you!

Thank you very much for the interview, Alan!

Horrifically Yours,
Todd Russell