Monday, June 20, 2011

IWU! WEEK FOUR with Harris Channing!

 This week my special guest is the talented author of six novels, Harris Channing and she will be discussing her latest release AN UNWILLING BARONESS. Harris Channing has traveled extensively around the Southern US and Europe and was kind enough to stop in for an interview. So let's meet novelist Harris Channing!

1 Tell us about your latest release.
That would be AN UNWILLING BARONESS.  It's the story of Lady Chloe Pembridge and her trip down the aisle.

2 How did you come up with the title of your book?
It just seemed to fit the story.  Titles are hard to come up it sometimes, I was glad this one wasn't!

3 What is AN UNWILLING BARNESS about?
How about I give you the blurb!  Three years ago, Chloe allowed her heart's desire to leave her. Now Jude is back, but between his mother, her father and the Baron von Richter, is she destined to become an unwilling baroness?

4 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.
I'm working an a erotic Regency at the moment, but I've ideas for a sequel to a paranormal romance and I'm also considering a sequel to Baroness…there's a character in the book who deserves a happily ever after!

5 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writing?
As much as I love to write, the truth is, I'm not the fastest writer in the world!  Making myself sit down and write is difficult, but when I'm in the zone, there's nothing better!

6 What are you currently reading?
I'm reading a book called SEEKING SPIRITS.  It's by the guys from that SYFY Ghost Hunters TV show.  It's some of their 'lost cases'.  It's an easy read and I'm enjoying it.  I like that spooky stuff…sometimes!

7 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 don't know who I'd like to write with.  I'd like to sit and talk with Catherine Cookson, just to get advice on writing and life in general. 

Would I consider collaboration?  I'm considering it right now.  A friend of mine asked me to work on a series with her. I haven't decided yet.  Not because I don't want to, but I don't want anyone depending on me to meet their deadline.  I'm a tortoise and I fear I would drive anyone collaborating with me nuts!

8 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?
My husband and kids are very supportive.  But sometimes we've just got to get away.  For fun we visit and tour historic homes.  Just today we visited the James K. Polk home in Columbia, TN.  What a great tour!

9 What do you like LEAST about writing?
Rewriting!  No, that's not true, the third read through for typos, etc.  That is the worst.  Thank goodness for crit partners!

10 Any advice for beginning authors?
Read, write, find a crit partner or two you trust and just keep going.  Don't let rejection stop you.

11 Tell us about your other published works.
Besides AN UNWILLING BARONESS, I have a paranormal romance called THE DEMON IS IN TH DETAILS out there for purchase.  I also have a handful of erotic romances available.

12 How can readers contact you?
You can email me directly at harrischanning at yahoo dot com, or friend me on Facebook, (http://www.facebook.com/#!/harris.channing) or follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/harrischanning)!  You can also visit my website: http://harrischanning.com/ or my blog: http://harrischanningauthor.blogspot.com/

I'm not hard to find.  J

List of purchase links for your books.
Amazon.com-- 
http://www.amazon.com/Harris-Channing/e/B003WM5S64/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Barnes and Noble--
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-unwilling-baroness-harris-channing/1031203616?ean=2940012503909&itm=4&usri=harris%2bchanning

All Romance eBooks-- http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Harris+Channing

And


Thanks for having me here today, Alan!  I appreciate your taking the time!

Harris.

My pleasure Harris and good luck with all your endeavors.

Sunday, June 12, 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 @: mad-gods@videotron.ca. My website with all the links to every incarnation of Mad Gods is @: http://www.mad-gods.com.
Adam's blog is @: http://www.mad-gods.com/blog.

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:
  mad-gods@ videotron.ca
  


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Welcome Danielle Blanchard Benson!

    It is my pleasure to introduce today the very talented  Danielle Blanchard Benson, author of  The Beautiful People series. As you will read, Danielle's answers are both entertaining and informative, as is her writing. Please welcome Danielle...                        

1 Tell us about you upcoming release.
My upcoming release is part of a series titled The Beautiful People. When I began on this particular journey, I wasn’t sure how often I would release a novella but it seems like they will be coming out at least once a month. The first novella, The Proposal: Book One premiered at the end of April and the second novella, The Hook Up: Book Two was released at the end of May. The third novella, Heartbreaks & Lust Aches: Book Three will be released sometime during the month of June.

2 How did you come up with the title of your book?
The series The Beautiful People always had a title that was a work in progress. The first name of the book was Film Star actually. Then, I realized the term sounded a bit British and might be lost on the American reading populace so it had to be changed. The Beautiful People was decided (with a little help from Marilyn Manson) and I had to come up with the subtitle of each novella organically. I pretty much took the theme from each novella and incorporated it into the title. For instance, the title to The Proposal is a bit of a double entendre as it refers to a sexual act in the novella but it also refers to a business proposition that presents itself to one of the main characters.

3 What is The Beautiful People series about?
In a few words: the entertainment industry. I have always loved Jackie Collins as a writer and a human being. I devoured her novels in my teens and early twenties. I wanted to write something similar—my moneymaker if you like. It is light and airy, a beach read which has plenty of sex, language, some violence and enough talk about the movie industry in particular and L.A. in general to make one dizzy. It is just my take on a very complex and superficial industry. Unfortunately, it is still a business and one that makes a lot of money. If someone is interested in pop culture, movie and rock stars, and salacious gossip, they will truly enjoy this series. It was never meant to be taken too seriously or meant as high-art literature.

4 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?
I spent more than six years in L.A. and met people who were connected to the industry (no one really famous mind you). I have been fascinated by the entertainment industry for a very long time and decided to do my own particular take. I am no longer fascinated but I still feel there is an audience for this particular book. Hollywood and the film industry are no longer the same place. Some might say it is on its knees. My series takes place during its golden years when films made lots of money and everyone benefitted. Nowadays, between the reality stars and the celebrities like the Kardashian and Hilton sisters—merely famous for being famous, something has been lost. I wanted to recapture some of the magic of a Hollywood I grew up with and can still remember before it is too late. As I wrote the novel during the time period it takes place, it is wholly authentic.

5 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.
Well, first of all, I should tell you that I do not have a fascination for Hollywood or the entertainment industry anymore but that has not stopped me from writing a second series titled Murder Inc.: The Pop Star series. This series is a bit different as it focuses a bit more on the music industry but there is still lots of juicy Hollywood gossip and the film industry still plays a role.
I am also seriously considering doing a follow-up to The Beautiful People series, 10 years later. I think it would be a bit fascinating to know what these characters are up to now.
My other project, first called Suicide Girl but retitled DeGeneration, is definitely a work of high-art literature. It is a bit of a secretive project of mine but the main story revolves around an American woman, her French significant other and her French best friend. There are some secrets between the three of them and after several years of not being on the Continent, the American main character comes back to France to finish some unsettled business. It is tragic, beautiful and a genuine work of art.
The title is a play on Generation X, the generation I am part of, and the degenerate path we have taken through no fault of our own. Our parents, mostly baby boomers, have set something in motion for which none of us can predict the consequences; hence the reason why I believe the title to be perfect.

6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writng? How do you deal with this?
The most difficult aspect of writing for me is the ability to concentrate. I have been very busy with The Beautiful People series; I am at least a third way through DeGeneration but I have not been able to write a thing in the last 5 weeks. I just feel like everything I have to do establish myself as a legitimate writer, author and artist is very time-consuming. Then again, if I don’t establish myself then I won’t have an audience for future work.
I am also at a crossroads because neither The Beautiful People nor Murder, Inc.: The Pop Stars series truly represent what my passion is with writing. I am much more of a literary writer. I love history; I enjoy convoluted plot lines, complex people and very long works of art. Although both of the poppy series I have created are quite long (and thus the reason why they are series), this wasn’t really a test of my writing skills. These were merely fun books, good mindless reading. I am an angst filled person and all my other work is very angst ridden. I truly believe I will have two camps of readers: those who enjoy my fluffy work and others who will prefer my high-art literature. I don’t mind but I would hate to think I was misleading any of my readers and this is a good way to get out my message; the more interviews I do, the more my readers know what I am about and the kind of person I am.

7 What are you currently reading?
Mad Gods, which is by a fellow indie writer. Before that, I recently finished up Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series and The Postcard Killers by James Patterson. I absolutely am a huge fan of Stephen King, James Patterson and Anne Rice. I also like the old stuff written by Jackie Collins and Dean Koontz.

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?
Without a doubt, James Patterson, because the sheer power he carries in the publishing world could make your career as an author. I have read an article about the way he sets up his co-author partnerships; basically, the writer gets an outline of a story and has their way with it. I think that would be a tremendous opportunity and that would probably be the only time I would sell my soul for fame!

9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?
I reward myself with holidays or vacations to get away. Last year, I did a tour of Western Europe with a popular tour group (never again). I am also a member of Couchsurfers.org and participate often enough. I spent two weeks in Versailles last December. This June, I am back again in Versailles. I find it very relaxing to get away from the States and to see another country. I have a special love for France and Germany; I simply haven’t gotten around to spending any length of time in Germany yet but I will.

10 What do you like LEAST about writing?
Editing is a never ending process. There is no such thing as a “perfect” book. There have been way too many times I have though the editing and proofreading process was over but there are always errors to be found, a better way a certain phrase or sentence could have been worded. The art in writing is a precise and not so precise art at the same time and that drives me crazy sometimes.

11 Any advice for beginning authors?
Yes, writing is a lot like singing. Some people are born with an innate talent and others have the ability to learn and perfect their writing but they will never be “natural” writers. I have always wanted to be a writer; there has never been any other career which has ever interested me. It is the same with a friend of mine who is an attorney. He has always wanted to be one because he doesn’t like injustice; it had nothing to do with making lots of money and becoming an “ambulance chaser” or a shady character. He just has always loved the law.
I suppose I have always loved words and how they can be expressed, misconstrued, manipulated, changed, et cetera. I love the English language and languages in general. I am also studying French and one day, I hope to be able to translate my books into French!
Therefore, in a roundabout way, my advice would be to never give up hope. If writing is a passion of yours then work at it. Accept the rejection letters if you do try to go about it the traditional way but you will eventually finds out what works best for you. Always have something in the works. Some people only have one “great” novel in them but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t produce other novels, just as long as your readers enjoy them. Not every novel or short story has to be a masterpiece, merely the best work you can do at the time.

12 Tell us about your other published works.
I have only got the one series as of now so my only published works are the two books from The Beautiful People series. The Proposal: Book One and The Hook Up: Book Two. Both are available both on ebook at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. They are also available in paperback as well on CreateSpace and Amazon.

13 How can readers contact you?
I am available on Facebook and have an author’s page located there. I am also on Twitter and host my own blog where readers are more than welcome to contact me.

List of purchase links for your books.
Book One (Paperback):  https://www.createspace.com/3614624

 And best of all, Danielle is gifting a copy of Book One and Book Two
of her Beautiful People series--The Proposal  and The Hook Up--to one lucky commenter. Enjoy!