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:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70225

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:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/90115

How can readers contact you?

Visit my blog:
http://dreamsofdiamondsauthor.blogspot.com/

Twitter:
@laurayirak
Amazon Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Boo-Dolly-Indoors-ebook/dp/B005JL50MS/
http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Boo-Dolly-Outdoors-ebook/dp/B005KK8GNI/
http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Boo-Dolly-Seasons-ebook/dp/B005KK8IVI/


 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 @: 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
  


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.

Alan,

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 RedTash.com, 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, RedTash.com.  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:
Join my mailing list for additional goodies: RedTashBooks@gmail.com
Twitter.com/RedTashBooks

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