Author: kdell.

Music that sings to me – How music inspired me to deepened the plot and characters in my stories

People ask me all the time what inspired me to write this book, Harmless. A million things did! But amongst all that a few songs really helped me figure out the characters, and come up with some pretty cool twists in the plot.

So, I’ll start from the top… I Won’t Give Up, by Jason Mraz. This-song-is-epic! If Nate (From Harmless) were to tell the story from his point of view, it might sound a little like this song. And I can say, it inspired one of the most anticipated scenes in the book; when Rachel dances with Nate at the community center dance. I wish I could have written the lyrics right into the pages of the book but, you know… due to copyright laws and all that I had to leave it out.

In this song, Jason Mraz asks, “how old is your soul?” Which is a total precursor to what happens later in the story. SPOILER ALERT! Souls are a major thread in the story. They are what makes the world, our world, what is it is. They connect us. They are powerful. And they are infinite. For Nate to ask Rachel, how old is your soul, would be like asking, do you know what’s inside you. DEEP… yes. That’s how I role sometimes.

Back to the song. The singer also says, “you’ve come so far, to be right where you are.” That is not so much a precursor as it is letting on that perhaps Nate knows more about Rachel’s brother’s death and whats going on with her, than he lets on. The character of Nate is this near perfect person with the capacity for so much love and patience. A person that ‘won’t give up’, which is, you guessed it, the name of the song.

I-PixTeller-123329“The skies get rough…” Again, with the foreshadowing to the epic tale that is the Harmless series. Which I wish I could tell you more about! BUT that would take a whole book or two to tell you! A whole book titled MAVENS, and a third book titled TEMPEST to be exact. I’m working on it! I promise! Back to the song, I loved the reference to the ‘skies’ in this song. My character, Rachel Barnes, often refers to her feelings as types of weather; something she picked up from her therapist, aptly named The Weather Lady for describing feeing as meteorological events. For example: My skies are cloudy, could mean that she is in a blah kind of mood.

“learn how to bend with the world caving in.” Another awesome line from this song. Rachel especially needs to learn to bend. Her world has been ‘caving in’ for years and through the pages in this story she learns when to bend and when to have the strength to withstand. Which isn’t always pretty. But life is like that sometimes.

So that’s that song. I’ve attached the YouTube link so you can have a listen.

I won’t give up – Jason Mraz
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1-4u9W-bns

Now here is a song for Mason… Let Her Go – by Passenger

Mason; my tortured soul. My bad guy you can’t help but feel for. There are a few lines in this song that helped me shape his character. “Everything you touch surly dies”, if Mason were singing this song, he would be talking about himself here. Not just because that’s how his powers  work to take lives. SORRY… SPOILER. But because he knows what dark lurks inside him.

“You only need the light when its burning low.” This line from the song could be interpreted a few ways. One, Mason sees Rachel as a source of light and goodness. Or when the light burns low in him (his wendigo powers) he feels its depletion. He senses his need for both.

“Only know you love her when you let her go.” This line in the song is what inspired the very last scene in the book; if it had been through Masons eyes and not Rachel’s. For those of you that haven’t read it yet, I won’t totally wreck it for you. But think of this song when you read it.

For me this song was a depiction of Mason’s struggle; the demons within himself, the want to do good, but the justification to be who he is… a wendigo. Once again, a really deep interpretation. But I’m happy to enlighten. I would never get this much detail out in an author interview or podcast.

Here is a link to the song. Have a listen and relieve the story.

Let her go – Passenger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBumgq5yVrA

There is one last song that made it into the pages of Harmless, Magic Carpet Ride, by Steppenwolf.Blog-PixTeller-123321

The lyrics in this song came into play when Rachel was waiting for the last few minutes of her English class to pass. Mason sneaks this song into her head.

What I like about this song was that it’s an invitation. “You don’t know what we could find. Why don’t you come with me little girl, on a magic carpet ride.” Maybe he wants Rachel to become what he is? Maybe he just sees the world a little bigger than the inside of a grade twelve English class.

Again, a link to the song. Have a listen.

Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4WiyxXpyZc

Well, thanks for reading everyone. I hope I’ve answered some questions and inspired others to take a deeper look at writing and music. If you absolutely must read the book now… you’re in luck! It’s available through the usual channels; Amazon, Barns and Noble, Chapters Indigo, and Kobo.

OR you can obtain a FREE SAMPLE of Harmless on InstaFreebie!Harmless Sample cover

Good read and good writing to you all.

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RELEASE DAY: DEJA YOU

E-books 99¢ RELEASE DAY SPECIAL
Paperbacks $10.99

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TITLE: Déjà You
PUBLISHER: Emerald Lily Publishing
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017
PURCHASE LINKS
AmazonB&N Paperback | Create Space Paperback

In Déjà You, five authors share stories of second chances, as varied in telling as the writers themselves.

Kelly Cain’s We’ll Always Have Oahu takes us on a whirlwind New Adult romance set in the 80s between a young woman on a high school graduation trip and a handsome Navy sailor.

Bianca M. Schwarz transports us to 1760 in The Pearl with the story of Marcus Landover, who attends a card party and ends up with more than he bargained for in the beautiful Sophia Chelmsford.

Amanda Linsmeier’s Joy and Sorrow reunites lovers separated by death in a Women’s Fiction tinged with the unusual.

The Eyes of the Heart by Jamie McLachlan gives us Rosalina, who is forced to confront her attraction and the truth about her blindness when a new gardener is hired at the Greystone house.

Finally, C.H. Armstrong brings us Mr. Midnight, where tragedy reunites two star-crossed lovers, but misunderstandings soon rip them apart. Now, six years later, the stars are realigning with the help of the smooth voice of a late night radio DJ.

Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, some steamy, but all carry the same theme. Déjà You is a collection of stories for those who believe in love, but most of all, second chances.


The Birth of Déjà You

About two years ago, a group of five novice writers signed with the same small publisher, each inexperienced in the publishing world yet committed to understanding the process and finding success. Through their mutual dive into unchartered territory, Amanda Linsmeier, Bianca M. Schwarz, C.H. Armstrong, Kelly Cain, and Jamie McLachlan reached out to one another and became instant friends, sharing laughs, tears, and the struggles of life and writing. We soon dubbed ourselves “Book Besties.”

During the fall of 2016, we decided to write a book of short stories together. As friends, we wanted to combine our talents to create a collection that would inspire hope and happiness. After much deliberation, we chose the theme “Second Chances” and decided to title this anthology, “Déjà You.” Though each story contains the same theme, they all are as unique as the author who wrote it. Including New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, and Contemporary Romance, each short offers a different take on the theme and involves varying heat levels, from sweet to steamy.


About the Authors

kellycain200x200Kelly Cain has published a multicultural adult and new adult romance, but she writes across genres and age groups, currently penning book one of a young adult urban fantasy series. Most of her stories are set in Texas with frequent travels to her home state of California, and all of her stories have an excess of food weaved throughout.

If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Or maybe cooking. Check out her website for recipes for dishes featured in her books, and some other fun stuff. She has two adult daughters and lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas.

Kelly is the author of Altered, a new adult multicultural romance and Connections, a steamy short story exclusively available on Amazon. Visit her on her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumbler.

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Bianca M Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and has a US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that’s where they make movies and she used to work on them. She writes novels because that’s kind of like making a movie in people’s heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that’s all she can handle and she tolerates her husband because, well, she loves him and there is no help for that. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

10254015_492271840927359_9159417025130441003_nAmanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairytales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. She can be found blogging about writing and books at amandalinsmeier.com. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. You can Amanda’s blog for book reviews and random musings, or check her out on Twitter or Facebook for more information.

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Jamie McLachlan is the Canadian author of Mind of the Phoenix, an Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy and the first novel in the Memory Collector Series. The third, Rise of the Phoenix, is set for release in summer of 2017. When not writing, Jamie reads, dabbles in various crafts, and spends time with her family. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

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C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma-native transplanted in the Midwest. A life-long lover of books, she made her author debut with the 2016 release of her historical fiction novel, The Edge of Nowhere, which was inspired by her own family’s struggles during the one-two punch that was The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. Armstrong is currently working on two young adult novels and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota-based women’s magazine, Rochester Women. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.


For more information on Déjà You or the Book Besties, visit their website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

Hello Everyone!

I’m finally getting around to writing in my very public, electronic diary I call a blog. Sorry it’s been so long. I’d like to say the life got in the way, but it always does I if you let it.

So, here’s what I’m up to…

Trump hairBack in December I decided that I’d had enough of querying my manuscript to agents. Querying wasn’t that horrible an experience that scared me for life or anything. It was just long. Long like Donald Trump’s hair: wildly searching for someone to like it, but having no real direction. (First and last political joke … I swear!)

So instead of continuing on this path of searching for the perfect agent, I decided to finally commit to going indie. And what a huge commitment it is! I’ve pondered self-publishing for a long time, and for a bunch of different reasons I’ve held off. But now that I’ve taken the plunge I couldn’t be more excited, and nervous, and––going out of my mind just a bit.

For any of you that have ever tried to start something from just an idea, might get this. It’s trial and error. You get a few wins, and perhaps as many losses. Those who eventually succeed are the ones who never quit. Okay, I’m done with my motivational cat poster memes…

But really, the friends and contacts that I’ve made along this publishing journey have helped me immensely. Not only do they keep me motivated but they to help navigate this ever changing, very confusing industry of books and publishing.

What else is going on…

My Etsy ShopBecause I don’t have enough to keep me busy or perhaps because my brain is always going in seven different directions, I opened an Etsy shop this month! www.Kdelldesigns.etsy.com I’ve always been a very crafty person. I think I get that from my mother. Whether she’s painting, drawing, gardening, crafting, she’s a creator. In the past, my creative outlet was drawing. Vintage pencil portraits from photos I’d gathered over the years were my muse. Now, I like to make jewelry. The three main things I have on my Esy site are: natural stone bracelets, glass tile necklaces, and metal and glass bookmarks. I’m hoping that when my book comes out, I’ll be theming some of my creations to my HARMLESS series.

Soo … My book. My editor tells me that she’ll have the manuscript back to me in about week. It made my heart sing to hear she was wanted to finish editing it quickly because the teenaged girl inside her needed to know how it ends. I can’t wait to share this story with everyone!Never Quit

Once the manuscript files are formatted I’ll finally be able to set a book release date. The book trailer, which was created over a year ago by the lovely and most talented Brianna Schretlen will also be released. It’s a work of art! I couldn’t have made it without the help of Bri and Sophie. The soundtrack on the trailer is by Sophie Serafino. Check it out her music here.  So beautiful!

There’s a whole laundry list of stuff I need to get done before this book comes out, but I’ll leave that for another post. I just wanted to write this to say a long overdue, Hello out there! I’m going to get back to writing MAVENS, the sequel to HARMLESS!  Wish me luck.

Here’s to wishing you good reading and good writing.

Cheers,

 

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A Group Of Our Own

img_5671I’ve thought about it for years; wanting to start or be part of a writing group and never did it. But the day has finally come! With the help of my good friend, Chris Rothe, we’ve finally put our heads together and coordinated a gathering of like minds. And it’s been AWESOME so far.

Our goal was to create a group that would motivate us to write. Chris and I both write fiction. He’s more into anthologies and quirky literary fiction with his own brand of sarcastic humor. Me, I write YA supernatural realism.

Our only stipulation for this group when it started was that the writing discussed be fiction. We wanted a good assortment of different types of fiction writers, and that totally what we got.  Well almost …

One of our group members doesn’t exactly fit this bill of traditional fiction. HA! If that’s even a category, BUT  has served as an incredible muse. Her work is not quite poetry, but has a lyrical tone. And it’s not quite fiction or non-fiction. I find it work raw and written in a way that makes me go hmmm …

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I’d like to share a piece of her work with you. Try to label it’s genre if you want, or not. Just experience it. Perhaps she has created a new genre? Read and see.

Untitled: By Sholley Powell

If ‘pi’ is infinite, and we will never know the true area of a circle, is it possible to ‘float’ out the measurements as we would a hydraulic chamber?
If we can calculate true weight by surrounding the body by water, subtracting volumes etc … couldn’t we just draw a square around the circle, subtract the areas of the four triangles? I know there is still a problem with the curvature of the base of the triangle created by the circle which would still require a ‘pi’ Calculation. Or could it be treated as the meniscus dip created when fluid sticks to the sides of the container (I cannot recall if there a meniscus calculation? Or perhaps measurement just begins at the base of the ‘dip’.)
Another approach could be to draw a line creating a straight base and calculate the two secondary tinier triangles created. However the process still becomes infinite as we will always be dealing with a curved base just getting smaller and more minuscule.

I wonder how many insolvable remnants there are created by infinite figures only solvable because we make them so or force them into solution by ’rounding off’. This means every measurement with a circle or rounded edge is insolvable.

In relationship to human personality types, perhaps we better categorize as shapes in our way of perceptual thinking….
Some of us are finite ruled by structure and equations providing definite answers – black or white – no grey regimented – militant. The squares,the triangles, the solvable.
Some of us are circles, meniscus’, squiggly sound waves. These are the arts, the writers, the artists, the creators. They are the defiant challenging the ‘rule’ literally thinking get “outside of the box”. These are the two-year-old “but why” questioners un-accepting of the ‘because’ answers of the linear square or box thinkers.
Enter the semi-circles or the half cylinders- these are those who take from the squares and the circles and challenge a new unity. Balancing a ruler on a ball- will balance steadily which is great and a small instant gratifying “ah ha” moment…. but if you off balance the focal point you get a teeter totter…. now if you add weight and force you can catapult!
These are the architects, the innovators, the inventors, the visionaries, the humanitarians.
They seek to solve the wonders of the world by cracking the code of existence by the derivative of alternative calculations– beginning the equation where the boxed thinkers end.
They question the why?… with a why not?
Calculating probability, they execute a process.
Failure is only part of the process to extreme success in creation of a NEW rule.

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The leaves are turning, the nights are longer, and the autumn chill has settled in. This is absolutely, by far my most favorite time of year!

But this year is a little more special… Because my writing tends to be on the eerie side of things, I’ve been asked to help judge a most ghoulish, pet inspired, short story contest. Being an animal enthusiast and writing addict, I jumped at the chance to help out with this

So here’s what you need to know to enter…

 

The contest is open for entries right now. Both Canadian and US residents can enter! What the prize you ask? Not one, but two pet portraits! One normal and one Zombiefied!

Go to http://www.bripetportraits.com/contests

And share with us your TRUE tale of something your pet has done! Has your pet exhibited weird, mysterious, even silly behaviors? Or has left you terrible tricks or treats? Write it down and tell us about it! Your entry will be judged on four categories: 1) How awesome it is, 2) Humor, 3) Depiction of your pet’s personality and 4) Creativity.

Your entry can be up to 1,000 words.

(Now to say that all again in French.)

Partagez votre histoire vraie de quelque chose que votre animal a fait! Si votre animal présente, comportements stupides mystérieux étranges ou vous a laissé des tours ou des friandises terribles puis écrire tout cela ici! Votre entrée sera jugée sur quatre catégories: 1) Fantastic, 2) Humour, 3) représente la personnalité de votre animal et 4) Créativité.

Votre entrée peut être jusqu’à 1000 mots.

Good Luck!

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

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So I wrote this short story…

It’s a bit of silliness really. It all came about when my friend, Chris Rothe, and I decide to start a writing group. One of the goals of this group is to produce short bits fiction that could be submitted to contests or just shared among us. Yeah –– so this is what I wrote. The idea came from one of Chris’ ‘Story Appetizers’, as he calls them.

Appy #7: A man thinks he has become telepathically connected to his pet hamster. He believes the hamster to be giving him life advice, but when the man acts on that advice, things do not go as planned.

 

Here’s what came of it! I hope you enjoy!

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The Life Coach

By Katherine Dell

 

“I’m glad I’m here, Doc. The whole thing has just been eating me up. I mean –– Real life is so hard, unpredictable and generally a pain in my perfectly laid out plans. I certainly never meant to end up being counselled in a padded room, wearing a jacket made of to many belts. But what’s one to do about it? Despair not, or do? Either way, it seems that life’s little hamster wheel just keeps on turning.

 “So … It was several weeks ago, on a Tuesday night, when I first had the inkling that, Harold, was not the stubby-tailed burrowing rodent he was made out to be. I should have known better than to procure the fluffy fur ball from the strange man in the alley behind the pet shoppe. But who knew it could have such catastrophic consequences.”

 

 

 Cha-Ching-Ching.

The sound of the bell hanging above the entrance to the pet store, announced my arrival. Hello minimum wage staffers, it’s me, Devon Winston Abney! A most tragic soul destined to live alone, who cares about no one but myself. Well, according to Margie, my now most recent ex. But what does she know. I’ll show her I can care for things. I’ll get a pet and care the shit out of it.

Bird. Cat. Turtle. None of these pet choices seem right. For some reason I feel that feathers on captive animal doesn’t feel domesticated enough. Same thing for the cat, minus the feathers. Deep down, there probably still beats the heart of its wild cousin the tiger, just waiting to spaz and test what those snatching claws can do. Nope, cats can’t be trusted. And the turtle, to –– hard. I don’t think I could bond with something with such a hard outer coating. Perhaps Margie was right this isn’t going to work.

“Hello there, are you finding what you’re looking for?” The over exuberant, eau de shavings scented employee speaks at me.

There are so many comebacks to that proverbial question, but I answer with a short and simple, “No.”

“Well, I’d be happy to help. Are you looking at getting a pet for yourself or for someone else?”

“For myself I suppose, but mostly in spite of others.” The look on her face says I just tipped past her meagre pay grade.

“Um, okaaay. Is there any type of animal you had in mind?” I turn and glacé over the open-air tanks of gerbils and mice. I swear they all look up at me, thinking to themselves ‘for the love of Peter, please don’t don’t pick me.’

“Something small, low maintenance perhaps. Something I won’t much notice at all.” She doesn’t answer right away and I stop her before she does. “You know, I don’t think there’s anything here that fits the bill. I uh –– I think I’ll be going.”

I leave the store muttering to myself. I need to get a grip. I should just do what I always do when I’m feeling a fuss: have a bath, drink a cocoa, and watch an episode of Sherlock’s Manor. Just one though, won’t want to stay up too late and not feel well rested the next day. Rounding the corner out of the shoppe I decide to take a short cut to the tube through the alleyway. It’s daytime, and to my logic, the unsavoury characters don’t come out until the sun goes down. So it should be perfectly safe to tread there.

“Excuse me, sir?” A male voice I do not recognize calls after me down the alley. I stop and turn to him. Referencing again to my thinking: well-lit places are never nefarious. “Yes, hello.” He says. I notice he is dressed in what one would consider office attire, but looks rather bedraggled. “I um –– over heard you in the shoppe back there. That you’re looking for a special kind of pet.”

“Um … Yes, but …”

“Well a have just the thing for you.” The man has come within steps of me and I now notice the small wire cage he holds in his hands. “Here, take a look at him.”

Although it’s light out this scenario still raises suspicions. Why is this man tracking me down to offer me … “It’s a hamster.” I say.

“Yes, but Harold is special. That’s his name. He practically takes care of himself.”

 

 

“To my recollection this bizarre conversation went on for several minutes, to which the man finally convinced me that, Harold, was the solution to my relationship whoas. So, Harold, in his small cage, traveled back with me to my flat. I found him a comfortable spot next to my vintage records and my plastic ficus, right by the window, and pretty much forgot he was there for the next two days.

 “Until the inexplicable happened. Harold spoke!”

 

 

“Um –– Devon? That’s your name, is it not?” The high-pitched, yet distinctly male voice was coming for the barred enclosure adjacent my fictitious ficus. “I don’t mean to be a bother, but are you going to feed me? I’m about near chewing off my own leg here for sustenance.”

My ears hear the tiny voice, but my mind refuses to believe it. Did my hamster just speak?

“I know what you’re thinking. Yes! I speak. But perhaps not for long if you don’t feed me.”

Letting my episode of Sherlock’s Mansion play on, I creep over to Harold’s cage. I see him there looking up at me; his two black eyes like shinny be-be’s of wonder.

“I’m trying very hard, Devon, to believe you when you said you could care for things other than yourself, but my hunger pains beg to differ.” Harold’s little hamster lips move as he talks. I blink hard. This can’t be happening. Perhaps the trauma of breaking up with Margie has pushed my psyche to the brink. Although, the little bugger is right. I haven’t feed him much, or at all. So I accept the surreal and answer him. “What can I get you to eat?”

 

 

“A jaunty conversation regarding the diet of hamsters and the lack of contents in a bachelor’s ice box extended. I didn’t know a little critter could be so argumentative but eventually I found a few baby-cut carrots that Margie must had left behind.”

 

 

 “Well Harold, I really must be off to bed. My show is through on the tele and I need to make sure I get enough rest.”

“Rest for what?” Harold mumbles, his cheeks bulging out to the side with multiple pieces of carrot.

 “For my work at the factory. No one codes and sorts the widgets and mabobs like I do. It’s been said that I excel at it.”

“Widgets?”

“Yes.”

“And mabobs?”

“Yes.”

“That sounds just ––– terrible. Even me, who lives a rather incarcerated life in this casa de rodent, has a better job than you. I’m very sorry for you, Devon. Good Night then.”

“Wait, you have a job?” I can’t believe I just asked that.

“Yes I do. I’m a life coach.” Harold shoves another carrot bit in his bulging cheek but doesn’t eat it.

“You can’t be a life coach. You’re a hamster.”

“Wow, Devon. That was incredibly racist. Or maybe since we aren’t really the same race, but rather difference species it’s … Hmm there must be a word for that. Any who, it’s not a good thing, and horribly rude. Perhaps I shouldn’t help you out then.”

 

 

 “I could tell Harold was getting really pissed off. He kept shifting the pieces of un-eaten carrot from cheek to cheek. And when I asked him why he wasn’t actually eating any of it, he said he wasn’t particularly comfortable with me watching him eat.”

 “Yes. Sorry, Devon, I’m trying to keep up with my notes here, but you’re going a little to fast for me. Can you back up a sketch to the part where you’re hamster said he was a life coach. I’m just want to make sure I understand things.”

 “ I know right! I’ll tell you, I had to google terms to understand things better too, Doc, but I get it now. I now fully understand the difference between a psychiatrist; what you are, and what a life coach is. Ha! to very different things!”

 “Good, Devon. That’s good. And you understand to that hamster can’t be life coach?”

 “No, I believe that’s supremacist. I had to google that too.” dreamstime_m_20154117

 

 

Well… It’s been about a year since I met the wonderful and most interesting, Kelly Charron. And looking back onto the interview I did with her I see how far she’s come. Today, she is revealing the cover of her upcoming book PRETTY WICKED, slated to be released this October. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of if, and without a doubt I give it five stars! It’s a must read for someone who is looking for a fresh take on a YA Storytelling.

Now that PRETTY WICKED is on the verge of it’s debut, let me share with you a few more tantalizing details so you crave a copy as much as I do!

The Synopsis and Cover…

The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.Pretty Wicked 3D Image of Book Cover Black

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

*warning – some graphic content*
Pretty Wicked is a mature YA novel intended for ages 16 and up.

 

Questions about Pretty Wicked…

 

  • What inspired you to write such a dark character?

I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and human motivation. Whenever I read a novel or watched a movie or television show, I was drawn to the villain. I wanted to understand what made them act the way they did––delve into what happened in their lives or minds to make them the person they had become.

When there was the odd story from the “villains” point of view, it seemed to characterize them as “misunderstood” and usually spun them into a likeable character who was the hero of that new version of the story. I wanted to write something unique and portray the villain realistically. What would the story look like if they were a true villain? I got the idea for a teenage serial killer who was unapologetic about who she was and what she wanted and thought it was really interesting to explore what her point of view would be if she drove the story and the “villain” was the detective trying to stop her.

  • Is this your first novel?

Pretty Wicked is the second book I wrote and the first to be published. I have been writing for ten years. My first book was a YA urban fantasy that took me seven years to complete because I kept http___www.pixteller.com_pdata_t_l-485362stopping for huge chunks of time while I completed my degrees (English Lit and Social Work). I finally got serious about writing in 2013 and have just completed my fourth novel.

  • Why did you choose to self-publish?

I did query it to literary agents and received a lot of positive praise for the book. In the end I kept hearing the same feedback: it’s a fascinating concept, the writing and voice are great, but we don’t think we can sell such a dark book to a publisher. I completely understand this. I know this book is going to be very polarizing. People will either love the concept of hate it. So far I have had overwhelmingly encouraging feedback from readers who understand that this is a fictional story that is trying to do something different from most novels. There was some interest from small publishers but the wait times were longer than I was comfortable with. I decided if I wanted to see this book out in the world I was going to have to do it myself. It was an intimidating process, but luckily I have an amazing and brilliant support group who helped me along the way.

  • What genres do you write in?

Psychological thriller, urban fantasy, and horror. I have two YA urban fantasy books, though one may never see the light of day. It’s my first book and would need to be rewritten before I decide its fate. The second (currently titled Wilde Magic) is the first in a planned series that I am very excited about.

Here is a short blurb:

The novel follows fifteen-year-old Ainsley Davenport as she moves from her life in Maine to attend a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts after her widowed mother marries a wealthy man that she can’t stand. At Ashbury Academy, Ainsley meets a group of students whom she finds more sophisticated and exciting than any kids she’s ever encountered. Ainsley is pulled into a world of wealth and extravagance, but it isn’t long before she realizes some things aren’t adding up and there is more to Ashbury than meets the eye. One of the oldest covens in history, The Wildes, is hidden beneath the school grounds. Magic is alive and well, and the coven is actively training new witches in this secret enchanted society. Ainsley soon recognizes that she may be in over her head when she uncovers secrets that she was never meant to know. The magical kind. The deadly kind.

  • Is Pretty Wicked a standalone novel?

http___www.pixteller.com_pdata_t_l-485358The Pretty Wicked series will continue with adult books. The sequel, Wicked Fallout, is currently going through editing and the third book in the series is brewing in my mind. I have some very fun ideas for Ryann.

Wicked Fallout takes place twelve years later when Ryann is 27 years old. That’s all I can say right now as to not reveal spoilers.

  • Ryann is not a very likable character. Do you like her?

I actually do. I really enjoyed writing her. I don’t agree with anything she does at all! In that sense, Ryann is deplorable! But what I like is her humor and wit and the way she owns who she is. She was a fun character to write because she is so different to most characters out there. It’s like when you see a Hollywood actor discuss their favorite roles. Often they say the villain roles were their preferred because it was more fun and exciting to play. There are forbidden elements that make it a bit more exciting than the standard hero. It’s no different for me as the writer.

  • What is your writing process?

I have a day job so writing usually happens in the evenings and on weekends. I work in a school so I am fortunate to have shorter days, two vacation break periods, and summers off which really help me carve out the time needed.

On a writing day (Saturday or Sunday) I will get up, shower, eat breakfast, procrastinate with some TV and then get to it. I’ll make a coffee and park myself on my couch (even though I have a beautiful desk in an actual home office). I’ll write for about 2-3 hours (about 1500-2000 words on average). I may do another session later that evening if I’m really inspired. I watch a lot of television and read widely to inspire my creativity and ideas.

I also have an amazing group of friends who are writers as well and we meet up to have writing and brainstorming sessions, which is fantastic!

Where can you find the book and more about Kelly…
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Goodreads: PRETTY WICKED

Amazon: PRETTY WICKED

Sign up for her mailing list or check out upcoming books at: http://kellycharron.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyMCharron
Facebook: https://goo.gl/UNkH3g
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/rf4NlM
Mailing address:
340-255 Newport Drive
Port Moody, BC
V3H 5H1

 

Hello everyone!
I have had the pleasure of chatting with fellow author, Cassidy Taylor about her writing experiences. And –– as we all learn from our own and others personal narrative, I hope you will all enjoy and learn as much I did when asking these questions. With out further delay –– I introduce to you Cassidy Taylor.

 

Cassidy Taylor Author Photo

Lets start off with you telling us a bit about yourself and how you got into this business of writing books?

I was one of those kids that was always writing, but I never thought of writing as a “real” profession. I studied in the Creative Writing program at UNC, but when I graduated, I got a job, got married, and had two kids before I returned to writing. I finished the first-draft of what will become my first novel during NaNoWriMo 2015, and connected with my publisher, Fantasy Works, through #Pit2Pub in early 2016.

I see on your website http://cassidytaylor.net that you have a new book, The Runaway Queen coming out soon! This line from your synopsis has me totally hooked…

With danger lurking around every corner, Ruby must summon the courage to face her enemies and fight for a throne she never wanted, a king she doesn’t know, and the queen she never knew lived inside of her.

Can you tell us a little more about the story? A sneak peak at the cover perhaps?

The Runaway Queen is the first in a series titled The Mondragon Chronicles. The cover is still in the works, but that line really sums it up. Ruby Mondragon is a young girl thrust into a position of power that everyone else wants but she fears. The story follows her as she decides whether to give up or to stand up and fight.

Do you have any favorite authors or books? Have they influenced your writing in anyway?

I feel like everything I read makes me a better writer. I grew up with Harry Potter, and would say that those books have been the most inspiring. I also love anything by Marie Lu and Alexandra Bracken.

I love to ask this question. If your book became a movie, who would you choose as the main cast?

Although I’m a visual person, I’m not a big movie buff and don’t know a lot of actors. On my Pinterest board, I did find inspiration for Ruby in the model Alia Jolie, and for Aodhan in actor Luke Pasqualino. You can find my Pinspiration board here: http://pin.it/RJ7SdB4

Much of my everyday experiences make it into my writing. Can you share a tidbit of your fictional writing that’s actually a real part of your experiences?http___www.pixteller.com_pdata_t_l-480709

To answer this one with a question of my own, who hasn’t wanted to run away from their responsibilities and hide in the mountains with a handsome king?

Have can people discover more about you and your work?

Website: http://cassidytaylor.net (join my newsletter!)
Blog: http://cassidytaylor.net
Facebook: http://facebook.com/cassidytaylorauthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cassidy_writes
Instagram: http://instagram.com/cassidy_writes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4883579-cassidy

Whether you are traditionally published, self-published, or somewhere in-between marketing your work can be a challenge. What marketing strategy has worked well for you?

http___www.pixteller.com_pdata_t_l-480692I haven’t had much to market yet, but I’ve been working on building relationships with readers and other authors. I try to be genuine and available across all platforms, and look forward to seeing how this translates once my book is out.

Who have been your biggest supporters in your writing endeavors? Go ahead, give them a shout out!

My parents! I have two kids and a full-time job, so my mom has started taking the kids for a few hours on Sundays to give me a good solid chunk of writing time. And my six-year-old daughter is my biggest cheerleader. She’s always asking about my word count, and is equally as excited whether I wrote 250 or 2,500.

From what I can see you have one book out and another on the way. Can we expect more books in the future? Will you stay writing in the same genre or try something new?

The Mondragon Chronicles is planned as a trilogy right now, so that will be on my plate for a while. After that, I have a couple of YA dystopian ideas, and a sci-fi story that have been trying to get my attention for a while. Only time will tell!

 

It’s my pleasure to introduce to you a writer and teacher, Kim E. Morgan!

So, Kim, tell us a bit about the writing workshops you lead? I know there are a few different types.

Kim white borderThank you so much for the invitation to talk about my work. I love to talk shop about all things writing.

As an adjunct of North Idaho College, I teach creative nonfiction and plan to offer courses in self-publishing. My teaching and life philosophy is that we are all born storytellers. We move, we breathe, we live. We express ourselves with stories. My foundation for creative writing includes these three practices: the practice of memory, imagination, and compassion.

Soon, I plan to develop online courses for writers aspiring to publish their work, using my website as the platform for these mini-lessons. I also offer free courses through the Community Library Network in my area, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

 

These courses include:2015 Large group photo

“Write Now!” – a series of Literary Workshops

Writing by the Lake – Writing from Your Core

Finding Ancestors – Our Ancestors, Our Stories

Writing for Keeps – Creative Nonfiction

Is there a link to where a person could enroll in one of your workshops?

My website is the hub of all information like that, at www.kimemorgan.com. I would recommend those interested, to contact me or join my newsletter for updates on the availability of courses.

You’ve mentioned to me that you have a fiction book coming out soon! Congratulations! Can you give us a short synopsis? Where can readers buy it?

Redemption2June 2216. Fifteen-year-old Marie-Joëlle Peone faces the greatest challenge of her life when she defies the corrupt world of Global Advanced Programs. She doesn’t know that GAP controls her fate in ways she can’t possibly imagine. What Jo does know will test the very fiber of her existence.

Jo Peone can’t remember her life before the visions. She grew up in a world of half-truths, but somehow knows she caused her parent’s separation. Her father calls her a Spiritkeeper, but she doesn’t know what that means.

​She’s angry, defiant and out for revenge in the world of 2216, a world where she doesn’t belong and everything she knows turns out to be a lie.
​But Jo’s life is about to change. Recurring migraines trigger her visions with greater frequency. Her psychic ability readily develops beyond her control, and the visions become otherworldly.

As she exposes her parents’ deception, Jo finds herself drawn into a diabolical conspiracy involving a shadowy group and the atrocities of Jove’s science. Her power increases, but forces her to decide who will live or die. In the end, the final betrayal could shatter Jo irreversibly. The final hour leaves her at the mercy of 2216 science and the elusive Jove.

You can find in on Amazon at https://goo.gl/PI18g8

I see you have one non-fiction book published. What inspired you to switch to fiction?

I teach writers to explore topics they feel inspired to write, as I often do. I’ve tried my hand at poetry and academic writing as well, some of which has been published and won awards. But all my life I’ve longed to write and publish fiction. And here I am! JOVE’S LEGACY is hot off the presses! Dreams do come true.

I’m always curious of how much of an author’s real life makes it into their fiction books. Are any of your characters based on real people?

I suspect all of the characters in JOVE’S LEGACY reflect something or someone in my unconscious mind. My main character, Marie-Joëlle, is the projection of my true self in her quest for redemption. She is my voice in many ways, speaking truths, as I never could.

What have you found surprising about self-publishing a book?http___www.pixteller.com_pdata_t_l-371555

The giant learning curve to self-publishing, marketing, and selling books! My enormous respect for indie writers has increased with each challenge I meet along the way.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: http://www.kimemorgan.com/

My Blog is my Journal: http://kimemorgan3.blogspot.com/

Friends Facebook: https: http://www.facebook.co/kimemorgan3

Author Facebook: https: http://www.facebook.com/authorkimemorgan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kimemorgan3

Did you always dream of being a writer? Tell us about some of the other things you’ve done.

Yes, I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was thirteen years old. But there have been many things I’ve done before I became one. I think my greatest accomplishment so far is motherhood. My two sons make me very proud. I’ve even used our conversations together, from the dinner table, as dialogue in JOVE’S LEGACY. My thirty-two years of marriage to my husband, John, is also outrageously amazing. I never could have done so much without him.John and Kim Morgan

Rounding out the list of my very full life: I’ve worked with incredible people on empowering-charitable projects, worked in finance, and hold a career as a professor at two post-secondary institutions… and somehow have managed to write a book.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite books/authors? What do you like about their work? Does it influence the way you write?

I lean toward the modernist writers, particularly Flannery O’Connor, John Steinbeck, T.S. Eliot, and William Faulkner. Given the wide-range of literature I’ve taught, these and others influence my writing. However, I love commercial fiction. I stumbled on Steve Berry and bought every one of his books. Go figure. At the risk of dating myself, I ravenously read historical fiction, before it was even a genre in the early ’70’s! I thrived on history and Christian scholarship, but give me a steamy romance any day. Outlander, well, that says it all. I’m hooked forever on Jaime and Claire.

Last but not least… give us your favorite quote from your upcoming book!

“Rage is a granite wall we hide behind; crack the stone and light emerges.
––– Jo Peone, JOVE’S LEGACY

 

Book Review – Suicide Stitch, By Sarah L. Johnson

I happened upon this book one day on one of my frequent trips to Chapters. The author, Sarah Johnson, had a table set up and was signing books. At first glance I thought –– short stories, that’s not really my thing, but I’m so glad I picked up a copy!

Out of the eleven stories in this book my favourite are: I Am Lost, and Five-Day Forecast.

I Am Lost, features my favourite type of storytelling: the unreliable narrator! It’s the story of a couple, determined to live free of things that cramp their style or tie them down – when the unexpected happens; a pregnancy. The author whisks you back and forth between past and present, and only at the end do you piece together what really happen. Viewing the outcome through murk clouded glasses.

Five-Day Forecast: This is a story about two broken souls, at least that’s the way I saw it: an exotic dancer and a child of divorce. Each day, for four days, the dancer finds the child huddled by a chain-link fence, in frigid temperatures, near her house. Though their conversation might seem mundane, there are moments that scratch at the raw parts of both their lives. On the fifth day, the boy doesn’t show at their usual meeting spot. The coldness of that day can be felt though the pages.

I absolutely love reading all the stories in this book! I give it a 5 out of 5!

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