Friday, 30 November 2012

Guest Author Interview - Lynne Copeland

Today we welcome Lynne Copeland to the guest author interview, read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lynne Copeland. I was born in Hammersmith, London although my mother originally came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and my father from Great Driffield in Yorkshire. I now live in the foothills of the Pyrenees in south-west France, with my husband John, where I work as a translator/proofreader. Chloé, our black Labrador, keeps me company whilst I’m working. The beauty of my profession is that as long as I have broadband, I can work anywhere.

What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always dabbled with fairytales, poems and short stories since I was a young girl. It wasn’t until I moved to Saudi Arabia, where I worked for sixteen years, that I realized how one can be so influenced by one’s surroundings. Due to my love of the desert and the sky at night, this somehow inspired me and I started writing letters to all and sundry and just loved it. Now sadly due to the internet and email, I have discontinued this practice.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
I think that it would have to be Umberto Eco. I just loved “The Name of the Rose” which takes place in Northern Italy during the early 14th century with the Franciscan monk William of Baskerville, who proved to be a real sleuth. I have it in French as well as English, and I then read it in Italian to get the true feel of the language. His style of writing is exquisite.

When writing, are you a planner? “Or do you dive straight in?
Regrettably, I’m not a planner. In fact, I cannot dive in either. I can get ideas at any time; my best time seems to be at about 6 a.m. in the morning or when I’m out walking with Chloé in the nearby woods. I then type notes out very quickly once I’m home.

What is your favourite part about writing?
Well I thoroughly enjoy the whole idea of working on the draft outline for a book, checking on the characters, the plot and then somehow miraculously getting everything together.

And your least favourite?
The finished book because I’m an unknown. It was sending synopses and the first three chapters to quite a few publishing houses and literary agents, and seeing the rejections coming in; so when Pegasus in Cambridge offered to see my entire manuscript and then gave me a contract, well how could I refuse?

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Well, faith in oneself has to be the motivation for any writer, whatever he/she writes. Nowadays with the internet, everyone believes that they can write. The contradiction for me here with hindsight is that I think that I should have done the self-publishing route and I recommend that. If the book is good and it is properly marketed, it will be picked up by the larger publishing houses and they market in a big way. My book is owned by the publishing house, I cannot control the price of the book nor on Kindle. I live in fear that I’m going to be “remaindered”!

What are you working on at the moment?
Well, it’s a bit zany but an adult book on genetics (my passion!) in space. I’ve got the basic plot but it’s not quite right yet. I’ve also taken my counterfeit drug book out of mothballs and I’m looking at it. I really cannot make up my mind whether to just toss it or not. I just spent so much time researching and writing that book, that somehow I continue to hang on to it.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
When I moved to the Pays Basque in France seven years ago, it was the location with the views of the valley, the backdrop of the Pyrenees and the clear night sky with the moon, planets and stars that inspired me to write my children’s fantasy book “Mistral’s Race into Time”. I just loved writing this book and I still don’t know how I came up with some of the ideas. It’s all about sixteen year old Chloé’s adventures in space because she has been kidnapped by a mad scientist, and with her Labrador Jasper comes across a very strange creature, a fallon in fact, called Mistral.

It can be purchased on Amazon in paperback/Kindle and can be ordered from any bookshop in the UK.

http://www.amazon.com/Mistrals-Race-Into-Time-ebook/dp/B008B8WVQY/

Thanks to Lynn for sharing her thoughts with us, on Tuesday we welcome Geoff Wakeling to the hotseat. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

National Novel Writing Month Done!

And I'm done. I have just finished the final chapter of my National Novel Writing Month effort - Faust 2.0. Now I'm going to put it to one side and come back to it next year sometime. The total word count was 51, 367 words.

Thanks to everyone for their support and congratulations to everyone taking part whether they hit the target or not.

Here are the final chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-43.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-44.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-45.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-45.html

Next I shall start the edit pass on Conversations in the Abyss (the sequel to The Cult of Me), I also need to start on a secret project that I'll hopefully be able to announce soon.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 27

There's only three days left, but I'm still progressing well. I've now written 42 chapters and 47,000 words. The story is going to end slightly differently than I expected, but that's half the fun!

Here are the new chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-40.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-41.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-42.html

Good luck everyone still taking part.

Guest Author Interview - Jaq Hawkins

Today Jag Hawkins joins us for the guest author interview. She's a fellow Clive Barker fan and you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi I'm Jaq. I'm a writer and filmmaker specialising in Fantasy and Steampunk, although I started my writing career with esoteric articles and books.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Learning to write. Seriously, at age 6 I was already working on a first draft autobiography scribbled on pieces of notepaper with a pencil.

You've written quite a few books, do you finf the process get's easier? Or just different?
I would say different. Each project is different from what has been done in the past. Each has its own demands and emotions and a unique flow of events to accommodate within the story.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The buzz I get after a good session where things start falling into place and I see details about where the story is going that I hadn't anticipated. My characters constantly surprise me.

And the least?
Oh that's easy, editing the typos that Word adds in for me on top of my own mistakes, like the different forms of quotation marks.

Which author would you like work with and why?
Now there's an interesting question. I'm basically a lone worker, but if I was going to collaborate, and assuming we're talking about authors still living, I would choose Clive Barker. He has a wicked imagination when it comes to creating monsters.

What advice would you give new and aspiring autors?
Learn the boring stuff; sentence structure, spelling, correct punctuation and especially manuscript format. Even with standard manuscript format fading as we format our own books, it's all worth mastering if you want your words to be effective.

What are you woking on at the moment?
I promised fans that I would get the final book of my Goblin trilogy done this year, so Power of the Dance is getting first priority. I also have a Literary Fiction project in progress, but I'm not telling much about that as yet.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My most recent release was The Wake of the Dragon: A Steampunk Adventure. It's a comedic adventure story about airship pirates and the opium trade with a most unlikely hero. My primary website is at jaqdhawkins.co.uk. Information about all projects can be found there.
Thanks to Jaq for sharing her time with us, on Froday we welcome Lynne Copeland to the hot seat.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 25

I haven't posted an update for a few days, but we're in to the final week now. I've now written 39 chapters, with seven more to write - assuming that no more come to me in inspiration. My word count has reached 43,000. SO I should be in good stead for finishing by Friday.

Although to be sure I'm booking Thursday off work - just in case. :-)

Here are the new chapters for those reading them.

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-36.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-37.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-38.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-39.html

As always - good luck to those taking part!


The Box (100 Word Story)


A new 100 story has been used in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk/ to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

The Box

I'm trapped in a box barely six feet wide. I can sit in the box. I can stand in it. I can even lie down. But I cannot leave the box.

I don't know how long I've been in the box. I have no memories from before the box; it is all I've ever known. Each night I fall asleep, hungry tired and thirsty. I never dream.

When I wake I am the same again.

There's no sound in the box, no scent, not even my own. I cannot think of anything outside of the box.

I am always here.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Guest Author Interview - Kristen Stone

Today we welcome Kristen Stone to the guest author interview, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hello Everyone, my name is Kristen Stone, well that’s my pen name anyway. I’m married with one grown up daughter and three grandkids, which aint bad going considering I’m only 18, honest guv. (In my head at least, I wish someone would tell that to my knees). I write novels, do some editing, and since early in 2012 I have been a partner in Blue Hour Publishing, a very small set-up that aims to help indie writers who haven’t a clue about technology. We fully believe that if you can do it yourself, you should. But not everyone can or has time.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Would you believe the Famous Five, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew? Yes, I’ve been toying with writing ever since I first realised what reading was all about. I’ve never really been into the classics although I have read my fair share, but I prefer imaginative books as opposed to words for the sake of words no matter how cleverly they are put together. I soon started to think ‘I could do this.’ And ‘I WANT to do this.’ But it has taken a long time, lots of hard work and the advent of new technology to make my dreams come true.

What is the most satisfying part of writing for you?
Hearing someone else say ‘I enjoyed that, it was a really good book.’ Writing comes so easily to me, and I don’t mean that in any boastful way, once I start the words just seem to drip out of my fingertips, that I genuinely find it hard to believe I have written anything of value. When Edge of Extinction was first published I could not believe some of the reviews I received. Every one said something complimentary and I found it quite touching and humbling. Now I have a little more confidence and KNOW I can write a good book – it’s just getting the rest of the world to see that! Same as the other million indie writers out there in Amazon-world.

And the most difficult?
Writing about myself. It’s against my true nature to shout about my own abilities – but I’m learning. You have to sing your own praises in this business because no one else will.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
I don’t think I COULD work with another author. I don’t think I would want to. It would mean getting to know someone I admire and that might lead to disappointment. I wouldn’t want to copy another author’s style and you can’t work with someone without working in their way. I have admired the books of many top selling authors over the years but in the last year or so I have abandoned most of those and have been reading lesser known authors. Of these Gerry McCulloch is a favourite. And I have helped a couple of other up and coming authors, too. Simon Swift, Alfie Robins and Ron Sewel have all had at least one book edited by me. If you haven’t heard of any of these authors find them on Amazon.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Edit, edit, edit. No matter how many times you go through a manuscript you will find something that needs changing. But having said that, at some point you have to decide enough is enough, my story is told. Don’t expect to make a fortune. It is great that authors can now publish their own work as ebooks, but there is a lot of competition. Don’t publish your book and then sit back and wait for something to happen because it won’t. You have to be prepared to come out of your shell and shout about yourself and your work.

What are you working on at the moment?
Umm. That’s a difficult one. At the moment I am sorting out ideas, having just finished my fourth book. Even authors need a bit of a break sometimes. I am busy editing for Blue Hour Publishing; we have some new books in the pipeline, so my own writing is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment – but the ideas are forming!

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My most recent book to be published is called DayStalker. I would say it’s completely different to the other books I have written, but then again, none of my books are the same!

DayStalker is a horror story based around Robert Gaunt who is basically a blood-sucking vampire, although he prefers to call himself a haematophagous, which is a real word if you want to look it up in your Kindle dictionary. Without giving the story away he is not like the traditional vampire, he is not un-dead, whatever that is supposed to mean – nor the modern touchy-feely ‘sorry I’m a vampire I don’t really want to hurt anyone.’ This guy lives on blood and Bloody Mary’s and doesn’t really care where he gets it. The book is available at http://www.amazon.com/DayStalker-ebook/dp/B00943OF8W or whatever domain you have for your own country.

And while you are at Amazon check out my author page or put my name in the search box to see what else I have written. You can also find out about my books on my website

http://www.kristen-stone-the-writer.com.
Oh and I have a blog, too, at http://kristen-the-writer.blogspot.co.uk/
And Blue Hour Publishing can be found at http://bluehourpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks to Kristen for sharing her thoughts, on Tuesday we welcome Jaq Hawkins to the hot seat.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 22

Day 22 of the National Novel Writing Month closes with some good programs. There are two new chapters and there's a hint of love in the air. I've also been keeping up the EG crew's nano writing and it's been fantastic.

Here are the new chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-34.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-35.html

My word count is now 38,228 and as always goo dluck to everyone taking part.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 21

I'm missed an update yesterday, but I'm still keeping on track. I've completed two new chapters and we have another dead body in the latest chapter.

My word count is now just over 35,000.

Here are the latest chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-32.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-33.html

Good luck to everyone still taking part!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Guest Author Interview - Scott Skipper

Today Scott Skipper joins us for the guest author interview, you can rea what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Scott Skipper, yes, that's my real name in that order. I'm a retired entrepreneur. I spent thirty-some years in the metal fabrication business which I'm sure is of almost no interest to the readers.

What first inspired you to start writing?
A fertile adolescent mind. The stories of Burroughs, Haggard, Conan Doyle and Heinlein convinced me that I could do that too. I received my first acceptance letter at fifteen then the publisher got a better offer and reneged. I decided to make money in a less duplicitous industry. Now I have a slightly more liberated perspective on writing.

Are you planner? Or do you prefer to write off the cuff?
I'm a planner. I do research, make outlines and notes for the characters' development. If you don't have reference material it's too easy to make errors and amateurish contradictions.

If you could wr ite the biography of anyone from history, who would it be?
Well, I did write a biography of an historical character in the form of historical fiction. It was my great-great-grandfather. That is "In the Blood" and I did it because I had unusual access to information about a truly unique historical person.

You've written a few books now, have you found that the process gets easier?
Actually, my latest was the most challenging. Perhaps it was because I thought about the others for several years before getting started. The third occurred to me while doing research for "In the Blood" and I finished it in less than a year.

What advice would you give new or aspiring writers?
Self publish and be militant about it. Unless you are a celebrity or were on the team that killed Bin Laden, don't beat your head against the wall of traditional publishing. Now, that I said that, don't be slipshod about it. Get help proofreading and be brutally honest when you look into the mirror of your manuscript. Self publishing is a bold new industry. We owe it to ourselves to improve it.

What are you working on at the moment?
Research on Josef Mengele's life in South America for another fictionalized biography.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
"The Hundred Years Farce" is an alternative history that postulates what might have happened if an obscure piece of American history had gone differently. That's on the surface. The heart of the story is an allegorical examination of modern society and its politics. I'm confident it has something to offend everyone. My website has links to it and the blurbs at Smashwords, Amazon and other retailers.

https://sites.google.com/site/swskipperauthorpage/home

Thanks to Scott for sharing his thoughts, on Friday we welcome Kristen Stone to the hot seat.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 19

Unfortunately day 19 of the National Novel Writing Month sees me back  at work after some good progress at the weekend. However I have finished another chapter so I'm still on track.

Chapter 31 brings my word count up to just over 33,000.

Here's the latest chapter:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-31.html

Good luck to those still taking part - less than 2 weeks to go.

The Highs, The Lows, The Inbetweens

The lovely Sarwah has featured a short interview with me on both of her blogs. Both links are below (the interview is that same at each).

http://thehighsthelowstheinbetweens.blogspot.com.es/2012/11/the-cult-of-me.html

http://thehighsthelowstheinbetweens.wordpress.com/author-interviews/an-odd-quartet/

Thanks for having me Sarwah!

Let's Shake It Up

Cheryl Yeko has interviewed me on her blog:

http://www.cherylyeko.com/2012/11/lets-shake-it-up.html

Who says I can't come up smelling  (or at least surround by) roses? :-)

Thanks for having me Cheryl.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 18

The 18th day of the National Writing months comes to a close. The day brings another day of good progress with four chapters completed. That puts my word count up to 31, 500, which puts me pretty much on track.

Here are the chapters for those reading:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-27.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-28.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-29.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-30.html

And good luck to those still taking part.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 17

Day 17 of the National Novel Writing Month draws to a close and brings with it some excellent progress. I've completed three new chapters and started a fourth. This brings my word count past 27,000.

It also brings with it two more deaths to the story.

For those reading the chapters, here are the new ones:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-24.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-25.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-26.html

Thanks to everyone's support so far and good luck with those still taking part.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 16

We're now over half way through the month, although just under half way through the word count. Still, it's not by much, I should get back on track this weekend.

For those reading here's the new chapter:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-23.html

And as ever - good luck to all still taking part!

Guest Author Interview - Robert Kintigh

Today we welcome Robert Kintigh to the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Robert Kintigh and I am a very proud husband of 19 years and a father of 3 incredible kids. I am an avid reader, I love to write and I enjoy the outdoors as well as the game of golf. For over 23 years now I have been an entrepreneur and have built and owned several businesses. I am currently a business consultant/trainer, professional speaker, author and I own an internet marketing company. After taking almost 8 years to write my first book, I have now committed the majority of my life to writing as I have already started on my second book with more on the way. I have a deep desire to help people discover greatness inside of them and writing gives me a platform to perform that need in me.

What first inspired you to start writing?
My mother and grandmother always encouraged me to use my words and I have read so many great books in my life and have been inspired by them. One day it became clear to me that I needed to express what I had inside of me after hearing once again how insightful it was to speak with me. There have been many along the way that has asked for a book from me one day and although they were joking, I decided it was to be real for me.

Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to write off the cuff?
I love to plan and write off the cuff. I sit down and plan out how things are to go and then begin to write but then some days I wake up and do not feel like being structured. I turn on the computer and just start to write. I let my mood determine my style for that day.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
I would love to have written with Viktor Frankle – Man’s Search For Meaning as his message and mindset is and was so powerful!

What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love hearing how you wrote something that made a big difference to someone. How it changed their life or mindset or perspective.

And the most difficult?
Allowing myself permission to write more and as much as I want. Life always wants to butt in and get in the way and writing sometimes suffers as it is a time consuming profession.

What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?
Don’t be so caught up on the structure and do not concern yourself with that little voice in your head that says no one will like what you are writing. Your job is to write and press on. You will be so surprised one day when your book is ready for print and how many will love what you have written. Lastly, when you are an author, you must also learn to be a marketer. Although you may end up writing the best book ever conceived, it will not miraculously sell a million copies. You must start now and learn to become a marketing enthusiast.

What are you working on at the moment?
My new book I am working on is called Employee Behavior Modification- the truth about motivation and your team. This book is about building a team, how to properly motivate your team, how to be a better leader in your organization and what it will take to build a massive organization or a sound quality company.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
This new book is a culmination of all of my years as an entrepreneur and companies I have worked with or helped. You can find out more at www.truthmastery.com This site is about my books, programs, speaking and more.

Thanks to Robert for sharing his time with us, on Tuesday Scott Skipper takes his place in the hot seat.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 15

Day 15 of the National Novel Writing Month draws to a close and with it Chapter 22 is finished. That brings my word count up to 23,000.  I'm going to need to do some catch up this weekend!

Here's the latest chapter:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-22.html

Good luck to everyone taking part!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 14

Day 14 of the National Novel Writing Month draws to a close. Unfortunately work is eating into writing time, but I have finished chapter 21:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-21.html

It puts my word count to over 22,000 - so almost half way there.

As always, good luck to those still taking part.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 13

As day 12 closes on the National Novel Writing Month I've surpassed the 21,000 word mark. I finished chapter 20 today and made a start on chapter 21.

The investigation of the demon has taken an unplanned turn :-)

If you're reading the draft, here is the new chapter:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-20.html

Good luck to everyone still taking part!

Guest Author Interview - Donna Galanti

Today we welcome Donna Galanti to the guest author interview, you can read what she has to say below:



Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Donna Galanti and I write adult suspense and middle grade. I’m an International Thriller Writers Debut Author this year with my paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element. I also have a middle grade adventure out on submission and a young adult novel I’m starting. I moonlight as a freelance copywriter when not writing novels.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I grew up wanting to be a writer, since writing my first screenplay at six (a murder mystery), and falling in love with the Narnia chronicles. Aslan was my hero. I lived in England at the time and lost myself reading within my Harry Potter-like castle school–a perfect place with nooks to hide away and dream.

What is the most evil trick you have played on a nun?
Ha! I skipped Mass to unscrew the wheelchair ramp in school and hid it in the bathroom so the wheelchair nun couldn’t get to class to teach. No one got hurt, I swear!

If you could write the biography of anybody from history, who would it be?
Laura Ingalls Wilder. I re-read her Little House books and am fascinated by her life. She represents a defining span of time in American history. A time when folks lived off the land, began migrating West, lived amongst the Indians, and finally put down roots to settle the West and close the frontier.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Falling in love with characters so much I create theme songs for them, creep away from real people to be with them, and drag out writing The End as I don’t want them to say goodbye. Writing a sequel afterwards feeds this addiction.

And the hardest part?
Besides the constant roller coaster of success and challenges… all the business stuff that takes away from writing time.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
We may write alone but we can’t get published alone. Join a vibrant writer organization you can become involved in. Take workshops. Go to writer conferences. Keep improving your craft. And share the love. All authors started out alone at some point, so help ease the transition of a new writer emerging by mentoring them.

What are you working on at the moment?
Editing Book 2, A Hidden Element. It’s more murder and mystery with a dash of steam! When one family’s son is taken, they learn it’s by the same unearthly evil that brutalized them fifteen years ago. In a race to find their son's kidnapper, they discover his horrifying mission that binds them all together and must sacrifice all again to defeat a new, terrifying enemy–an enemy that wants to rule the world, with their son as his heir.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.

A Human Element: One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test.

With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.

Purchase A HUMAN ELEMENT here:
Ebook/Paperback:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/dg-the-Kindle
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/dg-he-Nook
Also iBooks and Smashwords

Donna Galanti Bio:
Donna Galanti is an ITW Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A HUMAN ELEMENT (Echelon Press). She’s lived from England as a child to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Donna lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly no ghosts.

Connect with Donna here:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DonnaGalanti
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor
Blog: http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/

Thanks to Donna for sharing her time with us, on Friday we welcome Robert Kintigh to the hot seat.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 12

Day 12 of the National Novel Writing Month brings chapter 19. A tricky chapter as it needed some technical information. Always a tricky problem in writing.

My word count now sits just above 20,000.

Here is the chapter for those reading:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-19.html

Good luck to everyone still taking part.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 11

Day 11 of the National Novel Writing Month comes to a close and I've completed another two chapters today. This good progress leaves me with a word count of 19,000 so nicely on track for the rest of the month.

For those reading here are the links to the new chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-17.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-18.html

And as always - good luck to everyone still taking part!


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 10

Day 10 of the Nano draws to a close. I've completed another two chapters so remain on track. I hope to get another two chapters done tomorrow before returning to work (Booo!) on Monday.

The new chapters pushes my word count to 16, 700 - which is pretty good. The first character has also met their demise.

Here are the two new chapters for those reading them:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-15.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-16.html

As always, the best of luck to everyone still taking part!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 9

As day 9 draws to a close I've crossed the 14,000 word mark. At this rate I'll hit the target 50,000 words on time (just!).

Today's writing went well, one of the characters even made me let him live a bit longer.

Here are the links to the three new chapters for those who are reading them:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-12.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-13.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-14.html

And good luck to everyone still taking part!


Guest Author Interview - Kathy Petrakis

Today we welcome Kathy Petrakis to the guest author interview, read what she has to say below:


Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I am an Australian woman born to Greek immigrant parents, but now living in London. I grew up loving the performing arts but always been directed towards the more academic careers in banking.

For the last year, I have concentrated on my writing and hope to find a way to support this ongoing, while continuing with dancing, acting and singing classes!

What first inspired you to start writing?
I don't know. It's always been on my mind but something clicked sometime last year and this golden opportunity of time landed on my door step and voila! - the birth of a book series

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
Honestly, I don't have a favourite author. I love John Grisham as much as I like JR Rowling or Kathryn Stockett (The Help). Every author would add something positive to my writing whether they are professional or not and I greatly respect feedback from anyone.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love living in the world I'm creating. I cry when the characters are sad, I feel their happiness, their pain. For hours a day I am living in that world. That's what I love the most.

And the hardest part?
Editing!!! Once it's written, there is nothing worse than having to edit 85,000 words several times. I prefer the initial blurting of ideas. I have so many ideas, I can barely keep up with myself!

What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?
Stop procrastinating and get on with it! Don't expect instant success especially financial success, it's not the right industry for a quick buck but great for creative expression.

What are you working on at the moment?
Once the official Nov 6 launch of the book is over, I want to finish editing my second book, the sequel to Passion and Pain - I hate that it has been sitting dormant for so long!

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
The current book is the first book in the Dancer and Divas series - Passion and Pain. It's FAME meets GOSSIP GIRL in a New York Performing Arts School. Enter a world where friendship, love, betrayal, envy and hope collide with talented students fighting for their dream on the stage and screen.

Dancers, actors, singers, writers, - all with their own gifts ……. and flaws.

Who wins, who loses and who plays fair?

This book is available on Kindle and soon, paperback, on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Pain-Dancers-Divas-ebook/dp/B009D4PNME

It is also currently listed on Goodreads.com 

Thanks to Kathy for sharing her time, on Tuesday we welcome Donna Galanti to the hot seat.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 8

Day 8 draws to a close and I've made some good progress. As usual the story bucks and squirms from the original plan, but that's good. A story should have a life of its own.

My word count is now just past 12,000. Not quite as high as it should be, but not far off where I should be.

For those wanting to read the new chapters, here are the links:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-10.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-11.html

And as always, best of luck to everyone still taking part.

The Devil's Smile (100 Word Story)

A new 100 story has been used in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk/ to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

The Devil's Smile


"You have the devil's smile." That's what she told me; before we kissed unseen under the bloated moon. I remember the air was chill. Wisps of our breath escaped into the air as we parted our kiss. "That was a devil's kiss." She teased, with an expression so coy.
"What is it?" She exclaimed, a hint of panic trembled in her voice. She had seen the glint of steel in the moon's cold light. "You have the devil's eyes!" She cursed as I plunged the knife deep.
"I have the devil's smile." I whispered alone and faded into the night.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 7

Some good progress today, I've completed chapters 8 and 9 and made a start on the tenth chapter. You can read the finished chapters from the links below:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-8.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-9.html

My word count is up to 9,442, still behind the required target, but I'll get back on track :-)

Good luck to everyone still taking part!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 6

I've made little progress for the last couple of days, but almost back on track with today's writing.

For those of you wanting read the two new chapters here are the links:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-6.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-7.html

Good luck to everyone taking part!

Guest Author Interview - Xavier Edwards

Today we welcome Xavier Edwards to the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:


Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I hail from the wide brown land down under and have been writing in one form or another pretty much since I learned to write. Growing up in the country I found a refuge in books and absorbed all sorts of genres and writing styles. I was raised in a tight-knit family with three sisters and so grew up having to understand the female mind. It was essential when trying to survive living with them when they were all teenagers.

Following secondary school, I joined the Royal Australian Air Force, serving with honour as active military aircrew, attended university, met my wife, got married, and started my own family. It was while in a ground posting that I rediscovered my love of writing and nurtured it in private for a few years before being encouraged that other people would enjoy reading what I was writing.

It took a couple more years to build up the courage to actually publish, but here I am. I’ve found a niche for my writing style in erotica and erotic romance and will probably spend the next few years writing within the genre and sub-genres. I’m currently writing a lot of short stories but am starting to branch out into novellas and longer.

I’m currently living with my wife, three daughters, two cats, and fish in not-quite-rural Australia.

What first inspired you to start writing?
My wife, and being away from her.

When I was looking around at the options for getting an agent and a publisher, I couldn’t really find a lot that were suitable to my needs at the time. One of the biggest things I realised I needed was to have a portfolio of works and the only way to do that was to self-pub. Since then, using my business background, I have been quite happy to self-pub and interact with readers on a one-to-one level. I haven’t ruled out an agent or a publisher in the future, but for now things are fine. Some of my longer works might end up being routed through a major publisher, but that’s a future decision.

You principally write erotica, what drew you to this?
It came about quite accidentally. I was travelling with work quite a lot and spending a lot more time away from my wife than I really wanted to. Quite naturally certain urges were coming up with nothing to do about them. Half-jokingly my wife suggested I write them down. Taking her at her word, I did. I found soon that she was enjoying the stories and so wrote more and more. It took some time to then build the courage necessary to get published, especially in an area which had such a personal start.

Getting published and receiving fan mail / emails keeps me going. To know I have such a strong effect on readers across the globe is very gratifying and helps motivate me to write when I’m struggling with plots and characters.

Are you ever tempted to dip into other genres?
I am tempted to do so but at the moment I have quite a backlog of erotica tales to clear before I can think of moving genres. A secondary reason for starting out in erotica was that I thought the other genres I was interested in writing for were already swamped. I guess I got a bit of a surprise once I started in erotica.

If you could write the biography for anybody, who would it be?
If it meant that I got to find out more about them while doing so, it would have to be some of my family from a couple of generations back. From brother soldiers that died one day apart on the same battlefield to pioneers in the early settlement of Australia and families on the move through the chaos of WWII continental Europe.

Even though I'm a direct descendent, many of these stories have never been passed down through the family and it is the little snippets gathered over time that leave me wondering how they managed to survive or what led them to where they were when major life events took place.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors? 
Do write
Don’t listen to the naysayers
Do publish
Do develop a thick skin and be able to take criticism.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have several short stories that are on the go at any one time. When I wrote this reply to the question I had a Halloween PNRe in the middle of the editing process, a straight erotica novella moving into the proof-reading stage, and another one just in the last stages of being published (within the next five days). On the drafting table are probably another half-dozen to dozen stories in various stages of readiness. All are either erotica shorts or erotic novellas. A couple of already published shorts are being prepared for conversion into novella or novel length based on reader feedback.

When the stories are short I try to work on a fortnightly production basis and, with the publishing pipeline being around 6 weeks, that means that there are always stories going in and coming out.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Depending on when this entry is put up, it could be any one of three titles. The first is "The Barista's Heart". The second is "The Nymph's Muse", and the third "In Human Form".

"The Barista's Heart" is a touching erotic tale of unexpected love blossoming in a coffee shop. It's not afraid of explicitness where appropriate, but it's all part of the story that entwines the two main characters.

"The Nymph's Muse" tells the story of an impoverished artist who's responsible for the near-death of a complete stranger. Feeling guilty about what's happened, she invites him into her life to help with the healing process and assuage her guilt. Struggling with her art, the Nymph finds her Muse.

"In Human Form" is a PNRe short in time for Halloween. A god and goddess are cast to Earth and trapped in stone, save for one night a year - All Hallow's Eve. They take this opportunity to be with each other physically, but there's a hidden threat to their ongoing existence that's solved in an interesting way.

Although an indie self-pub, my titles are available on Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, Google, All Romance Erotica, and are appearing via aggregation with some other major booksellers.

I can be found on a range of popular ebook forums, with a fairly strong presence on GoodReads. I also have my site, at http://www.xavieredwards.com.
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5894813.Xavier_Edwards
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Xavier-Edwards/e/B00843MPBW/
http://www.amazon.com/Xavier-Edwards/e/B00843MPBW

Thanks to Xavier for sharing his thoughts with us, on Friday Kathy Petrakis is in the hot seat.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Interviewed On Donna Galanti's Blog


Donna Galanti has interviewed me for her blog:

http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/author-michael-brookes-develops-writes-games/#comment-3514

Thanks Donna!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 3

Not as much progress as I'd hoped today. Chapter 4 in particular caused me no end of grief. Still I did at least make some progress and my word count is now 5,087. Not great, but roughly on track.

I have a fun chapter to write tomorrow, so hopefully that will give me some momentum.

For those who want to read the new chapters, here are the links:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-4.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-5.html

And as always - good luck for everyone taking part!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 2

Another good day on the Nano. I've completed another chapter, you can read it here:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-3.html

I'm part way into chapter 4, but I won't finish it tonight. I'll post it tomorrow once it's done. My word count has reached 3,685 so I'm still on track.

The good news is that I know have the weekend and next off to really get some progress.

And in even more good news An Odd Quartet is doing well on its first promotional day. It reached the top ten of the UK Amazon Short Story charts. It's even ranked in the US charts. Hopefully tomorrow will build on that start.

Good luck to everyone else beavering away on their nanos.

Guest Author Interview - J. L. Manning

Today John Manning joins us for the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I like to think of myself as an Author in learning. I have self-published six books the wrong way…. I published three books about Mars turning in to a vacation spot. I used my full name, John L. Manning Jr. for those three books. Recently I’ve used the pen name, J.L. Manning to publish my books.

I am an author of many different kinds of fiction. Space Sci-fi interests me, but I find myself trying to keep my books grounded. Sci-Fi is great because it has endless possibilities, but I try to keep my books believable.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Boredom.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
I can say that the genre I write in is Young Adult Fiction. I don’t like having to hold my tongue for children, but I don’t like to use too much foul language or be too sexual explicit with my writing.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I don’t keep track of what authors I read, but I am up to the third “Witch& Wizard” by James Paterson. I like how it is written in the first person. I wrote the first chapter of “The Night Watchman” in first person, because I show some of the background of the main character. The rest of the book was written in the third person perspective, because I was adding other characters. As I said, I’m an author in learning.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Don’t change point of view…at least not in the same book. When you start writing, start with short stories. Once you’ve mastered the short story then grow your stories into novels. I started with a novel, because I wanted to give the reader too much. I can see that some of my novels would have done better as a number of short stories.

If you could write the biography of anyone, who would it be?
I would write biographies about each of my characters…I should have done that before I started the books. To answer your question, I wouldn’t write a biography.

What are you working on at the moment?
A book that I thought was finished. I had the manuscript analyzed by a professional, and they weren’t nice. Really I learned a lot from it. I’m the type of critic that just has an opinion if there’s something I don’t like about it. If people say that your writing is good, what do you learn?

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest novel is fictional, but it’s more of a self-help book about viewing yourself from a third persons perspective to help find the little things in your relationships to change, work relationships, family relationships, and friends.

“Changing the Little Things”
Authors Web Site; http://www.jlmanning.net/Change.html
Amazon Author Page; http://www.amazon.com/J.-L.-Manning/e/B007572XZQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Changing the Little Things Interviews; http://newscliptv.com/index.php?news=9275
New Interview; http://digitalbooktoday.com/2012/03/13/author-interview-j-l-manning-changing-the-little-things/

Thanks to John for sharing his time with us, on Tuesday we welcome Xavier Edwards to the hot seat

An Odd Quartet Free



An Odd Quartet is now available for free download today and this weekend only!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Nanowrimo - Day 1

Well the first day of the Nanowrimo is done and I'm off to a good start. I finish the day with two completed chapters and a word count of 1964.

I'll be posting the chapters as I finish them, I'll include the links in these updates. Feel free to have a read and post comments. I'll remove them once I start the edit pass, but that won't be until next year. They're pretty rough of course :-)

Here are the first two chapters:

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-1.html

http://zenapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/faust-20-chapter-2.html

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