Category Archives: science fiction

Kayelle Allen’s space opera: filled with characters you’ll never forget

Today we welcome Kayelle Allen, who I met on her site, Romance Lives Forever-  reading her story, I see we have a lot in common! I hope you enjoy meeting her and finding out about her books.

 

boc1-2-nik-smile-read450Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me! I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Space Opera, YA, and in the past, have written erotic romance. I’ve moved toward a more PG version of story these days.

I’ve been published since 2004. Believe it or not, no one had ever heard of a Kindle back then. We published eBooks, which people had no idea what to do with. Indie publishing was in its infancy. At that time, people still thought “self-published” meant you weren’t good enough to get a “real book” published. They had no idea the number of years it could take to get a book released, if you could even get someone to read your submission in the first place. Compare that to a turn around of a few months if you are indie.

The publishing business went through a revolution, and some of the biggest publishers from that time are gone. Mostly, they failed to keep up with the changing times and embrace the new technology. I’m a dinosaur in the indie world, but I’ve loved seeing the changes as they occur and applaud the freedom it has given writers. Currently, I am 100% indie published.

What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

I live north of Atlanta, GA in the rural area of the state. No pets, but I have dog-grandbabies if you know what I mean. Married forever, three grown children, five grandchildren. Huge extended family of people I have heart-adopted.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I like coffee, but my doctor doesn’t want me imbibing caffeine, so I drink decaf. My drink of choice while writing is water or a caffeine-free Diet Coke.

What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

I went to college but as far as writing goes, I am self-taught. A lifetime of reading and writing, studying, taking online courses, and polishing my skills has given me a much higher polish than someone with formal education and no experience.

 

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Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

The Bringer of Chaos series is currently two books and a short story, but it will be bigger before I’m done with it. I have two more books in mind and another short story. Currently, readers can download the short story, Lights Out, free when they join one of my reader groups. I’ll leave a link at the end. Here’s the blurb for book 1 of the series.

Bringer of Chaos: Origin of Pietas

Exiled to a barren world, the immortal king Pietas must learn to humble himself and ask for help–politely. Without assistance, he might spend an eternity alone, never finding the people he has already died over a thousand times to save.
The problem is, the only source of aid is a human, the very one who caused his exile in the first place.
Immortal. Warrior. Outcast. Traitors took everything. Except his honor.

What inspired you to write this story?

I had written a book about Luc, a popular character in my story universe, and was working on a sequel. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the villain to be the villain. I literally rewrote the entire book nine times. Finally, a friend sat down with me and started asking me questions about my so-called villain. Turns out, Pietas wasn’t a villain at all. I was looking at the wrong aspect of the story altogether. So I decided rather than finish that book, I’d write a short story about the “villain” so I could understand his motivation. Two books later I’m still writing about Pietas. Turned out he was a hero who masqueraded as a villain in order to accomplish a greater purpose. That’s how the entire Bringer of Chaos series was born. I should mention that Pietas is immortal, so he has appeared in books that range thousands of years in date.

What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I learned that there was a human at the center of the story that I had never considered before. I wrote Six as a convenient walk on part to get the story where it needed to go, but the more I wrote, the more I saw an opportunity to develop Pietas by reflecting him off the human. Six’s origin story is told in Lights Out, the free book I mentioned before.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

The wry humor. Pietas starts out as a downright jerk in the first part of the story, but as you move through the tale, you start to see that his “jerkness” is part of an act, a shield to guard his heart. He’s honorable and just, opposite of what he perceives humans to be. Until he gets to know Six. And because Six refuses to take life seriously, and Pietas is all about duty and honor, the friendship that develops between them is one hot mess.

Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I had a lot of one-on-one chats with a friend over this book. She guided my creation of Pietas and Six both. I’m forever grateful for her influence.

How would you best describe your books?

I write space opera with larger than life, unforgettable characters. Read one of my books and you will remember the people you met while you walked in my world.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Space Opera/Science Fiction. I grew up on it. One of my best friends writes historical westerns. She has to often stop and look up a word to see if it was in use back then. I have to stop and look in the lexicon that I created to see if the word I need is one I already created. Like “Imperinet” — the imperial internet in one period of my story world.

To read?

You might laugh, but one of my favorite reads is Regency Romance. I just finished one by Alexa Aston that I absolutely adored. I also read suspenseful stories by authors like Michael Connelly, JD Robb, and Lee Child. I read in my genre too. I want to know what trends are being followed. I plain love any good story.

What do you most like about writing?

World building I think, although when I can figure out how to layer in a character from another book into a new one, I get a kick out of that too. I wrote a lexicon of Felis, the language used by feline-humanoids in my books. There are only a handful of words in any book, but I have nearly forty pages of text I can choose from to create a sentence or phrase when I need one. For example, kahmay t’hahr means “hero of my heart” and it’s a term of endearment.

Least like?

About the writing process? The time it takes. I wish I could dump stories from my head straight into the computer. What a timesaver that would be!

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I was about four or five. My mother loved to write and she was an artist. I learned to write the word cat in school, came home and told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Fast forward many years, my first book featured a hero who was a HalfKin, a mix of human and feline-humanoid. Didn’t even make the connection until a few years ago.

Do you belong to any writing groups?

I’m in several. I am currently studying Derek Murphy’s Guerrilla Publishing, which includes both writing and marketing, plus I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. We help each other find promotional opportunities and serve as a sounding board for questions about the writing business. We also promote for our members. It’s 100% volunteer run, so there are no fees.

Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I read the blog posts on Romance University, Save the Cat!, and many others. I’m always up for suggestions on good sites for writers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing?

It’s listed as Epic, Sweeping, and Movie Trailer Music. Try these groups for size: Really Slow Motion (yep, that’s their name), Audiomachine, Epic North, Future World Music, and (very badly named in my opinion) Two Steps from Hell. Their music is heavenly.

boc1-2-nik-unbreakable450How does it inspire you?

I can tune out words and listen to sweeping music that inspires creativity. Depending on the book, of course. I wrote one book to the tunes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Chevelle. Go figure.

Do you belong to a critique group?

I lead the Canton Writer’s Circle, a group that has met for about six years. I’ve published several books while a member here. One of my beta readers is a member, and one of my developmental editors is as well.

What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I get honest feedback. I’m still after six years learning to shut up and listen when my fellow members suggest something. I try not to defend what I wrote. They are not there to tell me what I did wrong, but how I might make it better. Do I always take their advice? No. We joke about taking advice “under advisement” meaning — yeah, no.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published?

I have fourteen publications, with a mix of books and short stories. I started out in small press.

How many books did you write before selling one?

My first book was accepted on submission, but I had a friend who guided me on where to go.

How did you find a publisher?

I was recommended to my first publisher by a critique partner (in a different group from the one I’m in now).

How did you receive the Call?

Getting an email asking for the rest of the story was a thrill, believe me. I can remember everything about where I was and what I was doing the moment I got that message.

What are you writing now?

I’m writing A Stolen Heart, which is a full novel set in the Tarthian Empire and features Luc and Pietas (thousands of years after the Bringer of Chaos series). My first published book was At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, and A Stolen Heart is about how the hero of that book ended up being adopted by Luc.

What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I’ll be attending OutlantaCon in Atlanta as a guest next March. I’m there every year and have a lifetime membership. I am planning others as well. Readers can check my schedule on my website.

What would you like to tell readers?

Try one of my books and give my characters a shot. Once you meet them, you’ll be hooked. You can sample any of my books by visiting my website. Each book has a page where you can download a few chapters and check out the story. Plus, if you join one of my reader groups, you get the entire story Lights Out free, plus a starter set of four illustrated books. https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups/ You can unsubscribe at any time.

A snippet from A Small Degree of Hope–Science Fiction Romance Brigade

 

AlexanderLyndi_ASmallDegreeOfHope

The new cover for PRINT!!

“Griff?” She waited, watching on the monitor until he stopped his circuit of the small cell. “Do you need medical attention? Something to eat or drink? What can we get you?”
He leaned on the wall on the right of the picture. “They’re going to die.”
“We don’t want that to happen, Griff. You can help us.”
“I want to talk to you.”
“Then talk. I’m right here.”
“No. Talk to you.” He whirled, almost faster than her eyes could follow. Taking the thin mattress off the narrow bunk, he ripped it in half. Claws flashed out of his fingertips amid the shredded bits of cheap stuffing that showered the room.

As the detritus settled, he glared at the monitor. “Talk to you like equal being. Face to face. I tried. You won’t let me! Now one is probably lost, maybe more because you are too inflexible to listen.”
Everyone held their breath, frozen at the demonstration of Griff’s swiftness and power. She made herself breathe as she gathered her thoughts. Those claws. An inch long at least. He wanted her to go in there with him.
Her nerves tingled. “You keep saying women are going to die. But you won’t tell us where they are. You won’t help, like you say you want to. This shows me you don’t really mean what you say. You’re going to let those women die. You’ll be an accessory, Griff. You’ll go to prison.”
He turned away. “Then you are, too. Because you won’t listen.”

********

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover reptile lovewho’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?
CONTENT WARNING: Language, Violence, Sex

Buy the book!

Publisher https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30085
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander/dp/1616508396/
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-small-degree-of-hope-lyndi-alexander/1115425659
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-small-degree-of-hope-2 

Catch a bonus interview with hero Griff at Romance Lives Forever here!

Come meet Temms Rogers from the Horizon Crossover series!

Thanks so much for hosting me at Romance Lives Forever, Kayelle Allen!!

Introducing Temms Rogers from Horizon Crossover series, by Lyndi Alexander #RLFblog #spaceopera #SciFi

 

And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the series trailer!

 

Love, reptile style

reptile loveHere’s a snippet/excerpt from A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE. Investigator Kylie Sanderson has been caught and transformed into an alien reptile being–then rescued and the process reversed. Her cold shapeshifter lover does what he can to help. But her problems aren’t over.

******

 

 

“Are you ready to watch the films now?”

She shrugged without answering.

He reached for the remote the doctor had left on the counter and started the show again. “May I sit with you?” he asked.

“Sure.” She waved a hand at the chair the doctor had vacated. “Why not?”

He looked as if he were about to answer then he sat down without saying anything. Her attention was caught by the film. This section included Griff, in his reptile form. What a different attitude she displayed toward him than the staff! Whenever he entered her enclosure, she immediately calmed and became submissive to his every command, if that’s what they were, those odd clicks and bumps.

She might not understand them, but her reptile self clearly did. For the next several sections, Griff translated for her as Dr. Astrid gave commands, and Reptile-Kylie performed a multitude of tasks, manipulating machinery and other devices. She passed every one of the tests conducted by the doctor and her staff, easily lifting heavy objects, able to navigate obstacle courses at lightning speed, even passing dexterity tests with ease, especially when rewarded with raw meat.

The doctor returned during the screening to watch with them. “A fine specimen, for what she is.”

Kylie tore her eyes away from the screen. “Did — did Jaco see this? And the others? Did they?”

The doctor paused the film. “Only when you were rescued. Jaco took you to the nearest hospital, and an ambulance brought you here. After that, he wasn’t permitted access until we were well on the way to recovery.” Her voice acquired an edge. “If I’d known Rand would be such a fool as to bring you that trash this morning, he wouldn’t have been allowed in at all.”

Kylie chewed her lip, recalling the conclusions she’d drawn from that conversation. “And. my family?”

The doctor wouldn’t meet her gaze. “Your father was here. He didn’t stay long.”

“He saw it? Me?”

“He pushed his way in, or bought his way in, I don’t know which. I found him staring in the glass. I asked him if he wanted to visit. I even offered to call security if he was hesitant to try it one on one.” She rubbed her hands together, as if they pained her. “He looked through me like I wasn’t really there.”

Kylie swallowed hard, her throat closing. “Didn’t he say anything at all?” she whispered.

The doctor didn’t answer.

She turned to Griff. “Were you there? Did you hear what he said?”

Griff cocked his head and looked her in the eye. “He said, ‘That’s not my daughter.’”

 

 

When push comes to shove, resistance turns to revolution–are we ready?

bab5Recently Amazon Prime started showing the series BABYLON 5. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a critically acclaimed science fiction show from the 1990s, written primarily by J. Michael Straczynski, (of SENSE8 fame).

From IMDB: In the year 2258, it is ten years after the Earth-Minbari War. Commander Sinclair takes command of a giant five-mile-long cylindrical space station, orbiting a planet in neutral space. At a crossroads of interstellar commerce and diplomacy, Cmdr Sinclair (2d season Captain Sheridan) must try to establish peace and prosperity between various interstellar empires, all the while fighting forces from within the Earth Alliance. It is a precarious command, particularly given that sabotage led to the destruction of Babylon stations 1, 2, and 3 and 4 vanished without a trace.

 

I didn’t watch it first time around for some reason, and I’ve picked up bits and pieces of it in reruns over the years. But I’m finally watching it in toto, and getting some really wild vibes, considering our current political situation.
So, early in the series, a president of Earth (which is apparently under one government in 2258) comes to power through questionable means.  He puts his friends in positions of power. He starts a campaign against aliens. When he begins receiving criticism, he starts a program called Nightwatch, where citizens are encouraged to spy on each other and turn neighbors and friends in for “unpatriotic” speech. He co-opts the media, drowning out any source that is not complimentary to him. He sets up a Ministry of Peace, which is headed by a gung-ho sycophant who, I swear, is the mold from which Kellyanne Conway is made.

As the series continues through assorted alien crises and other wars, we keep comingb52 back to the corrupt presidency. Eventually our B5 heroes stand up to the ridiculousness, violence and flat-out lawlessness on Earth and lead a revolution.

Watching it. it seems to me that those of us wanting to take our country back, and frustrated by the slow pace of the investigations (tho not their ongoing indictments) might take a lesson from this narrative. Captain Sheridan finally  breaks his wait-and-watch stance when the president orders the destruction of a ship full of 10,000 refugees. Were we less shocked at the immigration debacle, the caged children and deported parents? Or perhaps the destruction of all the protections that have been hard-won by previous administrations for our air and water? Or the even harder-fought laws that give our citizens equal rights to conduct business, marry and drink from water fountains? How much are we willing to stand?

It’s worth a watch, whether you’re a sci-fi fan or not, with lessons in moral judgment and the reminder that following illegal and immoral orders is not mandatory. We don’t have to quietly go along the path into that good night. Other characters urge waiting to handle the problem through the vote, through political manipulations and other methods. But Sheridan and his team choose resistance and finally open revolt. Where do you stand?

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The Lost Chord’s five stars!

I’m finally back from gallivanting ’round the country… it’s not my fault all my family spread out to the corners of the world! Coming home refreshed, I found three more 5-star reviews for THE LOST CHORD! Like Christmas in July! 🙂

thelostchord400x600 (1)THE LOST CHORD is a multi-dimensional story that pulled me in and kept me enticed. I am not a sci-fi fan normally. However, I decided to pick up this novel because the heroine was a teenage girl with autism. I have been an autistic support teacher for thirteen years and this is book has had one of most realistic, believable portrayal of a person living with autism! I will be recommending this book to my colleagues because it gives an insight to the feelings and mind of people on the spectrum. It allows people to see the main character, Bee, as different, not less.

 I give this book five stars because it contained all my likes, different universes, chakras, stones, believable characters and magic talismans. Once you read this, it will strike a chord within you that will resonate all the way to your soul.

One of the biggest things I appreciated from this book was the diversity. Alexander has always had a knack for showing diversity in her novels, and she didn’t falter here. There were interesting role reversals and certain dilemmas the characters had to overcome that really showed a message of acceptance and unity. There were many possible themes in this story. Understanding, leadership, teamwork, and perseverance were prevalent throughout

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Artist Luc Grigg’s rendition of Bee–based on real-life model Tasha

the whole story, and all important messages such as not fearing the unknown and accepting people for who they are were very present and unambiguous. I always enjoy Alexander’s work, and this is no exception. The clear diversity and character arc in this novel puts it at the top of my list of recommendations.

The combination of sibling rivalry, teen angst, runes, magic, time travel, and saving the world from the plight of the Scourge — ticks all the boxes for me.

So many people love it–and they’re signing up to be Chordians–our fan club!!  What are you waiting for? Get your copy now!

PAPERBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-81-9 | ISBN 1-941278-81-7] 6×9 library trim (200 pages) | Average Price: $11.99 or less || Paperback at Amazon | Paperback at Amazon UK | Paperback at Barnes & Noble | Discount Paperback at Lulu |

HARDBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-80-2 | ISBN 1-941278-80-9] 6×9 library casebound (200 pages) | Average Price: $19.99 or less || Discount Hardback at Lulu |

EBOOK [EAN 978-1-941278-82-6 | ISBN 1-941278-82-5] Available in EPUB and Kindle MOBI (70,000 words) | Average Price: $4.99 or less || Kindle at Amazon | Kindle at Amazon UK | EPUB at Apple iBooks | EPUB at Barnes & Noble | EPUB at Kobo Books | EPUB & MOBI at Smashwords |

Monday snippet!

shutterstock_62419543lizardA few years ago when shapeshifter romances were becoming all the rage, I wrote A Small Degree of Hope. Not your standard warm and fuzzy hero, Griff is an alien reptile, who has the ability to shift into a human appearance.

Worse yet, his species is trying to turn human women into reptiles for mating purposes. Kylie Sanderson is part of the crack team investigating the case, and she becomes involved in a way she never imagined in her worst nightmares.

With that said, here’s today’s snippet:

Griff said, “While you were at the hospital, I tracked my brothers who fled when you were rescued. They have not withdrawn far.”

That raised her eyebrow. “You knew where they were, and you didn’t tell SIRT?”

“I was not sure I could trust them. While they had you, I had to be cautious.”

There it was again, that almost tender sound to what he said. Like when he’d pledged his loyalty to her a few moments before. Did he know the feelings she held for him, the effect he had on her? She’d been comfortable, held in his arms but she intentionally hadn’t defined their relationship.

In the hospital, she rationalized his role as mentor, perhaps, or a co-participant in experiments. He’d been necessary to explain the differences between reptile and human as he knew them for medical necessity.

But here, as they hid together from the forces massed against them, she knew in her heart that this was different. She was drawn to him, not by necessity, but because some tenuous feelings had evolved between them. He had been there, each step of the way. He hadn’t abandoned her, like her father, or turned on her, like Jaco. He’d stayed by her side, good or bad.

For better, or for worse, in sickness and in health…

That was the standard, wasn’t it? When you mated/married, you took each other with all the foibles as well as the high points, and you did what you could to support the other person through the bad times.

And these were bad times.

A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online and retail booksellers. Enjoy!

Are you prepared for these futures?

When science becomes a weapon:

Cloning. Accelerated growth of replacement organs. DNA repair. In 2096, all are possible. And forbidden by law. Three people will defy these laws to save the life of eleven-year-old Zelimir, who will die a slow, painful death from a horrifying genetic disease.

Zelimir’s father hires Torver Lockwood and Demetria Greyson to find a cure for his son. Both have a personal stake in this illegal research. A cure may help explain why Torver is able to see into people’s pasts and why Demetria has visions about a violent future.

But, once developed, the solution could be used as a powerful weapon that can target specific genes. With the chance that the cure may fall into the wrong hands and start a new reign of terror, will Torver keep the secret to himself, at the cost of one small life?

SYNERGY by M. D. Benoit
The Mundial Trilogy – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/synergy/

Bio-terrorists release a plague in the United States that spreads to kill most of the world’s Caucasian population. As the deadly virus mutates, Tzu Shin, a renowned medical doctor and biologist, defects from China to help develop a cure. His only daughter, Lin Kwan, is left behind in Hong Kong with her aunt.

Then Kwan’s father summons her from across the sea to bring him Chinese medicinal herbs he needs to develop a cure. Lonely and missing her parents, she accepts the challenge, traveling with her sensei Li Zhong to the New World.

But a Chinese assassin is on her trail, determined to kill her and Li Zhong, and when Kwan discovers her father has disappeared, she sets out on a journey to find him and deliver her precious cargo, a quest that she may not survive.

WINDMILLS by Lyndi Alexander
The Color of Fear – Book 1
https://www.zumayapublications.com/store/windmills/

Is truth just another version of fiction? Or vice versa?

My reptile shapeshifter romance book A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE is featured at author Cara Bristol’s blog this week. Check out the story of how it came to be written, through a real life romance!

Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.

Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.

Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.

When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?

From Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press.

Buy here: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Degree-Hope-Lyndi-Alexander-ebook/dp/B00IPQWY9G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

A scorned minotaur wreaks havoc in The Minotaur King from Stuart Thaman

Thanks for being with us today, Stuart!

First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.  What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing?

Hey, my name is Stuart Thaman, and I’m a best-selling author from Kentucky, though I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, and I received a BA in politics, a BA in German, and a concentration in classical political philosophy. I’m currently in my second year of law school as well.

That’s really interesting to me–I’ve been a lawyer for 30 years (now retired), and found that the call for creative solutions that comes from lawyering also helps in the creative writing process!

My background helps my writing quite a bit as I believe the hard work and extreme academic environment provided by Hillsdale College has shaped me into the self-starter that I am today.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I do drink a good deal of coffee, though I enjoy tea as well, especially mint tea.

Tell us about your latest publication.

PerfectThe Minotaur King is my latest release, and it becomes available on September 1st. The short novella is my first published novella. Set in the world of The Goblin Wars, it follows Qul, a would-be royal guard of a minotaur clan and his ultimate rise to power through the mountain ranks.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

Qul has a pretty cool backstory that I just barely touch in The Goblin Wars book 2, and I really wanted to flesh it out to give readers an idea of what he was like before they meet him as the bloodthirsty king he is in Death of a King.

How would you best describe your books?

I write epic and heroic fantasy. This is a layout of the covers of the Goblin Wars series–I love it! 

All 3 no TextWhat is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I read mostly horror and sci-fi with just a little bit of fantasy, though my writing is the complete inverse. Fantasy is just so much more fun to write than it is to read.

 

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to be an author. That much I knew from when I was little. And the best thing about writing is getting to craft the most grandiose, over-the-top scenes I can imagine and bring them to life.

I also love meeting fans at conventions—I hate driving to conventions.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I’m a mod over at www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish, a community of 14,000 self-published and indie writers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

Oh yes. I always listen to music. Usually, and more so when I’m writing a battle scene, I listen to Sabaton. Other favorites include: Unleash the Archers, Epica, Dimmu Borgir, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, and The Agonist.

 

Tell us a little about your path to publication.

My first book was written for National Novel Writing Month. I got an offer on the manuscript through some personal connections, and that proved to largely be a scam. But regardless, I had my foot in the door. That gave me a platform to approach larger publishers.

How did you finally find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

I met Tony Acree, the owner of Hydra Publications at an author fair in Indiana. Wehydra were on a panel together and seemed to have very complimentary personalities, and I had been sitting on a horror manuscript (eventually turned into For We Are Many) at the time, so it made sense to submit to Hydra. Luckily, they accepted me!

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

The Minotaur King has some cool aspects. At its core, The Minotaur King is about a lost love and a delusional minotaur who thought he had the queen’s eye. It also tells a bit about manipulation and how those emotions can be turned to pure rage and then molded to something useful.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I have another full length novel coming soon: The Chronicles of Estria Part One: Blood and Ash. The book is a bit of a departure for me, though it is certainly epic fantasy. Blood and Ash follows Lina Arias, a princess who forsakes her family and crown in favor of fangs and dark, evil magic. The Chronicles of Estria is a series that goes along with the tabletop miniatures game Chaos Wars, produced by Iron Wind Metals.

Up next I’ll be at Cincy Comic Expo in September and Lexington ScareFest after that. I can’t wait!

What would you like to tell readers?

Keep the fantasy alive!

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