Interview with Keith Tutor, YA Fantasy Author of Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings, Who Will Also be Representing Co-Author Jade Fishburn in Her Absence

auth_keithWhat is your name, where did life start for you and where do you live now?

My name is Keith Tutor, I was born in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.auth_jade

Jade Fishburn comes from Stuarts Point, New South Wales, Australia.

I am currently living in a camping ground basically in the ‘bush’ near Crescent Head on the NSW coast. It is an ideal location with few distractions, perfect for me to concentrate on completing our book series.IMAG0252

Jade is currently employed as a hostess and deckhand on a Super yacht. At the time of doing this interview she is somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

In another profession I am known as the ‘Rockgod’ and not because I am aIMAG0188 rockguard.keith musician. I come from a Landscape Design and Teaching background.

Some years ago I invented a method of building ‘Artificial Rock’. I became the first teacher of my ‘art’ as I refer to it in Australia. The majority of my students were home owners who wanted to create rock features in their own yards, obtaining this knowledge was another first at the time.

My method was based on simplicity and, recycling building rubble. I ended up demonstrating on a variety ‘how to do it’ television shows and developed a following so much so I ended up producing a DVD series so people anywhere could utilise my methods.

The upshot is that my ‘idea’ has been sold and is practised in 85 countries.
Sorry if this is a bit long winded but the development and production of our ‘Jade and the Deva’ series and where it is today is based on and from what I learnt from doing what I did with ‘Artificial Rock’.

And what are the similarities; would you share that with us?

Well (laughter) having a potentially good idea is a start, feeling a passion for that idea, being realistic about its potential and its possibilities.

For me it is important that people can enjoy the results of what you create, identifying that there is a niche for your idea and in our case finding people who you feel can help you bring the idea to life and communicating a similar passion.

How long have you been writing?

I started piecing Jade and the Deva together in 2006 so I guess I’m a latter day writer whereas Jade was still in High School when she started.

‘Hidden Wings’ has two authors with a goodish age difference between them. Did this happen by chance or was there a strategy in mind?

You could say meeting Jade was by chance, I first met her through her parents.

Because of the nature of our story I thought it would be great if its authors represented their respective generations. Jade Nova, the name of one of our stories main characters is attending high school for a good part of the story.

What did I know about life for a young woman in high school in this day and age? To be honest, pretty well zilch.

As the story developed Co author-Jade came into her own. I would write a ‘rough’ scene, send it to her and together we would ‘work on it.’ When we started working with our Ghostwriter is when we were able to produce our final draft before passing it on to the Proofreader.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?hungry head beach crowds cropped

I live across the road from a row of virtually untouched beaches. Fair to say being on one of them fills a big part of my time away from writing. I can’t get reception for my cell phone or the internet in my little pocket of space. So, my phone calls and emailing happen on a beach walk, on a headland in my car, or in one of the adjoining town’s cafes. I don’t have a TV but I get to watch the latest DVD releases on my laptop. And, I still do a few landscaping projects each year.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in 20 or less words what would you say?

‘Hidden Wings’. It is an impossibly possible story, refreshingly original, wonderful characters, a voice of our times, captivating, heartfelt.

Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write ‘Hidden Wings’?

Absolutely! Rarely does a day goes by that we as individuals, parents and grandparents are not shocked by an event somewhere on ‘our’ planet that questions our sanity and humanity. There are 7 billion reasons for peace on this earth and many of us yearn for what appears the impossible dream. A gentleman by the name of ‘Gandhi’ once voiced a few poignant words… ‘Become the world you want to see’.

They are hugely challenging words because he’s saying, peace starts with each and every one of us, in us, from us and where possible to ‘be’ a living example of it in our own little ways. As I said, ‘hugely’ challenging.

At one point in our story Sammy the Deva says to Jade Nova ‘when you are at war with yourselves you don’t realise you are at war with your Earth, a point will come when she will not be the silent witness you fully expect her to be’.

Just want to say I mainly refer to our story as Jade and the Deva. ‘Hidden Wings’ is the first book in our series. I discovered some months ago another book by the name of ‘Hidden Wings’ was released some months after we released our ‘Hidden Wings’ so that’s an interesting coincidence.

Would you share a ‘blurb’ with us?

Because we have created an extensive website (JadeandtheDeva.com) for this purpose it would be much easier for myself and readers to pay it a visit because there’s lots of blurb ready and waiting there.

Would you share a short excerpt with us?

Love to but again, you will find sample chapters on our website and Amazon offers six chapters for you to read at no cost of course.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes we do, we really appreciate people who take the time and interest. This is all new to us. At the time of writing we have four 5 star reviews on Amazon that’s after 11 days of having ‘Hidden Wings’ on there. I don’t know if that’s good or, if it’s the ‘norm’ perhaps you could let us know.

Australians including me are not that exposed to the world of eBooks especially when it comes to sale price. The thought of selling an eBook of 95,000 words and years spent bringing it to life for $1.99 is for want of a better word ‘madness’ as is $2.99 or $4.99. Aussies are so used to buying a print book for $19.99 or $24.99; it’s hard to get your head around prices like that even though we are talking eBook formats.

We have a ‘glut’ of wines in our country right now and you can get a very good bottle of wine for ten dollars at the moment. There are people here who throw a dinner party and won’t buy that particular wine because they don’t want their guests to think they are ‘cheap’.

We have just set our price for ‘Hidden Wings’ at 99c and it was hilarious because we, the decision makers involved, could hardly get the number 99 out of our mouths. We are first time unknown authors, we want to make our first book available to as many people as possible. We’re learning as we go. We’re currently self publishers so it’s a sensible move, especially because we have two books following this one as a series.

How did you come up with the title and cover designs for your book/books. Who designs the covers for your books?

The name ‘Hidden Wings’ came about after I watched a ‘Kingfisher’ one day as it hovered over a waterhole, it was fishing. The little blue bird remained motionless but its wings were fluttering so quickly they appeared to be invisible.

A young man by the name of Jake Stollery conceived our first book cover way back in 2007. He was in Year 11 at the local high school when I first heard about him. I was entering a large photographic piece in a local art competition and wanted to add some graphics to my piece. Even back then I thought ‘wow’ this young guy is some kind of graphic design ‘prodigy’.

Amazingly, our cover is the very first he had ‘a go’ at designing. To say I am proud of this young guy’s achievement and our ensuing relationship is an understatement, but none more than him being flown to New York last year to accept his award in a global design initiative. To top it off when our PA of everything, Kelly Trevisan, travelled to the Gold Coast to catch up with Hugh Howey, one of the first things he said to her is, ‘man, that book cover of yours is just awesome’. Suggest you go to Jake Stollery.com and have a look for yourself.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Of course, our lives and stories, the stories over a dinner table or around a camp fire are nearly all based on our experiences of people, places and things.

Is there a certain author who has influenced the way you write?

Yes, for better and for worse. I admit I am not an avid reader although Jade is.

Mary Stewart wrote a series based on the life of ‘Merlin’ I read her books when I was a young fella.

She presented Merlin in such a practical ‘real’ way, not in the mythical enchanted manner we are so familiar with. It was a revelation to me, an author writing with such clarity and insight about a man who could well have been the way he is depicted in Mary’s series. On the other hand I have read books that are lazy and non nonsensical leaving me with the thought… why bother?

I am sure we have all seen a film or two that falls into the same category.
One Author revealed to me how to write a story and another author taught me how not to write a story. Guess you could say both were teachers to me.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback or paperback?

Arr, I have never read an eBook… just being honest. I prefer paperback they are easier to carry around.

What is your favourite book and why? And have you read it more than twice?

In earlier years, ‘Lord of the Rings’. I enjoyed Neale Donald Walsch’s ‘Conversations with God’ Series. I thought it was such a fresh, innovative concept and lately Mike Dooley’s ‘Leveraging the Universe’. His material is super easy to read, cleverly done and enlightening.

Do you think books transfer to movie’s well? Why or why not?

Personal opinions… oh boy, there are a lot of entangled circumstances as to why a book does or doesn’t transfer onto film successfully.

If musicians want their music played on commercial radio they have to tailor their songs to, or… just under a designated time limit.

Most films have a time frame I have often heard people complain about the amount of storyline left out of a film. Lots of stuff had to be left out of Lord of the Rings trilogy and they were three hour films.

How much ‘say’ does an author have over the screenplay, the direction and production of their story… is the time of release a bummer, how is it promoted… what about the reviews? Will they be 2 star or 4 star, will it be rave reviews or the film gets slammed? So many factors.

When we were developing Jade and the Deva I wrote as if I was watching a film… a film I always wanted to go and see.

I’d hear a song and would see a whole scene right down to the location, the camera angles, the emotion of that scene and its effect on an audience.

I have already picked out a young up and coming Australian Director after watching his debut film and listening to him in the ‘extras’ afterwards.

I also have a growing list of muso’s (musicians) who I would like to approach for the soundtrack. Maybe that sounds a bit over the top given at this point we only have one book that’s been on Amazon for less than a fortnight.

But, we project what we want to create and we do the little things that start the ball rolling and hey, we’re confident in our stories potential.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?

Apart from the sports section in a newspaper my reading centres around research, self publishing and working on our next two books.

Is there a book you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I couldn’t get into Harry Potter at all or the movie offshoots. Don’t know why, maybe it’s a bit like food, we have our individual tastes.

What do you think about book trailers?

I don’t know much about them so I wouldn’t be the best person to ask.

Like any form of promotion or advertising it can be hit or miss. If you produce a high quality book, have a great cover and a great storyline then produce a cheap tacky trailer to represent it, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Every authors new book is the best thing since sliced bread we want to tell people that, spruiker it wherever possible.

What I’ve learnt is… don’t overdo it. The simple and the understated is a formula that gets results more often than not regardless of what you’re promoting.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Well, we are new writers so what do I say? From a ‘life’ point of view, I have come across so many people who have an idea; they have a passion for that idea but never once make a start on it. They talk themselves out of it, convince themselves it’s impossible or they have people around them who tell them that.

A great journey can start with as simple an act as sitting your butt on a chair and penning… once upon a time. That’s enough, make a start.

The other thing I would say is this. Get yourself away from negative people. I would rather have helium balloons tied to me instead of anchors.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Arr, no I haven’t and I wouldn’t.

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

One of the Orbs. When I’m finished here as a human being I would love that to be my next adventure.

If your Jade and the Deva series were to be made into films, what actors would you like to see play the main characters?

We haven’t thought about it but I figure we will down the track. Maybe they will be relatively unknown. I am sure some of those actors will be completely unknown there is an awful lot of awesome talent out there I do know that.photo (1)

Buy Links for Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings:

BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Amazon

BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Smashwords

 

 

Carol 1

 

I want to thank you, Keith for taking out so much of your valuable time to do this fascinating and informative interview for us today. I wish you much success now and in the future with Jade and the Deva.

 

 

 

Interview with Author Susan Waterwyk & Review of Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?interview 007 (3)1

I am Susan Waterwyk. I was born in Texas (the big flat part). I now live in the gold country of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (one of the most rugged and beautiful places on Earth).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Life is a canvas and patience is the first art. As a child I was often content to play by myself in an imaginary world populated with magical beings.  My first major artistic endeavor came in the form of music. When I was ten years old, I discovered, on a neighbor’s piano, that I had a talent for music, and my parents proceeded to give me lessons. I eventually went on to compete in the Van Cliburn Competition.  In high school, I became interested in architecture and did rather well in the science of building. The many paths of life that a teenager takes to adulthood led me away from art and into the mainstream of the working class and raising children, but the need to create art was always in my heart.  When I turned thirty, I began painting imaginary landscapes (or dreamscapes) on canvas. Writing poetry taught me how to paint pictures with words. My husband explained the technicalities of poetry, but I struggled for a long time with meter.  Then one day, while working in my garden, to the rhythm of the rake, I had a revelation from the working meditation, and a poem took its shape about the magic life creates. Writing poetry eventually led to the desire to write a story, but I had no inspiration until I had a dream of a conversation with a dragon.  A few days later, I began writing my first novel.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to sit on my deck and toss peanuts (roasted unsalted) to the birds and squirrels that come to visit Dragonwood. We named our little acre in the forest for the twisted red trunks of the manzanita trees. I also enjoy working in my garden, and I still paint from time to time.  

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

phpWRjFo5AM(1)LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY: A story of a sanctuary world where refugees from two worlds (dragons and humans) co-exist peacefully.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, if two books constitutes a series. I do not at this time have plans for a third book. The sequel is titled: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS.

Would you share a blurb with us?

Eighteen-year-old Tylya Lansing lives in a small town in the mountains of California’s gold country. Her grandmother Lenora claims to be from another world, and the story she tells of Lantamyra are irresistible, the magnificent vistas, the ancient gardens and enormous trees that are treasured assets, festivals that celebrate the seasonal changes, and dragons that play chess.  The most intriguing story, however, is about the women and men that learn to control the power of crystals.

In a rugged Sierra canyon, Tylya finds what her grandmother lost forty years ago (which stranded her on Earth) and it provides the means for them to journey to Lantamyra. Tylya is determined to learn the secrets of crystal power and become a keeper of dragons.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn from Chapter 8: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform into the character you wish to play. This is the night to banish hatred and all things sad and dark, a night to tell a story and share a whispered secret.” She placed a finger to her lips and blew softly.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I am currently working on A TALE OF TWO WORLDS, the conclusion to LANTAMYRA. Earth is beginning to experience the Great Change (tectonic upheavals), and the gathering of refugees from countries all over the world is essential. Tylya and Lenora are in command of some of the missions, which includes a mission to retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.  Tylya’s former lover, Josh Hamilton, has taken the dangerous job of crystalseeker in the mine at Queen’s Heart.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I wrote my first pages on Mother’s Day 2005. I was inspired by a dream of a conversation with a dragon.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes, occasionally, and I intend to offer more in the near future.

Would you ever consider writing with a co-author?

It would depend on the type of book and the compatibility with the co-author. I   would be reluctant to sentence another human being to endure my artistic eccentricities.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

My title LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY was created in two parts. I created a few words in an “ancient language” and mixed them together. “Lan” means world or mother and “myra” means crystal. The “Tapestry of Fantasy” was added later to give the reader a clue on the type of book. I designed and painted the book cover on canvas to give the readers a visual dreamscape. I intentionally chose a dark foreground to act as a gravity well to draw the viewer’s attention into the picture and to some of the critical elements of the story , i.e., the dragon, the two moons, the White Queen (mountain on the left), Bodhran Rock (on the right). 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No, the characters are fictitious, but I gave a few of them physical descriptions similar to a few people I know.  All events are fictitious.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Anne McCaffrey is my favorite author, but I have been influenced by many great authors.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I like all three and each has its advantages.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

The three books of the CRYSTAL SINGER series by Anne McCaffrey because of the imaginative world she created and the enjoyable characters that populated it. I have read each book several times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

It depends on the book and the movie producers.  A few good examples: THE GRAPES OF WRATH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  and THE GODFATHER. Bad examples are far too numerous and are frequently described as “loosely based” on the book.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m reading the paperback NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen. In hardback I’m re-reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. In eBook I’m reading THE COLLECTOR WITCH by Carol and Tom Phipps and LAKE CAERWYCH by J.A. Conrad.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I will never read books that focus on horror, violence and hate. There are many books I have started but never finished. I will not single one out.

What do you think about book trailers?

I thought they were called “bookmobiles.” But seriously, I have not viewed any, so I cannot give an opinion.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Read your entire story aloud several times, the ear will often catch mistakes in logic, grammar, or anything else that interrupts the flow of the story, and my last advice is edit, edit, edit, edit, edit. I have even gone to the extreme of reading chapters backwards. I start at the end and read one paragraph then go to the one before it and so on, all the way back to the beginning of the chapter. WHY? Because it prevents me from getting wrapped up in my own story and reading over errors that are subtle and easily overlooked.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Yes, because privacy is important for me to continue writing.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I don’t keep track of the Hollywood crowd anymore; I would have to delegate that task to the casting director.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

No, I write fantasy for the heart and science fiction for the future, no other genres inspire me to write.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I believe eBooks will endure as long as there are people and computers. It is so advantageous to hold a tablet that can contain many books, change the font size, define obscure or archaic terms, etc. However, there will always be a few humans who love to hold an old-fashioned book in their hands.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

I have not actually tried to obtain a traditional professional publisher. An attempt at obtaining a literary agent was aggravating enough to encourage me to try self-publishing. Mark Twain and Zane Grey self-published to start their careers, so I felt it was worth a shot. I believe both types of publishing have their own advantages and disadvantages.  A major disadvantage to indie authors is the way that Amazon presents their books. Amazon forgets that they are in the business to sell books. If the majority of reviews are good then those are the ones to display on the ad page. They should make the few bad reviews less noticeable like the ingredients on the back of a can of soup. If Amazon ran a restaurant there would be two signs in the front window: OVER 100 PEOPLE THOUGHT OUR FOOD WAS GREAT!!! and next to it THREE PEOPLE THREW UP AND TWO SAID THEY WOULD NOT FEED IT TO THEIR DOG!! How long do you think it would take before they went out of business?

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Early on I experienced writer’s block but not for long, if I was blocked from writing the next scene, I would simply jump ahead in the story and write a scene for another chapter.

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?  I have a blog on Goodreads.phpWRjFo5AM(1)
Your web site? Not at this time.
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @waterwyk
And any other information you wish to supply? Reader questions and comments can be sent directly to Waterwykarts@gmail.com

 

Buy Links for Lantamyra: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KWM4LW/

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you, Susan, for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

Review: Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

phpWRjFo5AM(1)Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather, a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal starships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast starships to search for more living worlds.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

BY: Carol Marrs Phipps

Fantasy: Escapism or Genius?

Mel 060902_170600

I recently watched a National Geographic episode on J. R. R. Tolkien’s, “Lord of the Rings” and what inspired him to write it. 51P5KQW1FDL__AA160_ National Geographic DocEvery writer takes in their surroundings and life events and puts them into a box, opening it up later during the writing process. Lots of what we live, we write.

However, fantasy writers seem to be attacked more often than other fiction writers. While “attacked” might be a strong accusation, it is the most apt description. Fantasy writers seem to be frowned upon where other fiction writers are praised. Even sci-fi authors get the “Oh, I’m so sorry” look from people when telling them what genre they write.

I’ve said it before, though: Every writer includes fantasy in their work.
But the real reason for the “attack” is that people hear that you are a fantasy writer and immediately assume you can’t handle real life so you escape from it. The biased opinions don’t fade easily, either. Unless of course you are Tolkien, George R. R. Martin or Terry Brooks. If you are not a well known, successful fantasy author, you better have a thick skin. Apparently people equate success and riches with intelligence. But have you ever looked at a fantasy/sci-fi book and thought to yourself that the person must be some kind of bumbling idiot?

Every writer out there interacts with society on so many different levels, but the one key thing they all share is a deep, intellectual understanding of their fellow human beings. Good writers, fiction or otherwise, know what makes people tick. And they’re smart!

So think about that for a moment and now look at fantasy and even sci-fi authors. Look at the worlds they create, look at the underlying politics, the issues, the people and then ask yourself if you think they’re idiots or geniuses. It takes a certain level of intelligence to write, yes. But personally, I think it takes exceptional intelligence to write fantasy or sci-fi. So go ahead, call me a nerd or a geek. I know I am. I know how to face real life issues like a pro and roll with the punches. Because I take what I learn and I put it out there in my writing for the world to see and to help those who are struggling with life issues to find a solution somehow. What’s your writing IQ?All writers do. We’re equals, no matter what genre we choose to focus on and channel our skills into. Tolkien was a genius.



Mel~

~ I’m a blogger: www.caledonialass.blogspot.com

~I’m an author: www.mlchesley.webs.com

www.writing.com/authors/relanda

~Find me on Twitter: @MLChesley

~Find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mel.chesley

Adversarius Blog Tour with Mel Chesley

Interview with Adversarius Author Mel Chesley

 

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? My name is Melissa Chesley. I go by Mel, though. I was born in Chicago, IL and now live in Homer, AK.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One is the title of my book. It’s about an ongoing war between two kingdoms, an arranged marriage where the bride has lost her memory and how a group of people try to get her back before it’s too late. (I think that’s more than 20 words, though, sorry!)

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? ‘Adversarius’ is part of a series, yes. So I have plans for another book, that will be book two, titled ‘Veritas’.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write? I’ve been writing off and on since I was 19, but got serious about it when I hit my 30’s. I’ve always been inspired by other fantasy authors such as David Eddings, Melanie Rawn and the like. I didn’t read Tolkien until the first movies in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series came out. But ever since, he’s been an inspiration to me.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews? Absolutely. If I approach someone to do a review for me, the least I can do is provide the book.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books? Well, this first book, the title ‘Adversarius’ means Adversary in Latin. That’s the basis of the book, we find out who the adversaries are. Veritas will be next, because some truths are about to be revealed and the third book will be titled ‘Bellum’, meaning War. This first cover design was sort of my idea. I’m half Scottish and Celtic knotwork is very well ingrained in me and I love it. So I thought it would be a fitting border and the empty throne is very significant to the story. One kingdom in this war has been left wide open, without an heir for the moment. The cover designer for this book was Dara England.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? Funny you should ask. Some of these characters are based off of people I know. They created a character for an online role playing game and I asked to use them in my book, so I know them pretty well. As for events, not so much. There are some things with my characters that I have experienced, but not much.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? I’d say Tolkien, but like I said, he came about after the fact. So to pick just one, I’d have to say no, not really. It’s always been a dream of mine, to write. I don’t think my style matches any of the authors I read or have read. Some say I have a style similar to authors I have yet to read.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback? Personally, I prefer paperback books. I like hardback, but they don’t give as well. Ebooks are okay, but just not the same.

What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once? Hmm… I’d have to say ‘Faerie Tale’ by Raymond E. Feist. I love that book and have read it like three times, I think. I love the Fae and the stories behind it and this book brought it into the real world. It’s a great book.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer? Not all books transfer well, I don’t think. If you’ve read any books before seeing the movies, you always lose something in translation. You make a connection to the characters you are reading and then to see them up on the screen is sort of heartbreaking. Not everyone sees those characters the same way you do. I do think all of the Lord of the Rings transferred well, but a lot of that has to do with Peter Jackson’s love of the stories and the respect he has for Tolkien certainly brought those books to life rather well.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback) I’m currently reading a book called ‘The Infinity Bridge’ by Ross Kitson. I’m enjoying it! It’s a YA ebook and it’s a fun read.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish? There are lots of books I have tried to read and just couldn’t finish. However, at the risk of getting hate mail, I have to say I will never read ‘50 Shades of Grey’.

What do you think about book trailers? I think if they are done properly, they’re a great marketing tool.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? I would say, stick with your writing, no matter what. You’re going to get people who love it and those who hate it. But write for yourself and don’t try to please the masses, because you won’t please everyone. If you love writing, just do it!

Do you or would you ever use a pen name? M. L. Chesley is sort of a pen name for me. The ‘M’ stands for me, Melissa. The ‘L’ is for my husband, Larry, who helps me write a lot of my stuff, but won’t allow me to give him credit. So we agreed upon this pen name.

If your book was ever made into a move, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)? Oooh! I would love to see Kate Beckinsale play Kayta. I think Adrian Paul would make a great Black Rose and I’m sort of torn on who would play Nightshadow well.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why. Yes I have. As a matter of fact, I have some story ideas for paranormal books. It’s still in the creating process, but I am hoping to get to those as soon as I finish this trilogy.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend? Yes, I think ebooks are here to stay. They’re becoming quite popular with our society. Everything is electronic and sometimes people have a very short attention span, so it’s super easy to get your hands on short stories through electronic publication.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate. I don’t think so, no. The only thing I see is the author has more control over their work if they go the indie route. But it seems to me, the author has to do most of the marketing themselves either way.

Would you ever consider co/authoring with one or more other authors? Heck yeah! I’d love to co-author a book.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it? Yes, I get it once in awhile, but mostly when I am trying to figure out where to go with the story. I will walk away from it and do something else for a couple days, not thinking about the story at all and it will come to me out of the blue. Then I get right back to writing.

Where can readers follow you? Lots of places!

Your blog details? www.caledonialass.blogspot.com

Your web site? www.mlchesley.webs.com

Your facebook page? www.facebook.com/mel_chesley or www.facebook.com/MLChesley

Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6645211.M_L_Chesley

Your Twitter details? @MLChesley

Thank you Mel for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It hasbeen a real pleasure having you here on my blog. I hope you will visit again in thefuture.

Thank you, it was fun!

 

Blurb:

Two kingdoms, two goals.

The king of Relavia is determined to wipe out his warring neighbors in Paridzule, a worthy adversary for over five hundred years. News of an arranged marriage between his son and the daughter of his lifelong enemy has fueled the temper of Relavia’s tyrannical king. What he doesn’t realize is the true measure of his son’s honor and how far he is willing to go to gain peace.

Author Bio:

M. L. Chesley is an Alaska based author, online blogger and MMORPG junkie. She has been writing fantasy for several years. Between writing, work and family she barely has time for much gaming, but some days, raids take precedence over all. If you would like to learn more about her world, created in this book, go to www.mlchesley.webs.com. You can also follow her blog at www.caledonialass.blogspot.com.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adversarius-Shadow-Rose-ebook/dp/B00AJA967O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357087212&sr=8-1&keywords=adversarius+shadow+of+the+rose

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/262445

Excerpt : Kayta sat up, sweat drenched her skin and she clutched at the sheet that covered her. She couldn’t breathe, her throat constricted. After a moment, she gasped, filling her lungs with air, tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked around frantically, trying to get her bearings.

“Easy now,” someone moved to sit beside her and held her gently by the shoulders.

“Wh-where am I?” she whispered.

“Shh, do nae speak. Try tae be quiet,” the voice was low, the accent odd to her ears. Kayta pulled up the sheet to her chin and looked around. Beds lined the walls on either side, and lanterns were lit and turned low. In the dim light, she could see the face of the person who sat beside her, trying to soothe her.

“Who are you?” she whispered again. The man chuckled, his long black hair hung loose around his shoulders. There were bruises on his face, a greenish tinge indicating that they were healing as well as a few cuts.

“I’m Farrehn,” he told her. He turned his head to make sure they were not disturbing anyone, and his eyes caught the lamplight. The red of his eyes indicated his race.

Adversarius Review

By: Carol Marrs Phipps

 

For 500 years the kingdoms of Paridzule and Relavia have been enemies. When it looks as if a marriage between their progeny might unite the kingdoms and end the centuries old hatred and rivalry the king of Relavia is infuriated. He devises a plan intended not only to stop the marriage of his son, Alabassin to Princess Kayta Ni’adzul, but also to seize control of Paridzule at last.

Before long the beloved king and queen of Paridzule are unexpectedly killed in a horrible ‘accident’. And on top of that Kayta and Hedric Ni’adzul, two of the three heirs to the throne of Paridzule, are lost at sea when the ship they are on is attacked by pyrates.

Things are definitely going King Li’endrin’s way at last and it appears he may soon conquer the weakened kingdom of Paridzule with very little resistance.

However, a priest of Fizan, Goddess of Justice, an assassin and four warriors from Haldera have another plan after they are charged with a dangerous task by the goddess herself. A task which could upset Li’endrin’s nefarious plans and give Paridzule a fighting chance to survive…If only they are successful.

Adversarius is a totally engrossing fantasy tale that has just enough rollicking adventure and intrigue with a bit of romance to keep you turning those pages will into the night. The cliffhanger ending will leave you longing for the immediate release of book two of the trilogy.

 Thank you all for joining us today for ML Chesley’s Adversarius Blog Tour. One lucky commentor will win an eBook copy of Adversarius. Winner will be announced  on this blog on Tuesday, 1/15/13, so do check back to see if you have won. The winner should then email us at car01am@yahoo.com with their contact info so we can send them their ebook.

The Tyrant King Blog Tour with Cheri Chesley

 

Review of The Tyrant King

 When a mysterious stranger with an eerie resemblance to Gregory Gildersleeve, her deceased husband, arrives upon the heels of a devastating letter bearing the news of her younger brother’s death, Queen Krystal is catapulted into a series of events wrought with intrigue, danger and heartbreak. As time passes she learns that her beloved husband, Jareth, and the Kingdom of Fayterra are the true targets of the stranger, now known to be Gregory’s son, Donovan Gildersleeve. However, Donovan considers the destruction of everything and everyone important to King Jareth part of his revenge against the king he considers responsible for his father’s death.

Though Queen Krystal came from peasant stock she proves once again that there is nothing common about her as she takes up her sword and prepares to defend and protect those she loves, propriety be hanged!

There are an abundance of page-turning revelations and mysteries in this fantasy tale to keep you up well after your bedtime. But this engrossing story won’t make you regret the missed hours of sleep.

By  Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview with Cheri Chesley

 

I’m Carol Marrs Phipps and today I am interviewing Cheri Chesley, the very talented author of The Tyrant King. The eBook was released on July 20, 2012 and print version July 31.

Hello Cheri. I want to thank you for granting this interview today. How are you doing?

A little sleepy, actually. But otherwise great! 🙂

We’ll begin our interview today with a few “Cheri” trivia questions.

Favorite Book: That depends entirely on my mood. It’s like asking me which is my favorite child.

Favorite Author: Again, tough to narrow down. I love Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, C.K. Bryant, Ali Cross and Karen E. Hoover. And that’s just the top of the list.

Favorite Genre: I read pretty much everything but horror and erotica. But, right now, because I’m writing fantasy, I’m reading fantasy.

Pet Peeve: Having to repeat myself. Especially with my kids.

Place you’d most like to visit and why: Ireland. It’s always been Ireland. Part of my family heritage can be traced back there, and I love ruins, castles, scenery, and the like.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in AZ, where I nurtured an early love of books and writing into creating my first novel in high school. I married in 1996 and had 5 children in rapid succession (I had twins, so that helped). In 2006 a series of personal and family incidents caused me to refocus on my writing. Now I’m writing, working, raising my kids, and trying to keep it all together–like everyone else.

 What is your worst nightmare?

Call it a superstition, but I don’t believe in acknowledging my deepest fears and having that information out in the universe.

Were you inspired by any other writers?

Certainly. Most of the time it’s books I read and think, “I can never be that good” that inspire me to be the best I CAN be.

Would you tell us a little about your upcoming book? Is it a stand alone book or part of a series?

The Tyrant King is the sequel to my first book, The Peasant Queen, and it takes place 4 years after TPQ ends.  Trouble starts when a stranger arrives in Fayterra with a link to the past that threatens to spiral Krystal’s entire peaceful world into chaos. I really think it’s the best thing I’ve written so far.

There is an unofficial fourth book in the planned trilogy that I released last year called The Wild Queen. It’s primarily for readers who liked my villain from The Peasant Queen (there were surprisingly many of them) and wanted to know more about his past.

The final book in the series, The Lost Princess, will be out next year.

If you could become one of the characters in The Tyrant King who would it be and why?

For a long time I’d have said Krystal, because in so many ways she was me. But, really, I’d want to be Alana. There’s a lot more to that character than the readers get to see. Maybe someday I’ll write her story, too.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

The seeds were planted in high school, but I waffled about it for a long time. Sure I’d love to be a writer, but is it hobby or profession?

It wasn’t until 2006 that I began to take myself seriously as a writer. It seems like a long journey, since it encompasses over 20 years of my life, but I wasn’t writing all that time. I was spending a lot of it growing up, getting married and having my own family.

What genre(s) do you write?

My current focus is YA fantasy, with a dash of romance. But I have several irons in the fire, so to speak. I have contemporary YA, good old clean romance, middle grade fiction, even a couple of mysteries.

 

How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your books? Who was the designer of your current book?

I work with the amazing Deirdra A. Eden for my covers. She does awesome work. The titles are mine–usually the third or fourth attempt at finding the “perfect” title for the story.

What do you think about book trailers?

I’m still on the fence. I admire so many of the trailers I’ve seen, but I’m not sure how effectively they help sell books. And I admit part of that is due to my severe creative handicap at coming up with one of my own. 🙂

Is there any book that you know you will just never read? If so, why not?

50 Shades of Gray. Honestly, I’m not remotely tempted. I’m simply not a fan of graphically sexual or violent books.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write. And read. And write some more. And share. Be open to learning how to make your writing better.

Would you share one thing about yourself that no one else knows?

That is impossible, since my husband knows everything about me. But something that perhaps is not well known is that I hate berries. I really do. I won’t eat anything with berries in it–unless it’s store bought blueberry waffles. Weird, but true.

When and where do you usually write?

I write whenever the impulse strikes, and wherever I am–I always have paper of some kind with me. But I prefer to sit at my desk when I’m working on my stories. That’s where I take all my scattered ideas and try to make sense of them.

Why did you choose Indie Publishing?

I was traditionally published at first, but they declined to take on the sequel so I decided to publish it myself. It’s next to impossible to find a publisher willing to start in the middle of a series.

But the more I get into it, the more I realize I like it. I like having control over the finished product–cover, formatting, editing, etc. The Tyrant King went through a professional edit after I was done editing it myself and sending it out to writer friends and reader friends for feedback. I believe in putting out the best book I can.

Are you currently working on something new and if so would you give us a sneak peek of what it is about?

I plan to have another book out by the end of the year. It’s called City of Light, and it’s about a young woman who purposely thwarts a demon’s prophecy to save her sister’s life.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

I don’t think we covered whether or not I have any pets. 🙂 For the record, I have the perfect little dog for our family. She’s a recent acquisition and we call her Sunny.

Where can readers follow you?

Blog: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/

Website: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/p/home.html

Goodreads author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CheriWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheri-Chesley-Author/117640374915557?ref=hl

Any other info you wish to share:

Readers who have read The Peasant Queen may enjoy the alternate ending I added to my website.

Also, I put up the first chapter of The Tyrant King on my site for those who want to read more.

Thank you so much Cheri for taking time to interview on our blog. It has been a genuine pleasure getting a peek into your writing world.